When selecting a heater for a hot tub, there are many things to consider before making the final decision. You can find two types of heaters, wood-fired and electric ones, on the market, and people choose the heating source that’s more convenient for them.

If you are updating your backyard, investing in a hot tub will provide a special relaxing ambiance, but what is the difference between electric and wood-fired hot tub? Here are a couple of significant differences that can help you make a final decision.

Heating time

As you have probably figured out, wood-fired tubs are powered by burning wood, while electric spa uses electricity to heat water. Both are equally good; however, there is a crucial difference between them. Even though heating depends on numerous factors such as season, the size of the tub, and the water volume, wood-fired tubs heat up faster than electric spas.

sand clock

For instance, you will need approximately two hours to heat water up to 38 degrees with a wood-fired hot tub, while the electric one takes much longer, up to 15 hours. In this category, the wood-fired hot tub is a winner.


Considering you will heat the wood-fired hot tub five times more quickly than an electric spa, the only source you need is firewood. On the other hand, an electric tub requires electricity, and, in this case, your operating costs will increase and depend on how often you are using your spa and the price of utilities in your area.

Do the math, compare the price, and then make a final decision. For example, in regions where power prices are lower, you won’t have a significant difference in operating costs. Therefore, having an electric spa can be quite affordable; however, the upfront setup costs can reach up to a couple of hundreds of dollars.


Hot tubs are a great way to update your backyard or a deck, and there is nothing better than a night soak while you are gazing up at the stars. You can also set up your wood-fired hot tub outdoors, but your options are limited with an electric spa since you need to be close to a power source.

In the case of wood-fired tubs, they can be placed anywhere, as long as you have a sturdy foundation to support the weight.

Maintenance and cleaning

If you ever used a jacuzzi or a hot tub, then you have noticed the smell of chemicals that have been used to sanitize the water. These chemicals are necessary because they balance pH and clean the water, but they need to be used in the right quantities. Additionally, when you are cleaning your tub, you have to drain the water, which means that those chemicals can be harmful to the environment.

When it comes to maintenance, both wood-fired and electric tubs are made of stainless steel, and they have to be cleaned regularly. In this case, you don’t have to use a chemical to clean the tub’s surface. This material is made to resist algae, mold, and other contaminates. Stainless steel is the best material for this purpose.

What are hot tubs made from?

Conventional tubs are usually made of fiberglass or acrylics with plastic parts. Since they are exposed to hot water and chemical, these materials will start to wear out over the years. That’s why the average lifespan of acrylic or fiberglass hot tub is up to ten years.

stainless steel hot tubs

On the other hand, if you choose a material such as stainless steel, you are protected for the years to come. This material resists corrosion, damage, and wear; it also never stains, cracks, or rusts.

Pross and cons of the wood-fired hot tub


  • No additional source is required to heat the tub
  • The process of wood-burning adds a special appeal while you are bathing
  • There are two types of heater, external and integrated
  • The integrated heater requires less water, which lowers down operating costs


  • You must continuously add wood until you heat water
  • Chimney and smoke are inseparable parts of the wood-fired heater
  • In some areas, these types of heaters are forbidden

You have to prepare the wood and clean the ashes