Imagine this: it’s wintertime and night comes early. You’ve just finished dinner at 7:30p.m. and you’re winding down for the night, but your eyes are too tired to look at a TV screen and you’re really not in the mood to do the laundry. So, you put on your swimsuit, walk onto your back patio and step into a 104-degree hot tub.
Ever since the Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub was sent to me for testing, this has been my reality each and every evening. (Not to mention every morning too.) I can say that it’s been one of the most relaxing testing experiences I’ve had.
I’ve long known of the hot tub benefits; my parents have had one for over a decade and when I visited them, I sought it out to relax, help my aching or strained muscles, to aid in digestion, and/or to warm up on cold nights. Like many homeowners, buying a hard-surface hot tub wasn’t in the cards for me just yet. They’re large and expensive and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to invest in one quite yet. That’s where an inflatable hot tub comes in.
Inflatable hot tubs can offer the same kind of rest and respite as a hard-surface hot tub, for a considerably lower price. Not only that, but you can move them between places, manage them fairly easily on your own, and they offer temperatures up to 104 degrees!
The Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub is no different. While it’s not the fanciest of inflatable hot tubs, it’s a solid mid-range hot tub with a variety of features like a power saving timer, FreezeShield technology for the winter, and air jet system. I tested it for two weeks in the middle of December and can say with confidence that it was a joyful experience.
If you are after one of the best hot tubs, read on to see why a small investment in the Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub can have a large impact on your life.
Alex Temblador is a Dallas-based award-winning author and freelance writer that has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications such as Tech Radar, Tom’s Guide, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Home & Gardens, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Insider, among many others. She recently bought her first home, a green Sears & Roebuck house that's over 103 years old, sits on half an acre of land and features a stunning wraparound porch, original hardwood floors, pocket doors, and a butler pantry.
Alex loves to test products for Top Ten Reviews, Tech Radar, and Tom’s Guide buying guides and reviews which has helped to expand the richness of her first-time homeowner life. The Mixed Latine writer can usually be found working or relaxing in her outdoor spaces.
Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub Spa: Key specifications
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Row 0 - Cell 1
|Inflatable hot tub
|71 in. x 71 in. x 26 in.
|Number of jets:
Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub: First impressions
I’ve tested a few inflatable Bestway hot tubs, so I had a pretty good sense of what to expect when the Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub arrived at my door. I moved the heavy box with a dolly from my front porch to my back porch and got to work setting it up.
The hot tub was broken down in various parts – the pump, the hot tub itself, the cover, a filter, chemical dispenser, and a few accessories like a tube and caps that help you air the hot tub up. Since I’ve put together a few inflatable hot tubs, it took about 20 minutes to air the hot tub and the cover, and then another 20 minutes to fill the hot tub up with water – all on my own. If you’ve never put together an inflatable hot tub, it’ll likely take you an hour to an hour and 15 minutes to put it together.
The materials appeared to be of the same top quality that I expected. The DuraPlus material that the hot tub is made out of is fairly durable, which prevents punctures from happening. Even then, I like to play it safe, so I placed a tarp on my back porch and set the hot tub on the tarp so as to not cause any accidental punctures.
As a square-shaped hot tub, I think it’s better suited to fitting more people inside compared to a circular-shaped one. I liked the deep teal color, though wasn’t that impressed with the cover, which I’ll delve more into in the “Design” section of this review.
Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub: Price and availability
While there are some inflatable hot tubs in the high $400 range, at nearly $600, the Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub is well-priced, especially if it's on sale/clearance too - some of the above retailers currently have big reductions on this item. It’s not the most expensive inflatable hot tub on the market, and yet, it can fit a decent number of people and has all the features required for a relaxing soak. There are inflatable hot tubs with better energy efficiency for about the same price, as well as inflatable hot tubs with back massaging jets for about an extra $100.
Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub: Design
The Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub’s design relies on three main parts – the hot tub, the cover, and the pump. While the pump is primarily used to filter and heat the water in the hot tub, it doubles as an air pump to blow air into the hot tub and the cover insert.
When setting up the hot tub, I screwed a tube (which is provided) to the pump and pressed the air jet button. It blows air through the tube which can then be inserted into the cover to inflate it. Following that, I used the same tube to blow air into the hot tub. After both items were aired up, I screwed the pump to a set of tubes on the back of the hot tub, plugged the hot tub into an outlet, and filled it with water between the minimum and maximum lines which are displayed on the interior of the hot tub.
The hot tub is made with DuraPlus material, a puncture-resistant material that helps keep the shape of the hot tub no matter how many times you inflate or deflate it. Square shaped in size, the hot tub has handles on all sides which allow multiple people to easily move it when the water has been drained. There is a drain tube on the backside of the hot tub where water can be released.
The Ibiza has Freeze Shield Technology which means it can be used during wintertime, as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below 14 degrees. Both the filter and the heater will need to be turned on during the winter so that the Freeze Shield Technology works and checking on the hot tub during those chilly times is required. If the temperature is expected to get below 14 degrees, Bestway advises to break down the hot tub and store it until temperatures rise.
