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Differences Between Inflatable, Plug-and-Play, and Standard Hot Tubs

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Differences Between Inflatable, Plug-and-Play, and Standard Hot Tubs

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There is nothing as great as soaking your tired body in the warm water of a hot tub and feeling those jets massage your muscles. Drink in hand, companion by your side… life doesn’t get much better. Have you been thinking of getting a hot tub? Did you know there are different types for every budget, location, and purpose? There is the low-cost inflatable, the instant set up plug-and-play, and the pricier standard hot tub with loads of the best features. So how are you supposed to know the differences between inflatable, plug-and-play, and standard hot tubs? 

Inflatable Hot Tubs

Inflatable hot tubs have been increasing in popularity lately. Why? Well, they are the least expensive option available. Their low cost (starting at around $500) makes them a great choice for someone on a budget who wants to have a hot tub experience. Inflatables are extremely lightweight and portable, arriving in a box about the size of a suitcase. They are quick to set up and come with an air blower to inflate them. In fact, they are so easy to move around that some people take them camping or other outside venues. However, the disadvantage is that an inflatable hot tub is not very deep and does not have seats. You also must keep them on a flat ground surface (where rocks cannot puncture the vinyl), as they are not suitable to use on a deck. They hold around 200 gallons of water, but since the heater motor is small, they can take quite a while to heat up. They do have “bubblers” that move the water around, but not jets with hydromassage action. Water care is also tricky for these casual types of tubs.

Plug-and-Play Hot Tubs

A better choice is a plug-and-play hot tub. These are a great option for many reasons. First, the cost is relatively low compared to a standard hot tub (prices start around $3,000). Second, people love the fact that an electrician is not needed to install special wiring. Just fill it up, plug it into a dedicated 110V outlet, and start enjoying it. Third, it is relatively portable! If you move, you can take it with you. Plug-and-play hot tubs usually seat two to four people. They come with plenty of features too: hydrotherapy jets, waterfalls, and LED lights, just to name a few. Now the thing is because they come with a smaller pump and heater, the jets will not be as powerful as a standard hot tub and the heater will have to work harder and be on longer. A plug-and-play hot tub will be cheaper to purchase but may end up costing more to run than a standard hot tub. 

Standard Hot Tubs

The average standard hot tub owner will spend around $7,000 for a hot tub that seats four to six people. It is possible, however, to spend up to $20,000 for a luxury hot tub with every feature you can imagine. The primary advantage of a standard hot tub is that they are more powerful. More power means stronger jets, more energy-efficient operation, and a faster heat-up time. You may pay more upfront for a standard hot tub, but over time, it will be more cost-effective to operate than a plug-and-play model. Another tremendous advantage is the number of options you have as to size, layout, and features. Your standard hot tub is also available for year-round usage due to the more powerful heating mechanics. When you compare types of hot tubs and their differences, you have the most options in a standard hot tub.

You can see that there are significant differences between inflatable, plug-and-play, and standard hot tubs. How will you choose now that you know the main types of hot tubs and their differences? The deciding factors will be budget, portability, and the purpose for which you intend to use it. If your number one desire is for superb hydrotherapy and energy-efficient operation, the standard hot tub is a good choice. If you want portability, ease of setup, and a cheaper price to get started with hot tubbing, the plug-and-play may be for you.

Aqua Pools is your number one place for hot tubs, spa supplies, and products. Stop by our showrooms in Homer Glen and Worth. Our professional staff is on hand to answer your questions.


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