Best Hot Tub For The Money: Top 5 Affordable Tubs (2018)

If you’re looking for the best hot tub for the money,

best hot tub review outside

Then you’ve come to the right guide.

We all enjoy a good refreshing relaxation bath with the bubbles massaging.

Well, let’s get right into it…

Here we’ll go through which hot tubs will get you the most bang for your buck.

 Hot Tub NameWeightJet StreamsSeats CapacityInflatable
PriceEssential Hot Tubs Sanctity Cabinet Espresso650 lbs807No
PriceEssential Hot Tubs Decorum Grey600 lbs676No
PriceLifesmart Rock Solid Simplicity269 lbs124No
PriceColeman SaluSpa Inflatable85.9 lbs24Yes
PriceIntex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble87.2 lbs4 (Deluxe model)6Yes
PriceLifesmart 400DX (Plug and Play Spa)449 lbs206No

Essential Hot Tubs – Sanctity Review

Are you looking for a massive hot tub that comes with a high degree of durability and flexibility? Sanctity from Essential Hot Tubs is the right model for you. Here is a brief overview of the product.

Features

• Powered by 80 water jets made from stainless steel, designed to provide you 100% massage and relaxation; out of which, 60 are elegant hydro jets with adjustable features, and 20 are 3-pump powered air jets

Hot tub water stream

• Can accommodate 6 to 7 people at the same time

• Comes with comfortable Captain’s chairs along with headrests, jets for the neck, shoulder, back and foot along with hydrotherapy features for your full body

• Compatible with 240V service; installation done by a professional

• Stainless steel heater powered by 4KW Balboa, designed in such a way to beat all kinds of weather conditions all through the year

• Comes with a tapered cover with heavy-duty insulation in place and locking clips to ensure that your tub is covered tightly

• Comes with many LED water features (like cabinet lighting, cup holders, and waterfall) and a highly durable wooden cabinet that doesn’t require maintenance at all

Bottom Line

Sanctity, from Essential Hot Tubs, is quite an impressive choice with its high-power 80 water jets. If you are looking to enjoy at home with your family and friends in the most relaxed way, this is the right model for you.

The fact that it comes with absolutely beautiful LED features and still doesn’t require much of maintenance from you is an added advantage.

However, an important point that you have to note is the size and weight of this tub. The weight of the tub is close to 650 to 700 pounds and has a dimension of 91×40 inches. Hence, you need to opt for it only if you have a lot of space indoors/outdoors.

Pros

  • Very easy to use and maintain
  • Excellent design and insulation features
  • Very high quality of construction
  • Seating system comes with inbuilt Bluetooth sound system and a couple of speakers
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Specialized 50A 240V installation, which requires the services of additional wiring and professional service

Essential Hot Tubs – Decorum Review

Essential Hot Tubs has created quite a revolution in the hot tub industry with its innovative and highly stylish models.

Decorum is one such model that has managed to collect positive reviews from all its users. Let’s take a look at this model and its features:

Features

• Powered by 67 highly powerful stainless steel jets that give you a relaxing massage; 51 are stylish hydro jets with adjustable features and 16 air jets with full body hydrotherapy features

• Comes with full body lounger and a couple of Captain’s-seating features that can accommodate 5 to 6 people easily at a time

• Compatible with specialized 240V installation which is done by a professional electrician

• Highly powerful 4KW Balboa stainless steel heaters that stand in good stead in all the seasons, thereby giving you 100% durability

• Comes with a strong tapered and insulated tub cover with locking clips to hold on to your tub securely

• Comes with high-quality LED water features like light controls, waterfall features with multi-color properties

Bottom Line

 Yes, the stylish grey cabinet of the Decorum hot tub does look stylish and elegant; however, it is quite huge as it can accommodate around to 5 to 6 adults easily.

Go for it only if you have the necessity of such a large tub; else, many small tubs do the job perfectly for you at a lesser price range.

