Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth It? (Yes! Here’s Why…)

By Dillon •  Updated: 04/08/21 •  24 min read

Are inflatable hot tubs worth it?

Yes, inflatable hot tubs are worth it and usually cost between $500 and $1000. These spas are great for people who need a hot tub and are on a strict budget. However, in colder climates, be aware that temperatures below 50° F will make keeping a water temperature of 104° F more difficult for inflatable hot tubs.

Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

The best inflatable hot tub is the Bestway Saluspa Miami Air Jet Inflatable Spa (Gray) which I recommend.

A few months ago, a friend of mine bought an inflatable hot tub and has had a pretty interesting experience with it so far.

I decided to do some more research on inflatable hot tubs and this is what I found…

But there’s a great deal more to be conscious of about inflatable hot tubs and whether or not they are worth purchasing or if you should save for a far more permanent one.

When it comes to hot tubs, you will find so many unique options available on the market. You can take a hot tub built into the soil. Or you could buy a hard-sided hot tub, which is the most common. But inflatables are very budget-friendly and certainly will be an excellent option too.

Let’s talk about why inflatable hot tubs are worth it in greater detail.

Let’s get started!

Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Good?

Yes, inflatable hot tubs are good because of how affordable and easy to maintain they are. There are several reasons why you would want to buy an inflatable hot tub. But probably the most important point is the upfront affordability and cheaper running costs compared to larger, more expensive hot tubs which require electrical, more maintenance, and professional care.

Regular hard-sided hot tubs often have complex plumbing systems, more than 2 pumps, more complex electrical systems, and are designed not to be moved.

These complex hot tubs are often well over $10,000 and come in multiple configurations.

Inflatable hot tubs will cost between $500 – $2000 and are as simple as they come.

Inflatable hot tubs on the other hand are capable of being much more portable, can be easily maintained, inflated, and deflated quickly, and can be quickly troubleshot.

If you live in a warmer climate with mild winters, this also makes inflatable hot tubs a more viable investment as they can potentially be used all year.

Check out this great article about the health benefits of inflatable hot tubs!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tWDDDBxPmk

Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Expensive to Run?

Yes. Inflatable hot tubs tend to be somewhat more costly to operate compared to standard hot tubs. You may be prepared to pay roughly $50/month in your electric bill based upon your place temperature and the climate where you reside. The cost is due to poor insulating material and heat retention’s inefficiency in contrast to more durable hot tubs.

Inflatable hot tubs cost roughly $1.20 daily normally. This compares to approximately $1.00 each day to get an in-ground or mobile hard-sided hot tub.

However, the expense of conducting any spa depends upon:

The expense of power per kWh is discovered in your electric charge, which will be precisely the same regardless of the sort of spa you’ve got. However, the score of one’s pump is going to be restricted to the power source.

Most inflatable hot tubs run off a 110v 13amp supply. This is essential information when setting up electrical in your outdoor space.

You simply inflate the spa and proceed. As long as you possess some good ground and a socket within 15 feet of the place you would like your inflatable hot tub, that is everything you require.

Nevertheless, the major drawback is that the pump and heater are confined by 1 to 2 1.2kW maximum with this particular power supply. Regular bathtubs running 220 – even 240v do have significantly more powerful pumps, a few as much as 7kW, and you’re able to run either simultaneously.

How Long Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Last?

If you’re considering buying an inflatable spa, you might wonder just how long it will last. It will not last as long as a hard shell hot tub. But are inflatables worth the amount of money? Or do they not survive long enough to be well worth the investment?

So, how long do inflatable hot tubs last?

Inflatable hot tub longevity depends on how well maintained the spa is and the absence of manufacturer defects. Some owners report issues after only a month or two of ownership, while others get up to five years use out of them. The average seems to be approximately 2 to 3 years of use.

Inflatable hot tubs are now hugely popular in the last few years and understandably so. They have a practicality factor that you aren’t getting with a hard shell spa. They’re relatively quick to set up.

Most of all, they let you check the wonderful world of hot tubbing without making a substantial financial investment. It makes sense to go for an inflatable hot tub initially as these spas are quick and straightforward to set up, and if you don’t like it, you have made a relatively small fiscal commitment.

Inflatable hot tubs do have some drawbacks. They are more prone to getting soggy or coming apart as the lightweight material is under a significant amount of pressure and strain. That is particularly true in inflatable hot tubs at which the material has to deal with water pressure and the weight of individuals sitting on the sides. However, many of them are built with proper support structures to handle the extra weight.

