If you’re in the market for serious luxury relaxation, it’s crucial that you buy the best hot tub for your money. Because let’s face it, it’s the kind of thing you’re only going to buy once. So, whether you're eyeing a budget inflatable hot tub or a luxurious top-end spa, it’s crucial you make the right choice.
Once a luxury reserved for the uber-wealthy, these days you can find quality hot tubs in all shapes and sizes and to suit all tastes and budgets. It does, however, certainly pay to do your research before investing, as there’s more to hot tubs than just bubbles and lights. And don’t forget the long-term costs of running your new hot tub.
Below you’ll find our concise buying guide to bring you up to speed on some essential hot tub buying information followed by our complete run-down of the best hot tubs you can buy.
Good quality inflatable hot tubs can be had from around £500, but if you want one to take permanent pride of place in your outdoor space, then prices steadily rise into the thousands. Inflatable hot tubs are great for use in warmer weather, but manufacturers recommend packing them away during the cooler months. If you want to make use of your hot tub all year round then it makes sense to spend a little more for a hard-shell hot tub - these are more durable, better insulated, and can be used even when the temperatures approach freezing.
Is your hot tub going indoors or outdoors? Getting a tub installed indoors can come with a host of added complication since you’ll be working around issues like humidity, slippery floors and electrical connections – it's a job for a professional.See related Best BBQ 2021: Hybrid, gas and charcoal barbecues for every budget Best patio heater 2022: Keep yourself cosy with our pick of the warmest patio heaters available to buy
Outdoors, you have the elements - rain, leaves and the cold to contend with, but as long as you make sure to use a tight-fitting, thermally-insulated cover and follow the manufacturer's cleaning and maintenance instructions, it's something most people can set up themselves.
It's worth considering that inflatable hot tubs often have to rely on external filters and pumps, so they won't always fit as neatly into a corner of a patio. If you want a neater-looking hot tub that you can leave in place all year round, then a hard-shell model may be worth the extra outlay as these routinely integrate the pumps and filters into the outer shell.
As with anything that uses plumbed-in water and electricity a hot tub has running costs. Most hot tubs are designed to be left on and at least partially heated 24/7, so larger tubs will inevitably cost more to run. It is possible to reduce the temperature when you're not using the hot tub, but this does mean that you'll need to set it back to a comfortable temperature an hour or two before using it. In short, you should budget to spend at around a pound per day on electricity to run a hot tub. Bear in mind, though, that many users have reported costs which are several times higher than that depending on the specific tub and environment, so it pays to do your homework before splashing out.
As with many luxuries, owning a hot tub is not without its responsibilities. It’s crucial to clean and maintain your tub on a regular basis to prevent the build-up of mould and bacteria, and to ensure that it is running at top performance.
Most manufacturers will provide instructions on how best to clean your hot tub. These instructions will vary depending on the type of tub you own - whether it's inflatable or hard-shell - and will always be your first source of information when it comes to tub maintenance, but here are a few of our general tips:
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The best hot tubs to buy in 2022
Price: £570 | Buy now from Amazon
The MSpa Silver Cloud is the cheapest hot tub in our list - which you'll immediately notice in the fact that it's inflatable. While it will never take permanent pride of place in your garden, having a hot tub that can be tucked away clearly has its advantages.
The MSpa can be packed down during the off season allowing you to avoid having to maintain it during the cooler months. It features an inbuilt control box with one button inflation, a heater that maintains a comfortable 40°C water temperature and 118 bubbling jets. The MSpa Silver Cloud is an excellent choice if you only anticipate using your hot tub sporadically – and if you fancy spontaneously wowing your party guests.
