In a world of plastic, sometimes it is the simple and traditional style that we yearn for. When people first lay their eyes on Cedar hot tubs, there is a sense of joy and nostalgia that overcomes them.
Those looking to enjoy the warm, rustic, and traditional experiences that ancient spas had to offer might consider getting a wooden hot tub rather than a contemporary plastic tub.
Come with us as we explore the Cedar Hot Tub brand and the many high-quality wooden hot tubs that they offer.
Our top picks for cedar hot tubs
|Our Top Pick||Classic Cedar
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Who Is Cedar Hot Tubs?
Cedar Hot Tubs, otherwise known as Northern Lights Cedar Tubs, is a family-owned hot tub manufacturer that has been around for over 20 years. The company is the number one supplier of wooden hot tubs in the world. They have a vast selection of wooden hot tub models, all of which use the finest Canadian western red cedar.
The tubs are manufactured with clear Grade “A” cedar to ensure longevity and durability. You won’t find any knots, which could eventually lead to warping and cracking down the line.
The company sells its hot tubs in kits so that consumers can easily install them, saving both time and money. Most hot tubs purchased from Cedar Tubs can be installed within a day without any special tools. However, the brand also offers professional factory installation for those who require it.
The Classic Cedar Hot Tubs are very popular among homeowners, resorts, architects, and designers.
Each model draws from the ancient art of hydrotherapy, though it adds unique depth and simplicity, which provides a unique twist compared to modern spas.
With a round design, these Cedar hot tubs are great for family or friend gatherings.
Each of the Cedar tubs in the lineup uses powerful jets, which are completely adjustable and can be used to gently massage problem areas on joints and muscles.
It is worth noting that Cedar Hot Tubs makes use of 100% sustainable forestry practices. Compared to plastic spas or other spa styles, Cedar Hot Tubs has the smallest carbon footprint for manufacturing.
The Classic Cedar hot tubs are very sturdy and durable and can be installed in just about any space, whether above-ground or flush in the ground.
Ofuro Hot Tubs
Ofuro hot tubs are great for those who are looking for a more spiritual ritual along with the health benefits of soaking.
These Japanese-influenced bathtubs provide a private relaxation space for one, all while promoting good health and stimulating blood circulation.
The Ofuro tub is a bit deeper than traditional tubs and is traditionally heated using non-electrical, wood-fired systems.
Similar to the classic cedar tubs, the Ofuro tubs are also made with Western Red Cedar, a very close cousin to cypress wood, which is often used to make these tubs in Japan.
What is worth noting is that Red Cedar has advantages compared to cypress in that it has pleasant aromatherapy when heated and is naturally resilient to bacteria or decay.
Each Ofuro Cedar hot tubs is wrapped with a stainless steel strap system, allowing the tub to expand and contract naturally without users having to worry about it splitting or cracking.
It is worth noting that both of their hot tub designs make use of high-quality, laser-guided milling machines to guarantee each stave is built precisely. You won’t find a cleaner design for hot tubs anywhere else.
Though all of the Cedar Tubs that come from the brand are made with Cedarwood, there are different types of heating systems depending on your preference. Every heater also comes with jetted options, perfect for retrofitting other hot tubs.
The electric heating system is one of the most popular in the Cedar tub lineup, as it blends old and new. All of the main electrical components built into each tub come from Balboa Water Group, which is one of the premier manufacturers of hot tub electrical components.
There are three different electrical series to pick from, including the BP Series, GS Series, and EL Series. The EL Series is the top-of-the-line choice, which offers users a full-featured, high-performance heating experience.
The beauty of the EL Series is that users can rig it for wireless use, allowing them to control it from anywhere in the home. You can program this particular system on a 12-hour or 24-hour cycle to save energy when the tub is not in use and prepare for soaks later in the evening or the next day. There is also a handy day schedule, which can be used for those who have very specific time settings they’d like to input.
Some of the other features on the EL Series include the cleanup cycle, panel lock, and ozone suppression.
The beauty of the electric system is that they are very easy to control. You can set your hot tub to the desired heat with the intuitive controls and save money in the long run.
There are plenty of high-quality gas heating systems to choose from at Northern Lights. These systems are wonderful in places where electricity costs are extremely high, as there has been a recent reduction in natural gas prices.
The standard gas heating component is the Pentair Mastertemp 125,000 BTU/Hr Mini Max. When it comes to hot tubs with a ton of volume, gas heaters are a great choice. They tend to heat up larger tubs much faster than others.
All of the tubs in the Cedar Hot Tubs lineup can be linked up with gas heater, including the 4-8 jet standard tubs, the soaker tubs, and the 16-20 jet high-performance hot tubs.
There are simple controls built into the gas heating systems, which allow consumers to switch between a single, two-speed pump or a high-end, multi-pump system.
