Couple Relaxing in a Hot Tub

A Comprehensive Guide To Buying A Hot Tub

When it comes to buying a hot tub, there are a lot of things to consider. That’s because there are several different types of hot tubs out there and even among the same basic types, the features, sizes and required maintenance all differs.

This hot tub buying guide will teach you about small hot tubs as well as the large hot tub. You’ll learn about new portable indoor hot tub models and get information that allows you to decide what is the best hot tub for the money.

Basic Wooden Hot Tub

The best hot tubs are not always the most expensive. We have gathered up this list of the best portable hot tubs, the top rated hot tubs and the most affordable hot tubs in order to give you enough options to get the perfect spa and still stay within budget.

Hot tub cost isn’t just measured by the price tag either. We looked at tons of hot tub reviews on the Watkins hot tub, Coleman hot tubs and lots of other brands to find out exactly what it will cost you both when you buy it and after the sale. Hopefully, you can find the perfect hot tub for your needs on this list.

Best Hot Tub Over $500

According to Lynn Bezanson, who is the CEO of Pure Essential Oils as well as being known as the “Hot Tub Guru,” even the low-end hot tubs go for $5000 or more. But we were able to track down some incredible deals and all of the ones listed here are over $500 but much less than $5000.

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These range from the best portable hot tub to the 6 or even 7 person hot tub, including some that can be used as a one person hot tub. The single person hot tub soak can be a marvelous thing after a long day of work. Here are the best hot tubs we found over $500.

Comfort Line Products Spa-N-A-Box Portable Spa

First up is one of the best two person hot tubs on the market. This is a pretty small hot tub but it will easily fit two people and you could use it as your own personal spa if you wanted to. This hot tub measures 2x74x74 inches, or about six feet across and it has so many features that just about anyone would want to use it. Plus, it comes in at under a thousand bucks which is an amazing price.

Comfort Line Products Spa-N-A-Box Portable Spa

If you like relaxing with micro jets this is your hot tub. It features a hundred of them and enough room to sink down and relax. According to Dr. Andrew Well, hot tubs are not only a great way to de-stress, they can actually help to treat or prevent arthritis, asthma and respiratory infections. This spa is perfect for just about anyone and small enough to give you lots of installation options. Here are the specs:

  • Portable 6’ “Spa in a box”
  • Over 100 micro jets
  • ​1.3 Horsepower TurboWave massage technology
  • ​Easy installation – takes less than 20 minutes to set up and doesn’t require any tools
  • ​Works with any 110 volt plug
  • ​1000 watt heater with a thermostat so you can keep it at the perfect temperature
  • ​24 hour filtration system that keeps your water super clean
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Lifesmart Rock Solid Luna Spa With Plug & Play Operation

This plug-n-play hot tub has three sitting positions but it could easily accommodate five people. In no time at all you will have this set up and ready for your friends to play in.

Lifesmart Rock Solid Luna Spa With Plug & Play Operation

When you want to relax a hot tub can be a major lifesaver and there have been a lot of happy people with this particular hot tub. Let’s talk about the features that this spa has.

  • 3 person hot tub (3 dedicated seats)
  • Could easily become a 4 person hot tub or even a 6 person hot tub if everyone squeezed in
  • ​Plug and play setup makes buying a hot tub and installing it a breeze
  • ​Dedicated circuit that is 15 amps and runs on any 110 volt grounded circuit
  • ​12 powerful jets
  • ​Air mixing system with Comfort Valve technology
  • ​5 year warranty on the spa itself
  • ​1 year on the electronics and pump systems
  • 90 day warranty on the labor
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Lifesmart 400DX 5-Person Rock Solid Plug And Play Spa

This is one of the most amazing hot tubs on this list and it is one that can be used for more than just relaxation. According to a hot tub can actually be used for physical therapy and your doctor can even write a prescription for it, allowing you to purchase one without having to pay any sales tax on it. Depending upon the price of the hot tub, that's some pretty big savings.

This hot tub has therapy jets that will send pressure to your joints and muscles that are experiencing pain and you can relax for a few hours and feel like a new person after your hydrotherapy. This is also a really highly rated spa with lots of happy customers posting about how much it has helped them. Let's take a look at the features that this amazing spa has to offer:

  • Features 19 different therapy jets
  • Has an adjustable waterfall that can be used as an additional high-powered jet
  • ​Comes with a spa cover that locks into place to protect your hot tub
  • Easily fits 5-6 people
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MSpa B-130 Camaro 4-Person Inflatable Spa With Smart Inflation

If you want to have a spa at your disposal which can be set up at any time and stored in your closet when you aren't using it, then you want this Camaro inflatable spa. Featuring Smart Inflation technology, this hot tub sets up in minutes and you'll be able to soak whenever you want. You can even invite your friends with seating for four.

MSpa B-130 Camaro 4-Person Inflatable Spa With Smart Inflation

This spa is well under a thousand dollars, which makes it a bargain even when it comes to inflating spas. It packs into a small box that you can store just about anywhere and it has water jets to soothe aching muscles and has enough room for 184 gallons of water.

