Intex Pure Spa 28409E 6-Person Inflatable Heated Bubble Hot Tub
Best for families & large groups
Extra-large hot tub perfect for pampering yourself together with family or friends.
1 Intex PureSpa 28409E Review
Perfect for families and groups of friends, the Intex Pure Spa 28409E is a delightful treat. Keep it in your yard or cart it along when on vacation. The most spacious portable hot tub around, it has room for six, but you could easily fit 8 people in there at a tight squeeze.
Its looks might not be glam, but it packs a host of impressive features, such as the hot bubble massage system containing 170 powerful air jets.
Two cushioned headrests and easy-reach digital control panel boost comfort even more. You’ll also get all you need to use it straight out of the box.
In fact, this huge portable hot tub comes with a pump, floating dispenser, water pH test strips, as well as built-in hard water treatment. It holds 290 gallons of water, it’s easy to set up in 30 minutes, and once you’ve set it up properly, it gets the water to the right temperature quickly, so that you can enjoy a home spa whenever you want.
Coleman 13804 Portable Spa Inflatable 4-Person Hot Tub
Best portable hot tub
High-value inflatable hot tub accommodates four but is also perfect for romantic nights for two.
2 Coleman 13804 Review
Coming from one of the most popular brands in the industry, the Coleman Portable Spa 13804 is one of the most sought-after inflatable hot tubs out there. Its greatest feature is hands-down the I-Beam construction that divides the interior of the walls into sections.
This added strength means you can feel completely free around this bad boy. You can sit on its edge without fear, and this feature comes in handy especially if you have youngsters who like to jump on it constantly.
We also liked the cushioned floor that enhances comfort while you’re enjoying a refreshing massage provided by the 60 air jets. It warms the water to a soothing 104°F and comes with a precious inflatable cover that helps to prevent temperature loss when you’re not using it.
Coleman SaluSpa 4-Person Portable AirJet Spa Hot Tub
Best square hot tub
The strongest bubble massage power in the mid-size inflatable hot tubs range.
3 Coleman SaluSpa Review
Another Coleman that fits the bill of the best inflatable hot tubs on the market. A tad more expensive than our best-value, this one is perfect for those spa enthusiasts looking for a superlative experience at home.
It has a square shape which doesn’t bring more comfort than the round one, but it’s easier to fit in tighter spaces. It’s also roomy enough to accommodate four people comfortably and six if you don’t mind squeezing in.
But its true highlight is the powerful massage provided by the 114 air jets surrounding the bottom. A cushioned floor, lid, and soothing temperature of up to 104°F, as well as I-Beam construction, are just a few other things that make it a star.
Intex Pure Spa 28403E Portable Bubble Massage Spa
Best cheap hot tub
Affordable but high-quality portable home spa for anyone who likes luxury but shops on a budget.
4 Intex PureSpa 28403E Review
The Pure Spa 28403E by Intex is one of the most praised out there. It impresses with a whopping 120 air jets and reaches 104°F, just what it takes to wrap you in warmth as the bubbles loosen your muscles.
Designed to deliver the ultimate home spa experience to homeowners shopping on a budget, this hot tub boasts state-of-the-art features.
It comes complete with all needed for a “plug-n-play” installation, including pump, air treatment system, filter cartridge, and even a convenient carry bag designed to let you take the tub on all your adventures.
Best Inflatable Hot Tub 2021 Buying Guide
Regular vs. inflatable hot tubs
Nothing beats unwinding in a hot tub after a full day. If you want to create your own spa at home, you need either a regular or inflatable hot tub.
- Regular hot tubs: Are also called fixed or traditional. They are similar to the bathroom tubs but made to resist outdoors. You can usually install them on a patio, terrace, or deck, and they will last for the years to come. However, these hot tubs are very expensive.
- Inflatable hot tubs: May not look so fancy as the regular ones but come with multiple advantages. They are affordable, portable, easy to install either indoors or outdoors, and when you don’t want to use them anymore, they fold and go right back into the box.
Inflatable hot tubs are the best solution for homeowners who want to enjoy the advantages of a home spa but don’t want or can’t afford a regular spa.
Inflatable hot tub shape and capacity
Two essential things to decide before even starting to tackle the market are the shape of the tub and its capacity.
