A beneficial review of TOP-5 best inflatable hot tubs includes the products’ main characteristics, a comparison of their effectiveness as well as the pros and cons of using these items. Some models are more affordable while other ones have extra features such as LED-light illumination. You might find helpful my answers to the most frequently asked questions about the usage of hot tubs and tips on how you could better exploit them.

In western culture, nothing quite says casual luxury quite like a hot tub. And, can you blame anyone for thinking that? Ahh, there’s nothing quite like a good soak to relax your muscles, take out joint pain and just overall drain the stress from your body. The bubbles, the warmth, the reduced gravity, it’s just plain nice.

Hot tubs, though, are regarded by most as a very expensive luxury (this isn’t actually the case), and something of a maintenance nightmare (which has some truth to it). Others don’t have room for a hot tub to permanently occupy space in their yard, especially if they live in a climate where the weather isn’t always conducive to hot tubbing.

But, why should any of this stop you from enjoying a hot tub when you really want to? This is what the engineers at various companies thought when the inflatable hot tub was invented.

When you think of inflatable things like this, it’s easy to disregard them as cheap, classless, pale imitations not unlike “inflatable kiddie pools”, but don’t let these preconceptions fool you. There are a host of very well-designed, durable, fully-featured inflatable hot tubs for prices you won’t actually be too put off by, at that.

Today, we’re going to learn about the technologies behind these, what to look for in one of these, and of course, we’re going to go over the five we think are the best on the market right now. I’d also love to share a particularly hilarious story with you that’ll drive home being careful where you set one of these up.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

How Does An Inflatable Hot Tub Work? Explaining The Technologies Behind

Inflatable hot tubs, mechanically, are pretty simple actually. A strong, comfortable material is inflated by an air pump to produce a rigid tub. There are tubes run through it to pump water and air jets, and a heating system for the water.

Many also have an advanced control dial, not unlike standard hot tubs. The materials are usually heat-resistant, durable polymers and nylon materials far superior to other inflatable things (innertubes/floaties, inflatable kid pools). The feel of them is usually more like a textured vinyl, and the little bit of giving these have while in the water, is actually kind of nice, adding to the floating in warm, bubbly weightlessness. The downside is they can be tricky to get in and out of due to reduced rigidity.

What Are The Types Of Hot Tubs And Their Differences?

There aren’t actually very many variations to the basic concept of the inflatable hot tub. They’re all made out of mostly the same materials, their form factors are more or less the same, and they have most of the same features.

The key differences are the capacity of them, the added accouterments/additional features, and the color/look of them, which varies wildly from one to the next. There do exist, self-inflating models, as well as ones that need an additional air pump to inflate them, and some other variations like this, but they’re too per-model basis to really categorize the tubs based on any of these variables.

What To Look For When Buying The Product?

There are a number of things to look for with one of these. Getting the wrong one will make you sad. While they’re not prohibitively expensive, you’ll still be out more money than you’ll like, if your purchase is a bust.

  • Capacity – Is this just for you or a couple people? Then a smaller tub is fine, which needs less water, and has to work less hard (more power-savvy, and cheaper). However, if this is going to be used in a social setting, you’ll want a bigger tub.
  • Air Flow – Be sure that this has enough jets to actually get the water churning. Some models have cut corners on the jet lining, which results in them being overworked. Things can burst, come loose, or tear in other ways, causing all manner of havoc, even injury. This damage can rarely be fixed with this sort of thing either.
  • Temperature – Make sure you have good control over temperature. You don’t want it too hot, because even if it doesn’t cause agony, excess heat can cause you to become ill, and be bad for circulation. Similarly, if it’s not hot enough, it’s just pointless, tepid bath water, which makes nobody happy.
  • Durability – Make sure you pick one with solid materials, so it can withstand lots of use, exposure to the heat, and the little bit of roughhousing that this kind of thing will simply have to endure, even with mature, well-behaved adults using it.
  • Extra Features – Make sure you have some attachable tables or other components to hold drinks or other things. Remember, absolutely do not have anything plugged into a wall socket near the hot tub, if you like living.
  • Ease of Cleaning – Make sure it’s an easy model to clean, as hot tubs get dirty. Hey, nobody’s judging, what happens in a hot tub, stays in the hot tub, but even if you’re just enjoying a soak, you will sweat, it will attract algae, and eventually, just plain need to be cleaned.

