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Best Hot Tub

Best inflatable hot tubs
(Image credit: Intex)

A hot tub creates a relaxing oasis in your own backyard. Inflatable hot tubs cost less than a traditional spa, can be deflated to store and takes up less space than a permanent jacuzzi. The best hot tubs heat up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, include a pump and filtration system, and have jet streams to create a relaxing atmosphere. We talked to a few hot tub representatives to learn how to choose a quality hot tub. Here is our list of some of the best.

Our favorite

Intex PureSpa Plus hot tub

(Image credit: Intex Corp)

Intex PureSpa Plus (opens in new tab)

Water softener system

This inflatable hot tub has a combination pump and heater that circulates water first through a built-in water softener then a water filter. This helps prolong the life of both the hot tub and its filtration system. The Intex PureSpa Plus hot tub holds six adults comfortably and comes with fun extras to create either a relaxing or a party atmosphere.

Pros:

  • Softens hard water
  • 170 air jets
  • Backrests included

Cons:

  • Cold air system

This hot tub comes with LED lights that just need some batteries to use. It has 170 jets that can be directed to where you may need some hydrotherapy, and it has cushioned backrests that extend down into the tub to provide some back support, too. The jets use air to create bubbles, however there isn't a way to heat the air used, so it uses cooler air. This causes the water in the hot tub to cool down substantially, and not a plesent experience if enjoying the tub during cooler weather.

Best value

Bestway SaluSpa Miami hot tub

(Image credit: Bestway)

Bestway SaluSpa Miama hot tub (opens in new tab)

Compact design

This Bestway inflatable hot tub creates a comfortable place to sit back and relax with 120 high-powered bubble jets that are designed to provide effective hydrotherapy. You can redirect the flow of the jets and the temperature of the water with a digital control panel that is accessible while in the hot tub.

Pros:

  • Hydrotherapy jets
  • Digital controls
  • Internal shielding system

Cons:

  • Not for use in cold weather

This Bestway hot tub is made to withstand most punctures and has a unique internal shielding system that prevents the tub from damage and freezing during colder weather. However, this shield only protects the hot tub while being stored. Bestway does not recommend using this hot tub in weather colder than 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best portable hot tub

best inflatable hot tub

(Image credit: Target)

Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii Portable Spa (opens in new tab)

Perfect for families

While the Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii inflatable hot tub is smaller in size than other hot tubs, its unique square shape offers extra seating space. It can comfortably seat a family of four. This tub comes with an impressive 114 bubble jets and a cushioned floor. It has vertical interior vinyl panels to give it support and prevent sagging over time.

Pros:

  • Won't sag
  • 114 jets

Cons:

  • Hard to reheat during use

This hot tube heats water up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but only when it is not in use and with the pool cover on it. Once the cover is off the water will cool a bit and then maintain a temperature around 100 degrees. The water will cool more once you are in it and if you choose to use the jets since it uses cooler air to create the bubble effect. It's very hard to raise the temperature of the water while you're using it. In order to reheat you'll have to get out and recover the pool as it heats. But it will heat back up to 104 degrees pretty quickly.

What makes a good inflatable hot tub?

The design of an inflatable hot tub is simple. It consists of an inflatable tub made of PVC or vinyl, as well as an external combination pump and heater unit that controls both water temperature and jets. Inflatable hot tubs can generally be set up in 15 or 20 minutes and filled from a garden hose. Most of them can heat water up to comfortably hot temperatures overnight. Even though the basics are the same across the models listed here, there are some key factors to consider in your buying decision.

Construction

Layered vinyl or PVC is standard for inflatable hot tubs, but many models reinforce the walls of the tub with fabrics like polyester or nylon. This is usually indicated with a proprietary name; Intex calls its unique blend of materials Fiber-Tech, while Coleman uses the name Tri Tech 3 Layer Material for its mix of polyester mesh and layered PVC.

