Best Walk-In Tub-Shower Combinations for Older Adults
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Best Walk-In Tub-Shower Combinations for Old...
Walk-in tubs are a popular home feature for older adults who want to age in place, and for anyone with limited mobility. But what if you want the benefits of a safe walk-in tub-shower combo? Fortunately, there are many trustworthy brands that manufacture walk-in bathtubs that you can upgrade to include shower equipment.
This is our guide of the top brands to consider when looking for the best walk-in tub-shower combination for your needs. We provided details about our research, as well the selection process and why we chose the brands we did.
How We Found the Best Walk-In Tub-Shower Combinations
- Most walk-in tubs can be converted into walk-in tub-shower combinations, either directly through the walk-in bath company or with the help of a local plumber.
- Walk-in baths start at around $2,000 without installation, and can go up in price to more than $20,000 for bigger tubs and for those with more therapeutic features.
- Installation costs can sometimes exceed the price of the tub, depending on factors like the tub you choose, your existing plumbing and electrical setup, and if you need a full bathroom remodel.
- Walk-in bathtubs come in a wide variety of styles designed for different needs, including two-person tubs, those specifically made for small spaces, wheelchair-accessible models, and simple soaker tubs.
Best Walk-In Tub-Shower Combinations We Reviewed:
- Best Design Features: Kohler
- Greatest Variety: Ella’s Bubbles
- Most Luxurious: Safe Step
- Best Bariatric: BOCA
- Best for Small Bathrooms: Meditub
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Walk-In Tub-Shower Combination
Tub Size and Shape
There are different types of walk-in tubs that vary based on their size, shape, and features. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of walk-in tubs available:
A walk-in soaker tub has high walls with an accessible seat. This is a common and basic style of a walk-in bathtub, and it has a lower price point than most of the options below.
A jetted tub typically has a soaker design with high walls and a seat, but it also comes with the added feature of water jets (known as hydrotherapy or whirlpool tubs) or air jets for added relaxation and pain relief. Depending on the brand and model you purchase, you can typically choose between water jets, air jets, or a combination of the two. Some models will have the option for microbubble therapy jets, tiny air jets that oxygenate the water for skin cleaning and care. The jets are also meant to stimulate the skin’s surface to help with relaxation.
A lay-down walk-in tub is similar to your standard bathtub with low walls and no seat, but this style comes with a door on the side that allows you to get in and out of the tub more easily. You won’t find these styles of tubs as often as you will see tubs with high vertical walls because they aren’t as easy to use for older adults or people with limited mobility.
A two-person tub has two seats, typically located across from one another or sometimes side-by-side. These walk-in baths provide a safe and comfortable tub for couples.
For a walk-in bath to be wheelchair accessible, it will have high walls, an ADA-compliant seat, and an L-shaped, outward-swinging door that allows for easy transfer from a wheelchair to the seat.
If you weigh more than 300 pounds or have a wider build than the average person, a bariatric tub provides the extra width and support you may need. Bariatric tubs have a wider door, seat, and frame that enhance safety and comfort for people with larger bodies.
All the various types of walk-in tubs outlined above can be converted into a stand-up shower, although not every company offers this feature. If not, your installation expert would add a separate shower head above the bath, along with a shower rod or glass screen to protect your bathroom from splashing water.
Most tubs can come equipped with a handheld shower wand, which you can use to clean off while sitting. You only need an additional showerhead if you want to take standing showers or would rather not hold the wand when showering.
Water Capacity, Fill Time, and Drain Time
One of the biggest factors that differentiates walk-in bath models from each other is the size. A larger walk-in tub can provide a more luxurious bathing experience, but there are downsides. The greater the water capacity of your tub, the longer it takes to fill and drain. Additionally, because you enter using a door on the side of the tub, you must sit inside for the entire fill and drain time. Fortunately, many companies offer fast-fill and quick drain features, as well as optional heated seats and backrests.
