Walk-in tubs offer comfort and security for seniors. Here we have covered the best walk-in tubs for your loved ones.
According to AARP, more than 75% of the people over 50 prefer to ‘age in place.’ Aging in place means they prefer to stay in their home as opposed to moving to a retirement community. This trend will only continue to get stronger, and establishing a safe home environment is a key objective.
Caregivers and adult children with proper planning can modify their homes and routines for seniors so that objectives can be achieved. From a statistical perspective, the most dangerous room in the house for seniors is the bathroom.
A recent study published on the National Council On Aging shows that one in four Americans above 65 falls and suffers a serious injury each year. The room that this happens in most often is the bathroom.
And the area where it happens most often in the bathroom is the transition into and out of the tub. This brings us to the topic of this article which is to preview the Best Walk-in tubs.
Walk-in tubs are an excellent investment to promote safety to seniors during baths. In this guide, the best walk-in tubs reviews will help you find the tub you need with extra safety and comfort features.
What are walk-in Tubs?
Walk-in tubs are special bathtubs with watertight doors and molded seats that allow the bather to bathe safely at home. Compared to the conventional tubs, these tubs have low threshold entry to increase safety specifically for seniors and disabled people.
The molded seat ensures a user can sit in an upright position while immersed in air-jetted water instead of lying down and soaking. Walk-in tubs 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.
Walk-in tubs can be a great choice for the people who have mobility issues or who cannot get up easily from in a slippery tub.
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 keeps water inside the tub and does not leak onto the floor outside the tub. The fast drainage system in the walk-in tubs doesn’t allow the user to stay in the tub for a longer period of time.
The tub has a variety of features like adjustable bubble jets, handrails, showerheads, and the inbuilt chair level seats.
Best walk-In Tubs of 2020
American Standard Gelcoat Value Outward Walk-In Tub
American Standard is a popular brand when it comes to bathrooms, kitchens, and walk-in tubs. 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 tubs 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 soaker models and safe tubs with water jets to allow for an ultimate relaxation experience. Every American standard walk-in tub is built along the safety guidelines to fit the needs of the people with less mobility.
American Standard walk-in tub built with an Air Spa System and a Whirlpool Massage System to create 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 opening 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 Gelcoat 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 for safer bathing.
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 features quickly drain 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 tubs shell. It also gives a five-year warranty on tub components.
|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.|
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Runner Up – Ella Ultimate walk-In Tub
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 showers, slip-resistant floors with the seats and handlebars modeled in a way to fulfill bariatric needs.
Ellas products also cover a microbubble therapy that keeps tub and the water clean and warm and helps to exfoliate and moisturize the skin. Additionally, its other features include aromatherapy, chromotherapy, and standalone air, hydro, and foot massages providing users to recreate a spa at home.
Among the many Ella models, this model stands out due to the triple-massage system. Ellas Dual drain technology with no power required provides a quick filling facet and 2 gravity-driven drains that help 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, 2 overflows for fast drainage from the tub. The inbuilt seat is 20 inches wide and contoured for extra comfort. These tub frames consist of stainless steel material and its tub white acrylic shell is covered with layers of gel coat providing a non-porous surface resistant to molds.
Low step-in the threshold of 8.5 inches is built for easy step in and step out. For extra safety, two grab 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 Ella walk-in tub offers a sturdy and long-lasting tub designed along the lines of safety and therapeutic features. This tub can be the perfect walk-in tub because of its narrow entry and may be considered as the best overall tub for its spa features.
|A triple-massage system which includes a combination of air and water jets.|
Dual drain system for quick easy drainage.
Fast Filling faucet.
empava acrylic walk-in tub freestanding soaking spa left side-door 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, or everyday kitchen mainstays like ovens and stovetops.
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 the ultra-low step-in threshold which is less than four inches that allows users to take short steps while entering the tub.
It helps you to feel safe and secure as it helps to prevent any water spilling into your bathroom. Standalone streamline design with glossy white design can boost up your bathroom decor.
External handrails, grab bars and a textured slip-resistant floor 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, showerhead, which are pre-installed to ensure an easy installation process.
This tub also offers the inbuilt seat so that the user can be immersed to the shoulder in the water which creates a relaxing feel for additional soaks. The door is 20% wider than other walk-in bathtubs that provide enough space for the user to step in and out of the walk-in bathtub easily.
