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Daily Living Aids

3 Best Walk in Bathtubs (Review & Buyer Guide)

Written by Dayna C
Last Updated :
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There are plenty of different walk-in tubs on the market today. However, we made your search easier by picking the best one for your needs.

Slippery bathrooms and undrained water make an “ideal” combination for falling hazards, even among the younger population, not to mention older adults. Some of them could provide a better user experience and easier showering.

An woman in a bathtub
An image of a walk-in bathtub.

If you are looking for a way to avoid those slick edges when getting into or out of a regular bathtub, a walk-in tub may be the solution for any senior, a person with disabilities, or a person with limited mobility.

A walk-in Bathtub can be handy when choosing between different products, as you can get an idea of the experience the best walk-in tubs provide.

This post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

Check this comparison table for a quick guide. Read the review for further details.

Best Walk-in Bathtub: Top 3 Choices

Safer, more comfortable, and more convenient than regular bathtubs, walk-in tubs are the right choice for physically or mobility-challenged individuals.

After reviewing more than 20 models, we compiled a list of the top 3 walk-in bathtubs on the market.

1. Outward Opening Whirlpool Walk-In Tub by American Standard

American Standard Gelcoat

Benefits

  • No plumbing required
  • Low threshold
  • The watertight outward door
  • Fills in less than 60 seconds
  • Equipped with 6 water jets and in-line heater
  • Numerous safety features

Cons:

  • It is costly

American Standard is a reliable walk-in tub manufacturer. It provides advanced therapeutic features combined with utmost safety and comfort while in use.

If you are a bit tight on space in your bathroom, this walk-in tub will come in handy, as it is very compact in size.

Yet, disregarding this tub’s space efficiency, American Standard designed a product with numerous benefits and useful features for any senior or person with a disability.

A child with limited mobility in a library

The low threshold makes it easy to walk in, and the tub is simple to use as well—just activate it and watch the magic happen.

Customers love the fact using this American Standard walk in tub doesn’t require them to perform any other plumbing procedures, which simplifies its use even more.

This model’s watertight outward door makes it safe and easy to walk in, and the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on the door.

If your main reason for purchasing a walk-in bathtub is to enjoy endless massage sessions, relax your body and muscles after a long day, or alleviate pain, the tub with a built-in Whirlpool Massage System will spoil you after the first use.

Equipped with 6 water jets and an in-line heater, the American Standard bathtub provides a sophisticated and invigorating massage experience each time you use it.

This tub is made of high-quality, durable Gelcoat, includes a safety grab bar and textured bath floor to prevent slipping or falling, premium fast fill-faucet (under the pressure of 40 PSI, this tub fills at 16 gallons per minute), patented chrome quick drain, and a handheld showering wand.

The American Standard walk-in tub comes with a tub extender, intended for tubs less than 60 inches, that takes up no more space than a standard tub.

Even if you have a narrow bathroom, this tub will fit it easily.

American Standard gives you a 5-year warranty on all components except for the tub shell, which fall under the 10-year warranty.

All of the features of the American Standard walk-in tub are designed with the user’s safety and comfort in mind, making this bathtub a great solution for slippery bathrooms and disrupted balance issues.

As someone who is disabled, the walk-in tub has made life easier. The whirlpool feature with heater is a nice relaxing soak.” (Amazon )

American Standard Gelcoat Value Whirlpool 32"x52" Right Side Outward Door Walk-In Bathtub in White
  • Your purchase includes One American Standard Gelcoat Value Whirlpool 32” x 52” | Right Hand Orientation in White color
  • Bathtub dimensions – 32” W x 52” L x 40” D | Item weight – 239 lbs. | Weight limit – 1,000 lbs. | Water Capacity – 80 gallons
  • The whirlpool heater is designed to maintain water temperature during operation. It will not heat cold water to desired bathing temperature.
  • Counts with massage system with 6 water jets, a legs only massage for a soothing and invigorating therapeutic bathing experience
  • Includes the patented Quick Drain that rapidly pumps water out of the bathtub after a bath in less than 2 minutes and requires no additional plumbing

2. Companion Massage Walk-In Tub by Ella’s Bubbles

BUILD QUALITY PICK
Companion Massage Walk In Tub

Ella’s Bubbles presents an unprecedented model on the market – their Companion walk in tub with two removable-back seats, making it feasible to install two facing seats.

Featuring the unique two-person 60”x30”x38” model equipped with multiple safety features, Ella’s Bubbles tub stands out for several other benefits.

This acrylic tub shell is made of tempered glass and comes with a stainless steel frame, which are features that make it great for use for people of any weigh.

