Do you remember the first time you saw a shower or bath seat? You may have been a youngster and your grandparents had one sitting in the bathroom and you wondered why they needed it. At that time, you couldn’t imagine ever needing such a thing! Somehow life has a way of flying by and perhaps the time has come for you or a loved one to consider purchasing some bathroom mobility aids such as a shower seat. This Best Shower Seat Guide lists a total of eight bathtub or shower seats that could be just what you need to determine what would be the best shower seat for you or your loved one.
What is a Shower Seat?
Simply put, a shower seat is a type of waterproof chair, seat, or bench that can be used to sit on while showering. For years the only thing available to assist in bathing was a simple chair that was not very comfortable but served its purpose of being placed in the bathtub so that one could sit down while bathing. In more recent years with the increase of elderly baby boomers, the demand for better equipment has brought several different designs to choose from that are now available, such as transfer benches that are either sliding or non-sliding, L-shaped or corner benches, wall-mounted or free-standing seats, all of which are made of different materials and have their own unique functions.
Shower or bathtub seats or chairs provide a feeling of security for so many people when getting into the shower with the ability to sit instead of standing. To give you an idea of what type of shower seats are available, below are five of the best to consider for you or your loved one followed by four other brands that are unique and worth considering.
1. Shower Chair with Back by Vive
The Shower Chair by Vive is stable and has adjustable legs that can be set at one inch increments between 16 to 21 inches high so no matter what your height, there is a setting that is just right for you. If the seat needs to be higher, you can buy leg extensions. You can sit down on this seat in your bathtub with ease while feeling confident that you won’t slip and fall. The seat of the chair is made of heavy weight plastic with small holes to let the water drain and has the weight capacity of 300 pounds.
The Shower Chair by Vive has arms on each side that are adjustable with hand gripping plastic that you can hold to help balance yourself as you get in and out of tub. The back of the chair is ergonomically designed for comfort and can be removed if not needed. It also has the safety feature of non-slip rubber feet. It is made out of lightweight aluminum that is extra strong and won’t rust from getting wet. The comfortably wide seat measures 16 inches wide by 12 inches deep with the base at the feet being 23.3 inches wide and it should fit in standard bathtubs or showers. This shower chair by Vive also has a lifetime guarantee and would be replaced if anything defective is found. Assembly of the chair can easily be done without tools and if you would like to watch a video on how to assemble it, click on this link to Vive’s website.
Most customers found the Shower Chair with Back by Vive to be easy to assemble and were pleased with its well-made high-quality materials. Many customers liked how lightweight and comfortable it is while still being sturdy. Many were also impressed with the arm handles that are very handy to have while getting in and out of the tub. Some said the chair was too wide for their bathtub so it is important that you measure your tub before purchasing. Most customers were very satisfied with this shower chair giving it a high rating of an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
- SHOWER SAFELY: Feel comfortable and secure when showering. Ergonomically designed, the extra wide seat supports up to 300 pounds. Padded handles on each side provide a comfortable grip without the risk of slipping. Each chair leg is capped with a rubber non-slip, anti-skid tip for additional safety and security.
- EASY TOOL FREE ASSEMBLY: Easily assemble the lightweight shower seat without the use of any tools. Tool-free removal of legs, armrests, and backrest make storage and travel easy and convenient.
- COMFORTABLE NON SLIP SEAT WITH DRAINAGE: Contoured seat and backrest are padded with a waterproof foam for superior comfort. Drainage holes reduce slipping or sliding on pooled water, creating a safe and comfortable shower seat.
- DURABLE AND VERSATILE: Corrosion resistant aluminum construction is the perfect choice for a lightweight bath chair or shower bench that will not rust. Easily adjust the height of the shower chair seat to create a secure, customized experience. With a range of 14"-19.5", the seat adjusts to fit any height, or to provide additional stability on uneven flooring. The backrest is also removable if desired.
- VIVE GUARANTEE: Unconditional lifetime guarantee so you can purchase now with confidence.
