As our summers get warmer and our gardens look all the more inviting, many of us are turning towards inflatable hot tubs to make the most of it. The problem is, there are just so many brands! To narrow your search, we’ll compare two popular choices, Intex and Wave Spa.
Today’s Intex vs Wave Spa comparison sees the well-established manufacturer Intex go head-to-head with the slightly younger Wave Spa brand. We’ll check out both ranges and compare their price, key features and other essential bits of info you may need to help you make the best choice.
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Intex has been manufacturing above-ground swimming pools since 1997, though they only turned their attention to inflatable hot tubs in 2014. That’s the year they launched their PureSpa range, which has since become one of the most respected hot tub lines available today! They’re known for building durable spas with great filtration systems.
Wave Spa is a UK family-run business founded in 2016 by two friends. Their range consists of fully inflatable spas and semi-rigid models, and they’re perhaps best known for the eye-catching designs printed on their hot tub’s exteriors. They’re one of the fastest growing new manufacturers, with products sold in the UK, the US and even the UAE!
Both Intex models and Wave Spas are more or less the same. Jets, pumps, and so on, but under a microscope, there are a few differences!
If you want to look at some guides that will help you with your purchase then see our Intex inflatable hot tub reviews and for Wave Spa, stay updated as we look to build the page in the near future.
Starting with their shells, you’ll find that both Intex models and Wave Spas are made primarily from laminated PVC, layered to produce an exterior that’s both puncture and UV-resistant.
Both brands use digital pumps situated to the side of their hot tubs, with control panels used to adjust their heaters, switch on their massage systems and activate their water filtration units.
Speaking of massage systems, both of these brands only produce air jet models, with no options to add hydro jets. You’ll also notice that each brand sells spas in a few different shapes. Both make circular and octagonal hot tubs, but Wave Spa also makes square spas.
Perhaps the most obvious difference is that Wave Spa’s range is split between semi-rigid foam-walled spas and fully inflatable hot tubs; Intex’s range only includes inflatable models.
Intex also makes use of dual-operated pumps, which allow their heaters and bubble jets to be run at the same time. Wave Spas can only power either their jets or their heaters at once.
Whilst neither brand currently produces any hot tubs with built-in lights, Wave Spa do make several hot tubs with patterned designs. All Intex units are block coloured. Intex, however, produces a few models with Wi-Fi functionality that any Wave Spa does not match.
Both ranges feature over ten models, with capacities stretching from 2-4 seaters up to 6-person hot tubs. Wave Spas only include cartridge-based filtration systems, whilst all Intex models combine this feature with a hard water treatment system.
A new Intex is generally a little more expensive than a new Wave Spa, though their massage systems contain between 100-170 air jets, whilst Wave Spas are fitted with between 90-140.
The heaters fitted into both brands’ hot tubs can hit a maximum temperature of 40℃, and neither manufacturer currently offers any form of anti-icing system. Wave Spa produces a range of foam-walled spas with added insulation to help improve heat retention, so they just about come out on top!
Winner: Wave Spa
On the face of it, both brands seem level-pegged here, with each using their own form of triple-layered PVC to construct their hot tub’s shells. Wave Spa’s semi-rigid models do add an extra layer of faux leather to their outer walls, though Intex’s inclusion of ultra-strong polyester fibres between each sheet of PVC just about gives them the edge.
Wave Spas have decent massage systems, with their 650w jets able to produce a powerful stream of bubbles, though they have to be switched off if you want to engage the heater!
Intex, on the other hand, can provide heated bubbles thanks to their dual-op pumps, and their hot tubs can feature up to 170 jets compared to the max system on a Wave Spa at 140.
Both brands primarily use cartridge-based filtration systems to keep their water clean, though only Intex back this up with a hard water treatment unit to help prevent mineral damage from ruining their pipes. There are also a few Intex models with salt water sanitation systems that reduce your need for pool chemicals by converting salt water into chlorine.
If you’re savvy, you can always find a deal on any hot tub brand by scouring suppliers, though based only on RRP, Wave Spas are generally less expensive than any comparably-sized Intex model. They also host frequent sales on their web store!
Winner: Wave Spa
Wave Spa does sell a range of accessories, though they mainly consist of headrests and inflatable cushions, whilst Intex has an extensive range of branded pool products, including:
The best place to find an Intex is probably Amazon, as strangely, their UK web store doesn’t stock their entire range. We’ve also come across Intex models sold by:
Wave Spa’s entire range can be found on their website, which, as previously mentioned, is partial to the odd sale! They can also be found on Amazon and stocked by:
Winner: Wave Spa
If you would like to read more about some of the other hot tub companies and how they fare, see lots more comparison guides below.
Truth be told, there wasn’t much to separate these two brands in the end, with unique benefits offered by each manufacturer. We love that Wave Spa produces both semi-rigid and fully inflatable hot tubs. We’re impressed by their striking designs and have to praise their affordable price!
Intex does walk away as champions, though, with their hard water treatment systems, dual-operated pumps and larger massage systems being the deciding factors. If Wave Spa decides to include any of these features in the future, they could become tough competitors!
Hello, Welcome to my website. I’m John, and I created the InflatableHotTubGuide while researching these spas nearly a decade ago. Since its creation, the site has become the leading UK resource for many models. As a passionate hot tub user, I love to test and explore all the latest machines this industry keeps creating. I hope you find our content helpful.