Best hot tubs to create the ultimate spa in your garden 2024

Hot tubs are a great addition to any outdoor space and there are so many different models to choose from.

best hot tubs

by Hannah Mellin |
Updated on

Finding the best hot tub to suit your needs, your family, and your garden can seem to be a daunting task, especially as they are a huge investment. Hot tubs have become an accessible luxury and are more readily available than ever before, but you don't want to spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a hot tub that doesn't suit your needs or budget.

Gone are the days when the hot tub can only be used at fancy spas or on holiday. Yep, you can now have your own in your own outdoor space, and there's nothing like a good hot tub for unwinding in the evening. They can massage and relieve stress, and because they're heated, you can keep using them when night falls and temperatures start to drop. Hot tub party on Christmas Day? Don't mind if we do.

Best hot tubs at a glance

• Best plug-in and go hot tub: Canadian Spa Company Calgary 4 Person Plug & Play Hot Tub - View on Argos
• Best value hot tub: Lay-Z Spa AirJet Miami 4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub in Black - View on Appliances Direct
• Best luxury hot tub: Canadian Spa Gander 4 Person Hot Tub - View on Wayfair
• Best hot tub for families: Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki 7 Person AirJet Hot Tub - View at Very

There is so much to consider when shopping around for a hot tub, including price, space, longevity, energy consumption, and how many people you can squeeze in for a dip. There are so many different tubs to choose from, from inflatable models and large hard shell tubs for family gatherings to old-school woodfired versions. Not forgetting the big names in the hot tub market, we've included the best hot tubs from Lay-Z-Spa, Canadian Spa, Intex, and more.

In this guide, we've researched the best hot tubs on the market right now and answered all your hot tub-related questions.

Best hot tubs

Best plug-in and go hot tub

Canadian Spa Company Calgary 4 Person Plug & Play Hot Tub
Price: £6,439.99

This Canadian Spa Company Calgary Plug & Play spa fits in almost any location. It is roomy but compact and packed with all the features of a full-sized spa (including 24 adjustable hydrotherapy jets and mood lighting) and easily accommodates 4 adults. Easy to install and more energy efficient than some on the market - just plug in and go. Also includes a hard shell top safety cover and Ozone generation system to react and kill bacteria and reduce the chemicals needed for maintenance.

Customer review: "The enclosure looks great. Took the installers a fair time to build up, it is more substantial looking than we expected. The installers were very helpful and polite. I have only had it a few days so can't comment on the longevity of it but I am very happy with the overall look and quality. Looks fab!"


  • Energy efficient
  • Loads of features despite being compact
  • Simple to set up


  • Have to remember to change filters every 4 to 6 months

Best value hot tub

For a fab price, you can experience ultimate relaxation with the Lay-Z-Spa Miami Airjet, perfect for couples and families, accommodating up to 4 people. Even though it is of great value, you can immerse yourself in the 120 all-surrounding AirJet massage system, while the rapid heating technology ensures water temperatures of up to 40 degrees. The tub also features a digital control pump with cup holders, an energy-efficient timer, and Freeze Shield™ for year-round enjoyment.

Customer review: "Easy to setup. Perfect size for out family of three."


  • Straight forward to assemble
  • Heats up fast
  • Loads of features


  • Could supply starter chemicals, especially chlorine granules and tablets

Best luxury hot tub

This Canadian Spa Gander 4 Person Hot Tub will blow you away with everything it has to offer, including 14 weel-positioned jets, deep setting and the two-speed pump that allows you to turn the jets on low or high. The factory-installed ozone water care system, along with Glacier filtration to keep your spa water clear and reduces the number of chemicals needed.

Customer review: "We all are loving it, good jets, comfortable and a definite asset to our garden."


  • Great quality
  • No electrician required
  • LED lights make the hot tub really stand out


  • Not much information about product specification

Best hot tub for families

Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki 7 Person AirJet Hot Tub
Price: £599.99 (was £669.99)

Inspired by traditional Nordic hot tubs, this Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki is perfect for large families as it holds up to 7 people. It features a deeply relaxing 180 AirJet Massage System that enables you to surround yourself with thousands of therapeutic bubbles and experience an intense full-body massage, a rapid 40 heating system and a power-saving timer. Inflates in under five minutes and can be used all year round.

Customer review: "Bought this a couple of weeks ago and we have used it every day x love it! It gets really hot which is what we like. It's very sturdy not like some other spas. We have bought the thermal insulation cover too and a gazebo so we can use it even if it's raining. It's really easy just blow up fill plug in and wait. Took about 15 hrs to heat to 40 degrees."


