Depending upon the level of safety, heat retention and how much you want to spend, the best hot tub cover may be different for different people. While certain hot tub covers have concrete advantages over others, weighing the variables makes each of the types worth the money you spend on them. Factor in everything necessary to determine which hot tub cover will work best for you, including price, lifespan, thickness, durability and water absorption. Knowing how they compare, you can better decide between the alternatives: an inflatable tonneau cover, a soft insulated model, a roll cover or a hard hot tub cover.
The first type of hot tub cover is the most basic. It is essentially a stitched double layer of vinyl cut to size and strapped down over your hot tub. Some types have an inflatable area in the center which raises it up to allow water to run off. When used with an additional floating blanket, heat loss is kept to a minimum as is water damage. Tonneau covers are fastened to the hot tub with straps and snaps, and they are the least expensive, starting at less than $200.
Soft Insulated Cover
The next model up is the fold-up insulated hot tub cover. It consists of two outer layers of vinyl with a core of foam. The foam is usually wrapped in a vapor-blocking lining to protect the foam from water damage. This type starts at around $300 and provides a safer cover. There is a danger of the inner foam breaking, and if even a small puncture happens on the vinyl, water can seep in and start to eat at the foam. For this reason, they should be used with a floating blanket.
A roll cover is considerably more expensive than an insulated fold-up cover. They start at almost $700. Rather than fold up, a roll cover rolls off the hot tub. It is built from polyethylene foam topped with cedar slats. The shape of the pieces allows the cover to roll up. This type of cover is very durable and lasts a lot longer than the insulated cover with a foam core. Used with a floating blanket, a roll cover will also protect against heat loss.
The most common hardcover material is aluminum. It starts at around $1000, but it lasts the longest, and it is very strong. It, too, has a foam core, but the production method seals the foam inside making water damage less likely. A hardcover provides the most safety, although getting it off the hot tub requires either a mechanical lifter or some strength.
Each type of hot tub cover has its advantages, whether its price or durability. The best hot tub cover for the money is a tonneau cover with a floating blanket, but additional measures should be taken for safety if you have small children.