How Long Should You Stay in a Hot Tub?
Updated: Jan 9
There’s nothing quite like a luxurious, relaxing soak in a hot tub, but how long is ideal to stay in the water? Should you wait until your toes and fingers are wrinkled? Or is there another way to tell when it’s time to get out?
Knowing how long you can safely stay in your hot tub is vital for potential hot tub buyers and those new to the experience.
A nice soak in your hot tub helps to reduce stress and relax your body after a long day at work. However, there are repercussions and health risks when you spend too much time in your hot spa.
Time to dip your toe in and find out more.
Are Hot Tubs Generally Safe?
In general, for the average healthy adult, a hot tub is perfectly safe. However, there are certain things you need to know about if you want to use hot tubs safely.
For example, you must keep your hot spa clean and the water clear and clean at all times. You should also ensure that people with sensitive medical conditions don’t use your tub.
How Long Should You Use a Hot Tub For?
An average adult should spend between 15 and 30 minutes in their hot tub.
If the water temperature is 104° F (40° C), the maximum safe time is 15 minutes. If the water temperature is between 95-100° F, you should be able to stay in hot tubs for 30 minutes.
You might be able to enjoy a longer soak if the ambient temperature is on the cool side.
It’s generally recommended that you spend no more than three-quarters of an hour to an hour in hot tubs. However, realistically, a limit of between 15 and 30 minutes is what you should stick to if you want to be safe.
Also, consider how you feel and adapt how long you spend in a hot tub accordingly. Spend too long in your hot tub, and you might overheat. There is the added risk of fainting, albeit very rare. In addition, you might feel lightheaded and dizzy, so you need to be extra careful when getting out.
What Factors to Consider Before Using a Hot Tub?
There are no hard and fast rules regarding the time you spend in your hot tub, but there are factors you should consider.
The time you can stay in hot tubs and still be safe depends on several variables. The main hot tub safety factors include the following:
Hot Tub Temperature
Hot tubs are often factory programmed for a temperature of 104° F (40° C). If this is the case with your hot tub, you should limit your soak to 15 minutes. If you can set the hot tub water temperature lower, you can increase the length of time you can stay in it.
If the temperature outside is cold, your body will cool down much quicker than it would on a hot day. This is especially relevant if your whole body is not submerged. When the ambient temperature is low, you’ll be able to stay longer and still be comfortable.
In the same vein, when the ambient temperature is really hot, you’re likely to overheat much more quickly. On hot days, you might already be dehydrated or overheating, which only worsens things.
Consider Personal Health & Conditions
If your physical health is good, you should be able to stay in your hot tub for up to 30 minutes without any serious issues.
However, people with heart conditions, blood pressure issues, or pregnant women should avoid using a hot tub in most cases. If you have to sit in a hot tub, reduce the time you spend in it or the temperature. Alternatively, you might want to get some advice from your doctor.
If you have any of the following diseases, you should seek your doctor’s advice about using your hot tub safely.
High blood pressure
Bacteria & viruses
If you’re young or old, caution needs to be exercised concerning the water temperature and the length of time you soak in your tub.
Children old enough to use a hot tub shouldn’t stay in the water for longer than 5 minutes, especially if the water is as hot as 104 degrees. But if you decrease the water temperature, children can stay in the water for longer. That being said, it should still be no longer than 15 minutes.
Also, note that you should never let children use a hot tub without proper supervision.
If you’re older than 65, it’s best to consult with your doctor for advice on what is best for you. It’s also vital that the water is treated properly. Elderly people are more at risk of hot tub rash and infections, and often the effects are more severe.
Pregnant women should also be careful when using hot tubs. According to medical experts, pregnant women shouldn’t soak in a hot tub for more than 10 minutes. The water should also be set at a maximum of 101°F or slightly lower.
If you prefer to soak in a really hot tub, you increase the risk of dehydration. You should have a cool drink nearby and take regular sips while soaking. This will replenish any fluids you’ve lost.
One important thing to remember is that drinking alcohol is not recommended when in hot tubs. This is because alcohol is in itself dehydrating will make the dehydrating effect of your hot tub worse.
Consider the Weather
The weather is another important factor to consider, as it can affect whether your body can maintain its core temperature.
On a warm day, you must pay close attention to how hot you feel. If you want to ensure you don’t get too hot, it’s probably better to spend a shorter amount of time in your hot tub.
When it’s colder outside, you’ll probably feel more comfortable spending longer in your hot tub. However, take care when you get out of the tub because you may experience a quick and significant change in temperature.
How Deep Do You Sit in The Hot Tub?
