As we age, we lose a lot of our mobility. While many elders want their independence, even everyday activities like showering and bathing can become difficult. Showers are a prime place for falls, which can be extremely detrimental for seniors. Falls have a high likelihood of resulting in injury, and even hospital stays for those over 65. Sadly, this risk leads many elders to seek at-home care or even move into a nursing facility.
However, there is another way for seniors to stay safe while bathing. Shower chairs can provide much-needed stability for elders in the shower. They give you a comfortable resting place while you’re showering, which can prevent falls. After all, it is hard to fall if you’re sitting down. Some shower chairs are even designed to help you get in and out of the shower safely. If you or a loved one is prone to falls, it’s also a good idea to purchase a medical alert system.
Some shower chairs might fit your needs better than others. Do you just need a stool to rest on while in the shower? Or do you need a full transfer system to help you with every step along the way? Do you travel a lot and need a chair to bring with you? All of these questions can determine what shower chair you need.
To help you pick the best shower chair for your needs, here are 25 of the best products available along with their price and features:
At a Glance – The Best Shower Chairs for the Elderly
- Carex Bath Seat – Holds up to 400 lbs
- Drive Medical 12445KD-1 Bathroom Bench – Removable Back and Arms
- Drive Medical Shower Chair with Back – Adjustable Legs
- Essential Medical Supply Shower Bench – Large, Textured Seat
- Essential Medical Supply Shower Chair With Arms (No Back) – Lightweight and Compact
- Medical Tool-Free Assembly Shower Chair by Vaunn – Padded Arm Rests
- NOVA Medical Shower And Bath Chair With Back And Arms – Drainage Holes in the Seat
- OasisSpace Heavy Duty Shower Chair With Back & Grab Bar – Holds up to 300 lbs
- Pcp Padded Bath Shower Safety Seat – Unique Hygienic Set Cut-Out
- Vive Swivel Shower Chair – Swiveling chair for easy transfer
- Dr. Maya Adjustable Bath and Shower Chair – Shower Handle Included
- OMECAL 450 lbs Heavy Duty Medical Shower Chair With Back – Upgraded Frame Thickness for Added Weight Capacity
- Ez2care Adjustable Lightweight Shower Bench – No-Back Design
- Maddak Adjustable Corner Shower Seat – Small, Compact Design
- Medokare Shower Stool with Padded Seat – No-Tool Assembly
- OasisSpace 360 Swivel Rotating Shower Chair – Anti-slip rubber feet
- HEALTHLINE Transfer Bench For Bath Or Shower – Suction-Cup Feet
- Carex Tub Transfer Bench – Reversible and Height Adjustable
- Carousel Sliding Transfer Bench with Swivel Seat – Padded Seat, Back, and Armrest
- DMI Shower Tub Transfer Bench Chair – Tool -Free Design
- Drive Medical Preservetech Tub Transfer Bench – Up to 400 lb weight limit
- HEALTHLINE Heavy Duty Bariatric Tub Transfer Bench – Non-Slip Seat
- Medline Padded Transfer Bench – Padded Seat and Non-Slip Feet
- Moen Non-Slip Adjustable Transfer Bench – Adjustable Height and Spacious Seat
- Tub Transfer Bench by Vive – Reversible Design
Best Bath Seats for Seniors
This chair is comfortable enough to let you enjoy your shower or bath without having to worry about falling. It is height adjustable with no tools necessary. Plus, it even disassembles easily and quickly for storage. It is designed to fit most bathtubs and showers, and, it also works in tubs with curved bottoms – unlike many other shower chairs. It is durable and can hold up to 400 lbs, which is more than enough for most people. For extra stability, it also includes two built-in handles on the seat.
- Height adjustable
- Disassembles for storage
- Holds up to 400 lbs
- Notools required
- Fits curved tubs
This durable, lightweight shower chair from Drive Medical is perfect for smaller showers and tubs. Made from durable aluminum, it’s designed to avoid rust and corrosion. At just 10 lbs, this chair is easy to maneuver and adjust, allowing for easy height adjustments at 1” increments. Non-slip feet help lock the chair in place, helping to prevent sliding and falls. The padded armrests provide extra comfort.
- Removable back
- Padded armrest
- Non-slip feet
If you’re looking for a basic shower chair, this one has you covered. It is made out of aluminum, which makes it very lightweight and corrosion-proof. It is simple to put together and requires no tools. Plus, angled legs provide extra security, and suction-style tips keep the chair from moving while in use. Each leg is adjustable in one-inch increments.
