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Hulu free trial explained: here's what you get on each tier without spending a dime

Hulu free trial
(Image credit: Hulu)

Picking up a Hulu free trial is a smart move, but there's actually more than just one option available. And there's a great way to try Hulu at its best, without ads, for 30 days rather than just settle for the ad-supported option too. We'll walk you through everything on offer below.

The world of the best streaming services is certainly getting busier in the US right now, so sampling a Hulu free trial before deciding if you want to add another, admittedly small, monthly spend to your bills is a savvy streaming shopper move. In a world where the Disney Plus free trial and more recently the HBO Max free trial offers are getting axed, it's great to see that you can still get an entire month of Hulu for free.

Let's have a deeper look at the three Hulu free trials available today. It's important to remember, that whichever one you try, there's no long-term commitment involved. So you're free to cancel before the trial period ends and you're charged. And if you decide to keep Hulu and become a paying customer, you can still leave whenever you want as these are only one-month rolling contracts. This sort of financial freedom is why the cord-cutting community is ditching traditional cable in droves.

Before we get stuck into the free trial options, there's an excellent Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus bundle deal that saves you over 25% compared to buying those services on their own. Sadly, this option doesn't have a free trial. But at just $13.99 a month (or $19.99 with no ads on Hulu), it's one of our favorite deals out there. Again, it's only a one-month rolling contract, so you can always drop it and just subscribe to the ones you like. You can also upgrade to it at a later date if you join Hulu via one of the free trials below first.

What Hulu free trials are available?

Hulu with ads: This Hulu free trial is tempting if you know once the trial ends you'd rather be paying the cheapest price straight away and you want to get a feel for how many ads you're going to have to wait through (we hope you like Good RX and Carvana ads, folks). The trial lasts for 30 days, which is plenty of time to make up your mind to see if you want to keep Hulu. Once the trial ends, it's only $5.99 a month. If you're coming in from the ad-free bliss of Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max this can be quite jarring. You are free to upgrade to the ad-free plan at any point though once you become a paying member.

Hulu without ads: This is the best Hulu free trial as it also lasts 30-days but you won't be interrupted with all those ad breaks. Be warned, I've seen them squeezed in a split second before end credits of Seinfeld where a scene is still happening in the background. Once this trial ends, the monthly fee is $11.99. At double the price, you'll have to weigh up how much ads annoy you. If you want to cut costs, you're free to downgrade to the cheaper 'with ads' plan if the ads are too annoying. You're free to upgrade again at any time too.

Hulu with live TV: At $64.99 a month, this is suddenly getting quite pricey. But if you're looking for a cord-cutting option to leave multi-year cable deals behind, but still have access to a whole bunch of live TV channels, this might be a good fit. This version of the Hulu free trial only lasts a week, but at least there's still no long-term commitment involved if you decide to keep it for a while.

If you know you'll end up flicking through channels more than actually watching live TV, we'd stick with one of the first two tiers. That way you can put the money towards others streaming services with quality content ready to watch whenever you like. 

We'd check out the latest HBO Max prices, and Disney Plus bundles first as they're some of the best apps around. If you're looking for sports, then we've got you covered with guides to the latest ESPN Plus costs and Fubo TV costs and packages.

Peacock TV costs and Paramount Plus prices are other budget options gaining traction, with the former even having a completely free tier (supplemented by ads of course).

Brendan is GamesRadar's Managing Editor of the Hardware & eCommerce team. Formerly the Deals Editor at our sister site, TechRadar, he's obsessed with finding the best tech, games, gadgets, and hardware at the lowest price. He spends way too much of his free time trying to decide what new things to watch on Netflix, then just rewatches It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia instead.