The Best Walk-In Tubs For Seniors – Reviews, Cost & Comparison

This guide will provide a clear overview of the best walk-in tubs to help you find the right tub and a clean comparison of the extra safety comfort features that separate the tubs.

Our TOP PICK

American Standard

American Standard Walk- In Bathtub reviews

Best Air Massage

Ella Ultimate bathtub

Ella Ultimate Walk-in Bathtub | Best Walk-In Tubs

Most affordable

Empava Acrylic

Empava Acrylic Walk-InTub Freestanding Soaking Spa Left Side Door Bathtub

Nowadays more than 75% of the Americans above age 50 prefer to “age in place,”, according to AARP[1]

This desire to remain in their home comes with some risk.  As our bodies age, our ability to survive falls or simply to move about the house safely gradually erodes.

The most dangerous room in the house for an “age in place” senior is the bathroom. A recent study[2] published on the National Council On Aging shows that one in four Americans above 65 years falls each year and that predominantly happens in the bathroom.

Walk-in tubs are an excellent investment to make bathrooms a safe space for many seniors. So we’ve evaluated the 5 best walk-in bathtub brands here. Check out the best picks on our comparisons.

Best Walk-in Tubs 2021

BEST OVERALL
American Standard 3252OD.709.CLW-PC Gelcoat Value Whirlpool and Air Spa 32"x52" Left Side Outward Door Walk-In Bathtub in White
RUNNER-UP
Ella 93217 Ultimate Walk-in Bathtub, 30" x 60" x 38", White
Empava EMPV-WIT373 52.5" Acrylic Freestanding Walk-in Bathtub
Ariel EZWT-2651-SOAKER-R Gelcoat Fiberglass Walk in Bathtub Right Side Drain, 51"H x 36"L
Ella's Bubbles OA3052H-R Capri Hydro Massage Acrylic Walk-in Bathtub, Right Outswing Door, Thermostatic Faucet, Dual 2" Drains, 30" x 52", White
Our Score
97
94
93
90
88
Product Dimensions
52 x 32 x 40 inches
60 x 30 x 38 inches
52.5 x 26.5 x 40
36 x 26 x 51 inches
52 x 29.5 x 43 inches
Materials
Fiberglass
White acrylic shell reinforced with fiberglass gel coat
Fiberglass
Enameled Steel Tubs
White acrylic shell reinforced with fiberglass gel coat
Item Weight
151 pounds
220 pounds
110 pounds
234 pounds
220 pounds
Safety Features
Grab bars, anti-slip floor
Grab bar, anti-slip floor
Grab bar, anti-slip floor
N/A
Grab bar, anti-slip floor
BEST OVERALL
American Standard 3252OD.709.CLW-PC Gelcoat Value Whirlpool and Air Spa 32"x52" Left Side Outward Door Walk-In Bathtub in White
Our Score
97
Product Dimensions
52 x 32 x 40 inches
Materials
Fiberglass
Item Weight
151 pounds
Safety Features
Grab bars, anti-slip floor
More Information
RUNNER-UP
Ella 93217 Ultimate Walk-in Bathtub, 30" x 60" x 38", White
Our Score
94
Product Dimensions
60 x 30 x 38 inches
Materials
White acrylic shell reinforced with fiberglass gel coat
Item Weight
220 pounds
Safety Features
Grab bar, anti-slip floor
More Information
Empava EMPV-WIT373 52.5" Acrylic Freestanding Walk-in Bathtub
Our Score
93
Product Dimensions
52.5 x 26.5 x 40
Materials
Fiberglass
Item Weight
110 pounds
Safety Features
Grab bar, anti-slip floor
More Information
Ariel EZWT-2651-SOAKER-R Gelcoat Fiberglass Walk in Bathtub Right Side Drain, 51"H x 36"L
Our Score
90
Product Dimensions
36 x 26 x 51 inches
Materials
Enameled Steel Tubs
Item Weight
234 pounds
Safety Features
N/A
More Information
Ella's Bubbles OA3052H-R Capri Hydro Massage Acrylic Walk-in Bathtub, Right Outswing Door, Thermostatic Faucet, Dual 2" Drains, 30" x 52", White
Our Score
88
Product Dimensions
52 x 29.5 x 43 inches
Materials
White acrylic shell reinforced with fiberglass gel coat
Item Weight
220 pounds
Safety Features
Grab bar, anti-slip floor
More Information

