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Home Hot Tubs Hot Tub Accessories Hot Tub Cover Lift: What Is It and Is It Worth Your Money?

Hot Tub Cover Lift: What Is It and Is It Worth Your Money?

Looking for hot tub equipment and facing a cover lift? Don’t know what it is and how to use it? We’ll answer all your questions in this article.
Hot Tub Cover Lift

Finally, the long-awaited moment of purchasing a hot tub has come. You’ve unpacked it, installed it, tested it, and you’re more satisfied than ever. However, you may notice that you can improve your hot tub after a while.

Hot tub cover is necessary for all outdoor spas. It saves heat, energy, and keeps the water clean. However, agree that the constant folding and wrapping of the cover bothers you and takes away the precious minutes you could spend in your cozy hot tub.

What if we tell you that you can get rid of this problem? In this article, we will provide a detailed review of hot tub cover lifts and answer all your questions:

  • What is a hot tub cover lift?
  • How to use it?
  • How to install and fix it?
  • What types do exist?
  • How to make it manually?
  • Is it worth your money?

Let’s find out how to upgrade your hot tub!

💡 Note:
In addition for covers and lifters for them, take a closer at hot tub vacuum cleaners that also keep your spa’s water clean

What Is a Hot Tub Cover Lift?

Hot Tub Cover

A hot tub cover is one of the indispensable accessories, the purchase of which is difficult to argue. It has two significant benefits:

  • Lower energy costs. A hot tub cover allows you to reduce the use of the heater by 40%. It will also lower your electricity bill by 40%.
  • Keeps water clean. When the cover is closed, debris will not fall into the water. Therefore, you will reduce the use of hot tub cleaning chemicals.

However, folding and unfolding a cover weighing up to 75 pounds every time can be difficult even for athletes. Also, condensate will accumulate inside the lid, which occurs due to the temperature difference inside and outside the hot tub. Later, the cover foam core will absorb water and become even heavier. If you don’t want to hurt your back or get a muscle strain, you should consider hot tub cover lifts.

Hot tub cover lifts are a functional accessory that allows you to reduce the effort required to fold/unfold the cover. It will be useful for all owners. Moreover, this accessory allows you to fix the cover in almost any position convenient. You can easily clean it without having to remove it from the mounts.

💡 Note:
In addition, to cover lifters, you can check out over 10 other useful hot tub accessories. They will also make it easier and more comfortable to maintain your hot tub.

3 Types of Hot Tub Cover Lifts

A cover lift is a helper that will make hot tub maintenance more comfortable. However, despite its simplicity, several types have distinctive features. In total, you can see three main categories of hot tub cover lifts:

  • Shelf;
  • Manual pivot;
  • Hydraulic.

Let’s learn more about their distinctive features.

Shelf Cover Lift

Shelf Cover Lift

The shelf cover lift is not quite a lift because it does not lift your cover. However, it copes with the main task of this accessory – to simplify the process of folding/unfolding.

The shelf is the cheapest and simplest hot tub cover lift. It consists of two metal holders with rollers located on their surface. You can fold your cover in half and roll it up on the shelf.

The shelf cover lift is the cheapest option. Its average cost of $65 is 2-4 times less than other types. It is also reliable because it consists of simple parts that are easy to replace if they break. However, it requires extra space on the side of the hot tub because it stores the cover horizontally. Also, it makes it easier to fold the cover only when it reaches the wheels of the shelf. Before that, you will need to make every effort to reach the cover wheels. Therefore, if you need a budget and reliable option, choose a

Manual Pivot Cover Lift

Manual Pivot Cover Lift

The manual pivot cover lift is a classic take on this accessory. It is a high bracket that looks like a stroller handle. We described the instructions for using it earlier, so we will not dwell on this.

This cover lift is in the middle price range. The average cost of a manual pivot accessory is $120. It is about 2x the price of a shelf and 2x of a hydraulic. It is essentially a “hanger” for your folding cover. Therefore, in the horizontal plane, it will take up less space than the shelf but will close the view from the side on which it is installed.

Manual pivot hot tub cover lift is an intermediate option. It’s better than a shelf because it makes it easier to remove your cover and takes up less horizontal space. Also, it is cheaper than hydraulic. So if you want to buy a cover lift that is inexpensive but makes folding easier, you can opt for a manual pivot
❗❗ Important:
Buying a hot tub base will allow you to allocate enough space. They will allow you to fit your hot tub, stairs, and cover lifter without worrying about it rubbing against the walls.

Hydraulic Cover Lift

Hydraulic Cover Lift

A hydraulic hot tub cover lift is the ultimate solution that requires a lot of investment. Structurally, it is the same as the manual pivot, but hydraulic pistons are installed inside the brackets. Unlike other lifts, this one allows you to remove the cover with one hand!

However, due to structural similarity, hydraulic has the same drawback as a manual one. It is the overlap of the view from the side from which the accessory is installed. You can find hydraulic models that allow you to drop the cover directly to the floor, but be prepared to pay up to 3 times the average price.

The hydraulic hot tub lift is the best for folding and installing the cover easier. You should consider this option if you have the opportunity to pay 2-4 times more than for other lifts.
💡 Note:
Another ultimate solution for easy hot tub maintenance is a chlorine generator. It will automate the process of water purification from bacteria.