If you want the tub to fill and drain quickly, a plumber may need to make some changes to your pipes. Additionally, larger tubs may require a bigger water heater than you currently have. These home modifications can easily add $5,000 or more to the cost of your tub and installation, so it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of a bigger tub versus a smaller tub before making your final purchase.
One of the biggest perks of a walk-in tub is an increase in bathroom safety. Walk-in tubs have a side door with a low threshold, allowing you to enter and exit the bath with more ease. In addition to the easy-entry door design, you may also find the following safety features:
- Textured flooring: Most walk-in bathtubs have textured floors designed to reduce the risk of falling, of which older adults are at greater risk. Non-slip floors are particularly important in hybrid tub-shower models because you may choose to spend some of your time standing.
- Grab bars: Grab bars and rails provide added security when moving around in the tub. They offer a secure point for support and balance and reduce your chance of falling. When adding a shower component to a walk-in tub, consider adding grab bars higher up on the walls for accessibility while you’re standing.
- Low threshold: All walk-in tubs have a lip along the bottom you must step over when getting into or out of the tub. Lower thresholds with a step-in height of around 3 inches or less are best if you have mobility challenges.
“Falls are the most common in the bathroom, and having to step over standard tubs with decreased mobility or balance plays a huge factor in this. Stepping into a walk-in tub over just a small lip is much easier and safer for anyone that has any mobility deficits.”Sarah Stromsdorfer, an adult rehab occupational therapist and founder of My OT Spot
- Leak-proof doors: Every walk-in tub comes standard with leak-proof doors that stop water from seeping through the door and onto the bathroom floor.
- Easy cleaning: Some tubs have self-cleaning jets, significantly reducing upkeep. By lessening how often you need to maneuver around the tub to clean it, a self-cleaning tub minimizes the chance of you falling or hurting yourself when cleaning the tub.
Door and Drain Design
You have multiple options when choosing the best walk-in tub for you, and door design is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to your safety and ease of use.
All walk-in tubs have doors that open either inward or outward. Outward-opening doors are easier to navigate if you have limited mobility, and this is the only type of door that properly accommodates people who use wheelchairs. However, if you have a small bathroom or a limited budget, you may opt for the more affordable and space-saving, inward-opening door.
You should also consider door and drain orientation when choosing a walk-in tub. Most models come standard with right-side door and drain orientation. This means that the door and drain are situated on the right-hand side of the tub, the seat is on the left, and you’ll likely use your right hand to open the door and get in. The showerhead and faucet will also be on the right in this configuration. If you’re left-handed, you may prefer a left door and drain, but other considerations will help to determine your ideal door and drain orientation. You may be right-handed, but your bathroom shape might make it easier to get in and out of a left-side walk-in tub.
When replacing an existing tub, you may think it’s best to position the drain on the same side as the current tub, but most walk-in tubs have room underneath to run drain pipes so the drain can usually be positioned wherever you need it.
Next, consider the width of the door opening. If you use a wheelchair or have a wide body, a wider door will be safer and improve accessibility. And don’t forget to ask about the threshold height, which is the height of the lip you must step over when you open your tub’s door. Lower thresholds are crucial if you can’t walk or struggle with high steps.
Shawn Shambo, an occupational therapist, senior care specialist, and owner of Assisted Living Locators, noted that 3 inches is as high as he likes to see a threshold for older adults getting into a shower.
“However, with a walk-in bathtub, you have the ability to put a hand on either side of the doorway of the tub, and that maximizes your support. So that’s a huge benefit, and I would then usually assess if that would work best. I only say that because if a threshold into the bathtub were, say, 6 inches, which I don’t think they are much more than that—if any walk-in tub is higher I’d be surprised—but if it were 6 inches, that would be fine if their two upper extremities were fine and they could support themselves on either side of the tub walking in.”Shawn Shambo
One downside to a walk-in tub and shower combination is you have to wait for the tub to drain before you can open the door to get out. Depending on the tub you purchase and your bathroom’s plumbing, this draining process can take as quick as one minute or as long as 10 minutes. To ensure you don’t get cold while waiting, we recommend looking for a tub model with a fast-drain design. Some models also offer heated seats to help keep you warm while the tub fills or drains.