Many inflatable hot spa owners who suffer from problems report PVC collapse problems where the material has come apart, ripped, cracked, or joints came back. But, to complicate the issue, there are also many complaints concerning faulty pumps/heaters and joints/connections. To handle these different issues, manufacturers such as Bestway and Coleman offer product warranties to address such problems.

From reading the consumer reviews, the manufacturers have addressed many of the problems. In recent years they have improved the products and services they provide.

Check out our full article on how long do hot tubs last for more information!

inflatable hot tub

Do You Leave Inflatable Hot Tubs On All The Time?

Yes, you should leave your inflatable hot tub on all the time to ensure the hot tub is in good working order. The hot tub will consume less energy if the water temperature is maintained and is well insulated. Water chemistry and filtration will also be maintained if the hot tub remains powered. Only turn the hot tub off for long periods if you are draining the spa and going on a vacation, cleaning your hot tub, or winterizing your hot tub.

You can turn off your hot tub, but this is not a recommended practice. A hot tub that remains running will usually consume less electricity than turning it on and off. When the hot tub is powered up, the heater will need an enormous amount of energy to reheat the water. The filtration system will also need to run consistently for a longer time causing more energy consumption.

For more information on hot tubs being powered on all the time, check out our article.

I usually advise turning off the hot tub in situations you’ll be away for an extended period. For instance, being away for months might require you to turn off the hot tub because it will consume unnecessary amounts of electricity. A good example is leaving for a vacation home. It makes no sense to allow the hot tub to run for months when you know you won’t be using it. So turning off the spa and draining it is best practice.

Some circumstances and situations can make you not use the hot tub over a long period. When you find yourself in a situation like this, there’s no point keeping the hot tub running. Remember that I advocate for keeping the hot tub running when you plan to use it at a higher frequency. Doing this will make the tub ready for use any time you need it. It will also help to keep the electricity bills at a minimum.

Remember that it’s okay to turn your hot tub off when carrying out routine maintenance practices or cleaning. You should turn it off while refilling or draining the old water. When maintaining the hot tub or replacing its parts, I strongly advise that you always turn it off. Failing to do so can cause electrocution because you can touch the wrong component.

So, Should I leave my hot tub on all the time? Yes, however, turn it off when you are not using it over a long time or planning on maintaining and servicing the hot tub.

Check out this great article from shop clear water pools about leaving a hot tub off when not used for more information.

Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Good In Winter?

Yes, most inflatable hot tubs are also good to use in cold temperatures. But they fight to keep the established water temperature if the current weather falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. An insulation floor mat below the tub will help to keep a stable water temperature.

Though your inflatable hot tub can stay warm throughout the winter months, if there’s freezing weather, then you should probably shut down your hot tub.

The greatest challenge inflatable hot tubs have is they typically don’t have a pump and a blower.

This means that should you’ve got the jets, the pump can not pump water through the heater. That is how the water remains hot. By definition, it will have a more difficult time staying hot if the jets are not being used. What helps conventional hot tubs stay warm is an acrylic shell and a wood framework filled with insulating material.

Combine that with freezing weather, and you have a hot tub which, at best, is likely to hit on the low 90’s concerning warm water temperatures.

Indeed, winter can be the best season to use your spa. Whether your hot tub is in-ground, outdoor, or indoor, using your hot tub in the winter is a great way to relax. But there’re a few things you need to know about soaking in winter to ensure that everything works out perfectly.

Suppose you have a spa that’s located in an area where temperatures drop below freezing for at least four months out of the year. In that case, it’s essential to keep it in good working order to prevent injury to both the inside and outside components.

Because you won’t use your spa throughout the winter months, it is vital to ensure that any routine maintenance such as cleaning and sanitizing is done regularly to protect both the interior and exterior surfaces. It’s also important to pay attention to how your hot tub is heated to prevent low-temperature damage. These are just some of the things you should consider in maintaining a hot tub in winter.

Here are seven tips for maintaining a hot tub in winter:

  1. Using a Well-Insulated Cover
  2. Buying a Thermal Blanket
  3. Maintenance of Water Temperature
  4. Maintain and Clean the Filters
  5. Preventing Pipe Freezing
  6. Maintain Proper Water Levels
  7. Good Overall Maintenance

Should you stay somewhere with brutal winters and can not move your inflatable hot tub into a garage or sunroom, your best option is to close it down for the season.

If you wish to power down your inflatable hot tub, do the following.

1. Cut the energy

Begin by completely powering your hot tub. Unplug the hot tub after turning off the heater.

2. Drain it

Once the jets have ceased working, drain the hot tub of water. Make sure you do not pour the water on your grass. The chemicals can harm the environment.

Using a submersible pump will help with drainage.

3. Take out the filter

Next, take the water out of the filter(s) and set them in a cleaning solution. Rinse them thoroughly after this is done.

Check out our full article on cleaning filters for more information.

For proper cleaning of a hot tub filter, I recommend the Lalapool Spa Filter Cleaner to get the job done right.

I also recommend Leisure Time O Filter Cleaner to soak your hot tub filters for the best results.

Inflatable Hot Tub vs Regular Hot Tub

spa tool kit 3

Inflatable hot tubs and regular hot tubs have a lot of similarities, pros, and cons. Inflatable hot tubs are often less expensive to purchase and are easier to set up. Regular hot tubs last longer, can hold more people and offer a more relaxing experience.

Inflatable Hot Tub Pros

Lower initial investment

Maybe the main bonus point of an inflatable hot tub is that the first investment is much lower.

Effortless to transportation

Inflatable hot tubs are so easy to maneuver and transfer.

Inflatable Hot Tub Cons

No chairs

You sit on the ground in an inflatable hot tub, similar to a swimming pool, instead of a hard-sided hot tub.

Air-jets as Opposed to massage jets

Some inflatable hot tubs have walls, but those are air jets at the bathtub’s underside providing a heavenly encounter instead of targeted hydro-massage.

Slower to heat up and high running costs.

Inflatable hot tubs would not need a lot of insulation, so they take longer to warm up and can not maintain their heat between applications. This means you’ve got to organize your hot tub sessions further in advance, and you’re going to use more power to warm this up.

Regular Hot Tub Pros

Chairs

A sizable pro of a standard hot tub is they will have built-in chairs and loungers, providing more relaxation.

Targeted massage jets

Targeted massage jets like the hot-spring moto-massage provide superior hydro-massage, enhance comfort, and increase the standard of your hot tub experience.

Longevity

Hard-sided hot tubs were created and built to last. Unlike inflatable hot tubs that may not last longer than five years, you can get several years of pleasure in a rigid hard-sided hot tub.

Diminished running costs because of increased efficacy

The running costs of a hard-sided hot tub are often lower due to these energy-efficient capabilities. Top-quality insulation keeps heat in significantly less power can be used to warm your hot tub upward.

Regular Hot Tub Cons

Greater first investment

The original investment is significantly higher, but your hot tub usage could be cheaper in the future. In case the price tag is prohibitive, consider a second-hand hot tub.

Less mobile

Conventional hot tubs might be transferred. However, it takes more preparation than an inflatable.

Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Have Seats?

Inflatable spas, on average, do not include seats. But most models incorporate some form of cushioned bottom on which to sit, which feels comfortable.

Although blow-up hot tubs do not offer the molded seats that other hard-sided spas have, you’ll be able to buy them separately. Besides, you’re able to proceed with these removable hot tub seats around to where you wish to sit.

It is possible to acquire inflatable hot tub headrests that elevate and cushion your head and neck. I think these are more comfortable than the standard foam headrests usually provided with portable spas.

I recommend the Kenley Hot Tub Booster Seat which is weighted can be fully submersible.

Plus, the drink holders come in handy (even if you don’t have a drink). Check out our favorite hot tub drink holders here!

The height of these hot tub walls is designed for floor seating for adults, so no chair will become necessary (even seats are helpful if you’ve got small kids). A nice benefit to not having integral seats is you may fit more people into your spa. You can sit wherever you need without having to sit according to your pre-set configuration.

Can You Add Seats to Inflatable Hot Tubs?

If you utilize your inflatable hot tub frequently, you may desire to use some hot tub base chairs.

The padded floor in inflatable hot tubs is unquestionably comfy. Still, if you suffer from back pain, the service supplied by the PureSpa Spa Seat is most undeniably worth the expenditure decision. Additionally, it is a fantastic alternative if you aren’t that tall and discover that the water is somewhat deep.

Though you could fret that the chair is not hard, be assured as you will discover it is relatively comfortable in the place of cushioned material. It’s made from super-sturdy vinyl and is acceptable for everybody up to 292 pounds.

