In-ground vs. Portable Hot Tubs: What is the Difference?

When deciding to purchase a hot tub, one of the first considerations is whether or not you want an in-ground or portable model. What type you choose should be reflective of your lifestyle, yard, space, and budget. There are quite a few differences between the two styles, which we will explain in the article below so that you can make the best decision for what will suit your needs.


Budget can often be the main consideration when choosing whether or not to go with an in-ground or portable hot tub. In-ground hot tubs can be more expensive than portable ones, as they are permanent, but not always. The costs of portable hot tubs can add up when custom decking, patios or accessories are added and in the end, you may end up spending more than what an in-ground model would have cost. When starting to shop for a hot tub, be prepared and have your budget planned. Ask your dealer to provide you with a few comparisons of complete estimates that include installation and accessory costs to help you make an informed decision.

Seating & Massage Options

Portable hot tubs are manufactured with materials such as acrylic and thermoplastic, and their seating options are typically more ergonomic than in-ground models. The water jets on portable tubs can often be more targeted for a variety of massage programs and therapeutic features. In-ground models typically feature seating options similar to a bench and have the water jets located on two levels – at the midriff and calf. Whether looking for a portable or in-ground model, quality manufacturers such as Hydropool offer plenty of seating and massage options for both styles, ensuring that you can find the features you want no matter the type you choose.


Another factor that may influence your decision is the wiring at your home. If your entire property is electrically wired and easily accessible, you may have more choices for where you can put your portable hot tub. Portable models can be moved without much difficulty to a different location. Some owners want a portable option so that they can move their hot tub seasonally to maximize the sun’s position or move closer to their home during the winter for quicker access for bathers. For those that want a particular look and style to their landscaping and want the hot tub seamlessly integrated, an in-ground model offers more flexibility. That being said, choosing the right location is essential and you need to carefully consider its location so that it will be enjoyable no matter what the season. Once an in-ground model has been installed, it cannot be moved, so owners need to be sure that they will be satisfied with where they put it.


If you are seeking a simple installation and the fastest way to get a hot tub up and running at your home, a portable model cannot be beaten. As portable models have self-contained heating and plumbing, they can be delivered and installed on the same day. Another benefit of portable models is that if you decide to move, your hot tub can be brought to your new home. With in-ground hot tubs, the permanent design must be considered, plumbing installed and the concrete base poured, not to mention the surrounding landscaping. An in-ground model will take longer to be up and running but is well worth the wait if this style suits your lifestyle better. In the end, the type of hot tub that you purchase will be largely dependent on your needs, long-term housing plans, and budget. To learn more about the different options available and their features, download a hot tub buyer’s guide, or visit us at our London hot tub store.
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