Salt Water Hot Tubs vs Chlorine Hot Tubs

If you’re interested in purchasing an outdoor hot tub, there are multiple factors you should consider. It’s important to think about cost, ease of maintenance and the type of environment you want to create for yourself and your guests. Fortunately, many of these concerns can be addressed based on whether you decide to buy a saltwater hot tub or a chlorine hot tub. Although there are other options available, these two choices are typically the most popular and readily available.

The Difference Between Salt Water vs Chlorine Hot Tubs

Contrary to popular belief, BOTH salt water and chlorine hot tub systems actually have chlorine in them. The difference is that salt water hot tubs produce a natural chlorine that is free of additives and binders, while chlorine hot tubs are maintained through the use of man-made chemicals.

How Salt Water and Chlorine Hot Tubs Work

Salt water hot tubs, as the name suggests, are maintained with cells made from sodium chloride that purify the water as it passes through them. In contrast, chlorine works by oxidizing bacteria and other contaminants that exist in the water. Both result in clean, purified water, but have different methods of achieving it.

Which Type of Hot Tub is Right for You?

Given their similar features, you might struggle to identify which type of hot tub is right for you. The key is to compare and contrast salt water and chlorine hot tubs based on your priorities. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  • Cost: Saltwater systems are significantly more expensive upfront, typically ranging from $500 to $5,000 if they added on to an existing hot tub. Additionally, you will need to purchase salt cell replacements every 2-5 years.
  • Maintenance: Chlorine hot tub systems tend to be harder to maintain overall since they require specific pH levels that demand regular testing. Chlorine tablets and bromine can also be hazardous to children and pets if they aren’t stored in a safe place.
  • Risk of damage: Salt is corrosive by nature, so the heaters, liners and underwater lighting in salt water hot tubs can all experience damage over time. At the same time, the system can stop functioning correctly if the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • General comfort: Chlorine hot tubs have a distinct, strong odor that can irritate sensitive skin and eyes and linger long after you have left the tub. Salt water systems, on the other hand, are known for leaving your skin softer and are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, there is no one hot tub system that is “right” for everyone. Each one has its pros and cons, and it is up to you to choose the type that is best for you. One thing is certain, however; each type has the ability to create a perfect, relaxing environment for you to enjoy.

Contact Atlantic Pool & Spa to help you with the decision of choosing Salt Water Hot Tubs vs Chlorine Hot Tubs. Our entire knowledgeable and experienced hot tub specialists are eager to help you. We are located in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Visit, give us a call or contact us through our contact us form. We provide hot tub installation to Warren, Bergen, Sussex and Morris County.

Consumer Affairs Buyer Guide to The Pros and Cons.