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Choosing a Wood-Fired Hot Tub: A Guide

No matter where you live, a wood-fired hot tub allows you to relax to the crackle of a fire, the smell of wood burning, and the ability to unwind whenever you choose. A wood-fired tub can be a great investment to help add a natural spa-like sanctuary to your space that you can retreat to whenever you need it.

Wood-fired hot tubs are quite customisable and can be made to many different specifications. This guide will discuss what a wood-fired hot tub is, how it works, and will give you some tips on what to consider when shopping for a wood-fired hot tub. Regardless of where you live, you could be soaking in your own oasis in no time.

What are Wood-Fired Hot Tubs?

A wood-fired hot tub uses a wood-burning heater rather than electricity to heat the water. Wood-fired hot tubs are typically less costly and less time-intensive to maintain.

For a more natural appearance, the external material is wood cladding and the interior lining is acrylic or fibreglass. The wood cladding comes in a range of different natural timbers such as oak, spruce, larch and cedar, with cedar being the most expensive wood on the market. 

The most popular shapes for wood-fired hot tubs are circle and oval. However, more recently, we have welcomed square and rectangular shapes which resemble the style of classic jacuzzis.

The Origin of Wood Fired-Hot Tubs

Ancient civilisations began using hot springs and thermal springs thousands of years ago. Modern hot tubs were inspired by Japanese soaking tubs made of cypress wood called ofuros that acted as a spiritual and mental getaway for those who used them.

Wood-fired hot tub | Deluxe Ofuro - Baltic Hot Tubs

Tips on Choosing a Wood-Fired Hot Tub

It’s easy to get excited when purchasing a hot tub, imagining those relaxing nights soaking away the troubles of the day. But it’s important to take the emotion out of the purchase to ensure that you make the right decision. Below are some factors to consider in order to help you narrow down your options to the best hot tub for your needs.


Choosing the correct size wood-fired hot tub for your needs is essential. Something too small isn’t going to provide the relaxation and comfort that you want from your hot tub, and something too big may not fit where you need it to go. And will you want to use a gazebo or pergola to allow your space to be even more relaxing?

Here are some important factors to consider when deciding on the perfect size hot tub:

  • The space — Decide where you’re going to place your hot tub. This space will be a determining factor in the size of your hot tub.
  • How you will use your hot tub —  Do you want a gazebo or a pergola? Keep in mind the size of your family, as well as how often you have visitors. If you want more personal space, choosing a larger hot tub will be better suited for you.
  • The type and style of heater — Different heaters will take up different amounts of space, so the heater style will be a big part of the amount of space you have for your hot tub.
Wood-fired hot tub in garden setting by Baltic Hot Tubs

Type of Heater

The wood-fire hot tub doesn’t use electricity to heat the water as it relies on a wood-burning heater. There are three types of heaters used in wood-fired hot tubs:

  • An external heater sits outside the hot tub and is connected to the tub by two hoses, one which pulls in cool water to heat it and the other that pushes hot water into the hot tub. An external heater offers more adult space in the tub as the fibreglass shell does not need to accommodate the space for the heater; however, it will take up more space in your garden and can be a hazard as the exterior parts will get hot, so extra caution is necessary. 
  • The integrated heater is nestled into the hot tub (under the fibreglass shell), presenting only the sleek exterior of your hot tub. Access to the stove is through a door that leads to the firebox to load and light the fire, as well as empty ash. Integrated heaters are compact and don’t take up extra space in your garden, they only take up a minimal amount of space in the hot tub and are aesthetically pleasing. This type of heater is ideal for families with children.
  • An internal heater is submersed in the hot tub. And although it doesn’t add to the space needed in your garden, it does take up a significant amount of space in your hot tub, and it makes cleaning your tub a bit more challenging. At Baltic Hot Tubs we don’t recommend using an internal heater as we have found that is simply not practical for water cleaning purposes, which can create issues with the heater functionality over time

The heating time will vary depending on the size of the hot tub and the type of stove. Our standard sized wood-fired hot tub takes about two hours to heat. If you opt for an XL hot tub, it can take between three to four hours because it holds an additional 1,000 litres of water. These times can also be affected by the outdoor temperature.

It is worth noting that a wood-fired hot tub is 5-10 times faster to heat up than an electric-heated hot tub.


Original wood-fired hot tubs were constructed of all wood. Today, fibreglass liners provide more comfort, are easier to care for, and last longer as there is less maintenance needed when compared to an all wooden hot tub or an electric-heated hot tub.

Spruce, thermowood, oak, larch, cedar and recently a popular cladding called composite are the most common types of wood used in the exterior of wood-fired hot tubs. Composite cladding is a mixture of several components that can include wood, plastic and straw.

Stacked wooden logs

Bubbles or No Bubbles

You can choose a tub with an air-jet massage system or one without. Without a massage system, your water will be still with no bubbles. Bubbles can create more relaxation and can be a lot more fun!


Budget is an important factor to consider when purchasing a wood-fired hot tub. You will want to not only determine how much you can afford to spend but also what comes with the hot tub. It’s likely that there will be some accessories that you “need” to have.

Hot tub packages can help you save some money as they typically include some of the accessories you can’t live without.

Interested in building your own hot tub package? You can do that too with Baltic Hot Tubs.

Get Your Own Relaxation Oasis Today with Baltic Hot Tubs

Couple relaxing in a wood-fired hot tub in green landscaped garden | Baltic Hot Tubs

At Baltic Hot Tubs, we create beautifully handcrafted wood-fired hot tubs made in the UK. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction. To reach that goal, we ensure a stress-free process from the time you purchase your wood-fired hot tub to the installation. We want you to enjoy the health benefits and relaxation of a wood-fired hot tub by creating your own relaxation oasis that suits your needs.

Contact us today with any questions or to order your wood-fired hot tub!