Beneficial walk-in tub features
Walk-in tubs help people with many different lifestyles
Whether you're a senior, an athlete or someone with a physical disability that limits your mobility, a walk-in tub could be just what you need to meet your health and safety needs and help you relax.
Walk-in tubs offer a deeper soaking basin, optional comfort features like chromotherapy and air jets, grab bars and nonslip surfaces for safer entry and exit. These bathtubs are also customizable to fit almost any bathroom space. Read below to discover the numerous benefits of walk-in tubs.
8 beneficial features of walk-in tubs
While safety features are the main reason most people install walk-in tubs, these tubs also have a number of therapeutic options you can add to customize them.
- Safety features: The backbone of any walk-in tub is the safety and ease of use it provides. Features such as handrails and grab bars, nonslip surfaces, extra-wide doors and easy-to-reach controls all ensure a safe bathing environment.
- Hydrotherapy jets/air jets: Adding water and air jets gives your tub therapeutic features. The massage-like benefits can ease sore muscles, improve circulation, provide joint relief, speed up healing and reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
- Quick fill/quick drain features: Many basic walk-in tubs take a long time to drain, which can leave you sitting in your tub for several minutes waiting to open the door. However, many manufacturers have quick-fill and quick-drain features that can speed up drain time to as little as 60 to 90 seconds.
- Low step thresholds: Many people choose walk-in tubs because they have trouble with high steps — standard tubs have a wall height of 14 to 16 inches, and stepping over them can be difficult for those with limited mobility. Most basic walk-in tubs have around a 3- to 7-inch clearance, but you can find tubs with a threshold as low as 2 inches.
- Shower wands: For those who want a hybrid shower and tub, look for a model with a shower wand or hand-held showerhead. These additions can make it easier to maneuver and rinse hard-to-reach areas.
- Size options: Most manufacturers offer a few tub sizes to accommodate the available space in your bathroom. It’s essential to get a tub that fits in your home and can easily accommodate your body. If your doctor has diagnosed you with obesity or you're a larger person, you may need a bariatric tub that’s wider and has a larger door opening.
- Heated seats: Many tubs can be ordered with a heated seat and backrest that further increase relaxation and comfort — especially when you’re waiting for the tub to fill.
- Chromotherapy: Those looking for ultimate relaxation may be interested in a tub outfitted with chromotherapy lighting. These tubs feature LED lights within the basin that fill your tub with colored light and can help you relax or improve your mood.
Who can benefit from using a walk-in tub?
Walk-in tubs aren’t just for seniors. People with mobility issues or disabilities — or anyone who wants a comfortable bathing experience — can benefit from a walk-in tub.
Disabled individuals with limited mobility could benefit from an ADA-compliant walk-in tub specifically designed to be wheelchair-accessible, with wider door openings and grab bars to assist you when getting in and out.
Older adults typically appreciate the safety features that enable them to age in place and remain self-sufficient longer. Also, anyone just looking to relieve stress in the comfort of their own home can enjoy the luxury and ease of a walk-in tub.
What features come standard in a walk-in tub?
Though each manufacturer has slightly different standard features, you should always be able to count on an inward- or outward-opening door, a low step threshold, at least one grab bar, a comfortable seat, a nonslip surface and a deeper soaking basin.
What safety features are available for walk-in tubs?
All tubs come with grab bars, nonslip surfaces, a low step threshold, a leakproof door and a control panel that’s easy to reach and operate. Depending on the brand and model of tub, you may also have access to features such as anti-scald and self-cleaning technology.
What should I look for when shopping for a walk-in tub?
Before buying any new home appliance, you should always read reviews and ask friends and neighbors for recommendations on a trusted name with a great service record. You should also consult your doctor about features that would be beneficial for your specific health needs.
The manufacturer should send a knowledgeable and responsive technician to evaluate your space, explain your options and give a detailed and transparent quote for the tub and installation (if it’s provided). You should also look for a company with a comprehensive, long-lasting warranty. When shopping for a tub, be sure you know what questions to ask.
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