While you can find a simple walk-in tub-shower combination, most styles have luxury features. These options may enhance comfort, bring added pain relief, or improve usability. Here are some of the most common upgraded features to consider:
- Jets: Most walk-in tubs offer multiple jetting features, including water (hydrotherapy) jets or air jets or a combination of the two. Hydrotherapy jets render a deeper therapeutic massage than air jets, which are more for relaxation. Some tubs also offer microbubble (tiny air jet) therapy for superior skin cleaning and care.
- Temperature control: Some tubs have in-line water heaters that keep the water at your preferred temperature. This feature is important in larger tubs because longer fill times can mean the water cools down more than you’d prefer. Another temperature control is a thermostatic control valve or scald prevention valve, which ensures the water coming out of the faucet isn’t too hot. It’s important to note that thermostatic control valves generally slow down the fill rate of the faucet.
- Handheld shower wand: Most hybrid tub-shower combinations have a handheld shower attachment that allows you to shower off after a bath.
- Showerhead: A fixed showerhead is an add-on feature available with most walk-in tubs. This type of showerhead can usually be used either when sitting or standing for a traditional shower experience.
- Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy tubs typically have a designated compartment for you to add essential oils. Aromatherapy has been shown to provide multiple medical benefits including enhanced pain relief.
- Chromotherapy: A chromotherapy tub has built-in lights that change the water’s color. Because different colors have been shown to alter our moods, chromotherapy can add another layer of enhancement.
Installation and Tub Price
A walk-in tub-shower combination may cost as little as $2,000 or more than $10,000, and this price only includes the tub. Additional costs include tub installation and potential fees for electric or plumbing updates, along with bathroom remodel costs. Your existing bathroom setup and the features you desire can also influence your final price. For example, you may find a walk-in tub that easily fits where your existing bath is, or you might need to expand your current shower area to accommodate a larger-sized tub and more advanced electrical features.
We recommend taking advantage of free in-home evaluations when shopping for a walk-in tub. With an evaluation, a professional can examine your bathroom, including the plumbing and electrical, so you know your options. There may be affordable baths that work well with your current setup, or you may choose a large remodel project so you can have the in-home spa experience you’ve always dreamed of.
The Best Walk-In Tub-Shower Combinations of 2022
Best Design Features
The Kohler Bath and Shower Combo is a visually attractive option. When you purchase the combo, you choose one of Kohler’s walk-in baths and add a gooseneck shower arm and Kohler Bath Screen for an additional cost. The screen keeps your showerhead water from spraying out of the tub and is made from glass, with an elegant, minimalist aesthetic. To further create the look you want, you can choose the style and color of the bath wall, the faucet finish (chrome or brushed nickel), showerhead style, and add other matching bathroom fixtures and accessories. If you are remodeling an entire bathroom, Kohler makes other bathroom products, so you can match all of your fixtures and faucets to your new tub, making it the most design-friendly tub in our review.
Kohler has an excellent, long-standing reputation for quality and craftsmanship. However, they don’t have much in the way of third-party reviews. On Trustpilot, the company has 2.7 out of 5 stars, but there are minimal reviews. No complaints focus on the tubs, but instead are mainly focused around customer service and toilet seats not bolting in correctly. While Kohler doesn’t display many reviews on their website, the ones they do are glowing and praise the safety features of their walk-in tubs and appear to be happy with their purchases.
More design features than most brands
Wide 18-inch door
Lifetime warranty on labor and parts
Free in-home consultation required for pricing
No aromatherapy or chromotherapy add-ons
Only one jetted tub option
No heated seat
No remote control
Must use their installers
Size and Type
Kohler only provides a one-person jetted or soaker walk-in tub that you can upgrade by adding a showerhead and diverter switch, which allows you to direct the water flow to the tub faucet or the showerhead. They offer two walk-in tub sizes that are customized with panels to fit into any standard tub opening from 52-to-60-inches wide and 28-to-32-inches deep. The water capacity of Kohler walk-in tubs is around 40 to 50 gallons, which is similar to the size of a standard water heater.