  • Robust
  • Big and spacious
  • Economical to run


  • Need a large space

Best hot tub for couples

Lay-Z-Spa Aruba 110 AirJet Massage System
Price: £299.99 (was £499.99)

If you're planning a future of hot tub date nights, the Lay-Z-Spa Aruba not only looks amazing but has so many incredible features, including a 110 AirJet system that gives you an all-surrounding massage experience for pure relaxation. The Freeze Shield technology makes sure that the water doesn't freeze on cold winter nights, so you can enjoy your hot tub all year round.

Customer review: "I wasn't sure about this purchase but with the hot weather we have been having lately, I thought why not and I am so glad that I did as its an excellent bit of kit, its fun and its relaxing. There is a wealth of info on all the types of spas available, but for the money this one is great, sturdy, easy to set up, I bought the spa floor protector as well as it made sense, and the clear water chemical starter kit which is essential as there are no chemicals with the spa."


  • Great for small gardens or patios
  • Freeze Shield technology
  • Massage power is strong


  • Need a UK adapter for the plug

Best hot tub for hard water areas

Intex PureSpa Bubble Round 6 Person with updated control base
Price: £449

Many areas of the UK have to deal with hard water, which can be harsh on skin and clothes. As well as having heated bubble jets, the Intex PureSpa tub is its built-in hard water treatment system, designed to ensure the water is gentler on the skin and clothes, as well as on the hot tub itself. It is a great option for those living in areas of the UK with harder water, such as in the South. We love the natural beige colour of this hot tub - great for blending into a natural environment.

Customer review: "Well this is the first hot tub we've purchased and we took a while deciding… I'm so glad we chose the intex pure spa. Putting it up was easy it literally goes up in 5 minutes! The filling didn't take as long as I anticipated which was a bonus! The bubbles are amazing it's a roomy tub definitely worth the extra money you pay if you want quality you have to pay for that. I would definitely recommend this spa to anyone thinking about getting one."


  • Heated bubble jets
  • Built-in water treatment system
  • Simple maintenance with an easy-to-replace filter system


  • Cleaning filters is harder than expected

Best square-shaped hot tub

Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii Hot Tub
Price: £444 (was £559.99)

Square hot tubs can fit into some of those more awkward spaces and limit any dead space in corners, so are a great option for small or awkward gardens. The Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii Hot Tub can fit 4-6 people, and the soothing 140 AirJet system gives you an all-surrounding massage experience for pure relaxation. Lay-Z-Spas requires no professional installation or tools. Inflate with the included pump in less than 5 minutes, ready for filling with water.

Customer review: "Can't praise this highly enough. Took 45 minutes to put up, an hour and 15 to fill. Heater, bubbles etc all work perfectly even if it only lasts a year I would be pleased. Pleasant surprise for an impulse buy."


  • Square shape ideal for a corner of the garden or patio
  • Easy to setup
  • Sturdy build


  • Uses a lot of electricity to heat the water

Best hot tub for small gardens

Lay-Z-Spa Cancun 4 Person Hot Tub
Price: £312.94 (was £529)

Not everyone is blessed to have a large or medium-sized outdoor space, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy all the benefits of a hot tub. The Lay-Z-Spa Cancun is perfect for tucking into a cosy corner of your garden space. Despite the small stature, there is still plenty of space for up to 4 adults, a rapid 40 heating system, a power-saving timer and a Freeze Shield for use all year.

Customer review: "I bought this as I've been contemplating getting a hot tub for a while, but always felt like it was too "posh" to have one. I'm finally caved and I haven't had an evening out of it. Took some trial and error to get the chemical balance right but overall really good. Fits me and the hubby and 2 kids fine. 3 adults also fine. 4 would be a squeeze. Great value for money. Super easy set up. Keep it on 24/7 to save on electric and heating time and my bill has barely shifted from precious use! Only downside is that the jets only have one setting so it's quite loud and can't really have music on unless volume is up."


  • Easy setup
  • Great for small families
  • Comes with a chemical start-up pack


  • Jets are loud

Best woodfired hot tub

Woodfired hot tubs are a different option from ones that require electricity and are much more traditional and environmentally friendly. A lower-running-cost option, a woodfired hot tub will really stand out in your garden and is powered by logs. This classic wooden hot tub from Skargards and the tub features Thermowood cladding to keep the heat in. Suitable for 4-5 people.

Customer review: "The Skargards is a well made product, has a good quality finish and is simple to use. It is great fun watching heat up, and then relax in the hot tub with a drink. It heats up from 12 Cº to 39Cº in 3 hours. I'm sure we'll get many years of use out of it."


  • Heats up fast
  • Jets are powerful
  • High-quality and robust


  • Need to keep on top of cleaning and changing logs

How we chose the best hot tubs

All of these hot tubs have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered size, capacity, and functionality in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching hot tubs to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

Best hot tub FAQs

What are the different types of hot tubs?