My Personal Experience With Inflatable Hot Tubs

I had almost forgotten about this one until today. A few years ago, I lived further north, in Sarasota. I rented a room in a house with other people (I much enjoy living alone now). They were all good friends, though, and we enjoyed weekends of casual, not-too-extreme partying with a few drinks. We always wanted a hot tub, but the landlord refused to let us build or install anything permanent like that. Why he thought the cluster of scrub brush we would’ve cleared out for it was more valuable to his property than a hot tub will remain one of life’s great mysteries.

My one roommate, let’s call him Todd (names changed for privacy), had the idea to get an inflatable one. And he got a nice one, very similar to one on this list. It worked great, too. But, a problem with these, when you set them up in the wrong area, presented itself about three months into using it.

Todd set it up near the tree line and some of the orange trees and coconut trees kind of hung over it. It made a neat looking tropical environment, and he even strung lights up in the palm trees. Sadly, where there’s a tree line in Florida, there are raccoons, and I mean big ones with the attitude of Leonidas from 300. 

Well, we were all having a fun time, we even had the cute neighbor girls over, all of us enjoying a nice soak in the tub. I guess all the smoke, the chlorinated steam, and the noise was more than that raccoon could handle, because out of nowhere, into the hot tub he fell. This fellow was the size of a fat house cat, if not bigger. He instantly freaked out, trying to claw out of the tub. Sadly, one of the neighbor girls, let’s call her Carol, was right in his path as he clawed. She lost her bathing suit top but did not realize it at the moment (frankly none of us did).

We all began to panic, because an angry, panicky raccoon is not much more preferable to a darn panther, in close quarters like that. The tub upended, spilling us, a ton of hot water, and an angry raccoon into the yard. The raccoon, now the living embodiment of rage, chased me all the way around the front of the house before he decided to retreat into the woods across the street.

Carol, who was terrified of animals, to begin with, then went running past me, down the street, sans her bathing suit top, swearing up a storm. The neighbors, sitting on their porch, witnessed this.

Carol never came to one of our get-togethers again. The hot tub got set up away from the trees after that, near the deck. The important lessons to take away from this are, these things can tip if you panic, and in some cases, it could damage them. Ours survived it (though it later fell victim to vandal kids from the next street over puncturing it. I hate kids.), but some may not.

Set these up away from the ease of reach for nature, unless this incident sounds like a fun time for you.

TOP-5 Best Inflatable Hot Tubs

Below, you will find five models of various brands within the price range from $300 to $420. Although some features do not differ in these products, each product has its own peculiarity. While one model would be great for family leisure, another would be best for parties. An item with LED-light illumination will attract those who are looking for something unusual.

Corvette of Inflatable Tubs | Intex

Intex Corvette of Inflatable Tubs: photo

So this is very close to the one we had when the raccoon incident happened. It was a shade of shale gray, not brown, but honestly, I like this aesthetic better. This is the most posh inflatable hot tub on the market, aside from specialty models you can’t easily buy for home use.

I’ve seen these used at beach parties, special events, and of course, back in Sarasota. They say it seats four people, but we fit six in there because two people were fairly small in build. It was a bit crowded though.

Features

  • Capacity: 4 people.
  • Ages: 6+
  • Capacity: 210 gallons.
  • Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Extra Features: Head cushions, clip-on drink tray.
  • Self-Inflating: No.
  • Temperature Gauge: Yes.

Performance

Raccoon aside, we enjoyed the very similar model to this. It’s comfortable – firm but not too firm, not easy to tip over, and the material feels very nice and less than cheap. My one problem is, these are kind of a pain to climb in and out of. I got fed up and built a few little sets of stairs to make it easier to get in and out of ours.
It has a nice temperature range, and an excellent flow rate and the color and form factor are classy and attractive. Great for parties or a casual soak.

Pros Cons
  • Solid construction.
  • Good capacity. 
  • Great temperature range. 
  • Durable. 
  • Material is nice. 
  • Attractive. 
  • Comfortable. 
  • Easily-cleaned, with a filter system.
  • Hard to get in and out of.
  • Takes a while to fill. 
  • Expensive. 
  • Major power hog.

Conclusion 

If you want the best hot tub you can get, in the inflatable market, this is definitely your tub of choice. If I ever have one of these again, that'll be what I get. I am lucky enough the home I have now already had a built-in tub.

Intex: Check the current price

Inflatable Hot Tub for Families | Coleman SaluSpa

Inflatable Hot Tub for Families - Coleman: photo

A slightly less expensive model than the previous, this Coleman hot tub is still very nice. I actually know someone who has a slightly older model of this hot tub, and while I think the green and white aesthetic is positively garish, everything else about it is pretty solid. It’s a little less tall than the Intex, making it easier to get in and out of, too.

