Inflatable hot tubs are all the rage nowadays, as their name says, they can be inflated and deflated upon the user’s request, and they have all the nifty features you’d encounter in a normal hot tub – such as massage jets and temperature control. Moreover, they even have they own water filtering and disinfection system, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning it after every soak. In addition to that, they are more of a hybrid between a bathtub and a pool in terms of cleaning (the water is sanitized using a filter and pool cleaning chemicals). They are usually bigger in size than a normal hot tub you’d have in your bathroom, fitting between 4 and 6 people easily. While, in Asia, you’d mostly see these being used as an ordinary hot tub, in the US, people are making great use of their mobility, taking the inflatable tub with them on trips, placing them in the garden or by the pool, and generally using them more for recreational purposes than for their daily hot bath. In this article, our goal is to get you started into the main features of an inflatable hot tub and offer you some product ideas in case you wish to purchase one.
After you’ve figured out all the details you want about your new inflatable hot tub, it’s probably time you hit the stores in search for the perfect one. However, shopping on Amazon will offer you the best prices and will take up way less time than window shopping in a big store – so why not join us for this little guide of the bestselling inflatable hot tubs on Amazon? Here, you’ll find only the best quality products with all the essential features one might need.
Top Rated Portable Hot Tubs
Bestway SaluSpa Miami Inflatable Hot Tub
Measuring 71 x 26 inches, this unit is closer to the small end of the spectrum, having a capacity of 2 to 4 people. However, it’s a better fit for just 1 or 2, as having four people inside at once might feel a bit overcrowded. But, if you’re going for just a replacement for your normal tub, this unit might be the best option for you. It’s a good unit for both indoor and outdoor usage, as it is made of 3-layer reinforced PVC, which the company calls the Tritech material. The walls are also supported by the iBeam construction so that they don’t bend even if a grown adult sits directly on the inflated wall.
Regarding comfort, this hot tub comes with a temperature control, which can help keep the water at up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, air massage jets, and a LED control panel to monitor them all. Besides, the package will include an inflatable lid, to help keep the debris at a distance and the water at an optimal temperature for a while, spare filters and a chemical floater for water cleaning purposes and a DVD with how-to-use instructions.
However, being one of the cheapest units out there, it does have a couple of drawbacks to it. Firstly, it takes a while to heat the water to 104 degrees. This may be more gentle on the electric bill, but it’s still a bummer for those who want to have their bath ready in the blink of an eye. Moreover, the massage system on it is not too advanced, not hitting any particular tension points, such as the back of the neck. Still, it does have a massage option, which most of the rigid tubs do not. A little negative aspect for those who plan to have it outside is the fact that it doesn’t have any light-up system, so you’ll have to ensure there’s at least some kind of light in your backyard if you plan to take it out at night.
It’s probably not the best choice for families with kids and elderly, as it does not come with built-in seats for more comfortable bathing.
For cleaning it, most customers claim that spa chemicals, such as Bromine tablets, work well with this unit. Besides, the filter cartridge has to be changed once every six months to ensure your water will always be clean.
Check the latest price for this product here:
Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
It measures 77 x 28 inches, making it the perfect size for fitting four up to 6 people inside it. It’s also a bit deeper than the Lay-Z-Spa Miami, that’s why it comes with a handy child lock, so you can keep your little ones away from it when you’re not supervising them.
It’s made of the same TriTech material as the previous model, and the walls are also enforced with the iBeam technology for better resistance. Aside from those, this hot tub comes with an air padding cushion built in underneath the tub floor, making the temperature more stable by better isolation of the bottom. A cold floor or ground might lower the temperature of your water pretty quickly, and it can be a bit of a pain, especially when you had to wait around 24 hours for it to heat to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. This unit is not a dream regarding water heating speed as well, yet some reviews have it that using hot water will speed up the process significantly.
The unit comes with a pump included, so you don’t even have to bother about purchasing that separately – everything you need to get it started is included in the package. However, this hot tub does not come with spare filter cartridges, or a chemical floater included – so you’ll have to purchase those separately, as well the same Bromine tablets you’d use on the previous model. Fortunately, you won’t need those right away, and a matching lid does come included in the package.
