Portable Hot Tubs: Should you get a Plug and Play or a Blow Up Hot Tub?

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When you imagine your ideal back yard, what do you see? Most people have fantasies of luxury patio furniture, a beautiful fire pit, and a glorious bubbling hot tub. Most people also think that these dreams are unobtainable or too expensive. With a blow up or portable hot tub, you can have your cake and eat it too!


Quick NavigationWhat is a portable hot tub?Why do you need one?What options are available?What’s the difference between an inflatable Hot Tub and a Plug and Play?Which portable hot tub should I choose?What is the best blow up hot tub?Best 2 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The SaluSpa Miami Air Jet Inflatable Hot TubBest 4 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The PureSpa Portable Bubble MassageBest 5 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The SaluSpa Springs AirJet InflatableBest 6 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The Coleman Lay Z SpaWhat is the best Plug and Play Hot Tub?Best 2 person Plug and Play Hot Tub: AquaRest Spa’s 2 Person, 14 Jet, Plug N Play SpaBest 3 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: Lifesmart Rock Solid Luna OperationBest 4 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: Lifesmart 4 Person 13 Jet Rock Solid Luna Plug and Play SpaBest 5 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: The Lifesmart 5 Person, 28 Jet, Retreat DLXBest 6 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: The AR-600 6 Person 19 Stainless Steel Jets Spa Easy Plug-N-Play SpaWhat are the health benefits of a hot tub?1. Stress Relief2. Muscle Relief3. Improve Circulation4. Lower Blood Pressure5. Improved SleepIs there any risk of using a Hot Tub?1. Skin Rashes2. Legionnaire’s Disease3. Body Fluids4. Shigellosis and E. coli5. Waterborne Diseases6. Hot Water’s Negative ConsequencesCan I use a hot tub if I’m pregnant?What chemicals to use?How long does it take to heat up?Where are hot tub filters located?How much does a portable hot tub cost?Where can I buy a hot tub?The Verdict

What is a portable hot tub?

A portable hot tub is just what it sounds like. It’s a tub that works like a hot tub, but you can take it down and move it without much effort. You can even get all the luxuries of a hot tub, think waterfall.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a hot tub anymore. You can have your very own outdoor portable spa with very little hassle and a fraction of the price.

Why do you need one?

A better question here is why don’t you need one? There are many benefits to having an outdoor inflatable spa, but one of the biggest is stress relief!

Think how relaxed you felt the last time you sat in a hot tub. Now, imagine that capability in your own private space. No fears of how well the tub was cleaned or who will join you. It’s all yours, bubbles and all.

Having a portable hot tub is really handy when you are entertaining. Would you rather stand around at your next BBQ or sip cocktails in your very own hot tub? It’s a great reason to invite friends or family over. They can make any occasion that much more enjoyable!

What options are available?

Like regular hot tubs, there are a lot of options out there for your outdoor paradise. There are some basic options and you can build from there depending on what you are looking for.

  • inflatable or plug and play
  • different sizes
  • number of jets
  • digital features
  • design options, like underwater lights and waterfalls

Anything you can think of for a regular hot tub is generally available in a portable hot tub!

What’s the difference between an inflatable Hot Tub and a Plug and Play?

There are a few major differences between an inflatable hot tub and a plug and play. With the inflatable hot tub, it generally comes in a large box and you have to inflate it. It cannot be used below 40 degrees Fahrenheit either. However, it’s easier to move around and even bring inside.

With the plug and play, you are getting your hot tub pre-assembled, much like a run of the mill hot tub. It’s heavier, but it’s less work setting up once you get it to your desired spot. A plug and play hot tub offers more features as well. You will typically find the waterfalls, jets, and colored light show bells and whistles offered with this type.

Depending on what use you are looking for, there are benefits to both types. It’s important to make sure that whichever one you will choose will be able to suit your needs. Double check that you can put it in the location you want, consider the temperature, and know what features you want.

