We tried an inflatable Lay-Z-Spa – here’s how it went Brighton News

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

As these warmer months approach, we are all looking for ways to improve our outdoor space. Whether it’s upgrading the barbecue, investing in 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 and gazing at the stars?

But of course, hot tubs are definitely on the high end of luxury, and that’s not something most people can afford. Hard shell hot tubs can cost upwards of £2000 which is not ideal.

What about inflatable spas? They are much cheaper to buy and easy to install. But are they worth it?

The Argus: Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki reviewLay-Z-Spa Helsinki review

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

Helsinki Lay-Z-Spa

The set up

Lay-Z-Spa boasts effortless installation, and I have to say the ease with which I was able to install it made me rethink my career as a journalist and ask the first engineering question instead (d okay, maybe not quite, but it was really Easy).

All items have been securely packaged and easy to install, with online instructions and accompanying videos to help you.

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

In the box you get everything you need to install: the tub itself, the pump, an inflatable cover and all the filter accessories.

The tub itself inflated in seconds, then it was just a matter of arranging the pump and filters.

To protect the tub, I laid a protective mat underneath. Lay-Z-Spa stocked a few varieties and it made me feel much safer installing the tub in my backyard.

The Argus: An excited puppy didn't slow things down too much...An excited pup didn’t slow things down too much…

The mat fits together like a children’s play mat, nice and easy. Even when you have a pup zooming around with you.

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

Lay-Z-Spa says tubs can take between 12 and 24 hours to heat up when first filled. Since mine was installed on a fairly standard cold Scottish day, it took closer to 24 hours.

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

The Argus: Explode and FillBlow up and fill

Success! The tub was in place, filled, and I have to admit, I felt very proud of myself. If I can put it together, anyone can…

We rate the ease of setup at 4/5!


The Helsinki model is one of the brand’s most popular bathtubs, and we understand why! Although it is inflatable, its attractive drop stitch design gives it a hard shell look that will fit in any garden.

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

The material is also strong and durable. If you have a fairly busy garden space, you don’t need to worry about damaging the tub or tearing the material.

Above the spa pump there are also two handy cup holders, so your drink won’t overheat while you bask in the warm bubbles.

The Argus: Cup holders keep your drink from getting too hot in the tub.Cup holders keep your drink from getting too hot in the tub

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

Heat the tub

Wanting to spend our nights relaxing in the bubbles, we decided to install the tub in March, a Scottish March when temperatures rocked around 10 degrees Celsius.

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

When first filled, it took 24 hours for the water temperature to drop from 6 degrees to 35. The tub was then held at 35 degrees and brought to 39 (max is 40) during these nighttime swims fresh.

L'Argus: The lid is stylish and effective! The lid is elegant and effective!

When not in use during the week, the tub was set at 20 degrees Celsius for energy efficiency. Warming it up to pleasant temperatures only took a few hours of preparation, even in cold weather.

The insulated tub cover is definitely to credit for that. The inflatable cover helps maintain water temperature when the spa is off and helps it heat up faster.

Heating the Helsinki tub turned out to be incredibly simple, so we rated it 5/5.

In the bathtub

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

The Argus: Happiness!Happiness!

Lay-Z-Spa offers an incredible range of accessories to make your spa experience even more enjoyable. We opted for a whirlpool light to add to the ambiance of the evening.

The touch control panel for Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs is so easy to use, which makes the whole process so much more enjoyable. Instructions are fully helpful for all heating and cleaning tools.

Having been to many hard shell hot tubs before this, I had no idea what an inflatable hot tub would look like without hard seats and bigger machines. However, I was immediately pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the bathtub and the power of the jets!

Despite its neat and small appearance, the Helsinki floor is well padded and very comfortable and the rigid sides offer excellent comfort for resting without taking up too much space. The tub is advertised as a 4-7 person size and it is certainly an accurate size.

The Argus: Helsinki control panelHelsinki control panel

The Helsinki uses an air jet system to create the bubbles. And it’s unlike any other spa I’ve ever been to. The 180 air jet massage system is incredibly powerful and relaxing and has therapeutic bubbles that spread throughout the bath. It was happiness!

With such a powerful system we were worried our neighbors would be annoyed, but when one of us came inside the sound was barely perceptible so we enjoyed the tub much longer without disturbing the neighbors .

We rate the ease of use at 5/5!


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

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

If you’re looking for a great hot tub without the exorbitant price tag, Helsinki by Lay-Z-Spa is the one for you.


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

The Helsinki Lay-Z-Spa can be purchased from the website, B&Q or The Range. For fun extras (lights, cup holders, cushions), visit the Lay-Z-Spa website.

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

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This notice was published: 2022-03-19 05:35:00

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