What Is an Inflatable Hot Tub?

Whether you’re looking for an indoor inflatable hot tub or want a larger one to enjoy outdoors, there are plenty of options to choose from to provide you with all of the benefits of the hot tub you seek.

Inflatable hot tubs are portable hot tubs that can be easily inflated or deflated at a moment’s notice. Compared to traditional or even plug-and-play hot tubs, inflatable models offer a slew of hot tub benefits. They’re incredibly affordable, low maintenance, and easy to set up, making them a popular option for today’s budget-conscious, on-the-go hot tub lovers.

Benefits of an Inflatable Hot Tub:


One of the best benefits of an inflatable hot tub is the ability to take it with you and enjoy it anywhere within reach of a power outlet. Unlike traditional in-ground and above-ground hot tubs, which are either impossible or difficult to move, inflatable hot tubs are designed with portability in mind.

However, don’t let this fool you. When it comes to inflatable hot tubs, portable doesn’t mean basic. There are several cool hot tub options out there that can be inflated or deflated with ease. You can even find a hot tub with seats and add cup holders, floating tables, and other accessories for added comfort, convenience, and R&R.


Despite being made from high-quality leak and weather-resistant materials, inflatable hot tubs are much less expensive than standard above-ground hot tubs and even other plug-and-play models. When it comes to inflatable spas, even the coolest hot tub on the market will only set you back a fraction of what a traditional or plug-and-play hot tub would cost.

Ease of Use

You don’t need a “Hot Tub for Dummies” book or any other help to set up and use an inflatable spa. Setting up and starting up a hot tub is as easy as can be. Simply use an air compressor to blow it up, a garden hose to fill it up, and plug it in. That’s all there is to it. Some even have jet and temperature controls.

Stress Relief

Have you been dreaming of coming home from work to a hot, bubbling soak, and relaxing in your very own hot tub? Guess what, you can! Since inflatable hot tubs are surprisingly energy-efficient, you can leave yours plugged in and step into relaxing bliss whenever you want. With soothing hot water bubbles pulsating from hundreds of tiny jets, you’ll experience instant stress relief!

Good for Your Health

Believe it or not, hot tubs can be good for your health. Not only do they help with back, muscle, and joint pain, but they can help lower blood sugar and pressure as well.

Fun, Fun, Fun

What’s life without a little fun? Whether it’s snowy outside or you’re hanging out poolside on a summer day, your inflatable hot tub will become the life of the party. Some can even fit up to eight people, and with the right accessories, you’re guaranteed to have some fun!

Tips on Choosing

Deciding on an inflatable hot tub can be quite a challenge. With so many styles, sizes, features, and materials to choose from, it’s nice to have a little help.

While the reviews above provide you with good comparisons of today’s top inflatable hot tub models, here are a few tips to help you narrow down your options and find the best one for you:

Tip #1 – Think About Size

Sometimes, the biggest hot tub isn’t always the best. Likewise, neither is the smallest. Although it’s hard not to like a large hot tub that can fit plenty of people, you need the space to accommodate it, which limits the tub’s portability and versatility. Larger inflatable hot tubs also take longer to heat.

On the flip side of the coin, you don’t want a hot tub that makes you feel like a sardine in a can. Sure, it’s nice being able to take it with you and use it anywhere within reach of a power outlet, but it’s important to have ample room for relaxing as well.

Tip #2 – Construction Is Key

You may not be able to tell the difference between a poorly made inflatable hot tub and a quality hot tub at first sight, but you’ll be able to in a month or two when the elements and soaking sessions begin to take their toll.

The best inflatable spas are made of durable, puncture-resistant PVC or layered vinyl, and many models have nylon or polyester-reinforced walls as well. These combinations of materials are usually given a proprietary name like Tri-Tech, DuraTech, or Rhino-Tech as symbols of their durability and toughness. Some hot tubs also feature interlocking panels for added protection, insulation, and stability

Tip #3 – Features Can Make or Break a Hot Tub

Some inflatable hot tubs feature contoured seats and hard water treatment systems. Others feature music players and LED controls. Choosing a tub with the right features for your lifestyle and needs can make or break your hot tub experience.

Tip #4 – The Easier to Set Up and Use, the Better

Despite being designed for simplicity and ease of use, every inflatable hot tub involves some sort of assembly, setup, and upkeep. Needless to say, it’s best to choose a hot tub that can be set up in minutes, easily cleaned, and used by anyone, even after a few cervezas. Doing so will save you countless minutes and headaches in the end.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Inflatable Hot Tub

Regular hot tub care and properly maintaining a hot tub is a critical aspect of hot tub ownership and keeping your inflatable tub working like new for months and even years. However, most new hot tub owners know next to nothing when it comes to hot tub maintenance, winterizing a hot tub, and using the right hot tub cleaning chemicals.

Does this sound familiar? If so, keep reading to learn all about how to care for a hot tub from A to Z. From hot tub water chemistry and hot tub chemicals to properly draining a hot tub for winter and a whole lot more, here’s a crash course on hot tub maintenance and care.

Hot Tub Water Chemistry 101

To properly take care of your hot tub, you’ll need to clean the filter periodically and know what chemicals to add, such as hot tub stabilizer, chlorine, and hot tub shock, and when to add them.

If the pH levels are high and you have low alkalinity in a hot tub, corrosion will begin to take place. On the other hand, if the levels are low, bacteria will begin to form and a hot tub shock treatment will be needed. If left unchecked, you’ll begin to notice white mold in a hot tub, foam, and other signs of bacteria.