A senior couple is reading a magazine

The tempered glass not only makes the tub appear stylish in your bathroom but also ensures it can withstand water pressure.

Ella’s Bubbles designed a low step-in threshold, fully-removable door, and slip-resistant flooring to make it easy to walk in or out of the tub, complementing these safety features with one deck mount for added safety.

Now that we are talking about water pressure, Ella’s Bubbles tub has a hydro and air massage system.

This feature is complemented by push controls that make it easy to set everything according to your needs and wishes, including the thermostatic control valve.

This way, you can adjust the temperature to your preferences and can be 100% carefree of any burns.

Ella’s Bubbles also introduces ozone sterilization, another impressive feature providing you with millions of pleasurable bathing moments.

What would you say if you knew the Ella’s Bubbles come with 15 air therapy jets?

That’s right – this walk-in tub is full of surprises.

Yet, there is more – there is the 18-jet hydrotherapy system for extended pleasure.

Enjoy the MicroBubble feel as the massage exfoliates and hydrates your skin.

Thanks to the Dual Drain Technology, the Ella’s Bubbles walk-in tub empties in less than 80 seconds.

Yet, there is more that makes this brand stand out from the competition.

Equipped with overflow drains, you don’t ever have to worry about the flooded bathroom.

As a cherry on top, this walk-in tub is easy to install.

The installation package includes almost everything you need, leaving some room for your own DIY bathing project.

“This tub has changed my life. I can walk in, without having to lift achy hips or knees.

The seat is comfortable and it is heaven to soak in a tub without having to worry about how I’m going to get out of the tub. It’s wonderful.

It’s beautiful to look at and easy to clean. Works like a charm. BIG upgrade to our home… and ADA compliant.” (Amazon )

Benefits

  • Impressive build quality
  • Both hydro and air massage systems
  • Two removable seats
  • Can withstand heavy use
  • Dual Drain Technology
  • 3-speed controls
  • 15 air therapy jets
  • Thermostatic control valve

Cons

  • You may need additional parts to install this tub, while the manual isn’t as straightforward as it should be

Ella Companion 32"x60" Air + Hydro Massage w/ Independent Foot Massage Acrylic Two Seat Walk-In-Bathtub, Inward Swing Door, 2 Piece Fast Fill Faucet, 2" Dual Drains
  • Hydro massage comes with seven (7) fixed jets per seat. Includes an intensity dial control, in-line water heater, and ozone sterilization to clean the system and water.
  • Independent foot massage includes 6 adjustable hydro jets with its own pump and controls that allows you to enjoy a foot and calf massage while only filling up the tub to seat level.
  • Air massage comes with 16 strategically placed jets. Includes a 3-speed variable push control and auto purge to clean the system.
  • Dual Drain Technology features 2 individually controlled 2 in. drains with easy to turn levers. 4 2” outlets allow for the fastest gravity driven drain in the industry.
  • Two Seat Walk in Bathtub allows you to enjoy a bath or foot massage with a loved one.
  • Ella 2 Piece Fast-Fill Faucet fills up to 16GPM mounted faucet and has a pull out multi-functional hand shower in chrome finish.

3. Walk-in Tub by Empava

BUDGET PICK
Empava 53” Walk-in Tub

If you are hoping to purchase a safe, comfortable, yet affordable walk-in tub, the Empava walk-in tub may catch your attention.

It is hard to stay immune to the luxurious appearance of this tub’s white acrylic finish, but its design is only one thing that will impress you here.

Besides the affordable price range of this bathtub, it still provides the latest safety and comfort features that other more expensive tubs do.

Speaking of features, easy entry may come to the top of the list.

The entry door of this tub is only 4 inches high, making it super easy to enter.

What is even better, Empava designed a wide door (20% wider than the regular walk in bathtub doors) to meet the safety and comfort requirements of their customers, providing them with worry-free bath time.

With a 94-gallon water capacity, the Empava walk-in tub allows the average adult to soak in water up to their shoulders.

Empava manufactured a walk-in tub with simple-to-use ergonomic knobs that are ideal for holding on when you lack stability.

On the inside, there is an integrated seat to sink in and enjoy your SPA-like home experience.

Two grab bars—one on the outside and one on the inside — are installed on this tub, providing a stable grip whether standing, sitting, or bathing.

A handrail surrounds the outside of this walk-in tub, which is designed to add safety for the bather.

In the end, this bathtub comes with the cabled right side drain, showerhead, knobs, faucet, and overflow and pre-drilled and pre-installed accessories that simplify the installation process.

