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Hot tubs, as you may know, provide many health benefits such as improving circulation and relieving muscle pain, or they can be a romantic getaway on a cold winter’s night.
That said, there’s one thing for sure that most people know about hot tubs, or it’s something that’s going to dawn on you eventually, and that is… they’re expensive, and require a fair amount of maintenance.
For some, the harsh reality of how much a new hot tub will cost (financially, physically, emotionally) is enough to shatter all those dreams of sitting in complete relaxation in your new hot tub (psst…remember that $10K you just dropped?), hanging out with your friends, or just looking up at the stars with your arm around someone.
Just by looking at the gargantuan price tag of a regular hot tub, your little dream of fun and relaxation can quickly go bye bye!
And yet, hold the phone…you don’t have to give up on your backyard hot tub dreams just yet, because there is something out there…something more affordable that serves the same basic function as a hot tub.
Whatever this thing is, it’s portable, can easily be stored, costs thousands of dollars less than a regular hot tub.
It’s coming into focus…just wait…what is it??
Of course, it’s your new best friend…the inflatable hot tub.
Ok, soooo….party’s back on, everyone come on over!
Yes, folks, there are times when a portable, inflatable hot tub makes more sense than having one installed permanently.
For instance, you might not own your home, so you don’t want to add value to a home that isn’t yours long term. In the short term, though, you want to enjoy all that a hot tub has to offer, without dropping 3 grand.
Or maybe you own a home, but don’t have 3 grand handy at this moment. But what about 300 bucks?
Today we’re going to provide a full review of what we think are the best inflatable hot tubs out there. These include models by Coleman, Intex, and SaluSpa, which are each well known names in the hot tub world.
Before we get to talking about the actual models in question, let’s go over what we think are the pros and cons of owning an inflatable hot tub in general.
Pros and Cons of Inflatable Hot Tubs
- They can be moved from one location to another quite easily (ie. very portable)
- They are super affordable (starting at around $300)
- They can still fit several people in them at once, so you can party with them
- They’re all season (use them summer or winter, all year round, it’s up to you)
- They still have the same essential value as a regular permanent hot tub in that it is a hot tub, and you can still use it as such
- They’re great for hydrotherapy
- They’re a great place to spend time
We didn’t say that inflatable hot tubs are without cons, and here are some of them.
- They still require *some* maintenance, such as your usual anti-bacterial chemicals (this is more of a reality for any type of pool than it is a con though)
- Doesn’t heat instantly, or even super quickly, depending on the model you’re looking at
- They do get dirtier easier if you continue to re-use the water, because they’re smaller
- They can cool down quicker, depending on the surface you put them on (ie. cold surfaces can suck the heat out of the water faster than a normal hot tub)
- They don’t have as many accessories as regular hot tubs, like steps and specifically designed sitting surfaces
Alright, now with the humming and hawing out of the way, let’s look at our reviews of the best inflatable hot tubs we know of right now.
|How it looks||Name||Price||Features||Buy Now|
|Coleman Lay Z Spa||$$||
Coleman Lay-Z Spa Inflatable Hot Tub
Coleman is one of those companies that sound too good to be true, because very few people have anything bad to say about basically any Coleman product.
We even once wrote an article all about Coleman, and their history, because they’re such a significant part of American culture at this point.
That said, the company and their products have really stood the test of time, and this hot tub is another brilliant invention in their repertoire.
Why We Love It
With such features as the Lay-Z massage system, rapid heating, and an integrated water filtration system, it is super easy to set up and use.
Remember we said in the cons that some inflatable spas can take a long time to heat up? Not this one. In just about an hour, you can have the whole thing inflated, filled, and ready to rumble.
When you buy it, the package includes set up instructions, a DVD with set up and maintenance information, the heating system, an insulated cover, a filter, ground cloth, inflation hose, chemical floater, and a heavy duty repair patch. In other words, everything you need is included.
Its mechanics are held inside a green capsule that sits on the ground beside the hot tub. The pump and heater make a very low hum, so that you can enjoy conversation while in the tub.
The floor is cushioned and super comfortable to relax in. Another amazing feature of this hot tub is its massage system. Coleman made this thing for the express purpose of relaxation, and the massage system is something you’ll want to take advantage of for sure. The tub holds four adult persons at a time.
Remember that a hot tub full of water is incredibly heavy (well over two thousands pounds without persons). For this reason we recommend setting up the hot tub on your grass.
But don’t worry: it comes with an insulation blanket that lies on the ground between the grass and your hot tub, in an effort to retain heat. We recommend keeping the temperature set at 100 degrees Fahrenheit all the time.
If you are concerned about energy use or overheating, consider that the heater automatically shuts down after 72 hours. Be sure to check on the hot tub if you plan to use it later in the day, and to cover it when not in use.
