Best Walk-In Tubs for Safe, Easy Bathing
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Best Walk-In Tubs for Safe, Easy Bathing
- Walk-in tubs make bathing safer and more comfortable. They eliminate the need to step over a tub wall in order to get in and out of the bath and are usually fitted with a seat so you can sit and relax.
- Many walk-in tubs offer extra features to enhance your bathing experience. These features are geared toward convenience, accessibility, and therapeutic advantages.
- Shopping for a walk-in tub can be complicated. They are typically more expensive than traditional bathtubs, require professional installation, and impact your home water and electrical systems.
If you’re planning on aging in place, you may be considering modifications to your bathroom. A walk-in bathtub can add comfort and safety to your home. But, like any home renovation project, finding the best walk-in bathtub for you can be a challenge.
A walk-in tub is a bathtub that was designed so you can simply walk into it without having to climb over a tub wall. Many walk-in tubs come with extra features to enhance safety and comfort, like handles, grips, and seats, as well as hot water jets, aromatherapy, and chromatherapy. These safe-soaker bathtubs have a leak-free door, so the step threshold is smaller, which means it’s easier to get in and out of them.
Walk-in tubs are deep water baths that can provide a relaxing effect. While typical bathtubs only have a depth of 13–14 inches, walk-in tubs can be as deep as 48 inches. They also may come with features like water jets and extra heating for maximum therapeutic benefits.
“Besides the jets, there is more room for more water and ability to do things like range of motion exercises in the bathtub,” said Dr. Tom Cornwell, national medical director of Village Medical at Home. “The greatest benefit for seniors is the reduced fall risk. There is also significant dignity associated with independence in bathing. Walk-in tubs can extend the time that frail elders and persons with disabilities can continue to safely bathe themselves.”
Best Walk-In Tubs We Reviewed:
Best Value: Lounger Outward-Swing Door Tub
Best for Comfort: Kohler Hydrotherapy Tub
Best Wheelchair Accessible: Meditub Wheelchair Accessible Walk-in Tub
Best for Couples: Companion Two-Seat Tub
Best for Small Spaces: Acu-Stream Jetted Walk-In Bathtub
Best on a Budget: Ariel Soaker Tub
Most Durable Walk-in Tub: American Standard Acrylic Luxury
Best Walk-in Shower: Safe Step Walk-in Shower
Consider This Before Buying a Walk-In Tub
Accidents happen. Because bathrooms have so many wet, soapy surfaces, slip-ups can be common. According to the CDC, falls are the cause of 81.1% of nonfatal bathroom injuries, and the highest rates of injury occur in the shower or tub.
Walk-in tubs offer an easy-access solution so you can bathe in comfort and with peace-of-mind. But choosing a walk-in tub is a major investment. Before buying your tub, do some planning, which includes checking your home plumbing system.
10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Walk-In Tub
- Installation: Installing a walk-in tub is a home renovation project. Many retailers offer in-home consultations, installation services, and extra customer service to make it easier.
- Safety needs: If you need your tub to be secure, consider features like handrails, grab bars, and anti-slip surfaces. These should be properly positioned in your tub so they’re easy to hold onto.
- Water supply: Consider your home’s hot water capacity, water pressure, and other factors. We recommend consulting with a plumber before choosing your tub.
- Electricity supply: In addition to gallons of hot water, your walk-in tub has electrical needs. Extra hydrotherapy features need extra electricity too.
- Filling and draining: Because there are gallons of water involved, walk-in tubs take extra long to fill and drain. You might need to sit and wait in the tub while this happens. Fortunately, many brands now offer fast-drain and quick-fill technologies, which lessens the amount of time you’ll have to sit waiting for the water to fill or drain.
- Cleaning: Your tub needs to be cleaned regularly, just like any other surface in your bathroom. Choose a tub that’s easy for you to clean, or even a self-cleaning tub.
- Door: Walk-in tubs come with leak-proof door seals that trap water in during use. Decide if you will need wheelchair accessibility. Only tubs with outward swinging doors provide wheelchair access. However, inward swinging doors are typically considered easier to close once you’re in the tub, so choose which type of door you want on your tub with care.
