Last updated on September 6th, 2021
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Even before the pandemic, portable hot tubs were considered the best ways to relax at home without breaking the bank. When the pandemic came about, more and more people bought hot tubs to take away the stress; you could get into a hot tub and soothe a serious headache in a matter of minutes.
Like all things, you set out to buy that is going to be expensive, choosing a reliable portable hot tub takes some patience. You could select a cheap hot tub that will only work for a while before the pump dies or settle for one that costs more but lasts longer. To lessen the confusion, I went ahead to look for the best portable hot tubs which I think are well worth considering from smaller 4 person models ideal for small patios to larger 4-6 person models which are perfect for larger families.
Below you will find five quality hot tubs that can seat a number of people that I think offer excellent value for money. I have highlighted my top recommendations after days of research and even trying a few after reaching out to friends and family. These included the Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub which is my Best Pick and the Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub as the Runner-up which offered more space. The Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub is an affordable model that is ideal for small spaces couple or a family of 4, while the Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub is for those who want more space to relax or have larger families. I will discuss more on these products below:
Top 5 Portable Hot Tub Reviews
1. Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub – 2-4 person
The Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub features robust beam construction, which comfortably supports the weight of two to four people, now when we say two to four people this is really two adults and two children. Four adults can fit in there but it’s a squeeze so it depends on your idea of close. However, being slightly smaller does have some benefits over most of the larger models which I touch on in a moment.
First off, this inflatable hot tub requires zero tools to install as all that is required is to inflate it with the built-in electric pump, and it will be ready to use in under 5-minutes, it really is that quick. Once the hot tub is filled with water (takes a good few hours), use the rapid heating system to find the right temperature with a maximum of 40-degrees Celsius on offer. Now, this is where the smaller models are slightly more efficient, they heat up more quickly and cost less to run.
What I really like about this model is that it will not freeze over during winter because it has freeze shield technology. This is good as it means you can use it all year round and there is nothing better than relaxing in the warm soothing water and looking out over the snow-covered garden.
Furthermore, the hot tub comes with an insulated protective cover to maintain internal temperatures and keep the water from getting dirty. This is something to look out for as not all inflatable hot tubs come with covers included.
In term of those soothing bubbles we all love, this hot tub has 120 jets that are crucial for that relaxed feeling as the bubbles gently massage your body. The final feature I really like is that it has a programmable timer that allows you to pre-heat the hot tub when needed. This means you can keep it at a lower temperature which cost less and then schedule it to increase the temperature around an hour or two when you plan on using it.
Overall it stands at around 66cm high and 180cm wide which is 6ft. The Lay-Z-Spa Miami AirJet is backed by a 2-year warranty for peace of mind. It’s worth noting that Lazy-spa is also known for their great customer service so any problems they are just a call away, plus it’s a UK helpline too.
- Features a solid beam construction for durability, this just ensures the sides are solid and want to give way under your weight.
- Ideal for 2 adults and 2 children or 4 adults if you don’t mind being close.
- Easy to assemble, attached to the main unit with contains the air pump and filter system.
- Lastest model also features cup holders, I believe even a bottle of wind just about fits in there.
- Offers freeze shield technology which means it can be used all year round.
- 40-degrees Celsius rapid heating system means it’s ready to use sooner.
- Comes with a protective insulated cover that is easy to secure around the hot tub.
- Features a programmable timer.
- Offers 120 jets for a relaxing body massage.
- Accompanied by a 2-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- The pump can be a little noisy for some.
The Lay-Z-Spa Miami AirJet is most suitable for small families or couples because of its size. It can seat two adults and two children comfortably; hence, it is a good investment for those looking for a family hot tub that doesn’t take up to much space only being 6ft wide.
You will really enjoy the bubble massage from the 120 jets, and the control panel makes it easy to find the right temperature too and it’s really easy to use. The protective cover provided is of good quality, and it is insulated to help retain the heat when not in use. Overall, you will find this hot tub easy to set up and maintain for those who don’t want a high-maintenance hot tub. Its also good quality and one of the more affordable options while still be good quality.
Have you considered a hot tub surround to really finish off the whole luxury spa feel? – Check out my guide on the best hot tub surrounds here
2. Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub – 4-6 person
If you like the Lay-Z-Spa brand and our previous pick, you can take it a notch bigger with the Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub. This Hot tub is bigger than the Lay-Z-Spa Miami AirJet as it can seat four to six people with ease. The hot tub offers 140 jets, 20 more than the previous pick to provide a relaxing bubble massage while allowing the warm water to soothe sore muscles or you can just grab a few drinks with friends and hang out.
As always, the Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs feature robust beam construction for stability, and the material used is also very good quality as we expect from the Lay-z-spa brand. You can leave your hot tub running during winter at a lower temperature, and the water will remain warm because it also features the Freeze Shield Technology we talked about earlier. It also features a rapid heating system with a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, adjusted through the easy to use control panel.
