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Inflatable hot tubs are an attractive option to many consumers because of their size, portability, and cost. If you have never seen or been in an inflatable hot tub you probably don’t know what to expect. Do they even have seats?
In general, inflatable hot tubs do not have seats like traditional built hot tubs and spas. That doesn’t mean you have to stand in an inflatable hot tub. They are designed to be shallow enough that you can sit on the floor of the hot tub and be at an appropriate level in the water.
I am sure you have a bunch more questions so let’s get into it.
Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Comfortable To Sit In?
Alright, you are probably asking yourself how something without seats could be comfortable to sit in. It is a valid question for sure, but let’s discuss a few things that make this more comfortable than you may think.
Why Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Comfortable?
So what makes an inflatable hot tub comfortable? First off they are shallow compared to a traditional hot tub or spa. Most inflatables are around 28 inches tall which means the water line is going to be around 20-22 inches off the ground.
That might not seem very deep, but for most people that should sit right around the upper chest when in the seated position. This means that the majority of people can just use the inflatable hot tub as is and be at a comfortable level in the water. If you are not an average size then you may have to make some adjustments, but we will get to that in a little bit.
Another reason why you may be perfectly happy without a seat is the fact that water provides buoyancy which will relieve pressure on your bottom or whatever part of you is in contact with the bottom of the tub. You will naturally feel more comfortable because of this so the ground that you are sitting on will feel a little less hard.
The walls of an inflatable hot tub are filled with air which will naturally provide some cushion as you lean back against them. Some inflatable hot tubs come with removable headrests that will further increase your comfort.
A final reason to consider is what I call “the hot tub effect”. When someone experiences a hot tub they are put in a state of pure relaxation where they won’t notice a little bit of discomfort. I am being a bit facetious, but seriously you will feel great.
Why Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Uncomfortable?
Comfort is subjective. As I mentioned above the average size person will fit nicely in an inflatable hot tub, but what if you are not average?
Unfortunately, inflatable hot tubs have a single seating position, on the ground. A traditional hot tub, non-inflatable, will have multiple seating positions. Each seating position is at a different depth to accommodate different size people.
For example, my hot tub has 6 different seats. Two are what are generally called cool-down seats, which are fairly shallow and allow most of your upper body to be out of the water. This allows you to get your heart out of the water which will help you cool off.
The other four seats are at four different levels. My wife can sit in 2 of the 4 seats comfortably without feeling like she is underwater or floating away with the jets on. I can sit in all the seats, but prefer the deeper seats if I am just relaxing in the tub.
The point of that explanation is to say that inflatable hot tubs will not be able to accommodate all types of people from this aspect. Some people may sit out of the water too much and others may feel like they are sitting too low. Unfortunately, if you are the former, there is not much you can do. If you are the latter, then you can add a booster to raise yourself up in the water. We’ll talk about that a bit later.
Another factor to consider is without modification, you will be sitting on the ground in an inflatable hot tub. If you don’t enjoy sitting with your legs straight out, then an inflatable hot tub, out of the box, is not for you. If you plan to have multiple people join you, you may feel a bit uncomfortable with everyone sitting this way.
Along these same lines, the walls of an inflatable hot tub are straight up and down so if you like sitting in a reclined position you will need to really stretch out which will make even less space for guests to join.
Finally, it is very important to make sure you properly prepare the ground that you will be putting your hot tub on. Since the floor is not solid, it will contour to all imperfections in the ground surface which will translate directly to your bottom.
Can You Add Seats To An Inflatable Hot Tub?
Seats can be added to an inflatable hot tub by purchasing 3rd party accessories. There are multiple options to consider, but let’s first consider why you may want to add a seat in the first place.
1. You Don’t Like Sitting On The Ground
Depending on your hot tub location, the ground you sit it on may not be the most even or comfortable surface. Any time you place a hot tub whether inflatable or not, you should absolutely make sure that the ground surface is properly prepared. One of the critical aspects of this is to make sure it is level.
