Nothing says relaxation quite like soaking in the warm waters of a hot tub. If you don’t have the budget or the space for a traditional hot tub, why not consider an inflatable one? Inflatable hot tubs have come a long way in the past few years; they are super easy to assemble in your backyard or patio and offer a convenient, affordable solution to your relaxation dreams. No matter your budget, you can have premium relaxation whenever you wish. My own mom doesn’t go a single night without getting into her hot tub, no matter what the season is!
Don’t just take our word that inflatable hot tubs are great; read why we think so! In this post, we’ll provide an in-depth look at the latest models of inflatable hot tubs and explain why they’re the perfect addition to your home. We’ll provide a comprehensive review of the top inflatable hot tubs of 2023, including specs, features, and our opinions on how well each performs. So sit back, relax, and get ready to take the plunge into your own personal hot tub paradise.
From stress relief to muscle relaxation, hot tubs have countless mental and physical health benefits. Even if you don’t care much about the science behind it all, there’s no debating whether a hot tub experience feels great. Beyond making you feel great, hot tubs are a great excuse to socialize and spend quality time with your friends and family.
For all the value you get for an affordable inflatable hot tub, it’s a no-brainer for most people to grab one. Unfortunately, finding the perfect model isn’t nearly as simple of a decision! There are many important factors and unique features to remember while shopping, along with making sure you don’t get ripped off with a bad deal. Want to know the ins and outs of hot tub shopping? Here’s a list of everything you need to consider to spend your hard-earned cash in the right place.
Size Matters (A Lot)
Let’s start with size. It’s the most crucial consideration to bear in mind when you’re in the market for an inflatable hot tub. If your tub is too big, you’ll not only have to pay a lot more for the tub itself but also higher water and electricity bills down the line. A tub that’s too tiny, on the other hand, won’t offer you the relaxation and comfort you deserve! You’ve also got to worry about whether or not your tub will fit in the limited space you have for it on your patio, backyard, or wherever you plan on placing it.
If you plan on using the tub with your many friends, you shouldn’t buy one with a capacity of just three or four people. Many people make that mistake, thinking they’ll still find a way to fit everyone, completely ruining the overall experience. I think some extra space is always worth the additional few bucks if you plan on sharing it!
Make sure to carefully measure the spot where you plan on putting the tub. Also, confirm it’s large enough to accommodate your friends and “co-users” and that you have space to store it after the hot-tubbing season. Don’t make the same mistake I once did and shop for something that will barely fit in your home!
What makes hot tubs so special is that they don’t just offer you immersion in hot water (like a bathtub); they elevate the experience with lots of bubble jets all around. These are electrically powered to pump air, creating a disturbance in the water that massages your muscles and makes the whole thing come alive. Luckily, this feature isn’t just limited to premium jacuzzis; it’s also available in most modern inflatable hot tubs.
If jets mean a lot to you, we’d recommend carefully looking at the advertised number between different models to find out which would offer a “bubblier” experience. Models vary between 80 to 140 jets on average, with some inflatables having fewer or more depending on their price point. When it comes down to it, I think having more jets is better as more means a more spa-like feel.
The number and type of jets can also influence the energy efficiency of your inflatable hot tub, but we’ll discuss that a bit later.
Though inflatable hot tubs are an affordable version of jacuzzis, they’re still a hefty investment to make. That’s why aside from the product itself, you should also look for excellent after-sale services while finalizing your purchase decision. Only buy from sellers with a proven track record of being helpful to customers throughout a product’s lifetime. Carefully look into the warranty details and see what they cover and for how long. The better the coverage, the less likely it is that you’ll need it because it’s a testament to the product’s overall quality and reliability.
On average, manufacturers offer a one-year warranty with inflatable hot tubs — but they can last for much longer than that. It’s more about how carefully and frequently you use it.
If you’re in the market for an inflatable hot tub, try not to be fazed by surface-level details or flashy color options. After all, a tub that’s easier to store, fill up, clean, and carry is way better than a unit that just looks pleasing. Look for essential features that make the product practical. One such feature is an in-built filtration system to keep the water purified. It’s a must-have in our books because, without sanitization, you’ll be at risk of health diseases.
A filtration system captures water from all directions and keeps all sorts of contamination out, making it safer even when you share it with other people. Aside from safety, it also does wonders for upkeep since you won’t have so much cleaning to deal with. With that said, you’ll still have to replace the filters occasionally to maintain their optimal function.
