Best Manual Wheelchairs For The Bathroom

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

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Bathing is an essential activity of daily life and should, ideally, be a pleasurable experience. Helping yourself or a loved one maintain personal hygiene is a central aspect preserving independence for older adults.

Which is why we rounded up our favorite wheelchairs for restroom use. Depending on the features you need and your budget, there are six excellent choices here to help make your showering or bathroom experience easier to manage.

How We Found the Best Manual Wheelchairs for the Bathroom

8 Reviewers
47 Products Considered
10 Hours of Research
6 Products Reviewed
3 Top Picks

Best Narrow

Karman Healthcare S-2501 Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Transport Chair, Pearl Silver, 16″ Seat Width

$579.00

Features and Specifications

  • 16 Inch X 17 Inch Seat with Padded Upholstery
  • Globally Patented S-Shape Seating Frame – Alleviates pressure and reduces sores
  • Companion Brakes with Slow Down and Parking Brake function
  • 6 Inch Front Casters and 14 Inch Rear Treaded Wheels great for indoor and outdoor use
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty on Frame

Pros

  • Super lightweight.

  • Anti-bacterial upholstery

  • The fabric is removable for complete cleaning.

  • Swing-away footrests.

  • Comes assembled.

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum.

  • Well-rated by customers.

  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • A bit pricey.

  • Not designed for larger individuals.

The Karman Healthcare S-2501 Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Transport Chair has a global patent on the S-shape frame for comfort in this lightweight chair. This design reduces the chance of sores and scoliosis by distributing weight better.

It also features a companion braking system for safety to slow down and to assist in full braking. This chair is designed more for smaller individuals, so take note of that and the measurements before deciding on a wheelchair.

Aside from the smart shape, what we love most is how lightweight this chair is and the fact that the seat material is anti-bacterial and completely removable for easy washing. Naturally, this is an excellent feature in any commode wheelchair, and we think seniors looking for a low-maintenance choice will appreciate it.

Our Verdict

Slim-built yet still comfortable with a standard seat, users love this and so do we.

Best With Anti-Tippers

Traveler L4, 16 Inch x 16 Inch, Flip Back Desk Arm, Elevating Legrest

$359.95

Features and Specifications

  • Anti-tipper item number 90763230 is included

Pros

  • Foldable.

  • Sturdy steel frame.

  • Removable, padded swing-away leg rests.

  • Padded, flip-back armrests.

  • Push-to-lock brakes.

  • Anti-tippers included.

  • Adjustable seat and back height.

Cons

  • Some rare reviews of defective manufacturing.

The JE Narrow Ultralight Seat Wheelchair is a reasonably priced chair with a load of features. Its lower profile makes it a good option for overall stability and comfort, and it includes anti-tippers for safety, which will prove especially helpful for seniors accessing the toilet independently. Completely foldable, it also has swing-away leg rests flip-back armrests, and an adjustable back and seat height.

This chair also has adjustable front and rear axles to create the ideal angle for each user. It’s also relatively lightweight at only 33 pounds and yet can hold up to 300. Both the leg rests, and padded arms are removable (the armrests require a bolt to be removed to take them off).

Our Verdict

With a lower profile and included anti-tippers, this is an excellent option for stability.

Best Small Wheel

Drive Medical TR39E-SV Lightweight Folding Transport Wheelchair with Swing-Away Footrest, Silver

$142.00

Pros

  • Outstanding ratings.

  • Extremely affordable.

  • Cushioned armrests.

  • Steel frame.

  • Very lightweight.

  • Rear-wheel brakes.

  • Swing-away removable footrests.

Cons

  • Occasional complaints about quality.

The Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair is an extreme value at under $100. With no-maintenance 8-inch composite wheels, it makes a fantastic option for those who do not want large rear wheels on their chair. Its padded armrests and removable footrests offer the essential comforts without overburdening your budget.

It’s very lightweight at only 26 pounds (though it feels even lighter than that to us). With a sturdy steel frame and easy-to-clean nylon seat, this is an excellent choice for those on a tighter budget who want to feel confident using the bathroom by themselves.