Pros

  • Excellent service
  • Very good construction quality of the hot tub body
  • Great weather-resistance features

  • Comes with inbuilt sound features with  Bluetooth devise and a couple of speakers

  • Can be easily removed and cleaned

Cons

  • Temperature setting features are not as seamless as you would expect
  • Some users say the pump gets switched off automatically within 15 minutes, which causes disturbances for users

Lifesmart Rock Solid Simplicity Review

Looking for an affordably priced hot tub that contains deluxe features? The Rock Solid Simplicity Plug and Play Hot Tub from LifeSmart is the right choice for you. Here is a brief overview of this tub:

Features

• Comes with elegant rock solid sandstone shell and matching surroundings, which makes the tub very attractive

• Can accommodate up to 4 adults at a time and up to 195 gallons of water

• Comes with 13 highly powerful water jets that contain therapeutic and massage features

• Spa is compatible with 12 V, and the lens cap is an attractive shade of red and white

• Deluxe Balboa powered digital controls with which you adjust the temperature settings easily

• Comes with a heavy-duty cover that comes with child-locking features

• Hot tub comes with a 110V plug and play system

Bottom Line

The Rock Simplicity Plug and Play hot tub may look very stylish with its sandstone Sahara shell finish and surrounding.

However, we wouldn’t recommend this product to you for one main reason – the manufacturer doesn’t give you any warranty for this tub. If you experience any repairs or breakdowns within a few days of usage, you have to shell out a huge sum out of your pocket for the same.

Also, the tub isn’t as big as the claims made by the manufacturer. We recommend you to try out other options that come with a decent warranty period and features, as they can provide you full value for your money.

Pros

  • Great heating quality
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Highly energy efficient
  • Great bang for your buck (For low budget)
  • Long-lasting as it is very durable

Cons

  • Freeze control doesn’t work as per your expectations
  • Product breaks down quite frequently; you do get replacements, though
  • Rusted pumps and leakages in spa reported within a year of usage
  • Product doesn’t come with a warranty

Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub Review

Are you looking for a hot tub that can be easily set up without any tools?

Do you want your hot tub to be durable and reliable as well?

The cute and attractive Coleman SaluSpa is the right model for you. Here is a brief explanation of this hot tub

Features

• Can be set up easily by inflating the pump; doesn’t require any sophisticated tools or technology for the same

• Can accommodate about 4 to 6 people at a time

• Walls that are inflated are made from high-quality and durable TriTrech 3 ply reinforced material that comes for many years; two layers of heavy-duty PVC protect the polyester mesh core in this material

• Comes with digital control features that contain automatic start/stop timers, thereby helping you to adjust the temperature setting easily, based on your comfort and requirements

• Walls come with I-Beam technology, which makes them durable and firm even when people use the tub for a long time

• Comes with air-pad cushioned floor thereby providing extra comfort for your feet and reducing heat loss when you use it

Bottom Line

If you are on a budget and want to invest in a tub that is not only safe but also classy, you can opt for the Coleman SaluSpa. It is one of those tubs that is the easiest to install and setup.

Your energy bills also don’t take a hit when you use this tub. So, we would highly recommend it for people who are looking at a very high degree of comfort/relaxation at very attractive prices.

Pros

  • Very easy to install
  • Comes with bubble jet features that give you a relaxing massage
  • Highly energy efficient; covering with a blanket when not in use will reduce heat loss and minimize your energy bills further
  • Comes with a cushioned chair that adds up comfortable seating as well

Cons

  • Heater and bubble jets cannot be switched on simultaneously
  • Can get very heavy
  • Filters get clogged up quicker than you expect
  • Heater and pump get switched off automatically after 72 hours

Intex PureSpa Portable Review

Want to enjoy a nice and hot relaxing bath with bubble massages after a long day’s work?

Are you tight on budget?

Don’t worry; you can still enjoy luxurious rejuvenation water treatment massages at an attractive price range, thanks to the design and elegance of Intex PureSpa Portable Hot Tub.

