“I agonized when choosing between brands” — says a customer. With many inflatable hot tubs in the market, choosing the right one for your needs can seem like a daunting task.There are 12 different models available, but they are categorized under so many brands that it can make the decision overwhelming. That is why, we’ll present the top 5 best inflatable hot tubs in the market. With details of each one presented in this article, you’ll be able to make an informed choice without having to worry or go through any hassle.
My team and I researched more than 600 customers’ post-purchase reviews to help you pick the right inflatable hot tub for your needs:
In this article, I’ll present you with:
- Top-5 inflatable hot tubs based on post-purchase reviews
- Information on how we ranked the models
- How not to get lost in the hot tub model assortment
- Inflatable hot tub features/functions that need to be taken into account when choosing a hot tub (for example, hydro jets)
- Marketing-related factors that you should be aware of (Inflatable hot tubs are often marketed to appeal to customers but I’ll tell you which factors really matter and which factors are purely for marketing purposes)
Here are our winners in each capacity category:
|Bonus category: the only one in our list with real water jets|
Coleman SaluSpa/ Bestway Palm Springs Airjet
114 air jets
|- Strong bubble massage
- Power saving timer
- Insulated lockable cover (so it retains the heat, saves energy and dollars)
- Integrated water filtration system
- Affordable price
- Con: Small for 4 people
jump to our extended review
|Bonus category: the cheapest & the most popular one, despite its disadvantages|
Bestway Palm Springs HydroJet
8 Hydro jets
|- The only one in our list with real water jets (the rest have air jets - check the difference)
- Powerful 2000W heater
- Energy-saving timer (to schedule its runs)
- Insulated lockable cover (retains the heat, saves energy and dollars)
- Integrated water filtration system
jump to our extended review
A Pro Tip: Hot tub roominess is the single most important criteria that separates the happy owners from the unhappy. If you’re looking to buy a hot tub for 4 people, buy a hot tub spacious enough for 6 people. It will cost you $100-$150 more but the extra leg room will be totally worth it.
Inflatable hot tubs are a great way to get an easy to move and affordable spa without the hefty expenses. But it is important to note that they are made of basic materials and therefore you should not expect longevity from them. If you require a hot tub that will last you many years, opt for a standard hot tub instead.
The best hot tubs are rarely in stock
After the COVID-19 crisis, the demand for hot tubs has jumped significantly. This means that the best models often sell out the same day that they come in stock. If you have decided which model you will buy, subscribe for in-stock notifications below. To make it easier for our customers,we’re directly in touch with the manufacturers and can inform you a couple of days before your chosen hot tub is in stock. Here’s why we recommend buying from Amazon.
How did we decide?
This review is based on a 2 months long research. We analyzed the most popular inflatable hot tubs, their model lines and the typical issues associated with them. We studied the information that we got from manufacturers, along with the users pre-purchase questions & post-purchase reviews.
As a result of the research, we were able to obtain an understanding of the most sought-after features of inflatable hot tubs:
- Comfortable to sit in (roomy)
- Easy to operate
- Quality of construction
Presented above is a simplified list of the main features. Read on below to discover details and information on how we carried out our research.
Comparison table of top-5 inflatable hot tubs:
Instead of mentioning the specifications of each model in the table below, we’ll cut to the chase and we’ll rank the models based on their owner’s comments.
Let’s be honest: not all of the characteristics are 10 out of 10, there’s no silver bullet, but we made sure that the hot tubs that we recommend are as good as an inflatable hot tub can ever get!
|Model||Good massage effect||Roomy, comfy to sit in||Easy to operate||Stable construction||Customer service|
|Bestway 54155E Hawaii AirJet / Coleman SaluSpa AirJet|
|Coleman SaluSpa / Bestway Palm Springs Airjet (4 people)|
|Bestway Palm Springs HydroJet (4 persons)|
Why do all the models look so similar?
How to make sense of things and what’s the real difference?
The first thing that confuses customers is the fact that although there are many models in the market, they all seem so similar.
Facts you should know:
- There are only 5 manufacturers: Bestway, Intex, MSpa, Canadian Spa and a no name China factory
- There are around 15 trademarks that are being printed on basically the same hot tub models; the trademarks don’t indicate any difference, but the models do.
Look at the models below. They are branded as SaluSpa, Coleman, Lay-Z, but in reality they are all the same Bestway Hawaii hot tubs that are manufactured by Bestway. Sometimes they just list technical differences in their flyers, but this simply a different interpretation. For example: you will note differences in the water capacity with the same tub size – one image indicates 222 gal, the other 177 gal – how is this possible? Because sometimes they indicate the capacity of 80% of the tub (the level to which you need to fill the water), and sometimes — 100% (level to the top)
It’s very funny to see reviews that compare the Lay-Z spa vs. Coleman and SaluSpa hot tubs, when they are basically referring to the same model.
This is why if you are unable to differentiate between models, there is probably no difference in the first place.
— Robert E. Koenig, US
Here is a list of available manufacturers and the trademarks they use:
|Bestway trademarks||Intex trademarks||M-Spa trademarks||Canadian Spatrademarks||A no-name Chinese factory trademarks|
Lay-Z (used mostly in the UK)
There’s also Aleko, another hot tub manufacturer but we’re not going to consider it taking into account the amount of negative reviews it has. It’s the most disliked brand and we don’t want you to waste your time when it comes to choosing the right tub for your needs.
How to choose an inflatable hot tub? Check the research results
Manufacturers give us too much information, and it becomes hard to make a decision. We spoke with real users and reviewed hundreds of feedback to reveal what makes a real difference.
We figured out what impacts the post-purchase experience the most – “Real features”.
We also have figured out the “marketing features”: features that have no impact at all but seem very attractive when you are first buying a hot tub.
We found that all the criteria can be divided into 5 main groups:
- Comfortable to sit in (roomy)
- Easy to operate
- Construction quality
In this table, I’ll show the most important & the most useless criteria (features) of inflatable hot tubs:
(most users marked these criteria in their reviews)
(fewer users noted these criteria in their reviews)
|✔ roomy, enough room for legs|
✔ air moves comfortably, powerful jets
✔ stays warm for longer
✔ silent hot tub
(allows you to completely relax)
|✔ easy to remove
(all inflatable hot tubs are alike)
(you don’t need a separate ‘headrest’, there’s always a space you can lean on)
(all inflatable hot tubs are equally lightweight)
✔ looks good
(it's unlikely that you can get a luxury design of the inflatable hot tub, if you need it, look at an ordinary one)
|Easy to operate
|✔ easy to assemble/clear instructions|
(no extra stress)
✔ easy to maintain
(you want peace of mind, no additional work)
✔ quickly heat up
(You can't heat it quickly, but there is a difference, 18-20h vs 35-40h or even more)
|✔ quickly drain/fill
(depends more on the pipe pressure)
✔ quickly inflate/deflate
(inflation time is negligible when compared to the time needed to heat it)
|✔ good pump|
(provided with most of your spa systems)
✔ strong and stable
(spa will not roll over or deform and will last a long time)
✔ doesn’t leak
(does not leak water or air)
✔ control panel
(convenient to use, comfy location)
✔ save energy
(bill cost reduction)
(most of them are)
✔ long cord
(usually, the length is enough)
✔ ground pad
(protects the bottom of the hot tub and minimizes water damage)
✔ patch kit
(you can fix it yourself)
|✔ cup holder
(you can buy it separately)
✔ LED lights
(you can buy them separately)
✔ storage box
(you can keep it in a cardboard box)
|✔ easy replacement of defective goods/return|
(you will not lose your money)
|✔ support service
(if you can’t set it up, there is a bunch of how-to videos on YouTube)
We have compared all the inflatable hot tubs against this list, and the tubs that scored the best made it to our winners list.
Review of each model
1. Intex 85in PureSpa: best 6-person hot tub
|Seating capacity||6 (4 people can stretch)||Flow rate||460 gal/hr (1741L/hr)|
|Water capacity||290 gal (1098 L)||Temperature range||68-104ºF (20-40ºC)|
|Dimensions Inner/Outer||65in/85in (1,65m/2,16m) Height: 28in (71cm)||Heating system||1-2ºF/hr (0.5-1ºC/hr)|
|Material||Laminate PVC||Electrical requirement||110-120V|
|Heater||1300W||Hard water system||10V|
|Air Blower||800W||Filter Pump||12V/50W|
|Jets||140 air jets|
Because it is the most spacious hot tub for 5-6 people in which the heating and the jets can work simultaneously. A great addition is a built-in water softener that is a big bonus if you have hard water in your region.
This one also scored the best among all hot tubs based on important features, like:
- Space & Size — It’s the largest spa in our list and it is big enough to fit up to 6 people comfortably and up to 4 people that can stretch out.
- Massage & Heater — 140 air jets (not real jets but bubbles) along the bottom edge create a relaxing massage effect. The heater works simultaneously with the bubble jets (about a half of inflatable hot tubs can’t heat the water with the jets on!) and prevents the water from сooling during the massage.
