Nothing beats summer nights in your garden. The smell of food cooking on the BBQ, the lingering warmth in the air and the beautiful long nights that make you forget winter is even a thing – total bliss!
As these warmer months approach, we all look for ways to improve our outdoor space. Whether that’s upgrading the BBQ, investing in some new garden furniture or even treating yourself to a fun new edition.
One of the best editions to any garden is of course a hot tub. What can compare to the total luxury of sitting in your own hot tub, gazing up at the stars?
But of course, hot tubs are definitely on the higher end of luxury, and not something most people can afford. Hard shell hot tubs can be upwards of £2000, which isn’t ideal.
So what about inflatable hot tubs? They are much cheaper to buy and easy to set up. But are they worth it?
Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki review
We decided to put them to the test! We tested out a Lay-Z-Spa model, one of the best rated suppliers of inflatable hot tubs, here’s what we thought.
The set up
Lay-Z-Spa boasts an effortless set up, and I must say, the ease of which I was able to set this up had me rethinking my journalism career and question one in engineering instead (okay, maybe not quite, but it really was simple).
All the items were packed securely and easy to set up, with instructions and accompanying videos online to help.
The instructions are picture-based, which can be a bit of a challenge but pairing them with the online videos really helped.
In the box, you get everything you need to set up: the tub itself, the pump, an inflatable lid and all filter attachments.
The tub itself inflated in what felt like seconds, and then it was just organising the pump and filters.
To protect the tub, I put down a protective mat underneath. Lay-Z-Spa stocks a few varieties of these and it made me feel much safer setting up the tub in my garden.
Excited puppy didn't slow things down, too much...
The mat slots together like a children’s play mat, nice and easily. Even when you have a zoomy-ing puppy accompanying you.
With the puppy safely stowed inside, the next thing to do was fill it up! The entire set up process took me under 30 minutes, and then the hose was left to fill the tub which took just under 4 hours.
Lay-Z-Spa advises that tubs could take between 12-24 hours to heat up when first filled. Being that mine was set up on quite a standard cold, Scottish day, it took closer to the 24 hours.
Once filled I sorted out a shock dose of chemicals (this is done to break down any organic waste and contamination) which is highly recommended when you first fill your tub.
Blowing up and filling up
Success! The tub was up, filled and I must admit, I was feeling very proud of myself. If I can set it up, anyone can...
We rate the ease of set up 4/5!
The Helsinki model is one of the brand’s most popular tubs, and we can see why! Despite being inflatable, its attractive drop stitch design gives it a hard shell look that will fit in with all gardens.
Its unique Nordic design gives it a realistic wooden print design, you would never know it wasn’t a hard shell tub.
The material is also sturdy and durable. If you have quite a busy garden space, you don’t need to feel nervous about damaging the tub or ripping the material.
On top of the hot tub pumpthere is also two convenient drink holders, so your drink won’t overheat while you bask in the hot bubbles.
Drink holders keep your beverage from getting too hot in the tub
Its beautiful design adds a splash of character to a garden, so we rate the Helsinki design 5/5.
Heating the tub
Eager to spend our nights relaxing in the bubbles, we decided to set the tub up in March, a Scottish March where temperatures lulled around 10 degrees Celsius.
Despite the low temperatures, heating the tub did not take as long as expected.
On the first fill, it took 24 hours for water temperatures to rise from 6 degrees to 35. The tub was then kept at 35 degrees and raised to 39 (the max is 40) on those chilly night dips.
The lid is stylish and effective!
When not in use during the week the tub was set down to 20 degrees Celsius for energy efficiency. Heating it back up to enjoyable temps took just a few hours of preparation, even in the colder weather.
The tub’s insulated cover is definitely to credit for this. The inflatable lid helps to maintain water temperature when the spa has been switched off and helps it heat faster.
Heating the Helsinki tub proved to be incredibly simple, so we rate it 5/5.
In the tub
After waiting the advised 24 hours after a shock dose and getting the temperature to a balmy 37 degrees it was time for the first dip! And the timing was perfect withmy husband and I having tested positive for Covid-19 hours earlier, what else were we to do but enjoy a long, relaxing soak?
Lay-Z-Spa has an incredible range of accessories to make your hot tub experience so much more enjoyable. We opted for a hot tub light to add to the ambience of the evening.
The touchpad control panel for Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs is so easy to use, making the whole process so much more enjoyable. The instructions fully assist with all tools for heating and keeping clean.
