Our inflatable hot tub reviews have been carefully assembled to find the best products for your needs. In order to compile this list, we had the pleasant opportunity of sampling many dozens of the most popular choices on the market.
To narrow our list of favorites down to five, we made a point of highlighting only durable, value-driven, enjoyable spas. The five hot tubs found here all satisfy those important criteria. Whether you want to go all out and get a luxury unit, or spend a moderate amount to get something simple but fun, we have you covered.
Find the perfect inflatable hot tub that will help keep you warm and comfortable this winter!
Comparison Table (updated in 2020):
The 5 Best Inflatable Hot Tubs for Winter Use 2020:
1. Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub – Top Pick
The Coleman SaluSpa is a high-end inflatable tub that prioritizes simplicity. The assembly is incredibly straightforward and requires only an air pump to be done successfully. In just the time it takes to fill the tub with air, you can have the spa up and running.
We are partial to the TriTech material that makes up the walls. It’s nice because it is about as durable as an inflatable tub material can get, but it manages to be very comfortable as well. Despite the fact that there are no seats or benches like you find in conventional hot tubs, sitting in the Coleman is still an enjoyable experience.
The Coleman does seem to struggle a little with maintaining water temperature. Once it hits your desired temperature, the heater deactivates for a while to save on energy costs. This is a normal practice, but the problem is that it takes a while for it to turn back on. In the meantime, the temperature of your water continues to drop. This problem will be particularly pronounced if you are using the spa in a cold environment.
2. Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set – Best Value
As our best for the money pick, the Intex PureSpa is an affordable way to get a high-end hot tub. One of the most pleasant features of this spa is the hard water filter. It removes the calcium buildup that can be present in some water. The “soft water” is more comfortable and soothing on the skin.
The spa can be adjusted easily via a simple dial. You can manipulate the temperature to set it between 64-104 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for a wider range of people.
It’s not an enormous spa, but the manufacturer claims it can seat six people. Our experience is that while this figure may be true, the spa will start to feel very cramped with just four people in it. Space limitations aside, however, it is a great hot tub at a very comfortable price.
3. Goplus 4-6 Person Outdoor Spa Inflatable Hot Tub
The Goplus 4-6 Person spa is made to be both durable and comfortable. The exterior of the tub is made to be harder and tougher than the interior. This means that it will be very durable, but also very comfortable.
It also features comprehensive massage jets that are strategically placed for a robust user experience. We really like that jets manage to hit all the stress areas (back, lower back, calves, etc.) of your body for a maximally enjoyable experience.
Unfortunately, the jets are not very powerful, which does undermine their effectiveness. The tub also struggles to maintain a consistent water temperature.
4. GYMAX 6 Person Inflatable Portable Hot Tub
The Gymax is a spacious pick with room for six bathers. Thanks to a simple control panel, you can easily adjust the temperature. It also benefits from a hard water filter that makes the spa a little more relaxing.
But even though the spa does have its strong suits, there are a couple of issues that set it back a little. There are durability concerns. The exterior of the tub seems prone to leaks and tears, which will eventually render it ineffective.
The heater also shuts off too frequently, which means that the water will not stay hot for very long.
5. Bestway 54190E SaluSpa AirJet Helsinki 6-Person Inflatable Jacuzzi
The Bestway SaluSpa is a larger unit that includes enough room for seven people. Like just about all the options on our list, it can be assembled with a simple pump, and controlled via an easy-to-understand panel.
We also liked that the exterior of this spa features a unique wood-patterned decal that makes it resemble a traditional hot tub.
However, this spa does take an abnormally long time to heat up, and then loses heat quickly. It’s also one of the more expensive options on our list, which will eliminate it as a choice for budget buyers.
In this section, we shine a light on a few important considerations that will go a long way towards helping you figure out what inflatable hot tub is right for you.
When it comes to hot tubs of any variety, one of the most important factors is size. How many people do you plan on putting in the hot tub? Each unit has a maximum capacity that you should not exceed if you want to keep operations as safe as possible.