Hard-shell hot tubs

Also known as acrylic hot tubs, hard-shell hot tubs sit on a hard shell base and have hard side panels. They have an internal heating system and an array of jets and lights to make your hot tub experience extra special.

Hard-shell tubs can also come with fancy features such as Wi-Fi, in-built sound systems and full foam insulation that seals the heat in your tub, making it more energy efficient.

They're an investment as they are permanent fixtures in your garden and will need to be set up on solid, level ground.

Inflatable hot tubs

Cheaper and more convenient for smaller gardens, inflatable hot tubs can be put anywhere, they just need to be set up on a solid, level base. As you fill them up with air, they are also called blow-up hot tubs and are heated by an external heater that warms the water, and an air blower will inflate the walls and power the jets.

Inflatable hot tubs now come in all shapes and sizes, so there is bound to be one that suits you. They are less fancy than hard shell tubs, but you can still get seats, lights, and even drink holders on some models.

Woman and child in hot tub
©Getty Images

Plug in and go hot tubs

'Plug-in and play' hot tubs are similar to hard shell hot tubs, but they can simply be powered by a standard 3-pin UK Plug Socket. Most hot tubs run on 240v power, which means you'll need to hire an electrician to set up the appropriate electrical source (a dedicated 240v 50 circuit) and wire your hot tub before it can be used. This makes installation easy as no dedicated power supply or feed is needed to be fitted. They still come with lots of lovely luxuries, but they are just not as powerful.

Integrated hot tubs

Integrated or in-ground are typically more known as spas. They are either set into the ground, attached to a swimming pool, or custom-built in some way. They do come under the same family as hot tubs (they are filled with warm water and have jets) but have a more bespoke, built-in element.

Woodfired hot tubs

Woodfired hot tubs are a different option from ones that require electricity and are much more traditional and environmentally friendly. A lower-running-cost option, a woodfired hot tub will really stand out in your garden and is powered by logs and features Thermowood cladding to keep the heat in. Woodfired hot tubs generally take less time to heat up but require a little more maintenance.

How expensive is it to run a hot tub?

This all depends on how much you intend to use your hot tub and which model you choose. Overall, hot tubs can be quite expensive to run; however, some models have high-tech energy-saving systems which can maintain the temperature. The running price of a hot tub is also dependent on how high your temperature is set and how warm it is outside.

If you're looking to save money on your hot tub, we'd recommend keeping an eye out for hot tub deals. You'll often find that some retailers like Aldi have affordable options, and sale events such as Prime Day and Black Friday have fab hot tub deals available.

What temperature is best for a hot tub?

The majority of hot tub users like their water temperature to range between 36°C and 38°C. However, the ideal temperature will depend on a variety of factors, including body temperature, weather conditions, and a number of health and safety risks.

Some hot tubs can be set at a temperature of 26°C, but this would only be appropriate if it's a hot summer's day and you want to use your tub to cool off. It is important to remember that a hot tub is meant to warm you up, not cool you down, so may not be appropriate in extremely warm temperatures.

People in hot tub
©Getty Images

How do you clean a hot tub?

Draining and flushing your hot tub should be done around three to four times a year. However, despite some hot tubs coming with cleaning kits, they should be cleaned weekly and routinely treated with chemicals. You should always refer to the manual when it comes to chemicals. Depending on the brand of hot tub, the hot tub filters should also be cleaned on a monthly basis. Here are a few steps to follow:

Flush out the pipes. You can cleanse your hot tub of any internal build-up of grime or dirt by flushing the pipelines. You can buy cleaning solutions, like this Jacuzzi® Hot Tub Pipe Cleaner, but make sure to follow the instructions.

Drain the hot tub. After flushing out the pipes, you will need to drain your tub. Make sure you have turned off all the power to the hot tub, and don't turn it on again until the hot tub has been refilled.

Clean surfaces. Whether you have a hard shell or an inflatable hot tub, you can use a hot tub surface cleaner to keep it sparkling.

Clean the filters. The filters on your hot tub are meant to catch dirt, so they require extra cleaning and attention. If you start to notice that your water is not looking as clear and clean as usual, it is a huge sign that the filters need a good clean.

What to read next:

Kids splash pads for every family garden

Indulge the family in a swimming pool to beat the heat this summer

The best paddling pools with fast delivery to keep cool this summer

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Hannah Mellinis a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, A Modern Kitchen, Yours and Take A Break. She has been working in the Journalism industry for over a decade and has written for an array of brands. When she's not writing, researching or testing products, she's renovating her Victorian terrace and chilling in the garden with her sausage dog Waffle.

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