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If you're looking for a hot tub but have limited access to your garden, a flat pack hot tub might be the perfect solution. These hot tubs can be assembled and disassembled easily, so you can even take them with you when you move.
In a moment, I'll share some of the best flat pack hot tubs on the market in the UK.
What are flat pack hot tubs and why are they a good option when you have limited access to your garden?
Flat pack hot tubs are a type of hot tub that can be easily assembled and disassembled for transport. They are a popular choice for people who have limited access to their garden, as they can be easily carried through narrow doorways and gates.
Flat pack hot tubs are also a good option if you are renting or planning to move house in the near future (and want to take the hot tub with you), as they can be easily disassembled and reassembled in your new home.
There are a number of other benefits to flat pack hot tubs, including their affordability and easy maintenance. If you are looking for a hot tub that is easy to set up and take down, or get into an awkward space, flat pack hot tubs are a great option.
The different types of flat pack hot tubs available on the market
There are a few different types of flat pack hot tubs available on the market—not all of them truly 'flat pack', but bear with me.
Some are made from inflatable PVC (your typical inflatable hot tub), while others are made from more durable materials like rigid foam or a plastic wood panel frame with an inflatable interior. Finally, there's also wooden hot tubs, which are more permanent but can technically be delivered flat pack and assembled in place.
Inflatable PVC hot tubs are the most affordable option, but they are also the least durable. Foam and frame types are more expensive, but they usually last longer and provide a better overall experience.
When choosing a flat pack hot tub, it's important to consider your budget and your needs. If you're looking for a temporary solution or something that's easy to set up and take down, an inflatable hot tub might be the right choice. If you're looking for something more permanent, a sturdier flat pack hot tub would be a better option.
For the purposes of this article, I'm going to assume you're not looking for just a regular inflatable hot tub. These are well known, but the other types less so. So here are my top picks for the less common kinds of flat pack hot tub:
MSpa Tuscany Portable Hot Tub
The Tuscany by MSpa is a part inflatable and part rigid panel spa from MSpa's FRAME series:
The FRAME collection combines revolutionary design and legendary performance. Super stiff DWF material and plastic wood grain materials are applied to the spa tub body to resemble traditional bathtubs.
Relying on the modern appearance and friendly user experience, the FRAME collection provides users with fresh satisfaction. It is more than just a hot tub.
This is a truly flat pack hot tub as the panels come separately, and you simply slot them together to form the rigid sides of the tub. The interior is then inflated to form a soft cushion to sit on.
This model comes supplied with a range of accessories including 2 filter cartridges, a base mat, inflatable bladder and more. Plus, it benefits from an upgraded heat preservation foam mat that helps to retain heat for longer. With an 8” foot pump, you can quickly and easily inflate the tub ready for use.
For peace of mind, they also offer a 2-year warranty and have a UK-based after sales team available to help with any questions or concerns you might have in case anything goes wrong.
Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki Hot Tub
There's nothing quite like soaking in a hot tub after a long day. But a heavy, wooden tub simply isn't an option for everyone (and they're more difficult to maintain). With the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki Hot Tub, you can enjoy the aesthetics and benefits of a traditional hot tub without any of the hassle!
This inflatable spa is made with ultra-rigid drop stitch material for strength and durability, and can be set up in minutes with no professional installation or tools required. The included pump makes inflating the spa a breeze, and the 180 AirJet system provides a soothing all-surrounding massage experience for pure relaxation.
Although it has rigid sides, this spa packs down small—no bigger than a regular inflatable spa.
Lay-Z-Spa Singapore AirJet Plus
This hot tub is perfect for 3-5 people and features a soothing 140 AirJet system for an all-surrounding massage experience. The exterior of the tub is again made from ultra‑rigid drop stitch material for strength and durability, and it also comes with a protective cover and inflatable lid.
Plus, with Wi-Fi control, you can turn the hot tub on/off, set the temperature, activate the timer, and even control the bubbles—all from your mobile device!
MSpa Mono Portable Hot Tub
Now we move onto the options that don't technically pack down flat, but are still small and light enough to be rolled around through doors or narrow gates if that's an option for you.