- Size: Take measurements so you can be sure your tub is the right size for both your bathroom and occupant. You’ll want to consider the size of your bathroom, as well as what size will fit you comfortably. Many walk-in tub brands will send someone out to your house for a consultation.
- Financing: Not only do you have to consider the price of the tub, you’ll need to factor in installation costs and your tub’s warranty. Many manufacturers like Safe Step or American Standard offer financing programs.
- Accessibility: As mentioned previously, not all walk-in tubs are wheelchair accessible, so if this is a feature you need, you’ll want to choose a tub with an outward swinging door and confirm with the manufacturer that it’s accessible for wheelchairs. When purchasing a walk-in tub, it’s a good idea to make sure your tub is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Types of Walk-In Tubs
Walk-in tubs aren’t a one-size-fits-all category. Different bathtubs offer different features, so you have options depending on your preferred bathing style. The different types are as follows:
- Soaker tubs are considered the standard of walk-in tubs. They are deep bathtubs with benches that are ideal for soaking and are beneficial to people with acute injuries and even general aches and pains.
- Wheelchair accessible tubs typically feature extra-wide doors and an outward swinging door to allow for easy transfer from your chair to the tub.
- Bariatric walk-in tubs are specially designed to hold occupants who weigh 300 pounds or more.
- Aromatherapy tubs include scent diffusers, so when the water jets pump warm streams of water, your chosen scent is released, benefiting mental health by encouraging relaxation.
- Hydrotherapy tubs are similar to hot tubs and feature massage jets designed to relieve muscle tension in your feet, legs, arms, back, and neck.
- Chromotherapy tubs have colored lights that can create soothing, therapeutic effects.
- Combination tubs include multiple features from a variety of walk-in tub types.
Crucial Walk-In Tub Features to Decide
There’s a lot to think about when shopping for walk-in tubs. Beyond how much fun you’ll have relaxing in your comfortable new bath, think of how this plumbing fixture will impact your life at home. Safety, convenience, and home spa features are three crucial factors to keep in mind when deciding which bathtub is right for you.
One of the main reasons to get a walk-in tub is because they’re safer to use than traditional tubs. To reduce the likelihood of slips, walk-in tubs usually have features to ensure you can safely step in and out of your bath, including:
- Low step-in: Low door thresholds are what makes these tubs walk-ins. When shopping, check the height of the step threshold. Some will offer lower thresholds than others.
- Handrails and grab bars: These safety bars are support bars that make it easier to get in and out of the tub. They should not only be sturdy, but positioned at the proper height.
- Anti-slip surfaces: A tub is anti-slip if the bottom of your tub has a rough texture to reduce falls. The rougher the surface, the more “grip” it has.
- Outward-swinging: Walk-in tubs are offered in different styles and can come with different types of doors. Some have inward swinging doors and others have outward swinging doors, but both serve a purpose. While you may need more room to open an outward swinging door, tubs that come in this style are typically the best tubs for easy transfer and can be wheelchair accessible.
- Wheelchair accessibility: If you use a wheelchair, this will be a key feature. Choose a tub designed for easy transfer to and from a chair or a walk-in shower designed for wheelchair users.
Because they’re designed to be accessible, walk-in tubs may be easier to use than standard tubs. Consider your tub’s maintenance (like cleaning and potential repairs). Factors to take into account include:
- Fast-fill tubs: Tubs that are fast-fill have one or more faucets designed to reduce the amount of time you spend waiting for your tub to fill. Don’t forget you’ll be sitting in the tub during this part. Some of these tubs offer heated surfaces to soothe the neck and back while you wait for the tub to fill.
- Quick-drain tubs: These tubs allow water to exit your tub at a quicker pace. That means you don’t have to sit and wait as long to get out of your bath once you’re done bathing.
- Self-cleaning: Systems that self-clean help keep your tub pristine. Typically, self-cleaning tubs release a disinfecting liquid that can assist in killing bacteria that lives on the surface of your tub.
- Warranty: Make sure to read your warranty carefully. Some manufacturers provide more extensive warranties than other brands. Consider whether your warranty will cover replacement parts or repairs your tub may need in the future.
- Size: Consider the size of your bathroom, as well as the tub’s intended occupant. Be sure to choose a tub with a seat large enough to sit on comfortably.
3. Home Spa Features
Walk-in tubs can come with added perks not found in your everyday bathtub. Many manufacturers offer an array of spa-like features you can add to your walk-in tub, including:
- Whirlpool (hydrotherapy): These tubs have a motor that circulates water, creating a jacuzzi-like experience. It’s sometimes recommended for physical therapy and may have pain-relieving benefits.
- Aromatherapy: This feature uses essential oils to create soothing, relaxing scents while you bathe. Massage jets often pair with aromatherapy tub features and may have mood-boosting benefits.
- Chromatherapy: Also known as light therapy, the use of colored light is typically used to enhance aesthetics and relaxation, but it can potentially have a wide range of therapeutic benefits.
- Other massage jets: Jets can help massage specific body parts like your feet, legs, and back. Most tubs use hydrotherapy with hot water jets, but air jets are common too.
Home spa features are great for relaxation and may also have therapeutic benefits. However, they often come with extra home plumbing and electrical requirements.
Potential Health Benefits From Walk-in Baths
Using a walk-in bath can have potential health benefits. Some home spa features, like hydrotherapy, may be used in a clinical setting (like physical therapy). Additionally, certain home bathing practices may have medical benefits, including:
- Heart health: Though findings vary, there is some clinical evidence that heat therapy can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Hot water immersion (i.e soaking in a nice, relaxing bath) is one method of heat therapy you can try at home. It’s important to consult your doctor or therapist to get specifics about temperatures.
- Arthritis: Symptoms may be relieved with various hydrotherapy techniques. Warm water helps with joint pain relief, while cool water is recommended for any bodily swelling. You can also use hydromassage tub features to loosen up stiff joints. While there’s a lack of research on hydrotherapy bathing, it’s shown to help with temporary pain relief and has no adverse effects.
- Mental health: Regular water immersion may improve mental health, which is why warm baths are regularly recommended as a self-care practice. One study found that, compared to those who took showers, bathers were more likely to experience a reduction in stress, fatigue, pain, tension, anxiety, and anger over a two-week period. Baths make you happy—it’s science.
Walk-in Bathtubs Reviews
- Standard features include fast fill, quick drain, temperature control, and a handheld showerhead, as well as optional add-on features for customization.
- The tub is made of durable high-grade acrylic.
- An outward swinging door makes entry and exiting safer and easier for individuals in wheelchairs.
What It’s Great for: Comfort, durability, and convenience—with luxury options:
While Ella’s Bubbles isn’t as well-known as other manufacturers like American Standard and Safe Step, they’re not to be overlooked. Ella’s Bubbles Walk-In Tubs offer comprehensive features and quality at a reasonable price point. The sleek, tempered glass-panel door on this model swings outward for easier entry and exit—a cunning balance of comfort and design.
While they offer a variety of styles, we’ve picked the Lounger Outward-Swinging Door Tub, since outward-facing doors offer easier entry and exit for transfer to a wheelchair. Beyond that, Ella’s Bubbles has a few standard features that every bather will enjoy. First, their tubs come equipped with quick drain and fill, as well as a thermostatic temperature valve. That means you’re less likely to spend time sitting in room-temperature water while you wait for your tub to fill or drain.
For an additional cost, Ella’s Bubbles offers packages to enhance the comfort and luxury of your bathing experience. Their hydrotherapy package comes with whirlpool jets, which can be combined with air jets, microbubble jets, or foot massage. For extra comfort, Ella’s Bubbles offers water-safe cushions, which can be added for neck and back support, including a U-shaped riser to be used in combination with bidet jets.
Why it made our list: The outward-swinging door of the lounger tub offers an easier entry and exit, which is especially important for older adults with reduced mobility or those recovering from surgery or illness. In addition to the quick-drain feature and other standard features, Ella’s Bubbles is highly rated by customers.