- No-tool assembly
- Adjustable legs
Featuring padded armrests that help you stay secure while in the seat and getting out of it, this shower chair is perfect for those who love long showers. Its aluminum, anodized frame prevents rusting, and it comes with a large, textured seat. It even has a weight limit of 300 pounds. If you need a basic shower chair for your long, relaxing showers, this one is perfect.
- Textured, large seat
- 300-pound weight limit
- Padded armrests
Essential Medical Supply offers a durable, adjustable shower bench that’s perfect for those who need a small chair for their shower or bathtub. Supporting up to 300 lbs, this seat is a great option for people of every size. The seat’s holes allow for easy draining of water. The chair is lightweight and can easily be maneuvered in and out of a shower or tub.
- Weight limit of 300 lbs
- Small size and lightweight
- Easy to maneuver
- Holes allow for easy water draining
Made with heavy-duty anodized aluminum, this shower chair has a capacity of 300 lbs, higher than most of the competition. It is comfortable and features an anti-bacterial seat and padded armrests. Height adjustable legs let you alter the seat to your preference and needs. No matter whether you’re short or tall, this shower chair will work for you. Plus, as the name suggests, it is straightforward to assemble and requires no tools.
- 300-pound capacity
- Anti-bacterial seat and padded arm-rests
- Adjustable legs
NOVA Medical Products offers a high-quality, small-design shower chair that’s perfect for those who want a chair they can take on vacation. This chair can be constructed in minutes without any tools. It can also be taken apart just as fast for easy transport. With a removable back and removable, padded armrests, users can decide for themselves how they want to sit.
- Highly customizable
- Tool-free assembly
- Easy to construct/fold up for travel
- Adjustable frame
OasisSpace makes a variety of medical safety products, including this useful, adjustable shower chair. A small chair measuring 17” x 17”, this chair allows for easy use in small showers and bathtubs. The U-shape cutout makes for comfortable seating, a rare design style for shower chairs. The chair also comes with a suction-cup grab bar that can be easily installed on the shower wall for additional safety.
- Includes a grab bar
- Small, 17” x 17” size
- Adjustable height settings without tools
- U-shaped cutout for comfort
This chair makes showering safe, comfortable, and relaxing. It features a unique hygienic cut-out that makes staying clean easier than many other chairs. Non-slip feet grip even the slickest shower floors to prevent falls and slippage while in use. Both the seat top and removable backrest are padded. . Its small yet sturdy design allows it to fit into most bathrooms, making it an alternative to bulkier chairs or permanent fixtures.
- Lightweight and portable
- Tool-free assembly
- Grips to the floor
- Padded backrest and seat
Featuring a unique design, this swivel shower chair makes it easier than ever to adjust while in the shower. The entire seat (back and armrests included) can swivel 360 degrees around, making it easy to maneuver to just the right position while bathing. Non-slip feet keep the chair securely in place. The adjustable pins also allow for height adjustments without the use of any special tools.
- 360-degree swivel seat
- Padded armrests
- Secure locking adjustment pins
- Non-slip fee
For those who need a quality shower chair along with a grab bar, Dr. Maya’s shower chair may be the right fit. This sturdy, adjustable shower chair comes with a suction-cup grab bar that adheres to the shower wall and allows for easy grip for adjusting. The chair can be adjusted from 14” to 20” in height, depending on preference. Aluminum, anti-corrosion materials, and heavy-duty rivets make this a tough chair that’s built to last.
- Non-slip feet
- Adjustable height
- Durable materials
- Free grab bar include
When weight capacity is a priority, a heavy-duty chair is needed. The OMECAL heavy-duty shower chair offers a weight capacity of up to 450 lbs, far more than most other chairs. The upgraded framework features a 1.33mm thick metal frame that is made to last. An easy-adjust knob makes it simple to change the seat height. Drainage holes also help water to drain into the tub rather than pool on the seat.
- High weight capacity of 450 lbs
- Easy-adjust knob
- Heavy-duty framework
- Drainage holes on seat
Best Bath Stools for Seniors
With heavy-duty aluminum legs, this shower chair is sure to withstand years of use. It is rust-resistant and corrosion-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking in the middle of use. The anti-slip seat comes with drainage holes for extra safety. Additionally, the seat height is adjustable from 12.5- to 18.5 inches. Like many shower chairs, this one also comes with a tool-free assembly.
- Drainage holes
- Contoured design
- Aluminum legs
- Adjustable seat
For the elderly who have very limited space in their shower or bath, the Maddak corner shower seat could be just what they need. This three-legged shower stool fits perfectly in a corner, taking up as little space as possible. The adjustable legs allow for a variety of height settings like any other shower chair. Despite its size and lightweight construction, this stool can hold up to 300 lbs with ease.
