Best Inflatable Hot Tub and Spa Reviews UK 2016 – 2017
Inflatable Hot Tubs are a great and easy way to enjoy the comfort of a spa from the comfort of home, without having to put in an expensive, permanent hot tub. They can be enjoyed year-round – on those lazy, long summer nights, or as a warm, cozy retreat as the temperature drops outside. They are a great way to spend time with friends, or some quality time relaxing with family.
Buying an inflatable hot tub is a simple, easy and relatively inexpensive alternative to getting one put in to your house or yard permanently. You can set it up or take it down whenever you need, and have the freedom to put it anywhere you please – your deck, balcony, yard, or even inside. They are portable, easy to set up and totally flexible.
When choosing a hot tub, you’ll want to take into account a few things, such as size, capacity, and price. How many people do you want to be able to fit in it? How much are you willing to spend? Remember that you will need to take into account extra costs such as filters, chemicals, and electricity to heat the hot tub. Also remember that you will have to learn the proper maintenance and care for your inflatable hot tub, to keep it clean, safe and looking like new.
In the end, it’s up to you, but below we have our reviews of 5 of the best inflatable hot tubs and spas on the UK market today, with some of their Pros and Cons, and a little information about which ones may be best for you.
Our Top 5 Table
Intex PureSpa Octagonal Bubble
The Best Inflatable Hot Tub and Spa Reviews UK 2016 – 2017
Lay-Z-Spa Vegas 4-6 Person
The Lay-Z-Spa Vegas hot tub was the best-selling inflatable hot tub in the UK in 2013, and for good reason. It comfortably fits up to six people, and heats up to 40° C (104 °F). The temperature is completely customizable, and includes a timer on the heater, which allows you to schedule the hot tub to turn on at particular times, as well as customize how long it stays on. The hot tub contains Lay-Z-Spa’s Airjet Massage System, which uses 87 massaging airjets around the circumference of the hot tub floor.
The Lay-Z-Spa Vegas is built from a “quad horizontal ring construction,” as Lay-Z-Spa calls it, and this makes it sturdier, more durable, and helps it stand upright. The interior has a blue mosaic-print design, and holds up to 224 gallons of water. The hot tub also includes a leatheroid cover with inflatable lid, with double lock safety clips that keep your hot tub safe and secure. The Lay-Z-Spa can be set up indoors or outdoors, and the only requirements for setup are a power outlet and a flat surface.
The Vegas also includes a built-in water cleaning and filtration system, helping keep the water in your hot tub clear and refreshing, and includes two filter cartridges along with the filter housing unit. Hot tub chemicals and cleaners will still be required to maintain clean, safe water, but the included filtration system makes a huge difference.
It’s not the cheapest option on the market, but it’s a solid, high-quality offering.
- Customizable heater/timer
- Attractive Design
- Sturdy, durable construction
- Airjet Massage system
- A little more expensive
Intex PureSpa Octagonal Bubble Spa
The Intex PureSpa Octagonal Hot Tub can fit up to 4 people comfortably, and has a controllable temperature that can be customized from 20°C up to 40°C. The hot tub itself is made from what Intex calls FiberTech technology, which is a puncture-resistant 3-ply laminated material, and gives the hot tub a firm, durable shape. It comes with a ground cover, to protect the bottom and prevent heat loss, as well as an insulated cover to minimize heat loss. The exterior has grab handles, and it also includes a carry bag, allowing for easy transport and storage.
The PureSpa comes with a built-in hard water filtration system, as well as filter cartridges that are very quick and easy to replace. Setup, like the Lay-Z-Spa, requires nothing more than a flat surface and power outlet, and of course, access to a water source. It can be set up either outdoors or indoors. Maintenance will require occasional chlorine and water purification chemicals, as well as replacing of the water-filtration cartridges. At this price point, it’s definitely not the most expensive option on this list, but a high-quality choice nonetheless.
- Water Filtration System
- Insulated Ground Cover
- Durable Fibertech construction
- Smaller size
Alpine Inflatable Spa
At this price, the Alpine Inflatable Hot Tub is the cheapest option on our list. It is constructed out a six-layer PVC material, coated with UV and frost resistant coating, and comes with a locking cover with quick-release fasteners. It also comes with an insulated floor mat to save heat. The heater can heat up to 42°C, and can heat the entire hot tub at 2.5°C an hour. Its relatively compact square shape can fit 4 people comfortably, and is perfect for fitting onto balconies or terraces.
The Alpine has 108 massaging jets, and also had a water filtration system to help keep the water safe and clean. You will want to periodically use cleaning and purifying hot tubs, as well.
The Alpine is the cheapest hot tub on our list, which makes it a good, viable option. It is, however, the most lacking in features, and in information on maintenance.
- Rapid-heating system (up to 2°C an hr)
- UV resistant coating
- Only fits 4 people
- Not the most attractive
Lay-Z-Spa Miami Portable
The Lay-Z-Spa Miami is Lay-Z-Spa’s less expensive and smaller option, when compared to its big brothers the Vegas or Monaco. The Miami sits 2-4 people comfortably, and heats up to 40°C, with the same customizable, timed heating controls as the Vegas. It can heat a full tub at around 2°C an hour. It also includes Lay-Z-Spa’s Airjet Massage System, consisting of 81 bubbling massage jets around the perimeter of the hot tub floor. The Miami uses the same water-filtration system that all Lay-Z-Spa’s include, and includes two filter cartridges standard with purchase.
