There are many great ways to get comfort, relaxation and improve your health when you decide to make a change in your bathroom space. You can get a deep soaking tub. Maybe a drop-in tub. But adding a whirlpool tub in an alcove space is one of the best choices you can make.

This combination offers the best of both worlds—the privacy and intimacy of an alcove, combined with the relaxation and restorative experience you can get with a whirlpool tub. You can even get some serious health benefits with a whirlpool tub, but there’s a lot you need to know before you dive in and decide to go with an alcove whirlpool tub.

What follows is a breakdown of some of the decisions you’ll have to make. At Hydro Massage, we’ve helped hundreds of customers design this kind of space and choose the right tub to go with it, so let’s take a closer look at what’s involved.


Why You Should Choose a Whirlpool Bathtub?

Let’s start with the whirlpool tub itself. Getting one is a significant investment, so you need to know you’re doing it for the right reasons.

The health benefits are a major one.

  • Whirlpool tubs are one of the best ways to induce relaxation and reduce tension, which can help keep you healthy and productive.
  • Whirlpool tubs also promote good health by reducing toxins. Allergens and pollutants can compromise our heath, but doing a daily spin in a whirlpool tub will help draw them out and leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
  • Whirlpool tubs also improve circulation, which will improve your health. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the jets help the major organs in your body get more oxygen, which is another health benefit. If you’re susceptible to cold or you get numbness in your extremities, this extra circulation is yet another major health benefit.


Walk-In Bathtubs With Whirlpool Capability

In addition, getting a whirlpool tub is especially helpful for those with disabilities. Indeed, some people who are compromised seek medical treatment involving whirlpool tubs to help keep them mobile.

For these people, having access to their own whirlpool tub is more than a luxury—it’s a healthcare necessity if they can afford the expense.

Whirlpool tubs can also serve as a major substitute for a spa experience. They provide the water-based equivalent of a deep tissue massage, and they can be a great way to relieve pain and soreness if you’re active and athletic and you work out a lot.


Whirlpool Tubs Have Extra Space to Soak in Compared to Regular Tubs

If you’ve ever tried to relax in a regular tub, you know that most of them aren’t designed for adults. They’re small, cramped and uncomfortable, which is why most people use them for bathing only occasionally.

A whirlpool tub changes the equation completely. You can get whirlpool tubs in several different sizes, which means you can pick the one that suits your frame and needs. That means you’ll use it more and you’ll get more of the health benefits that whirlpool tubs can provide.


Self-Cleaning Features in an Alcove Whirlpool Tub

Many people don’t know that many whirlpool tubs are self-cleaning, but this is one of their best convenience features. The running water pump is the key to this self-cleaning feature, as it helps reduce bacteria and keep mold from forming and spreading.

This self-cleaning feature is also a significant time saver. We all have busy schedules these days, and cleaning a regular tub can be time consuming. Using a self-cleaning feature can add valuable hours to your day that can be better spent doing things you enjoy.


Getting Relaxation from Alcove Bathtubs

The relaxation that comes with a whirlpool tub has yet another hidden health benefit—it helps you sleep better. Getting a healthy eight hours of sleep can be a boon to your health, and that sleep will keep you sharp and more productive, both at work and during your leisure time.

The privacy provided by whirlpool tubs is another major benefit. They’re very popular, but most people need to go to a gym to access one.

That means possible exposure to bacteria that can cause health issues, but instead you can simply use a home whirlpool tub in your own private alcove to get a luxury experience that will also improve your health.


Bathtub Types for Your Alcove

There are many different configurations when incomes to the pumps, recirculation systems and jets, but for the purposes of this breakdown we can go with two types of whirlpool tubs:

  • Alcove whirlpool tub. Alcove models are normally made for normal size bathrooms, which means they’re usually about six feet long. They’re fitted into an alcove, as the name applies, and they normally have an apron along the exposed side that extends down toward the floor. While dropping a whirlpool tub into a predefined alcove space is convenient, the length can be an issue for some people, especially if you’re a larger adult or you have one or more larger adults in your family. In this case, they may not be ideal for those who prefer a long, luxurious soak.
  • Drop-in whirlpool tub. These are often built onto an elevated deck, but they can also be placed or positioned on a floor in a recessed area or against a wall.


Buying and Choosing a Whirlpool Tub

One of the reasons whirlpool tubs are so desirable is due to the wide range of colors, sizes, designs and styles, and there are many manufacturers producing them.

Most bathtubs are constructed from one of three materials:

  • Fiberglass
  • Acrylic, or an acrylic fiberglass blend
  • Cast iron

For an alcove whirlpool tub, acrylics represent the best choice for most customers. They’re versatile, attractive and inexpensive, and you can add a variety of design features as well.


Whirlpool Options Can Include a Shower Feature

Many whirlpool tubs come with a handheld spray head that helps users rinse, wash their hair or even clean the tub. Sometimes these spray heads may be mounted on the wall or the deck where the tub is located.

