Tub chairs are necessary for people who use a walker or wheelchair. Any users with limited mobility, including those recovering from an injury or surgery, will appreciate these items. If your health condition doesn’t allow you to stand for long, a tub chair can improve your bath experience.
You need a seating option that balances safety and functionality. The market offers so many chair models it’s hard to pick. This guide will help you choose an option that best fits your requirements and all thanks to the tips provided below!
How to Choose a Bath Tub Chair?
Before you proceed to choose a product, it’s necessary to understand different types of bath seating options. Here is the usual division of these items:
Stools. The term usually refers to seating options that don’t have a backrest.
Chairs. Whether you call them bathtub or shower chairs, they offer extra comfort with a backrest. It’s common they also have handles on the sides for an improved grip.
Bench. These have four legs, with two being outside and two in the tub.
Foldable chairs. These are space savers since you mount them on walls. It’s convenient if more people use the same tub.
Bath lifters. These chairs have a height adjustment option. They are the most convenient for entering or exiting the tub.
Apart from picking the desired type, here are some tips on choosing a chair for your tub!
1. Check the Weight Capacity
Your primary bathtub chair consideration is safety. Starting with the weight capacity isn’t a bad choice. You’ll need to ensure the chair can hold you at all times. Otherwise, you risk it breaking under your weight. That could lead to serious injuries and consequences, especially for people with already limited mobility.
The bearing capacity you’ll require depends on your weight. For maximum safety, you should pick a chair that can hold 10-20% more than your current number of pounds. People’s weight often fluctuates, so it’s better to be on the safe side.
Durable bath lifters and tub chairs can hold up to 300 pounds or more. Simple stools and foldable units might have lower total bearing capacity. Also, the price tends to increase the more the chair can hold.
2. Consider the Product’s Weight
First, the total product weight is important for installation purposes. Once the chair arrives, it’ll be easier to assemble it with lighter components. Depending on the product type chosen, stools that are too heavy could even break your tub.
On the other hand, stability comes with weight. A heavier chair can hold more pounds, which is important for some users.
The secret lies in finding the perfect balance between the weight and bearing capacity. For example, Bellavita Auto Bath Tub Chair Seat Lift only has 20 pounds. But it can hold users that weigh up to 300lbs, which is impressive.
3. Confirm the Installation Is Simple
Tub chairs aim to improve and provide a hassle-free bath experience. That should include the stool setup, too. A simple installation means the product will have as few components as possible. For example, a two-piece construction is convenient. It’s also easy to transport or store when not in use.
The setup shouldn’t require any assembly tools. That’s an ideal scenario. But if you happen to need any, the manufacturer should provide those tools. Additionally, the instructions should be clear. You should have access to a video, or the manual should contain pictures with detailed steps.
If you have limited mobility, it’s still best to ask someone to install the chair for you. That could be your neighbor, but only if they know what they are doing. If things seem too complicated, it’s best to hire a professional. That will ensure the installation goes smoothly, and there won’t be any safety risks when using the chair.
4. Pick Optimal Seat Dimensions
There’s no one-size-fits-all calculation in this category. The reason is simple – it all depends on individual preferences. Heavier people might need more seating space. But you could enjoy more wiggle room and don’t want the chair to feel tight.
Finally, the dimensions depend on the product type. For example, a tub bench must be wider than a simple stool. Bellavita bath lift offers a generous seating area, with the seating dimensions 13.7x16.5x22.4 inches. It’ll fit more users and secure optimal comfort.
5. The Importance of Adjustable Seating Height
Setting the height to your preference can be the crucial feature of the chair’s comfort. Some users aren’t that tall and might find it tricky to reach the floor when in the seating area. And it could be uncomfortable for those with longer legs to sit in a low-height chair.
That’s why some manufacturers, such as Bellavita, create chairs with the lifting feature. These allow for adjusting the seating height. The options often vary from around 19 inches to as little as 2.3.”
The lifting mechanism is crucial for the entire bathing process. For starters, you can easily sit on the chair while it’s at the highest level. Once you are in position, use the mechanism to lower it. You can get all the way down without any hassle. From there, you can use the recliner to lie down and relax in the tub.
6. Backrest Is Integral for Your Comfort
Simple shower stools come without a backrest. You could pick a foldable chair that you lift and put against the wall when finished with the bath. While these options offer sitting in the tub, they aren’t that comfortable.
If you want a more advanced solution, don’t accept anything less than a chair with a backrest. It’ll help you relax in the tub and enjoy the entire experience. The backrest should be tall enough to provide optimal comfort.
7. Does the Chair Come with Arms or a Grabbing Handle?
Some bathtub chairs have arms for better comfort. You’ll feel safer knowing you can grab the handle at any moment. Whether you feel dizzy or for any other reason, arms can be a safety feature.
Benches often have them only on the outside, and they serve more like a grabbing bar. And if there aren’t any arms, some manufacturers might compensate for that by adding a handle. You can mount this bar to the tub’s wall. It’ll be convenient to hold onto it while using the lowering function on your bath lifter.
And the good news is grab bars are affordable. Even if they don’t come with a product, you can purchase them at low prices.
8. Recline Feature for the Backrest Takes the Comfort to the Max
While it’s great to have a backrest, it’s even better if it has a reclining function. Imagine this scenario – you sit in your chair and lower it to straighten your legs. Thanks to the reclining feature, you can find the most comfortable position for your back, too.
You don’t need a backrest that moves more than about 50 degrees back. You can experiment with different positions, but most users state that gives them optimal comfort.
9. Consider Remote Control
Some tub chairs come with a remote control that allows adjusting different settings. These can refer to two different areas:
Setting the chair’s height. If you pick a bath lifter, you can use a remote control to find the optimal position. It’s much more convenient than using a handle. That could lead to lowering down too fast, which is an inconvenience and a potential safety risk. With remote control, you have an automatic system that slowly lowers or lifts the chair to the desired position.
Adjusting the recline. If the backrest has this option, you can use the remote control to activate it. That simplifies things since a simple button press gets you to the desired position.
Some manufacturers might provide batteries with the remote. Others require you to get one, so consult the product description first. And before buying the batteries, don’t forget to confirm which type fits the remote.
10. Get the Most Bang for the Buck
Shower chairs have extremely different prices. For example, a simple stool could cost as little as $25. But if you want a folding chair, that increases the cost to around $50 to $100.
Swivel seats could cost more than that. And if your chair has a backrest, be ready to pay at least $120 for it. Shower benches can cost over $200, especially if they have adjustable backrests. The priciest options are bath lifters. They can require a budget of anywhere from $450 to $1,700 or more.
Your ultimate goal is to find a bathtub chair that offers the most bang for the buck. A simple stool is cheap, but it delivers minimum safety and comfort. On the other hand, bath lifters often come with multi-year warranties. Their advanced functions maximize your safety and experience, which makes the investment worth the money.
Ultimately, your tub chair selection solely depends on your preference. If you are recovering from a short-term injury, an affordable stool could be a decent option.
But users with limited mobility, in the long run, are better off with top-quality chairs. It’s wise to invest in a premium bath lifter with remote control. It keeps your safety in mind while maximizing comfort. And if you order online, you might come across tempting discounts. So don’t hesitate to act immediately and get a great chair at an even better price