As you would expect from any great hot tub that is well designed, it also features a timer; hence you can set the time that you want the hot tub to run, usually an hour or two when you expect to use it is fine. The timer saves energy and time because you can set it to operate when you want rather than having it run the whole day which is not very energy efficient but you would be amazed by the amount of cheaper models that don’t have a timer feature. Like our Best Pick, his hot tub also inflates in under five minutes, and it requires no tools for assembly making it easy to use.
When you purchase this hot tub, it comes with a ChemConnect™ dispenser to help in maintaining clean water. It also comes with a protective cover insulated to keep the water clean and help maintain temperatures.
- Seats 4 adults easily or 4 adults and two children or similar.
- Features a robust stable construction.
- Comes with a programmable timer for better convenience.
- Easy to assemble with no tools.
- Offers 140 soothing jets.
- Provides freeze shield technology so it can be used outdoors all year round.
- Possesses a ChemConnec dispenser to keep the hot tub clean.
- Backed by a 2-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Cost a little more to run than our Best Pick but it still has an amazingly low running cost.
For people who want a larger but premium-priced hot tub, the Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub is well worth considering. It has all the features that the Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub offers, but the only difference is that this model’s size is bigger. With a capacity to seat 4-6 people, this hot tub would be great for small hot tub parties with friends or family.
What I appreciate about this model, apart from the durable construction, is the easy to set timer and the additional jets. With the right temperature, you can soak in this hot tub and forget all your problems. While this model is a bit pricey, with proper maintenance, it should last for years.
3. CosySpa Inflatable Hot Tub Spa – 4 person
The CosySpa Inflatable Hot Tub Spa takes comfort to another level by providing additional accessories that include two headrests and a drink holder. However, it doesn’t include a cover as standard unless you choose the cover included package.
This affordable hot tub comes with a powerful 600w pump and a filter to ensure the water remains clean even while in constant motion. To keep the hot tub in pristine conditions, the filter needs to be changed every two months but you will need to check water chlorine levels as you do with most hot tubs. This model is really an alternative to our Best Pick but it does have around 10 more jets.
Assembling the hot tub is not an issue either because it uses a 600W air pump that takes a short time to inflate the model, this is very similar to the lazy-z-spas setup too. If you’re wondering how long the power cable is, it’s around 3.5 meters which are around 11.5ft; therefore, if you can get close enough to a plug socket, you probably want need to use an extension lead.
You can enjoy the smooth pressure of the 130 jets (10 more than our best pick) on your muscles as you sip on your drink and relax with friends or family.
This model is actually 800 litres, which is about 70cm high and 165cm wide, can seat four people comfortably. It’s also worth noting they do a larger 1000 litre model which is for around 6 people, again 4 adults and a couple of children.
Its 1200W heating system attains water temperatures of up to 42°C, pretty standard for hot tubs, and it comes with a durable PVC covering to keep the hot tub clean when it is not in use. The CE-certified hot tub is durable due to the PVC fabric used, and it has a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty so a little disappointing as would be nice to see 2 years to stay in line with the length of warranty lay-z-spa offer.
- Features a rapid 1200W water heating system, you can usually heat it from cold overnight.
- Comes with a 600W air pump for easy setup (takes around 5 minutes to inflate).
- Offers 130 air jets for the bubble massage.
- It has a long 3.5m cable for easy reach.
- Possesses a drink holder and two headrests.
- Comes with a durable PVC cover.
- Accompanied by a 1-year warranty.
- Warranty could be longer.
- No timer.
The CosySpa Inflatable Hot Tub Spa is an affordable option for those who want a small hot tub for around two to three people. I don’t find that it is large enough to house four adults comfortably due to its size and the one thing that does let it down is there is no timer.
However, you do get value for your money with this model because it comes with added accessories; you have a place to hold your drink as you use the headrest to relax. Although it is not a premium-quality hot tub, it is of decent quality when compared to many other models that have started to appear online. CosySpa is also a well-respected company for hot tubs which is why it’s a little disappointing that they didn’t include a timer feature. However, for some, this is not a deal-breaker so we still included it in this review.
4. SHATCHI Tuscany Premium 5-6 Bathers Bubble Spa
Next, we have the luxurious SHATCHI Tuscany Premium Bubble Spa by MSPA with enough space to seat five to six people. This premium-priced model features a plastic wood looking panel that provides structural durability and aesthetics and then includes a lining inner. It also includes seat cushions to provide the utmost comfort for users as they enjoy the tub’s 1200L capacity. This is really a cross between an inflatable hot tub and a full moulded hot tub that cost thousands. This means you get a more solid permanent hot tub but still have the portability to take it to a holiday home etc. It just takes a little more effort to set up.