Price and Warranty: Starting at $3,500, Ella’s Bubbles offers a five-year warranty for parts and a one-year warranty for the thermostatic control valve.
- Heated seats
- Back support
- Microbubble system
- Air massage
- Hydrotherapy (with self cleaning)
- Chromatherapy (comes with hydrotherapy package)
- Aromatherapy (comes with hydrotherapy package)
- This tub comes with a number of standard features, including the low-step threshold, push button controls, built-in safety bar, anti-slip texture, spa, whirlpool/hydrotherapy, and handheld showerhead.
- It offers an extra-deep seat.
- The model includes Kohler’s Bask heating system.
What It’s Great for: High marks for reliability and a spa-like experience.
If a comfortable soak is your top priority, a Kohler Walk-In Bath with hydrotherapy may be the answer. Offering a great walk-in tub for reliability and a spa-like experience, this soaker tub is designed for easy relaxation, featuring an extra-deep seat and soothing hydrotherapy features. This fast-fill, quick-drain walk-in tub is the ultimate choice for comfort and convenience.
Like its standard walk-in tub, Kohler’s Hydrotherapy Tub balances function and design, with a low-step threshold, hand-held showerhead, and deep, wide contoured seat. The hydrotherapy tub comes fitted with 10 adjustable whirlpool jets to massage and stimulate the back, calves, and front of legs, which you can tweak to your preferred speed. This model also features Kohler’s Bask heating system, which heats the water near the back, neck, and shoulders.
This tub’s hydrotherapy package combines hot water and air jets to provide a warm, soothing, spa-like experience, which may help with back and joint pain relief. Kohler offers professional installation as well—but you’ll need to contact them for a price. It’s available in an attractive chrome and white gel-coated fiberglass finish.
Why it made our list: In addition to the extra-deep seat and hydrotherapy features, Kohler is able to offer a competitively low price for luxury features, so it’s worth considering for budget-minded bathers.
Price and Warranty: Kohler offers a limited lifetime warranty. Contact the dealer to get an estimate on pricing.
Meditub Wheelchair Accessible Walk-in Tub
- Standard features include the low-step threshold, push button controls, built-in safety bars, anti-slip texture, wheelchair-accessible entry, and handheld showerhead.
- It offers an array of optional add-on features that add value and luxury.
- The manufacturer offers good value for a wheelchair-accessible tub.
What It’s Great for: Offers a safe, easy entry while using a wheelchair.
While there are many wheelchair-accessible walk-in tubs and showers out there, Meditub tops our list. That’s because they offer one of the most affordable wheelchair-accessible tubs. Meditub also offers a wide range of add-on features, so you can customize your tub to meet your preferred bathing style. This tub is available in two colors: classic white or biscuit.
If you’re a wheelchair user, you need an accessible entry. While walk-in tubs typically have a low-step threshold, built-in seat, and grab bars, not all walk-in tubs are designed to easily accommodate the transfer to and from a chair. Meditub’s Wheelchair-Accessible Tub has two options for ease of use: a special “transfer” model with an extra-wide side door, or a double-door model that’s friendlier for smaller spaces. Depending on your needs, either tub allows easy transfer.
Why it made our list: We picked the Meditub walk-in tub as the best wheelchair-accessible walk-in tub because it offers a comprehensive range of customizable features. The base model starts at $3,600—a good value for an accessible tub. From there, you can mix-and-match optional add-on features to add comfort and convenience. It even offers chromatherapy, which can be harder to find.
Price and Warranty: Prices start at $3,600, and Meditub offers a 10-year warranty, as well as a lifetime warranty on the door seal.
- Quick drain
- Digital control panel system
- In-line water heater
- Standard features include fast fill, quick drain, temperature control, hand-held showerhead, air massage, hydrotherapy (with self-cleaning),as well as optional features for customization.
- It features two seats for couples.
- There’s a removable kickplate with the option to make the bath deeper.
What It’s Great for: This is the best tub for comfortable bathing with a companion.
