By PensionsWeek Team
Updated: 2021, May 15
Reviewed by Kristi Stalder
This guide will provide a clear overview of the best walk-in tubs for seniors and a clean comparison of the extra safety comfort features that separate these tubs.
Our TOP PICK
Best Air Massage
Ella Ultimate bathtub
Nowadays more than 75% of Americans above age 50 prefer to “age in place,”, according to AARP. 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 to take care of the seniors in the bathroom. A recent study published on the National Council On Aging shows that one in four Americans above 65 years fall each year and most of the slips are seen 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.
How we Picked the Best Walk-in Tubs for Seniors?
We’ve compiled our top picks by evaluating more than 28+ walk-in tub reviews. We have also listed out comparisons of each product to make things a bit more clear for you to show you exactly what’s out there.
We have a team of editors who research, test, and recommend the best product. Also note that, although product testing has been done with few models, it is not possible to do product testing for a variety of models that we have listed here. We only tested accessible models which were highly praised and rated amongst the others.
Our team has compared 26+ walk-in tub standard features and specifications, as well as potential pros and cons, giving you a few great options to choose a walk-in tub and ways to make your bathing time more comfortable and risk-free. We’ve also checked manufacturer reputation, warranty policy & terms, and coverage periods before choosing the best walk-in tubs for the elderly.
We went through 450 + customer reviews and have handpicked a few walk-in bathtubs for seniors which have had a great user rate and have reviewed them extensively. So here we recommend the top-rated walk-in tubs in each category and one which will suit your budget as well.
Comparison of 5 Best Walk-in Tubs 2021
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 tubs for seniors.
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 for seniors and quick drain systems.
Their innovative products are designed in a way to ensure safety and comfort features to their user.
American Standard’s walk-in tub is available in wide arrays – from outward-opening doors to whirlpool jets air bath features.
They also made soaking models and safe step tubs with water jets to allow for an ultimate relaxation experience.
Every walk-in tub is built along the safety guidelines to fit the needs of seniors with limited mobility.
They are built with an Air Spa System and a Whirlpool Massage system to create an invigorating and relaxing bathing experience. Also, the anti-scald valve provides you safety from sudden water over-heating and maintains its temperature.
The whirlpool jets 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 seniors 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 a 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 for your elderly one.
The compliant seat height is contoured in a way to allows seniors to sit comfortably as they bathe. 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 bath door seal and a 10-year warranty on the tub’s shell.
Also, the company offers a five-year warranty on the tub components.
Watch a Video on American Standard Walk-In Tubs Quick Drain Facility.
Watch a Video on American Standard Walk-In Tubs
|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-compliant seat walk-in showers, slip-resistant floors with the seats, and handlebars modeled in a way to fulfill the bariatric needs of the user.
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 massage features that provide the seniors to recreate a spa at home.
Among Ella’s favorite model(s), this model stands out due to the triple-massage system.
Ella’s Dual drain technology which requires no power 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 and 2 overflows for fast drainage from the tub. The inbuilt heated surfaces are 20 inches wide and are contoured for extra comfort.
These tub frames are built up with stainless steel material and the tub’s white acrylic shell is covered with layers of gel coat providing a non-porous surface resistant to molds which in turn provide safety against the risk of seniors falling.
A low step-in threshold of 8.5 inches is built for easy step-in and step-out. For extra safety of the elderly, 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 your loved ones.
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 perfect because of its narrow entry and can be considered as the best overall luxury walk-in tub for its spa feature.
|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 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 its ultra-low step-in threshold which is less than four inches, allowing seniors to take short steps while entering the tub.
It lets you 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 of the elderly 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 elderly can be immersed up to the shoulder in the water and can relax and feel additional soaks.
It offers extra-wide doors than other walk-in bathtubs and provides enough space for them to step in and out of the walk-in bathtub easily.
If you are looking for a SPA-like experience for seniors or 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.
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 the 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 senior 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 accessibility and standard safety features. These walk-in bathtubs come with ADA-compliant seats and are available in varying sizes.
Built of a high-quality steel frame, this tub is designed with a gel-coated fiberglass shell for extra protection.
Other standard 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 seniors who have mobility issues.
This safety tub for seniors 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 glossy fiberglass to provide extra durability.
To ensure effective safety and comfort for seniors, special attention is taken to the slip-resistant flooring of the tub and stainless steel grab bars to offer a good grip. The company also takes extreme care of 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 Jet Therapy system, 14 jet hydro massage systems, and Infusion Micro-bubble systems.
The Jet air system removes residual water from the pipes, whereas the hydro massage system is used to increase their relaxation.
The infusion micro-bubble therapy system can get rid of seniors’ dead skin cells and keep their skin hydrated.
Dual Drain technology 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 seniors 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 seniors are 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 seniors, those 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 seniors to enter the tub without lifting their legs.
The sealing provided on the doors keeps the water inside the tub which leads to leak proof door.
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 for your elderly Ones?
Check out the parameters below to know how to zero down the best walk-in tub for seniors
Walk-in tub prices range from $1,500 -$20,000 depending on the quality, features, and cost of installation the tub offers. If you are a little tight on budget then you can look for financing options. So do your basic research and then buy it.
2. See the Space for your walk-in tub
Check the available bathroom 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 the delay in the flow of hot water, which would eventually make your loved one wait in cold water, which is totally not right. So, it is strongly advised to check the water heater capacity.
4. Choose the type of walk-in tub
1. Soaker Tub – This is a basic and the most affordable tub which does not have any fancy air or water jets.
3. Bariatric Walk-In Tubs – Bariatric model is larger compared to the basic model and is 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 Tub – These tubs have water jets that provide an intense massage to the user which helps in relieving joint pain. The hydrotherapy systems also have hydrotherapy 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, outward and inward swinging door tubs, walk-in showers, etc.
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.
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.
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 walk-in tubs have a non-slip textured surface to prevent slipping while entering and going out of the tub. If you buy a tub for a senior or disabled person, 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.
Nearly all the models include an inbuilt heated seat so that the user can have a warm and safer bathing experience since it can easily step in and step out. The anti-scald devices are used to prevent sudden temperature changes in the water.
Step-up height is the height of the threshold that goes to the tub. Lower the step-up height the better it is. Mostly the step-up height for these tubs is 3-7 inches.
This walk-in tub is very important for people with mobility issues.
6. WALK-IN TUB WARRANTY PACKAGE
Before buying a walk-in tub it is important to understand the limited warranties 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.
Why walk-in tubs Are so important for seniors?
Every senior person has different needs when it comes down to the bathing experience, and some like to go extreme than usual. Here are few benefits of owning a walk-in tub for seniors and why it is important
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.
Seniors, kids, and people with injuries have the highest risk of falling in the bathroom. Walk-in tubs are a great option to alleviate this stress and are designed with handlebars for holding out whenever needed.
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. Massage therapy offers numerous benefits to seniors like
1)It increases blood flows to limbs
2)Relieves arthritic pain
Many seniors 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
Amazon Recommended Walk In Tubs For Seniors
Last update on 2021-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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 their quality of life.
Though it is expensive it is worth the money.
It is one of the best walk-in tubs for seniors 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.
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.
Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API