The Mono is the other model in MSpa's FRAME series, so it comes with very similar features, the same accessories, and 2-year warranty.
The difference is that the rigid round shell of this spa comes in one piece, and cannot be broken down to be truly flat pack. This means you would need to lift or roll it into its final position.
Wave Swift Rigid Foam Hot Tub
Another type of construction is rigid foam, which you can see in the Wave Swift:
The Wave Swift - a super luxurious octagonal hot tub constructed with a foam core - is over 30% more efficient than inflatable hot tubs, reducing daily heating costs. Comfortably accommodating up to 4-6 people, the Swift is the perfect option for a summer soiree or winter wind-down with friends. The hot tub thermal blanket wrap-around jacket adds both style and insulation in the colder months.
Foam hot tubs are much more sturdy and better insulated than an inflatable spa, but bear in mind they do need a flat, solid surface to sit on (more like a conventional hard-sided spa).
CosySpa Deluxe Rigid Foam Hot Tub
The CosySpa Deluxe is another rigid foam spa. It has a few different options like a thermal lid as well as the standard inflatable lid, which can be a nice touch to increase energy efficiency over the winter.
Again, this is going to be a significant upgrade from an inflatable in terms of stability and heat retention, but you will need to be able to roll it into place as it comes as a rigid foam one-piece shell.
My final mention goes to Softub. These are also portable spas, in the 'soft sided' rather than inflatable category:
They offer a few different models in a range of sizes, are similar to inflatable tubs in that they're round and generally don't have seating. But at just 36.5kg empty, they are small enough to fit through a standard door and light enough to be rolled around, which makes moving them very easy.
Still, they cannot be considered truly flat pack, so stick with the first three options on this list if that is really what you need.
How to choose the right flat pack hot tub for your needs
So, with all those choices, how do you know what to pick? Well, there are a few things to consider when choosing a flat pack hot tub:
- First, think about whether you truly need something in a box (like if you need to get round an awkward corner in a narrow hallway, for example) or if you could wheel a more rigid spa through a gate or doorway.
- Once that question is answered, consider the size of the tub and how many people you want to be able to accommodate. If you're just a couple, the Lay-Z-Spa Singapore has the smallest footprint and could be great in a small space. If you're a larger family, go for one of the bigger options on this list.
- Then, consider the features that are important to you, such as jets, lighting, accessories, and technology capabilities. Don't forget to compare warranties too, as these can vary between brands.
- Finally, think about your budget and what you're willing to spend. The Lay-Z-Spa models will be the cheapest, but a foam or frame construction will be more sturdy, durable, and economical if you can spend a little more.
Once you've considered all of these factors, you'll be able to narrow down your choices and have a much better idea of the perfect flat pack hot tub for your needs.
The pros and cons of flat pack hot tubs
Flat pack hot tubs have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their affordability and easy assembly. But are they really a good option? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of flat pack hot tubs to help you decide if one is right for you.
- Affordable: Flat pack hot tubs are typically much cheaper than traditional hot tubs.
- Easy to assemble: Most flat pack hot tubs can be assembled in just a few hours, with no need for professional help.
- Lightweight and portable: Flat pack hot tubs are usually much lighter than traditional hot tubs, making them easy to move around.
- Less durable: Flat pack hot tubs are not as well-constructed as traditional hot tubs and are more likely to develop leaks or have parts fail.
- Not as comfortable: The lack of seating in most flat pack hot tubs can make them less comfortable to use than traditional hot tubs.
- Smaller: The need to pack up small means you end up with an overall more compact hot tub than if you were to get an acrylic spa. Some can still fit up to 6 people though, at a squeeze!
So, there you have it—the pros and cons of flat pack hot tubs.
If you're looking for a hot tub that's easy to transport, fit into awkward spaces, set up, and take down, a flat pack hot tub can be a great option.
These tubs are typically made of PVC, foam, or another type of light or flexible material. Plus, flat pack hot tubs are sturdier than inflatable spas yet more affordable than traditional hard-sided hot tubs.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to buy one depends on your needs and preferences. If you're restricted by space and access to your garden, then one of these is almost certainly going to be a better and more durable choice than a regular inflatable hot tub.