All of the gas systems from Cedar Hot Tubs feature electronic ignition, either with Natural gas or LPG (propane gas). All of the gas heating systems come standard for use outdoors, though do not need any additional manipulation for use indoors, which is one thing that makes these systems so unique.
If you’re looking for an economical way to enjoy your Cedar soaking tub, we recommend going with the wood-fired system. The only cost that you must incur with this system is the preparation of a solid foundation. Wood-fired systems are great for those who live off the grid or in very rural parts of the world.
These heating systems release a surprising amount of heat too. In as little as 1-4 hours, you can get your hot tub heated to operating temperatures depending on the size of the tub and the starting temperature of the water.
Because the TimberLine heater is made with 340-grade stainless steel, you can use it outside for many years without worrying about it losing integrity. The smoke outlet makes use of a unique venting collar, which provides unburned gases with secondary combustion, reducing chimney sparks and smoke emissions.
If you’re looking for a more organic hot tub experience in a rural setting, the wood-fired option is an excellent choice.
Arctic Heat Pump
The Arctic Heat pump is the only cold weather spa heating pump in North America that is UL-listed . Heating pump technology is very cost-efficient and was adopted into the spa and pool industry many years ago. Installing an Arctic heat pump can save you up to 70% or more on traditional heating costs.
These heating pumps are highly recommended for those who live in warmer climates, as they tend to lost efficiency when outdoor temperatures are low. Plus, it is worth noting that these units only output temperatures below 90-degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t that great for those looking for a true spa experience.
Cedar Hot Tubs Sanitization
There are plenty of ways to keep your hot tub clean. Here are a few sanitization options that Cedar Hot Tubs offers.
Ozone is one of the best natural cleansers around. Compared to chlorine, it is 1000 times more powerful. It has the ability to oxidize foreign matter, killing bacteria and viruses that it comes in contact with.
Once ozone has oxidized, it reverts to pure O2, meaning it does not leave behind any unwanted byproducts. Those not familiar with ozone water treatments should note that it is very common in municipal water treatment plants. More often than not, grocery stores use ozone in their water dispensers.
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Ionization is just a step above ozone systems. The ionization process occurs naturally when atoms gain or lose electrons. When electrically charged, natural minerals act as ionizers. The Cedar Hot Tubs ionization system is quite unique in that it utilizes three types of metal, including copper, silver, and zinc, making it one of the best cleaning systems on the market for hot tubs.
Ozone and Ionization
The top system from Cedar Hot Tubs is the hybrid Ozone and Ionization system. With it, you’ll get the cleanest and clearest water at all times, rarely having to rely on maintenance to keep it that way. With this kind of system, you can leave town for a month and return to your hot tub without any new bacteria or algae growing inside.
In fact, you’ll even be able to drain your hot tub on your lawn or use it to water your garden, all without having to worry about the consequence of dumping chemicals.
Why is Red Cedar Used Over Other Wood Types?
Red Cedar is one of the best thermal insulators compared to the many available softwood species out there.
In terms of insulation, it surpasses concrete, steel, and brick. Cedar can deliver decades of use without maintenance if it has been properly maintained and finished.
In fact, grade-A Cedar can be used for more than 30 years.
Like many kinds of wood, Red Cedar is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture and discharge it, remaining at a constant equilibrium. The thing that sets Cedar apart is its low shrinkage factor and warp-resistance.
Final Thoughts – Should You Get a Hot Tub Made Of Cedar?
There is no question that acrylic spas have become the most prominent spa models on the market today. With the latest manufacturing technologies, they are easy to produce in large quantities. However, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to look into cedar hot tubs rather than a regular acrylic spa.
For starters, because cedar hot tubs are assembled, you can carry it through just about any doorway to any location you can think of rather than having to carry a large, single piece of plastic, which can be bulky and difficult to deal with. The installation process is much easier overall, especially if you get a tub that is large in size.
Compared to the average acrylic spa, hot tubs made with cedar are deeper, giving you a high-quality and buoyant soak with more room to stretch your legs.
Lastly, cedar hot tubs are great for those who are looking to get in touch with tradition. These craftsmen-made tubs have the look of rustic wine or whiskey barrels, perfect for just about any rural backyard setting. With an old-world design, people can connect with themselves better and enjoy a far more natural experience.
Of course, even with the design simplicity, you’ll still get to enjoy modern features with these soaking tubs, such as jets.
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Wooden hot tubs, particularly cedar, are recommended by many for a low-chemical hot tub experience. But with urban myths about leaking, cleaning issues, and wood cracking, it’s not uncommon to wonder are cedar hot tubs good?
