Spas, Covers, Filters, Accessories & Special Offers!

The Hard Shell vs Inflatable debate…

So you’re over on our website and considering one of our RotoSpas. It is important to gather your research before making any purchase so we’re here to help. At Sutton Spas we only stock RotoSpas (the most portable hard-shell hot tub in the market), but it is important for us to help you as much as possible which is why we have answered some of your questions about the big hard-shell vs inflatable debate.

In most, if not all, inflatable tubs there is a lack of seating and instead have a cushioned floor. Some people do prefer having no seats in their spa as it means they can fit more people in and can choose how you position yourself in the tub.

However, with hard-shell tubs, and our RotoSpas, the moulded seats in the tub mean that there is extra comfort and relaxation, whilst also being higher up off the ground. The specialised jet placement also means that each individual seating can have their own massage system. The mix between loungers and seats with hard-shell hot tubs gives you the option to have a long relax or a quick few minutes in the tub after work.

Insulation and heating
Inflatable tubs do have less insulation in them as the material they are made from is thinner. However, this doesn’t mean that you should worry about having an inflatable tub as it depends on your own personal usage of the tub. Most if not all inflatable spas would come with a cover, which does help with insulation, however it can be more difficult to keep inflatables insulated during winter temperatures.

Hard-shell tubs have better insulation due to the thicker material they are made from. RotoSpas are specifically made from Polyethylene which is renowned for its durability and heat-loss prevention qualities. The pipework is specifically fitted so that the water receives as much heating as possible. We also ensure that all of our spas come with thermal covers to prevent any heat-loss whilst you aren’t using your spa (buying a hot tub without a cover is like buying a car without a steering wheel).

Portability and durability
It is obvious that an inflatable spa would be easier to move, as you would simply deflate the spa, box it away and inflate when needed. However, anything inflatable is naturally prone to being punctured. That in no way means that inflatable spas are easy to puncture, just that they are more prone to it.

Many people are wary of purchasing a hard-shell tub as they believe they are hard to manoeuvre. Whilst this is the case for some hard-shell tubs, such as acrylic spas due to their heavy material, RotoSpas are easily portable due to their unique shape and design, with some fitting through standard household doors. Due to their hard material, hard-shell tubs are obviously more durable. RotoSpas are made from Polyethelene, which is renowned for its durability and long-lasting properties (we don’t however recommend you throw a sledgehammer to it).

Power and electricity usage
The common misconception is that inflatable tubs are cheaper to run, however this isn’t always necessarily true. RotoSpa’s plug and play technology means you can run your spa from any standard household electricity supply.

Typically inflatable spas only come with one jet type, which if you are looking for simplicity and pure bubbles will be something that you may benefit from with an inflatable spa. However, if you are looking for extra jet types, lights, jet controls, and any other added extras that you may think of when you think of hot tubs, hard-shell tubs are definitely for you.


We hope this has somewhat helped you on your journey to purchasing your hot tub. If you require any more information please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0121 354 4420, or by emailing us on


Thanks, The Sutton Spas Team.