Getting in and out of the bathtub isn’t always such an easy feat — especially in your golden years. Using a walk-in tub can change that.
According to the National Council on Aging, one in every four Americans over the age of 65 falls each year, making it the leading cause of injury for older Americans — some of which can even prove fatal. What’s more, NewsUSA reports that 80 percent of these falls happen in the bathroom. Whether you or a member of your household needs a little extra help getting in and out of the bath, installing one of the best walk-in tubs can prove to be a Godsend, making for an easy way to help keep you or your loved ones from becoming a statistic.
Walk-In Bathtub Benefits
Deciding to purchase a walk-in tub can be viewed as an investment to ensure our sustained health. While the cost of purchasing and installing them can be rather expensive, if you take into consideration the amount of bathroom-related injuries that happen each year and their average medical cost (the average price for treating a fall $30,000, according to the National Council for Aging Care), it’s clear that the benefits of a walk-in tub far outweigh the cons.
The main perk of a walk-in bathtub is its convenient, waterproof door, which opens up to allow users to step in and out over a low threshold instead of hoisting themselves up over a traditional bath side. The built-in bath seat — which is often heated — also eliminates the burden of having to fully stand to get in or out of the bath.
Seniors aren’t the only ones who can benefit from these types of tubs, either: Anyone with a disability, illness, injury, special need, or even pregnant women, can use them to improve their quality of living. The built-in seat, for instance, can be extremely useful for wheelchair users, who will more easily be able to make the transfer into the bath and back again, leading to a greater sense of independence.
Many walk-in tubs also have spa-like hydro-massage, whirlpool, and Jacuzzi jets, which are great for easing sore joints and muscle pain for people of any ages.
How to Choose a Walk In Tub
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best walk-in tub for your needs. First off is the size. These tubs usually come in the standard bath tub size (roughly 60 x 30 to 32 inches), but you can get bigger or smaller ones depending on the allotted space you have in your bathroom.
You’ll also want to consider whether you prefer the door to open inwardly or outwardly (this is usually determined by bathroom space), and whether you want it to open on the left or the right.
Lastly, you have the option of choosing from a regular tub or one that has the aforementioned hydro-massaging features.
The Best Walk In Tubs
From freestanding tubs that will enable you to keep your current bathtub setup to models that will double as a jacuzzi, we’ve found 8 of the best walk-in bathtubs to suit your every need. Keep scrolling for FIRST’s picks for the best walk-in tubs for seniors.
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Best Walk-In Tub Jacuzzi
Where to buy: $5,245.49, Home Depot
A luxurious spa-like experience every time you step into the bath? Yes, please! The Universal Tubs HD Series, which features a 60-inch whirlpool, has 12 adjustable water jets and 24 air massage jets for the most relaxing bath ever.
There's a power-assisted fast drain to remove water in approximately one minute, meaning there’ll be less time spent waiting around before you can get out of the tub. With its slip-resistant textured flooring and a safe reach grab bar, you can also rest assured that you and your loved ones will stay safe.
Best Wheelchair Accessible Walk-In Tub
Where to buy: $3,757.49, Home Depot
Designed for those who use a wheelchair or who have general limited mobility, Universal Tubs' Nova heated walk-in bathtub features a large L-shaped door that will allow the user to easily scooch from their wheelchair to the bath-seat by grasping onto the two mounted grab bars.
The extra-wide molded seat and non-slip textured floor ensure comfort and safety, while a clever retractable shower attachment provides ease of use. 13 hydro jets with variable massage intensity control also make for a therapeutic and relaxing experience.
Best Luxury Walk-In Tub
Where to buy: $7,873.23, Home Depot
It doesn’t get much better than the American Standard luxury whirlpool and air walk-in bathtub. With 26 air-spa jets designed to provide an advanced water therapy effervescent massage, 13 powerful water jets for deep tissue massage, and an extra whirlpool massage system with its own in-line heater to maintain the water’s temperature, you’ll have your very own personal spa in the comfort of your home.
A large, easy-entry, watertight door system, grip bars, and non-slip flooring make it a breeze to get in and out of safely, and its quick-drain system will rapidly empty the water, so you won’t have to wait ages before you can get out.
Best Small Walk-In Bathtub
Where to buy: $3,079.52, Walmart
If you’ve been looking at all these walk-in bathtubs thinking how much you’d like to have one, but are worried that your bathroom might be too small to accommodate it, we’ve got just the solution. Avano's compact walk-in tub is half the size of a regular model (about the size of a standalone shower), but gives you all of the safe and convenient benefits of the full shebang, such as a slip-resistant floor and simple outward-opening door.
Don't let its small size fool you, either: You'll still be able to get a totally deep soak thanks to its overflow assembly, which allows you to fill the tub to the brim without worrying about spillage.
Most Affordable Walk-In Tub
Where to buy: $1,982.73, Home Depot
For a no-frills, straightforward, walk-in bathtub without too many bells and whistles, the Ariel walk-in tub is available at an affordable price while still having all of the necessary safety features (integrated seat, grab bar, slip-resistant floor) you'd get from a top-quality walk-in bathtub. You have the choice of a tub with either a left or right drain location, and its wide seat will be comfortable for people of every size and shape.
A six-month financing plan of $328 per month is also available for those who prefer to pay in smaller chunks with credit approval of a Home Depot credit card.
Best 2-Person Walk-In Tub
Where to buy: From $3,325, Amazon
The Ellas Bubbles companion soaking tub is a walk-in bathtub that can accommodate two people, providing a hot tub-like experience you can enjoy at home on a daily basis. With two 20-inch adjacent integrated seats that face each other, you can enjoy a relaxing bath with your partner or use that extra seat to comfortably put your feet up if you’re flying solo.
In addition to granting easy access in and out of the tub, its pretty stainless-steel door with tempered glass, which swings inward, makes for a stylish addition to any bathroom.
Best Freestanding Walk-In Tub
Where to buy: $1,781.99, Amazon
From cost to resale value, there are many reasons why may not want to go to the trouble of ripping out your old bathtub to install a new one in your home — particularly if your current bathtub suits the rest of your family members just fine. Empava's freestanding walk-in bathtub is designed to be placed anywhere you like: even in the middle of the room! It's got extra-wide doors, a lower-than-average step threshold (less than 4 inches), and three helpful handrails that make getting in and out of it super easy. What's more, the cushioned headrest will help to relieve any tension in the neck. Aah!