How Long Can You Stay in a Hot Tub?

how long can you spend in a hot tub

You can stay in a hot tub for 15 to 30 minutes. This is the amount of time you should spend in a hot tub to achieve the best results. 15-30 minutes is the sweet spot for maximizing the relaxing and rejuvenating effects of the warm water, jet currents, and hydrotherapy.

Below we run through the factors that influence how long you should stay in a hot tub. These include the water temperature, personal preference, and your overall health. Some people can stay in longer than others – see below.


How Long Should You Stay in a Hot Tub?

You should stay in a hot tub for 15-30 minutes. In general, this is the best amount of time for most people. To maximize the benefits of your warm water session, you should keep your time within the 15-30 minute range. However, a range of factors influence the length of time you can comfortably stay in a hot tub. Every individual is different – so check out the factors below and consider how they apply to you.

man relaxing in a clean hot tub


Factors Affecting How Long You Can Stay in a Hot Tub

Let’s take a closer look at the factors that play a role in determining how long you should spend in a hot tub. While 15-30 minutes is best for most people. This recommended duration does not suit everyone. You need to consider the operating conditions of the tub, your overall health, and your own personal preference.

Underlying Health Conditions

Do you have any underlying health conditions? Certain health conditions can have an impact on your ability to spend time in a hot tub. In particular, cardiovascular complications, diabetes, and hypertension may require you to limit your time in the hot water.

In extreme situations, you may have to avoid using a hot tub altogether. If you have any underlying health conditions you should seek professional medical advice before using a hot tub.

Pregnancy

Are you pregnant? If you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant you should avoid using a hot tub until you consult a medical professional. The elevated temperatures of the heated water can place a strain on the body and in some cases can make an individual feel unwell. The best approach is to seek the opinion of a doctor before climbing inside a tub if you are pregnant.

Water Temperature

a couple relaxing in an outdoor hot tub

Water temperature plays a key role in determining how long you can stay in a hot tub. The higher the temperature the less time you can spend in the tub. Hots tubs operate at a temperature of 100-102°F. However, the temperature can vary depending on personal preference.

Some people like to increase the temperature above this range while others prefer something cooler. Either way, high temperatures will shorten your time in the tub and lower temperatures will lengthen the duration of your session.  Check out our full guide – Hot Tub Water Temperature.

Outdoor Temperature

The outdoor temperature and weather conditions will affect how long you can spend in a hot tub. The ambient temperature will determine how long you can comfortably remain in the tub. And, if the device is located outdoors, the prevailing weather conditions will play a role. Wind, rain, and extreme weather events can bring an abrupt end to your session.

Personal Preference

Some people have greater tolerance for heat than others. This means some people will feel uncomfortable or lightheaded after a short time in hot water. And, others can tolerate much longer sessions. Are you a heat-sensitive individual? Or, do you prefer long relaxing sessions? You can adjust your time in the hot tub depending on your personal preference.

a womans legs on the side of a tub

Age

The 15-30 minute duration works well for most adults. However, children and the elderly are more susceptible to temperature extremes and therefore should limit their session. Elderly people will benefit from reducing the water temperature from 100-102°F to 90-95°F. Children should also spend less time in the tub and use reduced temperatures – more on children below.

Alcohol

It is inadvisable to consume alcohol when using a hot tub. Alcohol triggers dehydration. An effect compounded by the heat of the warm water. And, it impairs judgment. This means you may not recognize the warning signs of becoming overheated or dehydrated.

People consuming alcohol run an increased risk of spending too long in the hot water and suffering the consequences. If you intend to drink alcohol you should pay particular attention to the duration of your session in a hot tub.


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Hydration

Hydration plays a key role in your ability to use a hot tub safely. You should ensure you are properly hydrated at all times when resting in the warm water. Hot tubs heat the body and trigger a sweat. This results in the loss of fluids. All these fluids need to be replaced to prevent dehydration. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink water before entering the hot tub, sip water while inside, and continue to drink water when you get out.

three women relaxing in a hot tub

Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body when trying to figure out – how long should you stay in a hot tub. Everyone has an individual preference for the amount of time they can spend soaking in the hot water. We’re all different. So, listen to how your body reacts when you’re inside.

If you find yourself becoming uncomfortable in any way, you should get out and allow time for your body to cool down. While 15-30 minutes is a good general rule of thumb, you should pay attention to how your body reacts when you are in the tub and act accordingly.


How Long Can Children Stay in a Hot Tub?

What About Children? How long should children spend inside a tub? Children are more sensitive to heat compared to adults. and need to take extra care.  And, this means they should spend much shorter lengths of time soaking in the tub.

The age of a child and the temperature of the water play an important role in determining how long they should stay in.  In general, reduce the temperature of the water to about 90°F. And, limit their session to 5-10 minutes. Younger children should stick to the 5-minute limit.

While older children may feel comfortable spending up to 10 minutes in the tub. If you have any concerns you should seek professional medical advice. And, children should ALWAYS be supervised by a responsible adult when using a hot tub.


What Happens If You Stay In a Hot Tub Too Long?

young woman leaning on edge of a hot tub

Staying in your hot tub too long can result in overheating, dehydration, and dizziness. This is why you should limit your session to 15-30 minutes. While these side effects only occur in extreme situations it is important you limit the length of your stay in the tub and listen to your body for signs of discomfort and overheating. If you feel unwell in any way you should get out of the tub and allow your body to cool down naturally.

Other problems associated with staying in too long are skin irritation, low blood pressure, and risk of infection. Prolonged exposure to hot water can cause skin irritation, especially if the hot tub’s water is not properly balanced. The chemicals used to sterilize the water can irritate the skin.

Staying too long in a tub can cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to a drop in blood pressure. This can lead to symptoms of feeling dizzy and lightheaded. And, spending too much time in a recirculating warm water can increase your chances of picking up a bacterial or fungal infection. Especially if the water in the tub is not properly balanced or filtered.


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