2. Vive Shower Stool – Adjustable Bathtub Seat
The Shower Stool by Vive is a heavy duty and lightweight stool that is good to have even if you don’t need to sit all the time while bathing as it will give you a sense of security in case you need to sit down to rest while showering. It can be used by anyone that is able to step into the tub with or without assistance. It is also ideal for women to be able to sit down comfortably in the bathtub or shower to shave their legs. This stool has a 12-inch round white seat that is small enough to fit in the smallest of showers or tubs as it measures only 12-1/2 inches wide at the base of the stool. It is also adjustable in height by using the push buttons on the legs that will give you from 14-1/2 inches to 22-1/2 inches. If the seat needs to be higher, you can buy leg extensions. The legs are made of strong aluminum and are rustproof. The legs also have non-slip rubber feet for stability while bathing or shaving legs.
Many customers were pleased with the Shower Stool by Vive but some had complaints of it being unstable and that it slipped sideway in the bathtub causing them to fall. Others thought that it should have side bars or a back that you could hold when getting in and out of the bathtub. I would not recommend this stool for elderly or anyone with physical challenges, especially if using it by themselves. This shower stool has a lower star rating than others with handles.
- SIT AND SHOWER SAFELY IN ANY TUB OR SHOWER: Feel comfortable and secure when bathing and showering. The comfortably wide seat supports up to 250 pounds. Textured to provide a nonslip surface, even when wet, the stool has a round composite seat that easily fits in the smallest tubs and showers. Durably constructed, the shower stool is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Great support for those with chronic fatigue or balance issues, the stool is also useful following injury or surgery.
- NON-SLIP, ANTI-SKID ANGLED LEGS: Angled legs provide exceptional stability for the Vive shower stool. Each leg is also capped with anti-skid, non-slip rubber tips for added safety and security.
- TOOL-FREE HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS: Easily adjust the height of the shower stool to create a secure, customized experience. With a range of 14"-19.5", the seat adjusts to fit any individual without the use of tools.
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: Constructed with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, the lightweight shower stool frame supports up to 250 pounds. The lightweight frame is easily portable for added convenience.
- VIVE LIFETIME GUARANTEE: Unconditional lifetime guarantee so you can purchase now with confidence.
3. MedMobile Heavy Duty Bath Bench with Removable Armrests
The MedMobile Heavy Duty Bath Bench is named appropriately as it is heavy duty but at the same time lightweight. Anyone physically challenged due to aging, injury, or surgery would be glad to have this stable bench in the shower to help them balance and feel secure. It is also good to have if you don’t need to sit all the time while showering but just need it there in case you need to sit down to rest; however, you would need to be able to lift your legs in order to step into the tub unless you have a shower only. Women can also use it to shave their legs.
The MedMobile Heavy Duty Bath Bench has a 15.5-inch wide high-density polyethylene seat that fits most standard showers or tubs as it measures only 16 inches deep by 17.5 inches wide at the base of the stool and 19 inches on top from arm to arm. It is also adjustable in height by using the push buttons on the legs that will give you from 16.5 inches to 19.5 inches. Seat to handle height is 6 inches with total height from floor to the top of the arms in the range of 22.5 inches to 27.5 inches, depending on where they are adjusted to and if the seat needs to be higher, you can buy leg extensions. The legs are made of strong aluminum and are rustproof. The legs also have non-slip rubber feet that will keep you from slipping while bathing or shaving legs and it has the weight capacity of 250 pounds.
Many customers were pleased with The MedMobile Heavy Duty Bath Bench due to its sturdy build and that you can remove the arms if desired. It was brought out that it could easily be disassembled and would fit into a suitcase in order to go traveling. Most felt it was comfortable and liked that it didn’t slip as they got in and out of the tub. Some customers were pleased because it was small enough to fit in their small bathtubs where many of the others were too wide. Most customers were satisfied with this shower chair as being just what they needed giving it a good rating of an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
- ant and features 4 seat height adjustments in 1-inch increments from 16 1/2" to 19 1/2".
