inflatable hot tub in winter

Inflatable hot tubs are a perfect solution for those looking for a hot tub on a small budget. However, many buyers have concerns about how well they are insulated and if they are energy efficient. Naturally, this leads many to wonder are inflatable hot tubs good in winter?

Here’s what I know from looking into it:

Yes. Most inflatable hot tubs are good to use in winter. However, they struggle to maintain the set water temperature if the weather drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. An insulating ground mat below the tub helps to maintain steady water temperature.

So when the temperature in your area is below 4o degrees Fahrenheit does that mean you have to take down your inflatable hot tub for the season? How much does the temperature of the water drop?

And if you do want to shut it down for the season, how do you do that? Also, we’ll also discuss if it is more expensive to run a hot tub in winter.

Just keep reading to get all the information.

Hot tub in the winter?! So wrong but… #FeelsSoRight

— Olivia Lane (@olivialanemusic) November 21, 2017

Can an inflatable hot tub stay warm in winter?

Though, your inflatable hot tub can stay warm-ish during the winter months, if there is really cold weather, you should probably shut down your hot tub. By really cold I mean at or below freezing for an extended period of time.

The biggest challenge inflatable hot tubs have is that they typically don’t have a pump and a blower.

This means that if you have the jets on, the pump can’t pump water through the heater. That’s how the water stays hot. So by definition, it already will have a harder time staying hot if the jets get used frequently. And, of course, it has vinyl walls instead of an acrylic shell in a wood frame filled with insulation.

Combine that with freezing weather, and you have a hot tub that, at best, will probably hit the low 90’s in terms of water temperatures.

If you live somewhere with brutal winters and can’t move your inflatable hot tub into a garage or sunroom, your best bet is to shut it down for the season.

If you want to shut down your inflatable hot tub, here is what you should do. 

1. Cut the power

Begin by completely powering down your hot tub. Unplug the hot tub after turning off the heater.

2. Drain it

Once the jets have stopped working, drain the hot tub of water. Ensure that you do not pour the water onto your grass. The chemicals can damage the environment.

3. Remove the filter

Next, please take out the water filter(s) and put them in a cleaning solution. My favorite one is called Power Soak (click to see the current price on Amazon). Then clean out the filter basket.

4. Ensure no standing water is left in the plumbing

Your pump may come with drainage plugs. If so, open them up and let them drain. Ensure you also get rid of the water in the jet plumbing by either hand drying it or use a shop vac to suck the water out.

That may seem like a hassle, especially since hot tubs are awesome in winter. So are inflatable hot tubs worth it?

They have definite pros and cons, but we are talking hundreds of dollars instead of thousands. See all the benefits and drawbacks in this recent article.

You may click on the above link to read it on my website.

Reasons Why You Should Have an Inflatable Hot Tub for the Winter Season

— Rightpicknow (@rightpicknow) November 25, 2020

Should I use insulation under an inflatable hot tub?

It is absolutely crucial that you use the insulation mat that probably came with your inflatable hot tub.

Since heat transfers from hot to cold medium, your hot tub would transmit the heat out to the ground, patio, or whatever surface you have yours on. Therefore, you will want to put your hot tub on a thin ground mat so that this doesn’t happen.

Your hot tub didn’t come with a ground mat?

Puzzle mats, as you sometimes see in daycare facilities, make a great, inexpensive, and simple way to add an insulated pad under your inflatable hot tub.

I like this one on Amazon from the company BalanceFrom. It’s black, 3/4 inch thick, and easy to put together to the perfect size for your hot tub.

It’s also an Amazon’s Choice product with over 13,000 near-perfect reviews. Just click that link to check the current price on Amazon.

Another cheap insulation system that is available at most department stores is a foam core board. It will create a vapor barrier that will keep the heat inside the hot tub.

Of course, decks don’t provide much insulation at all. If you’re wondering about placing your inflatable hot tub on a deck, read this recent article. I get into calculating whether your deck can take the weight. But I also tell you how to reinforce your deck if it can’t support the weight of a fully-loaded inflatable hot tub.

Just click on the link to read it on my website.

Adventures + cabins + hot tub = the perfect winter getaway. Photo by michaelbednarphotography (via IG) at Spring Lake Ranch near 100 Mile House in the Cariboo. #exploreBC


— Destination BC (@HelloBC) December 12, 2019

Are the inflatable hot tubs more expensive to run during winter?

The short answer is yes, they can be. I pay between $20-25/month for the electricity of my portable hot tub.

Inflatable hot tubs often run closer to $30-40/month. However, that could spike in winter depending on how cold it gets where you live.

But just like traditional hot tubs, there are a variety of factors that come into play to determine your costs in the wintertime.

Turning off your hot tub in between sessions does not save you money.

