Nothing beats summer nights in your garden. The smell of food cooking on the BBQ, the lingering warmth in the air and the beautiful long nights that make you forget winter is even a thing – total bliss!

As these warmer months approach, we all look for ways to improve our outdoor space. Whether that’s upgrading the BBQ, investing in some new garden furniture or even treating yourself to a fun new edition.

One of the best editions to any garden is of course a hot tub. What can compare to the total luxury of sitting in your own hot tub, gazing up at the stars?

But of course, hot tubs are definitely on the higher end of luxury, and not something most people can afford. Hard shell hot tubs can be upwards of £2000, which isn’t ideal.

So what about inflatable hot tubs? They are much cheaper to buy and easy to set up. But are they worth it?

Worcester News: Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki reviewLay-Z-Spa Helsinki review

We decided to put them to the test! We tested out a Lay-Z-Spa model, one of the best rated suppliers of inflatable hot tubs, here’s what we thought.

Helsinki Lay-Z-Spa

The set up

Lay-Z-Spa boasts an effortless set up, and I must say, the ease of which I was able to set this up had me rethinking my journalism career and question one in engineering instead (okay, maybe not quite, but it really was simple).

All the items were packed securely and easy to set up, with instructions and accompanying videos online to help.

The instructions are picture-based, which can be a bit of a challenge but pairing them with the online videos really helped.

In the box, you get everything you need to set up: the tub itself, the pump, an inflatable lid and all filter attachments.

The tub itself inflated in what felt like seconds, and then it was just organising the pump and filters.

To protect the tub, I put down a protective mat underneath. Lay-Z-Spa stocks a few varieties of these and it made me feel much safer setting up the tub in my garden.

Worcester News: Excited puppy didn't slow things down, too much...Excited puppy didn't slow things down, too much...

The mat slots together like a children’s play mat, nice and easily. Even when you have a zoomy-ing puppy accompanying you.

With the puppy safely stowed inside, the next thing to do was fill it up! The entire set up process took me under 30 minutes, and then the hose was left to fill the tub which took just under 4 hours.

Lay-Z-Spa advises that tubs could take between 12-24 hours to heat up when first filled. Being that mine was set up on quite a standard cold, Scottish day, it took closer to the 24 hours.

Once filled I sorted out a shock dose of chemicals (this is done to break down any organic waste and contamination) which is highly recommended when you first fill your tub.

Worcester News: Blowing up and filling upBlowing up and filling up

Success! The tub was up, filled and I must admit, I was feeling very proud of myself. If I can set it up, anyone can...

We rate the ease of set up 4/5!


The Helsinki model is one of the brand’s most popular tubs, and we can see why! Despite being inflatable, its attractive drop stitch design gives it a hard shell look that will fit in with all gardens.

Its unique Nordic design gives it a realistic wooden print design, you would never know it wasn’t a hard shell tub.

The material is also sturdy and durable. If you have quite a busy garden space, you don’t need to feel nervous about damaging the tub or ripping the material.

On top of the hot tub pump there is also two convenient drink holders, so your drink won’t overheat while you bask in the hot bubbles.

Worcester News: Drink holders keep your beverage from getting too hot in the tubDrink holders keep your beverage from getting too hot in the tub

Its beautiful design adds a splash of character to a garden, so we rate the Helsinki design 5/5.

Heating the tub

Eager to spend our nights relaxing in the bubbles, we decided to set the tub up in March, a Scottish March where temperatures lulled around 10 degrees Celsius.

Despite the low temperatures, heating the tub did not take as long as expected.

On the first fill, it took 24 hours for water temperatures to rise from 6 degrees to 35. The tub was then kept at 35 degrees and raised to 39 (the max is 40) on those chilly night dips.

Worcester News: The lid is stylish and effective! The lid is stylish and effective!

When not in use during the week the tub was set down to 20 degrees Celsius for energy efficiency. Heating it back up to enjoyable temps took just a few hours of preparation, even in the colder weather.

The tub’s insulated cover is definitely to credit for this. The inflatable lid helps to maintain water temperature when the spa has been switched off and helps it heat faster.

Heating the Helsinki tub proved to be incredibly simple, so we rate it 5/5.

In the tub

After waiting the advised 24 hours after a shock dose and getting the temperature to a balmy 37 degrees it was time for the first dip! And the timing was perfect with my husband and I having tested positive for Covid-19 hours earlier, what else were we to do but enjoy a long, relaxing soak?

Worcester News: Bliss!Bliss!

Lay-Z-Spa has an incredible range of accessories to make your hot tub experience so much more enjoyable. We opted for a hot tub light to add to the ambience of the evening.

The touchpad control panel for Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs is so easy to use, making the whole process so much more enjoyable. The instructions fully assist with all tools for heating and keeping clean.

Having been in many hard shell hot tubs prior to this, I was unsure what an inflatable one would feel like without hard seating areas and bigger machines. However, I was immediately pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the tub and the power of the jets!

Despite appearing neat and small, the Helsinki floor is well cushioned and very comfortable and the rigid sides provide excellent comfort for resting against without taking up too much room. The tub is advertised as a 4-7 person size and this is definitely accurate sizing.

Worcester News: Helsinki control panelHelsinki control panel

The Helsinki uses an air jet system to create the bubbles. And it is unlike any other hot tub I have ever been in. The 180 Airjet Massage System is incredibly powerful and relaxing and has therapeutic bubbles travelling all across the tub. It was bliss!

With such a powerful system we worried our neighbours might be getting annoyed, however when one of us returned indoors the sound was barely even noticeable so we enjoyed much longer in the tub without any disturbance to neighbours.

We rate use an easy 5/5!


If you’re looking for a hot tub but don’t feel like splashing out too much for a hard shell, we highly recommend the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki. Its aesthetic design would suit all gardens and the high power of the Airjet system will have you questioning why you didn’t buy one sooner.

Customer reviews on the website give it a whopping 4.6/5, and we can totally agree. 

If you're looking for a great hot tub without the hefty price tag, Lay-Z-Spa's Helsinki is the one for you.


  • Height: 66cm
  • Width: 180cm
  • Width with Pump: 223cm
  • Filled Weight: 796kg (1,775b)

The Helsinki Lay-Z-Spa hot tub can be purchased on the website, on B&Q or The Range. To treat yourself to some fun extras (lights, cup holders, cushions) visit the Lay-Z-Spa website.

When you order on the Lay-Z-Spa website, you will also get a free Gold Starter Kit worth £99.99.