So you have decided to treat yourself to a spa-like experience from the comfort of your home. Now comes the hard part — choosing the right hot tub. Worry not, I am here to help. With the team of researchers, I found the best jetted portable hot tubs whether you are ready to get a hard shell hot tub or looking for an inflatable option that can be tucked away if needed.
Before buying a hot tub you should consider several things. Mainly: size and type of the hot tub, material, number and power of jets, extra features, and your budget.
If you have limited space but are looking for a family-size hot tub, the best option – inflatable hot tubs. They can be moved around or even stowed away when needed.
The material of a hot tub will affect its durability, look and feel. Inflatable hot tubs are less durable, however, newer models will offer improved materials that last longer. Plug and play tubs are made of solid rotational moulded plastic that is virtually indestructible, however, it will take a few soaks to get the surface smooth.
The jets in a hot tub are essentially what we need for relaxing hydrotherapy and you should think about what kind of bubble action you want. Do you want a gentle and soothing relaxation, a full-body hydro massage, or maybe you want a powerful hydro massage that targets your sore back? My team searched high and low and found the best options for any demand.
Let’s take a look at these top 4 portable hot tubs and see why they are the best.
Intex PureSpa Plus - 4 Person hot tub
Jets: 140 Hydro Jets
Capacity: Up to 4 people
Material: Extra durable puncture-resistant 3ply laminated PVC
AquaREst Spas Premium 300 - 2 Person hot tub
|Type: Plug and Play
Jets: 20 Hydro Jets
Capacity: 2 people
Material: Impact-resistant polyethylene shell
AquaRest Spas Elite 600 - 6 person hot tub
|Type: Plug and play
Jets: 29 Hydro Jets
Capacity: 6 people
Material: Impact resistant polyethylene shell
Bestway Helsinki - 7 people hot tub
Jets: 83 Air Jets
Capacity: Up to 7 people
Material: Extra durable acrylic material
How did we choose
We understand buying something online is not an easy task and that is probably why you are now reading this. On this site, I write articles to help you make that task easier. My team and I developed a method to help us find the best products on the market using data and no bias. I share my expertise and give useful information to people who are interested in hot tubs as it has always been my passion.
So what is our method?
- First, my team and I looked at the highest-rated hot tubs in various categories of contrast ratio.
- We found the 9 most popular hot tubs with the highest rates from experts and customers.
- Then, we selected 5 models for detailed review (we excluded models with fewer reviews and those that are not in stock most of the time).
- For a detailed review, my team of researchers analyzed more than 100 customer reviews.
Based on this research we discovered what key features customers are looking for in hot tubs and what models have those features to their best satisfaction. We compared the results and selected the top 4 high-quality hot tub models with the best features.
You can see our calculation method in the picture below.
Now, let’s take a closer look at my top pick hot tubs for 2021.
Detailed overview of each hot tub
Intex PureSpa Plus – Best Jetted Inflatable Hot Tub
|Water capacity||210 gal|
|Bubble air blower||1.1hp|
|Temperature range||68° ~ 104°F|
An absolute winner among inflatable hot tubs when it comes to portability, durability, bubble action, and cost.
This hot tub has 140 bubble jets which is more than any other inflatable tub (most 4-person hot tubs have 80-88 bubble jets). It gives you an overall relaxing experience and multi-coloured LED lights add a nice touch.
The tub inflates in minutes using its pump and is ready for water in about 20 minutes. The construction is super sturdy thanks to 48 fibre-tech beams, you can comfortably sit on the edge of this hot tub without fear of toppling it over.
It is comfortably cushy and fits up to 4 people (however is best for 2 adults and two children). Keep in mind that, unlike hard shell hot tubs, inflatable tubs don’t have separate seats so you will get an even bubble action all around albeit less powerful and not as targeted as in regular hot tubs.
