Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth It

The Inflatable Hot Tub is a relatively new product on the market, and it has an impressive amount of internet activity or “buzz” happening.

According to my research, these little robots are catching on in the U.S., but they’ve also become quite popular in Canada and Europe – even Australia!

Inflatable spas are perfect for people who want a spa but have very limited space. These tubs can be set up nearly anywhere and cost much less than other types of hot tubs, making them the ideal entry-level option to try out an inflatable!

There is a dark side to inflatable hot tubs. It’s not all good – here are the inconvenient truth, dirty secrets, and hidden agendas of these spas that you should know before buying one for yourself!

The Good Things About Inflatable Hot Tubs

  1. Portable – Inflatable Hot Tubs are the perfect portable solution for sporting events, camping or fishing trips. Why not take your inflatable hot tub with you to these locations? All that is required is a box about as big as a microwave oven and some packing space in your car!
  1. Easy Setup – Inflatable Hot Tubs have a setup process of about 15 minutes and are ready to go. The spa has an air blower, which inflates the chambers quickly – this is one less thing you’ll need to do yourself! After inflation, drop in your hose into the tub and it will fill within just under an hour. Just plug it into any grounded outlet and turn on its heater – that’s all there is too it!
  1. Hard-wearing – Sturdy and durable. Vertical ‘I-beam’ construction gives the walls rigidity, so you can be sure that your basement is safe from bumps or scrapes. The reinforced vinyl material ranges in thickness from 30-50 mil; which isn’t puncture-proof but does resist most scuffs and scratches to keep it looking like new for a long time!
  1. Easy to use – The inflatable hot tub is a great way to relax and unwind. There are many benefits of purchasing an inflatable hot tub, including the fact that it’s easy to operate with a self-contained pump, filter, heater, and blower unit which has digital controls for operation as well as display temperature lights so you always know how your soaking experience is going in real-time. 
  1. Safety – The spa cover locks to make sure that the water and chemicals are safe, leaving you free for your personal enjoyment. The pool also comes with test strips which allow you to check pH levels on a regular basis without any hassle or worry!

Tips: 

  • To store or transport your items, make sure they are completely dry beforehand.
  • If you are going to be using an inflatable bathtub, please do not overfill it. Sitting on the sidewalls may cause them to tear and leak even more air than before, so avoid this at all costs!

The Bad Things About Inflatable Hot Tubs

  1. Not as deep – Inflatable Hot Tubs are the perfect solution for those who don’t have much space. You won’t find yourself in a deep hot tub, as most models only offer around 22-24 inches of water depth maximum.
  1. Can Be Small – The inflatable hot tubs I’ve seen are just not big enough for my liking. There’s a picture of four people in one, and they don’t have any legs! They’re probably happy because it feels like you’re sitting on the ground without having to sit down at all, but if you want space for your feet then this isn’t really ideal.
  1. Leveling Issues – Inflatable Hot Tubs are not for every person. Inflatables need to be on a level surface, at ground level and inflatable hot tubs can weigh up to 2500 lbs when full of water or people (and the occasional drink).
  1. Heating Issues – The heater on these units is small, and although the water is only 200 gallons, it can take some time for it to heat up. If you keep your tank covered with a tarp or other material when not in use outside of winter months where outdoor temperatures are below 70° F – 90°F as well as keeping the unit out of direct sunlight if at all possible then we expect 2-3 degrees increase per hour.

Tips:

  • If you can fill your inflatable tub from a utility sink with hot water, you will save time heating up the bath.
  • The 4-person inflatable hot tubs are designed with enough room for two people.

Even More Inflatable Hot Tub Issues

  • Funky water can happen in a matter of minutes when 4 people are sharing 200 gallons. If you’re thinking that’s 50 gallons per person, well then the undersized filters won’t be able to keep up with it – and even if everyone takes showers before they get into the tub.
  • The hot tub is not safe for children, and the reason why has to do with size. It’s only 28″ tall – a toddler may be able to climb into an open hot tub and possibly drown because of this height. To prevent someone from drowning in it, there needs to be some type of latch or cover that prevents entry until they’re at least 5 years old (when my daughter learned how operate both clips on the spa). Thankfully though, if you are older than 3 but younger than 16 then your chances go up by 75%!
  • When you want to get away from it all, but don’t want the cold weather getting in your way, this hot tub just might be perfect. When outside temperatures drop below 50°F (10ºC), even a 1kw heater can only keep things lukewarm – so if you’re looking for something that’s truly cool and refreshing then maybe try our outdoor spa instead!
  • Many people love their inflatable hot tubs and are passionate about the fun they provide. Unfortunately, many will be disposed of after a few years due to neglect or abuse! Thankfully not all end up that way because some owners take good care of them with proper maintenance.

Tips:

  • Add a capful of MPS (non-chlorine shock) before and after each use, and keep the floater filled with bromine tablets. Run the filter daily to remove impurities from your pool water, change out any dirty filters monthly so that they are always clean for you, as well as replace those pesky dead leaves on occasion!
  • A heavy plywood sheet, carefully placed over your spa cover should discourage some toddlers and will help to retain heat.
  • You can recycle your inflatable vinyl hot tub. Call the trash service to see if they offer recycling services and how often they will come out for pick up.

We’ve been in the hot tub game for a long time, and we think it’s about time that people knew how great they are. We’re not alone – inflatable hot tubs have really taken off online lately!

For those looking for a new way to relax and enjoy the warmth of summer, inflatable hot tubs can offer an affordable alternative. Consider Intex PureSpa or AiriSpa portable models from our selection; both are great entry-level spas that will fit any budget!