Hot tubs were once exclusively a high-ticket luxury item that the vast majority of people could only experience in resorts or spas. These days, the range of hot tubs on the market has made them attainable even on a modest budget.
From permanent tubs to inflatable ones that you can pack away in between uses, there is a model to suit most situations. Not to mention a variety of designs that will look great in different settings.
They are undoubtedly an extravagance, but this is one item that you can continue to enjoy over and over. And with the addition of some shelter, such as a gazebo, you can enjoy your hot tub all-year-round.
If you’re looking to buy a hot tub, don’t fret about all the choices available. We’ve put together a list of six tubs that we feel are the very best on the market right now but you can expect a higher cost.
6 Hot Tub Sizes, Specs & Ratings
Here are my recommendations below or scroll further down where you’ll find my helpful reviews.
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Essential 4-5 Person Hot Tub Review with 11 Stainless Steel Jets
The main advantage of this is that you don’t need a professional to install it for you and it can be relatively easily moved around should you change your mind about its location.
The Integrity sports a convenient all-in-one design, meaning it can be moved into place, connected up, and you’re ready to go. You’ll need a little help with the moving, however.
At 350lb shipping weight, you probably won’t be hoisting it onto your back and walking it from the curb. This tub holds 4-5 people officially, though it would be a very cozy fit.
It would be wise to think of it as a four-person tub maximum.
Pros and cons
- Plug and play design makes installation easy
- The portable tub can be easily moved
- Suitable for year-round use
- Comes with a heavy-duty insulated cover
- Suited to 4 people rather than 5
The Integrity has been designed for year-round use, including a stainless steel heater with automatic functionality.
Being able to use it during the Winter makes it an excellent tub for people who have medical conditions that benefit from hydrotherapy.
Though you will need a little help moving it around, Integrity is a self-contained portable tub that you can place anywhere. And. of you’re not happy with the location you chose, or you fancy a change, you can quickly move it to another location.
There are 11 jets strategically placed around the tub to provide you with a relaxing bubble massage, including two jets in the footwell and four in the seats. It should not be difficult to relax in this tub at the end of a long day.
The unit comes as one complete with the components powering it from inside the body of the tub. The inner workings are hidden by a small maintenance door, making the tub both very easy to install, but also professional looking.
Hot Tub/Spa Guide (F.A.Q’s)
Below I have answered a few frequently asked questions to help you understand more. However, feel free to jump to the reviews below by choosing your preferred size or model.
Are Hot Tubs Easy to Put Together?
The difficulty of putting a hot tub together will vary significantly from model to model. For instance, inflatable hot tubs, such as the Coleman SaluSpa, are designed to be easily set up by a person with no experience.
Other hot tubs may require some fitting of fascias and other cosmetic parts. These will usually be explained in detail and will not be particularly hard to install.
Where things get a little more complicated is in the setting of the tub itself and any electrical wiring or plumbing that needs to take place. It is better to seek professional help if you are not experienced in these areas.
In the case of permanent fixture tubs, they will need to be leveled.
How Do I Winterize a Hot Tub?
If your tub is a permanent fixture, or if you intend to leave it out over the Winter, it is essential to prepare it for the cold weather properly. Failing to do so can lead to faults and even complete failure of your tub.
Firstly, you should let the chemical levels in your tub dissipate to zero before emptying it. Those chemicals are not intended to be emptied into your garden or domestic drain. Once you’ve completely drained it (check your tub’s instructions for details on draining procedures), loosen any pipe unions to get the water out of there as well.
Once drained, all that is left to do is give your tub and filters a thorough cleaning, and secure the lid in place for the Winter.
How Long do Hot Tubs Last?
The life expectancy of your hot tub will be determined mainly by how well it is looked after. A quality hot tub that is properly cared for can last decades. Conversely, an inflatable hot tub that you treat poorly may not see the end of its first year!
As a general rule, ten years is a good number to work from when estimating the life expectancy of your tub. With proper care and maintenance, you could reasonably expect to double that time.
