Types of Walk-in Bathtubs

Did you know that (more than) one in three seniors over age 65 fall each year? The National Institute on Aging (NIA) reports that 80% of these falls are in the bathroom. To prevent such occurrences, many families consider walk-in bathtubs to mitigate the risk of injuries. Walk-in bathtubs are great considerations for the less mobile among us. For aging adults, falls can lead to debilitating injuries. Today’s post focuses on the different types of walk-in bathtubs available.

What are walk-in bathtubs? Walk-in bathtubs are an alternative to a traditional bathtub. Walk-in tubs have doors on them. They open up so the user doesn’t have to step over a leading edge like you might find on a conventional bathtub. Walk-in bathtubs can be safer alternatives for elderly and/or disabled individuals, but there are many different types of walk-in bathtubs. If you’re considering a new walk-in type tub, you need to know your options.

Soaker tub

The soaker tub is a basic model and does not have any air or water jets. It includes a leak-proof door and a low-entry step-up. Grab bars are sometimes included but may be an optional feature. A seat is molded into the tub. Most soaker tubs also include a hand-held shower head that fits into its place at the front of the tub. All soaker tubs listed in this comparison have anti-slip floor and seat finishes.

Aerotherapy tub

This includes everything that the soaker tub includes plus allows for water circulation therapy via air jets. For a person who goes more than one week between soaks, air jets are recommended because once you are done bathing, you can turn the jets back on for a moment or two in order to dry out the pipes and prevent bacteria. You cannot do that with the hydrotherapy jets (but the ozone cleaning system can help with that).

Hydrotherapy tub

This includes everything that the soaker tub includes plus it allows for water circulation therapy with water jets. If the hydrotherapy option is chosen, it usually includes some air jets, as well.

Bariatric tub

This is a tub specifically made with the larger individual in mind and includes everything that the soaker tub includes. It may be available in the soaker tub, aerotherapy and hydrotherapy models.

Wheelchair-accessible tub

The wheelchair-accessible tub has an outward facing door and allows for the transfer of an individual from the wheelchair into the bath tub. The tub seat is generally lower in height than the other tubs.

Combination walk-in bathtub

This tub has both air and water jets (aerotherapy and hydrotherapy), includes everything that the soaker tub includes plus may also may include chromatherapy (color lighting) and aromatherapy (essential oil infusions).


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