Thermometer floating in hot tub

It might seem like the hotter your hot tub, the better your experience will be.

However, that’s not always the case: different temperatures may be a better choice in terms of both safety and comfort.

Ahead, we’ll explain why hot tub temperature matters and reveal the best hot tub temperatures for your needs.

Which Temperatures Can You Choose From?

Before we dive into the best hot tub temperatures, let’s first clear up a common source of confusion: the number of choices you have when selecting your hot tub’s temperatures.

The maximum temperature of any given hot tub is almost always 104 degrees. On the other hand, most hot tubs have a minimum temperature of about 85 or 90 degrees.

There are exceptions, though. Some hot tubs, such as those which use AnyTemp® spa technology, can reach temperatures as low as 62 degrees. This type of flexibility allows you to transform your hot tub from a cool, refreshing pool to a warm, soothing retreat, depending on your preferences and the weather.

Which temperature should you choose? Read on to find out.

The Safest Hot Tub Temperatures

Although hot tubs are designed for fun and relaxation, they can pose health risks if used improperly.

To prevent overheating, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a hot tub’s temperature should never exceed 104 degrees . That’s because an internal body temperature of more than 104 degrees can be harmful and even life-threatening.

According to a 2019 article from Harvard University titled, “Heat Stroke (Hyperthermia)” , an excessively high body temperature can cause:

  • Stomach and/or muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness

If not immediately addressed, overheating can turn into heat stroke. Heat stroke is extremely dangerous, and can cause bizarre behavior, hallucinations, seizures and even death.

Given the potential severity of overheating, always play it safe and keep your hot tub at 104 degrees or lower.

For pregnant women, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend maintaining a body temperature of no more than 102.2 degrees. To learn more about using a hot tub while pregnant, click here.

Excessively cold temperatures can be risky too, of course. According to an article from the National Weather Service titled, “Cold Water Hazards and Safety,”  water that’s 70 degrees or less should be treated with caution.

That’s because cold water drains body heat 25 times faster than cold air, meaning that 70 degree water will make you significantly colder than 70 degree air.

So, if your hot tub water is 70 degrees or colder, listen to your body and immediately get out and warm up if you start to feel yourself breathing rapidly or losing control of your breathing rhythm.

The Most Comfortable Hot Tub Temperatures

You know the safest hot tub temperatures, but what about the most comfortable?

That depends on a few different factors, including the ambient temperature and your personal preferences.

For most people, any temperature between 100 and 104 degrees will feel pleasantly hot. If it’s chilly outside, 104 degrees will likely feel just right. If it’s hot, though, a temperature of 100 degrees or even lower may do just fine.

Your own body will play a role, too. If you tend to run hot, you might want to experiment with cooler temperatures, and vice versa.

Additionally, you’ll want to set your hot tub temperature significantly lower than usual if you’re planning on using it for exercise (click here to discover five swim spa exercises).

For example, Mayo Clinic states in an article titled, “Water exercise: Does pool temperature matter?”,  a temperature of 83 to 88 degrees is the most comfortable for most forms of aquatic exercise.

Ultimately, your ideal pool temperature is the one that feels best to you and falls within the safety parameters outlined above.

When in doubt, refer to these guidelines:

  • Never set your hot tub temperature higher than 104 degrees.
  • Pregnant women should maintain a body temperature of no more than 102.2 degrees.
  • Be cautious when using a hot tub that’s 70 degrees or cooler.
  • A temperature of 83 to 88 degrees is best for exercise.