How Long Can You Stay in the Hot TubPosted: November 30, 2022
How long you can stay in a hot tub depends on a number of factors, like age, overall health, heart conditions, and many others. Keep reading as we take an in depth look at all the different things that can affect how long you should soak in your tub.
As you may have guessed, temperature is a big factor in how long you can soak in the hot tub. Water that’s too cold or too hot can drastically decrease the quality of your hydrotherapy experience. While everyone is different and may prefer different temperatures, there is an optimal range that will fit even the pickiest of hot tub enthusiasts.
What is the Optimal Temperature for a Hot Tub?
While everyone is different and may prefer different temperatures, the common consensus is that the best temperature for a hot tub is between 102ºF and 104ºF. This is hot enough to keep bacteria in check, while still cool enough to be enjoyable for an extended period of time.
How Long Can You Stay In A Hot Tub At The Normal Temperature?
Ultimately, if you are a healthy adult between the ages of 18 – 65, you can soak for as long as you feel comfortable. There is no risk for extended soaks as long as you get out as soon as you start to feel symptoms of low blood pressure or dehydration.
That said, we feel it is better to play it safe than to test the limits. That is why we recommend a soak time of 20-40 minutes for best results.
Hot Tub Water Temperature for Pregnant Women
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a lower hot tub temperature for pregnant women of 100ºF. Pregnant women, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, should not let their core body temperatures rise above 102.2ºF.
How Long Can Pregnant Women Stay in the Hot Tub?
As we said before, as long as you are feeling fine, you are okay to soak. In this situation in particular, we recommend careful consideration when deciding how long you want to stay in the hot tub if you are pregnant.
We recommend a very conservative soak time of 10 – 15 minutes.
Hot Tub Water Temperature for Kids
When children are using the hot tub, the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance recommends setting the spa to 98 degrees. While many children can stand warmer temperatures, 98 degrees fahrenheit allows them to maximize the time they can be in the tub at a comfortable level.
How Long Can Kids Stay in the Hot Tub?
That depends on their age and the temperature of the water. While 98º is recommended, children can withstand hot tub water temperatures of up to 104ºF. Although, that will drastically affect the amount of time they can spend in the hot tub. At 104ºF, children ages 12 and under should limit their soak to 5 minutes. Even lowering the temperature a few degrees will allow them to extend their soak to around 15 minutes. Keeping your hot tub water at the recommended 98ºF will allow your kids to soak for as long as they(and you) are feeling comfortable.
A helpful safe practice is having kids avoid full body immersion, using higher “jump seats” that keep more of their body out of the water while spending time in the hot tub.
What Hot Tub Temperature is Safe for Babies and Toddlers?
There is no temperature that is safe for babies or toddlers. It is not safe for babies or any child under the age of five to use a hot tub.
If you don’t know how hot to set your hot tub water, consider starting with setting it to 99 degrees. You can gradually increase the water temperature if it does not feel soothing or comfortable.
Risk Factors That Could Limit Your Hot Tub Soak Time
As with most things, there are some caveats to any recommendations. While the majority of the time a long soak is perfectly fine, here are some consideration factors that could limit the amount of time that you should soak in the hot tub.
Your Overall Health
Your overall health or physical condition is another influential factor in how long you can stay in the hot tub. People with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or circulatory problems should discuss hot tub safety with their health care providers before taking a dip. Individuals who take certain medications, such as those that induce drowsiness or anticoagulants, should also consult with their healthcare providers before entering a spa.
The Level at Which You Sit
Hot tubs have seats at various levels for a reason–to allow you to move around and cool various parts of your body. If you sit at the lowest level for 15 minutes or more, you allow your core body temperature to rise a lot faster than it would if, say, you moved to a seat at which your upper torso was out of the water. The more you move around and vary your seat depth, the longer you can safely sit in the hot tub.
Dangers of Soaking for Too Long
The best way to determine if you have been sitting in the hot tub too long is to listen to your body. If you start to feel uncomfortable, it is probably time to get out. It is also important to pay extra attention to these warning signs, as they may indicate a serious adverse reaction.
Dizziness or Light-Headedness
If you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded at any point while you are soaking, it could mean a variety of things, from overheating to low blood pressure. Get out of the hot tub and the symptom should dissipate.
Most people don’t recognize the signs of overheating until the condition has progressed to the point of physical illness. However, you can prevent your body from reaching that point by learning and understanding what to look for. Some early signs of overheating include the following:
Symptoms of Overheating
• Tingling sensation in the skin
• Fatigue or weakness
• An increased or decreased heart rate
• Sweating profusely or not sweating at all
If you notice any of these signs, get out of the tub and into a cool, dry area immediately. Drink water and pay attention to your body. If your symptoms progress, call 911.
Nausea and Vomiting
While nausea and vomiting are often attributed to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, often there is a much more benign reason you are experiencing this symptom. Remove yourself from the hot tub and make sure you are drinking plenty of cool liquids. That said, even if you don’t suspect the symptoms are signs of heatstroke, it’s important to continue to monitor the situation and make sure that the symptoms subside.
Burns on the Skin
If your skin starts to appear red or burned don’t be alarmed. It is most likely a sign that you have sensitive skin. Even though it is probably nothing more than a heat rash, it’s probably a good time to get out of the hot tub and give your body a break from the heat.
Decrease in Blood Pressure
Unless you keep a blood pressure monitor on you at all times, it may be difficult to know if you are experiencing a dip in blood pressure. However, just like when it begins to overheat, your body will send out warning signals when your blood pressure starts to dive. In fact, many of the symptoms are the same as those associated with overheating:
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
• Blurred Vision
• Inability to Concentrate
Extreme Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension) Warning Signs
• Rapid and Shallow Breathing
• Weak or Rapid Pulse
If you notice any signs of decreased blood pressure, extreme or not, get out of the hot tub immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms of extreme low blood pressure, call 911 immediately.
So, How Long Should You Soak?
The information is great for most “if-then” situations, but what about if you’re a full grown, healthy adult who can soak for 30 minutes at a time without feeling any adverse effects? Can you just keep on soaking until you tire of the spa experience? Pretty much, yes. However, it’s always better to play it safe and to give yourself some rules by which to live.
While we don’t want to put a limit on your fun, we do recommend taking a break every 20 to 40 minutes. These guidelines may change based on the outside temperature, your own health on any given day, and other factors, but these numbers provide a good place to start.
Ultimately, how long you should soak depends on your personal comfort level. If you feel fine, you probably are.