Here is a brief overview of this tub:

Features

Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set

• Comes with an inbuilt system for treating hard water, which ensures that the final water quality that you get is soft, refreshing and safe on your skin

• Comes with a heavy-duty insulated cover with locking clips, which prevents heat loss from the tubs

• Can accommodate up to 4 adults at a time and has a capacity of maximum 210 gallons of water

• Comes with a couple of easily-replaceable S1 Spa filter cartridges, floating chlorine dispenser to clean the pool, soft cloth to clean the thermal systems, carrying pouch, hose for inflating the tub and 3-way water analysis strips

• Relaxing massage guaranteed, thanks to the high power 120 bubble jets that are situated all over the interiors of the spa

• 100% durability, thanks to the Fiber-Tech Construction quality and three-ply laminated cover that is resistant to punctures and other damages

Bottom Line

If you want to experience the calmness and rejuvenation that you experience in a Jacuzzi, but without making a steep investment, the Intex PureSpa Hot Tub is a good choice for you.

However, if you are looking for advanced features and sophisticated technology, you should be ready to loosen your purse strings a bit and look for other models.

Pros

  • Comes with an inbuilt system to clean the hard water, prevent the build-up of hard water, create suspended crystals with chemicals and finally give out water that is soft and of high-quality
  • Water can be heated up to 140 degrees
  • Highly comfortable and smooth surface area where up to 4 adults can lounge comfortably
  • Very easy to install – plug & play model

Cons

  • No cooling feature included
  • Quality of heating gets affected when exposed to the sun for a long time
  • Takes quite long for water to heat to the maximum temperature
  • Heater and pump get switched off automatically after 72 hoursaHeat pump and bubbles cannot function simultaneously

Lifesmart 400DX 5-Person Rock Solid Plug Review

With this 5-6 person hot tub, there is a simple installation just plug and play.

It has 19 therapy jets that will give a relaxing massaging spa experience and also has an adjustable waterfall jet quite unique, so in total 20 jets.

It comes with a cover to keep it clean and protected while not using it, but let’s be real you want to use it all the time.

Highly recommend this one and other has many positive experiences since it’s just plug and play that works for regular outlets, so with minimal the maintenance, it’s easy to get it running and have an enjoyable time.

What is a hot tub?

Traditionally, hot tubs were huge vessels of water that used a lot of energy. Today, thanks to technological advancements, hot tubs have undergone a smart revolution.

They are very smartly designed with inbuilt heating and plumbing systems.

All you need to do is to fill the tub and adjust the temperature settings so that you can use these hot tubs whenever you want to.

Hot tubs are used for residential and commercial purposes as well.

They are portable and can be easily carried to different locations when you shift your location.  

You can use it for hydrotherapy or relaxation purposes, whenever you want, as they are very easy to operate. They come in different designs and materials, and you can choose the right one to be installed outdoors or indoors, based on your requirement and budget.

Though many people prefer single-user hot tubs today, there are quite a few models that can accommodate even four people at once.

Thus, these hot tubs prove to be the perfect way to spend some relaxing time with your family and friends.  

They are quite interchangeably used for systems like spas and Jacuzzis.

Nevertheless, not many people know that a hot tub, spa, and Jacuzzi have different functionalities. They are used for different purposes.

Today, there are advanced hot tubs that are incorporated with a lot of water jets to give you a relaxing effect when you are in it.

Due to their diverse designs and purposes, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance, hot tubs are highly popular across the world.

In this article, we attempt to give you a buying guide that you need to follow while buying these tubs so that you can choose the one that suits your purpose.

How does a hot tub work?

It is important to understand the basic functionality of a hot tub, as this will give you an idea of the features that you have to watch out for while buying one.

Here is a broad idea of how a hot tub works:

Water first flows from a filter and enters into a pump, which contains the heating element.

This hot water is then released into the hot tub for you to enjoy.

Many aspects are involved in this simple functionality.

You have to know about the filtration system, filtration cycles, and temperature control system very well if you want to enjoy maximum benefits from your hot tubs.

Filtration systems can be broadly classified into two main types – suction and pressure.  

Suction filters are very common because of their ease of maintenance and efficient functionality.

They are located above the hot tubs, and they clean the water regularly to make it safe for you. The only hitch with these filters is that you have to spend a lot of time and effort in their regular maintenance, lest they break down.

Pressure filtration systems are more sophisticated than suction methods. This is one of the main reasons as to why you wouldn’t see them in regular households.

You can find them at professional spas. Here, the filter cartridge comes in a separate unit, and it is equipped to handle water flowing under high pressure as well.