Certified by the ADA, affordable, yet providing numerous useful features, the Empava walk-in tub will restore bath excitement for the elderly, people with disabilities, or anyone with limited mobility.

child with cerebral palsy

“I was impressed by the workmanship of this tub. Fit and finish is flawless. It sits lower to the floor than the one it replaced, forcing me to add spacers under the feet to match up the drain, but other than that installation was quick and easy for two people.” (Amazon )

Benefits

  • Low and wide entry door
  • 94 Gallons of capacity
  • ADA-certified
  • The simple installation process
  • Bariatric-type bathtub
  • Affordable

Cons

  • It takes long to fill this tub up

Empava 53” Walk-in Tub Freestanding Bathtub With Left Side Door, WIT373, White
23 Reviews
Empava 53” Walk-in Tub Freestanding Bathtub With Left Side Door, WIT373, White
  • The Empava walk in freestanding bathtub offer the ultra-low step-in threshold at just less than 4 inches that providing a very short step to enter your bath, prevents any water from spilling into your bathroom, helping to keep you safe and secure.
  • Relax and wind down in your Pure-Scape luxurious walk in tub by Empava, featuring 100% glossy white acrylic and a contemporary stand-alone design that complements any bathroom décor. The ergonomic control knobs is designed for simplicity and ease. Perfect for the seniors or those with disabilities to enjoy SPA-Like comfort in own home.
  • The outside of the walk-in bath is equipped with a surrounding handrail built in to the rim of the bath. This way, you have a stable grip at all times during your bath. Another grab bar is installed inside the bath for added stability and safety while sitting, standing and bathing.
  • The Acrylic Freestanding walk in tub contain an integrated seat, allows the average adult bather to submerge in water up to their shoulders, which creates a relaxing feel for extended soaks. The Textured, slip-resistant tub floor for added safety.
  • Bathtub Outer Dimensions: 52. 5 in. L x 26. 5 in. W x 40 in. H , 3 grab bar, 1 pillow and 2” copper drain are included. 94 Gallons of water capacity. The faucet are pre-installed in the middle, left side drain, and left side door. Indulge in the elegance and relaxation available to you with this bathtub.
  • The Empava walk in freestanding bathtub offer extra-wide door is at least 20% wider than other walk-in baths, and opens all the way into the bath to give you plenty of space to step in and out of your walk-in bath comfortably.
  • Along with the cabled left side drain, Overflow, Faucet, Knobs, Showerhead, the Empava Freestanding tub EMPV-WIT373 accessories are pre-drilled and pre-installed for a convenient and easy installation process. With 3 Years US Based Manufacture limited parts .

How Much Do Walk-in Tubs Cost?

A senior woman with  a red hat thinking about something

Walk-in tubs come at different prices.

The price is mostly defined by the manufacturer brand, the size, safety features, comfort, customization options, and the installation process.

The Empava walk-in tub we reviewed is under 2 grand, which is considered affordable for a tub of such quality.

On the other hand, the American Standard walk-in tub comes at the price of about $4500.

Yet, you can install it yourself, without having to call a plumber, which may not be the case with the other two tubs we reviewed.

Of course, if you are a skilled DIY-er, you can always go for this option and save some money.

Yet, if you still decide to hire a professional plumber to install your walk-in tub, expect the overall cost of the tub and the installation service to range from $2,500 to $25,000.

We don’t want you to break the bank, which is why we recommend products that fit most people’s budgets.

Which Walk-In Tub Is The Right One for Your Needs?

Elderly woman thinking about bathtub

Like different types of regular tubs, walk-in tubs provide different features, and this section may help you get a better idea of which type is right for your needs.

Whirlpool Walk-In Tubs

Can you suppose what is the best feature of this type of walk-in tub?

It comes with regular jets that massage your body and provide instant pain relief.

Walk-in bathtubs with massage jets for seniors circulate water, then suck it in and push it out.

The deep massaging action has a positive effect on sore muscles, relaxing the whole body.

It feels like you have just gone out from massage therapy!

Whirlpool walk-in tubs require regular maintenance and cleaning sessions if you expect them to work optimally.

Yet, this won’t take much of your time.

Soaking Walk In Tubs

If you miss the pleasure of a nice, long soak in your regular bathtub, a soaking walk-in tub is the best alternative.

No matter of the reason why you are avoiding your regular bathtub, a soaking tub will bring back the good, old feeling of water embracing and caressing your whole body.

Aerated Walk In Tubs

Walk-in bathtubs with massage jets for seniors got in the public eye not so long ago, and it seems seniors find them very useful.

