Best Inflatable Hot Tubs

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

14 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
135 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best inflatable hot tubs

Last Updated August 2019

Whether you want to give those tired muscles a rejuvenating break after a long, hard day's work or you just want to hang with some friends after dinner, a hot tub can be a luxurious daily treat. And if you opt for an inflatable hot tub, you could be living the good life sooner than you would have ever imagined.

An inflatable hot tub can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. When shopping for one, be sure to pay close attention to how many adults the unit can comfortably fit. Also, you’ll want to be aware of accessories and features, such as seats, lights, cupholders, and easy-to-operate controls.

Which inflatable hot tub is right for you? Read on to learn everything you’ll need to know before making your purchase. If you already know what you're looking for, consider one of the highly rated options we've listed in this guide.

Although 100°F is considered safest for the average adult, the optimal temperature most hot tub users prefer is between 100°F and 102°F.

Key considerations

Capacity

If you want an inflatable hot tub for only two people, you're free to purchase any model. However, even four people can be a tight fit in most inflatable hot tubs. So, if you want to relax with friends, make sure you find a unit that can comfortably accommodate more than two adults.

Shape

Most inflatable hot tubs are round. Rectangular or even canoe-shaped models, however, are an option. The canoe shape, in particular, offers more legroom than a round model.

Pump

Your priority should be the pump. This is the heart of your inflatable hot tub. It not only circulates the water and powers your jets, it's what inflates the hot tub. You want the pump (and the heater) housed in one container to enclose all electrical components. You also want a built-in GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) to help protect against shocks.

Jets

Most inflatable hot tubs do not have the high-powered water jets you associate with a spa. Typically, they have air jets, which produce a more gentle experience. If high-powered water jets are essential, research this aspect very carefully to be certain you are not misled.

Controls

The ideal controls should be intuitive and easy to operate, requiring not much more than a tap or two to execute your desired function. A timer is highly recommended as both a power-saving feature and a safety feature — in most situations, staying in a hot tub for more than 15 to 30 minutes at a time is not advisable.

Ground cloth

Your inflatable hot tub must come with a ground cloth to add protection from any jagged debris that may be on the ground. You can purchase more durable pads or add insulation beneath the pad to help further protect your investment.

Cover

The cover can do a lot more than just keep dirt and debris from contaminating your water; it can also help insulate the hot tub, so you do not lose as much precious heat when the unit is not in use. Some covers may even help heat the water as well. Make sure you know which type of cover you are getting, so there are no surprises when your inflatable hot tub arrives.

Accessories

The accessories are the little things that can turn your experience from blasé to bodacious. These are not the bells and whistles as much as the thoughtful additions that allow you to feel pampered. Many of these accessories can be purchased separately if they do not already come with the model that most intrigues you.

  • Seats: If you'd like something to rest your bottom on, consider a model that has seats that can be placed in your inflatable hot tub.

  • Headrests: Headrests are a quick and easy way to enhance the luxury aspect of your inflatable hot tub.

  • Drink holders: You can easily dehydrate in an inflatable hot tub. Drink holders are not essential accessories, but they are highly recommended.

  • Lights: If you plan on using your hot tub at night, it's exponentially more fun if it includes lights — color-changing ones, preferably.

  • Steps: Purchasing a set of steps can greatly facilitate climbing into your inflatable hot tub.

  • Canopy: You can purchase an inexpensive canopy to provide shade during the day. A more stable structure can be used to help protect against the elements during inclement weather.

  • Tiki torches: Need to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay? Purchasing tiki torches with citronella oil can help.
DID YOU KNOW?

Any temperature above your body's normal temperature can induce a state of drowsiness, which can be potentially dangerous in a hot tub.

DID YOU KNOW?

If the temperature of your hot tub exceeds 106°F, it is possible to suffer from heatstroke even though you are partially submerged in water.

Inflatable hot tub prices

Inflatable hot tubs can start as low as $300, but most consumers do not start finding models they are satisfied with until the $400 mark. Between $400 and $450, you can usually find what you are looking for, including bubble jets, four-person capacity, and numerous accessories. As you approach the $500 and above mark, you will find some rectangular-shaped inflatable hot tubs, models that may accommodate up to six individuals, and additional insulation. Be careful of inflatable hot tubs that are priced similarly to acrylic hot tubs, because at that price point, it's wiser to opt for the more durable materials.

