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Should I buy a portable spa pool?

If you’re looking for a little slice of luxury in your own Sydney backyard, a portable spa pool could be a great investment. 

Spa pools typically come in three styles: 

  • Permanent/in-ground
  • Portable
  • Inflatable

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of a portable spa pool, and how it might compare to other kinds of hot tubs.

Here’s what this guide covers,

What is a portable spa pool?

The advantages of a portable spa pool

Disadvantages of a portable spa pool

Portable vs Inflatable Spa?

Frequently Asked Questions about portable and inflatable spas

Find the best portable spa pools in Sydney


What is a portable spa pool?

A portable spa pool is any hot tub, jacuzzi or spa pool that is self-contained has a solid frame and can be moved from one location to another without extensive uninstallation or reinstallation. Portable spa pools have a hard fibreglass lining that is watertight, with moulded seating and massage jets. 

The pumps, plumbing and electrical pieces are contained within a (usually wooden) shell, and the only external connection required is power.

Read more: Are hot tubs a good investment?



The advantages of a portable spa pool


Backyard luxury

Portable spa pools are one of the simplest ways to add luxury to your backyard. 

Enjoy a warm soak and gentle massage from the jets to unwind after a long day. Or, invite some friends around for a casual drink while you relax together.

A portable spa pool is a truly luxurious way to utilise your backyard - or, if you prefer, a wetroom in your home.


Simple installation

Compared to a permanent or in-ground jacuzzi, a portable spa pool is much easier to install and uninstall, and this is where its portability really comes from. 

You can fill your portable spa pool using any garden hose, with the built-in filter and your choice of pool chemicals helping to maintain the water’s hygiene. 

The only external connection required is power.

All of this means you can move your spa pool around without too much of a fuss, which is ideal if you think you might like to change your landscaping, undertake a big renovation, or even take your spa pool with you when you move homes.



Portable spa pools come with a built-in massage system to offer proven health benefits, or just help you relax. 

Hydrotherapy is a wonderful means to treat sports injuries, ease chronic or acute muscular pain, and stimulate blood flow.


Easy maintenance

Maintenance is a breeze with a good-quality portable spa pool. 

The pump and filter keep water moving through the system, collecting any debris to microscopic levels.

Day-to-day maintenance is very easy, requiring just rinsing the filter every few days, and adding chemicals as appropriate. 



Spa pools also have a great number of additional features available with more premium models or add-ons.

Such features include LED lighting, smart app integration, and dynamic thermal tuning to help you make substantial energy savings.



Disadvantages of a portable spa pool



Whilst above-ground spa pools are portable, they aren’t light. An entry-level 2-person spa pool like the mySpace model can still weigh 270 kg.

So, you can’t expect to easily pick up and move a portable spa pool around like you might an inflatable spa pool. 

But, if you’re just looking for a pool that you can move from time to time or when you move home, a portable spa pool is still a great option.



A good quality spa pool can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. You may find cheaper models, but spa pools involve a lot of complicated parts, involving both internal plumbing and electrics — neither of which are things you want to be made cheaply. 

If you have the budget for a portable spa, go for a trusted Australian-owned brand to be sure you’re getting proven quality. Check online for portable spa reviews if you need a second opinion.

Read more: Why a Cheap Spa Pool Will Cost You More in the Long Run


Portable vs Inflatable Spa?

If portability is important to you, you might also be considering an inflatable spa pool.

Inflatable spa pools are soft, thick plastic shells that can be inflated using a pump. Because the walls are filled with air, inflatable spa pools can hold hot water with reduced heat loss.

A separate control box and spa pump usually sit outside of the inflatable pool. 

These electronics help to heat the water, and some higher-end inflatable spas may have jets as well.

If you’re trying to decide between a portable spa and an inflatable jacuzzi, the table below may help you decide.


Portable Spas

Inflatable Spas

  • Minimal installation.
  • No installation is required.
  • Moulded seating.
  • Often no seating is included.
  • Massage jets for hydrotherapy.
  • Often have no or very few jets.
  • Designed to maintain water heat between uses.
  • Designed to be drained, packed down and refilled between uses.
  • Quick to heat.
  • Very slow to heat.
  • Dynamic thermal tuning optimises energy usage.
  • Typically very energy inefficient, meaning higher running costs.
  • Available in larger sizes, suitable for up to 10 adults.
  • Generally suited for solo or 2-person dips.
  • Heavy. Can be moved with planning and effort.
  • Relatively light, designed to be moved frequently.
  • Available with different filter sizes to suit the maintenance levels you like.

Read more: How to choose the right spa for you


Frequently Asked Questions about portable and inflatable spas

Still have questions? Check out these frequently asked questions below.


Can you leave a portable hot tub up in the winter?

A hard-sided portable hot tub can be left full and operating throughout the winter. On the contrary, an inflatable spa pool may struggle during winter. As a general rule, inflatable spa pools should not be used if the air temperature is below 5 degrees Celsius. 

Even above that, you may find that the small pump of an inflatable pool struggles to keep up with the cold air.


How long will an inflatable hot tub last?

An inflatable hot tub can last as long as 5 years if it’s well-made and well looked after, but most inflatable hot tub owners report issues after 2-3 years. Bear in mind that inflatable tubs are much less hardy, and can be punctured, so pets and children can be a risk to your inflatable spa’s lifespan.

Read more: What Not To Do When Using Your Hot Tub


Should I leave my inflatable hot tub on all the time?

Yes, if you’re planning to use it even semi-regularly. Inflatable spa pools can be left running, just like a hard-sided spa pool. Keeping the pump running will use less power than constantly reheating it, and will prevent the build-up of bacteria.

If you’re unlikely to use your hot tub for two weeks or longer, you should drain, dry and pack down the spa.


How long do portable spas take to heat?

Heating times for portable and inflatable spa pools vary depending on the model and ambient air temperature and initial water temperature. A traditional hot tub can take 6-7 hours to fully heat the water in summer, or up to 12 in winter. 

Meanwhile, an inflatable spa can take double that time as the pump is much smaller.


'Find the best portable spa pools in Sydney

At mySpa Sydney, we have a fantastic range of Australian-made portable spa pools for you to choose from. 

Visit the mySpa Sydney showroom at Unit 4-10, Hudson Ave, Castle Hill or call us today on 02 8850 6550.