With this model, you can adjust the intensity of the jets using the easily accessible control panel, think there 3 settings. The hot tub has 138 jets, which should be enough to create a suitable relaxing environment. The 2100W hot tub attains maximum temperatures of 36 degrees Celsius with an increased rate of 0.5 – 1.5°C per hour.
This hot tub is 73cm high so slightly taller than our previous picks and has a diameter of 193cm. It also has an anti-icing system which means it also suitable for using in winter. It also comes with a securable cover to prevent children from accessing the hot tub without adult supervision too. The hot tub has an energy-saving timer, saving you money which is always a good thing.
The hot tub is easy to assemble because it comes with an instructional DVD to simplify the process, you can also watch a video on amazon on how to put it together, you be surprised how small the box is when it’s delivered or packed away. It has a one-year warranty which stands to assure you that it is worth your money. Again would be nice to see a longer 2-year warranty.
- Cross between an inflatable and sold hot tub.
- Sizeable 2100W hot tub for 5-6 people.
- Offers 138 jets with a 3-level intensity adjustment system.
- Features a plastic panel for stability and durability.
- Easy to assemble in several steps, also included instructions DVD.
- Offers a maximum temperature of 36 degrees Celsius.
- Comes with a securable durable cover.
- Operates quietly, and it has an energy-saving timer.
- It has an easy-to-use control panel.
- Takes a little longer to assemble than inflatable alternatives.
If you are looking for a spacious premium-priced model that not inflatable but still somewhat portable, then you cannot go wrong with the SHATCHI Tuscany Premium Bubble Spa. This hot tub seats a maximum of six people, and I like the fact that you can adjust the intensity of the jets too. It has a different aesthetic compared to the rest because of the wood-looking plastic panels, but it is a welcomed change.
Compared to our best pick, it costs considerably more, but at least the quality is excellent and it’s probably not fair to compare the two against each other. Overall it’s an interesting design and well worth considering and gives a more real hot tub feel rather than an inflatable.
5. Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii Hot Tub
Another fantastic product from Lay-Z-Spa is the Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii Hot Tub that is square-shaped and seats 4-6 people. The hot tub is spacious and also structurally sound, thanks to the durable beam construction featured. It is fitted with 140 massage jets to help you relax after a long day at work, and the water gets as hot as 40 degrees Celsius to soothe any aching body parts.
Enjoy using the tub year round because it has freeze shield technology that prevents the outside temperatures from affecting its internal temperatures or damaging the hot tub or filter system. Furthermore, the hot tub has a timer; hence you can set operating times up to 72 hours in advance.
The 71cm high hot tub comes with a protective insulated cover that secures the 180cm-wide model from dirt and unwanted access. It is an easy to assemble model, which comes with a drink holder next to the display for easy access. This sizeable hot tub has a 2-year warranty; therefore, you should sleep better at night knowing that the tub is of reliable quality.
- The square design offers more space while still be 6ft wide compared to round models.
- It spacious enough to seat 4-6 people.
- Offers easy assembly in under 5 minutes.
- Features 140 air jets for the perfect relaxation environment.
- Comes with an energy-saving timer.
- Possesses freeze shield technology.
- It has an adjustable ChemConnect dispenser.
- Features a securable protective cover.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- The pump is a little noisy.
The Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii Hot Tub has a different shape, and it offers a large capacity compared to our best pick. It has all the basic features you can expect from the Lay-Z-Spa brand, such as durable construction and strong jets to offer the ultimate relaxation. You will also find an easy-to-use timer, accessible display, and somewhere to place your drinks.
This model considering its size, is affordable and well worth the money. With proper maintenance, you can use this hot tub year-round. I find this model ideal for those who need a spacious but affordable square hot tub.
Getting to relax in a nice portable hot tub is an amazing experience for both children and adults. When looking to purchase the best portable hot tub, you need to understand the various features available, among other factors like the number of users. Below is valuable information that will help you as you compare different hot tub models in the market.
Size of the hot tub
Before you start looking at any features, you have to consider the size of the hot tub you want. How many people will be using the hot tub at a go? Where will you place the hot tub? You may want a larger hot tub, but you don’t have enough space to install it hence the need to scale down. Always consider the size of the area where the hot tub will stay and the number of users, then make an informed decision.
You can try and play with different shapes of hot tubs to see whether they will fit in the space you have. Narrow areas work well with rectangular or square-shaped hot tubs rather than round ones.
Quality of pump
The pump does all the heavy lifting when it comes to hot tubs; therefore, it is essential to look for a model with a robust pump. The higher the pump’s wattage, the better it can handle daily operations without fail.
You want a pump that operates without too much noise and works harmoniously with the filter to keep the water clean. Always look through the user instructions to see the manufacturer’s recommendations over the filter and pump maintenance to avoid unnecessary mistakes that lead to pump failure.