Cleaning and maintenance tips

  • Circulate the water. If your inflatable hot tub doesn't have an automatic cycle, make sure you turn it on for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day to keep the water moving through the filter.

  • Don't forget your filter. The filter catches a great deal of the bad stuff in the water. Check your owner's manual to determine how often you need to clean or replace it.

  • Stay safe. Sanitizing (with bromine, usually) is how you get rid of the harmful bacteria that quickly builds up in your inflatable hot tub. You need to sanitize the water to keep it safe.

  • Test your water. The pH levels of your inflatable hot tub need to be balanced at around 7.2 to 7.6. If it’s too high, your sanitizer won't be as effective — too low and the water becomes more acidic and may irritate your skin. Test your water regularly to keep it properly balanced.

  • Add tennis balls. Tennis balls can absorb any oils in your water and are an easy way to help keep your hot tub clean.

  • Clean everything. When scrubbing down your inflatable hot tub, don't forget to wash the cover.

  • Drain it. If you use your inflatable hot tub frequently, there's a good chance you will need to change the water more often than every three or four months. Check your owner's manual for recommendations.

  • Make a schedule. Whether it's on a physical calendar or you use an app, make sure you set and stick to a cleaning schedule, so your water is always at its best.

  • Stock up. Always have items and chemicals needed for the care of your inflatable hot tub on hand (and safely stored). If you have to run out to the pool store every time you clean your inflatable hot tub, chances are that you won't be sticking to your maintenance schedule.

  • Shower first. Before entering your inflatable hot tub, you should always shower to remove oils, lotions, sweat, and any other contaminants that might be on your body to keep the water cleaner longer.
EXPERT TIP

When a child is old enough and big enough to use a hot tub, it is best to reduce the temperature to 98°F and limit the experience to a five- or ten-minute session.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

This article lists some of the highest-rated inflatable hot tubs available. However, there are other quality options that might also be appealing.

If you'd like to consider some additional models, Coleman has an affordably priced SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub that can accommodate up to six individuals. It features easy-to-operate controls that include power-saving options.

Bestway's Hawaii AirJet Inflatable Outdoor Spa can accommodate up to four adults — though it might be a tight squeeze. The unit has automated power-saving features, convenient touch controls, and a built-in air chamber for insulation.

Intex's Pure Spa Six-Person Inflatable Hot Tub features 170 high-powered bubble jets and easy-access filters, which facilitate maintenance.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated that the temperature of a hot tub should never exceed 104°F.

FAQ

Q. Where is the best place to set up my inflatable hot tub?

A. An inflatable hot tub is extremely heavy when it is filled with water, weighing approximately the same as a compact car. For this reason, it is not a good idea to put it on a deck. The best place to set up your inflatable hot tub is on a concrete patio or a level spot in your yard. The area must be able to uniformly support the hot tub's full weight. Be sure there are no sharp objects or debris beneath your inflatable hot tub before setting it up. Your inflatable hot tub should be close enough to an outlet so you can easily plug it in but not so close that the outlet can be easily splashed.

Q. How much does an inflatable hot tub weigh?

A. Even unfilled, an inflatable hot tub can be quite heavy. Some may weigh as much as 100 pounds. Water weighs about 8.3 pounds per gallon. Add in the people and the hot tub itself, and the average inflatable hot tub is roughly around 2,700 pounds when filled.

Q. Can I use my inflatable hot tub in the winter?

A. It is possible to use your inflatable hot tub year-round if you take a few precautions. Most will not function adequately below 40°F. If you want to use it in the colder months, consider adding additional layers of insulation beneath the ground cloth before setting it up. Additionally, building an enclosure around your inflatable hot tub can help protect it from the elements. Some people have even set up their inflatable hot tubs inside of a garage (just be sure that any water that splashes out cannot damage anything or cause any safety issues inside the garage).

The team that worked on this review
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    Allen
    Writer
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    Angela
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor

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