Fill and Drain System
The Kohler tub comes standard with fast-drain and fast-fill technologies. However, your bathroom plumbing may need to be updated to facilitate expedited drain and fill times. I was quoted an approximately eight-minute fill time and three-minute drain time by a Kohler representative.
Kohler’s walk-in bath and shower combo offers the following therapeutic features:
- Multifunction handshower and standing showerhead
- Hydrotherapy water jets
- BubbleMassage air jets
- Heated back, shoulder, and neck surfaces (no heated seat)
- In-line heater to keep the water warm
- An extra-wide seat (21.5 inches), low threshold (3-inch step-in), and wide door (18 inches)
Ordering, Installation, and Pricing
Just like Safe Step, Kohler pricing and ordering is only available after a free in-home consultation with one of their local dealers. I was able to schedule a consultation two days after calling and being connected to HomePride, the Kohler authorized dealer for Colorado. Two representatives came to my home for a one-hour consultation. I was quoted $29,675 for their smaller-sized jetted tub with a wait time of eight to ten weeks. The additional showerhead accounted for about $3,000 of that price. Kohler is definitely the priciest of all of the options that we’ve reviewed.
As with all in-home consultation-based walk-in tub companies, the pricing appears to be somewhat negotiable and dependent on your level of commitment. They offered me a slight discount if I would commit with a 50% deposit same-day.
Installation takes less than one full day and includes all of the demo and cleanup. This even includes the removal and reattachment of my bathroom door paneling, which as it is would be too small of an opening to get the tub through. I was told I would be in charge of touch-up paint. I was assured that I would never know they were there, except for the beautiful new tub now in the room.
There are some showrooms across the country, so it may be possible to view the tub in person and get inside to see how the size and features feel.
Greatest Variety & Editor’s Choice
Ella’s Bubbles has an extensive walk-in tub portfolio with over 20 models. These models include all main types of walk-in tubs, including soaker-only, jetted, two-person, bariatric, wheelchair-accessible, and lay-down tubs. You’ll find tubs small enough for little bathrooms and models large enough for people up to 7 feet tall. In addition to the variety of tubs, the wide range of optional therapeutic features allows you to customize your dream tub-shower combo.
All of their tubs can be turned into a tub/shower combination with the addition of their shower column kit and folding tempered-glass door screen. Ella’s Bubbles’ shower column is a large, chrome rain showerhead that attaches to the existing faucet and deck with a diverter, which can adjust as high as 7 feet.
An audit of customer reviews shows that the majority of customers are happy with their tubs and the customer service received. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives them an A+ rating and 5 out of 5 stars for customer satisfaction. Google reviews also show that consumers give Ella’s Bubbles high marks with 4.8 stars out of 5. Not only do consumers praise the customer service repeatedly, but the tubs are well reviewed for their customization options, safety, and therapeutic benefits for older adults. You can also read the many glowing testimonials on the Ella’s Bubbles website.
Over 20 models
Numerous optional luxury features
Automatic cleaning features
Sold at popular retailers
Pricing available online
Dual drain technology
Lifetime limited warranty
Choose your own installer
Tubs start at $3,870 without installation
Minimal design features
Size and Type
Ella’s Bubbles has one of the most extensive selections of walk-in tubs you’ll find from one company. These tubs range in size from a small 26-by-45-inch body to a large 36-by-80-inch body. Ella’s Bubbles offers five types of walk-in tubs:
- Inward-swinging door
- Outward-swinging door, including front-entry and bariatric models
- Lay-down tubs
- Wheelchair-accessible tubs
- Two-person tubs
Fill and Drain System
Fill time varies depending on the size of the tub you choose and your plumbing, but you can expect an Ella’s Bubbles walk-in bathtub to fill to a level where you can use the jets in about 10 minutes—pretty standard for these types of tubs. Water capacity is similar to a traditional tub (about 70 gallons) and ranges to well over 100 gallons for the larger models. With the Ella’s Bubbles’ fast, gravity-driven, 2-inch dual drain, which is standard on most models, the tub empties in about 80 seconds for standard size tubs (longer for larger tubs).
