Hot Tub Cover Lifter: Essential Tips for Selection and Installation

Published on

March 14, 2024

Maintaining and enjoying a hot tub can be challenging, a fact we at O-Care, as hot tub water experts, understand well. One significant aspect of this is managing the often heavy and cumbersome hot tub cover. That's where hot tub cover lifters come into play. These handy accessories make it simple and convenient to remove and replace your hot tub cover without the hassle of dragging it around manually.

Cover lifters not only save you time and energy, but they also help extend the lifespan of your hot tub cover by preventing damage from improper handling. Many options on the market come with user-friendly features, such as button-operated or remote controls, providing a sense of ease and relief. 

At O-Care, our goal is to make your hot tub maintenance experience hassle-free and enjoyable, and investing in a reliable hot tub cover lifter is a crucial step in achieving that. In this guide, we'll explore the various types of hot tub cover lifters and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Understanding Hot Tub Cover Lifters

Functionality and Usability

A hot tub cover lifter is a valuable accessory for any hot tub owner. It makes the process of removing and replacing the tub cover significantly easier, ensuring your hot tub stays clean and well-maintained.

There are various types of cover lifters available, including: 

  • Shelf lifters
  • Manual pivot
  • Hydraulic models

Each type offers different benefits in terms of price and functionality. In general, a cover lifter has three main parts:

  • A lifter arm that supports the weight of the cover
  • Side arms connected to the main lifter arm
  • A hinge mechanism that lifts the cover in an upright position

This design makes it simple to fold the cover back over the bar and lift it off the hot tub effortlessly.

Adaptability to Various Spas

We know that not all hot tubs are the same, which is why it's important to find a cover lifter that works well with your specific spa. Some cover lifters, like hydraulic ones, are adjustable and versatile. This makes them suitable for different hot tub sizes and shapes.

When choosing a cover lifter, it's important to consider the available space around your hot tub and the installation requirements. Some cover lifters require side mount installation, while others use under-mount or slide bars to secure the lifter in place. 

Make sure to select a cover lifter that fits your spa's design and the surrounding area for optimal usability and functionality.

Types of Hot Tub Cover Lifters: Ground vs. Undermount System

Ground System

The ground system, also known as side mount or back mount lifters, is one of the most prevalent types of hot tub cover lifters. These lifters are generally attached to the top of the sides of your hot tub or placed behind it. 

Side mount lifters work well for hot tubs with enough space on the sides, while center bar back mount lifters are ideal for hot tubs without side clearance. These lifters effectively support the weight of the cover and make it easy to lift off of your hot tub by using a lifter arm that spans the entire cover.

Undermount System

Undermount hot tub cover lifters are a great alternative to ground systems, especially for individuals looking for a less intrusive option. These lifters are attached to a metal plate that is installed under the hot tub, thus eliminating the need for additional space around the spa. 

The under-mount system provides a sleek appearance as it does not interfere with the aesthetics of your hot tub. This type of lifter is easy to install and operate, making it an excellent choice for modern hot tub owners.

Installation of Hot Tub Cover Lifter

Before beginning the installation, ensure that you have the necessary tools and parts for assembly. The hot tub cover lifter package comes with all the required components and clear instructions. It's crucial to follow the manufacturer's directions, as this can vary depending on the specific brand and model.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Step 1: Identify The Type of Hot Tub Cover Lifter

First, you need to identify the type of hot tub cover lifter you have. Some lifters come with a mounting system or a bracket, while others might require manual adjustments. Once you are familiar with your lifter type, proceed with the installation.

Step 2: Secure The Mounting System or Bracket in Place

If your hot tub cover lifter comes with a mounting system or a bracket, follow the manufacturer's directions for securing it in place. Some lifters may require drilling holes and screwing them into the hot tub frame. If this is the case, make sure to use the appropriate drill bit size and maintain proper alignment while drilling.

Step 3: Position The Mounting System Correctly

When mounting the hot tub cover lifter behind the spa itself, ensure that it's positioned correctly and provides easy access to the cover. It should not obstruct the functionality of the hot tub and should easily lift the cover without causing any damage to the hot tub's architecture.

Step 4: Assemble The Moving Parts

After attaching the lifter, assemble the moving parts following the manufacturer's guidelines. Make sure all the joints and screws are tightly secured. Verify if the cover lifter's opening and closing motions are smooth and unobstructed.

Step 5: Place The Cover On The Lifter

Once you've completed the installation of your hot tub cover lifter, it's time to place the cover on the lifter. Ensure that the cover is properly aligned and evenly balanced to prevent any potential damage.

Cover Care and Maintenance

As a team of hot tub water experts at O-Care, we understand the importance of maintaining your hot tub cover and spa cover in top condition. By taking care of these essential components, you can prolong the life of your hot tub covers and cover and keep your hot tub water clean and healthy.

Cleaning and Ventilation

It’s crucial to regularly clean the surface of both the hot tub cover and spa cover. You can use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner, such as a gentle dish soap, and a soft cloth or sponge to remove dirt, debris, and mold. Rinse the cover thoroughly with clean water and allow it to air dry before putting it back on the hot tub. 

We recommend doing this at least once a month or more frequently if the cover gets dirty quickly.

Ventilation is also crucial for cover care and maintenance. When closed, the hot tub cover and spa cover can trap moisture, which may lead to the growth of mold and mildew. To prevent this, always ensure proper ventilation by leaving the cover slightly ajar for a couple of hours after using the hot tub. This will allow the moisture to evaporate and maintain a healthier environment for both the cover and hot tub water.

Regular Inspections

Another important aspect of cover maintenance is checking for damage or wear. Inspect the straps, handles, and cover rests periodically for signs of wear or damage. If any parts are broken or frayed, replace them promptly to maintain the integrity of the cover and ensure it continues to protect your hot tub. 

Monitor the cover for any cracks or punctures that may cause water to seep in and damage the insulation. If you notice any issues, repair them as soon as possible or consider investing in a new cover.

Proper Usage and Storage

Always lift and remove your hot tub cover or spa cover carefully using appropriate cover lifters. This prevents strain on both the cover and your back, avoiding possible injuries and damage. When the cover is off, properly store it on a cover rest or other designated area away from sharp objects, pets, or children to avoid unnecessary damage.

By following these simple steps and hot tub maintenance recommendations, you can ensure that your hot tub cover and spa cover remain in excellent condition, protecting your hot tub water and prolonging its lifespan. 

Remember, taking care of your cover not only benefits the aesthetics of your hot tub but also contributes to easier water maintenance and an overall better hot tub experience.


Investing in a hot tub cover lifter can make a significant difference in the ease and efficiency of your hot tub maintenance routine. As a team of hot tub water experts at O-Care, we understand the importance of making hot tub water maintenance as simple and efficient as possible.

There are various types of hot tub cover lifters available, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Your choice should align with your budget, space, and personal preferences. A hot tub cover lifter not only makes it easier to remove and replace your hot tub cover but also helps to decrease the risk of back injuries and speed up the process of cleaning and treating your spa.

In addition to installing a hot tub cover lifter, using the right water maintenance products plays a crucial role in ensuring a pleasurable hot tub experience. We take pride in our O-Care spa care product, which makes water maintenance easy while reducing the need for harsh hot tub chemicals, thus providing the best solution for natural spa water.

To assist with your hot tub water maintenance, we also offer the Aqua Tool App, designed to help you achieve clear and natural spa water for your hot tub. Our goal is to help hot tub owners learn how to better care for their hot tubs and make hot tub water maintenance easier.

Hopefully, this information will guide you in making an informed decision when it comes to selecting a hot tub cover lifter and improving your overall hot tub experience. Remember, the right cover lifter, combined with our O-Care spa care product and tools, can ensure your hot tub remains enjoyable, safe, and clean for years to come.

Find more information on how to maintain your hot tub water here:

  1. Download the O-Care app for weekly maintenance and step-by-step problem-solving.
  2. Use our online water assistant to diagnose your water quality issues.
  3. I need to solve an underlying contamination issue in my hot tub; maybe it's biofilm?
  4. How to avoid future problems and keep your hot tub clean?
  5. What kind of sanitizers can I choose from?
  6. What is the best way to maintain my hot tub water?
  7.  How to test the water in my hot tub?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of cover lifter for my hot tub?

There are several types of hot tub cover lifters, and the best one for your hot tub depends on factors such as your spa's shape, size, and location. Some popular options include hydraulic, undermount, and lifter bars. It's essential to compare these types and consider your specific needs to find the best fit for your hot tub.

How do I choose the right hydraulic cover lifter?

When choosing a hydraulic cover lifter, consider factors like the available space around your hot tub, your cover's weight, and the desired ease of use. Hydraulic lifters are known for their smooth operation and low maintenance, so it's crucial to research and select a high-quality product. The Cover Guy™ offers a helpful hot tub cover lifter buying guide that you can refer to when making your decision.

Can I use a cover lifter on a round hot tub?

Yes, cover lifters can be used on round hot tubs. There are cover lifters specifically designed for round and irregular-shaped hot tubs. It's important to ensure that the chosen cover lifter is compatible with your hot tub's shape before purchasing.

What are the benefits of using a spa cover lifter?

Using a spa cover lifter offers various benefits, including ease of use, extended cover life, and improved safety. A lifter makes it easy for one person to lift and remove the cover. Additionally, it protects your hot tub cover from wear and tear and reduces the risk of accidents related to manual cover removal.

How do I install an under-mount spa cover lifter?

Installing an under-mount spa cover lifter involves securing it to the spa's base rather than the side cabinet. To install, you'll need to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer of the selected product. Typically, this involves measuring and marking the required position for the lifter, attaching the necessary hardware, and assembling the lifter components.

Are there any maintenance tips for hot tub cover lifters?

Regular maintenance ensures optimal performance and longevity of your hot tub cover lifter. Key maintenance tips include checking for loose hardware, cleaning and lubricating moving parts, and inspecting for any signs of corrosion or damage. Address any issues promptly to avoid complications and ensure the smooth operation of your cover lifter.