Hot tub buying guide (inflatable and solid spas)

Inflatable / Solid thermo-plastic / Indoor
Heating Speed / Electricity bill / Lower Electricity bill
Health benefits
Hot tub’s water maintenance



First of all, prices tremendously differ between a cheap inflatable hot tub and a solid house spa.

Type of spa Price range
Inflatable spa / hot tub $400 – $1600
Solid portable spa / hot tub $1800 – $3600
Solid house spa / hot tub $3700 – $20,000


Comparison between the three types of hot tubs.

Inflatable hot tubs (inflatable spa):

+. Inflatable portable hot tubs (alias portable spa, or portable hot tubs) are cheap and can be moved by one person preferably using a drum truck. The inflatable hot tub can be moved to different places like a garden, a garage, an apartment or a dedicated room. That is a perfect solution for an apartment, a small house and someone who needs a hot tub for a short period during the year.

-. Wherever the inflatable hot tub is bought, the presence of pinholes is a common major problem. It is sometimes the case for items with inflatable rubbers. Spa with double-wall air frame don’t suffer from pinholes at purchase (Airispa (US), Lay-z platinum (EU)) but they are more expensive than simple rubber hot tubs. As compared to solid spas, inflatable hot tubs are not well insulated. They require to be heated up a lot. It may takes 12 to 24 hours to heat up a spa to 104F (40 degrees celsius). For sure, hot tubs with double wall air frame keeps warm longer than simple rubber tubs. Depending on the frequency of use, electricity bills may rise up with simple rubber tubs.


Solid portable thermo plastic hot tubs:

+. Solid thermo plastic hot tubs are robust and have a small depreciation. Since they are portable they are easy to sell. Materials age well. The air blowers are silient as compared to inflatable hot tubs. They can survive hard climate and they are easy to clean with a high pressure washer. Water jets are fully configurable and you feel a real skin and muscles massage. They are better insulated that inflatable spas. If we compare the power consumption of inflatable spas and solid portables spas, you will get your money back if you often use the spa in the year. At least, solid portable spas double the required time for the water to cool down to the ambient temperature as compared to an inflatable spa. In this context, you may get your money back in only one year if you intensively use the spa on a daily basis or a weekly basis because you will spend less money in electricity bills during the year using a thermo plastic spa as compared to an inflatable spa.

There is nothing to dismantle and it can be sold easily.

-. They are expensive at purchase and heavy. May not be suitable for people who want to use a spa for 2 months in a year.


Indoor hot tubs:

+. Indoor hot tubs are reliable and solid. It is a great thing to use after work. For people who are looking for hydrotherapy, indoor hot tubs are a good option because the indoor hot tub investment is rapidly profitable as compared to the cost of stays in thermal cures.

-. Those type of tubs don’t have any pumps and hot water circuit so that a big amount of water is required. If you live in a country where water is precious expensive thing, it may not be the best choice.

How long does it take to heat up a hot tub?

For an inflatable hot tub, it depends on the ambient temperature. According the lay-z-spa platinum, premium and monaco’s user manual, The heating system increases temperature by 1 to 2 degrees C ( 2-4 degrees F.) per hour. Consequently, if the ambient temperature is equal to 20 degrees C., the water temperature will be equal to 20 degrees C.  If you select 36 degrees celsius, it will take max. 16 hours to eat up. From my own experience, in a garage, it took 12 hours to heat up to 38 degrees. C.

How much does it cost to operate a hot tub?

A hot tub heater is similar to an electric house heater. The heater reaches the temperature and turns on when the temperature goes down. The Lay-z spa platinum, premium and monaco have a 2000W heater. Consequently, it is exactly like a 2000W electric heater and it is easy to forecast the cost of a lay-z spa if you own an electric house heater. My Lay-z spa uses to operate during 12 hours everyday during 30 days, it costs me around $95.

How to lower the electricity bill of your hot tub?

The water temperature is equal to the ambient temperature. When the water temperature rises, the difference between the ambient temperature and.


Whatever the type of your hot tub, a good spa cover is the most important tool to reduce your electricity bill. If your hot tub is located in your house or your appartement, a cover is also important. Without cover, the water temperature lower very quickly to reach the ambient temperature.


If you are on your own in the hot tub. Don’t fully open the cover. If it is a sheet or a hard cover, you can remove the cover partially.



In some cases, it is important to make some changes to your ground to prevent heat to be dissipated into the ground. For portable inflatable hot tubs, a wool carpet is efficient. Wood is the material of choice for exterior and interior thermal insulation.


Lower the temperature:

It sounds obvious but i know that some people think the hot tub will heat up faster by setting up a higher temperature. In fact, it is better to setup a temperature that is not too high and not too low. I would suggest the following procedure.

  1. I leave my house in the morning, i setup my spa at 30-34 degrees celsius.
  2. When i come back, i increase the temperature to 36 degrees.


The many Health benefits of hot tubs:

Hot tubs are often marketed as a toy for children. However, Watertherapy has many health benefits. The best know health benefits are Stress relief, muscle relaxation, Joint pain relief, back pain relief. But it is also good for blood pressure and blood circulation, candida cure, Irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn disease relief. Hot tubs may also help people with type 2 diabete and chronic fatigue.


Hot tub’s water maintenance:

When you keep the water in your spa, you must do three actions to keep your water healthy and clean. To do so, you need to perform water balance, water sanitation and hot tub water shock.