When there’s not enough room for a regular hot tub inside or outside your home, a portable hot tub is the next best option. With the ability to inflate and deflate on demand, you can soak in a hot tub anytime and anywhere you want.
After a long day at work or a grueling workout, this will be all you need to make the aches and pains go away.
Inflatable portable hot tubs have been around for a while. And with advancement in technology, the latest models do more than just warm water and make bubbles. This will make shopping for the best portable hot tub quite challenging.
Thus, the need to read reviews and make a comparison.
With some products more expensive than others, you would want to buy the best one on the first try.
What makes the best portable hot tub?
Portable hot tubs can be made of layered vinyl or PVC and reinforced with polyester, nylon, and similar fabrics. Depending on the brand, the reinforced material may come with a proprietary name.
The unique blend of materials that Intex uses, for example, is called Fiber-Tech, while Coleman calls it Tri Tech 3 Layer Material.
Whichever it is called, it is important to choose an inflatable hot tub with reinforced walls for added strength and durability. Even when such products are less expensive than the traditional kind, you would want something that will last long enough to recoup your investment.
Some tubs are made of eco thermoplastic, while others are made of durable, all-weather and all-season material.
Design & Structure
Is the tub’s interior reinforced with a vertical l-shaped beam? Or does it have interlocking panels all around the tub? The former makes for a sturdier tub, while the latter provides insulation and additional support.
Capacity & Volume
How many people would be using the portable hot tub? A small one can accommodate two, while bigger ones can comfortably accommodate up to 6 people.
Before you choose, however, you should remember that the bigger the tub the more water it needs to fill up. A 6-people tub will
need more than 300 gallons of water that, when filled, could weigh more than 2,500 pounds.
Think your deck can handle the weight if you decide to install it on this part of your home?
You need one for safety reasons, to speed up the heating process, to insulate the tub, or for use as a stopper.
Whichever is the case, a cover will keep the heat in if it’s insulated and keep the water clean.
From inflatable seat cushions to extra filters, portable hot tubs are sold with all sorts of accessories to enhance your spa experience.
The accessories you choose should depend on how you want to use your portable hot tub.
For instance, you’re going to need a chemical dispenser if you plan to leave the tub filled for days or weeks before emptying it and putting it away in storage until the next time.
Does the hot tub come with a bubble jet feature? How about a hard water system or a saltwater system? Does it come with a water heater timer? How about some LED lights to set the mood?
Some portable hot tubs come with advanced features that you might find appealing. Of course, the more features are added the higher the price.
This refers to the filter cartridge and the chemicals needed to keep the water clean and ensure the portable tub lasts longer.
Considering that a portable hot tub comes with a heater, you must check how much energy is needed to keep the water warm or at a temperature that you like.
A portable hot tub with a 1300-watt heater will suck up a huge amount of power. The same is true for a large portable tub. But you may be able to save on energy use with a tub timer.
Like anything sold on the market, the price will always be a factor to consider. It is important to note, however, that a portable hot tub that meets your needs and has all the features you’re looking for will be worth every penny you pay for it.
Of course, if you’re willing to sacrifice a few features to save on costs, then that is your choice. There will always be tradeoffs where price points are concerned.
But if you have the money to burn, buy the best portable hot tub among the best.
Overall Pros and Cons of a Portable Hot Tub
- Portable and easy to store.
- Can be used anywhere, as long as the product allows it. Some may be built specifically for indoor use only.
- No need to build anything or use additional plumbing.
- Best for space utilization and in places were space is limited.
One major downside, however, is that storing away your portable hot tub will mean draining the water, waiting for the tub to completely dry before deflating, and folding it in a way that it will fit the carry bag or wherever you wish to stow it away.
A portable hot tub can be placed indoors or outdoors and just about anywhere it fits.
But proper placement of the tub goes beyond determining the dimensions of a tub and how it will fit the size of space available. You must also ensure that area where the inflatable will be set will:
- Enable you to drain water effectively and without causing water runoff or soil erosion. You should also ensure that the water will not drain into your neighbor’s front lawn or leave a sopping mess on the side of the road.
- Not require additional plumbing. The tub should be close enough to the water source or has access to water without the need to install additional pipes. The idea of a portable tab is that you can use it anytime without leaving a trail when you stow it away.
- Enable you to easily access or pass the tub when placed on an area with stairs. Make sure the size of the tub does not obstruct stairway passage when fully inflated and filled.
- Not leave mold and other moisture problems. Remember that tubs will create a humid and moist environment that can cause mold build-up in certain parts of the house. Do you think the area where the tub is placed can handle the humidity and moisture?
- Have strong flooring. Think about the weight of the portable hot tub when filled with water and see if the area where it will be placed can handle the thousands of pounds of weight. This is especially true if you plan to place the inflatable hot tub on a deck or elevated platform.
