Despite the fact that most inflatable hot tubs are not rated for use in air temperatures below 40° F, it is common for people to use hot tubs in wintertime. Testing has proven to us that inflatable hot tubs can maintain temperature in freezing cold and can be enjoyed in winter. When searching for the best inflatable hot tub for winter consider the following: air temperature rating is the manufacturer’s guarantee that your spa can increase the water to max temperature and maintain it for as long as the ambient air temperature is equal to or above the tub’s rating.

Three Components That Make up The Structure of a Hot Tub:

The Shell

The shell of a hot tub is used to contain water, provide a mounting point for the water jets. It’s also used as the seating area. The shell of a hot tub is typically constructed from acrylic and is reinforced with high-density polyurethane foam, fiberglass backing or the combination of the two.

Cabinet

The cabinet provides structural support to the shell and the equipment. It’s also designed to hide the undesirable appearance of the equipment. The cabinet is responsible for housing all of the plumbing, pumps, and heaters. This allows the whole thing to be a self-contained unit.

Pumps

There are one or more pumps in a hot tub used to circulate water. The two main functions of the pumps are to filter the water and operate the jets. The pumps have connecting wires and controls that allow you to change the speeds and select other options. 

Now that you have a better understanding of how the hot tub works, let’s take a look at some of the best models on the market today!

Here are the 5 Best Inflatable Hot Tub for Cold Weather in 2021

1. Intex 77in PureSpa Bubble Massage Spa Set

If you are excited about all the places you could enjoy a hot tub, then you’ll get a lot out of the PureSpa by Intex.

The PureSpa is many degrees more inflatable than the average inflatable pools or hot tubs. With it’s Fiber-Tech construction and insulated cover  you will not worry about damaging the surface.

Replacing the filter in an inflatable hot tub such as this can be very taxing. To make the process easier, the PureSpa comes with two filters that are much easier to replace.

There are a few things that you need to be aware of. First, the temperature of water can only reach 104 degrees fahrenheit. While this can satisfy most, those who desire hotter temperatures will be disappointed. Outside temperature also needs to be at least 50 degrees fahrenheit in order for the PureSpa to reach its peak. This can be very troublesome if you plan to set it up in colder climates.

2. 4-6 person outdoor spa and inflatable hot tub by Goplus

As convenient and amazing as inflatable hot tubs are, carrying them can be troublesome. This is especially true when travelling. While many inflatable hot tubs don’t have handles that makes carrying easy, Goplus’s inflatable hot tub does. Furthermore, Goplus’s inflatable hot tub contains 130 jets which promise a very strong massage when operated. It is also very easy to control the temperature. 

Being over 60 inches in diameter, it is possible for up to 4 people to fit inside the Goplus’s inflatable hot tub. However, everything considered, the right number is 3. It can fit 4 people, but it will not be comfortable since it is not as big as most other hot tubs.

3. Hawaii air jet inflatable outdoor spa by Bestway

Setting up any given inflatable hot tub outside can be risky without proper coverings. This is especially true if you live in an area that is surrounded by trees. Leaves, rain, dirt, and other objects can fall into your hot tub. Unfortunately, very few inflatable hot tubs contain proper covers. You will need to waste a lot of time and energy cleaning your tub out. Unless you want to spend some cash on a cover. Bestway’s inflatable hot tub solves this problem decisively. Containing a leatheroid cover, it will be protected from anything that comes in contact with it.

Most inflatable hot tubs can take a very, very long time to inflate. This is because their water capacities are over 100 gallons. Bestway’s inflatable hot tub comes with a pump that inflates it in seconds.  However, you will not be able to carry it around as it is designed for home use only. If you do want to take it somewhere, you will need to find a way to transport it.

4. “PureSpa Plus” bubble massage set by Intex

Inflatable hot tubs generally do not come with many accessories. In most cases, what you see is what you get, save for jet controls. The PureSpa Plus, by Intex, is one of the very few to contain tangible accessories you can attach to the side of the tub. It contains a headrest which provides much-needed neck support.