Filtration is an important feature when dealing with products that contain water. A sound filtration system ensures that all the unwanted particles in the water are trapped and cannot be released back into the water. Depending on the model you buy, you will find suitable instructions on cleaning or maintaining the filter for optimal use.
Those with sensitive skin conditions should be careful never to let filters get too old. Old filters lead up to the build-up of dirt, which can prevent the pump from functioning fully. With clean filters and regular chlorine treatments, you can keep water in the hot tub crystal clear and ready for use at any moment.
Number of jets
Air jets are crucial in hot tubs because they inject air into the water, which has massaging effects. The more jets you have, the more relaxing the massage feeling gets. You want a sizeable hot tub with over 100 jets so that your body can get a gentle massage as you converse with someone or relax by yourself.
Some models in the market like the SHATCHI Tuscany Premium Bubble Spa offer an intensity adjustment feature. Such a feature permits the user to adjust the pressure of the jets according to their preference. Models like that typically cost a little more, but it is a worthwhile investment if you suffer from frequent aches and pains.
The point of a hot tub is that the water needs to be warm—most of the hot tubs in the market offer adjustable temperature settings and rapid heat settings. Rapid heat settings are supposed to hasten the process of the water getting hot by about 1 or 2 degrees in an hour. However, some hot tubs advertise to have rapid heat settings, but the water takes days to heat up to the right temperature.
Check the reviews of previous users before settling for a product because they have more insight on how long the hot tub takes to heat up. Some models offer a high water temperature of over 40 degrees, while some stick to the body temperature of around 36 degrees Celsius. It all depends on how hot you want the water to be and how much time you are willing to wait until the water temperature is perfect.
This might not be an important feature to some, but if you like sipping something while you are in the hot tub, the model you purchase needs cup holders. In most cases, these drink holders will be next to the display for easy accessibility. However, there are hot tubs that come with independent drink holders that are attached to the side of the hot tub once inflated.
As long as you have a hot tub, you need a cover; otherwise, dust, dead leaves, and children with dirty feet will find their way into the hot tub. The cover needs to be secured onto the hot tub, and this usually consists of buckles. Additionally, it is better to work with an insulated weatherproof cover because it can help maintain the water temperature instead of losing energy.
No one wants to spend hours on end trying to inflate a portable hot tub. In fact, you want the hot tub to inflate as first as possible so that you can fill it with water and start the heating process. An excellent example of an easy to install portable hot tub is our best pick, the Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub that takes under 5-minutes to inflate.
A hot tub with clear assembly instructions will be less frustrating than one with vague instructions. Luckily, there are many helpful videos online on inflating a portable hot tub so you won’t be stuck.
How do I remove scum from my hot tub?
Although scam is sometimes unavoidable when dealing with hot tubs, chlorine treatments are a good way to get it under control. Scum usually consists of things like dead skin cells and oils that people apply on their skin, among other things. Look for suitable chlorine treatments online and rid yourself of your hot tub looking grimy.
Do all hot tubs have a hard water system?
Not all hot tubs have a hard water system. If you live in an area with predominantly hard water, look for a hot tub with a hard water treatment system if you can but there not many portable ones that have this feature. Using hard water with a hot tub built to deal with soft water will only cause the jets to clog, and the pump will eventually fail.
How do I clean mildew and mould from the hot tub?
Mildew and mould are common in hot tubs because of the wet environment. If you notice any mould or mildew, get some warm soapy water with a little bleach to clean the mess away. Alternatively, go online or to the hardware store and get special cleaning solutions designed to deal with mould/mildew in hot tubs
Can all hot tubs survive winter?
No, not all hot tubs are suitable for winter use. Due to freezing temperature, hot tubs without features that can prevent the water from freezing over may end up irreparably damaged. If you want a hot tub that can survive winter, look for well-insulated hot tubs designed for year-round use.
A hot tub that can survive year-round use will cost you a bit more, but if you want to use it during winter, the sacrifice will be worth it.
Our Final Conclusion
While you can break the bank and get a large stationary hot tub, it is just more convenient to purchase a portable one that you can disassemble at any time. As you can see from the review, we have quality but affordable models like our best pick, the Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub, suitable for small spaces as it can seat 2-4 people. This model offers good value for money because it is durable and straightforward to work with because it has a timer. You can enjoy your drink as the 120 jets give you a soft massage even in the dead of winter.
You are not limited to a small size model; our runner-up, the Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub, seats several people at once. It is also easy to assemble the model and has all the features our best pick has to offer, only that it’s larger and has more jets.
It is good to note that this is just a small sample of the market, so it is possible to find the best portable hot tub that suits your budget and the space you have; take your time and decide. In the meantime, check out suitable gazebos to keep your hot tub protected year-round at an affordable price.
Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API