Inflatable Hot Tubs Guide

Now that’s relaxing.

What are you waiting for? Find the best inflatable hot tub and get to soaking, amigo!

Maybe you find relaxing in hot water more enjoyable than a dip in the pool. Maybe you’re looking to add a spa to your backyard at an affordable price. Maybe your kids have taken command of your above ground pool, and you need something for the adults.

Whatever your reason, an inflatable hot tub, or blow-up spa, may just be the perfect thing for you.

Learn all about portable hot tubs here, and check out some of our reviews on the best blow-up spas on the market.

Inflatable Hot Tub Reviews

Find the best blow-up spas for your budget! We’ve compiled reviews for the best ones you can find.

Bestway/Coleman Inflatable Hot Tub Reviews

Intex Portable Spa Reviews

LifeSmart Hot Tub Review

Spa-N-A-Box Review

What is an Inflatable Hot Tub?

An inflatable hot tub is a hot tub that features:

  • An inflatable body/shell with built in seating (or seat attachments), jets, and hose fittings.
  • An electric heater and pump.
  • External handles for easy pick-up.
  • Water capacity of around 200 to 500 gallons, depending on the size.
  • Ground cloth or ground cover to help with insulation.
  • Quick, easy installation and set up.

Inflatable hot tubs are similar to above ground pools in that they can be easily drained, stored, or moved, and they are a lot cheaper than a traditional hard-shell hot tub.

There are models available that are designed to fit anywhere from 1 to 6 adults. Though, 6 people in a single inflatable hot tub will probably feel a little crowded.

Are Portable Spas Cheap?

Compared to a normal hot tub, inflatable spas are relatively cheap.

A normal, permanent spa is going to cost your at least $8,000 to $10,000 and up. That price will go up significantly if it’s an in-ground hot tub.

A typical inflatable hot tub ranges anywhere from $500 to $2,000.

Can you use Your Inflatable Spa in the Winter?

Depending on the winter climate where you live, using your inflatable spa during the winter may or may not be practical.

Most inflatable hot tub heaters are capable of heating the water in the spa to its maximum temperature (typically 101 to 104 degrees) when the outside temperate is at least 40 degrees F.

The colder the outside temperature, the faster the water in the spa will cool down – meaning the heater is either going to be overworked or the water in the hot tub won’t get as hot as it. should be.

How do you Heat an Inflatable Hot Tub?

Inflatable spas come with an electric heater and pump system that you plug into a standard 110-120V outlet. Most can heat the water in the spa to about 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Due to the size and power of the heater, an inflatable hot tub will typically take a little longer to heat up than a traditional hot tub.

Most portable hot tub heaters are capable of raising the water temperature about 1-3 degrees per hour. The initial heat up can take at least a full 24 hours.

The time it takes to heat up the tub will depend on:

  • Outside temperature.
  • Starting temperature of the water.
  • How much water is in the hot tub.

Depending on all of these factors, most portable hot tubs cost about $1-3 per day to heat and keep hot.

You can help keep the water in your hot tub warmer by:

  • Using a cover over the hot tub.
  • Placing it somewhere where it gets a lot of sunlight.
  • Filling the tub with warmer water.
  • Installing it on a well insulated surface.
  • Limiting the use of air jets.

How to Set Up Your Inflatable Spa

Setting up an inflatable hot tub is pretty simple.

First, you’ll need to select a place to install the tub.

The ideal spot should be a level, clean, solid, and well insulated surface.

Avoid placing the spa directly on grass or any abrasive surfaces.

Placing an insulation pad between the hot tub and the surface can help keep the water warmer and reduce heating costs.

After you’ve picked a spot, you’ll need to:

  • Assemble the pump and heater unit, if necessary.
  • Plug it into a proper outlet.
  • Inflate the body of the hot tub – most use the pump that’s included to accomplish this.
  • Seal the valves and connect the pump to the hot tub body.
  • Attach any remaining filters, drain covers, and hoses that were included.
  • Clean out any debris from the inside of the tub.
  • Begin filling it with water.
  • Heat up the water.
  • Add pool chemicals.
  • Wait for the water to reach the right temperature and enjoy!

Maintenance and Cleaning for a Blow-up Spa

Just like cleaning an above ground pool, you’ll want to be sure to keep your spa clean with regular maintenance.

To keep your portable hot tub clean:

  • Add and test chemicals periodically.
  • Scrub down the sides and bottom and remove debris.
  • Run the pump and filter.
  • Use a cover when the spa is not in use.

Checking for Leaks in your Inflatable Spa

If your spa develops an air (or water leak), you’ll want to identify and fix it as soon as possible.

An untreated leak can lead to damage to the spa itself and the surrounding area. Air leaks in the body of the hot tub can cause it to sag, loose insulation effectiveness, and eventually leak.

Leaks can develop for a number of reasons including:

  • Age of the spa.
  • Frequent use.
  • Improper use.
  • Punctures.

Some common spots where leaks can occur include the pump connection and other mating surfaces like valve and hose fittings.

If your tub has a leak, you may experience:

  • Loss of water level.
  • Loss of air pressure in the body of the tub.

If you suspect a water leak, you can fill up the tub and make marks where it was filled and where it stopped draining. This should narrow down where to look for your leak.

If you suspect and air leak, you can use a spray bottle filled with soapy water to detect the leak. Inflate the body as much as possible and use to the soapy water to identify the leak.

Most air and water leaks in your hot tub can be patched up with a waterproof kit.

Draining an Inflatable Hot Tub

To drain your inflatable spa, you’ll need to disconnect the filter, pump, and heater and connect a hose adapter.

You’ll want to direct the water to an appropriate spot to drain rather than just letting it out all over the place.

Be sure to dry out the pump and the inside of the spa before storing it.

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