Ella’s Bubbles offers a range of two-seater tubs, and we think their Companion model is a handsome addition to any bathroom. With a front-swinging glass-panel door and two deep, comfortable seats, this two-person tub lets you enjoy a bath with a partner. Like other walk-in tubs, Ella’s Bubbles offers a standard package for its double-soaker, with the option to add on other features for comfort and convenience. Ella’s Bubbles also offers a few more unique spa features, like a foot massage.
Ella’s Bubbles tubs come with a two-piece, fast-fill faucet and dual drains for quick draining. For extra comfort, they offer a range of hydrotherapy options and cushions for extra back and neck support.
Why it made our list: We picked Ella’s Bubbles companion tub because it offers a wide range of hydrotherapy packages, including foot massage, calf massage, air jets, and whirlpool jets, which may help relieve back and joint pain.
Price and Warranty: Starting at around $8,000, Ella’s Bubbles also offers a five-year warranty on parts and a one-year warranty on the thermostatic control valve.
- Heat seats
- Back support
- Microbubble system
- Chromatherapy (comes with hydrotherapy package)
- Aromatherapy (comes with hydrotherapy package)
Universal Acu-Stream Jetted Walk-in Bathtub
- Standard features include the low-entry threshold, push button control, built-in safety bar, anti-slip texture, and optional add-on features for customization.
- Retailed by Home Depot, the tub can be found locally.
- It is made from highly durable acrylic for longevity.
What It’s Great for: This is a great space-conscious tub that’s packed with value.
Universal Tubs is one of the most popular walk-in tub companies because of their price point and wide availability. Universal is partnered with Home Depot, so their tubs are typically easy to find. They offer many different models, including this outward opening, compact model.
While Universal’s inward-opening models might be better options if maximizing space is your concern, we picked this model as best because it comes with a headrest. This makes for a more comfortable bathing experience.
Just because this tub is compact doesn’t mean you need to compromise on comfort. Universal’s Acu-Stream Jetted Walk-in Bathtub tub comes with the option to add on a variety of home spa features, including chromatherapy, aromatherapy, and whirlpool jets. These are also some of the most durable tubs, cast with highly durable acrylic which tends to be long-lasting.
Why it made our list: We chose Universal Tubs because the company offers a variety of models, including designs that are more compact, as well as its availability, durability, price, and option to add on spa features.
Price and Warranty: Starting at $3,383, Universal offers a 10-year warranty on the shell, frame, and finish and a one-year warranty on all other parts. Labor and repair-related services are covered within the first 90 days of purchase.
Ariel Soaker Tub
- Standard features include the low-step threshold, built-in safety bar, anti-slip surfaces, and a hand-held showerhead.
- It’s made from gelcoat fiberglass over a steel frame for durability.
- This tub is significantly lower-priced than others.
What It’s Great for: If you’re looking for the most affordable walk-in tub, look no further.
Budget is one of the most important considerations to any shopper. If price is your top concern, Ariel offers the most affordable walk-in tubs, with their soaker model clocking in at just $1,999, to start. This standard walk-in tub has all of the features the average bather needs to wash up with safety and comfort.
Ariel walk-in tubs have a gelcoat fiberglass shell over a steel frame—a solid, durable build. These models also have an easy-to-use handle, in addition to safety features like built-in grab bars, a low-step threshold, and anti-slip surfaces. The soaker tub doesn’t have much in the way of flashy add-ons, however, Ariel baths also make affordable therapeutic soakers, like their Dual Massage Tub, which comes with whirlpool jets and an in-line water heater.
Why it made our list: Ariel’s basic soaker is our pick for budget-concerned shoppers because it’s low in price. If you want the experience of a full-body bath in a safe, accessible tub, this is a reliable choice.
Price and Warranty: Starting at $1,999, Ariel offers a one-year warranty that only covers replacement of defective parts, not the complete product.
American Standard Acrylic Luxury
- Standard features include the low-step threshold, push-button controls, built-in safety bar, anti-slip surfaces, quick drain, and optional add-on features for further customization.
