Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth it? I Discovered The Truth About These Inexpensive Spas

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I have wanted a hot tub for ages now. The problem with purchasing and installing a hot tub in your backyard is that it is expensive, hard to install, and takes up a lot of room.

In this article, you’ll notice the following topics.

That’s why inflatable hot tubs caught my attention. I had to research all about them and see if it was something that would work for my family. I was pretty excited about what I learned.

Inflatable hot tubs are small, compact, easy to install, and can be plugged into a regular outlet without the need of calling an electrician to have a 220v outlet installed. If you are looking for a cheaper and less permanent hot tub, then purchasing an inflatable hot tub is a really good option and is worth the investment. Because inflatable hot tubs don’t have the same amount of insulation as traditional hot tubs, they’re going to have a harder time maintaining a water temperature of 104° F in colder weather. With that being said, the total investment for an inflatable hot tub is going to be significantly less.

Plus, the cherry on top of the entire situation is that inflatable hot tubs cost a lot cheaper than a traditional hot tub. You can jump into the inflatable hot tub game for as little as $500, with premium models selling for about $2000. When it comes to conventional hot tubs, they begin at $2000 and skyrocket from there. So yes, inflatable hot tubs are significantly cheaper.

Yet, are inflatable hot tubs worth the investment? No one wants to waste their money, and so that’s what I set out to figure answer in this article. I wanted to see if purchasing an inflatable hot tub was a good fit for our family, and this is what I learned.

The benefits of Purchasing an Inflatable Hot Tub

in my research, here are several reasons why purchasing an inflatable hot tub is a really good idea. If you don’t have the money, or space for a traditional hot tub, then this is certainly a less expensive option.

Indoors or Outdoors

One great feature of an inflatable hot tub is that it can be used both inside or outside. When I say inside, I’m not talking about setting this thing up in your living room, but there are some people that install them in a basement or garage.

I have friends who have set up their inflatable hot tub in the garage and love it. No matter the weather, rain, or shine, they can always soak their sore muscles in their relaxing garage spa. It works fantastically for them and isn’t an option with conventional spas.

You can also place your new inflatable hot tub on your patio or deck. Though not all, some inflatable hot tubs are four seasons. This means even on those cold winter nights, you can relax in your hot tub even though it’s inflatable.

The Bestway 54190E SaluSpa Spa is a great example of a 4-seasons inflatable hot tub. The control panel has a built-in freeze shield, so it’s always going to function as intended no matter the temperature. I do believe that if you live in super cold climates that the spa will have a hard time operating properly and cold end up freezing or damaging. The Bestway 54190E SaluSpa Spa spa is a 6-7 person hot tub, will hold 297 gallons of water, and has a max temperature of 104 °Fahrenheit or 40 °Celsius. It’s a super great hot tub, and we’ll discuss that more in this article.

The option to move your spa inside to the garage or sunroom, or simply keep it outside during the colder months is a positive for purchasing an inflatable hot tub.

Also, an Inflatable hot tub is less permanent than standard hot tubs and can be emptied and put away whenever you like. This is good if you are having a party or special occasion and don’t want a hot tub in the way – you can always empty it and put it away.

Cheaper to Purchase and Install, But Not Always to Operate

Inflatable hot tubs are cheaper to purchase, easy to set up, and don’t cost extra for installation. These are all positives!

You just purchase the hot tub, inflate it, fill it with water, install the pump, add your chemicals for keeping it clean, and that’s about it. You can purchase and install your inflatable hot tub on the exact same day.

I think it’s important to note that some websites promote kiddie pools with air pumps as an inflatable hot tub. This isn’t the case, and you should be careful of such reviews. An inflatable hot tub will cost between $500-$2000, and anything cheaper than that should be purchased with caution. Be careful out there!

Most inflatable hot tubs plug into a standard outlet, so you don’t need to install a 220v in order to begin soaking. To be honest, it’s really just the initial purchase of the hot tub you’ll need to fund upfront. You can add some add-ons if you like, a pad for the hot tub, a better cover, and more equipment for checking the PH of the water, but these are all extras and don’t have to be purchased.

As I mentioned above, inflatable hot tubs cost anywhere from $500-$2000 and are sold in a kit that includes everything that you need to begin.

Though inflatable hot tubs are cheaper to purchase outright, they are not always cheaper to operate on a day-to-day basis.

