The ULTIMATE Guide to Buying an Inflatable Hot Tub
The ULTIMATE Guide to Buying an Inflatable Hot Tub
Hot Tubs are growing in popularity across the UK. Everyone right now wants to own their very own hot tub. And rightly so in our eyes! They are relaxing, fun and enjoyable! Plus, they can be seen as a great way to socialise and have as the centrepiece at parties.
However, with so much information out there about inflatable hot tubs, it can be very hard to decide what to go for. If you have never owned a hot tub before, how are you supposed to know all the ins and outs of hot tubs?!
Well never fear; we have pieced together the ultimate guide to buying an inflatable hot tub; all of the information you could possibly need to make the right decision for you and your loved ones!
So sit back, read closely, and get ready to become an expert in inflatable hot tubs!
How much does an inflatable hot tub cost?
As with anything in life, the price of a hot tub can vary quite widely. Normally this depends on the size of the hot tub, the quality of material, and also the added extras and features a hot tub may contain.
On average, the prices start at around £200 and can go anywhere up to around £700 depending on where you buy yours from.
Always be willing to shop around and make sure that you are buying the right one to fit your lifestyle and your requirements. Especially size! Make sure you measure up the spare space you have well before you buy – you don’t want to have to take out a garden fence to fit yours in, or you don’t want to be disappointed in the size once it is filled up!
Why would you buy an inflatable hot tub?
There are many reasons why you may want to buy an inflatable hot tub. In terms of owning a hot tub itself, as mentioned in the introduction to this article you may want one to add a luxurious feature to your house and garden. Perhaps you want an extra place to sit and relax at the end of a long hard day. Or perhaps you want to host some incredible parties and social events.
What are the advantages of an inflatable hot tub?
In terms of choosing an inflatable hot tub over a fixed hot tub, you will find an inflatable option offers many advantages. An inflatable hot tub allows the chance for the hot tub to be packed away throughout the winter or during stages of bad weather. Or perhaps you want the flexibility to swap and change your garden around; an inflatable hot tub allows you the chance to move the tub to wherever you feel is best for your garden. Plus, if you are feeling generous, you may even want to take your hot tub to a friend or family members house to have a relaxing evening in different scenery!
Inflatable hot tubs are certainly more affordable to when you compare them to traditional style hot tubs. What you will find as well, is that inflatable hot tubs do tend to come with everything that you need in one box. Of course, always check this, but the likelihood is that you can be up and running within an hour – or less!
What size is an inflatable hot tub?
As you can imagine, inflatable hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes and cater for any requirements or personal preference. It is always very important to check the size of any hot tub you are tempted with to make sure it will fit into your garden, and to make sure you aren’t disappointed with the size when you set it all up. Our advice is always go a little bigger than you originally want (if you can fit it in of course). This is simply because the minute people hear you have a hot tub they are all going to want to come out and try it out -and if you have only catered for yourself and your partner you could leave your guests feeling a bit cramped!
The smallest sizes we can find are classed for 2-4 people. These are around 180cm wide and 65cm tall. The next size up we would say are for around 4- 6 people and are 196cm wide and 61cm high. Then, you are moving up to a tub that is for 6-8 people and is 201cm wide and 69cm high.
Our best advice is to take your time, get your tape measure out, and if possible – make a ring using string or even a garden hose to ensure that it will fit in your garden.
What are the running costs of an inflatable hot tub?
You will be pleased to hear that the running costs of an inflatable hot tub are actually lower than that of a traditional hot tub!
The actual running costs of a hot tub depends on so many factors, mostly surrounding your energy supplier, and your water supplier. And do not forget, it also depends on how big your hot tub is and also how often you use it.
If you are on a water meter, take filling up an inflatable hot tub into account when it comes to paying your next bill. We will go through the water aspect in a little more depth in the next question – but do take water into account when you are weighing up the costs.
Depending on the size of your hot tub, the average cost of running a hot tub is around £7 to £10 a week. (these figures are based on a usage of 3 times a week for 25 minutes) Now, you have to take into account that this will vary massively depending on how long you keep your tub running for, your supplier, and even the size of your hot tub. Even things like the warmth of the weather can have an impact down the line. However, do take into account the actual running costs of a hot tub when it comes to making the right decision.
Of course, there are things you can do to make your hot tub as energy efficient as possible and to try to keep bills as low as possible.
Always keep the special insulated cover that is supplied with you tub on when it is not in use. This will keep as much of the heat in as possible and will stop the heater having to work extra hard to keep the right temperature.
You can buy floor protectors that your hot tub can sit on. This will stop any heat draining away into any concrete underneath and can help insulate the hot tub as best as possible.
Even positioning your hot tub next to a fence or building a protector around it to stop wind chill can have a massive impact further down the line.
How long does it take to fill and heat up the water?
In terms of how long it will take to fill up a hot tub with water, it can vary massively depending on the size of the hot tub and also the water pressure that you are dealing with. We have put a lot research into this and looked around at many figures. On average, you are going to have to wait around 2 hours to see a 4-6 person hot tub fill up. So be as patient as you can and plan ahead. Don’t start filling up your hot tub at the time of a planned party for example – start as early as possible!
Heating up a hot tub can also be quite lengthy. Of course, as we mentioned in the running cost sections you will have seen that the outdoor climate can play a part in heating up a hot tub. Ie, it will take longer in the middle of winter when compared to trying to heat a hot tub up in the middle of a heat wave.
Also, the size of the tub and amount of water does play a part again. If we were to look at a 6-person inflatable hot tub as an example, with room temperature water, you could expect this to take around 4 hours to get to the desired temperature.