Ella’s Bubbles walk-in bathtubs can include the following therapeutic features:
- Hydrotherapy and/or air massage jets
- Infusion Microbubble Therapy
- Independent foot massage
- Heated seat and backrest
- Pillows for the seat, neck, and head
Ordering, Installation, and Pricing
You can order online or purchase from a home supply store. You select your own installer and manage the project yourself or Ella’s Bubbles will suggest one in your area. Ella’s Bubbles provides pricing on their website or over the phone. Prices range from $3,870 for the smallest soaker tub up to $12,000 or more for the largest tub with all the features.
What Is Editor’s Choice?
Our team of editors and writers choose a product from each article that stands out based on our extensive research of the products we review. While it may not always be the highest-scoring product in the lineup, we’ve chosen the product based on its overall value to our audience.
Why We Chose This Product:
Not only is Ella’s Bubbles the most widely praised walk-in tub company that we’ve reviewed, but the company also offers such a large selection of models and configurations that individuals can truly customize their tub to suit their needs and mobility. In addition to providing a quality product and service, Ella’s Bubbles can be purchased online and through specific in-store retailers, giving older adults looking for a walk-in tub a range of purchasing options.
While Safe Step only manufactures one walk-in tub model (in addition to a hybrid tub-shower model, and a walk-in shower), which comes in three different sizes, the therapeutic and safety features make it an excellent option for older adults. The hybrid tub includes 11 whirlpool jets (including a bidet jet), 16 air jets, and a MicroSoothe Air Therapy System, where millions of warm air bubbles travel around the tub to cleanse and stimulate skin while keeping the water warm. Other standard high-end features include a heated seat and backrest, aromatherapy, chromotherapy, 4-inch threshold, non-slip textured base, two grab bars, non-scald temperature control valve, touch keypad with remote, safety drain button, and separate foot therapy option. You can add a stand-up shower package with a rain showerhead to all tubs—pricing can be negotiated with the sales rep. The tub also features a built-in sanitation system that circulates clean water when using the hydrotherapy jets and anti-scald technology.
A look at customer testimonials reveals some complaints about leakage and the installation process. Of course, your installation company will depend on your location, so this experience can vary. Overall, most customers were happy, but Safe Step does seem to have more complaints than the other companies we review here, mostly involving the installation company or customer service. The BBB gives them a 3.12 out of 5 -star rating and *Trustpilot gives them 3.4 out of 5 stars, with 64% of reviews “excellent” or “good” and 24% “poor” or “bad.” Meanwhile, reviewers on Google gave Safe Step high marks, with 4.4 stars out of 5 out of hundreds of reviews.
*Trustpilot’s scoring platform doesn’t simply collect an average of reviews but is affected by three main factors: Recent reviews weigh more heavily than older ones; companies that collect reviews more frequently will have a more consistent score; and to ensure balance for companies with fewer reviews, Trustpilot automatically includes the value of seven reviews worth 3.5 stars in all calculations.
Many luxury features come standard
Arthritis-friendly door lock and drain lever
Multiple self-cleaning features
Three finish options for faucet and fixtures
Free in-home consultation required for pricing
Only one tub model available
Size and Type
The Safe Step Walk-In Tub comes in three sizes, all the same price. There is a 28-by-48 inch model, which holds 75 gallons of water; a 28-by-51-inch model, which holds 85 gallons; and a 31-by-53-inch model, which holds 98 gallons. These will all fit into a standard tub opening (with the use of filler panels). The size that you choose should be determined by your body size. A Safe Step representative reported that 95% of sales are for the 85-gallon tub because that fits the average-sized person best.
