|36 Hours of Research||22 Walk-In Tubs Considered||5 Ranking Criteria Evaluated||10 Finalists Selected|
What You Should Know About Walk-In Tubs
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, 36 million falls are reported among seniors every year throughout the United States.
- Walk-in tubs are an option for reducing the chances of a fall in the bathroom.
- Walk-in tubs feature a hinged door that allows seniors to step in without stepping over the rim of the tub.
- According to Consumer Reports, walk-in tubs cost an average of $15,000 for the tub and plumbing modifications, and installation ranges from $700 to $3,000, with an average price of $1,500.
- A variety of financial assistance options are available to help seniors pay for a walk-in tub and its installation.
Soaking in a nice warm bath is a great way to relax after a stressful day and relieve pain that’s caused by arthritis, overused muscles and numerous injuries, which is why many physicians and physiotherapists recommend hydrotherapy. Unfortunately, many seniors and people with limited mobility are unable to use traditional bathtubs due to the high risk of slipping and falling as well as difficulties getting in and out of a tub.
The good news is that walk-in tubs offer the perfect solution for anyone who wants to enjoy a bath or whirlpool in comfort and safety. These tubs are common in care facilities for seniors, and there are now a number of walk-in tubs available for residential use that range in price from about $1,600 to well over $15,000.
Today’s walk-in tubs come in a variety of styles and include an assortment of features, such as whirlpool jets, heated seats and backrests, LED colored light therapy systems, retractable shower heads and integrated water heaters. There are models designed to retrofit directly into an existing bathtub space, and units that can even accommodate two bathers at once. Although walk-in tubs tend to be marketed towards seniors, adults of all ages may want to take a look at these premium bathtubs when planning a bathroom renovation.
How We Chose the Best Walk-In Tubs
Our research team looked at a number of factors when coming up with our picks for the best walk-in tubs. At first glance, many of these tubs offer similar features at comparable price points, so we identified a number of factors to narrow down our choices.
With prices starting at around $1,500 plus installations costs, a walk-in bathtub is a major investment. We’ve included walk-in tubs geared towards a wide variety of budgets, so consumers can pick the one that meets their particular needs and budget.
While almost all the walk-in tub manufacturers have impressive marketing materials promoting their products, we believe actual customer experiences provide an accurate reflection of the quality and usability of a walk-in tub. That’s why we took the time to find out what real-world consumers had to say about each of the walk-in tubs on our list, and why we omitted some well-known brands plagued by negative feedback from customers.
Warranty & Country of Origin
Product warranty is important when making a big purchase, so we searched for walk-in tubs that included consumer-friendly warranties that covered major components, such as the tub’s door and shell.
We also focused on finding high-quality walk-in tubs that were either made in America or designed in the United States to ensure the tubs meet or exceed all relevant safety standards.
We considered the overall design of each of the walk-in tubs on our list. Our reviewers looked for features that make bathers safer, such as non-slip surfaces, integrated grab bars and temperature controls to prevent scalding. We also included a number of tubs that fit into a standard bathtub opening along with a few smaller-sized freestanding units.