Another factor to take into account is the strength and power of the heater used. You can get heaters that range from 1KW right up to 6KW. Of course, the higher the power, the faster a hot tub may become hotter. Using a 1KW heater on a 8 person hot tub for example may not be the best idea.
Another note to add is that hot tubs are actually designed to be hot 24/7. Getting a hot tub ‘hot’ is the most time consuming and costly operation that has to be done. It is far more efficient and cost effective to allow the heater to just top up any lost heat. As an example, a 1.5KW heater can put around 3 degrees of heat into the average spa per hour. A typical 30-minute hot tub session will see the temperature drop by around 1 degree, so it will then only take the heat around 20 minutes or so to recover.
Inflatable hot tub maintenance
Looking after your hot tub is well worth it in the long run; like servicing a car really. If you can keep on top it then you will rest assured that your investment is in safe hands.
Let’s start by talking about draining and refilling your tub. This is a task that should ideally be done every one to three months and we would advise to do it more frequently if you have a range of people sharing it with you and depending on how often you use it. When draining a hot tub, be sure to drain the water into a sewer – the chemicals and contaminants used in a hot tub can be damaging to plants and wildlife. When done, be sure to use mild soapy water and sponge (non-abrasive of course) to give it a good scrub.
It is also very important to keep the water in the hot tub clean throughout its use. You need to be able to control the bacteria and other contaminants at bay. Without maintaining the right water chemistry, you can put yourself and other users at harm of many health issues – these can range from anything such as rashes (known as hot tub folliculitis) and can even range to legionnaires disease!
Be sure to invest in high quality test strips and chemicals to ensure that your hot tub is always as safe as possible and is always of the highest of water qualities. You should receive great advice from the manufacturers of your chosen hot tub in their instructions and guidelines and we advise that you follow these instructions as best as you can.
Which inflatable hot tub to buy.
Once again, this answer is all dependant on many factors including what it is you want to gain from your hot tub. If you only intend to use it by yourself then a nice small option will suit you well. However, if you would like a party hot tub which can fit many people in then you will need to go for a suitably sized option. Other things to take into account will be accessories or extras a hot tub can do, and your choice may be dependent on choice.
One of the most common names you will come across in the inflatable hot tub world is the Lay – Z Spa. Lay -Z were perhaps one of the first brands of inflatable hot tubs to come to the UK and are setting themselves as the market leaders. There are many Lay – Z Spas available all of different sizes, colours and even shapes. Take the Lay-Z Spa Miami for example. This is not only available at a great price, but comes with a stylish design, is made from high quality materials and has pleasant air jets.
Another name starting to come to the market is Intex. Intex offer great affordable prices on their inflatable hot tubs and can ge a great addition to your bedroom. Take a look at the Intex Luxury Spa Pool for example. Once again, this is available at a great price, is 795 litres, comes with 120 powerful air jets and even has a 2200w heater.
The 930l, 6 seater M-Spa has recently too been very popular over the summer months due to its size and its ability to heat water to a very comfortable 42 degrees. This comes with a PVC cover and even an instruction DVD so you can make the most out of your chilled out evenings.
Are they suitable for children and pets?
As with any water, we recommend that children are always supervised closely when using an inflatable hot tub. There are some factors you need to take into account when allowing a child to use a hot tub with you.
Firstly, very young children should not really be allowed to use a hot tub. As infants and toddlers skin is very thin, they are prone to over-heating. Putting a young infant into 40 degree water may not be the best of ideas at all. Plus, you want to ensure that any young child using the hot tub is toilet trained. Any accidents can cause the hot tub to be unsanitary and will need cleaning almost instantly.
We do advise that any child using the hot tub has the ability to stand up at the bottom of the tub and have their head way above the water. This will allow you and your young ones to enjoy the hot tub in a safe and calm manner.
Plus, even as children get older, they should limit the time spent in the hot tub simply because of the heat that they can reach. At the highest of temperatures, we recommend children to spend no longer than five minutes in a hot tub at any time. And just like any user of a hot tub, a child should stay as hydrated as possible when using it. Keep fresh water close by and recommend that they keep sipping as often as possible.
A final say on children’s usage of hot tubs is to always keep a close eye on children. Sure, even in the shallowest of inflatable hot tubs it may be tempting to leave them to it and let them enjoy their time however we recommend having an adult to supervise them at all times.
We never recommend allowing a pet to join you in the hot tub. Sure, it can be very tempting however for a pet to go in a hot tub can be very harmful for them, for you and for your hot tub.
For the hot tub, you have to remember that a pet, let’s use a dog as an example, will shed its hair. You really don’t want dog hairs clogging up your filters. Also, many flea repellents that you may put on an animal can get washed off in the water which will not be pleasant. Also, a dog’s claws can damage the walls of an inflatable hot tub quite easily.
And for the animal itself, normally a hot tub is far too hot for them and will be very unpleasant.
So therefore, keep pets and other animals out of your hot tub as best you can.
Are they easy to keep clean?
Putting chemicals to maintain good water cleanliness to onside for now, cleaning your hot tub can be quite easy – but, can be time consuming.
Once you have emptied out your hot tub appropriately, it is best to choose a cleaner that is natural and will be non-abrasive. You do not want to use anything that could possibly damage or harm either the surfaces themselves or even the water in the future. You can use anything from purpose made cleaners, white vinegar, diluted bleach and baking soda all make for good cleaning products that will not only leave your hot tub looking clean, but will aid in killing any bacteria and other contaminants that may be present in your inflatable hot tub.
As always, we fully recommend that you seek the advice of the manufacturer where possible!