Best hot tubs 2022: 8 luxury buys to help you unwind this spring

Our picks of the best hot tubs will transform your garden into the ultimate outdoor spa experience this spring

Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki 7 Person AirJet Hot Tub, wooden effect hot tub with cover on in garden on patio
(Image credit: Lay-Z-Spa)

Adding the best hot tub to your garden is a sure way to elevate your outdoor space to a whole new level, and transform your evenings into blissful relaxation. Spring has sprung, and spending time in the garden has never been so appealing, so it couldn't be better timing to take the plunge - literally and figuratively - and invest in a fabulous hot tub.

Along with sourcing the best garden furniture to create areas for laidback lounging, alfresco dining and outdoor entertaining, adding a resort-worthy hot tub to your patio or decking is the ultimate way to optimise your garden to its fullest potential. Inviting guests round has never been so fun, and your home will forever be stealing the top spot amongst family and friends as their favourite place to hang out.

The good news is you don't need a huge budget to be able to relax in the therapeutic waters of a heated hot tub spa. Whilst hardshell hot tubs can cost from £3,000 to £10,000 – and mean sacrificing garden space to a permanent installation – the best inflatable hot tubs range from just £300 to £1,000 (potentially even less if you check out our hot tub deals page), plus they can be deflated and stored away when not in use to free up space, or easily transported if you move house. 

We've rounded up the best hot tubs on the Gardeningetc team's radar below, including a mixture of styles and price points. There's also buying advice to help you make the right purchase for your garden. 

The best hot tubs for spring 2022

An inflatable hot tub with a faux-wood panel exterior: Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki 7 Person AirJet Hot TubApproved badge

(Image credit: Lay-Z Spa)

1. Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki 7 Person AirJet Hot Tub

The best hot tub overall

Specifications

Type: Inflatable
Seats: 5-7
Dimensions: H66 x Dia.180cm
Water capacity: 1123 litre
Air jets: 180
LED lights: No

Reasons to buy

+
Large – can fit 5-7 adults
+
Freeze technology for year-round use
+
Thin yet rigid outer wall
+
Faux-wood finish gives a more premium finish than other inflatables

Reasons to avoid

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No LED lights

One of the best hot tubs for balancing performance and price, the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki hot tub may be inflatable, but it still packs a powerful punch as an outdoor spa.

Easy to inflate, this blow-up hot tub has much thinner walls than most other inflatables, which makes for more space inside the hot tub and allows up to 7 adults to enjoy a spa experience at one time (although we think 5 people ensures everyone has comfortable leg-room).

Despite the thin outer walls this hot tub still feels sturdy, and – inspired by traditional Scandinavian wooden hot tubs – the wood-effect print on the rigid exterior makes it look a lot less 'paddling pool' than most! 

Equipped with Lay-Z-Spa's 'FreezeShield' technology to prevent the water from freezing, even in a British winter, this hot tub is designed for year-round use, so offers extended value compared to cheaper, summer-only models.

It can also heat, massage and filter all at the same time, with a powerful integrated 180 air jet system offering a welcome jacuzzi experience. Bliss!

CleverSpa Inyo hot tub - the cheapest hot tub you can buy right now

(Image credit: CleverSpa)

2. CleverSpa Inyo 4 Person Hot Tub

The best affordable hot tub

Specifications

Seats: 4
Dimensions: H65 x Dia.180cm
Water capacity: 800 litre
Air jets: 110
LED lights: No

Reasons to buy

+
One of the cheapest hot tubs on the market right now
+
Freeze technology for year-round use

Reasons to avoid

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Fitting four adults at once might be a squeeze

If you're looking for the cheapest hot tub you can get your hands on, then we think we've found it in the CleverSpa Inyo inflatable hot tub that is currently retailing for just £265. 

An 800L water capacity makes it a good size too, with room for up to 4 adults to enjoy the 110 massaging airjets – although as with all hot tubs reducing the number of users is likely to result in a less cramped and more relaxing spa experience. 

Like most of the inflatable hot tubs on our list, this option also offers the all-important 'freeze-technology' that enables year-round use, even throughout cool winter temperatures. 

The fun turquoise design also comes with an insulated top cover and double locking safety clips to help to retain heat when your hot tub isn't in use and to ensure outdoor safety.

