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What is an inflatable spa and should I buy one?

In this article, you will learn

  • what an inflatable spa pool is

  • how an inflatable hot tub compares to a solid hot tub

  • how much it costs to run an inflatable spa

  • where you can buy an inflatable spa and

  • the different brands of inflatable hot tubs

After reading this article you will hopefully have a better understanding of inflatable hot tubs, what they can offer and if they are the right fit for you.


What is an inflatable spa? An inflatable spa has walls that are filled with air so the spa can hold heated water. Inflatable spas usually have a round, square or octagonal shape and equipment such as the control box and spa pump are connected on the outside of the spa.


What is an inflatable spa made of? An inflatable spa or hot tub can be made from several materials, depending on the quality of the product, brand and model. You will find several brands use multiple layers of material for the spa walls. These include polyester mesh, PVC (polyvinyl chloride which is a synthetic thermoplastic), a UV protection layer, drop stitch fabric, laminated fabric and some brands market their fabrics as being frost and tear resistant. The control box needs to be water resistant because it connects on the outside of the spa. It’s important to keep in mind that inflatable spas don’t have a hard acrylic or fibreglass shell or hard base pan like better quality solid spas. This means an inflatable spa can be more vulnerable to sharp objects on the ground such as rocks, twigs, toys, sports equipment and loose nails in a deck which can puncture the soft shell.


How does an inflatable spa work? When you buy an inflatable spa, one of the first things you’ll need to do is inflate the spa and its cover. Once that’s done, the next step is to attach the external pump to the spa. Then you will need to fill the hot tub with water and heat it to your desired temperature. The spa will need to be maintained to keep the spa water clear and healthy and the tub and components in great condition. Like a solid spa, inflatable hot tubs can be used indoors. However, setting up an inflatable spa inside is considerably faster than a solid spa. They don’t need a certain amount of space for delivery and machinery, such as a crane (if required), to lift the spa into position. Some inflatable spas will come with a pump that allows the inflatable spa to be used year-round, a massage system, LED lights, backrests and more. The number of features included with an inflatable spa will depend on the brand and if it’s considered to be an entry-level or top of the range model.

Are inflatable spas expensive to run? If you’re thinking of buying an inflatable spa, this could be one of the first questions that comes to mind. It’s hard to give a straight answer to this question because there are several things to think about such as -

  • What is the outside or inside temperature?

  • How often will the hot tub be used?

  • What is the quality of the spa?

  • What type of ground is the spa lying on?

However, if you choose a hot tub with quality insulation, your running costs will be reduced. If a spa can limit heat loss from the water, the less heating it will need to maintain the water temperature. Solid spas are likely to do a better job of insulating spa water and reducing running costs. An inflatable spa’s heating and control systems can also influence running costs. The more effective and efficient they are at heating and reducing power usage, the lower your electricity bill will be. If you want to insulate an inflatable hot tub, you’ll find that some brands sell insulating accessories such as a heat preservation mat, inflatable bladder and spa cover. Using these could make a difference to your energy bill. To get a more certain answer on running expenses for an inflatable spa, it’s best to contact the inflatable spa retailer, company or salesperson you have been speaking to.


What can I put under an inflatable spa? Keeping an inflatable spa away from sharp objects on the ground or from above will help protect your hot tub from punctures. According to photographs displayed on several inflatable hot tub brand sites, inflatable spas are commonly placed on a level area of either grass, a wooden deck, tiles, concrete and more. You will find some inflatable spa brands offer heat retention mats and floor protectors that can be placed under the spa. However, as mentioned above, these mats are not as strong, durable and sturdy as an upturn moulded base that can be found on quality portable spas pools.

Do inflatable spas have seats? Inflatable hot tubs generally don’t come with individually moulded seats that you would see on a hard shell portable spa. However, some inflatable spas come with a cushioned floor and inflatable backrests. Some brands offer accessories such as spa pillows and booster seats.


Where can I buy and how much does an inflatable spa cost?

The price for inflatable hot tubs can vary, according to brand, quality, size and where you buy it from. Generally prices range from around £199.00 to £899.00


What is the best inflatable spa brand? If you are looking for a quality inflatable hot tub, there are several options on the market that could satisfy your needs. However Lay-Z-Spa® hot tubs appear to be a leading and popular inflatable spa brand available in. This is based on the number of retailers in U.K that sell Lay-Z-Spa® pools as well as reviews posted online. Lay-Z-Spa® was established in 2007 and offers a range of portable spas. According to its website, Lay-Z-Spa® operates on behalf of Bestway Inflatables & Material Corp. The spas are available under two brand names, Lay-Z-Spa® (most common worldwide) and SaluSpa® in the US.

Inflatable spa vs solid spa vs hot tub. What’s the difference? A solid hot tub, above ground or freestanding spa, can be installed into a deck or pit in the ground. Its key components such as pumps, heaters, and control system are contained within the cabinet.

A solid spa, also known as a hot tub, above ground, Jacuzzi® or freestanding spa, can be installed into a deck or pit in the ground. Key components such as pumps, heaters, and control systems are contained within the cabinet. Although both inflatable spas and portable spas are essentially tubs full of heated water and can be moved around, one of the basic differences between the two is that an inflatable spa can be drained, deflated and stored. A solid spa cannot change shape.

Should I buy an inflatable spa? Are inflatable hot tubs worth the money? Inflatable spas are becoming a popular option for people looking for a cheap and simple spa pool. However, it’s important to bear in mind that they are not built to last and you may find yourself purchasing multiple inflatable spas over the same time you can expect to own a portable spa for. An inflatable hot tub may be a good option if you want a spa pool that is:

  • Portable

  • Cheap

  • Can be stored away when you’re not using it to free up space

  • And comes with the basics you'd expect from a spa pool - warm water, bubbles, space, a place to relax or socialise

However if you are looking for a spa pool that comes with:

  • individually moulded seats for comfort and hydrotherapy

  • variety of jets designed to target different areas of the body

  • made with highly durable and insulating materials

  • will last more than a few years

Then an inflatable spa may not be the best spa solution. If you were thinking of buying an inflatable spa and now think it may not be the option for you, perhaps you may want to consider a cheaper entry level hot tub or even look at finance options and buy a better quality hot tub that’s built to last.

Wyre Forest Spas offer many quality hot tubs at unbeatable prices and have over 100 models to choose from.


Summary We hope this article has given you a better understanding of inflatable spas, their key features, how much they cost in the U.K

Inflatable spas have their perks. They’re affordable, they can be moved between indoor or outdoor locations and they’re pretty straightforward to set up. An inflatable spa could be a great choice if this is your first hot tub purchase, you need a short-term spa solution or you’re on a tight budget. However, inflatable spas won’t last as long as a quality solid spa, they’re more vulnerable to punctures from sharp objects, unlikely to retain heat as well as a portable spa and they don’t come with loungers and back massage seats that take hydrotherapy to the next level. If after reading, you decide a solid hard shell hot tub is a better fit for you, then get in touch today with Wyre Forest Spas and see what options we have available.


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