Best Walk-in Tubs (Reviews and Costs)
We evaluated more than 18 walk-in tub companies and after careful consideration, we chose 5 of the best walk-in bathtub companies for seniors to review.
Best Walk-in Bathtub Companies
Safe Step produce high quality walk-in tubs that go above and beyond industry standards. With the quote including all costs payable during the entire process, they also understand that financing is an important aspect when buying a walk-in bath. As a result they offer numerous way to help ease the burden that buying a walk-in tub can bring.
Kohler Walk-In Tubs
A company with a fantastic history and a walk-in bath with numerous features designed to bring maximum comfort when bathing. Some features regarding the door and entrance stand out as the best on offer in the market.
Boca Walk-In Tubs
A family company that looks to bring a quality touch. When using Boca you have the feeling that they have made everything perfectly simple for you. For example, their user guide and custom quote form are perfect examples of this.
Another company that produces walk-in tubs that have a rich history. The amount of walk-in tubs that they offer is unmatched and somehow they manage to clearly lay out on their website everything you will look for, for ease of use.
Who are walk-in tubs for?
Anyone can purchase a walk-in tub if they wish to, however it tends to be a product that is selected out of necessity by those who suffer difficulties with both getting in and out of a regular tub and those who find regular sized bathtubs to be too small. In general, those who require walk-in tubs can be divided in to the following categories:
- Those who have difficulties in sitting down and getting up when using a regular tub – With a walk-in bath you can use grab bars for balance and aiding you in the entire process. The walk-in baths also have built in seats which more often than not are ADA compliant. The non-slip surface you also get with walk-in baths is often considered a great help too.
- Those with medical conditions rendering their mobility limited – When suffering from a medical problem you want relief and ease of use from your tub. With a walk-in tub you will have a much easier time than when using a standard bath and you also have the option to select additional features with your walk-in tub which will only provide greater relief for you as the user.
- Wheelchair users – Having a regular tub is nigh on impossible for wheelchair users. As a result, a walk-in tub comes to the rescue allowing wheelchair users to safely have an enjoyable bathing experience.
- Larger sized individuals – Although the average standard sized walk-in tub is the same size as your standard tub, with a walk-in tub you can often get customizable sized baths as to fit in with your needs. You will also have an easier time getting in and out of the walk-in tub due to the low entrance height.
If you are considering purchasing a walk-in tub you will have to weigh up and consider your own personal circumstances.
Pros of Walk-In Tubs
In addition to providing a safer place to bathe, a walk in tub can provide comfort, therapeutic benefits, and peace of mind not only for yourself, but for your family. Anyone who has struggled in a traditional tub due to aging or ill health will no longer have to deal with a slippery rub floor or prolonged standing.
Disease sufferers: walk in tubs have benefits for a number of conditions, including arthritis, heart problems, diabetes, even Alzheimer’s.
Arthritis: regular warm baths allowed for less pain and stiffness, as the water relieve pressure from joints, dilates blood tissue, and improves circulation.
Diabetics: the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 13% of people with Type 2 diabetes had a reduction in blood sugar levels, improved sleep, and an improved general sense of well being due to warm water baths.
Alzheimer’s: As one of the most debilitating diseases today, Alzheimer patients with walk in tubs are more at ease during bathing. Being able to sit instead of standing offers some measure of control and safety without fear of falling. Owning a walk in tub also provides an easier way for a caregiver to bathe a patient that a shower or traditional tub can not.
Heart Health: Soaking in a tub will improve a person’s heart rate while lowering their blood pressure at the same time. This is the same cardiovascular benefits and heart strengthening that cardio exercising provides; something that elderly or infirm may not be able to accomplish.
Sleep Disorders/ Sleep Apnea: Some people take mood altering medication – prescribed or over the counter- to help get a good rest at night. While bathing may not provide that same end result, it can relax a person and get their body ready for sleep.
Stress Reduction: A walk in tub is a wonderful way to rest after a long day. Warm baths have been noted to improve metabolism and strengthen the immune system. A tub with jet capabilities with further enhance a spa like experience with gentle massage – also called hydrotherapy.
