Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub review – tried and tested

Our Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub review tests out the brand leader's new 40% more energy-efficient inflatable spa to see if it lives up to the hype

The grey Lay-Z-Spa Barbados inflatable hot tub on a pink background
(Image credit: Lay-Z-Spa)
Ideal Home Verdict

This WiFi-controllable inflatable Lay-Z-Spa hot tub claims to be 40% more energy efficient than comparable models, plus it looks stylish, is easy to set up and use, and won’t break the bank

Reasons to buy
  • +

    More energy efficient than most

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    Relatively affordable

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    Easy to assemble

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    Easy to use

  • +

    Control from your phone

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    Easy to store

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not the biggest capacity

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    Lid could fit better

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Our Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub review puts the latest launch from one of the leading names in inflatable hot tubs to the test.

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 when energy efficiency is at the forefront of most of our minds – 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', according to the brand. This inflatable model also claims to be easy to set up – Lay‑Z‑Spa state it can be done in five minutes – and easy to dismantle and store when it's not in use. 

I love a spa day, so I've been eager to try out some of the best hot tubs on the market to find out if I can recreate that luxury spa experience at home. I recently tested the Wave Osaka 6-person Rigid Foam hot tub, which was great, but difficult to set up and took ages to empty and dismantle. I was hoping the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados wouldn’t give me the same problems and would be an option that was quick to inflate and easy to deflate and store when we wanted to clear the patio.

My two boys (both water babies) were also excited to see if they could practise their swimming in it, and my partner and I were looking forward to some relaxation. Read on to find out how we got on.

Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub review


  • Seats: 2-4 adults
  • Water capacity: 669 litres
  • Dimensions: H66cm x 180cm diameter (outer wall). 221cm width with pump.
  • Airjets: 120
  • Maximum temperature: 40°C
  • Heat up time: 15.5 hours (from 10°c to max temp)
  • LED lights: No
  • WiFi controls: Yes
  • Power supply: UK 220V-240V
  • Additional features: Insulated thermal outer liner, inflatable lid and reinforced insulating cover with safety lock clips. 'Freeze Shield' for year-round use. Digital display panel. Built‑in cup holders.

The grey Lay-Z-Spa Barbados inflatable hot tub

(Image credit: Lay-Z-Spa)

How we tested the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub

Bethan Davis, a woman with long brown hair wearing a blue and black top
Bethan Davis

Bethan is a freelance reviewer who helps the Ideal Home team put products through their paces to find the top recommendations for our readers. She tested the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub with the help of her two young sons and husband in the garden of their family home. She compared it to bestselling hot tubs from other leading brand names to see how well it performed against the best-in-class.

Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub: unboxing

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub comes in just one – very heavy – box, and then I was also sent a maintenance kit in a smaller box.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados inflatable hot tub in its packaging in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

I was very surprised that everything fit in just one box, but I was slightly disappointed that inside the main packaging box was another box, then a further two more boxes, meaning I was left with a lot of cardboard.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados inflatable hot tub in its packaging in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

The liners were wrapped in plastic too, so I do feel as if the packaging could be minimised, but it was good that everything I needed came together.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados inflatable hot tub in its packaging in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub: assembly

After checking all the parts were present, I was pleased to see that I didn’t need any tools for the assembly – not even an air pump.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados inflatable hot tub in its packaging in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

The assembly instructions come in a booklet and involve a series of 13 pictures that I found very easy to follow. There are also a few pages for safety and a section for if you’re installing the hot tub in winter. I chose to inflate the hot tub in my lounge, as it’s flat and free from any sharp objects.

To start, you take everything out of its packaging and unfold it, then you place the inner liner inside the outer liner, ensuring that the hoses on the inner liner line up with the holes on the outer liner.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub being assembled in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

You then connect the hose to the air outlet on the pump unit and plug the unit in. This is great, as it means you don’t need to purchase a separate air pump to inflate the spa.

Next, you locate the air plug, which should be poking through the right-hand hole on the outer liner. You then unscrew the top part of the cap and slot the hose in.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub being assembled in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

To inflate, you just switch on the pump by pressing the massage system button on the control panel and the instructions indicate leaving it on for five minutes. I was worried that something was wrong to start with, as it seemed like a lot of air was being expelled from where the hose connected to the pump. However, after a flick through the instructions, I found a paragraph that describes this as normal and explains it stops the hot tub from over-inflating.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub being assembled in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

Once the five minutes were up, the hot tub was fully inflated, so I moved on to inflating the lid. For this, you slot the inflatable part under a lip on the cover and use the same process, making sure you don’t over-inflate it (the lid should be level and not bulging).

