Saltwater Vs Chlorine Hot Tub: Which Is Better? (Pros & Cons Compared)

Are you thinking about putting in a hot tub?

Do you already have a hot tub but feel like it’s time for an upgrade?

Are you wondering whether or not you should consider using a saltwater hot tub or a chlorine one for your needs?

If you find yourself faced with questions like these about your hot tub situation, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the difference between chlorine and saltwater hot tubs. We’ll give you plenty of information for both types so you can better determine which one is right for you, and you’ll be able to compare and contrast the two on any points you may be wondering about.

While chlorine and saltwater are not the only options available for your hot tub, they are some of the better choices when it comes to filtration and cleansing. The other options out there may be expensive, hard to maintain, or even hard to find, so these two choices are a little more accessible overall to potential customers.

There are many reasons why you should have a water purification or cleansing system ready for your hot tub. Here are a few:

saltwater hot tub benefits
  • Clean water is free of sediments. Sediments in your hot tub water can cause disease, illness, or injury, depending on their size and type.
  • Clean water doesn’t contain bacteria. It’s possible for hot tub water to be full of bacteria due to its temperature and usage, but when it’s purified or cleaned properly, you don’t have to worry about this.
  • A clean hot tub operates correctly. Aside from being safer for you and your family to use, a hot tub that is cleaned properly is sure to keep functioning as it should.

Read on to learn more about the difference between chlorine and saltwater hot tubs.

Saltwater vs Chlorine Hot Tub

In this section, we’ll help you better understand the difference between both of these types of hot tubs. Check out our comparisons below.

Saltwater Hot Tub

Depending on the type of saltwater hot tub setup you have, it may either attach to the inner workings of your hot tub or to the outside. It includes a voltage gauge and a power source that plugs into an outlet.

salt water hot tubs

How it works:

A saltwater hot tub purifier functions with a saltwater cell. This cell is inside the saltwater device itself. Water passes through this cell and is purified and cleansed by the salt that is present there. As soon as the water enters your hot tub, you’ll notice a difference in the way it feels.

Ease of use:

It is very easy to use a saltwater hot tub. This type of hot tub cleansing option functions very simply, and after the initial setup, it more or less continues to take care of itself until it’s time to clean and refresh the water again. You don’t have to struggle with pH levels and finding the right balance of chemicals and other additives that you might have to put in your water for other types of cleansing options. And in general, a saltwater hot tub will not get as physically dirty as others.


  • When you have a saltwater hot tub, you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals like chlorine being present in the water you use for relaxation.
  • Water that is treated with salt is softer than water that is treated with chlorine, so you’ll enjoy a better water texture and your hardware and fixtures may be less clogged with sediment deposits when you use saltwater.
  • Hot tub water doesn’t have to be changed entirely for up to a year when you use saltwater, making it a lot easier to keep up with overall than water treated in other ways.


  • It costs a lot more to initially install a saltwater hot tub system than it does to get started with something like chlorine.
  • Although it’s cheaper to run a saltwater hot tub overall, you will still need to keep in mind the cost of replacing the salt water cell in a few years, which can be very pricey all over again.
  • Rarely, the salt in your saltwater hot tub could cause corrosion and other damage to the hot tub itself, although this is very uncommon.

Chlorine Hot Tub

Some hot tubs work with chlorine cells that attach to the side of the tub just like the saltwater cells mentioned above. Other hot tubs are simply treated with chlorine liquid, granules, or tablets.

chlorine hot tub

How it works:

Chlorine functions by oxidizing contaminants that are found in the water in your hot tub. The contaminants are then caught in your filter so that they do not enter the hot tub itself. You can smell chlorine working; when it’s oxidizing a contaminant, that’s what makes the familiar swimming pool smell.

Ease of use:

It’s not very easy to use chlorine. It’s difficult to get the balance of chemicals right, and you always have to be concerned with the pH balance of your water as well. Water testing is a must, and this can be a huge hassle for many hot tub owners.


  • It’s much cheaper to set up and keep up with chlorine than saltwater.
  • You won’t have to replace the chlorine cell if you go that route as often as you would have to replace a salt cell.
  • Chlorine is great at getting rid of bacteria in water sources.


  • Chlorine has a very unpleasant smell that many people simply can’t stand, especially when they’re trying to enjoy relaxing in the hot tub.
  • Chlorine can be incredibly challenging to manage properly, even if you’ve had years of experience.
  • Many people are allergic or sensitive to chlorine and chloramines, so this can aggravate the skin or even the respiratory system in some individuals.


So you may be wondering when you might prefer to use a saltwater hot tub setup. This is a great option for anyone whose water is already very hard, or anybody who is suffering from sensitivities to chlorine. If you’re someone who falls into one of these two categories, make sure you check out saltwater hot tubs.

What about a chlorine one? You should probably stick to chlorine if you’re looking to get your hot tub up and running on a budget or if your hot tub is prone to very serious bacterial contamination. Chlorine is great at getting rid of bacteria, so even though it smells bad, it’s the best choice for some hot tubs.

Keep all this in mind when trying to determine which type of hot tub is right for you. It may take some thinking and consideration, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to determine which one fits better into your specific needs as well as your budget for startup and maintenance.