Inflatable hot tubs are a popular choice for people looking to relax and kickback after a day’s (or week’s) worth of hectic work. Lately, they have become extremely popular due to their ease of set-up, affordability, and reliability.
When deflated, they take less than half the space of a regular hot tub, which gives users the added advantage of taking them to a friend’s place for a party or quickly putting one in a small backyard.
Inflatable hot tubs are low maintenance, easy to use, and affordable compared to rigid tubs made out of concrete, ceramic, or steel. Like all tubs, they come in different sizes, but due to their inflatable nature they are almost always compact and easy to carry around.
Best Inflatable Hot Tubs for 2018 Reviewed
In this article, we’ll be listing what we believe are the best hot tubs in the market right now. We’ll list our favorite for each type of commonly demanded capacity (2-person, 4-person, and 6-person hot tubs). Towards the end of the article, we’ve also listed a complete buyer’s guide to help you spend your money wisely and choose the best hot tub that fits your needs.
The Best 6-Person Inflatable Hot Tub
The Intex PureSpa is an affordable inflatable hot tub that can comfortably fit four to six people. It is well-constructed with a built-in water softner and water filter, and can reach temperatures of 104 degrees.
The Best 4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub
The Coleman SaluSpa has multiple features including an to easy to use digital control panel, 120 bubble jets and a great heating system, at an affordable price.
Bestway SaluSpa Siena – Best Inflatable Hot Tub for Two People
The Bestway SaluSpa Siena is a very lightweight inflatable hot tub that has been specifically designed for two people. The spa has an elongated design like a conventional tub with a generous footprint of 98 inches by 59 inches.
Bestway understands that outside diameters don’t matter much and it’s what inside that counts. Here’s where we think the SaluSpa Siena blows competition out of the water; it has an impressive 78 inches internal dimension. This allows individuals to really stretch and relax inside the spa and makes it, in our opinion, the best inflatable two-person spa in the market that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
- Comes with the brand’s own Salu-massage system
- Features an automatic start and stop timer to conserve energy
- A capacity of 134 gallons which fills up 80% of the hot tub
- Incorporates 127 bubble jets for some fun
- Features a decent waterproof digital solf blister control panel
- Has both hardwater and saltwater treatment systems
- The powerful pump is capable of 2 full circulations of the tub per hour
- Spacious design
- Extremely light at 1205lbs
- Multi-feature hot tub
- Built-in automatic timer
- Not wide enough for some people
- A tad bit expensive
Coleman SaluSpa – Best Inflatable Tub for 4 People
This article wouldn’t be complete if the famous Coleman SaluSpa inflatable hot tub wasn’t mentioned in one of our ‘best’ categories. In our opinion this is the best mainstream hot tub that anyone can buy right now. The popular Coleman SaluSpa isn’t just an excellent choice due to its quality build and reliability, but also because it comes with a very reasonable price tag.
The SaluSpa is a joint venture by Coleman and Bestway, so it’s no surprise they’ve succeeded in creating such a great product. The SaluSpa has 77 inches by 28 inches size when fully inflated. This does make it a tad short for very tall individuals, but most people should find it adequately sizex.
It’s important to note that the SaluSpa is normally advertised as a 4 to 6-person hot tub. In reality, it’s very difficult to fit in six people. Most consumers utilize this as a 4-person tub, and we feel that’s how it should be utilized. For this reason, we’ve deliberately listed it as the best 4-person hot tub. Look elsewhere if you want one with a 6-person capacity.
- Has a capacity of 254 gallons that fills 80% of the hot tub
- When completely filled, the Coleman SaluSpa weights at 2100lbs
- It features 120 bubble jets for some entertainment and fun
- Features a Tri-Tech 3-ply puncture resistance carcass that grants the hot tub extra durability
- The box weight of the product is 86lbs which is on the heavier side
- The digital control panel has a heating timer with automatic start and stop functions
- The pump max flow output at 320gal/hr allows for 1.25 full circulations of the tub per hour during filtration
- Heat is retained for up to 48 hours
- Multiple features
- Inexpensive Cartridge systems
- Made of tough and durable material
- Reasonable pricing
- Warranty coverage is disappointing
- Temperatures can fluctuate
MSpa Alpine B-091 for 4 People – Great Alternative
A great alternative to the Coleman SaluSpa is the MSpa Alpine version M-009LS. This is a large square-shaped outdoor inflatable hot tub that can comfortably fit in four people. While the square shape may not work for everyone, it is certainly spacious enough and surprisingly lightweight to serve the purpose it’s built for.
This inflatable hot tub is extremely easy to set-up as it has a self-inflating mechanism which is one of the best features of this spa. The hot tub is fairly large by itself at 73 inches, and the internal tub measures 53 inches across and 27 inches deep. It is made from a six-layer laminated PVC material that MSpa calls Rhino-Tech.
One of the more unique features (apart from its square design) is how the pump and heater unit is built into the hot tub. The unit is controlled with a digital panel that extends up from the side of the tub.