The Miami is built out of a study puncture-resistant rayon coated outer wall, and is reinforced with 48 sturdy I-Beams to maintain its shape and structure. It, like the Vegas, comes with an inflatable, insulated cover with locking clips, that keeps your water warm and clear. It is very easy to set up, saying that it takes less than 10 minutes, and includes a DVD and instructions for easy maintenance and set up.
For maintenance, you will need to regularly treat the water in the Miami with the usual hot tub chemicals and chlorine, as well regularly replace the water filter.
- Less expensive than other systems
- Airjet Massage System
- Durable, sturdy design
- Small, only fits 2-4 people
- Not the most attractive
The last hot tub on our list is the Lay-z-Spa Monaco Rigid Hot Tub. This hot tub is large enough to fit 6-8 people comfortably, making it the largest hot tub in our review. It is also the most expensive, coming in at £££. The Monaco includes all the features that come standard with Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs, including customizable heater and timer, Airjet Massage System with 86 bubbling air jets, water filtration unit, and an insulated, inflatable leatheroid cover. It heats up to 40°and its rapid heating system heats a full tub at a speed of about 1-1.5°C per hour.
The expensive price tag, however, includes some extra features. The hot tub floor is padded for cushioning and insulation, and the walls are constructed from strong, solid drop-stitch materials. This allows for a thinner yet stronger tub wall, and thus larger capacity. This also makes a much more rigid product than other hot tubs on this list; when fully inflated, it is totally inflexible. Its large means that it can hold up to 407 gallons of water.
Setup is very simple, and should not take more than 10-15 minutes. It will require the usual maintenance, including replacing water filters periodically and regularly treating the water with chlorine and purifying tablets.
The Monaco is the most expensive from our inflatable hot tub reviews list, and may not be a good option for those on a budget. But if you can afford it, its extra features and rigid construction are well worth the extra pounds.
- Sturdy, rigid design
- Luxury features, padded floor
- Large size
- Most expensive on list
- Heavy, hard to carry
- Slow heating system
A Few Thoughts on Maintenance
Inflatable hot tubs provide an excellent, easy and more affordable option than a permanent or in-ground hot tub. However, they will still require regular maintenance, just like any other pool or tub. The best inflatable spas and hot tubs come with integrated water filtration systems, that will help keep the tub water clear and clean without any work on your end. The water filters will need to be periodically replaced, however, meaning you will need to include the cost of replacement water filters into your budget. Larger filters may only need to be replaced once every 12 months or so, but smaller filters, like those found in an inflatable hot tub, may need to be attended to every 6-12 months. You should also clean the water filter, removing any dirt or buildup, once every 1-2 months.
You also want to be sure that the hot tub is never overfilled, or that the water level gets too low. If the water level is too low, the skimmer could easily suck in too much air, which is not good for it. Water can easily be displaced or evaporate just with regular use, so keep an eye on the water level and top it off every once in a while.
About every 3 days, you should check and adjust the sanitizer levels, to keep the water as safe and fresh as possible. Chlorine is the most common water sanitizer, as it is very cost effective and is very effective at killing bacteria. However, is it also very unpleasant smelling, and when mixed with steamy water, can be very uncomfortable and painful to breathe in.
Bromine makes an excellent, odorless alternative to chlorine, and works at wider level of pH levels. It comes in both granular and tablet forms, and is actually more effective than chlorine when it comes to kill algae, and lasts longer than a dose of chlorine. However, it is unsterilized, meaning that UV rays will kill it off. Bromine is thus best used in hot tubs and pools that are not in direct sunlight.
You could also use a biguanide solution, like BaquaSpa, which is an organic odorless solution, less harsh than chlorine or bromine, and does not need to be applied as frequently. However, it is much more expensive than chlorine or bromine, and is known to degrade parts of the hot tub such as rubber gaskets.
You should also check the pH balance when checking the sanitizer, to ensure the safety of your friends and family, and of your hot tub! pH is the measure of the acid, or base, of a solution. pH too low will mean acidic water, while pH too high will seem dry and chalky. The best level for a balanced pH is about 7.4-7.6. At this level, pH levels will be stable and keep your hot tub comfortable and enjoyable.
Conclusion to our Reviews of the Best Inflatable Hot Tubs and Spas In the UK
In conclusion, we would recommend the Lay-Z-Spa Vegas as our Top Pick for an inflatable hot tub. While not the cheapest option, it provides the best balance of features, quality and price out of the 5 hot tubs reviewed here. The Lay-Z-Spa is a great higher end product, while the Alpine makes a better budget option if you’re looking to save some cash.
However, no single hot tub is perfect for everybody, and you will want to pick the best inflatable hot tub for your needs. Read some reviews, compare their features and size, and determine how much you are willing to budget towards the purchase, to pick the one best for you.