So, you’ve shopped for “real” hot tubs a couple of other places and you’re thinking you can’t afford one right now. Fair enough, they can be quite an investment (though keep in mind, we offer great financing options!).
Fast forward a few days and a few glasses of wine one night later and you find yourself shopping online and come across an inflatable hot tub. A big box store in Tyler, Texas has them in stock and you could go pick one up tomorrow for a few hundred bucks — why not go pick one up and get an oil change and a gallon of milk while you’re there, too?
It does sound appealing. Buying an inflatable hot tub sounds easy, convenient, and affordable, but before you spend 30 minutes trying to find someone to load that hot tub in the back of your SUV, you really need to consider the following.
Here are the major issues with and common complaints about inflatable hot tubs:
1. Low Durability
We all know how inflatable anything feels and how it performs. There’s a reason 99% of us opt to use innerspring, latex, and memory foam mattresses on a nightly basis instead of inflatable mattresses. Inflatables are mushy, flexible, flimsy, and subject to puncture. The same goes for inflatable hot tubs. Before you purchase an one, you should know it will be a short-term investment. The phrase buy cheap, buy twice is definitely (and unfortunately) applicable to this situation.
2. Lack of Structural Seating
One of the great things about a traditional hot tub design is the seating, both inside and out. After a long day, it’s SO nice to be able to lie back on a submerged recliner and enjoy the massaging jets. It’s also great to be able to sit on the exterior seating level when you start to get too warm. Being able to regulate your body temperature at your convenience is what makes it possible to enjoy a hot tub session with friends and family for an hour or so.
Inflatable hot tubs typically only offer one type of seating (standard chair shape) and aren’t strong enough to support weight along the wall. You won’t be able to relax as much and you’ll have to completely get out of the tub if you need a five minute break from the heat.
3. Poor Heating Efficiency
Physics tells us that the most important factor in maintaining heat is proper insulation. It’s easy to understand why a traditional hot tub, with its rigid walls full of layers of foam, will maintain heat far better than an inflatable hot tub. Because of heat loss, if you go with the latter option, you are guaranteed to incur higher monthly energy bills.
In addition, they’re underpowered and slow to heat, due to the fact that inflatable tubs utilize the same power source that your cell phone or laptop does – a 120V electrical outlet. You’re simply not going to achieve the same temperatures as you would with a traditional hot tub. In fact, you may end up not with a hot tub, but with a warm tub. Boo!
4. Difficult to Move
Inflatable hot tubs must be drained and fully deflated before being transported or even shifted a couple of feet. Under the weight of all that water, the plastic bottom can easily tear if dragged along a pool deck. It will also likely fold under the pressure if you attempt to shift it. You’ll need an air compressor to inflate the tub, which presents an additional cost if it’s not included in your purchase.
Alternatives to Inflatable Hot Tubs
When you consider all the drawbacks of investing in an inflatable hot tub, traditional hot tubs start to sound like the better deal. If you’re shopping for an inflatable hot tub (or a traditional hot tub!) in East Texas, especially around Tyler or Longview, you may be surprised by just how affordable our tubs at East Texas Spa actually are if you stopped in for a visit!
We believe that by healing your body sooner rather than later, you’ll experience a better quality of life and consequently, increased productivity. That’s why we offer great financing options — get your hot tub now and pay slowly over time.
In addition, between our two showrooms we have quite the inventory of pre-owned and used hot tubs for sale!