Is It Time to Replace My Hot Tub Cover?

While a good, well-cared-for cover can last you up to five years, if you’re finding your hot tub is less energy efficient, it’s worth checking to see if you need to invest in a replacement. 

Here are the top three signs to look out for that mean it’s time to invest in a new cover:

Wear and tear

The most obvious sign that it could be time to renew your cover are rips, tears, dents and cracks in the vinyl surface. Not only is this unsightly, but it will let heat out, let steam in from below, and let rain, dirt and debris in from above. If your cover has holes and tears, then upgrading sooner rather than later will help you to cut energy costs. Check the stitching too to make sure its intact and not giving way. Chemical imbalance can cause severe damage to the underneath of a hot tub cover, the first sign of this is the difference in colour from where it sits on the acrylic to where it sits above the water, with a clear difference in colour from original to white scorching. In severe cases, it can become textured and dimpled, and, in the worst cases, scorched right through. This results in perished stitching and tearing, which can lead to intake of water into the foam. This means it loses its insulation value, which will cost you money in energy. 


Over time, your cover will take in water as it evaporates from your spa, making it heavy and less energy efficient. It may start to sag in the middle, which can impact the fit.  If you notice that your cover is getting heavier, then the foam inside could be getting waterlogged. A heavy, waterlogged cover is not only less energy efficient, but is more likely to put a strain on the seams, causing wear and tear, and on your cover lifter, which can in turn damage the skirt or cabinet surround.


Odour often means bacteria, and if your cover is giving off a less-than-pleasant smell, even after cleaning, then it could mean it’s become waterlogged – making it a breeding ground for bacteria, mould and mildew. 

So, if your hot tub cover is heavy, sagging or ill-fitting, giving off an unpleasant odour even after cleaning, or has obvious damage such as rips, tears and discolouration, then it’s time to replace it.

Do I really need a hot tub cover?

If you want to save money on your energy bills, then yes! One of the best things you can do to make your hot tub more energy efficient is to invest in a good-quality well-fitting cover. This will stop heat and moisture from escaping. Aside from the cost benefits, the cover will also protect your spa from dirt and debris, and is an important safety consideration for children, pets and wildlife. The bottom line is a cover is essential for protecting your spa, preventing accidents and keeping your bills low. 

How do I choose the right hot tub cover?

Afon Range Ystwyth Cedar and White Hot TubThere are a number of things that go into choosing not only a good-quality cover, but also one that’s right for you and your needs. From basic covers to full automated gazebos, there are options to suit all needs and budgets. Here are some things to consider when choosing a cover for your hot tub. 


Up until now, the best covers have been made from marine grade vinyl, and can be treated with mildew inhibitors, waterproofers and UV protectors to promote longevity and prevent fading. However, in recent years more and more manufacturers are moving towards stronger nylon covers, such as Weathershield. This material is lighter and stronger than standard vinyl, and can also be treated with protectants. With nylon covers, the straps tend to last longer and not tear as easily as with vinyl covers, but both options are still a good choice for your cover, provided you buy through a reputable dealer that has access to quality manufacturers and can get the cover properly sized and fitted for you. 

Foam density and thickness

Denser foam means a sturdier, more damage-resistant cover, while thicker foam means improved energy efficiency. The colder the climate you’re in, the thicker the foam required to stop heat escaping. Going too thick can mean a heavier and more cumbersome cover that can cause tearing, so speak to your dealer in your area to get advise on the right density and thickness cover for your climate. 


As a hot tub cover is frequently lifted and moved around, the stitching needs to be strong enough to withstand this. A good quality hot tub cover should have reinforced or double stitching to make sure it’s slow to wear.