Once the water is heated to your preferred temperature, you’ll save energy and money by keeping it at that temperature. It actually costs more to reheat the water every time you turn it on.

If you keep the heat going 24/7,  your electricity bill could spike as the heater works harder to maintain the set water temperature.

However, it’s possible to cut down the heating costs:

1. Set the filter cycle to off-hours

One way to save heating costs is to set your hot tub’s filter cycle to kick on when your electric company’s rates are lowest (often in the middle of the night). Most electricity providers charge more during peak hours. So have yours do the hard work during off-hours.

This means you’ll pay less per unit of energy.

2. Use a slightly lower water temperature

The second option is to reduce the temperature the water is heated to by a couple of degrees. A lot of people set their hot tubs to 104° F. I actually prefer mine to be 98°. That way, I can soak longer, and if my kids get in, it’s safer for them.

But dropping it from 104° F to 98° F could easily save you $10 bucks a month if you leave it set that way.

3. Use a low-cost thermal blanket

The third option is to invest in a hot tub thermal blanket. Lay it across the water, and it will keep the heat in, allowing you to lower the temperature but still keep it nice and hot.

I like this one on Amazon. You can easily cut it to size, and it just floats on the water. Easy on-easy off too. Great reviews, a rock-bottom price, and an Amazon’s Choice product too. Just click that link to read it on my site.

How inviting does this hot tub look? Summer or winter, a hot tub is the perfect place to relax. Find out more about this model: #winter #snow #selfcleaning #relaxation

— Hydropool Staffs (@HydropoolStaffs) February 26, 2018

How hot can an inflatable hot tub get in winter?

Most of the inflatable hot tubs are designed to work properly in air temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

And, the maximum temperature of a hot tub, inflatable or not, is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. This is based on a recommendation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Anything past this temperature is dangerous and can cause harm.

So in winter weather above 40° F, you can expect your inflatable hot tub to get to whatever temperature you set it to, give or take a degree. That’s especially true if you use an insulated ground cloth, and keep the lid on when not in use.

But once temps drop below 40° outside, your hot tub will struggle to keep up.

If you live someplace like Minnesota don’t expect your outdoor inflatable hot tub to maintain 104° F all winter long! In fact, you’ll be lucky if it gets to 95° F.

If you want to use your inflatable hot tub during the wintertime, consider sheltering it from the weather. This will ensure it is not damaged by ice, or winds carrying debris.

That could be building an enclosure around it, putting it in your house’s garage, or even adding a greenhouse around it. There are a lot of questions to ask and a lot of decisions to make before you buy your first hot tub (inflatable or not).

Check out this recent article for important things to know before buying a hot tub. I get into the top 23 things you MUST know before buying one.

Just click on the link to read it on my website.

Intex PureSpa 6 Person Inflatable Hot Tub

— McCollisterMarlene (@mccollistermar2) April 26, 2020

Is there a 4 season inflatable hot tub?

Yes, there is a 4 season inflatable hot tub!

It’s called the PureSpa Plus portable Intex Inflatable Hot Tub with bubble jets and a built-in heater pump. This inflatable hot tub has a lot to offer! Just click that link to see the current price on Amazon!

To begin with, it has 170 built-in water jets. These are high powered jets that will give you the soothing feeling you need.

Additionally, this hot tub has a hard water treatment built right in! This makes the water gentle on your skin. It also boasts a quick set up time of twenty minutes, meaning you can get in the water quicker!

The Intex hot tub also fits up to six people at a time.

Finally, the hot tub comes with:

  • An insulated cover
  • Multicolored LED lights
  • Two filter cartridges
  • Two headrests
  • Thermal ground cloth
  • Inflation hose & carry bag
  • Floating chlorine dispenser

Moreover, it’s incredibly safe! The hot tub can support and cushion people’s body weight.

Hopefully, I cleared all your doubts regarding inflatable hot tubs being good in winter.

So, you can absolutely use your inflatable hot tub during the wintertime!

Remember that you should insulate your hot tub, so you don’t lose the warmth. Besides, the thinner the foam mat, the more heat that is insulated.

And remember, there are a variety of factors that can influence how much you pay for your hot tub during the winter months. Ensure you follow the steps above to save yourself money. And if you’re looking for an inflatable hot tub, check out the PureSpa Plus on Amazon!


Blow up hot tubs can work during winter. However, they are not designed for weather that is regularly below 40° F as they are poorly insulated. So, while they can be used, the heater will struggle to get the water temperature to the setpoint and will likely be as much as 5 degrees lower.

But there’s a lot more to know.

In this article, we’ll explore whether they deflate in cold weather, how you can insulate them better, and if they work if the temperature goes below freezing. But we’ll also find out if you should winterize them.

Let’s get started.

