Cover Lifter Buying Guide

Hot tub covers are essential for safety, security and savings, protecting your spa from the elements, helping to prevent accidents and saving you money on bills by making your spa more energy efficient. 

However, covers can be bulky, and, while cover lifters aren’t essential, they’re a great way of reducing wear and tear on your cover. Aside from that, they’ll save you from wrestling with the cover manually every time you need to use your hot tub, reducing your risk of injury, will make your hot tub easier to clean and will also provide a place to store your cover when your hot tub is in use, so it’s not left on the ground. But, with so many types to choose from, which one is right for you? Well, there are a few things to consider when buying a hot tub cover lifter. 

  • The size and shape of your hot tub
  • The clearance you’ll need
  • Whether you want a hydraulic, manual or shelf cover lifter
  • Your budget

Let’s look at these one by one. 

The size and shape of your hot tub

Afon Range Ystwyth Cedar and White Hot TubBe sure the cover lifter you want is right for your hot tub cover width before buying. Most of the cover lifters we stock fit tubs up to 96” wide, although our Cover Valet CV400 Hydraulic lifter can fit hot tubs up to 104” wide. 

Hot tubs come in a variety of shapes from round such as the Ystwyth Cedar or Dyfi in our Afon range, the classic square or rectangle, or triangular corner tubs. Some dealers carry hexagonal or octagonal tubs as well. The shape of the spa you choose will, of course, dictate the shape of the cover, and so the cover lifter style. Most cover lifters will specify what shape they are suitable for, so be sure to check before buying. 

The clearance 

Some cover lifters need more room to move than others, so take out the tape measure and check how much room you have to play with before you choose a cover lifter. Our Cover Valet RX Cover Lifter, for example, requires 18” of rear clearance, but no side clearance, while others require less clearance but need a few inches at the side as well as the rear. 

The mount type

This is a matter of preference, but there are three types of mount to choose from. 


The bracket plate sits underneath your spa and is bolted to the concrete or decking to support the cover. 

Side mount

With this type of mount, metal brackets are attached to the side of your hot tub cabinet to support the cover. 

Hydraulic, manual or shelf cover lifter?


A shelf cover lifter is less of a lifter and, as the name hints at, more of a shelf. It sits on the back of your hot tub and, to use, you simply fold and slide the cover back on to the shelf. These are usually cheaper than other types of cover lifter and provide a good place to store your cover, but they don’t help with the weight of the cover. 


Manual cover lifters have a metal bar fitted across the middle fold of your hot tub cover. To use, simply fold the cover back on to the bar, and over once more, where it will be supported behind the hot tub by the cover lifter. 


If you need a little more help with the weight of your cover, the hydraulic lifters are a good solution. They typically work like a manual cover lifter, but the cover lifter takes all of the weight of the cover. They tend to be a bit pricier than manual cover lifters, but make using your spa incredibly easy and convenient. 

Looking for a cover lifter? Not sure which is right for you? Shop our range, or,  for more information, send us an email at or give us a call on 01974241642.

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