Blow up spa tubs provide a convenient and affordable option for relaxation at home. Plus, they are easy to set up and provide a soothing experience with their built-in jets. Furthermore, they are portable, low-maintenance and quiet.
On the flip side, they typically only last 3-7 years, they have poor insulation and they don’t come with built-in seats. But are these low cost home spas worth the money? Let’s find out…
1. How Much Does a Blow-up Spa Cost?
Inflatable hot tub costs vary based on size, features, and brand. On average, you’re looking at around $400 to $1,500. In comparison to hard-sided spas, inflatable ones are typically more budget-friendly.
- Affordability: Blow-up spa tubs are generally much cheaper upfront.
- Portability: You can easily deflate and move them.
- Installation: They’re simpler to set up, often requiring no professional help.
- Durability: Inflatable tubs might not last as long as hard-sided versions.
- Heat Efficiency: Insulation can be inferior, leading to higher energy costs.
- Jets: Less powerful jets compared to some hard-shell spa models.
The electricity cost of running an inflatable hot tub varies depending on factors like the tub’s size, heater power, local electricity rates and how often you heat up your jacuzzi.
On average, cost can run from $10 to $50 per month. Larger tubs with more powerful heaters will generally have higher operating expenses. However, smaller jacuzzis with energy-efficient features require less power to run.
2. How Durable are Inflatable Spa Tubs?
Inflatable spa tub durability varies. Smaller tubs may last 3-5 years, while larger, premium sizes can endure 5-7 years or more with proper care. When it comes to durability, several factors influence their strength and longevity:
1. Material Quality: First off, long-lastingness comes down to materials used. Most inflatables are put together with heavy-duty PVC or similar textiles that resist punctures and abrasions. The thickness of the fabric also determines its strength. High-quality models use robust, puncture-resistant material, which enhances their robustness.
2. Construction: The fabrication method and seams are equally important. Well-constructed inflatable hot tubs have reinforced joints and multiple layers to enhance strength and longevity.
High-end models often employ advanced welding and bonding techniques to create airtight connections that withstand stress and pressure.
3. Reinforcements: Some inflatable hot tubs include additional reinforcements, such as fiber-tech construction or laminated PVC layers. These reinforcements provide extra structural support, making the spa more durable and rigid.
4. Care and Maintenance: Proper care and maintenance are essential to prolong the lifespan of a blow-up spa. Regular cleaning, water chemistry management, and avoiding sharp objects or pets near the spa can prevent damage.
5. Usage and Climate: The frequency of use and the environmental conditions can impact durability. Frequent use, exposure to harsh weather, and extreme temperature fluctuations can affect the spa’s lifespan.
Consider your budget, space, and how often you plan to use it to determine if it’s a worthwhile investment.
The average lifespan of an inflatable spa tub typically ranges from 3 to 7 years, but this can vary based on factors such as the quality of the tub, usage frequency, maintenance, and climate conditions. Higher-quality models and diligent maintenance can extend the lifespan, while harsh weather or neglect may shorten it.
3. Are Inflatable Spas Easy to Set Up?
Inflatable spa tubs are known for their user-friendly setup. They generally don’t require professional help, saving you money and time. Here’s a breakdown:
- Ease of Setup: You can set up most inflatable tubs, like the Cosyspa, without professional assistance.
- Speed: Setup usually takes a few hours at most, depending on the model and size.
- No Permanent Installation: No need for plumbing or electrical modifications.
- Initial Effort: Filling the tub and getting the water temperature right can take some time.
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance like water chemistry and filter cleaning is necessary.
- Durability: Although easy to set up, they may not last as long as hard-shell tubs.
Overall, the ease of setup and lower installation costs make inflatable spa tubs an attractive option for many.
4. What Kind of Maintenance do Inflatable Hot Tubs Require?
Maintenance for blow-up spa tubs is manageable but essential. Here’s what’s involved:
Cleaning: Regularly wipe the interior, check for debris, and clean the filter. Draining and thorough cleaning every few months is also recommended. See the 7 Cleaning Steps here.
Water Treatment: Maintain proper water chemistry by testing and adjusting pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels. You’ll need test strips or a kit.
Upkeep: Inspect the pump and heater, ensuring they’re in good condition. Keep the tub covered when not in use to prevent debris from entering.
Now, in comparison to in-ground and hard-shell Jacuzzis:
Blow-up Spa Tubs:
- Easier maintenance due to smaller size.
- More affordable upkeep costs.
- Water may need more frequent replacement.
- Higher upfront and maintenance costs.
- Usually more durable and long-lasting.
- May require professional maintenance.
- Moderate upfront cost.
- Lower maintenance than in-ground, but higher than blow-up tubs.
- Durable and long-lasting, with better insulation.
Your choice should consider your budget, space and how much maintenance you’re willing to handle.
5. How Long Does it Take to Heat Up Water in a Blow-up Spa?
The heating time of inflatable hot tubs varies, but overall, it takes 12-24 hours to warm up to your desired temperature, depending on the model. Find out more here.
Factors Affecting Heating Time:
- Tub Size: Smaller tubs heat quicker than larger ones because they don’t have as much water volume.