Convenience: For those with limited mobility having a walk in tub they can simply open the door, and sits down. There is no struggle to step over a tub edge and potentially slip and fall.
“Aging in Place”: With the costs of healthcare and assisted living facilities rising all the time, seniors are electing to stay in their own homes longer than ever. Installing a walk in tub allows for this possibility and makes it easier.
Hygiene: Taking a bath is easier than a shower and can be done at a more leisurely pace. Sitting is more convenient to clean hard to reach places when there is limited mobility. Having a tub makes it easy to maintain a regular bathing routine and keep hygiene in check.
Water Usage: Water usage actually decreases using a walk in tub. Walk ins generally hold 50 gallons, while standard tubs can hold anywhere from 42-80.
Independence: It’s frustrating to be unable to do normal everyday things that once came easily when there are safety concerns involved. A walk in tub will give a user independence and not be reliant on anyone else or sacrifice their own wellbeing.
Are walk-in tubs problem solvers?
Having a walk-in tub can be a lifesaver for many, from those who have difficulties using a regular tub, to those who live in fear of impending accidents occurring.
Accidents from falling often occur, particularly in the bathroom as the following statistics will illustrate:
- Over 2.8 million people aged 65 and over end up in the emergency room annually due to a fall.
- The Center for Disease Control published that over 30% of older adults fall each year and from those unfortunately high statistics, the majority of those falls occur in the bathroom.
Although there are downsides to a walk-in tub, their main function to provide a safe environment in the bathroom, far outweighs any drawbacks to purchasing a walk-in tub. Amongst the list of benefits of a walk-in tub are (not a definitive list):
- Customizable options – You can find the exact tub you want according to all your wishes. This will cover dimensions, features and the style of the walk-in tub.
- Increased safety – The accessories and designs of the walk-in tub put safety as the number one priority. There are other excellent features with a walk-in tub but safety is the key benefit for those who purchase one.
- Spa-like experience – Benefit from features such as aerotherapy, chromotherapy and hydrotherapy.
Tips every buyer should be aware of before they buy a walk-in tub
Walk-in tubs are very popular with seniors and those who require bathing assistance. The reasons for this comes from two fronts, one is the safety aspect that walk-in tubs are looking to provide, and the other is the therapeutic features you can often select with your walk-in tub.
Below you will see a list of things to consider, before purchasing your walk-in tub:
Dimensions and capacity
There must be no worse feeling than purchasing the walk-in tub of your dreams and then finding out upon installation that it is the wrong size. Dimensions for walk-in tubs differ and can be bespoke to your circumstances depending on your provider, the general dimensions for a walk-in tub are 60”L x 32”W x 40”H. As a general comparison from those measurements, you will find the average length of a walk-in tub is the same as a standard bathtub.
With regard to the capactiy of the walk-in tub, ensure your water heater is able to cope with the demands it would face when filling up a walk-in tub. If you get it wrong, it could mean you have an uncomfortable bath as you may be left sitting in cold bath water whilst you are waiting for the heater to reheat the water to continue filling the bath.
When getting your quote, this will vary from provider to provider. The key thing to remember is that some providers advertise their prices on their website whereas others do not. In addition, the pricing may be clearly laid out or instead it may be all inclusive, whilst alternatively you may come across a provider whose pricing you may find is less transparent and you may also potentially end up paying a deposit, paying for an installation or paying to find your own installer. Finally, be sure to check the financing options available with the provider as you may be eligible to benefit from a financing option.
All in all, if there was one universal way to describe the pricing for walk-in tubs, it woud have to be that it is unnecessarily difficult. It is understandable that prices will vary and fluctuate according to your needs but the hardest part of the process when getting your walk-in tub is getting a quote.
When picking your ideal walk-in tub you will come across a catalogue of features of which some may be more essential than others, or alternatively you may be in a position in which you are a budgeting and thus want to make sure you have the best bespoke walk-in tub for that price. Although there is a huge list of features to look out for, below is a list of features that come with a walk-in tub that we consider to be the most essential for when you come to decide what you require with your walk-in tub:
- ADA compliance – When it comes to products available, being ADA compliant is voluntary. However, having a walk-in tub that is in line with regulations means you will have a certified walk-in tub of a high standard.