Which portable hot tub should I choose?

That, my friend, is entirely up to you and here is why. The hot tub you choose is based on what you are going to use it for.

Some questions you should ask yourself is where am I going to put it? What size do I need? What features are most important to me? I think once you have answered those questions, you will have narrowed down your options and be able to pick the best hot tub for you!

An inflatable hot tub is a good option if your budget is small. The features are limited and you won’t be able to use it outdoors if it’s too cold.

A Plug and Play is the one you should go for if you want to enjoy all the benefits of a hot tub but can’t build a permanent feature in your yard. 

What is the best blow up hot tub?

This is another question that doesn’t have one answer. However, we did the work for you on research. Based on size, here’s the best blow up hot tub for you.


Miami Air Jet

2 to 4 -Person

Inflated Size: 

71″ x 26″




Inflated Size: 

75″ x 28″


Springs AirJet

4 to 6 – Person

Inflated Size:

77″ x 28″

Lay Z Spa


4 to 6 – Person

Inflated Size:

77″ x 28″

Best 2 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The SaluSpa Miami Air Jet Inflatable Hot Tub

This little spa is so great if you are just wanting to try one out, are short on space, or don’t feel like using it to entertain groups. It’s easy to use, in fact, you don’t need one tool to set it up. Not one!

Don’t let its size fool you, it has some great amenities. There is a digital display and control panel that allows you to adjust the settings to your desire. The SaluSpa Miami Air Jet has a rapid heating system and a water filtration system that keep your portable hot tub clean and at the temperature you want.

SaluSpa Miami Air Jet

Click here to find out more at Amazon!

Best 4 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage

The PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage from Intex will not disappoint. It comes with everything you need to set up shop with no hassle. This blow-up spa even has a hard water treatment system! Pretty fancy for a blow up hot tub don’t you think?

It’s a great choice if you have a small family or want to have a cozy cocktail party with a few friends. Maybe you just want a little bit bigger spa to float in on your own! Whatever your needs are, this is a great size for many different situations.

The PureSpa

Click here to find out more at Amazon!

Best 5 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The SaluSpa Springs AirJet Inflatable

The SaluSpa Springs AirJet Inflatable is the perfect blow up hot tub for your increasing entertainment needs! It comfortably sits 4 to 6 people in a luxurious bubble filled tub.

Once you have bought one, it can be inflated in a few minutes! It has a superior quality and looks astoundingly like a real hot tub at a fraction of the price. Who said luxury costs too much?

You can set up this roomy and spacious portable hot tub inside or outside. It’s a great reason to throw an impromptu party or simply have an extra amenity for guests.

The SaluSpa Springs AirJet Inflatable

Click here to find out more at Amazon!

Best 6 Person Blow Up Hot Tub: The Coleman Lay Z Spa

Ok, this is the ultimate blow up hot tub. The Coleman hot tub delivers as only Coleman can, a step above the rest. It’s blow up hot tub is no exception. With a seating capability of 6 people, comfortably mind you, it’s truly a spa.

The Coleman spa provides everything you need to set up. Just inflate, fill with water, and set the temp on the digital display. In a short amount of time, you can have a huge hot tub for a small party!

This is the perfect addition to your backyard or patio. It will look great, work awesome, and be an attention grabber from your guests.

Why wait any longer? Go to Amazon now to purchase!

The Coleman Lay Z Spa

Click here to find out more at Amazon!

What is the best Plug and Play Hot Tub?

We have selected the 5 best Plug and Play hot tubs based on size.

Aquarest Spa

2 – Person


66 x 54 Inches


Rock Solid Luna

3 – Person

12 – Jet

66 x 70 inches


Rock Solid Luna

4 – Person

13 – Jet

66 x 65 Inches


Retreat DLX

5 – Person

28 – Jet

61 x 69 Inches



6- Person

19 – Jet

68 x 68 Inches

Best 2 person Plug and Play Hot Tub: AquaRest Spa’s 2 Person, 14 Jet, Plug N Play Spa

AquaRest equates to luxury. This beautiful stone looking tub is a must for a cozy nook in your patio. Simply unpack, fill with water, and plug it in. You can have a beautiful sanctuary in a matter of minutes.

