Best hot tubs 2018: the hot and wet spa essential for the swinging set

Bring a touch of, ahem, luxury to your home with the best hot tubs for garden-based relaxation this summer

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A hot tub used to be seen as a luxury item that people could only dream of owning one day. Nowadays, they are more like an item that people just own, with everything from inexpensive inflatable home spas to more expensive classic Jacuzzis.

Garden hot tubs: what you need to know

Some hot tubs require lengthy installations, however we’ve managed to pick out a range of hot tubs that don’t require that much fuss, so you can simply plug and play, turning your garden into a luxury spa in an instant. 

Depending on the level of luxury you’re going for you can get hot tubs with different jet speeds, mood lighting and even built in sound systems so you can really make the most of your outdoor space. But before you get too excited, there are a few things you need to consider when purchasing the best hot tub for your garden. 

Space is the obvious factor. Ensure you have plenty of space to fit the hot tub, as well as easy access to the power source and enough room to safely get in and out of the hot tub. Some hot tubs need to be installed on a pedestal so that it is not directly touching the ground, but many inflatable or “pop up” hot tubs don’t require this kind of groundwork. However, it may be in your best interest to place your hot tub on decking or patio in order to protect your grass. 

If you want a little more versatility from your hot tub then swim spas are also a popular choice for gardens. These are somewhere between a Jacuzzi and a swimming pool, allowing for both exercise and relaxation. Most hot tubs and spas can accommodate between 4 and 8 people and usually come with a step and cover to keep your hot tub in pristine condition. 

We’ve picked out some of the best hot tubs on the market that can transform your garden into a luxury spa, not just for the summer but, as long as you're fairly hardy, the whole year round…

The best hot tub

1. Canadian Spa Winnipeg Hot Tub

Just like the real deal but with no lengthy installation

Specifications
Best for: Acrylic Hot Tub
Seats: 6
Capacity: 895L
Jets: 35
Dimensions: HWD 80x198x198cm
Reasons to buy
+Mp3 audio system+Underwater LED lighting
Reasons to avoid
-Manual is limited

This acrylic hot tub is probably the closest thing you’ll get to a real Jacuzzi in your garden. It seats up to 6 people with a whopping 35 jets including 5 hydro-massage seat jets for maximum luxury. It comes equipped with an Mp3 sound system and LED lighting to complete the look, meaning you can expect to throw some awesome garden parties with this hot tub. The best thing about it is this hot tub doesn’t require any lengthy installation, so if you want to do it yourself you can. Users say the manual is a little limited but this hot tub is simply plug and play and most have had no issues with set up. 

Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Paris Hot Tub

2. Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Paris Hot Tub

A luxury inflatable for hassle-free relaxation

Specifications
Best for: Luxury inflatable
Seats: 6
Capacity: 945L
Jets: 87
Dimensions: HWD 66x196x196cm
Reasons to buy
+Looks fantastic at night+Easy set up DVD
Reasons to avoid
-Seats more like 4 than 6 

If an acrylic hot tub is a little too big of an investment for you right now, then the Lay-Z-Spa is the next best thing you can buy. This inflatable hot tub is easy to set up with a clear instructional DVD and this particular model is loved by customers for its atmospheric multi-coloured lighting, which makes it the ideal place to wind down in the evenings. Users have said it accommodates 4 people comfortably but 6 can be a bit of a squeeze, although not completely impossible. You can run both the heaters and the bubbles at the same time and it can be controlled via a wireless remote. 

Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub

3. Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Miami Hot Tub

A strong and sturdy tub that won’t take up too much space

Specifications
Best for: Convenience
Seats: 4
Capacity: 800 L
Jets: 81
Dimensions: HWD 65x180x180cm
Reasons to buy
+Soft-touch control panel+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
- Again, a bit of a squeeze for 4 

If the Paris hot tub is just a tad out of your price range, then you can still reap all the benefits of a Lay-Z-Spa with the Miami hot tub. It’s slightly smaller, seating 4 people (although again, customers have said it’s more like 3 at a push), and it doesn’t have such fancy lighting, but you get a very similar air jet system and the fast and easy set up that you get with the Paris. This model is also praised for its sturdy construction, as we know that many may find an inflatable hot tub to pose a risk of puncture or leakage, but you can expect this hot tub to stand the test of time in your back garden. 

Intex Octagonal Pure Spa

4. Intex Octagonal Pure Spa

Bring the spa to your home with this super-bubbly hot tub

Specifications
Best for: Home spa
Seats: 4
Capacity: 795L
Jets: 120
Dimensions: HWD 71x201x201cm
Reasons to buy
+Lots of jets+Easy to maintain
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most stylish

This hot tub has a whopping 120 jets which users say recreates a proper Jacuzzi-style spa in their home. It has adjustable temperature between 20 and 40 degrees centigrade and a control panel to set the performance of the bubbles. It’s not the most stylish (we’re still undecided on the beige colour), but although it doesn’t have LED lighting, this spa is one of the most powerful inflatables on the list.

Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Monaco Hot Tub

5. Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Monaco Hot Tub

A large hot tub for those summer garden parties

Specifications
Best for: Garden parties
Seats: 8
Capacity: 1540L
Jets: 80
Dimensions: HWD 137x500x228cm
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Easy to inflate and deflate
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a lot of water

Lay-Z-Spa makes a third entry onto our list with the Monaco hot tub. This one is the largest of all the tubs on our list, seating up to 8 people and this time customers say it’s true to size. If you want to have friends over for parties this summer, then this hot tub, despite its size, is still simple to inflate and deflate as and when you need to, but remember it will require a lot more water than the smaller models. 

Canadian Spa St Lawrence Deluxe Swim HotTub

6. Canadian Spa St Lawrence Deluxe Swim HotTub

A deluxe swim spa for exercise and relaxation

Specifications
Best for: Swim spa
Seats: 6
Capacity: 6475L
Jets: 71
Dimensions: HWD 137x500x228cm
Reasons to buy
+Room to swim +Hard top cover
Reasons to avoid
-Incredibly pricey

This Canadian Swim Spa is pretty pricey but if you’re looking for pure luxury then this is it. It says it only seats 6 people, despite being the largest tub, but this means you can expect to have your own personal space intact when relaxing in this tub. The idea of this swim spa is also to allow you to swim if you’d prefer. The swim spa can be separated into two sections so you can use the hot tub section on its own on some occasions if preferred. The jets provide a swim current so you can practice resistance swimming in this pool, and you get all the swish extras including Mp3 sound system and LED lighting. Worth the money if you’ve got it. 

M-Spa Inflatable Bubble Spa

7. M-Spa Inflatable Bubble Spa

A simple yet effective hot tub for a touch of garden luxury

Specifications
Best for: Budget buy
Seats: 4
Capacity: 700 litres
Jets: 108
Dimensions: HWD 68x158x158cm
Reasons to buy
+Surprisingly powerful+User friendly 
Reasons to avoid
-Not the biggest 

If you have been thinking about trying out a hot tub but don’t want to splash too much cash, then users have said great things about this basic spa from Tesco. It boasts no frills such as LED lights or sound systems, but it is surprisingly powerful with over 100 jets that are designed to help you relax and are said to work wonders for joint pain. This is the cheapest hot tub on the list, but you can expect excellent value for money in its durability and ease of use.