Sam's Club Hot Tub Reviews
Sam's Club (and other membership-based warehouse clubs) are an increasingly popular option amongst hot tub buyers. The savings look too good to be true, so what's the catch?
A big box store has a very different business model when compared to traditional hot tub dealers. This creates both benefits and risks for the consumer.
Before you jump to a decision about where to make your hot tub purchase, read this handy guide to the ins and outs of Sam's Club and the hot tubs you can expect to find for sale on their website.
Our Favorite Sam's Club Hot Tub
- Models to fit up to 7 people
- High number of jets and multiple pumps
Many "Premium" features included as standard
How Much Should I Expect To Spend On A Sam's Club Spa?
You can expect to find basic plug-and-play hot tubs at Sam's Club starting from just over $2000. These run off a standard 110/120V household electrical outlet which makes them easy to install but limits the pump/heater power and the number of massage jets you can expect.
The most expensive hot tub models on offer at Sam's Club sit at approximately $8000-$9000 (depending on the available special offers). These are hard-wired 240V spas with a lot more functions and features.
The good news is, while Sam's Club hot tubs are all priced towards the budget end of the market, their business model and not having the same showroom costs as most hot tub dealers mean you can get a lot more performance than you'd expect for the money.
If you want a fair comparison of prices before settling on a hot tub purchase, just press the button below. Your preferences will be passed on to a selection of the best dealers in your area, giving you the lowest, personalized quotes direct to your inbox.
Of the two hot tub brands currently on offer from Sam's Club, Everlast spas offer the higher level of specifications and features. Models such as the Grand Estate seat up to 7 people (6 if you choose the option with a lounger seat) and with as many as 90 stainless steel hydrotherapy jets.
If that wasn't already a lot for the price, extra features such as foldaway steps and towel holders, LED lighting, multiple water features, ozone sanitation, and even a Bluetooth-enabled sound system (including a subwoofer) constitute unbelievable value.
Everlast spas from Sam's Club may not have quite the same build quality as more expensive units from a top branded manufacturer, as reflected in the shorter warranty period. However, the upfront savings are well worth considering.
Lifesmart hot tubs are all about affordability, bringing spa ownership to people who wouldn't even have imagined they could ever afford one.
At the basic end of the range, you'll find several easy-to-install plug-and-play models, while their top models (e.g. the LS700-DX or Tierra hot tubs) appear at face value to rival most Everlast spas for performance. In fact, the number of seats, jets, and water features are pretty much identical in some units.
The main reason for the lower price point is the design of the hot tubs themselves.
Lifesmart uses simpler cabinets and seat moldings with fewer options, leading to a less aesthetically impressive and customizable finish. You also don't get all of Everlast's leading features such as the built-in sound system.
A the end of the day though, in terms of relaxation and hydrotherapy Lifesmart hot tubs give a lot for an insanely low price.
Benefits Of Purchasing A Spa From Sam's Club
Value For Money
Membership-based warehouse clubs like Sam's Club do not have the same overheads as traditional hot tub dealers. Since they aren't saddled with showroom costs or dependent on the sales performance of one type of product, these big box stores don't need to put as high markup on each item sold. Instead, their business model is far more reliant on the overall volume of sales.
This means that if you compare the price of a particular type of hot tubs at Sam's Club with similar specification models in a dedicated hot tub dealership, the former is usually going to represent a significant saving.
The pricing is also more transparent with Sam's Club. Most spa manufacturers only sell through third-party dealers, so you can't find the actual price you'll be paying until you speak to a specific dealership. With a big box store, the website tells you exactly what to expect.
Sam's Club has an excellent returns policy, allowing you to return a hot tub within 90 days of purchase for any reason. This is far more flexibility than most traditional hot tub dealers will offer you.
The only downside is you will be responsible for the shipping/delivery of the spa unless the reason for return is that it is seriously defective. This can be expensive and/or logistically difficult, depending on the size and type of hot tub, where it is installed, and the location of the Sam's Club outlet you will be returning it to.
Downsides Of Purchasing A Spa From Sam's Club
Being a general big box store, Sam's Club only stock a few models of each type of product. This goes for hot tubs as much as anything else. Traditional hot tub dealers will usually have a broader range, as well as the specialist knowledge to talk to you about your specific needs and which spa models will best meet those requirements.
This is where the showroom costs of a dealership also pay off, giving you the opportunity to inspect the spa designs on offer. Many dealers even offer a "wet test", where you can literally take your swimming gear down to the store and try out some of the hot tubs before you buy.
No Specialist Support
Once again, Sam's Club employees are not hot tub specialists. This means their warranties and customer support framework are not really set up to manage hot tub repairs in the same way as a designated dealership.
You may find the customer support department struggles to understand the nature of an issue. Equally, they may send out someone to investigate the problem with your hot tub who is not themselves an expert. This can result in delays or further repairs due to an improperly fixed spa.
On the plus side, buyers' Sam's Club hot tub reviews do state that the company is good at sourcing and shipping spare parts. It's more the labor aspect where they can be a bit of a let-down. Some customers reported having to arrange and pay for a hot tub maintenance technician out of their own pocket and without reimbursement.
Costco Hot Tubs
Costco is one of the best-known chains of big box stores in the USA. Like Sam's Club, Costco stocks a range of hot tubs aimed at the budget end of the spa market.
The main brands currently on offer in Costco are Evolution and Aquaterra, although they do also stock an inflatable spa model from SaluSpa. Both Evolution and Aquaterra spas are exclusive to Costco and can't be purchased anywhere else.
Other hot tub brands may be available depending on your location, as Costco's business model means they are always open to dealing with any manufacturer if the price is right.
In terms of comparison, it's hard to choose between Sam's Club and Costco for a hot tub purchase.
Their pros and cons are very similar when compared to traditional hot tub dealers, as are the specifications of the brands they stock.
To learn more, see our Costco hot tubs page here.
Unlike either of the big box stores previously mentioned, Sundance Spas are a specialist hot tub manufacturer.
The main reason I've chosen them for consideration in this review is the breadth of their spa range.
If you've considered making a hot tub purchase from one of the membership-based warehouse clubs, you'll find Sundance Spas do offer some models in a similar price range. However, there are two major differences.
Firstly, being a major manufacturer (from the same umbrella company as Jacuzzi), Sundance Spas has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to maintenance and repair.
The service contracts available via their dealers mean affordable ongoing professional care of your hot tub.
Second, their hot tub range also extends well into the premium and even luxury end of the market. If your budget is flexible, it's well worth looking at exactly how much more you can expect from a slightly more expensive spa.
For further details, read our Sundance Spas reviews page.
As with any major purchasing decision, there are pros and cons to buying a hot tub from Sam's Club. Their business model could save you money on your initial hot tub purchase, but there may be hidden costs down the line and you won't get to choose from as broad a selection of spas compared to buying from specialist dealers.
Before you make a choice, why not fill out the form below. Providing details on the sort of hot tubs you're interested in will allow top local dealers to send you tailored quotes, offering the very best prices on the most suitable products.
David has a decade of experience on the manufacturing side of the hot tub industry and three years in retail. When he's not writing about or soaking in a hot tub, he can be found surfing at his local spot in San Diego.
David Parker - Team Writer