If you’re using a deep-seat hot tub, it means you can immerse yourself fully in the water. This means there is less of your body exposed. When you’re immersed up to your neck, your body's temperature will increase. You can reduce this effect by alternating between low and high seating as it gives your body a break from the intense heat.
Keeping your head and neck and the top of your shoulders out of the water will allow you to stretch out the time you spend in your hot tub, as long as the air temperature is cool. When the water is only waist deep, you still have plenty of skin exposed.
This cools your core body temperature and organs and helps dissipate the accumulated heat.
You’ll find it very beneficial if there is a breeze on your wet head and neck, as this provides a lot of cooling.
What Happens to Your Body if You Stay in a Hot Tub For Too Long?
If you stay in your hot tub for too long, some things might happen to you. It’s crucial to recognise the signs. If you’re not feeling too good, it might be time to get out.
Dizziness or Light-Headedness: These feelings are related to a blood pressure drop. You must be very careful when you get out of hot tubs because you could lose your balance and fall or slip.
Overheating: This condition is one of the most common things that can happen if you stay in a hot tub for too long. The symptoms of overheating or heat stroke include:
Sweating or generally feeling very hot
Increased or decreased heartbeat
Nausea and Vomiting: When your body gets too hot, it can make you feel sick. If you don’t allow your body to cool down, it could lead to vomiting. As soon as you start feeling nauseous, it's a sign that you need to get out. It’s a feeling that’s not likely to go away the longer you stay in the spa.
Skin Burns: Sitting in a hot tub for too long could lead to skin irritation or a burning feeling. Very hot water can burn your skin. The hot tub chemicals damage sensitive skin and can cause irritation and burns. Damage caused by hot tub chemicals is also a potential problem if the chemicals aren't used correctly.
Dehydration: When your body is submerged in a hot tub with very hot water, it struggles to regulate its core temperature. Nevertheless, your body will still try to do it, and doing so leads to dehydration because your body is sweating. Signs that may indicate you are becoming dehydrated include:
Dizziness or disorientation
Dark coloured urine
You can reverse dehydration when you drink plenty. However, that doesn't mean you should drink alcohol.
Decrease in Blood Pressure: When you expose your body to hot water for long periods, it can lead to a drop in blood pressure. In some cases, this reaction can be severe. Signs of decreased blood pressure include:
Dizziness or feelings of confusion
Sunburn: When hot tubs are outside your home, you run the risk of sunburn if you’re exposed to the sun. If you have an outdoor hot tub, use a high-factor sunscreen.
Can You Die From Staying in a Hot Tub Too Long?
Yes, it can happen, but such instances are rare and extreme. Death can be a result of overexposure, but it’s more likely to be from an injury or falling. Another risk is having unclean water, as it could lead to viral or bacterial infections such as Legionnaires’ disease.
How Often Can You Use a Hot Tub?
If you’re thinking about purchasing a new hot tub, you’ll be pleased to learn the answer is, as often as you like. However, this depends on whether you clean and maintain your hot tub according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Things to Avoid While Hot Tubbing
Using a hot tub is a safe thing to do, but there are some things you should avoid doing when you’re enjoying a soak. Avoid the following if you want to stay safe and have a relaxing and enjoyable hot tubing experience.
Never use electronics that aren’t waterproof in or near the pool
Avoid drinking alcohol or using any drug that is a depressant
How long should you spend in a hot tub? It depends on how hot the water is, how active you are while in it, and how hydrated you are. The average time people spend in a hot tub is between 15 and 30 minutes. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, get out of the tub immediately and drink some cold water.
Don't forget to rehydrate after your soak!
Now you know the signs to look for and what you should avoid doing when sitting in a hot tub, you can enjoy the perfect hot tub experience knowing you’re safe. If you feel uncomfortably hot while soaking, get out of your hot tub and allow your body to cool down.
The water in your hot tub should be warm, but if it’s too hot or you spend too long sitting in it, you will experience a negative rather than a positive effect.
Can you stay in a hot tub for 2 hours?
Staying in a hot tub for 2 hours is far too long. The general recommendation is around 15-30 minutes, depending on the temperature of the water.
How long can you stay in a hot tub at 95-98 degrees?
When the water temperature in your hot tub is around 95-98 degrees, you should be able to stay in the water for longer than half an hour. This is because the temperature is close enough to your body temperature to have little impact on your safety in the hot tub.
How long should you stay in a hot tub at 100-102 degrees?
If your hot tub water is 100-102 degrees, you should spend no longer than 15-30 minutes relaxing in your tub.
How long can you stay in a hot tub at 104 degrees?
104 degrees is typically the maximum setting on a hot tub. The safe amount of time to spend soaking in water that is this hot is 15 minutes.