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Best hot tub 2024: The finest inflatable and hard shell spas

Become the envy of your neighbours with your own private hot tub

If you’re in the market for some luxury outdoor relaxation, few things can match the tranquillity of your own personal hot tub. Once a luxury reserved for a select few, thanks to modern designs and construction methods, you may be surprised to learn quite how affordable the best hot tubs can be.

From occasional use inflatable hot tubs right the way through to premium high-end spas, the best hot tubs are available in a range of shapes, sizes and prices to suit just about all tastes, budgets and spaces. A hot tub is not a casual investment, however, so it certainly pays to do plenty of research before splashing out.

Hot tubs are more than just bubbles and lights and so to help you get up to speed on the key features to look out for you’ll find our concise buying guide below, followed by our pick of the best hot tubs on the market today.

Best hot tubs: At a glance

Best budget hot tubLay-Z Spa Miami Hot Tub (~£240)Check price at Amazon
Best inflatable hot tubLay-Z Spa Helsinki Hot Tub (~£543)Check price at Amazon
Best for hydrotherapy Canadian Spa Company Calgary (~£6,440)Check price at Canadian Spa Co.
Best for couplesCanadian Spa Company Yukon UV (~£4,299)Check price at Canadian Spa Co.
Best inflatable tub for hard water areasIntex PureSpa Hot Tub (~£315)Check price at Amazon


How to choose the best hot tub for you

How much should I spend?

Good-quality inflatable hot tubs can be had for around £400 but if you’re after a more permanent fixture, prices can steadily rise into the thousands depending on the features on offer. Inflatable hot tubs are great for use in warmer weather, but most manufacturers recommend packing them away during the cooler months. If you want to make use of your hot tub all year round then it makes sense to spend a little more for a hard-shell hot tub – these are more durable, better insulated, and can be used even when the temperatures approach freezing.

Where do I want my hot tub?

Is your hot tub going indoors or outdoors? Getting a tub installed indoors can come with a host of added complications as you’re likely to encounter issues such as humidity, slippery floors and electrical connections – it’s a job for a professional.

Outdoors, you have the elements – rain, leaves and the cold to contend with; But as long as you set the tub on a solid foundation, make sure to use a tight-fitting, thermally insulated cover and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and maintenance instructions, it’s something most people can set up themselves.

It’s worth considering that inflatable hot tubs often have to rely on external filters and pumps, so they won’t always fit as neatly into a corner of a patio. If you want a neater-looking hot tub that you can leave in place all year round, a hard-shell model may be worth the extra outlay as these routinely integrate the pumps and filters into the outer shell.

How much does it cost to run a hot tub?

As with anything that uses plumbed-in water and electricity, a hot tub has running costs. Most hot tubs are designed to be left on and at least partially heated 24/7, so larger tubs will inevitably cost more to run. It is possible to reduce the temperature when you’re not using the hot tub, but this does mean that you’ll need to set it back to a comfortable temperature an hour or two before using it. In short, you should budget to spend around a pound per day on electricity to run a typical hot tub. Bear in mind, though, that many users have reported costs which are several times higher than that depending on the specific tub, environment and energy rates, so it pays to do your homework before splashing out.

How do I clean my hot tub?

As with many luxuries, owning a hot tub is not without its responsibilities. It’s crucial to clean and maintain your tub on a regular basis in order to prevent the build-up of mould and bacteria, and to ensure that it is running at peak performance.

Most manufacturers will provide instructions on how best to clean your hot tub. These instructions will vary depending on the type of tub you own – whether it’s inflatable or hard-shell – and will always be your first source of information when it comes to tub maintenance, but here are a few of our general tips:

  • Flushing out the pipes – You can cleanse your hot tub of any internal dirt or grime by flushing the pipelines. Pipe cleaning solutions such as this one will have their own instructions for use, so make sure to follow them.
  • Draining the tub – After flushing out the pipes, you’ll need to drain your tub. Ensure that you have turned off the power to your hot tub before you do this and don’t turn it back on again until the tub has been completely refilled.
  • Cleaning the surfaces – If you have a hard-shell hot tub, you should use a hot tub surface cleaner to ensure your tub is sparkling. For the best results, avoid using household products as these could do more damage than good.
  • Cleaning the filters – The filters on your hot tub are designed to catch dirt, so they require regular attention. A couple of ways you can clean your filters is by giving them a weekly rinse with a hose or by using a filter cleaner, though once again, check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly clean your hot tub filters first.

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The best hot tubs you can buy in 2024

1. Lay-Z-Spa Miami: Best budget hot tub

Price when reviewed: £240 | Check price at Amazon

Well-appointed and affordable, the Lay-Z-Spa Miami is ideal for those shopping on a budget. For just a few hundred pounds, the Miami comes with everything you need to enjoy the benefits of your own private outdoor tub.

Easy to set up, it only takes a few button pushes to inflate, heat and engage the Miami’s ring of 120 air jets. While it’s not the largest hot tub around, once filled with water it can accommodate up to four people and its heater is able to reach temperatures of up to a comfortable 40°C.