- Heated seats – You are in the awkward position where you have to sit on the seat inside the walk-in tub while it fills or drains itself. Having a heated seat makes this time period more pleasurable and is actually a health benefit for you.
- Jets – The jets that comes with your walk-in tub are essential for enjoying the therapeutic benefits of the tub. With providers and their tubs you will find the number of jets offered vary from tub to tub, as well as their location with some are specifically placed in areas to treat joint and pain relief.
- Speed of drainage – Remember with a walk-in tub you have a sealed door for you to enter and exit from. You cannot leave your bath until it has drained. Thankfully, a lot of providers have walk-in tubs with very quick drainage.
- Walk-in threshold height – The lower the better. Being lower means it is easier for you to enter and exit the bath.
Be sure to check the warranty available for the walk-in tub. This is because it will feel as if you are reading the fine print as you may find the entire tub is covered by a certain level of warranty whilst it would also not be unheard of to see a walk-in tub with varying levels of warranty according to the component of the walk-in tub/service.
When it comes to installation, it will not be your job to personally install the walk-in tub. However, your duty surrounding the installation of the walk-in tub can vary according to the provider you choose when you purchase your walk-in tub.
Some providers complete the whole process for you supplying certified and licensed installers for you, whereas others installers are limited in the work they are able to carry out and other providers leave it as your duty to set up and sort out.
The impact of installation may also affect the cost of the purchase of your walk-in bath. You will find that whilst some providers package the price all together to keep it as simple as possible for you, other providers are less charitable, and the cost of the installation will be an added extra which will affect the final cost for your walk-in tub.
The timeframe for installation is circumstantial on you, your living quarters, the walk-in tub and the installer, however when searching for a walk-in tub from providers you will find the general timeframe for installation of the walk-in tub varies from one to two days on average.
Types of walk-in tubs
A walk-in tub is not just simply a walk-in tub. As they are often fully customizable, you can turn it in to anything you want. Below is a brief list and description of the types of walk-in tub that are available to you:
- Aerotherapy – This walk-in tub uses air jets to give you a spa-like experience.
- Bariatric – These are larger tubs designed to accommodate users of any size. They come with all the safety features you would expect from a walk-in tub.
- Chromotherapy – This involves the creation of a relaxed atmosphere through the use of lights to create a ‘meditative’ environment.
- Hydrotherapy – This form of walk-in tub utilizes water jets to provide a massaging experience for you as the user. A great pain reliever.
- Soaker – The most basic version or economical option. It still comes with some features.
- Wheelchair accessible – These walk-in tubs come with large doors for easy access as well as safe and simple access to a built-in seat.
Unfortunately when purchasing a walk-in bath you will find that Medicare is unable to assist you. This remains the case, even if you require a walk-in bath out of necessity.
How did we choose the best walk-in tub providers?
When coming up with our ordered list of the best walk-in tubs providers, we took in to consideration various criteria. This criteria is listed below with a brief description of what it entailed:
- Creating a comprehensive list of walk-in tub providers – There are a large selection of walk-in tub providers out there, so we collated and evaluated a list of walk-in tub providers that have similar charicateristics, standards and attributes.
- Evaluate buying criteria – The most important reason for a walk-in tub is safety, but there are other areas to consider, for example their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, whether they are ADA compliant and the standard of their website (whether they are accessible, clear and do the job that a buyer is looking for).
- USA made walk-in tubs – One criteria for being more selective when choosing our recommendation for the best walk-in tub providers was that the walk-in tubs must be made in the USA.
- Additional features – As well as the safety aspects, there are also numerous health benefits that can come with the walk-in tubs. We consider what is on offer from these providers.
Reviews of the best Walk-in TubsBased on our evaluation, see below the list of what we consider the best walk-in tub providers along with a description of them and their best features:
Safe Step champion their USA made walk-in tubs on the basis of quality control and display this through explaining that they go beyond the benchmark standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act. With more than 50 people working on each individual walk-in tub, the tubs themselves also have to pass a 14-Point Quality Control Inspection.