It’s majestic waterfall with 9 different colored lights will leave you relaxed beyond all measure. No one will even know that this is a portable spa. It looks, feels, and acts like the real deal down to the capable massaging jets.

Get this tub NOW at Wayfair!

AquaRest Spa’s 2 Plug N Play Spa

2-Person 14-Jet Plug-N-Play Spa with LED Waterfall Finish: Brownstone – $2,899.99Retail Price: $2,999.99You Save: $100.00from: Wayfair

Best 3 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: Lifesmart Rock Solid Luna Operation

The LifeSmart Rock Solid Luna is the way to go if you want just a little more space in your tub. It comfortably seats 3 people. I think it’s a great investment for a couple looking to have a hot tub but not wanting to invest in the extremely high price and installation hassle.

Lifesmart boasts that their tub is very tough. Hence the name rock solid. They have a 5-year guarantee on the shell! You don’t need to worry about someone popping a hole in this sturdy guy!

you are looking for a smaller hot tub fit for a celebrity, this is your winner!

Lifesmart Rock Solid Luna Operation

Click here to find out more at Amazon!

Best 4 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: Lifesmart 4 Person 13 Jet Rock Solid Luna Plug and Play Spa

If the 3-person tub was too small for you, the 4 person may be just right! It’s great for a small family or a date night with another couple. Whatever you need it for, the Lifesmart company has your back, literally!

This luxury portable spa is best suited for comfort. Ease your worries away while floating idly in this little pod of luxury.

Visit Wayfair now to make this great investment!

Lifesmart Rock Solid Luna Plug and Play Spa

4-Person 13-Jet Rock Solid Luna Plug and Play Spa – $2,232.39Retail Price: $3,499.00You Save: $1,266.61from: Wayfair

Best 5 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: The Lifesmart 5 Person, 28 Jet, Retreat DLX

Let’s say you want to sit more than 4 people, well, this is your next step up. Lifesmart has another tub that will knock it out of the park. This 28 jet spa will leave you utterly tranquil when you step out.

It’s ease of set up increases your relaxation and decreases cost. It’s a win-win and they even throw in high energy efficiency to boot. What’s not to love about this soothing retreat? It also brags clean water, an enchanting massage, and a comfortable seat.

Look at Wayfair’s hot deals now!

The Lifesmart Retreat DLX

5-Person 28-Jet Retreat DLX Plug-N-Play Spa with Waterfall – $3,649.99Retail Price: $4,999.00You Save: $1,349.01from: Wayfair

Best 6 Person Plug and Play Hot Tub: The AR-600 6 Person 19 Stainless Steel Jets Spa Easy Plug-N-Play Spa

This is it. This is the ultimate portable spa. From its 6 person seating capability to its LED waterfall, it really has it all.

Its ability to customize your massage with the jets and its unique lumbar supported seats, it really is the perfect oasis in your own backyard. If you are looking for a quality, luxurious, beautiful portable hot tub, you don’t need to look any further.

You will absolutely not be disappointed with your purchase. 

Aquarest AR – 600

AR-600 6 Person 19 Stainless Steel Jets Spa Easy Plug-N-Play Spa with LED Waterfall Color: Graystone – $2,599.99from: Wayfair

What are the health benefits of a hot tub?

There are so many positive results you can get from a hot tub, but let’s talk about the health benefits.

1. Stress Relief

It’s no secret that sitting in a hot tub is relaxing. The warm water, the sound of the bubbles, and the peace that comes over you generally has everyone taking a collective sigh as they sink in. If you add in a beautiful environment and the people you love being around, well, it’s hard to be stressed.