Key specs-Size: 180 x 180 x 70 cm; Weight: 23kg; Max water volume: 700 litres; Capacity: 4£530.09 Buy now
Price: £6,440 | Buy now from Argos
The Canadian Spa Calgary is definitely a top contender if you want a set of reliable features - and it's a smart-looking tub to boot. It packs four adjustable hydro-massage seats, a backlit waterfall, an aromatherapy system, mood lighting and comes with a hard top cover. As the Calgary hot tub is part of Candian Spa's Plug & Play it can also be plugged directly into a standard household socket without the need of an electrician. With space to accommodate up to four people, the Calgary hot tub is ideal for enjoying with friends and family
Key specs –Size : 213 x 160 x 79cm; Weight: 230kg; Max water volume: 700 litres; Capacity: 4
Buy now from Argos
Price: £620 | Buy now from Amazon
Lay-Z Spa is one of the most well-known and popular names in the UK hot tub market. If you’ve done any research into tubs before, it’s likely that you will have come across Lay-Z Spa before anything else.
The Helsinki, much like the brand’s entire range of products, is an inflatable hot tub. It has an impressive 180 jets and will comfortably fit between five and seven people, making it perfect for families or small gatherings. Its rapid heating system will bring the water up to 40°C, and a control panel attached to the tub’s pump allows you to easily adjust various settings, from temperature to energy saving timers.
The real perk of the Helsinki, though, is its Freeze Shield system. This feature keeps the pump running at all times, so that when it senses the water drop below 4°C, the heating system will kick in to bring it up to a safer 10°C. This makes the Helsinki perfect for all-year-round bathing, even during colder winter months.
Key specs – Size: 180 x 223 x 66cm; Weight: 796kg; Max water volume: 1,123 litres; Capacity: 7£650.79 Buy now
Price:£4,750 | Buy now from B&Q
The Canadian Spa Yukon is a smaller-scale hot tub that’s ideally suited to couples. It features a slimline design that'll be appreciated by those with limited outdoor space - but doesn't skimp on the specs. The Yukon is fitted with a pair of hydro-massage jet seats, 16 hydro-massage jets and an aromatherapy system. There's also underwater lighting, a backlit waterfall and an in-built audio system. If you're looking for a full-sized hot tub experience in a more compact package then look no further.
Key specs – Size: 74 x 100 x 213 cm; Weight: 140kg; Max water volume: 455 litres; Capacity: 2
Buy now from B&Q
Price: £800 | Buy now from Amazon
This inflatable hot tub from Intex doesn’t quite match the AirJet system of the Lay-Z Spa Helsinki, but it still packs a punch thanks to 140 heated bubble jets. It seats up to six people and has a temperature range of 20-40°C.
Another key feature of the Intex PureSpa tub is its built-in hard water treatment system, designed to ensure the water is gentler on the skin and clothes, as well as on the tub itself. As such, it’s a good option for those living in areas of the UK with harder water, such as in the South East. Plus, the tub’s ‘Fibre-Tech’ construction ensures that the walls of the tub are robust and durable.
Key specs – Size: 216 x 71cm; Weight: Unspecified; Max water volume: 1,098 litres; Capacity: 6£637.40 Buy now
Price: £24,999 | Buy now from Robert Dyas
The highest-priced hot tub on our list. Yes, you may be spending more on the St. Lawrence Swim Spa than you did on your last car - but when you see its capacious size and its array of features, you'll understand why. The St. Lawrence features seven hydro-massage seats, including a lying position seat and 66 massage jets. This hot tub's standout feature, however, is its spacious open area that can accommodate an additional eight bathers or, most notably, an active swimmer. The St. Lawrence packs five high powered swim current jets that allow it to be used for endurance swimming. These adjustable jets provide a consistent adjustable current allowing you to swim endlessly before relaxing in one of the hydro-massage seats.
As you'd expect at this price point the St. Lawrence is kitted out with a generous set of features including an in-built sound system, aromatherapy integration, a full lighting kit and Canadian Spa's automatic cleaning system. If you're looking to entertain your entire social circle and you have the cash to splash, this is the one for you.
Key specs – Size: 500 x 137 x 228 cm; Weight: 1,140kg; Max water volume: 6,475 litres; Capacity: 15
Buy now from Robert Dyas