At the end of a long grueling day, soaking in a warm bath is one of the surest ways to relax. But if you want the most soothing bathing experience, an air bathtub can take your home spa time to the next level. Unlike whirlpool baths that shoot jets of water, an air bathtub shoots jets of air into the tub for a gentler massage-like experience. The air jets give the water an effervescent quality that never feels too aggressive, so it's incredibly relaxing to soak in one of these tubs.
Explore our convenient buying guide to learn everything you need to choose the best air bathtub for your home. We've included some specific tub recommendations, too, like our top pick, the Ariel Platinum Whirlpool Bathtub, which has a large deep design that can comfortably accommodate one to two adults, and it features a sturdy acrylic and fiberglass construction for added durability.
Considerations when choosing air bathtubs
The size of an air bathtub is obviously a key detail to consider when shopping because you want to be sure you have space for it in your bathroom. It also has to be large enough to hold as many people as you'd like. The smallest air bathtubs are about the average size for standard tubs, which is five to six feet long and two to three feet wide. But you can find larger versions, too. Measure the area in your bathroom where you plan to install the tub to ensure that any model you're considering will fit.
Most air bathtubs can hold only a single person, but you can find some models that are wide enough for two people to fit comfortably. You'll typically want to choose a tub that's at least three feet wide for two people.
Air bathtubs are available in both freestanding and drop-in models:
A freestanding air bathtub doesn't require installation against a wall or to be sunken into the floor. It usually uses more space than a drop-in model, but the installation is fairly easy.
A drop-in air bathtub is installed to sit up against one or more walls, or it's recessed into the floor or wall. It uses less space in the bathroom, but it involves a more complicated installation process.
Plumbing and electrical requirements
An air bathtub can hold more water than a standard bathtub, so it may require a specialty plumbing connection and drain to deal with the greater amount of water. Most air bathtub warranties require installation by a licensed plumber to ensure that it's hooked up correctly.
Because an air bathtub requires electricity to generate the jets of air, you'll usually need a licensed electrician to handle the electrical connection. In most cases, you'll need a 110V/60Hz connection, but you may need a 15-amp dedicated circuit for the tub to prevent your breakers from being tripped.
Most air bathtubs are rectangular, but you can find models in other shapes. Oval tubs are common, and some rectangular models feature rounded-off corners. In general, you'll have the most options in terms of shape with a freestanding model.
While a standard bathtub is often made of porcelain, air bathtubs are typically constructed with acrylic. Some models also contain fiberglass to help improve the tub's durability.
Some air bathtubs feature electronic controls that make operating the tub as user-friendly as possible. You can even purchase high-end models that feature Bluetooth controls, so you're able to control the tub via a smartphone application.
Number of jets
The number of jets that an air bathtub offers determines how powerful the massaging action is. The more jets that it features, the more powerful the massage sensation will be. But you'll pay more for a model with a large number of jets, so your budget may determine how many jets you look for. You can find models with as few as 10 and as many as 30 jets.
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Air bathtub prices
Air bathtubs usually cost between $850 and more than $7,000. You can find basic models that cost between $850 and $1,000, but for a larger deeper tub with plenty of jets and special features, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,300. High-end air bathtubs that can hold more than one person and offer special features like Bluetooth controls generally cost $1,800 or more.
Q. What advantages does an air bathtub have over a whirlpool tub?
A. An air bathtub is usually quieter while it's running than a whirlpool tub, which can help create a more relaxing mood. Air tubs are also self-drying and self-cleaning, so they're easier to maintain than a whirlpool bathtub.
Q. Can I use bubble bath in an air bathtub?
A. You can use bubble bath in an air tub, but it's important to use a small amount to prevent the bubbles from overflowing. Stick to one teaspoon of bubble bath or less.
Air bathtubs we recommend
Best of the best: Ariel Platinum AM128JDCLZ Whirlpool Bathtub
Our take: An air tub that offers both a classic attractive design and high-end features, making this one of the best options on the market.
What we like: Can hold as much as 70 gallons of water while accommodating a large adult or two mid-size adults. Features a large deep design for added comfort. Boasts 14 multidirectional jets and six water-flow settings. Includes chrome faucet and drain fixtures.
What we dislike: Plumbing fittings may not fit all pipes, so they may require adjustments that can void the warranty.
Best bang for your buck: Woodbridge Freestanding Bathtub
Our take: A high-quality air tub that combines effective performance with a more affordable price tag.
What we like: Features a classic design that can work with most bathroom décor. Air jets provide a relaxing and refreshing massage sensation. Provides 20 total jets, including air and whirlpool options. Boasts an underwater mood lamp for a truly relaxing bathing experience.
What we dislike: Can drain rather slowly.
Our take: An excellent freestanding tub that's made of lucite acrylic and fiberglass for durability. It also boasts a high-gloss finish for style.
What we like: Features sloping interior angles to conform to the body for greater comfort. Interior surface resists scratching and offers easy maintenance. Offers 10 air jets and 10 whirlpool jets. Can hold as much as 60 gallons.
What we dislike: Doesn't feature a ledge or rim to set items down on when in the bath.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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