Essential 5-6 Seat Hot Tub Review with 67 Stainless Steel Jets
The Essential Hot Tubs 67-Jet Syracuse Hot Tub is the very picture of luxury. Featuring five spacious seats, including two captain’s chairs and a lounger seat, you will be able to relax alone or with four of your friends.
The tub features two pumps to power the 67 jets dotted around the inner shell, as well as an Ozonator for keeping chemical usage down.
Further adding to the luxurious experience is a built-in Bluetooth enabled sound system and LED waterfall.
The exterior of the Syracuse is a stylish paneled effect with corner LED lights and stairs included, making getting in and out of your tub easy.
The lights even provide a bit of visibility for those late-night dips.
Pros and cons
- Efficient on running costs for a tub like this
- Ozonator keeps chemical use down
- Great price for a tub with these features
- High powered heater makes light work of heating the tub
- The tub controls are a little tricky
Ozonator – Ozone Generator
The Syracuse features an automatic ozone generator. Ozone has the beneficial side effect of killing bacteria and other contaminants. It’s not sufficient enough to be your sole means of hot tub hygiene, but it will reduce the number of chemicals you need to keep your water clean.
That’s right, 67, and 51 of those are two-tone jets. The jets are well-placed throughout the tub to give the maximum amount of comfort during a spa session. And the twin pumps ensure each jet provides a consistent and firm stream.
You can always bring a Bluetooth speaker to your tub, but with the Syracuse built-in sound system, you don’t have to. It supports Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily play music from your devices.
All of the five seats in the Syracuse provide plenty of space, but one position offers that little bit more. Sit back and put your feet up in the lounger chair, giving your legs a massage with the eight dedicated jets along the leg rests.
Lifetime 4 Person Hot Tub Spa Review with 13 Jets & Cover
The four-person Lifesmart hot tub is another pre-assembled plug & play tub.
This kind of tub attempts to provide the best of both worlds by giving you portability—as with inflatable hot tubs—but also a professional and permanent appearance, like more expensive jacuzzis.
Though one of the smaller hot tubs in this list, the Lifesmart packs a lot of luxury into a relatively small package.
It seats four people comfortably, features thirteen hydrotherapy jets, and even boasts a waterfall feature.
Being plug & play means installation is simple, and moving the tub to a new location is not a big deal.
Pros and cons
- EcoSmart technology keeps power usage down
- Waterfall feature
- Easy installation
- Compact design will fit in more locations
- Easy to understand controls
- Can get a little snug when full to capacity with people
Controlled from the Balboa control panel, the Lifesmart is fitted with red and blue mood lighting to help create a real ambiance while relaxing in your tub.
Further adding to that ambiance, the Lifesmart features a waterfall feature for that relaxing sound of gently running water. The flow of the waterfall can be regulated to suit your mood. And, of course, you can always turn it off.
The designers of the Lifesmart put a lot of thought into making this tub as efficient as possible. The shell is kept warm by a complete foam insulation system. This is coupled with a very efficient pump to make for lower electricity bills for you.
Though you can winterize your tub and leave it alone for the colder months, it is suitable for winter use. There is something exhilarating about sitting neck deep in a hot tub while the world freezes around you and with all the insulation built into the Lifesmart, you can be sure of a toasty time.
Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub Spa Review in Green & White
Inflatable hot tubs offer the very best in portable hot tub experiences.
Able to pack down to the size of a small shipping crate, the Coleman SaluSpa can be used in your garden like a regular hot tub.
It can also be taken to a friend’s house and even taken on camping trips (though you’ll need electricity to run the pump).
Setting up is, of course, simple. Just ensure your tub is on appropriately flat and smooth ground, connect the pump, and inflate.
The outboard heater and pump contains all the controls and sits within easy reach of the tub’s occupants, and features a power-saving timer for automating the spa’s temperature.
Pros and cons
- Extremely portable
- Setup requires no expertise and minimal effort
- Can be packed away into a small space
- ChemConnect dispenser evenly disperses chemicals
- More prone to damage than hard-body hot tubs
The outboard pump for the SaluSpa doesn’t just heat the water; it also serves as the pump to inflate the hot tub itself. Also within the pump is the filtration system, keeping all the components in one neat package.
