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A Jetted Whirlpool Tub or an Air Massage Tub?

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

Jetted Tubs vs. Air Massage Tubs: Exploring the Pros and Cons

When it comes to relaxation and unwinding, few experiences rival a luxurious soak in a bathtub. Two popular options that elevate the bathing experience are jetted whirlpool tubs and air massage tubs. Both offer unique benefits, but they also come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

In this blog, we'll dive into the world of these spa-like bathtubs, exploring their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and needs.

A Jetted tub in front of window
Jetted whirlpool tub in front of window

Jetted Whirlpool Tubs: Power and Precision

Jetted tubs, also known as whirlpool tubs, have been a staple in many homes for years. These tubs are equipped with powerful water jets that create a stimulating and vigorating massage experience. Let's delve into the pros and cons of jetted whirlpool tubs:


  • Hydrotherapy: Jetted whirlpool tubs provide a deep tissue massage experience through strategically placed water jets. The pressure of the water can help alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation after a long day.

  • Customizable Experience: Many jetted whirlpool tubs allow users to adjust the intensity and direction of the jets, allowing for a personalized massage experience tailored to your preferences.

  • Warm Water Retention: Jetted whirlpool tubs often feature better heat retention, ensuring that the water stays warm for a longer period, allowing for extended soaking sessions.

  • In-Line Heaters: In-line heaters are available when the tub is ordered or can be added after the fact if there is proper access to a straight 7" portion of the PVC water line on the tub. Although they do not heat the water from cold, they are intended to maintain the water temperature from 102.7° to 104.1°, which will help for a long stay in the tub.

  • Choices...Choices: You can find jetted whirlpool tubs that offer aromatherapy, colorful LED lighting, waterfall features and even built-in TV's.


  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Jetted whirlpool tubs can be more challenging to clean and maintain due to the intricate jet system. Regular cleaning is crucial to prevent the buildup of bacteria and mold inside the lines. Whirlpool tubs that are used regularly should be cleaned once monthly by using a product for that particular purpose. Our favorite is Oh Yuk, but there are several other brands to choose from.

  • Noise: The water jets in jetted tubs can create a considerable amount of noise, which might detract from the serene ambiance you seek during relaxation. Choosing a model with a variable speed pump can help alleviate this problem.

  • Water Consumption: Jetted whirlpool tubs require a significant amount of water, which might lead to increased water consumption and higher utility bills.

  • Water Capacity: Some jetted whirlpool tubs require from 50 gallons to over 100 gallons for a total fill. A regular 40 gallon water heater would not properly supply these tubs. A larger water heater or a tankless water heater would supply the need for this in larger tubs.

An air massage tub in front of window
Air Massage Tub

Air Massage Tubs: Gentle and Soothing

Air massage tubs, also known as air baths or bubble baths, have gained popularity in recent years because of their gentle and soothing massage experience. Instead of water jets, these tubs release streams of heated air bubbles. Let's explore the pros and cons of air massage tubs:


  • Gentle Massage: Air massage tubs provide a gentler massage experience compared to jetted tubs, making them ideal for those who prefer a softer touch or have sensitive skin.

  • Even Distribution: The heated air bubbles in air massage tubs create a more even distribution of pressure across the body, promoting relaxation and comfort.

  • Easy Maintenance: Air massage tubs are generally easier to clean and maintain since they lack complex jet systems. This can save you time and effort in the long run. Most models have a purge cycle that runs for a few minutes after the tub is drained, which allows the air lines to be dried out, thus preventing mold or mildew in the lines.

  • Noise: The blowers on air massage tubs are for the most part more quiet that whirlpool pumps.

  • Functions: Most models of air massage tubs will offer a variable speed blower or at least a high and low function. Some offer wave and pulse functions. And there are chromatherapy lighting options on some models.


  • Heat Retention: Air massage tubs may not retain heat as effectively as jetted tubs, potentially leading to shorter soaking times before the water cools down. There are no supply water lines on which an in-line heater can be attached.

  • Massage Intensity: While air massage tubs offer a gentle massage, they might not be as effective for individuals seeking a deeper focused tissue massage experience.

  • Directional Water Flow: Unlike jetted tubs, air massage tubs do not allow water flow to specific areas. However, they do have consistent water movement depending on the manufacturer's placement of the air holes.


In the ongoing debate of jetted tubs versus air massage tubs, the choice ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and priorities. If you're looking for a powerful and customizable massage experience, jetted tubs might be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you prefer a gentle and soothing massage, along with easier maintenance, air massage tubs could be the ideal choice.

If you would rather not to have to choose between the two, look closely at models which combine both...Jetted whirlpool tub and air massage combos!

Before making a decision, consider factors such as your desired massage intensity, maintenance commitment, noise tolerance, and budget. Regardless of which option you choose, both jetted tubs and air massage tubs offer a luxurious and rejuvenating bathing experience that can elevate your relaxation routine to new heights.

Finally: Check out our important installation tips blog for installing jetted whirlpool tubs and air massage tubs before making your purchasing decision.

Please don't forget to leave us any comments or questions in the comment section below!

If you need help with installation in the Dayton Area, please reach us at :


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