Is the Safe Step Walk-In Tub Right for You?

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Updated onJul. 05, 2022
The Hybrid™ Tub

The Hybrid™ Tub

Key Takeaways: 

  • Safe Step is a leading provider of walk-in tubs and showers for people with limited mobility.
  • The tubs have built-in safety features, such as non-slip flooring, anti-scald valves, and grab bars for a hassle-free bathing experience.
  • Each product is tailored to the customer’s needs and can be fitted with additional features for a more relaxing bath. 
  • The Safe Step walk-in tubs come in different sizes to accommodate any bathroom—big or small. 

A Guide to the Safe Step Walk-In Tub

Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). It takes just one wrong move to lose your balance and end up with a fractured hip, slipped disk, or head injury. Perhaps not surprisingly, such accidents often occur in the bathroom—especially in or around the tub or shower. The CDC has estimated that falls are responsible for about 80% of all bathroom injuries, including contusions, head trauma, hip fractures, strains, and sprains. Considering these risks, it makes sense to take preventive measures, such as switching to a walk-in tub and using non-slip bathtub strips.

Elderly woman batroom fall

“A walk-in tub offers safety features that most traditional tubs don’t have, which can make them a great choice for the elderly,” said Shawn Shambo, an occupational therapist, senior care specialist, and owner of Assisted Living Locators. “In general, walk-in tubs are safe because they have low thresholds and grab bars to help prevent falls. They are key for anyone with limited mobility or who cannot get up easily from a slippery tub.”

A good choice is the Safe Step Walk-In Tub, which comes with two built-in grab bars, anti-slip seating, and other safety features. What’s more, it can also be used as a whirlpool or hydrotherapy bathtub. 

Safe Step has been in business since 2008, offering specialty walk-in tubs and showers designed with safety in mind. For example, the Safe Step Walk-In Tub is equipped with anti-scald valves for water temperature control. While the company’s products appeal mostly to older adults and people who have undergone surgery or have reduced mobility, cutting-edge features—including the ability to customize your bathing experience with the built-in LED keypad in addition to the waterproof remote control—can appeal to everyone in the family.

Pros and Cons of Safe Step Walk-In Tubs

If you’re ready to purchase a Safe Step tub, make sure you fully understand its advantages and drawbacks. Walk-in tubs can make your life easier, but they’re not for everyone.

Pros
  • Increased safety and comfort

  • Premium features for a spa-like experience

  • Multiple customization options

  • Anti-scald valves for temperature control

  • Quick fill and drain capability

  • Hassle-free cleaning

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Lowest price guarantee

Cons
  • No physical stores

  • No outward-opening door

  • Not wheelchair accessible (except for the Safe Step Walk-in Shower)

  • No emergency call button

About Safe Step Walk-in Tubs

safe step walk in tub logo

Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., the Safe Step Walk-In Tub Company is committed to helping older adults maintain their independence and enjoy a better quality of life. The company’s products are designed to make the bathroom safer and offer a spa-like experience for all ages. Each model can be personalized to your individual needs and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

What makes Safe Step stand out is its strong focus on safety and convenience. The company’s walk-in tubs and showers come standard with chromotherapy, aromatherapy, and standout safety features for a luxurious bathing experience. Other manufacturers offer these perks too—but they often charge extra for them. 

Safe Step also offers professional installation services for all of its tub models at no additional cost. Its plumbers are trained in walk-in tub and walk-in shower installation and can typically handle the job without the need for extensive remodeling. After an initial consultation, they will come to your home to remove the existing tub and install the Safe-Step walk-in tub or shower. The entire process usually takes just a day or two. 

The company offers three models: walk-in tubs, walk-in showers, or hybrid tubs. Safe Step’s walk-in tubs are deeper than standard bathtubs and come with anti-slip flooring, handheld shower wands, and built-in grab bars, which make them suitable for people with limited mobility. The standard model isn’t as sophisticated as a hybrid tub, but it ticks all the boxes in terms of safety. 

