How Long Should You Stay In A Hot Tub? For Safety and Comfort

Michael Keenan


Hot Tub Lifestyle

Ever wondered how long you should stay in a hot tub? There are generally accepted guidelines but as you’ll see there are several factors to take into account. Ultimately we are all different and rather than sticking to someone’s guidelines I think it’s important to educate yourself and make your own decisions!

That being said, there are important safety factors to take into account. I’ll explain all you need to know and by the end, you can use the guidelines and the information to make up your own mind!

how long is safe to stay in a hot tub

In A Hurry?

The perfect hot tub soak should last around 15-30 minutes. If the water’s hot, keep it short to avoid getting too warm. Look out for signs of overheating like feeling sick, headaches, or tiredness. If you’re pregnant, older, or have certain health conditions, be extra careful.

Kids under 5 shouldn’t use hot tubs and older ones need supervision and should only stay in for 15 minutes. If you’re planning a longer soak, take breaks. As a fit adult, you can hop in every day but don’t stay in water hotter than 100°F for more than half an hour.

Recommended Soaking Duration And Why It Matters

When it comes to soaking in a hot tub, it’s generally accepted that you stay in for between 15-30 minutes. For most people, this is safe and comfortable.

However, remember that the duration can depend on factors like the hot tub water temperature and your age. If you run your tub at higher water temperatures it might be wise to stick to shorter sessions to prevent overheating.

But as I said, it’s important to note that there are no strict rules on how long to stay in a hot tub, as it can vary from person to person.

You should always monitor how you are feeling in the hot tub and be aware of the basic facts of what can happen if you overdo things.

Keep in mind that prolonged exposure can lead to dehydration and related problems. On the other hand, the right duration can provide numerous health benefits, including muscle relaxation and improved circulation.

Always be aware of your body’s response and look out for warning signs of overheating. Remember, moderation is key to enjoying a safe and beneficial hot tub experience. It’s not meant to be an endurance test!

The Risks of Staying in a Hot Tub Too Long

Be aware that overheating can occur if you’re in the water too long or if the water temperature is too high. It’s crucial to recognize the signs of overheating, which include nausea, headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, irritability, and thirst.

If you experience these symptoms, it’s a clear signal to get out of the tub immediately. Overheating can lead to dehydration and other serious health problems.

These symptoms can result in a severe, potentially fatal condition called heatstroke, even in young and healthy individuals. So, if you’re older or perhaps not in the best health, it’s crucial to be extra cautious and keep an eye out for any of these signs.

Certain individuals are at a higher risk, such as pregnant women, the elderly, diabetics, and those with heart or blood pressure conditions. If you fall into one of these categories, always consult your doctor before using a hot tub.

Remember, safety first: monitor your body’s responses and limit your soak time to maintain good health.

kid jumping into a hot tub

Children and Hot Tubs

Always keep a close watch on your little ones in a hot tub and limit their time to 15 minutes max. This guideline is crucial for their safety, considering how quickly their little bodies can overheat, even at ideal hot tub temperatures.

It’s also important to note that hot tubs are generally unsafe for children under the age of 5. The hot tub temperature, typically around 100°F (37.7ºC) to 104°F (40ºC), can quickly raise a child’s body temperature, leading to potential health risks.

Young kid’s bodies do not regulate temperature as well as adults so please follow the advice!

Always adhere to hot tub safety precautions, such as keeping children supervised, maintaining proper water chemical levels, and ensuring a drain cover is in place.

What About Drinking Alcohol in Your Hot Tub?

Now, I know I love a relaxing drink in the tub – hard to beat! But you do need to be sensible here. As with most things use your common sense and do things in moderation.

There are a couple of problems with alcohol and temperature regarding how long you stay in your hot tub.

  • Alcohol can actually cause dehydration. So, added to high temperatures and how your spa can increase dehydration you get a significant increase in risk.
  • Alcohol can cloud your judgment – you might miss signs that you are overheating or simply get carried away with time. We have all been there!

Just be sensible and don’t use your hot tub if you are intoxicated!

