What's the Perfect Temperature for Your Hot Tub?

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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While the perfect hot tub temperature is a matter of preference, most people agree that somewhere between 98.6 degrees and 102 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. With the hot tub temperature just a few degrees warmer than body temperature, you can enjoy a warm, relaxing soak that feels perfectly comfortable.

Most public hot tubs located at resorts and spas are between 100-102 degrees since that seems to be most preferred. If you have your own hot tub you can adjust the temperature to meet your liking.

As a rule, a hot tub should feel hot when you get in, but not so hot that you don't want to spend much time in it.

How do I find the best hot tub temperature?

Finding the perfect hot tub temperature requires some trial and error. The good news is that once you find the temperature that is most comfortable for you, the hard work is done. Set your hot tub to that temperature and it will work to maintain that temperature for you consistently every time you get in.

If you just got your hot tub, you can start with a lower temperature closer to the human body temperature (98.6 degrees) and see how that feels. If that's comfortable, you may want to leave it at that temperature.

If you feel like it could be warmer, try increasing it a degree each time you use the hot tub until you feel satisfied with the temperature. You can safely increase hot tub temperatures up to about 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It should feel hot, but still relaxing and enjoyable when you are in it.

Can a hot tub be too hot?

You should always exercise caution when using a hot tub because excessive exposure to heat could lead to heat exhaustion, fainting, and other issues. This can happen if you are in a hot tub that is too hot.

Spending any length of time in water exceeding 106 degrees Fahrenheit is considered unsafe and could lead to any of these issues.

Most hot tubs will not let you heat it higher than 104 degrees to prevent these things from happening.

Even if your hot tub is heated to a reasonable and safe temperature, be mindful of how you feel when you're in it.

If you feel hot to the point that you're uncomfortable, dizzy, nauseous, confused, turning red, or sweating excessively, you may want to get out of the hot tub and consider lowering the temperature in the future.

How cool can I make my hot tub temperature?

Many hot tubs have a setting that prevents them from being set to any temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If this is the case, you can play around with the lower temperatures until you find one that is comfortable for you.

There are some hot tubs that can double as cool tubs and may be able to support temperatures as low as the 60s and 70s, but they are not as common. Check the manual of your hot tub to find out if it has this feature, then you can make your hot tub into a cool tub any time you want.

Cool tubs are most often seen at resorts and hotels in tropical destinations like the Caribbean etc. Typically, they will change the hot tubs to cool tubs in the warmer months when visitors are less likely to want to soak in a hot tub.

Can I increase my hot tub temperature beyond 104?

Most hot tubs are designed to heat the water to a maximum temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some models may be able to reach higher temperatures. This is especially true of wood-fired tubs where the temperature is not electronically controlled, but instead determined by the size of the fire in your stove.

If you are considering increasing the temperature of your hot tub, it is important to consult your owner’s manual first. Some manufacturers void the warranty if the user increases the temperature beyond the recommended limit.

Additionally, it is important to remember that the 104 limit is there for a reason: water at higher temperatures can be dangerous. If the water is too hot, it can cause burns or dehydration. For these reasons, it is best to stick with the recommended temperature limit for your hot tub.

Should I change my hot tub temperature seasonally?

Many people like to adjust their hot tub temperature depending on the time of year to make it more comfortable based on the weather.

If you live somewhere that has distinct seasons, you may want to adjust your hot tub temperature seasonally. This is especially true if you have an outdoor hot tub.

To adjust for the seasonal weather changes, you might consider lowering the temperature a few degrees in the summer and raising it a few degrees in the winter.

This slight shift makes the contrast between the outside temperature and the hot tub temperature feel more comfortable.

When it's cold outside, having a hotter hot tub feels more relaxing and luxurious. When the weather is hot, you might want your hot tub to be soothing but not overly hot.

How long can you stay in a hot tub?

The ideal length of time to soak in a hot tub for average healthy adults is 20-30 minutes. If you are looking to relieve deep muscle aches or achieve deep relaxation, you may want to stay in as long as 45 minutes.

Keep in mind that temperature matters when it comes to duration as well. You may be able to stay in a slightly cooler hot tub for a longer length of time safely. If your hot tub is heated to 102-104 degrees you definitely want to make sure you adhere to a maximum of 20 minutes or so at a time.

It is generally not recommended to stay in a hot tub much longer than 20-45 minutes as an adult. Children should only stay in a hot tub for about 15 minutes to avoid issues with heat exposure.

If you want to soak for a longer time, consider either soaking at a lower temperature, or getting out of the hot tub to get a cold drink, have a snack, or go to the bathroom before getting back in. Allow your body time to cool off and then you can enjoy another hot tub session safely.

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