Though they are efficient and don’t need to be regularly maintained, the main problem with them is that they are difficult to access and use.

Irrespective of the filter system you choose, ensure that you can pump enough water through it.

This is because, when you pump more and more water into this system, your hot tub becomes that much cleaner than before.

Different types of hot tubs

When you set out to buy hot tubs, here are some of the common types that you will come across.

It is important for you to be aware of them so that you buy the one that suits your needs.

These types are mentioned in a random order, and they don’t imply anything about the importance, cost or popularity.

Vinyl Liner – These are portable tubs that are quite affordably priced. They are also known as soft tubs as they are inflatable. They occupy very little storage space and are highly energy efficient. These tubs are usually compatible with 110 or 120V.

Unicast – As the name suggests, this tub is molded as one unit. The seating and the cabinet around the tub are all made as one single unit. At times, these tubs are also known as roto-molded hot tubs.

Acrylic – These are common hot tubs that can accommodate anywhere between 2 and seven persons. They come in various sizes, and they usually have a coating of cedar or wood-grain plastic around them. The acrylic shell is well supported by a durable frame, which makes it the most sought-after models for outdoor purposes.

Wooden – Quite popular around four decades back, wooden hot tubs have now given way to modern materials. However, the visual appeal and the aesthetics that the redwood or cedar wood hot tubs exude is simply unmatchable.

Stainless steel – If you are looking for an affordable-priced tub with great durability, stainless steel tubs are the right choice for you. They are flexible and can be designed in various sizes and shapes, as per your convenience.

Inflatable – There are also inflatable hot tubs which are often in the lower price range and you can blow them up with an air-pump.

What makes for a good hot tub?

If you are looking for excellent hot tubs that provide you full value for your money, here are some features that you have to watch out for:

How does the water filtration system work?

A good water filtration system is very important to keep your hot tubs clean from germs and dirt, thereby ensuring your safety while you are using it.

Currently, there are three filtration systems that tubs use – salt water, ozone, and UV-C. Of these three, salt water is the most commonly used systems, because it doesn’t affect the quality of water and is a less costly process when compared to others. In this system, chlorine is produced to destroy the germs that accumulate inside the hot tub.

In the ozone system, people use chlorine and bromine to get rid of the germs. Any shampoo, soaps or other chemical residues that get collected in the water, is also destroyed by the ozone system.

While it is definitely more effective than the salt water filtration system, it is quite costly as well.

The UV-C water filtration system is one of the newest technologies used in hot tubs.

People, who don’t like to introduce water to chemicals, resort to this technique, even if it is slightly more expensive than conventional methods. In this system, ultra-violet rays of high power are induced into the water to get rid of germs completely.

How do you want to be seated in the tub?

This is an important question that you should focus on when looking for that “good” hot tub for your family.

Are you planning to use the tub for intermittent massages on your ankles, neck or other pain-prone areas?

Do you want to sit vertically inside the pool?

Do you want to enjoy utmost relaxation while you are inside the pool?

Getting answers to these questions will help you choose tubs with lounge-sitting, cool-down or therapy styles.

While there are more styles based on the water jets, these are the basic features that make for a good hot tub.

How do you want your water jets to operate? 

Water jets are mainly used for massages and relaxation.

However, the way in which they operate will decide the success of their functionality.  

The three main water jet movements that you have to watch out for are rotary, relaxation and pressure point.

As the name indicates, rotary jets are very powerful, and they spray water in a circular motion, making them the best choice if you are looking for therapeutic massages.

Relaxation jets, on the other hand, have a slower movement and bigger water flow than rotary jets.

This is because, as the water flows gently on your body at frequent intervals, it makes you feel completely relaxed and rejuvenated.

Pressure point water jets are those that are used to encourage and awaken the main pressure points in your body. They achieve this through their heavy water flow at certain areas, at regular intervals.

What are other accessories that you want? 

When you choose the right sound and light system for your hot tubs, it completes their visual appeal.

Enjoy music amidst decorative lights when you are in the hot tub with your loved one, to experience life’s most relaxing moments.