One of the biggest benefits to the inflatable hot tub is the cushioning you’ll find in the floor. You’re not sitting on ceramic or plastic that’s hard. It’s a soft comfortable cushion.
- Cushioned floor and walls
- Fast setup
- 4-6 person capacity
- Digital control panel
- TriTech walls for durability
A few more things to mention. The digital control panel will give you many of the options you would have with a more permanent spa as a fixture in your home.
There’s an automatic timer that controls the temperature of the heating system. It’s a low sound system that will relax with heated bubbles and swirling water without all the noise.
It’s pretty hard to beat this little gem, but we’ve got a few more for you to look at as well. Remember – differences count!
*Update 2018 – The Coleman Company has merged the Lay Z Spa with the spa we’ll be talking about next, the SaluSpa.
SaluSpa Miami Airjet Inflatable Hot Tub
Also by Coleman, this sleek, black hot tub features an easy-to-control digital panel and a Lay-Z massage system (uses the same technology as the previous hot tub) that provides an endless stream of bubbles to massage your sore muscles and help you relax.
It goes all the way up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 Celsius, the maximum temperature any human should sit in). It comes with a chemical floater to hold spa chemicals that will stop bacteria growing.
Its fabric is a polyester mesh core sandwiched between two layers of laminated polyvinylchloride.
The SaluSpa boasts sturdy construction that allows users to sit against the sides without it buckling or bending.
Its package comes with a DVD for set-up and maintenance, filtration cartridge, chemical floater, and inflatable cover to keep the heat in when you aren’t using the hot tub. This portable party holds four adult persons.
The Miami Airjet from SaluSpa is a spa that is easy to set up in your backyard. You don’t have to have separate tools or a huge pump to inflate it. It uses the spa’s own pump for inflating.
The heating system works very quickly, so you can inflate the tub and have heated water for your first relaxing soak almost immediately.
- Heat capability 104 degrees F
- 2-4 person capacity
- Digital control panel
- Automatic stop timer
- Inflatable cover
The digital control panel can easily be reached while you’re relaxing in the bubbly water. It’s easy to increase or lower the heat, activate the massage jets, and lock your settings.
The walls of the spa are made with the best materials, and they won’t easily rip or get crushed. They’re constructed with I-Beam technology, which allows you to sit or lean on the edge of the tub without losing water.
So, in terms of the SaluSpa vs. the Lay Z Spa, they are not surprisingly quite comparable. The design is slightly different, but they are both in the same basic price range and have the same basic features.
Intex PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set
This Intex hot tub, called the PureSpa, allows you to pamper yourself in hot water surrounded by bubbling jets, in complete comfort.
This inflatable hot tub holds up to 210 gallons of water and four average-sized adults and provides a spa experience at the touch of a button.
It has a heater that will give you up to 104 degrees F of hot water for your spa time. That kind of warmth can soothe sore muscles at the end of a hard day.
Intex PureSpa vs. Coleman SaluSpa
In comparing the Coleman SaluSpa vs the Intex PureSpa, there aren’t a great number of differences, but the PureSpa here does have a water softening feature, and comes with a storage bag, which is great if you want to take the PureSpa camping with you.
The PureSpa portable hot tub also comes with a locking insulated cover to prevent heat loss, the lock acting as a safety feature against children or pets.
It also comes with two filtration cartridges, a heating system, testing strip, chemical floater, ground cloth to prevent heat loss, inflation hose, and a carrying bag for trips to the cottage.
It is very easy to set up and inflates itself. With a quiet pump system, you can simply relax and enjoy the spa experience.
Its floor and sides are incredibly sturdy and comfortable, leaving you with nothing to worry about. It provides the convenience of portability in addition to the powerful, soothing relief of a regular hot tub.
The PureSpa Hot Tub is easy to set up out of the box. Within 20 minutes, it’s ready for water. The pump is included with the unit, too. You won’t have to worry about extra purchase of tools or pumps.
- Easy to install
- High powered jets
- Insulated cover
- Inflation hose
- Hard water treatment system
- Control panel
- 2-4 people
- Up to 104 degrees F
The portable spa is everything you could need for a relaxing hot tub in your own backyard. We love that everything is included, and it’s large enough to accommodate your loved ones or friends. The control panel is within easy reach, so you don’t have to leave the warmth of the tub to make changes to the settings.
The PureSpa is a bubble hot tub massager that will reward you with a relaxing luxurious spa experience. You can enjoy the spa at any time with a few friends or your significant other.
These hot tubs are reasonably priced, are easy to maintain, and can be moved quite easily. That’s perfect for anyone who needs the benefits of a spa without all of the installation costs.
Whether it’s for health reasons or because you want to enjoy time with friends, these are the best choices for inflatable hot tubs.