So you’ve decided you want to get a good hot tub for around $500. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
We have gone through 5 of the best cheap hot tubs under (or around) five hundred dollars to help you make a decision. We’ve also done thorough research to ensure you know how to choose a hot tub that will best suit your needs.
Let’s get started!
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
|Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub Spa, Green & White||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Goplus 4-6 Person Outdoor Spa Inflatable Hot Tub for Portable Jets Bubble Massage Relaxing with Accessories Set (6-Person, Beige)||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Top||Intex Pure Spa 6-Person Inflatable Portable Heated Bubble Hot Tub | 28409E||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Bestway Helsinki AirJet Hot Tub, Bubbles Massage||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Bestway SaluSpa Miami AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub (1 PACK)||CHECK ON AMAZON|
1. Coleman Lay Z Spa
Coleman offers a wide range of inflatable outdoor hot tubs. The Coleman Lay Z Spa is a good inflatable hot tub that can seat up to four people.
One reason we like this hot tub is that you can pamper yourself in relaxing heated water and enjoy a soothing massage from 60 air jets. Take note they are slightly underpowered and fewer than what you find in larger tubs.
It’s 71 inches diameter, making it one of the smaller hot tubs on our list — and making it perfect for limited space. The tub’s flooring is padded meaning added comfort.
The Coleman Lay Z Spa can warm water at a rate of 3 degrees. It usually takes less than a day to reach 104 degrees, which is its maximum temperature.
If you like being on the move, then this is the best option. It has two rigid handles that can help you relocate the unit with ease.
An interactive control panel is used to operate the tub. It is very user-friendly and can be operated by anyone who is using a hot tub for the first time. If you experience any difficulties, go through the user manual as it has detailed explanations of all controls and functions.
Things we liked
- Retains heat longer and heats water quicker than other tubs in its price range
- Can be moved by one person
- Is silent during operation
- Is easy to assemble and needs basic tools to do this
Things we didn’t like
- Not recommended for areas with less than 40 degrees weather temperature
- Is not energy efficient
- the jets aren’t as powerful as other hot tub options
2. GoPlus Four Person Hot Tub
This tub has its user-friendly panel located along the tub’s corner. It is easy to operate even in high exterior temperatures.
Once the system is running, 130 high powered soothing bubble jets turn on. These jets combined with hot water give you an unparalleled relaxing feeling.
Maintenance of the GoPlus is every simple. It uses a filter cartridge, which is not found in all of the best cheap hot tubs under $500. Once this is replaced, the result is permanent and clean hot water every time you need it.
Suspended crystals are part of the filter. They ensure you receive soft water for added relaxation. This acts as a hard water treatment system.
If you plan on going places with your hot tub, this is the model to go for. It can be easily folded away when you are done using it. This means putting it in or removing it from the back of a truck or minivan is a walk in the park.
Insulated ground cloth and fabric-coated materials are used to make the exterior walls of the hot tub. Additionally, you are provided with an insulated cover to ensure better safety and heating.
Things we liked
- A built-in hard water treatment system
- Easy to maintain and assemble
- Easy to transport
- Can be used outside during extremely hot weather
Things we didn’t like
- Has a relatively small space compared to other hot tubs in its price range
- Takes longer to reach the desired temperature
3. Bestway 54190E SaluSpa AirJet Helsinki Hot Tub (Six Person)
If you are having difficulty finding a great Jacuzzi hot tub, then this is one of your options for the best cheap hot tub under 500. For starters, its Jacuzzi style look blends in with almost anything.
It comes with an aluminum coating which is rare in inflatable hot tubs. The advantage of this kind of coating is the ability to keep water heated for long periods.
This tub uses an air-jet bubble system to create a massage effect. It is a great way to relax after a long day or to unwind over the weekend.
It uses a rapid heating system to heat water. As such, you can reach temperatures of 104 degrees in a short while.
It is one of the largest hot tubs you can find on the market. Despite the tub stating six people, it can hold up to 8 if they are smaller people.
Integrated water filtration is a plus of the Bestway SaluSpa hot tub. You do not have to worry about complications that arise when you use the tub with hard water. It transforms hard water within minutes of turning it on.
Things we liked
- Easy lift side handle for better mobility
- Cushioned floors offer extra support
- A drain valve is included to release water
- An inflating pump is part of the package
Things we didn’t like
- It will substantially increase your electricity bill
- You need to have enough space to fit it
4. Intex PureSpa 6 Person
This is one of the more popular large inflatable types of the best cheap hot tub you can buy. This means it is a good choice if you enjoy entertaining several friends or if you have a large family. It is also a good option if you need a hot tub with a powerful massage system for water aerobics or hydrotherapy.