- Unique, space-saving design
- Adjustable height of 16” to 23”
- Lightweight and portable
- Weight capacity of 300 lb
If you want a simple shower seat, then look no further. This extremely inexpensive shower chair features anti-slip feet and drainage holes to prevent slippage. Made with anodized aluminum, this stool is sturdy and safe. You don’t have to worry about the shower chair breaking or shifting suddenly while in use. Despite this sturdiness, however, it is still lightweight and easy to move. It is also adjustable, like many shower chairs.
- No tools necessary
If a compact, lightweight, heavy-duty stool is right for you, the OasisSpace 360 shower chair could be the right option. This small stool features a swiveling stool that rotates one full rotation around for easy maneuverability in the shower. Rubber tips help lock the chair in place for added security. While it’s only 5 lbs in weight, the stool can hold up to 300 lbs with ease. Best of all, the chair can be assembled and disassembled in just two minutes without any tools.
- 360-degree rotating swivel stool design
- Fast assembly and breakdown
- Lightweight at only 5 lbs
- Non-slip fee
Best Transfer Benches for Seniors
For those looking for a durable, heavy-duty shower bench, this is the one for you. Holding up to 500 lbs, this chair is made of durable steel. The reversible backrest allows for easy adjustment and use. Suction-cup feet help lock the chair in place to ensure no sliding while in use. Users simply sit on the outer part of the bench and slide into the bath or shower to safely bathe.
- 500 lb capacity
- Reversible backrest
- Suction cup feet
- Durable constructio
This high-grade transfer bench from Carex is easily adjustable in a variety of ways. It adjusts from 16” to 20” in height, and it can be switched between right or left entries as needed. Easy adjustments can be made without the use of any special tools. The Carex transfer bench can hold up to 300 lbs and features sturdy legs to accommodate those who need a very sturdy seat.
- Holds up to 300 lbs
- Reversible for right or left tub entry
- Adjustable seat height
- Easy adjustment without tool
Depending on the setup of your bathroom, this swivel seat might be perfect for you. This transfer chair prevents the danger that goes along with getting in and out of the shower. But, it also features a sliding chair that makes sitting in and getting out of the seat extremely easy. Padded seat, back, and armrest provide plenty of padding and comfort once you’re in the chair. Plus, the bright blue color makes it easy to distinguish the chair from traditional, white showers – a huge plus if your vision isn’t what it used to be.
- Swivel seat
- Padded seat, back, and armrest
- Robust armrest
For those with minimal mobility, even getting into the shower and seated in a shower chair can be difficult. That is why transfer chairs like this one are made. To use it, you sit down in it before getting into the shower and then gently slide over into the shower. If you’re particularly worried about falling or not very sure on your feet, this shower chair can be handy.
- Easy and safe to use
- Minimizes physical strain
- Tool-free design
For those looking for a solid, heavy-duty transfer bench, the Drive Medical Preservetech bench may be the right choice. This tough transfer bench can support up to 400 lbs of weight, making it ideal for anyone. The sturdy back allows for comfortable seating while taking a shower. Two suction-cup feet help the bench to stay solidly in place while bathing.
- Up to 400 lb weight capacity
- Sturdy construction
- Easy transfer in and out of tub
- Comfortable back
When weight capacity is a priority, a chair like the HEALTHLINE heavy-duty bariatric transfer bench is the way to go. Holding up to 400 lbs, this bench is designed with stability and strength in mind. The A-frame construction provides superior stability while the suction-cup feet adhere safely to the tub. The reversible backrest also allows users to choose which way they want to sit.
- 400 lb weight capacity
- Non-slip seat
- Reversible backrest
- A-frame provides stabilit
For ultimate comfort in a transfer bench, the Medline padded transfer bench can’t be beat. This bench features padded seating and a padded backrest for ultimate comfort while showering. The rust-resistant aluminum frame is made to avoid breakdown and corrosion. Push-button height adjustment makes it easy for anyone to adjust the height to their preference.
- Padded seat and backrest
- Rust-resistant aluminum frame
- Push-button height adjustment
- Tool-less reversal of seat and back
This uniquely designed transfer bench makes it incredibly easy and safe to get in and out of the bathtub or shower. It features an innovative leg design and an easy-grip support handle to provide stability. With a 400-pound weight capacity, this chair can hold nearly everyone. Plus, the adjustable height fits nearly every senior and bathtub design. If you have difficulty getting in and out of the bath or shower yourself but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a transfer bench, get this one.