Here’s what I learned looking into it:
Cedar hot tubs are among the best hot tubs manufactured. They are easy to clean and maintain, have a great water depth than traditional hot tubs, and rarely develop leaks despite the building material.
But you might wonder how long a cedar hot tub will last and what makes them so durable.
I’ll go over a few things you need to know that will help your cedar hot tub last longer. Cost is always important when buying a hot tub, and I’ll cover factors you need to consider before purchasing one.
This article will also cover how a cedar hot tub works, whether it needs chemicals and how to clean it. Read on to find out more!
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Watched the stars come out from my private cedar hot tub with a glass of wine last night. ✨ I love being single and spending my money on my damn self. pic.twitter.com/qi4HUBVQDu
— Megan Thee Pony (@MegMonk) January 19, 2020
How long do cedar hot tubs last?
A cedar hot tub can last up to twenty years if regularly cleaned and maintained. Overuse of chlorine or bromine is the most common reason for cedar hot tubs to develop leaks and fail.
What makes a cedar hot tub last so long is the antibacterial and anti-decay properties of the wood.
The wood is also low maintenance and repels both moisture and insects. Even though cedar is one of the best woods to use for hot tubs, it can only last as long as you care for it.
Cleaning the hot tub and doing it the right way is extremely important to the tub’s overall lifespan.
Because wood is an organic material, you can’t use bleach directly to clean it as it will damage the surface. So a mix of water with a tiny amount of bleach and a scrub brush works great for cleaning your hot tub after draining the water before refilling.
Another important way to ensure your hot tub will last for years is proper water maintenance.
You’ll need to add sanitizers and oxidizers to your water to prevent bacteria growth. But overuse of chlorine or bromine is the #1 way wood hot tubs develop leaks. So for that reason, many wood hot tub owners opt for non-chlorine sanitizers or ozone systems.
You’ll also need to pay attention to the pH of the water. Too acidic, and you’ll irritate your skin and damage the wood, too alkaline, and you’ll have stains in your tub.
So, Blake’s been building a cedar hot tub in the past few months while I’ve been puttering in the garden.
This weekend, we assembled it into tub form and 😍 pic.twitter.com/HJFcZYbV5H
— Kendra Fortmeyer (@kendraffe) July 27, 2020
How much is a cedar hot tub?
Cedar hot tubs average about $8,500 but can range between $7,500 and $13,500, depending on diameter and depth, with the heater included (usually sold separately). Yellow cedar is typically 11% more than red cedar and gas heaters are 21% cheaper than electric heaters to purchase.
There are a few factors that determine the price, so you’ll need to know what capacity you need.
The type of heater your hot tub uses will also affect the overall price. A wood-fired heater is the least expensive as well as the most environmentally friendly.
Solar-powered and electric heaters are more costly, but gas heaters are definitely the most expensive out there. When deciding which hot tub to purchase, make sure you consider the price of electricity, wood, or gas in your area.
The sanitation system you choose will also incur an additional charge. Some manufacturers will have the systems included in the purchase of your hot tub, while others won’t.
You might want to purchase a used hot tub instead of a new one.
Yes, it could be cheaper but make sure you check out the actual cost of refurbishing it if needed. Trust me, I’ve done it before, and I ran into a couple of unexpected expenses.
Now you’re probably a little nervous about purchasing your first tub but don’t freak out yet.
Here’s my recent article on 23 Crucial Things to Know Before Buying Your First Hot Tub. This is a must-read, so click that link to check it out!
Just click that link to read it on my site.
“@karasw: Looks like I need a refill from the private cedar hot tub at @TheBroadmoor‘s Cloud Camp. #coloradolive” pic.twitter.com/aAdWfvlIVn
— Visit Colorado (@Colorado) June 16, 2016
How does a cedar hot tub work?
Cedar hot tubs are made from 2×6 tongue and groove boards held together with steel bands. They are typically deeper than an acrylic tub. A stand-alone heater heats the water, and the water is chemically treated as a normal hot tub is. They do typically require assembly after delivery.
So assuming you didn’t pay 2-3 times the regular shipping fee to get a factory assembled hot tub, you’ll need to assemble it at home. Don’t fret! It’s pretty simple.
All you have to do is follow the instruction manual for assembly. Don’t worry; IKEA didn’t print the instructions!
The wood is already pre-cut, so you just need to fit the pieces in their right places. You’ll need a few tools like a Phillip screwdriver, wrenches, and a mallet.
After assembling, you’ll need to add some water to your hot tub.
Don’t go for a dip just yet! Do not fill your tub with water at once. The wood will need to swell and form a tight seal, so fill it gradually over a period of 7 days or so.
You may notice tiny leaks in those first few days. That’s totally normal, but assuming you assembled it correctly, it will be good to go within a week.
Once you turn on the heater, it will take between 1 to 5 hours for the hot tub to reach a soaking temperature of 104 degrees F.