- Weighs slightly over 6 lbs. but support up to 250 lbs. Angled legs distribute weight over a larger area for added stability.
- Increased comfort comes from the generous high-density polyethylene seat (15.5"W x 13"D). Base dimension is 16"(D) x 17.5"(W).
- The seat to handle height is about 6 inch, and handle height ranges from 22 1/2" to 27 1/2".
4. Drive Medical Premium Series Shower Chair with Back and Arms
The Premium Series Shower Chair is guaranteed by Drive Medical to make your experience while bathing make you feel comfortable, carefree, and safe. Its lightweight design that is only eight pounds has large stable legs with soft non-slip feet that hug the bottom of tub or shower. It is designed to meet additional safety measures of being able to help someone with balance issues as they are getting in or out of the bath or shower when they may be a little shaky or dizzy. Not only is this chair designed attractively to go with any bathroom décor but it is made to fit all sizes with its seat that is a rounded shape and the back slightly curved. The seat also has drainage holes so water doesn’t settle on it. This chair is also easy to transport or store away by disassembling without the need of tools and removing the legs, back, and arms. The chair’s dimensions are 16.5 inches deep by 21.75 inches wide. The seat adjusts from 16 inches to 20.5 inches in height and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
The Drive Medical Premium Series doesn’t look like it is very premium. Even though the average star rating on this product was good, there were too many complaints that the seat broke in half while someone far from the highest weight capacity was sitting on it, which caused many to sustain minor injuries that could have been much worse. There were also complaints that the seat wobbled if the person moved just a little while bathing. It sounds like Drive Medical needs to look into improving this chair before someone gets seriously hurt.
- Easily adjust height in 1/2" increments without the use of tools; Visible height indicator makes adjustments quick and easy
- Enhanced comfort seat fits all shapes and sizes
- Tool-Free removal of back, legs, and arms for easy storage and portability
- Lightweight design has large stable legs with soft non-slip feet
- Seat Dimensions: 16.5"(D) x 21.75"(W); Outside Legs: 15.5"(D) x 17"(W); Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
5. MedMobile Bathtub Tranfer Bench/Bath Chair
This Bathtub Transfer Bench/Bath Chair by MedMobile is a comfortable way to transfer someone from a wheelchair to the shower due to the rounded end of the bench and the nice size of 24 inches by 15 inches. This transfer bench is designed with two legs on the inside of the tub and two on the outside so that a person can be easily transferred to the shower area without needing to climb over the edge of the tub. Once transferred to the outside seat area, they would simple slide themselves over to the inside of the tub by lifting their legs over the edge of the tub to be inside the tub and then turn on the shower.
The seat of the Bathtub Transfer Bench/Bath Chair is flexible as the height can be adjusted to five levels in increments of one inch from 16.5 inches to 20.5 inches. The seat is made of durable plastic in white that is easy to clean and has the weight capacity of 250 pounds. The back of the seat can be assembled for either left or right hand application depending on what side of the tub you wish to install it or you may wish not to install the back at all. This bench is made of rustproof sturdy aluminum with wide sure-grip legs to ensure a safe and stable transfer. Dimensions of this bench are approximately 29 inches long by 16 inches deep by 25 inches high without the backrest. If the seat needs to be higher, you can buy leg extensions.
The MedMobile Bathtub Transfer Bench/Bath Chair is rated high with most customers highly satisfied with being able to enjoy the simple pleasure of getting into the bathtub for a shower. Some were thankful to have it as it gave them confidence to shower alone. Many customers were caregivers that appreciated the way the bench is designed to make it easy to transfer their patient from a wheelchair. Several commented on how well constructed the bench is for such a low price and how easy it is to assemble the pieces. I’m so impressed with this bench that I may just buy one for myself and would certainly recommend it for anyone with the need for this type of shower seat.
- 24" X 15" SEAT OFFERS EASY TRANSFER FROM WHEELCHAIR TO BATH SEAT.
