Pros: Nice bubbles and massage effects, with convenient remote control!
Cons: Loud, bulky.
Most people know bubble baths or jacuzzis from health clubs and hotels, but how about having one at home?
1 - What it is and how it works
The principle of the 'Homedics Bubble Spa Deluxe' is pretty straightforward: A vacuum-like fixture produces air pressure which is channeled through a hose into a mat with many openings. The mat is placed in your bathtub, and air exiting through the openings will produce bubbles to turn your old tub into a bubbly bathing pleasure.
2- Modes of operation
The air flow can be set to three different strengths, resulting in more or less bubbles. Additionally, the unit has a 'program mode' that will change the bubbles from 'low' through 'high' continuously at varying speeds. Furthermore, a timer function can be set to automatically turn the Bubble Spa off after 15, 30 or 60 minutes.
Moreover, there is an option to 'heat' the air. This can not be used to heat the water, but rather is meant to make the bubbles warm. If you have ever used a bubble bath with nice hot water but annoyingly cold bubbles, you will appreciate this feature.
As a matter of convenience, this unit comes with a remote control that can be used to control all functions. Note that the remote control is water-resistant, but not water-proof. Don't drop it into the water!
3 - Set up and first impressions
One of the concerns I have with every purchase is the space it will use and the fact that it's 'another appliance'. On the package, it shows the mat can be rolled up and stowed with minimal space use. Nice! But while unpackaging, I noticed that it's not only the mat- there is also the somewhat bulky apparatus that produces the air flow. It is the size of a medium size handbag and is connected with a hose to the mat.
The mat itself seems to be good quality and durable. It is about 3/4 inches high so it will not take up much space in the bathtub.
The reomote control needs two small nickel-sized batteries, that you need to put in yourself. I did not notice that and ended up searching the packaging material for those as I assumed they would be in the remote already, and got suspicious when the remote was not working. Also, the remote comes with a little 'stand' that can be mounted with a suction cup to the wall. I tried this after wetting wall and suction cup carefully, but the whole stand and remote fell of after 30 seconds into the bath tub. The remote survived but I recommend not to use the stand.
Set up is easy and after 5 minutes, I was ready to go.
The first impression was that the thing is LOUD! In 'high' setting, it is much louder than an average hairdryer. I am somewhat disappointed about that, as there is, of course, no mention of this fact on the package. The attractive lady enjoying her bubble bath who is depicted on the box seems not to bother at all, but my idea of 'relaxation' is different from a 95db noise level in my bath room.
I found out that most of the noise is caused by vibration, and placing a piece of styrofoam under the main unit (the part that sits outside the bathtub) makes it a little less noisy. But still, a conversation is impossible without shouting. The hose that connects the main unit to the bathtub mat is about 8ft long, so placing it farther away from the tub is an option, but placing it outside the bathroom is not a good idea as the remote control would not work any more.
Now to the good part: The bubble- and massage-effects are really good. In 'high' setting, you get a real massage. No doubt, this is a lot of fun, and it is relaxing, leaving aside the noise factor.
The manual recommends to drain, dry and stow the mat after each use. This is not very practical, as it takes about 5-10 minutes to do that and you will get wet all over. We decided to leave it in most of the time, and dry it by letting it run 'dry' without water for a minute.
Overall, it works as advertised, however the noise factor is something to consider.
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