An inflatable hot tub does not have a hard bottom shell-like non-inflatable hot tubs. Therefore any imperfections in the ground surface under the hot tub will be transferred directly to you. This can make for an uncomfortable experience so if you have this issue then you may want to consider moving your hot tub or adding a seat.
2. You Want to Sit Higher In The Water
If you are shorter than average or just like to sit higher in the water, then the only real option is to add something to the hot tub that will raise you up. Unfortunately, a phone book is not going to work in this situation. Some people reading this may not know what I mean by that…
They make booster seats for regular hot tubs and they make ones designed specifically for inflatable hot tubs as well. If this is you, then I’d consider one. It will make your experience so much better.
3. A Higher Seating Postion Makes It Easier To Get In And Out
Let’s face it, we are not all as limber as we once were. The most common time of injury when using a hot tub is when entering or exiting. An inflatable hot tub makes this a little easier because the sides are lower and the bottom is a single elevation and flat.
This doesn’t mean it will be easy for everyone. If you are the type of person who wants a little more help or would like a little comfort knowing you don’t have to step so far into the hot tub, then adding a seat or step may be the best option for you.
4. You Want Multiple Seating Positions And Heights
As I mentioned above, one of the downsides of an inflatable is all the seating positions are at the same level in the water, on the ground. If you want to be able to sit at different heights while you are soaking or you want to accommodate more people than just yourself, then a few different seats might be a good option.
Even having one seat that allows you to get your upper body out of the water to cool down will improve your experience. But that is completely up to how you want to enjoy your inflatable hot tub.
5. You Want Your Inflatable Hot Tub To Feel More Luxerious
An inflatable hot tub can feel kinda plain. There isn’t a variation of seating positions or jet configurations like you would have in a more expensive hot tub. That is not the intent of the price point, and you are getting a lot of value in an inflatable hot tub purchase.
But, if you want to add a bit more luxury to your experience, adding seats, headrests, etc. will improve your experience and hopefully make you want to use your hot tub more.
If any of these reasons or ones that I have not listed apply to you, then let’s figure out how we can improve your hot tub experience.
What Are The Best Seats To Add To An Inflatable Hot Tub?
Best Overall: Intex PureSpa Seat
The Intex PureSpa Seat is a great choice if you are looking for a comfortable seating addition for your inflatable hot tub. The seat allows you to sit at two adjustable heights, 3 inches and 5.875 inches off the floor of the hot tub. The seat is contoured to fit comfortably and boasts a slip-resistant bottom to help keep you in place. It is 100% removable so you can easily reconfigure your hot tub seating layout.
Product: Intex PureSpa Seat
Best Budget: Kival Inflatable Spa Cushion
The Etiger Inflatable Spa Cushion is a great budget pick if you are looking for a less expensive solution. The design offers a slip-resistant surface with optional suction cups that can be placed on the bottom to keep it in place. The cushion is inflatable with air or water depending on how you want to place it in your hot tub. It can function as a backrest or seat so it provides great versatility for the price.
With the decrease in price, there are some drawbacks like the loss of height adjustment. If used as a seat, the Etiger Inflatable Spa Cushion sits at a fixed 5.91 inches if fully inflated. The seat may not feel as stable as other options and depending on the surface of your hot tub you may struggle with the suction cups.
With all that considered, this is still a great budget hot tub seat to consider.
Product: Kival Inflatable Spa Cushion
Best Premium: Kenley Hot Tub Booster Seat
If you are looking for a premium option then look no further than the Kenley Hot Tub Booster Seat. This seat is a fully submersible padded seat with premium features like a 2lb weighted core to keep the seat in place, a comfortable cushion that provides the right balance of comfort and support, and a machine washable cushion cover so you can keep your seat looking like new.
Like the budget option, this cushion has a fixed thickness of 5 inches so you do not have an adjustment option which is a bit of a bummer at this price point. However, you probably won’t find yourself wanting to adjust much so you shouldn’t miss it when relaxing in your hot tub.
Product: Kenley Hot Tub Booster Seat
What Else Should You Know About Inflatable Hot Tubs?
I have compiled a list of common questions about inflatable hot tubs:
Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Have Jets?
Yes, Inflatable Hot Tubs have jets, but they may not be what you think. I would consider the jets on inflatable hot tubs to be more like a “bubbler”. They provide a soothing experience but not a hydrotherapy experience. For more information see my article.
Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Ok For Winter Use?
No, you should not use an inflatable hot tub in the winter if you live in a cold climate. They are not designed to withstand cold temperatures for an extended period of time. Check out my article linked above to learn why.
How Hot Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Get?
I have written an article that explains this topic in detail. Check it out!
Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Energy Efficient?
I would not consider an inflatable hot tub to be as efficient as a standard fully insulated hot tub, but they generally have smaller heaters and lower power pumps so their overall energy consumption will be lower than a standard hot tub.
How Long Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Last?
An inflatable hot tub usually includes a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. Since the manufacturer is only backing their product for a year, I would expect an inflatable hot tub to last at least a few years. This is heavily dependent on how well it is maintained, stored, and used. You will want to follow my tips below to make sure you get the most out of your inflatable hot tub:
- How Often Do I Need To Shock My Hot Tub?
- How Often Do I Need To Add Water To My Hot Tub?
- What Alternative Chemicals Can I Use In My Hot Tub?
- How Often Should You Change Your Filter?
Should You Leave Your Inflatable Hot Tub On All The Time?
Yes, leaving your inflatable hot tub on will ensure that the water is filtered and heated properly. Hot tubs, inflatable or not, are designed to run continuously and are most efficient if allowed to maintain filtration and temperature. The only time you should turn off your hot tub is if you are draining and/or refilling it. To learn why this is important check out my article on whether a hot tub will run without water.
How Often Should You Change The Water In An Inflatable Hot Tub?
The best rule of thumb is to change your hot tub’s water once every 4 months or whenever the water chemistry becomes difficult to balance. Since an inflatable hot tub is generally seasonal and only used in the warm months, you may be able to get away with longer durations between fills.
How Long Will An Inflatable Hot Tub Stay Warm Without Power?
A well-insulated hot tub will stay warm in freezing temperatures for days as long as the cover is kept on at all times. Unfortunately, an inflatable hot tub is not nearly as well insulated as a normal hot tub so if the temperature is below freezing you will want to find an alternative source of power or drain your inflatable hot tub to keep the water lines from freezing.
All the mechanical components, plumbing, and electronics of an inflatable hot tub do not sit in an insulated cabinet like a normal hot tub so they will quickly lose heat and be subjected to freeze damage faster. The inflatable portion of the hot tub will take longer to freeze due to the volume of water contained within it.
In general, I would play it safe and not use an inflatable hot tub during periods of the year when temperatures drop below freezing.
The Inflatable Hot Tub I Recommend
I do not take product recommendations lightly and do not list any product that I would not use myself.
Intex PureSpa Greywood Deluxe 4 or 6 Person Spa
Intex is a well-known brand for inflatable products. They produce a few variations of an inflatable hot tub, but their PureSpa Deluxe line is their flagship and best product line you can buy. It is easy to set up with a built-in inflation system and easy to connect components. It can be purchased in two sizes:
|Intex PureSpa Deluxe 4 Person
|Intex PurSpa Deluxe 6 Person
Why Do I Like This Hot Tub?
- Comes in 2 sizes (4 person or 6 person)
- Includes 2 headrests, a cover, a ground pad, extra filters, and a chlorine dispenser
- Has a lighting package
- Good size heater and pump for the price
What Don’t I Like About This Hot Tub?
- The 6 person version is too big for Intex insulated cover add-on
- The 6 person version has the same size blower, pump, and heater as the 4 person