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, hop on over to a good reviews site on the Internet and make your choice.
We suggest InflatableHotTubReviews.net. They provide an in-depth look at 10 of the current market leaders, and provide tons of comparisons, customer reviews, YouTube videos, and much more.