Our Top Pick: American Standard Gelcoat Value Outward Walk-In Bath Tub

American Standard is a popular brand when it comes to bathrooms, kitchens, and walk-in bathtubs.

Since 1872 American Standard has been leading in North America as a manufacturer for quality plumbing and building products.

They offer over 100 different walk-in bathtubs with grab bar features and quick drain systems.

Their innovative products are designed in a way to ensure safety and comfort to their user.

American Standard walk-in tub is available in wide arrays – from outward-opening doors to whirlpool air bath features.

They also made soaking models and safe tubs with water jets to allow for an ultimate relaxation experience.

Every American standard walk-in tubs are built along the safety guidelines to fit the needs of the people with less mobility.

They are built with an Air Spa System and a Whirlpool Massage System to create an invigorating and relaxing bathing experience.

The whirlpool massage system with 6 water jets and an inline heater delivers the therapeutic legs-only massage.

The outward swinging door with a low threshold is built to allow for ease of entry and exit. An Air Spa System with 21 air jets offers water-based luxurious massage.

The heated blower delivers warmness through different bubbles which encourages circulation.

It is made up of hi-gloss Gel coat with quick fill faucets and a handheld shower wand. 

The inbuilt grab bars and textured floors are used to prevent slipping off the seat, which allows a safe bathing experience.

The compliant seat height is contoured in a way to allow you to sit comfortably as you bath. The tub is available in White and Linen color with the faucet deck mount.

The Quick drain feature quickly drains the water in 2 minutes making it safe to open the door.

This is a solid product with a lifetime warranty on the door seals and a ten-year warranty on the tub’s shell.

Also, the company offers five-year warranty on tub components.

Pros Cons
Quick Drain Facility.

Spa experience with whirlpool massage and air spa system for a reasonable price.
Extra care to be taken while using the showerheads.

Best Air Massage - Ella Ultimate

Ella’s Bubble offers many high-quality walk-in tubs with accessible showers and other bathroom accessories.

They specialize in offering safety solutions such as ADA compatible walk-in showers, slip-resistant floors with the seats and handlebars modeled in a way to fulfill bariatric needs.

Ella’s products also cover a microbubble therapy that keeps the tub and the water clean and warm and helps to exfoliate and moisturize the skin.

Additionally, the tub includes aromatherapy, chromotherapy, standalone air, hydro, and foot massages features that provide the users to recreate a spa at home.

Among the many Ella models, this model stands out due to the triple-massage system.

Ella’s Dual drain technology requires no power and provides a quick filling facet and 2 gravity-driven drains that helps your tub to drain quickly which minimizes the time of your loved one who wants to sit in the tub.

It is equipped with 2 openers and 2 overflows for fast drainage from the tub.

The inbuilt seat is 20 inches wide and is contoured for extra comfort.

These tub frames are built up with stainless steel material and the tubs white acrylic shell is covered with layers of gel coat providing a non-porous surface resistant to molds.

Low step-in threshold of 8.5 inches is built for easy step in and step out.

For extra safety, two bars are provided to offer stability while standing or sitting in the tub.

A textured floor with a slip-resistant feature is made to enhance the safety of the user.

The triple massage setting includes foot massage, hydro jets and air jets which deliver therapeutic massages to your back, hips, feet, and legs.

The 17 Air therapy system helps to remove residual water from the pipes.

The company also gives a limited lifetime warranty on the frame door and door seat.