How we rank portable hot tubs
Portable hot tubs are ranked based on their portability, capacity & volume, and price. Even when advanced features are enough to propel a product to the top, performance will always matter. A tub with the most basic features could be the best performance-wise.
- Affordable, easy to set up and clean, and comes with all the essential features.
- Built for durability and longevity. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Worth Checking Out
- Real hydroJets will provide you the ultimate spa massage experience right at home.
10 Best Portable Hot Tubs
1. Intex PureSpa
For less than $500, you get a portable hot tub that measures 77 inches and comes with a built-in hard water systems, insulated cover and lock, 2 easy-to-replace filter cartridges, floating pool chlorine dispenser, heating system, thermal ground cloth, 3-way test strip, inflation hose, and carry bag.
The dimension is big enough to seat 4 people comfortably and carry 210-gallons of water. With a water temperature that ranges between 68 Degrees and 104 Degrees, you’ll definitely love soaking in this portable hot tub from Intex.
But the real highlight of this product is the power of its jets, which many dub as stronger than expected. For anyone looking to get a massage after a long day at work, this portable hot tub from Intex is the perfect solution.
- Powerful jets
- Easy set up and assemble
- Comes with the necessary features
- Softener system circulates the water
- Cover features a child protection lock
- Not shipped with cleaning chemicals
- Does not hold air for a long time and has to be pumped up every few days
- Water heater could be better
- Can lose shape or burst when overinflated
- Heating takes a while
- No advanced features
Measuring 85 inches wide and 28 inches high, the Intex Pure Spa Plus can accommodate 6 people and up to 290 gallons of water. With a maximum heat of 104° F, it can warm you up when the weather is cold.
It comes with a filtration system complete with 4 filter cartridges, hard water treatment system, floating chemical dispenser, insulated cover, thermal ground cloth, inflation hose, two headrests, and carry bag.
Built with “Fiber Tech” walls, you can lean way back or sit on the edge without the portable hot tub being destroyed. The puncture-resistant 3-ply laminated material also makes the tub almost indestructible.
It also features 140 high-powered bubble jets for that refreshing and rejuvenating experience.
- Durable, reliable, and
- Gentle on skin with the built-in hard water treatment system that softens water
- Fills up with water fast
- Easy to set up
- Bubble jets could be stronger to give a massage
- Takes time to heat up
- Some claims the heater doesn’t last long
Made of TriTech material, this portable hot tub is durable and reliable. Measuring 77-inch wide and 28-inch high, it can comfortably accommodate 4 to 6 people.
It has a water capacity of 254 gallons and comes with heating and filtration system, insulated cover, filter cartridge, chemical floater, ground cloth, inflation hose, and a set-up DVD.
The portable hot tub’s rapid heating system combined with the cushioned air paid floor and sturdy walls make for an amazing spa experience. Set it indoors or outdoors.
- Designed to fit just about anywhere
- Sturdy construction
- Fast and easy to set up and inflate
- Filters require frequent replacement
- Some claim it takes a day or two for the water to reach an optimum temperature of 104 degrees.
Known for its user-friendliness, this inflatable hot tub can be set up quickly and easily. No tools needed to assemble and disassemble it.
With a water-filtration system and rapid-heating capability, this portable hot tub reaches the standard 104°F maximum water temperature in a short amount of time.
It comes with a digital control panel and a timer-controlled heating system that automatically starts and stops.
With a water capacity of 177 gallons to comfortably accommodate 2 to 4 people, you need only a small amount of water to warm everyone up compared with other portable hot tubs.
- Features rolling bubbles that provide a good massage
- Easy setup, filling and draining
- Maintains temperature longer than expected
- Cover offers insulation
- May leak air and water
- Lacks water jets
5. SaluSpa Paris
For under $500, the SaluSpa Paris AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub has an added feature that similar products in the same price point lacks – underwater LED lights! This definitely deserves a special mention since the lights will elevate spa experience into a fun one.
After a stressful day, a 7-color light show could have that calming effect. If nothing else, it can provide a good distraction.
The portable hot tub has a 250-gallon water capacity and can accommodate up to 6 people. It has the basic features plus an easy-to-use digital control panel and timer-controlled heating system.
It is made with a puncture-resistant TriTech 3-ply reinforced material and comes with a cushioned air pad floor, and inflatable cover.
- Durable, puncture-resistant construction
- Easy setup, filling and draining
- Dazzling LED light display
- Comfortable to use
- People need to sit cross-legged to accommodate all 6 persons
- Takes 8 hours to reach maximum temperature, longer during chilly days
- Light show could attract bugs
- Awkward filter placement, hard to remove and replace
- Some claims the pump stopped working too soon
6. SaluSpa Hawaii (Real HydroJets!)
Rectangular rather than round, this portable hot tub from Bestway has something different to offer and it’s not just the shape.
It comes with real HydroJets! Yes, the only inflatable tub on the list that comes with real water jets instead of air jets.