As an inflatable hot tub, the Miami is easy to pack and store away during the off-season. However, thanks to Lay-Z-Spa’s Freeze Shield system – a function that allows the tub to maintain a constant positive temperature while not in use – the Miami can be used all year round.

Key specs Construction: Inflatable; Size: 180 x 180 x 66cm; Empty weight: 31kg; Filled weight: 696kg; Max water volume: 669 litres; Capacity: 2-4

2. Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki: Best inflatable hot tub

Price when reviewed: £543 | Check price at Amazon Practical, stylish and competitively priced, the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki is one of the best all-around inflatable hot tubs on the market. It features an attractive Nordic-inspired wood print design and utilises an innovative Drop-Stitch construction. The Helsinki’s Drop-Stich walls are thinner than traditional inflatable walls, which in addition to giving the tub a more premium look, also allows it to make more efficient use of your available space.

Using the included pump the tub can be inflated in as little as five minutes and once filled with water it can comfortably accommodate five to seven people. A complement of 180 air jets provides a ring of relaxing bubbles and the dedicated water heater can maintain a constant temperature of up to 40°C.

Lay-Z-Spa’s Freeze Shield system allows the Helsinki to be used all year round and an insulted cover is included to protect the tub while it’s not in use.

Key specs – Construction: Drop-Stitch inflatable; Size: 180 x 180 x 66cm; Weight: 796kg; Max water volume: 1,123 litres; Capacity: 5-7

3. Canadian Spa Company Calgary: Best hot tub for hydrotherapy

Price when reviewed: £6,440 | Check price at Argos The Canadian Spa Calgary is definitely a top contender if you want a set of reliable features – and it’s a smart-looking tub to boot. It packs four adjustable hydro-massage seats, a backlit waterfall, an aromatherapy system and mood lighting, and comes with a hard top cover. As the Calgary hot tub is part of Candian Spa’s Plug & Play it can also be plugged directly into a standard household socket without needing an electrician. With space to accommodate up to four people, the Calgary hot tub is ideal for enjoying with friends and family

Key specsConstruction: Hard shell; Size : 213 x 160 x 79cm; Weight: 230kg; Max water volume: 700 litres; Capacity: 4

Check price at Argos

4. Canadian Spa Company Yukon UV: Best hot tub for couples

Price when reviewed: £4,299 | Check price at Canadian Spa Co 

The Canadian Spa Yukon UV is a smaller-scale hot tub, ideally suited to couples. Its slimline design will be appreciated by those with limited outdoor space but it certainly doesn’t skimp on features. The Yukon is fitted with a pair of hydro-massage jet seats, 16 hydro-massage jets and an aromatherapy system. There’s also underwater lighting, a backlit waterfall and an in-built Bluetooth audio system. It comes with a dedicated hardtop cover for when it’s not in use and it plugs directly into a standard household socket, so it doesn’t require an electrician to install. f you’re looking for a full-sized hot tub experience in a more compact package then look no further.

Key specsConstruction: Hard shell; Size: 74 x 100 x 213cm; Weight: 190kg; Max water volume: 790 litres; Capacity: 2

Check price at Canadian Spa Co

5. Canadian Spa St. Lawrence Swim Spa: Best hot tub for parties

Price when reviewed: £23,000 | Check price at Robert Dyas

The highest-priced hot tub on our list. Yes, the St. Lawrence Swim Spa may set you back as much as you spent on your last car but when you see its capacious size and its array of features, you’ll understand why. The St. Lawrence features seven hydro-massage seats – including a lying position seat – and 66 massage jets. The St. Lawrence is a real standout thanks to its generous size. Its spacious open area can accommodate up to an additional eight bathers or, most notably, an active swimmer.

With five high-powered swim current jets, the St. Lawrence can also be used for endurance swimming. These adjustable jets provide a consistent adjustable current allowing you to swim endlessly before relaxing in one of the hydro-massage seats.

As you’d expect at this price point, the St. Lawrence is kitted out with a generous set of extras including an in-built sound system, aromatherapy integration, a full lighting kit and Canadian Spa’s automatic cleaning system. If you’re looking to entertain your entire social circle and you have the cash to splash, this is the one for you.

Key specsConstruction: Hard shell; Size: 500 x 137 x 228 m; Weight: 1,140kg; Max water volume: 6,475 litres; Capacity: 15

Check price at Robert Dyas

6. Intex PureSpa Hot Tub: Best inflatable hot tub for hard water areas

Price when reviewed: £315 | Check price at Amazon This inflatable hot tub from Intex doesn’t quite match the AirJet system of the Lay-Z Spa Helsinki, but it still packs a punch thanks to 140 heated bubble jets. It seats up to six people and has a temperature range of 20-40°C.

Another key feature of the Intex PureSpa tub is its built-in hard water treatment system, designed to ensure the water is gentler on the skin and clothes, as well as on the tub itself. As such, it’s a good option for those living in areas of the UK with harder water, such as in the South East. Plus, the tub’s ‘Fibre-Tech’ construction ensures that the walls of the tub are robust and durable.

Key specs – Construction: Inflatable; Size: 216 x 71cm; Weight: Unspecified; Max water volume: 1,098 litres; Capacity: 6

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