The Ideal Hot Tub Temperature for Hydrotherapy

The Ideal Hot Tub Temperature for Hydrotherapy

Determining your ideal temperature is essential to getting the most out of your hot tub. Optimal temperature is especially important if hydrotherapy is integral to your hot tub experience.


Hydrotherapy refers to water therapy using hot or cold water, with varying degrees of water pressure to alleviate physical and mental symptoms. Hot tubs are excellent sources for hydrotherapy, as the combination of immersion, heat and powerful jets provide a range of benefits. There must be something to it if Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans started the tradition, using baths and natural hot springs as places of socialization, worship and healing.

Benefits of hot tub hydrotherapy:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Improves mental health
  • Decreases arthritis symptoms
  • Promotes recovery from exercise
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Improves sleep quality

What is the optimal hot tub temperature?

Set temperature at or below 104 degrees

Anything above 104 degrees Fahrenheit can be dangerous for adults, leading to heatstroke. Most spas are configured not to go above 104 degrees. It is NOT recommended to override the system, as any modifications can void your warranty with the manufacturer.


Start low and slowly increase the temperature

Start around 98 degrees Fahrenheit and gradually increase the temperature. If you have an urge to get out of the hot tub after a few minutes, that’s a sure sign your hot tub temperature is set too high.


Consider who is using the hot tub

If you’re not the only one using the hot tub, it’s important to consider everyone’s preferences for temperature. Age is a primary factor, and you should pay special attention to hot tub safety recommendations if children are using the hot tub. A good rule of thumb is maintaining a temperature of 98 degrees.

What’s the best hot tub temperature for hydrotherapy?

To get the health benefits from water therapy, you don’t have to crank the heat up. Start at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and go from there. A water temperature between 94 and 96 degrees is best to reduce tension. A higher water temperature between 102 and 104 degrees can loosen tight muscles and reduce pain. And anything above 104 degrees is not recommended.

If you’re feeling adventurous and have an accessible pool or shower, do as the Romans do and consider water circuit therapy. Water circuit therapy or contrast hydrotherapy involves alternating between immersing yourself in cold and warm water to promote circulation, ease muscle tension, and boost the immune system. The cold-water plunge works to constrict your blood vessels to move the warm blood deeper into the body to keep you warm. The oxygen-rich blood is moved back to the deeper tissues when this happens.

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