- 1 Things to consider
- 2 The Best Inflatable Hot Tubs
- 2.1 Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub, Airjet Inflatable Spa, 4-6 Person
- 2.2 MSpa Alpine M-009LS Inflatable Portable Hot Tub Outdoor Spa – 4 Seater
- 2.3 Intex Octagonal Pure Spa – 4 Person Bubble Therapy Hot Tub
- 2.4 Lay-Z-Spa Monaco Hot Tub, Airjet Inflatable Spa, 6-8 Person
- 2.5 MSpA Glow Indoor/Outdoor Round Luxury Inflatable Jacuzzi Hot Tub Spa, 4 Person with LED Lights
- 2.6 Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub, Airjet Inflatable Spa, 2-4 Person
- 3 Conclusion
When it comes to outdoor equipment, a hot tub is high on many people’s list. Imagine having your very own hot tub that you can sprawl in with your significant other after a hard day at work. That would be the life, huh? But, installing a hot tub is expensive, something you’ll maybe struggle to afford on your salary. However, that doesn’t have to be so. What if we told you there is a way you can afford such a luxury, and not break the bank. We’re talking, of course, about inflatable hot tubs.
Yes, if you’re looking for some guidance as to the top inflatable hot tubs you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll have a look at six of the best inflatable hot tubs on the market, and include a quick buying guide that will direct your attention toward some of the considerations you need to make when you’re buying one.
Things to consider
Like we said, before we go ahead with the reviews, we’ll first going to tell you something about inflatable hot tubs in general, and also instruct you as to what to look for in an inflatable hot tub, and what separates a good hot tub from the bad one. So without further ado, let’s get under way.
In terms of construction, inflatable hot tubs are made of vinyl or PVC. Note that this is not your regular PVC, the kind you find on your regular inflatable pools, but of much higher quality. The material also appears in layers, granting it extra resilience and extra puncture resistance, and the layers often incorporate materials like polyester or nylon. Coleman calls this Tri Tech 3 Layer Material construction, but it’s just a fancy way of saying that there are three layers to the walls of the tub, made of PVC and polyester, or the alternatives.
Another thing you should know about inflatable hot tubs is that they’re made with something called the I-beam structure. This structure means that the walls are separated into segments, which will stop the air leak if the tub does get punctured. It also means that the walls are reinforced and rigid enough to allow you to lean against them, and even sit on them. This I-beam construction features vinyl panels inserted into the walls, allowing them to bear your weight as you apply pressure on them.
Naturally, an inflatable hot tub doesn’t have any seats like you would find in a traditional hot tub. This being said, the tubs do have cushioned floors so you won’t hurt your bum when sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Now, what do you need to consider when buying an inflatable hot tub. Naturally, you’ll need to check what kind of material the tub features. Stick to what we’ve described above, and you should be alright. Durable materials will allow you to use the tub for longer, but even then you won’t be able to use the tub forever. Even with premium materials, you’re looking at a service time of 3 – 5 years. Now, if you paid £200 for a tub, that’s not much of a problem, but, when you’re paying more than a thousand you definitely want your tub to last as long as possible. For this reason, getting a product with a pretty good warranty is advisable in case something goes wrong.
Moving on, you need to find a hot tub with a suitable cover. Covers are an integral part of a hot tub, as they cover it and prevent leaves, bugs and other stuff from falling into the water. However, they have other uses too.
Covers are a safety feature, and they will prevent a small child from falling into the tub and drowning. Not only that, but covers provide insulation, keeping the water warmer for longer. This is important because warming up an inflatable hot tub is much more of a hassle due to the small and rather energy inefficient heating element they usually contain. In essence, it will take up to 12 hours to heat up the water to your desired temperature, so a cover is essential in keeping it close to that temperature.
In terms of accessories, there are all kinds of things that will keep your tub in working order. Many hot tubs come with maintenance kits included, which is useful because obviously then you don’t have to look elsewhere for them. These kits include things like additional filters and patch-up kits that will be of great help in case you do get a puncture. Not only that, but they often also include things like chlorine and bromine that will help keep your tub clean, as well as tools to keep track of pH levels.
When choosing an inflatable hot tub, it’s vital that you consider how many people the tub can hold. Now, this sounds obvious but it’s not as straightforward as it seems. Why?
Well, an inflatable hot tub is much smaller than you might think. If the product you’re buying claims it can hold 6 people, it means that it will hold six people alright but they’ll likely be packed like sardines. There will be very little wiggle room and you’ll have to mingle your legs with the other people sitting in the tub. Getting a large, 6-man tub is probably more suited for a family of 4 – 5 than for six actual adults.
Lastly, there is the matter of price. As we said, these things can cost anywhere from several hundred pounds to a few thousand. Naturally, a more expensive product will come with a wider range of accessories, more space, better materials, a better heating element and a higher number of jets. Here, you need to determine how much you wish to use your tub (their overall service life is limited as we mentioned earlier) as well as the level of luxury you’re looking for.
