With so many accessible bathtubs on the market, it can be hard to find the best walk-in tub for you. But this doesn’t mean you should settle for anything less than perfect. Your ideal walk-in tub should make you feel safe and relaxed, but there’s certain boxes it needs to check in order for it to improve your situation.
How to Find Your Ideal Walk-in Tub
There are four categories you need to consider when you’re shopping for your ideal walk-in tub. First, consider your mobility challenges like if you use a wheelchair or other assistance. Then, think about any circumstances you need to plan around, like your budget. Finally, find out what size of tub will best suit your bathroom and body type.
What Are Your Current Mobility Challenges?
Mobility is the most important factor when choosing an accessible bathtub. Your purchase needs to improve your original problem by making it easier to get in and out of the tub. This may seem obvious, but sometimes people get distracted by fancy features or low costs and forget to check the specifics.
For example, if you decide on a beautiful, low cost walk-in tub with luxurious features but the door swings inwards and you use a wheelchair—it won’t work. It will make bathing more difficult. Outward-swinging doors are essential for people who use wheelchairs.
Door swing direction is a very important feature for mobility. All of our models will come with either an inward or an outward swinging door (for design & functionality purposes). While the inward-swinging door was standard on all walk-in tubs for many years, outward-swinging doors make it even easier to get in and out of the bath.
For this reason, people who use walkers, wheelchairs, or who really struggle to lift their legs are usually better off with an outward-swinging door. But you also need to consider what else is in your bathroom. Make sure that the door will not be obstructed by a toilet or a counter.
What Circumstances Do You Need to Plan Around?
It’s a good idea to have a budget in mind before you start shopping for your ideal walk-in tub. For a very rough estimate, you could spend somewhere between $2,000 for something simple and basic, and $12,000 for a top-quality model with lots of add-ons. If you know your limit will be around the $5,000 mark, this eliminates the higher-end models.
Another circumstance to consider is who else will be using the tub. We often meet couples shopping together where one of them bathes and the other prefers showers. If this is the case, we recommend one of our models with more floor space so people have more room to stand and shower.
Are you (or the person who will be using the tub) receiving caregiver aid? Some of our tubs are designed to make it easier for the bather to receive assistance, while other models weren’t designed with this in mind. Give us or one of our dealers a call and we’ll walk you through the specifics.
Do You Need A Particular Size of Tub?
Some of our walk-in tubs were designed for particular body types. The Oasis is our longest tub; it was designed for taller individuals or those who want to recline more. The Grandeur was designed for those who require a wider seat or just want a bit more room. The door is wider on this model as well and it has an outward swinging door.
Then some people prefer a smaller tub because they don’t have a lot of space in their bathroom, which brings us to our next point.
What Can Your Bathroom Accommodate?
The final factor to consider is the size of your bathroom.
You’ll want to your tub installed in whichever bathroom is easiest to get to. Take some measurements in this room and write them down. With the help of our team or representatives from our dealers, you’ll want to make sure your choice of tub will fit in your bathroom.
Some rooms are simply too small to fit the larger tubs. Having said that, there are other options like the Rio which was designed to fit through narrow doorways and has a small footprint.
After you nail down the essential areas of mobility, circumstances, bathroom size, and body type, you can look into add-ons that enhance the experience.
To learn more about what each tub is designed for, you can read more and see our comparison chart here.
There is an ideal walk-in tub for everyone. For some, it will be the small yet tall model that gives a deep soak to relax the shoulders. For someone else, it will be the long model with massaging jets to improve circulation. Whichever it is, it will be the choice that considers mobility above all else. Give us or one of our dealers a call to learn more about each model.