The Best Inflatable Hot Tub for Cold Weather

If you live in a cold climate, might be wondering if you can you use inflatable hot tub in winter and the answer is YES. And after using our inflatable hot tub for over 5 years, including during Pennsylvania winters, I’m excited to share with you the best inflatable hot tub for cold weather from our personal experience.

winter hot tub

You might be asking yourself “why is there posts about Inflatable Hot Tubs on a mostly-food blog?”‘ and I agree that it can seem strange but let me explain. My focus has ALWAYS been to help you live your best life, including finding ways to relax and enjoy your life to the maximum, like relaxing in a hot water spa after a long day, with a focus on saving money where ever possible and this is the most budget-friendly option compared to regular hot tubs.

First of all, one of my all time most popular posts is 5 Reasons to buy an Inflatable Hot Tub, so you might want to read that one first.

And secondly, my apologies to my husband for using his photo in our portable spa with a unicorn drink floatie in this post!

Ray and I are not “rich” by any means. We’re actually much more frugal than you’d realize. It’s now 2023 and we are still driving my beloved 2008 Toyota Prius that we bough new! We have prioritized maxing out our 401k contributions annually AND we are in the last year of paying off our house (nearly 10 years early). Other than our mortgage we have ZERO debt.

Even though we are choosing to allocate our money to BIG GOALS, we still want to live our best lives! And that includes making small investments that can make a HUGE impact on our mental health and happiness.

Like an inflatable hot tub at an affordable price!

Seriously. I know that we are not alone in wanting luxury but on a tight budget, with the average cost of a hot tub ringing in at over $10,000 they are simply low on the list of priorities for many.

With an inflatable hot tub, you get that warm and relaxing soak without the high price tag you’d expect to pay – PLUS you can ‘test drive’ a hot tub before a bigger investment (like we did) to make sure it’s worth spending money on AND you are prepared to maintain a hot tub.

A inflatable hot tub is made out of puncture-resistant material, has a 290-gallon capacity, and just like traditional hot tubs and traditional spas, they come with a heater, pump, filter and air blower that not only inflates the hot tub itself but also the added benefits of soothing air jets at the bottom of the tub!

From a financial perspective an Inflatable hot tub initial investment will run you ABOUT $500 for the hot tub itself plus, roughly $100 in chemicals for 6 months of use. The last thing to factor in is the daily electric operating cost; we live in Pennsylvania with some of the lowest electric rates & we used a power monitor to calculate daily usage which worked out to an average of $1/day from September to May.

Oh and YES inflatable hot tubs are plug-and-play with means you just plug it into a regular electric outlet, no electrician needed!

Can you leave inflatable hot tub out in winter?

One of the biggest factors to consider when purchasing an inflatable hot tub is can you leave inflatable hot tub out in winter when living in a colder climate? And the answer is YES – in most locations. If you live in an area like Alaska or areas with extremely cold winters; the small heater in an inflatable hot tub may not be able to keep up but for the vast majority of the United States (and similar climates) you’ll be shocked at how well an inflatable hot tub can keep itself nice and warm!

And we all can agree, a warm soak after a long day is a great way to relax after a long day, especially as the air temperatures get chillier!

According to Penn State University: “The winter season [in Pennsylvania] runs from December through March. Winter is marked by continuous cold weather; temperatures of about 32 degrees Fahrenheit to below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 20 Celsius). There may be snow, sometimes deep, at any time during winter.”

The majority of the time that a Hot Tub is enjoyed is in the colder times of the year. Nobody is seeking out 100F water to soak in when the outside ambient temperatures are 100F, right?! Who wants to be sweating in the hot tub?! I want it chilly outside when I’m using our hot tub!

We ONLY use our hot tub from September to May, that is Fall/Winter/Spring then we pack it away for the warm summer months when we are enjoying the beautiful weather doing other things like swimming, camping and hiking.

Can you use inflatable hot tub in Winter?

One of the first questions people ask when contemplating the purchase of an inflatable hot tub is can you use an inflatable hot tub in the winter, and my answer is always YES! We have used our inflatable hot tub outside during the winter in Pennsylvania for 5 years. That includes temperature dipping below 0F and our hot tub was still able to maintain +100F for a wonderfully warm soak on a very cold day!

The Best Inflatable Hot Tub for Winter

Choosing the best inflatable hot tub for winter use can be confusing, with so many different makes, models and brand available today. Teaser alert; most inflatable hot tubs are made by the same company even if they are different brands!!

While I cannot say that I have tried every brand/model inflatable hot tub available I have used 2 different ones and THIS inflatable hot tub stood up the cold weather for 5 years at our home in Pennsylvania.

In my opinion the coleman saluspa inflatable hot tub has outperformed every expectation we had for an inflatable hot tub; not only for cold weather winter use but as the best inflatable hot tub in all aspects of ownership over our 5 years of use.

Tips for using an Inflatable Hot Tub in Winter

Although portable spas and are designed for year-round use, including winter months there are a few key things that you should do to ensure that the water heater can keep up throughout the winter salon providing you the ideal warm water / water temperature in the harshest of winter conditions.

  • Use the thermal blanket liner underneath the portable hot tub for extra insulation on top of your porch or deck surface as a ground cover. Not only does this thermal ground cloth offer protection against the cold weather, it also helps to ensure there are no sharp pointy objects that could puncture the base while helping to give you a cushioned floor. Additionally using a cover thermal blanket added on top of the water, but under the lid, helps immensly too during colder months in addition to your hot tub cover.
  • Keep the water level and water capacity filled at all times in your inflatable spa, so that there is more volume to retain the heat within your hot tub and less air space between the water surface and cover.
  • Make sure the insulated cover is well inflated and securly covering the top of your hot tub, especially during colder temperatures. This is the one part of our inflatable hot tub that needed replacing, it lost air and thus was less energy efficient.
  • Choosing an outdoor space or location that is still outside but protected from the elements, will help maintain your heat as well. We keep ours on our back porch which is covered by a roof and we installed a clear wall to eliminate the harsh wind, rain and snow that comes from the west!
  • Keeping your inflatable tub at its maximum temperature of 104F in the colder months to offset the ambient temperature. It might seem extra warm at first but as the heat loss that naturally occurs when you get in, it will feel perfect soon! The automatic heating function will maintain the max temperature 24/7 so your inflatable hot tub spa is always ready to be enjoyed!
  • It’s not a good idea to run the high-powered bubble jets in the colder months, the freezing temperatures will chill the water quicker when the bubbles are bubbling.

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