As far as massage jets go, this tub is a step forward compared to the Lay-Z-Spa Miami. Instead of having regular water jets, it comes with a bubble massage system. The bubbles will get out of 120 jets at once, creating a luxurious hydro-massage experience right from the comfort of your home.
This unit does not come with built-in seats or LED lights either, so you’ll have to purchase any additional accessories yourself. However, this tub is still a great deal for its price. Check it out here:
Intex 77 inch PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set
This unit comes in two different styles – Massage Spa and Deluxe Massage Spa, where the second one is about twice as expensive as the first. However, the simple Massage Spa Hot tub is a great unit for all of you who live in areas with hard water issues, as it features a special hard water filtering system. Besides, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your massage experience either, as the same 120 jets are included in both the Massage and Deluxe Massage units. The only extras on the Deluxe unit are additional high performing massage jets, which are undoubtedly great for those struggling with muscle pains, but you can still enjoy a top-notch experience with the Massage Spa – and at half the price!
The unit is designed to fit four people inside of it and measures 77 x 28 inches. Resistance-wise, this is a unit you can install pretty much anywhere, as it is made of a 3-play laminated material, which is highly resistant to puncture damage and makes for a sturdier surface. The walls are also enforced with high-strength fibers so that even an adult can sit on them without worrying about the tub giving in to the pressure.
Luckily, these hot tubs come with filter cartridge replacements and a chemical floater included in the package, as well as a matching cover and a carry bag for the tub – pretty nifty if you plan on taking it on trips with you. While for the Deluxe Massage model, you need not purchase chlorine tablets, as the floater comes with a saltwater system which claims to transform simple salt into a more natural disinfectant, for the simple Massage Spa, you have to purchase a bottle of those for keeping your water clean. Besides that, the hot tub comes with a built-in hard water filter, to help keep your tub in good condition for a long time.
This unit comes with no seats or illumination, but it’s also a rather good deal for its price. Shop the latest price here:
Intex 85 inch PureSpa Portable Jet Massage Hot Tub
On to pricier alternatives, the Intex PureSpa Portable is a great option for anyone who plans to move the bathtub around a lot – be it taking it on trips, inside and outside the house or even moving away.
This unit measures 85 x 28 inches and is designed to fit between 2 and four people inside of it. The water heating system of this hot tub is more effective than those on the previous models, being able to heat up in around 12 hours instead of 24. However, to speed up the process, you can fill it up with warm water instead, and it will be ready to go at 104 degrees Fahrenheit in a couple of hours!
Designed particularly for patio and outdoor use, this model is made out of reinforced PVC material as well, and has an extra ground sheet to go under the bottom to prevent temperature loss due to the contact with the cold ground.
The main feature that differentiates this unit from the others on the market is its massage technology. The Intex PureSpa Portable comes with four high-powered water jets, which will offer you a unique hydromassage experience. Unlike other hot tubs, this one heats the air before it transforms it into bubbles and mixes them with the hot water; this way, the water in the tub will preserve the temperature for longer, while you can still enjoy you air bubble massage.
The package you’ll receive if you choose this item will include a fitted cover, to prevent debris getting into your tub, a pump for inflating the unit, two filters and a floating chemical dispenser to keep the water as clean as possible. The chlorine tablets are not included, so make sure you throw a bottle of those into your shopping cart as well. However, Intex will include a 3-way water quality test strip, which you can use to make sure the water is safe to use again.
Seats and illumination are not included in this set, so you might want to buy them separately. Shop the latest price for this unit here:
SaluSpa Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii Inflatable Hot Tub
Another Lay-Z hot tub, this unit is a great choice for someone who wishes to level up their experience from the Lay-Z Miami or other similar models. This one measures 71 x 28 inches, claims to easily fit in 4 to 6 people, and is made out of the same resistant 3-layer PVC as the other Lay-Z’s. The walls are also reinforced with fibers, so even an adult can sit on them without damaging the shape of the unit. Besides that, this tub comes with an air cushion placed between the bottom of the tub and the floor/ground, with two conveniently placed drain valves, making for both a softer support and a better thermic isolation.
