Choosing the Right Cover Lifter for Your Spa

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Let’s face it, often times the hardest part of using your hot tub is dealing with the unwieldy cover. They’re heavy, clunky and awkward.

That’s where a good Spa Cover Lifter comes into play. There’s lots of options, so let’s make sure you make the best selection for you and your spa.

Lift Type

The whole point of a cover lift is to make it easier to use your hot tub. To that end, lifts employ a few different methods of removing the cover:

Fulcrum – Uses a mechanical advantage to make raising and lowering the cover easier. You still lift, but it’s much easier.

Lazy Lifter uses a fulcrum design to make lifting much easier.
  • Pros: Inexpensive & easy to install
  • Cons: Still requires some effort to open and close the cover

Hydraulic Assist – In addition to mechanical advantage, hydraulic cylinders assist in the lifting work.

Our Covermate III uses mechanical advantage and gas shocks to effortlessly lift the cover.
  • Pros: The easiest cover lift to use since it does all the lifting work
  • Cons: Usually more expensive than other types & more difficult to assemble

Slide – Not a cover lifter per se, but rollers mounted to the back of the spa, onto which the cover slides.

The Slider Spa Cover Roller simply provides a shelf for the cover to sit on while the spa is in use.
  • Pros: Least expensive of all options & still very easy to use
  • Cons: Takes up the most space when spa is in use

Mounting Type

Side – This type mounts directly to the side cabinet of your spa.

The Cover Valet is a side mount hydraulic lifter.
  • Pros: Fairly simple to install onto the spa.
  • Cons: Cabinet onto which the lifter mounts must be able to support the weight of the cover and lift.

Under – Mounting feet slide under the spa, using the weight of the tub to secure the lifter.

The Cover Captain is an under mount lifter that uses a hydraulic shock for ease of use.
  • Pros: No drilling into your cabinet
  • Cons: Must drain that spa and lift it (slightly) to install

Deck – For in ground spas, or portable spas sunken into a deck, this type is ideal, as it mounts directly to the deck.

The Covermate III Deck Mount mounts directly to your wood or concrete deck.
  • Pros: Seamless addition to any in-ground spa
  • Cons: Must drill into wood or concrete deck to install

Tub Size & Shape

The shape of your tub will play an important role in which lifter will work with your spa. Some lifters only work on round or octagon spas, while others only work with rectangular tubs. This could limit your choices.

Additionally, the size of your tub will be a factor. Most lifters will accommodate a cover that’s up to 96” square. Larger spas may require the purchase of additional brackets or longer pivot arms.

The lifter will clearly outline what shapes and sizes it will accommodate. 

Required Clearance

As you’d imagine, the lifter is going to need some room to operate. The lifter will have all required clearances listed, and you’re going to want to make sure you have that room available.

Also keep in mind, even if you have the minimum clearance required, more room is better. Being able to walk around or beside the spa could come in handy. 

Cover Position While Using the Spa

Some lifters allow the cover to nestle right beside the spa, providing an unobstructed 360° view. Other lifters allow the cover to sit higher, creating a privacy wall.

You’ll want to consider whether a privacy wall is a beneficial addition to your spa, or whether a 360° view is more important.


As you can see, finding that perfect spa cover lift is going to take some special attention. The good news is once it’s installed and working perfectly, you’re going to get much more use out of your spa.

Do you have any questions on lifter selection? Shoot us an E-Mail or give us a call at 800-823-3638 and we’ll be happy to go over all the options.


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