Carrying the PureSpa Plus around is also very easy. It contains a carry bag, making it incredibly convenient to take it wherever you go. Because it is so easy to carry, the PureSpa Plus leaves a bit to be desired in a couple of categories.

The first of these is jet capacity. The PureSpa Plus does contain jets, but they are not very strong. The PureSpa Plus is also a little smaller than other inflatable hot tubs> The measuring is at a little under 60 inches in diameter.

5. “SaluSpa Paris AirJet” inflatable hot tub with LED light show by Bestway

Enjoying some time in the hot tub at night is a really nice experience, but it can be made better by adding a couple of things. One of those things is making the experience a little more festive. The SaluSpa Paris AirJet contains an LED light show, cycling through 7 different colors. The lights come from the bottom and make the tub flash with a different color every few seconds.

The SaluSpa Paris AirJet is also much bigger than most other inflatable hot tubs. Measuring in at 77 inches in diameter, it will ensure that at least 4 to 6 people fir inside.

Inflating the SaluSpa Paris AirJet is also effortless, as it contains a pump and a can that will inflate to its 250 gallon capacity in a very short time. This is perfect if you need to set it up right away. The pump and can however make it difficult to carry it around. Carrying the tub around is possible, but it will take a lot of work.

Buying Guide of Winter Hot Tub

Best Inflatable Hot Tub

Our testing facility is in Pennsylvania often gets into the low 20s. We found that as long as the water is hot going into the cold months, the best inflatable spas can maintain the temperatures through winter. The result makes an inflatable hot tub worth it in the long run.

Pump Testing

We also tested hose water, attempting to heat it in a cold weather. The pumps struggled and were not able to increase the water temperature. During the daytime the temperature increased to the high 60s, but as soon as night came it dropped back into the low 40s and 50s. The pumps were not able to reach max temperature. There are options though. The adapters that connect to the sink spigot enable you to fill your tub with hot sink water. By harnessing the power of your heater you minimize the effort that your inflatable hot tub pump.

Most residential hot water heaters are in the 50 gallon range. So, the best way to fill your spa in cold weather is to fill the spa with 50 gallons and run the heat pump. Once your heater has heat up the next 50 gallons, add that water. Keep following these steps until your inflatable spa is full.

Precautions

  • It is important to note that there is another reason inflatable spas are usually only rated for 40° F air temperature. Their mechanical hardware is not insulated. Therefore, the plastic plumbing is susceptible to cracking if water freezes inside the pumps. Many fixed hot tubs are not rated for use in sub-freezing temperatures either.
  • The first measure you should take is to insulate your heating unit. All you need to do is purchase insulation, completely wrap your pump hub in it and run it. When the heat pump is running, it generates a small amount of heat which is sufficient to keep the internal mechanical parts thawed. The heat pump is only generating heat when it is running, though.
  • The second precaution you should take is to make sure you are always running the heater. If the air temperatures are below freezing, your heat pump will be running constantly. The only thing you need to worry about is your tub shutting down.
  • Finally, if you intend to store your hot tub in sub-freezing temperatures, make sure all water is drained from the pumps and pipes.

What You Should Look for When Purchasing an Inflatable Hot Tub to Use in The Winter?

We have established that it is possible to use your inflatable hot tub in winter as long as you take a few precautions. Next we will explore what features you should look for when shopping for the best inflatable hot tub for winter.

1. Ability to Heat the Water

When you are shopping for an inflatable spa to use in cold weather, the most important characteristic is the ability to heat water. This performance metric is directly affected by the quality of the spa’s heat pump. All inflatable hot tubs should have quantifiable performance metrics listed. Look at those when shopping. If you can’t find this information, don’t even consider buying the spa.

2. Pump’s Flow Rate

You should first look for information on the heat pump’s flow rate. A necessary measurement of how much water the pump can process in a given time. Look for a pump that is rated at or above 320 gallons/hr. For instance, the Intex PureSpa has a heat pump that is able to process 460 gallons/hr. Flow rate is a good indicator on how powerful your pump is.