2. Muscle Relief

Aches and pains are a part of our daily lives. Whether they stem from physical activity or lack thereof, all of us have muscles that are sore at some point or another. Sitting in a hot tub helps ease tension in your muscles allowing them to relax and the pain to diminish.

The warm water acts as a heat therapy that many people use to ease tension in their muscles. Your grandma has a rice pack and you have a hot tub! If you have jets in your portable tub, the pressure can help reduce tension in your muscles as well. It’s perfect for focusing on problem spots that you just can’t get the knots out of.

3. Improve Circulation

Circulation is such an important system in our body. A lot of people struggle with good circulation and a hot tub can really help! Basic science tell us that when we get warm, our blood vessels dilate. This allows blood to move faster and more freely throughout your body.

It’s important to note that arthritis sufferers can really benefit from this. The increased blood supply to joints can help with stiff and painful joints. Combined with the ability to move in the water, less stress on joints, a lot of people will tell you a nice soak is a miracle.

4. Lower Blood Pressure

This is no surprise as we have listed stress reduction and improved circulation as benefits. The combination of these two equate to lowering blood pressure. With high blood pressure being fairly dominant in our society, a lot of people can benefit from this!

5. Improved Sleep

Most people do not get the required amount of sleep each night. The results are detrimental. When you have trouble falling asleep it can be incredibly frustrating. A hot tub can actually trigger your body for sleep. The reduced stress, reduced muscle tension, and warm water will have you ready for bed in no time.

Is there any risk of using a Hot Tub?

There are always going to be risks when you have water and heat in the equation. In this case we have both! However, after educating yourself on the do’s and don’ts of hot tubs, the risks are significantly lower.

1. Skin Rashes

There is such a thing as a hot tub rash. If you experience this, simply avoid long periods in the hot tub, shower before and after, and monitor your results. Some people’s skin are more sensitive than others so it may or may not affect you. Regardless, use common sense. If you have a rash, don’t soak!

2. Legionnaire’s Disease

While it is possible to contract this disease from a hot tub, the likelihood is very slight. Legionnaire’s disease can be caused by inhaling the steam from an infected water source, a.k.a., the hot tub. If you are a heavy smoker, older in age, or have a weakened immune system, your chances of getting this does go up. Take caution if you fall under this category.

3. Body Fluids

Ok, this one is pretty gross. Most people are not quite as clean as we like. That’s a very polite way of saying that! Body fluids in the hot tub can cause irritation to your skin and eyes. There’s a very simple solution to this. Shower before and after you get in. Clean your hot tub regularly. Don’t let someone especially stinky in! Easy peasy.

4. Shigellosis and E. coli

This is another situation that can be prevented by making sure you have a properly cleaned hot tub and the people in it have rinsed off before getting in.

5. Waterborne Diseases

There are quite a few waterborne diseases out there. Some can be obtained in a hot tub. This is yet another reason to keep you and your hot tub clean!

6. Hot Water’s Negative Consequences

Any time you are dealing with hot water, you have the potential for burns and scalding. Be careful to keep your hot tub at the correct temperature and practice checking your thermometerbefore getting in!

Can I use a hot tub if I’m pregnant?

Great question! This is a tricky one to navigate and you should always contact your physician. If you are newly pregnant, or in your first trimester, it’s best just to steer clear. Raising your core temperature up too much can be harmful for those delicate cells!

If you are beyond your first trimester with no health concerns, ask your doctor if a 10-minute soak would be ok. It’s important to notice signs of needing to get out such as dizziness, overheating, and excessive thirst.

A lot of people say to just skip the spa all together when you are pregnant. A lot of moms would argue that it’s the best time to go in because you feel weightless and have sore muscles. Whatever you choose is fine as long as your physician agrees!

Are they energy efficient?

