Updated January 4, 2023
Walk-in tubs provide safety and therapeutic benefits for seniors and people with limited mobility. There are many standard and optional features to choose from and options for installing walk-in tubs. We also feature the only portable walk-in tub on the market today.
What Are the Best Walk-in Tubs for Seniors?
A walk-in tub is an important mobility aid for many older people. It makes bathing easier and safer. Finding the right walk-in tub can be challenging, and you want to find the best option!
We've made a choice easier by researching the best walk-in tubs on the market today, and we picked our top favorites.
To help you decide, you can find all the features and benefits below.
- Heavenly Portable Walk-in Tubs – The Best Portable Walk-in bathtubs
- American Standard Tubs – Best Overall Walk-in Tubs
- Kohler Walk-in Bath – Best Luxury Walk-in Tubs
- Spa World – Best Brand Selection
What Are Walk-in Tubs?
Walk-in tubs look like regular bathtubs, but they have an airtight door on the side to make them easier to get in and out of. So you open the door, walk in, and sit down. Since there are many walk-in tubs on the market with many features, let's look at them.
What is the Purpose of a Walk-in Tub?
A walk-in tub makes giving and taking a bath easier if you have limited mobility. Climbing in and out of a standard bathtub can be risky for anyone with balance issues, joint problems, stiffness, or weakness. It's easy to lose your balance and fall; this could break bones or leave you all bruised and sore. A walk-in tub is much easier to get in and out of.
What Safety Features are Important in a Walk-in Tub?
A quality walk-in tub should have these safety features, so check for them.
- Safety Bars – Check for ample safety bars to grab and hold onto. Seniors can be a little unsteady, especially when getting in and out of a tub or moving from sitting to standing.
- Anti-scald Systems – These systems protect seniors' delicate skin from sudden temperature changes, like when someone turns on the faucet or flushes the toilet somewhere else in the house. It regulates the temperature in the showerheads and faucets.
- Quick Drain System – Look for a quick-release drain feature that lets the user or a caregiver or EMT hit a button and drain the bath instantly to prevent accidents. It's also convenient because it allows the bath user to exit faster and not sit there cold while the bath drains.
- Anti-Slip Surfaces – Slips and falls are a considerable risk for seniors, so walk-in tubs must come with non-slip floors and seats as standard.
- Built-in seat: Many walk-in tubs have a built-in seat, which allows users to sit down while taking a bath, reducing the risk of falls.
- Automatic shut-off: Some walk-in tubs have an automatic shut-off feature that stops the flow of water if the tub becomes overfilled, reducing the risk of flooding.
- Heated surfaces: Some walk-in tubs have heated surfaces, which can help prevent slips and falls by keeping the floor and walls of the tub warm and dry.
What Other Features Should Walk-in Tubs Have?
- Self-cleaning systems – To keep down the build-up of mold and harmful bacteria in your water lines, it's helpful to have a self-cleaning system.
- Low threshold – Many people choose walk-in tubs because it's hard to access a standard tub. A low point makes it easier to enter and exit.
- Easy-to-use buttons – Ensure the controls are easy to press, even for someone with arthritis.
- Lifetime guarantee – Since a walk-in tub is a considerable investment, having the peace of mind that you're covered for life just in case of problems is priceless.
- Extra-wide door – A wider door makes it easier to get in and out of the tub, especially for larger patients or anyone suffering from stiffness or pain in their hips.
- Leak-proof door seals – all good walk-in tubs should have a leak-proof door seal with a lifetime guarantee to prevent bathroom flooding.
Various luxury options feature contoured seating, hydrotherapy, and massage features. These aren't necessarily needed but can enhance relaxation and stress relief and provide additional joint pain or stiffness solutions.
- Whirlpool models use water jets to keep water moving and provide a massage experience.
- Air jetted – air-jetted models use compressed air rather than water, and provide a more gentle experience.
- Soakers – Soaker tubs don't have any added massage or water jet functions. They are great for soaking in the bathtub, but many enjoy the added options.
What Are the Different Types of Walk-in Tubs?
There are many kinds of walk-in tubs for every budget and need; here are the most common:
- Bariatric tubs are made for bariatric patients who weigh 300 lbs or more, there are similar to inward swinging tubs and have the same features but are more prominent with a wider entrance.
- Inward swinging door – the most common kind of walk-in tub for home use, they can be the cheapest and yet classiest to look. These are perfect for a
seniorwithout special needs, like needing an extra-large or wheelchair-accessible tub. These are a good choices.
- Wheelchair-accessible tubs – they also call these slide-in tubs. These are walk-in tubs with a wider entrance and no step to climb over, making them ideal for wheelchair users who can be helped from their chairs and into their seat. Because they are larger, they are more expensive and will take up more space because of the outward opening door, but for a wheelchair user, this makes life much easier when it comes to bath time!
Heavenly Portable Walk in Bathtub
Portable walk-in tubs for mature adults, disabled people, athletes, and anyone wanting a luxurious hydrotherapy experience at home.
Why Would Someone Need or Consider a Walk-in Tub?
A walk-in tub is excellent for seniors with mobility problems, balance issues, struggling with their weight, or in a wheelchair. Compared to a standard tub, it's much safer to get in and out of, and they have built-in features like non-slip surfaces and handrails.
Stepping into a walk-in tub is safer and more straightforward than a standard tub; walk-in tubs allow seniors to stay independent and age at home.
How to Choose a Walk-in Tub?
First, consider your needs. Do you require something wheelchair-accessible? What features are a must for them? Once you know the size and shape of the tub you need, you can consider luxury features like hydrotherapy or massage; then, you can shop for every model that has what you need and fits your budget.
With the choices on the market, you will find the best model for the loved one in your life. Please review the safety features listed here to ensure that your chosen tub has all of the necessary features.