If you are looking for a SPA like comfort experience for seniors or disabled people then you can get, Empavas tub which is worth a look.
|Good for Soaking, SPA, Bathing.|
Easy to install.
Looks great and luxurious.
|Few users complained that the seat is not that comfortable.|
Ariel Soaker Gel Coat Fiberglass Walk-In Bathtub With Right Side Drain
Ariel is a lesser-known brand but provides the highest quality home bathroom products designed to provide a spa-like experience at home.
The products they design are crafted with attention to details so that they can provide unparalleled quality which is not seen in the market and can give their customers a dream bathroom.
Ariel tubs come 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 i.e all the walk-in tubs come with ADA compliant and in varying size.
Built of a high-quality steel frame this tub is made up of a gel-coated fiberglass shell for extra protection. Other features include grab bars for extra safety, easy lever door handles, 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 by offering extra safety amenities for disabled people or for seniors.
Best for disabled or seniors.
|Soaker tub doesn’t come with any therapeutic features|
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 20″ built-in seat, perfect for average body size. Ella’s bathtubs are made up of white acrylic with glossy fiberglass to provide extra durability.
To ensure effective safety and comfort special attention is taken on the slip-resistant floor, stainless steel grab bars to offer good grip, an outward swing door with a low step threshold for easy entry, and exit.
Finally, this tub comes with therapeutic packages- Including 16 Jet Air Therapy system, 14 jet hydro massage system, and Infusion Microbubble system, The Jet air system removes residual water from the pipes whereas the hydro massage system is used to increase your relaxation.
The infusion microbubble therapy system can get rid of your dead skin cells and keeps your skin hydrated. With Dual Drain technology, it ensures fast drainage.
It comes with two different faucet options like- 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.
|Affordable.||Failed to offer long warranties periods on the parts.|
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How to Buy the best walk-in tubs?
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 keeps water inside the tub and does not leak onto the floor outside the tub.
The fast drainage system in the walk-in tubs doesn’t allow the user to stay in the tub for a longer period of time. The tub has a variety of features like adjustable bubble jets, handrails, showerheads, and the inbuilt chair level seats.
Walk-in tubs are a big investment and their price ranges from $1500 -$20000 depending on the quality features and the installation cost that 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 standard walk-in 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 that to avoid waiting and sitting in cold water.
4. Choose the type of walk-in tub
Before buying a walk-in tub, you may need to check various walk-in tubs types and the different safety and therapeutic features the various models have.
1. Soaker Tub – This is a basic and the most cost 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 – The jets in these tubs 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 a 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 shower tubs, etc.
5. Basic features of a walk-in tub
Walk-in tubs have important features that one needs to look before investing in the walk tub.
Grab Bars Or Hand Rails
Most of the Walk-in tubs have two grab bars or handrails already installed to avoid slipping outside the tub. This is best for disabled or senior people. You can even install a grab bar on the wall near the tub for extra safety.
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 are have a non-slip textured surface to prevent slipping while entering and going out of the tub. If you buying a tub for seniors or disabled people then you should look at 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 the fast filling faucet and fast drain systems.
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 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. This walk-in tub is very important for seniors who have limited mobility.
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 the warranty period.
7. PROFESSIONALLY INSTALLED
Walk-in tubs are an expensive endeavor so proper care should be taken while installing it or maintaining it. Customers should choose an installer who is well trained or may choose its trusted local plumber to get it installed.
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 heaters 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, grab bars, slip-resistant flooring, with inbuilt seats making it well worth the price. Other features it includes are the massage jets, automatic cleaning system, hand shower making it worth the price.
- Are walk-in tubs covered by Medicare?
Medicare does not include walk-in tubs as they are no considered 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?
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 shower combination also known as a walk-in shower. Walk-in shower has the option for standup and seated shower with hand-held shower wands and easy controls.
- Who are the best walk-in tub companies near me?
Few of the best walk-in tub companies are American Standard, SafeStep, and Ella Bubbles that are popular brands in the household industry.
We hope you have some clarity now in selecting the best walk-in tub. We feel this is the most important investment to make if a loved one chooses to Age in Place.
Apart from safety features, it can give you a spa-like experience with soothing and massaging jets to relieve your pain and improve circulation. Though it is expensive, it is worth the money.
All the above walk-in tubs are solid with most of them catering to budgets. 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.