Having been in many hard shell hot tubs prior to this, I was unsure what an inflatable one would feel like without hard seating areas and bigger machines. However, I was immediately pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the tub and the power of the jets!
Despite appearing neat and small, the Helsinki floor is well cushioned and very comfortable and the rigid sides provide excellent comfort for resting against without taking up too much room. The tub is advertised as a 4-7 person size and this is definitely accurate sizing.
Helsinki control panel
The Helsinki uses an air jet system to create the bubbles. And it is unlike any other hot tub I have ever been in. The 180 Airjet Massage System is incredibly powerful and relaxing and has therapeutic bubbles travelling all across the tub. It was bliss!
With such a powerful system we worried our neighbours might be getting annoyed, however when one of us returned indoors the sound was barely even noticeable so we enjoyed much longer in the tub without any disturbance to neighbours.
We rate use an easy 5/5!
If you’re looking for a hot tub but don’t feel like splashing out too much for a hard shell, we highly recommend the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki. Its aesthetic design would suit all gardens and the high power of the Airjet system will have you questioning why you didn’t buy one sooner.
Customer reviews on the website give it a whopping 4.6/5, and we can totally agree.
If you're looking for a great hot tub without the hefty price tag, Lay-Z-Spa's Helsinki is the one for you.
- Height: 66cm
- Width: 180cm
- Width with Pump: 223cm
- Filled Weight: 796kg (1,775b)
The Helsinki Lay-Z-Spa hot tub can be purchased on the website, on B&Q or The Range. To treat yourself to some fun extras (lights, cup holders, cushions) visit the Lay-Z-Spa website.
When you order on the Lay-Z-Spa website, you will also get a free Gold Starter Kit worth £99.99.
A new Lay-Z-Spa will last 4-5 years if properly stored and maintained. They all come with a 12-month warranty, so that's a good indicator of the shortest time you can expect one to run, though as one of the most popular brands, their hot tubs will likely last much longer, barring a rare manufacturing fault!How often should I change the water in my Lay-Z-Spa hot tub? ›
It is recommended that Lay‑Z‑Spa water is changed regularly, and at least once every 1‑3 months.Is it worth getting a Lay-Z-Spa? ›
Overall. If you're looking for a hot tub but don't feel like splashing out too much for a hard shell, we highly recommend the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki. Its aesthetic design would suit all gardens and the high power of the Airjet system will have you questioning why you didn't buy one sooner.Can Lay-Z-Spa stay out all year? ›
Don't leave it un‑used. If you leave your Lay‑Z‑Spa out in winter without using it, and the temperature drops below 4°C, the water could freeze within the pump and cause serious damage. Your water quality will also deteriorate and you may find a build‑up of unsightly mold.Does a lazy spa use a lot of electricity? ›
Note: A Lay‑Z‑Spa heater uses 2050W per hour whilst on the heat setting and 600W whilst running the inflation / massage function.Do inflatable hot tubs use a lot of electricity? ›
Do inflatable hot tubs use a lot of electricity? Inflatable hot tubs do use a lot of electricity despite only having a 1.5kWh heater. While that is less powerful than 220v hot tubs, the lack of insulation creates a much greater need for the heater to run more often, creating a higher electric bill.What temperature should I keep my hot tub when not in use? ›
Depending on how long you plan to stay away, you can turn off your hot tub or reduce the water temperature. For those going away for a short while, it's best to leave hot tubs at 10°C (50°F). This will not only help maintain a safe and warm temperature, but it also won't spike up your electricity bills.Is it cheaper to leave a hot tub on all the time? ›
It's much more economical to maintain your tub's temperature rather than heating it from scratch each time. If you had to heat up your hot tub from cold each time you wanted to use it, this would have a dramatic impact on your hot tub running costs.Can I empty my hot tub after every use? ›
If you do not want to put any chemicals in to your hot tub, no problem. But you must drain down and refill after each use and ensure that the water is never in the spa for more than 12 hours!Do hot tubs cost a lot of electricity? ›
Modern manufacturers advertise the cost to run their hot tubs at about one dollar per day, with $50 per month at the high end. The energy cost of a hot tub varies based mainly on the heater, which usually draws between 1,500 watts or 6,000 watts. The pump is another prime energy user at 1,500 watts.
Leave it running!
This may be surprising to hear, but turning your inflatable spa off frequently is actually not the most efficient. If you want to use your inflatable hot tub regularly, say more than three times a week, the most economical and effective way is to keep the spa heater running.
- Make sure your hot tub water is pure. ...
- Maintain the sanitiser levels while you are away. ...
