There’s a lot to love about a hot tub, except maybe the difficult installation and the expense. An inflatable spa addition can offer everything you want in a tub—but without these headaches. Imagine an inexpensive tub that doesn’t require any complicated in-ground construction work or hurt your brain with sub-IKEA-level instructions. A tub with temperature controls, a padded seat, and jets. A tub you can pick up and move, if you want to, whether that’s to a new home, on a vacation, or simply to a different part of your property. Welcome to the world of inflatable hot tubs. Have a seat and relax a bit.
- Best inflatable hot tub: Coleman SaluSpa
- Best-looking inflatable hot tub: BestWay SaluSpa Miami
- Best designed inflatable hot tub: Intex Simple Spa
- Best large inflatable hot tub: Bestway SaluSpa Miami
- Best budget inflatable hot tub: Co-Z Inflatable Tub
Inflatable hot tubs blow up preconceived notions on liquid luxuries
Generally speaking, hot tubs require some intensive installation. But the best inflatable hot tubs, and there are a few of them, manage to provide everything you love about the hot tub experience with a tiny fraction of the expense or difficulty. I’ve been using the Coleman SaluSpa inflatable hot tub for over a year, and it’s totally changed how I perceive this type of product. The inflatable jacuzzi is sturdy, luxurious, packed with features, and large enough for four people to sit comfortably—all without requiring anything more than an extension cord.
These tubs aren’t what you think of when you think of “inflatable tubs.” They generally come with full-sized heaters and pumps, are capable of maintaining a consistent temperature, have reinforced walls that are firm enough to sit on, and even come with jets for that classic, bubbly hot tub experience.
Related: Got a hot tub and want music to soak in while you sink in? Here are the best waterproof speakers.
How to make room to relax
A blow-up hot tub like the Coleman SaluSpa inflatable hot tub isn’t exactly an easily portable jacuzzi, at least not by most definitions. They can deflate and be moved around, but they aren’t on wheels, and can’t be moved around while filled; these hot tubs often hold around 250 gallons of water, which is extremely heavy.
To pick the right space for your inflatable hot tub, you’ll need to consider both weight and power. Placing one of these on a deck isn’t the best idea unless you can be sure it’ll hold all that weight. Instead, opt for a patio or other ground-based space. You’ll also need to be near a fairly high-powered outlet for the pump and heating mechanism, and you’ll want to be in a place where you can safely dispose of hundreds of gallons of water. You do have to drain and clean this portable spa every once in a while, and you don’t want all that water getting into your basement or anywhere else water shouldn’t be.
Ideally, that means you won’t be on top of a hill where water will flow down somewhere you don’t want it to be. If you can station your tub near a drain, all the better. The materials used to build these tubs are pretty rugged, but you also don’t want to place the tub on anything too sharp, like gravel. Remember that there’s a lot of weight in a filled tub, and that much weight pressing down on something jagged could lead to punctures.
Blow-up hot tubs don’t require any tools to install, which makes them very quick to get up and running (though they still take a day or two to warm). But that doesn’t mean you won’t need any accessories. You’ll want to invest in hot tub cleaning chemicals and probably a skimmer, to easily scoop up any leaves or other debris that gets in the tub. (Although, thankfully, these portable spa tubs generally come with a nice top, which clips on securely to protect your tub from the elements.) A seat, luckily, isn’t really necessary, thanks to a comfortable padded base. You might, however, want a cupholder—it’s hard to top a very cold drink in a very hot tub. Here are our selections for inflatable spa accessories you can put away from it all when you don’t plan to get away from it all.
Best inflatable hot tub: Coleman SaluSpa
Invest In Liquid Assets
With sturdy construction and lots of features, the Coleman SaluSpa inflatable hot tub is a great choice. Coleman
This large, round hot tub is the most popular of its ilk, and it’s easy to see why. Capable of holding two to four people comfortably, the Coleman SaluSpa inflatable hot tub reaches up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and even includes a jet feature. The heating unit attaches to the side of the inflatable jacuzzi with no tools needed and doubles as an inflator.
Best-looking: BestWay SaluSpa Miami
Filled With Water And Features
This tub features air jets around the entire perimeter. Bestway
Essentially the same design as the Coleman SaluSpa inflatable hot tub, this tub comes in a less military-looking black, with an accompanying black cover. Like the Coleman, this tub features internal beams within its walls for added stability. It’s firm enough to sit on the edge, just like a regular hot tub.
Best designed: Intex Simple Spa
Subtle Look, Noticeable Quality
Thanks to an insulated top, sides, and base, this unit will retain heat well. Intex
This Intex inflatable hot tub uses a fairly similar design to the SaluSpa, but with a nice matte grey finish. The heating pump includes a pop-up display with a cover to keep off the water; it’ll allow you to change the temperature and toggle the jets on and off. This inflatable jacuzzi can fit up to four people comfortably.
Best large inflatable hot tub: Bestway SaluSpa Miami
A Staycation Getaway
With a four- to six-person capacity, this is a larger tub than most. Bestwy
With the classic SaluSpa design and pump element, this Miami edition opts for a slightly larger, square design. It too features easily found replaceable filters, up to a 104 degrees Fahrenheit temperature, and a nine-foot power cable. This time, though, you can fit up to six people.
Best cheap inflatable hot tub: Co-Z Inflatable Tub
Drink It All In
Great for one person, this affordable product also includes a cupholder. CO-Z
The big Coleman SaluSpa inflatable hot tub types looking a little pricey? No problem: the Co-Z tub is more of an inflatable bathtub than a hot tub, but for one person, you can get your soak on easily and cheaply. There’s no heating pump, so you’ll have to fill it with hot water, but it includes a nice pillow and extra insulation to keep the temperature up.
Best inflatable hot tubs FAQs: people also ask
What should I know before buying an inflatable hot tub?
There are definitely some things you should know before buying an inflatable hot tub. They aren’t cheap to run; they use quite a lot of electricity to maintain temperature—about as much as running a refrigerator, which is not insubstantial. Generally, only keep your inflatable spa equipment on when you plan to use it, and definitely don’t keep it going when you’re not at home. They do take a while to come up to temperature, especially if it’s chilly outside or at night. Budget in at least 36 hours for your tub to heat up. And there’s a maximum temperature mandated by safety agencies for hot tubs, set at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but to be honest, that’s pretty toasty! Also, they aren’t suitable for really cold weather. This isn’t a permanent chalet addition for after a ski session; the plastic material can splinter and break in low temperatures.
What is the most reliable hot tub brand?
SaluSpa and Intex are both considered very reliable, as long as the tubs are treated well. Both allow for common filters to be used as replacements, so you won’t have to search the back pages of eBay for some weird proprietary part that’ll work for your tub. Reviewers say they can easily last for years.
Are inflatable hot tubs worth buying?
Speaking from experience, yes, inflatable hot tubs are definitely worth buying! They’re much, much sturdier than you might expect, with little flimsiness to be found. The heating elements work well, and they’re very comfortable to sit in. There are few things better than a nice soak after exercise or a long day at work, and inflatable hot tubs are an affordable and easy way to get that experience.
The final word on the best inflatable hot tubs
If you’re still wondering if blow-up hot tubs are any good, the answer is yes, absolutely. The best inflatable hot tubs provide everything you want in a hot tub, but can be enjoyed just about anywhere without expensive digging or installation. If you have the room and a little bit of time to learn about proper maintenance, these portable spas are a great purchase.