Safe Step Walk-In Tub Models

Safe Step Walk-In Tubs come in two different models, including a standard walk-in tub and a hybrid option for bathing and showering. (There’s also a third option, the Safe Step Walk-In Shower, which doesn’t include a bathtub.) All products are built for comfort and safety, but they have slightly different features and price points. 

Let’s take a closer look at each model to help you make the right choice:

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The Safe Step Walk-In Tub can be a good choice for older adults with joint or back pain and other issues affecting their mobility. This model offers a number of safety features that make it easier to step over the side of the bathtub and enjoy a soothing bathing experience without having to worry about slips or falls. Plus, it has a compact design and can be customized based on your space requirements. 

Considering that six out of every 10 falls occur at home, it makes sense to choose a tub that puts safety at the forefront of its design. Safe Step’s safety features include an anti-slip floor and seat, comfortable grab bars, built-in towel bars, and a handheld shower wand. There’s also a floating remote control and LED keypad that enables users to easily control the settings. 

Another interesting feature is the rapid-drain system, which allows you to leave the tub more quickly. If, say, you start to feel sick while taking a bath, you can empty the tub and open its door within minutes. What’s more, the locking handle doesn’t require physical strength, meaning that you can easily lock and unlock the door. 

As far as its design goes, the Safe Step tub has a low 4-inch entry threshold, a built-in seat, and multiple water jets that can help relieve tension. It also comes with a bidet-like feature, which can be useful for those with limited mobility due to low back pain, spinal cord injuries, or arthritis. 

What you’ll pay depends on the cost of the installation. First of all, you need to consider your space requirements. Second, there are additional luxury features available such as light therapy colors, 16 air bubble jets, or the Safe Step Air Therapy System. Installation is included in the price. 

According to Angi.com, the starting price for Safe Step tubs is around $2,500, but you could pay up to $10,000 depending on the model and what features you need. Some reviewers on third-party sites said they paid $17,000–$26,000 for their tub bundles. The company offers discounts for veterans and other groups plus flexible financing options, which may help lower the cost. Ask your dealer for more pricing details.

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If you’re looking for a more compact option, consider using a walk-in shower rather than a tub. These products take up less space, provide better accessibility, and come with a lower price tag compared to bathtubs. On top of that, they’re more energy-efficient and consume less water. As you would expect, installation is faster and easier too. 

The Safe Step Walk-In Shower comes with a variety of hardware finishes, from chrome and brushed nickel to stainless steel. Customers can also choose between nine wall options and multiple colors, materials, and textures. The minimalist design and cutting-edge safety features allow for easy wheelchair access while reducing the risk of falls. 

This model includes an 8-inch rain shower head, a handheld shower wand with multiple spray patterns, and two ergonomic grab bars. Like other Safe Step products, the walk-in shower allows you to easily control the hot water flow thanks to the built-in pressure and temperature balancing valve. Depending on your budget, you may also opt for a medical-grade safety seat and other features, such as anti-slip flooring. 

Walk-in showers may not offer as much privacy and comfort as a bathtub, but they’re cheaper and more convenient. Plus, you can install one in any type of bathroom, no matter its size. The price depends on the cost of materials, finishes, installation, and features, but it’s typically lower than that of a walk-in bathtub. Ask your dealer for pricing details.

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Are you having a hard time deciding between a walk-in tub and a walk-in shower? Perhaps you’re more of a shower person, but you still want to enjoy a relaxing bath every now and then? In this case, you may want to check out the hybrid tub from Safe Step. This model combines the best features of a walk-in tub and shower for the ultimate bathing experience. 

Safe Step’s Hybrid Tub is designed for optimal comfort, with 10 hydro-massage jets, 16 air bubble jets, and built-in safety bars, plus an aromatherapy and chromotherapy system. Basically, it’s an upgraded version of the walk-in tub. You’ll get the actual tub, a complete shower package, and premium bathing facilities for a spa-like experience. 