A grey inflatable hot tub with aqua blue water inside: Lay-Z-Spa Cancun

(Image credit: Lay-Z-Spa)

3. Lay-Z-Spa Cancun 2-4 Person Hot Tub

The best cheap Lay-Z-Spa hot tub

Specifications

Seats: 4
Dimensions: H66 x Dia.180cm
Water capacity: 669 litre
Air jets: 120
LED lights: No

Reasons to buy

+
One of the most affordable Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs on the market
+
Freeze technology for year-round use

Reasons to avoid

-
Fitting four adults at once might be a squeeze

As one of the leading names in inflatable hot tubs, you will generally pay a little more for a Lay-Z-Spa hot tub compared with other brand names. However, as one of the cheapest Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs on the market, the Cancun offers good value for money if you want that coveted logo.

Although this has the same outer diameter as the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki, the thick inflatable walls dramatically reduce the space inside, meaning although four adults will fit, it's probably going to be most comfortable for two people to relax in comfortably. 

On the flip side, the smaller internal measurements mean less water usage – it holds 669 litres compared to the Helsinki's 1,123 litre capacity – which also means less energy needs to be used in heating the water and maintaining the temperature. 

And although it has 120 air jets compared to the Helsinki's 180 offering, there are still plenty of bubbles for a full body massage. 

Overall, if you're looking for the cheapest hot tub for two – or a few more at a push – this affordable hot tub offers a great way to unwind in the garden.

A hard-shell hot tub with a faux-wood panel exterior: Canadian Spa Halifax Plug & Play

(Image credit: Canadian Spa)

4. Canadian Spa Kelowna 21-Jet 4-Person Hot Tub

The best hard-shell hot tub

Specifications

Type: Hard-shell
Seats: 4
Dimensions: H79 x W153 x D211cm
Water capacity: 700 litre
Air jets: 21
LED lights: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Four hydro-massage seats
+
Adjustable valves to vary water jet pressure
+
LED mood lighting
+
Backlit cascading waterfall
+
Bluetooth sound system
+
Self-clean

Reasons to avoid

-
The most expensive on our list

For a hot tub that has all the bells and whistles you could desire, this Canadian Spa four-seater hot tub delivers the ultimate outdoor spa experience. 

This is a 'proper' hard-shell hot tub – no inflating required – and its high-quality frame is designed to last for years and years, with no worries about punctures or deflation. 

However, that does mean it's going to take up a lot more space to store, or it will need a permanent spot in the garden. It's also pretty bulky when delivered compared to a compact inflatable hot tub – so make sure you check any access restrictions first.

It seats up to four at a time, with the shaped seats offering individual hydro-massage jets that can be individually adjusted to alter the water jet pressure, and it's feature-packed; enjoy LED mood lighting, a backlit cascading waterfall, a Bluetooth sound system, and a built-in aromatherapy canister to enhance the spa-like experience. 

It also offers a self-cleaning water sanitation system with ozone purification filters and digital controls to adjust the temperature and economy settings. 

It has the highest price tag on our list, but if you're after the ultimate hot tub we think this is one of the best hot tubs for a luxury spa experience.

A grey and white inflatable hot tub with LED lights: Lay Z Spa Bali 2-4 Person LED Hot Tub

(Image credit: Lay-Z-Spa)

5. Lay-Z-Spa Bali 2-4 Person LED Hot Tub

The best inflatable hot tub with LED lights

Specifications

Type: Inflatable
Seats: 4
Dimensions: H66 x Dia.180cm
Water capacity: 669 litre
Air jets: 120
LED lights: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Remote-controlled LED lights in 7 different colours
+
Great for parties
+
Freeze technology for year-round use

Reasons to avoid

-
Fitting four adults at once might be a squeeze

For only a little bit more of an investment than the Lay-Z-Spa Cancun – the most affordable hot tub on our list – the Lay-Z-Spa Bali offers all of the same features, including a 120 air jet spa experience, easy inflation, and enough room for four adults, plus remote-controlled LED lights to wow your guests with night-time illuminations.

Seven different LED colour options – all at the simple touch of a button – allow you to fine-tune the evening's ambience; from deep relaxation to high-energy party time.

If you're looking for wow-factor – that won't break the bank – then this could well be the best hot tub for you.

A dark blue inflatable hot tub with smart technology: Lay-Z-Spa Milan hot tub

(Image credit: Lay-Z Spa)

6. Lay-Z-Spa Milan Wi-Fi Controlled Hot Tub

The best smart hot tub

Specifications

Type: Inflatable
Seats: 6
Dimensions: H71 x Dia.196cm
Water capacity: 916 litre
Air jets: 140
LED lights: No

Reasons to buy

+
Large – can seat up to 6
+
Control it from your phone to get it heating before you get home
+
Voice controllable from Alexa or Google Assistant devices
+
Freeze technology for year-round use

Reasons to avoid

-
You can get a cheaper hot tub if you sacrifice the connectivity

At the larger end of the scale on our list (the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki claims to fit seven adults), the six-person Lay-Z-Spa Milan offers spacious soaking plus a wealth of smart-tech features. 