Safety locks

For safety reasons, your hot tub cover should be fitted with locks to secure it and to make sure pets, children and wildlife can’t fall into the tub when it’s left unattended. These will also help to stop your cover from coming off and getting damaged in adverse weather conditions. We strongly recommend you ensure ALL clips are closed when not in use for safety and to prevent wind damage. If you require replacement clips or strap alternatives, we supply a selection of accessories. [LINK} 


The skirting prevents heat from escaping from the edges of the hot tub. Ideally, the skirt should cover the lip and seal of the hot tub and be well fitting without gaps. 


Most hard hot tub covers fold in the centre. This point is where you have the least insulation, so is most vulnerable to moisture and heat loss. Make sure the hot tub cover you choose has a heat seal gasket, so the two halves of the cover seal together when in use, preventing heat loss. This high-stress area should have extra layers of material to prevent heat loss where possible. 

Your needs 

What do you want from your hot tub cover? At a basic level, it should protect your hot tub from dirt and debris, keep moisture and heat in and make sure your hot tub is safe and secure. But if you’re looking for a bit more from your hot tub cover – and have the budget for it – you may want to invest in a Covana cover (at the time of writing, prices started at £9,295 for hot tubs and £15,995 for swim spas). These stylish covers will protect and insulate your spa, and are also fully automated, so you can raise and lower them with the turn of a key. Not only that, but they also double up as gazebos, protecting you from the elements as you bathe. They also have optional sunshades in a number of designs too, so if you’re looking for a bit more from your cover, then they may be worth considering.


Most people will have a ballpark of what they’re willing to spend – a decent hot tub cover will range from £500-£700. The rule of thumb with a cover is to remember that a good quality cover may set you back a little more up front, but will save you more in the long run. If you are on a tight budget, then go for the best-quality hard hot tub cover you can afford – taking in the considerations further up in this list. If you have a lot of budget to play with, then you may want to consider a Covana cover for the convenience, ease of use, gazebo element and more. 

Marquis Spas Celebrity Broadway Hot TubHow do I make my cover last longer?

As mentioned, a good quality cover should last around five years – if you treat it well. Follow our tips below to keep your in tip top condition and get the most milage out of it. 

Keep it debris-free

Check the outside regularly to remove any debris such as sodden leaves that could weigh it down or scratchy twigs that could cause damage to the surface. If you live in a very cold area, be sure to clear any heavy snow fall that could weight down your cover. 

Clean regularly and protect with specialist products

Keeping your cover clean and well conditioned will help to prevent damage, fading and any bacterial build up. Be sure to clean your cover at least once a month using soap and water (making sure you don’t contaminate the water) and follow with a specialist product such as Spa Glo or Shine n Protect to condition and protect the cover from UV rays and fading.

Don’t scratch the surface

Heavy duty, abrasive sponges or hard brushes could cause damage, so always use a soft cloth or sponge when cleaning.

Use a cover lifter

Hot tub covers can be bulky and heavy. Unless you have an automated cover, such as a Covana, then it’s a very good idea to invest in a cover lifter. Not only is it more convenient and safer for you, but it will also help to help prevent damage to your hot tub cover during handling. There are a number to choose from – from manual to hydraulic – with different styles suitable for different size and shape hot tubs, as well as the amount of clearance you have. Check out our cover lifter buying guide for more information or shop our cover lifters here. 

Strap it down

The safety locks should always be secured when the hot tub isn’t in use – and especially if your hot tub is in a windy area. Making sure the cover is properly secured will help to prevent any damage from high winds. Check out our additional twin windstraps and individual heavy duty versions if you’re in a highly exposed area.

Let it breathe

It’s a good idea to leave your cover off for five or ten minutes after adding chemicals such as chlorine or using a shock treatment to prevent any chemical damage and scorching to the underside. 

Don’t use it as a climbing frame

It probably goes without saying, but letting kids or pets clamber on to your hot tub cover is a bad idea – not only for safety reasons, but also for preventing damage. Keeping the surface clear will avoid adding any extra weight and damaging it over time too. 

Looking for a new cover or want some advice? Drop us an email at or give us a call on 01974241642.

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A Guide to Hot Tub Insulation