- Heater Power: Higher-wattage heaters can speed up the process.
- Ambient Temperature: Colder climates may require more time and energy.
Regarding energy efficiency, inflatable hot tubs may be less efficient than hard-shell tubs due to less insulation. However, you can improve efficiency by keeping the tub covered when not “on” and maintaining appropriate water temperature settings.
6. Can You Use an Inflatable Tub in Cold Weather?
Inflatable spa tubs are generally suitable for cold temps, but there are a few considerations:
- Most inflatable tubs work in temperatures as low as 40°F (4°C) or even lower.
- Some high-quality models are designed for winter use with better insulation.
Weather Limitations vs. Cost Savings:
- In colder climates, heating costs may rise, and heat retention can be a challenge.
- However, the initial cost savings compared to hard-shell tubs are substantial.
- Using a well-insulated cover can help conserve heat and make winter use more cost-effective.
Ultimately, while you can operate blow-up tubs in cold weather, the energy costs and heat retention are factors to take note of. A high-insulating cover and a protected area can help create a pleasant winter retreat.
7. What is the Water Capacity of a Blow Up Spa Tub?
The water capacity of inflatable hot tubs varies by model. That said, most can hold between 150 to 400 gallons of water, accommodating 2 to 6 people comfortably.
Comparison to Traditional Hot Tubs:
- Traditional hot tubs typically have a larger water capacity, ranging from 400 to 900 gallons or more, accommodating 6 to 8+ people.
- The larger water volume can mean longer heating times and potentially higher operating costs compared to inflatable tubs.
- Inflatable tubs are more space-efficient and are designed for smaller groups or individuals. Therefore, they make a great choice for smaller outdoor spaces or budgets.
8. Are Blow Up Spas Safe?
Yes, inflatable tubs are safe. But let’s explore the pros and cons of using a blow-up spa tub from a safety perspective:
- Low Voltage: Most inflatable tubs use low-voltage systems, reducing electrical hazards.
- Easy Setup: The simple assembly process minimizes the risk of installation-related accidents.
- Portability: You can move the tub to a safe location, making it child-friendly when not in use.
- Slip-Resistant Features: Many inflatable tubs have non-slip surfaces for added safety.
- Supervision: While they’re generally safe, vigilant supervision is required when children or vulnerable individuals are around.
- Electrical Connections: Check proper electrical connections to avoid any shock hazards.
- Tripping Hazards: Be cautious of cords and hoses that might pose tripping risks.
- Water Quality: Poor water quality maintenance can lead to health concerns.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), and practice common-sense safety measures like keeping the tub covered when not in use and locking it when unsupervised, especially if there are children around.
9. What to Know About Warranties & Customer Service:
Warranty: Most inflatable hot tubs come with warranties that typically range from 1 to 2 years, with premium models offering longer coverage, such as 5 years or more. The warranty generally covers manufacturing defects and certain components.
Customer Support: Manufacturers and retailers usually provide service to address any issues or questions, but sometimes via online. The quality of customer service can vary, so research reviews and reputations when choosing a brand.
Replacement Parts: Parts are generally available for inflatable hot tubs, and replacement filters are easy to find. However, I suggest that you confirm with the manufacturer or retailer that they stock them. Keep in mind that some premium models may have a more extensive selection of replacement parts.
Always read and understand the warranty terms. Plus, consider the reputation of the brand in terms of service before completing your purchase.
10. How Noisy are the Spa Pumps & Jets?
The noise level of pumps and jets in inflatable hot tubs can range slightly. That said, they’re quieter in relation to traditional jacuzzis. Here’s why:
Inflatable Hot Tubs:
- Use smaller, less powerful pumps.
- Often use bubble air jets, thus reducing noise.
- Designed for residential use, keeping noise levels in mind.
Traditional Hot Tubs:
- Typically have larger, more powerful pumps and jets.
- May not have as much insulation, leading to more noise.
- Some traditional models can be noisier and less ideal for residential areas.
So, if you’re concerned about disrupting your neighborhood, inflatable hot tubs are generally a quieter and more neighbor-friendly choice.
11. Can You Use a Blow Up Spa Tub Indoors?
Of course, indoor use is possible, but it comes with some considerations:
- Inflatable spa tubs can set up inside, provided you have enough space & a sturdy foundation.
- Supply good ventilation to manage humidity and moisture.
- Protect flooring with a waterproof barrier to prevent damage.
- Consider water drainage options for easy maintenance.
12. What Accessories & Features Come with Inflatable Spa Tubs?
inflatable spa tubs come with a range of accessories and features. Here’s what you can typically expect to find in the package:
- Inflatable tub and liner
- Pump and heater unit
- Airjet or hydrojet system
- Control panel
- Cover (to maintain water temperature)
- Ground cloth to protect the tub’s bottom
- Repair kit for small punctures
Additional Features: Some models, like the SereneLife EZ Rest, offer advanced features. For example, it comes with LED lighting for ambiance, water filtration systems, digital controls for temperature and jet settings. Plus, wireless connectivity for remote control.
Note: To see the differences between different brands and models, check out our handy hot tub comparison chart. You can quickly view different features and functions to find the best blow up spa tub for you.