3. Power Rate

The next metric that you should consider is power rate. A measurement of the potential heat that the pump can put into the water. If the pump power is measured in Watts, you should look for a pump that is 1300W or greater. If Watts are not listed, but Volts and Ampheres are, you can multiply (Amps x Volts) to get Watts. Once you multiply these together, you can check to see if this value is greater than the 1300W benchmark.

Other than the pump, the only other characteristic you should look for is the tub’s insulation. This is more difficult because inflatable spas hardly have any insulation. First, you want to make sure that a ground mat is included with the tub. A small barrier between the floor of the tub and the ground can go a long way. Having a sturdy deck is an advantage over setting the tub on the ground.

4. Tub Cover

Next you should examine the tub cover. Most likely it is inflatable and you want to make sure that it can seal tightly. We recommend purchasing an additional insulation blanket that floats on the surface of the water underneath the cover. This small investment will pay itself off very quickly in the amount of money you save on energy bills. The biggest insulation that the tub has is its inflated tub walls. Make sure that the walls are thick 3-ply material. Sturdy walls provide more insulation.

The Dos and Don’ts of Winter Hot Tubbing

While hot tubs in winter are great, there are things to keep in mind in order to use them safely:

Protect Your Head

It’s important that you’re regulating your body temperature while taking a dip in the hot tub. Which is why you should wear some sort of hat while you’re inside.

Cover Your Feet

No one wants dirt, crumbs, or leaves in their hot tub, so make sure to wear shoes on your way to and from the tub.

Open the Waterfall Valves

There’s a bit of a risk that the plumbing lines that supply water the waterfalls could freeze. This commonly occurs when the lines are closed and water isn’t able to flow freely. To prevent this, make sure that all of the jets and waterfall valves are open when you’re done using the hot tub. This will allow the newly heated water to flow through the pipes.

Care for the Cover

The cover of the hot tub prevents the heat from escaping, which is why it’s best to always keep the cover locked when not in use. Also, never allow snow or rain to accumulate on the cover for long periods of time. This could cause your cover to cave in, so, frequently clear the cover of any debris. You should never use a shovel to get the snow off of the cover because it could damage it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Should You Shower Before Using a Hot Tub?

  • It’s actually pretty smart to shower before using a hot tub. Showering removes dead skin, sweat, and other products from your skin. This allows your filter to work easier and it also keeps your water clean.

2. Is it Dangerous to Stay in a Hot Tub Too Long?

  • If you stay in a hot tub for too long it can cause your body to overheat. When your body overheats you can feel symptoms of hypothermia, especially if it’s cold outside. It can cause fainting, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and in extreme cases, death.

3. Is It Bad to Go in a Hot Tub in Cold Weather?

  • While it’s not necessarily bad to go in a hot tub while it’s cold out, the amount of time spent in the hot tub should be limited. Moving from extreme heat to extreme cold can put your body through tremendous stress. Try to limit your soak to approximately 20 minutes.

4. What Do You Do With a Hot Tub in Winter?

  • If you have no plans of using your hot tub in winter, you should follow your model’s winterization instructions. When using it, make sure that the valves are open so the water doesn’t freeze in the pipes.

5. Can You Get Sick From Going in a Hot Tub in Winter?

  • Yes, a hot tub can actually make you sick, especially in winter. There’s a good chance the water becomes contaminated if a sick person goes inside the tub causing others becoming ill as well.

6. What Temperature Should a Hot Tub Be Set at in Winter?

  • Typically, people like to keep their hot tub at 102-104 degrees, especially during winter. It’s highly recommended that you never set the temperature below 90 degrees at all times.

Summary

Testing has proven that it is possible to use an inflatable hot tub in winter. This is great because many people rely on inflatable hot tubs for health benefits. The best hot tub pumps are strong enough to maintain max water temperature in ambient air temperature below freezing. Freezing temperature can be potentially dangerous for mechanical parts in the pump causing pipes to crack. Insulating your pump unit can mitigate this risk. With a few additional modifications, it is possible to safely use your inflatable hot tub in winter.