Are Cheap Hot Tubs Any Good? Are they Value For Money?

Having a hot tub is even today considered a matter of prestige and something a lot of people dream of having. Driven by the belief that hot tubs are a piece of luxury that simply doesn’t fit into their budget, they often opt for a cheaper solution and go for bargains. 

In this article, we are going to investigate are cheap tubs any good, not just for your budget but for your health, as well, and what parameters should you look after when choosing one for yourselves. Without further ado, let’s dive in and answer some most important questions.

Are Cheap Hot Tubs Any Good?

With all their pros and cons – cheap hot tubs are considered good products! Whenever we can’t decide what’s good or not, we can determine its quality based on its price – one’s price tag is often a decent parameter when we are indecisive in terms of judging the quality of something. 

As we all know the fact that when we don’t know what is good, we know what’s expensive. To be clear, we still think that cheap hot tubs are nice, but they sometimes come with far fewer features than those that are a bit more extravagant.

Energy Efficiency 

You may pay less purchasing an on-budget hot tub, but at the end of the day, using it will increase electrical bills drastically! This is primarily due to the issue with insulation and the difficulty to maintain the temperature. In this situation, if you want to own one, splash a couple of bucks more and save in the long run. 


Now we could have a word or two and compare cheaper and more expensive hot tub and their quality overall. Cheap hot tubs are great, and there is no doubt about it but over time the material will become worn out, yellowish, and simply not nice looking. Over the long term, this is another minus for cheaper hot tubs.

And last, but not least, costly hot tubs come with a lot more additional features than cheap ones. Frankly, hot tubs are so popular because of their features; ambient lighting, more water jets, a massager option, music speakers, and more! Those things are simply out of reach when it comes to buying cheaper ones.

How Important is Cost When Choosing A Hot Tub?

Purchasing a hot tub is a significant investment, and each step must be thoroughly explored because the investments do not end there. All these aforementioned factors are worth considering when you know you will overstep your budget. 

You should have in mind the additional costs such as maintenance costs, installation costs, electricity, and water bills, and in the end – do you have a compatible place where the hot tub would just fit in, or do you need to maybe expand the place? Everything listed here just drags prices one after the other, and as previously stated, everything must be checked out in detail when selecting a hot tub!

Are Inflatable Hot Tubs The Cheapest?

Not necessarily! Although they appear to be less expensive when purchased, there are hidden factors that prevent even the cheapest ones from being truly inexpensive. 

For instance, inflatable hot tubs are great for transportation – they are super easy to manipulate, inflate and deflate, store, and carry – in this aspect, they are undoubtedly better than the expensive ones. But, they come with a lack of insulation which directly affects the amount of time needed for the water to heat. Hence – the more time to heat the water, the more electricity you need. 

The second factor that works against inexpensive hot tubs is their quality and longevity. As we mentioned earlier, due to the cheaper materials they have been made of, inflatable hot tubs have a shorter lifespan than those made of concrete, ceramics, or acrylic. All of these factors directly impact the final cost of a hot tub!

How Much Can I Expect To Pay For A Cheap Hot Tub?

On average, an inflatable hot tub can cost up to $1,000.

There are many options available when it comes to selecting a suitable yet affordable hot tub for yourself. The final cost of it depends on dozens of different aspects we mentioned earlier.

However, on the plus side, though, installing these is simple. Once you’ve got everything sorted out and positioned a hot tub in place, you can start with the inflating. You connect a pipe that comes from the pump to the valve on the hot tub. Once you connect it, it will take up to 10 minutes to fully inflate it. As the pump needs electricity to work, you can add approximately $50 to $120 more to the electricity bill. After that, you connect the pump to the outlets of the hot tub, add the filter, fill the water, and add the chemicals to it to balance the pH, and you’re good to go!

Water is also something you need to pay for. An average inflatable hot tub needs about 200 gallons of water which you can multiply by the price of a liter and get the exact price. Let’s say you need $20 to $30 for this.

To continuously have clean water you need the aforementioned filters. They come for about $30 to $50 each. 

To analyze the water’s quality and sanitize it on a regular basis, you’ll need chemicals, and chlorine is the most commonly used chemical for this purpose. Besides chlorine, you will need strips to track the pH (keep it between 7.4 and 7.6), alkalinity (between 80 and 120 ppm), calcium (150-200 ppm), and chlorine (up to 3 ppm). On a monthly basis, this comes to about $20 to $30 altogether.

Total: $1000 for a hot tub, $70 for the bills, $30 for the filter, $20 for the chemicals = $1,120.

How much should you spend on a hot tub?

Since a hot tub doesn’t have a predetermined cost, this is important to remember when looking for the ideal hot tub that won’t break the bank: make a budget and stick to it! It is indeed an awesome feeling when you own a hot tub where you can chill and refill your energy after a tough day at work. We can conclude you are interested in purchasing one, otherwise, you wouldn’t read this article this far, and we are here to save you some money!

First, you need to determine what size would be ideal for your needs. Next, its features such as:

  • number and jets preferences, 
  • number of seats, 
  • cup holders, 
  • warranty, etc. 

Then what you need to look after is quality, and get a more reliable, quality, hot tub.  

What is the average cost of a 4-person hot tub?

A 4-person hot tub can cost anywhere from $3,000 and $25,000.

Regarding above-ground and in-ground hot tubs, there are considerable price differences. The above-ground hot tubs can cost you anywhere from $3.000 to $10.000, and the latter from $8.000 to $25.000, respectively.

What time of year are hot tubs the cheapest?

The ideal period to buy a hot tub is unquestionably between fall and winter, from late September to the middle of December, for instance. Just as any other asset, the hot tubs have their best time for purchasing, as well! Most people love to de-stress in a hot tub when it’s chilly outside. Hence, the milder seasons are the best for purchasing it.

Are hot tubs cheaper to buy in winter?

It turns out that the ideal periods to buy a hot tub are in the fall and mid-winter since store owners are more likely to run specials and discounts in order to clear out inventory and create room for a fresh supply of hot tubs for the upcoming season. Purchasing a hot tub during winter would be the best option but you could face a lack of choice – the one you desperately wanted to buy could be gone by winter.

How can I get a discount on a hot tub?

Holidays, as well as the fall and winter seasons, are the ideal times to get a great deal on a hot tub! Manufacturers typically provide discounts on the remaining hot tubs in their inventory, as well as on their equipment, at this time of year.

Searching online during fall and winter season is the greatest method to get a discount. You can also look for clearance sales at certain stores as well as ex-display samples that were featured just for advertising. Shops frequently get rid of them at a low price that you can take advantage of.

You can also look for secondhand hot tubs in good or excellent condition on websites like Craigslist, where good discounts can be found.

Final Words

Having the pleasure of using hot tubs is something you should definitely acquire if you have the financial capability! We discussed several common questions individuals ask themselves when looking for an appropriate model in this article, and maybe we were able to debunk some of your concerns about hot tubs.

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Emily Williams

Emily is a passionate Hot Tubs researcher who loves writing about all things Hot Tubs! She has years of experience and a knack for simplifying complex concepts, these articles are here to answer all your burning questions in a simple and easy to read style.
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