However, these are only accessories, and you can skip them if you are looking for a basic model and if you are tight on your budget.

Buying Guide for Hot Tubs

When you set out to buy hot tubs for your house or business establishment, you will be spoilt for choice because there are hundreds of options right before your eyes.  

These tubs range from very basic designs to the ultra-modern ones with high-power water jets and filtration systems.

They come in various sizes, materials and price ranges. How do you know which one would be right for you?  

Here are some points that you have to watch out for:

1. Cost parameters

How much can you spend for your hot tub?

While asking this question to yourself, you need to remember that it is not just enough to think about the tub cost.

You also need to think of the extra costs that you need to incur for heating, filtration, cleaning, maintenance, tub covers and the like.

The cost factor is mentioned as the first point so that you can set aside a budget and work accordingly.

Nevertheless, you should never take a decision based on cost alone. For example, a hot tub with energy-efficient heaters may cost you slightly more than a tub that uses high-power consuming heaters.

It is a wise decision to spend the extra money initially on energy-efficient tubs because it is an investment that will give you good returns in the form of reduced energy bills in the future.

2. Location of the tub

Where do you want to install your hot tub – indoors or outdoors?

The location is an important influencing factor that will decide the type of tub that you need to buy.

If you want to place the tub indoors, you should choose one that doesn’t hamper the walking space in any way.

You should also fit it in a place where there is a drainage system and electrical connections nearby so that you operate the tub with ease.

Since your tub wouldn’t be exposed to external climate changes, it would suit you fine if you invest in a material that is not too firm or sturdy.

If you decide to place the tub outdoors, you have to ensure that the floor where you keep it remains flat and firm.

Mostly, people place hot tubs in the garden or patio areas when they buy it for outdoor use.

This is also the place where you decorate with stones, pebbles, and ornamental things.

Ensure that the floor is free of these decorative items before you place your tub. Install your tub in such a place where it is easy to fill water and get it drained as many times as you want in a year.

The electrical wiring should be easy to handle so that you don’t face any hassles while using the hot tub.

3. Number of people

How many people will use your tub?

Do you have kids and do you propose to host pool parties with a small group of kids or family or friends?

According to hot tub experts, a tub that is about 7 or 8 inches long would accommodate a family of four to six adults.

Once you get an idea of the location of your tub and the number of people who plan to use it,  you can make a wise decision of choosing a size that doesn’t make your area look too cluttered.

4. Purpose

Why do you need the hot tub?

Is it only for relaxation purposes?

Do you need it for hydrotherapy or physical fitness?

Are you looking to treat any medical condition through hot tub massages?

Ask yourself these questions to know what type of tub you need to buy.

For example, if you need a tub for relaxation, you can buy one that has a reasonable number of water jets that spray water on you at stable pressure levels so that you enjoy a session of meditation inside your tub.

If you are purchasing a tub to get rid of medical ailments like chronic pain in your joints or fatigue, you need to ensure that you do so only after expert consultation.

5. Do a wet testing

Many people make the mistake of buying their hot tubs without doing wet testing. This is a grave mistake.

To get the best deal, you need to do wet testing with your friends and family.

This will help you assess the comfort and durability that the tub provides you. Also, it is highly recommended that you try at least 3 to 5 tubs before taking the final call.  

All dealers allow their customers to do wet testing on different tubs; however, if any dealer refuses you this chance, it should ring an alarm bell in your mind that he is not transparent or confident enough about his product.

Though there are other features and fittings that you should pay attention to, while buying a hot tub, the points mentioned above are some of the fundamental concepts that will guide you to choose a tub that suits your needs.

In the following section, let us see some of the important factors that you have to keep in mind before buying the right hot tub for you.

Factors to consider before you buy a hot tub

Reputed brand

Once you have a basic idea of the type and size of the tub that you want, you have to look for models from reputed brands.

Research is the key to this process; surf the internet to know some of the best brands in your country.

Once you have drilled down a few reputed brands, analyze further to know about their experience, credibility, and quality of products.

Check online reviews to understand what customers have to say about the tubs of these brands.  

Every tub will have its positive and negative points; the key is to do a comprehensive comparative analysis to choose the one that provides full value for your money.

