Portable Hot Tubs Buying Guide

Let’s quickly go over the information you should know if you’re considering getting a portable hot tub.

Below we’ve summarized critical information for you, including the different types of tubs available and the ownership duties involved. Now, let’s get started!

A Financial Investment For Your Home

First, it should be mentioned that portable hot tubs don’t necessarily cost as much as they, well, cost. It can add value onto the overall selling price of your home.

The chances of fully recouping the money you spent on your tub are small, but if done cleverly a significant portion of your investment will be returned to you.

Placement of a hot tub is important when considering its financial return regarding home value increase. You’ll find that placing tubs in secluded outdoor areas of a garden or in center of entertaining areas works best for resale value increases.

Also, hot tubs are likely to add a greater value portion onto home sales in colder climates where they outrank swimming pools in demand.

Many people find the idea of relaxing in hot water during the colder winter evenings immensely appealing – an appeal which you will be adding to your home.

Portable hot tub

Even if you plan to take your portable hot tub with you when you move, as many house owners do, having a tub on your house photos is likely to generate a larger number of viewers coming through your property.

Potential buyers may well be enticed to allocate your space to a hot tub of their own.

A Personal Investment For Your Home

Apart from the financial side to attaining a portable hot tub, there is also the main benefit of personal enjoyment to consider, including:

Therapeutic – some models are specifically designed to help with aching muscles and joints.

Social – a hot tub is likely to create an excellent space to hang out with friends or to enjoy time with a loved one.

Relaxation – with a hot tub at home you can enjoy the relaxation of a spa day in the comfort of your own home or garden.

Many people find that having a hot tub gives them a chance to enjoy their home and garden more. It’s your choice how you use your tub, but they’re a great personal investment in quality of your life.

Portable Hot Tubs Vs Regular Hot Tubs

The personal and financial benefits of owning a hot tub as outlined above can apply to both portable and regular hot tubs. There are however vast differences between these two types. When considering purchasing a tub, you should be clear on what kind you need for your home.

woman in portable hot tub


couple in regular hot tub


There are many phrases used interchangeably to describe both types of tubs.

Regular hot tubs are also described as “traditional,” “fixed” or “built-in” tubs whereas portable hot tubs can also be called ‘movable’ or “transportable” tubs.

When you’re looking a tub, it will be clear which type it is. But what type is the best to purchase?

That will depend entirely on your personal preferences.

Let’s take a quick look at what each type offers and looks like to help you make your decision.

Portable Hot Tubs

As their name suggests, these hot tubs are made to be moved from place to place with relative ease. Usually, the only external inputs required for a portable hot tub are water and electricity. Most tubs are so simply designed that they are filled using a garden hose.

Here are some of the crucial features:

Construction: Portable hot tubs are made with acrylic shells which provide a smooth surface for users to sit on and are also easy to clean. The insulation material is usually made of foam, which helps to keep the unit light enough to transport.

Placement: It can be placed almost anywhere, though you’ll want to be careful if you’re setting your tub inside or on a deck. For indoor use, make sure you select a new tub (has a low leakage risk) and for deck use, make sure that it can support the water-filled weight!

Affordability: Portable hot tubs can range in price from a few hundred up into the tens of thousands. Inflatable jacuzzies and blow up tubs tend to be cheaper than hard shell portable tubs. A two-person inflatable hot tub will also tend to be cheaper than a four or six-person one.

Maintenance: A good portable hot tub will have been designed to be very easy to maintain. Getting one with quick-drain options and an advanced filtration system will help to keep your maintenance time and cost at a minimum.

Regular Hot Tubs

The more traditional style regular hot tubs are built into their surrounding garden or room area. They will usually require excavation to install both piping/plumbing and the hot tub bed itself.

Here’s a quick overview of their main features:

Construction: As regular hot tubs are fixed structure they will usually have a “bed” of material inserted into a hole excavated for them. The part users experience sitting on can be made from a wide variety of materials but is usually a form of concrete/cement.

Placement: Regular tubs can be placed anywhere, but once they’re installed they won’t be moved again. Most people opt for an outdoor area installation as indoor setup can be very challenging and expensive.

Affordability: Regular hot tubs tend to be more expensive than portable ones as they require the installation of plumbing pipes and excavation. The entire setup is pretty permanent and can get pricey depending on the cost of labor in your country.

Maintenance: Buying a regular hot tub with an installer’s and/or seller’s warranty is recommended because repairs can be quite a big deal financially. Average every-day maintenance shouldn’t be a hassle provided that you stick with modern filtration systems.