- Ergonomic Control Panel — Intuitive buttons are located at a comfy location on the side of the tub, and allow users to control all the features while they soak. Most customers agreed that the control panel eliminates confusion as the buttons are clearly marked. You don’t even need to see the instructions.
- Construction & Material — Special Fiber-Tech Construction consisting of many high-strength polyester fibers, provides increased comfort, stability and support. Unlike traditional internal beam (I-beam) structures, high-strength polyester fibers do not stretch over time. The Fiber-Tech Construction and the puncture-resistant 3-ply laminated (pleasant to the body) material provide the ultimate comfort, support, and durability. Most users are surprised that they really can sit on the side of this hot tub.
- Easy to Setup — No additional devices are required. With a built-in inflation system, it takes about 20-30 minutes to install it from the box, but consider the filling time (≈1h) and heating time (≈20-30h). You can save time by adding hot water from the water supply, but it has some restrictions: make sure the water temperature is not higher than 104F (40C), check the pH level and correct it if needed right after filling. There can be germs and bacteria in your hot water system that may also grow in the hot tub water. If you want to save money, ensure that using hot water costs you less than using electricity to heat the cold water.
- Hard Water Softener + Water Filtration System (most tubs have only filtration but not a softener) — A built-in water softener makes water more gentle on your skin as well as your hot tub equipment, 2 changeable filters used to remove contamination. A quick look at how it works: the technology generates an electromagnetic field that converts calcium and other minerals to suspended crystals. These crystals are then filtered through a cartridge and as a result you get soft water in your spa!
- Easy to Maintain — Includes 2 filter cartridges that are easy to replace by yourself. There is a floating chemical dispenser, you just have to put chlorine or bromine tablets in it to kill algae or germs in the tub’s water.
- Extra Safety — A pump is supplied with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), ground fault trip current not exceeding 6mA.
- Wide set of Accessories (almost everything you need is included, you only have to buy chemicals): Insulated lockable cover, thermal ground cloth, 2 filter cartridges, inflation hose, 1 chemical floater, 3-way test strips, owner’s DVD, repair patches and a carry bag.
Intex 85in Pure Spa Video Review
Intex 85in PureSpa Owner’s Reviews
— Nick, US
— Jace Proctor, US
— Customer, US
- It’s the most spacious one
- The heater works simultaneously with the bubbles
- It comes with a hard water softener system
- It has an innovative fibre-tech construction and its own carry bag
- No power-saving timer
Is it a buy?
Yes, it’s the best option out there for 4-6 people (the largest inflatable hot tub). Let’s hope you get lucky and can find it in stock again.
2. Bestway 54155E Hawaii Air Jet (Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii AirJet) — the roomiest hot tub for 4 persons
|Seating capacity||4||Heating System||3-4℉/h (1.5~2.0℃/h)|
|Water capacity||222 gal (840 L)||Temperature range||68-104ºF (20-40ºC)|
|Dimensions Inner/Outer||51 in/71 in (1,30 m/1,80 m) Height: 28in (71cm)||Jets||114 air jets|
|Material||3-ply reinforced Tritech™ PVC||Flow rate||320 gal/hr (1211L/hr)|
|Air Blower||800W||Filter Pump power||50W|
|Filled weight||1,938 lbs (878kg)||Heater||2000W|
Why this? The most spacious hot tub for 4 people — you can sit comfortably in the corners. It has a rapid heat system that maintains a stable temperature. It has a strong and stable construction. It firmly holds its shape and does not leak.
- Roominess & Size — Due to its square shape, it can comfortably accommodate up to 4 adults (do not pay attention that the flyer says 4-6). It’s the most spacious spa for 4 people in our list. Cushioned floor — comfortable sitting, no extra seats needed.
- Massage System — 114 air jets (not water jets but bubbles) along the bottom edge create a relaxing massage effect.
- Heater — The most powerful in our list (2000W). The rapid heating system maintains demanded temperature, works simultaneously with bubble jets (about a half of inflatable hot tubs can’t heat the water with the jets on!) and prevents the water from сooling during the massage.
- Energy-Saving Timer — It allows you to schedule when you want the hot tub to start heating up. This means it will be ready when you get home from work. Note that you need to restart it every 72 hours, otherwise it will turn off automatically.
