Inflatable hot tubs are a great alternative for individuals who can’t buy a traditional, built-in tub. They offer a lot of the same benefits while also being a much cheaper option.
At first glance, their construction may seem tacky and lackluster compared to an expensive in-ground tub, but do not be fooled. Portable tubs actually come with many more advantages than simply being cheap, and in this article you will learn exactly what makes them great.
Top 10 Inflatable Hot Tub Reviews
To begin, let’s look at what we consider are the 10 best portable hot tubs of 2016. The following reviews will consider ideas from both us as well as opinions from other customers. Comments from other buyers are used to have multiple perspectives on the product for an overall fairer review.
This list was compiled after much research and we hope that you agree with it, but if you feel that an item on the list should be alternated with another model, feel free to leave a comment.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best inflatable hot tubs available today.
The following list is sorted by price from least to most expensive. They are not ordered by quality or any other factor.
|Coleman SaluSpa |
|254 Gallons||4-6 People||104℉|
|Intex PureSpa||210 Gallons||4 People||68-104℉|
|SaluSpa Pam Springs |
|254 Gallons||4-6 People||104℉|
|SaluSpa Paris AirJet||254 Gallons||4-6 People||104℉|
|Intex PureSpa Jet Massage Spa Set||210 Gallons||4 People||68-104℉|
|Mspa M-031S Camaro Bubble Spa||184 Gallons||4 People||104℉|
|SaluSpa Hawaii HydroJet||210 Gallons||4-6 People||104℉|
|Comfort Line Products Spa-N-A-Box||280 Gallons||4-5 People||104℉|
|LifeSmart Rock Solid Luna Spa||220 Gallons||4 People||104℉|
|LifeSmart 400DX Plug and Play Spa||195 Gallons||5 People||104℉|
1. Coleman SaluSpa – Best Value for the Money
At under $400 and with over 600 customer reviews on Amazon, Coleman has produced a huge hit in the world of portable hot tubs. Although they are normally known for their outdoor camping gear, Coleman has branched out successfully by creating a fantastic product.
Even at such a low price point, the SaluSpa is packed tight with features that you can enjoy with 4-6 of your best friends.
It comes with built in heating that takes around 24 hours to get from cold hose water to steaming hot. Simply plug it in, set the desired temperature on the digital control panel, and enjoy. It is capable of maintaining temperatures constantly through several days or weeks, but we recommend you to lower the temperature when not in use to save power and money.
Air bubble jets come as a standard feature. They are great for relaxation and will almost perfectly emulate the feeling you get at a real spa. The bubbles are pumped in using surrounding air and float up from a ring of holes in the floor. Unfortunately, if your surrounding environment is cooler than the tub, using the air bubbles will actually cool down the hot water. This wouldn’t be a problem if the hot tub could simultaneously heat water and pump air, but it cannot.
The hot tub also comes with a built in water filtration system, but you should still use chemical products like chlorine to keep the water clean. Make sure to do your research or you may face some unfortunate chemical burns or worse.
2. Intex PureSpa – Bubble Massage Spa Set
If you’ve never shopped for inflatable pools or the like, then you’ve probably never heard of the company Intex. They specialize in products like portable hot tubs and their products reflect their high reputation in the industry.
The PureSpa Bubble Massage Spa holds up to its name and is a great option for anyone. Unlike the Coleman tub mentioned before, this model comes with an entire set of accessories that are necessary for any tub. This includes extra filter cartridges, chemical testing strips, and a chlorine dispenser.
It also comes standard with their specialized built-in hard water treatment system. Without getting too deep into the specifics, it is intended to soften water for less irritation on the skin. It also extends the life of the spa by reducing the buildup of minerals in the pipes and tubes.
The control panel is digitized and extremely easy to use after a quick glance at the instruction manual. Temperature control comes as easy as the press of a button.
Water heats up at roughly 2℉ depending on a few factors like outside temperature and starting water temperature, but the tub should get up to temperature within 24 hours. The included cover and insulated walls did a pretty good job of keeping hot water insulated, but that doesn’t mean it won’t use a lot of power to maintain temperatures overnight.
The signature feature of any bubble spa is the bubbles, and this model has a lot of them. With 120 high powered jets, bubbles fill the surrounding water immediately and leaves you with a very subtle, relaxing massage. It does, however, pull air from the surrounding environment which can cool the water quickly if it’s cold outside. This won’t be much of a problem in a hotter climate, but in a cold area this can be a big disadvantage.
