Wood-Burning Hot Tub vs. Electric Hot Tub: Which Is Right for You?
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Wood-Burning Hot Tub vs. Electric Hot Tub: Which Is Right for You?

Wood-Burning Hot Tub vs. Electric Hot Tub: Which Is Right for You?

Choosing the perfect hot tub for your home or outdoor space can be a daunting task, especially when deciding between a wood-burning hot tub and an electric hot tub. Both options offer unique benefits and have their own sets of considerations. In this comprehensive guide, we'll compare wood-burning hot tubs and electric hot tubs to help you determine which one is right for you.

Overview of Wood-Burning Hot Tubs

Wood-burning hot tubs have a timeless appeal, evoking a sense of rustic charm and natural relaxation. They use wood as a fuel source to heat the water, creating an off-grid, eco-friendly soaking experience.

Benefits of Wood-Burning Hot Tubs

  1. Eco-Friendly: Uses renewable wood as fuel, reducing reliance on electricity and fossil fuels.
  2. Lower Operating Costs: Wood can be cheaper than electricity, especially if you have a ready supply.
  3. Off-Grid Capability: Ideal for remote locations or areas without reliable electricity.
  4. Traditional Aesthetic: Offers a rustic, natural look that blends seamlessly with outdoor settings.
  5. Unique Experience: The process of heating and maintaining the tub can be a rewarding ritual.

Considerations for Wood-Burning Hot Tubs

  1. Heating Time: Typically takes longer to heat up, often 2-4 hours depending on the size and insulation.
  2. Maintenance: Requires regular cleaning and wood treatment to prevent decay and maintain appearance.
  3. Fuel Supply: Needs a consistent supply of dry, seasoned wood.
  4. Manual Operation: Requires more hands-on effort to start and maintain the fire, monitor water temperature, and add wood as needed.

Overview of Electric Hot Tubs

Electric hot tubs are modern and convenient, using electric heaters to warm the water. They often come with advanced features and can be controlled with the push of a button.

Benefits of Electric Hot Tubs

  1. Convenience: Quick and easy to use, with precise temperature control at the touch of a button.
  2. Fast Heating: Heats up faster than wood-burning models, typically within an hour.
  3. Low Maintenance: Generally requires less maintenance than wood-burning hot tubs.
  4. Advanced Features: Often comes with jets, lights, and digital controls for a spa-like experience.
  5. Consistent Temperature: Maintains a consistent water temperature without manual intervention.

Considerations for Electric Hot Tubs

  1. Higher Operating Costs: Electricity can be more expensive than wood, leading to higher monthly bills.
  2. Dependency on Electricity: Requires a reliable power source, limiting use in remote areas.
  3. Installation: May need professional installation, especially for wiring and electrical connections.
  4. Environmental Impact: Depending on your electricity source, it might have a larger carbon footprint compared to wood-burning tubs.

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Comparing Wood-Burning and Electric Hot Tubs

1. Cost

  • Initial Cost: Electric hot tubs generally have a higher upfront cost due to advanced features and technology. Wood-burning hot tubs can be more affordable, especially for basic models.
  • Operating Cost: Wood-burning hot tubs are typically cheaper to operate if you have access to inexpensive or free wood. Electric hot tubs can have higher monthly energy costs.

2. Installation

  • Wood-Burning Hot Tubs: Easier to install, often requiring only a level surface and access to water. No need for electrical connections.
  • Electric Hot Tubs: May require professional installation for electrical wiring and plumbing, which can add to the overall cost.

3. Usage and Maintenance

  • Wood-Burning Hot Tubs: More hands-on, with the need to manage the fire, add wood, and monitor the temperature. 
  • Electric Hot Tubs: Easier to use with automated controls and less frequent maintenance. Regular water treatment and filter changes are required.

4. Heating Time and Temperature Control

  • Wood-Burning Hot Tubs: Takes longer to heat up, with less precise temperature control. Requires planning ahead to ensure the tub is ready when you want to use it.
  • Electric Hot Tubs: Heats up quickly and maintains a consistent temperature, offering greater convenience and spontaneity.

