Trying to compare the best hot tubs on the market? We've done the hard work for you by compiling this edit of the best inflatable hot tubs, the top rigid foam spas, and the most affordable outdoor jacuzzis available this year.
We've tried and tested options from brand leaders Lay-Z-Spa and innovative new designs from Wave, along with reading hundreds of reviews from happy – and not-so-happy – owners to find the best-in-class hot tubs for outdoor relaxation.
After all, is there anything more indulgent than being able to soak your cares away whilst enjoying the massaging airjets of your own outdoor spa? We think not. As such, after sourcing the best garden furniture, there's a good reason a hot tub might be the next investment on your outdoor wishlist.
But, it's not all rest and relaxation when it comes to choosing the best hot tub in the first place, that's why we've compared ease of assembly, capacity, thermal efficiency, ease of use, as well as looks and price points of all the top models so you don't have to. We've also answered some frequently asked questions at the end of this guide. But first, here are the hot tubs we think are the best buys right now.
Best hot tubs
Capacity: 2-4 person
An easy to set up WiFi-controllable hot tub that's stylish, user friendly, and 40% more energy efficient than comparable inflatable models.
Capacity: 6 person
A rigid foam hot tub that offers a durable, spacious, and stylish alternative to an inflatable hot tub, without the hassle and expense of installing a resin spa.
Capacity: 4 person
Marketed as a 4-person hot tub, the CosySpa's 800 litre capacity offers much more space than most, and its price tag is incredibly low, making this the cheapest hot tub you can buy right now.
Capacity: 5-7 person
A large inflatable hot tub that's easy to set up, dismantle, and store, whilst offering a super spacious capacity thanks to its rigid thin-walled design.
Capacity: 2-4 person
If your heart is set on a hot tub from the market leaders Lay-Z-Spa, then this entry-level model is the cheapest Lay-Z-Spa hot tub available right now.
Capacity: 4-6 person
A large inflatable hot tub that has space for the whole family to relax. Its an investment and its footprint is the largest on our list, but with 40% more energy efficiency than comparable models, it could be worth it for the reduced running costs.
Where to buy a hot tub
- Amazon: bestselling designs from Lay-Z-Spa, Wave Spa and more
- Argos: Lay-Z-Spa, Canadian Spa Company and more
- All Round Fun: low prices on Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs and accessories
- B&Q: regular deals on CleverSpa and Lay-Z-Spa
- Homebase: brand-name hot tubs
- Robert Dyas: inflatable and resin plug-and-play hot tubs
Best hot tubs of 2024
Why you can trust Ideal Home
Most energy efficient hot tub
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're after a hot tub that's easy to set up, simple to use, looks stylish, and isn't too much of an investment, then the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Inflatable Hot Tub is bang on the money.
The Barbados Airjet hot tub seats up to four adults, comes equipped with 120 airjets, heats up to 40°C, can be WiFi-controlled, and – perhaps most importantly – includes an 'integrated EnergySense™ insulated outer liner and top cover' that makes it 40% more energy efficient when compared to similar models in the Lay‑Z‑Spa range.
The inflatable design is super quick to assemble, taking our reviewer just 20 minutes, and just as quick to deflate and pack neatly away when it's not in use. However, as the design benefits from anti-freeze technology, this is a hot tub you can keep in use all year round if you wish.
The only real downside is its capacity, as, like most hot tubs, our reviewer found the number of adults the brand states it can fit a little on the ambitious side. The 669-litre water capacity is great for saving on water heating costs, but whilst four adults could squeeze in, it's going to be a much more relaxing experience for two. So, if you want a more family-friendly option, then you might want to consider a larger design.
Read our full Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub review for all of the detail.
Best rigid foam hot tub
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Wave Osaka 6-Person Rigid Foam Hot Tub aims to strike a balance between an affordable inflatable hot tub and an expensive static resin spa.
Like an inflatable hot tub, it can be self-assembled and disassembled and requires none of the hassle or expensive installation costs of a static spa, yet its rigid foam build makes it a sturdier and more stylish proposition than the 'paddling pool' aesthetic of an inflatable. Plus, there are no punctures to worry about.
Because its walls are solid, that also makes for much more space inside the tub, which is why the Wave Osaka can hold 1200 litres of water and six adults inside its 180cm diameter, unlike the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Inflatable Hot Tub that only holds four (and that's a squeeze). Those thick foam walls are also more thermo-efficient – Wave estimates the Osaka to be 50% more energy efficient than comparable portable hot tubs – making for lower energy usage and heating costs.
That said, our reviewers didn't find the Osaka quite as quick and easy to assemble as an inflatable option, struggling a little with the instructions and the slotting together of the eight foam wall sections, and, it is more expensive. However, if you want to strike a balance between a cheap and cheerful inflatable and a high-maintenance resin spa, this alternative is a great option that adds a little more luxury without too much of an increase in price.
Read our full Wave Osaka 6-Person Rigid Foam Hot Tub review for all of the detail.
