Where to buy a hot tub (and which type to choose!)
A hot tub is a great investment for any home, providing a wonderful place to relax, get a gentle hydro massage, or for fun parties or romantic evenings in. But when you buy a hot tub for the first time, it’s difficult to know where to start.
The range of options on the market has expanded massively in recent years. There are dozens of brands (though only a few really reputable ones) and who knows how many models on the market.
Here are some baseline facts and info to think about when you’re first surveying that market:
Types of hot tubs you can buy
You’ll find that hot tubs come in one of two general categories:
1) Solid, hard-sided hot tubs
These are permanent tubs built into a special room in your home or in an extension or free-standing gazebo or another shelter in your garden.
The variety of models in this category is huge. They range from relatively affordable models through to the latest Jacuzzi spa costing thousands of pounds and offering dozens of custom options.
Most solid hot tubs are made from a kind of hard-wearing acrylic and come with some (or a huge number of) water jets, suitable for anywhere from two to quite a few people.
2) Inflatable hot tubs
Just as they sound, inflatable hot tubs are filled with air and become temporary set-ups that can last for a short time (such as over a party weekend) or even for an extended season such as summer.
Again, the market for these is by no means small. You can find incredibly cost-effective models that might be a bit on the flimsy side right through to comparatively expensive models that – while perhaps not quite as comfortable or impressive as a hard-sided tub – are still pretty luxurious (check out the latest Lay-Z-Spa models, for example).
Most inflatable models tend towards the smaller end of the hot tub size spectrum, usually suitable for between two to four people though you can get larger ones that comfortably seat six or seven.
The benefits of hard-sided hot tubs
Why would you choose a solid hot tub over the fun and flexible inflatable model?
1) Sturdiness and durability
Except for perhaps the very cheapest inflatable tubs, when you buy a hot tub in the UK you are investing a usually non-trivial amount of money.
A big point in favour of solid tubs is that, with a little smart hot tub maintenance , your investment is going to stand the test of time. It’s also going to withstand lots of people getting in and out and happily be in service for months at a time with no particular trouble.
2) Custom class
A full hard-sided hot tub is a highly desirable addition to any home, boosting not only property prices but also the look and feel of the place you live.
No inflatable model, no matter the quality, will ever be able to match a solid hot tub emplaced beneath a beautiful permanent slate tile-roofed gazebo with climbing vines and mood lighting.
3) Hassle-free nature
No hot tub owner should skip basic maintenance and water cleanliness and chemical balance checking. But apart from this, a permanent hot tub is free from the hassle of set-up and placement every hot tub season that inflatable models require.
Once you’ve decided on where you want your tub, it’s there. Ready to be enjoyed whenever you need it with minimal set-up.
The benefits of inflatable hot tubs
Why would you opt for an inflatable tub over a classy hard-sided model?
1) Reduced cost
A hard-sided hot tub will always have a heftier impact on your bank account than an inflatable model.
The best inflatable models can deliver an equivalently delightful ‘tubbing experience to a full-on solid spa, but they do so at a far lower price point.
The most cost-effective inflatable models offer even cheaper ways to access a similarly fun or romantic experience.
2) Flexible impermanence
Flexibility of placement is the other major reason to opt for an inflatable tub over and above the other common type of hot tub.
There are many situations where you might not want to take up the space that your hot tub occupies permanently. Perhaps you have a comparatively smaller outside space. Or maybe you only like to sink into your tub on irregular occasions.
If either of the above sounds like they could be you, you might want to inflate your way to success.
Where to buy hot tubs
If you’re wondering where to buy a hot tub, there are a few sensible places to start your search:
- Amazon, eBay, and similar online marketplaces
- Manufacturer websites
- Local hot tub or home showrooms
Once you’ve decided on the type of tub that’s right for you and got the lay of the land with the general market, it’s time to make your choice.
Then all you need to do is prepare to enjoy the soothing relaxation experience that any hot tub gives you.
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