Go back a few years, and you’ll notice that the first home hot tubs were round.
Then, as technology got more sophisticated and manufacturers packed in more features, the round style—both the traditional wooden variety and the jetted bathtub—got largely phased out in favor of the more modern (typically square) spa.
But don’t worry: if you’re a fan of the cosy aesthetic and social gathering circle that only a round tub can create, there are options available today that combine the best of both worlds. You just have to know where to look.
Who still makes round hot tubs?
There's no shortage of wooden or inflatable round hot tubs on the market. But it you're not looking for either of those, there are also several regular portable models available—both rotomolded and acrylic.
Of the top 15 most popular hot tub brands, 9 of them make at least one round model. I take an honest look at all of them in this article.
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The first two on the list are from Watkins Manufacturing (the company behind many popular hot tub brands including Hot Spring, Freeflow Spas, Fantasy Spas, and Caldera). While Hot Spring and Caldera do not feature any round models, their rotomolded offerings from Freeflow and Fantasy do.
1. 5 Person Aptos Spa by Freeflow Spas
The Aptos can seat up to five adults comfortably, and features 18 hydrotherapy jets, including a whirlpool jet. Whether you’re taking some quiet time for yourself, spending quality time with the kids, or relaxing with friends, you’re sure to enjoy this affordable round hot tub.
The Aptos comes equipped with Plug-N-Play technology, which means no electrical hard-wiring is required. Just plug into any standard 110V outlet, fill with a hose, and relax!
This is a small, entry-level rotomolded spa. If you're just looking for some warm water to relax in, you might be happy with a basic spa like this, but don't expect much in terms of jet pressure.
It only has a 1-year warranty on parts and plumbing, and while this is not uncommon with spas of this type and price point, it is not ideal when you compare it to the warranties of higher end spas.
I also wouldn't advise getting a spa like this if you live in a very cold climate (especially if you plan to run it as plug-n-play) as it's just not going to be energy efficient due to cheap insulation when compared to a higher quality spa.
Overall, unless you're on the tightest of budgets, I'd continue on down the list.
2. Splendor by Fantasy Spas
The Splendor features barrier-free seating perfect for a solo soak or conversing with four of your closest friends. The built-in diverter valve allows you to get a personalized massage from the jets or enjoy the whirlpool feature. Feel your tension melt away as you satisfy your senses by watching the multicolored LED light illuminate the warm water.
This is basically the same spa as above, just with a different logo on it. The specs are almost identical.
3. J-210™ Classic Round Hot Tub by Jacuzzi
Compact hot tub features plenty of room for four adults to comfortably relax indoors or outdoors Amongst the many Classic Jets, the J-210™ model boasts a powerful rotational jet, whirlpool jet and foot mound jets for a full-body hydromassage The spa doesn’t require electrical hardwiring so setup is simple, requiring only a 120V outlet for plug-in The J-210™ model is low maintenance and energy efficient, making it easy on your wallet.
This is a small, yet decent and cozy little tub that is great for starting out.
It has different seat heights which means you can move up when you get too warm, down when you want more heat. The open and more upright seating in round tubs can actually be more comfortable for a wider range of people than contoured seats, because these only work for some people (we're all different shapes, after all).
The jets aren't all that different from one another, but they are large jets that move a lot of water—which means effective hydrotherapy. Some similar tubs have numerous tiny bullet jets, which can be itchy and annoying. The J-210 also has two foot jets, which is great if you like a foot massage.
All in all, this tub should be cheap to run due to its size and the quality of the insulation.
4. Model X6R by Bullfrog Spas
The X6R spa is a fun and value packed round hot tub for up to 5-6 people. The classic round spa design offers a perfect layout for conversation and fun with friends and family and the X6R won’t break your budget.
This is another well built and sturdy tub. It's easy to keep clean and maintain, which makes it a great option for a low-maintenance family. It also heats up quickly and holds the heat well so it's economical to run.
The water jets aren't super high powered like some of the other Bullfrog spas, but this isn't an issue for most people looking for a round spa. And Bullfrog as a company are reportedly easy to get in touch with in the case of any problems.
The main problems with the tub would be that it's a little noisy to run, the control panel could be simpler to use, and the deepest level of seating isn't going to be comfortable for people shorter than 6'—though we do have some booster seat recommendations which might help with that.