You should use test strips to check the chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium, bromine, and hardness levels of your hot tub’s water once a week. Some strips test for all of these, making the process much quicker and easier. Just dunk the strip into the water for approximately 15 seconds and then check the results.

Cleaning Your Inflatable Hot Tub in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1 – Check the Alkalinity Levels

Did you know the alkalinity of your hot tub affects the pH? Well, it does. If your tub’s alkalinity levels are under 80 PPM, you will need to add sodium bicarbonate. If the levels are over 120 PM, sodium bisulfate will be needed.

Step 2 – Add Chlorine or Bromine

If you own a hot tub, you’ll need to perform a bromine vs. chlorine comparison and choose one or the other as your primary source of hot tub sanitization. Although chlorine has been used for ages and would certainly be mentioned in any “Hot Tub Care for Dummies” book, the use of bromine is becoming more and more popular.

Whichever one you choose, all you have to do is place a tablet in a floating dispenser and call it a day. People try to make it complicated, but hot tub care and maintenance is a point and click.

Step 3 – Check the pH

After checking and adjusting your hot tub’s sanitizer and alkalinity levels, next, you’ll need to test the pH. Your tub’s pH levels should always fall between 7.2 and 7.8.

If the test strip shows that the pH is low, you’ll need to add sodium bicarbonate to bring it up to the right level. Conversely, if the pH is too high, do the same thing except use sodium bisulfate instead.

Step 4 – Add Shock

The last step, involving chemicals at least, is shocking the tub. This involves the use of ozone along with bromine or chlorine depending on which type you use. To keep bacteria at bay, you should shock your tub once a week.

Worried about Hot Tub Chemicals and Health? Click here to learn more!

Step 5 – Clean the Filter

The last step in keeping your hot tub working properly and it’s the water crystal clear is cleaning the filter. You should make it a habit to clean the filter once a week when you check the chemicals. This will help you avoid hot tub white water mold and any unnecessary hot tub troubleshooting in the future.

Regularly cleaning the filter will also help your spa reach and maintain the ideal hot tub temperature of 104 degrees. Fortunately, all it takes is a garden hose and a minute or two of your time.

Prepping Your Inflatable Hot Tub for Winter

A lot of new pool and spa owners worry about winterizing and whether or not they’re doing it properly. However, you can winterize a hot tub and a pool and get it ready for the freezing months ahead in just a few simple steps:

  • Flush the plumbing
  • Clean the filter
  • Drain the tub
  • Fill it back up with fresh water
  • Add the chemicals to once again reach the correct pH
  • Cover the tub

That’s all there is to it. If you don’t plan on using your inflatable hot tub during the winter months, which would be silly, simply deflate it after you drain it, stuff it in its storage bag, and stash it away in the garage, closet, or anywhere else. This is one of the greatest benefits of an inflatable spa!

Inflatable Hot Tub Accessories

The only thing better than soaking in a soothing, therapeutic hot tub is soaking in nice clean water with a frosty beverage in the hot tub drink holder!

Whether you want to add relaxation, comfort, and convenience to your hot tub experience or you simply want the cleanest hot tub around, there are several hot tub accessories capable of taking your enjoyment to the next level and beyond. Some of the most popular hot tub accessories include:

Hot Tub Cup Holders

Everyone likes to enjoy some libations in their hot tub from time to time. A hot tub drink holder will allow you to free your hands up and keep from needing a side table or having to reach down to the ground just to grab your refreshment.

Hot Tub Tables and Bars

A floating table for a hot tub or hot tub bar is a great way to instantly up the fun and convenience factor. With these hot tub accessories, you’ll never have to get out of your tub!


Ozonators are another must-have spa accessory. An Ozonator hot tub will allow you to provide a shock treatment and keep your inflatable hot tub crystal clear and spic and span. Some hot tubs have a built-in Ozonator. Since an Ozonator is more of a need than a want, an Ozonator hot tub will allow you to skip making another purchase and keep more of your hard-earned money.

Hot Tub Vacuums

Like an Ozonator, a hot tub vacuum will help keep your inflatable hot tub clean. Whether you choose an electric spa vacuum or a rechargeable pool vacuum, the best hot tub vacuum will have enough power to suck up the smallest of debris.

Plug and Play Hot Tubs

Plug-and-play hot tubs are a lot like inflatable hot tubs in several ways. They’re super portable and designed to plug right into a standard 110-volt outlet, which makes installation a breeze.

Unlike inflatable hot tubs, however, plug-and-play hot tubs have a hard shell and don’t inflate and deflate. In other words, they’re a lot like regular above-ground hot tubs, just considerably cheaper.

Speaking of price, most quality plug-and-play hot tubs cost $2-4k, depending on their size and features. All plug-and-play hot tubs have powerful therapeutic jets and digital controls, but some have added features like waterfalls and LED lights, which usually up the cost.

If you’re interested in a portable hot tub that looks and performs similarly to a traditional tub but costs much less, then a plug-and-play hot tub may be for you.

In addition to being able to plug in anywhere and be ready for soaking in no time at all, the plug-and-play hot tub will have powerful jets, LED mood lighting, a soothing waterfall, comfortable contoured seating, and more.

Not sure if an inflatable or plug-and-play hot tub is right for you? Check our plug-and-play hot tub reviews to compare the two and see which one works best for your budget and needs.

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