Slip into a bucket of warm water and feel like discovering the Fountain of Youth, or at least a much-needed stay. So it’s no surprise that the idea of having your own hot tub is more appealing than ever.
However, the purchase and installation cost of a traditional hot tub can exceed $10,000. That’s a hefty price tag, so we decided to get the scoop on inflatable hot tubs—since they seem to cost around a tenth of the price, some start around $700. We’ve collected curated items from two of the most trusted and premium brands – Coleman and Intex, and used reviews to find shopper favorites.
To get all the important details, we also interviewed a guy named “Swimming Pool Steve”, a pool and spa builder with over 25 years of business experience – and a provider of hot tubs and pools Suggest. According to Steve, “For a test of hot tub ownership, or just a low-cost, low-decor method of hot water therapy, an inflatable hot tub is definitely worth a look.”
While this spa claims to accommodate four people, its small size makes it spacious and comfortable for two. With a maximum water depth of 1.67 feet and a capacity of 107 gallons, that might not seem like a true spa experience, but 120 bubble jets will prove otherwise. Tech-wise, it’s quite advanced, featuring a digitally controlled pump with a soft-touch control panel.
This six-person inflatable hot tub comes with a set of seats, cup holders, beverage trays, and headrests for a variety of amenities. Fitted with over 170 jets, the tub is ready for water in 20 minutes and easily deflated for storage. There’s even a control panel so you can control the jet at the touch of a button.
This 290-gallon behemoth comes with all the bells and whistles, including a comfortable six-passenger capacity. From LED color-changing underwater lights and insulating floor coverings to the two included headrests and a hard water treatment system, this inflatable hot tub kit doesn’t include anything. But Steve admits that no matter which inflatable hot tub you choose, you can’t beat the fact that “simply set them up, fill them, heat them up and enjoy them.”
Coleman’s acclaimed inflatable tub is square, making it easier to accommodate four guests without feeling cramped. About 250 gallons and about 70 inches on each side, which is significantly larger than the two-person Coleman mentioned above. As one reviewer wrote, “It was easy and quick to install. Not only was I amazed by the amount and pressure of bubbles, but I was so excited about using it for the first time and getting better with each use. ”
If you like aesthetics, this large inflatable hot tub comes in a lovely grey wood finish and has everything you need for an easy installation: heat shield, filter, hard water system, LED lights, two headrests, inflatable soft tubes, or even a bag to help store them.
This waterproof, floating Bluetooth speaker and LED light show adds a little ambience to a hot tub soaking session. The Bluetooth function connects to your phone, and the speaker accepts voice commands, so you can take and make calls without moving a muscle. For even more fun, seven lighting settings are available.
Don’t step out of the tub for a drink; float it on this whimsical pineapple tray. It has three cup holders and a large center bowl for snacks, sunscreen, or anything else you might need.
Well, maybe the pineapple drink holder is a little to your taste. In this case, this drink float should do the trick. It has four cup holders and two phone holders to hold everything you need.
This plastic sign that says “Life is Better in a Hot Tub” is a lighthearted decor that says something everyone probably already knows but probably won’t say aloud.
Quiet relaxation in a hot tub can be sublime…for a while. Bring a deck of waterproof playing cards to stay a little longer.
This kit will keep the hot tub crystal clear and the surfaces inside the hot tub free of slippery slime. Each floating cartridge flips over when empty, so you know when to replace it.
If your reason for buying an inflatable hot tub is not just for relaxation, but for a workout or spa, these spa dumbbells will add resistance to your workout.
Get level: Although they may look similar, inflatable hot tubs are not the same as inflatable children’s pools. “Like any hot tub, these require a stable, flat concrete or paving stone pad to sit on,” Steve said. “It’s important that the floor is level to support the enormous and dynamic weight of the water.”
Zoom in on it: “It’s going to be a matter of size,” Steve said. He also shared that two- and four-person models seem to be the most popular. Why? Tubs can take a long time to fill and warm up, so this is a time when the smaller the better.
Decide on aircraft preference: Of course, where you put it and what size you want are two of the first things to consider, but Steve adds that you should also consider “in the cheaper bubble jets and the more expensive ones with booster pumps” to choose between the sprinklers of the system”. According to our research, water jets are hard to find in inflatable hot tubs, but luckily the reviews for air jets are great. Note that all jets make noise when they are in operation.
Measure its temperature: One of the things Steve said that can be considered a downside to buying an inflatable hot tub is that it achieves and maintains an optimal temperature. “Inflatable hot tubs may take longer to heat up to temperature than more expensive systems,” advises Steve. “The heater’s minimal size is a compromise for plug-and-play spas, so in very cold temperatures, the tub may struggle to maintain top temperature.”