This unit comes with eight hydro-massage jets, as well as soothing bubble jets, so you can choose whichever one you feel like. The water jets will apply greater pressure, and are great for muscle pain or stress relief, while the bubble ones are ideal for a comfortable and relaxing soak. You can control all of these features through a LED display placed on the filter. However, be warned that you cannot use both modes at the same time with this hot tub.
This device is also a great investment if you struggle with hard water issues in your area, as it has a hard water filter built into it. Besides, to make sure your water is always clean, the package comes with a chemical floater, which you’ll have to fill with non-chlorine spa tablets, such as sodium chloride or bromine. You’ll have to purchase these separately, but the pump, a cover and a filter cartridge will come included in the package.
The unit heats up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and grace to the air padding around it is said to preserve the temperature for a good 2 to 3 hours, depending on the temperature of the air. The air in the bubbles is not heated up, though, so the heat loss process will speed up if you opt for the bubble massage.
Shop the latest price for this product here:
Everything You Need To Know About Inflatable Tubs
Starting from the very concept, an inflatable hot tub is a very similar unit to your normal bathtub, but it can be inflated and tucked away in well under 10 minutes, making it a very handy object for those who prefer taking their tub with them everywhere. Sounds crazy, but that’s really how inflatable tubs work – however, some people prefer to keep them in place, whether it be their backyard, poolside or even indoors, without deflating them too often. These units are pretty resistant to that, and not only regarding physical resistance – of course, they are made out of heavy duty material, but they also provide an excellent filtering and cleaning system for the water inside.
You might be wondering why would someone need to filter the water in a tub – aren’t we good to go with just tap water when taking a regular bath? The truth is these tubs are designed in such a way that you won’t have to change the water inside after every soak. It might sound gross at first, but if you look at all the filtering equipment the tub has built into it, it starts making more and more sense. Depending on the model, you have chemical and physical water filters, which will clean the water after every soak, lids or covers, which can protect your tub from any debris or dust falling into it, especially if you keep it outside, and many other self-cleaning features. Besides that, inflatable hot tubs are usually chlorine-resistant, so if you want to make sure your water is always sterile, you can treat your tub with a chlorine bath now and then. Of course, you’re not supposed to keep the same water in there forever – it needs to be changed once every week, but it depends on how often are you planning to use it. If you only take one soak a week, the filters are working right, and you have a lid covering it, it might be good to go for up to two weeks. If you’re still put off by the fact that you’ll have to bathe in the same water multiple times, know that these tubs are meant for taking a bath after cleaning oneself in the shower. You step out of the shower squeaky clean and enter the hot tub for a relaxing hot water treatment. This way, not only will you keep the water clean for longer and put less pressure on your filters, but it will also be more hygienic for you and your guests.
Besides that, every tub will come with some extra features, such as bubble jets, massage jets, temperature control, etc… For once, it might be a good idea to invest in a unit which has all of these built in; despite being more expensive, it will surely provide you with the luxury spa treatment you’re looking for. However, if you’re just looking for a tuck-away bathtub, which doesn’t take up a lot of space and can be inflated only when you feel like taking a bath, a cheaper model will work best for you.
Probably everyone is familiar with the main advantages of a hot bath. However, having an inflatable hot tub implies some extra perks, which we’ve listed down below:
- It’s portable. This doesn’t seem like much until you actually imagine a bathtub you can take with you everywhere – on trips, in the backyard or patio, to the poolside, and even move it around indoors. It also makes a great product for those who are moving often, as you won’t have to purchase a whole new bathtub and go through the installation process all over again. Besides, who could say no to a luxurious hot bath under the starry sky with one’s significant other in one’s backyard?
- It can fit up to 6 people inside it. This is one of the features that makes these units seem more like a pool than a bathtub, as you can virtually host a house party, have your guests bring their swimsuits and relax together in your inflatable hot tub.
- It can be placed everywhere. If you have a leveled and even surface going on in your garden, backyard or whatnot, you can place your inflatable tub there with no problem. However, do check for sharp objects such as broken tree branches – these inflatables are made from a pretty resistant material, but they’re still prone to punctures if exposed to any sharper objects. While you can technically repair a puncture damage, it’s still better to avoid it, as it will significantly decrease the lifespan of your hot tub.