- Easy to Setup — No additional devices are required. It takes about 15-20 minutes to install it from the box, but keep in mind the filling time (≈45min) and heating time (≈24h). It is easy to cover and take off the tent (reinforced cover with safety lock clips and a built-in air chamber for insulation).
- Water Filtration System — Integrated 2 filters are easy to clean/change cartridges.
- Easy to Maintain — Cleaning and changing the filters is easy. For the newer models from 2019, the spas are equipped with a chemconnect dispenser that requires chlorine or bromine tablets (attached to the valve on the wall of the spa). For older models, you should use a floater.
- Easy to Move — Handles for transportation (when empty). It has an additional exhaust fitting for quicker deflation of the spa for storage
- Extra Safety — Pump is supplied with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), ground fault trip current not exceeding 6mA
Bestway 54155E Hawaii Video Review
Hawaii Air Jet Owner’s Reviews
— Tifanni Wilson, US
— Kathi, US
Concern 1. Air bubbles instead of jets.
I was certain that they would not be good enough as jets. I am so glad to have been proved incorrect. The bubbles are surprisingly strong and offer a decent full body massage. You can also learn various seating positions that allow the bubbles to hit your back in certain places. I actually prefer the air bubbles rather than the jets because they provide the same advantage without any beating that can happen with strong jets.
Concern 2. How can an inflatable tub be strong enough?
The strength and durability are a win-win too because I was very skeptical whether it could accommodate our large family and it definitely can. The material it is made from is quite thick and of good quality. We have children and teens that jump in and out of the tub and it has retained its shape perfectly!.
— NM Plank, US
- The most spacious one for 4 people
- Users can conveniently sit at the corners
- A powerful 2000W heater works simultaneously with the bubbles
- It has a stable construction with a cushioned bottom
- It is also equipped with an energy-saving timer
- The energy-saving timer automatically turns off the system after 72 hours, it must be restarted manually.
Is it a buy?
Yes, it’s the best choice for max 4 people.
3. Bestway/SaluSpa Siena AirJet — best 2-person hot tub, specially designed for couples
|Seating capacity||2||Flow rate||350 gal/hr (1325L/hr)|
|Water capacity||135 gal (511 L)||Temperature range||68-104 F (20-40C)|
|Dimensions Inner/Outer||98in/78in x 59/39in (2,50m/1,98m )x 1,50m) Height: 26in (66cm)||Jets||127 air jets|
|Material||3-ply reinforced Tritech™ PVC||Electrical requirement||110-120V|
|Air Blower||750W||Filled weight||1,205 lbs (547 kg)|
|Heating system||3-4 F/h (1.5—2.0 C/h)|
Why this? It’s the best for couples, the original shape is not only designed well but also makes it very comfy to soak together. You can sit side by side or opposite without bending your legs.
Our users also liked the following features in this hot tub:
- Plenty of Room & Comfort — Best reviews were about capacity — though small ,it is roomy at the same time. It can accommodate 2 people stretching out and you really have enough space for legs. Cushioned floor — no need for extra seats. Two handles enable the users to go in and out of the spa safely. Considering that it is longer than round hot tubs, it may require extra space.
- Massage — Users note that 127 air jets (not real jets but bubbles) create an enjoyable, muscle relaxing massage.
- Pump — Heat, massage and filtration can work simultaneously, although if the massage session exceeds 20 minutes, the water temperature will drop slightly to 99°F (37.2°C).
- Easy to Setup — No additional devices are required, it quickly inflates with the spa pump. It takes about 10 minutes to install it from the box, but consider the filling time (≈45min) and heating time (≈18-20h).
- Easy to Maintain — Two filter cartridges are easy to replace. It also has a floating chemical dispenser in which you may use or bromine tablets to purify the hot tub’s water.
- Easy to Move — It’s lightweight in accordance with round tubs and can be used indoors or even on the balcony, check if your floor is strong enough to support 1,205 lbs (547kg) plus users weight.
- Extra Safety — A pump is supplied with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), ground fault trip current not exceeding 6mA
SaluSpa Siena AirJet Video Review
SaluSpa Siena AirJet Owner’s Reviews
— Thom, US
— Darrel, US
— Mary, US
- Most spacious for 2 people — one of a kind shape for couples
- It has a practical drink and snack tray
- It is lightweight in accordance with round hot tubs and can be used on a deck or on the ground floor indoors (but check all the restrictions)
- SaluSpa Siena AirJet is rarely available
- There is no LED light, but you can buy one separately to get a more romantic feel
- When you use the massage feature for a long time (>20min), the temperature of the water decreases
Is it a buy?
