Do you dream of unwinding at the end of the day in your very own hot tub, but don’t have the budget (not to mention the space) for a built-in model? Then you need one of the best inflatable hot tubs to make your dream into reality! The easy to set up, surprisingly affordable inflatable hot tubs we’ve rounded up below can turn your backyard into a peaceful, luxurious retreat — or the most popular party spot in your neighborhood. All you need is a little bit of outdoor space, a hose to fill up your tub, and an outlet to plug it in!
The best inflatable hot tubs cost much less than a built-in, top-of-the-line hot tub — which can easily cost several thousand dollars — but at prices that range from $600 to $950, they’re still something of an investment. When making any purchase, let alone one that runs into the hundreds of dollars, it’s smart to do a little research first. That’s why we’ve answered some of the most common questions buyers have about inflatable hot tubs below. Keep reading to find out more, or if you’re ready to take the plunge, scroll down and start shopping! (Psst — they tend to sell out fast this time of year, so hurry!)
Are inflatable hot tubs worth buying?
Hot tubs are hugely popular for a number of reasons, including the many therapeutic benefits. It doesn’t just feel good to soak in soothing, warm water with air jets pumping out bubbles, it actually is good for your body! It can ease sore muscles, reduce joint inflammation, and a soak before bed can help combat insomnia and give you a more restful night’s sleep. If you have arthritis, luxuriating in a hot tub can be a wonderful way to lessen pain and loosen stiff joints.
And besides all that, hot tubs are also a lot of fun! If you enjoy entertaining, they can liven up any backyard gathering, and if you have kids or grandkids, they’ll be lining up for their turn in the bubbles.
The best inflatable hot tubs let you enjoy all these benefits and more, without breaking the bank or committing a corner of your backyard to a permanent installation. We think that definitely makes them well worth buying!
Are inflatable hot tubs good in winter?
While many people use their inflatable hot tubs primarily in the summer months, most models can also be used throughout the winter. (Of course, if you live in a climate where temperatures stay comfortably warm year-round, you can use your inflatable hot tub in all seasons without worry!)
The main concern with using an inflatable hot tub in the wintertime is whether the water will be able to stay warm; if it’s very cold outside, your hot tub may not be able to maintain its maximum temperature. What do temperature ratings on hot tubs mean? A hot tub that is rated for use at 40 degrees Fahrenheit will be able to come up to temperature — and stay there — as long is the air temperature is at least 40 degrees as well.
If you don’t mind a hot tub that’s slightly less than hot on the coldest days, or you plan to use the hot tub on winter days when they mercury doesn’t dip too low, you should be able to enjoy the best inflatable hot tubs in the winter. And, if you should find that your hot tub isn’t quite standing up to the cold, it’s easy to drain it, deflate it, and save it for spring!
How do you maintain an inflatable hot tub?
Hot tubs, like swimming pools, have a reputation for being a lot of work — and if you’ve ever spotted an abandoned hot tub in someone’s yard, dusty and filled with leaves, it’s understandable that you might be daunted by the idea of getting one yourself. Luckily, maintaining the best inflatable hot tubs is easier than you might think. Once your new hot tub has arrived, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions, which will explain everything you need to know to take care of your tub. This will include keeping the water clean and cleaning the tub itself, as well as keeping the filter free of debris and regularly testing the pH level and alkalinity of the water.
To clean the water in your inflatable hot tub, add a sanitizer like chlorine, which will come in tablet form or granules. One to try: Clorox Pool & Spa Chlorinating Tablets (Buy on Amazon, $34.99). Depending on your usage, you’ll need to add this to your hot tub every few days, or possibly every day. Check the specific instructions to find out which cleaning agent your hot tub needs, along with how often to use it, and be sure to follow the recommended amounts so the water stays fresh and safe. If your hot tub doesn’t come with a test kit, you’ll need to buy one in order to measure the pH level and alkalinity of the hot tub water at least once a week. One to try: JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips (Buy on Amazon, $14.98).
You’ll want to remove the inflatable hot tub filter regularly for cleaning, and to make sure it’s free of debris. Inflatable hot tub filters can become clogged a little more quickly than permanent hot tubs, so it’s important to stay on top of it. Every few weeks, drain your hot tub and give it a thorough scrubbing with good old-fashioned soap and water — again, your instructions will tell you the best formula to use.