3. SaluSpa Pam Springs – (Needs stuff)
The SaluSpa Palm Springs is the unbranded version of the Coleman SaluSpa mentioned earlier. In fact, there are no noticeable differences between the two models outside of the branding featured on the vinyl shell.
They are both manufactured by Bestway using the same materials and quality control process. This means that you can expect the same level of quality and performance in either model.
The only difference for you would be the customer service process. With a Coleman SaluSpa, any issues with the product will be handled by Coleman themselves rather than the manufacturer BestWay. If you buy the unbranded variant, all product issues including returns or exchanges will be handled by the manufacturer BestWay themselves
4. SaluSpa Paris AirJet – (Needs stuff)
Just like the other models in their series of portable hot tubs, the Paris AirJet comes with a nice cushioned air mat at the bottom of the tub. It feels soft and cushioning on the feet, but it’s important to still use a separate, external matt to place the tub on top of. This will protect the tub from hard objects on the floor puncturing the tubs bottom lining.
It comes with the same bubble jet system as the Palm Springs which pulls outside air and pumps it intensely through more than a hundred holes located around the tub. This provides a similar effect to a jacuzzi’s intense water jets.
The distinguishing feature that makes this model unique is the LED lights located inside the tub. While it may not be great during the daytime, it lights up nights and makes for a much more engaging hot tub experience. It can be set to rotate through colors automatically or sit on a single desired color using the control panel.
5. Intex PureSpa Jet Massage Spa Set – (Needs stuff)
Its size and shape are identical to the bubble massage spa set, and they both come with the same ready to use accessories. So why would anyone want to pay an extra hundred fifty dollars or so for this version?
Well, outside of its slightly cooler, black paint job, this model comes with four high powered jets that come with several advantages over bubbles.
First off, jets massage the muscles a lot better than bubbles do. They actually relax the muscle deeply rather than just barely working the surface. This means that the Jet Massage set is much better at its job of providing pleasure compared to its bubbly counterpart.
Jets also come with the advantage of retaining water temperature. While the bubble set uses outside air to pump out its bubbles, the jet uses preheated air to keep water warm. This is tremendously beneficial for people who live in cold environments because bubbles will cool down the water quickly. The preheated jets will keep the water warmer for you to enjoy longer.
6. Mspa M-031S Camaro Bubble Spa – (Needs stuff)
The Mspa M-031S Camaro Bubble Spa is a premium level inflatable hot tub that is sure to impress your friends. Although it has little reputation on Amazon, it is bound to be one of the top products in the category as soon as it builds traction. Even without any current reviews, you can rely on Amazon to deliver you a quality product that is sure to last.
This model features high end components like an LCD touchscreen to effortlessly control the portable spa’s elements. It can be used to adjust temperature or turn on the 118 air jets located all around the interior of the tub.
The air jets are great for massaging and customizable for everyone with three different intensity settings. It does pull air from outside and directly pump it into the water, however, and that means the water will cool down quickly when bubbles are turned on.
With 6 layers of pvc, you can expect a sturdy construction that is unlikely to rip or tear anytime soon.
Another cool feature that you may not have expected is the built in ozone generator. It outputs 10-30 Mg of ozone per hour into the water which is beneficial for disinfecting any possible pathogens including bacteria and viruses. Not only that, it is great for neutralizing the variety of chemicals and toxins in your tap water including fluoride, chlorine, and heavy metals. It has also been shown to boost the immune system and provide more oxygen to the brain – although, these effects have to be researched further.
7. SaluSpa Hawaii HydroJet – Best Premium Inflatable Hot Tub
The SaluSpa Hawaii HydroJet is the highest end model in Bestway’s line of portable spas. Its wide range of great features come at a high price tag, but for those looking to buy a top-of-the-line product, this is it.
As you can see at first glance, this inflatable tub is shaped as a square rather than the typical circle. This creates a more spacious feeling by opening up leg room in the center of the tub. It will comfortably seat 4 adults, but may feel a little cramped with 6 full sized individuals.
Another hugely noticeable feature is its 8 adjustable HydroJets on top of already existing bubble jets. This creates one of the best spa experiences for a portable by providing both high powered jets while simultaneously pumping soothing bubbles. Most other tubs will feature only one or the other.
This system combined with the hard water treatment system is sure to leave your skin clean and refreshed.