Our Verdict

This chair is one of our favorites for the value combined with standard comforts and high-user ratings.

Best For Shower

DMI Rolling Shower Chair, Commode, Transport Chair, FSA Eligible, Rolling Bathroom Wheelchair for Handicap, Elderly, Injured or Disabled, Rear Locking Wheels, 250 lb. Weight Capacity, White

$114.87

Features and Specifications

  • ROLLING SHOWER COMMODE CHAIR easily moves in and out of the shower and directly over a standard size toilet. 3 in 1 commode, shower chair and wheelchair is used directly over a toilet for safer toileting or as a safe and durable shower chair with perineal…
  • COMMODE CHAIR FOR TOILET WITH ARMS has a waterproof seat and back rest to make it comfortable to sit on for long period of time
  • CHAIR FOR SHOWERING AND TOILETING is safe and secure with rear (only) wheel locks and 4 inch tires to ensure stability while the arm rests offer additional security making it easier to sit and stand.
  • HANDICAP SHOWER CHAIR easily moves across floors and thick carpets and to easily perform multiple transfers
  • TOILET CHAIR PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Overall Size: 24 x 22 x 34; Seat Height from floor: 21″; Seat Dimensions: 16″ x 16″; Weight: 18 lbs.; Weight Capacity: 250 lbs. Detailed Instructions and hardware included

Pros

  • Budget-friendly.

  • Waterproof and rust-proof.

  • Padded seat.

  • Very lightweight.

  • Rear-locking brakes.

  • Moves easily over carpet.

Cons

  • Requires a small amount of assembly.

  • Allergy note: contains latex

The Duro-Med Shower and Commode Chair is outstanding as an overall bathroom, commode, and shower chair. It’s priced extremely low and made with anodized, rust-free aluminum that makes it lightweight and able to withstand years of use without corrosion.

This chair features a waterproof PVC backrest and padded seat, making it excellent for seniors who prefer to sin in the shower. It also has rear-locking brakes, although these are easier for the caregiver to activate than the user.. It’s also important to note that while the weight capacity says it holds up to 250 pounds, some reviews say the chair is not built for heavier individuals.

Overall, we love this chair for the value and for its waterproof, rust-resistant design. It’s also exceptionally easy to clean, thanks to its wipeable surfaces. So, if you are using this for the commode, as well as the shower, that’s a huge bonus.

Our Verdict

Budget-friendly and waterproof makes this a fantastic option for the shower and restroom.

Best Self-Propel

Invacare Mariner Rehab Shower Commode Chair

Features & Specs

  • Rear wheels are 24 inches.
  • Seat measures 16 x 18 inches.
  • Seat height measures around 22.5 inches.
  • Weighs 41 pounds.
  • Weight capacity is 300 pounds.
  • Folds for easy storage and transportation
  • Tool-free adjustable height footrests

Pros

  • Foldable for storage.

  • Flip-back padded armrests.

  • It features quick-drying nylon back.

  • The chair has removable basin underneath.

  • Large wheels for self-propelling.

  • Two seat size options.

  • Adjustable height footrests.

Cons

  • A bit expensive.

The Mariner Rehab Shower Commode Chair allows you to propel yourself around the bathroom with large, 24-inch wheels. It’s smartly designed with a rust-resistant, powder-coated aluminum frame and stainless steel hardware that’s built to last

We like that they offer this model with 16-inch or 18-inch seat widths so older adults can choose the most comfortable fit for their bodies. The backrest is crafted with quick-drying nylon fabric, which is an excellent option for those who want a waterproof chair without a PVC or plastic back. It also fits over most standard toilet seats and has a small basin underneath if needed.

Our Verdict

Foldable, perfect for use in the restroom, and easy to clean, this chair is excellent for added independence.

Features & Specs

  • Seat measures 18 x 18 inches.
  • Seat to floor is 23 inches.
  • Overall measures 42.5 x 25.25 inches.
  • Chair weighs 45 pounds.
  • Weight capacity is 250 pounds

Pros

  • Outstanding ratings.