Yes, it’s the best inflatable hot tub for two people – maybe just like you and your loved one?
|Seating capacity||4||Flow rate||350 gal/hr (1325L/hr)|
|Water capacity||210 gal (511 L)||Heating Capacity||104 F (40℃)|
|Dimensions Inner/Outer||77in x 28in (1.96 m x 71 cm)||Flow Rate||350 gal./h (1,325 L/h)|
|Material||3-ply reinforced Tritech™ PVC||Electrical requirement||220-240V|
|Jets||8 Hydrojets||Jet pump power||1200W|
|Heating System||3-4℉/h (1.5~2.0℃/h)||Filled Weight||1,905 Lb. (864 kg)|
Why this? This is the only hot tub with real Hydro jets in our list. You will enjoy a powerful massage effect almost the same as in an ordinary jacuzzi. It has a strong construction, a power saving timer, an insulated cover, it is easy to move, easy to set up and also easy to maintain.
What users like in this hot tub:
- Massage — The hydrodynamic massage system has 8 adjustable hydrojets — enjoy a water jet massage (not only bubbles as in most inflatable hot tubs!). The jet pump might even be an overkill: it’s 1200W, just like in most 4-person non-inflatable (so-called “portable”) hot tubs.
- Heater — The most powerful in our top ones (2000W), it provides fast heating of the water and keeps up at a given level, but keep in mind that it can’t work simultaneously with the massage or filtration systems.
- Power Saving System — It has an automatic start/stop timer — controlled heating system (note that you must restart it every 72 hours, otherwise it will turn off automatically).
- Sturdy Construction — The inflated walls are made of TriTech material (reinforced PVC), which provides durability and seating comfort.
- Insulation — Reinforced cover with safety lock clips and built-in air chamber for insulation, also has an insulated floor.
- Easy to Setup — No additional devices are required, it quickly inflates by an AC air pump (the hand pump is also included, but don’t be alarmed, you do not need to manually pump the hot tub, it is used at the end of inflation to raise the pressure to the required pressure. The manometer is also included), it takes about 30 minutes to install it from the box, but consider filling time (≈45min) and heating time (≈16-20h).
- Easy to move: There are 2 easy-lift handles to help move the spa pool (when empty). It has a convenient drain valve in the floor. Additional exhaust fitting provides quicker deflation of the spa when the user is ready to store it away.
- Easy to Maintain — It has an Integrated water filtration system, you should clean and change the filters and add chemicals to balance the water.
- Easy to Operate — Equipped with a digitally controlled pump with a soft-touch control panel.
- Extra Safety — The pump is supplied with a residual current device — rated residual operating current not exceeding 10mA.
Bestway Palm Springs HydroJet Video Review
Bestway Palm Springs HydroJet Owner’s Reviews:
— Ron, US
— L. Young, US
— Jillian, US
— Markus, US
- Powerful hydro jets (real water jets), easy to set up and easy to operate
- Can’t use the jets and other functions (heater, filtration) simultaneously
- It is also advertised as 4-6 persons but can actually accommodate 2 people stretching out and 4 people touching
Is it a buy?
Yes. It is slightly more expensive but worth the money for those who want to enjoy real water jets and the powerful massage action that comes with them.
4. Coleman SaluSpa/ Bestway Palm Springs Airjet — the best balance between quality and price with many features
|Seating capacity||advertised 4-6/real 2-4||Flow rate||320 gal/hr (1211L/hr)|
|Water capacity||242 gal (916 L)||Heating Capacity||104 F (40℃)|
|Dimensions Inner/Outer||77in x 28in (1.96 m x 71 cm )||Heating System||2-3℉/h (1.0-1.5℃/h)|
|Material||3-ply reinforced Tritech™ PVC||Jets||114 air jets|
|Air Blower||780W||Filter Pump||80W|
Although this one doesn’t outshine the rest of the models, it’s a popular and well-tried one. It’s the cheapest among the “not bad” hot tubs – that’s why it might be a great buy if you are looking for a balance between quality and price. So in this one you get many features for an affordable price but there are some cons too, let’s take a look.
Construction — The walls are made of 3-ply reinforced PVC and consist of many air pockets (I-beam construction) that provides strength and stability of the liner, so you can even sit on the side of the spa without it deforming.
Massage — 120 air jets (there are not real jets but air bubblers) that spread out around the bottom of the spa and create a pleasant and relaxing massage.
Heater — The automated heating system can heat up to 3F in an hour (but it widely depends on the temperature outside). Its maximum — 104 F (40C). In this model, the heater can’t work simultaneously with the massage system.