- 5 LEVELS OF SEAT HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT, EACH INCREMENT IS 1".
- HIGHLY FLEXIBLE, SEAT HEIGHT ADJUSTS FROM 16 1/2" TO 20 1/2".
- SEAT BACK CAN BE ASSEMBLED FOR LEFT OR RIGHT HAND APPLICATIONS. INSTALLATION OF BACKREST IS OPTIONAL.
- SURE-GRIP LEGS PROVIDE ADDED SAFETY AND STABILITY. THE OVERALL DIMENSION IS APPROXIMATELY 29"(L) X 16"(D) X 25"(H, WITHOUT BACKREST).
Why Do You Need One?
The main purpose of a shower seat or chair is to be used by the elderly or physically challenged person in order to be able to enjoy relaxing in a tub or taking a shower without it being such a chore that the person would neglect regular hygiene habits. Without a caregiver or someone to assist them to get into the shower or to wash their hair, it may be too difficult to do by themselves. It can be very frustrating to the individual when what seems like an ordinary thing for most people, is so overwhelming to do that you give up on doing it.
A shower chair provides you with a feeling of security when you get into the shower and are able to sit instead of standing after having surgery or an injury. This chair is also used by many people with back or leg problems who feel unstable in the shower but find that when they have a shower chair that is dependable, they can take daily showers without being afraid of falling.
Many physically challenged or elderly ones that are not able to shower may use hygienic products that hospitals use such as soap that doesn’t need to washed away or packaged wet washcloths but they will admit that they truly miss getting into a tub of water or under a shower spray of water. Shower seats are also ideal for anyone that may need to feel more secure in the shower and having the shower seat or stool gives them reassurance that even though they don’t need it all the time, they can sit down to rest if needed. It can also be used by women who would rather to sit than stand in the shower when they shave their legs.
How Do You Get One?
Shower seats can be purchased at drug stores, department stores, or medical equipment supply stores, as well as several online outlets. Regular Medicare does not cover the cost of any bathroom-related products except perhaps after surgery with doctor approval along with home health care to assist in bathing for a short period of time. Some Medicare Advantage or Supplemental insurance plans, as well as some private insurance plans may cover some costs for ‘durable medical equipment’ with your doctor’s approval. You will need to check with your insurance company to find out for sure. You can also check with your local community center or agencies dealing with independent living for organizations that help with this type of need.
When purchasing for a senior or physically challenged person, it is best to seek models that are compliant with the Americans Disabilities Act of 1990 or called ‘ADA-compliant’ as they are designed to ensure that the item is within certain dimensions, hold certain weight, and perform in a certain manner to allow for universal accessibility. Not all the ones listed here state if they are ADA-compliant so if that is important to you, it would be advisable to check with the manufacturer to make sure.
How to Find the Right Shower Seat
Every type of shower seat has different dimensions of how wide and how high they are and whether or not they are adjustable and would fit in your bathtub so it is of utmost importance to measure the width of the tub and the height of the edge of the tub to see if the seat you want will fit before ordering it to prevent needing to return it, which could cost you shipping and restocking fees. If the shower seat you like doesn’t have enough height, you can order extension legs that will fit the standard size of aluminum legs.
Questions to Consider
When you are ready to purchase a shower seat, the following should help you in determining which one would be best for you or your loved one. Answering the below questions will help:
- Have you measured your tub’s width and height of the edge of the tub? These two are very important to measure to compare to your choice of shower seat that you want to purchase.
- Is the weight capacity pounds more than what you weigh? No offense intended but sometimes customers will buy a shower seat that isn’t built for their weight and then they get hurt when the chair breaks. Be sure that your weight is at least 25 pounds less than what the stated weight capacity is to ensure that the shower chair will not collapse.
- Will your insurance pay for part of the cost? Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any of the cost of any bathroom devices; however, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be covered for part of the cost. If you’re not sure, make a call to your insurance company before you order anything.
- Is the cost within your budget? If you have insurance, calculate how much your co-pay will be and if you can afford it. If Insurance doesn’t cover any part, can you afford it?
