Real Life Reviews: Bunnings Sells Inflatable Hot Tubs, so I Tried One

Real Life Reviews: Bunnings Sells Inflatable Hot Tubs, so I Tried One

Call me basic, but there is something about the idea of a hot tub that is incredibly exciting to me. Whenever I’m given the opportunity to pop a toe into a (non-manky-looking) spa with a drink in hand, I feel like I’m on holiday. So, when I was offered the opportunity to review an inflatable Lay-Z Spa, you’d better believe I jumped at that offer.

If you’re not familiar with the brand, Lay-Z Spa is a range of inflatable spas that offer the option to set up and dip into fully-functioning hot tubs, with heating and air jets, wherever you like (granted you abide by local barrier laws and all that). The range is available to purchase at everyone’s favourite place, Bunnings.

Anyway. If you’re wondering if you might have a hot-tub-shaped hole in your life right now, here’s how my experience with the Lay-Z Spa Hollywood model went.

Real Life Reviews: Lay-Z Spa, Hollywood tub

Lay-z spa inflatable hot tub review
Image credit: Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

Specs you need to know about:

  • Capacity: 4-6 adults
  • Water Capacity (80%): 908 L
  • Inflated Size: 1.96 m x 66 cm
  • Heating System: Approx. 1.5-2.0˚C/h. Max. Heat Capability: 40˚C
  • Soothing AirJet™ bubble massage system (140 jets)
  • Cost: $1,099 (Bunnings)

What was good?

Once I figured out how to set up the spa (more on that later), the process moved pretty seamlessly. For a rather large inflatable spa, the Lay-Z Spa was manageable for one (kind of short) woman to set up alone.

The toughest part was threading the lighting through the base of the spa, but that just took a lot of awkward maneuvering and time; it was hardly an impossible task. From there, using the pump’s button controls was also fairly simple to work out. I had to read over the instructions a couple of times, but once you get your head around the automatic lock feature (every time you turn the spa on, the buttons will lock for 5 minutes), it’s mostly intuitive, I found.

Heating up the water in the spa takes a long bloody time (unsurprisingly), but once it’s warm, it’s a really cozy experience. I was worried about how comfortable an inflatable spa could really be, but the Lay-Z Spa really impressed me there. While there are no actual seats inside the tub, the base of the spa is soft enough that your butt is totally comfy during spa time. Not that I could really sit on the floor long, anyway. I was too short to reach comfortably, so I sat on my legs – which also worked.

The air jets are kind of loud when you turn them on, but not enough to disrupt conversation, and the light-up feature on the Hollywood model of the Lay-Z Spa is a really fun time when you have guests over.

I didn’t use the neck rests; they kind of moved around and didn’t serve much purpose, but leaning against the walls of the spa is comfortable enough that I didn’t mind.

What’s not so good?

hot tub
Image credit: Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

I found setting up the Hollywood Lay-Z Spa with the manual alone confusing as all hell. That may just be a problem on my part, but I just couldn’t follow along. In the end, the customer service team (who were really very helpful over email) sent me some videos to work off. Using the video instruction guide made a world of difference, and I had the spa set up relatively quickly after that.

I also have to note that I had reservations about the amount of water and energy it used to get the spa up and running. And because you aren’t given chlorine or anything to keep the water fresh after use, I’ve been using the spa water on my plants since. When I asked the team behind the Lay-Z Spa about keeping water bacteria-free, they suggested using a chlorine floater and chlorine tablets to help with that, so there is an option available, which is good.

It also took about eight hours to heat the spa, which is not something I’m really willing to do on the regular as I have concerns about the cost attached and the energy used. But I’d say that use on occasion would be fairly manageable.

Hollywood Lay-Z Spa: The verdict

lay-z spa review
Image credit: Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

Is it a good time to have an inflatable spa you can hop into at home? Absolutely. I suppose the only thing I would say is that if you’re considering purchasing one for yourself, you should consider how much you will use it first and work out how much that may cost you long term.

If, after that, you’re still into the idea, chances are you’ll bloody love the thing. It is a lot of fun.

You can buy the Hollywood Lay-Z Spa from Bunnings now for $1,099. But there are smaller models that start from $399, too.

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