Water Filtration and Purifying — It is equipped with an automatic filtration system. You only need to clean and replace the filter cartridges. You also need to add pool chemicals to the spa water to control the pH level.
Control Panel — Comes with an easy and understandable digital control panel that is at the top of the operational block. You can control all the features with a touch of a few buttons.
Power Saving System — It has an automatic start/stop timer-controlled heating system (note that you must restart it every 72 hours otherwise it will turn off automatically).
Easy to setup — All that is required is a spa pump to inflate the tub.
Easy to move — Presence of 2 handles to easily move the spa (when empty).
Coleman SaluSpa/ Bestway Palm Springs Airjet Video Review
Coleman SaluSpa/ Bestway Palm Springs Airjet Reviews:
— Customer, US
— Stacy, US
— Janet, US
- Strong bubble massage
- Easy to set up
- Equipped with a useful insulated cover
- The floor is cushioned enough eliminating the need of extra seats
- It is strong enough for someone to sit on a side without it being deformed (I-beam construction)
- The heater and jets can’t work together (bubbles cooling the water and you can’t use it for a long time — >20min)
- It is advertised as 4-6 persons but can actually accommodate 2 people stretching out and 4 touching
Is it a buy?
Tentatively, yes. Provides a great price/quality balance, and is the most popular model. You won’t regret it but why not pay $100-$200 more for a much more up-to-date model like this one with real water jets?
5. Bestway Palm Springs HydroJet — powerful water massage with real jets, for 4 people
Palm Springs HydroJet Spa
Separating the wheat from the marketing BS
I just can’t get past this. Let’s see what you should know about the main features and factors related to hot tubs, because they often do not write it clearly online or in the little booklets that come with them.
Your hot tub can be equipped with air jets or hydro jets or a combination of them. But what is the difference?
Hydro Jets — Real jets, blow water
Pros: Provide a powerful massage effect (strong and direct) with no heat loss.
Cons: A small number of jets per seat (you can only get a back massage).
Air Jets — Just bubbles, blow air
Pros: Provide a gentle massage effect at an affordable price, A wide variety of hot tubs with air jets are available.
Cons: Heat loss due to the cool air injected into the water.
Findings: We often hear that inflatable hot tubs can give the same massage effect as ordinary hot tubs, but it is an exaggeration. Ordinary hot tubs usually have 10-30 jets that target each person and massage jets impact the whole body including the shoulders, back, legs and feet. Inflatable hydro jet spas commonly have 8 jets per spa. Commonly 2 jets per person and they are placed only at the back level on the side of the spa. This is a clear difference in the massage effect. Although most inflatable hot tubs are not equipped with hydro jets but so-called air Jets, the air jets only blow air to produce bubbles. These air jets create a light massage effect, even though there may be more than 100 “jets”.
On the other hand, massage in an inflatable hot tub with bubbles is still very pleasant and relaxing. Totally worth it!
What people say:
— C.T, Michigan US
Heating up time
Inflatable hot tubs heat the water for a surprisingly long time. If you expect to take a dip on the day of purchase, then you probably did not guess that heating the water takes a considerably long time. It can range from 12-48 hours or even longer. The heating time does depend on many factors like: the type of heater and pump, initial water temperature, ambient temperature and weather conditions and insulation (cover, walls, ground). Note, that there is no direct dependence on the water capacity of the hot tub – a high powered heater and pump (water flow rate — gal(L)/hr) can provide faster heating in a large spa than less powerful ones in a small spa.
If the heating time is very important to you, please pay attention to the heater power and water flow rate of the inflatable spa. But don’t expect very fast results in any case. Inflatable hot tubs are designed for continuous running, so you can expect to wait at the start and then the water temperature will be maintained at your preference.
To provide you with a clear picture, let’s see how long it takes to heat the water in different cases:
|Heating System||Initial water temperature||Heating time up to max 104F (40C) degrees|
|3-4℉/h (1.5~2.0℃/h)||50F (10C)||13-18 hours|
|60F (15,5C)||11-15 hours|
|70F (21C)||8-11 hours|
|50F (10C)||27-54 hours|
|1-2℉/h (0.5~1.0℃/h)||60F (15,5C)||22-44 hours|
|70F (21C)||17-34 hours|
Pump/Air blower/Filter pump
The pump is used not only for running the massage system, but also for heating and filtering the water simultaneously, which prevents the water temperature from dropping. The pump can also be used to inflate and deflate the spa.
