The similarities of both options:
- Both offers hot tub experience
- You may enjoy bubble and hydro jet therapy on both type
- Both need AC power to operate
- Both are suitable for outdoor installation
- Both require some sort of clear water treatment to prevent algae formation
- Both offers the social and health benefits for the bathers
The Pros of Inflatable Spa:
- Hugh cost saving – typically cost of inflatable models are in the range of 10% to 15% that of acrylic spa.
- Set-up time is faster and cost lower for inflatable spa. You don’t need much manpower and /or equipment to set up the spa.
- Portability – assuming you want to re-locate the spa, the inflatable spa offers portability and fast set-up. Example of this is you may want to move the spa indoor at times, like during winter or raining season.
- Shut down / Pack up – There may be times when you need that extra space in your balcony or yard, and you need to pack up the spa temporarily. Packing it up is possible and much easier for the inflatable spa.
- Softer feel – an inflatable hot tub is not a soft flimsy pool toy. In fact, you may be surprised at how sturdy they are, even when you sit on them with your full weight. That said, these spas definitely have a “softer” feel than concrete or hard plastic. It can be pretty relaxing.
- Lower operating electrical current requirement – a typical inflatable spa requires a lower operating current and because of this point, you probably need not upgrade your existing switch socket to higher ampere rating. Most acrylic spa would requires at least 15A switch socket (in most case 20A is needed) to support its operation, whilst an inflatable spa will only requires a standard 13A switch socket. Again you save cost and avoid troublesome upgrading work here!
- Floor loading – inflatable spa is much lighter than acrylic spa, and this allow you to locate the spa at balcony or within your house without the need to worry about the floor loading factor.
Cons of Inflatable Spa:
- No structural seating – pre-fabricated acrylic spa usually have built-in bucket seats. These make it very easy to lean back and relax and feel like the seat almost conforms to your body. Inflatable spas don’t have these custom seats and some may not have any seats at all. Even the base of the inflatable spas typically have cushioning, some people may still prefer a raised seat.
- Heat up time is longer – because of the lower current requirement as point out above, an inflatable spa typically takes a longer time to heat up to the set temperature.
- Aesthetics appearance – for some the pre-fabricated acrylic spa may appears to be classier. However, there are some models of the inflatable spa that do look equally attractive. It all depends on a matter of personal taste.
- Size – at the moment inflatable spa is limited to accommodate up to 6 bathers only. So if you require a spa for more 6 people, you will have to go with the acrylic spa.