For those who love the sound of relaxing in your own hot tub after a long day, the best inflatable hot tubs (opens in new tab) can make things a little more accessible. Easily assembled and stored away after use, an inflatable hot tub is a great alternative to the best hot tubs (opens in new tab) on the market that require installation and year-round maintenance.
If you’ve been considering owning your own hot tub getting one might be easier than you think. The Bestway SaluSpa Zurich is priced under $700 and is inflatable, making it perfect for apartment dwellers or for homeowners who only want a tub a few months out of the year. But could a $700 hot tub really be a replacement for the real thing? We put it through its paces to find out.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub : Key specs
Seats: None, Holds 2-4 people
Water Capacity: 177 gallons
Dimensions: 71in x 26in
Weight when empty: 53 pounds (total)
Build material: Proprietary “DuraPlus” material
Warranty: 180 days Spa Liner/ 365 days Spa Pump
Smart features: Programmable timer
Maximum heat: 104 degrees
When you hear the phrase “inflatable hot tub” your mind probably first goes to an inflatable pool, and the concept is pretty similar. The Zurich is in many ways an inflatable pool with a pad on the bottom that provides the jets. You inflate the “pool” inside a harder shell that gives it a bit more durability as well as helps keep the water warm inside.
The jets come from a circular pad covering the bottom of the tub with 120 small holes around the rim. When you turn them on, the air gets pushed through the permitter of that pad and bubbles come. It sounds like something that won’t work very well, but it does.
An inflatable lid with locking snaps on the side keeps the tub covered when not in use and is a lot lighter and easier to remove than a cover for a traditional tub and a pump on the side, which looks similar to a boat motor, houses a control panel for the temperature, jets, and more.
It works, and once you get it assembled you might not even realize it’s an inflatable hot tub on your back porch rather than a traditional one.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub : Features and accessories
The Zurich’s inflatable core is made of durable, puncture-resistant “DuraPlus” material which the company says is 33% more tear resistant and 56% more stretch resistant than PVC and allows the tub to maintain its shape no matter how many times you inflate and deflate it. It also has winterizing technology that prevents inner components from freezing during colder temperatures and a circuit interpreter to help ground the tub and prevent electrical shocks while it’s in use.
A timer allows you to control the temperature of the tub up to 40 days in advance, so you can set it to always be ready for use on the weekends or after your late shift on Wednesdays. A ChemConnect dispenser helps distribute a stable level of chlorine in the tub and an integrated water filtration system keeps the water clean.
The box says you can get 2-4 people in this thing, but in reality, two full-sized adults are probably the max unless you’re happy to brush elbows and kneecaps with your fellow spa users.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub: Setup and assembly
The BestWay SaluSpa ships in one large box with individual pieces boxed separately inside. The exterior box has handles built into the side for easier carrying, and we were able to get the box from our front porch where it was delivered to the backyard relatively easily with two people. That said, if you’re assembling alone you could open up the exterior box and break it into smaller boxes for easier transport.
The included instructions with the spa are a bit sparse and are similar to the instructions you might get with an Ikea table. There are no words in the actual assembly instructions only pictures sparse. My partner, a computer engineer, and I worked together to put this guy together which resulted in a handful of disagreements and a 3-hour assembly time versus the 10 minutes touted by the company. I’m not going to lie, it was a challenge, but one that was ultimately worth it and something I think I’ll be much more successful with the second time around.
Our first struggle was with simply understanding what all of the parts were. The outer shell of the tub comes folded in half, and it took a bit for us to understand not only what it was, but that we needed to open it up so it made a circle. Seems intuitive, but it wasn’t, and slowed us down a few minutes.
The largest issue; however, was with inflating the tub. We followed the included instructions, which involve using the pump that will ultimately power the tub’s jets to inflate it. Easy enough, but we kept getting an alarm a few seconds in that would shut the pump off. Ultimately, we ended up having one of us stand by the pump and cancel the alarm before things could shut off. It was tedious, and definitely not how things were supposed to go, but was ultimately a success.
Once we figured out the shell and got the pump running setup was relatively seamless, and again, a process that I think was compounded by us being novices. The second time around should be a lot easier.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub: Performance
Despite the challenges in setup, The BestWay SaluSpa Zurich is a really great hot tub. The jets in the tub are best liked to perhaps the spray holes on a slip-and-slide. 120 small holes surround the bottom panel of the inside of the tub and when you turn on the jets air comes through all of them creating a ton of bubbles and a surprising amount of pressure from just a small hole — there are lots of those holes.