You might have to use chemicals like chlorine for proper water sanitization, especially if you have a bigger six-person tub. These disinfectants kill pathogens like viruses and bacteria that can cause and spread diseases that thrive in stationary water. Make sure your inflatable hot tub is safe to use with potential disinfectants, as some tubs can get worn down via chemical reactions. High-quality hot tubs have features to distribute such chemicals evenly for effective cleaning, but make sure not to overdo it with the quantity!
For me, sanitary water is the most important factor of a good hot tub; I wouldn’t let my guests use it if it is dirty or potentially harmful. Make sure your hot tub is clean and safe.
Powerful Water Pressure for Hydrotherapy
We’ve already spoken about the number of jets, but you’ll have to go deeper than that if you plan on using the tub for hydrotherapy. For the longest time, spas and jacuzzis have been used for health purposes. The bubbles generated can create a whirlpool effect that helps open up arteries, relieves pressure on joints, and boosts circulation.
To reap these benefits, you’ll need a hot tub that features various power settings in a multi-jet built-in system. With this system, you can easily adjust the water pressure and even get the option to turn off a few jets that aren’t in use. Since these features usually come with higher-priced models, your budget will affect what you’re working with.
Hot Tub Construction
The construction of your inflatable hot tub determines factors like durability, portability, and ease of maintenance. Most models feature walls made out of reinforced PVC material, which is often marketed through buzzwords like TriTech or Fiber Tech. Simply put, PVC is just a sturdier type of plastic.
Well-built hot tubs will also have an internal vertical beam to increase support and maintain the hot tub’s shape despite all the movement and disturbances inside it. The sturdiest tubs are highly resistant to perforations and tears and stay in good shape for years. So, try not to cut too many corners when it comes to the build quality because that’s essentially what will protect your investment throughout a tub’s lifetime.
At first, you’d think a hot tub wouldn’t have any additional accessories, but you need stuff like test strips to keep a check on the water’s acidity level, as well as dispensers for chemicals like bromine and chlorine to maintain water concentrations. Dispensers are especially important if you plan on leaving your inflatable hot tub filled for days.
There are also accessories that can elevate your experience, such as footrests and seat cushions for extra comfort. Some people also like to place a smooth ground mat under the tub to prevent any punctures or damage from twigs or anything sharp that may be on the ground in your patio or yard.
The more accessories you get in the package, the more attractive the deal is, so always be on the lookout for such add-ons.
Energy Efficiency (And What Determines It)
Aside from the initial cost of buying an inflatable hot tub, you’ve also got to consider the cost of ownership. The biggest cost is its energy consumption, which also takes a toll on the planet’s health, so we’d suggest minimizing it as much as possible. Here are some factors that directly influence a tub’s energy efficiency:
Aside from a larger footprint in your patio, backyard, or bathroom, a higher-capacity hot tub needs more power to heat up, which ultimately results in an increase in your utility bills! Bear that in mind and try not to buy a model that’s bigger than your needs.
A tub with highly effective insulation will help save tons of energy since less heat will be lost to the environment. A well-insulated system needs less energy to maintain your desired water temperature.
The longer your hot tub heater runs, the more energy it consumes. Heater usage depends on the difference between the ambient temperature of your water and your hot tub’s target temperature. Your hot tub’s heater will need to work harder if you set your target temperature high (104 degrees Fahrenheit is the maximum safe temperature for most tubs) and if the surrounding environment is cold (like in the late fall). To reduce your energy bill, you could reduce your hot tub’s set point, limit your hot tub use to warmer seasons when it costs less to heat water up or reduce the time your heater is running.
Air pump size
The air pump you use will have an effect (albeit a minor one) on your energy bill. Smaller air pumps will inflate your hot tub slower than larger ones but also require less power to operate. If you inflate your hot tub only once per season, air pump efficiency really isn’t that impact on your energy bill. However, if you are constantly inflating and deflating your hot tub, you may begin to notice a slight increase in your bill.
A hot tub is meant to help you unwind and relax after a long day of tiring work. Unfortunately, some hot tubs are a nightmare when it comes to maintenance, which kills the whole purpose and only adds a bunch of chores to your already-filled to-do list. That’s why I’d look for an inflatable hot tub that’s easy to maintain, clean, and store when not in use.
Before we go, we’ve got to talk about some additional features that can make your hot tub experience a whole lot better. Everything about your hot tub can change with a few extra bells and whistles. For instance, some models can be equipped with LED lights to make the party come alive at night. You can also find models with a ground cloth and insulated cover to minimize energy loss — these add-ons are especially handy if you live in a cold climate! Modern units also feature digital control panels and even smartphone connectivity, which allow you to operate jets or adjust the water temperature with a few taps. If these features mean anything to you, it might be well worth spending a few extra bucks on a more expensive model.
The SereneLife Inflatable Hot Tub is a great addition to any backyard or outdoor space. Its large size and easy-to-use design make it ideal for family gatherings or a relaxing, peaceful evening at home. The hot tub is equipped with 100 bubble jets that deliver a massage-like experience, helping to relieve joint and muscle pain, as well as stress and anxiety. The digital control panel and accompanying remote control provide easy adjustments for temperature — from 41 degrees Fahrenheit to 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit — and air jets massage system, all without ever having to step out of the tub.
Adjustable LED lighting projects seven different colors in two distinct modes, single or multicolor color, making it great for parties or just personal relaxation. Made to last, this inflatable hot tub is constructed from high-quality laminated PVC material and is strong enough to withstand years of repeated use. It can comfortably fit up to four people and comes complete with a filter, inflatable hose, ground pad, repair kit, remote control, and LED light. All these features and more make this inflatable hot tub our top pick on the list.
The next tub on our list is the Bestway Inflatable Hot Tub, which is the perfect option for a relaxing spa experience with friends and family. The spacious round spa accommodates up to three people and is designed with adjustable height settings for ultimate comfort. Additionally, its DuraPlus construction provides cushioning and stability, while its convenient drain valve makes it easy to clean after use. I think that sounds super helpful when you pack away this tub for the cold season!
For a luxurious spa experience, this hot tub comes with 110 air jets that produce a gentle stream of air bubbles from the bottom of the spa, and the digital control panel on the outside allows you to adjust the temperature up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit easily. The spa is also designed for convenience and includes features such as the FreezeShield function to protect against freezing temperatures, a ChemConnect dispenser for ease of chemical application, and a power-saving timer.
This hot tub by Coleman is everything you like about hot tubs despite coming in a way more portable, affordable, and lovable package. Its heavy-duty build consists of three ply-inflated walls for comfort and durability, which is further improved by a reinforced cover with a built-in air chamber and some safety lock clips. This tub also features two lift handles for easy transport, and the tub inflates within a matter of minutes for you to set it up quickly after moving it into position.
This hot tub is a real treat. The built-in massage system has 140 air jets around the tub for an excellent jacuzzi-like experience. It’s ideal for those looking for a firm and effective air jet system to improve your circulation and soothe your sore muscles. You can also set the temperature to 104 degrees to help relax even more. Aside from the luxurious heating and bubbling, you even get an integrated water filtration system to ensure maximum safety, regardless of how many people you share it with.
The complete package of this tub includes two easy-lift handles (to help with moving around the spa pool when it’s not in use), a pool liner, a pool cover, two filter cartridges, a complete AirJet system, a chemical foster, a spa pump, an air pad protector, and finally a repair patch to help with the upkeep! There’s even a digital control panel that allows you to adjust the temps until you find the comfiest settings quickly, and that’s not a standard feature by any means.
Featuring a Fiber-Tech construction consisting of a three-ply laminated PVC, the Intex Inflatable Hot Tub is one of the sturdiest options you can find on the market. It has a highly durable insulated cover that keeps all the heat in and all the external contaminants out. This is a great feature since minimizing heat loss leads to power savings, which is crucial in this day and age. This tub also has a water treatment system built-in which makes the water safer for your skin and clothes! There’s even a floating chlorine dispenser to make cleaning that much easier.
What’s really impressive is that this inflatable hot tub is beautiful inside and out! The design features two well-contoured headrests and some bright multicolored lights to make the whole thing come alive. Additionally, with 140 high-power bubble jets and a high max temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, massages are certainly the strong suit of this model. You can also easily adjust every detail about these settings through intuitive controls positioned on the control panel as per your preferences. That sounds super helpful for someone like me who likes their hot tub to be slightly cooler and calmer than most!
The SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub has a 71 x 71-inch sitting area that’s large enough to fit four adults comfortably. The walls on the inflatable are heavy-duty and made out of puncture and UV light-resistant 3-play material. It’s sturdy enough to keep scratches and holes at bay but soft enough to keep you comfy at all times. Even after many cycles of inflation and deflation, the tub retains its original shape pretty well — which makes sense since the brand offers such long warranties to back it up!
