A hot tub cover protects your hot tub and prevents debris from accumulating in the water. Plus, it's an essential part of caring for your hot tub's energy efficiency and heater. Plus, if you have the right cover in place, you can use your hot tub all season long with no need to winterize it.
We researched dozens of hot tub covers, evaluating them on the quality and durability of materials, customization options, and ease of use.
The Cover Guy Deluxe Hot Tub Cover
Zero-absorption waterproofing liner
Four wind straps
Multiple upgrade options available
Insulation may not be enough in cold climates
Alternatives may cost less
Order a replacement hot tub cover from The Cover Guy, and you benefit from the premium materials, custom fit, and functionality. The brand's Deluxe Hot Tub Cover is a popular option for hot tub use in milder climates. This cover features a 2-inch slope from the center to the edge to prevent standing water, and the product is rated for 150 to 200 pounds of weight per linear square foot.
Features that make the Deluxe cover stand out from the crowd include a high-grade marine vinyl designed to stand up to sun and moisture exposure, extending the life of your hot tub cover. Inside, the cover is constructed with 1.5-pound closed-cell foam and energy-reflective materials. The result is a transfer of heat energy back to your hot tub rather than the atmosphere. For the Deluxe model, the insulation factor, known as an R-value, is 17.
You can customize the shape and dimensions of this cover to fit your specific hot tub model and choose from 12 vinyl color options. Hot tub owners in cold climates can also take advantage of this cover option by upgrading to 2-pound foam for better insulation against cold temperatures. This cover also has additional upgrade options, such as selecting a weather-shield fabric cover, adding additional handles, or adding a fully insulated hinge for even more energy savings. However, all of the customization options do come at a hefty price.
While this pick is certainly a splurge, we think its thoughtful design and 7-year warranty make it a reliable choice.
Price at time of publish: $450
Dimensions: Not noted | Weight: 40 pounds | Shape: Square, circle, cut corners, irregular | Material: 30-ounce marine-grade vinyl, CFC-free foam
Best for Winter
The Cover Guy Extreme Hot Tub Cover
Holds 200-300 pounds of snow per linear foot
Aluminum reinforced center seam
Must pay for upgrade to higher density (2-pound) foam
Extreme cold can cause heat loss and turn your hot tub into a lukewarm tub—which is less than ideal when you're trying to thaw after a day on the slopes or on the rink. Avoid this problem and increase energy efficiency by choosing a hot tub cover designed specifically for colder climates. We recommend The Cover Guy's Extreme Hot Tub Cover.
This cover design is a level up from our best overall pick, the brand's Deluxe Hot Tub Cover, and it has even more energy-efficient features that make it ideal for the coldest climates. It does cost more, however, which is why we still call out the Deluxe as our best overall pick.
The Extreme cover is insulated with 1.5-pound closed-cell foam, which means it’s better equipped to trap heat inside your hot tub rather than letting it evaporate into the chilly outside air. Like other covers available from The Cover Guy, the foam is coated and wrapped to prevent it from absorbing moisture due to steam.
In addition to cold temperatures, the Extreme model has a thicker cover to withstand higher snow loads: 200 to 300 pounds of snow and ice per linear foot. A seam stop running the full length of the hinge is an available upgrade to further insulate this hot tub cover and prevent warm air from escaping. Plus, the center seam is reinforced with aluminum for added strength against heavy snow and ice loads.
As with the other brand's available models, the Extreme cover has four lockable child safety straps that hold it secure against your tub. This also promotes better heat retention and prevents movement during heavy winds.
This hot tub cover is expensive, but we consider the upfront cost worthwhile considering its energy-efficient design and 7-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $480
Dimensions: Varies | Weight: 45 pounds | Shape: Square, circle, cut corners, irregular | Material: 30-ounce marine-grade vinyl, CFC-free foam
Best Square Soft Cover
ULTCOVER Waterproof 600D Polyester Square Hot Tub Cover
Elastic hem cord
Air vents prevent condensation buildup
Must be paired with insulated hard cover
Not available in round design
If you're hoping to fully winterize your hot tub for an extended period, the ULTCOVER Waterproof Square Hot Tub Cover is a great addition to your traditional hard cover setup. While this soft cover is not an alternative to an insulated hard cover, especially if you do not use your hot tub frequently, it's a great option to add an additional layer of protection that extends the life of your standard vinyl insulated cover. You could even throw this cover on the tub between uses if you need to run indoors to make lunch or use the restroom.