- Check pH levels and alkalinity. ...
- Clean your filters. ...
- Remove hot tub pillows. ...
- Lock your hot tub cover.
2 Use the Lid & Top Cover
Every Lay‑Z‑Spa includes an insulating inflatable lid and it is there for a reason – to prevent heat loss. Making sure that the lid and top cover are firmly in place when heating up your Lay‑Z‑Spa will guarantee to have a positive effect on your heating‑up time.
The recommended temperature for the spa is 25-35 degrees – you can then easily increase it to your desired temperature before use.How long do Lay Z spas take to heat up? ›
The time taken to heat the spa will vary between the different spas and will be effected by the ambient air temperature. The pump units heat the water by approx. 1ºC - 1.5ºC an hour. To heat the water from cold can take 24-48 hours.Is it OK to leave a hot tub empty in the summer? ›
#1: Make Sure To Drain Completely When Storing Your Hot Tub
Storing a hot tub usually means draining the water, which is just fine and usually doesn't affect the tub.
Lay Z Spa's estimated hot tub running cost comes to £7-£10 when using your hot tub for 75 minutes a week, so increasing that usage to an hour a day, five days a week could see your Lay-Z-Spas running cost shoots up to £35-£40 per week!How often should you change hot tub water? ›
We recommend customers to change their hot tub water every 3 to 4 months. The reason we recommend this is that as your continue to add more chlorine, it will start to dissolve slower and slower until the chlorine doesn't dissolve in your hot tub anymore.How do I make my inflatable hot tub hotter? ›
As a general rule, heat up an inflatable hot tub faster by keeping the lid closed, using the inflatable hot tub bladder under the cover, setting the temperature to 104° Fahrenheit, and ensuring that it is placed on an insulated ground cloth. Do not turn on the jets.Should I leave my hot tub heater on all the time? ›
One of the most common questions our team gets asked is "should I leave my hot tub on all the time?" Quite simply, the answer is yes... your hot tub is designed to be left switched on constantly and works best when it is left on all the time. Your hot tub is at it's most efficient if left to run 24/7.
On average, you could be spending between $20 and $60 a month to operate a hot tub. The more energy-efficient models will be on the lower end while older hot tubs and those who keep the heat going 24/7 will be on the higher end.Why should you only sit in a hot tub for 15 minutes? ›
Since the water in a hot tub is a higher temperature than your normal internal temperature, staying in a hot tub too long can cause you to overheat and experience symptoms like light-headedness, dizziness, or nausea.What happens if you stay in a hot tub for 3 hours? ›
If you spend too long in your Hot Tub you may risk overheating. Your core temperature will become too high and you could even risk fainting (although this is very rare). There's also a chance you could feel dizzy and lightheaded.Can you stay in a hot tub for 3 hours? ›
How long is too long to be in a hot tub? You might love luxuriating in the warm, jetted waters for as long as an hour, but it's not recommended that you stay in for extended periods of time for safety reasons. About 15-30 minutes at a time is a general recommendation if you prefer very hot water.How often do hot tub owners use their hot tub? ›
While an overwhelming number of respondents consider hot tubbing a social experience, 14.8 percent of owners state that they prefer to hot tub by themselves as it's their "alone time." 16.7 percent of owners use their hot tub four or more times per week.How do I keep my hot tub water crystal clear? ›
- Check Chemical Levels Regularly.
- Test and Treat Spa Water Weekly.
- Skim Daily.
- Vacuum the Spa Weekly.
- Brush Every Week.
- Monitor Water Levels.
- Test Regularly.
- Hire a Service Professional.
You can leave your spa unattended for up to two weeks if you follow these instructions. If you will not be using your spa for longer than 14 days and a spa maintenance service is not available, we strongly recommend you drain and winterize your spa.Why is my hot tub so expensive to run? ›
The more water your hot tub holds, the more it costs to run. A good rule of thumb is to choose a hot tub that has around 200-250 litres of water capacity per bather seat. Unless you need a huge party spa, there's no point buying a hot tub that is much bigger than you need for your average number of regular bathers.How often should I run the filter on my Lay Z Spa? ›
It is recommended the filters are changed every 3 days. Make sure to clean the filter after each use.Should you shower after lazy spa? ›
This reduces the work required from your hot tub filter and water care system to keep your hot tub water clean and balanced. We also suggest you shower after you use your hot tub to rinse away chemicals that might be left on your skin.