The walls of the hot tub use the company’s fiber-tech construction. It is also made of triple-ply, rip-resistant PVC skin. A combination of these two construction methods makes the wall very sturdy.
An increase in sturdiness means the walls can comfortably hold the weight of several people.
Most people assume sturdy walls in a hot tub means uncomfortable walls. This is not true with the Intex PureSpa 6 Person hot tub. The floor is cushioned to increase your comfort, and the tub comes with 2 cushioned headrests at no extra cost.
Things we liked
- There are a few extras despite it being one of the best cheap hot tubs under 500
- It is a portable hot tub with an extremely high level of comfort
- Plug and play and easy to use
- Performs well in areas with hard water
- Powerful massage system for hydrotherapy and water aerobics
Things we didn’t like
- It is too big for couples and small families
- You need a flat space of at least 11 square feet
5. SaluSpa Miami Air-jet Hot Tub
The SaluSpa Miami is made using 87 massage jets. Though this is fewer jets than other tubs of its kind and price range, the hidden benefit is you will get more power per jet and therefore a more powerful massage experience.
When you are in the tub, the heater and hot tub combination unit is close to you. This means they make less noise.
The Miami pump has a very low audible impact. The majority of the noise is from bubble jets. However, the noise will not affect your relaxing experience.
The SaluSpa Miami has a good programmable heater function. It allows you to select when the heaters turn off or on. You can program it up to 99 hours before you use the tub.
The heater can run for a maximum of two days continuously at any given temperature. So you will have the tub waiting for you rather than you waiting on it.
The downside is this specific brand has a single filtration system. More expensive models have saltwater and hard water built-in treatment. With the Miami air-jet hot tub, you will have to take care of the filtration manually during scheduled chemical maintenance.
Things we liked
- Excellent post-sales customer support as long as the warranty is valid
- Compact with the ability to accommodate 4 persons
- Bubble jets designed to produce soothing and light whole-body massage
Things we didn’t like
- Cannot run two or more functions concurrently
- No targeted and high-powered massage jets
Choosing the Best Cheap Hot Tub Under 500
The first thing to consider before buying a hot tub is the location. Choose a location close to an electric outlet. Take note the location needs to be sturdy to hold the weight of the tub when it is full.
The area should also be level to ensure water levels are consistent all around the tub. We discovered the best location for an outdoor hot tub is a patio or deck. This move provides easy access.
The area surrounding the tub should be clear of shrubs and trees unless they are evergreen trees. Apart from shedding leaves, trees attract birds that may poop on the tub.
Permanent or Portable
You will need to decide early whether portable or an in-ground hot tub will be the best fit for your yard setup and lifestyle.
The first thing that we noted is the basic construction between the two. Generally, portable hot-tubs are free-standing, pre-fabricated units with a hard interior shell. In-ground hot tubs are usually made using steel rebar and poured concrete.
Another thing is the cost. In-ground hot tubs are more expensive than portable tubs. This is a result of the construction and landscaping needs (including eventual removal) associated with them.
Lastly, ease of installation is where the in-ground variety is outshined by the portable tub. A portable best cheap hot tub under 500 can have its whole system delivered, installed and used on the same day.
All hot tubs are designed to hold a specific amount of people. Consider the number of people who will use the tub at any given time. For instance, if you have a family of four, consider purchasing a tub that holds four or more people.
Getting the right capacity ensures everyone can enjoy the tub at the same time. When choosing the capacity, do not forget to take into consideration the space available in the location you choose.
If you are a couple and don’t plan on starting a family soon, a hot tub for two should be sufficient. However, you may consider getting a bigger one if you plan on inviting over a friend or two occasionally.
Some tubs have temperature restrictions. This means such a hot tub cannot be used in extreme cold weather conditions.
The reason for such restrictions is some tubs cannot heat themselves fast enough to negate cold elements. If you live in extremely cold regions, you need to find out the coldest temperatures your best cheap hot tub under 500 can withstand. Generally, hot tubs perform best at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
If you’re looking for great hot tubs that are resistant to winter temperatures, check out this article.
Type of Jets
There are two main types of jets; hydro jets and air jets. Jets are responsible for ensuring you experience the relaxing sensation of a hot tub. Air jets are the most common in hot tubs.
The reason why they are popular is the fact that they offer a much simpler relaxing sensation. Additionally, their cost is marginally lower compared to hydro jets.
Hydro jets are recommended for people who want a customized and personalized type of bubble massage. The downside is their cost is substantially higher. This is due to the additional features included to allow personalization and customization of your hot tub experience.