All Safe Step tubs come with an S-shaped, inward-opening door that is 40.5 inches at the top and 20.5 inches at the bottom, so that it can be opened and closed while the bather is sitting or standing. All Safe Step tubs have a 4-inch threshold, which is a little higher than the recommended 3-inch threshold that many other tubs offer, but is still low enough you won’t have to lift your knees too high.
Fill and Drain System
Safe Step provides both a fast-fill and fast-drain system. The exact fill and drain speed vary depending on the tub capacity you choose, as well as your plumbing. You may need to alter your plumbing to accommodate faster fill and drain times. When you schedule a free in-home consultation, the consultant will outline the options for your home.
Hardware and Faucet Options
Hardware and faucets come in chrome standard or oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel for an upcharge. If you select chrome, the jet casings will also be chrome. If you select bronze or nickel, the jet casings will be white.
Safe Step’s Hybrid Tub offers the following therapeutic features:
- Hydrotherapy jets
- Air jets
- MicroSoothe Air Therapy System
- Heated backrest and seat
- Rainfall showerhead and handheld shower wand
- Sanitation ozone purification system and mold-resistant gel coating
- Floating remote in addition to the standard on-tub keypad
- Four-inch step threshold
- Automatic temperature regulation and anti-scald technology
Ordering, Installation, and Pricing
You cannot order a Safe Step tub without a free in-home consultation. Fortunately, they have representatives across the country ready to provide consultations as soon as the same day. I called my local Safe Step supplier and was able to schedule a same-day appointment. Their representative spent 90 minutes with me measuring, checking out my plumbing and electrical setup, and providing a quote. He was somewhat pushy towards the end of our consultation, so this might not be the preferred route for anyone who wants to avoid dealing directly with an aggressive salesperson. I have received several check-in phone calls since the consultations.
Pricing is clearly negotiable with multiple “sales offers” happening all the time (i.e. military families, AAA members, seasonal specials). I was quoted $18,950 for their flagship model, the MicroSoothe Jetted 85-gallon tub. When I asked about the cost of adding a shower package to my tub, the rep looked through his papers and plugged in numbers to his computer, then declared, “If you buy today, I will include it in your purchase.” There are no “set” prices with Safe Step.
Safe Step provides their own professional installers and promises a one-day installation process. This included removing my current tub and all of the surrounding tile, but no other adjustments to my current bathroom. For my location, I was given a timeline of six to eight weeks for the final installation—a long time to wait due to shipping delays and availability of installers.
BOCA walk-in tubs come in seven sizes—from small tubs meant for small areas to tubs built for people who weigh up to 450 pounds and are 6 feet, 6 inches tall. In addition to being one of the brands that offers a bariatric tub for bigger bodies, BOCA’s tubs have the lowest threshold height that we’ve seen. At 2 inches or less, you’ll barely have to step up to enter a BOCA tub, which is helpful if you have decreased mobility. A rainfall showerhead column may be added to any tub for an extra $500. They do not offer a glass door or screen so you will need a rod and shower curtain.
BOCA has high marks on third-party reviews sites, including on Google, where the company has 4.6 out of 5 stars, with consumers praising the customer service and quality of the tub, as well as its therapeutic benefits and safety features for older adults. While there are no review profiles on sites like Trustpilot and BBB, across Yelp and Angie’s List, BOCA gets high scores.
Low, 2-inch step-in height
No in-home consultation required for pricing
Bariatric tubs available
Boca installation or hire your own
Lifetime warranty covers all parts and components
Vibe Music System
Made in the U.S.
Basic soaking tubs start at over $8,000
No outward-swinging door options
Size and Type
BOCA’s tubs include jetted or soaker tubs, two-person baths, bariatric tubs, and tub-shower combinations. There are seven walk-in tubs, ranging from 26-by-51 inches to 32-by-62 inches, with water capacities ranging from roughly 40 to 80 gallons.