In addition, Intex PureSpa Plus comes with plenty of extras like an insulated cover, thermal ground cloth, headrests, filter cartridges, etc. The cover is so durable that it can withhold the weight of an adult, so you don’t have to worry about your hot tub if your household is very active. It is 20% cheaper than the next competitive model. Perfect for those who are looking for a fun and relaxing time but do not like too much power from hydro jets.
AquaRest Premium (AR-300) – Best Hot Tub for Two
|Water capacity||160 gal|
|Dimensions||80 x 68 x 31 inches|
|Pump||2hp 2 speed|
|Temperature range||70° ~ 104°F|
|Power||120V (convertible to 240V)|
The best hot tub for couples. With a corner shape and two separate seats, it offers plenty of room for two. In this hot tub, you actually sit next to each other and not across the tub so you can comfortably have a conversation. Want to have a drink? No worries! The tub has two self-draining cup holders. The cascading waterfall with upgraded multi-colour LED backlit also helps to set the romantic scene.
AquaRest-300 Premium has 20 stainless steel hydro jets with different placements for each seat to best target sore muscles.
The tub has acrylic foam full insulation and comes with a 2’’- 4’’ high-efficiency spa cover with a heat recovery system so the water stays ideal 104° F even in cold winter. All in all this hot tub offers a smart ergonomic design for a powerful yet relaxing hydro massage.
AquaRest Elite (AR-600) – Best for a family with children
|Water capacity||240 gal|
|Dimensions||88 x 80 x 40 inches|
|Pump||1.5hp 2 speed|
|Temperature range||70° ~ 104°F|
|Power||120V (convertible to 240V)|
Our top pick hot tub for a family — many customers have said they got the best value for the cost. This hot tub offers a real spa-like experience of a regular hot tub without complicated installation and with added portability thanks to its lightweight shell.
The spa can comfortably fit 4 adults and have two additional higher seats that can be used by children or adults who want to cool down without getting out of the tub.
It features 29 stainless steel hydro jets with different jets placement in each seat and an adjustable airflow feature, so you can choose what best suits you. Whether you like powerful or gentle hydromassage, whether you like to sit deep in the hot water or want to cool down, AquaRest Elite 600 has a seat for you!
This hot tub has an electric heater and two-speed pump for fast heating and can also be upgraded to 240V so the heater can run with jets simultaneously. Thanks to full insulation and 4’’ high-efficiency spa cover this hot tub is great for cold winters.
Bestway Helsinki from Lay-Z-Spa – Best Looking Inflatable Hot Tub
|Water capacity||297 gal|
|Temperature range||50° ~ 104°F|
|Power||110 – 120V|
It is the most spacious inflatable hot tub that doesn’t look like an inflatable tub. This hot tub wins the best look category with a modern wooden panel print and has enough space for a party (the tub can fit up to 7 people).
Unlike previous models on our list, this hot tub uses Air Jets (83 total) that provide a gentler soothing massage by creating a flow of tiny air bubbles. The system combines the air from the bubbles and the heat from the spa that gives you a weightless feeling and soothes your entire body. It is most suited for people who don’t like powerful hydro jets.
With a ‘Freeze Shield’ technology, you can use this hot tub in cold weather when most inflatable hot tubs cannot be used during harsh winters.
The Helsinki hot tub has thinner than regular inflatable tub walls which are made of drop-stitch acrylic material. It allows a smaller footprint and bigger space inside so the tub can fit up to 7 people.
Dos and don’ts in hot tub maintenance
When you own and use your own hot tub it is essential to keep it clean and clear of bacteria for a safe and pleasant experience. The basic elements that go into maintaining your hot tub are water treatment and tub cleaning. There are Maintenance and Start-Up Kits available to help you with that. But what else do you need to know? Here are my expert suggestions on how to keep your hot tub in the best shape.
- Do ventilate your hot tub
Without proper ventilation, gases from the spa may irritate your eyes and throat over time. Outdoor hot tubs just need to breathe periodically, so make sure to flip open the cover for 15 minutes twice a week if you are not using it. If your hot tub is indoors, it must be adequately ventilated because of the high humidity levels.