The SaluSpa comes with a ChemConnect dispenser, a small device that sticks to the inner surface of your hot tub and dispenses chlorine at a rate of your choosing.
This eliminates the need for any additional chemical management and makes setting the strength of chlorine in your water as easy as turning a dial.
Small Storage Footprint
With hard-body hot tubs, you often have to winterize them when the cold weather starts rolling in. With the SaluSpa, you can simply deflate the tub and pack it away.
The complete spa, pump and all, packs away into a footprint comparable to a small washing machine.
The body of the hot tub features a series of internal chambers that add a great deal of strength and stability to the inflated hot tub.
The SaluSpa does not feel like a typical inflatable pool when you sit on the edge, it feels incredibly sturdy, which prevents water from escaping when you climb in and out of the tub.
Hudson Bay Spas 4 Person Spa Review with Lighting & 14 Jets
The Hudson Bay Spas Four-Person 14 Jet Spa finds its way onto this list primarily because of how good a value for money it is.
Feature-wise, it doesn’t offer anything the other tubs on the list don’t. Still, it does provide a great hot tub experience for a surprisingly low cost.
It is a little small for the advertised four-person capacity, though two adults can have a very comfortable time.
The tub features underwater lighting, 14 hydrotherapy jets, and high-high density foam insulation to help keep those electricity bills down.
On the outside, the 14 Jet Spa sports synthetic mahogany panels for an understated look that should sit well in most settings.
Pros and cons
- Easily adjustable and powerful jets
- Precise temperature controls
- Good value for money
- Stylish exterior
- Quite small for a four-person tub
14 Hydrotherapy Jets
Positioned throughout the shell for maximum comfort, these powerful jets can be adjusted to suit your preference.
This flexibility makes the 14 Jet Spa a particularly attractive proposition for people with medical conditions that benefit from hydrotherapy.
Sporting a seven-color underwater light, it is easy to create the perfect ambiance as you relax in your hot tub.
You can dial the color in to suit your mood, whether it’s a romantic evening for two, an evening with friends, or some much-needed alone time.
High-Density Foam Insulation
Being the extravagance that it is, it’s nice to know that your hot tub isn’t using any more electricity than it needs to. With the 14 Jet Spa, high-density foam insulation has been employed to ensure the tub retains as much heat as possible, reducing the demand on the heater.
Safety is always important, but nobody wants to head out for a relaxing evening in their hot tub, only to end up at the hospital due to slipping and banging their head.
The 14 Jet Spa uses durable anti-slip acrylic in the shell to help prevent unfortunate accidents from happening.
Essential Hot Tubs 20-Jet Arbor Hot Tub, Seats 5-7, Cobblestone
With a stated capacity of 5-7 people, the Arbor is one of the largest tubs on this list.
It features twenty jets, digital controls, an all-season stainless steel heater, and molded granite-resin exterior that gives the Arbor a unique look.
The roughness of the granite also provides extra grip to prevent you from slipping when getting in and out.
You may find it a little cramped with seven-people; however, six will fit comfortably.
The pump is very energy efficient and surprisingly effective, given the size of the tub. The Arbor is another plug & play tub, meaning most people will be able to handle installation without the need for expert help.
That is, once you get the tub in place. At 480lbs, you won’t be moving this thing by yourself!
Pros and cons
- Granite-resin finish looks stylish and adds grip
- Efficient pump
- Seats up to seven people
- All-season pump
- The weight of the tub makes it challenging to move
Granite Resin Finish
The body of the Arbor is coated in granite resin. This gives the tub a distinctive look compared to other tubs, but also comes with a few other advantages. It provides more grip than standard acrylic, for one thing. It is also easy to clean.
The stainless steel 1KW/4KW Balboa heater in the Arbor is rated for year-round usage. This is ideal if you like to hit the hot tub during the colder winter months, as it not only allows you to do that, it also saves you having to winterize your tub.
Things may seem a little cozy if you take advantage of the full seven-person capacity. But there is ample space for four or fewer people to stretch out and enjoy the hot tub.
The settings of the Arbor are handled by a backlit digital control unit within easy reach of the tub’s occupants. From there, you can control every aspect of the Arbor to make things just the way you want them.