As the chair’s fabric is sturdy rather than hollow, the chair sits securely on your hot tub base. This is a significant advantage over other hot tub chairs that require filling with warm water or marbles to weigh them down and maintain them onto the spa base.

The chair is 181/2 inches wide x 14 inches deep X8 1/2 inches tall. What’s extremely useful is the chair has adjustable thighs, which means you’ve got two distinct heights to select from two inches or 4 inches.

Your chair won’t corrode in damage or water ground of one’s inflatable hot tub, and that means it’s possible to leave it in the water whenever you’re not making use of your hot tub. Bear in mind that whenever you wash your inflatable hot tub, you want to wash out the chair also.

Can You Put an Inflatable Hot Tub Indoors?

Many people buy an inflatable hot tub designed for use outdoors so they can make the most of the garden through the summer months. But many more choose to purchase their portable spa for use in the home too.

However, is it genuinely secure or perhaps even a good idea to work with your inflatable hot tub in your home?

Yes, inflatable hot tubs can be used inside. You want to choose the area in your home attentively to ensure that the ventilation and flooring are acceptable, and you will need to take a few extra safety precautions.

Getting the wrong location or set up indoors for the inflatable hot tub often leads to all sorts of issues. You will possibly wind up damaging your property or injuring yourself.

Before you set up your inflatable spa, the foremost measure is locating a good spot for it. If you desire to set your inflatable hot tub indoors, it is absolutely fine so long as you’ve got an open water source and appropriate drainage. You should put your inflatable hot tub somewhere within your home where the floor getting wet is not an issue. The ideal room would be a ventilated space, possibly in a basement or garage. In addition to everything, do not forget to wash out the area before placing your inflatable spa. Watch out for sharp objects and rough spots while they could puncture or hurt your inflatable hot tub.

Check out our full article about putting a hot tub in a basement for more information.

Where Can I Set Up An Inflatable Hot Tub Indoors?

Set level floor: Regardless of where you opt to establish your inflatable spa, you will want to guarantee that the floor remains level, sturdy, as well. This helps protect the bottom from potential damage because of sharp items that may damage the plastic.

Usage of water: You will also have to make sure the distance you pick is close enough for a water source so the tub can readily be filled. You won’t maneuver the tub once it’s full of water. For this reason, you will have to discover an area to set your inflatable tub at which a hose may reach out of a tap to ensure you can readily fill it with no difficulties.

Usage of power: Not only do you have to be sure that the tub is close to a supply of water, but you will also have to guarantee it is near to a supply of power. If the hot tub’s power cable can’t reach a plug socket, you need to proceed with the tub closer to the one available. That is because you cannot use an extension cable with a mobile hot tub since there might be no voltage drop, which creates injury to the tub’s components. Outdoor hot tubs are mainly installed with an outdoor electric connection.

A firm floor: Among the first things to bear in mind while picking a location to put your inflatable hot tub is the floor. A sturdy floor will ensure the hot tub’s stability. A concrete floor or concrete pad is a perfect example.

All these are facets that you employ if you prepare the tub outside or indoors.

For waterproof floor tiling, I recommend the Abba Patio Decking Tiles Interlocking Floor Tiles.

What Are The Best Inflatable Hot Tubs?

The best inflatable hot tub is the Bestway Saluspa Miami Air Jet Inflatable Spa (Gray) which I recommend.

4.5/5

Jets: 120

Height: 26″

Width: 71″

Maximum Temperature: 104 F

Hard Water System: No

One of the most popular hot tubs on the market is this affordable Miami Air Jet Inflatable Hot Tub from Bestway. This hot tub is perfect for 2 to 4 adults and comes with everything from controls to durability. This hot tub is our recommended choice.

This hot tub comes with several great features, including 120 jets, a digital control panel, temperatures up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and a power-saving timer.

The Bestway’s hot tub is also incredibly durable and well built. The I-beam construction and puncture-resistant tri-tech material ensure the hot tub never loses its shape and stability even when people sit on the side walls.

The hot tub is fantastic when it comes to setup and maintenance. No extra tools or drawn-out setup is needed for the installation of the hot tub. The included pump will automatically inflate the hot tub out of the box.

The hot tub includes a thermal cover that keeps the water warm in cooler weather while protecting it from leaves and other debris.

The spa is easily portable and can be moved whenever using the included lift handles. The spa also easily deflates compactly for optimal storage and transportation.

Overall, this is a great hot tub for people who are looking for a simple and affordable solution.

What Kind of Inflatable Hot Tubs Are There?

