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.
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!
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Inflatable Hot Tub Reviews
Lay-Z-Spa Saint Tropez Inflatable Hot Tub Review
Lay-Z-Spa is one of the biggest names in hot-tubs and this Lay-Z-Spa Saint Tropez Inflatable Hot Tub doesn’t disappoint.
This is a great value inflatable hot tub for 4-6 people. In ‘hot-tub speak’ this tends to mean you can comfortably fit four people, and then six if you don’t mind budging up – this is true of all hot-tubs!
It measures 196 x 196 x 58 cm and will hold 966 L of water. This is a pretty decent size, and good capacity compared to others on the market.
Look out for the ‘Lay-Z-Spa Saint Tropez Rapid Dual Operation Heating & Airjet Massage System’ which is a fancy way of saying you can heat the water to a cosy 40°C and run its 87 bubble-creating air jets at the same time.
It can also be programmed up to 72 hours in advance which is handy. No more forgetting to heat the spa because you’re busy preparing the canapés. A programmable pre-heat is definitely another hot tub essential!
The Saint Tropez inflatable hot tub is made with I-beam construction from specially designed ‘Tritech’. Tritech has been designed by Lay-Z-Spa to deflate and re-inflate without any loss of shape. This means you can move your hot tub around and store it without worrying that it will affect the structure.
This inflatable tub is named after St Tropez, so of course it comes with some fun in the form of a wireless LED pool light. This floating light produces four different colours and really sets the scene during an evening.
Without a doubt it’s the best inflatable hot tub for creating a party atmosphere and the programmable pre-heat makes it extremely practical.
Mspa Alpine Inflatable Hot Tub Review
A comfortable and whisper quiet four-seater for compact spaces. The Mspa Alpine Inflatable hot tub is a smaller version that will fit two people and accommodate four if you know each other well.
It’s 68cms high and measures 158cms by 158cms, holds 650 litres of water and forms a sturdy square which means you can each have a corner seat and put your arms up on the wall for comfort.
There are 108 air jets to get the water moving and massage your muscles, and it’s made from Rhino-tech 6 layer PVC material, which should help protect against any unwanted cat investigations or stone punctures. It also has safety buckles connecting the top lid to the ground mat.
There’s a built-in control system on a large LCD screen to activate the bubbles and heater, adjust the temperature and switch on the filter system when you’re done.
The screen will also show what temperature you’re currently lounging in – and speaking of temperature it’ll reach a toasty 43 degrees. If you’re energy-conscious this is a good buy because it can be programmed to save energy and reduce your running costs.
One of the most common complaints about hot tubs is the noise they create. It’s not possible to relax when you have a roaring power source next to your ear, but the Alpine is whisper-quiet which is a BIG plus point.
This is a classy inflatable hot tub in understated black and silver finish that will look good in any outside or indoor space. It’s one of the best inflatable hot tub models to go for on a budget.
Intex Octagonal Pure Spa Inflatable Hot Tub Review
The Intex Octagonal Pure Spa is a compact inflatable hot tub with a built-in hard water system. This feature makes it the best inflatable hot tub on the market if you live in a hard-water area!
It combines quality craftsmanship with a quirky octagonal shape for those of you that like your spa-experiences to be a little more unique.
The hot tub measures 150 x 150 x 71 cm making it the tallest, most compact, model on my list, yet it can still hold 795 L of warm bubbly water.
In total there are 120 air jets which will help massage your muscles and keep the water circulating.
Now, let’s take a look at the controls – Intex has designed an easy-to-use control panel that lets you adjust the temperature depending on your preferences.
Not all of us like 40°C water, especially when it’s hot out, so Intex’s hot tub lets you choose from between 20-40°C for ultimate comfort.
You can also program an automatic start-up and shut-down as well as timed-heating settings and deep-massage options. Imagine programming your hot tub so that it’s ready for when you get home from work – bliss!
If you’re a sensitive soul or live in a hard-water area this is a good model to go for; it has a built-in hard water treatment system that softens the water. This means less limescale on the components and goodbye dry skin!
I really like this one, it’s got the right balance of gadgets and temperature settings whilst still being marked at a reasonable price, plus it’s compact so doesn’t have to take up loads of space.
Inflatable Whirlpool MSpa Soho Review
This Inflatable Whirlpool Hot Tub certainly looks the part if you’re entertaining.
It has a black and white exterior with a contemporary leather trim over a tough mesh fabric to prevent accidental punctures. If you like bright and bold design this is the one for you.
This inflatable hot tub measures 185 x 185 x 68 cm. The manufacturer states it will seat four people ‘plus two’. In reality that means you can squeeze in six, but if you prefer the room to stretch out it’s best to stick with four.
The spacious squared shape allows you to relax fully in the bubbly water and rest your arms on the corners. You’ll certainly be able to relax because this hot tub has the most air jets of all those which I’ve reviewed here – 132 in total!
It’s certainly going to give you a thorough massage as you lounge in 42°C heat.
An LCD touchscreen controls the adjustable bubble intensity, you can choose anything from a little tickle to a good deep massage.
This may be an inflatable hot tub but it’s certainly capable of blasting out bubbles, so if you feel other tubs don’t quite pack enough punch give – this one a go!
Things to Know Before Buying an Inflatable Hot Tub
Inflatable hot tubs, also referred to as portable spas, offer all homes the possibility for 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 they also require more water. 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. Weigh up the pros and cons of each factor before you commit to a particular model!
A good filter system is so important when it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of your tub – no-one wants to ‘relax’ in slimy green water with added feathers, dirt and flies thrown in for good measure.
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 their settings. If the settings are adjustable, and you can control which air jets are activated, you can 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!
Creating the perfect ambience is great fun. To help with this, some hot tubs come with floating lights that change colour.
Even if lights don’t come included, you might 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 better not 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 a magical 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.