Unlike air jets, hydro jets provide the ultimate massage experience in a portable hot tub. They don’t cool the water quickly either. But what is great about this tub is that it has both air jets and water jets, giving you the best of both worlds.
Aside from 8 adjustable water jets, this hot tub also comes with a built-in saltwater and hard water system, insulated cover, digital control panel, and TriTech 3-ply reinforced material for the exterior.
- Puncture resistant exterior
- Suitable for outdoor use
- Softens hard water
- Massage using real hydrojets
- Comfortable and space-saving design
- Hydrojets and air jets can’t run simultaneously
- Temperature control could be better
- Heater turns off when bubbles or jets are turned on
- Improve programming so the heater turns back on when the bubbles or jets are turned off
- Higher energy usage due to the bubbles and jets
75 inches wide and 28 inches high, this portable spa can accommodate 4 people and only needs 210 gallons to fill.
It comes with a filtration system with 2 filters, hard water treatment system, a saltwater sanitation combo system, chemical dispenser, insulated cover, and ground cloth.
The 4 high-powered performance jets provide the hydrotherapy you need to ease stiff, sore, and tired muscles.
Build with sturdy walls, you can sit on the edge of the tub.
- Softens hard water
- No need to use harsh chemicals because of the saltwater sanitation combo system
- Better skin protection, especially for those with sensitive skin or with allergies
- Efficient heating system
- Insulated cover helps lower energy costs
- Saves you from expensive massage sessions
- On the expensive side
- Lacks raised seats, you have to sit on the spa floor
- Only suitable for indoor use
- Soft-sided product that may be unable to withstand extremely cold temperatures
- Best for light use to avoid the risk of leaks
One of the least expensive portable hot tubs on the list, this comes with amazing features, including a square shape that can comfortably seat 2 adults and 3 children, making it the ideal family inflatable hot tub.
It measures 62 inches wide and 27 inches high and has a water capacity of 184 gallons.
It has a built-in energy efficient heater that operates more quietly than a separate motor. 105 air bubble jets provide the massage experience you are looking for, while the filtration system ensures the water stays clean.
It also comes with a pressure gauge to prevent over inflation, a protective ground mat, garden hose adapter and insulated fitted cover with locking straps.
Made of Rhino-Tech, a six-layer laminated PVC material, and vertical interior vinyl panels, the portable hot tub can be used outdoors without the risk of puncture or sagging.
- Easy to use with touch-button controls
- Unique shape provides seating comfort
- Easy draining with an adaptor for the drainage spout
- Built to last long and reliable
- Lacks floor cushion
- Less stable locking straps as they connect to the mat instead of the tub
- Occupies more space than a circular tub
- Bubble jets tend to draw in outside air
- May lose temperature when bubbles are turned on
Are you looking for a portable hot tub that also doubles as a pool? This hot tub and pool set from Intex is exactly what you need.
It measures 152 inches long and 72 inches wide, with the hot tub part, kept separate from the pool part. The former can seat up to 4 people, while the latter can accommodate up to 6 persons.
It has up to 310 gallons of water capacity and comes with a hard water treatment system, filter pump, chemical dispenser, insulated cover & floor pad, and a total of 270 bubble jets – 120 in spa and 150 in a pool.
Built with strong “Fiber Tech” walls and 3-ply puncture-resistant material, you can sit on the tub and use it outdoors without the risk of puncture damage.
- Unique design
- Two functions in one portable tub
- Softens water, which is good for the skin
- High price point for its size and features
- 4 people in the small-sized spa have to sit cross-legged
- Takes a lot of floor space
- Pump in the spa switches off when automatic electric valves switch to the poolside
10. Goplus 4 Person
Although unique from other portable hot tubs on this list, the integrated equipment also lessened the amount of tub space that users can enjoy.
This means the 4-people capacity may not be comfortable. This brings the number down to 2 capacity. Nonetheless, a heater and blower built into the spa means smoother and quieter operation.
Combined with other features, the small spa space is worth the trade-off. The portable hot tub comes with bubble jets, digital control panel with soft-touch buttons, easy-to-replace filter cartridges, built-in hard water treatment system, insulated ground cloth and cover, and grab handles.
- Convenient to use with accessible control panel from inside the spa
- Grab handles enable easy handling
- Softens water and make hard water gentle on skin
- Built-in heater and blower
- Small space for hot tub users
- New entry in the portable hot tub niche, less history
The top 3 on this list is selected based on certain criteria. What you choose, however, will depend on the features that matter most to you.
If you are looking for a multi-functional inflatable spa, for example, the Intex Hot Tub & Pool set could be #1 on your list. If you prefer real waterjets instead of just air jets, the SaluSpa Hawaii with real hydro jets is the best choice.
So think long and hard about the features you want your portable hot tub to have and work from there. Use this list as your guide in making an informed decision.