What is the best inflatable hot tub on the market?
That depends what you’re looking for! Do you want a hot tub that’s just right for one or two people, or a jumbo-sized one that can accommodate a crowd? What’s your budget? Prices vary, and while you’ll want to get the best inflatable hot tub you can afford, it’s not necessary to spend a fortune. All of the hot tubs on our list are great choices, and we’ve made it easy for you to choose by listing their features, as well as reviews from satisfied customers. Scroll through to see which one is right for you! (That said, the Bestway SaluSpa Miami is a bestseller on Amazon, and the Coleman SaluSpa is a fantastic pick that’s available at Walmart.)
Whether you want to enjoy your hot tub solo or invite a few friends to share in the fun, there’s an option here that’s just right for you. Keep scrolling to shop our selection of in-stock, reviewer-approved choices in a range of prices and styles.
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What are the best inflatable hot tubs to buy in 2021?
- Best overall inflatable hot tub: Intex 28481E Simple Spa
- Best inflatable hot tub at Walmart : Coleman SaluSpa Hot Tub
- Best affordable inflatable hot tub : Bestway SaluSpa Miami Inflatable Hot Tub
- Best faux wood inflatable hot tub : Bestway SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
- Best inflatable hot tub for six people : Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
- Best inflatable hot tub for four people : Intex PureSpa Deluxe Hot Tub
- Best inflatable hot tub for couples : Intex 28425E 77in PureSpa Inflatable Spa
Why we like it:
- Fits up to 4 people
- Comes with everything you need
- Deflates for easy storage and travel
If you’re looking for an inflatable hot tub that comes with everything you need, is easy to set up, and will last you season after season, this modestly-priced Intex model fits the bill. Included in the box, you’ll find an insulated cover, heater/filter/blower system, two filter cartridges, thermal ground cloth, inflation hose, carrying bag, floating chlorine dispenser, and water test strip. Four people can comfortably fit in this tub — but it’s also great for one person to stretch out in! More than 300 five-star Amazon ratings and dozens of rave reviews should help reassure you that this inflatable hot tub is a good choice.
Promising review: “This was everything we hoped for! The instructions were easy to follow during setup. It took about 24 hours to get up to temperature and we were using it the next day. Very durable. Fits four people comfortably. The only negative is the description says it comes with an LED light and it did not. Best purchase I’ve made on Amazon!.”
Why we like it:
- Fits up to 4 people
- Comfy cushioned floor
- Digital control panel
Would a square hot tub fit your space better than a traditional round one? This Coleman hot tub is the one for you. While it’s on the higher end of the price range, multiple five-star reviews confirm it’s worth the splurge. It seats up to four people, has a drain valve in the floor for easy emptying, and comes with an aluminum foil cover that helps it both retain heat and stay clean. The digital control panel lets you easily adjust the temperature, and the AirJet massage system soothes sore muscles for a relaxing and rejuvenating soak.
Promising review: “Best investment ever! Fast delivery, easy set up, very sturdy and comfortable. This is much more like a hard body spa than the previous inflatable I had. I plan to use it year round by relocating it into the garage during the winter and then on the deck from spring to fall.”
Why we like it:
- Fits 4 people
- Under $600
- Built-in chlorine dispenser
What’s not to love about this affordable, four-person inflatable hot tub? Nothing, as far as we can tell. It’s easy to set up, has bubbles that come up from air jets in the bottom, and is made from sturdy material that’s puncture-resistant. It also has a built-in chemical dispenser that keeps the chlorine level steady with a minimum of effort on your part. A reinforced cover with safety clips keeps leaves and rain out and heat in, so your hot tub is ready when you are. Comes with a pump that inflates the tub and heats it up, as well as activates the massaging bubble system.
Promising review: ” I have had this hot tub for several months now and my husband and I use it daily and sometimes more than one a day on the weekends (morning, afternoon, night). The bubbles are fantastic and the temp is quite hot. I am so happy and thankful we have this. It is easy to take care of with chemicals, and the filters are easy to change. We take the cover off together usually but it’s decently easy to take it off by myself and put it back on. So nice. Update: Two years later — we moved and brought the hot tub with us. It survived and we are still using it every night. It’s even better this time of year when it’s cold. We would order again.”