  • Seamless cushioning.

  • Swing-back, removable

  • Option for four small wheels available.

  • Sturdy construction.

  • Swing-away footrests can be removed.

  • Available in rigid frame or foldable models.

Cons

  • Expensive.

  • The seat can get slippery.

The Rehab Shower Commode Chair is designed with what’s called a “4 Slot” seat and cut-away frame to allow for peri-care without the need to change the seat. This chair can fit over most standard toilets, although a removable basin is included if needed.

The weight capacity on this model is not the highest on the market, but if a large capacity isn’t your primary concern, this chair should suffice. The lack of fabric makes cleaning more manageable as well.

The large 24-inch rear wheels make for easy self-propelling, but a model with four smaller, five-inch wheels is also an option. The seamless Ensolite™ cushion is firm to offer a durable, yet soft surface. The swing-away footrests can be removed if you like. With durable construction, this should be able to withstand years of use.

This chair is a great option for seniors who have mobility issues, but still want to bathe and use the toilet without assistance.

Our Verdict

The various options on this chair, from seat size to foldable or rigid frame, make it a favorite for a higher-end, customizable option.

The needed specifications of a restroom wheelchair are a bit different than other types of chairs. They need to be waterproof, of course, and also resistant to the types of bacteria that thrive in a bathroom setting. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for a bathroom-friendly wheelchair.

Sturdy Construction

You always want sturdy construction in your wheelchair, especially since it’s a long-term investment. This can be particularly vital when it comes to using your chair in the restroom or shower where the risk of slipping is higher. For this reason, a sturdy, well-constructed chair is vital.

Materials

What you need out of a restroom wheelchair is a bit different than a normal wheelchair. The material must be completely waterproof, from the seat to the frame. Aluminum is naturally rust-proof compared to traditional steel, and it can also be lightweight and easy to fold. However, it is a less durable option than stainless steel.

Stainless steel can make fantastic material for a bathroom wheelchair as it resists corrosion and is stronger than many aluminum models. Try to assess your own needs – or the needs of the senior you care for – and determine whether it’s more important to have a lightweight chair that’s easy to lift, or a sturdy chair that supports a lot of weight.

You also want to consider factors like what the seat is made out of and whether slipperiness will be an issue. If you need a portable, removable basin underneath, some chairs offer options like these. So, make a list of your priorities and seek out those features in particular.

Size And Maneuverability

Being able to maneuver in and out of your bathroom is obviously crucial. Having the correct architectural features for wheelchair use are ideal. However, not everyone has a home fully equipped to handle larger chairs. You may need to consider a smaller chair that fits your home.

Be sure to measure your bathroom doorway and interior before purchasing a chair for the bathroom. Also look into online ratings and reviews from other seniors who have used the wheelchair. These reviews can help you determine how well the chair locks into place or maneuvers over bumps between carpeted and tile floors, for example.

Keeping Your Chair Clean

It’s always important to keep your wheelchair clean, especially if you’re using it in the bathroom. Researching the right products to clean your chair can help prevent infections. If you’re a caregiver, there are some tips available in videos to help make restroom wheelchair transfers, cleaning, and general use a more natural part of daily life.

When choosing a wheelchair-friendly bathroom, of course, your particular requirements will determine the best chair for you and your caregiver. We love all of these options for different reasons. So, if you’re on a tight budget and need a chair for short-term use, we love the Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair, for example.

If you just want something that works well for a shower, we recommend taking a look at the Duro-Med Shower and Commode Chair with Wheels or the Rehab Shower Commode Chair if you have more room in your budget. Any of these six options are excellent for their own features. So, make a priority list of what you need, check some ratings, and you’re well on the way to a smart buy in a restroom wheelchair.

Finding the right wheelchair for bathroom and shower use can drastically improve the quality of life for seniors. These chairs can help older adults maintain their privacy, make daily hygiene less of a chore, and maintain their autonomy.

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