Hot tub used to be the thing an average person just couldn't afford. They were expensive to get, difficult to maintain, and took a LOT of space. Luckily, we are in 2021 and things have changed- Inflatable hot tubs come to the rescue. And they deliver on everything that ordinary hot tub couldn't.
Inflatable hot tubs are affordable, easy to set up (you just need an ordinary power socket nearby), and don't take much space. In fact, they can be stored away when you don't plan to use them. All of this while providing an awesome massage and soothing hot water.
But there's a catch, not all of them are equally good. There are fantastic inflatable hot tubs - but also quite a few not worth the money. We've reviewed and handpicked the 8 best inflatable hot tubs available in the UK.
TOP 8 Best Inflatable Hot Tubs:
|1. Lay-Z-Spa Miami(Our TOP pick)||$$||Check Price|
|2. Intex PureSpa||$$$||Check Price|
|3. Lay-Z-Spa Vegas||$$||Check Price|
|4. Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii||$$$||Check Price|
|5. Lay-Z-Spa Palm Springs||$$$||Check Price|
|6. Lay-Z-Spa Saint Tropez (Floating LED light!)||$$||Check Price|
|7. Mspa Alpine||$||Check Price|
|8. Lay-Z-Spa Monaco||$$$$||Check Price|
These plug and play hot tubs are easy to maintain, but still, there are a few things you need to learn (chlorination, pH level, etc.). This hot tub handbook will guide you through everything you need to know:
Best inflatable hot tubs reviewed:
#1 Lay-Z-Spa Miami (Best Affordable Hot Tub)
This is the best inflatable hot tub available in the UK on our TOP list. It is both affordable and really luxurious featuring 81 strong air jets.
Lay-Z-Spa is the UK’s bestselling inflatable hot tub brand.
Lay-Z-Spa Miami has a water capacity of 800 litres and is ideal for 2-4 adults. Just plug the heater into an ordinary electrical socket. The heating rate is 1.5 – 2°C per hour while using 2 kW of power.
The maximum temperature is 40°C. None of the inflatable hot tubs in the UK goes higher than this (a limit set by law).
Lay-Z-Spa Miami also has built-in grab handles for super easy transportation.
So the question remains, how do you control the temperature and the blower?
An industry standard is a digital control panel on top of the heater. This spa is no exception. The panel is easy to read and very easy to use.
How do you pack it and store it?
Just drain the hot tub, let it dry, deflate, put it in a carry bag, and put it in the basement. That’s the best thing about an inflatable hot tub, the way it is easily stored away. The whole process is easy and straightforward.
#2 Intex PureSpa Plus (Premium choice)
High-quality inflatable hot tub designed for four people. Walls of the spa are very durable and made of triple-layer laminated PVC. There are 120 high-pressure bubble jets powered by 800-watt air blower for optimal relaxation.
The water heater provides 2220 Watts of power to heat the water up to 40 degrees Celsius, with a water flow rate of 1741 litres per hour.
Why purchase the Intex PureSpa?
Intex PureSpa, a blowup hot tub with a very nice design, comes with a built-in hard water treatment to prevent limescale build-up – which often leads to clogging of the pump and filter cartridges.
If you wonder if Intex inflatable whirlpool has a cover included – it does. Actually, most of the manufacturers include a basic cover with the hot tub. It’s really important because the temperature losses when not using one are huge (And therefore your electricity bill).
But it’s not just for insulation – it also serves a safety function and prevents children from falling into the spa, as well as preventing dust and leaves from falling into your spa.
With a water capacity of 210 gallons, it has enough room to seat 4 people.
Intex PureSpa inflatable hot tub also has built-in grab handles for super easy transportation. Carry bag is included as well.
So the question remains, how do you control the temperature and the blower?
An industry standard is a digital control panel on top of the heater. This one is no exception. The panel is easy to read and very easy to use.
#3 Lay-Z-Spa Vegas
While not first on our list, a still very impressive inflatable hot tub is a Lay-Z-Spa Vegas. It doesn't really stand out from the line of Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs in terms of features and is usually one of the great budget choices. We loved the white-themed design and sturdy construction.
The spa heats up to 40° celsius and the built-in airjets (87 of them) provide great massage. As all inflatable hot tubs, you plug it into an ordinary electrical socket.
When filled with water, it will weigh about 1100 kilograms.
How do you control the temperature?
The hot tub comes with an integrated digital control panel on top of the heater unit. There you can control temperature, turn on air bubbles or turn off the heating.
#4 Lay-z-Spa Hawaii - Best Inflatable Hot Tub With HydroJets
Another great blow-up hot tub from Bestway. This rectangular spa is a little more expensive than others, but for a valid reason – it is an inflatable hot tub with water jets. The only one on our best blow-up spa list.
All other inflatable spas have air jets instead, which are awesome in their own way (a lot of people prefer them), but water jets have their own advantages.
What’s so special about SaluSpa Hawaii portable hot tub?
Hydrojets (water jets) are common in built-in or acrylic spas (which costs several thousand dollars) but are a rarity in inflatable hot tubs. They provide the ultimate massaging experience by thrusting water through the adjustable nozzles at high speed.
Disclaimer: Not everybody enjoys water jets, some people consider the water jet to be "too much" and that they actually hurt. It's the same as with massages, some love it gentle, others say it must hurt.
Another of their advantages is that running a water pump is much quieter than turning on air bubbles. Hydro-jets also don’t cool the water as much as air jets do.
How many water-jets does this hot tub have?
SaluSpa Hawaii has 8 adjustable water-jets, plus it also has the airjets. But it’s not just that. It also has a built-in saltwater water treatment system and a hard water system.
The manufacturer claims a capacity of 4-6 people, but our experience says 4 would be a more appropriate rating.
The water capacity is 210 gallons. That is ~1700 pounds of weight. Keep that in mind when thinking about where to place your hot tub.
If water jets are your thing, but still want the practicality of an inflatable portable hot tub. SaluSpa Hawaii is your choice.
#5 Lay-Z-Spa Palm Springs
This is yet another great spa from Lay-Z-Spa. It doesn't really offer any standout features. However, it does the job of being a good basic inflatable hot tub very well.
Unlike its sister SaluSpa Paris, SaluSpa Palm Springs jacuzzi doesn’t have that cool LED lighting included.
The manufacturer claims a capacity of up to 6 people, it's doable, but it will be a tight fit.
SaluSpa Palm Springs doesn't really shine in anything in particular. It's basically another version of the Coleman SaluSpa. If you love the leather look, you might as well go for this one.
A basic inflatable hot tub, offering all the essentials. We believe there are better options available, but this one is an OK choice as well.
#6 SaluSpa Paris (Awesome features) [US review]
While not first on our list, a still very impressive inflatable hot tub - SaluSpa Paris, portable hot tub made by Bestway. Bestway is a well-known brand when it comes to pool products and spas.
SaluSpa Paris offers a unique white design with one of the best implementations of LED underwater lights (more on that later).
What does SaluSpa Paris offer?
SaluSpa Paris (also known as Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Paris) is a very popular hot tub. Affordable price, high-quality materials, and advanced features.
It comes with a cushioned air mat floor - which is soft to sit on and improves heat insulation.
SaluSpa Paris has the best light effects!
Instead of including just one underwater light (as is often the case with other blow up hot tubs) - they included a whole RGB LED strip that goes around the whole hot tub (on the bottom side). The lights are super bright and make for a great show! This is definitely one of the best inflatable hot tub lightings we've seen.
Here are the 7 colors it can create:
Check out this video showcasing SaluSpa's blow up hot tub in action! The atmosphere created by LED lighting is awesome!
One of the best premium portable hot tubs available. Wireless control, included headrests, LED light, absolutely beautiful wood pattern design - all of this coupled with the build quality of Intex hot tubs means it's one of the best premium inflatable hot tubs you can get.
#7 Gorelax Goplus inflatable hot tub [US Review]
This is one of the newer hot tubs released just recently. Being new, it comes with some improvements over more established models from well-known manufacturers. Its standout feature is the whole filter/blower unit being built into the inflatable wall itself!
What does the Goplus spa offer?
The manufacturer states a capacity for 4 people. Just like with every other hot tub with a claimed capacity of 4, it’s doable, but definitely not comfortable unless you are close friends (A lot of leg touching guaranteed).
Goplus has practical carrying handles for easier transportation (This is a standard feature in most blow-up hot tubs)
Possibly the most unique and the best feature is the heater unit, water filtration system, and bubble jets blower integrated inside the wall of the spa.
This makes it take even less space than other hot tubs in this category.
The digital control panel is right in the wall of the spa, making it super easy to change the settings from the water, without the need to reach over the side of the hot tub to an external control panel.
A Hard-water treatment system is included to prevent a buildup of limescale and make the water more pleasant to the skin.
Definitely an interesting option, the embedded heater looks like a cool design choice. Unfortunately, GoRelax (the manufacturer) doesn't yet have any reputation built. This being their first inflatable hot tub model, it might not last as long as inflatable hot tubs from well-known manufacturers, only time will tell.
Read the in-depth Goplus Spa review here.
#8 Intex PureSpa Hot Tub/Pool Set [US Review]
|Volume||210 gal / 310 gal|
This is nothing like you have ever seen before! We saved this one for the end because it’s not just a classic inflatable spa, it’s actually a hybrid of a hot tub and a pool!
Is it a pool, is it a spa?
Well, children often enjoy playing and having fun in a pool, while parents would rather soak in hot water and relax. Making physical activity in hot water is not the best idea, especially for small children.
Now you can play games, like throwing a ball, together with your children. They will be playing in the pool, while you will enjoy a hot and relaxing spa.
The hot tub part, which is smaller, seats up to 4 people. The pool part is bigger, and would definitely seat another six people. But we don’t think it’s meant for sitting.
This hybrid comes with a built-in hard water treatment, to prevent clogging of the water pump and to make water more pleasant to the skin.
An insulated cover is a must, radically reducing heat losses, so intex included it in the package.
So this is how it looks like:
If you are looking for something special, you won't get anything more unique than this.
What features to look for in the best inflatable hot tub
Let’s talk about a few points which make the most difference between inflatable hot tubs.
Inflatable spas range from around 300 $ up to 1,000 $. The higher price tag generally comes with more advanced features such as
- WaterJets (Like in this one)
- LED underwater mood lights (Like in this one)
- Saltwater treatment system
- Space for more people
Two different types of jets
This is the one most important feature of a hot tub, so read carefully. Let’s begin with the most used and most popular option, the AirJets.
Most of the inflatable hot tubs have air jets. They are cheaper to manufacture and provide affordable but amazing massage. How come they are so cheap? Well, they reuse the same blower that inflates your spa when setting it up for pushing the air through a hose into a ring on the floor with holes in it. While this doesn’t sound very sophisticated, the massage and tinkling feeling on your skin is actually very pleasant.
What we like about airjets:
Portable hot tubs with airjets are generally cheaper than those with water jets. Bubble jets are surprisingly very pleasant!
What we don’t like about airjets:
The blower can be loud. The heater often cannot be run simultaneously with air jets. They cool the water pretty quickly.
2. Water Jets / HydroJets
While water jets are a common occurrence in a conventional built-in jacuzzi, they are rarely found in an inflatable spa. Why is it so?
Well, it’s due to manufacturing costs. Water jets need a powerful water pump and high-quality and reliable water piping. Actually, there’s only one inflatable hot tub in our top list offering this awesome feature. It’s the SaluSpa Hawaii (Check it out).
These are the jets that expensive built-in hot tubs use. The massage of these jets is much more focused on one spot. The jet of water is applying direct pressure to your skin.
What we like about hydrojets:
The focused jet of water under high pressure makes a unique massage experience therefore water jets can give you a much stronger and more direct massage than air jets. The water pump is less noisy than it’s air counterpart. No heat losses due to cold air being pushed into the water. Together with hot water, they are awesome for relieving sore muscles – check out this study.
Hot tubs with hydrojets usually also have airjets, so you are not missing out on anything.
What we don’t like about hydrojets:
The price is usually a double of what an ordinary air-jet inflatable hot tub costs.
Size & Design
The smallest inflatable hot tub available is this two-person spa. The biggest hot tubs can accommodate up to six people – but be ready for some underwater leg touching if six grown-ups meet in there :-).
Volume-wise they range from around 150 gallons up to 300 gallons of water. The latter is more than 2,500 pounds of weight, so be careful about the place you plan to fill it with water in.
Most of the hot tubs have very sturdy walls. One can sit on them and they won’t budge. They use a variety of materials, some better, some worse, for the best quality, check out our top picks in our top list.
Another important aspect is the heater unit. Most of the hot tubs have an external adjacent unit where all the important stuff is (heater, blower, a control panel on top). Some newer hot tubs have this unit built-in into the wall of the spa. This is beneficial for those of you with less space available.
As a rule of thumb - the cheaper the hot tub, the fewer features it has. It’s totally up to you if you wish to pay extra for some of these features. Even the basic low-cost inflatable hot tub can provide awesome relaxation. Ask thousands of happy owners ;-).
1. Hard water system
This feature prevents a buildup of limescale which is a major cause of hot tub pump breakdowns. Luckily, this feature is found on most inflatable portable hot tubs.
2. LED mood lights
This takes the nighttime soaking to a new level and it looks super cool. More and more hot tubs start to include this as a standard, for example, SaluSpa Paris (Go check it out).
3. Saltwater system
Saltwater system eliminates the need for adding chlorine or shocking your spa and thus saving a ton of time and struggle. What’s even better is that the spa won’t have that typical chlorine smell. You might know it from older pools. Modern pools are often using other ways of sanitation.
If you have problems breathing the air with the smell of chlorine, a saltwater treatment system is more suitable for you.
4. Included accessories and chemistry
With cheaper portable hot tubs, you usually miss on included accessories like stairs, headrests, beverage trays, or LED lights. In most cases, you can purchase them separately. Always consider included accessories when comparing the price.
Don't forget to take into account the number of included replacement filters (usually 2), and if any chemistry to keep the water clean is included.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can inflatable hot tubs be used in winter?
Yes, inflatable hot tubs are very popular in the winter. However, to reach the maximum temperature, you have to insulate the hot tub from the ground and use an insulating cover whenever not in use. Use a ground mat or several layers of an old rug, and use an inflatable or polystyrene cover. You also have to make sure to keep the heater on at all times, for the water to not freeze in it.