This tub also has a built-in air chamber for additional insulation, so your tub will stay warm for days when it’s not in use which ultimately results in energy savings. Speaking of which, this hot tub’s heating system works wonders, allowing you to enjoy temperatures of up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. And, with 140 AirJet openings at the bottom and eight HydroJet nozzles surrounding the sidewalls, the effectiveness of this model’s massage function is also second to none. Pair those powerful bubbles with a soothing temperature of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit, and your sore muscles will thank you for it! While you’re at it, you’ll develop a special appreciation for the cushioned floor at the bottom as you unwind, relax, and enjoy the zen in your mini-spa.
With an 80% capacity of 177 gallons of water, there are more than enough water filtration systems built into this model as well. For instance, there’s a ChemConnect floating dispenser that’s meant to provide a consistent yet calculated injection of chlorine. There are also two IV filter cartridges and a drain valve to channel out the water as needed during the active filtration process. You can also adjust all the settings for its heating, inflation, filtration, and jets by the touch of a button on the digital control panel — without even getting out of the comfort zone of your bubbly spa! In total, this tub includes one pump, one ChemConnect dispenser, a filter cartridge, a repair patch, and a cover to keep all the dust and debris out.
Made with stress-tested DuraPlus material
Spa pump has cup holders for convenience
Powerful massage system with jets
Manual is hard to read for some
People Also Asked
Q: Can inflatable hot tubs get punctured?
A: While inflatable hot tubs are designed for the outdoors, they can be punctured. They can sit directly on concrete and grass but be sure to clear away all debris or objects that can potentially puncture them, like twigs, sharp rocks, and glass shards before set-up.
Q: What should I lay under my inflatable hot tub?
A: As an extra layer of protection, you can lay out a heavy-duty tarp underneath your inflatable hot tub. You can also purchase a hot tub pad, or invest in some rubber tiles to create a flat foundation and raise your hot tub off the ground.
Q: What chemicals should I put in an inflatable hot tub to disinfectant the water?
A: Like a regular hot tub, an inflatable one needs its water quality to be monitored. You can use testing strips to check its pH and use additives like chlorine and bromine in moderate quantities to maintain safe water quality.
Q: Can I use my inflatable hot tub indoors?
A: You likely shouldn't set up your inflatable hot tub indoors. Most models are not designed for indoor use and have a great likelihood of damaging your home should they puncture or malfunction. Very few inflatable hot tubs can be placed indoors, but the indoor space needs to be able to handle them and potential accidents. The floor that indoor hot tubs are placed on must be very sturdy, resistant to water damage, and more. As most indoor spaces do not meet these criteria, we recommend not using an inflatable hot-tub indoors.
Q: How long will my inflatable hot tub last?
A: Most inflatable hot tubs last pretty long and have an average shelf life of about five years. As long as you take good care of it and keep it safe from punctures, your investment won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Remember to cover the tub whenever it’s not in use, and pay attention to the user manual about the outside temperature range it can withstand.
Q: Will my inflatable hot tub use lots of energy?
A: Yes, inflatable hot tubs do, unfortunately, require quite a bit of energy. Between the heater and the air jets, one unit may require about 1.5kWh of electricity, which isn’t very cost-effective at today’s energy prices.
Q: Can I put my inflatable hot tub in the basement?
A: As we stated earlier, you likely should not place your inflatable hot tub indoors, including in your basement. It is a risky proposition. For example, there’s also a risk of water damage if the tub leaks, especially if there’s no safe way to drain out the water. That all said, it is possible to do so safely if you own the right model, have the right basement, and take precautions to decrease risky outcomes. For instance, in your basement, you’ll likely have greater humidity and increased condensation, which requires significant ventilation and maybe even a dehumidifier. Even with precautions, we recommend not setting up your inflatable hot tub in the basement.
Q: Do I need an external battery for my inflatable hot tub?
A: No, inflatable hot tubs can be plugged into any regular household socket, which is why they usually have a normal two-pin household plug. You won’t need to pay an electrician to get a high–performance socket or any special wiring just to hook your inflatable hot tub up. Just make sure the electrical lead that’s attached to the tub is long enough, as using extension cords isn’t recommended.
Q: Is it cheaper to leave the hot tub on all the time?
A: Contrary to popular belief, it can often be cheaper to keep your hot tub running all the time — especially if you use it very frequently. That’s because repeatedly letting the water cool down only to heat it up again takes more energy than maintaining its temperature. Whenever your inflatable hot tub is not in use, cover it up for better insulation to trap its heat.
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