Compared to standard hot tubs, their lack of insulation means more power to keep the hot tub at the desired temperature. This means someone could be paying $15-20 a month extra for an inflatable hot tub, compared to a traditional one. You’ll probably end up paying around $50 a month to operate an inflatable hot tub compared to $25-30 for a traditional one. These numbers really depend on the size and quality of your inflatable hot tub.

A Faster Turnaround

It doesn’t take long to be the proud owner of a brand new inflatable hot tub. You can actually purchase one right now on Amazon, and there are many to choose from. At the end of this article, I list the top three that I found and the one that I decided to choose.

You can purchase one on Amazon and have it delivered in just a couple of days.

Plus, you can have it installed and be soaking in that warm water of wellness before the sun goes down.

If you decide to purchase a traditional hot tub, it’s going to take weeks to choose a model, have it installed and get everything set up and ready to use. There is definitely a faster turnaround with inflatable hot tubs.

Drawbacks to Purchasing an Inflatable Hot Tub

There are several drawbacks to purchasing an inflatable hot tub that you need to know before making your final decision.

Not everything is sunshine and roses when it comes to owning and operating an inflatable hot tub. I already mentioned that they cost more to operate because of their lack of insulation, but you need to know a couple more details as well.

Not as Durable

I think it goes without saying that an inflatable hot tub isn’t going to be as durable as a traditional one. Traditional hot tubs are made from concrete or acrylic and are designed to last between 10-15 years, where inflatable hot tubs are made from vinyl and have a life span of only 5 years. You can probably increase this number by several years if you take care of it.

Maintenance involves keeping it clean, not bringing sharp items around it, and being aware that it’s not as durable as a traditional hot tub.

With that being said, most inflatable hot tubs are made from durable materials, and if you take care of them, they should give you lots of use.

It’s necessary to follow the directions when you install the hot tub and ensure that it’s installed properly.

Longer to Heat

The best time to use any hot tub is when the air is cold and the water is hot. Most people love getting into a hot tub when the weather is chilly. This is a big problem with inflatable hot tubs because most are not designed to withstand the cold.

It’s also important to note that inflatable hot tubs are going to take a lot longer to get to the desired temperature of 104 degrees. This is why purchasing a hot tub with a timer was important to me.

If you are looking for a hot tub that operates during chilly weather, then you’ll have to make sure that the inflatable hot tub you purchase is designed for it. A heater on the pump is a must or some other way to keep the inner parts warm and functioning. Not to worry though, there are several models that are built to function during colder temperatures.

How Do Inflatible Hot Tubs Work?

Essentially, they work the same as a traditional hot tub.

The only difference is the quality of the build and some luxury features such as more powerful jets, larger units, sound systems, and built-in seats. If you decide to purchase the Intex PureSpa inflatable hot tub, then you can actually purchase an addon seat that can be installed inside the hot tub. You can read more on Amazon here.

Most people want to know if inflatable hot tubs come with seats, and normally it’s not the case. An inflatable hot tub itself is soft, so they really don’t need any seats though some come with neck supports which are nice. Of course, you can not beat the bucket seats found in the traditional hot tubs and as far as comfort is concerned, they cannot be beat.

You purchase the inflatable hot tub, find a flat place to install it, and then inflate it. Normally, the hot tub gives you an inflating device that makes inflating the unit quick and easy. Other times you have to use a standard air pump. You install the included water pump and then fill the hot tub with water, that’s practically all there is to it.

Though it’s not going to be the exact experience as an expensive $10,000 hot tub, you’re still going to be able to enjoy the hot tub experience for a fraction of the cost and setup time.

What Should I Know Before You Purchase An Inflatable Hot Tub?

Before you make your purchase, you should know what type of inflatable hot tub you want.

Here are some things to consider before making your purchase.

Size. Before you make a purchase, make sure you know the size of inflatable hot tub you want or can handle. It’s imperative that you’re hot tub be on a flat area when installing, and this means you’ll have to measure to see how much room you have for your hot tub.

Price. The prices for a new inflatable hot tub range from $500 all the way to a couple of grand. Though it’s not important to spend the full $2000, I think you should get the best one that you can afford. The more money you spend the more features you’re going to get.

Jets. You’ll want to invest in a more powerful air jet system with your inflatable hot tub. There are some cheaper ones on the market that are not going to give you the same effect. Make sure that you also purchase more jets rather than fewer. I would rather have a more powerful air jet system on my inflatable hot tub than more jets with a weaker system.

