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The Differences Between a Spa, Jacuzzi and Hot Tub

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The words Jacuzzi, spa and hot bath are often used interchangeably to describe three different types of products. What they have in common is that they all describe a big container of aerated water. But they also do have significant differences, for example in appearance.

Do you know what the exact differences are between a Jacuzzi, spa and hot bath? We explain it to you in this article, so that you know in advance what you’re looking for. 



While often used as a synonym for Jacuzzi and hot tub, a spa has a much broader definition. It’s actually an abbreviation of Sanitas Pas Aqua, or loosely translated: ‘health through water’. A spa, for example a mineral spring, is a place where people can take a medicinal bath to heal their body.

The word spa is now often associated with resorts where people come to enjoy several water related facilities that help relax and heal the body and mind. In these resorts you have many “spa facilities” among which are Jacuzzi, spa and hot bath (Dutch: zwemspa). Here, a spa is used as a collective term for in-ground water facilities, especially bathing facilities that contain any form of hydrotherapy, that are used for healing and relaxation of the body and mind. 

Hot tub 

A hot tub has traditionally been a wooden barrel filled with water that is heated by firing wood. A wood-fired hot tub (Dutch: houtgestookte hottub) is the most traditional form of a bath and is often considered a forerunner of the modern hot tub.  Modern hot tubs feature massage jets and bubbles which are heated to a warmth that is relaxing and healing.


A Jacuzzi is not a type of hot tub, but actually a brand-name product (hence the capital letters). Jacuzzi makes hot tubs and has become so well known that many people now use their name for almost any type of hot bath. So if you’re looking for a Jacuzzi, you’re actually looking for a hot tub of the brand Jacuzzi. 

We understand that these words can be a little confusing. Hopefully this article brings some clarity!