A Quick Comparison: Portable Vs. Regular Hot Tubs


Regular / Portable hot tub

Best construction durability

Regular hot tubs

Best user comfort materials bed

Portable hot tubs

Best placement options and ease

Portable hot tubs

Most affordable

Portable hot tubs

Easiest to repair

Portable hot tubs

Easiest to maintain

Modern tubs (both portable and regular)

Setup, Maintenance And Cleaning

Both regular and portable hot tubs will require maintenance. You will not need repairs if the setup was done right, and the tub is cleaned and maintained regularly.

It is always a good idea to get a manufacturer’s warranty for your hot tub so that issues can be dealt with quickly. Also, if a manufacturer is willing to give a long warranty on a product, this can be a sign of high-quality workmanship.

setting up a hot tub

To avoid ever needing to use your warranty, make sure you get advice from the retailer on how to correctly setup, maintain and clean your hot tub. Most tubs will come with a detailed user instruction manual. Make sure to read it and avoid any possible issues.

Portable hot tubs tend to be the easiest to setup, maintain and clean during their lifetimes which makes them the ideal choice for people who want to enjoy a hot tub without the hassles of owning an inbuilt one.

Opting for a more modern hot tub will also help to reduce the tediousness of setup, maintenance, and cleaning. Although hot tubs have been around for many decades, there have been several advancements in the industry that make modern ones less onerous to own.

Hot Tub Setup

Hot tub setup procedures will vary depending on whether you have a portable tub or not. These are the general steps to follow through:


Step 1

Get a permit if required – Some city councils will require you to get a permit before having a regular hot tub installed. Most councils won’t require one for a portable hot tub but it’s always better to check just in case.


Step 2

Choose an area to place you hot tub – Once again you may need to consider council regulations and requirements for this. Think about whether you’re after a secluded spot or want a more extroverted hot tub area. Your home value may be affected by tub placement.


Step 3

Prepare a foundation – Ensure that the area you want to install or place your tub on is flat and sturdy enough to bear the weight of a water-filled hot tub plus people in it. Get a contractor or someone knowledgeable to check deck supported weight for instance.


Step 4

Have the hot tub delivered and setup – Most retailers will ship the hot tub straight to your home. Simply have it placed where you want to install it, and in the case of inflatable spa tubs, get blowing!


Step 5

Get a contractor to hook up the electricity – You’ll find that a lot of warranties are voided if the electrical circuits aren’t setup by a professional, so be sure to get someone in to do this step of the process.


Step 6

Fill your hot tub with water – usually this can be done through a simple garden hose. You may want to purchase a water vacuum at this point too to help you drain your hot tub later.


Step 7

Place any necessary chemicals or filtration devices into the tub. These will be detailed in your owner’s instructions manual.


Step 8

Fire the tub up and enjoy!

Hot Tub Maintenance

The maintenance process for regular and portable hot tubs is mostly the same. Most modern tubs come with advanced filtration systems which means you only need to change the water once every 90 days or so.

To change the water in your hot tub simply drain it out using a water vacuum and then refill it using either the built-in plumping or a hose. Note that you should be careful to keep the heater, and other electronics turned off during your water changing sessions.

To ensure your safety and in the tip-top condition of your hot tub, you should test the pH and alkalinity of the water every now and then with a tester kit. If pH is above 7.6 or below 7.4, you should consider buying tablets to stabilize the pH balance.

Hot Tub Cleaning

Another important aspect of hot tub care is cleanliness – after all, you’re going to use it and soak in it. There are several necessary cleaning steps you can take on a regular basis that will benefit hot tub’s longevity and usability.

The most vital part of hot tub cleaning is purifying the filter. It should be done at least once a week. A filter is usually located on the outside of the tub near the ground or near the heater. Their exact location is written in the owner’s manual.

Man cleaning hot tub

To clean the filter wipe it with a paper towel to get rid of large gunk and then run in under tap water. If you have a portable model, you’ll need to check your filter whenever you see debris in your tub as portable tub filters tend to clog up more quickly than permanent tub ones.

All types of tubs should have their shells (the tub without the water in it) thoroughly wiped down with soap, water, and a cloth every month. Be sure to hose down the tub afterward to get rid of any soap bubbles so that you don’t contaminate your next lot of tub water with soap particles.

Finally, a good hot tub owner will have some sanitizing solution on hand. Ideally, this will be applied to a tub directly before each use, or weekly if the tub is not being used.

Bromine has been hyped up as a favorite cleaning chemical among a long time hot tub owners when combined with an ozonater.

