Hot tub Covers & Spa Covers: Steam Stopper Pillows Explained

If it’s time to replace your hot tub cover, bear in mind some important upgrades that you can choose from. If your primary goal is to conserve energy and keep your heating bill low, one essential element is the steam stopper pillow.

The steam stopper pillow helps prevent steam from leaking out of your hot tub, and can be located just between the gap that separates both sides of the cover. The gap is created by the cover’s “hinge” which is typically around one and a half inches wide. This width is necessary so the cover can fold over on top of itself when opened. If the hinge were 1/8″, for example, the hot tub cover would eventually tear due to the stress of pulling the cover open and shut.

Your everyday hot tub cover only fill the gap near the ends of the hinge and near the top of the hot tub itselt. The steam stopper pillows are smallish in size, equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. When it’s closed, the spa cover’s two sides should both rest snugly against each side of the steam stopper.

One downside to a steam stopper pillow is that it is not insulated. As you trace across the hinge there’s enough material to equal the surface of a basketball, which means there’s a significant amount of room for steam to still escape. You’ll notice this in the winter, as snow melts across the hinge first.

Most hot tub cover manufacturers can upgrade the steam stopper to what they call a “long” one. It is the same size and placement on the spa cover, but runs across the entire width of the tub cover in a single piece of foam wrapped in vinyl.
The typical hot tub cover lasts about five to ten years. Yes, replacing the spa cover is a part of the ownership of your spa. We hope you take the time to review options and upgrades when buying your next hot tub cover.