|Walk-In Tub||Price||Capacity||Seat Dimensions||Overall Dimensions||Highlights and Optional Features||Warranty|
|Ella Ultimate Walk-In Dual Air and Whirlpool Bathtub with Foot Massage||$6,208||95 gallons||21″ W||59.75″ L x 29.75″ W x 38″ H||Dual two” drains Clear door Adjustable intensity hydro jets Independent foot massage||Lifetime limited warranty on shell, frame and door five years on parts|
|Kohler Walk-In Bath||$3,200 and up||N/A||21.5″ W x 17″ H||52″ L x 28″ W x 39″ H||Hydrotherapy Heated surfaces Fast-drain technology Factory-trained installers||Lifetime limited warranty|
|American Standard Exclusive Series 60″ x 30″ Right Hand Walk-In Whirlpool Tub||$3,790||75 gallons||N/A||60″ L x 30″ W x 37″ H||Quick drain Gelcoat finish||Lifetime warranty on door seal 10-year limited warranty on body|
|Ella Transfer26 Walk-In Tub||$4,080 and up||45 gallons||20″ W||52″ L x 26″ W||13 hydro jets Ozone sterilization Dual two” floor drains Integrated grab bars||Lifetime limited warranty on shell, frame and door five years on parts|
|Universal Tubs HD Series 60″ Right Drain Step-In Walk-In Soaking Bathtub||$1,531||40 gallons||No seat||58.5″ L x 29.5″ W x 23.75″ H||Marine-grade, glossy-white acrylic finish Deep-soak||12-year limited warranty on shell, lifetime on door seal|
|Ella Companion 60″ Walk-In Whirlpool||$8,237||95 gallons||20″ W||59.75″ L x 30.25″ W x 38″ H||32″ soaking depth 39 jets Seating for two people||Lifetime limited warranty on shell, frame and door five years on parts|
|ANZZI 27″ x 53″ Walk-In Wide Opening Tub||$2,895||93 gallons||23″ W x 17.75″ H||52.5″ L x 26.5″ W x 40″ H||20 air-massage jets 12 hydro-powered water jets three integrated grab bars 4.25″ H threshold||N/A|
|Therapeutic Tubs HandiTub 60″ x 30″ Whirlpool and Air Jetted Wheelchair Accessible Bathtub||$4,299||80 gallons||29″ W x 10″ H||60″ L x 30″ W x 43″ H||ADA compliant with wheelchair-accessible door 26 air injectors Triple gelcoat reinforced with fiberglass||N/A|
|Ella Bariatric Seat Air and Hydro Massage Whirlpool Walk-In Tub||$5,585||115 gallons||30.5″ W x 17″ H||55″ L x 35″ W x 41″ H||Trim kit included 18 air jets||Lifetime limited warranty on shell, frame and door five years on parts|
|Universal Tubs Rampart Nova Heated 3.3 ft. Walk-In Whirlpool Bathtub||$3,284||50 gallons||Seat dimensions unavailable||38.75″ L x 27″ W x 35.75″ H||13 air jets with three adjustable settings Wall surround with corner caddies included Comes with four-piece Roman faucet set with extendable, handheld shower head||N/A|
Ella Ultimate Walk-In Dual Air and Whirlpool Bathtub with Foot Massage
Best Overall Walk-In Tub
Ella’s Bubbles is a Chicago-based manufacturer of showers, bathtubs, walk-in tubs and vanities that designs and builds premium-quality acrylic units designed with comfort and safety in mind. They sell their walk-in tubs nationwide through a network of authorized retailers, including Home Depot, Amazon and Wayfair.
The Ella Ultimate Walk-In Dual Air and Whirlpool Bathtub with Foot Massage ranks as the best overall walk-in tub on our list of the 10 best walk-in tubs because it offers a great combination of user-friendly features, quality and size, which can easily replace a standard bathtub. As with all Ella’s Bubbles bathtubs, this walk-in tub is backed by a lifetime warranty on the frame and shell and a five-year parts warranty.
Features of this premium whirlpool tub include an 18 GPM fast-fill faucet, two safety grab bars, double two-inch drains and a triple massage system with a separate leg and foot-only option. Measuring in at 29.75″ x 59.75,” this unit is the same length and width as a standard residential bathtub, making it an easy upgrade of an existing tub. Unlike most other walk-in tubs that have solid doors, this tub has a transparent door trimmed in chrome for a sleek, high-end look and feel.