The pump is fairly large and made of durable plastic. On the top are two cup holders beneath a digital control panel that can hinge up or down. The control panel automatically is set on Celsius, so I changed it to Fahrenheit. You can also raise or lower the temperature with arrows, turn on the filter and heater, set a power saving timer, and press a button that turns on the air jets all via the digital control panel.
On the interior of the hot tub, there is a filter and a ChemConnect chemical dispenser. The filter case has a filter inside of it. I think it’s a nice touch that Bestway provides you with at least one filter so that you can start using the hot tub right away. The filter screws onto the hot tub. Every few days, I have to remove the filter and rinse it with water or else it’ll turn yellow. Above the filter is the ChemConnect chemical dispenser. This is where I place a bromine chlorine tablet that slowly disintegrates into the hot tub to keep it clean.
My only complaint about the design has to do with the cover. To provide some structure to the cover, Bestway has designed it so that there is an inflatable square insert that you fit inside the cover. The cover is supposed to stay in place thanks to eight buckles placed along all four sides of the hot tub. These buckles have safety locks on them to prevent kids from easily opening them and getting inside the hot tub without adult supervision. You have to click the sides and a top button at the same time to open them.
Unfortunately, even when the buckle straps are tightened to their fullest extent, the cover’s flaps appear loose against the hot tub allowing heat to escape. I cover the hot tub in a tarp to mitigate this and to prevent leaves and twigs from falling onto the top of the cover. However, I find that sometimes the buckles straps loosen on their own. Not only that, but when removing the cover from the hot tub, it’s quite flimsy. If there are leaves or debris on top of the hot tub, it’s nearly impossible to prevent them from falling into the water upon removing the cover.
Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub: Performance
After filling the hot tub with water, it took about 26 hours for it to heat up to 104 degrees. This is pretty typical, especially since I set up the hot tub in winter. In fact, the instructions say it could take up to 40 hours when the temperature is 50 degrees outside.
I typically like to get in an inflatable hot tub when it’s 104 degrees. Yes, it’s a bit warm but inflatable hot tubs can’t typically maintain the 104 degrees the entire time you’re in the hot tub, especially not one such as the Ibiza which doesn’t have energy efficiency properties. According to the control panel, the temperature of the water drops to about 102 degrees within the first 10 minutes and then anywhere between 100-102 degrees for the next 10 minutes.
Unlike hard-surface hot tubs, inflatable tubs don’t have seats, which means I have to sit on the bottom of the inflatable hot tub and stretch out my legs. The Ibiza is padded on the bottom so it’s quite comfortable to me. I’m 5’5” so my legs don’t hit the other side of the hot tub meaning I can stretch out quite a bit. The padded bottom can be a little slippery so be careful getting in and out. This may not be the best choice for those who have a difficult time getting up and down from the floor.
I only had one other person join me in the hot tub at a time, but even then, I can tell that this hot tub will not fit six adults, unless those six adults are below average in height and weight and don’t mind their legs touching. Four average-sized adults could fit in the hot tub, with perhaps one small kid, though even then, it would be a tight fit. For the most comfortable experience, I wouldn’t put more than four adults in this hot tub. Five or six people would be far too cozy for comfort.
Since I filled the hot tub with water between the minimum and maximum lines, when I get into the hot tub by myself, the water rises to my chest. When I had another person in the hot tub, it rises to the top of my chest (not to my shoulders). I find this to be a pretty good level. If I were to put water to the maximum line and then hit the air jets button on the control panel, the bubbles would cause water to splash out of the hot tub. More than three people in the hot tub, and the water could slosh over the sides if anyone moves around too much.
The air jets are essentially 140 holes around the bottom of the hot tub that have air pushed through them to create bubbles. The bubbly experience is nice, but not necessarily massaging in any sense. I’ve also found that in using the air jets, more heat escapes from the hot tub, which is why I don’t usually use them. I prefer heat over a bubbly experience.
I did test the power saver timer a few times. It’s a bit tricky to figure out if you’ve never done it before. Essentially, when I pressed the power saver timer button, the LED begins flashing. I then use the arrows to determine how many hours I want the heater to run, between 1-999 hours. After that, I press the power saver timer button again to confirm my decision. When the LED flashes again, this is when I set a time (1-999 hours from that moment) for when I want the hot tub to be fully heated. I use the arrows to set the time and press the power saver button again to confirm.
That’s a bit confusing, so here’s how it would work out. Say it’s 9 a.m. in the morning and I’m off to work, but I want the hot tub to be 104 degrees between 7 p.m. and 10p.m. at night, which is when I typically want to get in the hot tub. I would first set the hot tub to heat for 3 hours – which is the number of hours between 7 and 10 p.m. After that, I’d set the hot tub to be fully heated at 104 degrees by the time 7 p.m. rolls around which is 10 hours from 9 a.m. in the morning. During those 10 hours, the hot tub’s filtration system will continue to run, but the heating function will only start working when the system determines that it needs to begin heating so that by 7 p.m. the water will be 104 degrees.