- Do use the cover
It helps the healing process, keeps the water warm, and prevents any debris from getting into the water. This will help you keep electricity and maintenance costs down. You can put extra protection on your hot spa with heavy-duty covers, especially for off-season time.
- Do shower before entering a hot tub
Showering before entry to a hot tub is important for several reasons. First, it helps to remove any oils, lotions, or perfumes from your body, which can cause the water to become dirty more quickly. Second, it helps you to avoid passing any bacteria or viruses that you may have on your skin into the water. Finally, showering before getting into a hot tub can help you to avoid shock from the heat of the water.
- Do tie up long hair
This will help to keep hair from clogging the filters and will also help to prevent you from accidentally getting your hair caught in the jets.
- Do remove contact lenses
Remove your contact lenses before entering a hot tub. Fresh water and water in your hot tub can cause soft lenses to tighten against your eye causing significant irritation and even infection. Also if lost just as any other debris it can cause filter clogging.
- Clean the filters regularly
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how often to clean the filters. Most filters will need to be cleaned at least once a month.
- Don’t use your hot tub during severe storms
Never use a hot tub during severe weather conditions like tornados or electrical storms. Anything that’s plugged into an outlet is at risk of suffering damage from an electrical surge and if lightning strikes near you you are at risk of electrocution.
- Keep sand and dirt out of the hot tub
These can clog the filters and pumps. If possible, place a mat at the entrance to the hot tub to help remove any sand or dirt before it has a chance to get into the water.
- Don’t use bath products
Most bath products can leave a residue in the water that can be harmful to your skin and cause irritation. Instead, use mild cleansers designed specifically for hot tubs.
- Don’t eat in your hot tub
This can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you must eat, be sure to do so in a clean area away from the hot tub.
- Don’t let pets inside the tub
Dogs’ claws may damage the surface of the hot tub and their hair will clog up the filter. In addition, it is dangerous to their health as they can overheat easily.
- Leave the temperature at a comfortable level
If the temperature is too high, it can be dangerous. Most hot tubs have a maximum temperature of 104°F (40°C).
The demand for portable hot tubs saw a significant rise over the past few years so most manufacturers today make good value products with better features and more add-ons. Base your choice on features you want to have, your available space, and your budget, and you will find the quality hot tub you want.
And do not hesitate as the best models tend to get out of stock frequently.
Best Jetted Hot Tub
Intex PureSpa Plus
Best for two
AquaRest Premium 300
Best for families with children
AquaRest Elite 600
👷How to prepare for hot tub installation?
When setting up a portable hot tub all you need is a solid ground that can bear the full weight of your hot tub with people in it, a hosepipe, and a power outlet. When preparing to install an inflatable hot tub make sure there are no objects on the ground that can cause a puncture.
⌛How long does it take to heat a hot tub?
Most hot tubs can heat the water by 2 to 4° F per hour. However, the heating time depends on other factors like ambient temperature, water temperature from the hose or hot tub cover. For the best result ensure to keep the cover on while heating the tub.
💧How to keep the water clean?
Different hot tubs use different filtration systems so it is best to check your user manual to know the best practice for changing filters and changing the water for your hot tub. However, the universal best practices are showering before using the hot tub, keeping the cover on when the hot tub is not in use, adding chemicals regularly, cleaning filters every 2-4 weeks, draining, cleaning, and refilling the hot tub every 3-4 month.
🤔Can I use a hot tub indoors?
Yes, you can use a hot tub indoors, but make sure that the room is well-ventilated and that the hot tub is not too close to any heat sources. All models from this article can be used indoors.
💰How long do hot tubs last?
The lifespan of a hot tub will depend on a number of factors, including how often it is used, how well it is maintained, and the quality of the unit. With proper care and maintenance, hot tubs can last for 10-15 years or more. Inflatable hot tubs tend to have a shorter lifespan, usually about 5 years, since they are more prone to damage from regular use and wear and tear.
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