Wish you had a portable and affordable hot tub you could plug right into any outlet and instantly enjoy therapeutic warm waters and ultimate relaxation? If so, you’re in luck!
While plug n play hot tub models can’t compete with traditional tubs in terms of capacity and heating performance, they check all of these boxes and many consider them the best hot tubs on the market for a variety of reasons.
That being said, there are hundreds of plug-in hot tub options out there to choose from and nearly as many hot tub reviews pointing you every which way. This is where we come in. With years of experience testing, reviewing, and enjoying every plug and play hot tub released, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about them and find the best plug and play hot tub for you and your home!
- 1 Our Recommended Hot Tubs
- 2 10 Best Plug and Play Hot Tubs:
- 2.1 1. Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set
- 2.2 2. LIFE SMART 4 Person Plug & Play Square Hot Tub Spa with 13 Jets and Cover, Beige
- 2.3 3. American Spas AM-534LP 3-Person Hot Tub, Summer Sapphire
- 2.4 4. Home and Garden 6 Person 71 Jet Spa
- 2.5 5. Home & Garden LPIX3 32 Jet Spa
- 2.6 6. AquaRest Spas AR-200 4 Person 14 SS Jets with Easy Plug and Play and LED Waterfall
- 2.7 7. Essential Hot Tubs 11-Jet Integrity Hot Tub, Seats 4-5, Cobblestone
- 2.8 8. AquaRest Spas AR-300 2 Person 14 SS Jets with Easy Plug and Play and LED Waterfall
- 2.9 9. AquaRest Spas AR-400 4 Person 14 SS Jets with Easy Plug and Play and LED Waterfall
- 2.10 10. American Spas AM-511RM 5-Person 11-Jet Round Spa, Plug-in-Play System, with Multi Color Spa Light, Tuscany Sun and Mahogany
- 3 What Is a Plug and Play Hot Tub?
- 4 Tips on Choosing the Best Plug and Play Hot Tub
- 5 How to Clean and Maintain Your Plug and Play Hot Tub
- 6 Plug and Play Hot Tub Accessories
- 7 Factors to Consider When Buying a Plug and Play Hot Tub
- 8 Plug and Play Hot Tub FAQ
- 9 Where to Buy the Best Plug and Play Hot Tub
- 10 Inflatable Hot Tubs
- 11 Making the Decision
Our Recommended Hot Tubs
- Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set
- Our Rating:
- 4 Person capacity
Water capacity: 210 gallons
Product Dimensions 77 x 77 x 28 inches
- LIFE SMART 4 Person Plug & Play Square Hot Tub Spa
- Our Rating:
- 4 Person Capacity
Water capacity: 195 gallons
Power: 110 Volt
Product Dimensions: 70 x 61 x 32 inches
10 Best Plug and Play Hot Tubs:
What Is a Plug and Play Hot Tub?
Searching for the coolest hot tub or want all of the benefits of a hot tub without the price, installation costs, and other drawbacks? I wish you had a “Hot Tub for Dummies” book you could read to learn all about them and pick out the perfect one?
You’re in the right place. Let’s start by defining what a plug and play hot tub is and what makes them unique.
Plug and play hot tubs are similar to other hot tubs in a number of ways. They provide you with a hot soak and therapeutic jets for muscle relaxation and reduced stress.
However, unlike traditional hot tub benefits that begin and end right here, the list of benefits continues on with plug and play models.
For instance, setting and starting up a hot tub usually requires help from professional electricians and installers. Plug and play hot tub start-up, on the other hand, is as easy as plugging a cord into a standard 110V outlet and pressing a button. It really is that simple.
With a plug and play hot tub, there’s no wiring to deal with whatsoever. Unlike traditional hot tubs, they don’t require a separate circuit and 240V outlet. In other words, they’re just like a refrigerator, dryer, or any other appliance in terms of their power requirements.
Not only does this make installation and ease of use a breeze, but it also means there are no added installation costs to account for. Adding a 220V, 50-amp line required by standard hot tubs can cost upwards of $500 or more. With a plug and play hot tub, all you need is a couple of people to help you move it into place!
Speaking of moving into place, plug and play hot tubs are extremely portable as well. Not only do they come with three-pronged cords that can plug into any standard 110V outlet, but they also weigh less and are much more portable. In fact, they can go into any room and easily be taken with you when you move.
On the downside, plug and play hot tubs do take a bit longer to heat up. If you’re wondering how hot is a hot tub, the answer is 104 degrees. Traditional hot tubs with more power and larger pumps can reach this temperature in no time at all. Plug and play models, however, can take up to 24 hours to reach their max temp.
Nonetheless, since no one wants a cool hot tub, this is really a non-issue. Once you move it in place and plug it in, you can leave it plugged in to instantly enjoy warm therapeutic waters whenever you want. Since plug and play hot tubs are so energy-efficient, you can leave it plugged in just like your TV for pushbutton enjoyment and ultimate ease of use.
Tips on Choosing the Best Plug and Play Hot Tub
When shopping for a plug and play hot tub, there are quite a few things to keep in mind. From setup to shell material and everything in between, there’s a lot going on that can make or break the quality and performance of a hot tub.
Needless to say, it helps to know a thing or two about hot tubs, and that’s where we come in. We’ve tested hundreds of hot tubs and written just as many hot tub reviews. In fact, we’re an authority on the subject and have some valuable tips to help you find the best hot tub for you.
Tip #1 – Don’t Overlook Size
It’s easy to get all wrapped up in waterfalls, LEDs, and other neat features when reading plug and play hot tub reviews. However, since even the very best 2 person hot tub won’t work for a family of five, one of the first things you should think about when looking at a hot tub is size.
Tip #2 – Portability is Key
When it comes to hot tubs, the more room you have to relax, the better. However, depending on your situation, you may need to sacrifice size for portability. While all plug and play hot tubs are much more portable than traditional models, some are more portable than others. It all depends on your needs.
Tip #3 – Features Make the Difference
Features like waterfalls, LED mood lighting, headrests, and so on shouldn’t be the first thing on your mind when looking for a plug and play hot tub, but they should certainly be second or third. After all, anything that ups the relaxation factor is a plus, right?
How to Clean and Maintain Your Plug and Play Hot Tub
Maintaining a hot tub and regular hot tub care is an important aspect of being a hot tub owner and being able to enjoy it worry-free for years. Unfortunately, many new hot tub owners don’t know the first thing about hot tub maintenance, hot tub cleaning chemicals, or properly winterizing a hot tub.
If this sounds familiar and you find yourself wishing there was a ‘’Hot Tub Maintenance for Dummies” to guide your way, you’re in the right place.
From properly draining a hot tub and getting rid of hot tub mold to hot tub chemicals, hot tub ph, hot tub water chemistry maintenance, and everything in between, here’s the rundown on how to care for a hot tub and keep it ready for soaking all year long.
Maintaining Hot Tub Water Chemistry
Taking care of the hot tub involves regularly cleaning the filter as well as knowing the best hot tub chemicals and adding them as needed. If the levels are too high and you have low alkalinity or high ph in your hot tub, the hot tub equipment will begin to corrode. If the pH is too low, you’ll need to perform a hot tub shock treatment in order to kill any bacteria and keep it from taking over.
To start, check the mineral and chemical levels by using test strips once a week. These strips are available both online and at your local pool and spa store.
Some strips provide readings for alkalinity, chlorine, calcium, pH, hardness, and bromine. Whether you’re testing for low ph in the hot tub or one of the other chemicals or minerals above, simply dip the strip in the tub for 15 seconds or so and have a look at the results.
Since alkalinity affects pH, it’s important to test and maintain it first. It should be between 80-120 PPM. You may need to add sodium bisulfate if it’s over 120 or sodium bicarbonate if it’s under 80.
Next, you need to weigh the pros and cons of bromine vs chlorine and use one or the other to sanitize your hot tub.
While chlorine has been a long-time staple for spa owners and was widely used for years, more and more people are choosing bromine for their hot tub treatment. Regardless of which one you choose, the best way to apply either is through the use of tablets and a floater. Just place a tablet inside and voila.
You should also consider using a mineral-based purifier. This will reduce the amount of chlorine, bromine, or shock you’ll need to use.
Test the pH
With your alkalinity and sanitizer levels where they should be, next it’s time to check the pH. Your pH should always be between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH is low, add sodium bicarbonate until the pH reaches satisfactory levels. If it’s too high, then do the same with sodium bisulfate.
Shock the Tub
Lastly, you’ll need to shock the tub. This should also be done once a week. When shocking your hot tub, use an odorizer or ozone as well as chlorine or bromine depending on the type of sanitizer you use. Click here to learn more about Hot Tub Chemicals and Health.
Clean the Filter
Chemicals may keep hot tub white water mold and other bacteria at bay, but it’s also important to clean the filter every week or two to avoid the need for hot tub troubleshooting down the road.
If your breaker keeps tripping or your hot tub jets quit working, a clogged filter may be to blame. A clean filter will also help your spa run at the ideal hot tub temperature of 104 degrees.
To clean the filter, simply take out the cartridge and use a hose to wash away dirt and debris from each pleat. The entire process only takes a minute or two.
Winterizing a Hot Tub
Winter can do a number on pipes and hot tubs alike, so it’s important to get them ready for the freezing temps ahead.
To winterize your hot tub, you should flush the plumbing system to keep it clear of any blockages and clean the filter. Next, you’ll need to drain the tub, refill it with fresh water, and add the chemicals to once again maintain the required pH.
Once this is all done, cover the hot tub up. Most hot tubs come with custom covers. However, some are better insulated than others. To save your pipes and your energy bills, the more insulation the better. You can also wrap the tub in an insulated blanket for an extra layer of protection.
A cover cap, which is a poly-woven material, can also be helpful to keep snow and ice from accumulating on your hot tub cover.
That’s really all there is to it. As long as you follow these steps and keep an eye on your hot tub’s water and chemical levels throughout the winter, you can enjoy it year-round.
If you choose not to use it during the winter months, simply do everything above minus the adding of freshwater and chemicals. You can cover it up and leave it outside or store it safely away in your garage or shed. That’s the beauty of portable plug and play spas!
Plug and Play Hot Tub Accessories
Whether you would like to add comfort, convenience, or fun to your hot tub experience, there are all sorts of hot tub accessories, such as floating tables, hot tub cup holders, and hot tub bars, designed to provide you with as much hot water enjoyment as possible. Best of all, these hot tub accessories are fun, inexpensive, and readily available at a number of places both on and offline.
Unlike a hot tub drink holder, table, or bar, there are other less fun hot tub accessories as well. One of these is a hot tub vacuum. Whether you opt for a rechargeable pool vacuum or a standard electric spa vacuum, the best hot tub vacuum will allow you to automatically keep your plug and play hot tub clean and debris-free for minimal upkeep and maximum relaxation.
Ozonators are another popular hot tub accessory. With an Ozonator, you can minimize the time spent on cleaning your hot tub and enjoy it more.
If you have a hot tub with a built-in Ozonator, you don’t have to worry about purchasing one of these accessories. If not, you’ll definitely want to purchase an Ozonator as it’s more of a necessity than a perk.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Plug and Play Hot Tub
Hot Tub Size
The size of a hot tub can have a tremendous effect on the enjoyment it provides. In most cases, the bigger a hot tub is the better. However, if you move often and plan on taking your plug and play hot tub with you, a larger tub will obviously be more difficult to move and setup.
Plug and play hot tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you should think about where you plan on placing the hot tub before purchasing one. Want to put in in a corner in your sunroom? There are several triangle-shaped hot tubs that will be a perfect fit. Want a large rectangle plug and play tub to place on the back deck?
There are dozens to choose from.
Plug and play hot tubs are much less expensive than traditional 240V hot tubs, but they’re still a large investment for most. Since it’s no fun lounging in a hot tub with nothing but ramen noodles in your belly, develop a budget before you start shopping and stick to it.
Unlike large hot tubs that require a separate circuit, plug and play hot tubs are incredibly energy efficient. In fact, the average plug and play hot tub only use about $20 per month in energy. Nonetheless, some models are more energy-efficient than others, so it’s important to keep this in mind as well.
Plug and play spas often come with a ton of features like LED lighting, waterfalls, contoured seating, and so on. Make sure the tub you choose has all of the features you want.
Plug and Play Hot Tub FAQ
How long does it take for a plug and play hot tub to heat up?
Nearly all plug and play hot tubs take 24 hours or longer to reach their maximum operating temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they’re often left on once filled and heated, so they can be instantly enjoyed whenever you want.
How difficult is installation?
Aside from their affordability, the real appealing feature of plug and play hot tubs is there easy installation and use. Like their names suggest, these types of spas can be plugged into any outlet, so there’s nothing to do but a place where you want it, fill it up with water, and plug it in. There’s nothing else to it.
What is an Ozonator?
An Ozonator is essentially an aerator that helps clean the water with minimal use of chemicals. Many plug and play hot tubs are equipped with Ozonators or other cleaning systems to help make maintenance a breeze.
Can I really put a plug and play spa anywhere?
Yes. Well, almost. Plug and play hot tubs are designed to plug into any standard electrical outlet, so they can be placed anywhere within reach of an outlet. With a large backyard and the use of an extension cord, the location possibilities are endless.
Where to Buy the Best Plug and Play Hot Tub
Plug and play hot tubs are available online from Amazon and other retailers as well as offline at certain big box and pool supply stores. However, like everything else these days, most people choose to purchase their plug and play hot tubs online from Amazon for several reasons.
Firstly, the prices are lower. The combination of less overhead and competition in the marketplace means manufacturers and online retailers often offer products for much less. Needless to say, online is the place to go to find a cheap plug and play hot tub for maximum enjoyment and minimal out of pocket costs.
An Amazon plug and play hot tub will also arrive straight to your door. This is a big plus. Best of all, since plug and play hot tubs are literally “plug and play,” there’s no need to worry about installation. Just plug it in, fill it up with water, and begin enjoying ultimate relaxation!
Inflatable Hot Tubs
An inflatable hot tub is simply a soft hot tub usually made from some sort of PVC vinyl that needs to be inflated before use. When reading inflatable hot tub reviews, you’ll notice they’re also known as portable hot tubs due to the ease of which they can be taken down and moved to just about anywhere you have access to water and power.
In comparison to traditional, fitted tubs, the best inflatable hot tub offers customers a chance to purchase a luxury item at a fraction of the price. And, although the cost may be the most obvious benefit, it certainly isn’t the only one. These cheap alternatives provide all the benefits of a fitted model without the maintenance.
Making the Decision
With the right maintenance and care, a quality plug and play hot tub will provide you with months or even years of fun and relaxation. Plug and play hot tubs are also much more affordable than traditional above ground or in-ground spas, allowing you to enjoy all of the warmth and therapeutic jets you want for pennies on the dollar.
You don’t need to be rich to enjoy a few comforts in life. Treat yourself and get your soak on with a top-quality plug and play hot tub today!