8. Comfort Line Products Spa-N-A-Box – Best Portable Spa
Although it would be impossible to tell at first glance, this tub’s walls are actually composed of 8 individual, faux-wood panels. These panels are intuitive to set up with the provided frames and come with the advantage of being portable. Simply tear down the hot tub for easy storage or transportation.
Everything about the tub can be dismantled besides the water heater, and that makes it great for transporting to remote locations away from home. Just check out their assembly video if you want to see how easy it is to assemble and dismantle.
(Info: How to assemble and dismantle)
Once the 8 panels are erected into a hexagonal tub, assembly is as easy as laying down a matt and tarp before attaching the included water heater. Outside of that there’s little else to do – simply plug it in and relax. With a ring of air jets at the bottom of the tub, it will be easy to do so.
9. LifeSmart Rock Solid Luna Spa – (Needs Stuff)
The Lifesmart Rock Solid Luna Spa is a rigid hot tub like the name suggests. It is constructed mostly out of a plastic composite meant to imitate sandstone. While it is not the most premium looking or feeling material in the world, it does its job of insulating and protecting the tub well.
With 12 high powered jets that can be customized for the perfect mixture of water and air, it is sure to relieve any amount of stress you may have. Multi colored lights are also submerged within the tub to provide a near therapeutic experience. There’s even a waterfall feature to complete the at-home spa experience.
An integrated heat recovery system maintains the water at a hot temperature even when it is cold outside. It is much better than inflatables at insulating water in unfavorable weather conditions. Many customers in colder climates love this aspect of the tub.
10. LifeSmart 400DX Plug and Play Spa – (Needs Stuff)
It too features 12 water jets, multi-colored LEDs, and a waterfall feature. Even the material from which it is constructed is the same “Rock Solid” composite that is meant to mimic sandstone.
The only real difference is in the shape. Although it is entirely up to personal preference, we believe the square is great for having 4 individual seating positions with small, ergonomic barriers to separate them.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you what you buy.
All inflatable hot tubs will require you to buy some accessory products for cleaning, maintenance, and enjoyment purposes. Water cleaning products should be bought alongside the hot tub so that you can enjoy the tub right away. Here are some things you should consider.
Water Cleaning Products, Water cleaning products keep your hot tub clean and safe to use. That is why all pools are required to have them. Without any sort of cleaner, your tub will quickly turn into a breeding ground for microorganisms and you will notice large amounts of algae beginning to bloom. Use the following products to keep your hot tub clean and safe for use.
pH Control, pH must be constantly maintained between 7.2-7.8 for several reasons. Failure to maintain the proper pH can result in chemical ineffectiveness, skin irritation, corrosion inside the hot tub, and more.
Since the pH of your water will be impacted by many different things such as the source of your tap water and the chemicals that you add, you must check the pH everytime you add chemicals.
The testing strips not only measure pH levels but also chlorine, bromine, and alkalinity levels which is extremely helpful. We recommend the strips over the digital meter unless you want to buy separate chlorine, bromine, and alkalinity testers.
Sanitizers, disinfect the pool and keep it sparkling clear. Since hot tubs run at high temperatures, microorganisms can quickly breed and make the water smell or even unsafe.
to quickly and safely clean water. Other options include using liquid chlorine, but this method is more inconvenient as it requires you to precisely measure the amount of chlorine to add.
For ultimate convenience, combine tablets with an automatic tablet dispenser like this one. They allow you to customize the desired levels of each chemical and dispense accordingly.
Oxidizers, Any type of pool will slowly collect organic debris like dead skin and hair, but hot tubs do so at a much faster rate. These contaminants are slowly filtered out through built in filters, but the smallest particles continue to float around and muddy up the water.
To get rid of all these particles, you must use shock treatments. These treatments are traditionally oxidizers like this one and are convenient to use.
Miscellaneous, If you plan on using your inflatable tub outside, we recommend getting a net to scoop any debris that falls in. Trying to pick up leaves by hand when they are submerged in water will be a near impossible task and surely ruin your spa experience. Get the hot tub hand skimmer.
Other things you should consider include additional filters if your hot tub uses replaceable filter cartridges. For example, here are replaceable cartridges for Coleman’s Lay-Z-Spa.
They are less than $3 per filter and is a vital component to keeping your tub clean.
Portable Hot Tub Buying Guide
Buying your first portable spa will require you to research and compare models until you find one that fits your exact needs. Luckily for you, we have laid out some helpful criteria to help aid your search.