The tub can only accommodate one person at a time, so you can’t use it while someone else is taking a shower. But even so, it’s superior in terms of comfort and privacy compared to a standard walk-in shower or bathtub. The high-walled enclosure prevents spills out of the shower, while the air jets deliver a full-body massage. The grab bar and other safety features, on the other hand, allow you to safely get in and out of the bath. Ask your dealer for pricing details.

Standard Features of Safe Step Walk-In Tubs

Except for the walk-in shower, Safe Step’s tubs have similar features. As far as the size is concerned, you’ll have to discuss your space requirements with a consultant. Also, remember that some features are standard, while others are optional. 

With that in mind, let’s break down the key features of Safe Step walk-in tubs. 

Safety 

  • Convenient safety handle: Lock and unlock the bathtub doors with minimum effort.
  • Built-in grab bar: Get the support you need to safely get in and out of the tub.
  • Antimicrobial gel coating: Keep your walk-in tub free of bacteria, mold, and other germs.
  • Anti-slip tub flooring and seating: Have peace of mind knowing there are protections in place to reduce your risk of slipping while bathing. 
  • Wide doors: Enter and exit the tub safely, even if you have mobility issues.
  • Ease of access: The low step-in can reduce the risk of trips and falls. 
  • Temperature control: All Safe Step tubs come with anti-scald valves that mix cold and hot water to prevent burns. 

Convenience 

  • Built-in water heater: The heated seat and backrest ensure a comfortable bathing experience from the moment you step into the tub.
  • LED keypad: Control the water jets, the seat heating system, the chromotherapy lights, and other features with the touch of a button.
  • Quick-drain system: Thanks to this feature, you can drain the water in your walk-in tub 38 times faster than normal.
  • Fully adjustable handheld shower hand: Enjoy increased convenience when washing your hair or cleaning the tub without having to bend over.
  • Fast-fill faucet: Fill your tub in no time, and enjoy a relaxing bathing experience even when you’re on a tight schedule.

Therapy

  • MicroSoothe Advanced Air Therapy System: Hydrate and exfoliate your skin with a flow of oxygen-rich air bubbles that release heat into the water. 
  • Personalized bathing experience: The Safe Step tub features 10 water jets designed to soothe sore muscles and aches.
  • State-of-the-art ozone cleaning system: Enjoy pure, clean water every time you take a bath.
  • Built-in bidet: The tub seat has a built-in bidet that allows you to easily clean hard-to-reach areas from a comfortable position.
  • Color therapy: Choose from seven chromotherapy lights that promote relaxation and calm your mind. 

How to Purchase a Safe Step Walk-In Tub

old man with laptop

Now that you know more about Safe Step walk-in tubs, you may be wondering how to purchase one. 

Unlike other manufacturers, Safe Step doesn’t have physical stores. Its products are only available online—but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

Online stores have lower overhead costs than brick-and-mortar retailers, which allows them to pass on the savings to customers. Plus, you’ll have the chance to talk directly with a Safe Step consultant and cut out the middleman. 

While it would be nice to see the products in person before making a purchase, you discuss your needs on the phone. Here’s what you can expect. 

The Safe Step Consultation

If you are interested in buying a Safe Step tub or shower, simply visit the company’s website and request a free quote. You’ll need to enter your name and contact details or call customer service. 

The consultants at Safe Step will take the time to answer your questions and assess your space requirements. They’ll also tell you more about each product, how it works, and which features fit your budget. 

Following the initial consultation, a safety consultant will come to your home to check the water heater, plumbing and electrical systems, and other existing fixtures. These services are free of charge. Next, you’ll receive custom recommendations, along with a price estimate. 

Customers with diabetes, arthritis, or other conditions may qualify for a $750 rebate per person, or $1,500 per household. As mentioned earlier, the company also offers various discounts for older adults, veterans, and other populations, so make sure you ask about it. 

