Choosing a Hot Tub Cover Lift

Whether you currently use a hot tub cover lift and it is just time for replacement or you are a first time cover lift shopper there are many things to consider to ensure you find the cover lifter that is going to work best for your and your spa.

When you begin shopping it is easy to quickly become overwhelmed by all the choices, especially since many of them look similar but really can differ greatly in price and design, so here is what you should consider when choosing a lift.

Spa Measurements

With so many different shapes and sizes of spas out there, knowing your spas measurements can quickly help guide you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a cover lift. When looking at cover lifts it is important to note your spas shape, dimensions, and if you have a square or rectangular tub with rounded corners it important to know your corner radius.

How to measure your corner radius is also a very common question. Basically, the corner radius measurement is the distance between where your corner begins to curve out to where the 90 degree angle would be if the corner was not rounded.

Corner radius is important to know because many cover lifts will not work on a radius over a certain measurement or will require a special extension to accommodate the larger radius.


When selecting a cover lift it is important to consider how much clearance you have on the sides of your spa that will be effected by the cover lift. If you choose a lift that sets the cover low to the ground on one side of the spa it is important to ensure there is ample room for the cover to maneuver and sit.

If you choose a lift that mounts on the sides of the spa it is also important to ensure you have ample clearance on the sides of the spa where it will be mounted for the bars to move freely without obstruction.

View or Privacy

Some cover lifts sit up high in the air and could give added privacy to your tub when the cover is up, this may be something you are interested in if you have nosy neighbors you would like to block out, but if you have a beautiful view you like to enjoy from your tub you may want to consider a lift that allows the cover to sit down lower on the side of the spa for less obstruction.

Hydraulic or Basic

Some cover lifts offer hydraulic assistance in the lifting of your spa cover with the help of gas shocks. If you are person in average physical condition a cover lift without shocks would probably work just fine for you but if you have trouble lifting and need the added help a cover lift that utilizes the hydraulic shocks is something that you should likely consider.

Support/ Durability

One of the things that can make a huge different difference in the price of one coverlift compared to another is the durability of it and the support it offers your cover. Many lifts have two arms that come in on either side of the cover seam to hold the spa cover but do not have a bar that extends the full length of the seam for added support. Choosing a lift that has a bar extending the full length of the seam may be more expensive up front but can save alot of wear and tear of your cover.

Mounting Options

Spa cover lifts are available with many different mounting options for your needs. The most common type are lifts that mount directly onto the cabinet of your hot tub. Depending on your spa and set up this may be a good option for you but if you are opposed to having to drill holes in your spas cabinet for installation or you have an older spa and are worried about the cabinet supporting the lift, and undermount option might be a better choice.

Undermount lifts have metal plates that slide under the spa and the weight of the hot tub holds them in place. Just keep in mind that your spa will need to have the water drained from it for installation on this one because you will need to be able to lift the spa 1/2 inch to 1 inch off the ground to slide the plates under.

If your spa is built into a deck, there are also options available that will mount directly onto your deck.

Hopefully after considering these variables making the choice of which cover lift is best for you will be much easier. At Hot Tub Warehouse, we carry a huge selection of lifts so that you can find the one that fits your needs best. If you have any questions, we are always here to assist you also.
Spazazz RX Spa Aromotherapy


November 28, 2014

I am looking for the type of lift that does give some privacy. What would you suggest?

Angie Treasure
December 1, 2014

Darilyn, any cover lift that holds the cover high off the ground and significantly above the lip of the hot tub is going to give you some privacy on one side. Products like the Covermate III, Cover Valet, and the Cover RX give you quite a bit of cover. Check out our list of covers from our website where you can see thumbnails with images of the amount of privacy you’re likely to get:

August 24, 2015

I’m looking for a cover lifter that will give all unobstructed views around the hot tub. It could drop down lower on one side of the hot tub as we have a drop off on the side we want to cover to go down on. Or it could be a shelf style as we have plenty of clearance, but I want it to test lower than the top of the hot tub so we can easily see over it. We have a square hot tub. Any suggestions?

July 3, 2013

Hi Jeff, currently our deck mount option it is the Covermate III DeckMount It does hold the cover above the tub which provides for added privacy. I would recommend you contact our customer service at 866-724-6240. By providing more information about the size of your cover and the clearance around your hot tub they can see what options might work for you.

December 28, 2013

I live very near the ocean and everything seems to rust over time. My first lifter did not last three years until it is now completely rusted out. Any suggestions on a replacement. I have been using “covermate 1” I thought a piston type would only cause more problems. I am looking for anything that would be more maintenance friendly.

December 30, 2013

Thank you for the inquiry Jim. My best suggestion would be the Covermate products as they are made the majority out of plastic but do have some metal parts that would be susceptible to rust. Living near the ocean I am afraid to say that there may not be a good way for you to avoid this problem but I believe the Covermate products which it looks like you are already using would be your best bet. Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

July 3, 2013

I’m looking for a cover lifter that will drop below the top of the hot and is deck mounted versus attaching to the tub. The end I want to drop the cover on is elevated 3 feet above grade.

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