As fun as that sounds, no, it’s an actual cheap-as-chips, inflatable hot tub from The Range. I’ll be surprised if it’s survived the winter to be honest.

— Suz (@teenytinysuz) February 16, 2021

Do inflatable hot tubs deflate in cold weather?

No, inflatable tubs do not deflate in cold weather. The inflatable shell will be just as rigid in winter as it would be in summer. However, they will struggle to maintain the set water temperature when the air temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the challenges with blow-up (inflatable) hot tubs is that, unlike regular tubs, the jets and the heater cannot work at the same time.

So, if you’ve got the jets on while soaking, the pump can’t pump water through the heater!

Therefore, the more frequently you soak, the harder time the unit has in trying to maintain the water temperature.

In addition to this, inflatable hot tubs are made with vinyl. So, they’re not as insulated as their hard-sided cousins that are made with acrylic and have sprayed on insulation under the shell.

Having said that, inflatable hot tubs can stay warm-ish in cold weather.

Ensure that you take advantage of the many ways through which you can insulate them. But if the temperature is below freezing for an extended period of time, it’s best to save them for warmer times.

Of course, if you live in a warm climate or have your hot tub indoors, you won’t have to worry.

And some people just move their inflatable hot tub to the garage for winter. It may be chilly in there, but it won’t be nearly as cold as outside.

I bet there is other stuff you’d like to know about hot tubs in general.

That’s why I’ll suggest that you check out a recent article where I shared 23 crucial things to know before buying your first hot tub.

In it, I revealed what kind of hot tub to buy and if it’s okay to buy a used tub. But I also shared other vital info, such as whether you’ll need a concrete slab as a base. I cover both “regular” hot tubs as well as blow-up/inflatable hot tubs.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Trying to replace the dreadfully designed and leak-prone inflatable cover on Amelia’s hot tub. Picked up a couple sheets of foam insulation board, cut them to length, and wrapped them in waterproof tarp. Fingers crossed!

— Philip Palermo (@Philip_Palermo) January 2, 2022

How do you insulate an inflatable hot tub?

Insulate an inflatable hot tub with an insulated ground mat. Typically, this mat comes with a new inflatable hot tub. However, since most mats are nothing more than a tarp, using a padded but waterproof blanket on top of the mat can improve the insulation.

Also, make sure to use the inflatable bladder on the surface of the water when not in use. Let’s dive deeper into some of those solutions, plus a few others.

Ground mat

A ground mat prevents heat transfer from your hot tub to the surface on which it is placed.

As you know, heat moves from where there’s intense warmth towards a cold part. Without a ground mat, a part of the heat would be escaping, as it were.

A lot of hot tubs come with ground mats, but you can easily purchase one if yours did not.

Foam base sheet

Foam sheets are an excellent way to add more ground insulation, and you can easily put them yourself. You can buy them at Home Depot and place them under the hot tub.

Ideally, you want foams that are an inch thick. You can also use old foams as long as they are thick. Any thick foam would work well as an insulator.

Because of its thickness, it would also protect the base of the hot tub from debris and punctures.

Hot tub pad

Hot tub pads are great for hot tub insulation. They can be a tad expensive, but they are worth it. They are highly durable and are made of plastic.

CLICK HERE to see the best-selling one on Amazon.

Thermal cover

At the risk of stating the obvious, heat can be lost if the hot tub is not covered.

So, it’s smart to place a thermal blanket over it before placing its cover. The blanket traps steam preventing it from leaving the tub.

Insulated Jacket

The base is not the only pathway through which heat can escape from your hot tub.

The sides are another path. This is why an insulated jacket that can be wrapped around your hot tub is also a wise investment.

It can be foam insulation or partial foam insulation using foil or bubble material. The jacket can be left in place even while the tub is in use.

Some models are made from high-quality weatherproof material, so they are very durable and also make your tub more attractive.

Hot tub bladder

A hot tub bladder provides support for the hot tub cover such that it helps with heat retention and prevents rainwater from pooling on the hot tub. And it will help a hot tub heat faster. Usually, your blow-up hot tub will come with one.

The hot tub bladder is inflated and placed on top of the water (under the cover).

It serves to preserve the heat and prevents the hot tub from sagging, as unwanted rainwater can easily run off of the bladder. It’s one of the important insulators you’ll want to get for your hot tub.

Those are the main ways to insulate your inflatable hot tub.

Note that an inflatable hot tub should never be placed directly on grass or gravel. Stones, the sharp chips of gravel, could easily puncture it. Always place a ground mat underneath to protect it.

But can you put a hot tub on a deck?

In a recent article, I shared the weight of an inflatable hot tub and if hot tub water has a harmful effect on the wooden deck. But I also shared whether you have to reinforce your deck if you’re going to place an inflatable hot tub on it.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

This inflatable hot tub is amazing !!! It’s a 6 person intex and it goes back in a bag when it gets cold.