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub being assembled in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/Bethan Davis)

Now the hot tub was inflated, all that was left to do for the assembly was to unscrew the inflation hose, connect the pump to the hose outlets and fit the filter.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub being assembled in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/Bethan Davis)

The hoses easily fit onto the pump and screw into place and it’s clear from the instructions which outlet inside the hot tub the filter needs to be screwed onto.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub being assembled in a carpeted living room

(Image credit: Future/Bethan Davis)

I was able to assemble the hot tub on my own in just 20 minutes and didn’t hit any snags. Lay-Z-Spa suggests that setup takes just five minutes, however, I found that only covered the actual inflation – still, 20 minutes was pretty impressive and all assembly steps were easy to follow and perform.

Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub: set up

Once inflated, I did need help moving the hot tub outside, but the handles on either side of the spa made it very easy to carry. It was also surprisingly light and we had no problem moving it around on the patio to find the best spot.

Another handy feature of the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub is that the power lead is about 6m long, so we weren’t as limited in where we could place the spa as we were with the Wave Osaka 6-person Rigid Foam hot tub we had previously tested, as the lead reached the outdoor socket with no problem.

The grey inflatable Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub outside in a garden on a sunny day

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

We chose the corner of the patio and rotated the hot tub so the drainage outlet sat slightly overhanging the patio steps. We did this to be able to drain it more easily, as we had a difficult time emptying the previous hot tub we tested as the low drainage outlet can make it difficult to get a container to fit under it, and we wanted to be able to reuse the water to water the garden plants. Alternatively, you may be able to position the hot tub to discharge directly into a surface water drain or you may be happy to drain the hot tub directly onto a lawn.

Before I filled the hot tub, I did the PRCD (portable residual current device) plug test. This is to help avoid the risk of electrical shock and ensure the spa is safe. You insert the plug, press the reset button to turn the indicator light on, then press ‘test’ and the light should turn off. You then press the reset button again to be able to use the pump.

I was now ready to fill the hot tub. I chose to keep the lid on to avoid any debris getting in and the lid also held the hose in place. It took just under an hour to fill the hot tub to the max line, as indicated on the side wall.

The grey inflatable Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub outside on a patio with a yellow hosepipe held under the lid

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

Now the hot tub was filled, all that was left to do was turn on the pump to start heating and filtering the water. To turn the pump on, you press the lock button for 3 seconds (the pump has a 5-minute auto-lock for safety). You then select the heat button, which automatically turns the filtration system on too. The spa takes around 15 hours to heat up, so we left it overnight and by the morning, it was a balmy 40 degrees.

Before we could use the spa, we needed to add the necessary chemicals to keep the water clean and sanitary. Maintenance kits are not included with the tub but can be purchased as a set or separately from the Lay-Z-Spa website, or you can buy a hot tub chemical starter kit from Amazon or a DIY store. 

The hot tub chemical starter kit I received from Lay-Z-Spa included chlorine granules, foam remover, pH increaser and reducer, and dip tests. This comes with a handy set of instructions for ease of use, and usually retails at £29.99.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barabados inflatable hot tub chemical starter kit on a dining room table

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

For first use, it’s recommended to add a ‘shock dose’ of chlorine, which means adding a higher amount of chemicals than you would normally. For the Barbados inflatable hot tub Lay-Z-Spa recommends about 13g or three teaspoons of granules. You can apply the product directly to the spa, or dissolve it in warm water first. I chose to dissolve it and then poured it in, making sure the filter was running. Following the shock dose, it’s recommended to wait 24 hours before using the hot tub.

The next day, I checked the water levels using the dip tests. This showed that everything was perfect and no further chemicals needed to be added. The water should be tested before use every time you want to climb in, and there's the option to use a chemical dispenser (included) which can be used for chlorine tablets. I found some really useful information about pool maintenance on the Lay-Z-Spa website, including a quick starter guide, care information, and a guide to chemical dosages.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barabados inflatable hot tub chemical dip test

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub: performance

Before jumping in, I downloaded the Lay-Z-Spa App which allows you to control the pump from your phone. Instructions are handily included in the Owner’s Manual and it took about five minutes to connect the hot tub to the WiFi and follow the set up instructions.

