Cheap Hot Tubs Under 500
Here’s the rundown at a glance!
This superior little hot tub from Coleman provides a quality spa experience at a most affordable price.
It’s a go-anywhere hot tub that can easily be set up indoors or outdoors in minutes and it comfortably accommodates up to 4 adults.
It’s a winner
With almost a decade of advanced engineering innovations, the Lay-Z-Spa Miami provides for easy setup (no tools required) and offers total relaxation.
(To be fair, no spa reviewed on this page requires tools for the easy setup process. Even the hoses from hot tub to pump are labeled clearly, A-to-A and B-to-B).
A few other key points:
The Lay-Z-Spa Miami can be ready for water in minutes. However, even with something called a Rapid Heating System in place, be forewarned.
It can take up to 24 hours to bring the water to its maximum 104 degrees Fahrenheit when you fill it for the first time — but this is true of every inflatable hot tub featured here.
Many of the reviewers keep their hot tubs at around 85 degrees all the time, then turn them up about two hours prior to use.
All Coleman hot tubs provide a digital control panel to set the temperature you desire without having to exit the tub.
Your spa will remain fresh and clean with the proper use of the water filtration system and chemical floater.
You will, however, need to purchase the chemicals needed to keep the water sparkling. Again, this is true of all the hot tubs reviewed here.
Finally, there’s the price. If you can catch it on sale, this can be a real bargain at less than $350. However, list price is typically about $100 higher.
Features and Benefits:
- Holds up to 4 adults
- Rapid-heating and water-filtration system.
- Easy to operate digital control panel
- Lay-Z massage system
- Easy setup, no tools needed
Once again, Coleman leads in this list of inflatable hot tub reviews.
Easily seats four
This version, like the one above, comfortably seats four people and is completely portable so you can take it with you on your vacations or relax at home.
This spa has 120 massage jets and a cushioned floor, making it easy for you to unwind.
It inflates within minutes and the rapid heating system also heats the water up to 104° F.
It has fewer reviews than the one above, but customers had very few negative things to say about it.
And they had many good things to say about their customer service experience.
The cost? Like the one above, it is usually under $400, giving you a great return on your investment.
Features and Benefits:
- Surround yourself with 120 soothing bubble jets
- Digitally controlled pump with soft-touch control panel
- Outer walls are made from fabric coated material
- 2 easy-lift handles to help move the empty spa pool
- 2 easy-to-replace filter cartridges for clean refreshing spa water
Coleman once again excels with both price and reliability.
First, we found this compact yet durable little hot tub to be rated the most consistently excellent by hundreds of buyers.
Second, it features, among other things, a Digital Control Panel with an automatic Start/Stop timer-controlled heating system.
Third, just set the temperature you desire and activate the Lay-Z-Massage System for a relaxing and comfortable spa experience.
Setup is a straightforward and easy process — watch the video below to get an in-depth glimpse.
Finally. it’s also among the most affordable, usually priced a little over $400.
Features and Benefits:
- Pamper yourself in relaxing heated water surrounded by soothing bubble jets
- Outer walls of the inflatable pool are made from fabric coated material
- Pool cover has an aluminum foil coating to keep water extra warm
- Mosaic print pool liner with cushioned floor and convenient drain valve
Here’s the fourth recommendation in our list of inflatable hot tub reviews; it’s for a spacious four-person portable hot tub.
Catch up with a couple friends while relaxing in heated water, surrounded by soothing bubble jets.
Featuring the same innovative Fiber-Tech Construction as the other Intex models, this hot tub gives you 140 high-powered bubble jets.
This pleasing pulse of warm water around the upper rim of the spa provides a refreshing massage.
Like its sister Intex models, it features high-strength fibers, beam construction, and durable side walls.
And all for well under $500 usually.
Features and Benefits:
- Seating capacity: 4 people
- Built-in hard water system softens the water, making it more refreshing on your skin
- Water capacity: 290 gallons; water temperature range: 68-104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Approximate inflated inner/outer diameter: 65″ /85″; height: 28″
- Includes: spa, insulated cover, heating/filtration/air blower/hard water system, two filter cartridges, thermal ground cloth, inflation hose, carry bag, floating chlorine dispenser, and 3-way test strips
This is a neat hot tub from Lay-Z-Spa that features — among other things — a very cool LED light show and a handheld remote control that activates it.
And, typically at a price under $400, it’s probably the best value on this page.
Easily set up either indoors or outdoors within minutes, the Lay-Z-Spa Paris is a great choice for an affordable, portable spa.
It works great anywhere
It will look perfect set up on wooden decking or on the lawn. The Lay-Z-Spa Paris requires no tools or professional installation.
With its soothing 104 degree F water temperature, massage jets and color changing LEDs, this hot tub is perfect for soaking sore muscles, unwinding after a hard day at work or even as a luxurious and romantic treat for you and your partner to enjoy together.
