Bullfrog and Hot Spring are two of the most recurring names in the hot tub market. Here is a clean comparison to let you know which of these megacorps best suits your needs.
With time, Bullfrog has pushed to the upper end of the competition, with its customizable, durable hot tubs.
On the other hand, the once glorious Hot Spring is now notorious for a much lower-grade material usage than one would expect from a company like it. We also stacked it up against Sundance Spas in our comparison Hot Springs Vs Sundance.
Except for the X series, you can customize your hot tub in each product line of Bullfrog. There are 5 different series, across which 28 products are distributed. These include:
- M Series Elite Personalized Luxury
- A Series Personalized Luxury
- STIL Series Modern Luxury
- R Personalized
- X Series Affordable Quality
For Hot Spring, the number shrinks to 20 hot tub models. The products have been organized into three series;
- Hot Spot Collection- it has the lowest priced hot tubs, but the build and quality are reliable.
- Limelight Collection- this is the middle line and offers high-grade hot tubs in terms of technology
- Highlife Collection- this is the premium, luxury range
Bullfrog has a greater variety available, with more options for customization. But in most cases, you will find comparable products.
Consider, for example, the Bullfrog A7L and the Hot Spring Aria. Both are top tier models and meet eye-to-eye when it comes to pricing, construction, and other specs.
Performance and Efficiency
Bullfrog hosts excellent efficiency, and the hot tubs perform well too.
However, beware that most Bullfrog designs aren’t suited to everyone. A Wet test is a must as not everyone enjoys most models’ flatter feel. Also, UV-C sanitation and saltwater options are not available.
Hot Spring takes the lead in energy efficiency, and it has some of the best, if not the best, energy-saving features, including dimmable lighting, SmartJet controls, etc. State-of-the-art engineering reduces operational costs tremendously, with all models being affirmed by the California Energy Commission.
When functioning correctly, the Hot Springs tubs deliver brilliant performance, with acknowledged comfort, better aesthetics, and decent jet power. High-tech multilayer insulation keeps you cozy, while the Tri-X filters can filter the water fully all the time.
Durability and Maintenance
A Bullfrog hot tub should pass 15 to 25 years with proper maintenance. But the cover would need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. Bullfrogs hot tub models are insulated with a non-hardening foam.
Reputation specifically precedes Balboa for providing the best quality in their price range. However, durability demands maintenance, with regular filter cleaning and chemical check and balance being necessary like any other hot tub. The Ozonator will reduce the quantity of chemicals required, though.
Durability is where Hot Springs fails miserably. Hot Spring is infamous for its parts breaking down relentlessly, with even two-year-old control systems failing. And since these parts are proprietary, you’ll need to invest a lot of time and money to get the hot tub working again.
The good part is that you can cut back on maintenance with Hot Spring tubs thanks to the Freshwater salt system, which keeps the water fresh.
However, too much negligence would cut their life to as much as 5 years. But if you maintain the hot tub meticulously, expect it to live some 20 years especially with the older models.
Warranty and Customer Support
Hot Spring has a 2-year shell warranty, with the industry-standard 5-year warranty on the components.
The customer support at Hot Spring remains a matter of concern. Delays in communication and a straightforward replacement requiring relentless calls and emails have become a well-known disappointment among Hot Spring consumers.
Bullfrog has a 10-year warranty on the shell and a three-year one on the cover. The plumbing, including the mechanical and electrical equipment, carries a 5-year warranty. Within the time frame, any component, except the ozone purifier system, lighting, and audio system, will be fixed free of cost.
Bullfrog offers better assurance for your spa, overall. The customer support is not brilliant but it usually helps.
Websites and Apps
Bullfrog and Hot Spring have equally interactive websites, but neither explicitly states prices. For Hot Spring, you can request a personal quote, and for Bullfrog, in addition to apparent customer support, you will be shown a range of prices for each model on the site.
Hot Spring has come up with two apps: one for remote monitoring of the spa and another virtual reality AR app to help design your spa. Bullfrog has an app for remote monitoring as well.
Cost and Value for Money
You will observe fluctuations in the prices of both the brands’ models, depending upon location, time, and availability. Bullfrog hot tubs cost anywhere from $7000 to $20,000.
Hot Spring has the pricing split into entry-level hot tubs, value, premium, and luxury. The entry-level hot tubs cost up to $7000, and the rest up to $9000, $11,000, and $13,000, respectively.
Prices are similar, yet if anything, Bullfrog might be the better option in this case. It provides sturdier material for the same cost, hence more value for your money.
Conclusion- Which One To Buy?
Bullfrog and Hot Springs have been in the market for decades and have various models of hot tubs tied to their belts. However, Bullfrog can hold its ground in terms of durability and the overall construction, while the same can’t be said for Hot Spring.
If you have an accessible dealer for either one with good reviews, you are free to choose that brand since most models are comparable. But if you are neutral in this regard, I’d say go for Bullfrog instead.
If you liked this brand comparison, make sure to read our other brand comparisons as well: