Should I buy an inflatable hot tub?

should I buy an inflatable hot tub
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Should I buy an inflatable hot tub?

It’s that time of year when retailers like Aldi, Lidl and Home Bargains and Argos are all battling for the title of countries cheapest inflatable hot tub. People flock to the stores, and queue outdoors to grab a bargain and prepare for Summer in Scotland. 

A couple of years ago we made the decision to not sell inflatable hot tubs. But, we still get asked about them a lot. There are multiple inflatable hot tub brands including Lay-z Spa and Intex inflatable spas.

There are multiple advantages and disadvantages to inflatable spas. It may be that they are the right option for you. Or it may be that they are not. 

Advantages of an inflatable hot tub

There are a few reasons that make inflatable hot tubs a great addition to your home. These are:

#1 Inflatable hot tubs are cheaper

Hot tubs are a luxury item. Even the cheap ones are expensive. 

But inflatable hot tubs are much more affordable than hard shelled hot tubs. Usually somewhere between £150 – £600. That’s many thousands of pounds cheaper than even the cheapest of acrylic hot tubs.

So, as you can imagine, price is usually the main factor that attracts people to buy inflatable hot tubs. 

#2 Inflatable hot tubs are easy to install

Bases. Electrical installations. You can’t be bothered with all that. 

Inflatable hot tubs are easy to install. They take half an hour to set up. No access issues. Or heavy lifting. 

Just plug it into a standard socket. Blow it up. Fill it and leave it to heat.

Easy!

Related content:

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#3 Inflatable hot tubs are easily portable

If you are short on space, or don’t want a hot tub in your garden all year then an inflatable hot tub is a great option fo you. It doesn’t take up much space. 

Plus it can be easily deflated and packed away into its own storage bag. Store in a cupboard or garage until you next want to us it.

This also means you can take it with you. 

Moving home? Or just popping down to a caravan or holiday home? 

Pack your inflatable hot tub with you. As long as you have a water supply and electrical outlet you can enjoy the hot tub.

Just be careful if you are packing them away often. As we’ll come onto inflatable hot tubs aren’t the most durable.

#4 Inflatable hot tub have low operating costs

This isn’t strictly true. If you ran an inflatable hot tub all year round then it would be much more expensive than a hard shelled acrylic hot tub as they aren’t insulated.

But, most people don’t run them all year round. So the cost of running an inflatable hot tub doesn’t need to be added into the monthly expenses year round.

Related content:

✅How much does it cost to run a hot tub per month?

Disadvantages of inflatable hot tubs

For us, the disadvantages over took the advantages for inflatable hot tubs, even though there are less. 

Which, is part of the reasons that we have decided not to sell them.

#1 Inflatable hot tubs are not durable

An inflatable spa does not have the durability on an acrylic hot tub. They can be burst or ripped. So care needs to be taken with sharp objects and pets.

Although inflatable hot tubs are portable and can be stored, this often causes damage to them. 

They will usually last about a year. Maybe two if you are lucky. 

Although they are cheap, and many people have the attitude that they will buy a new one when it bursts. But, inflatable hot tubs are not recyclable. This means that when they burst and you throw them out they sit in a landfill. They then break down into micro plastics which make their way into ecosystems, our food sources and our water supplies. Not a good outcome for anyone. 

Our choice to only sell acrylic hot tubs aligns with our goals to limit the level of waste we are producing. While acrylic hot tubs are also hard to recycle. A good quality one will last upwards of 10 years. 

Related content:

✅How long will a hot tub last?

We encourage the philosophy of buying quality items that will last longer to reduce waste. And inflatable hot tubs do not align with this. 

#2 Inflatable hot tubs do not have the same hydrotherapy benefits

Inflatable hot tubs are hot and have an air blower. This essentially blows air into the water. It will be hot and relaxing. But inflatable hot tubs do not have any power behind the jets (if you can call them that) and you will not get a good hydrotherapy massage from them. 

If you are looking for a deep massage you need powerful pumps that will push the water out of well designed jets. And you won’t get this, or the associated benefits from from an inflatable hot tub.

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In summary

Let’s face it, when it comes to a comparison between traditional acrylic hot tubs and inflatable hot tub, there really is no comparison. 

If you are looking for something that is cheap to buy, easy to set up and good for relaxing and socialising, then an inflatable hot tub may be a great option for you. We also find that many people buy inflatable hot tubs as a “test” then decide to upgrade to an acrylic hot tub. 

However, we would urge you to take care of an inflatable hot tub if you do buy one and consider the lifetime value. I recently heard it referred to as a disposable hot tub. Which is definitely not how they should be bought.  You should consider the value to you, and the impact that they will have on the planet. 

But to us, the acrylic hot tubs are miles ahead in terms of durability and functionality. Plus a good one will last you a lot longer. That is why we have chosen to only sell acrylic hard-shelled hot tubs. 

Related content:

✅How much does it cost to buy a hot tub?

Do I need chemicals for my hot tub?

Do I need a regular hot tub service?

How much does it cost to run a hot tub per month?

Let’s face it, when it comes to a comparison between Traditional Acrylic Hot Tubs and Inflatable Hot Tubs – there really is no comparison. 

Inflatable hot tubs can be great as a “test”. To see if you will use the real thing. And, while the inflatable Hot Tub has many great advantages, the acrylic tubs are miles ahead in terms of functionality and durability. And that’s why we’ve chosen not to sell the inflatable models.

We urge you to consider the life time value of an inflatable hot tub. While they might be cheap(ish) to buy. Are they really worth it?

We’ll let you decide.

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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