Conveniently inflates using the spa’s pump. Additional features include: a cushioned floor with convenient drain valve and 2 easy-lift handles.
Double safety locking clips
The Lay-Z-Spa Paris Hot Tub comes supplied with a leatheroid cover with double safety lock clips and built-in air chamber for insulation, a set-up and maintenance guide DVD, a filter cartridge, ground mat and a chemical floater.
Features and Benefits:
- Portable, inflatable hot tub with cushioned air mat floor and quick drain system
- Lay-Z-Massage system with soothing bubble jets and integrated water filtration system – Rapid heating system heats up to 104 degree F (40 Degree C)
- Comfortably fits 4 – 6 people
- LED light show cycles through 7 colors
- Easy setup, no tools needed
So. It is definitely possible to have that relaxing soak at the end of the day after all, perhaps with your significant other and a chilled glass of wine.
And all for under $500.
Want more options?
Here’s a thumbnail listing of 5 more great portable inflatable hot tubs.
Scroll left or right and click the image to view the product on Amazon.
Are Inflatable Spas Any Good?
A vigorous debate is currently raging among folks who want the soothing benefits of a portable, inflatable hot tub or spa.
But they (a) don’t want to pay a fortune for them and (b) want to make sure they’re durable.
A little fact-checking (as they say in the current political debates) is in order.
Inflatable spas have come a long way since they were first introduced to the market several years ago.
Nowadays it’s possible to get a very affordable (under $375) soft-sided hot tub that’s surprisingly sturdy.
Who are the leaders in the field?
There are several models put out by camping gear leader Coleman. And they are consistently ranked highest in customer satisfaction.
These spas have a tough, cloth-covered wall that’s firm enough to sit on, yet inflate within minutes.
The floor is padded (that’s also where you sit) and they come in both a four-person model and a roomy six-person version.
One version (the Lay-Z-Saluspa Paris) even has a built-in light show.
These inflatable hot tubs come with a heater, air compressor (for blowing up the spa and its cover) and an intuitive digital control panel
This dandy control panel allows you to set the temperature to a steamy 104 degrees F.
In addition, a powerful motor pushes a stream of massaging bubbles through 120 jet nozzles around the spa’s upper perimeter.
Who has the most durable construction?
The Coleman brand, while the most inexpensive, doesn’t boast the most durable walls and filtering system in the industry.
That distinction goes to a company called Intex.
Intex puts together their inflatable hot tubs with patented, three-ply high-strength fibers woven into their side walls.
This makes them virtually as steady to sit on as an in-ground spa.
And, the Intex brand also features a unique hard-water filtration system.
This system, according to the company, “makes your spa water gentler on the skin, clothes and the entire spa system.”
Both the Coleman and Intex brands come equipped with easy-to replace filter cartridges, floating chemical dispenser, and a carry bag with grab handles.
What about customer reviews?
As for reviews, both companies received scattered complaints about non-functioning components.
These included such things as heaters that didn’t work properly and automatic shut-offs that kicked in too soon, resulting in a longer wait time for heated water.
However, both companies responded to the concerns — Coleman more quickly than Intex, according to the reviews left on the Amazon site.
Two other features of distinction:
- Coleman’s inner lining on the cover is composed of aluminum foil to better hold heat in, and
- Intex cover straps are lockable for added security.
Finally, a major advantage of inflatable spas is that you can easily deflate them, pack them up, and take them anywhere.
Take your tub to a vacation rental in the mountains or at the beach — or even to visit relatives for an extended time.
As long as you can find a nice, level spot (on grass, wooden decking, or concrete) and have ready access to a garden hose and a 110 AC power source, you’re good to go.
How long do they take to heat up?
It depends on how cold the water is when you first fill the hot tub.
The average temperature of water right out of your garden tap is around 68 degrees.
Most customers of both Coleman and Intex spas reported that it took almost 24 hours to bring the temperature of the water to 104 degrees F.
However, after use, it drops to around 80 degrees with the cover back in place. Then, say owners, it takes only a couple of hours to raise the temperature back to 104.
What about increased electric bills?
It bears mentioning in passing that you should be ready for a spike in your electric bill while heating the spa initially.
After that, while in maintenance mode, it just draws a trickle.
Then, there’s a small increase when you bring the temperature back up.
This rise in electrical usage will be especially noticeable if you decide to use your spa during the winter.
Inflatable spas really are a good value for the money.
They don’t last forever, of course, but:
- an average investment of $500
- spread over an average usage of, say, 20 soothing soaks a month, works out to
- $1.04 per two-hour session — even if the spa were only to last 2 years.
That would give you a much better ROI than enduring the expense and landscaping disruption that would be caused by excavation for and installation of an in-ground hot tub.
That kind of thing could easily run to $5,000 or more.
So, are inflatable spas any good? The answer, across the board, is yes.