Fill and Drain System
As with other high-end brands, BOCA provides tubs with expedited fill and drain technology. The caveat is that your plumbing must accommodate these features, which may require some additional plumbing work.
BOCA’s walk-in bathtubs have all the optional high-end features you could ever want, including:
- Hydrotherapy jets (water jets)
- Air jets
- Microbubble therapy
- Heated seats and backrest
- Temperature control settings
- Vibe Music System (built-in Bluetooth speakers that work with the chromotherapy to provide a “musical light show”)
- Vibro Sonic Massage (vibrating pods that can be used instead of air or water jets)
Ordering, Installation, and Pricing
BOCA gives you the option of using your own installer or one of theirs. All tubs are custom made to order in Georgia and take about four to six weeks for delivery. BOCA is one of the only walk-in tubs entirely manufactured in the U.S. Installation generally takes less than a day.
Tubs may be ordered by email or over the phone after you have provided photos and measurements to a sales representative. They do not require an in-home consultation. The sales rep I worked with was helpful and provided a lot of useful information through email, without being pushy. She even provided a price list, so these are set prices and not up for negotiation. Prices range from $8,430 for a small soaker tub to $20,000 and up for large tubs with all of the features. The prices did not include installation, which can range from under $1,000 to well over $3,000, depending on the amount of plumbing and electrical work required and your location.
Best for Small Bathrooms
Meditub is one of the few companies with models designed to fit into spaces even smaller than your average bathtub footprint. For this reason, if you want to install a walk-in bath-shower combination in a small existing shower slot or in a little bathroom, Meditub offers options for these areas. These narrow tubs still provide luxury and safety features, allowing a safe and soothing spa experience in tiny homes, apartments, or mobile homes.
Meditub doesn’t offer a traditional tub and shower combination, although each tub has a handheld shower wand that you can mount to the wall. Alternatively, Meditub recommends having a plumber install an independent showerhead when putting in the tub, the cost of which may range from around $200 to $1,000, depending on the head you choose and the cost of labor to install it.
Meditub has limited customer feedback online but the few reviews available reveal primarily positive experiences. On Google, the brand has 4 out of 5 stars, with consumers praising the therapeutic benefits of the tubs for older adults.
Prices start at less than $2,000
Tubs can fit into small spaces
14 walk-in tub models
Purchase through Meditub or local dealer
Hire your own installer
No luxury tub-shower combo
High 7-inch threshold on some tubs
Mediocre warranty coverage
Only comes in chrome for faucet/hardware
Size and Type
Meditub has a wide variety of tub sizes and styles that suit most shoppers. For example, you may opt for a simple soaker walk-in or one with jets. The tub types include those with inward- and outward-swinging doors, and there are wheelchair-accessible walk-in models. The tub size can be 26 to 36 inches wide, 38 to 60 inches long, and 37 to 42 inches high. Water capacity can be as little as 40 gallons to as much as 95 gallons.
Fill and Drain System
Meditub provides similar fast fill and drain designs as other leading competitors. The auto drain system can drain in as little as a minute, although this is for a tub with a small water capacity and adequate drain and pipe size.
Meditub offers high-end therapeutic features similar to what you’ll find with other walk-in tub brands. These features include:
- Air massage jets
- Hydrotherapy (water massage jets)
- Heated seat and backrest
- Headrest pillow
Ordering, Installation, and Pricing
When I spoke with a Meditub representative, he recommended purchasing the tub directly through them rather than a third-party dealer in order to save money. After providing him with measurements, he suggested a model, then we went through the available therapeutic options. He quoted a price of $3,999 (without installation) that could clearly be negotiated. There was some talk of special sales “just for me” and I got the feeling that the longer I stayed on the phone with him, the more I could negotiate the price.
Tub delivery takes three to four weeks. Meditub doesn’t provide installation, so you would need to hire a plumber of your choice to install the tub and shower combination.
