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Types of Retractable Hot Tub Covers

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

Hot Tub’s come with a ton of health benefits, besides the pleasure they’re renowned for providing. This is all the more reason to keep yours safe when it is not in use.

Well, most people turn to the different types of retractable hot tub covers for help.

There are automatic hot tub covers, soft and hard tops, solar covers, and retractable spa covers. If you want to find the one that best suits your needs, keep reading!

So, you’ve decided to find a way to keep your hot tub safe while you’re away. A retractable cover is just what you need.

Here are the many types of retractable hot tub covers you have to choose from:

  • Soft Top Covers

  • Vinyl covers

  • Solar covers

  • Hard Top Covers

  • Aluminum covers

  • Fiberglass covers

  • Luxury Covers

  • Gazebo Covers

  • Sliding floor cover

  • Folding floor covers

  • Sinking floor cover

Now, which should you pick? This depends on whether you want to prioritize convenience, aesthetics, or just looking to show off.

Also, the size and shape of your in-ground spa will play an important role in your decision.

The following guide has all the information you need to make the right choice.

Soft Top Hot Tub Covers

These soft covers are typically made of vinyl fabric. You stretch it over the top and fasten it with straps.

Vinyl Hot tub Covers

Well, they’re easy to set up and pretty lightweight. However, they don’t work well for most heated tubs, as they’re not thermal compatible. Additionally, in many cases, rainwater finds a way in or stains the cover.

Solar Covers

Well, they’re easy to set up and pretty lightweight. However, they don’t work well for most heated tubs, as they’re not thermal compatible. Additionally, in many cases, rainwater finds a way in or stains the cover.

Pros & Cons of Soft Covers


  • ✔︎ Cheap

  • ✔︎ Easy installation

  • ✔︎ High UV resistance

  • ✔︎ Beautiful fabric coverings

  • ✔︎ Handles snow

  • ✔︎ Resists hail up to 1.5"

  • ✔︎ Dogs are welcome


  • Cant handle heavy loads

  • Heat evaporation

  • Water-logging

  • Doesn't fit custom tubs

  • Easily scratched

How much is a vinyl hot tub cover?

The cheapest versions are very affordable. They’ll typically run you a few hundred dollars.

Why do soft hot tub covers get so heavy?

Soft covers are great for a lot of people. However they can get heavy to remove, sometimes so heavy that hot tub owners can't get in them at all if they’re alone.

This happens when the foam core becomes waterlogged.


Hard Top Hot Tub Covers

You’ve seen these before, for sure. They’re the most common, composed of foam cores wrapped with vinyl with a centre hinge where you can fold them. They’re built to fit the exact tub dimensions and fastened with straps and clips.

Aluminium Hot Tub Covers

If aesthetics aren’t a priority, aluminium covers might be just what you’re looking for.

These covers are usually composed of two aluminium plates with a styrofoam core between them.

These are surprisingly lightweight and known for their sturdy frame. If you’re willing to throw in a bit more, you can also pick from a variety of nice colors. However, this option isn’t known for its R-value, and lacks a skirt.

In some cases, these also tend to slip and slide around, damaging finishes or harming people near the hot tubs.

How much is an aluminium hot tub cover?

You can expect to pay a bit more than a thousand for aluminium covers.

Fiberglass Hot Tub Covers

Fibreglass covers intro

Top-notch R-value for heated tubs and quite durable. They’re frustrating to move, though, and often require more than one person. Also, foam cores aren’t known for supporting heavyweight, so you can expect punctures or broken foam if you misuse it.

How much is a fibreglass hot tub cover?

The cheapest options start at around $300 and can reach almost a thousand.

Pros & Cons of Hard Covers


  • ✔︎ High live load (Ex: Snow load)

  • ✔︎ High UV resistance

  • ✔︎ Beautiful fabric coverings

  • ✔︎ Handles heavy loads & snow

  • ✔︎ Resists hail up to 1.5"

  • ✔︎ Dogs are welcome

  • ✔︎ Does not fit custom tubs

  • Load-bearing (10-50 lbm/psf)

  • Enhanced safety

  • Lock system


  • Easy installation

  • Heat evaporation

  • Water-logging

Do I need a Hard Top Hot Tub Cover?

Hard Top covers are great for a lot of people as they are not that expensive and they add a lot of value and benefit to your hot tub as they:

  • Extend the lifetime of your tub,

  • Provide energy efficiency,

  • Prevent heat loss,

  • Avoid water absorption,

  • Maintains water chemistry

Can You Walk on a Hot Tub Cover?

Hard Top tub Covers can in essence be walked on, but they really aren't meant for it, just like their swimming pool cover counterparts. Soft top covers should never be walked on.

For this type of use case the best option, and by far the most expensive, are retractable hot tub covers.


Retractable Deck Hot Tub Covers

Automatic load-bearing hot tub covers and sliding deck pool covers aren’t a necessity, per se, but they definitely feel like they are.

Imagine a walk-on spa cover for your in-ground spa that lets you walk, sit, or place furniture on it.

Some versions even open and close with the press of a button; no lifting is required.

retractable deck tub covers are a whole new world. There are so many custom cover designs that it’s impressive.

For covering and uncovering your in-ground hot tub, you can push it on your own or opt for the automatic versions. The latter is cause for impressive variety.

Some can split horizontally, while others can climb vertical surfaces like a wall, meaning it’s out of the way conveniently.

Gazebo Hot Tub Cover

These are high-end hot tub covers you’d expect to see in a luxury Malibu mansion.

Sliding hot tub Cover

A sliding hot tub cover, just like sliding deck pool covers, comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. So, before jumping into pros and cons or costs, here’s a quick look at the types of sliding hot tub covers you can find.

First and foremost, these are usually constructed using high-grade stainless-steel. But it’s important to mention that, just like the alternatives, you can find sliding covers with an outer flooring made of vinyl, aluminium, reinforced plastic, and wood. These impact weight, of course, but don’t require cover lifters because they are automatic and sliding.

Folding floor hot tub cover

Folding floor hot tub covers are similar to sliding hot tub covers, but they fold away neatly into a corner.

These are highly innovative and stylish options, perfect for even the coldest of climates.

Sinking floor hot tub cover

If you’re pressed for indoor or outdoor space, a sinking floor hot tub cover is your best pick.

Many support a ton of weight, making them useful for other activities and capable of preventing damage from pets and bad weather.

Of the lot, the most impressive are the sinking floor hot tub covers, capable of holding thousands of pounds. People spend on these covers not only for their practical use but also for aesthetics. They look fantastic in general. Most sellers offer a variety of materials and colors to fit the setting better.

Pros and Cons of Retractable Hot Tub Covers


  • ✔︎ Load-bearing (10-50 lbm/psf)

  • ✔︎ App-controlled

  • ✔︎ Lock system

  • ✔︎ Highest UV resistance

  • ✔︎ Multiple cladding options

  • ✔︎ Enhanced safety


  • Expensive

  • Lengthy lead time

How much is a retractable deck hot tub cover?

These are quite expensive. However, given their durability and aesthetics, they’re worth it.

The Right Hot Tub Cover for You

It’s hard to choose when there are so many options. At the end of the day, though, it’s all about priorities. Of the different types of retractable hot tub covers, the sliding hot tub covers tick all the boxes. They’re durable, look great, and support a ton of weight.

The alternatives have their own merits, but ultimately you just have to find a cover that works for you.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more for something that’ll last, go for the sliding hot tub covers.

Otherwise, pick a cheaper alternative and consider saving and buying one later.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for some help. An expert can guide you and push you in the right direction!

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