Make sure your hot tub is ready to use as soon as you get home by downloading the app to Android or Apple devices. Then you can turn on, turn off, set the temperature, activate the timer, and even control the bubbles; all done remotely from your mobile device. 

And for hands-free enjoyment once you're in the water, you can control everything from the massage system to the temperature using voice-activated commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. All that, plus 140 air jets to relax you into a blissful state of unwind. 

If smart-tech and convenience matter to you, this could well be the best hot tub for you.

A traditional Swedish real wood hot tub heating stove: Skargards

(Image credit: Skargards)

7. SKARGARDS PANEL 190 4-5 Person Wooden Hot Tub

The best wooden hot tub

Specifications

Type: Wooden
Seats: 4-5
Dimensions: H93 x Dia.222cm
Water capacity: 1800 litre
Air jets: No
LED lights: No

Reasons to buy

+
Super stylish
+
Traditional Scandinavian design
+
Long-lasting
+
Doesn't require electricity so can be placed anywhere

Reasons to avoid

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Investment buy

For a hot tub that definitely isn't an eyesore – although does come with an increased price tag – we love Skargard's classic Scandinavian wooden hot tub range. 

The 4-5 person Panel 190 hot tub has a huge 1800 litre water capacity, and a stylish real wood-panelled exterior made of eco-certified 'Thermowood' (crafted via an environmentally friendly thermal process that results in a weather-resistant outer shell). 

As with all traditional wooden hot tubs, the log-fired stove is submerged in the bathing water to heat it directly and effectively, with heat transfer optimised thanks to the cylindrical stove design.

Except for final steps, such as attaching the flue, the Panel hot tub arrives completely pre-assembled and ready-to-use, and because it doesn't rely on electricity you can truly place it anywhere – including a remote spot in the woods if you wish. And, unlike a permanent structure, you can still take it with you should you move (although admittedly with less convenience than deflating an inflatable option). 

Best of all, the idea of the Scandinavian hot tub is for it to be used once like a bath, so rather than using harsh chemicals that most hot tubs rely on, Skarguard encourages its customers to reuse the water to irrigate their gardens.

The only downside? No bubbles or LED lights. But if you're considering this option, you're likely to be more interested in the simple yet well-crafted design than any flashy bells-and-whistles.

Best hot tubs: CleverSpa Sorrento Slate Print Hot Tub

(Image credit: CleverSpa)

8. CleverSpa Sorrento Slate Print Hot Tub

The best inflatable hot tub with a stylish design

Specifications

Type: Inflatable
Seats: 6
Dimensions: H185 x W185 x D65cm
Water capacity: 950L
Air jets: Yes
LED lights: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Seats up to 6 people 
+
140 Powerful massaging bubble jets
+
LED lights with 350 colour combinations
+
Creative slate effect 
+
Towel holders

Reasons to avoid

-
Design may not be to everyone's taste

CleverSpa have lived up to their name with their Sorrento Slate Print Hot Tub, which has all the benefits of an inflatable tub but the aesthetic of a solid outdoor tub made from slate. Clever indeed. 

Not only does this one seat up to six people, it comes with 140 deeply relaxing bubble jets, so you can certainly picture yourself and the rest of the family unwinding in style every weekend. The LED lights add a fun touch, and there are up to 350 colour combinations to choose between, which you can control via a remote. The sides also have towel holders fixed on to them, which is a life-saver if you want to cover up as soon as you get out the tub.

As we previously mentioned, the beauty of an inflatable tub is that you can move it around if you fancy a change of scenery. We think this one would look great both indoors and outdoors, and the slate effect would blend into your garden's aesthetic a lot better than other inflatable choices.

This is also the second-largest hot tub on our list at 950L, so you can confidently ask up to five friends round for a hot tub evening and not worry about the space. 


How we tested these hot tubs

The Gardeningetc team have reviewed some of these hot tubs first hand, so you can rest assured that we've done our research and only the best made it to our list. For those which we haven't tried and tested ourselves, we measured the tubs against specific criteria such as their dimensions, water capacity, how many people they could seat and what they were made from. We then cross-checked our favourites with customer reviews to make sure the hot tubs on our list would live up to our expectations. 

Where to buy hot tubs in-stock now

 Just like everything garden-related, this year the best hot tubs are selling out fast! 

If our top picks aren't in stock right now, and you don't want to wait, then you can use our handy in-stock shopping tool below to find an option that's ready to deliver. Just scroll to the right to view more options at a gradually increasing price point.

Where to position your hot tub

As long as you put your hot tub on a solid base and can run electrics to it (unless you've opted for a stove-fired option) you can put it anywhere! However, it is always advised to use a RCD-protected socket and not an extension lead. 

The area required of course depends on the size of the hot tub you choose; around 2 metres circumference for the hot tub itself, plus 50cm additional access room, therefore 3 square metres overall, should be enough room. 

Corner spots are good for providing a little shelter from the wind, however, having your hot tub right next to the wall of your home is probably too close. The steam that comes from the water may seep into windows and water splashed from the tub may cause a slippery walkway. 

You'll also want to avoid placing it under a tree to prevent leaves and debris from raining down while you're soaking. 

There's plenty more inspiration for your hot tub ideas in our design guide too. 

How to choose from the best hot tubs

Portable or static? An inflatable hot tub isn't just a cost-effective choice, it also means it doesn’t have to sit in one spot year on year, plus you can deflate it easily to store it away when it's not in use – or even pack it up and take it on holiday if you like! A hassle-free option, an inflatable hot tub comes packaged in a compact box, and just requires unfolding, inflating, and then filling with water – which you may need to allow 1-2 hours for depending on water pressure.

Built-in hot tubs are a more expensive, permanent option although they can be a beautiful feature in the garden, which can be blended in with a choice of surround. This style requires much more thinking about and specialist involvement as it may need to be craned in, depending on its size and the access to your garden.  

Two, four, six-person or more? How large your outdoor space is and how many people you're expecting to use the hot tub at any one time will, of course, impact your hot tub choice. When choosing just bear in mind that hot tub marketing can often be a little optimistic... so what's described as 6-person hot tub often means that although 6 people can fit in it, it may not result in quite the relaxing experience you were hoping for. So if you want a bit more legroom and space to recline, upping your budget and buying a hot tub marketed as for 1-2 people more than will regularly use it can be well worth the investment. 

How many air jets? The jets are what get the bubbles going in a hot tub, so it's important to have lots of them, although, of course, the more jets generally the higher the hot tub price. 

As a rule, inflatable hot tubs should have ten times more jets than that of a hard shell hot tub, although with the latter you can look out for pressure controls so you can adjust the strength of the jets from rigorous massaging to gentle burble as you prefer.

Do you need a hot tub cover?

Some hot tubs come with a cover included, which can be very useful for insulating and maintaining the temperature when the tub isn't in use, as well of course for making the open water is protected and safe for children using the garden, and for preventing debris from blowing in. They're also make life much easier when it comes to hot tub winter care

Along with a cover you might also want to think about a covering for over the top of the hot tub whilst you're in it. This can be especially useful on sunny days when you want some protection from the rays beating down, or if you want some shelter from the drizzle! 

If you don't have a permanent canopy that's suitable then check out our guide to the best gazebos for some budget buys. 

How to clean your hot tub

Enjoy crystal clear waters with our guide to how to clean a hot tub, including once-a-week hot tub maintenance, and the monthly actions you should take to keep things running smoothly.

Browse more hot tubs...

If the hot tubs on our list aren't a great fit for your garden, don't worry, there are plenty more to browse through. Have a look at the retailers below to see more hot tubs at a range of price points and sizes.

More great ideas for your garden

If you want to enjoy your hot tub even when the sun is beating down, make sure you check out our guide to the best garden parasols for some much-needed shade, or whet your appetite for the good times to come with more luxurious hot tub ideas.

Set the scene and continue to enjoy your garden after dark with these great garden lighting ideas, or treat yourself to fine dining alfresco with our guide to the best BBQ of the year. 

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

After specialising in Textile Design for Interiors at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent many years working in the design and interior industries, including styling and visual merchandising for many well-known brands. She now writes for multiple interior publications, including Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, and Real Homes to offer advice on creating a well-designed interior, whether that's choosing the perfect shade of paint, what to look for when investing in a new sofa, or sourcing on-trend and sustainable products for the home.


Amy joined the Gardeningetc team to bring her design knowledge outdoors, offering advice on what to consider when shopping for the best garden furniture, how to choose the ideal garden bench, and sourcing everything you need to create an outdoor living area that will become the perfect place to kick back and relax when the sun shines.