Maybe you don’t have the yard space for a traditional hot tub, or they’re too pricey for your budget. Maybe you think they’re too much of a hassle thanks to the lengthy installation process or the routine maintenance they require. Thankfully, portable hot tubs are easy to set up and use and can be folded up and stored when not needed. They’re also more affordable than ever before. If you’re looking for a luxurious new addition to your home, you’ve come to the right place.
Why buy an inflatable hot tub?
Inflatable hot tubs offer a number of advantages over traditional hot tubs. For one, you can’t uninstall a traditional hot tub, pack it into your vehicle, and take it to your beachside vacation house, can you? While portability is a huge factor, inflatable hot tubs are also the most cost-effective way to get a quintessential hot tub experience without sneaking into the local spa after hours or paying an exorbitant amount of money to have one installed near your home. Additionally, inflatable hot tubs offer you a fun and relaxing activity to share with guests and family members without the need to permanently alter your yard.
What should you look for in an inflatable hot tub?
- Size and Shape: The hot tub’s internal and external diameter is a crucial consideration, as is its depth. You’ll want to make sure it fits into its designated space, after all. It’s a good idea to measure the spot where you plan to put the hot tub while it’s in use so that you know what size it can accommodate. Be sure to take the hot tub’s equipment and shape into consideration when measuring, too. A round hot tub will fit the space differently than a rectangular or square one. And, of course, a larger hot tub will require more gallons of water to fill.
- Capacity: In general, inflatable hot tubs won’t seat as many people as permanent ones. There is still some variation in different inflatable hot tubs’ capacities, however. Most will seat around four people, but there are smaller models meant for one or two people. Six is usually the maximum capacity for the larger inflatable hot tubs. Also, keep in mind that this is the capacity for people sitting fairly close together. Naturally, the total capacity will diminish if you want more room to stretch your legs.
- Price: Although inflatable hot tubs are considerably less expensive than a regular hot tub, an inflatable hot tub will still cost a pretty penny. The good news is that even the lower-priced inflatable hot tubs will generally be well made and last a good while as long as you care for them properly. The real difference in pricing tends to come from the extra features a more expensive model might have, such as internal seats, stronger jets, and more accessories.
Are there long-term costs you should consider?
Just like with traditional hot tubs, inflatable hot tubs do have some hidden long-term costs. Of course, you’ll need to heat up the water once your inflatable hot tub has been filled up, a process that can take longer than a day and is certain to raise your energy and water expenditures. If you end up using the inflatable hot tub two to three times a week, it can cost around $10-15 a week on average. Also, you’ll need to purchase chemicals to help keep the water inside sanitary. While this might sound a little pricey, it’s a lot less than you would spend on a spa membership or traditional hot tub. Also, finding effective ways to de-stress after a long, hard day can drive down your overall health costs, making products like inflatable hot tubs well worth it to many in the long run.
Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
Featuring a sturdy design, powerful jets, and an unbeatable price, this inflatable hot tub is one of the best values around.
Pros: This inflatable hot tub from Coleman is sized to comfortably fit two to three adults and is surprisingly thick and sturdy given its budget-friendly price tag. While it will require some routine upkeep, it is fairly simple to maintain compared to other options in its price range. This model also impresses in terms of its powerful jets and easy-to-use control panel, which makes modifying your hot tub’s temperature in advance incredibly simple.
Cons: Although this product lists a four- to six-person capacity, those who enjoy their personal space will be limiting the number of people who can use it at a time. Thus, it’s a much better option for couples and small, intimate groups rather than larger ones. Additionally, it will automatically shut down if you forget about it, which can cause the pump to freeze in colder months.
Bottom Line: Despite its limited capacity, this inflatable hot tub’s durability and attractive price point make it a perfect option for couples who are looking for a touch of luxury on a budget. It’s also a safe pick for those who live in warmer climates or who have the time and attention span to ensure it’s running during the cold months to prevent freezing.
Intex 28429E PureSpa Plus
A portable hot tub that comes equipped with plenty of bonus features and all the equipment you need to set it up and operate it properly.
Pros: If you’re seeking an inflatable hot tub that’s great for spots with limited space, this one from Intex fits the bill. Despite its quiet operating volume, it maintains your desired water temperature incredibly efficiently and even comes with a built-in hard water treatment to help keep your cute swimwear looking new. This model also comes with some nifty bonus items, such as LED lighting and an effective insulating cover.