Features

  • Capacity: 4-6 people.
  • Ages: 6+
  • Capacity: 190 gallons.
  • Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Extra Features: None.
  • Self-Inflating: No.
  • Temperature Gauge: Yes.

Performance

My only two complaints with this one, are that the gauge control is on top of the pump, and this thing is kind of ugly. Nothing creams class like grass green and white, right? But, those qualms aside, this is a nice hot tub, great for families with its slightly more shallow build, and its greater capacity.

The material is a little less durable than the Intex though, and it feels a little less classy as a result. So, expect a slight decline in “classiness” with this one, compared to that Intex. It has the added benefits of being faster to set up, though, which I’d say is a win. It’s less likely to tip over due to wider, shallower build as well.

Pros Cons
  • Easier to get in and out of.
  • Quick to set up. 
  • Slightly more affordable. 
  • Greater occupancy capabilities. 
  • Heats quickly. 
  • Less power hungry.
  • A little overpriced for what it is.
  • Ugly. 
  • Gauge is awkward to get to from inside the tub. 
  • Pump is loud.

Conclusion 

If you want a well-constructed inflatable hot tub for your family, this Coleman is one I am very okay with recommending. But, for parties, not so much, as it’s garish and feels slightly chintzy.

Coleman SaluSpa: Check the current price

Six-Person Inflatable Hot Tub For Parties | Intex

Six-Person Inflatable Hot Tub For Parties: photo

If you like the smaller Intex from earlier, but need to host more people for social events, then you needn’t look any further than this six-person version. Like the other Intex, it looks and feels good to the touch.

It seats more people and has an excellent range of temperature. However, it also has the few drawbacks that another Intex has as well. They’re small problems, though, and the many benefits of this tub probably make up for it.

Features

  • Capacity: 4-6 people.
  • Ages: 6+ 
  • Capacity: 300 gallons.
  • Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Extra Features: None.
  • Self-Inflating: No.
  • Temperature Gauge: Yes.

Performance

I have one personal complaint with this, and it’s the color. It’s not remotely as bad as the green on that Coleman, but the dark blue doesn’t speak to me as well as the earth tones of the other Intex. I always liked soft brown and beige color pairings like that, so maybe that’s just a bias.

It’s also hard to get in and out of, like the other, and it takes some time to fill this up and get it hot. It’s a major power hog, and this baby isn’t what I’d call cheap, just eking in as the priciest model on our list today.

Pros Cons
  • Great capacity.
  • Nice looking. 
  • Easy-access gauge. 
  • Cleans easy, with filter system. 
  • Durable. 
  • Comfortable.
  • Expensive.
  • Power hungry. 
  • Heats slowly. 
  • Fills slowly. 
  • Inflates slowly. 
  • Hard to get in and out of.

Conclusion 

If you love that other Intex, but wish it seated an extra two people, then you’ve found your hot tub. I think this one is overkill if you don’t entertain people, but if you do, I highly recommend this tub.

Intex For 6 persons: Check the current price

Affordable Inflatable 6-Person Hot Tub | Bestway

Affordable Inflatable 6-Person Hot Tub - Bestway: photo

SaluSpa is actually a pretty well-known name in this industry, but unless you work in hotel management or the like, you probably haven’t heard of them before now. They make a lot of the actual hot tubs, saunas and even work on some of the attractions for water parks, so their reputation precedes them, at least within some industries.

It’s surprising to see one by them for home use, and while this one is kind of ugly, the quality of it lives up to their name for the most part.

Features

  • Capacity: 4-6 people.
  • Ages: 6+
  • Capacity: 300 gallons.
  • Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Extra Features: None.
  • Self-Inflating: No.
  • Temperature Gauge: Yes.

Performance

This one is actually harder to get in and out of than the Intex, because it has a thicker ring to it. It also has kind of an ugly color, an almost mustard brown. However, this is still better than green or some other bright color. 

It’s comfortable, but it has the problem of that gauge being on top of the pump like the Coleman, and this is inconvenient if you want to adjust the water/jets/etc. while you’re in the water.

However, f you’re not quite willing to spend the money on the Intex, you can save a few bucks with this one and get mostly the same quality. It does inflate, fill, and heat up faster, which I would expect from SaluSpa.

Pros Cons
  • Great capacity.
  • Nice looking. 
  • Heats quickly. 
  • Fills quickly. 
  • Affordable, for the most part. 
  • Reputable manufacturer. 
  • Durable. 
  • Comfortable.
  • Power hungry.
  • A little on the ugly side. 
  • Hard to get in and out of. 
  • Gauge is on the pump, hard to get to. 
  • Pump is a bit loud.