The design and structure of the tub is just as important as the materials used to make it. Many manufacturers use a segmented inflatable design, reinforced with a vertical I-beam structure inside. These internal vinyl panels make for a sturdier tub, one that can support users leaning against it or even sitting directly on the outer wall of the spa. Premium portable hot tubs add another level of stability and protection with interlocking panels that surround the inflatable tub. Made of waterproof composite materials, these panels provide a rigid wall that protects and insulates the hot tub.

Covers

All inflatable spas include a locking top cover for safety reasons. Some, however, also use the cover to insulate the tub and speed up the heating process. Some models include inflatable covers that fit into the top of the tub like a stopper in a bottle, while others use insulating materials like foam or foil lining to keep the heat inside. Regardless of insulation style, you’ll want a cover that’s more than a fitted piece of fabric.

Accessories

There are all sorts of accessories available for maintaining your portable spa and enhancing the experience, from chemical dispensers to inflatable seat cushions. Any hot tub you consider should include the basic filter cartridges necessary for use, if not an extra filter or two. If you plan to leave the tub filled for days or weeks at a time, you’ll also want one that includes chemicals like chlorine or bromine, along with the necessary dispenser and test strips to monitor the pH levels of the water. Other accessory manufacturers offer a ground mat to protect the bottom of the tub, built-in water softening, and built-in or attachable seat cushions and cup holders.

Are hot tubs safe?

Purchasing a hot tub will be sure to inject fun into your home, and given that they are maintained properly, they shouldn’t be a cause for concern when it comes to health. Keeping a routine of cleaning will prevent hot tubs from becoming a prime place for bacteria to grow. 

That includes checking the disinfectant level and adding chlorine at regular intervals, as well as keeping checks on the pH of the water. Your hot tub manufacturer should provide you with all the necessary information when it comes to cleaning, but if you’re ever in doubt when it comes to the cleanliness of your water, take precautions and don’t use it until the problem is remedied. 

Aside from cleaning, there are practical things, such as showering before each use, that you can do to limit the bacteria entering the tub’s water. You should also never enter your tub if you have symptoms of infection or illness, and wait until you’ve been symptom-free for at least 48 hours until you do so. 

How much do inflatable hot tubs cost to run?

The cost of running an inflatable hot tub depends on a few major factors: electricity, water, filters, cleaning and chemicals. To a lesser degree, other factors will contribute to hot tub maintenance costs, like its size, where you set it up, how often you use it and how strict you are about cleaning it. Electricity costs vary by state, so running a hot tub may be less expensive in Louisiana residents than in Alaska or Hawaii.

In our research, we found that the average cost of running an inflatable hot tub is $600 per year. If you purchase a larger hot tub and use it more often than three times a week, you’ll see a higher electricity bill among other costs.

The cost of buying an inflatable hot tub is another consideration. Out list has great inflatable hot tubs that cost between $400 - $900, depending on size and features. 

Why trust us

At Top Ten Reviews, we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As experts, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your life. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. Our detailed product overviews balance objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is easy.

We have been reviewing inflatable hot tubs for more than seven years, and have spent more than 40 hours finding the best blow up and portable hot tubs on the market and then did in-depth research to discover their stand-out features. We have contacted manufacturers with numerous questions to clarify issues and discover unique features. We also consulted with professionals and industry insiders to increase our expertise and get informed opinions about the best inflatable tubs out there. 

The first task in researching hot tubs was finding some of the best inflatable hot tubs on the market, through in-depth online research. We found a lineup of tubs we felt best served our readers and then compared them to discover which was the best overall and which tubs would be best for families. After extensive research we were able to write about them in a way that will help you find the tub that works best for you. 

This is the staff profile for the Top Ten Reviews team. If you see this author, you're looking at an article that was created as a collaborative effort from the TTR editorial team. This profile denotes an actual member of staff, and not any of the contractors used by Top Ten Reviews. You'll find their work under Top Ten Reviews contributor.