- The Rhin-Tech material is solid, and the hot tub has vertical interior vinyl panels that add lots of rigidity to the spa
- It 120 bubble jets are powered by the integrated air blower that also inflates the tub during setup
- The MSpa Alpine B-091 comes with an air pressure gauge to prevent overinflation
- The featured protective ground mat is slightly larger than the tub, buy doesn’t come with straps integrated into the sides of the tub; instead, the cover’s latches connect to straps attached to the ground mat
- Includes a garden hose adaptor for easy drainage of the tub
- Comes with a six-month warranty on the inflatable tub and a 1-year warranty on the electrical parts
- The uninflated weight of the MSpa Alpine B-091 is 66 pounds, which is fairly reasonable
- Square shape allows for more space
- Carry case included with the product
- Garden hose adapter for the drainage spout
- Light-weight and durable
- Ground mat is not padded
- Attach straps not integrated into the tub
- Fairly large
Intex PureSpa – Best Inflatable Hot Tub 6 Persons
The 85-inch version of the famous Intex PureSpa is one of the best and more affordable 6-person hot tubs available in the market. It boasts an impressive 65-inche internal diameter with an overall inflatable diameter of 85 inches and has a height of 28 inches.
What we really like about the Intex PureSpa is its great design and build quality for the value. It is made from Intex’s own innovative Fiber-Tech construction, which is made up of high-strength polyester fibers that do not stretch over time. Intex promises superior and long-lasting durability from this design.
The Intex PureSpa also has a powerful and efficient 1,300 heater that heats at 2-3 percent per hour. This heater can warm the water up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. There are two versions of the PureSpa available: the 77-inch version and the 85-inch version. Both have the same set of features, but we recommend the 85-inch version for 6-person use.
- The 85-inch version of the Intex PureSpa has a whopping 290 gallons of capacity when 80% full
- The thermal ground cloth of this hot tub protects the bottom of the tub by adding a layer of insulation
- The pump and heater combination comes with a special water softener followed by a water filter, giving the PureSpa ample filtration features
- The 85-inch version comes with a whopping 140 high-powered bubble jets that not only provide some fun but also behave like massagers
- An insulated cover is included to greatly minimize heat loss and boasts a child-protection lock
- The included air pressure gauge helps you ensure you inflate the tub to the right level
- Warranty covered on the Intex PureSpa is 1 year for both the tub and electrical components
- Great all-round build and design
- Spacious and comfortable
- The water softening system
- Cover with child protected locks
- Great warranty coverage
- Over-inflation may cause leak
- May take a bit longer to heat
- Motor can be somewhat noisy
The most important factor to consider when buying a hot tub is its capacity. Unfortunately, many brands aren’t truthful in their advertising; they will often inflate (pun intended) the capacity figures to appease bigger families to buy more compact hot tubs, for whatever reason.
While looking at any hot tub, it’s important not to just to look at its overall diameter, but more importantly figure out its inner diameter when it is fully inflated. The height as well as inner diameter of an inflatable hot tub tell you more about a tub’s capacity than its outer one.
Another important factor to consider is the tank’s water capacity. While not always an accurate indicator of person-capacity in a tub, it gives you a good idea of the volume of the occupiable space in the tub.
Anything below a 250 gallons capacity is too less overall space for 4 people, in our opinion. Similarly, if you want a 6-person hot tub, consider a water capacity of around 280+.
The digital control panel is one of the most important parts of a hot tub. It is often situated right in front of the hot tub as a separate unit from the tub or placed on a pole next to the tub. It’s on the digital control panel where you will adjust temperature of water, set timers for the heater, adjust filtration system, use bubble jets, and more.
A good digital control panel that is also waterproof is extremely essential. We don’t need to tell you why it should be water proof, but its accessibility and ease of use should be an important consideration, because reaching around to awkward positions to access a panel while you slide and slip isn’t going to make a fun experience.
And like any good product, a good digital control panel will give the user more features to control. More control offers a better experience, and that’s what we all want in a hot tub.
The greatest consternation of any hot tub user is that it’ll pop or leak one day. This does happen, but it mostly happens with poor quality hot tubs or if one is misused (for example, by inflating it beyond the recommend air pressure).
Use of good materials and a smart design are what minimize such accidents from happening. Layered vinyl or PVC is the standard material used in hot tubs, but many brands utilize polyester and nylon to further reinforce the walls of the tub.
You’ll find different names from different brands for these reinforcing materials, but the epithet hardly matters. What’s important is that the hot tub is reinforced.
Many manufactures also use a segmented inflatable design that is reinforced with an I-beam structure. These make for a sturdier tub that you can comfortable lean against. Some tubs, such as the Intex one listed above, can even reliably support an adult sitting on the wall while maintain the shape. These are valuable additions that make for a sturdy and reliable hot tub.
A cover may not only speed up the heating process of the hot tub, it will also protect against dust and debris that may damage it. Many buyers do not give covers the importance they deserve.