Cheapest hot tub
3. CosySpa 4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're looking for the cheapest hot tub available, then this CosySpa inflatable is regularly the most affordable option going. What's more, whether you opt for the 800-litre capacity 4-person model or the 1000-litre capacity 6-person design, both offer an unusually spacious interior for the price.
The compromise for that super affordable price tag is energy efficiency and day-to-day maintenance, as well as the potential for year-round use, as this budget model doesn't come with an anti-freeze feature so is unlikely to be suitable for winter use.
This inflatable tub didn't originally come with a lid, which means when the hot tub isn't in use the water temperature is uninsulated and likely to cool faster, therefore requiring more energy to maintain your desired heat. An uncovered hot tub also means you're going to spend more time scooping out leaf litter and insects before you get in! Plus, if you have young children, there will be safety concerns that are somewhat alleviated by brands like Lay-Z-Spa that offer covers with hard-to-open safety lock clips.
However, the brand does now offer the option of buying either a thermal cover or an inflatable lid with your purchase. It means parting with a little more cash, but even with those extras this hot tub still comes in cheaper than most comparable options as long as you don't mind sacrificing a few bells and whistles.
4. Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki 5-7 Person Inflatable Hot Tub
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Whilst this is still an inflatable hot tub, and so benefits from being easy to set up, quick to dismantle, and easy to store, Lay-Z-Spa's Helsinki hot tub differs from most inflatables because of its innovative rigid thin-walled design.
This means that despite its outer dimensions measuring the same as the thicker-walled Lay-Z-Spa Barbados, its inner dimensions are far bigger, allowing for an impressive 1123 litre water capacity and space for five to seven adults to enjoy the spa at once.
There are also 180 airjets to ensure everyone gets some therapeutic massaging bubbles, and the printed wood-effect exterior makes this tub look more stylish than most. Like most Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs it also comes with anti-freeze technology for year-round use and an inflatable lid with safety lock clips.
The spacious design makes it a great option for families or parties, although the flipside is that the thinner walls mean there's less insulation, and the large capacity means more water to heat and that more energy will be used to maintain your desired temperature.
This used to be one of the most expensive inflatable hot tubs on the market, but as it's now an older model without Lay-Z-Spa's latest thermo-efficient insulation the price has come down considerably, making it a good value spa if you're looking for a spacious tub with plenty of room to stretch out and splash about.
Cheapest Lay-Z-Spa hot tub
5. Lay-Z-Spa Cancun 2-4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Lay-Z-Spa is one of the brand names most commonly associated with portable hot tubs, dominating the inflatable hot tub market with a wide range of designs featuring all number of bells and whistles.
We've now put a good number of Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs through their paces, and our review team has always been impressed by the design and build quality. However, that recognisable brand name does tend to mean its products come with a premium price tag compared to other, perhaps lesser-known, brands.
If you want to invest in a reliable brand name for less, then the Lay-Z-Spa Cancun is now one of the cheapest Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs you can buy.
The Cancun is small, fitting two to four people within its wide inflatable walls (and we think two is by far the more comfortable fit), but has 120 airjets, In inflatable lid and reinforced insulating cover with safety lock clips, Lay-Z-Spa's anti-freeze technology for year-round use and an easy to use digital display panel. The grey rattan outer is also a nice touch that adds a little more style to its slightly 'paddling pool' aesthetic.
As an older model, it lacks the insulation of the newer Barbados Lay-Z-Spa inflatable – and so how much it costs you to heat and maintain the temperature of the water is likely to be higher – but, the older design now means a fairly big reduction in price, with this hot tub generally on sale for around the £300 mark, making it one of Lay-Z-Spa's most affordable options.
6. Lay-Z-Spa Budapest 4-6 Person Inflatable Hot Tub
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Lay-Z-Spa Budapest 4-6 Person hot tub is the brand's largest energy-efficient inflatable hot tub.
The Budapest offers all of the same functionality as the smaller Barbados model at the top of this round-up, including easy setup, disassembly, and storage, WiFi controls, and the 'integrated EnergySense™ insulated outer liner and top cover' that makes it 40% more energy efficient when compared to similar models in the Lay‑Z‑Spa range.
The only real difference is in size, with the Budapest's 196cm diameter meaning it holds 908 litres of water compared to the Barbados' smaller 180cm diameter and 669 litre capacity. That means an extra couple of people can fit comfortably inside the Budapest and makes it a much more family-friendly affair.
Of course, that increase in size does also mean an increase in price. As one of Lay-Z-Spa's latest releases with its most thermo-efficient technology applied, this hot tub is one of the more expensive large inflatable options currently on the market. However, you will save on running costs compared to the cheaper (and slightly larger) Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki due to the Budapest's superior insulation, so it's a matter of weighing up initial outlay versus ongoing running costs.
How to choose the best hot tub
Want to add a hot tub to your outside space but not sure where to start when shopping? We're here to help with our guide to the key things to look out for before you buy.
Types of hot tub
There are three main types of hot tub you will need to decide between before you shop.
