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What is the Best Hot Tub Temperature? (Safe Soaking Chart)

Most of us know we can only sit in a hot tub for a set amount of time. But with hot tub water temperatures varying from 98°-104° F, what is the best hot tub temperature?

The best hot tub temperature is between 98°-102° F. However, the maximum temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. But generally, the higher the temperature, the shorter the safe soak time will be.

It’s an important question because the temperature of your hot tub can greatly affect your comfort and safety during your soak.

While personal preference plays a significant role, there are a few general guidelines to follow. The best hot tub temperature really depends on what you’re using it for. Are you aiming for relaxation, therapeutic benefits, or a cool-down dip in the summer? All these uses might require slightly different temperature settings.

Let’s dive into some details and help you find your ideal hot tub temperature.

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How long can you soak in a hot tub at different temperatures?

Below is a handy chart for recommended soak times at different temperatures:

Hot Tub Temperature Max Soak Time
98° F (36.6°C) 30 Minutes
100° F (37.7°C) 25 Minutes
102° F (38.8°C) 20 Minutes
104° F (40°C) 15 minutes

Specifically, you could soak for 15 minutes if the temperature is 104° F (40° C) and up to 30 minutes if it is between 95-100° F.

The rule of thumb regarding how long you can soak in a hot tub at different temperatures is that for higher temperatures, the shorter the duration you can spend.

But what is the perfect temperature setting or the ideal temperature for you?

Actually, it depends on a couple of factors. Different temperatures are ideal for different folks. How long a healthy adult can stay might differ from that for a senior citizen with critical health conditions such as high blood pressure.

Pregnant women (after conferring with their doctor) need to set a lower temperature, and teenagers can stay for a short period.

15-30 minutes is the range.

How long you can soak could also be a question of personal preference. This is provided you take into consideration the maximum temperature and some other factors such as alcohol consumption before or while using the tub.

In general, lower temperatures are ideal during summer and if the hot tub is being used by kids. (You don’t want kids using the hot tub unsupervised). The Center for Disease Control advises that children under age 5 should not use hot tubs.

Now, can a hot tub make you dehydrated?

I got into this in a recent article I published. I explained whether a hot tub could trigger dehydration or heat stroke and the symptoms of dehydration after a person has used a hot tub. And I even revealed if drinking alcohol in a hot tub is dangerous.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is 95-degree water too cold for a hot tub?

95 degrees Fahrenheit is not necessarily too cold for a hot tub. But it also depends on the ambient air temperature. During the winter months, 95° F may feel too cold. But it could feel great in summer.

In fact, it is the right temperature for a lot of people because the water is still warm enough to be soothing and enjoyable. But for many, it will not be the ideal hot tub temperature.

I often set mine at 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

I do that as my kids love to soak in it, and I don’t want them exposed to high temperatures. It is warm, and you might be able to save a bit of money if you’re concerned about energy efficiency. Even at 95 degrees, ensure that children do not stay in hot water for more than 15 minutes at a time and that they are hydrated.

As I mentioned above, 95 degrees is also ideal if you live in a warm climate.

What about during summer? Can you use your hot tub during summer, considering that the temperature could be as high as, say, 100 degrees in some places?

This is the theme of a recent article I published. In it, I looked at what temperature should a hot tub be set at in the summer and how you could cool down your hot tub. But I also explained the “summer mode” in a hot tub.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What is the minimum temperature for a hot tub in summer?

Most hot tubs can be set as low as 70° F. However, when the weather is hot, the hot tub water temperature is unlikely to go lower than 90° F no matter what it is set to.

I usually switch mine to economy or sleep mode as this is the best way to ensure the water doesn’t get too hot to enjoy.

These modes only trigger the heater during the filter cycle and not every time a drop in temperature is detected. You could set yours to 90 degrees, and it would remain in the low 90s even when the ambient temperature is 100.

So, after switching modes, I might set my temp to 90° F, knowing that the actual water temperature won’t go below 95° F. But here in Texas, when it could be 104° outside in July, that’s a great way to still enjoy the hot tub in summer. At least in the mornings or evenings.

As summer approaches, I suggest you bump the temperature settings down to 98 degrees or even lower.

What temperature is too cold for a hot tub?

While the perfect hot tub temperature is a matter of personal preference, anything below 95° F is likely to feel too cold unless the outside temperatures are in the 90s or above.

You might be concerned about the electric bill and think you should set it lower. But it’s best to keep the heat on, even when you’re not using the hot tub.

You might think you’ll save money by turning the hot tub off. Don’t. Unless the hot tub has been properly winterized, turning it off while water is still in it or in the plumbing can lead to damaged pipes!

And, if you’ll be using it, the Center for Disease Control’s recommended safe temperature is at or below 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ideally, you want to keep the tub running because reheating it every time puts a strain on the heating element and bumps up energy costs. Speaking of energy, how much electricity does an average hot tub use?