I routinely have used the hot tub solo and have determined I can spread out in such a way that most of my body is being hit by a jet at the same time, a feat not possible in a traditional hot tub. I’d argue it ultimately also makes for a better overall experience.
The tub gets up to 104 degrees. We’ve left it constantly at 100 and then would turn it up a few hours before planned use. Similar to traditional hot tubs, you will need to give yourself a few hours between turning the temperature up and it getting to temp.
Once there; however, it maintains temperature fairly well. I used it in outdoor temps ranging from 30 degrees to 60 and in all instances it was able to maintain that 104 for at least 15 minutes. Afterward, it would typically drop down to around 100, but could maintain that for at least an hour, even in colder weather. Also worth noting, there hasn’t been a significant bump in my electric bill with the tub maintaining that 100-degree temperature outside.
It’s a really great hot tub, and creates an experience comparable to what you might get from a tub 10x the price.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub: Care and maintenance
The SaluSpa comes with a built-in ChemConnect dispenser. You insert a chlorine tablet into the dispenser and it disperses a stable level of chlorine in the tub.
I took things a step further and visited my local pool supply store for some advice. They recommended bringing in a sample of water from my tub, and when I did suggested I add a bit more than chlorine. Specifically, I added a Calcium Booster and some Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate for alkalinity in addition to some chlorine. They also recommended using a Shock Oxidizer, which kills off things like body oils and lotions in the water, after each use. Altogether that was roughly $65 worth of chemicals, but they should last around a year.
If you have a local pool supply store, I’d recommend taking a water sample in and seeing what they say. The representative I spoke to was super knowledgeable, and having a sample of my water tested was free. In my city, you’re also able to empty the hot tub twice a year and refill it without paying for the water. The store was also able to help me with that paperwork.
While possibly not necessary, as a hot tub novice, I felt a little better having someone else test my water for me rather than relying on my own novice guesses or haphazard reading of test strips.
Beyond maintaining the water, the only other challenge for us is keeping the top of the tub’s lid clean. The tub is sitting on our back deck, and the top of the lid routinely collects water when it rains and debris from a flowering tree above. After a big rain, we have to go outside and remove water from the top and sweep off all the fallen flowers. It’s more an issue with where we’ve placed it than the tub itself, but necessary. Early on I attempted to carefully remove the lid with a small amount of rainwater and tree droppings on it and managed to accidentally dump it all inside — long story short, I ended up emptying the whole tub and refilling it.
Emptying the whole tub is worth addressing. To empty, you connect a garden hose to a spout on the bottom of the tub. Once you pull a plug inside the tub, water flows through the hose and you can direct it wherever you want. The tub holds 177 gallons, which proved to be a significant amount of water to disperse in my yard. It would be ideal if you had a hose long enough to get the water to a drain, which sadly I did not. Ultimately not the biggest deal, but it was a journey.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub: Price and availability
The Bestway SaluSpa is available for purchase directly from Bestway as well as from a number of different retailers including Amazon. The tub retails for $729.99; however, appears to almost always be on sale. As of this writing, it’s currently priced at $547.49 on Bestway’s site and $639.99 on Amazon.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub: User reviews
Customers who purchase the Bestway Saluspa Zurich are often surprised by how sturdy the tub is and many note that their experience using it is similar to what they might expect from a “multi-thousand dollar hot tub.”
Overall users find the tub easy to use and keep clean, and they’re impressed with the tub’s jets and ability to stay hot during use. The one consistent complaint amongst users is the tub’s size, which most find only appropriate for two full-sized adults.
Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub compare to competitors?
We have also reviewed the Bestway SaluSpa Fiji inflatable hot tub (opens in new tab), which is another good option for renters thanks to its smaller size. Another similarity between these two models is that they would struggle to fit four people, as claimed.
The Zurich’s insulated outer liner and lid make it a more energy efficient option, too. The brand claims this 40% more efficient with other models on the market. This will also help it to stay warmer in the winter months.
Should you buy the Bestway SaluSpa Zurich Inflatable Hot Tub?
If you’ve been debating purchasing an inflatable hot tub then this one is a no-brainer. The tub is an excellent value for the price and provides an experience comparable to what you might get from a traditional tub at a significantly higher price tag.
The inflatable design of the tub also makes it a great option for renters or for people who only want to use the tub during certain months and store it for the remainder of the year. It’s well worth the price and definitely worth a look.