Who doesn’t love soaking in a hot tub and enjoying a spa experience right at home, especially after a long, hard day? Unfortunately, hot tubs are expensive, high maintenance, and take up a lot of space – unless you choose an inflatable one.
Of course, you might have concerns about inflatable hot tubs. Do they actually maintain a desirable temperature? Will it last for more than one use?
Inflatable hot tubs can reach temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and are surprisingly durable. They even feature massage systems! Whatever your concerns, get ready to set them aside as we review the best inflatable hot tubs on the market.
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What Should You Consider Before You Purchase an Inflatable Hot Tub?
Not all inflatable hot tubs are the same, so don’t buy the first one that catches your eye. There are several features to consider and evaluate to find the best inflatable hot tub to meet your needs.
Seating Capacity and Dimensions
The seating capacity is one of the main concerns because it impacts the size you need. Some portable hot tubs seat up to seven people, which translates to a much larger piece.
While it might sound nice to have as much space as possible, the most massive option is not always the most practical solution. Aside from taking up too much space in your yard, it can take longer to fill and even longer to heat.
The ideal size for an inflatable tub fits two to four people comfortably. The hot tubs on this list fit in most spaces and have a water capacity of between 175 and 290 gallons of water.
It takes time for hot tub heaters to warm the water, typically a few degrees per hour. That means you can plan on these portable hot tubs taking anywhere from 12 to 40 hours to reach the maximum temperature. Some hot tubs feature timers so you can prepare the water up to 72 hours in advance.
It’s good to use an insulated cover while filling it; covering the hot tub helps the water heat faster and keeps it hot until you’re ready to climb in.
Massage System and Settings
Part of the draw for any hot tub is the massage system. Traditional hot tubs can deliver full-body massage with up to 200 jets and high-power pump systems. While inflatable hot tubs won’t match the power of a traditional model, they do have varying degrees of massage pressure.
Massage systems can either be hydro jets or bubble jets. Hydro jets typically have more pressure and are easier to clean. Bubble jets use several air jets to create a softer massage, but they can be more challenging to clean.
Customer reviews are the best place to research the massage pressure in portable hot tubs. Remember that customers might have unrealistic expectations of the pressure, especially if they compare it to traditional models.
Inflatable hot tubs are more affordable than standard models, but you still have to pay for electricity. The heaters on this list are 1300 watts on average, and the pumps are around 80 watts, and both run continuously. Plus, it takes time to heat your water to the maximum temperature, depending on the starting temp.
On average, it costs about $4 a day to run your hot tub. Using it every day for a month adds up to a whopping $130 tacked to your utility bills. Since a portable hot tub doesn’t need to remain up and running year-round, it can cost far less over the long run than a traditional model.
Safety and Extra Features
Since portable hot tubs aren’t fixed in place, a safety fence isn’t practical. Therefore, you need alternate safety features, like locks on the cover to prevent unsupervised kids from entering.
Some of the extra features might convince you to buy one model over another. Temperature controls, headrests, filter cartridges, digital control panel systems, padded seats, cup holders, and power-saving timers are nice upgrades. Some models even feature accessories like a heat-retaining cover, inflation hose, and a repair kit. Others also have waterproof LED lights to illuminate the space and create a unique vibe softly.
What Are the Best Inflatable Hot Tubs?
There are plenty of inflatable hot tubs on the market, but a few stand out from the pack. The five hot tubs on this list have solid reputations in the field. They’re affordable and include desirable features, like plenty of jets and remote temperature control. Whether you’re looking for something basic or something more upscale, you’ll find it on this list.
1. Coleman Saluspa Hawaii Portable Hot Tub
The Coleman Saluspa Hawaii Portable Hot Tub is one of the best options from a top-rated brand. Since it sports a square shape, it feels roomier inside and holds 222 gallons of water. Although it fits four, it’s more comfortable with two adults and two kids.
This hot tub features the AirJet spa massage system — a group of more than 100 built-in bubble jets. It also has a padded floor with a drain valve, so you can quickly empty the hot tub for storage.
The maximum water temperature for this model is 104 degrees. However, the heat pump only raises the temperature two degrees at a time.
