The best inflatable hot tub
Hot tubs are a great way to relax your muscles, as well as relax your mind. If you're not sure whether you're ready for the permanence of a traditional hot tub, then you might want to consider getting an inflatable one. These hot tubs deliver all of the benefits of their hard-sided brethren, but offer a more versatile alternative to a solid structure hot tub. With a variety of sizes and features from which to choose, the time couldn't be better to get yourself one of these magical relaxation machines. If you think you may be interested in getting one, then read below to find out which is the best. Our favorite pick is from Intex and offers surprisingly powerful jets.
Considerations when shopping for an inflatable hot tub
The number of people that can fit into your hot tub may be one of the most important factors in making your choice. Most inflatable hot tubs will hold between two and six people, although more people might sometimes lead to an errant knee or elbow, so plan on getting to know your fellow hot-tubbers pretty well.
The pump has two primary functions, both of which are highly important. It inflates the hot tub and it circulates the water. Make sure to choose an inflatable hot tub with a durable pump to keep your hot tub parties going as long as the neighbors will allow.
The control panel should be easy to read and easy to use. You don't want complicated controls to ruin your zen moment just before entering your inflatable hot tub. From the panel, you should be able to control the temperature and timer of your hot tub.
Make sure that you get an inflatable hot tub that comes with a solid cover. The cover will keep leaves and other debris out of the water. It also has the added benefit of keeping your inflatable hot tub insulated so the water temperature doesn't drop too low when not in use.
If you don't want to be the one remembered for "the margarita incident", then you'll want to have drink holders in your inflatable hot tub. Luckily, some models now come with plastic cup holders that mount to the side of the hot tub, keeping your drinks in place so you can relax.
You can now get inflatable hot tubs that include seating. Some are small items that you can place into the hot tub, while a few models already have built-in seating as part of the package.
Hard water system
If you live in an area with hard water, then you might want to consider getting an inflatable hot tub that includes a hard water system. This system softens the water, which can make it less strenuous on your pump system.
Although the least expensive inflatable hot tubs cost as little as $300, you might be best served to start looking around the $400 mark. Durability is important, and if spend between $400 and $450 you can likely find something that will last for a while. For $500 and up, you can get an inflatable hot tub that is larger and has space for more of your friends.
Q. Does it make a difference where I set up my inflatable hot tub?
A. Because an inflatable hot tub is so heavy once it been filled, you need to make sure you think seriously about where you want to place it. Putting it on a deck might not be safe because of the weight. The best options are to place it on a concrete patio, or an open space in your yard. It needs to be in a spot that's clear of sharp objects, and it needs to be near an outlet.
Q. Am I able to use my inflatable hot tub year round?
A. Although it's possible to use your inflatable hot tub in both hot and cold weather, take note of the outside temperature to protect your hardware. Below 40 degrees, the pump may have difficulty functioning. If you want to use your inflatable hot tub regardless of the outside temperature, consider building an enclosure for it, or using it inside a garage.
Inflatable hot tubs we recommend
Best of the best: Intex PureSpa
Our take: Take your hot tub party to the max with this roomy model that can fit more friends inside than your four-door sedan.
What we like: The jets, though not as powerful as those in a traditional hot tub, offer a ton of bubbles for your bathing pleasure.
What we dislike: A noisy motor and slow heating can be frustrating when you want to relax.
Best bang for your buck: Coleman Lazy-Z-Spa
Our take: Easy price point and easy setup. It's everything an inflatable hot tub should be.
What we like: Surprisingly sturdy and comfortable for being an inflatable model.
What we dislike: Though it's advertised as a four person model, it can be tight for more than three.
Choice 3: BestWay SaluSpa Palm Springs
Our take: An inflatable hot tub should be hot. This model heats quickly, and to the right temperature, so you can start soaking ASAP.
What we like: Spacious and comfortable for six people, it delivers on its advertised capacity.
What we dislike: Even when empty, the tub is heavy and cumbersome to move.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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