That time also depends on external factors like outdoor temperatures and what the temp is coming out of your hose.
Once the water starts heating, cold water flows down while warm water flows upwards. Your heater will constantly have water moving this way.
Emptying the ash from your heater needs to be done 1-4 times a month depending on how often you use the hot tub.
Drain your hot tub every 3 months just like a regular hot tub. Most hot tubs have a bottom drain, and so unlike acrylic tubs, 100% of the water will drain right out!
We haven’t reached all of our #renovation goals at @AdobeOasis over the last eight months — mañana, mañana, mañana — but it sure feels good to fiiinnnaaallllllyyy soak the bones in this Alaskan yellow cedar hot tub from @RobertsHotTubs with a panoramic view of #SantaFeNM. pic.twitter.com/lybypn8f7Y
— virtualDavis (@virtualDavis) May 8, 2019
Do wood-fired hot tubs need chemicals?
Wood hot tubs do require some form of sanitation, as well as chemicals to balance pH and alkalinity. However, many prefer to use non-chlorine sanitizer and shock, or an Ozone system to avoid harsh chemicals like chlorine. Bromine is not usually recommended for wooden hot tubs due to its corrosive effects.
So I mentioned Ozone as an alternative sanitizer.
Ozone is a natural cleaner that ionizes organic matter such as dead skin and bacteria that is left in the tub after each use. Typically you would use an Ozone generator attached to the hot tub’s plumbing system.
They also have UV light sanitizers as well.
For non-chlorine shock and sanitizer, I really do like BAQUA Spa products from Amazon, which are great chlorine-free and bromine-free chemicals for the most natural hot tub experience you can get!
But another good way to sanitize a wooden hot tub is with a Hydroxyl Radical Injection system.
That sounds fancy and a little scary, but it basically just converts oxygen into atomic oxygen which acts as a totally natural sanitizer. No chemicals needed other than pH and alkalinity adjustments.
You can learn more about that on their website (not a paid endorsement) – https://clearcomfort.com/products/
My better half, Tim, designed and built this entire thing by himself (stove and all). The precision and patience!! 🤩 This #offgrid, wood-fired, cedar hot tub is downright GORGEOUS! Checking for leaks now. Fence for stove and bench seating still to come. #DIY #Welder #Carpenter pic.twitter.com/Jte61IbulF
— Jess Puddister (@Jess_Puddister) June 21, 2019
How do you keep a wooden hot tub clean?
A scrub brush and a mild bleach-water solution are all you need for keeping your wooden hot tub clean. Drain on schedule every 3 months, and scrub the interior with the solution. Then rinse, and refill.
As I mentioned earlier, keeping your hot tub clean is essential for its lifespan.
Even more important is your health. A dirty hot tub is a breeding haven for bacteria, especially if you go over the limit of persons allowed at a time.
For day-to-day cleaning, you’ll need to keep your wooden hot tub sanitized with one of the systems I mentioned above (chlorine, Ozone, Oxygen, or a non-chlorine sanitizer).
The water can’t be too acidic or too alkaline. Simply purchase hot tub test strips from your hot tub store. These strips will tell you if you need to put additives in the water to decrease or increase acidity or alkalinity.
In addition to using Ozone, you can also use hydrogen peroxide to sanitize your tub.
For this, you’ll need to know how much water is in your tub, and the peroxide also needs to be 27% solution. For every 100 gallons of water in the tub, you’ll need to add 1/3 cup of peroxide.
BAQUA Spa products from their Amazon store are great chlorine-free and bromine-free chemicals for the most natural hot tub experience you can get!
On a month-to-month basis, you need to check the interior and exterior of your hot tub for cracks, decay, cuts, and other issues.
If you don’t use your hot tub that often, you can get a water sparkle agent to keep it looking clear and inviting.
It won’t be useful for anything else, but it might be worth the purchase. If your hot tub water is green, you’ll need to use a coagulant like an Algaecide to destroy algae. But I personally find that to be rare in hot tubs while common in pools.
Twice a year, the filtration system needs to be removed, inspected, and cleaned as well.
Did I cover all you wanted to know about cedar hot tubs and whether they are any good?
In this article, I covered the reasons why cedar hot tubs last up to 20 years.
They’re moisture resistant, anti-decaying, and the wood is dense. You also learned that these hot tubs could be expensive, and their capacity, type of heater, and condition need to be factored in.
I also covered how the cedar hot tub actually works, from assembly to draining the tub. Also, you learned that while the hot tub needs to be kept clean, there are a number of environmentally friendly alternatives to chlorine and bromine.
We discussed the use of Ozone, sand filtration, and UVC filters. I also went in-depth on how to clean a cedar hot tub.
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.