Health Benefits Of Taking Hot Baths

There is a little preparation and setup required to obtain your hot tub, but it is all very worth it. Apart from being simply enjoyable, soaking in a hot tub can also have numerous psychological and physical benefits:

Improved heart health: Warm water can help to make your heart beat faster which will improve your blood circulation. Although not advisable for people who have had prior issues with heart conditions, most people will find hot tubs lower their blood pressure favorably.

Alleviated muscle or joint discomfort: For those with a bigger hot tub, stretching in them has been shown to be a great low impact way of exercising. The soothing hot water is especially useful for people with conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Strengthened immunity: A hot tub soaking can kill bacteria on your body and help to strengthen your immunity. The steam let off can help people to cope with the symptoms of a cold or mild flu.

Balanced hormones: Bathing in warm water can heighten the levels of the hormone serotonin within your body. This chemical is associated with happiness and well-being in the human brain.

Cleansing and moisturizing: The steam coming off a hot tub will help to open up and flush out the pores of its users. It acts similar to a sauna and can cause sweating which is the body’s natural way of releasing toxins.

Positive lung results: When submerged in warm water up to your chin the pressure of the water on your lungs accompanied by its warmth will help your heart to beat faster, increasing your oxygen intake and clearing your sinuses and chest area.

Nerve system benefits: Being submerged in water can help to calm your nervous system which will lower the levels of stress and anxiety in your body. Low levels of stress have been shown to be good for health and to improve overall mood.

Gastrointestinal help: The increased circulation caused by hot baths can help to aid in digestive processes. It’s also been suggested that bathing can contribute to lowering blood sugar levels, a convenient side-effect for people with diabetes trying to manage their weight.

In addition to all these scientific ways that hot baths can help your body, many people find hot bathing to be simply psychologically beneficial. The hot water can help to relax not only your body but also your mind – which can benefit your mental health.

Before considering hydrotherapy for serious health conditions, you should consult with your local healthcare practitioner. They will be able to give you the best advice as to whether hot tub hydrotherapy is a suitable choice for you.

Hot tubs can be more beneficial for your health than simple bathroom bathtubs because most hot tubs come with special hydrotherapy jets which are made to aid in your relaxation during soaking times.

How To Make The Perfect Bath

To get the most out of your bathing experience, we would recommend setting up a relaxing environment in which you can feel safe and unwind. Putting together the perfect bath isn’t just about the ingredients, it’s also about making sure you’ve scheduled time out to enjoy it fully.

family having fun in their new hot tub

The ingredients are essential and can be purchased at most local health stores. There are many different optional ‘bath add-ins’ available on the market, but one of the most commonly used ingredients is magnesium sulfate.

Also known as Epsom Salts, magnesium sulfate is known for easing stress and improving sleep cycles, helping with joint discomfort, regulating hundreds of different enzymes, flushing toxins and improving oxygen use within the body.

To add magnesium sulfate to your hot tub experience just put 1 to 2 cups of Epsom Salts into your tub. After these have dissolved, it’s a good idea to add a cup of baking soda as well to help neutralize chlorine levels and aid in mineral absorption.

The ideal hot tub experience will add to Epsom Salts 10 drops of essential oils. Apart from smelling amazing, these oils can also have lovely health and psychological effects. Here are some basic recommendations to choose from:

Lavender oil: Aids in relaxation and calming senses.

Peppermint oil: An invigorating smell that will help you to feel rejuvenated.

Eucalyptus oil: Can help to freshen the air and open up your airways.

Frankincense oil: Used to improve the health of skin.

Lemongrass oil: Can aid in minimizing muscular discomfort.

Melaleuca oil: Soothes irritated skin.

Whichever of the above oils you choose, be careful to get pure essential oils from reputable retailers so that you can get real health benefits. At the same time, be aware that pure essential oils are dangerous if taken in large quantities and should be limited to recommended dosages.

A small tip - do not use shampoo or conditioner during your perfect hot tub experience. The hot water combined with the relaxing Epsom salts and essential oils will open up your pores – and you don’t want to absorb the chemicals of shampoos and conditioners into your body.

A Final Word On Hot Tubs

By now you’ll have a general understanding of the benefits and ownership duties of acquiring a hot tub. These amazing inventions can help you to unwind or add value to your property, while only requiring minimal maintenance upkeep.

The best part is that they don’t have to cost a lot either. Going for a portable hot tub will help to decrease the initial cost factor significantly, and you’ll still get a great soaking tub.

Choosing whether to go for a small two-person inflatable hot tub or an inflatable hot tub with seats for up to 8 people is completely your choice. Either option will work well for different scenarios.

Do your research on the hot tubs you are looking at and be sure to read the owner’s manual of the one that you get. We wish you all the best with your hot tub research.


Leave a Comment: