50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2001
I recently purchased the Elite (BMAT-5) version of this spa (. . .)
It appears that the folks at Homedics have been reading these reviews because many (if not all) of the concerns raised by the reviewers have been addressed. The hose is now reinforced and doesn't collapse when hot. The suction cups are well designed - there was no way this mat was coming off my tub floor. The unit is quite powerful - my wife is quite happy using it on the medium setting. Cleaning (really just blowing out any water in the mat) is quick and easy. As a bonus, the unit is 50% smaller then the Deluxe (or at least that's what the box says).
One thing the mat isn't, however, is quiet. The unit sounds like a turbo-powered hair dryer and the bubbles make a lot of noise as well. You shouldn't buy this product with visions of a quiet bubble bath listening to Enya. (You're not supposed to use soaps or oils, anyway, because they get into the mat and cause bad things to happen). To minimize the noise, I tried putting the unit behind the bathroom door, but the remote didn't seem to work through the wall. I finally just threw a towel over the unit and this helped quite a bit. The air intake is under the motor so I think I can do this without causing it to overheat and blow up. My wife (the one in the tub) didn't really have a problem with the noise. With the bubbles all around her ears, she said the sound wasn't bothersome.
All in all, this Homedics products does what it promises and does it well. I felt kind of silly buying my wife a bubble mat for her birthday, but she really liked it. I liked it because it costs about $1500 less than the jacuzzi tub she really wanted for her birthday. Who knows, when nobody's looking I might try it myself.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2001
I thought this product would be a bit gimmicky, frankly. But I've been very pleasantly surprised.
I've only used it a few times so far, so I can't comment on its longevity.
However, it does everything it claims it can. Unlike other reviews I've read here, I had no trouble with getting the mat to stay stuck to the floor of the tub, nor have I had any trouble with the hose disconnecting itself from the mat when in use. Just follow the instructions and make sure your bath is clean and it all works just fine.
Bubble-wise, I was expecting it to be lacking in power, but this unit is well powered. On the highest setting, it is almost too powerful for a standard sized tub - there is lots of agitation in the water. Very good!
The mat is quite comfortable to sit on too; you don't really notice it once everything's up and running.
Certainly the unit is noisy - it is, after all, just like taking a bath with a vacuum-cleaner switched on next to you! But this to be expected. However, thanks to the long hose and the remote control that works through walls, you can hide the noisy control unit somewhere - like in the shower, or in a cupboard under the sink, or even put it outside the room and close the door. That cuts down on the noise considerably. And of course, the vigourous splashing of the bubbles tends to drown out the machine noise anyway.
I agree the heat option doesn't seem to do an awful lot. While the hose warms up considerably and there must therefore be some heat coming through the mat; it's not enough to combat the cooling effect of blowing all that air through the bathwater continuously. However, that is hardly surprising and you can't really blame the unit for not being able to get hot enough to compensate for all that heat loss. All this means is during a half-hour session in the bath, you might need to top up the bathwater with more hot water a couple of times.
Clean up is really easy too - just drain the bath after you're done, put in some clean water, and run the unit for a while. Then hang the mat up somewhere (like use its suction cups to stick it to the shower wall) to dry.
All in all, I think this unit is very good for the price. It's actually very effective and pleasant to use - compares quite favourably to a real spa bath, considering the price. Given that you'd easily pay twenty times as much to upgrade your bath to a real spa bath; I'd say it's a very good compromise.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2002
My wife bugged me until I finally got her this product. She loved it! Said it was as good as what she used at Bally's. However, we did find that the suction cups wouldn't stick to our non-slip tub finish. Nothing I tried would make it stick. My wife gets in the tub on top of the mat and then turns on the blower. The hose did cause problems by coming out, but by putting a tye wrap arond the plastic socket for the hose, it stays in. Then the other end came out of the fitting going into the blower. Oh well, I fixed that too.
Finally, it just quit working. I think there was water in the hose from being left in the tub after it came out of the mat once, and water drained back into the blower unit.
The unit just won't turn on. I let it dry out one evening and it worked the next night for a little while, but finally quit completely.
Next question if HoMedics looks at these reports. What kind of warrenty does it have. My wife got it for Christmas and we haven't had it a year yet.
