bathtub chair

Bathtub Chair

Types, Features and Recommendations

A bathtub chair can make all the difference for preventing falls for the elderly.

A bath chair provides a surface for the elderly to sit on when in the shower or bathtub.

They are helpful for people that tire easily and need to sit down frequently.

They are also necessary for people that have issues with balance, leg strength and cannot stand for long.

They come in two main styles: a bath chair with a back or a bathtub stool without a back.

The backrest can be helpful for people that need a bit more back support.

The stool can be good for small spaces such as a small shower stall.

The bathroom chair and bathroom stool can help elderly people to remain independent and safe with their bathing.

Who Should Use?

A bathtub chair should be used by seniors who fatigue easily or have issues with standing balance and need to sit during a shower.

Who Should NOT Use?

If a senior has difficulty stepping into or out of a bathtub or shower, they may require more support for this transfer than can be provided with a bath chair.

They may need a bathroom product for the elderly such as a shower board, shower bench or bathtub lift. They may also benefit from bathroom grab bars.


1) Bathroom Stool:

bathtub chair

Bathroom stools are shower or bathtub seats without a back (no back = bathroom stool).

Bathtub or shower stools provide a surface for an elderly person to sit on.

This is especially helpful if they tire easily during a shower.

They are also helpful for people with balance issues or difficulty with leg strength.

2) Bathroom Chair:

bathtub chair

A bathroom chair is a shower or bathtub seat with a back (rather than no back = bathroom stool).

The backrest on these shower or tub seats provide a bit more support.

A backrest can be particularly helpful if a senior becomes quite fatigued trying to support their weight in the upright.

It provides a surface to lean on and requires less muscle work.

3) Corner Shower Seat:

bathtub chair

A corner shower seat is generally used in a small shower to optimize room.

They are shaped in a triangle and fit into the corner of a shower stall.

Corner shower seats are usually wood or plastic.

They can also be built into a shower as a corner seat or as a floating seat. The edge will be rounded or straight across.

A corner shower seat will not be a big enough surface for someone who is larger.

Recommended Features

1) Height adjustable

A bathroom chair or bathroom stool should be height adjustable.

Usually they come with spring-loaded pins that can be pushed in and then the legs can adjusted up or down.

Non-permanent corner shower seats are often also height adjustable.

2) Non-slip bottom

Most shower or bathtub chairs have rubber, non-slip tips on the bottoms of the legs.

Some also come with suction cups on the bottom of the legs, which helps the bathtub chair not to move.

3) Water durable components

Most bathtub chairs or shower stools are made of aluminum, plastic and rubber non-slip tips.

These components seem to wear well over the years.

4) Arms

Some bathtub chairs come with arms.

If your aging parent finds getting up and down easier when sitting in a chair with arms, they might want to consider a bath chair with arms.

bathtub chair

5) Removable back

Many bathroom chairs can be turned into bathroom stools by removing the back.

This can be handy if the bathroom a senior uses changes (for instance, if they move and they don't have room for a back in the small shower stall at their new home).

6) Padded

A bathtub chair or bathroom stool can be purchased in a padded version if your loved one has fragile skin or is thin and at risk for pressure sores.


Handheld Shower Head Holder

Some bathtub seats or bathroom stools have a little indent in the side to hold a hand held shower head into while showering.

This can be very helpful for increasing safety as it will decrease the need of the elderly person to have to reach to retrieve the hand held shower head.

How to Fit

It is always easier to get up from higher surfaces than lower surfaces.

The most typical set up is to have the bathtub chair or bathroom stool set up:

  • So your aging parents knees are at about 90 degrees (or slightly higher than this)
  • Their feet flat on the floor (without shoes on)

If they have a lot of trouble getting up and down from a seated position, you may raise the tub seat a bit higher. Just ensure their feet are on the ground enough that they are safe.

Bathroom grab bars may also be needed in this case.

Weight Capacity: Do not forget to check the weight capacity to ensure it is strong enough to support your loved one.

How to Use

Bathtub chairs or shower stools are placed in the tub. Usually they face the taps and shower head.

Your elderly parent accesses the tub or shower in the same way as usually.

Then they sit down and shower (with the shower curtain pulled).

Usually turning on the water after they are seated is recommended (unless they have a hand held shower head) so that it is not wet in the tub or shower when they are getting in.

How Much Do They Cost?

The cost depends on the type (bathtub chair, bathroom stool, corner shower seat, padded, non-padded) and the quality.

They range anywhere from $25 - $200.


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.