The power saving timer is a nice function to have and saves me a bit of electricity throughout the day. I can see it being a really amazing tool when I’m traveling for a few days or weeks and want my hot tub to be warm upon my return.
As for maintaining the hot tub, it’s fairly easy. I took some water to a pool and hot tub store where they tested it and informed me of the chemicals I need to use (like Calcium or PH increaser or decreaser) in the hot tub so that I can maintain the pH balance and prevent mold and other nasty things from growing. Generally, I only add a few tablespoons of chlorine once a week and add a Bromine tablet when the other one disintegrates in the ChemConnect dispenser.
When it comes to the filter, I rinse it off with water about twice a week. I usually have to exchange it once a month. I order additional filters off Amazon or through the Bestway website. About twice a year, I’ll break down the hot tub by removing the water and giving it a good scrub in the yard, before inflating it again on my porch. It is very helpful to have another person to help move the hot tub during maintenance. While the DuraPlus material is durable, dragging a hot tub on concrete will cause a hole. Bestway does provide some patches in case a hole occurs, but it’s always better to do what you can to prevent that.
If you need to store it away because the FreezeShield technology doesn’t work below 14 degrees or for some other reason, you’ll need a bit of space. Sure, the pump can deflate the hot tub, but the pump and the deflated hot tub and cover will still take up some space. It might not hurt to save the box it comes in for a safe and organized storage method.
All in all, I like this hot tub. It’s not the fanciest inflatable hot tub on the market but it provided a lovely space to spread out and enjoy a hot soaking experience morning, noon, or night.
Should you buy the Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub?
|Price & availability
|Average priced inflatable hot tub which includes the spa and pump in the price; available through multiple stores
|Made with DuraPlus material, Freeze Shield technology, and has a control panel to control temperature, air jets, etc.; cover is a bit flimsy.
|Heats to 104 degrees and air jets creates a bubbly experience. No back massaging jets.
Buy it if...
You want to fit four adults
This hot tub is perfect for those who want to fit four average-sized adults (though keep in mind that legs will likely cross or touch). You could even fit three adults and two children or small teens.
You live in a warmer area of the country
The Ibiza is equipped with Freeze Shield Technology which allows you to use the hot tub even in the wintertime. That said, it will only work if the temperature doesn’t go any lower than 14 degrees. If you live in an area that does go below 14 degrees often, you’ll have to break down the hot tub and store it away.
You want some power saving features
Save yourself some energy with the power saving timer. Essentially, you can set a timer so that the hot tub is heated to your desired temperature when you plan to get into the hot tub. Let’s say you’re going out of town for two weeks – you can schedule the hot tub to not be heated while you’re away but to heat up to 104 degrees at the exact hour you plan to return home. The power saving timer can go up to 40 days.
Don't buy it if...
You would like your back massaged while sitting in your hot tub
The Ibiza only has air jets, which means there are 140 jets around the bottom of the hot tub that can create bubbles when a button is pressed. Unfortunately, this hot tub lacks any kind of back massaging jets. Bestway does offer some inflatable hot tubs with back jets like the Bestway SaluSpa Hawaii Inflatable Hot Tub.
You want a more energy efficient cover
As someone who has tested multiple Bestway spas, I can say that the cover for the Ibiza is pretty flimsy, which lets the heat escape easier. The brand offers more energy efficient spas and spas with energy efficient covers.
You don’t want to do maintenance
Just because the Ibiza is an inflatable hot tub, doesn’t mean there is less maintenance. In fact, it might require a bit more than a hard-surface hot tub. On top of maintaining the chemicals and replacing the water and giving it a good scrub twice a year, you’ll likely have to air up the hot tub and the cover on occasion too.
How does the Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub compare?
The Bestway SaluSpa Fiji inflatable hot tub is very much like the Ibiza in most ways. They both have Freeze Shield technology and power saving features. However, the Fiji is round in shape and designed to only fit 2-4 people which makes it a better choice for singles or couples who have slightly less outdoor area space or only want to use it for themselves. With less water to heat up, you save more money.
If you want a hot tub that has jets massaging your back, you’ll want to go with the Bestway SaluSpa Hawaii Inflatable Hot Tub. There are two jets in every corner of this square inflatable hot tub, offering the ultimate relaxing experience.
Those willing to spend another $100 can enjoy even more with the Honolulu EnergySense Smart Signature AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub. It comes with an EnergySense cover which is 40 percent more energy efficient, meaning your water stays hot without increasing your energy bill. Even more exciting, this spa connects to an app. You can control the temperature and massage system, run the water filter, and set up the power saving timer all on your phone.
How we tested the Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub
The Bestway SaluSpa Ibiza AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub arrived on my porch at the beginning of December. After inflating the hot tub and connecting the pump on my back porch, I tested the hot tub for two weeks every morning and night, and even had a few friends and family members over to experience the hot tub and share their feedback. All features of the hot tub were tested to provide a comprehensive review.
For more on how Top Ten Reviews reviews products, head to our how we test page.