How to Choose a Walk-In Bath

Making the decision to switch from a traditional standard bathtub to a walk-in bathtub is a great step in ensuring your safety or the safety of your loved one. It can provide seniors and users with mobility issues a way to bathe more independently. But finding the best walk-in bath requires a lot of research and consideration. You need to make sure you understand the various types of walk-in baths, what features to look for and what questions to ask before you buy. We’ve done the research for you and collated the most common questions you need to ask yourself before you buy a about walk-in tub.

How is your mobility?

You need to honestly gauge your mobility. Do you have trouble stepping over an 8-inch step? Do you struggle getting up from a sitting position? Answering these questions honestly can help you pick the right walk-in tub for you. If you struggle getting out of a sitting position, then you’ll want to make sure you pick a tub that has a high seat and doesn’t recline you in any way. And if you struggle to step over anything, then a very low threshold step-in is necessary.

Can a walk-in tub simply replace my current bathtub?

Most walk-in tubs are designed to fit into the same space as a standard tub, with the caveat that a walk-in tub is about 40 inches high. However, standard bathtubs vary in size. Your bathtub can be anywhere between 50 inches long and 34 inches wide to 72 inches long and 30 inches wide. As such, it’s a good idea to measure the area where your current bathtub sits, wall-to-wall. Make sure you shop for walk-in tubs that fit into those parameters.

How old is your plumbing?

If your waste drain pipe is very old, then it’s likely not to code. As such, you may find your tub doesn’t drain very fast, even if it has a quick drain system.

What safety features come standard?

Look for a walk-in tub that’s ADA certified. This means it meets the Americans with Disibilities Act specific safety requirements, such as where the easily accessed controls are located, the clearance for the tub, non-slip surfaces, grab bars, and a seat.

What features can be added to a walk-in tub?

The standard optional features for a walk-in tub are hydrojets, air jets, colored lights, and aromatherapy. You should also look to add an inline heater if it’s not included with your hydrojets, as this heats the water as it circulates through the jets. Some tubs offer heated seats or heated air blowers for the same reason. Also look for quick drain pumps, cushioned headrests, bidets (jets positioned on the seat for added cleanliness), towel racks, handshowers, and micro-bubble features.

Can I shower in the bathtub as well?

Yes. Every walk-in tub we reviewed comes with a handshower. While not a shower in the strictest terms, a handshower allows you to rinse off from the sitting position, as though you were taking a shower. That said, you can also install a showerhead above the tub if you prefer a shower over a bath. Some manufacturers even have models with overhead rainfall showerheads.

How much do walk-in tubs cost?

A walk-in tub is not cheap., the low-end entry-level walk-in tub is likely to cost around $1,000 and often close to $2,500, depending on the brand. But if you want a good walk-in tub with hydro jets and air jets, it’s going to cost between $5,000 and $10,000. And none of this includes the installation costs. The best walk-in tub brands offer financing to make the costs more affordable. Financing allows you to get the tub for a monthly fee rather than one large lump sum.

Do I need to have a walk-in tub professionally installed?

Short answer is yes, get it installed professionally. Preferably even by experts from the manufacturer because they’ll know how to troubleshoot any of the various quirks related to your specific walk-in tub.

Bottom line: Who should buy a walk-in tub?

A walk-in bathtub can be a great choice for anyone with limited mobility, including people with disabilities and those who are aging in place. They’re also a worthwhile investment for caregivers and family members of people with limited mobility. By starting with our related search topics we’ve simplified the process for choosing a walk-in tub so you can finally have a safer and more comfortable bathing experience.