The Installation Process 

The Safe Step tub is available in different sizes and can be customized according to your needs. Once you’ve decided on a model, Safe Step will install it in your home. They’ll also remove and dispose of the existing tub, inspect the water heater and other fixtures, and clean up after themselves.  

Most tubs are installed within one or two days, depending on your bathroom layout. This service is included in the price of your new walk-in tub. (If you hire an external contractor, expect to pay $5,000 to $8,500 for installation alone. In some cases, it can cost as much as $14,000 to install a hybrid tub.)

Safe Step offers significantly lower rates than that. Moreover, its contractors are fully certified and insured, and their work is backed by a written guarantee. These services are available for any type of household, except for rental homes and rental apartments. 

Safe Step Walk-In Tub Pricing

The cost of a new walk-in tub depends on its features and the complexity of the installation. For example, you can expect to pay more if the plumbers must replace the water supply hardware or drain piping, or install new flooring to fit the tub. Optional features, such as the Dual Hydrotherapy Massage System, can further increase the price.

Your best bet is to contact Safe Step and request a free quote. The company offers custom financing plans, but you may also be able to get a loan from your bank or credit union. 

Lifetime Warranty 

Safe Step’s lifetime warranty is hard to beat, as it covers both the tub and its parts, including the door seal, water pumps, faucets, and more. It also covers any manufacturing defects, as well as the shower components. Additionally, customers receive a two-year warranty on bathtub caulking. 

The warranty covers the labor on repairs too. However, some services are only covered if the installation is completed by a Safe Step contractor. If you hire external contractors and they do a poor job, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for remedial work. 

Other Walk-In Tub Brands We Recommend

Safe Step tubs can be an excellent choice for those with mobility issues, offering world-class safety features and state-of-art amenities. The standard walk-in tub, however, isn’t wheelchair accessible because it doesn’t have an outward opening door. Additionally, there is no way to see the tub before placing your order. 

Leaving these aspects aside, this brand offers great value for the money and can be a game-changer for people with back pain, arthritis, musculoskeletal disorders, or injuries. But even so, you should still research your options and check out other brands to see how they compare with Safe Step. 

For example, Kohler Walk-In Tubs include a multifunctional shower head, a low 3-inch threshold, and extra-wide seating. 

Another good choice is Meditub, which offers 14 types of walk-in tubs in different sizes. Customers can opt for premium features such as air jets, extension kits, and ergonomic pillows for the head and neck. 

Ella’s Bubbles Walk-In Tubs, on the other hand, come with double seats, inward/outward opening doors, anti-scald valves, and accessibility features, depending on the model. 

We also recommend Jacuzzi’s line of walk-in tubs for a spa-like experience in the comfort of your home. These products are not cheap, but they have whirlpool jets, dual-pin locking doors, built-in shelves, and other premium features. 

Bottom Line

The Safe Step walk-in tub can turn bathing into a safer, more relaxing experience for older adults and people with limited mobility. All models come equipped with a safety grab bar, air jets, anti-slip flooring, and other features designed to maximize your comfort and prevent bathroom injuries. The Hydro-Jet Therapy system and other premium amenities promote relaxation, allowing you to unwind when you need it the most. 

Another advantage is that you’ll get a lifetime warranty and personalized recommendations. Whether you opt for a walk-in tub or a shower, the product will be tailored to your needs. And since the final price covers the cost of installation, you won’t have to worry about hidden fees or extra charges. 

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

Walk-in tubs and showers are not classified as “durable medical equipment” (DME), so Medicare doesn’t cover their cost. However, Medicare Advantage offers supplemental benefits that are not covered under other plans, and it may offset the cost of a walk-in tub. In some cases, these products are considered a medical necessity. If your doctor can provide a prescription for walk-in tubs, you may receive some kind of reimbursement from Medicare Advantage. But even so, you need to pay upfront for your tub and have it installed prior to applying for reimbursement.

WRITTEN BY

Andra Picincu is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer with more than 12 years of experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Business. Her mission is to help people live healthier lives by making smarter food choices and staying active. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services as well as nutrition counseling.