Obtaining pricing from Safe Step is not simple as their walk-in tubs are often customized in both design and size. This means that when you enquire, you will receive a quote that is unique to you. Prices tend to be approximately $10,000 however it does include, delivery, removal of your old tub and installation with the price. The process of installation should take only one to two days and is carried out by only those that are licensed and certified.
There are multiple financial options available to you if you are eligible when selecting Safe Step. This varies from a finance plan with approved credit, to the “Helping Hands Rebate” and also discounts are available if you are a military veteran.
Safe Step have an ‘A+’ BBB rating.
Read our Safe Step Review
- Rapid fill faucet is ADA compliant.
- The walk-in tubs come in three standard sizes but can be customized.
- Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation for Ease-of-Use.
- Guaranteed lowest price for a walk-in tub of the quality you decide.
- The walk-in tub has limited lifetime warranty.
- Difficulties obtaining a quote.
- Possible deposit chargeable.
- Must own home to be able to purchase a walk-in tub.
Kohler Walk-In Tub
Since 1883, Kohler has been manufacturing walk-in tubs. Their walk-in tubs have ten jets which are located in front of the legs, behind the calves and also targeting your back and spine. There are also 17 BubbleMassage air jets.
Obtaining a price for a walk-in tub is unfortunately difficult due to the price being variable. Your personalised quote will be unique to you.
The Belay Walk-in Bath requires very little maintenance but the maintenance that is required is different to normal forms of cleaning. Their website has further information to ensure you clean your walk-in tub in the correct way. Kohler has an ‘A+’ rating from the BBB.
Read our Kohler Walk-In Tubs Review
- They have a 3D model to help you picture the walk-in tub in your home.
- “Ergonomically friendly seat design”.
- The tub door with the Belay Walk-In Bath is the widest on the market for walk-in tubs as well as also featuring the lowest step in on the market for walk-in tubs.
- The walk-in bath has a Bask which is designed to keep you warm whilst you wait for the bath to be ready.
- There are numerous style options to allow you to find the right style for you. This means that you can take advantage of their LuxStone Bath Walls for example.
- Kohler’s Price Promise.
- Lifetime limited warranty is offered.
- Certified Kohler installation expert will complete the installation of your Belay Walk-In Bath.
- The Belay Walk-In Bath is not wheelchair accessible.
- Difficulties obtaining pricing.
Going strong for over 140 years, quite astonishingly you will find that statistically American Standard’s products can be found in three out of every five homes in the USA. Focussing on quality and luxury, American Standard sell to home improvement retailers for resale.
American Standard offer an unbelievable range of walk-in tubs as you will see below:
- Walk-in Air Baths – $5,844 – $10,624 – 65 models available
- Deep Soaking Tubs – $4,845 – $8,551 – 58 models available
- Combo Massage Tubs – $6,314 – $11,410 – 67 models available
- Walk-in Whirlpool Tubs – $5,433 – $10,188 – 63 models available
American Standard is yet another provider that has an ‘A+’ rating from the BBB, but the cost of the installation will be separate.
- Features with their walk-in tubs include Quick Drain system, RevitaJet Whole Body Hydrotherapy System and the Automatic Water Purging System.
- Massive selection of walk-in tubs available.
- Easy to find prices.
- Various levels of warranty.
- Too many choices.
- Costly to return.
- Various levels of warranty.
A walk-in tub is an excellent ehancement of your safety in a bathroom, and is high recommended if you suffer from certain limitations. The walk-in tubs themselves are of the highest quality and have excellent features to help provide you a comforting bathtime experience whilst also feeling safer. There are so many options regarding walk-in tubs and features for each, so if you decide to spend some time researching walk-in tubs, you can be sure to find the perfect one that completely suits your needs.
Although expensive, especially in comparison to a normal tub, you gain benefits which should outweigh any costs that you consider a hinderance. You can also receive personalised quotes to ensure you recevie exactly what you want from your walk-in tub at the best price and not waste extra money on features that you consider redundant to your cause.