Other Walk-In Tub-Shower Combinations We Recommend
Although we focused on other standout options, two walk-in tub-shower combination brands deserve honorable mention on our list. Both American Standard and Universal Tubs offer quality walk-in tub-shower combos that are worth your consideration.
American Standard is a well-known company offering bathroom, kitchen, and commercial fixtures. They carry a variety of walk-in tub-shower combinations in three lines: Gelcoat Value Series, Gelcoat Premium Series, and Acrylic Luxury Series. American Standard tubs offer basic options as well as options that include hydrotherapy and chromatherapy features.
Pricing ranges from $5,202 to $9,877, and each series has a variety of sizing options to fit your space and needs. Some models have hydrotherapy and chromatherapy options available to customize your therapeutic experience, adding calming and soothing effects. Built-in grab bars are standard on all models, and all models offer a choice between a left-side or right-side door and drain. The lines also include models with both inward- and outward-swinging doors.
Universal Tubs walk-in tubs and tub-shower combos are available through Home Depot and are an excellent choice for anyone who wants an affordable, accessible option. Universal Tubs’ models are reasonably priced, ranging from $1,989 to $3,990. Their price point is especially appealing to anyone on a tighter budget looking for upgraded safety and accessibility in their tub or shower.
Models offer a variety of features, including air jets, whirlpool jets, microbubble infusion, and combinations. Universal Tubs also offers standard soaking walk-in tubs for those looking for a more basic option. Safety features across all models include a low-entry threshold for easy entry and exit, safe reach grab bars for enhanced stability, slip-resistant stepping surfaces, and ADA-compliant seating. The option for a left-hand or right-hand side door and drain is available for most models.
When considering Universal Tubs, be aware that Home Depot may not offer installation services in your area, and installation through a separate contractor or service may be necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Most walk-in tubs come with a handheld shower wand and can be upgraded with a full-size showerhead that works for a shower when standing or sitting. Even if you choose a walk-in tub that doesn’t have the option to upgrade to a shower and tub combo, a local plumber can set this up for you.
Some walk-in tubs use a similar amount of water as a regular bathtub, which means you won’t need to buy a water heater with a greater capacity. However, some models—especially those designed for larger people or for couples—hold more water and require larger water heaters.
Whether a shower or bath is safer depends on an individual’s needs and preferences. When choosing either, however, purchasing a walk-in model with a low threshold will be beneficial for older adults who want to age in place.
According to Gerald Carpenter, a professional plumber, consultant, and advisor, “The most basic models without any massage features are available for $2,000 to $3,000 without installation. Low-end models with hydro-massage cost from $5,000 to $10,000. Specialty models can reach $15,000, while premium models can get up to $20,000 and higher. The average installation cost depends on the complexity of the required process and varies from $2,500 to $8,000.”
Walk-in tubs are more expensive than regular tubs. Additionally, you will have to pay to install the new tub, which may include updating your plumbing and electrical. Or you might have to do an entire bathroom remodel, depending on your bathroom and the tub you choose. Finally, some walk-in bathtubs have a larger water capacity than a standard water heater supports, which may require a new water heater.
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover walk-in tubs in most cases because they don’t typically qualify as “durable medical equipment.” You can find more details regarding durable medical equipment qualifications from Medicare.gov. While coverage is unlikely through standard Medicare, it’s sometimes possible with state-specific supplemental Medicare plans or through Medicaid with a detailed written prescription from your doctor.
In most cases, yes. If you purchase a walk-in tub as recommended or prescribed by your doctor, or if it is otherwise considered a medical necessity, your walk-in tub can be tax-deductible and classified as a medical expense.
Nicole Gleichmann contributed to this report.
Lauren Sherman, M.S., is a health content writer with a master's degree in human genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, laboratory experience at National Jewish Health, and clinical experience at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She has extensively researched products to help those wanting to age in place such as medical alert systems, walk-in tubs, adjustable beds, and oxygen concentrators.View Author
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
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