- Have you discussed the type to purchase with your loved ones? Sometimes those closest to you can see better what you need than you or your doctor. They can also help you do the measuring to be sure you get the correct size.
- If you have any questions that are not answered in this guide, you may find answers on the manufacturer’s website by searching for it on the Internet or by calling them.
Four Other Shower Seat Brands
Below are four other brands of shower seats that I thought were unique and different types from the ones listed above and that would be worth mentioning for anyone looking for something other than the types mentioned above.
1. Carousel Premium Padded Sliding Bath & Shower Chair
This Premium Padded Sliding Bath & Shower chair by Carousel is the perfect solution for persons with decreased or painful mobility challenges. It is unique based on the type of material that is softly padded on the seat, back, and arms to help prevent skin irritation or tears. Plus, it is warmer to the skin than the hard plastic models. It has arms on each side that are adjustable with hand gripping plastic that you can hold to help balance yourself as you get in and out of your tub. Another unique feature of this shower seat is that the chair swivels so that you can sit down and then turn before sliding over to the shower area.
This chair has height adjustment by using the push buttons that will fit any tub in increments of every one half inch from 19 inches up to 23.5 inches. If the seat needs to be higher, you can buy leg extensions. The overall width of the frame is 34 inches in the highest position setting and 33 inches in the lowest setting. Width between the armrests is 19 inches and the depth of the frame is 20 inches to 22 inches. There is also a seat belt included for persons that have problems sitting without sliding down that can be adjusted by their caregiver. The weight capacity is 330 pounds. The frame is made of aluminum that is rustproof.
This model is one I would consider buying as it is the best I’ve seen because of the padding that would be much easier for me to sit on due to my skin issues. It is priced higher than the usual sliding shower chair but then it has a high rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars so would be worth the money according to many happy customers that reviewed it and I’d be willing to pay more for having the comfort and the ability to use the swivel seat.
- - PROFESSIONAL GRADE sliding transfer bench, bath and shower chair. Effortless sliding and pivoting for safe, easy transfers in and out of the tub. Platinum Health products are used in thousands of hospitals, nursing homes and in private homes by customers who value quality, safety, convenience and comfort over price. Note: OPTIONAL LEG EXTENSION KITS AND HORIZONTAL TRAVEL EXTENSION KITS ALSO AVAILABLE.
- -PADDED SEAT, BACK AND ARMRESTS. No more cold, slippery, hard plastic parts like old-style bath chairs; the Carousel provides warm to the touch, comfortable, slip resistant padding on all main components. The medical-grade, closed-cell molded polyurethane padding will not absorb any water and is easy to clean and disinfect. Quick TOOLS-LESS assembly in less than 5 minutes.
- -SWIVEL-SEAT SPACE SAVING DESIGN. Not only is the swivel seat safer, easier to use and more comfortable than a standard fixed seat, this design means that the chair protrudes into the room much less than a traditional transfer bench. More convenient for the user, and more convenient for others that don't require use of the chair since the free space in the bathroom is much greater.
- -ROBUST, PIVOTING ARM RESTS. The padded arm rests can be raised and lowered and locked into place. Unlike standard chairs with no armrests, the robust armrests on the Carousel can be used as leverage points to help the user into and out of the chair. They also provide important additional physical and psychological support against slips and falls and fear of slips and falls.
- -HI CONTRAST COLOR FOR SAFETY. Our unique HI-VIEW BLUE color makes the key parts of the chair much easier to see by vision impaired and/or dementia afflicted users. Rather than blending in with the background like old-style white benches, the blue contrast color helps users distinguish the chair from its surroundings and significantly reduces slips, trips and falls- the leading cause of death by injury in people over 65.