Similarly to whirlpool walk-in tubs, aerated walk-in tubs give you a nice massage, but in a slightly different way.

Aerated tub draws water from an outside source and pumps the air through the jets, which results in a million-bubbles-massage.

The air bubbles being sprouted at high velocity ensure you get a truly immersive and relaxing experience.

Air and Whirlpool Walk In Tubs

If you like a little bit of everything—both bubbles and water jets—the air and whirlpool walk-in tub will give you a bathing experience like no other.

What is even better – you can use both features at the same time!

Bariatric Walk In Tubs

Regular walk-in tubs come with a regular door.

Yet, people weighing more than 300 pounds can’t fit into a regular tub, which is why the bariatric type of tub is the right solution.

Bariatric tubs are sturdy, with a large seat, and wider door opening.

Speaking of other safety features, the best bariatric walk-in tubs have multiple grab bars, slip-resistant floors, and low steps.

Best Walk-in Bathtub: Benefits and Drawbacks

Different models and configurations of walk-in tubs on the market make them more or less convenient for the elderly and people with disabilities.

A walk-in tub’s main purpose is to increase a bather’s safety.

If in doubt, we will explain the biggest benefits and drawbacks of walk-in bathtubs so you can get an idea of what they look like when used in your bathroom.

Benefits

An elderly woman in a wheelchair  with husband
  • Safety Features

We can’t stress the fact how safe walk in tubs are!

Almost all of the products on the market are designed with fall and injury prevention and safety in mind.

We will talk in-depth about safety features in the next section, but mention a few here:

  1. Built-in handrails,
  2. Contoured seating,
  3. Low entry, etc.

The best walk-in tubs are ADA-compliant, just like the Empava walk-in tub.

Some tubs even come with temperature valves and scald prevention valves that prevent burns.

  • Water depth

Stepping into a regular tub is a risky venture if you are not fully stable.

On the other hand, a walk-in tub’s lower entry makes it possible to soak into water on a deeper level without exposing yourself to the risk of slipping over or out of the tub.

Not only are walk-in tubs seated securely, but you can enjoy almost 4 feet of water depth, compared to the maximum 14 inches regular bathtubs provide.

  • Reducing pains and aches

Hydrotherapy is useful with seniors and people with disabilities, as it speeds the healing process, including ulcers and burns as the most common injuries.

Warm water can also alleviate pain and help patients deal with various medical conditions, such as arthritis.

Nowadays, walk-in tubs come with built-in jets.

You can experience the outdoor hot tubs offer in your bathroom and use different massage features and speeds to relax muscles.

  • Cost-effectiveness

A walk in tub offers a myriad of extra features in comparison to a single, regular tub.

Instead of spending money on bathtub accessories such as non-slip flooring, anti-scald valves, or handrails, a walk-in tub combines all these features into one.

On the other hand, it saves your time, as there is no additional remodeling required.

Even though you would have to make a slightly costlier investment right away, a walk-in tub pays off long-term.

Drawbacks

  • Time to fill and drain

Regular tubs are compact and won’t make you sit inside while the water is filling up or draining.

On the other hand, a walk-in tub has a side door, which makes it impossible to open when in use.

This can give you chills and cause a common cold if your immunity is weak.

If you don’t have a tub with Dual Drain Technology, such as Ella’s Bubbles walk-in tub, which empties in 80 seconds, you will spend a considerable amount of time in there waiting for the water to drain.

  • Temperature

When filling your walk-in tub, you must expose your body to temperature changes until you set the temperature to optimal.

You are soaking your body directly into the desired water temperature when using a regular bathtub.

Because of this, if your skin is sensitive to temperature changes, consider walk-in tubs with scald-prevention valves.

  • Installation costs

Just like we mentioned in the previous section, if you need help of a professional plumber with the installation, that will cost you money.

Complex bathtubs require complex installation, which may get you up to $10,000 from the pocket.

We had this in mind when writing our best walk-in tubs reviews, so you can be carefree regarding this issue when purchasing any of the models from the above list.

Now that you know all the benefits and drawbacks of a walk-in tub, you can compare them and choose a side.

However, knowing we listed only the best products that meet the utmost safety and comfort standards, with the modern technologies and extra features, that won’t break the bank, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages on all levels.

Walk In Tub or Walk In Shower?

For seniors losing mobility or people with disabilities and mobility issues, there are two choices – a walk in tub or walk-in shower.

Some people prefer baths, others showers, but when it comes to limited mobility, taking a shower may be a tricky option, especially when considering the extended time spent standing.

If you ask us, a walk-in tub is the best option for anyone with limited mobility, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when making a decision.