This tub can be the perfect walk-in tub because of its narrow entry and can be considered as the best overall tub for its spa features.

 

Pros Cons
A triple-massage system which includes a combination of air and water jets.

Dual drain system for quick easy drainage.

Fast Filling faucet.
Narrow entry.

Most Affordable - Empava acrylic freestanding soaking spa bathtub

Founded in 2015 in Los Angeles, Empava is the fastest-growing Kitchen and Bath Appliances manufacturers in the United States.

They deliver appliances like jacuzzi, bathtubs, sauna, and everyday kitchen mainstays like ovens and stove tops.

The products are designed in a way to improve the quality of your everyday life.

This Empava walk-in tub model is highly appreciated due to its ultra-low step-in threshold which is less than four inches, this allows users to take short steps while entering the tub.

It lets you to feel safe and secure as it helps to prevent water from spilling into your bathroom floor.

Standalone streamline design with glossy white design can boost up your bathroom decor.

External handrails and non-slip surfaces are built in for added safety while sitting/standing.

This tub comes with pre-installed faucets, copper drain, pillow, a cabled left side drain, faucet, Knobs, hand-held shower head for easy installation.

This tub also offers an inbuilt seat so that the user can be immersed up to the shoulder in the water and can relax and feel additional soaks.

The door is 20% wider than other walk-in bathtubs and provides enough space for the user to step in and out of the walk-in bathtub easily.

If you are looking for a SPA like experience for seniors and disabled people then, you can get Empavas walk-in tub. It is worth a try!

Pros Cons
Good for Soaking, SPA, Bathing.

Easy to install.

Looks great and luxurious.

Affordable.

Few users complained that the seat is not that comfortable.


Best Walk in Shower - Ariel Soaker Gel Coat Fiberglass Walk-In Bathtub With Right Side Drain

Ariel is a lesser-known brand but provides highest quality bathroom products that are specifically designed to provide a spa-like experience at home.

The products which they have designed are crafted with attention so that they can provide unparalleled quality that is not seen in the market and can give their customers a dream bathroom.

Ariel tubs comes in three different models – A simple soaker tub, Tub With Air Massage, and a dual massage tub.

Ariel’s basic Soaker Fiberglass bathtub model comes with all the safety and accessibility features. These walk-in bathtubs come ADA compliant and are available in varying sizes.

Built of a high-quality steel frame, this tub is made up of a gel-coated fiberglass shell for extra protection.

Other features include bars for extra safety, easy lever door handles, a handheld showerhead, a low threshold to make entry and exit easier specifically for those who have mobility issues.

This tub could be an excellent choice for the ones who are looking for a full-body bath experience.

Pros Cons
Affordable.

Best for disabled or seniors.

Soaker tub doesn’t come with any therapeutic features

Best Accessible - Ella's Bubbles Malibu Hydro Massage Acrylic Walk-in Bathtub

The Ella Malibu 30″ x 52″ x 43″ is an outward swing walk-in tub with a 20″ built-in seat, perfect for average body size.

Ella’s bathtubs are made up of white acrylic along with a glossy fiberglass to provide extra durability.

To ensure effective safety and comfort, special attention is taken to the slip-resistant flooring of the tub and stainless steel grab bars to offer good grip. The company also takes extreme care for an outward swing door with a low step threshold for easy entry, and exit.

This tub is equipped with therapeutic packages, including a 16 Air Jets Therapy system, 14 jet hydro massage system, and Infusion Micro-bubble system.

The Jet air system removes residual water from the pipes, whereas the hydro massage system is used to increase your relaxation.

The infusion micro-bubble therapy system can get rid of your dead skin cells and keep your skin hydrated.

With Dual Drain technology, it ensures fast drainage. It comes with two different faucet options, Fast Fill and thermostatic faucet.

It comes with a wall extension kit to fit a 60” tub opening.

Ellas Malibu model offers one of the best value full-featured walk-in tubs in the market.

Pros Cons
Affordable.

