Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Worth It? The Most Popular Questions, Answered!

photo of inflatable hot tub

Inflatable hot tubs are becoming a popular way to own a hot tub that is cheaper and movable. It’s certainly intriguing to consider the possibility of owning something that has been previously something we can’t afford. But it leaves many potential buyers wondering if inflatable hot tubs are worth it. 

Inflatable hot tubs are worth buying. They’re relatively cheap, portable, and can work just as well as an ordinary hot tub under the right conditions. The main downside is longevity. Overall, they’re a great alternative to regular hot tubs. 

There are some things you should know before buying an inflatable hot tub, which we’ll cover in this article. Let’s break down some of the differences between regular and inflatable hot tubs and see why inflatable hot tubs are worth it. 

Why Inflatable Hot Tubs Are Worth It

One of the biggest reasons why people choose inflatable hot tubs over regular ones is because they’re cheaper. Most traditional hot tubs can cost you a couple of thousand dollars to buy and install, while inflatable hot tubs usually cost you a few hundred dollars or a thousand at most. 

Inflatable hot tubs are also very easy to move around and take with you. Like an inflatable pool, an inflatable hot tub can be taken down and carried elsewhere if needed. This means that, unlike traditional hot tubs, you’re never stuck keeping it in one place after you buy it. 

photo of carrying bag

Simply deflate your hot tub and move it to another location. You can even bring it with you on trips because it’s collapsable and easy to transport, especially compared to ordinary hot tubs. 

Besides the portability, there’s also the price difference to consider. Not only are inflatable hot tubs cheaper than ordinary ones, but you also don’t have to pay additional costs. When buying a regular hot tub, you have to consider delivery charges, installation, and any electrical work that may be necessary. These costs add up quickly. 

With portable hot tubs, the price you see is the price you pay. You’ll be able to take it home yourself and install it without needing a professional to help out. So, you can save a lot of money by choosing an inflatable option. 

How Hot Does a Portable Hot Tub Get?

A portable hot tub can get just as hot as a regular hot tub. Legally, the limit for a hot tub temperature is 104°F (40°C), and inflatable hot tubs can reach this temperature. However, it does take a portable hot tub longer to heat up than an ordinary hot tub. 

photo of hot tub temp

Despite reaching the same cap temperature of 104 degrees (40°C), the difference in portable and regular hot tubs is apparent in how long they take to heat up. 

Traditional hot tubs take about 4 hours to heat up, while inflatable hot tubs can take up to 48 hours to reach their full temperature. This vast difference is because of the heaters inside of them. Your inflatable hot tub will reach the desired temperature, but it’ll take longer because the heater is less powerful. 

Your inflatable hot tub can heat faster, depending on the outside temperature and the water temperature that you put into it. No matter which type of hot tub you get, there’s a lot of water to heat up. 

There are some things you can do to expedite the process of heating up water in an inflatable hot tub, such as using an insulating inflatable cover to help reduce the loss of heat. You can also fill the tub with water that’s already hot. But you need to be careful. Adding water that’s too hot can cause a lot of issues and even destroy your new hot tub.

How Long Will an Inflatable Hot Tub Last?

An inflatable hot tub will last about five years on average. After that, wear and tear will break it down enough to need replacing. An ordinary hot tub will last about 20 years comparatively. To account for this big difference in their longevity, you have to consider the price difference and design. 

Part of the charm of an inflatable hot tub is that it’s portable. With portability, you know that it might not last as long as a more sturdy option, but that’s the risk you take with inflatable objects. 

This average five-year span doesn’t mean your inflatable hot tub will stop working after five years and never last longer. Many incidents that cause permanent damage to these hot tubs are human errors. Leaving it out in the cold to get snowed on or accidentally puncturing it can certainly shorten the life expectancy of your hot tub. 

Generally, there are more risks involved with an inflatable hot tub, but if you’re careful with how you treat it, then there’s no reason it shouldn’t last five years or longer. 

What Type of Maintenance Is Necessary for a Portable Hot Tub?

The type of maintenance necessary for a portable hot tub includes cleaning and checking PH levels, which is like with any hot tub. You have to be more careful with maintaining PH levels in an inflatable hot tub, though, since the low PH can actually damage your hot tub.

So, maintenance is similar to a regular hot tub, but it needs to be kept up with more strictly. 

One of the most common issues with inflatable hot tubs is that they can easily be punctured. So, part of your maintenance plan may be to look for leaks. Patching a leak isn’t all that difficult with the right tools. With an inflatable hot tub, a puncture repair kit is always a smart investment if there are leaks. 

I recommend this Intex Wet Vinyl Plastic Patch (available on Amazon), which you can also apply on any punctures in your regular hot tub. It’s easy to use and very durable.  

Other than leak repairing, there are other things you’ll want to keep an eye on when you have an inflatable hot tub.

You want to watch the PH level in your hot tub. The level should be tested once a week to ensure it’s within a healthy range. 

photo of PH check

Inflatable hot tub PH should be kept between 7.2 and 7.8. Otherwise, it could be dangerous. A PH that’s too low can cause damage to the lining of your hot tub. That means it won’t last as long and may break down over time. On the other hand, a PH that’s too high can cause scaling on the surface. 

I personally own a Taylor K-2006 test kit (available on Amazon). This easily handles a PH test, as well as verifying chlorine/bromine levels, water hardness, and more. That being said, most local pool stores can also test your water and recommend products to you.

Cleaning the hot tub is another important step of proper maintenance. Make sure you’re also clean before entering the hot tub, as chemicals from perfumes, lotions, and makeup can cause buildup in the water. 

You’ll need to replace the water in your hot tub regularly. Every 3 to 4 months is recommended. You may need to do it more often, depending on how reliable your filter is. Cleaning your hot tub should include emptying the water and cleaning out the filter as well. This will keep it from getting overused or too full of dirt. 

Check out the video below. It walks you through the required items and steps for typical hot tub maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Inflatable hot tubs are definitely worth your time and money. They aren’t as sturdy as a regular hot tub, but they’re a lot cheaper and can be moved around easily. Additionally, your portable hot tub can reach the same temperature as an ordinary hot tub. 

The average lifespan of a portable hot tub is about five years. So, make sure you take good care of it to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

You may not be getting everything that you could with a regular hot tub, but an inflatable hot tub is a great option. 

Michael Carpenter

Hi, I'm Mike. I grew up in North Carolina having a blast on trampolines, go-karts, and just sitting on the porch with my friends. I have since moved to Las Vegas with my wife, 2 children, and 3 dogs. When I'm not chasing the kids around the house, I am probably chasing them around the backyard!

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