If you’ve been looking at hot tubs for long enough they tend to start blending together. For this reason, people tend to look for simple differences so they can better evaluate which hot tub is right for them. When deciding which hot tub has the best massage, for example, many people tend to look at the number of jets each hot tub has. This can be a mistake though. Today, we will examine the impact that jet number has on the quality of your hot tub’s massage.

Do More Hot Tub Jets Lead To A Better Massage?

A hot tub’s jets are probably the most critical component of its hydrotherapy experience. That said, the number of jets is only one part of the equation. When looking at the quality of a hot tub’s massage jets there are actually 3 things you should be considering.

1) The Number Of Jets

When it comes to hot tub jets, it is not always the case that more is better. While you definitely want to make sure that there are plenty of jets, if you have too many it can actually begin to negatively affect the power of the hot tub’s massage.

The issue here is with the water supply. Since there is a finite amount of water coming out of the jet pumps, every jet you add reduces the amount of water that is available for the others; reducing their power.

So what is the right number of jets then? The answer depends on the number of massage pumps the hot tub has. Generally speaking, you don’t want there to be more than 30 jets for every massage pump.

Another thing to consider is the size of the hot tubs and how many seats it has. A small 2-3 person hot tub with 30 jets can outperform a larger 8 person hot tub with 45-50 because there are more jets in each seat.

2) The Placement Of The Jets

Simply put, if a jet doesn’t hit you in the right spot then it’s not really doing you much good. Look for a hot that with jets that follow the natural curves of your body (wider at the shoulders, narrower down the back) rather than ones laid out in straight lines or diamond shapes. These other arrangements can look impressive, but don’t provide you any real therapeutic benefit.

3) The Size Of The Jets

Another important thing to consider is the size of the jets. The larger the muscle group a jet is targeting, the larger it should be. Jets targeting your neck, wrists, and legs should be smaller to ensure that they’re hitting the right spots. Jets targeting your back should be larger to ensure that they properly treat the whole muscle.

What Else Should You Be Looking For?

When it comes to a hot tub’s hydrotherapy experience, the jets are only one component. Here’s a couple of other things that you should be looking for.


Everyone is different. That’s why it is crucial that you be able to customize your hot tub hydrotherapy experience to suit your taste. At a minimum, you should be able to vary the power of the massage in the hot tub. Hot tubs built with hydrotherapy in mind will also typically allow you to go further; offering several different jet types that can be easily removed and swapped out with other jets so that you can put your favourite jets in your favourite seat!

Powerful Massage Pumps

When it comes to hydrotherapy, it all starts with the massage pumps. Simply put, if the massage pumps aren’t strong enough, the jets won’t have enough power to provide a proper massage.

When determining the power of a massage pump, it is important to look at its flow rate, rather than its horsepower rating. This is because horsepower is a measurement of how much power the pump consumes, rather than how much water it moves. This is an important distinction as two pumps with identical horsepower ratings can have very different flow rates. For example, Hydropool’s 4 HP AquaFlo pumps generate a massage current of 180gpm (gallons per minute) while most other 4HP pumps can only get to around 140gpm. This can make a huge difference in the overall power of the massage that you experience.

Balanced Plumbing Design

While often overlooked, the layout of the plumbing also makes a big difference in the quality of a massage; both in terms of power and balance. Basically, the longer the distance the water has to travel from the pumps to the jets, the less power the jets will have.

Not only does inefficient plumbing lower the power of your hot tub’s hydrotherapy system, it can also lead to varying power between jets with ones closer to the pumps generating more power than ones that are further away.

When looking at hot tubs, take a moment to look inside the cabinet. If you see a ton of 90-degree elbows and needlessly long plumbing runs, you can be pretty sure that that hot tub is not meant for hydrotherapy.

So How Many Jets Should A Hot Tub Have?

As you can see by now, more jets does not always mean a better massage. There is also no “ideal” number of jets that a hot tub should have. More crucial is the number of “jets per seat” and the number of “jets per pump” that the hot tub has. Look for hot tubs that have 20-30 jets for every massage pump and at least 6 jets per seat. Jet size, placement and the power of the hot tub pumps are also crucial components of any hot tub hydrotherapy system and should be considered just as much as the number of jets the hot tub has.

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