- Dual two” drains allow the tub to fully empties in about 80 seconds
- Transparent door
- Easy-to-clean, white acrylic finish over a reinforced fiberglass shell and a stainless steel frame
- Can be installed in a two-wall, three-wall setting or as a free-standing unit
- nine adjustable legs for leveling
- 26 hydro and air jets
- Separate foot-massage system can be operated without completely filling tub
- Includes two-four’ supply lines and two overflow valves
- 1500W in-line water heater to maintain a comfortable bathing temperature
- Push-button ozone sterilization system
- LED lighting system
- Limited lifetime warranty on door seal, frame and shell
Consumers looking for a safe, comfortable full-featured walk-in tub that can be easily retrofitted into an existing bathtub space should take a look at this premium unit from Ella’s Bubbles. It’s designed to deliver a truly spa-like experience, with three separate water massage systems that can be adjusted, and a stunning LED chromotherapy lighting system. The tub includes Ella’s rapid-drain technology that completely clears the tub of water within 80 seconds, while the dual grab bars and non-slip flooring helps to make this walk-in tub safe for users of all ages and abilities.
What Customers Like
Ella’s Bubbles is an industry leading manufacturer of walk-in tubs that consistently ranks high for quality and user satisfaction. Reviewers commented on how relaxing the adjustable three-speed water massage is and the overall aesthetic appeal of this tub, which has a high-end appearance. They especially liked the distinctive clear door and the fact that this tub fits into a standard-size bathtub space.
What Customers Don’t Like
Some customers commented that they had to pay more for installation than they expected due to the fact that two 120V hard-wired connections with dedicated GFCI breakers are required, which involved hiring an electrician. One reviewer mentioned that “the only thing we don’t like too well is that the air massage is quite strong and causes a tremendous amount of bubbling in the water … but otherwise the tub is great.”
Kohler Walk-In Bath
Lowest Entry Threshold Height
Kohler is synonymous with quality, and this family operated private company has been in business for more than 140 years. They offer a complete line of premium fixtures, including a walk-in tub that fits as a direct replacement for standard bathtubs.
The Kohler Walk-In Bath is designed for ease of use, with a best-in-class three-inch threshold that’s easy to navigate. Assembled at Kohler’s headquarters in Kohler, Wisconsin, installation is available directly from Kohler through a nationwide network of factory-trained installers.
Because each Kohler walk-in tub can be customized with options, such as hydrotherapy, a quick-drain system and integrated LED lights, pricing is provided directly from Kohler. Costs for the Kohler Walk-In Bath start at $3,200 for a basic unit, while tubs with whirlpool jets cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000.
- Kohler has been in business since 1873 and currently distributes products worldwide
- Industry-leading three” threshold for easy entry and exit
- Interior seat measures 21.5″ W x 17″ H
- Exterior frame is 52″ L x 28″ W x 39″ H, and the enclosed trim kit creates a finished size up to 60″ L x 32″ W
- Customers can customize their tub with features, such as massage jets, LED lights and designer Kohler LuxStone bath walls
- The tub can be ordered in a variety of classic bath colors
- Factory-authorized installers ensure the tub is installed correctly
- Backed by Kohler’s Limited Lifetime Warranty
Consumers looking for a high-quality, customizable walk-in tub that offers an exceptionally low threshold should consider the Kohler Walk-In Bath. Installation can be completed in just one day by a factory-trained installer, and optional LuxStone walls add an elegant appeal to any bathroom.
What Customers Like
With a 96% satisfaction rating, the Kohler Walk-In Bath has multiple positive reviews from users who comment on the quality, comfort and safety of the unit. One happy customer states, “Access is easy. Really dressed up the bathroom beautifully. Filling, draining and heating are excellent …” Another writes, “My husband, who is handicapped, loves it because he doesn’t have to lift his foot too high,” the customer says it “has stopped a great many falls.”
What Customers Don’t Like
Customers commented on the lack of up-front pricing, as they need to phone a Kohler sales agent to find out exactly what the total cost of the tub is. The inward-swinging door is also a concern for some users, as this design may be difficult for those with limited mobility or who are taller than average.
American Standard Exclusive Series 60" x 30" Right Hand Walk-In Whirlpool Tub
Best Value in a Whirlpool Walk-In Tub
For more than 140 years, American Standard has been a household name in plumbing fixtures. Three out of every five homes in the United States has at least one American Standard product, and the company now makes a full line of walk-in tubs and whirlpool tubs.