- Easy-grip handle
- Innovative leg design
- Spacious seat
- Adjustable height
If you’re looking for a transfer chair that is inexpensive, this is probably the one you want to get. For many seniors, it can be difficult to even get in and out of the bathtub or shower. This transfer chair simplifies the process by allowing you to sit the entire time. It features a reversible design, allowing it to work with any bathroom. Assembly takes only ten minutes and requires no tools. The seat is very comfortable and secure, with a non-skid surface to prevent you from slipping off. It even comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.
- Quick and easy assembly
- 300-pound weight capacity
- Reversible design
- Comfortable seating
Financial Assistance for Shower Chairs
For those who struggle financially, it may be hard to afford the cost of a shower chair or transfer bench. Luckily, there are a few resources available that can help cover the cost of purchasing these items.
Medicare coverage for shower chairs
Medicare Part B provides cost coverage of durable medical equipment, also known as DME. These types of items must meet certain criteria, including:
- Being durable (reusable)
- Fulfilling a medical need
- Used in the home
- Not particularly useful unless prescribed
- Expected to last at least 3 years
Shower chairs and transfer benches meet all of these criteria, so they are considered DME in the eyes of the Medicare program.
As for cost, Medicare operates much like other insurance programs that feature a deductible. Once the deductible is met, the patient will only have to pay 20% of the remaining cost for their durable medical equipment. While Medicare Part B may not be too helpful for covering the cost if a patient has a high deductible remaining, it could be useful for those who have already reached their deductible for the year.
Medicaid coverage for shower chairs
Every state has a Medicaid program that acts as a supplement to Medicare. Qualified beneficiaries can apply and receive extra coverage for a variety of needs, including durable medical equipment.
State-operated Medicaid features waiver programs for a variety of needs, including durable medical equipment. The table below includes the waiver programs designed to help beneficiaries obtain the DME they need:
|Medicaid Coverage Waiver for Durable Medical Equipment
|State Medicaid Website
|The State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) Waiver
|The Alabama Community Transition (ACT) Waiver
|Alaskans Living Independently Program
|The Alaska Adults with Physical and Developmental Disabilities Waiver
|Arizona LTC Services
|Arizona Self-Directed Attendant Care (SDAC)
|The Arkansas Independent Choices Program
|The California Medi-Cal Independent Senior Services Program Waiver (MSSP)
|The California Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver (HCBA)
|Connecticut Personal Care Assistance (PCA)
|Delaware Diamond State Health Plan Plus
|District of Columbia
|The Florida Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) Long-Term Care Program
|The Idaho HCBS Aged and Disabled Waiver
|The Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative (MMAI)
|The Indiana Aged and Disabled Waiver (A&D)
|Indiana Structured Family Caregiving / Caregiver Homes
|The Iowa HCBS Elderly Waiver
|The Kansas HCBS Frail and Elderly Waiver
|The Kentucky Supports for Community Living Waiver
|The Louisiana Community Choices Waiver
|The Maine Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities
|Maine Consumer-Directed Attendant Services
|The Maryland Community Options Waiver for Older Adults
|Maryland Community Personal Assistance Services
|The Maryland Medicaid Increased Community Services (ICS) Program
|The Michigan Choice Medicaid Waiver Program
|The Michigan Medicaid Health Link Program
|The Minnesota Elderly Waiver Program
|The Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion Waiver
|The Mississippi Independent Living Waiver
|The Montana HCBS Waiver
|The Nebraska Aged & Disabled Waiver
|The Nevada HCBW for Persons with Physical Disabilities
|The New Hampshire Choices For Independence Program
|The New Jersey Personal Preference Program
|The New York Managed Long Term Care Program Waiver (MLTC)
|The New York Community First Choice Option
|The North Carolina Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults Waiver (CAP/DA)
|The North Dakota Aged and Disabled Waiver
|The Ohio PASSPORT Waiver
|The Ohio MyCare Plan
|The Oklahoma ADvantage Program Waiver
|The Oregon K Plan
|The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) Waiver
|Pennsylvania Services My Way
|The Pennsylvania Physical HealthChoices Program
|The Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver
|South Carolina Community Choices Waiver
|The South Dakota HOPE Waiver
|The Tennessee CHOICES Program
|The Texas STAR+PLUS Waiver
|The Utah Aging Waiver
|The Utah Medicaid New Choices Waiver
|The Vermont Global Commitment to Health Waiver
|The Vermont CFC Moderate Needs Group Services Program
|The Virginia Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC) Plus Waiver
|The Washington Community Options Program Entry System Waiver (COPES)
|The Washington New Freedom Program
|The Washington Medicaid Alternative Care (MAC) Program
|The Wisconsin Family Care and Partnership Program
|The Wisconsin Include, Respect, I Self-Direct (IRIS) Program
Medicaid waiver programs can change over time, adding benefits or dropping others. It’s best to contact your state’s Medicaid office to determine if you qualify for a durable medical equipment waiver.
