Uncovering and re-covering a hot tub before and after every use can be a hassle, especially if you’re using the tub often.
This means that it’s often worth looking into a cover lifter, a mechanized system that opens the hot tub cover when you want it to, without you having to reach over and do it yourself.
The upside here is that these are niche enough products that you won’t be confused by the sheer amount of products available.
That said, we’ve gathered five of the best looking ones from both a quality and budget standpoint, so there should be something in this article for everyone.
Each entry contains a small review of the product, along with a pros and cons list so that you can see every cover lifter’s features at a glance.
There’s also a buyers’ guide below where you can learn more about these kinds of products and what makes certain models better than others.
In a Hurry?
If you want to get the buying process over with ASAP, check out our quick picks right here:
Top 5 Best Hot Tub Cover Lifters
OUR TOP PICK
In our research, Cover Valet was invariably the most reliable and highest-rated brand that supplies hot tub cover lifters.
In this case, our number one product is the Cover Valet Spa Cover Lift. It’s so popular that it’s actually the Amazon’s Choice product for the very suitable “hot tub cover lift” search term.
It works best when used on spas and hot tubs that are thirty to forty inches tall but isn’t ideal for heavier hot tubs.
The Cover Valet is made from high-grade materials that won’t rapidly deteriorate outdoors as many others would.
This is mainly aluminum, which is widely known for being both physically durable and environmentally resistant to mildew and rust.
The aluminum parts are powder-coated, too, so that problems like that rust can’t gain any purchase on the surface of this cover lifter’s metal components.
As for the functional components of this hot tub, it functions using a gas spring to help push the cover above and to the side, and it can be adjusted when it’s on the hot tub so that you can choose how it sits.
Also, when the cover has been lifted, it’ll store neatly beside your hot tub so that it isn’t cluttering any space in your backyard.
- An Amazon’s Choice cover lift that works best with 30 to 40-inch tall tubs.
- Manufactured from high-grade material that’s coated in aluminum powder.
- Uses a gas spring to lift and shift the cover lift off of the hot tub seamlessly.
- Adjustability allows you to change how it sits on the hot tub when covering it
- Cover conveniently stores besides the tub when not in use.
- Isn’t ideal for use with heavier hot tubs.
The Slider Spa Cover No-Lift Remover & Storage System
The next cover lifter we’d suggest you take a look at is The Slider Spa Cover No-Lift Remover & Storage System, a budget-friendly option that also has a lot of positive reviews.
Its budget-friendliness comes from the fact that this is a cover roller more than a lifter, meaning it doesn’t use gas or any other mechanics to move the cover.
Instead, you operate it by setting up storage arms off the side of your hot tub and fold the cover onto it.
This means more elbow grease on your part but it’s very simple to use and doesn’t require as serious maintenance as the more sophisticated models might. Whilst operating and maintaining it is simple enough, you’ll need some tools and about thirty minutes to properly install it.
It’s easy enough, however, and should fit all hot tub sizes. You should be aware that this is just the cover lifter and the cover itself isn’t included.
Every arm included in this lifting kit is sturdy and designed to stay in place once installed via rear-mounted brackets, so they shouldn’t get loosened by being subjected to weather conditions and temperature changes if your hot tub is in your backyard.
They’re complete with rollers where yes, you have to move the cover aside yourself, but you won’t stress your muscles or joints while doing so.
The rollers help the cover to fold over easily enough, making it convenient to cover quickly for when you want to perform some cleaning or maintenance.
- A budget-friendly hot tub cover option.
- Simpler, non-mechanical cover roller.
- Each sturdy arm has four easy-slide rollers.
- Simple to install and fits all hot tub shapes.
- Folds the cover easily.
- Only the lifter, doesn’t come with a cover.
SpaEase 200 Hydraulic Hot Tub Cover Lift
At the third spot on the list is the SpaEase 200 Hydraulic Hot Tub Cover Lift, a lifter from Lovatic that’s designed to fit larger square or rectangular hot tubs to a maximum corner radius of ninety-six-inches.
The downside here is that it cannot be installed on round hot tubs, which means it won’t be the option a lot of you are looking for. If you do have a squared-off hot tub, however, then this could be the product for you.
But before you make that decision, you need to know what you’re dealing with. The SpaEase 200 Hydraulic Hot Tub Cover Lift is constructed from both steel and aluminum, combining raw strength and weather resistance.
This ensures that the cover lift can probably withstand your backyard, so long as there are no hurricanes or tornadoes flying around, of course.
Speaking of things being lifted, Lovatic has employed a unique and brand-specific Reverse Pneumatic Technology, or RPT, where two pistons are used to help lift the cover when it’s being retracted to its halfway point.
You do the first half yourself and then the RPT system takes over to finish the job. It works the same with closing too, sealing the heat in the hot tub by directing pressure downward.
This ease of opening allows you to open it with just one hand, too, so it’s a very hands-off cover lifter since even when you do need to use your own strength, it’s easy enough that one hand is sufficient.
- A cover lifter that fits larger 96-inch square or rectangular hot tubs.
- Uses both steel and aluminum for strength and environmental durability.
- Lovatic’s Reverse Pneumatic Technology pistons raise the cover with ease.
- Easily opened with just one hand.
- This cover lifter isn’t for round hot tubs.
Pool Spa Part Hot Tub Cover Lifter
At our fourth spot is the Pool Spa Part Hot Tub Cover Lifter, another affordable lifter that, much like our number two option, uses mounted arms to easily roll the cover onto and off of the hot tub.