The American Standard Exclusive Series 60″ x 30″ Right Hand Walk-In Whirlpool Tub is an affordable option for consumers who want a combination walk-in/whirlpool tub. It holds an impressive 75 gallons of water and has a soaking depth of 29 inches, and there are 21 integrated air jets that can be activated to deliver an invigorating, relaxing water massage.
This walk-in tub costs $3,790 and is available nationwide through Home Depot.
- Lifetime warranty on door seal
- Patented Quick Drain system removes all water from the bath in under two minutes
- eight integrated water jets for a legs-only massage option
- 21 air jets for a whole-body effervescent massage
- Includes an in-line Whirlpool heater to maintain comfortable water temperature
- Extension kit included for tidy installation in a standard 60″ tub opening
- Built-in safety bar
- Textured antislip floor and durable, hi-gloss finish
- Integrated comfort-height seat
Consumers looking to level up their bathing experience without purchasing a high-end whirlpool tub can appreciate the value offered in this entry-level unit. It’s available nationwide through Home Depot, and American Standard backs the tub with a 10-year limited warranty, while the door seal has a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.
What Customers Like
Customers like the fact that this walk-in tub costs “Half the price of a Jacuzzi brand tub” with similar features, and many reviewers commented that it’s a “good product for the price.” Others simply said it’s “awesome,” and one happy user wrote that the unit is “very well engineered by American Standard.”
What Customers Don’t Like
The door swings into the tub, which some customers found awkward to manage, while others had concerns about how they would exit the tub with assistance from a caregiver. A number of reviewers mentioned that the tub must be connected to a dedicated GFCI circuit, which adds to installation costs. Another mentions, “I wish I had known prior to purchase that essential oils and Epsom salts cannot be used with the jets.”
Ella Transfer26 Walk-In Tub
Best Walk-In Tub for Narrow Doors
Ella’s Bubbles is a well-known OEM manufacturer of acrylic walk-in bathtubs based in Chicago, Illinois. They make a wide range of walk-in tubs designed for people with reduced mobility. Their Ella Transfer26 Walk-In Tub is a great option for homes with narrow doorways where a standard-sized tub can’t be installed. This ADA-compliant premium unit is built with all of the same features offered in larger models, including dual two-inch drains, a secure two-latch door, a reversible end panel for left or right installation, and three removable access panels.
The L-shaped door makes for easy access and allows the door to swing over an adjacent toilet, allowing for installation in areas where space is limited. Wall and deck-mounted safety bars are standard, and the unit is built with adjustable leveling legs to enable easy draining. The Transfer26 is available in a variety of packages with options, such as hydro massage, jetting and an in-line water heater. Pricing for this walk-in tub starts at $4,080.
Every Ella tub is backed by a limited lifetime warranty of the door, frame and shell, and the company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Ella walk-in tubs are sold through a nationwide network of authorized dealers that includes some big-box retailers, such as Home Depot and Amazon.
- Measures just 26″ W x 52″ L, making it perfect for installation in homes with narrow doorways
- Two preinstalled grab bars for safety
- ADA compliant
- Easy-to-clean acrylic finish with textured, slip-resistant floor
- Comfortable 20″ W molded seat with a soaking depth of 38″
- 45-gallon capacity
- L-shaped outward-swing door that can be removed for cleaning
- Dual drains for rapid draining
- Extension panel included for a clean installation in 60″ L openings
- 7″ threshold height
- 5-piece faucet set with retractable handheld shower included
- Optional upgrades include LED chromotherapy lighting, air and hydro jets and MicroBubble Therapy
The Ella Transfer26 makes enjoying a safe, comfortable walk-in tub possible for those who have older homes with narrow hallways and doors. This unit has all of the same high-quality features offered in Ella’s larger tubs, so customers don’t have to compromise on quality or comfort.
What Customers Like
Customers commented on the high quality, comfort and attractive look of this walk-in tub. One happy user said, “The bench seat is great. The size and length is perfect for me at 5’6.” Another mentioned, “It came very well packaged and protected.”