There are many different types of inflatable hot tubs including 6 person, 4 person, 2 person, square, Coleman spas, Intex Spas, and Bestway spas. All of them come with their different pros and cons but they all inflate which is a big bonus!

Check out our article on each of these great inflatable hot tubs for more information.

Inflatable Hot Tubs FAQ’s

I will answer a couple of common questions people have about inflatable hot tubs here.

How Long Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Last?

How long do inflatable hot tubs last depends on a couple of different factors including building quality of the spa, proper maintenance, and how much the spa is being used. The average lifespan of an inflatable hot tub is between 2 to 3 years. If the spa is not taken care of, it may only last a single season. However, this can also depend on the brand. Coleman for example is a higher quality manufacturer so their inflatable hot tubs last longer than others.

Are Inflatable Hot Tubs a Good Choice?

If you are wondering if inflatable hot tubs a good choice, then the answer would be yes. However, understanding that inflatable hot tubs are meant for milder climates, do not hold as many people, and do not last as long as hard-sided conventional hot tubs but are often purchased at a much more affordable price and are much more portable.

Is Maintaining an Inflatable Hot Tub Difficult?

If you are wondering if maintaining an inflatable hot tub is difficult then the answer is no. However, ensuring that your water chemistry is always taken care of using chlorine dispensers and proper testing kits for water PH and chlorine levels is always the smart thing to do.Also, check out our article about cleaning your inflatable hot tub in the most effective way!If you have any mold issues with your inflatable hot tub, check out our article for more information.

Can Inflatable Hot Tubs be Used in Winter?

If you are wondering if inflatable hot tubs can be used in winter, then the answer would depend on the manufacturer and whether your climate is mild or not. For example, if you live in Canada and get below-freezing temperatures on a regular basis, then the answer would be no. However, if you live on the pacific coast where the weather is milder then the answer is likely yes but be mindful of what the manufacturer tells you.

How to Drain an Inflatable Hot Tub?

If you are wondering how to drain an inflatable hot tub, then the answer is it may vary depending on the manufacturer and how big your hot tub is. For example, if you are using a 6 person inflatable hot tub, draining the hot tub with a sump pump may be the easier solution. Other spas may require a simple drain valve at the bottom of the tub with a hose connection. Read the instruction for your hot tub carefully provided by the manufacturer.Also, check out our article about how to drain hot tubs for more information.

What Accessories Do I Need for My Inflatable Hot Tub?

Inflatable hot tub accessories may include filters, steps, chemicals, parts for the motor pump, draining accessories, and more. Remember to read the instructions given by the manufacturer carefully to ensure you have everything you need to enjoy your hot tub.Below are some of our suggestions for inflatable hot tub accessories!


Consider Using a Water Care Monitor

Monitoring the health of your hot tub can often be challenging if you are not testing the water on a regular basis. This can also be a problem if you go on holiday or you are unable to take care of your hot tub due to mobility issues.

The pHin Smart Water Care Monitor for pools, hot tubs, and inflatable spas continuously tests the water and alerts you when to add chemicals with the integrated mobile app.

The mobile app will inform you when to add chemicals such as chlorine, and how much chemical is recommended. This is done by entering your hot tub or pool’s unique dimensions.

Simply scan the bar code of any chemical brand and the pHin app will calculate how much chemical is to be added to the water. Most products and brands are recognized by the application.

The pHin device will sample water more than 1000 times per week to give you an accurate reading compared to using test strips.

The pHin device works with different water types including chlorine, bromine, and saltwater hot tubs, swim spas, inflatable hot tubs, and pools.

This unique device comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure your water remains clear and ready for you to use at all times.

Check out this great article from Swim University about hot tub maintenance for more information!

Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth It: Conclusion

are inflatable hot tubs worth it

Inflatable hot tubs are a great option for those who do not want to fully invest in a conventional hard-sided hot tub which requires more setup, electrical, maintenance, and running cost.

They’re also great for those who want to spend quality time with friends and family.

I hope the hot tubs mentioned above will give you a better idea about what is available on the market and what it takes to purchase and maintain an inflatable hot tub.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the installation costs of regular hot tubs, check out our article!

Dillon

I'm Dillon, creator of SpaToolKit.com. During the day I'm a software developer for an engineering company. At night I enjoy sitting in my hot tub and relaxing. My hope is that Spa Tool Kit will be a place where you can find the best information on hot tubs, spa equipment, setups, parts, and accessories. Let's get started!