OK, so a new inflatable hot tub is on your wishlist. It's pretty affordable, but still expensive enough if it performs like trash.
So the next question is, is it worth it?
And my simplest answer is: Yes.
But this answer considers a lot of important factors you shouldn't overlook.
The Complete Answer to: Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Any Good?
I'll tell you now: the worthiness of an inflatable or portable hot tub depends on how you use it and what you use it for.
But in general, it is worth it especially if you compare the price points and the performance it gives as a hot tub.
The Pros and Cons of Inflatable Hot Tubs
I've compiled a list of pros and cons for a more accurate comparison.
Benefits Worth Mentioning
Do note these benefits are in comparison to regular hot tubs.
Convenience: Easy to Bring, Assemble, and Disassemble
- If you move from one place to another, you'll appreciate the portability of inflatable spas.
- Unless you own your place for good, a permanent hot tub isn't really practical.
- In terms of hot tub pricing, they cost literally a fraction of traditional hot tubs. To put things into perspective, I'm talking about $500 vs. $10,000
- If you only need the essence of relaxation, an inflatable spa can easily provide that.
Easier to Install, Less Maintenance
- Blow-up hot tubs are already not as easy to maintain. You'll have to pay attention to the water chemistry, changing hot tub water with fresh water, draining with a garden hose, etc. (This video can help!)
- But then, all the more for a standard hot tub with all the additional pipework and complicated maintenance procedure.
Potential Drawbacks of Owning One
Though as great as it sounds, you may want to factor in some of the cons to your decision-making.
Struggles With Heat Loss vs. Air Temperature
- If you're expecting the water temperature of your hot tub to stand the coldest winter and freezing temperatures, forget it.
- But to be fair, the insulating materials are different and the heating motors have different capacities. Regular ones will have more proper insulation than a portable hot tub and can retain heat in cold temperatures more.
Shorter Life Span
- Since it's a blow-up hot tub, it's naturally more vulnerable to punctures and external damages.
- The machinery (i.e., heater unit, filtration system, water pump, water heater, air filters) has shorter life spans. Don't get me wrong, they work wonderfully - but definitely won't be at par with a built-in hot tub.
- But at the end of the day, it's all about how you take care of it such as being careful with the ground cloth, the water temperatures, the environment that the hot tub is in, etc.
Won't Exactly Replicate a Professional Spa
- If you're a professional spa enthusiast looking for a luxurious experience with targetted air jets and high-pressure hydro jets massages, you won't get satisfaction from inflatable jacuzzis.
- While most inflatable hot tubs have advanced to installing water jets and bubble jets, a hard water treatment system, a control panel, and all those fancy stuff, you can't expect a blow-up spa to compete with professional ones.
- Most portable hot tubs don't have seats.
Who Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Best For?
There are types of people who would enjoy a portable jacuzzi and those who'd think they're just a waste.
You'll Enjoy It If You...
- Love camping and traveling
- On a budget
- Trying to see if an inflatable tub or blow-up spas will fit your lifestyle
- You want a good, massaging, and relaxing soak in hot water
You'll Hate It If You...
- Want a professional experience
- Are looking for a permanent and long-term tub
More Frequently Asked Questions (Q&A)
To help you further, here's a quick rundown of the FAQs!
How Long Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Last?
Depending on your care and maintenance, it can last from a few months to 5 years.
This is admittedly a lot shorter than a built-in hot tub which lasts 10-15 years. Even the best inflatable hot tub has a shorter life span if you compare it to regular ones.
Then again, look at the price point!
Inflatable Hot Tub Vs. Regular Hot Tub: Does the Former Cost More to Run?
Either way, it would cause a jump on your electricity bill. But an inflatable hot tub would still cost less considering it requires less power. Think of it like a slightly more expensive inflatable pool.
The costly part would be if your inflatable tub keeps breaking apart, or if you keep getting defective units, and you'd have to keep replacing it.
Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Good for Winter?
Sadly, even the best inflatable hot tubs won't stand freezing weather.
The good ones can still offer nice, warm water, but definitely expect it to drop a few degrees from its max temperature.
Final Verdict: Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth It?
So once and for all, to answer questions like: are portable hot tubs any good, how do inflatable hot tubs work, how good are inflatable hot tubs, is an inflatable hot tub any good...
They are worth it, as long as you don't expect it to perform like a professional tub AND you don't need a traditional one if what you really need is a hot, relaxing soak.