Dropping into a hot tub after a long day is refreshing and relaxing. The cost and permanence of hard-shell hot tubs keeps some people from owning them. Inflatable hot tubs, also called portable hot tubs or spas, are a cost-effective way to put a soothing hot water tub at your home.

You need to consider both advantages and cautions with inflatable hot tubs, but overall, they offer all the physical and psychological benefits of their hard-shell cousins. 

In this article: Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub, Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki Inflatable Hot Tub and Intex PureSpa Portable Hot Tub.

Inflatable hot tub pros

Portable hot tubs have several advantages compared to hard-shell tubs.

  • Cost: This is the biggest advantage of inflatable hot tubs. Hard-sided hot tubs cost $3,000 to $15,000 or more.  Most portable hot tubs cost less than $1,000.
  • Portability: They’re easy to take down, put up and move around. Some people even take their hot tubs with them when camping. 
  • Materials: They are made from thick synthetics that aren’t completely puncture-proof but usually stand up to scratches and scrapes. They are built to last five years or more if properly maintained.
  • Accessories: They come with many of the same accessories as hard-shell spas, such as covers, child locks and side trays.
  • Capacity: Most portable hot tubs are designed for two or three users, but there are larger models that can accommodate up to six people. 

Inflatable hot tub cons

There also are some important drawbacks to portable hot tubs that potential buyers should think about.

  • Shallow: They are not as deep as hard spas. Most portable spas only hold 2 feet of water or less. While this amount works well for two people, it may not be enough for larger groups to feel the full effects of the massage jets. 
  • No seats: Portable spas do not have built-in seats, so users actually sit at ground level. This may not be as comfortable as having a seat underneath.
  • Ease of heating: The heaters that come with portable hot tubs are much smaller than those in larger spas. It can take longer to heat to the maximum temperature, and if you are using the hot tub in cold temperatures, portable models may not reach full temperature. 
  • Weaker jets: While many manufacturers market their portable hot tubs as having powerful jets, most of these jets create only bubbles. If you want a true massaging effect to relax aching muscles, hard-shell models have much more powerful jets (and often a lot more of them).

Keep your portable hot tub covered and locked

Small children are a high risk around all hot tubs, but since portable spas are easier to traverse, you should make sure that you have a child lock and cover to prevent unwanted accidents.

Best inflatable hot tubs

Best Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub

Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub

With digital temperature control up to 104 degrees, this hot tub has I-beam construction and is made from polyvinyl chloride plastic. It can seat up to four and is programmable 72 hours in advance. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Best Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki Inflatable Hot Tub

Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki Inflatable Hot Tub

Made with tri-tech material and I-beam wall construction, this portable hot tub is built to last. It comes with built-in water softening, pump and cover. The wood panel exterior accents patios and decks. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best Intex PureSpa Portable Hot Tub

Intex PureSpa Portable Hot Tub

With 170 high-powered jets and heated water up to 104 degrees, this inflatable hot tub can seat up to six people. It has a hard water system and an adjustable control panel for easy access. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Best Edostory Oval Portable Hot Tub

Edostory Oval Portable Hot Tub

Built for two to four people, this has a 360-degree air jet system that creates thousands of bubbles. The heating system heats up to 104 degrees and circulates automatically. It is made with three-ply PVC. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Aleko 2-Person Inflatable Hot Tub

Aleko 2-Person Inflatable Hot Tub

This oval hot tub is perfect for two people with up to 100-130 high-powered bubble jets. The foil-lined covers hold the temperature. It inflates in a few minutes and requires no tools for assembly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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