First, self-assembled inflatable or rigid foam hot tubs that are relatively cheap, portable, and simply plug into an outdoor power socket. These tend to cost from £300 - £1200 depending on the specification and are the most hassle-free option that tend to fit most sizes of outdoor space. Our round-up predominantly features the best inflatable hot tubs for this reason.
A little further up the price scale are more substantial wood or resin plug-and-play hot tubs. These can cost anywhere between £1500 - £5000 and generally offer more durability and greater functionality, whilst still offering the relative ease of plugging into an outdoor socket. Technically they're still portable, although they don't tend to be dismantlable so you'll need somewhere spacious to store one if you don't want to leave it outside all year round, and good access to get one into the garden in the first place.
And then there are built-in hot tubs that require professional electrical installation and a permanent site in the garden. These require much more commitment and a lot more cash to install, with prices dependant on contractors and how much landscaping you require. However, as these hot tub decking ideas show, they can provide a statement focal point in an outside space.
Hot tub size
Once you've decided on a rough budget, and therefore the type of hot tub that's best for your outdoor space, next up is considering how many people you'd like to be able to use the hot tub at once.
At this point, it's very important to note that manufacturer guides to how many people a hot tub can hold are, in our experience, always very ambitious. If a hot tub is marketed as being a 4-person, then although it will be physically possible for four adults to squeeze in, it's likely to be much more of a squash than you may be comfortable with, so generally speaking you'll want to size up if you can.
Whilst a 6-person hot tub may sound extravagant if you're a family of two adults and two kids, it's still going to be a much more relaxing experience if you all want to enjoy the jacuzzi at once. And, if there are two of you soaking up the bubbles, a 2-person hot tub will be a more intimate experience than a 4-person hot tub which will give you both room to stretch out your legs a little.
Hot tub water capacity
A good way to get a true gauge of a hot tub's size, beyond how many people the manufacturer optimistically claims it will fit, is to check out its water capacity.
This measures how many litres of water the hot tub will hold, with a small 2-person hot tub tending to be under 700 litres and a larger 6-person hot tub coming in around the 1000-1200 litre mark, and a 4-person hot tub somewhere in between.
When considering water capacity it's also worth noting that the larger the water capacity the longer the hot tub is likely to heat up from cold, and the more energy it will require to maintain the temperature of that larger volume of water. So if there will only be two of you using the hot tub, a large capacity 6-person model may prove the most energy efficient due to its higher running costs.
Hot tub energy efficiency
There's no denying that incorporating a hot tub into your garden ideas is going to increase your energy usage during the times that you want the water heated. However, there are ways to make your hot tub usage more energy efficient.
In an attempt to lessen the environmental impact of hot tub energy use, and make daily running costs cheaper, more hot tubs are now available with energy-saving features, such as inflatable lids that help to maintain the water temperature when the hot tub isn't in use and more thermo-efficient sides and bases to prevent heat loss.
A growing number of retailers are also starting to provide estimates of how much their hot tubs cost to run – such as this breakdown of Lay-Z-Spa running costs – making it easier to find a more energy-efficient model.
Bear in mind that older hot tub models are less likely to have had energy efficiency factored into their design, whereas newer models may cost a little more but will have all of the latest technology built in.
Hot tub FAQs
Do hot tubs use a lot of electricity?
Is it expensive to run a hot tub, and how much energy does a hot tub use?
In our tests of some of the leading thermo-efficient hot tubs on the market, such as the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Inflatable Hot Tub and the Wave Osaka Rigid Foam hot tub, our reviewers found that their electricity bill increased by approximately £2-3 per day if they had the hot tub running continuously at a 40°C heat. These tests were conducted in May and June 2023 when the price per pence/kWh of electricity was 34p.
You can find the latest estimated running costs in our regularly updated guide to how much it costs to run a hot tub.
However, how much electricity a hot tub uses will depend on a number of hard-to-pin-down factors, including the hot tub's water capacity (more water means more energy required to heat it), whether you keep the lid on to insulate the hot tub when it's not in use, the ambient outdoor temperature and whether your hot tub is positioned in a sheltered or exposed spot, plus plenty more variables.
Are inflatable hot tubs worth it?
In our opinion, yes, an inflatable hot tub is a great way to cash in on the hot tub fun without the hassle or expense of installing a hardshell or resin outdoor spa.
An inflatable hot tub is usually super quick to inflate and set up yourself and is especially useful if you have a small garden as it can be drained, deflated, and stored away easily when it's not in use.
And whilst they're not cheap, with prices starting from around £300 for a 2-person inflatable hot tub – and often a lot less if you can snap up one of the best hot tub deals – then they are by far the most affordable way to recreate some spa day relaxation at home.
How we tested
You'll find full details of the Ideal Home review process on our how we test page.
Our team of reviewers tested a host of the bestselling hot tubs on the market to compile this guide. We compared assembly and set-up, design, ease of use, performance, capacity, energy efficiency, and price point to find the best hot tubs for various needs and budgets.