The Best Inflatable Hot Tubs
And that’s it for our guide for what to look for in the best inflatable hot tubs. Let’s take a look at some of the top tubs now, shall we?
Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub, Airjet Inflatable Spa, 4-6 Person
First on our list is the Lay-Z—Spa Vegas Hot Tub. This product is one of the best all-round tubs on the market, featuring a decent price and great features for the money. The tub will cost you around £330, and at that price it falls into the category of middle-tier inflatable hot tubs, perfect for families and Average Joes.
In terms of size, this hot tub can accommodate four to six people, though you have a better chance fitting four people than six. The tub is made of several layers of polyester and PVC, like we described in the guide.
The tub is capable of heating the water up to 40 degrees Celsius but it will take it 12 – 15 hours to do so from scratch, so be prepared to be patient if you let the temperature drop.
The I-beam construction makes the tub strong enough for a person to sit on its walls without them collapsing and the tub comes with an instructional DVD, as well as a maintenance guide. Also included are filter cartridges and chemical floater.
One of the most important features of a hot tub is the number of jets it boasts. The higher the number of jets, the better the massage feeling you get when hanging out in your hot tub. The Vegas features 87 air jets, which is good enough, although considerably less than the Lay-Z-Spa Palm Springs reviewed below which features 120 jets. Even so, the tub is completely satisfactory with its 87 jets.
Now for the bad parts. The heating unit in this thing seems to be very finicky, and tends to stop working suddenly according to some reports. And while the unit will be replaced by the manufacturer without any hassle, it’s really inconveniencing to have your heating unit break down quickly. The heater unit is also pretty energy inefficient, and you can expect a hefty electricity bill.
- Features 87 air jets.
- Fair value for the price.
- Made of good quality materials.
- Can fit 4-6 people.
- I-beam construction.
- There have been reports of problems with the heater unit and it is energy inefficient.
MSpa Alpine M-009LS Inflatable Portable Hot Tub Outdoor Spa – 4 Seater
Our next product comes from MSpa. The Alpine M-009LS Portable Hot Tub is a little bit more expensive than the Vegas, but it also offers some more features than the previous product. The tub can be picked up for about £380, and for the slight increase in price you get thicker walls and a greater number of jets.
Instead of having three layers, as usual, the Alpine M-009LS features 6 layers of reinforced PVC and polyester. This greatly increases the product’s durability and resilience to punctures. Not only that, but it will also increase the product’s service life too, so you can expect it to last a bit longer than some of the other models.
One of the best things about the tub is that it actually features seats, something you don’t usually see on other products of this kind. The spa can accommodate two to four people, and the seats are arranged in 2+2 style. The heating unit features a large LCD and can heat the water up to 43 degrees Celsius.
Moving on to the air jets, we already highlighted their importance. The more jets a spa has, the better can it massage your body. The Mspa features 108 jets, which is a huge jump from the Vegas’ 60, making the Alpine M-009LS much more effective when it comes to giving relaxing massages.
On the downside, if you think you will slide into this tub with three of your friends easily, you can forget it. Two of the seats are adult size, while two others are intended to be used by children. Not too surprising, as this is the case with most, if not all, spas, where the manufacturer makes ridiculous claims about the size of the product. Additionally, the spa, as usually, isn’t all that energy efficient.
- 6-layer wall.
- Features 108 jets
- Features actual seats.
- Not very energy efficient.
- Only two seats are adult sized – the other two are for kids.
Intex Octagonal Pure Spa – 4 Person Bubble Therapy Hot Tub
Our next product comes from a very prominent manufacturer of inflatable hot tubs, one of the most recognised along with Lay-Z-Spa and Coleman. We’re talking, of course, about Intex. Their Octagonal Pure Spa is one of the best inflatable hot tubs, if also one of the more expensive tubs considered here. The spa will cost you some £440 but having said that, it also brings the highest number of jets to the table as well.
The spa features a water treatment system that cleans the water and makes it much gentler toward your skin, keeping the pH and alkaline levels within normal boundaries. The integrated heating system allows you to set it up to activate in advance, and allows you to heat the water anywhere from 20 to 40 degrees C. The controls are really intuitive, thanks to the expert layout of the LCD control panel.
This spa’s greatest asset is its air jets. The spa features 120 excellent air jets that surround you and your friends, spewing bubbles and massaging your body, ensuring you’re maximally relaxed while in the spa. The product is made to accommodate four people, but, again, this number is a bit deceiving, as the actual number refers to two adults and two children.