What Customers Don’t Like
With a 45-gallon capacity, some users found that they needed to upgrade their existing water heater in order to fill the Ella Transfer26. Others mentioned the need to hire an electrician to install a dedicated breaker to support optional features, such as the in-line heater, adds to the overall cost of the unit.
Universal Tubs HD Series 60" Right Drain Step-In Walk-In Soaking Bath Tub
Best Budget-Friendly Walk-In Soaker Bathtub
With prices for walk-in tubs reaching upwards of $20,000, finding one that’s budget-friendly can be a real challenge. Thankfully, there’s an option for consumers who want to enjoy the safety of a walk-in bathtub without spending thousands of dollars.
Sold exclusively through Home Depot and made in the United States, Universal Tubs HD Series 60″ Right Drain Step-In Walk-In Soaking Bath Tub is priced at just $1,531, making it one of the most economical options on the market today.
The tub measures 58.5″ L x 29.5″ W, and it has an overall height of 23.75 inches with a soaking depth of 17 inches. It holds 40 gallons of water, which means the average residential water heater is large enough to fill this tub, saving consumers the cost of upgrading their water heater. As with all Universal Tubs, it’s backed with a 12-year warranty on the shell and a lifetime warranty on the door seal, and Home Depot has a 30-day return policy.
- Priced under $1,600
- Slip-resistant flooring
- Includes a quick-fill faucet, handheld shower with 60″ reach and a matching tile flange
- Constructed with marine-grade, glossy-white acrylic reinforced with fiberglass over a freestanding steel frame
- Right-hand drain and door
- Designed for easy installation in place of a standard bathtub
- Free delivery to the nearest Home Depot store or curbside to residential addresses in the United States (except AK, GU, HI, PR or VI)
- Financing available through the Home Depot Consumer Card and customers can pay with cash, credit card or PayPal
If you’re looking for a low-cost walk-in tub that’s designed to replace standard tubs, this unit from Universal Tubs may be a great option. It lacks many of the bells and whistles found on more expensive models, such as a seat heater and whirlpool jets, but those savings are passed on to the consumer. Because it holds less water than some other walk-in tubs, most standard residential water heaters are large enough to service the tub.
What Customers Like
Customers like the fact that this walk-in tub is priced well under $2,000, making it an option for those on a tight budget. One reviewer commented, “I think it made a great addition to the home after my mom became handicap … I am so please[d] with this product I told 37 other people about it.” Others commented on the high-quality construction and excellent door seal.
What Customers Don’t Like
A number of customers commented that the eight-inch high threshold is difficult to navigate, especially for those with restricted mobility. Others mentioned that the door is only six inches from the outer edge of the tub, giving it a tight clearance in small bathrooms. Because this is designed as a soaking tub that users can lie down in, there’s no seat, making this particular tub unusable for those who cannot pull themselves up from a prone position.
Ella Companion 60" Walk-In Whirlpool
Best Two-Person Walk-In Tub
Limited mobility shouldn’t keep you from doing the things you enjoy — that’s why Ella’s Bubbles, an industry-leading U.S. manufacturer of walk-in tubs, offers the Ella Companion 60″ Walk-In Whirlpool. Designed and built in Chicago, Illinois, this two-seat model allows two adults to bathe together in safety and comfort while enjoying a relaxing water massage from the 39 water jets.
This innovative walk-in tub holds up to 95 gallons of water, has an integrated safety grab bar and a textured floor for secure footing. As with all Ella tubs, it’s covered by a lifetime limited warranty on the acrylic shell, metal frame and door as well as a with a five-year warranty on parts. The unit costs $8,237.
- Two-person, walk-in whirlpool that fits into a standard bathtub opening
- 39 high-powered jets provide a relaxing whirlpool experience
- Dual two” drains
- Includes a retractable, handheld shower head
- Center door for easy access
- Generous 32.5″ soaking depth
- Tub-mounted faucet
- Seven height-adjustable legs for leveling the tub
- Integrated ozone sterilization unit for sanitation
- 95-gallon capacity
If you’re looking to enjoy an in-home spa experience with that special someone, the Ella Companion 60″ may be the right walk-in tub for you. It’s designed and manufactured in Chicago and available through a network of nationwide dealers.