Other Factors That Affect How Long You Should Stay in a Hot Tub

As I mentioned earlier, there are no hard and fast rules but it makes sense to take a few things into account. These outside factors should be considered:

Hot Tub Water Temperature

So basically, our bodies like to be around 98°F (36.5ºC). If we get into water hotter than that, we could overheat.

Normally, when we get hot, our bodies cool off by sweating. But, if we’re in a hot tub, sweating won’t cool us off. Plus, the hotter the tub, the more we sweat and the quicker we get dehydrated.

If the hot tub is really hot, like 104ºF, our bodies can’t keep up and our core temperature starts to rise. This could make us feel sick and can even lead to serious things like high blood pressure and heat stroke.

Keeping the water in your tub a little cooler will allow you to stay in a little longer – plus you could save some money on heating!

Your Age and Health

It’s a good idea to chat with your doctor about using a hot tub, especially if you’re dealing with health issues. Pregnant ladies, seniors, folks with diabetes, heart conditions, high or low blood pressure, or even sensitive skin should be extra careful, as they might overheat.

Keep tabs on how you feel while soaking. If you’re not feeling great, hop out and cool off.

If you’re a healthy adult, you’re good to soak for about 15-30 minutes in warmer temperatures. As you age, you might need to cut down your time in the tub, especially if you’ve got blood pressure issues.

Got kiddos? Keep the temp low. If the tub is at its max temp of 104°F, make sure they don’t stay longer than 5 minutes or avoid using it altogether. The ideal temp is 98°F, but kids should still only stay in for about 15 minutes.

hot tub in a winter scene

The Air Temperature Outside

What’s the weather like? If you’re using your tub during summer in high temperatures – keep the water a bit cooler than usual. It can feel more comfortable but don’t stay in too long. The sun and the water might still make you hot.

In winter, you can chill in your outdoor tub for longer, especially if you’re not totally submerged. Having your top half in the cold air helps keep your body temperature down for longer.

But remember, the second you step out of the tub, the cold air will drop your body heat fast. This can make you dizzy, so be on the safe side and wrap up in a towel as soon as you get out.

Set A Timer to Be Safe!

It’s easy to lose track of time when relaxing in your tub. But you don’t want to push your limits and end up feeling sick. Some sort of timer is a great idea.

When I’m chilling in a hot tub, I have a useful trick. Most hot tubs have a built-in timer that shuts off the high-speed pump after 20 minutes, which I use to track how long I’ve been soaking.

If your hot tub doesn’t have that, you could always grab a cheap waterproof timer to remind you when it’s time to get out. Or set a timer on your phone – whatever works for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use a hot tub every day?

Yes, no worries, you can totally use a hot tub every day. It’s actually good for you if you’re in good health. The hot water and jets can help ease muscle pain and help you chill out.

How does regular usage of a hot tub impact skin health?

Regular hot tub usage can impact your skin health positively by improving skin hydration. However, excessive soaking may accelerate wrinkle formation due to prolonged water exposure. Always balance usage for optimal skin health.

Does the type or brand of hot tub affect how long you should stay in it?

The type or brand of your hot tub doesn’t directly affect your soak duration. However, proper hot tub maintenance and tub hygiene practices can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, regardless of the brand.

What are the environmental impacts of regularly using and maintaining a hot tub?”

Regular hot tub use has environmental impacts, primarily in energy consumption and water conservation. Heating the water increases energy use, while frequent refilling can strain water resources. It’s crucial to manage these aspects responsibly.


Soaking in a hot tub has its blissful moments, but it’s crucial to remember that your safety and health always come first. Keep an eye on the time, monitor your body’s response, and don’t forget to hydrate!

It’s all about finding your perfect balance between relaxation and safety. Whether you’re planning a solo soak, a family fun time, or a hot tub party, keep these guidelines in mind for a safe and enjoyable experience.

After all, hot tubs are made for pleasure, not for pushing boundaries.

Keep it safe and enjoyable!

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in pool care, plant care, and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!