Covers will help keep the water at a certain temperature while the tub is not in use and will insulate the tub from any external elements. While dust and large debris can easily be brushed off an inflated (unfilled) hot tub, a lot of things can clog up the filtration system and pumps. The latter can lead to a lot of complications.
We recommend that you not only invest in a hot tub with a good cover, but also one that comes with a safety locking system. The safety feature may not be a necessity for adults, but if you’re a family with children it becomes a must.
There’s no point of owning a hot tub if its not comfortable; the very essence of utilizing one is to relax and enjoy yourself. Unfortunately, some hot tubs are less comfortable than others.
Comfort is a very broad feature to look out for because it is factored by a lot of things. The first and foremost is the material quality. The second is the amount of space you have inside.
No one wants to share a hot tub that has you cramped awkwardly with another person due to lack of space. A comfortable hot tub will be one that allows you to stretch out enough that you don’t feel like you’re denying anyone else their personal space.
An additional feature you should look out for is padded and/or contoured seating. Padded/contoured seating prevent awkward sitting/lying positions which would otherwise put unnecessary stress on your back and hips.
Finally, nifty features like bubble jets with massaging ability are also great. These are not essential, but they really add to the experience.
Another factor that some would weigh (while others might think it’s unimportant) is the pump’s noise. Most inflatable hot tub pumps operate quietly, but there are a few that are unpleasantly boisterous. Some may not find a mild hum all that disturbing, but others will curse at the very hint of one. Majority of the pumps don’t have this problem, but if you’re sensitive to noise, you might want to sway away from brands.
Extra features in a hot tub are a bonus. They’re not highly essential to the core functionality, but they can certainly enhance the overall experience of using one. We’re talking about small but useful things like featured cup holders, automatic timers, and water softeners.
These nifty little features aren’t always found in combination in most mid-ranged inflated hot tubs, so you’ll primarily have to isolate your favorite one and choose it. The Intex PureSpa listed above is one of the few that has a water softener and can also come with some cup holders & storage space for an extra few bucks.
If you’re looking to add these nifty features to your hot tub, you’ll likely have to pay extra. Whether it’s worth it ultimately depends on your preferences and your wallet.
There are all sorts of accessories that come with an inflatable hot tub. We won’t talk about the obvious covers since that deserved a special section of its own, but we will talk about things such as filters cartridges and sterilizing chemicals.
Many inflatable hot tubs come with a water treatment system that utilizes a filter to clean out the water while it is pumped into the tub. It’s always nice to buy a hot tub that will include a couple of extra filters in the box.
That doesn’t mean you should cross out any brand that won’t, though; just make sure any filter the brand is using is both cheap and easily available. Filters are expendable and won’t last forever, so its in your own best interest to own a hot tub whose filters are easily available on the market.
Other accessories such as chemicals like bromine and chlorine are added bonuses, though you can get them separately quite cheaply. There are also test strips included in some boxes to measure the pH levels of the water.
These small things add up to make an overall great package, and it’s always best to choose an inflatable hot tub with all of them in it. Once again, it’s not rejection-worthy if a certain hot tub you like doesn’t come with these; just make sure it comes with other necessary tools that make its maintenance easy so it lasts for months or even years.
And finally, we have price. This one goes without saying. You don’t need to spend thousands to enjoy the spa experience in your own backyard. Inflatables are great because they’re affordable and portable.
We believe the hot tubs we’ve listed in this article are not only great performers, but also relatively affordable. Trust us when we say that we don’t want you to overspend on a hot tub that may not even be as good as one that is half its price.
In the world of hot tubs, price does not always mean premium quality. Yes, the price will rise with higher capacity and added bells & whistles, but you should be able to find ample products to choose from within a price range that won’t leave you depressed.
What advantages does an inflatable hot tub have over other types of tubs?
Hot tubs are great value-for-money leisure products that are preferred not just for their affordability, but also the ease of use. They’re compact when deflated, so they can be taken anywhere you wish in a car trunk or on foot if you have a helping hand.
Moreover, it takes just a few minutes to set them up. Pick a nice spot to place it, plug the pump in, and watch it inflate. Let the water warm up while you change into some swimwear, then hope in with someone to have a relaxing time.
What size do I need for a family with small children?
Children occupy less space than adults, so you can get away with using a 4 person hot tub to cram in a family of 5 or even 6 where at least three of them are young ones. That said, humans have variation in size, so we would recommend doing a rough calculation based on the average size of entire family to figure out what your tub’s internal diameter should be.
Can an inflatable hot tub be set-up indoors?
Yes. However, for safety aspects, you should make sure the floor of the room you set it up in is solid and durable. Also make sure it’s completely flat. Another important thing to remember is to choose a commodious room where any electrical sockets or plugged-in items are far away from the tub.
How much does it cost to run an inflatable hot tub?
The answer to this question will depend on the size and heating capacity of your hot tub, as well as which temperatures you like to set it to. Generally, a hot tub used intermittently will cost you $5 to $14 per week.