Seating Capacity — Specificated vs Real
It’s no secret that manufacturers love to exaggerate the characteristics of their products. So, if you find “4-6” or “5-7” people specifications, you should focus on the lower mark if you want to sit freely and be able to relax and stretch your legs.
What users say:
— Customer, US
Material — Premium TriTech™ Material, Puncture-resistant 3-ply laminated material — all of these are types of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that are used for inflatable spas. These materials are strong and stable to minimize damage and withstand temperatures up to 104F/40С.
Construction — Is unique to each manufacturer, but there are two most popular ones used in inflatable hot tubs & pools:
I-Beam (inner-beam) Construction — The walls of the inflatable spa are separated by beams. These beams reinforce the walls of the hot tub and allow you to lean and sit on the side without deforming the spa.
The walls are connected by thousands of strong polyester fibers which don’t stretch in the course of time. The fibers provide superior and long-lasting durability. The result is a firm and steady construction that makes it possible for users to sit comfortably and without worry on the sides of the spa.
Hot tubs that didn’t make it to this list – also good, but not the best
Intex 28439E Greywood LED Light
This hot tub is almost similar to the Intex 85in PureSpa with a new color and LED lights. As for the design of the hot tub, it’s more of a compromise. Nevertheless the model looks appealing due to its stylish wooden design and the multicoloured LEDs that really stand out and look amazing at night.
Do I recommend it? Tentatively, yes. We have this one in the lab, but it’s hard to judge its durability as for now. And there are still not enough owners that we can survey (because it is a new one), as well as not enough reviews about this model. Nevertheless, technically this model is almost the same as the one that secures our 1st place – Intex 85in PureSpa so it’s worth a try.
Bestway Hot Tub, Miami (4-person)/ Coleman SaluSpa Portable 4 Person
Main features: Fits 2-4 people, air jets massage system, 104 F (40°C) rapid heating system, energy saving timer, easy to move, insulated and safety features.
Do I recommend it? Hesitantly. This hot tub has a good case of features for its budget, but what bothers me is that many users complain about it leaking.
Bestway 54190E / SaluSpa AirJet Helsinki 6-Person
Main features: Suitable for 5-7 people, air jets massage system, 104 F (40°C) rapid heating system, premium thin walls, easy setup, stylish wooden design and all-year-round use technology.
Do I recommend it? Hesitantly. This spa is a good choice, but many users note that the air jet bubbles in this model are not strong enough and can provide a light relaxing massage. So, for those of you who are after a strong massage effect, this one’s not for you.
SaluSpa Paris AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub w/ LED Light Show
Main features: Multicolor LED lighting system, suitable for 4 people, air jet massage system, 104 F (40°C) rapid heating system and an energy saving timer.
Do I recommend it? Hesitantly. This hot tub has many features and a wow factor — LED lights, but what bothers me is that many users complain about the working of the pump.
Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa
Main features: Bubble massage system provides relaxation, easy-to-use control panel, heating system works with massage, built-in hard water treatment system makes water gentle and soft. Fiber-Tech construction and 3-ply laminated PVC material provides support and durability. Easy maintenance with two replaceable filter cartridges. Great insulation that minimizes heat loss. A carry bag for easy storage.
Do I recommend it? Hesitantly. This is a good and reliable spa, but I advise you to pay a little extra and take the former size of this spa Intex 85in PureSpa.
Intex PureSpa Jet & Bubble Deluxe Portable Hot Tub, Octagon, 79″ X 79″ X 28″
Main Features: It’s unique octagonal shape is appealing and can fit up to 4 people. 120 high-powered bubble jets provide a relaxing massage. Depending on the version, it can also be equipped with 4 water jets. So you can enjoy bubbles and jets simultaneously. It’s easy to set up and operate. It also has a built-in inflation system and a puncture-resistant 3-ply laminated PVC stable construction.
Do I recommend it? Hesitantly. This spa enchants with its unusually beautiful shape and a wide case of features, but the disadvantages are complaints of leakage.
What should you keep in mind before purchasing an inflatable hot tub?
Inflatable hot tubs eliminate delivery and installation hassles. While they are pretty easy to install and move around, they still need a flat and smooth surface and some time to be set up correctly.
In most cases you already have everything you need to get started, let’s check:
- Where to install it? Anywhere outside, provided there is a smooth and flat surface. If you want to install it inside, it’s more complicated — go here for more details
- How to connect the electricity? Just have an outlet nearby, the six hot tubs that we recommend each have a cord of at least 12 ft. Never use an extension cable because of the risk of fire. If the location you choose is far from the power outlet, install another outlet in that place. All the hot tubs given in the “winners” section have embedded circuit breakers, thus installing another one is not necessary. Just plug and play.