Veteran Affairs coverage for shower chairs
Veteran Affairs provides coverage for durable medical equipment, sometimes covering the full cost for a member of the program. Below are the steps to potentially obtain a shower chair or transfer bench as a member of Veteran Affairs’ healthcare plan:
- Receive a prescription for a shower chair or transfer bench from a VA-approved doctor
- Fill out the VA form 10-10172 – request for service
- Submit the request to your local VA community care office
Veterans can obtain DME from a VA pharmacy or a retail pharmacy that is approved by Veteran Affairs. The VA website provides additional details for obtaining DME and other prescriptions.
Other resources for obtaining shower chairs
One of the best places for a senior to find gently used durable medical equipment is at a local thrift store. Many people purchase DME for use after an injury and only need it until they recover. Oftentimes, they will donate the items to a thrift store for reselling. Seniors can visit these types of stores and look for the items they need. They can also call the store to ask if any shower chairs or transfer benches have come in. Some stores will also allow people to be put on a list to be informed when a certain item comes in.
Medical Equipment Banks
A convenient option for obtaining durable medical equipment is medical equipment banks. Operating similarly to a library, those in need can obtain the DME they need for a certain period of time before returning it to the bank. Medical equipment banks operate on a simple model:
- Medical equipment is donated to the organization.
- Volunteers clean and disinfect the donated items.
- Volunteers test the equipment to ensure safe use.
- Patients visit the equipment bank or contact them to request the equipment they need.
- If an item is available, the patient receives the equipment with a promise to bring it back after a certain amount of time.
- The item(s) are brought back after the rental period.
- The item(s) are cleaned and tested by volunteers before being made ready for rental once again.
Non-profit organizations exist for nearly every illness or condition. Many patients require the use of durable medical equipment, so these programs help patients to obtain the DME they need. Below is a list of non-profits that may be able to assist seniors with obtaining the shower chair or transfer bench they need:
- Easter Seals: Easter Seals provides a wide range of services for people of all ages, including assistive technology for the disabled or those with mobility issues.
- MedShare: MedShare collects usable durable medical equipment and allows individuals and organizations to apply to obtain what they need.
- Convalescent Aid Society: Convalescent Aid Society serves patients who suffer from chronic illnesses and cannot afford vital equipment.
- Samaritan’s Purse: Samaritan’s Purse provides many forms of assistance to those in need, including financial aid and donations for durable medical equipment.
Shower Chair Manufacturers
Most companies that produce shower chairs and transfer benches will develop and sell new models every year. This can lead to a surplus of “old” models that go unsold and could be thrown out. Contacting a manufacturer to ask about discounts on older model chairs and benches could lead to a discount on a high-quality product.
Whether renting a chair for short-term use after surgery or injury, or buying a chair for permanent use, these resources can help cover the cost of rental or purchase and keep the user safe from falls while they bathe.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best size for a shower seat?
The best size for a shower seat depends on the needs and preferences of the user. Shower seats are commonly designed with adjustable elements, such as a height-adjustable seat and removable backs and armrests. Depending on the size of the shower or bathtub, users may want to consider a chair that takes up a small space, although a small chair may lack ease of use for some.
Do shower seats have weight limits?
Yes, shower seats have weight limits. Most shower seat and transfer bench manufacturers state the weight limits of their products clearly on their website or sales page. Most products have a weight capacity of 300 lbs or above, so most customers won’t have to worry about finding a seat or bench that can support their weight.
What’s the difference between a shower chair and a transfer bench?
The difference between a shower chair and a transfer bench is a chair fits entirely inside a shower or bathtub and allows the user to sit while bathing, while a transfer bench is a larger seat with half of the chair located outside the shower or bathtub. Users can sit outside the shower and carefully adjust themselves into the shower part of the bench rather than stepping over the edge of the bathtub and risking a fall.
What are the benefits of using a shower chair or bench?
The benefits of using a shower chair or bench include allowing users to bathe without the risk of slipping, becoming weak in the legs during a shower, or causing unnecessary stress on their lower body.
Does Medicare or Medicaid cover the cost of a shower chair?
Medicare and Medicaid may cover the cost of shower chairs in certain circumstances. Shower chairs and transfer benches are considered durable medical equipment (DME). These kinds of items can be covered by Medicare or Medicaid, but only in certain circumstances. The Medicare website provides more detailed information on the topic.