A walk in bathtub has an inwards swinging sealing door and either has or does not have, a seat. This is to make it accessible to people with disabilities or the elderly who find getting into, or out of, a regular bathtub difficult. But what is the best walk in tub for your particular needs? Take a peek at our walk in tub reviews consumer reports to help you make the perfect choice for your space and needs.
But first, did you know there are different types of walk-in bathtubs?
21 Best Walk In Tub Reviews Consumer Ratings & Reports
- 1 21 Best Walk In Tub Reviews Consumer Ratings & Reports
- 1.1 1. Universal Tubs 46-inch HD Series Whirlpool Bath Tub
- 1.2 2. Universal Tubs 53-inch HD Series Air Bath and Whirlpool Tub
- 1.3 3. American Standard 60-inch x 30-inch Exclusive Series Whirlpool Tub
- 1.4 4. American Standard 60-inch Acrylic Luxury Air and Whirlpool Tub
- 1.5 5. Ella 2 seat Companion Air and Hydro Massage Acrylic Bathtub
- 1.6 6. Pinnacle 4.5 ft Air and Whirlpool Bath Tub with Tranquility Package
- 1.7 7. Safety Tubs 48-inch Value Series Walk-in BathTub
- 1.8 8. Ariel 5 ft. Ariel Air and Whirlpool Bath Tub
- 1.9 9. Therapeutic Tubs 60-inch by 30-inch HandiTub Air and Whirlpool Bathtub
- 1.10 10. Access Tubs Venetian Dual System Bathtub, Whirlpool & Air Massage Therapy
- 1.11 11. Access Tubs Walk-in Jetted Tub
- 1.12 12. Access Tubs Walk-in Air Hydro Jetted Massage Tub
- 1.13 13. Wheelchair Accessible Slide-in Tub with Air Bubble Massage
- 1.14 14. Pinnacle Walk-In Whirlpool and Air Bath Tub Review
- 1.15 15. 3260LBA Meditub
- 1.16 16. Amluxx 52-inch Amluxx Aqua Air and Whirlpool Bathtub
- 1.17 17. Arista Hydro-Therapy Walk-in Bathtub
- 1.18 18. Ellas Bubbles Combination Walk-in Bathtub
- 1.19 19. American Standard Left-Hand Walk-in Bathtub
- 1.20 20. American Standard Gelcoat Value Series Whirlpool Walk-in Bathtub
- 1.21 21. Ariel Bath Soaker Walk-in Bathtub
- 2 The Different Types of Walk In Bathtubs
- 3 Different Features for Most Walk-In Tubs
- 4 Can Walk-In Tubs be Customized?
- 5 How Do Walk In Tubs Work?
- 6 Pros and Cons of Walk In Bathtubs
- 7 Safety Considerations
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions regarding walk-in bathtubs
- 9 Conclusion
So let’s be frank with each other. Making the correct choice regarding the best walk in tub is difficult. Walk in tub reviews consumer reports will all tell you this make of product or that make of product is the best. The reason is usually that walk in tub reviews are written by people for a specific company. So our team had a look at a number of walk in tubs and reviewed them for you. Here is our list of favorites.
1. Universal Tubs 46-inch HD Series Whirlpool Bath Tub
Treat yourself with this jetted whirlpool bath therapy that is made out of fiberglass and stainless steel material. This material is lightweight compared to other types, so it is easy to carry and install. Fiberglass is also highly resistant to mildew and scratches, so it is low maintenance and it lasts for an extended time.
Aside from that, the HD Series Whirlpool can be considered as one of the best walk in tubs because it has 13 adjustable and directional whirlpool jets. These jets have massage features that will give you a relaxing bath time experience. You can adjust it to your preference using its easy press button that is effortless for your fingers.
- 60-inch quick fill faucet
- 13 Adjustable and directional whirlpool jets
- Power-assisted drains
- With Built-in safety grab bar handles
- Watertight and pressure seal wide-opening doors
Pros of this Universal Tubs 46-inch HD Series Whirlpool Bath Tub
- Reasonably priced
- Compact and compatible with standard size bathrooms
- Easy to install
Cons of the Universal Tubs Walk in Bathtub
- Unresponsive customer serves
2. Universal Tubs 53-inch HD Series Air Bath and Whirlpool Tub
According to walk in tub reviews consumer reports, this one makes the list because of its air bath and whirlpool features. It provides more than relaxation but muscle therapy as well. Aside from that, it also has Chromatherapy, which will help your mind be soothed with colored lighting.
The 53-inch HD Series air bath and whirlpool tub is sealed with a marine-grade gel coat to prevent any types of leakage. It is then reinforced by a free-standing steel frame and fiberglass, making it durable and sturdy.
Also, this tub is equipped with safety features. These features include a built-in grab handle that will help you get in and out of the tub without slipping. It has a low step threshold and secure footing to prevent tripping incidents.
- 26 air jets Acu-stream
- Inline maintenance heater
- 13 whirlpool massage jets that are directional and adjustable
- With Chrome fittings
Pros of this Universal Tubs 53-inch HD Series Air Bath and Whirlpool Tub
- Effortless installation
- Comfortable sits
- Well-thought-out safety features
Cons of the Universal Tubs Walk in Bathtub
- Changing existing bathroom pipes can be a challenge.
3. American Standard 60-inch x 30-inch Exclusive Series Whirlpool Tub
Save yourself from the headache of waiting for your tub to drain with this Exclusive series. It is equipped with a quick drain system that removes water in under 2 minutes. It is also made out of gel-coat and hi-gloss construction, which makes it durable and beautifully designed.
Aside from that, this tub has eight water jet systems that can be used for deep tissue massage for the legs. It also has a built-in seat with ergonomic controls to make your soaking experience more relaxing and comfortable.
Another noteworthy feature of this walk in tub review is its textured flooring which prevents you from slipping or tripping while going inside and out of the tub. It also provides you balance even though the tub is filled with water.
- Chrome trimmed premium faucet
- Quick drain system
- Gelcoat hi-gloss construction
- Push-button controls
- Eight water jets
Pros of this American Standard 60-inch x 30-inch Exclusive Series Whirlpool Tub
- Affordable price
- Comfortable seat
- Nice design
- Performs well
- Easy to use
Cons of the American Standard Walk in Bathtub
- You may need to purchase additional parts for installation.
4. American Standard 60-inch Acrylic Luxury Air and Whirlpool Tub
Here’s a tub with a large water capacity and plenty of comfort features. It has a heated blower with variable speed that regulates the temperature of the air bundles, which gives you more therapeutic benefits. Aside from that, its 26 air jets are strategically placed around the tub to provide an invigorating massage.
Furthermore, this tub is equipped with safety features, which include a V-shape full-sized door with a low-profile threshold. This design is intended to give people with mobility issues independent and secure access to bathing.
- Quick drain system
- Heated blowers with variable speeds
- Whirlpool massage system
- 26 air jets
- Air spa system
Pros of this American Standard 60-inch Acrylic Luxury Air and Whirlpool Tub
- Fast drainage
- Relaxing experience
- Easy to operate features
Cons of the American Standard Walk in Bathtub
- The instruction manual is quite confusing.
- The price is higher compared to others in this walk in tub reviews.
5. Ella 2 seat Companion Air and Hydro Massage Acrylic Bathtub
The particular bathtub is one of the best rated walk in tubs out there due to its spacious interior and dual massage features. Its shell is made out of high gloss acrylic cast that is reinforced with gel-coat fiberglass making it durable and sturdy. The materials used in its construction also make it resistant to leakage.
This 2 seater tub has several relaxing features. It has 14 hydro jets and ten air jets that are strategically placed around the tub for a relaxing deep tissue massage. It also has a Chromotherapy feature to help your eyes relax as well.
You also do not have to worry about waiting for it to drain because it has a quick drain feature that can be easily controlled using levers.
- Hi-gloss acrylic shell with gel-coat fiberglass reinforcement
- Detachable backrest
- 14 hydro jets
- Ten air jets
- LED chromotherapy lights
Pros of this Ella 2 seat Companion Air and Hydro Massage Acrylic Bathtub
- Fits two people comfortably
- Sturdy frame
- Easy to install
- Several massage features to choose from.
Cons of the Ella Walk in Bathtub
- Quite expensive
6. Pinnacle 4.5 ft Air and Whirlpool Bath Tub with Tranquility Package
If you have been looking at walk in tub reviews for budget-friendly options, then you might consider this one. It is reasonably priced, yet you still get high-quality features that you’d want from a walk-in tub.
This particular tub is made out of an acrylic shell that is coated with fiberglass backing resin to make it look beautiful and protect it from leakage. It also has a stainless steel support frame, which was rigidly polished so that it is protected from water damage making it last longer.
Furthermore, you also get stainless steel jets and a 2 HP water pump, which can be considered as a good deal given the price of this tub.
- Acrylic shell
- Non-slip flooring and seat
- Stainless steel frame support
- Stainless Jets
Pros of this Pinnacle 4.5 ft Air and Whirlpool Bath Tub with Tranquility Package
- Reasonably priced
- Straightforward features
- Easy to use controls
- Responsive customer service
Cons of the Pinnacle Walk in Bathtub
- The instruction manual could be better.
7. Safety Tubs 48-inch Value Series Walk-in BathTub
Here’s another budget-friendly option that might fit what you are looking for. Buying this walk-in tub already includes a premium faucet and a matched color trim giving it a seamless and beautiful design. It also includes an installation kit to make retrofitting straightforward and easy.
Aside from that, this tub is also equipped with several safety features. One of its most notable ones is its textured flooring that protects users from slippage. It has a builtin seat at chair height for comfortable seating. This tub also has easy touch control buttons so that you can use its features easily.
- Gelcoat hi-gloss construction
- Color-matched drain, safety bar, and overflow
- It has a built-in ergonomic pillow
- Watertight door system
Pros of this Safety Tubs 48-inch Value Series Walk-in BathTub
- Well constructed
- Faucets and valves already included
- Easy to use features
Cons of the Safety Tubs Walk in Bathtub
- Slow drainage
8. Ariel 5 ft. Ariel Air and Whirlpool Bath Tub
This tub has a combination of fiberglass and acrylic design, which makes it seamless and durable. It is a dual series model that has an air and whirlpool jet system for a comfortable bathing experience, unlike any other. It has six hydro jets and 18 air jets that are strategically located around the tub for maximum relaxation.
Aside from that, this tub also offers safety features, and its accessibility is ADA compliant. Its safety feature includes a slip-resistant floor for worry-free use and a built-in handlebar for balance support while inside the tub. Its door is also low-profile for easy access.
- 75 HP pumps
- 18 air and six hydro jets
- Slip-resistant flooring
- Roman faucets and handheld shower included
Pros of this Ariel 5 ft. Ariel Air and Whirlpool Bath Tub
- Spacious tub
- Value for money
- Responsive customer service
- Plenty of usable features
Cons of the Ariel Walk in Bathtub
- The instruction manual could be better.
9. Therapeutic Tubs 60-inch by 30-inch HandiTub Air and Whirlpool Bathtub
Not only does this tub provide relaxation, but it also gives several medical benefits because of its therapeutic features. It is ideal for people who have joint and muscle pain.
This tub is designed to be extra accessible, especially for people with limited mobility. This extra attention to accessibility is evident in its simple food operation and non-slip flooring.
Aside from that, this tub has an air and whirlpool massage system. It has 26 air injectors strategically placed around the tub powered by a 1HP air blower. This enables you to get a deep tissue massage according to the setting that you prefer.
Furthermore, this tub is made out of fiberglass material, which is resistant to damages caused by water. It also gives the tub better sealing to prevent leakage.
- ADA compliant
- 1HP air blower
- Four-piece faucet set
Pros of this Therapeutic Tubs 60-inch by 30-inch HandiTub Air and Whirlpool Bathtub
- Easy access
- Comfortable features
- Great value for money
- Beautiful design
Cons of the Therapeutic Tubs Walk in Bathtub
- The instruction manual is quite confusing.
10. Access Tubs Venetian Dual System Bathtub, Whirlpool & Air Massage Therapy
This tub is perfect for aromatherapy bathing. It is available in tub size 36”x60” and 36”x72”. Unlike others, it is a drop-in bathtub type with a capacity of 65 gallons. Its jet type is air and water and is designed with 8 jets to enhance your shower experience. This bathtub is a drop-in tub that can accommodate one person.
- Whirlpool and air systems
- Touch Control Pad
- LED Lighting system
- Aromatherapy bathing
- 29 jets
Pros of this Access Tubs Venetian Dual System Bathtub
- LED lights enhance bathing experience
- Designed for 1 person but can accommodate two people
- It has strong jets for a better massage effect
- Option to choose jets and the air simultaneously or separately
Cons of the Bathtub
- Requires a bigger water heater because of its large size
- It can be quite slippery
- LED lighting only works when the tub has water in it
11. Access Tubs Walk-in Jetted Tub
The Access Tubs walk-in jetted tub offers a soak deep, thanks to its 68-gallon capacity. This jetted tub weighs 175 lbs and comes with a seating capacity of 1 person. With this tub, you get to choose what side of the tub you want your drain to be at. Besides, it empties in a minute, and you can easily enjoy the bathtub with others within a short time.
Besides, this walk-in bathtub is great for seniors. It has a grab bar and all the other necessary items that come together with a tub, making it safe even for the elderly to use.
- Capacity: 68-gallon
- Weight: 175 lb
- Auto drain
- Drain location: Left
- Inline heater
- Seating capacity: 1
Pros of this Access Tubs Walk-in Jetted Tub
- The rapid water exit and inline heater works well
- Low step for easy in and out
- It doesn’t take a long time for the tub to be drained
- It’s quite affordable
- The jets work well in providing relief from body pains.
- Easy to install
- Safety features
Cons of the Walk in Tub
- The jets have a short direction range
- The pump on button can be pushed accidentally since it is located by the door
- You need to turn on your water heater so that the water will remain hot while the tub is being filled up
- The jets aren’t that strong
12. Access Tubs Walk-in Air Hydro Jetted Massage Tub
As one of the best walk in tubs, this unit has a height of 38 inches and a width of 32 inches. Its drain is located on the right side of the tub. Considering its size, this one can be a good choice, especially if you have a small bathroom.
It features a low-entry step to make it easy to get in and out of the tub. You can get to enjoy an exceptional bath experience thanks to its air and bubble jet system that comes with 22 jets that are independently controlled. This 53-gallon water capacity unit is a great choice if you are looking for a compact walk-in bathtub.
- Bathtub type: Walk-in
- Capacity: 53 gallon
- Number of jets: 22
- Air and water jet type
Pros of this Access Tubs Walk-in Air Hydro Jetted Massage Tub
- Compact design
- Emptied water faster
- Easy installation and operation
- Easy to clean and maintain
- The door opens out
- It can fit into the shower stall that you already have in your bathroom
Cons of the Walk in Tub
- It takes some time for the tub to be filled with water
- The water doesn’t come up that high, making it only ideal for shorter people
- The dials and knobs aren’t labeled
13. Wheelchair Accessible Slide-in Tub with Air Bubble Massage
According to Access Tubs reviews, this wheelchair slide-in tub is recommended for those with elderly family members. It is designed with a wide door opening for easy accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
It also offers comfort and ease of control. It has a water capacity of 80 gallons and includes a drain. A great feature is that you can make use of its jets to provide you with a good massage, especially on your back and legs.
- Walk-in type
- Capacity: 80 gallon
- Faucet with hand shower
- 16 jets
- Safety grab bars
Pros of this Access Tubs Wheelchair Accessible Slide-in Tub
- The floor is slip-resistant
- The seat is large and can fit people with a large body frame.
- More room since the door is opened outward
- It is very simple to operate
Cons of the Walk in Tub
- You might need to buy a big water heater to make the best use of it, so that’s an added cost.
- The controls don’t have a label, so you need to read the instructions first before using it.
14. Pinnacle Walk-In Whirlpool and Air Bath Tub Review
The Pinnacle Walk-in whirlpool and air bathtub is a product from Signature Bath. The bathtub itself is in slip-proof white acrylic with an inward-opening door on the left. This enables you to just walk into the bathtub.
The Pinnacle Walk-in Bathtub is affordable and has competitive pricing when it comes to similar products. The manufacture, Signature bath, is renowned for producing some of the best acrylic baths that come with whirlpool jets.
Pros of the Pinnacle Walk-In Whirlpool
- Great whirlpool experience
- Easy to walk into the bathtub
- Easy to maintain
- Rigid stainless steel body for durability
- All controls are easy to use
- Convenient no-slip seat built-in
Cons of the Pinnacle Walk-In Tub
- Some customers find it difficult to enter the tub and to close the door as the door opens inwards
- Not much information on the Tranquility package
- Dimensions: 60 in x 30 in
- Soaking Depth: 30.5 in
- Water Capacity: 50 gallons
- Stainless steel nozzles and faucets
- A tough acrylic surface Easy-access front panel
- Strong, rigid stainless steel frame
Overall, the Pinnacle walk-in tub is the best walk-in tub for a whirlpool spa experience. It has comfort and safety features without compromising on functionality.
Who is This Product For?
This bathtub may be a great choice for anyone on the lookout for good quality and affordable walk-in bathtubs with all the bells and whistles. This one stands out there as one of the best in terms of quality and features.
15. 3260LBA Meditub
Plenty walk in bathtubs review about this says that it is excellent for people who have mobility issues. With this tub, they can bathe themselves independently and safely. It is compliant with ADA standards and features.
Furthermore, it has 16 air bubble massage injectors, which can be controlled with pneumatic buttons. This gives the user a relaxing deep and soothing deep tissue massage. This type of massage is not only relaxing but is also great for muscle pains and soreness, especially when it is combined with heated water.
This bathtub is made out of fiberglass and a stainless steel frame, which is lightweight but durable and sturdy. It has an acrylic coating that protects it from damages caused by water increasing its longevity.
- Air jet system
- Stainless steel frame
- Fiberglass material
- ADA compliant
Pros of this 3260LBA Meditub
- Value for money
- Accessible for people with limited mobility
- Plenty of safety features
Cons of the Walk in Bathtub
- The installation manual needs improvements
16. Amluxx 52-inch Amluxx Aqua Air and Whirlpool Bathtub
Experience luxury with this air and whirlpool bathtub. It is equipped with a three-speed pump air massage system for complete relaxation. The air massage has a three-speed pump while the hydro massage has an 8.1 amp pump that you could adjust depending on your preference. It also has a heated backrest and seat for added comfort and luxury.
The general issues in walk-in bathtub reviews are that it takes a long time to fill up and drain; however, this tub is different. It has a 5-piece faucet set, which enables it to fill the tub quickly and a pull-chain drain for more efficient drainage.
Furthermore, this tub has a heated backrest for additional comfort. It also has a handheld show that is chrome plated and can be retracted up to 5ft for a comfortable shower experience.
- 5-piece faucet set
- Bar handles
- Acyclic shell reinforced with gel-coat fiberglass
- Air massage
Pros of this Amluxx 52-inch Amluxx Aqua Air and Whirlpool Bathtub
- Easy to follow installation procedures
- Reasonable price
- Efficient safety features
- Nice design
Cons of the Amluxx Walk in Bathtub
- Function buttons may have issues after some time.
17. Arista Hydro-Therapy Walk-in Bathtub
Aside from its massaging water jets, this amazing bathtub by Arista also shoots massaging air bubbles to your body. The air bubbles are much gentler and gives a more relaxing sensation as you soak in the tub.
If you want t experience both water and air massage while bathing, then this Hydro-Therapy Air Walk-in Tub by Arista is for you.
- The best walk-in tub shower combination for those seeking the benefits of both massaging water and air jets. This provides you concentrated and gentler massages to help ease strained and fatigue muscles.
- Designed for a full-body soak experience
- The from access panels are removable so that they can be easily cleaned.
- ADA compliant with 3 built-in grab bars for safety and slip-resistant flooring
- With watertight seal protected by a lifetime warranty
18. Ellas Bubbles Combination Walk-in Bathtub
Another popular walk-in tub shower combo that has great reviews online is this Combination tub by Ellas Bubbles.
This is an Air and Hydro walk-in bathtub with a lot of space for comfortable soaking time. It has a total dimension of 60-inches by 30-inches that allows up to two users. This is the best jacuzzi walk-in tub for couples!
- Has a lot more space with two 20-inches seats facing each other
- Also equipped with two overflow drains
- The acrylic gloss finished is also reinforced with fiberglass for an added durability.
- Has a total of 15 air therapy jets, which you can control in 3-speed settings
- This is the best walk-in tub with shower that also fills and drains water fast.
19. American Standard Left-Hand Walk-in Bathtub
If we’re going to mention best walk-in tub brands, American Standard is a name that shouldn’t be missed. The brand has established a good reputation in the home furnishings industry. Hence, it is not at all surprising why a lot of people fell in love with their products.
One of the best-selling American Standard walk-in tubs is the 3060SH.LL model. It is a classic tub with seated shower, overflow drain, and integral tile flange.
- A really comfortable walk-in tub, thanks to its contoured seat
- Drains water quickly
- Allows easy access in and out of the tub
- Equipped with safety features such as metal support frame, wrap around grab bar, and tile flange—also a best candidate for the best walk-in tub for seniors.
- This is also easy to install and can last for a longer time.
- As if it can’t get any better, the tub shell is also covered by 15-year warranty protection and another 10-year warranty for the components.
20. American Standard Gelcoat Value Series Whirlpool Walk-in Bathtub
This American Standard walk-in tub is known for its gelcoat finish, giving the tub a smooth glossy look while giving it optimum protection.
Albeit expensive, this walk-in tub is a favorite choice in commercial buildings because of its durability and amazing warranty programs. This walk-in tub also boasts advanced technologies that you can’t find in any other tub brands like the focus leg massage.
- Its whirlpool system has an in-line heater to maintain the water’s temperature.
- Has 6 powerful water jets that shoot invigorating deep massage
- If you fill the tub halfway, the whirlpool massage system will automatically set the focus leg-only massage, perfect for women who constantly wear heels!
- With textures floor and a built-in safety grab
- The quick drain system once activated can rapidly pump the water out of the tub within minutes.
21. Ariel Bath Soaker Walk-in Bathtub
A perfect soaking tub should be one that allows full-body soak. However, this is quite rare to see in most walk-in tubs. Fortunately, we found this Ariel Bath Soaker Tub.
We were mesmerized by the tub’s deep rectangular shape while still able to integrate a walk-in type of installation. Most walk-in tubs are usually whirlpool or air jetted. But this one remains true to its purpose which is to only give you a full body soaking experience, hence the name Soaker tub.
This, dare we say, is a great tub for those who have sensitive skin and who just want to enjoy a relaxing soak tub with easy access.
- Made from fiberglass material with enameled steel
- Includes one grab handle
- Can hold up to 50 gallons of water
- Also has a hand shower installed in the tub
- ETL and UPC certified, attesting the product’s safety and quality standard
The Different Types of Walk In Bathtubs
As with regular bathtubs, walk-in bathtubs also comes in different types, so you can choose the best walk in tub that is just right for you.
Soaking Tub Walk In Bathtubs
A soaking Tub Walk in Bathtub gives its user the benefits of any of the regular best bathtubs around – a nice, long soak at the end, or beginning, of the day. Just because you are unable to get into a regular bathtub, it does not mean you should be denied the pleasure of using one, after all.
Whirlpool Walk In Bathtubs
A whirlpool walk in bathtub comes fitted with regular jets, just like the best hot tubs around. These jets circulate water throughout the bath, sucking in water and pushing it out at high speed, giving you a great, relaxing massage after a long, hard, day.
The massaging action gets to sore muscles, giving almost instant relief due to a nice, deep massage without any of the hurt from going for massage therapy.
Whirlpool walk in bathtubs have higher maintenance needs than an aerated bathtub. This is because used water is filtered through the system, resulting in the system needing a regular cleaning session to ensure it works optimally.
Aerated Tub Walk in Bathtub
This type of walk in bathtub, much like the whirlpool walk in bathtub, also has jets. In this case, however, the massage action is provided by air pumping through the jets from an outside source to provide you with millions of bubbles that massage you all over.
The air is sucked into the system, heated, and pushed out at a high velocity, ensuring a warm, soothing feeling against the skin
Air and Whirlpool Walk In Bathtubs
With these bathtubs, you get the best of everything. You get the great message resulting from the water pressure shooting out of the water jets, or you can opt for a gentler experience from the air bubbles.
You could, of course, opt for both these systems to work at the same time, giving you a bathing experience not to be missed.
Different Features for Most Walk-In Tubs
In order to decide on the best walk-in bathtub for your buck, you need to first decide why you actually want one. Do you want one for therapy, safety reasons, or for comfort?
Walk-in bathtubs have a variety of potential health benefits which include reducing aches and pains, improving your blood circulation, and improving mobility. For example:
- Use in aromatherapy by adding natural oils that promote both physical as well as emotional wellbeing.
- Chromotherapy, where colored lights pulse or change color, thereby creating a calming yet soothing effect.
- Massage jets (known as hydro-jet therapy) that pulse out water, stimulating the skin and massaging the muscles.
- Many have a water temperature control feature that ensures the water stays at a constant temperature without you ending up burnt.
Older people, those with disabilities, or those who are overweight may find it difficult to get into and out of a ‘normal’ bathtub. They also stand at a higher risk of slipping and falling. Walk-in bathtubs have a number of safety features that are not commonly found in a normal tub.
- The floor is usually textured, giving a sure grip to your feet at all times
- The built-in chair allows the user to stay seated during the bathing experience
- Most of these tubs have a quick release drain that allows water to drain at a much faster rate than a normal tub
- Or those who are in wheelchairs, the wide door allows for easier access to the tub
- Most of these tubs have one or two grab bars that make it easier to enter or get out of the tub
- Many of these tubs are fitted with anti-scald technology that ensures the water stays at a constant temperature without the fear of the user getting scalded
Can Walk-In Tubs be Customized?
With the wide variety of features that are available, you can most certainly pick the type of tub that suits you perfectly.
A Tub With the Convenience of a Shower
Many people feel safer using a walk in tub yet they still want to be able to shower. Many of these tubs are fitted with a hand-held shower that allows them to still sit while using it. This also saves on water costs as you use less water, while some of the hand showers have adjustable spray options.