This polyester canvas cover features double-stitched seams and a water-repellent coating. The interior lining has a waterproof taped seam that helps keep heat inside your tub. An adjustable strap makes it easy to change this cover's skirt depth, while the elastic hem cord ensures that the cover stays in place once fitted properly. This cover also has air vents, which help prevent condensation buildup under the cover.
Price at time of publish: $60
Dimensions: Varies | Weight: 10.91 pounds | Shape: Square | Material: 600D polyester canvas fabric
Best Round Soft Cover
Coverstore Custom Size Round Hot Tub Cover
Different fabric options available
Must be used with hard insulated cover
Similar to our recommendation for the best square soft cover, this option from the Coverstore is for round-design hot tubs. It features a drawstring hem, air vents, and a water-resistant coating. We love the versatility of the Custom Size Round Hot Tub Cover because you can ensure that the cover size is perfect for your round hot tub and determine which type of fabric is best for your needs.
The four different material options—classic, elite, ultima, and prestige—offer varying levels of water, UV, wind, and fade resistance that is backed by respective warranties. While the different materials come at an additional cost, we appreciate this cover's affordable price point compared with other custom covers on the market.
As with other covers, this cover is also double-stitched around seams to ensure durability and prevent tears.
While this soft cover is not to be used in lieu of a hard insulated cover, it's a great way to extend the life of your vinyl hard insulated cover and ensure maximum weatherproofing during off-seasons.
Price at time of publish: $117
Dimensions: Varies | Weight: Not listed | Shape: Round | Material: 300D polyester fabric
Best Spa Blanket
Spa Depot Thermo-Float Spa Blanket
16-mil thickness for extra durability
Prevents water absorption in cover
Easy to trim and use
May not be compatible with custom shape hot tubs
Spa blankets, as they’re sometimes referred to, reduce heat loss, keeping your hot tub warmer and ready to go with less energy usage. They also help prevent water absorption in your hard insulated cover, which can lengthen your cover's lifespan. This option from Spa Depot's Thermo-Float brand is 16 mil thick, making it durable and energy efficient. According to the manufacturer, it can prevent up to 95 percent of evaporative heat loss when properly fitted and used.
To use this product, you place the plastic bubbles facedown—they absorb solar energy and transfer it into your hot tub water. While this blanket is meant to be used without the cover, hence the solar component, it can also be used when your hot tub is covered between uses to maximize energy efficiency.
This blanket measures 8 x 8 feet, but you can trim it to fit your hot tub. Be sure you include an overhang of about 2 inches to ensure that the surface stays covered if the blanket shifts.
Price at time of publish: $65
Dimensions: 96 x 96 inches | Weight: Not listed | Shape: Square | Material: 16 mil thick film
Best Hot Tub Cover Lifter
Cover Valet The Cover Rock-It
Fits most spas up to 96 inches
Easy to assemble
Not compatible with round, octagonal, or hexagonal hot tubs
Tub may need to be emptied prior to lifter installation
Typically, hot tub covers are heavy and bulky. When using the hot tub, you also have to store the cover in a place where it doesn't become damaged or dirty. For these reasons, a hot tub cover lifter makes it easier to lift and store your cover while the tub is in use.
Although we recommend The Cover Rock-It from Cover Valet, note that this lifter is only compatible with square and rectangular hot tub shapes; it's still a great investment, however. With this in place, you don't always need someone nearby to help lift your hot tub cover before each use.
The Cover Rock-It uses under-mounted plates to leverage its lifter arms and gently lift your hot tub cover. After it's installed, one person can generally remove or replace it, making it much easier to maintain your hot tub's temperature. However, this lifter lacks a hydraulic assist, so larger and heavier covers may still require two people to carefully move them.
When the cover is removed, it folds to the side of the hot tub; you need at least 18 inches of clearance for the cover to fold next to the tub, so keep this in mind when considering your hot tub's location.