In the following sections, we will discuss a few key factors that will guide your search for the perfect inflatable hot tub.
Without further ado, here are things everyone should consider before buying a portable hot tub.
Unlike traditional, above-ground hot tubs which can cost up to ten thousand dollars, inflatable hot tubs are affordable and give you more value for the money. In fact, you can buy yourself a brand new spa for a little under $400!
Depending on the price that you are willing to pay, you will be able to afford different features and styles of tub. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from the market.
Low End ($400-$550): Models like the Coleman Salu Spa are affordable for nearly everyone and still come with a nice amount of features. We consider it to be the best value for the money for this very reason. It even manages to include over a hundred bubble jets to give you a true spa experience. Spas in this price bracket will be your basic inflatable hot tub with minimal features. Most of them will still come with your standard bubble jet, however.
Mid Range ($550-$800): With just a little more money, you can afford a tub like the PureSpa Jet Massage Spa Set featured above. The biggest advantage it has over a cheaper model is that it uses heated air to power its jets. Traditional bubble jets work by pulling outside air and directly venting it through the hot water. This causes the water to cool down significantly over time and will limit the length of time you can enjoy your tub. Heated jets will leave your spa hotter for a much longer time.
High End ($800-$3000): The best portable spas on the market will come with a hardshell exterior much like a real above-ground hot tub. Models like the Lifesmart Rock Solid Simplicity Spa are spacious and truly emulate a real spa. It even comes with its own little waterfall. Hard shell tubs will last you a much longer time and they do not come with the possibility of ripping or tearing. This is the best portable hot tub for using during winters – especially if you live in a northern region.
Every inflatable hot tub will be of a different size and total weight. These specifications are extremely important to research because many indoor floors and structures cannot support the sheer weight of a hot tub full of water and people. In fact, a quick Google search will show you many reported instances of collapsing floors and patios due to ignorance and lack of proper research. Here is how you should prepare yourself for your future hot tub.
For this example we will be using the Coleman Lay-Z-Spa because it is a typical 4-man tub and is also the most popular model on Amazon.
First we calculate the expected weight of the tub at full capacity – or 254 gallons and 4 adults. The tub itself weighs about 80 pounds, and considering water is approximately 8.36 pounds/gallon, 254 gallons will weigh an additional 2,123 pounds. The average American adult weighs 166 pounds so 4 of them would be another 664 pounds.
In total, this average tub would weigh 2,867 pounds. Given a radius of 38.5 inches, the tub has 32.34 square feet of surface area.
That means the tub at full capacity would weigh roughly 88.6 pounds per square foot. Unless your floor can can support at least 90 pounds per square foot, you cannot place your tub indoors.
Even a properly constructed floor will only be able to hold 50 pounds per square foot so most people will have to leave their hot tub outdoors or on a specially constructed floor.
Nearly all tubs will run on the American standard 120V current which makes it really easy to set up. Don’t be negligent with setting up the right power supply though because electricity can become really dangerous with a hot tub running at full speed.
To be careful when setting up the power source, make sure that there are no other appliances wired to the same circuit. Most hot tubs will consume all 15 Amps of a standard circuit when heating or blowing jets so having another appliance may trip the circuit. Even if there is nothing else plugged into the same outlet, other outlets may share the same circuit so be careful.
Climate should play a moderate role in deciding which hot tub is right for you. Here are some aspects of a hot tub that are impacted in cold weather.
Bubble Jets: Most cheaper tubs will feature bubble jets that channel air directly from outside through the water. This will cool the water over time and will have a more significant impact if you live in a cold area. Even in a warmer climate, bubbles will cool down the water pretty quickly and force you to turn the bubbles off or get out of the tub.
Insulation: Tubs come will varying amounts of insulation and this is huge for people living in colder places. Not only will bad insulation cool your hot water faster, but it will also end up costing you much more money in electricity bills. So if you plan on using the tub during winter, make sure to get a tub with insulation on the floors and thick covering layer as well.
Soft vs. Hard: Soft tubs are less durable and will wear down quicker when placed outside year round. Hard tubs are sturdy and will last in nearly any climate. If your area gets hit with harsh winters, we do not recommend placing your hot tub outside during that time.
Considering LifeSmart’s Rock Solid line of hard portable spas has all these features, we believe it to be the best portable hot tub for winter. In fact, it is hard for us to recommend anything else for those in harsh climates.