You could, if you wish, add a shower holder to the wand in a fixed position, just like a ‘regular shower, that can still be removed and held in the hand for when sitting.
Inserting a Tub Extender
Because these bathtubs are not built in, you may find there is a space between the tub and wall. A tub extender gets rid of this space and at the same time protects you from accidental electrical or water damage.
There is a Lower Step-Up
Getting into or out of a regular tub sees you having to lift your leg quite high. In the case of a walk in tub, the threshold is extremely low. This makes it much easier for those who are not very mobile to use.
There are tub options that have the door swing inwards, or outwards, depending on your needs. Those that swing inwards (towards the bathtub) stay closed due to the water pressure inside the tub and are usually cheaper than tubs with doors that swing outwards.
Tubs that have doors swinging outwards are usually a little more expensive because their closing mechanisms are quite complex as they are designed in such a way to resist the pressure coming from the water inside the tub.
The Construction Materials Used for the Shell
These tubs are either molded from fiberglass or acrylic. Fiberglass tubs are usually cheaper, are very strong, and usually given a triple gel epoxy coating. Acrylic shells, on the other hand, are very long-lasting and easy to clean.
There is, however, a third option: a combination shell. Here, the base of the tub is molded from acrylic and fiberglass is used for reinforcement purposes.
The Frame Type
Some tubs have metal frames while others do not. Those that do not have frames usually have great design options, although the depth of the tub suffers as a consequence. They are also less strong than those with frames.
Frames are usually made of aluminum or composite materials and are less prone to sprouting leaks due to the way they are finished off. They are also usually cheaper than frameless tubs. Their doors, however, usually only open outwards.
Neck rests and Seating Options
It is generally a good idea to check out a hot tub’s seating and neck rest options. As these vary, you may want to investigate the option that suits your needs best.
The Size of the Step-In Bath Tub
As with regular tubs, size here also varies – including length, breadth, and height. It depends on your available space and needs. In cases where they are shorter than your regular bath tub’s space, you may want to use an extender in order to fill the gap.
You can opt for extras such as a padded seat or even neck cushions if you so wish. Many of these tubs come with a quick drain feature as you cannot exit the tub while it contains water and could get cold waiting for the water to drain. Tubs that have doors that open outwards are usually preferred for those in wheelchairs as they give much easier access to the tub.
How Do Walk In Tubs Work?
Walk in tubs are usually sold as a complete unit that only needs attaching to your water supply and a drain. If, however, you opt for a whirlpool or aerated walk in tub, or even one that has both, you would also need to take the power attachment into consideration.
A walk in tub is fitted with a door that either swings inwards, or outwards. You would open the door and transfer yourself (from a wheelchair) to the seat, if disabled, or simply walk in and sit down. The floor, which is usually slip resistant, and added arm handles, are added safety features that ensure you do not fall.
Most of these bathtubs are fitted with a quick-draining function, as you would, typically, have to wait for the water to drain before being able to get out.
The door threshold is usually very low to allow for easy access.
Pros and Cons of Walk In Bathtubs
As with all types of baths, even the best walk-in tubs have their own set of pros and cons attached.
- Easy to use by those with mobility issues, including not only those in wheelchairs but also the elderly who find getting into and out of a bath challenging.
- Most are designed to forestall the possibility of slipping, usually due to a non-slip floor
- They usually have handrails, allowing people with mobility issues a grip in case of falling, slipping, or when getting up
- Built-in seating gives the user independence as they can wash without the fear of falling
- Some of these tubs allow for a shower enclosure and double up as a steam shower
- You need to get into the tub before filling it up with water – this experience could be quite chilly
- You need to wait for the bath to drain before getting out as there is the potential of your whole bathroom flooding – most walk-in tubs, however, have a special drain function allowing water to flow out much quicker
How Do I Choose the Best Walk In Tub?
Choosing the best walk in bathtub is a matter of perspective, i.e. your perspective. You need to ask yourself: “What are my needs?”
One of the things that need thinking about is size. These bathtubs range in size, so you need to decide on the size that fits your bathroom, and your needs. In addition, do you want a soaking tub walk-in bathtub, a whirlpool walk-in bathtub, an aerated tub walk-in bathtub, or a dual function tub, i.e.an air and whirlpool walk-in bathtub? Price and personal preference play a role in making this decision.
