Solid Hot Tubs vs Inflatable Hot Tubs

The Hard Shell vs Inflatable debate…

Its summer and you are considering a hot tub as an add on to your special event this year. But which type are you going to opt for – the hard shell or the inflatable type?

We try to answer some of your questions about the big hard-shell vs inflatable debate.


In most, if not all, inflatable tubs there is a lack of seating and instead have a cushioned floor. Some people do prefer having no seats in their spa as it means they can fit more people in and can choose how you position yourself in the tub.

However, with hard-shell tubs, the moulded seats in the tub mean that there is extra comfort and relaxation, whilst also being higher up off the ground. The specialised jet placement also means that each individual seating can have their own massage system. The mix between loungers and seats with hard-shell hot tubs gives you the option to have a long relax or a quick few minutes in the tub after work.

Insulation and heating

Inflatable tubs do have less insulation in them as the material they are made from is thinner. However, this doesn’t mean that you should worry about having an inflatable tub as it depends on your own personal usage of the tub. Most if not all inflatable spas would come with a cover, which does help with insulation, however it can be more difficult to keep inflatables insulated during winter temperatures.

Hard-shell tubs have better insulation due to the thicker material they are made from. Our tubs are made from  Polyethylene which is renowned for its durability and heat-loss prevention qualities. The pipework is specifically fitted so that the water receives as much heating as possible. We also ensure that all of our spas come with thermal covers to prevent any heat-loss whilst you aren’t using your spa (a hot tub without a cover is like buying a car without a steering wheel).

Portability and durability

It is obvious that an inflatable spa would be easier to move, as you would simply deflate the spa, box it away and inflate when needed. However, anything inflatable is naturally prone to being punctured. That in no way means that inflatable spas are easy to puncture, just that they are more prone to it. A puncture on the main evening of your event will render the tub useless and its game over for your carefully planned event.

Many people are wary of hiring a hard-shell tub as they believe they are hard to manoeuvre. Whilst this is the case for some hard-shell tubs, such as acrylic spas due to their heavy material, Our Spas are easily portable due to their unique shape and design, with some fitting through standard household doors. Due to their hard material, hard-shell tubs are obviously more durable.Our tubs are made from Polyethelene, which is renowned for its durability and long-lasting properties (we don’t however recommend you take a sledgehammer to it).

Power and electricity usage

The common misconception is that inflatable tubs are cheaper to run, however this isn’t always necessarily true. Our Spas’ plug and play technology means you can run your spa from any standard household electricity supply.


Typically inflatable spas only come with one jet type, which if you are looking for simplicity and pure bubbles will be something that you may benefit from with an inflatable spa. However, if you are looking for extra jet types, lights, jet controls, and any other added extras that you may think of when you think of hot tubs, hard-shell tubs are definitely for you.

Cleanliness and Sanitation

Hot tubs can be difficult to keep clean and bacteria free without the correct knowledge and chemicals. Our spas are chemically cleaned each and every time they are take off hire to ensure that they are ready for the next hire. The Polyethelene surface is very easy to clean and ensure it is fully sanitised, The inflatable type are quite difficult to clean thoroughly and must be dried fully before they are stored away.


So there we have it, some good insight into the world or hard vs soft hot tubs. At Premier Hot Tub Hire, we only use the hard shell tubs as this offers the customer the very best in a Spa Hire Experience and make that special event even more special.