Regarding the shape, you have two options, round or square.
- Round portable hot tubs: Are the most popular on the market because of their maximized capacity. The largest models can accommodate up to 6 people, but given the shape of the tub, you can even squeeze in up to 8. Smaller models can accommodate either 2 or 4 people.
- Square portable hot tubs: Can in most cases accommodate only 4 people, but due to their design, they are the best inflatable hot tubs if you appreciate comfort. Thanks to their shape, square tubs give you more leg room and fit better in your yard, patio, or deck too, since most of these spaces are usually rectangular.
Regarding capacity, as you have probably noticed already, you can choose tubs for 2 up to 6 people.
Portable hot tubs are usually made from PVC vinyl and have a good resistance to wear, tear, and elements. However, not all inflatable hot tubs were created equal.
An important thing to check before buying is the interior structure of the walls. Some brands use special, thick materials to provide stability to the tub, but the interior consists of a single air chamber.
While these models are relatively resistant, they may collapse or break if you rest your whole bodyweight on them.
What is I-beam hot tub construction?
Other brands use a special I-beam interior construction that divides the interior into multiple air chambers. This type of construction increases the overall resistance of the tub so much that it can withstand the body weight of an average adult without suffering any damage.
These are the best portable hot tubs for families with kids, especially if the youngsters love jumping around in the tub.
Inflatable hot tub pump
The pump is the heart of your hot tub, designed to filter and heat the water, as well as to power the bubbles. Inflatable hot tubs come with pumps powered by 120V alternating current (AC), and they plug into a standard wall outlet.
Since water and electricity don’t work too well together, it is essential to ensure that no water will touch the plug or outlet while you’re bathing.
What features do I need in a pump?
Each brand produces inflatable hot tub pumps with different functions or features, but in broad lines, you’ll need:
- Timer: Allows you to program heating cycles so that you can enjoy perfect hot water whenever you want.
- Easy controls: Check the control panel and make sure that it is easy to operate. The last thing you want is to figure out how to turn on the bubbles.
- Built-in ground fault circuit interrupter: It is crucial your pump comes with one. This interrupter is designed to cut off current alimentation if something goes awry, and it can save your life by protecting you from electric shocks.
Water filtering system
Water in a hot tub can get dirty quite quickly, that’s why you must also check the filtering system. Most portable hot tubs come with cartridge filters you will have to wash after each use and replace regularly.
An important component is a water treatment system designed to protect the delicate parts of the pump from mineral buildup if you have hard water in your area.
Air jet vs. hydro jet
Inflatable hot tubs can have either air jet or hydro-jet systems, although some models come with both.
- Air jets: Are small holes arranged on a soft tube around the base of the tub. The pump pushes air at high pressure through these holes. Grooves in the tub’s walls channel the bubbles up and increase their power, resulting in a soft, soothing massage. The best part of the air jet system is that the holes are placed alongside the entire bottom edge of the tub so that you can sit and enjoy the bubbles anywhere inside the tub.
- Hydro-jets: Are more powerful than the air ones, but hydro jet nozzles are placed in a limited number in the tub’s walls. You will have to sit right in front of the nozzle to enjoy a powerful jet. These hot tubs are also more expensive than the air jet.
Other features to look after
Besides the actual features of the hot tub, you must also consider the accessories it comes with. Some of the most important are:
- Inflatable cover: Prevents heat loss when the tub is not in use, helping you reduce energy
- Ground mat: Is a soft mat designed to protect your inflatable hot tub from punctures. If you plan to install the tub directly on the grass, it is advisable to mow the grass with a lawn mower and remove any stubborn weeds with a weed eater or string trimmer, then place the mat down and install the hot tub on it.
- Head cushions: Can increase your overall comfort and level of relaxation. Most inflatable tubs come without them, but manufacturers sell them as accessories.
- Chlorine cartridge: Just like the water in a standard pool, the water in a hot tub can become acidic. It is essential to maintain a neutral pH though, and the easiest way to do this is by using solid chlorine and chlorine cartridges.
- Replacement filters: Most portable hot tubs come with disposable filters that must be changed at least once a week. Some manufacturers include a spare filter or two in the package, and they can be a life-saver until you figure out where to get the filters from.