7 Best Accessible Bath and Shower Chairs
The shower is one of the prime places where falls happen. Shower chairs provide extra stability for elders and others with mobility issues.
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Buying a Shower Chair
Whether you’re living with a health condition, have mobility issues or are just getting older, a shower chair provides a little extra help maintaining balance in a slippery tub or shower. Besides being comfortable to sit on while washing and shampooing, a shower chair can also help you get in and out of the shower safely.
When shopping for a shower chair, your personal safety is paramount. Consider the bathroom’s layout and how heavy a shower chair you can manage by yourself, as well as the chair’s load capacity.
Here are the most important features to look for:
- Style: Options include freestanding chairs or stools (with or without a back and arms), wall-mounted and transfer benches.
- Load capacity: Figure at least 20 pounds more than the actual weight of the heaviest person using it.
- Size: Look for a compact chair if you have a small bathroom and extra-wide seats (sans arms) to accommodate larger users.
- Materials: Choices include lightweight waterproof plastic and mildew- and corrosion-resistant aluminum, as well as natural wood, like teak and bamboo.
- Comfort: Focus on features such as ergonomic, contoured and/or padded seats and height-adjustable legs to avoid straining the back.
- Flexibility: Seek out shower chairs with removable backs and arms that are reversible, for left- or right-handed shower and tub transfers.
- Assembly: Pre-assembled or easy no-tool assembly is best.
- Cost: Check with your health insurance provider. Many companies cover this type of equipment for home use.
- Safety accessories: Examples include no-slide drainage holes, non-slip feet and seat belts.
Here are our picks for the top bath and shower chairs that will give you the most peace of mind.
Best Budget Shower Chair
The simple, straightforward design of the Moen home care bath safety non-slip adjustable tub and shower chair includes all the essentials. It’s lightweight, strong and affordable (less than $40), with stainless steel legs that adjust from 14 to 21 inches.
The non-slip high-impact polypropylene plastic seat curves for comfort and balance, with drain holes that prevent you from slipping and sliding around. It’s compact enough to fit into small tubs and showers and can hold bathers up to 250 pounds.
Best Chair for Shower/Bathtub Combinations
If you’re the least bit unsteady, entering and exiting a combination shower/bath can be scary. The Carousel Sliding Transfer Bench with Swivel Seat by Platinum Health makes the task much easier and safer with a padded seat that swivels into place, then slides into your favored bathing spot.
The adjustable aluminum legs fit over most bathtubs. The padded arms can be raised for easy transfer. And its reversible design allows you to get in or out from the right or left side. This shower chair holds up to 330 lbs., and comes in a high-contrast blue for the visually impaired.
Best Wall-Mounted Shower Chair
The space-efficient Home Aesthetics teak wood seat shower bench works for those with low-to-moderate physical challenges or who just need a place to sit and shave their legs. Constructed of grade-A natural teak, it’s finished with a clear coating for water resistance.
There is a downside: It must be installed directly into the wall studs by a professional contractor or experienced DIYer. But once installed, the slim seat automatically folds up when not in use via a machined precision tension hinge.
Best Padded Shower Chair
No need to settle for a shower chair that’s hard and uncomfortable when there’s the sturdy, institutional quality Platinum Health Shower Chair. It’s got padding everywhere — on the seat, on the back and even on the weight-bearing armrests.
It touts soft, warm-to-the-touch polyurethane cushioning to minimize the risk of skin irritation and tears. Non-slip rubber grips help it stay securely in place.
Highest Weight Limit Shower Chair
Because everyone deserves a safe and pleasurable showering experience, we chose the Eagle Heath bariatric shower chair as a runaway standout in this category. As sturdy and stable as they come, it’s made of heavy-duty molded plastic with a rust-proof, high-strength aluminum frame. The wide base (27-1/2-inches to 28-1/2-inches) renders it ridiculously robust, supporting up to 500 pounds.
“Excellent for the needs of oversized human beings like myself,” writes five-star HomeDepot.com reviewer JW. “Turned out to be much better than the literature indicated!”
Best Portable Shower Chair
Lightweight (four pounds) and small (13 inches in diameter), the Vaunn Medical Swivel Shower Stool’s round, padded seat rotates 360 degrees. Swivel around to rinse off the suds, turn the shower faucet on and off, hang up the washcloth and reach the towel with ease. The independently adjustable legs have slip-resistant rubber tips for worry-free spinning.
As one Amazon reviewer wrote, “I just returned from a vacation at a rustic camp and I had been concerned about having a tub stool/bench that would fit. This stool fits perfectly, even though the old tub was somewhat narrow.”
Best Shower Bench
It’s a simple but revolutionary design. The Carex Portable Shower Bench lays across the top edges of most standard tubs, creating a plank-style seat for comfort (it’s contoured) and security (it holds up to 300 pounds). A safe-grip handle and rubber stops protect the tub from scratches, and that slippery bar of soap is less likely to get away from you thanks to the clever built-in soap dish.