Price at time of publish: $140
Dimensions: Fits hot tubs up to 104 inches | Weight: Not listed | Shape: Not applicable | Material: Zinc-plated and powder-coated aluminum
You can't go wrong with The Cover Guy's Deluxe Hot Tub Cover, which is made with high-density, heat-retaining foam and can be ordered to fit your hot tub. If you're looking for a soft cover to pair with your hard insulated cover, we recommend either the ULTCOVER 600D Polyester Square Hot Tub Cover or the Coverstore Custom Size Round Hot Tub Cover, depending on your tub shape. While these covers must be paired with hard covers, they provide affordable options for covering your hot tub, preventing heat loss, and extending the life of your hard cover.
What to Look For in a Hot Tub Cover
You should look for a hot tub cover that is compatible with the climate you live in. Hot tubs in very cold climates require thicker, better-insulated covers to retain heat. In addition, if you live in an area that receives heavy snow and ice loads, pay attention to how much weight the hot tub cover can hold to avoid damage to your hot tub.
Heat and Moisture Retention
Aside from keeping debris out of your hot tub, a primary purpose of a hot tub cover is to hold in heat and moisture. The materials a hot tub cover is made from, along with a good fit, assist in preventing heat loss and evaporation.
To evaluate a replacement hot tub cover's heat and moisture-retention abilities, consider the cover's thickness, keeping in mind that most covers are tapered. Also, pay attention to the density of the foam inside the cover, expressed in pounds. The foam used for hot tub covers usually ranges from a density of 1 to 2 pounds; the denser the foam, the better the hot tub cover's insulation.
Additional features can enhance the usefulness, longevity, or safety of your hot tub cover. Most covers include tie-down straps to secure the cover. Some hot tub covers can be ordered with safety locks to prevent the removal of the cover without a key.
If your hot tub cover is directly exposed to the elements, look for UV-resistant vinyl, as well as an inside vapor barrier that protects the hot tub cover from becoming waterlogged. Some manufacturers offer the option of a double vapor barrier to provide additional protection against moisture.
Why do you need a hot tub cover?
A hot tub cover serves two purposes: It prevents debris from falling into your hot tub and slows evaporation and heat loss.
A hot tub that is left open can quickly become dirty from falling leaves, insects, pollen, and more and doesn't maintain the warm-water temperatures you expect. This results in the need to clean the hot tub more often and run the heater more frequently.
How do you install a hot tub cover?
Installing a hot tub cover is quick and easy for most setups; it’s often easier to do with two people.
Set the folded cover on one half of the hot tub, being sure it’s evenly positioned and covers the tub from edge to edge. Then, lift the top half and set it down on the other side of the hot tub. Secure the cover using the tie-down straps and clips.
How do you clean a hot tub cover?
It’s important to clean your hot tub cover to prevent the UV-resistant vinyl from deteriorating and mold from growing. To clean a hot tub cover, do the following:
- Remove the cover from your hot tub and place it on a flat, level area of the ground—underside up.
- Use a hose with light to medium water pressure to rinse any residual hot tub chemicals from the cover. Check for any tears or rips on the cover. Wipe dry or allow to air dry.
- Flip the cover over and rinse the top with the hose. Check for tears or cracks in the vinyl.
- Use a mild cleaning solution, such as vinegar and water, or a formula recommended by the manufacturer, to clean the hot tub cover of dirt and grime. A soft cloth or gentle brush can provide agitation, but be sure not to scrub too hard. Rinse the cover and wipe dry or allow it to air dry.
- Replace the cover on your hot tub.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Erica Puisis has been covering the best products for outdoor and indoor living at The Spruce since 2017. Her research and areas of expertise have included pool heaters, cleaners, and water-testing equipment.
To find the best options for hot tub replacement covers, Erica considered the thickness of each cover, foam density, customization options, and the length of any warranty periods. Most options on this list can be ordered to fit your hot tub specifically, providing the best protection against heat loss and evaporation.
Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, refreshed this product roundup to reflect the latest developments in hot tub cover designs and materials. In addition to researching each cover's materials and R factor (heat retention), Emma also considered each cover's ease of use, durability, and delivery wait time.