My wife does want another one, but I'll probably see what else is available , given the problems I've had to deal with on this one.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2001
Unlike the people who have reviewed this product, I didn't find the suction cups so annoying. Some of them didn't stick well, but 95% did, and it didn't bother me. I was impressed with the power that this model had, and I was glad that I ordered the model with the remote, as the unit has to sit far away from my tub, due to my electrical outlets. For people who cannot afford a jacuzzi, this is perfect for relaxation. As for the heat option, no, it isn't really that warm, but if they made the air any hotter, it would melt the hose. At least it's better than totally cold air. As for cleanup, I don't follow the instructions. I just keep the blower on for an extra ten minutes after the water drains, and disconnect everything. it's not that much cleanup. If it is, I think it's worth it.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2001
The three speeds are fine and the unit generates lots of bubbles. I never did figure out how the program option works since the directions don't really explain it. Also the unit creates a lot of noise and while in the program mode the sound varies from loud, louder, and loudest. It is a good thing this model has a remote and you don't have to hang from the tub to change settings. The problem is that the little suction cups do not stick to the tub bottom. The tension level in your body will rise since it does not stick to the bottom of the tub and begins to float up against your body. If you move your feet off the end of the mat the hose detaches from the mat and then shoots water all over. You are then grabbing desperately for the end of the hose. You have a suction cup to help keep the hose in place, but it does not stick to the tub wall! The relaxing bath becomes a great source of tension. If the mat would stick to the tub bottom, hose stay connected, suction cup for remote remain attached to tub side, motor operate quietly, and an explanation for the use of the programmed mode was included it would be an excellent product. Also the heat feature is nice because without it the water does cool down quickly, however after 5-10 minutes the hose does become soft and partially colapses next to the unit because it overheats. This product would work better if the bath mat was constructed of hard plastic with a luer-lock type device to attach the hose. I will be returning the unit and I do not recommend it to anyone. I wonder how this product made it out of Homedics testing area. I bet the owners of Homedics did not give their family members this thing for Christmas.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2001
I just purchased this Spa and I like it very much. It is comfortable to sit on and the bubbles are really relaxing. I had the Con Air Mat and is was uncomfortable to sit on. I also like the remote so I don't have to touch anything that is electric. The noise of this is not bad. I have a whirpool tub at home and it is allot louder. I got this for my vacation home because I missed my whirlpool tub. I would recommend it to you. I wish it was a little heavier so it would stay down in the tub. It does float, but so did the Con Air and it was heavier. I can live with that.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2000
It has no problem making bubbles and the three speeds are fine. I never did figure out how the program option works since the directions don't really explain it, but since this model has the remote it's easy enough to change speeds without hanging over the tub. The problem is that the little suction cups dont stick to the tub bottom. Our tub is old and scratched, but the suction cup design should take that into account. The suction cup bath mat has not slipped in 4 years so it's not that things won't stick to the tub bottom. The problem is that since it doesn't stick to the bottom very well it tends to float. If you move a little and take you feet off the end the next thing you know the bottom two feet of the mat are now floating and spitting air/water at you, then the hose comes off the mat. Now you shut the unit off and put it back down or try and put it down with it running. This is like trying to sink an air mattress. The relaxing bath becomes a wrestling match. If it would stick to the tub bottom I would give it a 4/5 rating because except for poor directions and not sticking it's fine. Also the heat feature is nice because without it your water does cool down quickly, however after 5-10 minutes the hose does become soft and partially colapses next to the unit because it gets that hot. I'm not sure how long the hose will last. I will be returning the unit so I'll never know that.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2003
I bought this as a gift for someone last year. It has since been returned. Setting up this unit was easy as well and taking it apart for storage. Storage is another thing though... You will need somewhere to put this unit when it's dry and it's a big *bulky*. Consider your storage before you purchase.
My biggest issue, by far is the noise this unit produces. That was the reason it was returned. There is an unbelieveable amount of noise associated with it. Perhaps it is several factors besides the actual very loud motor. Most bathrooms are tile floored, and not very acustic on the walls. But that is the exception not the rule and should somehow be anticipated into the design. It is so loud I would have to consider it a design flaw.
The person who I got this for said being in a tub with this on was a bit like being on a 747 landing strip. Assuming they were being dramatic, I tried it myself. There was no drama. It was so loud as to cancel out any relaxing benefits...in fact you could hear the noise of this on the floor below the bathroom.
Interestingly, I purchased this unit from a shopping on tv option where they had MANY of these units running. How they managed to muffle all that sound was beyond me. I am still wondering about that little feat of special effects.
The unit itself worked quite well and it's just too bad that this one flaw was so problematic. In the future I will be more careful about this issue when shopping for similar items.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2002
I,too was excited to receive what I refer to as my White Trash Jacuzzi. Couldn't wait to lay back in the tub after a long day on the farm. Much to my disapointment the suction cups DO NOT STICK to my tub. I thought it may have been a problem with soap buildup. Scrubbed the tub Still didn't stick. However the 3 large pieces with huge suction cups stick very nicely. Wonder why the tennie tiny ones were even put there to start with? Don't waste the money on buying one with the small suction cups as I know of no one that it works for. The place where the hose attaches to the mat never stayed, only long enough to get layed back. Noise also was a problem. Couldn't hear a thing and could wake sleeping children. My suggestion: Don't use duct tape and Start saving for a real tub
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2001
My husband and I love the deluxe bubble spa! It 's much better than the wimpy jet spa that sticks on the side of the tub. But we also found it frustrating that the suction cups were too small and wouldn't stick to our non-slip tub. WE HAVE THE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM! If you love the bubbble spa idea, but hate that it won't stick because you have a non-slip tub, TRY PUTTING TWO MAGNETIC SIGNS (the kind that stick to the sides of trucks) BACK TO BACK on the tub floor and then sticking the suction cups to that. It works! Also, roll and sit on a hand towel for extra comfort.