How large is your bathroom?

When remodeling your bathroom, besides having your or your beloved one’s needs in mind, you should have the spare space in your bathroom in mind.

Walk-in showers save about 12% of space on average, which may seem like the right option if you have a small bathroom.

Yet, if there is some extra space in there, a walk in tub would be a way better option, as with years, seniors lose even more mobility and need some extra support.

Why would you invest your money twice in two remodeling projects, when you can save up a nice sum?

Who would be using the bathroom?

Disabled child in a wheelchair with father

Living with your children and grandchildren would make a big difference, as the younger population prefers to walk in the shower.

On the other hand, if you are living alone, with your spouse, or you are remodeling your parent’s bathroom but live in your own space, a walk in tub is a preferable option.

Do you care about energy efficiency?

Being tight on a budget means you are counting every cent.

If so, a walk-in shower would save you up to about 10 gallons of water per use.

Walk-in showers spend about 20 gallons, while walk-in tubs use about 30 gallons per bath.

Yet, if you still prefer the spa-like experience walk-in tubs enable, go for it!

Having all this in mind, if your final decision is to purchase a walk-in tub, you should know which features are the most important for seniors and people with disabilities.

After all, you want to make a good investment that will serve you for many years to come.

Down below, read more on the most important walk-in tub features.

Pay Attention to These Walk-In Tub Features

If you feel overwhelmed by the information we included about our top 3 walk-in tubs, we will break down some of the most important features when making a choice.

This way, you will find it easier to determine which one is the tub for your needs.

  • The door

While reading our guide for the best walk-in bathtub, you certainly noticed we paid special attention to each product’s door.

Placement and function of the door are two of the critical spots of many walk in tubs.

Thus, we highly recommend that you get a bathtub with a watertight door (the American Standard tub).

  • The seat

Walk in tubs are designed with the utmost safety in mind, but high-quality bathtubs provide comfort with every use as well.

A contoured or integrated seat makes bath time enjoyable, as you can easily forget about the clock and stay in for hours.

  • Water capacity

When purchasing for a walk in bathtub, you want to have water capacity and available space of the product in mind.

Well, you certainly want a tub to soak in completely and not to have your shoulders out of the water.

If you want to create a spa-like environment in your bathroom, we highly recommend that you check the water capacity, size, and depth of different walk-in tubs.

  • Extra features

Speaking of extra features, some walk in tubs can provide you with an impressive experience.

For instance, massaging jets and bubble technology are known for therapeutic benefits.

A quick-release drain is another extra feature to consider, as you don’t want a tub that clogs easily or requires additional maintenance.

Safety features like built-in grab bars and an anti-slip floor are a must when picking your walk-in tub, especially if you or your loved one have limited mobility and lack balance.

Summary

A walk-in bathtub ensures safety, and comfort and increases your independence while taking a bath.

With numerous innovative features present-day walk-in tubs have in mind, it was never easier to bring a spa-like atmosphere to your home.

We truly hope our walk-in tub reviews have brought you closer to making a decision to improve your quality of life and regain independence while in the bathroom with one of the best walk-in tubs.

Our Choice

After carefully considering the most important features and comfort of our top 3 walk-in tubs, we have come to a conclusion.

The best walk-in bathtub is: The Outward Opening Walk-In Whirlpool Walk-In Tub by American Standard carries the day by all criteria.

It provides customers with high-quality, endless value and meets the needs of seniors and people with disabilities or limited mobility.

The watertight outward door, 6 water jets, contoured seat, textured anti-slip floor, and easy installation with no plumbing required made the American Standard walk-in tub stand out from the competition. It is indeed a bit costlier than the other two walk in tubs from our list, but having all those safety and comfort features in mind it provides, it is worth every cent.

American Standard Gelcoat Value Whirlpool 32"x52" Right Side Outward Door Walk-In Bathtub in White
  • Your purchase includes One American Standard Gelcoat Value Whirlpool 32” x 52” | Right Hand Orientation in White color
  • Bathtub dimensions – 32” W x 52” L x 40” D | Item weight – 239 lbs. | Weight limit – 1,000 lbs. | Water Capacity – 80 gallons
  • The whirlpool heater is designed to maintain water temperature during operation. It will not heat cold water to desired bathing temperature.
  • Counts with massage system with 6 water jets, a legs only massage for a soothing and invigorating therapeutic bathing experience
  • Includes the patented Quick Drain that rapidly pumps water out of the bathtub after a bath in less than 2 minutes and requires no additional plumbing

Which one is your favorite walk in bathtub? Please share with us below!

About Author

Dayna C
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years.  Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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