- It’s cheaper than a rigid bathtub. If you’re thinking of buying one of these instead of a rigid bathtub, you’re surely going for a less expensive alternative. While the rigid tubs will only start off around $300 -$400, with the more advanced models going well behind $1000, an inflatable hot tub, with all the massage jets, filters and other features included will usually not go over $400 in terms of price. For the same features in a rigid bathtub (massage jets, built in seats, temperature control), you’d have to pay at least three times as much.
- It’s easier to clean than a rigid bathtub. While the rigid ones will have to be cleaned after every family member’s bath, the inflatable units will do the job for you, grace to the water filter. You will still have to give it a good scrub after draining the water, but it will be much less of a headache.
- It’s more economical than a regular bathtub. You can run these at a standard 120-volt socket, making them a cheaper choice when it comes to energy.
- It has way more choices in terms of special features. While with a normal tub, you’d have to pay a lot more for a unit which has massage heads built in, this is quite the norm for an inflatable one. Besides, most of these have anti-slip surfaces, both on the bottom of the tub and the built-in seats. Most inflatable hot tubs come with built-in seats, so it’s more comfortable to share it with other people without laying in awkward poses. Temperature-wise, you can set the temperature you wish to have and the tub will take care of it for you, preserving it for as long as you plan to take your bath.
These would be the main advantages of an inflatable tub. As you can see, it’s a great alternative for a rigid tub, as it offers more flexibility and features for roughly half the price. In addition to that, you’ll still get to enjoy the health benefits of a hot bath with this unit. These include:
- Stress relief. Many researchers have shown that hot water helps relieve both physical and emotional stress, that’s why many people who struggle with stressful jobs or anything that put them under constant pressure need to unwind and enjoy at hot bath at least twice a week.
- Improves your blood circulation. Hot water is known to dilate the blood vessels, making it a healthy workout for your heart and circulatory system (and don’t even have to break a sweat). It will also help with blood pressure problems on the long run. However, those who already struggle with high blood pressure must avoid taking very hot baths.
- Helps losing weight. While it might not be more effective than sticking to a healthy diet and working out regularly, a hot water bath will still speed up your metabolism, making for a healthy extra weight loss.
- Clearer skin. Hot water opens the pores, and any beautician on earth will start their procedures with a hot steam treatment for this very reason. Postpone your skincare routine for after a hot bath and you’ll certainly start to observe a difference.
- Soothing pains. Hot water can make miracles if you have a sore muscle or an aching back, as it helps with muscle relaxation as well. The best tip, if you’re getting that muscle strain after starting working out, is to take a hot bath – it’s highly likely that it will ease the pain.
- Bathing in hot water will help your mind relax as well, and adding props such as salts, foam, a bath bomb or essential oils will level up your experience even further.
Before choosing an inflatable hot tub, you will have to sit down and point out the most important features you need for your unit. To figure them you, you might want to start with these questions:
- A replacement for a rigid tub or a more socially-oriented piece?
This question will point out several features at once:
- The size of your tub. While for a replacement for your average rigid tub, which will be used mostly for one or two people bathing at once, a small-sized bathtub will do the trick. Small-sized will usually mean a 2 to 4 people capacity tub, as you’ll seldom find anything below that. On the other hand, if you plan to make it a statement piece for your house parties or whatnot, you might want to go for a 4 to 6 people capacity one.
- The material it’s made of. While you need not be a specialist of some kind, you might want to check if the tub you’re planning to purchase is made out of sturdy material. While for indoor use, a simple rubber unit might to the trick, if you’re planning to place it somewhere outdoors, you might need to go for PVC instead.
- Kids or elderly bathing in the tub?
If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, you might want to go for a tub that has as many safety features as possible. These include non-slippery surfaces, built-in seats, and temperature control, so you can avoid any physical accidents (kids will be very eager to try out the new “pool”) or too hot water, which may be dangerous for the elderly or someone with high blood pressure. A nice feature to always have is grabbing rails, as it will help one get in and out of the tub with some kind of support. If the non-slippery bottom and seats won’t do the trick, grab rails will surely be a great extra precaution to have.
- Outdoor or indoor?
