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what you need to know about portable hot tubs

Portable Hot Tub & Above Ground Spas Guide

  |   Types of Hot Tubs   |   2 Comments

What is a Portable Hot Tub?

A portable spa is a hot tub that is above ground and not built into your landscaping. This allows you to take your hot tub with you when you move houses or even change the spa’s location in your yard from time to time.


Installing a portable outdoor spa in your yard also provides a unique way to spend time with your loved ones–every day. Many families and couples find that their hot tub is their go-to place to have quality conversations without cell phones or other distractions.


Read what Mike N. had to say about his hot tub:


“Game changer for our family!! We have really enjoyed this hot tub and it has been great to sit in there with our kids and have conversations without cell phones involved.”


The soothing jets, relaxing water features, and fun accessories of a portable hot tub contribute to a more peaceful body, mind, and home.

Portable vs In-Ground: Which is Right for You?


So what makes a portable spa different from a hot tub you find at a hotel or health club?


A portable hot tub is a great way to turn your backyard into an oasis–a place where you can relax, relieve your stress, and soak away your pain.


in ground hot tub


There are pros and cons to getting a portable spa instead of building your hot tub into the ground. For example, an in-ground hot tub allows for custom designs and sizes, can be beautifully built into your landscaping, and goes great next to a built-in swimming pool.


Marv T. has owned both types of spas. Here’s his opinion on portable above ground hot tubs:


I have had inground spas in my previous two residences, and both were custom built to my specifications. I was a little hesitant about buying a free standing spa, and looked at all of the different makes and price points… I am very pleased, and after using the spa daily for the past months, I feel it is a terrific value.”


If you can’t decide between an inground or portable spa, here are some reasons why you might choose a portable outdoor spa.


Why Choose a Portable Above Ground Hot Tub?


Lower Cost

A portable spa costs less than an in-ground spa because you don’t have to dig into the earth, pay for the concrete work or decking around the spa, or pay for the labor costs. You simply need to pay for the electric work and need a solid spa foundation.

Better Jets

Portable hot tubs are known for their powerful, therapeutic jets. An in-ground spa generally has only a few jets for your back and doesn’t always offer a variety of different jet types. On the other hand, portable above ground spas often have neck, back, shoulder, wrist, leg, and feet jets.

Better Features

Hot tubs are meant to not only be therapeutic but also fun. The best portable spas have built-in music systems, mood lighting, and water features. They also have easy-to-use control panels and even apps to help you control your spa jets and features.

Better Seating

Have you ever used a hot tub at a hotel and felt uncomfortable? Inground spas generally have hard, uncomfortable concrete seats. Portable spas are built with comfortable acrylic seats, varying seat heights and angles, and even lounge seats.


Now that you know a bit more about portable and inground spas, you may be leaning towards one type or the other.

But what if you want the best of both hot tub types?



SpaVault by Bullfrog Spas allows you to sink your portable hot tub either fully or partially in the ground. This means you get the amazing therapy and features of a portable outdoor spa with the beautiful aesthetics of a custom-designed in-ground spa.


What Makes the Best Portable Hot Tub?

STIL modern hot tub by Bullfrog Spas

When you hear “portable hot tub”, what do you think about? If you think of inflatable or plastic hot tubs bought online or at box stores, you’re not alone.


Unfortunately, these spas are cheaply made, break down easily, and have high energy costs.


Luckily, there are lots of high-quality portable spa brands that provide amazing therapy, reliable construction, energy efficiency, and simple water care systems.


If you’re looking for the best portable hot tub, pay attention to the following features when researching online, and visit your local expert hot tub dealer when you’re ready to buy.

Construction & engineering

Hot tubs should last 10+ years if they are built right. Avoid inflatable or cheap plastic spas, and even avoid spas that are built with wood or metal frames. Those will rot or corrode within a few years. You’ll want a weatherproof spa built out of a durable synthetic material such as ABS.


Beatrice L., a Bullfrog Spa owner, said:


Don’t look any further. This is the hot tub you need. I love our Bullfrog hot tub. I’m getting ALL of my money’s worth. I could have easily purchased a hot tub from these tent dealers at a fraction of the cost. However, the difference is in the craftsmanship.”


Energy efficiency

Just as it costs a few dollars each month to keep your fridge running or even to use your tv, it costs energy to power a hot tub.


Be careful when searching for hot tubs and make sure you find one that is energy efficient. The most energy-efficient spas are built with full-foam insulation, tight-fitting covers and parts, and have smart plumbing designs. Avoid spa brands that cut corners–they’ll cost you in the long run.



The best portable spas aren’t one-size-fits-all. Everyone who uses your spa has different massage preferences, different aches and pains, and different heights. The best portable spas allow you to customize your spa experience for each person.


For example, the Bullfrog Spas JetPak Therapy System™ features 17 JetPak massages you can choose from. You can select the JetPak that targets your muscles, place it in the seat that fits your height, and adjust the massage power to your preferred intensity.

Easy water care

Luckily, it doesn’t need to be hard to take care of your hot tub or keep the water clean. The best portable hot tub companies provide easy solutions to help you keep your spa water clear and clean.


How Much Do Portable Spas Cost?


hot tub store


You may not be aware of what hot tubs cost. In part, this is because there is such a wide range in hot tub pricing. Below is a guide to help you know what to expect to pay based on what kind of hot tub experience you are looking for.


Low Tier – $2,000 TO $4,000

The portable spas in this price range are the kind you find online or at box stores. The cheap prices come at a big risk, so don’t be surprised when you have problems in the near future and don’t have warranty coverage or service help.


Mid Tier – $5,000 to $8,000


Mid-priced spas are generally small but can have some good features. They generally last more than 5 years and can provide some relaxing and fun times.


High Tier – $9,000 to $12,000


Hot tubs priced in this range have great therapy options and are well featured. They aren’t the biggest or best spas but are reliable, efficient, and powerful.


Luxury Tier – $13,000 to $18,000


Luxury portable spas have the best of everything–durable materials, personalized therapy, maximum efficiency, fun features, award-winning designs, and more.


Design Your Portable Spa & Get a Price Quote

Now that you’re an expert on portable hot tubs, it’s time to find the hot tub that’s right for you. Design a spa online by choosing your size, layout, jets, colors, and options. You’ll come away with the perfect hot tub design and will receive a price quote from your local dealer.


Get an Instant Price Quote on a Hot Tub

Design Your Own Bullfrog Spa


Get an MSRP price quote on a Bullfrog Spa model in your area by starting with our Design Studio software. Build your spa just the way you like it. Once you finish, you’ll receive your instant price quote.




AUTHOR - Bullfrog Spas

Bullfrog Spas is a premier brand of personalized premium hot tubs. With proprietary hydromassage technology and an eye for contemporary design, Bullfrog Spas is revolutionizing the concept of the portable hot tub and providing a relaxation experience unlike any other. Discover the award winning spa of the future today.


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