Failed to offer long warranties periods on the parts.

What are walk-in Tubs?

Walk-in tubs are special bathtubs with watertight doors and molded seats that allow the person to bathe safely at home.

Compared to conventional tubs, these tubs have low threshold entry for increased safety specifically for seniors and disabled people.

Many walk-in tubs come with molded seats to ensure that the user is sitting in an upright position while immersed in air-jetted water instead of lying down and soaking.

Walk-in bathtubs can provide up to four feet of water depth compared to the traditional tub which has a depth of 13 to 14 inches and allows for a thorough soak.

A Walk-in tub can be a great choice for those who have mobility issues or who cannot get up easily from in a slippery tub.

Walk-In Tubs

How do walk-in tubs work?

Walk-in tubs are equipped with tight doors and a low threshold entry to make it easier for the seniors to enter the tub without lifting their legs.

The sealing provided on the doors keep the water inside the tub and does not leak onto the floor.

The fast drainage system in the walk-in tubs does not allow the user to stay in the tub for a longer period.

The tub has a variety of features like adjustable bubble jets, handrails, a hand-held shower, and inbuilt chair level seats.

How to Buy the best walk-in tubs?

1. Budget

Walk-in tub prices range from $1,500 -$20,000 depending on the quality, features, and the installation cost the tub offers. So do your basic research and then buy it.

2. See the Space for your walk-in tub

Check the available space for your walk-in tub before buying. The ideal tub is usually around 60 inches long and the width ranges from 25 to 60 inches. Technicians who perform an inspection may assist you to get the correct tub dimensions and may help you to choose the best.

3. Check the hot water capacity

Walk-in tubs may hold more water compared to your water heater so it would take much time for the water to reheat in the tank. So consider buying a larger water heater or models with an in-line heater to avoid waiting and sitting in cold water.

4. Choose the type of walk-in tub

Types of Walk-In tubs

Before buying a walk-in tub, you may need to check various walk-in tub types and the different safety and therapeutic features the various models have.

1. Soaker Tub – This is a basic and the most affordable tub which does not have any fancy air or water jets.

2. Wheelchair Accessible Tubs – Wheelchair accessible tubs allow people who use wheelchairs to transfer from a wheelchair to the bathtub more easily. This is done with the outward swinging door. The seat provided with this tub is generally shorter in height compared to other tub seats.

3. Bariatric Walk-In Tubs  These tubs are larger compared to standard models and are designed for obese individuals around 300 lbs or heavier.

4. Aerotherapy (Air Jet) Tubs – Walk-in tub with jets are designed to provide bubbling water giving your body a gentle massage. They help in draining and cleaning the tub by preventing bacteria from building up in the water.

5.Aromatherapy Tub -This kind of tub allows bathers to try and mix essential oils with the water to gain an aromatic experience. You can use lavender, jasmine, and other relaxing scents as well.

6.Hydrotherapy Tubs – These tubs have water jets that provide an intense massage to the user which helps in relieving joint pain They also have air jets. The added power can harm the sensitive skin of the user.

7. Chromatherapy –  It uses colored light in combination with water which can create soothing effects.

8. Combination Tubs.- There are other walk-in tubs apart from these basic ones. You can find different combinations of tubs like fast-draining tubs, inward and outward swinging door tubs, walk-in showers, etc.

SEE ALSO – Best Adjustable Bed for your loved ones.

5. Look For Basic Walk-in Tub Features

Walk-in tubs have important features that one needs to look at before investing in the walk tub.

Handrails

Most of the Walk-in tubs have handrails already installed to avoid slip surfaces. This is best for disabled or senior people. You can even install a grab bar on the wall near the tub for extra safety.

Grab Bars

Self-Cleaning System

To avoid manual cleaning of the tub you should consider self-cleaning tubs.

Self-cleaning tubs just need bleach and dishwashing soap or else you can look for tubs that have an ozone cleaning system that helps to keep the tub clean.

Non-Slip Textured Floor

Nowadays most of the walk-in tubs have a non-slip textured surface to prevent slipping while entering and going out of the tub. If you are buying a tub for a senior or disabled person then you should look for this feature.

Fast Drain System

If you want to avoid sitting in a bathtub for a long time waiting for the water to drain then you should look for a fast filling faucet and fast drain systems.

Fast Drain System

Built-In Seat

Nearly all the models include an inbuilt seat so that the user can have a safer bathing experience since it can easily step in and step out.

Step – Up Height

Step up height is the height of the threshold that goes to the tub. Lower the step-up height the better it is. Mostly step-up height for these tubs is 3-7 inches.

6. WALK-IN TUB WARRANTY PACKAGE

Before buying a walk-in tub it is important to understand the warranty on all the components, what it covers, and whether it offers a lifetime warranty period.

7. PROFESSIONALLY INSTALLED

Walk-in tubs are an expensive endeavor so proper care should be taken while installing them or maintaining them.

Customers should choose an installer who is well trained or may choose its trusted local plumber to get it installed.

What are the benefits of a walk-in tub?

Every person has different needs when it comes down to the bathing experience, and some like to go extreme than usual. 

  • Convenience

Every person who uses a walk-in tub can gain an advantage from their convenience. When you have a tiring day, you can have a long hot bath. It has a front door opening and a seat to rest and enjoy while taking a bath. 

  • Safety

Seniors, kids, and people with injuries have the highest risk of falling in the bathroom. To alleviate this stress, walk-in tubs are a great option and are designed with handlebars for holding out whenever needed. 

  • Luxury

Walk-in tubs offer many therapeutic and luxury features for everyone who uses them. You get hydrotherapy, chromotherapy, massage jets, and molded seats to enhance your bathing experience. 

  • Affordability

Many people think about the cost of switching from standard tubs to walk-in tubs. However, walk-in tubs are affordable and are made from quality material that lasts for a long time. 

Faq’s about Walk-In tubs

  • How many gallons of water does it take to fill a walk-in tub?
    Walk-in Tubs can hold a maximum of 40 -80 gallons of water while the traditional tub can hold 25 to 45 gallons of water. While looking for a walk-in tub you need to check your water heater's capacity as well.
  • Are walk-in tubs worth it?
    Walk-in tubs compared to standard bathtubs comes with safety features like a low threshold to avoid slipping, handrails, slip-resistant flooring, with inbuilt seats making it well worth the price.

    Other features it includes are the massage jets, automatic cleaning system, handheld shower wand making it worth the price.
  • Are walk-in tubs covered by Medicare?
    Medicare does not include walk-in tubs as they are no considered as a durable medical equipment.
  • Will Medicare pay or help pay for my walk-in tub?
    Medicare doesn't pay for your walk-in tub.
  • I use a wheelchair, is there a walk-in tub for me?
    Many walk-in tubs known as slide-in tubs or transfer tubs are designed specifically for wheelchair users. They have doors that are swinging outward doors to give access to the seat. A transfer tub would be the best option for you to get as its step-up height is not more than 5" and makes easy for the user to move from its seated position.
  • Are walk-in tubs safe for seniors?
    Walk-in tubs are best for seniors and disabled people as it has different safety features like non-slip textured surfaces, grab bars, handrails, ADA complaints seats to reduce risk of falls and accidents.
  • How long does it take a walk-in tub to fill up or drain?
    A Walk-in tub may take 6 to 15 minutes to fill or drain. However, tubs with fast faucets may take just a few minutes.
  • Can you have a walk-in tub with a shower?
    There are few walk-in tub models with a shower combination also known as a walk-in shower. A Walk-in shower has the option for a standup and seated shower with hand-held shower wands and easy controls.
  • Who are the best walk-in tub companies near me?
    A few of the best walk-in tub companies are American Standard, SafeStep, and Ella Bubbles that are popular brands in the household industry.

