Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth Buying? Pros and Cons of Inflatable Hot Tubs

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Inflatable hot tubs have become quite popular, but are they worth the money? Can they be used all year round? When purchasing a hot tub, you want to ensure you’re getting good value and that the hot tub is high quality and will last you a long time.

Inflatable hot tubs are more affordable, whereas hard shell hot tubs are pricey but are built to last. So, would you prefer the more affordable, short-term option? Or would you invest more money in better quality that lasts many years?

This article will give you a rundown of the pros and cons of inflatable hot tubs so you can decide.  

Inflatable Hot Tub Pros 

Firstly, let’s start with some positives.

  1. Affordability. Going for an inflatable hot tub can be a wise choice if it’s your first time buying one. This allows you to test it and see how often you use it. Find out how they work, and learn the upkeep/cleaning needed. If you don’t enjoy it, thankfully you didn’t spend a fortune. 
  1. Easy to install. The setup for an inflatable hot tub is much simpler. You can use any outlet to plug it in instead of needing an electrician to hook everything up. (Which also minimizes extra costs.) All that’s required is a level ground for the hot tub to be filled, and it comes with many options. 
  1. Easy to transport. Inflatable hot tubs are known to be easily stored and portable. When the hot tub isn’t used, you can pack it up, especially if the weather is terrible and you want to avoid damage. It’s much easier to do so. You can bring it if you’re going on a trip, camping, or visiting family. Inflatable hot tubs are efficient in that case. 
  1. Great for parties/guests. An inflatable hot tub is perfect if you enjoy hosting dinners, parties, and large gatherings. If you have the yard space or even a deck, getting an inflatable hot tub will be enjoyable for any guests visiting or staying over. And as mentioned in the previous section, it’s effortless to store and pack up. So you can take it out as you’d like. 
  1. Softer materials. Compared to plastic/hard material hot tubs, Inflatable tubs are much more comfortable. If you’re someone getting a hot tub for comfort and relaxation, especially if you struggle with joint/body pain, an inflatable hot tub is an excellent fit. 

Inflatable Hot Tub Cons

Now, let’s get into some cons! 

  1. Take longer to heat up. Inflatable tubs have electric heaters, so they can take longer to get the water to the preferred temperature. This can be a deal breaker for some people, which is something to keep in mind, especially if you have guests over. 
  1. Higher heating Cost. Although overall inflatable hot tubs are more affordable, they can be more expensive to heat than others. This depends, of course, on how often you use it, but also factoring in how long it takes to heat up. Considering the electricity bills whenever it’s plugged in, the cost can very quickly increase.
  1. Lack of seating. Unfortunately, most inflatable hot tubs do not have seating. For most, you sit on the hot tub floor, which gives it a less luxurious and comfortable feel. So for some people, it may be worth the extra money for a hardshell hot tub. 
  1. Require more maintenance. You may need to empty your inflatable hot tub more than you think. This can be due to the weather, dirty water, and overall maintenance/cleaning needs. Which not only is a pain but wastes a lot of water. 
  1. Less intense bubbles/jets. Some inflatable hot tubs have a bubbly setting, but they feel less like a massage than regular hot tub jets. The bubbles are much more subtle and less intense. 
  1. Can lose heat quickly. Inflatable hot tubs take longer to heat up and do not retain their heat as well as the hard shell variety. This may be a big turn away for some of you who could sit in a hot tub all evening with a refreshing drink and some friends. You don’t want a lukewarm tub. 

Hopefully, you got a good amount of information from the pros and cons, but here are some frequently asked questions that may help even more. 

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Are inflatable hot tubs usable in the winter?

As long as you live in an area where temperatures stay above the freezing mark, you should be able to use your inflatable hot tub in the winter. However, most manufacturers suggest not using the inflatable hot tub in temps below 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius).

What’s the best benefit of an inflatable hot tub?

I would say the best benefit is affordability. Many inflatable hot tubs start at $500, whereas regular hot tubs typically cost $3,000 – $10,000.

How long do inflatable hot tubs last?

I will say hardshell hot tubs last significantly longer, being 20+ years. In comparison, inflatable hot tubs can last for 5-7 years, which is still pretty good. 

Can I leave my inflatable hot tub on overnight? 

You should leave it running for at least 8 hours daily for the most cost-efficient use. Leave the heat and filter on/standby mode if you don’t use it often. It takes longer to reheat the hot tub with each use, so leaving it running is okay. 

Do inflatable hot tubs use a lot of electricity?

Inflatable hot tubs have a heating system rated between 1KW – 1.5KW, which isn’t too bad compared to others. Still, with a lack of insulation, there is a much higher need for the heater to run more often than others which inevitably makes for a higher electric bill.

How do you sit in an inflatable hot tub?

Hardshell hot tubs typically have built-in seats, but inflatable hot tubs don’t. Although this may sound uncomfortable and impossible, inflatable hot tubs are made shallow enough for most people to sit comfortably in the water. 

Can inflatable hot tubs be used all year? 

Yes. It’s doubtful that your inflatable hot tub cannot be used all year round. As long as it’s in good working condition, well taken care of, water changed frequently, and used indoors when necessary, you can use it wherever and whenever. 

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Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth It: Final Thoughts

After discussing some pros and cons, I think there are many options for people. One person may never choose to go for an inflatable hot tub, whereas it may be the perfect thing for someone else. It all comes down to your preference and how much you need to put into it to get good use. 

I hope you found this article helpful and learned some new things about inflatable hot tubs, good or bad. Make sure to share this with your friends and family! 


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