Installation and Safety Issues When Buying an Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub

There are several installation and safety issues to be considered with whirlpool tubs. A plumber should be consulted to make sure the well or cistern can support the demands of filling the tub, and the septic system should be able to handle the water discharge as well.

Weight is another issue that should be carefully considered. Whirlpool tubs can weigh as much as 1500 pounds when occupied, which means the floor framing has to be strong enough to support that kind of weight.

Also, doorways and hallways must be able to accommodate the width of the tub when it’s brought in for installation.

Other Safety Factors For Whirlpool and Drop-In Bathtubs

For some people, the depth of a whirlpool tub can cause access issues, so handles may be necessary to keep children and the elderly safe. Also, children should never be allowed to use a whirlpool tub unaccompanied, so an adult should always be with them.


Whirlpool Tubs Can be Great Space Savers

Whirlpool tubs are a great choice if you’re squeezed for space when you put in your tub because you’re utilizing the available space in the most optimal way possible.

Design-wise, you can set up your whirlpool space so that it’s cozy and intimate. You can create a mini-spa type of space, and you can add things like storage space to the walls to handle the more utilitarian aspects of the design.


Choose a Soaking Alcove Bathtub With Jets

A standard alcove tub usually comes with a depth of 14-15 inches. The soaking depth is even more limited, checking in at about 9 inches. Given those numbers, most adults would have trouble getting their body totally submerged in an alcove tub.

But an alcove soaking tub is a game changer. It can give you a depth of 19-20 inches, with 14 inches of soaking depth. Add whirlpool jets to the equation, and you’re talking about the ultimate luxury bathroom experience.


Drop-In vs Custom Designed Whirlpool Alcove Tubs

Embedding a whirlpool tub into an existing space simplifies many aspects of the decision and the installation process. All you have to do is mount the structure for the tub, then choose the materials.

There’s no need to look for a specially sized luxury tub, as the available space generally defines the size. You can get luxury if you want, but it’s strictly voluntary depending on your budget.

If you’re remaking the space to add an alcove whirlpool tub, the decision gets a little more complicated. Make sure the dimensions are right, and consult a plumber to anticipate any possible problems with your water pipes and septic system.


Design Features of Alcove Whirlpool Tubs

  • Extra width on the bottom
  • An abundance of available colors
  • Molded design to suit your custom needs


Design Add-Ons for Your Alcove Whirlpool Tub

Part of getting health benefits for your alcove whirlpool tub is about creating the most positive experience when you retreat to your alcove to use it, so let’s look at some great ideas you can implement to help:


  • Install track lighting and colored lighting to draw attention to your whirlpool tub. Think of lights as your color palette to showcase your whirlpool tub.
  • Create zones within your bathroom. A big part of designing an alcove is about creating a private personal space, and zoning off your alcove can be a great way to do that. You can use mirrors, lighting, wall art, and so on. The possibilities are endless.
  • Create a double alcove. One of the best things about creating an alcove is that you can duplicate what you’ve done to augment your first alcove. One way to do this would be with a recessed vanity along with a storage unit to create a second space.
  • Wall off your alcove. This is a wonderful way to create intimacy and privacy. The wall doesn’t have to be anything fancy; even a low partition wall will help get the job done.
  • Pair your alcove with an existing window. This adds a feeling of openness, and it can also help you feel connected to the great outdoors. The natural light will highlight whatever colors you’ve chosen to create a space that’s uniquely yours.
  • Angle your whirlpool tub in an unusual direction. Many of today’s contemporary whirlpool tubs have a unique design, and positioning them differently can help show them off.
  • Use your bathroom’s architectural features. Do you have beams in your bathroom ceiling? An unusual window arrangement that adds extra light or creates unusual lighting effects? Position your whirlpool tub to take advantage of them and create a completely unique bathing experience.
  • Get a specific look for your whirlpool tub. Do you have a special historical period that you’ve always found appealing? Are you a fan of a rustic look? Pairing a whirlpool tub with an unusual look is a great way to reap the benefits and create a positive experience.
  • Add shelving and storage. A whirlpool tub is a special addition to your bathroom, and it will become even more special if you augment it with some simple storage and shelves. You can even use color as part of the design for these to create a striking effect.


Use Hydro Massage to Find the Best Alcove Whirlpool Tub for Your Bathroom

At Hydro Massage, we understand that comfort is a personal experience when it comes to your alcove and the whirlpool tub you’re adding. We can help you solve any problems associated with alcove installation and make your tub buying experience as smooth as possible.

We also know about great products. We have them, and we can recommend the right ones for you, regardless of how individual your needs may be. Hydro Massage also offers excellent home installations that can make your dream bathroom come to life.

To find out more, call us at (303) 356-7427, and you can also visit us at, where you can do a live chat to talk specifics when it comes to finding the best tub for your alcove. We also have some great videos and blog posts that will fill you in on what works best, what it will cost, and how you can get the health benefits that whirlpool tubs provide.