Larger hot tubs make it easy to accommodate bigger groups of people. They also just give you more room to get comfy in your portable backyard spa.
However, they usually also cost more money. You’ll have to decide for yourself how to prioritize cost versus comfort.
Most hot tubs will also allow you to adjust the temperature. This is a nice feature to have because it makes the spa more friendly to kids, or for users with sensitive health conditions. If you want to crank it on full blast, you’ll be able to do so comfortably. However, temperature-adjustable hot tubs also allow you to use settings that are inclusive for the whole family.
Many hot tub adjustment settings will range between 64-104 degrees Fahrenheit, though the actual numbers will vary somewhat from unit to unit.
Hard Water System
Water is considered “hard” when it features heavy amounts of calcium deposits. Though the effect of hard water is minimal, you may pick up on it on a subconscious level.
As a consequence of this, some hot tubs have special hard water filters that “soften” your spa setting for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience. This is not technically necessary, but it is handy to have.
Any decent hot tub should come with a pump. Short of the heater, this element of the spa will be doing the most work—keeping the water clean and safe for human use.
Most of the time, the pump is stored next to the heater, sometimes with a specialty housing that protects both elements of the tub from the weather. The actual configuration will vary from unit to unit, but regardless, it is critical that you find something with a good pump.
Most of the time, when we think of a hot tub, we picture something round. Indeed, most spa pools are. However, you will occasionally find other shapes. Square and even octagonal hot tubs are popular, though mostly for their cosmetic appearance.
Shape does not actually have a huge bearing on the overall performance of the hot tub. However, if the classic circular spa sounds bland to you, it is possible to find a design concept that is a little different.
Can’t forget the jets! Everyone’s favorite hot tub feature is available on just about any inflatable hot tub that you are likely to encounter. However, depending on the unit you select, the number of jets present can vary significantly.
On average, you can expect to find anywhere from 100-200 jets in your inflatable hot tub. More isn’t necessarily better. Some people find too many jets abrasive or uncomfortable. It’s strictly a matter of personal preference.
Things to Know
If you are new to the world of inflatable spas, there are a couple of things you should know before you make your purchase. These factors differentiate these units from the standard hot tubs you may be used to.
While most hot tubs have built-in seats for comfort and convenience, this is typically not the case with the inflatable spa. Instead, these units have comfort-padded seats on the floor so that bathers can sit comfortably.
Most people get used to the arrangement fairly quickly, but it can be a bit of a shock if you’ve never used an inflatable spa before.
Naturally, all hot tubs require a power source. However, when you have a built-in spa, you don’t really have to see or think about it so much.
Such is not the case with the inflatable hot tub. In order to activate the pump and the heating element, you will need to have access to power outdoors.
Keep in mind that setup will be very noisy. This is mostly because of the air pump that is required to inflate the tub. It may be to your benefit to account for the noise factor, and time your setup period during hours when it will not be disruptive. The filtration pump will also be noisy, though to a lesser extent.
They Don’t Last Forever
Inflatable hot tubs can be well-made, but even the best products run the risk of tears, leaks, and pops. Indeed, these things will probably happen to your inflatable hot tub eventually.
You can prolong the life expectancy of your hot tub simply by being gentle and careful with it.
They Have Many Possibilities
Since the last few things we mentioned were negative, it might be nice to end on a positive. The sky really is the limit with inflatable spas. These portable beauties can be used and taken anywhere with power.
Some people even like to bring them when they go camping. It’s not exactly the rustic Henry David Thoreau experience you might have in mind when you head out for the woods, but it is a great way to unwind. It’s not a bad thing to have a hot tub that can fit in the back seat of your car.
Hopefully, if our inflatable hot tub reviews taught you anything, it’s that there really is no such thing as an unpleasant spa. All the options on our list can be counted on for a good time this winter.
If you need to narrow the list down a bit, here are a couple of options we recommend. If you’re willing to go all out on your purchase, consider the Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub.
You can also find a great product for a great price in our best for the money pick, the Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table (updated in 2020):
- The 5 Best Inflatable Hot Tubs for Winter Use 2020:
- Buyer’s Guide