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Are Bromine Tablets Better Than Chlorine? A Comprehensive Comparison and Analysis

Maintaining clean and safe water in hot tubs and spas is essential for a pleasant and hygienic experience. Two commonly used sanitisers are bromine tablets and chlorine. In this article, we will compare bromine tablets and chlorine, discussing their differences, pros and cons, effectiveness, and factors to consider when choosing between them.

Differences between Bromine Tablets and Chlorine

Bromine tablets and chlorine work differently to sanitise hot tubs and spas. Bromine tablets function through ionisation, while chlorine acts as an oxidiser. When chlorine reacts with contaminants, it produces chloramines, which can cause a strong chemical smell and skin irritation. On the other hand, bromine produces bromamine molecules that continue to sanitise the water without unpleasant side effects.

Regarding availability, bromine tablets are only found in tablet and granular form, while chlorine is available in tablets, sticks, and granules. Additionally, bromine remains effective at higher pH levels and in warmer water, and it can be reactivated or reused by adding an oxidising shock. Chlorine, however, is typically less expensive than bromine sanitisers, sanitises water faster, and is easier to adjust levels quickly.

Moreover, bromine is often less irritating to people with sensitive skin and eyes, making it a suitable option for those prone to skin or eye irritation. However, it is essential to note that bromine is not recommended for outdoor pools due to its incompatibility with Cyanuric Acid (CYA) and its high risk of evaporation. It is more suitable for indoor pools with minimal sunlight to prevent harm to metal structures from chloramines. Switching from chlorine to bromine is relatively simple, but switching from bromine to chlorine requires a complete pool or hot tub drain.

Pros and Cons of Using Bromine Tablets

Using bromine tablets for hot tub and spa sanitisation offers several advantages. Bromine is gentler on the skin and eyes compared to chlorine, making it a preferred choice for individuals with sensitive skin or eyes. It is also more stable in warm water, maintaining its effectiveness even in high-temperature environments. Additionally, bromine tablets tend to last longer in water compared to chlorine.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to using bromine tablets:

  1. Bromine requires more frequent use compared to chlorine, which may result in higher ongoing costs.
  2. Bromine can sometimes leave the water cloudy, although this can be mitigated through proper water maintenance and filtration.
  3. There is an ongoing debate about the potential carcinogenic effects of bromine, although current evidence is inconclusive.

Pros and Cons of Using Chlorine

Chlorine, the more traditional sanitiser, also has its own set of advantages. It is typically less expensive than bromine, making it a cost-effective option for hot tub and spa sanitisation. Chlorine is also more stable under UV light, making it suitable for outdoor hot tubs exposed to sunlight. It kills bacteria faster and can be adjusted quickly to raise or lower sanitiser levels.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to using chlorine as well. Improper use of chlorine can cause skin and eye irritation, especially if the levels are not correctly balanced. It may also have a strong chemical smell, particularly when combined with contaminants in the water. Additionally, chlorine requires more frequent reapplication compared to bromine, as it can dissipate quickly.

Effectiveness in Sanitising Hot Tubs and Spas

Both bromine tablets and chlorine kill bacteria and viruses in hot tubs and spas. Bromine tablets work through ionisation, while chlorine acts as an oxidiser. The effectiveness of both sanitisers depends on the concentration of the sanitiser and the pH levels of the water. Regular testing and occasional water shocking are necessary for both bromine and chlorine to ensure optimal sanitisation. In hot tubs, bromine tablets require a higher dosage compared to chlorine, but they last longer in water. Maintaining proper pH levels is crucial for optimal sanitisation regardless of the sanitiser used.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Bromine Tablets and Chlorine

When deciding between bromine tablets and chlorine, several factors should be considered. Personal preferences and specific needs play a crucial role in the decision-making process. Individuals with allergies, sensitivities, or respiratory issues should take these factors into account when choosing a sanitiser. Water clarity, cost, ease of use, and environmental impact are also important considerations. Exploring alternatives to traditional sanitisers, such as ozone generators, mineral-based sanitisers, and enzymes, may be worth considering. Additionally, O-Care products can reduce the amount of chlorine and bromine required for sanitation.


In conclusion, both bromine tablets and chlorine are effective sanitisers for hot tubs and spas. Bromine tablets are gentler on the skin and eyes, more stable in warm water, and have a longer-lasting effect. However, they require more frequent use and can be more expensive compared to chlorine. Chlorine is less costly, kills bacteria faster, and is more stable under UV light. However, it may cause skin and eye irritation if not used properly and requires more frequent reapplication. Choosing between bromine tablets and chlorine depends on individual preferences, specific needs, and factors such as water clarity, cost, and environmental impact. It is essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding.