Inflatable Hot Tub vs Regular Hot Tub (Learn Their Differences)

Decided to get a hot tub? That’s amazing! So, which one are you going for–an inflatable hot tub vs a regular hot tub?

If you’ve already picked one, great. If you’re confused, we can help. This post will tell you all you must know before buying a hot tub. After all, it is a big investment for most people.

The difference between both types of hot tubs is vast. You simply cannot decide without considering all the information at hand.

For this, we have put together this extensive, well-structured guide to help you find the best hot tub based on your requirements. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

What are Regular Hot Tubs?

Regular hot tubs are often called jacuzzies. They are a large tub or a small pool filled with water used for hydrotherapy and general relaxation.

Regular hot tubs come with a hard shell and cannot be moved around when not in use. You may find powerful jets in hard shell tubs as part of the massage feature.

Let’s look at the merits and demerits of these tubs to give you a better idea of whether you want them. and, why should you buy regular hot tubs?

Related Read: Jacuzzi vs Hot Tub?

Built-in Seats

Regular hot tubs come with built-in seats or loungers. These provide maximum comfort and let you relax in the tub for longer. Thus, allowing you to get more value out of your investment. Some premium options may also include cushioned floors making the experience even more comfortable.

This is a big advantage if you ask us since you can enjoy inside the hot tub for a long time if it comes with built-in seats. Otherwise, you will end up sitting in an uncomfortable position which does the opposite of letting you unwind after a long day at work.

Massage Jets

A primary reason to go for a regular hot tub is the massage jets. Targeted massage jets provide a superior hydromassage facility allowing you to end the day (or start it) on a positive note. These massage jets enhance the relaxation quality of your hot tub experience.

You can also turn the jets off if you want to take a simple dip in the hot tub. But having the massage jets gives you the option of turning them on or off as and when needed. With that said, these massage jets are suggested to relax tensed muscles.

Related Read: Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Have Jets?


An inflatable hot tub may not last long but with a hard-shell hot tub, you can be assured of at least a few years of usage. This makes up for their higher costs. Their build and longevity alone are enough to justify the spending.

The inflatable design will puncture after a few uses. If you’re lucky they may last about a year, but we wouldn’t rely on them completely. A regular hot tub is a more permanent solution to your hot tub dilemma.

Energy Efficient

The first thing that pops up when you begin looking for a regular hot tub is its cost. Websites make it clear that these types of tubs cost more than inflatable ones. What no one tells you is they provide better value in the long run.

They feature many energy-efficient features saving you a lot when it comes to running costs. The quality insulation keeps the heat captured meaning it uses less electricity to keep the tub hut. This in turn increases their efficiency, which is a critical factor.

Before you think we’re biased, hang on. We have listed the disadvantages of owning a regular hot tub too, have a look.

Why Shouldn’t You Buy Regular Hot Tubs?

Higher Investment

Regular hot tubs come with a lot of benefits, but the main drawback is their extremely high cost. This is balanced by their energy efficiency and brilliant features but that depends on your usage. If you enjoy spending a lot of time in the hot tub, getting a regular hot tub is the smarter move. Even though the initial investment is high, you will make up by saving on your electricity bill.

Their energy-efficient features make them more practical in the long run. However, if you don’t use the hot tub much, we suggest getting an inflatable hot tub.

Not Portable

This might be a major obstacle for people who don’t have a lot of space for the hot tub. Regular hot tubs take up a significant area and cannot be moved easily. So, make sure you have enough room for the hot tub before buying one. You cannot have it delivered only to find out it doesn’t fit where you want it to.

Remember, the place you get it installed is where it will sit for a few years at least. Don’t place it anywhere that will cause inconvenience to you or others around you.

Related Read: Round vs Square Hot Tubs?

What are Inflatable Hot Tubs?

Inflatable hot tubs are like jacuzzies, but you pay approximately half the amount than you’d pay for a regular hot tub. You can inflate them on a cold day and deflate them whenever you’re done. They are easy to install and come with their fair share of features.

If you’re someone who likes to relax occasionally in a hot tub, these wonderful tubs are perfect for you. They don’t take up a lot of space, can be set up wherever you want, and are a lot cheaper than hard-shell hot tubs.

Why Should You Buy Inflatable Hot Tubs?


The key benefit of buying an inflatable hot tub is its price. You can get a simple model for as little as $xxx. Even if you go for the top-of-the-line products, you will spend around $xxxx.

Now we understand $xxxx is a lot for most of us. But if you can afford that and need a portable, travel-friendly hot tub, an inflatable hot tub should be your go-to option.

Blow-up hot tubs are a popular choice among people on a budget. They let you relax on chilly days without burning a hole in your pocket.

Related Read >>> Chlorine vs Salt Water Hot Tubs?

