Which air bathtub is best?
An air bathtub is similar to a whirlpool tub in that it uses jet streams to give you a relaxing massage. The biggest difference is that whirlpool tubs use strong jets of water, while air bathtubs shoot jets of air, which tend to be gentler and quieter. The peaceful massaging relaxation of these luxurious tubs can be a dream for many. If you want to incorporate an air bathtub into your home but don’t know where to start, look no further. Empava 67-Inch Acrylic Whirlpool Bathtub has eight air jets, a water-resistant pillow and a waterfall, amongst other features.
What to know before you buy an air bathtub
The size of the tub includes both its exterior dimensions and the number of people that can be in the tub at one time. Most air bathtubs are around 5-6 feet long and 2.5-3 feet wide. A typical bathtub, by comparison, usually measures 60 x 32 inches. Be sure to measure your space before purchasing your air bathtub.
In terms of the number of people, most air tubs are only meant for one person. There are tubs on the market capable of fitting two people, even if they don’t advertise it as such. A good rule of thumb is that a tub should be at least 32 inches wide for it to be suitable for two people.
While you should consider placement in your house, placement refers to two main types of tubs: freestanding and drop-in.
A drop-in bathtub is any tub that’s connected to one or more walls. It may also be a tub that’s recessed into the wall or into the floor or both. Drop-in tubs require a significant amount of corresponding construction for them to fit.
A freestanding tub, by contrast, is exactly what it sounds like: not connected to any walls. A clawfoot tub is the most popular example of a freestanding tub. While freestanding tubs require less constructional accommodation than drop-in tubs, they tend to require more physical space in order to get in and out of them.
Plumbing and electrical requirements
Air tubs and whirlpool tubs often use more water than regular tubs and may require special plumbing hook-ups and drains. For freestanding tubs, you’ll also need to think about whether the spigot will be coming out from a wall or from the floor. Additionally, most air bathtubs require around 110 volts of power, and some may require a 15-amp dedicated circuit to avoid tripping the breakers in your breaker box. The safest installation of an air tub would include both a licensed plumber and a licensed electrician.
A standard bathtub holds 25-45 gallons of water, whereas an air tub or a whirlpool tub holds at least 50 and sometimes up to 80 gallons. Water weighs a lot, at nearly 8 pounds per gallon. This means just the water in your tub could weigh hundreds of pounds, not to mention the tub itself. Make sure that the room you plan to put your tub in has a strong enough floor to hold all that weight.
What to look for in a quality air bathtub
Most air bathtubs are rectangular, but there are also oval tubs or tubs with rounded edges. Angles are also important to consider. If the tub is angled down on the inside, it won’t hold as much as meets the eye. You want an angled back to relax in the tub, but otherwise, vertical sides are the most spacious and comfortable.
The controls for your tub are likely to have bells and whistles proportional to the cost. Newer, more luxurious tubs have electronic or Bluetooth controls. Some may even have built-in speakers or smart capabilities, but those are out of reach for most people. If you want a simple tub with knobs and buttons, you typically won’t have to pay as much.
Number of jets
As you can imagine, the more jets a tub has, the more powerful the massaging effect. More jets usually means more money, while tubs with fewer jets tend to be more affordable. If your tub has both whirlpool jets and air jets, make sure you keep an eye out for how many of the jets are air and how many are water so you know what to expect from your tub jets. If your tub says it has 12 jets but doesn’t say how many of each, assume it’s half and half.
How much you can expect to spend on an air bathtub
You can find air bathtubs for several thousand dollars, though you’ll likely be spending $900-$2,000. For $900-$1,000, you can get a simple drop-in model with manual controls and less than 20 jets. These are basically just standard bathtubs with jets added. For $1,000-$1,700, you can find larger and wider tubs that are also drop-in. These mid-grade tubs may have 24 or more jets and inline heaters to maintain water temperature. For $1,800 and more, you’re looking at two-person tubs, freestanding tubs, tubs with wireless and Bluetooth controls and other bells and whistles.
Air bathtub FAQ
Can I use bath salts in an air bathtub?
A. Bath salts are not safe for air baths, as the corrosive salt will rust the pipes.
Will bubble bath overflow in an air bath?
A. A teaspoon of bubble bath will provide a happy bubbly experience, but any more than that will lead to a messy, soapy floor.
What’s the best air bathtub to buy?
Top air bathtub
What you need to know: Feature-packed and designed for luxury, this is the go-to tub for those wanting a top-of-the-line experience.
What you’ll love: Nine water jets, eight air jets, built-in lights, a water-resistant pillow and a waterfall accompany this high-end tub with touch controls and a built-in water heater for the ideal soaking experience.
What you should consider: Can be frustrating and confusing to install.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top air bathtub for the money
What you need to know: A simple, one-person soaking tub with high-quality jets.
What you’ll love: This attractive freestanding tub is shaped for sitting. It can hold 53 gallons of water and is equipped with multiple mini jets for a cozy massage.
What you should consider: The nozzle is plastic, which some users disliked.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The top choice for couples, this tub is packed with all the best features and room for two to enjoy.
What you’ll love: Ten jets, a powerful pump, two waterproof pillows and plenty of room accompany this hydromassage tub that can be used either against the wall or as a freestanding tub.
What you should consider: Expensive. Could have more bells and whistles.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Collette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.