When choosing a tub, there are three basic options: a soaking tub, a jetted tub or an air tub.
A soaking tub is usually the least expensive option because there are no mechanical devices involved. There are plenty of styles available for soaking tubs. A traditional hall bath generally has a standard 5 ft. tub made of cast iron. These tubs can last for generations of use. If remodeling a traditional hall bath and replacing the tub, a modern option would be an acrylic tub vs cast iron. Acrylic tubs are lighter weight, so they can be made deeper. If you are looking to have an affordably priced deep soaking tub, an acrylic tub that fits into your traditional cast iron tub space is a great choice.
Jetted Tubs, often referred to as the brand Whirlpool, are tubs for therapeutic use thatshoot water out of jets. They offer the most water pressure. They require the most care and maintenance, because water can sit inside the jets and cleaning the jets is an important part of maintenance to prevent mold from forming. Most jets can be cleaned by running the jets with a cleaning solution specified by the manufacturer. Brushes may be used to remove particles that accumulate in the jets. Even though the maintenance may be a bit more demanding, the therapeutic effects of jetted water pressure are the best option for someone who wants a deep water massage.
The most recent innovation in water therapy is called an air jet tub. Rather than moving water, as in a traditional jetted tub, air is blown into the water through small pinholes in the base or lower sides of the tub, creating a gentle current. The sensation is more one of bubbles popping over the skin in a light massage, rather than a strong blast of water. The advantage to this lighter massage, other than personal preference, is that there is no accumulation of mold. Once the tub is totally drained, a shot of air is automatically blasted through the holes, preventing any standing water or debris from gathering. Because of this cleaning feature, it is ok to use bath salts or other products that are discouraged from use in a traditional jetted tub.