  • How much do walk in tubs cost?
    Walk-in tubs are a big investment and their cost ranges from $1500 -$20000 depending on the quality features and the installation cost that the tub offers.
  • What Can you expect to pay?
    Many retailers have a wide range of walk-in tubs with proper specifications at a low price that you may not find at a particular company.

    Bear in mind, big stores do not cover installation charges in their pricing. You can easily double the price tag depending upon the efficiency of the job when you are installing the walk-in tub.

    Take a look at the common price-range of the walk-in tubs:

    Low-threshold shower and common soaker: $1,200 to $2,500 Massage system (air bath and whirlpool): $2,100 to 3,500
    Dual Hydrotherapy massage: $3,000 to $5,000
    Accessible for wheelchair and bariatric: $4,500 to $5,000
    Features and luxury items inclusive: $5,000 and Plus

Amazon Recommended Walk In Tubs For Seniors

Title

Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

We hope you have some clarity now to find the walk-in tub.

The perfect tub with its safety features can prevent your older loved ones from getting any injury and thus can improve the quality of their life.

Though it is expensive it is worth the money.

All the above walk-in tubs are solid with most of them catering to budgets. To save your time, we chose American Standard Walk-in Tub as the best choice for your home.

It is one of the best walk-in tub with amazing features and spa experiences.

Before going through with a purchase, double-check all the factors you need for your walk-in tub to make sure you are truly getting the best walk-in tub for your loved ones.

References

ABOUT PENSIONS WEEK

Pensions week focuses on sound retirement strategies making aging easier for the seniors. Here you will find resources from senior housing and safety to money, health, investment and care, etc that may help you gain clarity around your retirement.

 

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Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

9 thoughts on “The Best Walk-In Tubs For Seniors – Reviews, Cost & Comparison”

  1. I found the walk-in tubs very useful. These sit in tubs have come handy for me. I can easily shift on the walk-in tub from my wheelchair. I have the American standard walk in tub installed in my home. I loved the quality and enjoy my experience in the tub. It is a great mobility gear!

  2. I am so happy with these walk in safety tubs. I choose Ella’s Bubbles Malibu Hydro Massage Acrylic Walk-in Bathtub for my grandmother. I installed it a week back and she loved it. It was amazing to see that the tubs works great and installation was done perfectly. I loved you review, it was really helpful!

  3. Ricardo B. Griffith

    Let me say, the EMPAVA’s walk in bathtub with jets functioning and the furnishing is excellent. This is a great tubs at a very affordable price. I loved it. The tubs was very easy to order and was delivered unharmed. Only issue i had was the drain working very slowly. Rest the tubs is great! I would recommend you go through this guide and find the best one for you like it found mine!

  4. I was looking forward with my bathroom renovations when i landed on this article. I found the walk in tubs amazing. I loved they way they look and offer such good benefits. I am happy I found something useful for my mom as well. These walk in bathtub cost are very reasonable and that is the best thing that i liked apart from the Hydrotherapy system.

  5. Hello Beth! I work for Ella’s Bubbles and we are thrilled to hear you chose the Malibu! I hope your grandmother is loving it!!!

  6. I went through this American standard walk-in tubs reviews and finally got it for my mom. It was comfortable to use and my mom was able to get inside the tub without any assistance. These walk-in tubs with shower, hand grips, and anti-slip flooring are perfect for the seniors. I was most worried about it but my mom is overall happy with the product.

  7. Hi, I loved this review of bathtubs for seniors, however, I wanted to know that can I install walk in tub with shower? My mother likes to take shower rather than sitting and spending her time in a tub. What would you suggest?

  8. I have this walk in tubs and showers at my home for nine months now and I must say I have no regrets. I absolutely love the comfort and the pleasure these tubs offer me! Great choice of bathing experience and safety if you are looking for your loved one.

  9. Hi, I have been searching for full immersion walk-in bathtubs for seniors. I loved the Ella’s walk in tub, however, I am still confused. Can you help?

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