An inflatable hot tub is the best and most affordable way to get yourself a small oasis of relaxation in your garden or patio. Set it up in a matter of minutes, fill it with water, and you’re ready for a whole day in the name of relaxation. Most hot tubs come with a heater, but if you want to speed up the heating process you can add in a few buckets of hot water. Afterwards, your hot tub will filtrate the water and maintain the desired temperature for as long as you want. What’s not to like?
Our top picks
We curated a list of the best inflatable hot tubs on the market, and carefully reviewed each model. During the review process, we considered the most important factors: Capacity, water temperature range, heater speed, build quality, and accessories.
|Best overall||Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii|
|Best on a budget||Bestway SaluSpa Miami|
|Best with built-in lights||Intex Greywood Deluxe|
|Best high-capacity||Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki|
Best overall: Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii
Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii
The square shaped Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii is the best choice for luxurious pampering in your own, inflatable hot tub.
- Durable design.
- Very easy to set up.
- Nice exclusive look.
- Strong air jets.
- Water stays hot for a long period of time.
- High level of comfort with a cushioned bottom.
- Instructions are a bit unclear.
- Water temperature drops once the jets are turned on.
- Very loud.
The Coleman SaluSpa Hawaii offers one of the best experiences you can get in an inflatable hot tub. Not only is it relatively affordable, but also square shaped which means less space wasted when you’re more than two people at the same time.
It features a nice exclusive look, and the jets are very strong. However, as a lot of buyers already mentioned in their reviews, the jets are also very noisy. Some are even worried about getting complaints from neighbors, if they run the jets too early or too late.
The instructions manual was not intuitive at all, but fortunately you can find instructional videos on YouTube.
Best on a budget: Bestway SaluSpa Miami
Bestway SaluSpa Miami
The Bestway SaluSpa Miami offers an affordable, yet comfortable experience for 2-3 persons at a time.
- Affordable price tag.
- Durable design with a sturdy cover.
- 120 strong bubble jets.
- Cushioned bottom.
- Relatively small (inner diameter 52 inches).
- Water gets cold quickly.
- Takes a long time to heat it up.
The Bestway SaluSpa Miami is an affordable inflatable hot tub for those seeking a bit of luxury without going bankrupt. Granted, it’s still expensive, but we wouldn’t recommend cheaper models for the simple reason that it will impact the level of quality and overall experience.
With an inner diameter of 52 inches, we think this is a great choice for a small family of 2-3 persons or two adults with two small children. It stays hot for a good amount of time, but water also cools down quickly on a cold day. Except no more than 20-30 minutes of hot water at a time, unless you manually add in more hot water. Once the water has cooled down, the heating process takes many hours.
This inflatable hot tub has a cover, a pump, a ChemConnect dispenser and two filter cartridges included. Assembly doesn’t require any tools, but you may want to look up instructional videos since the manual is a bit difficult to understand.
Best with built-in lights: Intex Greywood Deluxe
Intex Greywood Deluxe
The Intex Greywood Deluxe has built-in lights, offering a more luxurious experience than your regular inflatable hot tub.
- Choose between a 4-person or 6-person model.
- Multi-color LED lights built into the sides create a nice ambiance.
- 140 strong bubble jets.
- Two headrests included.
- Relatively expensive.
- Water temperature quickly drops in a cold climate.
If you want to pay a little extra for additional luxury, consider getting the Intex Greywood Deluxe inflatable hot tub. With an inner diameter of 57 inches it’s a bit bigger than other four-person hot tubs, and it has special LED lights built into the sides for a more cozy ambiance at night.
This inflatable hot tub comes with 140 strong bubble jets and a pair of headrests that you can move around as you want to. It also has an insulated cover included, and setup is easy with the built-in inflation system.
However, one issue seems to persist as multiple buyers have reported that temperature drops quickly if the hot tub is used on a cold day. It seems to maintain the temperature a bit longer than other hot tubs though, so if you live in an area with a cold climate you may want to consider this hot tub instead of the cheaper alternatives.
Best high-capacity: Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki
Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki
The Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki has a nice wooden look with ample space for 6-7 persons at a time. Perfect for a large family.
- Great capacity (up to 7 persons).
- Easy to set up and take down.
- Durable design with drop stitch material.
- Only 83 bubble jets.
- Uses a lot of energy.
If you want to spend a little extra, you can get the ample-sized Bestway SaluSpa Helsinki inflatable hot tub. This unit has enough space for up to 7 persons to enjoy the hot water at the same time, and for a large family this is perfect.
However, if you’re a frequent user and want to keep it on for the entire month, expect your energy bill to go through the roof. We’ve seen reviews from buyers who saw a monthly increase of $200 and more per month, which is a lot of money. The heater is what makes the monthly energy usage go up, so this is worth noting if you live in a cold area where it would usually need to heat up for hours before reaching the desired temperature.