- It includes a self-cleaning Air Spa system.
- The tub is made from acrylic for durable construction.
What It’s Great for: This tub is made to last—with only the finest materials.
For a high-quality tub with solid, durable construction, the American Standard Acrylic Luxury Walk-In Tub series may be the best option. This soaker tub is made with acrylic, the best possible material to finish any kind of bathtub. These tubs also come with a padded neck rest and quick drain for comfort and convenience.
When it comes to safety and accessibility, American Standard offers most of the standard features, except for an outward-swinging door. That means less convenience for those with mobility concerns. American Standard loses out for us with its price point—with the Acrylic Luxury’s base model starting at $7,838, it’s one of the more expensive options we looked at. Still, this price is backed by a generous limited lifetime warranty.
American Standard offers a few spa features to add to this walk-in tub, including a self-cleaning Air Spa system, self-cleaning whirlpool, and chromatherapy function. You can also add on a hand-held showerhead, which does not come standard with this model.
Why it made our list: We chose this tub because of its high durability and comfort features, such as the neck rest and quick drain. Additionally, American Standard walk-in tubs receive high marks from consumers on third-party review sites.
Price and Warranty: Starting at $7,838, American Standard offers a limited lifetime warranty that states American Standard will repair or replace the tub or any of its parts if they’re found to be defective under normal residential use and maintenance. Options and accessories are covered under a one-year warranty for parts only, including aprons, drains, grab bars, heaters, and trim kits.
- Chromatherapy (comes with whirlpool)
- Handheld showerhead
Safe Step Walk-In Shower
- Standard features include the low-entry threshold, push button controls, built-in safety bar, and anti-slip surfaces.
- There’s an option to include wheelchair accessibility.
- A medical-grade silhouette safety seat can be added.
What It’s Great for: This is an easy-step shower you can use with confidence.
If bathtubs just aren’t your thing, a walk-in shower is what you need. Safe Step’s walk-in shower offers the same standard safety and accessibility features of other walk-in tubs, like a sturdy safety bar and anti-slip surfaces. It also has a wheelchair-accessible option.
Safe Step is also great if you like design options. This shower’s hardware is available in two finishes: stainless steel and oil-rubbed bronze. Safe Step offers nine signature options for shower walls in smooth, tile, and fiber granite finishes.
The Safe Step Walk-In Shower can come with or without a medical-grade silhouette safety seat. It also features a three-shelf corner shower caddy, a pressure and temperature balancing valve, and an 8-inch rain shower head, which can be installed at a height that’s comfortable for you.
Why it made our list: Not everyone wants to take a bath, so the Safe Step Walk-In Shower offers a different option while also providing safety features and the option to add on wheelchair accessibility.
Price and Warranty: Starting at $4,000, Safe Step offers a lifetime warranty.
- Wheelchair accessible
Walk-In Tub Brands We Recommend
Still not sure what tub to get? We’ve reviewed the top tub companies for comfort and quality. While there are many options as far as your tub company goes, we think these ones are the best bet for walk-in tubs.
We know that shopping for a walk-in tub can be overwhelming. However, a little preparation before your purchase goes a long way. Doing your homework when it comes to your tub’s price, features, and installation needs is a necessary step before taking the plunge into bathtub ownership.
Home spa features can help make your bathtub more fun and can have practical applications. While they’re not necessary in order to have a great bath, there are potential health benefits from hot baths with massage jets, aromatherapy, or light therapy. If relief from a medical condition is your goal, then these features may be worth the extra cost.
That said, safely bathing at home doesn’t need to be a luxury. You can get a basic walk-in tub on a budget too. For other shoppers, a walk-in shower may make more sense. No matter what fixture you choose for your bathroom, home upgrades can help with safety and comfort—making aging in a place a whole lot easier
How We Wrote the Best Walk-In Tubs Article
We reviewed walk-in tubs and showers based on the following criteria:
- Features included
- Ease of entry
- Ease of installation
- Expert sources
- Customer service accessibility and performance
- Customer satisfaction reviews
- Company reputation
Why You Can Trust Our Reviews
The tub reviews that we list follow an extensive examination of manufacturers, stated specifications, and reviews. Our reviewers are people who work to ensure claims made by tub and shower manufacturers are ones that are backed up by performance and results.
