Spa retreats can cost thousands of dollars and most people don’t have the time to take a few days off and go on a retreat. Why not enjoy the comforts of the spa at home? Our top pick Jandy JXI comes equipped with everything from ventilation panels to multiple valve access and a unique VersaPlumb system.
Find the best spa heater for you in our list of the 10 Best Spa Heaters.
Spa Heater Lingo
While you’re searching for spa heaters or reading this list of the 10 Best Spa Heaters, you come up with a lot of professional lingo, such as BTU, heat exchanger, and venting. Pool and Spa provides consumers with a spa heater lingo dictionary to help customers make informed decisions before buying their first spa heater system.
According to the experts at Pool and Spa, BTU stands for British thermal unit. This unit dictates how many pounds of water can be heated one degree Fahrenheit. For example, one BTU can heat one pound of water a single degree warmer. A heat exchanger is the coil, tube, or combination system that absorbs heat and transfers it to the water passing through. More on various spa heater lingo
Best Spa Heater Top Pick: Jandy JXI
The Jandy JXI is our top pick. The spa heater is an eco-friendly and energy efficient spa heater with a 400,000 BTU output. The unit dimensions are 40 X 24 X 28.5 inches. This top pick is 151 pounds and comes with ventilation panels on the sides, a 180-degree rotating header, a built-in electric panel, and the VersaPlumb system.
The key pros of the Jandy JXI are: quick assembly and the built-in VersaPlumb system. These amazing features make it our top pick. Assembly only takes a few minutes and the rotating header makes assembly quick and easy because the valves can be connected on all sides. The VersaPlumb system increases efficiency and lowers maintenance costs.
Step-up Pick: Sta-Rite SR400HD
The Sta-Rite SR400HD is a natural gas powered spa heater with a 400k BTU. This step-up pick has an exterior made with rust resistant Dura-Glass and comes equipped with a built-in thermostat and control panel. This super durable material secured the Sta-Rite SR400HD as our step-up pick for the 10 best spa heaters list. The heat exchanger within the system is made from cupro-nickel.
The key pros that makes the Sta-Rite SR400HD our step-up pick include: lightweight and high performance. The unit only weighs 127 pounds and has an energy efficient rating over 80%.
Budget Pick: Legacy LRZ400
The Legacy LRZ400 is a natural gas spa heater made with rust proof polymer heads. This budget pick packs a punch with a 399,000 BTU and a built-in digital control system. The unit weighs 314 pounds and measures 44.4″ by 30.5″ by 46.4″.
The key pros of our budget pick all revolve around its digital control system, which allows users to automate and set their heaters via the Aqualink RS.
The Contenders: Raypak 106
The Raypak 106 is a natural gas powered spa heater with a 106k BUT output. The heater can be used with pools above the ground and in the ground. It comes with a standard power cord that emits 120 volts. The unit has a built-in temperature dial for easy settings. The compatible gas connection for this heater is a 0.5 inches NPT and the gas valve is located 4 5/8th of an inch from the ground. The water connection is located 17.75 inches from the ground and the water valve is 2 inches wide. The unit dimensions are as follows: 27.5 inches y 12 inches by 24 inches.
The key pros of the Raypak 106 include: compatibility and durability. The 3-prong cord is made for 120 volts but it can be converted (with an adaptor) to 220 volts. The exterior is made of rustproof polymer heads, which protect the copper heat exchanger within the system.
The Raypak Digital is a propane powered spa heater with a 156k BTU. The heater is compatible with pools above the ground and in the ground. It has a built-in digital panel that displays temperature, settings, and comes with a diagnostics center to find solutions to any problems that arise. The gas connection in this unit is located 4 5/8th of an inch from the ground and the valve measures 2 inches wide. The heater dimensions are 27.5 inches by 12 inches by 27 inches.
The key pros of the Raypak digital are: compatibility and ease of use. The heater has a standard 120-volt cord, but it can be converted to 220 volts with a simple adapter. The unit is easy to set and maintain because it has a multi-functional digital panel.
The Sta-Rite SR400NA is an E-Therm Pool and Spa heater that runs on natural gas. The heater has a 400,000 BTU and weighs approximately 130 pounds. The heater is 27.8’’ by 34.2’’ by 32’’ and can be used indoor or outdoor. The system has a built-in control panel, LED temperature display, and copper heat exchanger. The exterior is made with rust resistant Dura-glass.
The key pros of the Sta-Rite SR400NA are: energy efficiency and environmentally friendly design. The Sta-Rite SR400NA has an energy efficiency rating of more than 80%, making it one of the most highly rated in the market. Plus, the unit also has low nitrogen oxide emissions, thereby reducing air pollution.
The Hayward H400 is a pool and spa heater that runs on natural gas. The heater has a 400,000 BTU output and has built-in electric, water, and gas connections. The kit comes with gas valve fittings for a variety of sizes and a voltage conversion board. The unit is 36.5 inches by 29.5 inches by 24 inches.
The key pros of the Hayward H400 include: high performance and environmentally friendly efficiency. With a built-in ASME pressure relief valve, the heater can heat and maintain temperatures for extended periods of time without using much energy. Plus, the heater also has low nitrogen oxide emissions, so the heater will not contribute as much air pollution.
The Jandy LXi is a spa heater fueled by natural gas. The exterior is made with durable, rust proof polymer heads. The unit has a 400,000 BTU and comes with built-in automation via the Aqualink RS for ease of use. To lower nitrogen oxide emissions, the unit has built-in fans and a high performance C-Fin heat exchanger.
The key pros of the Jandy LXi are: automation and remote controls. These controls allow users to switch the heater for pool or spa use with one switch.
The Legacy LRZ325 is a natural gas powered spa heater with a 325,000 BTU output. The heater has a heat exchanger made from cupro-nickel and a built-in digital control panel. The system comes with universal connections that are 2.5″ wide. The unit dimensions are 44.4 by 30.5 by 46.4 inches and weighs 100 pounds.
The key pros of the Legacy LRZ325 come from the built-in multi-functional digital controller on the heater. The controller has a diagnostics feature and built-in automation via the Aqualink RS.
The Zodiac EHE is a natural gas spa heater. Durable bronze heads cover the exterior of this heater. The unit has a 350,000 BTU and comes with a built-in dual HIS thermostat. The heater measures 33″ by 48″ by 49″ and weighs over 300 pounds.
The key pros of the Zodiac EHE include: efficient and high-performance design won the Zodiac EHE a spot in our 10 best spa heaters list. The unit has an innovative air system that forces air out, so the unit can be used in a variety of weather conditions. The built-in self-clean ignition and automated venting makes this system one of the most self-sufficient heaters in the market.
Which Spa Heater is perfect for you?
Spa heaters come in a variety of sizes and BTU outputs. Based on your budget, the Jandy Company puts together the perfect sized heater that won’t eat up your energy bill every month.
Put your measurements in to the Jandy Calculator and they’ll find the perfect size spa heater for you.
Learn more about spa heaters and how they work here:
Whether you are in the market for a new spa heater or getting your first spa heater, don’t forget to reference this list for the 10 Best Spa Heaters on the market.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.