Offering a go-anywhere spa that is efficient and affordable, with features and technological advances that make it comfortable, safe, and inexpensive to operate.
Inside Softub® spas’ deceptively simple appearance is a bounty of technological innovations, including its unique soft-but-remarkably durable wall construction and its ingenious heat recovery system that keeps water at an ideal temperature using only a standard 115V outlet! Softub® Spas are easy to set up—just follow our 1-2-3 process!
I hesitated about putting Softub on this list, as they're not what most people think of when looking for a typical hardshell spa. However, they are round, and they are one of the bestselling spa brands in the US, so I'm including them anyway. Skip to the next section if you're not interested.
A Softub can be a great choice if you need a hot tub that's small, light, and very portable, but want something better made and more robust than an inflatable spa.
At 75 lbs or less, all their models can be rolled around easily (no need for a 5-person moving crew) and Softub are a reputable company who have stood the test of time. Just don't expect super powerful jets, and be aware that there are no molded seats, so you'll have to be ok with sitting on the floor.
6. Monaco and Monaco Elite by Marquis
The Monaco accommodates a group of five. This throwback to the round hot tub days has a generous lounge with jets from neck to feet, two deep therapy seats with full-back therapy, and two bucket seats. With the convenient 120 volt plug-and-play system, you can locate it just about anywhere. Or, an optional 240V Performance Upgrade is available to enhance your therapy experience.
This spa (both the standard and elite model) is the only round hot tub I know of that features a lounger.
You do give up some of the usual benefits of round tubs (like barrier-free seating) because of this, but if you are set on a round shape and also don't want to miss out on the whole-body hydrotherapy experience of a lounge seat, you can't go wrong with either of these models.
As a brand, Marquis get mixed reviews. Their marketing emphasizes luxury, and their pricing matches these high-end claims (although pricing can vary by region, so you'll need to contact a dealer in your area for a quote).
Overall, they do make reasonable quality spas, but some customers haven't experienced the best service. And for the price tag, you can probably do a little better with some other options on this list.
7. Journey™ by Dimension One Spas
As one of our best-sellers, the Journey™ has been seen on countless TV shows as the “hangout tub”. Entertain up to 4 guests in this barrier-free barrel-style tub. Enjoy powerful hydrotherapy with 20 jets and whirlpool diverter jet as well as clean, clear water 24/7 with D1’s patented ClearZone® PRO.
Dimension One make quality spas. While they're probably best known for their Bay Collection, the Journey is also a popular model.
On the surface, it's a classic round tub with the standard barrier-free seating you might expect. But you also get a taste of the brand's flair for innovation, thanks to the whirlpool diverter jet and 24/7 filtration/ozone system (this is the only round tub where you'll find this system).
Some things to be aware of: D1 was acquired by Jacuzzi in 2013, whose manufacturing now takes place in Mexico. This means it can be hard to get replacement parts when things break—especially if you're not located in the US. They're also not the cheapest brand around.
When you’re searching for a hot tub, you’re looking to add somewhere to relax and unwind at home. We craft our hot tubs with you in mind – with superior quality and a passion for hot water therapy. We are proud to have our name on each Nordic Hot Tub. Step in and experience the tranquility for yourself.
I couldn't write an article about round hot tubs without mentioning Nordic. They're decent quality spas from a well respected brand, and thanks to their Classic Series, this brand easily has the widest selection of acrylic round spas available on the market today.
They make a range of different sizes and types of round hot tub. If you're tall, the Crown XL™ was made for you. At 38.5", it's the deepest you'll find on this list. But if you're looking for the more basic plug-n-play style of round spa, you'll want to look at the Impulse™ at the other end of the spectrum (it will even fit through a door).
9. 627M Deluxe by South Seas Spas
This classic layout will have your neighbors trying to befriend you for the opportunity to dip their toes into the warm and tension-melting waters of your new spa. Turn your backyard into the neighborhood hot-spot or keep it all to yourself as a daily vacation from your ordinary evening routine. The choice is yours!
Last but definitely not least, this is another great option from one of the sub-brands of Artesian Spas.
The 627M Deluxe is a solid choice in the round spa category. You get 27 jets (the most out of all the options on this list), 5 barrier-free seats, and the superior build quality you can expect from all the Artesian lines.
That said, some of the features available on their other spas like the Bluetooth® Music Experience and Top Rail Lighting are not available on the 627M, so be sure to check the specs carefully so you know what you're getting.