Then there are door options to consider. Do you prefer an inward swinging or an outward swinging door? While an outward swinging door might be a better option for someone in a wheelchair, it does tend to take up quite a bit of bathroom space.
A walk-in tub is not only large but also very heavy, especially when filled with water. Most use water as well as electricity, so ensuring they are safe is an absolute necessity. One way of doing so is checking out their safety certifications.
If living in the United States of America, you need to ensure that it meets all of the American Standards Association’s criteria. In Canada, this means the those of the Canadian Standards Association Safety Certification.
Although most manufacturers adhere to these certifications, the onus is on you to verify before installing your new tub.
Besides these certifications, you will also need to ensure your tub has the following certifications:
- The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
- The Edison Testing Labs of North American Safety Certification for Electrical Equipment
- The American National Standards Institute (product safety)
- The American with Disabilities Act (for ADA compliance)
Do keep in mind, however, that not all tubs need all these certifications. For example, you may not need a tub that is ADA compliant if mobility is not a major issue, i.e. you are not wheelchair bound. A tub with no certifications whatsoever would, however, raise some red flags.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding walk-in bathtubs
Who needs to use walk-in bathtubs?
A walk in bathtub is recommended for everyone who has mobility issues, including those who are in a wheelchair, or those that have mobility issues such as the elderly or obese people.
Which would be better for seniors losing mobility, a walk-in tub or a walk in shower?
Although a walk in shower is a great option for seniors, a walk in tub is safer. The reasons are that it has a built-in seat as well as a non-slip floor and grab rails as added safety measures. These are precautionary measures that ensure an elderly person does not slip and fall, can be seated for comfort and has something to hold on to when entering or exiting the tub.
What are the features of a walk in tub?
Standard features include a door that ensures low entry (no lifting of legs to get in or out), a handrail or handrails, and a chair that is built in. More expensive models have extra features, such as water jets, a hot water regulator, neck pillows, and even therapy lights, plus a whole lot more.
Are there any health benefits of walk-in tubs or are they for comfort only
Besides the obvious safety benefits, these tubs may also have certain health benefits, especially those fitted with whirlpool jets as they relieve aches and pains by providing a great massage.
What are the safety benefits of walk-in bathtubs?
It provides those with low mobility a number of safety perks. The floor is usually constructed in such a way to avoid slipping, while the seating provides you a place to sit while bathing without the risk of falling. Additionally, the safety handles provide you with a place to grip when either entering or exiting the tub.
What is the most comfortable style of bathtubs?
Here, the answer depends on your personal needs. A regular walk-in bathtub meets most of your mobility needs. However, one with added features adds to your experience.
What should I expect to pay?
Please remember that when you buy a walk in tub you need to budget for installation as well. A walk in bathtub, depending on what type you choose, can cost anything between approximately $2,000 and $5,000. The installation costs (remember you need someone for the electrical and plumbing connections) could be anything in the region of about $2,000. The costs should thus not, generally speaking, of course, exceed approximately $10,000. If you are doing an entire remodel of your bathroom, however, you would have to add those costs to this estimate.
Are walk-in tubs covered by Medicare?
Unfortunately, no. Medicare does not, at any cost, pay for walk-in tubs. Walk-in tubs can be used by anyone or by any member of your family. So, unlike hospital beds, wheelchairs, nebulizers, etc., this is not eligible for Medicare insurance.
How much space do you need for a walk-in tub?
Walk-in tubs come various shapes and sizes. Moreover, they have different installation types. For this reason, the space needed to set up a walk-in tub depends on the size, shape, and installation process.
Usually, walk-in tub brands include the tub’s dimension so that you can calculate on your own if the tub can fit perfectly in your bathroom.
How much water do walk-in tubs require?
Most tubs require a lot of water, that’s for sure. But it still depends on the size and depth of the tub. If you fancy soaker tub, then you most likely need at least 45 gallons of water. Some even require up to 90 gallons of water.
Walk-in tubs are definitely great for people with mobility issues or those who simply want a luxurious and comfortable bathing experience. In the walk in tubs reviews mentioned above, it is easy to say that the 46-inch HD Series Whirlpool Bath Tub is the overall winner.
The 46-inch HD Series Whirlpool Bath Tub takes the first place because it is priced reasonably, yet it has plenty of amazing features to choose from, such as adjustable and directional whirlpool jets and quick fill faucets. Aside from that, it is also fully equipped with safety features, and it is relatively straightforward to install.
However, the other walk-in tubs mentioned above are also notable tubs, and you should also still consider them if they fit what you are looking for in terms of function, comfort, and price.