Portable Hot Tubs

Soak in the luxury of a portable spa

Choosing a portable hot tub over a traditional one will make the investment much less risky. Forget expensive installation and maintenance costs. Unlike everyday spas, portable hot tubs can be moved from one home to another with little hassle. In addition, while portable spas increase property value, they don't cause property taxes to rise. They're even tax deductible for those who use them to treat sore muscles, stiffness and arthritis pain.

Regular hot tubs are extremely difficult to move, but portable ones are an entirely different story. Some companies offer help to customers wanting to transfer their portable hot tubs to new houses. Sometimes sellers want to leave their portable spas behind. If a new homeowner doesn't like where the portable spa is positioned, he or she can simply move it elsewhere, which is an effective selling point.

The majority of portable spas are lightweight, at around 50 pounds. They can usually function when the temperature is well below freezing; all that's needed to warm the water is a power outlet. That means wherever there is electricity, and a functional socket, portable hot tubs can be enjoyed. Those who want to relax in the middle of nowhere shouldn't feel disappointed. There are versions that run strictly on batteries (good luck finding a water hose).

The three types of portable spas available are hard-side, fiberglass and inflatable. Inflatable hot tubs can be blown up in minutes, plus they have surprisingly powerful jets. Hard-side spas come with durable wood panels and vinyl lining. Fiberglass versions also have detachable walls and a strong vinyl liner. Since all three can be taken apart or deflated, it's much easier to have them inside a home. All of them require approximately 250 gallons of water. Different models can seat anywhere from two to six, sometimes more.

The cost of portable spas ranges from $500 to $5000. Price will depend on durability, weight, aesthetic appeal and whether the temperature is computer-regulated. An inflatable spa would be the least expensive choice of the three types.

Portable hot tubs have their disadvantages, of course. They're not nearly as sturdy as their stationary counterparts. They also tend to be much smaller, though less water does heat up faster. An inflatable hot tub can be ripped open with strong enough force. Luckily, portable spas are cost-efficient and convenient enough to make up for those few drawbacks.

By Shannon Beineke

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