Conclusion 

If you’re not sure about Intex, which is a lesser-known name all around, you can generally count on things by SaluSpa being quality. I recommend this one, minor qualms notwithstanding.

Bestway: Check the current price

Inflatable Hot Tub w/ LED Lights – Interesting Gimmick | Bestway

Inflatable Hot Tub w/ LED Lights: photo

Well, again, with SaluSpa, you know you’re getting a quality hot tub, though this is probably the ugliest one, being all white on the outside. However, this one has an LED light show, which is an interesting idea I am surprised isn’t done more often, since everything and its grandma has LEDs in it in the 21st century.

This could be fun for parties, or nice for meditation, and might’ve saved us some grief escaping that raccoon!

Features

  • Capacity: 4-6 people.
  • Ages: 6+
  • Capacity: 300 gallons.
  • Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Extra Features: LED light show.
  • Self-Inflating: No.
  • Temperature Gauge: Yes.

Performance

This has more or less the same strengths and weaknesses as the other SaluSpa, but it looks uglier on the outside. However, during the night, you’re looking at the light show, and not noticing its exterior aesthetics that much?

I could see these LEDs shorting, or being a problem if they burn out (yes LEDs can burn out), but aside from that, interesting idea, and I’d like to see what they can do with optics in the future since everything lights up these days.

This one looks like it might be easier to get in and out of, as well. I think a future technology might even let images be drawn on the water, and across the exterior, which will be really, really cool.

Pros Cons
  • Great capacity.
  • Light show. 
  • Heats quickly. 
  • Fills quickly. 
  • Affordable, for the most part. 
  • Reputable manufacturer. 
  • Durable. 
  • Comfortable.
  • Power hungry.
  • A little on the ugly side. 
  • Hard to get in and out of. 
  • Gauge is on the pump, hard to get to. 
  • Pump is a bit loud.

Conclusion 

I’d only recommend seeking this one out if you like that LED light show gimmick. In which case, yeah, totally go with this.

Bestway with LED Lights: Check the current price

Comparative Chart Of Inflatable Hot Tub Effectiveness

Product Features

Intex

Capacity: 4 people.
Ages: 6+
Capacity: 210 gallons.
Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Extra Features: Head cushions, clip-on drink tray.
Self-Inflating: No.
Temperature Gauge: Yes.
Effectiveness: 9

Coleman SaluSpa

Capacity: 4-6 people.
Ages: 6+
Capacity: 190 gallons.
Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Extra Features: None.
Self-Inflating: No.
Temperature Gauge: Yes.
Effectiveness: 8

Intex For 6 persons

Capacity: 4-6 people. 
Ages: 6+ 
Capacity: 300 gallons. 
Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit). 
Extra Features: None. 
Self-Inflating: No. 
Temperature Gauge: Yes.
Effectiveness: 9

Bestway

Capacity: 4-6 people.
Ages: 6+
Capacity: 300 gallons.
Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Extra Features: None.
Self-Inflating: No.
Temperature Gauge: Yes.
Effectiveness: 10

Bestway with LED Lights

Capacity: 4-6 people.
Ages: 6+
Capacity: 300 gallons.
Heat Range: 68-104 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Extra Features: LED light show.
Self-Inflating: No.
Temperature Gauge: Yes.
Effectiveness: 10

FAQ 

Can you use inflatable hot tubs in winter?
Yes, though I don’t recommend it. It’ll be cold when you get out.

Can you put an hot tub indoors?
Sure, if you have room.

How to deflate it?
There are air release nozzles.

How to clean an inflatable hot tub?
Simple cleaning solutions work, and filters are easily cleaned out.

How to protect it from cats?
You can keep a cover on to keep them from drowning, but aside from that? Haha, you can protect nothing from cats!

How long will this device last?
A decade or more, if you take care of it.

Does it use a lot of electricity?
They tend to, yes.

Pros & Cons of Using

Pros

  • Can be put away.
  • Affordable.
  • Can take with you if you move.
  • Requires no zoning permissions.

Cons

  • More fragile.
  • Not as classy.
  • Can tip over.
  • Shorter life cycle.

Tips For Setting Up

  • Don’t set it up near a tree line!
  • Set up near a deck or other easy access point if possible.
  • Don’t use an extension cord.
  • Set it up on even ground.

Conclusion

If you love hot tubs like I do, but rent, or just don’t have room for one normally, I am positive one of these will work for you. I like that first Intex, it’s attractive, it’s comfortable, and I have mostly fond memories of a similar unit from a few years back.