Why we like it:
- Fits 5-7 people
- Built-in water softening system
- Realistic faux wood panel design
This Bestway inflatable hot tub will fool your neighbors into thinking you splurged on the real thing. The faux wood paneling is painted on, but they’ll never know unless they get close enough! Large enough to fit up to seven people, it’s got all the features you could want: a digital control panel, water jets to create therapeutic bubbles, a power-saving timer, durable Tritech material and I-beam wall construction to stop it from sagging, a pump, and a cover. Handles on the sides make it easy to move around, and it easily deflates for storage. One thing that makes this hot tub special? A built-in water softening system that helps prevent skin irritation. If you have hard water in your area, this feature will be worth the slightly higher sticker price.
Promising review: “Last year we tried an inflatable kid pool, but the water would get too cold to be enjoyable, and it was impossible to keep clean. So, I decided to take a chance on this thing. I looked at all the different brands, and chose this because of the faux wood look. I seriously couldn’t be happier with it. My neighbors couldn’t believe it wasn’t real wood. My daughter loves it, and I really love it. It was easy for me to set up by myself. The filtration works perfectly. The heating works like a dream.”
Why we like it:
- Fits up to 6 people
- Easy to set up
- Durable material won’t sag
Up to six people can fit into this inflatable hot tub, which comes with a pump that inflates it, heats it up, and runs the filtration system to keep the water fresh. Soothing bubbles come up from air jets on the bottom, helping you relax and unwind. Puncture-resistant Tritech material retains its shape and holds up season after season, and a reinforced cover with clips to hold it in place keeps water warm and clean when you’re not in the hot tub. Almost 3,000 five-star Amazon ratings tell us this is a solid pick!
Promising review: “We’ve had this for over a year now and are more than happy with it! We really wanted a hot tub but were not willing to spend thousands of dollars on one. This one is very easy to set up, take down, clean, and maintain. Very comfortably fits four normal sized adults. We set ours up in mid-May and take it down in mid-October.”
Why we like it:
- Faux-wood exterior
- 170 high-powered massage jets
- Comes in two sizes
Love to invite folks over for relaxing hangouts, or want to have a family hot tub night? The larger version of this spacious Intex hot tub can fit six people, as long as they’re not social distancing — several reviewers say it will be a squeeze with six. For something a little smaller, go with the four-person version. Both tubs come with everything you need to set them up and get them going quickly, are equipped with 170 high-powered massage jets, and have a power-saving timer that keeps the water temperature at your liking while also saving energy and money. Durable PVC material ensures strength and stability and will keep its shape over time, and the stylish faux-wood design is a nice touch, too.
Promising review: “I’ve had this hot tub for a month now and absolutely love it. I spent weeks trying to decide on which to buy, but ultimately took the gamble on this one and it’s been fantastic. It was delivered the next day after I ordered it, and was extremely easy to assemble. The walls are sturdy and capable of being sat on or used for assistance getting in and out if need be. The control module maintains whatever temp you set, and the fact that the panel can be secured on the tub for easier access while using it is awesome. I’ve used this almost every day since I’ve had it and am very happy with it.”
Why we like it:
- Fits up to 4 people
- Includes a carrying bag and thermal ground cloth
- Built-in hard water treatment system
Another inflatable hot tub with a built-in hard water treatment system, this four-person model comes with a couple of great extras: a carrying bag and a thermal cloth to put on the ground underneath it, helping it maintain its temperature. Beyond that, it’s got all the bells and whistles of the others, like a filtration system, puncture-resistant material, 120 bubble jets, a digital control panel, and a built-in inflation system. Some reviewers note that four people would have to get pretty cozy in this one, making it a good choice for a single person or a couple.
Promising review: “I’m a single guy self-quarantined at home during Coronavirus — I stuck [this] on my back porch and the setup was easy. The parts seem quality for the price, including the pump/pump housing. The inflatable tub is surprisingly sturdy, and the jets work pretty well. Overall, [it’s an] excellent value. As a disabled vet, my body is broken down from the days in both the US Army Infantry … it’s a great way to treat yourself for the value … I don’t have buyer’s remorse on this one.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, FirstForWomen.com.