— JJ (@MeepMaker) June 8, 2018

Do blow up hot tubs not work if the temperature goes below freezing?

Blow up hot tubs will work if the temperature goes below freezing. However, the lower the air temperature, the more the heater will struggle to maintain the set point of the water. But the heater could fail in temperatures below 25° F.

This is why it’s advisable not to use them when the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The main challenge is that the motor mechanism is not really designed for use in cold conditions and could be damaged. In most inflatable hot tubs, the pump cannot run when the air jets are expelling the bubbles and vice versa.

In winter, the water cools down rapidly when the lid is taken off, as it’s not possible to run the water heater and the air jets at the same time.

Many owners of blow-up hot tubs move theirs to a garage in winter.

Someone gave me an inflatable hot tub. Best cold tub I’ve ever had.

— Nick Edwards (@NicksEdwards) June 20, 2021

Can an inflatable hot tub get to 104° in winter?

It is possible for an inflatable hot tub to get to 104° F in winter as long as the air temperature is 40° F or above. Below 40° F, the unit is unlikely to maintain a water temperature of 104° F.

Of course, if your hot tub is not situated outdoors (like in a garage or sunroom), you’ve got nothing to worry about.

It should be able to reach the set temperature which is 104°. As long as the ambient temperature is at least 40 degrees, it should be able to reach the desired temp.

Want to know more about inflatable hot tubs and how they function?

You’ll enjoy a recent article where I explained how inflatable hot tubs work. I shared info about whether it’s okay to use them in winter and if you can leave them on all the time. But I also shared how they affect your electricity bill.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

During the winter do you winterize your hot tub or leave it running?

— RoyalFiberglassPools (@rfpools513) October 12, 2018

Should you winterize an inflatable hot tub?

Winterizing is not necessary for an inflatable hot tub. Instead, simply drain, deflate, and pack away until spring. Do this once the temperature is consistently well below 40° F.

If you plan to own a regular hard-sized hot tub someday, it’s good to know what winterizing a tub is all about. It’s a way of protecting your investment. As you know, regular hot tubs can cost a pretty penny.

What’s winterizing? Let’s have an overview.

Essentially, it’s about preparing the hot tub before it’s stored away for the winter. This entails blowing the lines and removing every drop of water from the tub. This is because if this is not done, frozen water can easily damage it.

To winterize a hot tub, you wait until the sanitizer level has dropped to zero, then you drain the water into a spot where it’s not harmful to plants or pets. If the tub has a blower, that has to be drained too.

Naturally, the first thing to do is cut off the power and turn off the electricity supply from the breaker. At the risk of stating the obvious, electricity and water do not play well together.

The filters are removed, and the plumbing lines are blown.

Ensuring the lines are completely dry is one of the most vital aspects of winterizing. Then, the tub is thoroughly cleaned and wiped down. Then it is covered until the warmer times return.

Yes, I did buy an inflatable hot tub in order to get through quarantine, what of it?

— Phineas Harper (@PhinHarper) March 22, 2020

How much does a blow-up Jacuzzi cost?

Blow-up Jacuzzis, also known as inflatable hot tubs, have an average price of $700. But they can range in price from $500 to $1,000 depending on the size and brand.

Let’s review some of the top brands and models and look at their prices, star rating, and seating capacity.

All of these are 4-stars or better! Click on any of the links to see more details on Amazon.

Want to know my pick of those as the best of the best? I cover that in the next section, and it’s the very same one I bought.

Is there a 4-season inflatable hot tub?

There are 4-season inflatable hot tubs, although all will struggle to maintain the correct water temperature when the ambient air temperature is below 40° F. But the best is the PureSpa Greywood Deluxe by Intex.

CLICK HERE to check out its current price on Amazon.

It provides total relaxation since it has 170 jets and comes with hard water treatment built-in. It’s suitable for up to 6 people. In fact, it has virtually everything needed for a great experience.

It’s got a highly durable extra tech construction that makes it ideal for all seasons, and it can be easily set up, so it’s ready for water in about twenty minutes. So, you get to start soaking early.

Naturally, it can also be easily packed for storage or transported.

It has a built-in hard water treatment ensuring that the experience of soaking is more relaxing. In fact, it’s got a lot of features that make it worthwhile. They include:

  • Filter
  • Blower
  • Hard water system
  • LED light
  • Two filter cartridges
  • Two headrests
  • Thermal ground cloth
  • Carry bag 
  • Floating chlorine dispenser
  • Test strips

It’s got over 7,500 reviews on Amazon, and almost all are 5-stars.

CLICK HERE to check out its current price on Amazon.

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