A hot tub can quickly turn into a source of frustration if it does not have adequate shelter when you need it.
Without an enclosure, your spa will be exposed to the elements, which can damage the cover or cabinet over time—and of course make the water less enjoyable to soak in. In addition, hot tubs that are out in the open can be unsightly and lack privacy. But don't worry: that's where enclosures come in.
You have several options when it comes to hot tub enclosures, even if you don't have a large budget. There are relatively cheap solutions which provide a number of benefits, including protecting your hot tub from the weather, providing privacy, and enhancing the overall aesthetic of your backyard.
Let's take a closer look at my favorite ideas for cheap hot tub enclosures, and why they are worth considering for your backyard oasis.
Gazebos repurposed as hot tub tents are a great option if you're looking for a cheap spa enclosure, as they provide most of the benefits of a permanent enclosure with a much lower price tag. Here are a few reasons why you should consider one:
- Ease of setup: One of the best things about pop-up gazebos is how easy they are to set up. Unlike traditional gazebos, which can take days to assemble and require multiple people (or even professionals) to put together, most pop-up gazebos can be set up by a single person in just a few minutes. This makes them a convenient and hassle-free option for creating a hot tub tent.
- Portability: These gazebos are also highly portable, making them a great option for people who want to be able to either move their hot tub tent to different locations in their backyard—or just to have up some of the time (during the winter, perhaps). This can be especially useful if you want to be able to enjoy your hot tub with different levels of shelter depending on the time of day or the weather.
- Weather resistance: Pop-up gazebos are designed to be weather resistant (some fully waterproof, others less so) making them a great option for protecting your hot tub from the elements. They can provide shelter from the sun, rain, and other types of inclement weather, ensuring that your hot tub stays clean and enjoyable to use no matter what the weather is like outside.
- Affordability: Unlike permanent gazebos, the pop-up kind are also very affordable, making them a great option for people who are on a budget. They are a cost-effective way to create a hot tub tent, and they can provide many of the same benefits as more expensive options without breaking the bank.
- Privacy: If you get a gazebo with sidewalls, you can rest assured that nobody will be able to spy on your hot tub session—even if your backyard is overlooked. This can't necessarily be guaranteed if you opt for windows however, but there are plenty of different configuration options available if you choose to go the gazebo route.
I show a range of different designs of gazebo that would all work for hot tub use over in this post: Hot Tub Tents: The Perfect Solution for Year-Round Comfort
Mosquito net tents
Mosquito net tents are not just for keeping pesky bugs at bay while camping or enjoying the great outdoors—they can also make excellent hot tub enclosures.
Why use a mosquito net over a hot tub
Mosquito net tents provide an open-air experience. Rather than being cooped up inside a solid enclosure, a mosquito net tent allows you to enjoy the natural surroundings while soaking in your hot tub. This can make for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience. Being out in nature in your spa is part of the fun, right?
And of course, these tents will provide protection from bugs. As their name suggests, mosquito net tents are designed to keep mosquitoes and other flying insects away. This means that you can enjoy your hot tub without having to worry about being bitten.
Like pop-up gazebos, these are also easy to set up and take down. Unlike wooden hot tub enclosures, mosquito net tents are relatively lightweight and work just like regular tents for the most part. This again makes them a great option for people who want to be able to move their hot tub enclosure around or take it down when not in use.
The downsides of mosquito nets as hot tub tents
With mesh sides, you have to bear in mind that there will be some visibility from the outside, so you don't get a completely private experience. And these tents won't protect you in the harshest weather.
However, mosquito net tents are affordable as enclosures go. Solid hot tub enclosures can be expensive, but mosquito net tents are on par with most of the other options on this list—or even cheaper if you don't want anything fancy.
I discuss the range of options you have if you're interested in this type of tent in another post: Hot Tub Mosquito Nets: The Ultimate Bug Protection for Your Spa
Bubble or dome tents
Bubble tents make great cheap hot tub enclosures because they provide a cozy and attractive space for soaking in a hot tub, while also being affordable and easy to install.
What's good about hot tub domes
One of the biggest benefits of using a bubble tent as a hot tub enclosure is its affordability. These dome structures are made from transparent, waterproof material that is lightweight and easy to handle, making them much more affordable than more permanent hot tub enclosures (like pergolas) made from wood or other materials.
Another advantage of these domes is their ease of installation. Unlike traditional hot tub enclosures that require a lot of time, effort, and money to build, bubble tents can be quickly and easily set up (usually) by a single person. This makes them a great option for those who want to enjoy the benefits of a hot tub without the hassle and expense of building a permanent enclosure.
As well as being affordable and easy to install, bubble tent domes of course provide a unique sheltered space for soaking in a hot tub. The transparent material of the dome allows natural light to enter and you to see outside, creating a bright and airy space that is perfect for relaxing and unwinding.
When to avoid hot tub domes
The main downside is that although the dome is enclosed, the transparent material means it lacks a sense of privacy and seclusion. So if you want to enjoy your hot tub without worrying about being seen by others, this is not going to be the best option for you.
Overall, bubble tents or domes are a great option for those who want a cheap and easy way to create a beautiful hot tub enclosure.
I featured several different styles and sizes you can take a look at in my other post: 5 Domes to Put Over Your Hot Tub for a Magical Backyard Vibe
Ever wondered if you can use a greenhouse to house a hot tub? Well, the answer is in many cases yes!
Greenhouses are designed to retain heat, which makes them the perfect environment for a hot tub. The walls and roof of a greenhouse are typically made of materials that allow sunlight to pass through, but trap heat inside. This can create a warm, comfortable environment for a hot tub, especially during cold weather.
Another reason greenhouses can make great hot tub enclosures is that they provide a calming space for relaxation and enjoyment. Unlike a hot tub that is installed in a tent, a spa in a greenhouse can be surrounded by plants and other greenery, creating a peaceful, natural setting. This can add to the overall enjoyment and relaxation of your hot tub experience.
Additionally, greenhouses will provide protection from the elements. Hot tubs that are installed outdoors can be subject to inclement weather, such as heavy rain or snow. A hot tub in a greenhouse, on the other hand, is protected—ensuring that it remains in good condition for longer.
One important thing to note though, is that not all greenhouses are created equal. There are some types that work great for hot tubs, and others that could be unsafe.
I go into a lot more detail on this in my other post: Can You Put a Hot Tub In a Greenhouse? 4 Things to Check
So, there are several options available when it comes to finding a cheap hot tub enclosure—depending on what characteristics you value most.
- Pop-up gazebos are easy to set up and provide a sturdy, private enclosure with different options allowing you to control the level of visiblity in and out.
- Mosquito net tents are lightweight, breezy, and easy to transport, and especially good if you live somewhere warm or tend to be bothered by bugs when using your spa.
- Bubble tents offer a unique, futuristic look and can really create a beautiful oasis in your backyard.
- Greenhouses are potentially a more permanent yet still cost-effective option, and can provide both shelter and a way to soak in nature.
Dig a little deeper into the options that interest you most, and I hope you find a cheap enclosure that meets your needs!