There are a lot of differences between these two types of hot tubs that can cause confusion for those that are looking for a solid purchase. Since inflatable hot tubs have come a long way over the years, they are really starting to cover a lot of the features that portable hot tubs have already covered. This means that deciding between the two has become more difficult than ever since they have a lot of the same pros and cons. Neither one is necessarily better than the other, so it isn’t as easy as saying that portable hot tubs are better than inflatable hot tubs. Below is a short guide on how to differentiate between the two when deciding on a purchase so that you can narrow it down to what you really want.
Small hot tubs that accommodate two adults and are designed for a more intimate experience measure about 3 to 4 feet high by 5 feet across and hold approximately 500 gallons of water. Larger hot tubs measure around 4 to 5 feet high and 6 feet or more in diameter and are built to accommodate up to 8 adults or more. They hold about 850 gallons of water.

There are numerous advantages and just as many disadvantages that one has to consider while looking to purchase an inflatable hot tub. Their specific situation, how and when they intend to use the hot tub as well as their specific taste will help them come to a decision. Below are some tips to consider before you make your final decision to buy or not.
This is the best $360 we've ever spent. We use it once or twice a day since we got it 2 months ago. So... it took about 15 hours to heat up to 104 degrees to start things off. To save money on electricity we turn it off after our last use for the day,,, around 5pm,, leaving only the water circulating on. Then when we get up 5/6am we turn the heater back on and it's ready to go at 104 degrees around 3pm that afternoon. Since I've never had a spa or pool before that I had to maintain chemical balances, that was a little confusing until we educated ourselves. There is an automatic run time clock on the unit but I've never taken the time to learn how to use it. Assembly,,, was easy but I wish I had a video to watch (I learned a lot ... full review
Combination pool and spas come with benefits, sure. Pool-lovers also get a spa; spa lovers get a pool. Installing a spa and pool as part of the same unit can save on upfront construction cost and time, and is easy to unify in a harmonious design. On the surface, it seems like a win-win situation. However, the combination comes with costs to consider.
The first task in researching hot tubs was finding some of the best inflatable hot tubs on the market, through in-depth online research. We found a lineup of tubs we felt best served our readers and then compared them to discover which was the best overall and which tubs would be best for families. After extensive research we were able to write about them in a way that will help you find the tub that works best for you. 
All inflatable spas include a locking top cover for safety reasons. Some, however, also use the cover to insulate the tub and speed up the heating process. Some models include inflatable covers that fit into the top of the tub like a stopper in a bottle, while others use insulating materials like foam or foil lining to keep the heat inside. Regardless of insulation style, you’ll want a cover that’s more than a fitted piece of fabric.
Looks like a kiddie pool. Inflatable hot tubs don't have the range of features found on molded above-ground spas. Most don't even include seats, so users must sit directly on the floor with little room for their feet. Some models have rigid sides that snap into place to give the tub more structure, but others just look like a giant, tub-shaped balloon. Owners choose inflatable hot tubs for their low price and convenience, not their looks.
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If you really want to have fun, you must definitely try the Paris with an entertaining LED lights show that will surely bring a fresh air to your yard. The tub itself is made of a high-quality and durable material similar to leather that boasts the innovative TriTech triple reinforced structure. This consists of a polyester mesh core wrapped in two layers of PVC that ensure a robust and sturdy construction.
This is a big hot tub that measures 6 feet 4 inches across and 28 inches deep. It holds up to 265 gallons of water and is big enough to hold four to six adults at a time. The exterior is made of a bright green synthetic leather. It comes with a fitted top cover made of the same durable material and a foil lining that helps retain heat. Its vertical beam construction and vertical vinyl panels inside the tub offer plenty of support, so the tub shouldn’t lose its shape over time. A cushioned ground cover adds to the comfort of what is already a very relaxing tub. The ground cloth, of course, also protects the tub from debris on the ground underneath. The combination pump and heater come with digital controls and heat the tub up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. With a heating rate of 2 degrees per hour, the water will need to heat overnight to reach its maximum temperature. You’ll have to think ahead to start heating the water a day before you want to use it. The pump’s air blower performs two functions: providing air to the tub’s 120 bubble jets and inflating the tub during setup. An included pressure gauge helps you avoid overinflating, and an included tightening wrench is specially designed to tighten the valve setting to prevent leaking over time.

It isn’t designed to be left running 24/7, and will automatically shut off after around 48hrs. If you intend to make regular use of a hot tub and don’t want to have to keep waiting for the water to get back up to temperature, then a portable hot tub may not be the be the most efficient choice. If, however, you are simply looking for something to enhance your weekends, a portable spa is definitely the answer,

This plug and play inflatable spa has one of the easiest setups possible, demanding that you spend just a few minutes during the process. At the same time, it requires no plumbing whatsoever, mostly due to its ingenious thermal systems. Speaking of which, the tub has solid-state thermic controls which enable you to control the temperature of the water in great detail along with the tub’s many other features.
When you’re deciding whether to install a pool with a built-in spa, take a moment to consider the implications. Would you rather have a pool with a mediocre spa attached to it, or a pool and an excellent spa in separate locations? Installing both—an in-ground pool and a portable spa—enables you to get the best from both your hot tub and your pool. It gives you the option to choose the spa that’s perfect for you—not the one that comes as an afterthought.
The heater once turned on, heats up the water at a rate of 2 degrees per hour. You can set the temperature beforehand, leave it overnight or during the day while you’re at work, then come home and soak in your desired water temperature. As with other models, this Intex portable spa comes with an insulated cover to keep the water clean while not in use. The cover also helps to keep the heat in until the time you decide to soak.
Heating the water up – One must keep in mind that a hot tub can take several hours to heat up depending on its construction and the technologies it employs. Please consider that the bigger the tub is the more it would take for the water inside it to heat up to the desired temperature. Furthermore, black hot tubs kept outdoors will likely draw more sunlight, thus causing the water they contain to heat up much faster.
This is where the portable hot tub may have a problem if it isn’t the type that can be dissembled. Carrying around a full sized hot tub to a new location in or around your home is not fun if you can’t break it down into smaller pieces. There will also be places that no matter what you do, it will never be able to go. This can be avoided by purchasing an inflatable system or a portable system that can be taken apart easily.
Salt systems, for pools or spas, have trouble producing chlorine at low water temperatures. When water temperatures drop into the 60s, very little chlorine output is generated, even though your salt cell is working overtime. Many salt systems will shut down, in a self-protection mode, when low water temps are sensed. This of course, is not a big deal for spas and hot tubs, so long as you keep the water 65° F or higher. Do this, and you’ll have no problems.

Portability: another great benefit of the inflatable hot tubs is the portability. Since you can inflate and deflate it, the set is very easily assembled anywhere. Some models can endure cold weather so you will be able to use it even during the fall and winter seasons, while installing a traditional hot tub in the open is a scenario unlike to many of those models and often has a higher cost. Most of the inflatable hot tubs also have a thermal insulating cover for that kind of use, so even during summer nights when you need to leave the tub for a while, you can cover it and keep it warm for longer.
These Lay-Z-Spas are great for your health and relaxation. Relaxing in one of the hot tubs can help you melt the stress away from a hard days work. Or after you workout at the gym. They help in the recovery of muscle strain while lifting weights. You will recover from lactic acid build-up, this is when your muscles ache the next day or even a few hour after training. Jump into your Lay-Z-Spa as soon as you can will help reduce the lactic acid build-up and you will feel great as well.
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