2. Dreamline Wall Mounted Plastic Folding Shower Seat
This Wall-Mounted Plastic Folding Shower Seat by Dreamline is a different type of shower seat than the ones that sit inside the shower stall or bathtub. It is unique in that it will save space by being mounted to the wall of your bathtub shower area. This wall-mounted shower seat can be folded up while not in use making it an ideal feature for those who have others in the household that use the shower. It can be installed at whatever height is best for you so that you can feel safe and comfortable while showering. This shower seat is designed in a sleek modern style made out of durable water-resistant clear plastic that is pliable for added comfort and the hardware is made of stainless steel with a chrome finish. It is lightweight at only six pounds.
Dimensions of this wall-mounted shower seat are 12 inches deep by the 15 inches wide and it has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. Assembly is required and professional installation may be required. The person installing this wall-mounted seat should be aware that it needs to be installed on a stud or a support piece can be placed behind the shower wall to support the weight of anyone sitting on the seat. This shower seat has many satisfied customers and has a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers were pleased with the bargain price of this nice looking and sturdy shower seat.
- Product Type: Shower Seat. Dimensions: 12 in.D x 15 in.W
- Hardware finish: Chrome. Assembly required. Professional installation required
- Designed to mount onto existing surface. Requires special reinforced mounting. Weight capacity of 250 lbs. when installed properly
- Seat folds-up. Water-resistant plastic. Stainless Steel hardware
- Limited 1 (one) year manufacturer warranty
3. PCP Padded Bath Shower Safety Seat with Hygienic Cutout and Backrest
This bath or shower armless chair made by Personal Care Products (PCP) is unique because it has a blue padded back and seat that has a cutout in the middle of the seat making personal hygiene easily taken care of by the person sitting on the seat or a caregiver. It will fit into most bathtubs being only 22 inches wide and 20 inches deep and the backrest is optional. It has adjustable seat height of 17 inches to 21 inches in one inch increments with legs that are made of rustproof lightweight aluminum making the chair weigh only 7.5 pounds. The feet are made to be non-slipping with self-leveling slip-guard suction tips that are made for stability and measuring 20 inches by 21 inches. The feet will not make marks on the tub or shower floor. The weight capacity is 300 pounds. Several customers were pleased with the comfortable padding and the solved problem of getting thoroughly clean when not able to stand to do it. Many commented on how easy it was to assemble without needing tools giving it five stars.
- Adjustable seat height for true custom fit (height adjustable from 17 inches to 21 inches, 1 inch increments).
- Cutout allows for easy cleaning of perineal area.
- Tool free installation! - Please see additional images that show the seat dimensions.
- Molded seat with non-slip padded finish. Features self-leveling slip-guard rubber tips for stability.
- Seat dimensions: 17.5 inches wide, 14 inches deep. Product weight: 5 pounds. Weight capacity: 300 pounds.
4. Solo U Shape Padded Wall Mounted Fold-Up Seat with Back & Arms
The Solo U Shape shower seat made by Aidapt is a unique design of a 2 in 1 seat that has a removable cutaway for personal hygiene of more private parts while showering. The seat and backrest are in a pretty blue color and are padded for extra comfort and better for tender skin that may tear easily on hard surfaces. The arms are of the same color and lift up independently for easy convenient and safe access. The frame is made of rust-free lightweight aluminum with tough polymer coating. Dimensions are 21.8 inches by 19.5 inches by 36 inches and weighs 22 pounds. The feet are made of non-slipping rubber with self-leveling tips that are made for stability and safety.
This Solo U Shape chair has a weight capacity of 400 pounds when installed per the manufacturer’s instructions and has two adjustable legs with heights in one inch increments. This wall-mounted shower seat can be folded up while not in use making it an ideal feature for those who have others in the household that also use the shower. It can be installed at whatever height is best for you so that you can feel safe and comfortable while showering. It is easy to assemble but mounting it to the wall may need to be done by a professional to make sure it is mounted properly for the safety of the user.
- Weight Capacity of 400 lbs with adjustable height legs
- Padded seat and backrest for added comfort and safety.
- Arms lift up independently and seat folds, permitting safe, convenient access
- Rust free lightweight aluminum frame with tough polymer coating