This is also a very highly rated hot tub. Most of the people who bought it were very happy, calling it “great” and “easy to set up.” You can’t go wrong with this inflatable hot tub. Let’s take a look at the features that it offers.

  • Measures 28x71x71 inches (almost 6 feet across)
  • Shipping weight 89 pounds – item weight less than 60 pounds
  • ​Free shipping
  • ​Control box built in to the spa
  • ​Touch bottom controls
  • ​Synthetic PVC leather
  • ​Holds 184 gallons of water
  • ​110 air bubble jets
  • ​Has a 675 watt heater
  • Max temperature of 104 degrees
  • Heats up quickly
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Lifesmart 400DX 5-Person Rock Solid Plug And Play Spa With 19 Jets plus Bonus Waterfall Jet

This hot tub is one of the best 5 person plug and play spas on the market today but it has a lot of great features that actually put it head and shoulders above many of the others out there.

Lifesmart 400DX 5-Person Rock Solid Plug And Play Spa With 19 Jets plus Bonus Waterfall Jet

One of the first things that you will notice is that even though it is a 5 person spa you could easily fit six in there and possibly more. But you don’t have to settle for that amount of space. Choose the other option and you will be able to upgrade your spa to a seven person model.

It is also made by one of the top brands for plug-n-play spas – LifeSmart. You will also notice that this spa has gotten rave reviews from customers who have purchased it. 4.4 stars out of 5.0 is quite high and it means that a massive majority of customers rated it at 5 stars with hardly any of the lower ratings. Let’s take a look at the features that this hot tub has.

  • Features 19 therapy jets that will soothe aching muscles and joints
  • Adjustable waterfall for both aesthetic pleasure and as an added jet
  • ​No wiring, no tools
  • ​This spa just needs a 100 volt 15 amp dedicated circuit
  • ​Will hold up to 6 people comfortably
  • ​19 Therapy Jets Plus Adjustable Waterfall Jet 20 Total Jets
  • ​Plug and Play: No Special Wiring Needed 110 volt 15 amp dedicated circuit required
  • Includes Locking Spa cover
  • ​5-6 person capacity
  • Currently you can upgrade it to the 7 person capacity spa and actually save money rather than spend extra
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American Spas AM-630LM 5-Person 30-Jet Lounger Spa

American Spas has a great reputation for making some of the most impressive permanent spas on the market and this hot tub is no exception. This is a five person spa that comes with dozens of jets and has two incredible color combinations that will not only give you functionality, but also style.

American Spas AM-630LM 5-Person 30-Jet Lounger Spa

With so many features it is difficult to narrow it down to just a few to showcase. The energy efficiency of this hot tub is amazing. You get all of the power of a double pump hot tub but you get the energy expenditure of just a single pump. You also get a super quiet heater that heats up the water fast and one of the newest and most effective water filtration systems on the market.

In addition, this spa has an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.0. Nearly 90% of people that purchased this hot tub rated it at four stars or higher and there was hardly anyone who rated it low. This is a solid purchase with enough features to be the spa you’ve always wanted. Let’s take a look at some of those.

  • Two colors to choose from – Tuscany Sun/Mahogany and Sterling/Smoke
  • 240 volt BHP (5.0) jet pump gives you the performance of two but only uses the energy of one
  • ​Twin turbo wet end
  • ​Viton pump seal
  • ​30 stainless steel jets offer massage therapy level comfort
  • ​Each seat has its own controls for both pressure and direction
  • ​Water purifier technology is HydroClean Ozonator to give you the cleanest water around
  • ​Super quiet titanium heater 5.5 kilowatts
  • ​Heats up in minutes
  • 50 foot reusable filters provided
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As you can see, there are a lot of great things to love about the spas that we have showcased here. These are all over $500 and some of them run quite a bit higher, but they are well worth the extra investment.

Best Hot Top under $500

Now, we’re going to look at the best hot tubs under $500. Although the ones previously listed were some of the best hot tubs on the market, offering incredible features and a price that can’t be beat for what you get, not everyone can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a hot tub.

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That’s why I have come up with a short list of some of the best hot tubs out there that you will be able to get for less than $500. Some of them still have some pretty awesome features and they are all worth getting if you want to have a hot tub available to soak in.

SaluSpa Miami AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub

At less than $400 the SaluSpa Mami Airjet inflatable hot tub is an incredible deal. This could be characterized as a four-person spa, but it actually fits one or two a lot more comfortably. Four people would have be squeeze in pretty tight but you could easily fit four or five kids in this hot tub.