5. Aesthetic and Experience

  • Wood-Burning Hot Tubs: Offers a rustic, traditional look that enhances natural settings. The process of building and maintaining the fire can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
  • Electric Hot Tubs: Provides a modern, sleek appearance with advanced features like jets and lighting. The ease of use and comfort can enhance the overall experience.

Best Wood-Burning Hot Tubs on the Market

If you decide a wood-burning hot tub is right for you, consider these top options:

SaunaLife Model S4 Wood Fire Hot Tub

The SaunaLife Model S4 is engineered and crafted in the Northern Europe, this super-efficient hot tub heats in 1/3 of the time and consumes 50% less wood than other wood-fired hot tubs. The interior surface is easy to clean, and the exterior is crafted from thermally enhanced spruce for superior weather resistance and durability. It uses an ingenious self-cleaning corrugated stove with a secondary chamber that transfers heat from the smoke. Brilliantly, the air between the fiberglass lining and the wood exterior is super-heated to accelerate the heating process.


  • Comfortably seats up to 6 people
  • Heats water to ideal temperatures in under 2 hours 
  • Durable Thermo-Spruce tub surround (1.65” thick)
  • Thick dark grey contoured fiberglass lining
  • Stainless steel wood-burning heater utilizes dual heat compartments for unmatched efficiency   
  • Wood-burning heater constructed of 304 stainless steel 
  • Polished stainless steel chimney with protection 
  • Matching Thermo-Spruce wood steps for easy access 
  • Extra thick steel reinforced foam cover, folds for ease of removal and storage 
  • Dark grey marine grade vinyl cover exterior 
  • Integrated hot tub drainage tap 
  • Arrives fully assembled (aside from chimney) and no electricity required

The Starlight Wood Burning Hot Tub

The Starlight Wood Burning Hot Tub is handcrafted from the finest Eastern White Cedar, this luxury tub seamlessly combines rustic charm with modern innovation. Nestled within, an aluminum lining ensures durability and quick heat retention, while an internal stove promises a soothing soak in under two hours – all without the need for electricity. The tub boasts an elegant roll-up cover, supported by robust arms for effortless access. Sink back against the western red cedar backrests and floor, perfectly designed for optimal comfort. Whether you're nestled deep in the wilderness or simply in your backyard, the Starlight lets you embrace an unparalleled hot tub experience – anywhere, anytime.

  • Material: Eastern White Cedar construction. Aluminum lining for durability and heat retention
  • Capacity: Seats up to 2 people.
  • Heating Time: Approximately 2.5 hours.
  • Additional Features: Internal wood stove for rapid heating, Comfortable backrests and floor.

Where to Buy Wood-Burning Hot Tubs

When it comes to purchasing a wood-burning hot tub, it's crucial to choose a reputable seller that offers high-quality products. We recommend browsing through our curated collection of Wood Fired Hot Tubs at Havenly. You'll find a variety of models to suit different preferences and budgets.


Both wood-burning and electric hot tubs have their unique advantages and considerations. Your choice will depend on your specific needs, lifestyle, and preferences. If you value a traditional, eco-friendly experience and enjoy hands-on maintenance, a wood-burning hot tub may be perfect for you. On the other hand, if convenience, quick heating, and advanced features are your priorities, an electric hot tub might be the better option.

For the best selection of wood-fired hot tubs, be sure to check out Havenly. Embrace the warmth and relaxation of a hot tub that perfectly suits your lifestyle and enjoy countless moments of blissful soaking.

Happy soaking!

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*Havenly Decor and its associates do not provide medical guidance. Consult a licensed doctor for medical advice. All of the information contained in this website is for information purposes only. Results of using our products vary on an individual basis and no immediate permanent or guaranteed solutions can be provided. We reserve the right to change, without notice, anything contained within the article. Havenly Decor shall not be held responsible for printing variations.

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