Our ratings consider factors we list in the review: safety, manufacturer guarantee, installation, cost.
During our research process, we:
- Consulted with medical and tub sources
- Surveyed different models of tubs and showers
- Spent hours researching walk-in tubs and showers
- Read hundreds of verified customer reviews
Many products and services featured on AgingInPlace.org will play a crucial role in your daily life. As these products should help enhance aging at home, we work to uncover as much as possible about the products and services we review. We also consult audiologists, geriatricians, professional adult caregivers, and other experts in the field to ensure we’re providing the most accurate, helpful information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover most walk-in tubs. Medicare only covers equipment that it deems medically necessary, so it’s best to approach your walk-in tub assuming it will be an out-of-pocket purchase. There are some situations in which Medicare or another health insurance policy will cover some of the expense of a walk-in tub. Typically, you will need to obtain a prescription for one from a doctor. However, this is rare because of the complicated nature of buying walk-in tubs, like requiring expert installation.
The price of your walk-in tub will vary. It’s also hard to say a specific price that makes sense for a walk-in tub, since professional installation is another expense in addition to the tub itself. Most manufacturers offer consultations and can give you an estimate of how much buying and installing a walk-in tub will cost. If you’re hoping for extra features like massage jets or quick draining, you’ll find tubs starting around $3,500 that meet your needs.
We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of walk-in tubs, but there are some potential drawbacks, as well. Walk-in tubs are a major investment that require some remodeling of your bathroom in order to be installed. Taking a bath in a walk-in tub takes significantly longer than a regular tub, due to the time spent draining and filling while the occupant sits in the tub. On that note, walk-in baths require much more water than traditional baths or showers, which can put a strain on your household water supply.
Walk-in tubs may be worth the money if your goal is to enhance the safety of your bathroom, or if traditional bathtubs are too uncomfortable for you to enjoy. If you’re shopping on a budget, we recommend brands like Ariel, Meditub, and Universal. Ella’s Bubbles, American Standard, and Safe Step also offer a few affordable models.
Don’t assume you’ll be able to take a shower in your walk-in tub. Many walk-in tubs include a hand-held showerhead in their standard model, but aren’t a traditional bath/shower combo. For a standing shower, a walk-in shower may be a better option. Some tub companies offer a standing shower feature, but you may have to buy a shower installation kit made for walk-in tubs, like the one offered by Bath Planet.
If a walk-in tub is purchased for medical reasons, such as treating arthritis or mobility issues, then you may be able to deduct it from your taxes. The IRS allows you to deduct medical expenses from your taxes, including devices, equipment, and supplies needed to treat or prevent disease and disability. For more details on how to do this, there’s a great explanation on Ella’s Bubbles.
When cleaning your walk-in tub, do not use wire brushes, steel wool, or other abrasives. After you are finished taking your bath, be sure to rinse off all surfaces using the showerhead wand and warm water. Depending on the type of finish you have on your tub you will want to get a mild solution for a deeper clean. It’s recommended to do a deep clean on your walk-in tubs every one or two months depending on how often you use it. Check with your brand to see recommended products.
Pricing is accurate as of June 30, 2022.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
Brittany is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who has worked with geriatrics in assisted living and hospital settings. She holds a PhD in Integrative Mental Health, has published four books, and has written over 300 articles on a range of health topics. Brittany is the owner of Simplicity of Health, where she offers health writing and program development for health and wellness-related businesses.View Reviewer
- Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years | CDC
- Support ADA Compliance Directory | ADA
- Aromatherapy | NIH
- A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution | NIH
- Heat Therapy: Mechanistic Underpinnings and Applications to Cardiovascular Health | NIH
- Hydrotherapy for Arthritis | Arthritis-Health
- Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body | NIH
- Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study | NIH
- Hydrotherapy: Types of treatments | MedicalNewsToday
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