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Want to clean your water naturally, cut back on maintenance time and say goodbye to irritating chemicals? A salt water hot tub may be right up your alley.

Despite their many benefits, though, salt water hot tubs aren’t without drawbacks.

Want to know if a salt water hot tub is right for you? Here are the pros and cons of salt water hot tubs.


  • Fewer chemicals.
  • Non-irritating.
  • Better buoyancy.
  • Reduced maintenance.
  • Lower long-term costs.


  • Higher up-front cost.
  • Salt cell maintenance.

Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of salt water hot tubs.

Pros of Salt Water Hot Tubs

 Salt water hot tubs have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. These are some of the advantages of using a salt water hot tub.

Fewer Chemicals

 By making use of a natural chemical reaction between salt and water that’s known as electrolysis, salt water hot tubs provide your hot tub water with a steady supply of chlorine. However, the amount of chlorine produced by salt sanitation systems is much lower than the amount you’d add if you were manually introducing chlorine into the water.


 If you’ve ever soaked in hot tub water that has too many chemicals added to it, or if you have sensitive skin, then you already known that both chlorine and bromine can be irritating.

On the other hand, far fewer people are sensitive to salt water than they are to chlorine and bromine, and most find that it’s completely non-irritating to their skin and eyes.

Better Buoyancy

 Just as it’s easier to float in the ocean than it is to float in a pool, you’ll have much better buoyancy in a salt water hot tub than in one that’s treated with chlorine or bromine.

This is because salt increases the density of water, making it much easier for objects (including your body) to float.

Why is this a benefit? It all has to do with pressure: The easier it is to float, the less pressure you’ll feel on your joints and muscles.

So, soaking in a salt water hot tub can feel much more relaxing and therapeutic than soaking in normal hot tub water.

Reduced Maintenance

 Salt water hot tubs are essentially self-regulating, meaning that their owners will be able to perform fewer pH tests, leave the hot tub’s water unchanged for longer intervals and spend less time adjusting chemical levels.

In other words, salt water hot tubs allow you to spend less time maintaining your hot tub and more time enjoying it.

Lower Long-Term Costs

 While a five-pound bucket of chlorine can easily cost upwards of $25, a 40-pound bag of pool and spa salt can cost as little as $10 or less.

That means a salt water hot tub will require less maintenance and will also be much cheaper to maintain in the long run.

Cons of Salt Water Hot Tubs

 Although salt water hot tubs have far more pros than they do cons, there are still some drawbacks worth considering.

Higher Up-Front Cost

 Even though salt water hot tubs cost less to maintain in the long-run than a hot tub with normal water, a salt water system will cost more up-front than a bromine- or chlorine-based system.


 Even in small amounts, salt has natural corrosive properties. While this is unlikely to cause any significant damage to your hot tub, it’s still a good idea to wipe down exposed metal parts on a regular basis.

Don’t forget to make sure that your hot tub water’s salinity isn’t too high, either.

Salt Cell Maintenance

 Every one to three years, your salt water hot tub’s salt cell (also known as the chlorinator cell) will need to be replaced, which will typically cost you $100 or more.

Your salt water hot tub’s salt cell will also need to be cleaned on a regular basis, preferably every two to three months.

Although salt water hot tubs come with their own set of cons, many hot tub owners feel that their easy maintenance, non-irritating properties and lower long-term costs make them a worthwhile investment.

If you want a hot tub sanitation system that’s more natural, gentle and low-effort than standard chlorine and bromine systems, a salt water hot tub may be just what you’re looking for.