From the app, you can change the water temperature, set up timers, turn on the massage jets, and even set up voice control. I found this useful as my partner had fiddled around with the control panel at one point and had turned the temperature down. I was able to set it back to 39 degrees from my phone and keep an eye on when it was back up to temperature.

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados hot tub is very easy to use. You take the lid off by unclipping the clasps. These have a safety feature whereby you have to push in a tab before squeezing the outside clasps. This makes it difficult for children to remove. You can then easily climb in and make yourself comfortable on the padded base. The 120 massaging airjets can be turned on at a push of a button and the temperature can be easily adjusted on the digital display using the arrows.

The massage jets are fairly powerful and are all the way around the base of the hot tub, so it doesn’t matter where you sit. Some hot tubs have jets up the walls too, but we didn’t miss these and found the jets relaxing.

The hot tub is said to fit two to four people, but, like most hot tubs, we found that in reality with two of us in there space was very limited. My partner is 6ft 4, so with both of us in there, plus two active children, that was enough and I think four adults would be a real squeeze. My eldest had enough room to practise diving for sinking toys, but there wasn’t much room for much else.

A mother and son sitting inside the filled Lay-Z-Spa Barabados inflatable hot tub . The boy has swimming googles on

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

We used the hot tub six times over the space of a month, enough time to perfect the amount of chlorine I needed to add, and we didn’t have to use any of the other chemicals at all. 

I was pleased that the hot tub came with a lid, as it would be very hard to keep the water clean without it. The fact that it's inflatable also helps to keep the water warm which means the hot tub uses less energy to maintain its temperature. On days when it was colder, the water stayed warm, even when the lid was off for longer periods.

The 'FreezeShield technology' also means that you can keep the spa running all year round. When temperatures drop below 6 degrees, the anti-freeze system kicks in to stop the water from freezing.

The lid also acts as a safety feature in case a child were to climb on top, and the safety lock clips are an excellent addition; both of my children tried to open the lid and weren't successful.

The only issue we found with the lid was that you can't adjust the buckles on the lid to make it really tight, therefore in heavy rain water tends to sit on top of the lid weighing down the middle. It was then quite difficult to remove the water without any of it escaping into the hot tub, as it gets quite heavy.

If you want to enhance your spa experience further, then there are a variety of accessories that can be purchased on the Lay-Z-Spa website, including filters, drink holders, LED lights, seats, pillows, and even an LED waterfall. You can also purchase sea salts to add fragrance and minerals to your experience, although we found the hot tub perfectly relaxing as it was.

Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub: storage and maintenance

In terms of maintenance, the spa comes with a repair kit and includes handy instructions on how to repair any punctures. There's also an extensive troubleshooting guide and instructions on draining the spa, cleaning it, and deflation.

Draining the spa is simple. You take the cap off the water outlet hose and can connect a drainage pipe/hose if you wish. We had some hosing used for draining our fish tank, so we connected this and let the water run onto the grass lawn and into the flower beds. 

The Lay-Z-Spa Barabados inflatable hot tub on a paved patio

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

The hot tub took just under two hours to empty and we were left with about an inch of water in the base. This is because the plug hole sits slightly higher than the water level, so to empty the last dregs I had to tip the hot tub up slightly so that the water level was higher than the plug.

You can then air-dry the spa by turning on the massage function on the pump. This also expels any water from the system. 

I did have to get into the spa to mop up the final dregs of water which sat in the seams behind the air jet holes, but this didn’t take long at all. I then disconnected the pump, removed and cleaned the filter, and fitted the caps back over the filter outlets.

Deflating the spa was also very easy. All I had to do was connect the screw valve and pipe to the air outlet and then turn on the massage function. This quickly deflated the spa in less than two minutes. We then folded the inner and outer liners and slotted them back into the box, along with the lid, pump, and connections. 

The Lay-Z-Spa Barabados inflatable hot tub on a paved patio

(Image credit: Future/ Bethan Davis)

Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub: energy efficiency and cost to run

The Lay-Z-Spa website has a wealth of information, including a table of Lay-Z-Spa hot tub running costs for the brand's normal and thermal efficient hot tubs, which really helps if you want to do your research on how much it costs to run a hot tub before purchasing a spa. 

The Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub is one of the four thermal-efficient models the brand currently offers.  That means the hot tub heats up quicker and holds the heat in for longer – just one of the reasons it won an award for energy efficiency at the UK Pool & Spa Awards.

