It goes without saying that inflatable hot tubs aren’t as hard-wearing as permanent spas, but that’s not to say they’re all flimsy and puncture-prone! Modern models are actually pretty durable, but what are inflatable hot tubs made of?
When we started this hot tub guide ten years ago in search of the best inflatable hot tubs in the UK, portable spas were not quite as popular as they are today, but since then, an increase in interest has led to some innovative breakthroughs in their design and construction!
What Is An Inflatable Hot Tub Made Of?
Modern inflatable hot tubs are generally made of PVC and vinyl, with the best models using layered sheets of laminated PVC for increased structural stability and UV protection.
This allows the resulting shell to:
- Resist punctures
- Retain its shape when inflated and deflated
PVC is also surprisingly UV resistant, with research showing little to no effect on its strength or flexibility after prolonged sun exposure. This is ideal for a hot tub that’s likely to be sitting in your garden for years!
What material is a Lazy Spa made from?
The Lay-Z-Spa range is made from their Duraplus construction material, consisting of an internal polyester mesh with a layer of reinforced PVC on either side.
This 3-ply material is then laminated to produce a solid sheet that won’t distort when inflated, deflated or otherwise manipulated. They also claim that Duraplus has been stress tested to ensure long-lasting durability and that it won’t crack or fade due to weathering. You can see our guide on how long will an inflatable hot tub last which has a look at what types of models and materials last the longest.
What fabric does Intex use?
All Intex models are made from Fiber-Tech fabric, which isn’t dissimilar to Lay-Z-Spa’s material. However, their patented linings use an internal sheet of high-strength polyester fibres rather than a grid-patterned mesh.
Fiber-Tech is again a 3-ply material, with PVC layers on either side, though in this particular form, the outer layer is a little thicker whilst the inner layer is smooth and lightly textured.
MSpa uses a 6-layered construction material to manufacture their hot tubs known as Rhino-Tech; it’s made from a 500D polyester core surrounded by a vinyl laminate.
On the outer side of this core is a PVC sheet and a layer of UV-resistant plastic coating, and on the inner side are a further few sheets of PVC with a smoothed finish facing the inside of the tub. They also make semi-rigid spas with solid plastic walls and laminated PVC liners.
What material are Wave Spa models made from?
Wave Spa models that are fully inflatable are made from 3 layers of reinforced PVC, and their semi-rigid models add an extra layer of faux leather to the outer side of the shell.
Semi-rigid Wave Spas also have foam-filled walls, which add a little more structural support and help with heat retention!
Cleverspa uses Triple-S PVC linings to make their hot tubs, a material created by the brand containing three layers of UV-resistant PVC laminated together for increased durability.
The outer layer is a little thicker to help prevent punctures, and the inner linings are both soft and textured to stop your skin from sticking to the walls whilst enjoying your soaks.
Do inflatable hot tubs puncture easily?
Portable hot tubs can be prone to punctures, but punctures aren’t as common as you might think. As most brands use linings that are at least 3-ply, it takes a fair bit of force to push sharp stones, thorns and twigs all the way through.
As long as the ground beneath your spa is cleared of debris, you’re unlikely to see many punctures.
They’re not indestructible, though! So knives, scissors, gardening tools and the like will make quick work of your hot tub’s shell, so it’s best to keep them away!
What is the best material for a hot tub?
If it’s a portable hot tub, you’re best choosing a layered PVC or vinyl material. However, if you’re very worried about punctures, opting for a semi-rigid spa with plastic or foam-filled walls will provide even more durability.
So, that’s what modern inflatable hot tubs are made of! If you’re picking up a model from one of the most popular brands, chances are it’s got a laminated PVC shell at least three layers thick.
PVC is the go-to for most manufacturers as it’s easy to work with, UV resistant and can be layered to provide excellent puncture resistance and durability. Semi-rigid spas will have a little extra support with plastic or foam walls, but even they’ll use PVC somewhere! Take a look at our article on how hot do inflatable hot tubs get if you want to ensure you get the right temperature for your tub when adults and children are in it.