Lay-Z-Spa Sanitisers: Chlorine & Bromine
A water sanitiser is essential for the health and cleanliness of your spa. Both Bromine and Chlorine are chemical compounds that can decontaminate the water by killing off any bacteria or algae.
Leaving the jets on while the water heats up does speed up the process in a 220v hot tub, as it ensures all of the water gets continuously circulated through the heater, leaving no pockets of cold water. However, 100v plug-and-play hot tubs do not allow the heater & pump to run simultaneously.How long should a spa pump run per day? ›
Since your hot tub pump circulates the warm water as well as the sanitizer, a general rule is to follow manufacturer recommendations or leave the pump on for a minimum of eight hours per day.What is the best temperature to run a hot tub at? ›
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, the water temperature of a hot tub is best between 100°F and 102°F.What is the perfect spa temperature? ›
Set temperature at or below 104 °F degrees for adults.
For a comfortable soak, most people set their hot tub between 100 °F and 102 °f (37.5 °C - 39 °C). Healthy adults are safe to soak at these moderate temperatures for twenty minutes at a time.
Usually, a 110v hot tub will heat by one to two degrees per hour. Depending on the hot tub water's starting temperature, it can take anywhere from a couple of hours to over a day to reach ideal temperatures.How long does the average inflatable hot tub last? ›
When considering the lifespan of your new hot tub, you can expect to receive around 5 -7 years of use out of an inflatable hot tub compared to 20+ years of use from a hardshell hot tub.How long should an inflatable hot tub last? ›
While you usually get a 12-month guarantee, the lifespan of an inflatable spa is around 2 Summers use (if you're lucky!) after which it will likely need replacing.How many years can you get out of a hot tub? ›
The average lifespan of a hot tub is anywhere from 5-20 years, with two major factors affecting that lifespan the most. Quality. Simply put, a hot tub built with higher quality components will last longer on average than one made with lower quality components.How often should you change a hot tub? ›
With average use, your hot tub should be drained and refilled about once every three or four months. But since everyone uses their hot tub differently, the answer can vary based on how many people use it and how often. Hot tub manufacturers like Jacuzzi offer some handy tips for figuring out when to drain and refill.
Ideally, you should aim to time your hot tub sessions to last between 15 and 30 minutes. Depending on the factors at play (i.e. water temperature), you might be able to extend your soak to 45 minutes. Keep in mind that you can always re-enter your hot tub later on!How long should you stay in and out of a hot tub at a time? ›
As a general rule of thumb, most hot tub sessions last between 15 and 45 minutes. If after 45 minutes you want to keep soaking, we recommend stepping out for a bit to give your body a break. Hydrate, rest and then enter the spa again.Is 2 hours too long in a hot tub? ›
How long is too long to be in a hot tub? You might love luxuriating in the warm, jetted waters for as long as an hour, but it's not recommended that you stay in for extended periods of time for safety reasons. About 15-30 minutes at a time is a general recommendation if you prefer very hot water.Why should you only spend 20 minutes in a hot tub? ›
Since the water in a hot tub is higher than your normal internal temperature, staying in a hot tub too long can cause you to overheat and experience symptoms like light-headedness, dizziness, or nausea.Can you sit on the side of an inflatable hot tub? ›
Some inflatable hot tubs feature I-beams to reinforce the structure, allowing you and your guests to sit on the sides of the tub without causing damage or leaks.Is it OK to go in a hot tub every day? ›
Many customers will ask their hot tub dealers, “Can I use a hot tub every day?” when they are shopping for one. The quick answer is that using your hot tub every day is safe.What happens if you go in a hot tub every day? ›
However, it's completely OK to use a hot tub every day. In fact, many of the benefits of a hot tub only become apparent when it's used on a regular basis. To make sure you get the most use out of your hot tub we've come up with a post on what you can do to ensure your hot tub use remains consistent.Can diseases live in hot tubs? ›
The hot tub can be home to bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Bacteria such as mycobacteria, E. coli, and pseudomonas aeruginosa can live in hot tubs, causing infections to unsuspecting users.What temperature should I leave my hot tub on overnight? ›
For those going away for a short while, it's best to leave hot tubs at 10°C (50°F). This will not only help maintain a safe and warm temperature, but it also won't spike up your electricity bills.Should I add chlorine to my hot tub every day? ›
Chlorine sanitizer should not be put in your hot tub every day. Instead, it should be added 2-3 times per week depending on the frequency the tub gets used. Then about ¼ cup of chlorine shock should be added every 7-10 days. The amount of sanitizer to add depends on where the chlorine levels read on a test strip.