- How to fill it? Fill your spa with water from a garden hose but be careful to not overfill it.
- How to drain it? Drain it with a garden hose into your sewer (not in the rain sewage system), or on the lawn (make sure that water with chemicals from the hot tub won’t damage any flora or fauna and there are no buildings nearby).
- What chemicals are needed? You should buy the recommended chemicals like or Bromine to purify the water as well as to monitor. You can buy these chemicals in the stores without any problems. If you’re still hesitant to use chemicals — see how to get a chemical-free hot tub.
With all the information that you could possibly need on investing in an inflatable hot tub, we are certain that we have made it easy for you to pick a suitable model and make the most of it. Choose your preferred model from our top 5 and get your hands on it while it is still in stock.
*Here’s how we rated the models, take a look inside our research process (the full document is our proprietary development so we can show just a part of it):
Where to purchase an inflatable hot tub
While you can purchase these hot tubs from hundreds of places online and offline, we recommend that you purchase inflatable hot tubs from Amazon. Reason: inflatable hot tubs are less reliable than hard-side hot tubs. In case you receive a broken or damaged product, or you simply don’t like it, you can count on Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee and return the product without any hassle. Amazon is well-reputed for being on the side of the customer, and if something happens – dealing with Amazon is far easier than dealing with a Chinese company.
♨️How do inflatable hot tubs work?
Inflatable hot tubs have a simple design, they include a liner, a heater, a pump, and a massage system (water jets or bubble jets — see how they differ in outour article). You have to fill the tub with water using a garden hose (no plumbing required) and plug it in a power supply (inflated, heated, and run by electricity).
⏳How long do inflatable hot tubs take to heat the water?
Inflatable hot tubs heat water at an approximate rate of 1-4°F/hr (0,5-2°C/ hr). The time will vary for different hot tub models (we marked this characteristic for each model in the article). The time taken to heat the water is dependent on some conditions. It may take 6 to 48 hours and depends on the heater’s power, the initial water temperature, water capacity, and weather conditions. To reduce heating time, always keep the tub covered with a hot tub/pool cover when heating.
❄️Can inflatable hot tubs be used in the winter?
The winter season offers ideal conditions for a hot tub. Although it is the best time to use your hot tub, most of them aren’t designed to be used in temperatures that drop below 40F. There are all year round inflatable hot tubs that you can use in winter months e.g. — the Helsinki AirJet (min ambient temperature 14F (-10C)). If the climate is very cold in your area and the temperature drops below 14F (-10C), you should not use an inflatable hot tub outdoors because the frost can damage the hot tub.
🚀Do inflatable hot tubs have jets?
Yes, but most of them are not the same ones in regular jacuzzis. If your hot tub is equipped with Air Jets — the massage is provided with air bubbles, and not with water pressure. If you require a hot tub with real jets, opt for one that has Water Jets (not air or bubble jets). Water jets are also not the same as regular hot tub jets. In this article, we discuss the difference between Air jets and Hydro jets.
⚖️How to choose an inflatable hot tub in 2020?
Before choosing an inflatable hot tub, you must understand how it works. In this article, we have easy-to-follow instructions on how to choose an inflatable hot tub. We consider the main features to make your choice easy, quick, and informed.
💲How much do inflatable hot tubs cost?
In 2020, the cheapest model costs around $ 400, and the most expensive costs over $ 2,000. The most popular models are in the $700-1,200 price range. View the actual price and customer reviews of the Top-5 Inflatable Hot Tubs.
👍🏽What is the best inflatable hot tub on the market?
The best inflatable hot tub — is the one that has a good price, is of high-quality, and most importantly – that suits your requirements. We conducted thorough research to provide our readers with the Top-5 best rated inflatable hot tubs in 2020. Read our article to see the reviews and how we rated the hot tubs. 1. Intex 85in PureSpa, 2. Hawaii AirJet, 3. Siena AirJet, 4. Palm Springs HydroJet, and 5. Coleman SaluSpa.
✔️Where are inflatable hot tubs in stock?
Since the COVID-19 crisis, the demand for hot tubs has risen significantly. This means that the best models are often out of stock and you would be lucky if you can get your hands on your preferred hot tub. If you have decided which model you want to buy, subscribe for in-stock notifications (fill the form in the article) and we will inform you as soon as the hot tubs become available.