In this guide we’ll take a look at the best inflatable hot tubs for the UK market.
I’ve compared features, size, capacity and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best inflatable hot tubs for the UK market.
What is the Best Inflatable Hot Tub?
In a rush? Here's my top choice...
Large hot tub perfect for social gatherings, with ambient light!
This Lay-Z-Spa Saint Tropez Inflatable Hot Tub measures 196 x 196 x 58 cm and has a capacity for 966 L of water. It will fit 4 - 6 people and has a programmable pre-heat setting, possible to set up to 72 hours in advance. 87 air jets create an incredibly bubbly experience, and the structure won't lose shape from deflating and re-inflating. Plus it comes with a 4-colour wireless light for ambience!CHECK PRICE →
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Inflatable Hot Tub Reviews
Lay-Z-Spa Saint Tropez Inflatable Hot Tub Review
Hot tubs aren’t exactly something we tend to buy more than one of, so the ideal scenario is to find a good all-rounder that ticks a lot of boxes straight off the bat.
Buying from a trusted brand is a good place to start, and Lay-Z-Spa are well renowned in the hot-tub world. Their Saint Tropez Inflatable Hot Tub is a comfortable size, made from durable materials, with programmable timer settings and well-functioning jets.
This inflatable hot tub is made from “Tritech”, a material developed by Lay-Z-Spa themselves, which offers good durability. It deflates and re-inflates without losing its shape, meaning you can put it up and take it down as often as you like without worrying about altering the structure. Given that this tub needs to be taken in once temperatures fall below 4°C, it’s reassuring to know that it will be ready to go straight back up again once spring rolls round.
Whilst it can fit six people at a push, four people is generally more feasible and comfortable. It measures 196 x 196 x 58 cm, so is certainly a good size, but you’ll likely be shoulder-to-shoulder with your friends or guests if you try to get the full capacity of six people in there.
Holding 966 L water, it does take a while to heat up and is able to reach a temperature of 40°C. However, there is a programmable 72-hour timer so you don’t have to be caught off guard waiting for it to get warm. If you’re having guests around on Friday, and you remember the hot tub on Wednesday, you can programme it to heat up in time for their arrival, and then forget about it until the day.
There are also several jets to create bubbles, as you might expect, totally 87 air jets in total which make for a very comfortable and relaxing hot tub.
A floating LED light comes included, which changes colours and is quite fun to have around in the evening; however, it’s not very bright, so you might not want to rely on it as your primary light source.
- Can be used and left out in colder months as long as the temperature is above 4°C at all times
- Heating, filtering and massaging can all be turned on simultaneously
- The timer allows you to schedule your hot tub session so that it’s ready for when you want to use it
- Very comfortable to sit and relax in
- The capacity is better suited to 4 people, as 6 people can be a squeeze
- Cannot be used with an extension lead so will need to be placed within 7 m of a plug socket
- Takes a long time to reach full temperature from cold
- The LED light isn’t very bright and another light source may be required
- Needs to be taken down and stored if temperatures drop below 4°C
Mspa Alpine Inflatable Hot Tub Review
Whilst hot tubs are designed to be relaxing, sometimes the noise their motor makes can be anything but. Fortunately, the Mspa Alpine Inflatable hot tub has an internal pump which drastically reduces noise compared to standard models. Particularly for those who know the noise of a motor will get in the way of them winding down, this is one of the best inflatable hot tubs around.
Comfortably sized for two people, and able to fit four if you’re willing to squeeze, this is a 650 L hot tub that measures 158 x 158 cm. It’s one of the smaller options, which is great if you’re not working with as much room outside, but might not appeal to everyone.
As a square hot tub (with rounded corners), it’s also slightly easier to position in a corner compared to a round model, making better use of available space – ideal if space is something you’re short on.
The connected controller is very user friendly, offering an easy way to activate the 108 air jets, heating, and timer. It stores in a side pocket on the hot tub when not in use, keeping it on hand to make it simple to alter settings.
Keeping the water clean between uses, as well as allowing it to retain a bit of heat, is helped by the inclusion of a close-fitting cover which clips securely to the ground mat. This acts to create a tight seal that doesn’t allow debris into the hot tub, and can help trap heat which saves power (and time) when heating it back up the following day.
Whilst this is a great hot tub for keeping the noise down, it does have its downsides. Primarily, the short 4 m cable can be a bit inconvenient. Given that you shouldn’t use extension cables with hot tubs, you are limited to using this tub within 4 m of a mains-power outlet, which might not be feasible for everyone.
- Pump is internal which makes it much quieter to run than others on the market
- Bubbles and heat can be used at the same time for a more luxurious experience
- The design is contemporary and minimalist - more like a standard hot tub than an inflatable one
- The metallic liner helps the water stay warm even when the heater isn’t turned on - saving electricity
- Ground sheet and top cover included
- More of a 2-3 person hot tub than one to comfortably seat 4 people
- Takes a long 10 hours to heat from cold
- Rain gathers and pools in the middle of the lid which can be hard to prevent unless you move the hot tub undercover
- Cable isn’t particularly long at under 4 m
Intex Octagonal Pure Spa Inflatable Hot Tub Review
If living in a hard-water area has previously put you off getting a hot tub, the Intex Octagonal Pure Spa comes with a built-in hard water system which helps stop the components getting clogged with excess calcium carbonate.
For those who are used to seeing kettles coated with limescale at home, it’s easy to imagine how damaging it could be if that were to happen in your hot tub.
Not only does the hard water system protect the hot tub’s machinery, it also makes the 795 L of water in the tub softer for you, so it’s not a bad deal at all. However, the filters do need to be cleaned regularly, or replaced often, so that they don’t get too clogged, which is the slight caveat to this model.
It’s deeper than other tubs too, with a depth of 71 cm, and has a diameter of 196 cm. This makes it quite a large hot tub in general, and therefore a style that may be too big for some smaller gardens. But, if you’ve got the space, this big inflatable spa with 120 air jets has plenty of room for four people to sit in comfortably.
Also, speaking of comfort, this tub can be heated to any temperature between 20 – 40°C; this is likely excellent news for anyone who often thinks a hot bath will be a good idea, but gets out after a few minutes because it’s just too hot.
Particularly on a warm day, it can be nice to choose a lower temperature for a more cooling experience.
Heating the tub can take up to 10 hours, so some forward planning is required, but there are timed-heating settings meaning it’s programmable to be ready for a certain time. Also, as if a hot tub alone wasn’t enough, this model also has a ‘deep massage’ option for those days when you’ve worked a little harder and need a bit of extra pampering to unwind.
- Bubbles are stronger than others on the market - like a real hot tub!
- Unlike others on the market, this model is spacious enough for 4 people
- Very easy to inflate, fill and drain
- Relatively quiet to run so won’t disturb your neighbours
- Takes around 10 hours to heat fully from cold
- Filter maintenance is either expensive or time consuming - you’ll need to either purchase new filters or clean existing filters every few days
- The tub is fairly deep which makes it a little uncomfortable without the spa seats which need to be purchased separately
- Cleaning chemicals need to be purchased separately
- Can’t be used with an extension cable
Inflatable Whirlpool MSpa Soho Review
Whilst any kind inflatable hot tub is sure to get your friends flocking round your house, there are some designs that are more suited to entertaining than others. A hot tub that complements your garden aesthetic, like this black-and-white Inflatable Whirlpool Hot Tub, certainly looks the part if you’re entertaining.
Its modern design, with a black leather trim over tough white mesh fabric, is both practical and aesthetic. It reinforces the structure whilst creating an abstract design that looks more stylish than traditional hot tubs.
Not only has it got more of a stylish design, it’s also got the most air jets of any of the tubs featured here. They’re controlled by a small wired controller which stores into a pocket on the tub, and can also be used to set the temperature and timer.
The bubbles can be adjusted to jet out at varying speeds, and they have the potential to be more powerful than some other hot tubs. At the end of a long day, it’s good to have something that feels legitimately luxurious, as opposed to a few lacklustre jets which is the best some other models can do.
Of course, whilst this is good for entertaining, there is the usual issue of ‘how many guests can fit in the hot tub’ – and the real answer here is four. You could probably get six into the 185 x 185 cm space (with inside dimensions of 145 x 145 cm), but it’ll end up being pretty cosy (and by cosy, I mean cramped). Just something to be aware of when you think about how many people to extend your invitation out to..!
- Very quiet to run so won’t disturb your neighbours
- Stylish and modern design that looks good in most gardens
- 3 bubble speed settings to choose from depending on your mood
- The wired controller makes controlling the set up, temperature and bubble jets very easy
- Although it’s made for 6 people, it only comfortably seats 4
- Not as comfortable as others on the market and many users have purchased inflatable cushions separately
- Some users have reported being sent a European plug instead of a UK plug
- Water doesn’t drain fully so you’ll have to use small bowls to remove the remainder before storing
Things to Know Before Buying an Inflatable Hot Tub
Inflatable hot tubs, also referred to as portable spas, offer all homes the possibility of a bit more luxury. You don’t need acres of space or thousands of pounds – these are designed to fit into your lifestyle and give you the opportunity to have spa-style relaxation in your own garden.
So, with this joyous aim in mind, there are some factors to be aware of before you commit your hard-earned cash. Let’s take a look at the important stuff to make sure you get the best inflatable hot tub possible:
Now, I understand it can be tempting to have quite a cavalier attitude to proceedings once you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy an inflatable hot tub; but trust me when I say that it’s not always necessarily a case of ‘the bigger the better’.
First off, have a think about how many people will want to get in the hot tub at one time. If it’s just you, or you’re a couple, then a smaller tub is just fine. If you want friends in there too, or if children will be joining in, you’ll need to be looking at a 4 – 6 person model. It’s definitely not particularly relaxing if you’re all jammed in together with knees under your chin…
You’ll also need to consider what outside space you have.
The inflatable hot tub needs to sit on smooth, level ground. A patio or decking is ideal, or maybe even your conservatory floor. You might not have an excess of completely flat ground, so measure how much space you’ve got to play with before plumping for a massive hot tub.
Bigger inflatable spas are more expensive to buy and to run. Water capacity might not be something you immediately think about what buying am inflatable hot tub, but if the capacity is 900 L, you’ll be filling it from your own water bill. What’s more, if you hope to put up and take down your spa often, you’ll need to fill it each time which can equate to a lot of water.
A smaller hot tub may keep water bills down, but if you can’t fit everyone in then it’ll be a waste of money because it won’t get used.
These are all factors that are worth considering before choosing one particular model, to make sure you get it right first time.
A good filter system is so important when it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of your tub – no-one wants to ‘relax’ in water that looks dirty or full of debris.
Inflatable hot tubs come with filters, but you should check that the product you’re looking at has one just for peace of mind.
The filter should be robust and easy to remove, clean and replace. Check you can easily buy replacement filters; changing them regularly will extend the life of your hot tub.
To clean the filter you’ll need to switch off the whole system, remove the filter, hose it down and then dunk it in a bucket of recommended cleaning fluid. Replace it once dry.
Manufacturers recommend you do this regularly, maybe even as often as once a week.
Air jets blow air into the water to create bubbles in hot tubs. Lots of air jets means the water can get pretty active, but only if the pump is powerful.
If you want a hot tub that can massage your tired muscles and help you relax, look for a strong pump and plenty of air jets. Checking product reviews can be a great way to find out if the hot tub delivers on power.
Some of the best inflatable hot tubs have control panels, allowing you to adjust the settings easily – even from inside the tub. If the settings are adjustable, you can often control which air jets are activated, and personalise the spa experience to suit you.
Speaking of adjustable settings, there are spas which have programmable preheat settings so you can preheat the water. Look out for these if you have visions of yourself arriving home from work to a hot tub which is already warm and just waiting for you to get in!
Some hot tubs come with floating lights, which change colour, to help create an enjoyable ambience at night
Even if lights don’t come included, you might still consider buying some for your hot tub. These are best used at night, so if you don’t plan on using your spa after dark it’s probably not necessary to splash out on lights.
If you’re outside socialising, you might consider floating lights or even just standard LED lights in the garden. They can really make an evening special; reflecting off the hot tub and creating an excellent atmosphere.
Inflatable Hot Tub FAQs
Inflatable tubs are different from standard hot tubs because they’re temporary structures. Deflating your tub and packing it away for the winter is no problem, and if you want to move it that’s OK too. In fact, you can use your inflatable tub in the house if you please.
Inflatable hot tubs are also much cheaper than solid ones because they require less in terms of materials and construction. They’re perfect if you don’t have much spare space, are renting, have a budget, or like the convenience of packing it away.
Your hot tub needs electricity to heat the water. How much this will cost will depend on how often you’ll use it and what tariff you’re on. Lay-Z-Spa estimates the running cost of an inflatable hot tub to be around £7-10 a week.
It depends. If you keep your hot tub running 24/7, of course it will always be heated (but this is very expensive!). Heating it from zero will take several hours.
Manufacturers suggest that heating on demand takes 6 – 12 hours depending on the outside temperature and how well insulated your tub is. A thermal ground cloth and fitted lid can make a big difference. Some individual reviews report it takes 4 – 6 hours to heat their 4 person tub.
It’s possible to buy programable inflatable hot tubs so you can set them to pre-heat in advance.
Your hot tub will come with a guide that you should follow, but in general, they are kept clean through the filter system.
Filters need changing and cleaning on a regular basis and you’ll need to put chemicals in the water, just like a swimming pool, to prevent the build-up of micro-organisms. This is because you don’t fill it up every time you use it – the water stays inside the tub, unless you are deflating and re-inflating the spa often.
Empty your tub on a regular basis following the instruction manual.
A fitted and secure lid will keep children out of harm’s way and prevent leaves, flies, dirt and feathers filling your pool. Birds will try to bathe in the hot tub given a chance and you can’t blame them, but you probably won’t to avoid this if possible.
You won’t have to change the water so often if you have a lid, plus covering the hot tub will help with insulation and allow it to warm up quicker.
The bottom of a hot tub is flat without padding, so you will need to put something beneath it to ensure you are comfortable, and that no stones or sharp objects can pierce the lining. Children’s foam playmats are a good option.
They can, but the better models are really tough, so it’s unlikely. Don’t place it on a rough surfaces, and place it on a foam mat if possible.
If yours does get a puncture, use the repair kit provided by the manufacturer. If it didn’t come with one, a bicycle-tyre repair kit will do the job.
You can, but many of the materials likely won’t appreciate the low temperatures.
Top manufacturers suggest packing your hot tub away when temperatures reach around 4°C to ensure the material won’t split or rot. Frozen water can damage the pump system too, so it’s best to pack it away during cold temperatures or set it up inside instead.