If your hot tub cover is worn, torn, faded or heavy – it’s time to look for a replacement. With so many options to choose from, finding the right hot tub cover for your climate and budget can seem overwhelming. We will walk you through the different types of hot tub covers and help you determine the right match for your needs!
Foam Core Density & Thickness
One of the most important features of a durable hot tub cover is the type of foam used. Quality cover cores are made from 100% virgin closed-cell polystyrene foam. Cheap covers are made from many different types of recycled foam, called “re-grind”. While re-grind is cheap to manufacture and allows retailers to sell at a cheaper price, this type of foam soaks up water very quickly and cannot withstand rain or snowfall.
The Right Core for your Climate
If you want a cover that lasts, pick a quality manufacturer and purchase the right foam density and thickness for your climate:
- Indoor Hot Tubs (heated rooms):
1.0 LB Foam Core – 4”>2.5” taper (Economy Model)
- Covered Outdoor Hot Tubs in Mild Climate:
1.5 LB Foam Core – 4”>2.5” taper (Standard Model)
- Covered Outdoor Hot Tubs in Cold Climate:
2.0 LB Foam Core – 4”>2.5” taper (Premium Model)
- Rainy Climate:
2.0LB Foam Core – 4”>2.5” taper (Premium Model)
- Moderate Snowy Climate:
1.5 LB Foam Core – 5”>3” taper (Ultra Model)
- Snow Load Climate:
2.0 LB Foam Core – 5”>3” taper (eMax Model)
As foam density and thickness increase, so does the strength of the cover. For this reason, it does not pay to purchase a lesser model than what your climate requires. A thin cover in a rainy or snowy climate will not only provide less than adequate insulation, it will fail in a short time under the weight of rain and/or snow.
Cover Vinyl Jacket
The exterior of a spa cover is made out of vinyl. Quality covers are made with 32 oz. Marine Grade Vinyl, which is intended for outdoor use (commonly used for boat upholstery) and is resistant to sun damage. There are many other types of cheaper vinyl available, but they fade quickly when exposed to the elements.
While vinyl quality is important, maintenance is equally contributory to cover longevity.
The vapor barrier in a spa cover is the plastic wrapping around the foam cores. While quality foam is water resistant on its own, having an additional vapor barrier (or two) around the foam helps to prevent water from collecting between the closed-cell foam beads.
A quality vapor barrier is made from 6 mil clear or blue transparent plastic. Black plastic is cheaper, lower quality and does not hold up as well.
Center Reinforcement (C Channel)
The center of every spa cover has two metal reinforcements, one inserted into each piece of foam. This reinforcement keeps the cover rigid and strong.
Some cheaper covers use aluminum or PVC material for their c channel. A quality C Channel is made from 20 gauge galvanized steel, which is much stronger than aluminum or PVC.
Have questions about finding the right hot tub cover? Post your question or comment below!