Are inflatable hot tubs worth it? These affordable, portable spas allow you to move them anywhere you want, providing an excellent way to enjoy a relaxing soak while costing you much less than fixed hot tubs.
But is their low cost the main appeal that gets so many people lured into? Let’s dig deeper to find out more about the pros and cons of inflatable hot tubs vs regular hot tubs.
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- 1 Are inflatable hot tubs worth it?
- 2 Drawbacks of inflatable hot tubs to consider
- 3 How long do inflatable hot tubs last?
- 4 Do inflatable hot tubs cost more to run?
- 5 Last words,
Are inflatable hot tubs worth it?
An inflatable hot tub is certainly worth investing in, as it is budget-friendly, mobile, and offers ease of use. Read further as we explore more on these factors.
The cost of traditional, in-ground spas varies. Most of them cost between $10,000 to $20,000, while the cheapest models can be found from $3,000 to $8,000.
Inflatable hot tubs, on the other hand, are much more friendly to your wallet. You only need to spend between $300 to $1000 to get one home.
For buyers of these easy-to-use spas, portability is probably the biggest motivator.
While traditional hot tubs weigh between 300-1000 lbs, the inflatable models usually come in 50-125 lbs only. This allows you to either have your soak in the patio during summer days, then bring it inside your house during the winter season.
The mobility also means that it can save your heating costs when the outside temperature is low.
Ease of use
Not only do they offer little fuss to carry around, but these compact spas can also be quickly inflated, deflated, and packed up for easy storage when not in use.
Thanks to an air flower, inflating it is a breeze. Once inflated, you only need to turn up the heater and enjoy a warm, soothing soak, no matter where you are.
Drawbacks of inflatable hot tubs to consider
Even though these blow-up hot tubs are convenient to use, they also have some less appealing traits that you should be aware of.
Limited space and depth
Most inflatable hot tubs are not as wide and deep as they seem to be. Some manufacturers might claim that these tubs can accommodate four persons, but their capacity is somewhat overstated.
If you’re looking for a comfortable soak, it’s best to bear in mind that a portable spa is best used as a 2-person hot tub only.
Besides, almost all models are 22-24’’ deep, allowing the water to cover your chest only and your legs might have limited space inside the tub.
That being said, so long as you’re not expecting that you can sit upright or lean back with warm water touching your chin, this limitation shouldn’t be a big concern.
Slow to heat
With a small heater unit, an inflatable hot tub heats up slowly.
When covered, its water rating rate is 2 to 3 degrees per hour, so if your tub has a capacity of around 200-250 gallons, it can take up to one full day to reach 104°F (the recommended temperature for hot tubs)
Unreliable filter cartridge
Whereas standard hot tubs’ filters can last for several years, the filters of inflatable tubs should be replaced every two to three weeks, more or less depending on your using frequency.
Also, their location can be a major hindrance to its usability. In some models, the filters are located at the inner bottom, so maintaining or changing them can be quite troublesome and time-consuming.
Small and not very effective bubble jets
Inflatable hot tubs have around 110 to 200 jets, depending on their capacity. These jets are small (most of them are of 1/8’’ diameter), installed around the perimeter. This is to provide an overall good spread and somewhat relaxing feeling for bathers.
However, because these inflatables are designed to be packed for easy transportation and storage, manufacturers have to sacrifice their solid walls where jet pipes are constructed.
Since they’re not strategically placed, these jets are not powerful enough to pinpoint shoulders, back, neck – body areas that usually need relief the most.
How long do inflatable hot tubs last?
Since inflatable hot tubs are made from vinyl, they do not last very long, just around five years.
This might sound relatively short, especially if you compare it with the average lifespan of well-built in-ground hot tubs, which is 15 years.
However, you can always add years to the life of inflatables by taking good care of them. Like any other home appliances, regular maintenance can extend their lifespan.
So making sure that its water pH and alkalinity are well balanced is one of the most important things (you can use a test strip to check those figures). In doing so, you can prevent corrosion and other potential damage to the equipment and plumbing.
Also, drain and give it a good clean every four weeks. A sponge will help you eliminate stubborn stains with little effort, avoid using detergent, only use specific cleansers for hot tubs.
Do inflatable hot tubs cost more to run?
Yes, inflatable hot tubs might need more cost to run. Still, the cost difference is negligible as you’ll probably need to spend only about $20 to $30/month, compared to the expenses on using a traditional hot tub.
One simple tip to cut the costs down is to leave the tub’s motor on if you use it more than twice per week.
Now, some of you might be thinking that this tip sounds weird as it goes against any other energy-saving tips that you might have known of.
Well, as briefly explained above, an inflatable hot tub takes time to heat up, so when you turn it off, the temperature drops, and then it consumes energy to heat it back up again.
That being said, leaving it on turns out to be more cost-saving. So after finishing your hot tub soak, simply set the heater at 95-96°F to maintain its warm temperature, saving electricity consumption and making your tub ready for subsequent use in a short time.
So, are inflatable hot tubs worth the money? The answer is yes if you’re looking for an easy way to own a hot tub. Though inflatables’ capacity is limited, they still offer good massaging effects to help you release stress.
Despite customers’ feedback on their long heating time, I hope the tip shared above is helpful in helping you save electricity while still enjoying the fantastic health benefits of these low-priced tubs.