As you get older, daily tasks such as taking a shower and using the bathroom can become more difficult. If you’re an elderly person living alone, or if your aging parent is finding it increasingly hard to bathe themselves, you should consider buying them a walk-in tub.
A walk-in tub is essentially a bathtub with doors at the entrance and exit, making it easier for the elderly to enter and exit safely. They are more than standard bathtubs because they provide more room for seniors to move around and enjoy their shower sessions.
Walk-in tubs are sold in different colors and styles that fit into any bathroom design. While they come in varying sizes, it’s important to make sure you choose a model that fits your loved one’s height and weight.
Walk-in tubs are not only beneficial for the elderly, but they can also be useful for everyone. If your partner is disabled, using a walk-in tub could help them regain their independence.
Furthermore, parents can use a walk-in tub as an extra bathtub whenever their kids invite their friends over. Or maybe you just need a bathroom solution that makes it easier for you to bathe and get in and out of the shower conveniently.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about walk-in tubs from the definition, benefits, types, and even some of the best brands available in the market. We will help you choose a good walk-in tub for your loved ones to keep them happy. Let’s get started!
What Are Walk-in Tubs?
Walk-in tubs are bathtubs specifically made for seniors and people with mobility issues. These tubs have doors at the entrance and exit, making it easier for seniors to step in and out.
They are also deeper than standard bathtubs, providing more room for seniors to move around while still fitting inside. For those who still want to shower inside a bathtub, walk-in tubs feature a showerhead extension for this purpose.
Walk-in tubs can be installed in any bathroom size or shape because they are built with a relatively narrow profile. Most walk-in tubs measure at least 60 inches but may come in various lengths or sizes depending on their brand and model.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Walk-in Tub?
Walk-in tubs come with many benefits for the users. Here are some of those benefits:
- Provides Safety and Comfort
A walk-in tub provides comfort and safety because it has special doors that offer an easy way in and out. The doors keep users from falling or slipping when trying to get into the bathtub.
- Provides More Room
Walk-in tubs are deeper than standard bathtubs, so they provide more room for seniors to move around inside. This makes it easier for them to bathe themselves without feeling cramped.
- Convenient and Stylish
A walk-in tub is made from durable materials, which means that it will last a long time. Walk-in tubs are available in a wide range of colors, designs, shapes, sizes, and styles, so you can find one that works for your bathroom.
- Improves Health
Elderly people who have a hard time bathing themselves may suffer from skin problems due to a lack of hygiene. When seniors bathe regularly, they are less likely to develop these health issues.
- Can Be Customized
A walk-in tub can be customized to fit individual needs. For example, walk-in tubs typically come with slip-resistant flooring for added safety. Some even come with built-in seats or armrests to provide extra comfort while bathing. Others are customized to suit the individual height and weight.
What are the Different Types of Walk-in Tubs?
When it comes to walk-in tubs, there’s no one type that fits all. Walk-in tubs come in different types to suit different needs and health conditions. Here are some of the types available in the market today.
- Soaker Tub
This is the basis of walk-in tubs, with their main feature being safety. The tub is built with a modest size and comes in several ranges of colors.
The manufacture of these tubs considers all ADA-compliant features such as height and non-slip floor. Most of them are fast-draining so that you can exit much faster. They are also easy to clean.
- Wheelchair Accessible Tubs
For wheelchair users who usually have a hard time making even a single step, walk-in tubs are here for you. These tubs come with a seat that will help wheelchair users get into the tub and sit comfortably.
After bathing, these seats can be converted into a chair so you can relax for a bit before getting out of the bathtub. They also come with wide doors so the user can easily slide from the wheelchair to the seat.
- Bariatric Walk-in Tubs
Bariatric walk-in tubs are an ideal solution for people who’re larger and weigh more than 300 pounds. The tubs are larger than the average walk-in tub, offering up to 30 inches of seating space.
They are also made sturdier to hold more weight for safe use. They also come with other special features, such as an extra-deep soaker tub and built-in armrests.
- Aerotherapy (Air Jet) Tubs
These walk-in tubs are created to provide aerotherapeutic benefits to the body. They’re equipped with air jets that help increase blood circulation and relieve muscle stress.
These tubs create warm, humid air that moisturizes your skin while bathing. The warm air helps with respiratory issues and relieves sinuses.
Because of their design, this type of tub is very comfortable to sit on and use for those who have arthritis or other joint pain conditions.
- Hydrotherapy (Water Jet) Tubs
These are just like the soaker tubs but with an added feature of bubbles or jets for massaging purposes.
The bubbles provide the soothing effect while the jets give your body a good workout, making both ends meet in terms of health benefits.
They’re also called whirlpools or jacuzzi tubs. It’s advisable not to use this for bathing infants and toddlers due to the bubbles and jets.
- Aromatherapy Tubs
This type of walk-in tub is equipped with a built-in aromatherapy system that can release scents while bathing.
The purpose of this feature is to provide a relaxing and soothing effect on the mind and body.
Some of these tubs even provide mist sprays and colored lights to add to the overall experience. These types of bathtubs are usually expensive but can be quite a luxury.
- Chromatherapy Tubs
This type of walk-in tub is just like the aromatherapy ones but with an added color therapy feature. The jets and bubbles work together with the lights to create a colorful experience while bathing.
It’s also equipped with built-in speakers and Bluetooth so you can play your favorite tunes while relaxing in the tub.
- Combination Tubs
These are walk-in tubs that also come with a shower feature. The showerhead comes in the form of a hand-held wand that you can use to rinse your body while bathing. The jets and bubbles are also available to create that total spa experience for you.
This makes them ideal for people who want the water jet effects but prefer a faster way of getting out.
Also, it’s more convenient for individuals who have shorter bathing times to switch between the two options rather than waiting.
What Types of Walk-in Tubs Are Adequate for a Senior Loved One?
If you’re getting a walk-in tub for a senior loved one, it’s best to avoid the luxury ones as they’re more expensive. Because of this, it’ll be a struggle for them to maintain its upkeep and operational costs.
For seniors who have difficulty moving around, a wheelchair-accessible one is what you should go for since it comes with a transfer seat.
A medium-range one will also do just fine depending on the needs of the senior. This way, you can expect a good return on your investment, and they can enjoy a comfortable bath time with ease.
Best Rated Walk-in Tubs For Seniors
Now that you know what to expect from a walk-in tub, it’s time to choose a perfect one for your loved one.
Well, there are many brands to choose from in the market, but you can’t just pick any of them. Here are the top-rated walk-in tubs for seniors that you should consider:
- BOCA Walk-in Tub
The walk-in tub from BOCA comes with a wheelchair harness and slip-resistant floor made from a sturdy polymer material. The walk-in door, too, is designed to be easy to open while providing added stability for the senior loved one.
The units also come with a five-year warranty which you can get extended to 10 years for a small price. For a brand that has been in the market for more than 10 years, the BOCA Walk-in tub is sure to provide good value for money.
- American Standard Walk-in Tub
The American Standard Walk-In Bathtub manufacturer goes out of its way to ensure seniors receive the love and care they deserve in a walk-in tub.
The tubs are made to be user-friendly and are wheelchair friendly with comfortable armrests. They are durable, easy to maintain, and are designed for safety.
To make it even better, they come in different colors, so you can choose an option that goes well with your senior’s bathroom theme.
- Safe Step Walk-in Tub
The Safe Step Walk-In Tub is an ADA-compliant tub manufacturer that always has its user’s safety in mind.
The brand makes some of the best walk-in tubs with features like anti-slip floors, grab bars, and transfer seats. The tubs are also easy to install with better construction quality than most units in the market.
- Kohler Walk-in Tub
The Kohler Walk-in Tub is another brand you can trust when it comes to walk-in tubs for seniors. Their bathtubs feature slip-resistant material, are made from durable materials, and are super easy to clean.
This is the perfect pick for seniors with arthritis or other related conditions since it has a textured floor for added safety while bathing.
- Jacuzzi Walk-in Tubs
Jacuzzi tubs are worth your consideration if you’re looking for brands that come with hydrotherapy features.
This brand provides the most relaxing bathing experience possible, and their walk-in tubs are no different.
They come with a built-in portable air massage, body therapy jets, or bubble bath for an even more intense experience. This is no doubt the perfect gift you can give to your grannies.
Walk-in Tub FAQ
How long does it take to install a walk-in tub?
Most walk-in tubs are designed to be installed in a single day. However, the installation may take more time, depending on the fixtures and appliances you have in place.
The time it takes will also depend on your home layout and design. A good walk-in tub should be easy to install so that you can expect a longer lifespan from it, as well as the fittings and plumbing involved.
What’s the size of a walk-in tub?
Walk-in tubs come in different sizes and designs, so you need to know the best way to measure your space beforehand.
The walk-in tub will fit into a standard bathtub space which can be round, square, or even oval in shape. If you’re unsure how large your bathroom is, you can start measuring it now before choosing a suitable walk-in tub model.
The standard and most common models usually measure 60″ x 32″.
How much does it cost to install a walk-in tub?
Installing a new walk-in tub can cost you anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000. This price depends on the brand and model you have in mind. You can also expect an increase of around ten percent of this total amount if you’re planning to install a walk-in tub in your bathroom renovation project.
Does Medicaid pay for walk-in tubs?
Medicaid will pay for a walk-in tub, but you will need to meet the usual requirements and conditions. Keep in mind that this is only limited to low-income families and individuals only.
You also need to provide proof of income, insurance card, and your Social Security Number before getting approved for your family’s new walk-in tub.
Are walk-in tubs safe for seniors?
It’s important that you purchase a walk-in tub that has been tested and approved safe for seniors. You need to check the standards and requirements of your state’s laws on this matter first before going ahead with the installation.
There are also a lot of walk-in tub reviews online, which can help you choose a model suitable for seniors.
Where can I find the best deals on walk-in tubs for seniors?
If you’re looking for the best deals on walk-in tubs for seniors, Southeastern Walk-in Tubs is the place to be.
We’ve served people with mobility issues and seniors with perfect walk-in tubs for their needs for over 20 years. We have a large stock of models, brands, and options available to suit your preferences and budget.
Book a consultation with us today and let us get you a walk-in tub that suits your needs.