It’s made with high-quality plastics that guarantee it won’t break under circumstances that wouldn’t break other lifters, so you shouldn’t worry about its structural integrity as long as you’ve installed it properly.
Once it is installed, it works via eight rollers, four in each arm, that facilitate an easy slide as the cover moves to its resting position.
This requires you to push it to begin this movement but it takes no strength at all, so everyone should be able to move the cover off with considerable ease.
When the cover is moved, this lifter stores it neatly beside the tub so that the cover isn’t lying around, where it’s cluttering the space and can easily get damaged.
Due to the simplicity of these types of cover lifters, they’re compatible with most spa brands and their tubs that feature cabinet-free covers.
This means that it’s highly likely your tub is compatible but, as always, we’d recommend you do your own research to make sure that the tub and tub cover you own will work with this rig before you buy.
Installation is easy, especially if you follow the instructions provided, though once set up the lifter can have trouble with heavier hot tub covers.
An advantage of bracketed lifters, or rollers, like this, is that you can tinker with them to enable them to bear heavier loads.
This may be able to help if you need to make this compatible with heavier covers, but otherwise, we’d advise you to seek another lifter.
- A waterproof lifter made with high-quality plastics.
- Four rollers on each arm ensure the cover easily slides when opened.
- Fits most spa brands that feature cabinet-free covers.
- Folds away neatly when not in use.
- Easy to install and operate.
- Arms can sag if your hot tub cover is heavy.
The last cover lifter we have is another simpler roller model, the Carefree Stuff Tri Cover Roller. However, true to this cover lifter’s name and unlike the other roller models that are on this list, the Tri Cover Roller features three arms instead of two.
This is because this is your best option if you have a large or extra-large hot tub, and hot tub cover, that needs an easy on/off solution.
There are four wheels per bracket, so the larger hot tub covers are easy to move when used with the Tri Cover Roller.
The wheels are narrower than you’ll find with other cover rollers, which is fine if the vapor barrier on the underside of your cover is high quality. If not, it’s possible that the narrow wheels can cause damage.
When fully retracted, the cover sits snugly on the side of the tub, meaning you don’t need to find somewhere to stash it, and it won’t get damaged through subpar storage.
There are also no limitations on the hot tub cabinet shapes that this cover roller will attach to since they’re bracketed onto the outside.
- A three-armed roller bracket for shifting larger hot tub covers.
- Each arm has four rollers that provide an easy slide.
- Folds against the hot tub cabinet when not in use.
- No limitations on cabinet shape.
- Roller wheels are narrow, which can cause damage to the vapor barrier of your cover.
Best Hot Tub Cover Lifters Buying Guide
How to get the right hot tub cover
Compatibility is important with hot tub cover lifters, as you can imagine. They not only have to be compatible with the cover but also the hot tub itself, which can be a hard balance to achieve.
We’ve written this buyers’ guide so that you can educate yourself on cover lifters and the considerations you should have while buying them.
We’ve done this by separating the average cover lifter into its type and some relevant features and installation factors, so you can clearly find which part of the product you’re most curious about and learn what to look for.
Types of Cover Lifter
Cover lifters generally fall into one of three camps, automatic, manual, and rolling. Okay, we cheated, technically lifters are automatic and manual while there are rollers which, well, roll the cover to open and close it instead of lifting.
They’re functionally identical, and several of the products featured in our list are rollers, so we’ll explain what they are here too.
Automatic cover lifters are obviously the easiest to use. Using a remote or a connected button, a mechanism will automatically pull the cover off of the top of your hot tub.
The only thing you need to do is unbuckle the cover to facilitate its movement but otherwise, it’s a hands-off experience. Naturally, they are the most expensive out of the options available to you, and they usually require professional installation that adds another cost to the process.
Manual lifters require you to use a cover lifter to lift up the first half of the hot tub, at which point a hydraulic arm will do most of the lifting.
There’s a lot of variety in exactly how manual lifters work but generally, you’ll make the first fold and then the cover slides into a holder mounted to the side of the tub via brackets. This is where rollers come in, where the lifter uses this rolling action and doesn’t have any hydraulic arms that lift for you.
This means you do the lifting, but you save energy through the rolling action of the mounting brackets when
You need to have enough room, we’re sure we don’t need to tell you that, but we wouldn’t blame anyone for knowing where they need that extra room. You can start at each side of the hot tub, particularly the side that the lifter will be mounted at.
This depends on the type and product that you’ve chosen, of course, but on average there should be twelve whole inches around the side of the hot tub where the cover lifter will be mounted.
If your lifter does require the lid to be folded in half and stored to the side, that side will need to have half of the cover’s length to accommodate it. An eight-foot cover, for example, will require four feet at the brackets where the halved cover will be mounted.
These lifters can be more convenient for those who only have space on one side. Otherwise, you’ll usually need at least five inches on most sides and twelve to twenty inches at the back.
The shape of your hot tub will determine the shape of your cover, and so the compatibility between that cover, the lifter, and the tub itself. As mentioned above, you should try to leave as much as twelve inches from every corner.
Lifters may not have all of their metrics listed on their product pages but it’s worth it to check. Corner areas are particularly important in these measurements if your tub, and so your cover, is square or rectangle-shaped.
The extra space is to avoid scratching and other small damages occurring as the cover naturally moves around when being opened.
You should follow the above rules for circular tubs and covers, too, though you don’t need to worry about the corner areas in those cases.
If your hot tub is shaped like an octagon, however, then you will want to leave even more room at approximately eighteen to twenty inches. These figures are all averages, so use your common sense and add a few inches if the numbers given are not sufficient.