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 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?
Read my article reviews about: Choose the best bathtub for your home needs
Walk In Tub Reviews
- 1 Walk In Tub Reviews
- 1.1 1. Companion Massage Walk-In Tub
- 1.2 2. Deluxe Dual Massage Acrylic Walk In Bathtub
- 1.3 Ella OA2660M-R Lounger Acrylic Microbubble and Hydro Massage Walk-in Bathtub
- 1.4 4. HandiTub Whirlpool & Air Jetted Wheelchair Accessible Bathtub
- 1.5 5. Telluride Whirlpool Jetted Bathtub
- 1.6 6. Prairie Whirlpool & Air Jetted Bathtub
- 1.7 7. Aspen Whirlpool Bathtub
- 1.8 8. Exclusive Series 48 in. x 28 in. Walk-In Whirlpool and Air Bath Tub
- 1.9 9. Ariel EZWT-3060-DUAL-R 6
- 1.10 10. Universal Tubs 4 ft. Left Drain Walk-In Whirlpool Bath Tub
- 1.11 11. Dignity 48″ x 28″ Whirlpool and Air Jetted 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 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. Companion Massage Walk-In Tub
Made of durable, easy to clean acrylic, this tub doubles as not only a walk in tub but an air and hydro-massage system as well. This all-inclusive walk-in tub, with its delightful extras, thus meets the needs of even the most discerning of buyers.
2. Deluxe Dual Massage Acrylic Walk In Bathtub
If you like the term ‘easy to clean’ then this is the one for you. The white cast glossy acrylic coat of this bathtub ensures cleaning pleasure, while the pristine white gleam will brighten any bathroom interior. To add to your pleasure, this is a dual massage bathtub, i.e. it has the functions of both an aerated tub and a whirlpool tub.
Ella OA2660M-R Lounger Acrylic Microbubble and Hydro Massage Walk-in Bathtub
A sleek design added to its long, narrow design, allows you to lay back and stretch your legs. Add to this the micro bubble therapy technology and hydro massage jets, and your bathing experience is taken to the next level!
4. HandiTub Whirlpool & Air Jetted Wheelchair Accessible Bathtub
If you are looking for something nifty and easy to place with minimum fuss, this whirlpool and air unit is a great bet. All that is needed is an adequate water supply and drainage in the correct position.
5. Telluride Whirlpool Jetted Bathtub
With side panels included for a three-sided enclosure plus an adjustable shower handle for easy use, this whirlpool tub is a sure winner.
6. Prairie Whirlpool & Air Jetted Bathtub
A great American brand tub with strong jets and air nozzles. This tub has a good, well-rounded finish.
7. Aspen Whirlpool Bathtub
A whirlpool walk in tub that ticks all the boxes, resulting in a most relaxing, massaging soak.
8. Exclusive Series 48 in. x 28 in. Walk-In Whirlpool and Air Bath Tub
Experience a deluxe leg massage in the comfort of your own home, while relaxing in the comfort of your own home.
9. Ariel EZWT-3060-DUAL-R 6
A heavy-duty walk-in bathtub with a high gloss finish, the built-in safety features ensure no slippage or falling if used correctly.
10. Universal Tubs 4 ft. Left Drain Walk-In Whirlpool Bath Tub
An independent bathing experience made possible by using the latest techniques in tub design. Enjoy the luxury of a soothing soak.
11. Dignity 48″ x 28″ Whirlpool and Air Jetted Walk-In Bathtub
The bath comes with a 5-piece designer faucet set as well as an overflow protective drain and extension panel, shower rod, and curtain.
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.
Read more: How to Choose the Best Baby Bath Tub
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:
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.
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.
- The Door
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.
- The Extras
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.
How Do I Choose the Best Walk In Bathtub?
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 a senior 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.
Taking the different walk in tub reviews into consideration, I have to say that my pick would be the Deluxe Dual Massage Acrylic Walk In Bathtub. For me, this one typifies the heights of luxury and ticks all the boxes. Add to this that it is a dual function bath, allowing for both the whirlpool and air massage systems, plus the extras, e.g. the ozone sterilization system, and I am sold. I also like the fact that the parts have a five-year warranty and that the shell frame and door carry a lifetime warranty. The removable door is the cherry on top.