SaluSpa Miami AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub

You really can’t go wrong with an inflatable spa like this because all you have to do is lay it down outside and use the pump to inflate it. You can even use it inside if you want. Also, there are some great features that we’ll take a look at now:

  • Sets up in minutes
  • Includes a pump that is attached to the hot tub
  • ​No tools required
  • ​Heats up very quickly
  • ​Includes water filtration system
  • ​Heats up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Room for 2-4 people
  • ​Measures 71x26 inches
  • ​Holds 177 gallons of water
  • Digital control panel to allow you to start and stop the heating system
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SaluSpa Paris AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub With LED Light Show

This inflatable hot tub is terrific for one that is priced less than $500. It has some amazing features that you don’t often find with inflatable spas and is really big. You can easily fit four people in this hot tub with plenty of room to spare or you can squeeze a few more in if you don’t mind being in close quarters or if they are kids.

SaluSpa Paris AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub

But the size isn’t the only great thing about this hot tub. The quality is up there too. Made by SaluSpa, one of the top manufacturers of inflatable hot tubs, this is one of the best inflatable spas on the market and features like relaxing LED lights and air jets make this a solid purchase. Let’s take a look at the features that this hot tub offers.

  • Sets up quickly and can be installed anywhere
  • Comes with a pump attached to the hot tub
  • ​Incorporated LED lights for a beautiful show that cycles through seven different colors
  • ​Will hold four to six people
  • ​Dimensions 71” by 26”
  • ​Capacity of 177 gallons of water
  • ​Digital control panel
  • ​Start & stop timer that runs the heater
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SaluSpa Palm Springs AirJet Inflatable 6-Person Hot Tub

Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to differentiate this inflatable spa from the other SaluSpa models on this list. This is the Palm Springs model and it provides a little more room so that six people can sit comfortably as well as a pretty incredible price.

Couple in SaluSpa Palm Springs AirJet Inflatable 6-Person Hot Tub

Like the other SaluSpa models, this one offers easy set up and inflates in minutes, and is a really good-looking spa that you will enjoy having outside. If you don’t want to keep it set up all summer, you can easily let out the air and store it in a closet or garage until you are ready to use it. Let’s look at the specifications:

  • Sets up in minutes – just use the pump that comes with it
  • NO tools required
  • ​Heats up super quick
  • ​Includes great water filtration system to ensure you are soaking in clean water
  • ​Digital control panel
  • ​Automatic timer and start/stop functions
  • ​Holds 4-6 people comfortably
  • Measures 77x28 inches when it is inflated
  • Lots of room - Holds 242 gallons of water
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Intex 85in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set

If you want a massive spa that will easily hold all of your family members or a large group of friends, then this inflatable spa from Intex is just what the doctor ordered. With a width of 85 inches and a capacity of almost 300 gallons of water, this hot tub is big enough even for groups who want a little personal space in the tub.

Intex 85in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set

Plus the price of this hot tub is incredible. For less than $500 you can a hot tub that will rival any of the $5000 ones on the market. Features like the water softener that comes included, the pump system that gets this spa set up in minutes and all of the included accessories to give you everything you need to get the water chemistry right and have the perfect hot tub.

It even comes with an insulated cover, a rarity among hot tubs that are inflatable. Let’s look at the specifications:

  • Comes with a built in water softener so that your hard water gets treated while in the spa
  • Will allow you to set the spa temperature at anywhere from 68 degrees to 104 degrees
  • ​A massive 290 gallon capacity
  • ​Dimensions of 85” across and 28” high
  • ​Seating capacity: 6 people

Includes all of the following:

  • Insulated cover to save you energy bills
  • Spa itself with a 290 gallon capacity and dimensions of 85 inches by 28 inches
  • ​Heating system that heats up in minutes
  • ​Water filtration system to keep your water clean
  • ​Air pump that allows you to inflate your spa instantly
  • ​Water softening system
  • ​Thermal ground cloth
  • ​2 filter cartridges so don’t have to buy any for a long time
  • ​Inflation hose
  • ​Carrying bag
  • Chlorine dispenser (floats in the water)
  • 3-way test strips
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Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set

This spa from Intex is less than $400 and is one of the best out there for small to medium-sized families. It comes in both a round shape and an octagonal shape so you can decide what best fits your family and is offered in a regular massage model and a deluxe massage model.

Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set

It comes with some really great features as well as plenty of room and a huge capacity for water. Let’s take a look at those features now:

  • Built in hard water treatment system
  • Insulated cover that has its own lock to prevent energy loss and insects and animals from getting in
  • ​Includes two filter cartridges so that you don’t have to buy any for a while
  • ​Seating capacity of four people (or more if there are children)
  • ​210 gallon capacity
  • ​Includes 3-way test strips, floating chlorine dispenser, thermal ground cloth and a hose to inflate it as well as a carrying bag to store it.
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When it comes to hot tubs, you can often get one even if your budget is pretty small. That’s exactly what this list is for and some of the hot tubs featured on it are very good, with just as many features as their more expensive counterparts.

Beautiful Hot Tub in Backyard

Of course, there is a good reason for the premium spas to be priced higher but if you just want a simple hot tub that will last for a few summers then you might consider something from this list of spas under $1000. Otherwise, you have plenty of other options above.

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