Hot Tub Cover Lifter Buying Guide

The Cover Guy has updated its hot tub cover lifter buying guide. Everything you need to know about choosing the right lifter can be found right here. A good hot tub cover can weigh anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds, so it can be really hard to move on your own. This is why we recommend using a hot tub cover lifter.

In this article, you’ll learn more about the advantages of a cover lifter, the things to consider when looking for a cover lifter, how a lifter works, the variety of lifters, and more.

Why Buy a Hot Tub Cover Lifter?

Essentially, if you choose the best hot tub cover lifter for your hot tub, it will make your life easier by simply sliding your cover on and off your hot tub with little effort required.

A lifter will:

  • Decrease your risks of back injuries due to pulling on and off the heavy cover
  • Speed up the process of cleaning and treating your spa
  • Keep your cover in good shape
  • Allow you to enjoy your hot tub even more!

Things to Consider when Buying a Cover Lifter

1. What Space do you Have?

The first thing you need to consider when looking for the best spa cover lifter is to know how much space you have around your hot tub. Some lifters need more space than others, so we recommend you note the distances you have between your hot tub and any obstacles, whether it is a fence, a tree or a wall.

The Cover Guy provides relevant information for each lifter, such as the necessary clearance or distance required for each model, on the hot tub lifters page, which will make it easier to evaluate your options.

2. What Shape and Size is your Hot Tub?

Different models of lifters have their own, unique restrictions for what hot tub covers they will work on. In particular, you need to be aware that the size and shape of your hot tub makes a difference. Some lifters only work on round covers while others only work with square or rectangular ones. Some lifters are able to accommodate more than one shape.

Lifters also have very specific minimum and maximum cover sizes on which they can be used. Most lifters will work with spas that are between 76” and 96” in diameter. There are lifters for larger covers, but they are harder to find.

3. What Type of Mount do you Need?

The type of mount you need may depend on how your hot tub is installed : is your spa on a deck or a patio, is in-ground or stand-alone?

The type of mounting you choose depends entirely on how much clearance you have on the sides of your tub. If you have more than one option available, it comes down to a purely aesthetic choice. They all work equally well.

Tip : If you live in areas where there is snow accumulation, we recommend you to choose a hydraulic hot tub cover lifter. Your cover will be easier to move and replace when there’s an accumulation of snow or ice on top of it, and it will speed up the process of diving into your hot tub when it’s freezing outside.

How to Install a Hot Tub Cover Lifter

Click here to learn more about installing your hot tub cover lifter. Hot tub cover lifters can be mounted on your hot tub in a number of ways.

  • Bottom mount  lifters : the lifter is attached to the bottom of the hot tub – either on the rear or on the sides.
  • Side mount lifters : the lifter is fixed to the top of the sides of your hot tub.
  • Back mount lifters : the lifter is placed behind your hot tub and needs no space on the sides of your spa.
  • Under mount (or deck mount) lifters : lifter is attached to a metal plate that sits under your hot tub or is bolted to a deck. This avoids the need to drill holes in your tub housing.
  • Some lifters are adjustable so they can be placed anywhere on your hot tub.

Hot Tub Cover Lifter Options

There are 3 main types of hot tub cover lifters to choose from :

  1. Manual Pivot Hot Tub Cover Lifters
  2. Hydraulic Hot Tub Cover Lifters
  3. Shelf Hot Tub Cover Lifters

The difference between each type of lifter is in the clearance needed, ease of use, and cost.

Manual pivot hot tub cover lifter
Manual Pivot Cover Lifter

First, the manual pivot lifter is perfect for those with a smaller budget but want to move their hot tub cover more easily. To remove the cover, you’ll have to fold it in half using the metal bar in the middle of your spa, then lift it upwards and push back.

This type of lifter is flexible so it can fit almost any shape and size hot tub, and it can be mounted on either the bottom, sides or back of your spa. One person should be able to move the cover with a good manual pivot lifter.


Hydraulic top mount lifter
Hydraulic Cover Lifter

The hydraulic hot tub cover lifter is probably the best spa cover lifter available, yet the more expensive option because it does almost all the work for you. You’ll have to fold the cover, but simply guide it up and back, no additional force needed.

Hydraulic lifters come with many optional features, so you’re likely to find one that suits your needs.

This type of lifter is adjustable so it can fit just about any hot tub in any situation.

Hot Tub Cover Shelf

Finally, the shelf hot tub cover lifter might be the least expensive option, however it doesn’t take any of the cover weight off for you. This is simply a shelf fixed to the back or sides of your spa where the cover will rest while you’re in the hot tub. Rather than lifting the cover off of the tub, a shelf removal system allows you to fold the cover over and then slide it off the hot tub and onto the shelf. Sometimes, rollers can be added to help you push the cover onto the shelf.

This is a good option if the weight of your cover isn’t a problem for you.

This kind of lifter needs a lot of clearance around your hot tub, so make sure you know your distances. If you choose this option, we recommend you choose a shelf that can fold towards the bottom to clear the entire space of your hot tub.


Hot Tub Cover Lifters are a vital addition to your hot tub, making it the heavenly place it is intended to be. If you need any other information about the advantages of a cover lifter, things to consider, how a lifter works, or about the choices of lifters, feel free to contact us!

We hope this hot tub cover lifter buying guide is helpful in your pursuit of the best lifter. Keep on enjoying your hot tub with a little help from a lifter!

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