How to Use a Cover Lift

How to Use a Cover Lift

Using the hot tub cover lift is very simple. It consists of a foldable cover and a bracket. To unfold this accessory, you need only three steps:

  1. Put the bracket on the cover;
  2. Lift the part of the lid that is free from the bracket and wrap it with another one to make a “sandwich”;
  3. Take the “sandwich” at the top and place it perpendicular to your hot tub.

Voila, in just 15 seconds, you have easily prepared your hot tub. To fold the cover, you need to do the same steps in reverse order.

However, if you want to remove the accessory, follow these instructions:

  1. Close both sides of the cover and raise the bracket;
  2. Lift the part of the cover closest to the bracket and place it on top of the other to make a “sandwich”;
  3. Remove the cover from the hot tub.

Hot Tub Cover Lifts Maintenance

Cover lifts are made from anti-corrosion materials. Therefore you don’t have to worry about rusting. However, for the accessory to serve you as long as possible, you should perform two simple actions.

  • Inspect the levers and mounts. The cover becomes saturated with moisture over time and becomes heavier. Because of this, the structure can become loose so you will need to re-tighten the screws and reconnect the mounts.
  • Wipe lift. Small debris and sand constantly fall on its surface. It can penetrate the joints and complicate the operation of the mechanism. To avoid this, wipe your accessory several times a week with a soft cloth and detergent.

Also, hot tub owners are interested in not only maintenance but how to install cover lifts, so we have explained in detail this process below.



Installing the shelf and cover lifters with brackets is different. Therefore, we decided to create a table and indicate the main stages of their assembly.

TypeShelf cover liftManual pivot and hydraulic cover lifts
Instruction1. Drill four holes (two holes below each other on each side) in the outer part of the hot tub at the distance indicated in the instructions;
2. Install the holders and fix them with screws;
3. Install wheels on rails (if any).
1. Cover with a cover hot tub and align it with the corners;
2. Drill two holes in the corners;
3. Fasten the slider and pivot arms and place the slider in the bracket;
4. Connect each end of the center bar to the curved support arms;
5. Connect the curved support and articulated arms;
6. Check the instructions and make sure that all connections are securely fastened.

Save Your Money: DIY Hot Tub Cover Lift

Save Your Money: DIY Hot Tub Cover Lift

What if you need a hot tub cover lift, you don’t want to spend a lot of money, and you know how to make things? It’s time to check out the DIY guide!

Let’s start by listing materials and tools.

– Screwdriver;
– Drill;
– Hacksaw;
– Conduit bender (for 3/4″).
– 1″ stainless steel pipe – 10 feet;
– 3/4″ stainless steel pipe – 2 pieces of 10 feet each;
– 10 X 1″ pan head sheet metal screw – 6 pieces;
– 10 X 3/4″ Tek screw – 20 pieces;
– 1″ two-hole conduit strap – 3 pieces.
– 40″ belt from an old bag – 1 piece.

Now we have everything we need and can start making the cover lift.

  1. Lay both 3/4″ stainless steel pipes over the seam of the cover, center them, and mark where the pipe no longer rests on the cover;
  2. Place both pipes in the bender. The arrow on the tool should point to the line you drew earlier. Bend the pipes 90° on both sides so they look like a “U” with long middle and short ends.
  3. Attach one of the bent tubes to the base of the hot tub with three two-hole conduit straps. The curved edges of the pipes must point towards the hot tub.
  4. Lay the second bent pipe over the seam of the hot tub.
  5. Point the ends of the upper and lower tubes towards each other. Next, measure the maximum distance between them. Now take a 1″ stainless steel pipe and divide it into two pieces of the same length (according to your measurements).
  6. Insert the ends of the 3/4″ pipe into the pieces of 1″ pipe and screw in 4 Tek screws on each side.
  7. Cut the 40″ strap into two pieces. This will act as a stop and prevent the cover from falling off. Next, drill one end of both straps into each side of the hot tub. Drill the other end into the 1″ pipe. It is important that the measurements are accurate and that the components on each side are of the same length and are fixed in one place.

Now everything is ready! You can start using your DIY cover lift.

Summary: Is Cover Lift Worth It?

Cover Lift Worth

Earlier in this article, we told you what a hot tub cover lift is, how to use it, listed 3 different types, described how to install and care for them, and showed you how to create one manually. Now it’s time to make a verdict and find out whether it is worth buying a hot tub cover lift.

A hot tub cover lift is not just an accessory that makes folding and unfolding easier. It allows you to extend the life of your cover. It will always be neatly folded so it won’t rub against other surfaces and holes won’t appear.

Therefore, the hot tub cover lift is definitely worth buying and using!


🧐 Can a cover lift go on any side of a hot tub?

Depending on the type of cover lift, you can install it on the side, back, or bottom of your hot tub.

📏 How much clearance a hot tub cover lift should have?

Most lifts place the cover at the back. Therefore, you will need at least 18″ of free space on that side.

🤔 From what parts does a hot tub cover lift consist?

Lift consists of three main parts: a central handle that you use to lower/lift the cover, side handles that connect the center to the base, and a hinge mechanism that can lift the cover in an upright position.

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