Although the brand reminds us that 'many factors can affect the running costs of a hot tub, from the size of the Lay‑Z‑Spa and its volume of water to sheltered or unsheltered positioning and frequency of use to the fluctuation of outside temperatures and individual energy tariffs', Lay-Z-Spa estimates that its average hot tub costs on average £11.76 for weekend usage in summer and £21.73 for the week. 

If you opt for one of the brand's more thermal efficient hot tubs, like the Barbados inflatable, then running costs are reduced to £8.31 per weekend and £13.22 for the week, a saving of roughly 40% on running costs. The website also has a helpful blog for advice and ways to save on hot tub running costs.

We found that when using the hot tub the cost of our electricity did rise by about £2 - £3 per day compared to when it wasn't running. However, that's still a big saving on a spa day!

How does the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub rate online?

On the Lay-Z-Spa website the Barbados inflatable hot tub rates highly at 4.6 stars, although this is the lowest rating out of their 2-4 people hot tubs (but it is their most reviewed). 

Those rating it 5 stars love how easy it is to use and set up and also comment that the pump is quiet and it heats up quickly. Others comment that it’s great that it can be used all year round and it’s great value for money.

Those rating the hot tub 1 and 2 stars tended to have found the instructions unclear for chemical usage or have had issues with the WiFi features. A few users also commented on the lid being a bit loose, and that the tub's capacity is compact for 2-4 people (however, having tested a range of hot tubs, a smaller capacity than marketed is common across the board).

On other review sites, it scores highly, with users commending the value for money, the fact it's easy to set up, and that the spa experience is great for relaxation.

How does the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub compare to similar models?

A month before trying the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados AirJet, we tried the Wave Osaka 6-person Rigid Foam Hot Tub. This differs from the Lay-Z-Spa in that it's not inflatable, but has sturdy foam walls sandwiched between the liners. It’s also a lot larger, holding almost twice as much water at a 1200-litre capacity.

Although it's larger capacity was very welcome for our family of four, the Wave Osaka does have its downsides, compared to the smaller, inflatable Lay-Z-Spa Barbados AirJet Hot Tub. For starters, the Lay-Z-Spa was very easy to assemble – it took me just 20 minutes on my own, whereas it took twice as long and I needed my partner to help me with the Wave.

Filling time also doubled with the Wave, because of course the water capacity is twice the size, and that larger volume of water took a lot longer to heat meaning that running costs were higher. 

Both hot tubs have inflatable lids, but they both have the issue in that they gather rainwater, although the Wave lid fits more snuggly and is sturdier.

Another positive for the Lay-Z-Spa is that the power cable is longer which gives you more options on placement in the garden (I had to use an extension cable for the Wave which isn't generally recommended). The Lay-Z-Spa was also much quicker and easier to deflate and dismantle, and takes up a lot less storage space when you want to pack it away.

Final verdict: is the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub worth the money?

Overall I would highly recommend the Lay-Z-Spa Barbados Airjet Hot Tub. 

The inflatable build was super easy to set up, deflate and store. It was also really easy to use, and the added WiFi controls are a handy feature. 

It looks great on our patio and its anti-freeze technology means we're likely to use it all year long, so for the price I think it's good value. 

If you're concerned about energy usage and running costs then the Barbados' extra thermal efficiency is a great feature, and I think worth paying that little bit more for. 

The only real downside is its capacity, which is fine – if still a little cosy – for two adults, but definitely starts to feel crowded with any more users. I don’t think it will suit us as much as our boys grow older and bigger, as I certainly don’t think it would be a comfortable fit for me and three 6-foot boys!

However, the inflatable Lay-Z-Spa Budapest Airjet Hot Tub offers similar energy efficiency plus space for up to 6 people, so could be a good option if, like us, you prefer a little more space to stretch out and relax.

Bethan Davis

Bethan works in PR and Events in the tourism industry and lives with her fiancé, two children (Danny and Finn), and two cats. When she is not writing or wrangling the kids, Bethan enjoys sports. As well as running when she gets a chance, she is a keen netball player and is chairwoman and founder of her local club which she plays for twice a week. Of course, this means a netball post resides on her patio alongside an outdoor furniture set and kids’ water table. As such, her other areas of expertise are outdoor toys and the best areas to relax in your garden (until the kids find you). She is always looking for products that will enhance her home life, whilst also keeping the kids entertained.