Warranty

You may follow the guide mentioned above and choose the right size and pattern of your hot tub to be located indoors/outdoors.

Nevertheless, all your efforts will go waste if you don’t choose the model that comes with a good warranty period.

A warranty helps you in getting free services and repairs for a considerable time.

This will vary based on the terms and conditions of manufacturers.

Ensure that you make a smart move by asking for a copy of the warranty before you buy a particular hot tub brand.

After-sales service

Does the manufacturer pressurize you to buy their brand and vanish into thin air after you make the final decision?

Many people are tempted by the low prices and sweet-talks of the sales service guys at the shops; therefore, they make their decision in a hurry without checking the important factor of after-sales support.

What would happen if you face a problem with installation? What if the heating quality of the tub doesn’t match your expectations when you finally install it? What if the tub is broken in transit?  

Choose a manufacturer who is ready to take up full responsibility for delivering the item to your place and for damages, if any. The company should be accessible by mail or call always to clarify your issues/queries/complaints, etc.

Some popular hot tub brands

Here is a list of the top 10 hot tub brands in the US. Ensure that you consider from one of them if you want your tub to be a perfect blend of style, elegance, durability, and comfort.

1. Hot Spring Portable Spas from Watkins Wellness

2. Bullfrog Spas

3. Dimension One Spas

4. Marquis Spas

5. Master Spas Inc.

6. Sundance Spas

7. ThermoSpas Hot Tub

8. Caldera Spas from Watkins Wellness

9. Jacuzzi Hot Tubs

10. Nordic Spas

How to do hot tub cleaning and maintenance

Here are some points that you have to keep in mind when you want to clean and maintain your hot tubs.

• Always use vinyl-based cleaner and a clean, soft cloth for wiping the exteriors of the hot tub

• For hard stains or dirt that have accumulated on the bath cover, you can use a sponge that is non-abrasive; if the stains are too hard, you can first soak the cover in some garden hose to loosen them

• Ensure that none of the vinyl-cleaner solutions gets into your tub, as this can spoil your water quality forever and make it dangerous for you

• If your tub has acrylic shells, you need to wipe them regularly with a damp cloth so that they look sparkling and clean always

• Buy the best water purification chemical to ensure that the water quality of your tub is top-class always

• Check with a hot tub expert or your manufacturer about the chemicals that they suggest for cleaning the interiors of your tub

• Never use chemicals without seeking professional advice

• For better purity and infection-free water, you need to use the right sanitizing agent; again, you need to check with an expert about the right sanitizing agent that would work for the size, model and water quality in your area

• Clean your filters at least once every month by spraying them with a little garden hose, so that dust particles don’t get accumulated in them

• Replace your filters based on the advice of your manufacturer

In a nutshell, we would like to emphasize that each hot tub brand is different from the other and it requires different cleaning techniques.

Never assume anything while using chemicals and water purification agents, as these have the potential to hamper the quality of your hot tub water.

Read the manual in great detail to know about the cleaning instructions and follow them accordingly.

When in doubt, always call up your professional dealer or the manufacturer to get your tubs cleaned by an expert.

Now that we have given you a broad overview about hot tubs, let us proceed to review five hot tubs and give us our opinion on the same.

We hope our reviews will help you take the right decision when you want to buy a hot tub for yourself or your family or just helped in some way.

Conclusion

We hope our attempt at giving you an idea of hot tubs would help you in your future buying process.

hot tub brands to avoid

You should always remember an important point – never buy a hot tub because it looks beautiful. Beauty and functionality are two extremely different areas.

Hence, assess the factors mentioned in this article and choose hot tubs that will solve the purpose that you have in mind.

Enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating pool party right in the comfort of your homes, thanks to these hot tubs and redefine the idea of a thrill.

Who said you need to head for a vacation to break your stress? Thanks to the hot massages provided by these hot tubs, forget your stress and enjoy life, within the confines of your home!

Feel free to leave a comment below ↓

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1 thought on “Best Hot Tub For The Money: Top 5 Affordable Tubs (2018)”

  1. thanks alot for the hot tub guide, it really helped me choose the right hot tub with a affordable price and i love mine.

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