What Is a Hot Tub Cover Lifter?

A hot tub cover lifter is a manual or automatic lifter that you install next to your hot tub to help remove and put on your hot tub cover with ease!

Hot Tub Cover Lifter Types

You might be asking yourself, “do I need a cover lifter?” The answer is yes! Cover lifters aren’t just a matter of convenience, they are an investment in protecting and getting the longest life out of your hot tub cover. A hot tub cover lifter keeps a hot tub or swim spa cover off the ground and saves it from excessive wear and tear. 

Not to mention that your cover lifter protects you too. If you have a smaller hot tub, you probably can handle a new cover on your own, at first. Remember, even the best vapor barrier will slowly over time be affected by the heat and chemicals of your spa and begin to allow water to absorb into your cover.  That means your cover is getting heavier and heavier over the course of its lifetime. A cover lifter on your hot tub protects you from the chances of injuring yourself while handling a heavy, unwieldy hot tub cover.

A hot tub cover lifter also helps speed up the process of you enjoying your hot tub too. What’s not to like about that?

There are several types of hot tub cover lifters to choose from that we’ve listed below to help show the differences..

Hydraulic Cover Lifter

A hydraulic cover lifter uses gas pistons to lift and move a hot tub cover with ease. It essentially provides you with an automatic hot tub cover lifter.

The hydraulic system takes away the burden of lifting a heavy cover. Hydraulic cover lifters generally cost more than manual lift due to their complex parts.

Examples of hydraulic cover lifters include Ultra Lift with Hydraulic Mount and CoverMate.

UltraLift offers you different types of cover lifters that cater to your specific wants and needs. Whether you’d like a hydraulic cover lift mount, under-mount (to slide bars under your hot tub) or options and conversion kits to turn your normal cover lifter into something a bit more advanced – UltraLift has it for you!

And then the hydraulic lifters are made from materials that will not absorb water and last a lifetime, saving you the costs of replacement hot tub covers.  These longer-lasting cover and lifter systems are available with several trims and outer material options to match with the outer cabinet of your hot tub or swim spa.  Like a manual cover, they may be installed higher to allow your cover to act as a privacy screen when retracted or lower to be folded out of the way when the hot tub is open.

Manual Cover Lifters

Manual cover lifters provide the same benefits of a hydraulic cover lifter without a hefty price tag. Generally, a manual cover lifter will have a metal bar that runs across the hot tub cover at the fold line. You fold your cover back over the metal bar and then fold it back once more so that your cover rests on the lifter.

A perfect example of this is the standard CoverMate I manual cover lifter which is often described as one of the highest quality and most solid spa cover lifters available.

You will want to carefully measure the area around your spa to be sure you have enough clearance for the lifter to be used. There are many options for tight spaces. For example, the CoverMate II requires only 5 inches of clearance on the sides of the spa.

Cover lifters may be installed higher or lower on the hot tub depending on your preference. Brackets placed higher mean your folded cover may act like a privacy screen when folded up. If you want to keep an unobstructed view around the spa, opt for brackets that can be mounted lower. The Ultralift can even be purchased with under-mount brackets that are placed under your hot tub prior to filling it, allowing the cover to be folded back alongside the hot tub out of view.

Cover Shelf

Hot tub cover shelves are a great and simple solution for un-obstructing your view while in the hot tub. Cover Shelf by CoverMate is a great cover shelf to make your hot tubbing experience easier and less stressful.

When removing your cover, simply fold it in half and slide it into the shelves made of aluminum bars. That way, it can rest easily and securely off the ground and without obstructing your view.

Hot Tub Cover Lifter Styles

Hot tub cover lifters can be mounted on your hot tub in a number of different ways. From under mounts to top mounts, to low mounts - each method is different but effective in its own way. Add a paragraph introducing this section that explains how hot tub cover lifters can be mounted on your hot tub in a number of ways.


The Undermount cover lifter helps you to avoid drilling holes in your patio, deck, etc. It has a bracket metal plate that sits underneath your spa cover or is bolted to the deck, and it easily slides into place. With this, it makes it really easy for one person to lift your hot tub cover on and off. They can also be inside OR outside the tub while doing this.

Ultralift with Undermount is a great option for this type of mounting system, as well as UltraLift Freemount Brackets - which allow you to purchase a lifter with hydraulic assist and select your preferred mounting height with Ultralift's sliding bracket technology.

Top Mount

Top mounts are attached to the top of your hot tub, either on the back or on the sides. These cover lifters fit it in almost any backyard environment: inside of a gazebo, against a wall, or even mounted into an existing deck. The Cover Valet Top Mount Cover Lifter is one option for you that has an easy-to-install top mount attachment for your hot tub! Lifting your cover has never been easier.

Low Mount

A low-mount lifter is screwed into the bottom of your hot tub. They are installed on either the back side or the side and sit low on your hot tub. They are a great option for you when it comes to cover lifters on your hot tub. With a low-mount attachment lifter, lifting your cover has never been easier. The CoverMate II has the option to low mount your cover lifter to your hot tub- and looks and works like a charm!

Popular Hot Tub Cover Lifter Brands


UltraLift was the first to launch an undermount system with hydraulic assistance. Ultralift is designed, packaged, and manufactured in North America. Ultralift uses an innovative patented sliding bracket that streamlines the installation process and accommodates various makes and models of spas. Ultralift has an all-metal design that ensures a sturdy, and winter-approved product. Ultralift is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Whether you’d like a hydraulic cover lift, under-mount style or even conversion kits to turn your normal cover lifter into something a bit more advanced – Ultralift has options!


CoverMate are the top-selling cover lifters in the world, with a wide, stylish selection, each one easy to install. From the classic CoverMate I that requires minimal space behind your spa, to the hydraulic-powered CoverMate III, there is an option for everyone.

Give your hot tub cover a helping hand and outfit it with a cover lifter. Not sure which lifter is right for you?  The experts at Master Spa Parts are available to call or chat with you and make sure you get the right fit for your hot tub or swim spa.