Best Walk-in Tubs in 2021
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.
For many seniors, a walk-in tub is a crucial mobility aid that makes bath time a lot easier and safer. Finding the right walk-in tub can be challenging – and of course you want to find the very best option!
We’ve made the choice easier by researching the best walk-in tubs on the market today and we pick our top favorites.
To help you make your decision, you can find all the features and benefits below.
Best Walk-in Tubs for Seniors in 2021
- American Standard Tubs – Best Overall Walk-in Tubs
- Kohler Walk-in Bath – Best Luxury Walk-in Tubs
- Walk-in Tub Prices – Best Brand Selection
- Safe Step Walk-in Tub – Best Therapeutic Options
- Home Depot Walk-in Bathtubs – Best In-store Retailer
What Are Walk-in Tubs?
Walk-in tubs are essentially regular-looking bathtubs, but with an airtight door on the side for easy access. You open the door and walk-in and sit down. Since there are many walk-in tubs on the market, and with lots of features, let’s take a 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 who has balance issues, joint problems, stiffness, or is weak. It’s so 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 be sure you 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 a sitting to a standing position.
- 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 prevents 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 – For seniors, slip and falls are a big risk so walk-in tubs must come with non-slip floors and seats as standard.
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 for them to them access a standard tub, a low threshold makes it easier to enter and exit.
- Easy to use buttons – Make sure the buttons are easy to press even for someone with arthritis in their hands.
- Lifetime guarantee – Since a walk-in tub is a considerable investment, having the peace of mind that it’s covered for life just in case you have 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.
There are also a variety of luxury options that feature contoured seating, hydrotherapy and massage features. These aren’t necessarily needed, but can enhance relaxation and stress relief and could provide additional solutions to joint pain or stiffness.
- Whirlpool – 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 to just soak in the bathtub, but many people 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 – these 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 larger 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 at. These are perfect for a senior without special needs, like needing an extra-large or wheelchair accessible tub, these are a good choice.
- Wheelchair-accessible tub – they also call these slide-in tubs, these are walk-in tubs with a wider entrance and no step to climb over, which makes them ideal for wheelchair users who can be helped from their chair and into the 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!
Why Would Someone Need or Consider a Walk-in Tub?
A walk-in tub is great for seniors who have 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 much safer and simpler 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 of shape of tub you need, you can consider luxury features like hydrotherapy or massage, then you can just shop around for every model that has what you need that fits your budget.
With so many choices on the market, you will surely find the best model for the loved one in your life. Please check the safety features that we list here and make sure the tub you choose has everything you need.