Coleman opted for durable, insulated walls made from TriTech three-play material that is puncture resistant. It comes in two colors (blue or gray), and all components match, so it doesn’t break the aesthetic. Additionally, this model features a cover with lockable straps for safety and to keep the water clean and hot
2. Intex 28425E PureSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
Intex makes loads of inflatable products, including air mattresses, furniture, above-ground pools, and kayaks. With so much experience, it’s no surprise that they make durable hot tubs, like this four-person inflatable hot tub model that holds up to 210 gallons of water.
You can control the 140 massage jets with a convenient panel, so you don’t have to leave the water. Plus, the system is easy to clean and maintain because it comes with a floating chlorine dispenser, a built-in hard water treatment system, and features replaceable filters.
Like the Coleman, this Intex heats two to three degrees per hour to a maximum temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this inflatable hot tub includes an energy-efficient cover to keep the water heated even if you don’t have the pump running.
Intex chose a puncture-resistant, three-ply material using Fiber-Tech construction to craft a durable tub. However, there are no seats or additional padding.
In terms of portability and storage, this hot tub has everything — it features built-in handles and comes with a carry bag for easy transport and storage.
3. Bestway SaluSpa Miami Inflatable Hot Tub
The Bestway SaluSpa Miami inflatable hot tub is a striking black, round hot tub. The tub is 52 inches wide and holds 177 gallons of water, making it comfortable for four people to soak in. It features 120 air jets that you can control from a digital panel without getting out of the water. You can also adjust the water temperature and set a timer so that the water is ready when you are.
One of the highlights of this inflatable hot tub is the exceptional pump. It inflates the hot tub, heats the water, and controls the jets. The pump filters the water and features a ChemConnect dispenser that releases chlorine, so routine maintenance is minimal.
Bestway used its trademarked puncture-resistant Tri-Tech material and reinforced it with an I-beam construction. It’s even sturdy enough to hold its shape if people sit on the side walls. Additionally, this inflatable hot tub comes with built-in lift handles and a locking cover.
4. Intex PureSpa Greywood Deluxe Hot Tub
If you liked the previous Intex hot tub specs but wanted something bigger, this is for you. The PureSpa Greywood Deluxe comfortably seats six adults. This portable hot tub features 170 bubble jets, two headrests that you can recline, and LED lights to set the mood.
One of the top features of this hot tub is the wireless control system. The touch panel holds a charge for up to 48 hours, so you don’t have to leave the water to manage the jets, the temperature, or the lights. It also has a thermal ground cloth, adding extra protection to the bottom of your tub while ensuring your water temperature stays high even during cold temperatures.
The included pump inflates the hot tub in 20 minutes so you can start filling it with water. It’s also surprisingly quiet for such a powerful pump. It takes 290 gallons of water, so it’ll take a while to fill and even longer to heat. Plus, the system has a built-in water softener.
As for construction, this inflatable hot tub uses a durable, laminated fiber-tech construction that can withstand the elements. It includes removable, inflatable, slip-resistant seats for additional comfort and customization.
5. Coleman SaluSpa Bahamas Hot Tub
The Coleman SaluSpa Bahamas Hot Tub is a close rival for the Intex Greywood. The sides of this inflatable hot tub look like grey wood planks, but it’s not quite as sleek as Intex’s. Of course, it’s also slightly smaller and more affordable with many of the same amenities.
This portable hot tub comfortably seats up to four adults and holds 192 gallons of water. The heater helps the water reach 104 degrees at around two degrees per hour and remains consistent for about two hours.
Coleman opted for soft-side walls made from heavy-duty DuraPlus material. It even features some built-in cup holders so that you can enjoy a beverage while you relax. Moreover, the included pump is not for inflating; it also ensures the hot tub’s water filtration system is regulated!
The downside of this inflatable hot tub is the cover, which is flimsy compared to other options on this list. It stretches over the hot tub without securing tightly, and it doesn’t have any insulation.
See! Inflatable hot tubs offer a lot of the comfort and relaxation of a traditional hot tub without the extreme price tag, in-depth installation, and permanence. These hot tubs provide a range of features, including sophisticated control systems and built-in comfort features.
Capping out at 104 degrees means you can get nice and toasty, and the massage systems can help your muscles relax while you unwind. They are durable enough to last, especially if you store them between seasons.
The best inflatable hot tub for you should fit your budget, family, and entertaining needs and give you a relaxing space to unwind when you need it most.