Other features. Lastly, what other features are you looking for with your new inflatable hot tub? Do you want LED lights for when you’re soaking at night, or do you want a built-in seat? All of these features should be discussed before making your purchase. Another feature you’ll want to consider, especially if you live where it’s cold, is can the inflatable hot tub withstand a cold climate. The good news is there are inflatable hot tubs that are designed for colder weather.

What are the Best Inflatable Hot Tubs Available?

Below is a simple chart that lists the top three inflatable hot tubs on the market. We’ll break down these units at the end of this article.

Bottom Line
SaluSpa Helsinki AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub
Freeze Shield Technology
Check Latest Prices
Bottom Line
5-7 people, 71″ W x 26″ H
180 Bubble Jets
Holds 297 Gallons of water, Freeze Shield Technology, A combination of air and heat massage. Includes spa, cover, hand pump, Chemconnect dispenser, and filter. 104 degrees max temperature.
Intex PureSpa Portable Inflatable Hot Tub Spa
LED Lights
Check Latest Prices
Bottom Line
4 People, Inner diameter: 57 inches
Outer diameter: 77 inches,
Around $600-$1000
140 Bubble Jets
Attachable Cup Holder And Refreshment Tray, 25-foot cord; Spa Tub, Cover, Heating System, test strip, 10W Hard Water System, Filtration System with two filter cartridges, Floating Pool Chlorine Dispenser, Ground Cloth, Inflation Hose, Headrests, Carry Bag, Cover straps with child security lock.
Bestway SaluSpa Miami Inflatable Hot Tub
Freeze Shield Technology
Check Latest Prices
Bottom Line
4 People, 71″ W x 26″ H
120 Bubble Jets
Holds 177 Gallons of water, 104 degrees max temperature, Freeze Shield Technology, Cover, Pump, and Spa.

After my research, I found these three were my best opinions for an inflatable spa, and below I’ll give you more of an in-depth review of each model.

SaluSpa Helsinki AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub

The SaluSpa is my top pick for an inflatable spa and was the one that I decided to purchase. Though the others were not far behind, I ended up choosing the SaluSpa because it had the Freeze Shield Technology which allowed me to run the hot tub in colder weather. I also liked that this hot tub was larger than the others and had over 150 bubble jets.

This inflatable hot tub has 83 air jets that line the bottom of the unit, and the Freeze Sheild Technology keeps the liner and inner system above freezing which protects it from damage.

I found that this unit had a good amount of room though it fits 2 adults comfortably. The cover also has a child lock, and the pump comes with two cup holders, which is an added bonus.

Overall, I was happy with my purchase.

Intex PureSpa Portable Inflatable Hot Tub Spa

The Intex PureSpa is a great 4 person inflatable hot tub with 140 bubble jets. It’s your standard inflatable hot tub made with durable materials and comes with everything you need to get started. If you’re looking to jump into the inflatable hot tub market, then this unit is a great place to begin.

What I like about this spa are all the extras that you get. It’s really a well-thought-out design, and overall those that purchase it are very pleased.

One of the features that I love about this inflatable hot tub is the added LED lights. This gives your spa a more luxurious flare.

Bestway SaluSpa Miami Inflatable Hot Tub

Similar to the SaluSpa listed above, this inflatable hot tub gives you a cheap, hot tub option for your home. The water will get to a standard 104 degrees, and the hot tub comes with a cover so that it keeps the cold out and the hot in.

The jets are powerful on this unit, and you can add it to a timer. The hot tub is made from durable materials and overall it’s a good value for the money.

You should know that it’s not really made for four adults, although that’s what they claim. I would say that 4 adults would be pretty tight for a spa this size, it’s probably more fitting for two adults. I think that it’s good to note here that most of the time, when a inflatable hot tub says it will fit a certain amount of people, you could probably subtract one or two from their total and this would be the capacity limit.

Overall Thoughts

My overall thoughts are that inflatable hot tubs are a viable option for those looking for a less expensive and less permanent hot tub.

Inflatible hot tubs cost more to operate but they cost far less in maintenance and upfront cost. The great thing about owning an inflatable hot tub is that it can moved or taken down with little effort.

If owning a traditional hot tub isn’t an option for you, then take a closer look at the inflatable hot tubs listed above.


Sam Harning joined Better Home + Living team as a reviewer and writer in 2018. She has many hobbies and passions. Her favorite thing is trying new products, learning new things, and writing about her experience. She loves sharing with her readers and helping them make better decisions for their homes and family. Sam also loves playing golf, mountain biking, and walking during sunset or sunrise.

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