Construction and Materials
One of the most crucial considerations when shopping for the best cheap hot tub under 500 is the durability and quality of the outer and inner workings of the system. Shells of hot tubs are made using a variety of materials. Rotomolded plastic, vinyl or acrylic are the most common.
Some shells can retain heat better than others. Find out about the energy-efficiency of the tub you are considering. Overall a shell should be energy-efficient, durable, attractive and capable of withstanding years of constant use.
Hot Tub Insulation
A thick layer of expanding foam is used to insulate the interior of the hot tub. Some manufacturers insulate the interior floor and underside of the shell. If you live in a cold climate check the tub to make sure it has enough insulation before you buy.
Lighting has improved in the past years. It is excellent for safety as well as aesthetic reasons. Currently, hot tubs have lights below the water, along the rim and above the water. This helps in allowing safe movement around the spa.
The majority of tub lights are LED bulbs. Some of them have controls that allow you to change the brightness or light color to your preference.
The best cheap hot tub under 500 have user-friendly hand-held or side remote controls. Some even let you operate your tub using a smartphone app. These controls allow you to adjust runtime, pump, lighting, heater, and jets.
Features to look for in a tub’s control panel include:
- Temperature – can come as pre-programmed or give you the option of selecting a specific temperature.
- Jets – lets you adjust the strength and speed.
- Lights – allow you to turn lights off and on, as well as adjust color and brightness.
- Blower control – controls the bubbling of jets.
- Warnings and alerts – overheating and GFCI or GFI failure are the main alerts you should consider.
Best 5 Brands of Cheap Hot Tubs Under 500
Bestway is one of the best brand manufacturers when it comes to hot tubs. The company has been around since 1944. They have a reputation for creating lasting, fun experiences for everyone in the world through the services and products they provide.
Another brand we found to provide high quality best cheap hot tub under 500 is Intex. The company distributes boats, furniture, toys, spas, hot tubs, above ground pools and airbeds. They are part of an international family of companies with more than 4 decades of experience.
The third company on our list of top brands is the Jacuzzi brothers. In 1930 they came up with a pump for orchards that earned them a gold medal award. Currently, they have developed a portable hydrotherapy pump that turns any normal hot tub into a rejuvenating and relaxing hydro-therapeutic spa.
Sundance Spas are known to be devoted to improving the lifestyles and health through benefits people get from their superior hydrotherapy. Potential clients are guaranteed they will do business with professionals when they buy their spas.
Another brand that is popular for creating great experiences while offering all the advantages of hydrotherapy is Hot Spring Spas. Soaking in one of their best cheap hot tubs under 500 improves sleep and reduces stress.
Why do I need a hot tub?
Research has shown that warm water therapy is beneficial in preventing and relieving injuries as well as healing the same. The majority of people find warm water therapy to be a stress reliever. It also provides a great atmosphere to reconnect with friends and family.
Should I go for indoor or outdoor?
In most cases, the cost and your preference will determine whether you want an indoor hot tub or an outdoor one. If you prefer relaxing outdoors, then you will need to get an outdoor hot tub. On the other hand, if you do not have outdoor space, say if you live in an apartment complex, an indoor hot tub is your only option.
Is maintaining a hot tub difficult?
The type of tub you choose will determine how easy or difficult it is to maintain it. The point of a hot tub is to relax and not to add a new chore. The tubs on our list are very easy to maintain. They need general cleaning once in a while. This means it is not a challenge to maintain a hot tub.
Do hot tubs need special plumbing installed?
No. All you need to do is fill it up with water. Once it has been installed, you will not need any additional plumbing or special installations.
How safe is a hot tub?
Safety is the top priority in hot tubs. This is why all hot tubs are ETL (Electric Testing Labs) marked. They are the international leader in safety testing. As such all ETL tubs are the safest in the world.
How do I ensure my water is clean?
A water filter system is crucial in a hot tub. To keep your water clean you need to change the filter according to the instructions manual. Some may give you a stipulated time while others suggest after a few months. The rule of thumb is changing the filter often if you use your tub often.
You will also need a supply of chemicals that are added to the water. The chemicals are used to prevent algae and bacteria from flourishing. When you are not using the tub, cover it properly to keep the water clean. Since some models do not offer covers, it is easy to get a high-quality cover that fits your model.
This is our list of the best cheap hot tub under 500. We recommend you use Intex. This is because it has more features and is more durable than the rest. Additionally, its price is quite fair when you consider the benefits.
If you find it to be more than what you can afford, you may consider going for the SaluSpa Miami as the second option.
Take note that the best hot tub is not necessarily the most affordable one. Take into consideration features like size, efficiency, capacity, and price before you make your choice.