On the downside, you can expect this spa to use a lot of power. It does heat up very quickly (in about five hours, against 12 hours it usually takes all the others to heat up), but all that extra speed makes for a greater amount of electricity being used, leading to a higher power bill. Also, while the spa is built to be strong and sturdy, the cover may not be so – quite a few customers have reported that the cover has ripped after being stretched out too much.
- Features 120 jets
- Clear and big LCD screen
- Can fit four people.
- Heats up very quickly
- Draws a lot of power.
- The cover is prone to ripping.
Lay-Z-Spa Monaco Hot Tub, Airjet Inflatable Spa, 6-8 Person
Arguably the biggest inflatable hot tub on our list is the Lay-Z-Spa Monaco. The Monaco is very expensive too, but that’s no wonder, considering the size of the spa. However, in all other aspects, the Monaco seems a little underwhelming. The spa will cost you more than £600, but it doesn’t bring anything extra special to the table but its size.
The Monaco claims to fit 6-8 people and it can indeed fit that many people, making it essentially the size of an inflatable pool. The sheer size of the spa, however, makes it very hard to heat up quickly, and it may take more than 12 hours to heat it up to 40 degrees Celsius.
The Monaco comes with an instructional DVD, as well as a maintenance manual. You also get additional filter cartridges and a chemical floater so that you can keep the pH levels of the water in check.
What else does the Monaco feature? It also features 86 air jets, which, for a tub this size, is a little underwhelming. Consider that the Intex features 120, is smaller and costs a full £200 less, it becomes obvious that the Monaco is not that good of an investment.
A few people have reported issues with the pipes, as they have leaked. You can fix them with a little duct tape, but this is a thing that shouldn’t really be happening with a new product.
- Can actually fit 6 – 8 people.
- Easy to set up.
- Has only 86 jets.
- Quite expensive.
- Takes a long time to warm up.
- Problems with leaky pipes.
MSpA Glow Indoor/Outdoor Round Luxury Inflatable Jacuzzi Hot Tub Spa, 4 Person with LED Lights
Our penultimate product is the 4-person MSpa Glow inflatable hot tub. A very small tub, it’s a good way for you and your significant other to unwind and relax. The product is not too expensive either, as it barely hits the £340 mark. Despite this, it offers some very nice features making this a great value product, up there with the Intex.
The product is made of three layers of PVC, as expected, so nothing special in that department but the tub is sturdy enough to be used for some 3 – 4 years.
The hot tub can be set up in 10 minutes by one person, and you will also receive instructional DVDs and a maintenance manual. The product heats up to 42 degrees Celsius max, and features a manometer, filter, self-inflation hose and a digital lock for the spa cover.
One of the best things about this MSpa is that if features 118 powerful jets that massage your entire body. Like we said, the more jets the spa has, the better. 118 jets is an excellent improvement on the Monaco and the Vegas, and the tub falls right behind the Intex in this respect. This is one of the best inflatable hot tubs when it comes to massaging and relaxation, and, with the Mspa Glow you’ll have one of the best real spa experiences ever.
As usual, the spa is much smaller than you’d expect given the claimed capacity. Being made to accommodate 4 people, the product can actually accommodate two to three people. You could cram four people, but the other two would have to be children. Or little people.
- Features 118 air jets.
- Not too expensive.
- Very durable.
- The tub is smaller than you think.
Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub, Airjet Inflatable Spa, 2-4 Person
The last product in our list of the best inflatable hot tubs currently on the markey comes again from Lay-Z-Spa. The smallest of the tubs we’ve looked at today, the Miami is perfect for two people looking to have some alone time. The product costs around £350, so it’s not too expensive and offers some pretty decent features for a tub for two.
As per usual, the product is made from several layers of PVC and polyester, making the tub very sturdy indeed. The tub comes with all the works in terms of instructions, including a DVD, maintenance manual and the other things you need to keep your tub in the working order. The product heats up to a maximum of 40 degrees, but, because it’s smaller, it takes less time for the water to be heated, and the heater consumes less energy.
The product features 81 air jets, which is the smallest number on our list, but because the tub is so compact these jets are used to their full potential, massaging you and allowing you to experience what it’s like to be in a real spa.
As for the downsides, the pump is a little bit on the loud side. There is a low but distinct hum coming from the heating system, which can prove very annoying at times. Also, though the spa is very durable, the top, white part of the wall is not. It is, in fact, prone to punctures. So, you need to be really careful when having sharp objects (and cats) around the tub.
- Good size for two people.
- Features 81 jets, which is perfect for this size.
- Easy to set up.
- The top part of wall is not as durable as some of the other inflatable hot tubs feature here.
- The pump is a bit loud.
Well, there you have it, six of the best inflatable hot tubs on the market and a guide that will help you select the perfect hot tub for you. In the end, an inflatable hot tub may not be a real spa, but it is certainly the next best thing. And they’re very affordable too, so, if you crave some rest and relaxation for you and your family, they’re definitely worth considering.