Best features to look for in inflatable hot tubs
When you’re shopping for the best inflatable hot tub, you need to consider a few things. Not only would you want a hot tub of a proper size, but also one that is able to maintain the desired water temperature and heat up as quickly as possible.
Generally, the inflatable hot tubs are relatively small in size. If you’re looking for a hot tub that fits four persons, we recommend going for one that fits up to 6 persons. By doing so, you’ll ensure that it’s big enough for you to spread out a little and enjoy the jets without feeling like sardines in a can.
2. Water temperature range
Most inflatable hot tubs are capable of heating the water up to 100 degrees or more, but if you like to keep your water at a certain temperature we strongly recommend that you check the specifications and confirm whether it’s capable of reaching the desired temperature or not. This is especially important if you prefer a very high temperature over 100 degrees, as this is where some inflatable hot tubs may struggle to deliver.
3. Heater speed
This is probably the biggest Achilles heel of inflatable hot tubs: Heating the water. Once you add lukewarm water, it will take between 5 and 10 hours to reach a comfortable temperature. Of course this depends on the climate and season, but some heaters are simply not as fast as others. If you like to get in a nice hot tub in the evening and don’t want to get up early to ensure it’s properly heated, opt for one with a fast heater.
4. Build quality
You may not see the difference between cheap and expensive inflatable hot tubs, but the material is often thicker the more you pay. This means that there’s less risk of a leakage with the more expensive models, however price doesn’t always equal a proper build quality.
First and foremost, we recommend that you stick with brands that are well known and have a proper range of spare parts that you can order if needed. For instance, if your cover tears it’s nice to know that you can get a new one. Or if the bottom rips open by accident, you can replace it or repair it with a proper repair kit.
5. Cover and other accessories
Inflatable hot tubs often have an accessory kit included, and this is nice to have if you want your hot tub to last longer. For example, one of the most common accessories is a cover. A cover helps maintain the water temperature and keep your hot tub nice and clean, and a pair of filters enable you to use the hot tub right away without having to order additional products and wait for shipping.
Are inflatable hot tubs worth it?
Hot tubs provide a soothing, relaxing experience, which is perfect after a busy day. You can enjoy the hot water in all kinds of weather, but a regular hot tub may very well be out of your price range.
Inflatable hot tubs are great alternatives to regular hard tubs, and significantly more affordable as well. If you live in a cold climate, you can also easily take it down once it’s cold outside and save it for spring.
- Extremely affordable. Inflatable hot tubs only cost a fraction of regular hot tubs.
- Easy to set up and take down. While regular hot tubs can be heavy and require machinery to move around, inflatable hot tubs are easily set up and taken down by one or two persons.
- Cushioned bottom increases the comfort level, as well as the inflated sides. No hard materials here.
- Surprisingly durable. While inflatable hot tubs are often manufactured by the same brands that also make cheap pool toys, the material quality and thickness cannot be compared at all. Inflatable hot tubs have double walls and are generally very durable, which is a plus for those who want to use it regularly.
- Great for soaking. If you like to soak in a large tub while enjoying your evening, the inflatable hot tubs are definitely worth considering over expensive hard tubs.
- No seats. Although the bottom is cushioned, you’re still sitting on the ground with no built-in seating areas.
- Heats up slowly. The electric heater included with inflatable hot tubs can be excruciatingly slow at heating up the water. Once you’ve set up the hot tub and added cold water, you may not even be able to use it on the first day.
- Although the electric heater is often very ineffective, it’s still expensive to run over a longer period of time. If you run it full time (or close) for a month, expect your electricity bill to jump with a couple of hundred bucks.
- Air jets are often located at the bottom of the hot tub, and may not provide the same massage experience as in a regular hot tub.
What is the best base for an inflatable hot tub?
In order to prevent your inflatable hot tub from leaking, we recommend placing it on a proper base. This is especially important if you want to place it on a hard surface, as even the slightest friction may end up tearing the bottom material.
We recommend opting for modular interlocking tiles, that you can piece together and create a small private area to enjoy with your family and friends.
Besides adding a protective base under your inflatable hot tub, we recommend adding a privacy screen, so you can enjoy your time without having to worry about neighbors watching you.
Are inflatable hot tubs good in winter?
Generally, inflatable hot tubs are not made for use in temperatures below 40 degrees F. What this means, is that manufacturers have rated their inflatable hot tubs to a certain temperature, for which they can guarantee that it will be able to increase the water temperature.
Look for the temperature rating if you live in a cold area
If you live in a cold area, make sure that the manufacturer guarantees proper operation until a certain temperature is reached. If you have temperatures lower than 40 degrees F in 6 out of 12 months every year, an inflatable hot tub rated to 40 degrees may not be useful at all.
Electricity cost during the winter
Another important factor to consider, is that the electric heater uses a lot of energy to heat up water and maintain a certain temperature. Inflatable hot tubs don’t necessarily have as much insulation as a regular hot tub, and the heater may struggle to keep up if it’s very cold outside.