Last updated: 12th February 2018
I'm sure you'll agree that experiencing a hot tub is a great thing:
But it's difficult to ever know what life was like without having one before. Well, that's only true if you've actually experienced one, that is.
When I tell people that I run a hot tub review website, they almost always ask:
"Well, whose going to buy a hot tub, other than the rich? They're expensive, right?"
Well, it turns out actually that you don't need to be wealthy to enjoy a hot tub as there are multiple companies spread out across the UK who offer hot tub rental for relatively affordable prices.
So here today, we'll be considering whether you should buy or rent a hot tub, depending on your circumstances and what the best options are for you.
Here's the deal:
One of the biggest factors between buying or renting is the money.
This is actually an interesting consideration.
Because whilst buying a hot tub can start at £300+ for inflatable models, the most premium hard shell models can cost upwards of £5,000 to £10,000!
Renting on the other hand, can cost anywhere between £120 for an inflatable hot tub weekend hire, to £300 for more premium packages.
Renting typically consists of an inflatable hot tub that is installed by the hiring company and then taken away after the renting period is over.
"Buying a hot tub can start at £300+ for inflatable models. Renting can cost anywhere between £120 for an inflatable hot tub weekend hire, to £300 for more premium packages."
...but the Lay-Z-Spa is pretty cheap. Shouldn't I just buy it?
So let's consider buying one.
Let's say you buy a Lay-Z-Spa for £350 (give or take).
Lay-Z-Spa Miami (inflatable)
There's the risk that if you don't really like the inflatable look or feel, then you're stuck with something quite large that you're not using, which will have to be returned or kept gathering dust.
So what would we suggest?
Renting from many of the hot tub hire companies in the UK is a great choice, as £120~ is something quite affordable and it gives you the opportunity to test drive something that many people don't get to experience at home.
If it turns out that you actually love the experience of a hot tub in your garden, then investing £350-£500 in an inflatable Lazy-Z Spa is actually a pretty good longer term deal.
"If you love the experience of a hot tub in your garden, then investing £350-£500 in an inflatable Lazy-Z Spa is actually a pretty good longer term deal."
First thing's first.
Cleary, renting a hot tub offers the major advantage of not having to worry about maintaining the hot tub, as you can simply let the professionals of the rental company take care of all the technicalities.
But let's say you want to buy.
How difficult will it be to learn?
Firstly, there's maintaining the cleanliness of the water.
This includes test kits to measure the chlorine and pH and changing the water, ensuring that the calcium levels of the water are not to high.
Then there's maintaining and replacing the water filter, cleaning the hot tub itself and the cover if there is one.
The list of things to do to maintain a hot tub is long and requires frequent attention over the months to ensure the maximum life of the hot tub.
You'd also need to know what chemicals to use how and when.
This of course, seems rather intimidating to any hot tub newcomer.
Whilst it's not too difficult to figure out what to do, it is an inconvenience that can be easily avoided by just letting the experts sort it out themselves.
The bottom line:
We would suggest thinking about the price of the hot tub that you are considering to buy when worrying about maintenance.
If the hot tub is in the higher price range (£1,000+), then it's definitely worth spending the time learning about hot tub maintenance; just think about the benefits of having your own premium spa to use whenever you feel like it!
If, however you're interested in the more affordable, inflatable models, then we would suggest renting first to see if you like it, especially considering the lower price point of renting for a week or weekend!
If you find you really enjoyed the experience of renting a hot tub, then by all means consider buying your own private inflatable hot tub and learning how to maintain it.
"It's worth learning about hot tub maintenance if you're buying your own hot tub, otherwise let the renting professionals take care of it."
This one seems obvious, but actually has more to it than it seems.
Renting has the benefit of not needing to set up, inflate and fill the hot tub with water; the hiring company does that for you.
But then of course there's the inconvenience of having to order from a company and wait for it's arrival, which could definitely be alleviated by buying your own private hot tub and being able to use it whenever you want, but then you'd have to handle the maintenance.
Renting means there's no need to find a place to store your hot tub when not in use, plus it means you don't have a hot tub just sitting in your garden, which could prove to be a bit of an eye-sore (especially for inflatable models).
Buying however can be a problem, especially with bulkier models as you need to find a suitable place to position the hot tub that is flat and sturdy enough to support the heavy weight of the water and people inside the hot tub, but of course that's also an issue with renting.
There's also the need to have a steady supply of hot tub chemicals and test kits to ensure proper maintenance is carried out.
When renting, you're typically limited to inflatable models only, as they are the quickest to set up and the easiest to transport once deflated.
With buying, however, you're open to getting exactly what you want without any limitations whatsoever.
So there have it, our main considerations between buying and renting a hot tub.
To help you make up your mind, we've complied our main options in a handy infographic, which can be viewed below: