Why you need to get a hot tub mat
When you buy or rent an inflatable hot tub, you can’t just plop it down on any surface. A hot tub mat is a must – both for protecting your expensive tub and for improving your ‘tubbing experience.
More comfort. More insulation (this reduces how much energy it takes to keep your hot tub water toasty warm). More protection from dirt and debris under your tub.
There are many reasons why you should get a mat for under a hot tub you’ve bought or one you’ve rented. So. What are your options?
Do You Need A Mat For A Hot Tub?
Strictly speaking, you don’t have to use a mat for a hot tub you own. However, it’s definitely advisable. If you’ve rented your inflatable tub, you’ll almost certainly have a mat provided.
From a hot tub rental company’s point of view, it’s easy to see why. Even a relatively modest inflatable tub is a significant investment. You don’t want it damaged by contact with the ground.
This is sensible thinking and worth adopting if you’ve got your own inflatable tub that you don’t want to see ruined after a single use.
Can A Hot Tub Just Sit On The Ground?
Technically, yes. You can just plonk your hot tub on the ground. However, most rental companies will tell you you’re not allowed to do this on the bare earth or grass (for the reasons outlined above).
Really though, if comfort isn’t a concern, you can perhaps place your hot tub on any flat, level surface.
Why use a hot tub ground mat?
That said, it’s a rare inflatable tub that won’t provide a dramatically better experience if you combine it with a mat. That’s because a mat provides:
Unlike most permanent models, most inflatable hot tubs don’t include much in the way of seating.
If you’ve gone and placed your inflatable hot tub on a hard surface, this means you’re effectively sitting on that surface for all the time you’re in the tub.
This is hardly a maximum comfort sort of experience. Any insulated ground mat for hot tubs will be made of a fairly thick material (you can actually get a variety of different thicknesses). This automatically provides better comfort than the base of the tub alone.
Your hot tub water takes energy to stay at the right temperature . Being in direct contact with the ground or a material like concrete paving slabs will make your heater need to work much harder to keep it there.
By providing insulation, even a very basic hot tub rubber mat will help your tub stay warmer. This will keep you more comfortable, ensure your tub doesn’t need to work too hard needlessly, and also help you save on energy bills.
The thicker your hot tub insulation mat (especially if it’s labelled as such), the more insulation you’re going to be getting.
This is really worth reinforcing. Because even if you’re staying relatively stationary inside your tub (and, let’s be fair, there’s no guarantee you’re going to if you’re having a lot of fun!), there is going to be some movement and weight shifting.
You can get an anti-slip rubber mat for under a hot tub that’s explicitly designed to prevent this. But even a mat that’s primarily intended to provide comfort or insulation will protect the base of your tub from damage caused by debris and rough surfaces.
Some scratches and scrapes are bad enough, but the last thing you want is a puncture. Inflatable hot tubs are made from a sturdy material (usually PVC), but they’re not invincible.
Don’t Get In Without A Hot Tub Mat!
Whether you choose an insulated mat for your hot tub or one that claims to be designed primarily for comfort or insulation, you won’t find that much difference between most models out there. Because of the nature of the job they’re supposed to do, they’re largely made of similar materials.
Most mats come in pieces (one of which is usually designed to sit beneath the pump and protect that expensive component) that you can easily slot together like a large jigsaw puzzle. This means they’re easy to store and, depending on the model, adjust to fit tubs of different sizes.
The best hot tub mats are often made by leading hot tub manufacturers themselves. Yet there are some third-party models out there that offer just as much protection, insulation, and comfort often at a slightly lower price point.
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