How to Find the Best Rated Portable Hot Tub
You’re looking for a portable hot tub that will ease your daily stress, soak your tired muscles, and soothe aching joints. In short, you want to know the best rated portable hot tub on the market today.
But where to find one that’s (a) affordable and (b) highly portable, so you can carry it to your vacation home, or for an extended stay at Aunt Sally’s, or wherever.
There are many alternative options to the old-fashioned in-ground, brick and mortar hot tubs and spas. They’re called portable, inflatable hot tubs, and they have all the advantages of a traditional spa at a fraction of the cost. And, they’re highly portable.
There are several key things to look for in making your choice:
Key points to consider
Construction. You need to make sure your hot tub is built to last more than one season. There’s no real way to know this ahead of time, but as a general rule of thumb, the inflatable hot tubs with interior reinforced construction seem to hold up best.
Price. You can expect to find most inflatable hot tubs to be in the $350 to $800 range. That’s a sizeable investment. But, it’s nowhere near the cost of an in-ground spa.
Warranty. Check out the warranty provided by each manufacturer before you buy. This will adjust your expectations and should furnish you with a customer service contact if you need new parts or — worst case — a replacement hot tub.
Jets. Again, just so you won’t be disappointed when you climb into your hot tub for the first time, pay attention to how many jets your hot tub comes equipped with. Generally, four-person inflatable hot tubs have 120 jets, while the larger six-person tubs have 140. And please understand that they produce a powerful stream of bubbles, not real jets of water, as you might be used to in the big commercial hot tubs.
Covers. When you are making your selection, try to make sure it comes with a suitable cover. If not, you’ll need to buy one separately. They are important in order to keep heat in from day to day and in order to keep things like falling leaves out.
Cleaning. This is an important weekly task. Try to ascertain how often the filters might need to be changed and what kind of chemicals you’ll need to keep the water nice and sparkling. Some of the hot tubs come with chemicals. Some do not and must be purchased separately. If in doubt, scroll down and read the fine print and specs on the Amazon product page. Or contact the manufacturer. In most cases, a simple trip to your local pool supply store will get you what you need, no matter what brand you might have.
Reviews. If they’re available on the model you’re thinking about buying, check to see what people who have already bought the product have to say about it. The more five-star ratings and positive reviews, the better. Any product will have its share of discontented customers, for one reason or another. Take these reviews with a grain of salt, but see if you can tell what the company’s customer service department did (or didn’t do) to rectify the complaint.
Voltage. All inflatable hot tubs that we know of come with connectors for 110-volt AC GFCI (ground fault interruptor). Your new item will pull some serious meter time and voltage — especially during initial warm-up. Not so much when it’s already reached its peak temperature (generally 104 degrees F).
Breakers. Closely related to the point about voltage above is the issue of your breaker box. The outlet into which you plug your spa may not be able to withstand the extra demand. Thus, a breaker might trip repeatedly during initial heating. To solve this problem, either (a) run a heavy duty electrical cable to another receptacle or (b) have an electrician upgrade the amperage on the circuit you keep tripping.
Storage. When the season is over (this is assuming you don’t intend to use your spa in both summer and winter) they deflate and fold up into a box about the size of an old fashioned steamer trunk, or a very large suitcase. You can easily pick it up and store it away in your basement, garage or storage shed. Or, if you’re particularly strong, you can even lug it up the stairs into your attic.
That’s a quick rundown of the features to look for. Now, either
Will Medicare Pay for a Hot Tub?
Don’t let your aches and pains get you down.
It could be the right time to ask your doctor for a prescription for a portable, inflatable hot tub.
These dandy devices provide soothing relief for a myriad of common (and not-so-common) ailments associated with aging such as:
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- Knee or joint pain
- Severe arthritis pain
- Poor circulation
- Type II diabetes
- Stroke recovery
- Traumatic brain injury
- And many other conditions.
And Medicare may even pay for it.
It never hurts to ask!
Of course, you should be prepared to show evidence of your condition or injury, such a X-rays, MRIs, or other proof.
And, your doctor should state precisely why he or she feels it is medically necessary for you to have the benefits of a soothing spa treatment in your own back yard.
This letter should include:
- why a hot tub would be of therapeutic value
- why the tub would be a benefit to your condition or injury, and
- what they expect the treatment to accomplish
You should also know that Medicare — or any insurance provider — will likely only provide funding for a one-person tub.
However, here’s a list of five portable, inflatable hot tubs that will easily accommodate you and up to three others.
And all for significantly under $500.
Check your Medicare Part B or Supplemental policy to see if hot tubs are specifically NOT covered before you go to the trouble of filing a claim.
But, even if they don’t, the expense for a portable, inflatable hot tub is tax deductible as a medical expense (provided you hold onto the prescription and the receipt).
So is the electricity that powers it (although this could get tricky — check with your CPA).