Cons: While the headrests that come with this inflatable hot tub are quite nice, they seem to be designed for taller people and are much less comfortable for shorter to average-sized folks. Also, keep in mind that this is a smaller inflatable hot tub, so it can be a struggle to comfortably seat more than three adults at a time.
Bottom Line: The PureSpa Plus isn’t the largest inflatable hot tub on the market, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in functionality and dependability. There are less expensive options that you can go for at this size, but this model throws in enough handy extras to make it more than worth the cost of admission.
Bestway SaluSpa Miami Inflatable Hot Tub
An affordable inflatable hot tub that's reliable, durable, and easy to transport.
Pros: Don’t let the budget-friendly price fool you; the Miami Inflatable Hot Tub is as functional as they come. Featuring a thick, durable material and an easy-to-use interface that only takes moments to learn, this inflatable hot tub is not a cheap imitation of more pricey models. In fact, it retains heat with the best of them, even in freezing conditions. Despite its ruggedness, however, it’s also one of the lightest models around and can be easily moved, thanks to its handy lift handles.
Cons: It should be noted that this inflatable hot tub omits some of the extras that come with pricier models. If you’re looking for a product that comes with everything you need (including chlorine tablets and LED lighting), you might be disappointed once you open the box.
Bottom Line: As a budget option, this inflatable hot tub won’t disappoint as long as you set correct expectations. Will it fit all of your friends with room to spare? Not likely. However, it’s large enough for two or three people and provides the same reliable performance as models that cost twice as much. It’s also a great option for those who may struggle to lift heavy things due to its lightweight yet rugged design.
Intex 28409E PureSpa
An inflatable hot tub especially equipped to comfortably seat six full-grown adults.
Pros: This inflatable hot tub is comfortably padded, so don’t expect to invest in costly seating add-ons if you go with this model. It’s also one of the few models that are large enough so that four to six people can use it at once without feeling overly crowded. In terms of performance, it maintains its temperature extremely well and seems to be more efficient with energy usage versus models that are similarly sized. Its LED lighting system also impresses and creates an amazing ambiance for a memorable late-night soak.
Cons: Since this inflatable hot tub sports a higher capacity than most other options on the market, perhaps it is not surprising that it comes with a higher price tag to match. It’s nearly twice as much as your budget options but will still be worth it for those who wish to enjoy it along with a group. Also, although it maintains heat well, expect it to heat the water up slower than smaller models can.
Bottom Line: Since this model is slower to heat up but pretty energy efficient once it’s up to temperature, it’s a good option for those who plan to keep it running and get as much use out of it as possible. Despite what many models claim, it’s also one of the few options that can comfortably seat six people without making them feel packed in like sardines. If you’re planning on inviting plenty of friends over, this inflatable hot tub is a no-brainer despite the higher price.
Bestway Helsinki Inflatable Hot Tub
Featuring a unique style and plenty of space to relax, this inflatable hot tub impresses with its affordable price.
Pros: The first thing that stands out about the Helsinki Inflatable Hot Tub is its unique style, which looks great in a wide variety of outdoor environments. However, it’s also got the size and durability of a premium-quality product while sporting a price point that puts it on par with many smaller budget-friendly options. If you’re looking for an option that’s easy to install, softens water, and won’t create an eyesore on your wooden deck, this is a great choice.
Cons: This is another model that heats up fairly slowly (especially in cold environments) and is thus not ideal for those who will be unable to set up their temperature settings well in advance. Also, while it’s probably not a deal-breaker, the cover that comes with this product doesn’t match the hot tub’s unique wood-inspired design, which takes away some style points when the unit isn’t in use.
Bottom Line: For the price, this inflatable hot tub provides some of the best value around. However, it’s definitely not a product you can set and hop in soon after. If you are willing to use the temperature preset option well in advance, there’s no reason this hot tub won’t be hot and ready when you desire a nice relaxing dip.
Most inflatable hot tubs are pretty similar in terms of functionality, but they tend to differ when considering performance and reliability. Thus, it’s extremely important to consider your needs before shopping for the perfect inflatable hot tub for you. While capacity is important, keep a close eye out for models that retain heat well and limit your power usage since paying a little extra up front is well worth the convenience and long-term savings these products can provide.