Easy to Transport

Inflatable hot tubs can easily be deflated once you’ve finished using them. Therefore, they are great for small homeowners on a budget.

Whenever you want to enjoy a hot spa, pull out the inflatable hot tub, blow it up and you’re good to go. They provide pleasure and help you relax whenever you want. After each use, you can simply deflate them and pack them into a small bag and store them wherever you’d like. If you own a small house and cannot let a hot tub take up an entire room, go for an inflatable hot tub.

Why Shouldn’t You Buy Inflatable Hot Tubs?

Higher Running Costs

Inflatable hot tubs don’t offer much in terms of insulation. This means they don’t retain the heat generated. This results in higher electricity consumption. So, where you pay less initially, you will end up spending a lot more on electricity.

Inflatable hot tubs take longer to heat up given their lack of insulation. This leads them to draw electricity for a longer time. And since there’s not much insulation, they consume a lot of units. If you won’t be using the tub a lot, that’s not a problem. But for constant usage, we suggest getting a regular hot tub, they are more practical and budget-friendly.

No Seats

Unlike the hard-shell hot tubs, you don’t get seats in an inflatable hot tub. Generally, you sit on the floor of the hot tub in inflatable tubs like you would in a paddling pool. For smaller intervals, this may be manageable. But if you’re a constant user, this becomes rather hard on your back.

Instead of enjoying the time in the hot tub, you will end up thinking about how much your back hurts. Since there is no hard shell, there’s no stability either.

If you want a proper hot tub experience, the best choice is to get a regular hot tub.

No Massage Jets

Remember how the regular hot tubs came with stress-relieving massage jets?

You can forget those when buying an inflatable hot tub. While some inflatable tubs do have jets, they are just air jets and not massage jets. You can only use these air jets to get a bubbly experience when in the tub, they’re not ideal or effective at all for hydrotherapy.

If you are ready to miss out on the exceptional benefits of the massage jets, go ahead and buy an inflatable hot tub.

Inflatable Hot Tub vs Regular Hot Tub: Head to Head

As for any product, the most important aspect when buying a hot tub is your requirements.

Will you be using it often? Where do you intend to install it? What is your budget?

You’ll need the answer to many such questions before you get a hot tub. Investing in a hard-shell hot tub is not a wise choice if you won’t be using it often. In that case, it is always a better alternative to get an inflatable hot tub.

Certain factors should influence you to make a smart decision, they are listed below.


Can you replace the hot tub often?

If you go for an inflatable hot tub, you can expect it to last you a few months, or a year. But with har shells, you can be sure to get a few years of use out of them.

Now we are not implying that the inflatables will pop within a month or two, but they don’t last nearly as long as the hard-shell tubs.


Regular hot tubs in comparison to inflatable ones have better heat retention. They are well-insulated and typically made for cold weather.

This also means that regular hot tubs are way more energy-efficient since they heat up quickly and maintain the temperature better thanks to the insulation.

Inflatables on the other hand will leave you freezing when used outdoors on cold days before they start getting the water warm. With regular hot tubs, you won’t ever be cold as they are much quicker.

Related Read: Can You Use Inflatable Hot Tubs in Winter?


Over the years, hot tubs have evolved greatly. From Bluetooth speakers to Wi-Fi connectivity, you can get many exciting features with it. Of course, premium features will cost you more, but they are worth it. This is where inflatable hot tubs lack.

You won’t get basic features like jets in inflatable hot tubs. The most you can expect from inflatables are lights and air jets. So, you can kiss goodbye to the remaining high-end features only available with regular hot tubs.

It comes down to your budget and preference. If you’re simply looking for a portable hot tub, get an inflatable tub.


How often are you going to use the tub?

If the answer is not much, we strongly recommend buying an inflatable hot tub. It won’t take up a lot of space and you can enjoy a hot tub experience whenever you want.

But if you will be using it more often, it is a good idea to invest in a regular hot tub. It may come with a higher price tag but is way more budget-friendly in the long run.

Available Space

Do you have a lot of room to fit a jacuzzi permanently?

If yes, there’s nothing better than a hard-shell hot tub. It is thoroughly insulated, and you won’t have to worry about blowing it up every time you want to use it.

However, if space is a constraint, inflatable hot tubs should be your go-to option. Simply inflate it when you are in the mood for relaxing and deflate it for easy storage.

Our Final Word–Inflatable or Regular?

There is no definite answer to this question. It depends on your personal preference and requirements. If you have enough room and the budget for a hard-shell hot tub, go for it. If not, inflatable hot tubs are a feasible alternative.

Remember all the merits and demerits we discussed and list down what you need in the tub. Only after considering the basic factors should you decide what type of hot tub suits you the best.

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