This depends on the size and type of tub you get. If you run it all the time to keep it up to temperature, you will definitely see an increase of your energy bill. However, most owners claim that it’s not a large amount considering you are adding a hot tub to your bill! This also depends on your electricity pricing in your area. Owners have proclaimed prices around $60-$100/month increase.

Some tubs like the LifeSmart Rock Solid Luna Operation boast high energy efficiency. If you are looking to save money over time, that’s a great choice for you!

How strong are the jets?

Depending on which option you go with, they can range from bubbling to full on massage jets. If this is an option you are most looking forward to, I would suggest basing your decision heavily on the jet’s power level.

Do I need to buy anything else?

Some portable spas come with everything you need like: a cover, the filtration system, the chemical free floating device, the chemicals to treat the water, etc. Others are simply coming with the inflatable hot tub itself. Be sure to check the details on which tub you choose so you aren’t left waiting for another delivery!

What maintenance is required?

Like a real hot tub, the portable needs maintenance. However, it’s minimal and can be done easily. Draining your hot tub and giving it a good scrub is the way to go. If there are any jets or water lines, try and flush those out as well. Those seem to be the main hang out spots for bacteria and general yuck.

Once your hot tub is drained and cleaned, fill it back up, put fresh chemicals in, and enjoy!

What chemicals to use?

This depends on what water filtration option you chose. Some of the tubs we talked about have it built in and some require that you have a free-floating device for chemicals. If it’s built in, simply insert chlorine or bromine of the manufacturers recommendation in. If it’s in a free-floating device, the same can be done.

There are other options available now if the chlorine and bromine are too harsh for you or your skin. Ozone, silver ionizers, copper ionizers and zinc ionization are becoming more and more popular. Whatever you do, just make sure to use something so that your water is healthy for you!

How to clean it?

Cleaning your hot tub doesn’t need to be a hassle. It can be a process that takes very little time. As discussed in the maintenance section, cleaning is pretty much the maintenance you will need to do.

Drain your tub, clean it out, refill it again, and add your chemicals. That’s it. Not so bad, right?

What should you use for cleaning? Most people suggest a cloth or sponge (something NOT abrasive) and just diluted vinegar. You can also use around the house cleaning agents like 409, Windex, etc. Most hot tub owners will say that those aren’t necessary though if you clean every 3 to 4 months.

Unless you throw a wild rave, then you can probably just stick to wiping your portable spa down with a sponge and some diluted vinegar every few months.

How long does it take to heat up?

Most tubs boast heating at 2 degrees per hour. So, the warmer the water you put in, the faster you are going to get to your desired temperature. A lot of people state it can take a day or two depending on size, temperature of water put in, and temperature of environment.

Where are hot tub filters located?

This can depend on what portable spa you use. Some have built in to their wall while others have a free-floating device. Disclaimer: Not all portable hot tubs come with the filter, so double check before purchasing!

How much does a portable hot tub cost?

This is directly related to which brand, size, and amenities you choose. A smaller tub with less amenities can run you around $300+ dollars.

However, if you go for something a little more crazy with all the bells and whistles, you are looking at $3000+.

All other tubs lie in between that price range based on which option you decide on. The plug and play tend to run higher due to their materials and amenities.

You need to keep in mind there are additional costs, like installation, running and maintenance. For more information on these costs, visit the Contractor Culture website. >>> See More

Where can I buy a hot tub?

It depends on which inflatable tub you choose, but a lot of them can be purchased on Amazon. You can also find them in stores like Wal-Mart. However, the premium tubs tend to be at higher end places like Amazon, Wayfair, etc.

The Verdict

A portable or blow up hot tub are an incredible way to add luxury to your back yard or patio in minutes! They act, look, and feel like a real hot tub without the insane installation prices.

These portable spas are easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to love. Whatever option you choose, I am confident you will be happy you spent those extra pennies on such a captivating oasis.

Post Author: beautifulpatio.com

I'm a lover of the little things that make life beautiful. And I love to share them with the world!

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