That’s what I got into in a recent article, where I looked at whether a hot tub uses a lot of electricity and how much it costs to run a hot tub for a month. But I also revealed if turning down a hot tub saves money.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What is a safe hot tub temperature?

When it comes to enjoying your hot tub, safety is a top priority. A key aspect of this is ensuring your hot tub’s temperature is within safe guidelines. Let’s take a look at what this means for different groups.


Children have a lower tolerance for high temperatures than adults. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals suggests a maximum hot tub temperature of 94°F (34°C) for kids. Keep in mind, children should never be left unsupervised in a hot tub, regardless of the temperature. Also, the CDC and other organizations don’t recommend hot tub use for children under the age of 5.


For elderly individuals, hot tub temperatures should not exceed 100°F (38°C). They may also be more susceptible to heat stroke or sudden changes in blood pressure caused by hot water. As always, it’s important for elderly individuals to consult their doctor before using a hot tub.

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women need to be particularly cautious. High temperatures can be harmful during pregnancy. It’s generally recommended that pregnant women keep the hot tub temperature at or below 102°F (38.9°C) and limit their soak to 10 minutes. Always consult with a healthcare provider before hot tub use during pregnancy.


In the end, the best hot tub temperature largely boils down to personal preference within the safe guidelines provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and your own comfort. Whether you’re seeking a therapeutic soak to ease aching muscles, a place to unwind and destress, or a refreshing dip on a hot day, setting the right temperature can significantly enhance your hot tub experience.

Remember, safety is paramount. Pregnant women, people with cardiovascular issues, and children should all exercise caution and perhaps opt for lower temperatures. Also, regardless of the temperature, remember to limit your soak time to avoid overheating. Regular maintenance and vigilance can ensure your hot tub remains a safe and enjoyable haven. So, go ahead, adjust that thermostat, and let the warm waters work their magic.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for my hot tub to warm up after refilling?

As hot tub owners, it’s essential to understand that reaching optimal temperatures can take some time, especially after a refill. When filling your hot tub for the first time or after a water change, the heating duration will depend on several factors, such as your hot tub’s capacity, the initial water temperature, and the efficiency of your heater.

Typically, you can expect it to take about 6-8 hours to warm up your hot tub water to a comfortable spa temperature of 100-102 degrees. Larger tubs or colder initial water temperatures will generally require a longer heating time. Remember, patience is key here – allowing your hot tub to gradually reach its desired temperature ensures proper functioning and longevity of your spa components.

Will a higher temperature on my hot tub increase my electric bill?

Finding the right hot tub temperature is key to achieving the perfect balance between your comfort and your electric bill. It’s a common misconception that maintaining a higher temperature will significantly increase your energy costs. Modern hot tubs are designed to be energy efficient and are often insulated to retain heat, reducing the need for constant heating.

While it’s true that the heater will use more energy to initially reach a higher temperature, keeping your thermostat set at a consistent temperature, even when the hot tub is not in use, can prevent the need for a large energy expenditure to reheat the water. This could even out the costs.

That said, a significantly higher than recommended temperature might lead to a noticeable increase in your electricity bill, not to mention potential safety risks. Balancing your comfort with energy efficiency is the best approach to managing hot tub use.

Should I lower the temperature of my hot tub in summer?

In the summer months, many hot tub owners question whether they should lower the temperature of their hot tub. This is a valid concern as warmer outside temperatures mean the hot tub’s warm water may not feel as refreshing. So, what’s the verdict?

Reducing the water temperature slightly to a more comfortable temperature can definitely enhance your hot tub experience during hotter days. It’s all about maintaining an ideal water temperature that aligns with your comfort and the outdoor weather.

However, be mindful that the water temperature should not be too low as it can pose health risks such as hypothermia if people stay in for extended periods. You want a temperature that’s just right – warm enough to relax you but not so hot that it makes you feel overheated in the summer heat.

Should you raise the temperature of a hot tub in winter?

Yes. You should raise the temperature of a hot tub in winter by 2-4 degrees depending on the previous set temperature, the ambient air temperature, and personal preference.

The cooler temperature of the air will naturally make the water feel a little colder. It is ideal to keep the hot tub slightly warmer than normal, so you might want to set it between 102 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

That also helps if there is a power outage. That way, the temperature won’t drop to a critical level.

You ideally want the temperature of the water to be at or warmer than your body temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). And note that the smaller the gap in temperature of the hot tub water and the freezing temperature outside, the higher the possibility that your water could freeze if there is an extended power outage.

It should never be above 104 as this can be dangerous. In other words, 104 degrees is the maximum temperature you can ever set your hot tub at. Most people keep theirs within 98 degrees and 104 degrees.

In a recent article, I offered more info on using a hot tub during winter. I revealed whether it’s bad to use the hot tub in cold weather and what to do with a hot tub in winter. But I even shared the ideal temperature to keep your hot tub in winter.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Photo by Aarón Lares from Pexels
Jeff Campbell