Yet again, this will infringe mostly on your choice of material, but it will also decide whether you need a cover or a lid. Technically, you need one in any case, should your tub be placed indoors or outdoors, but yet again, if you just want it as a replacement for a normal tub, which you’ll only use to take a bath every now and then and plan to drain the water after every use, you probably need not purchase a lid. However, especially if you plan on having it in your backyard or by the pool, investing in a cover is pretty mandatory. It will protect the water inside from debris, fallouts and even curious animals, prolonging the lifespan of your filters as well. If you plan to have it inside, but still not drain the water after every usage, it might still be a necessary purchase, as dust and pets can still get to the water pretty easily.
- Massage jets?
Most inflatable hot tubs will come with some kind of massage jets, as they’re mostly oriented towards providing a luxury spa experience rather than just a normal hot bath. You’ll to choose the number of jets and the massage technology going on – some will be more powerful, with needle water jets, and some more gentle and soothing, providing some kind of bubble massage.
- How to clean?
Cleaning an inflatable hot tub is fairly easy, yet you still want to make sure that you read through your product’s listing and inquire about the cleaning process. Some can take chlorine baths and some cannot, and you must specify that with the manufacturer before pouring in the chemicals. Cleaning and replacing the filters will also be more or less pricey, depending on the model you purchase.
- Price and warranty issues.
Last but definitely not least, you might want to go for a product which has a manufacturer’s warranty. Many units will provide it only upon request, for a certain additional cost, yet it’s better to invest in a warranty at first and shop with peace of mind, rather than having it break on you after several months of usage. The price range you’re looking at isn’t that high either – a good tub, with all the necessary features and made out of a durable material will cost you between $300 and $700. Of course, there are many bargains to shop for out there, but if you’re going for a long-term commitment, it’s better to stick with a reputable brand, which will charge a higher price but provide better quality (much like with any other product out there).
Once you decided on the right model for your tastes and needs, you’re ready to enjoy your hot tub to the fullest! To make it last as long as possible, you will need to give it the proper care and maintenance. As is the case of any other bathroom equipment, regularity is the key – you want to make sure it’s always clean, covered when not used and unplugged from the electricity source. A few quick tips on how to care for your inflatable hot tub are:
- Change the water as often as needed. Ideally, that would be once a week, but if you only use it once a week, the filtering system will be able to keep the water clean for longer – maybe up to two weeks tops.
- Clean the filter and change it every 6 months. Most of the products above come with a spare filter cartridge, so you can even put the new one in place of the one you’re cleaning, so it keeps filtering the water while you do the job. Changing them every 6 months is mandatory, to avoid any bacteria forming inside of it and migrating into the water.
- Clean the tub itself – not as often as you would do with a rigid one, but do still give it a scrub every now and then. However, no harsh chemicals are needed, as the chlorine or non-chlorine tablets you’ll be using for the water sanitization should do the trick with the tub surface as well. Warm, soapy water and a soft cloth rub once a month and your tub will be as good as new!
- Keep it covered, especially if you keep it outdoors. Prevents leaves, insects, and even curious animals from getting into your personal spa. Will also ease the work of the filters, by minimizing the quantity of debris they’ll have to clean.
- Install a water softener if that doesn’t come included with the filtering system. While it’s not necessarily mandatory, you’ll still ensure a longer lifespan for your tub if you purchase one, especially if you live in an area with very hard water.
- Whatever you do, make sure to only have your tub on the ground or ground floor. An apartment floor will not withstand the pressure of 2700lb, which is the weight of the filled tub alone, minus the adults in it.
Hands down, inflatable hot tubs are great investments, and a great object to have around the house regardless of the situation. Both adults and kids (under supervision only) will enjoy these a lot, and they’re great alternatives to the more expensive rigid massage tubs. You can find an inflatable hot tub for any budget. There are also tons of features and accessories you can purchase separately, to level up your experience: LED bathtub illumination, attachable drink trays, waterproof speakers and much more. An inflatable tub is also a rather low maintenance piece, and it will not require too much cleaning – juts make sure you keep it covered when not in use and change the filters regularly. Good luck finding the best inflatable hot tub for you and your family!