What Customers Like
As with all other Ella’s Bubbles bathtubs, this unit is well-loved by consumers. One reviewer commented, “This tub is awesome! Exactly as described works great!” They went on to say, “My MIL loves it! She’s 85 and we just finished her master suite in our house for her.”
What Customers Don’t Like
Although the overall satisfaction level with this tub is high, some consumers were worried about the 95-gallon water capacity and the amount of added weight this involved. One reviewer mentioned, “My only concern with this tub is the number of knobs and buttons — there are a lot of features and options that can be a bit overwhelming for my father-in-law.”
ANZZI 27" x 53" Left Drain Walk-In Wide Opening Tub
Best Full-Featured, Great-Value Walk-In Tub
Based in Miami, Florida, ANZZI makes and distributes a wide variety of bathroom fixtures, including sinks, showers and bathtubs. They have a 27″ L x 53″ W walk-in tub retailing for $2,895, making it one of the least expensive jetted walk-in tubs available.
ANZZI’s walk-in, wide-opening tub is packed with high-end features that usually only come with more expensive units, such as 20 air-massage jets, 12 hydro-powered jets and a massive 93-gallon capacity. There’s an auto-drain feature that completely empties the tub in 60 seconds, and the unit comes with a safety-lock feature that prevents the water temperature from exceeding 104 degrees F.
For added luxury, there’s integrated LED lighting controlled with a touch-pad panel, a three-setting shower head and an in-line heater to keep the water at a comfortable temperature while bathing. The three built-in grab bars add safety, while the threshold is just 4.25-inches high, making this bathtub easy to enter and exit.
- Made in Miami, Florida
- Auto-drain feature empties tub in 60 seconds
- Equipped with an in-line friction heater to maintain a comfortable water temperature
- 93-gallon capacity
- 20 air-massage jets
- 12 hydro-powered water jets
- Three-setting shower head with 60″ retractable hose
- 104 degree F safety lock on integrated thermostatic mixing valve to prevent scalding
- Color LED lighting
- Three built-in grab bars
- Low 4.25″ step-over height for easy entry and exit
- Generous 23″ wide seat
- Antislip floor
- Digital control pad
- Padded headrest
Although ANZZI isn’t one of the better-known brands, their walk-in tub could be a real bargain for consumers who want all the attractive accessories normally found in units that costs thousands more. This walk-in whirlpool tub could be a great option for anyone who’s looking for a full-featured walk-in tub that delivers a truly luxurious experience.
What Customers Like
Reviewers say they love the sleek, high-quality fit and finish of this walk-in tub. The relatively low price is also something consumers commented on, especially since it includes a number of added features that normally are only found in much more expensive units.
What Customers Don’t Like
Consumers have expressed concern over the lack of brand recognition, and the fact that ANZZI only sells one type of walk-in tub. Reviewers also commented on the fact that there isn’t any warranty information available on the company website, so it’s unclear whether or not ANZZI stands behind its product in the long run.
Therapeutic Tubs HandiTub 60" x 30" Whirlpool and Air Jetted Wheelchair Accessible Bathtub
Best ADA-Compliant, Wheelchair-Accessible Walk-In Tub
While walk-in tubs are easier and safer to use than standard bathtubs, most walk-in tubs aren’t fully wheelchair accessible because the doors are too small to transfer directly from a mobility device. The good news is that the Therapeutic Tubs makes a fully ADA-compliant whirlpool tub designed especially for wheelchair use.
This 60″ L x 30″ W walk-in tub fits into any standard bathtub space, making it perfect for use when upgrading a bathroom. The oversized door swings out for ease of access, while the large 29-inch wide seat makes for smooth chair-to-tub transfers.
The tub holds up to 80 gallons of water and includes 26 air injectors to deliver a relaxing, spa-style bathing experience. There’s also integrated aromatherapy and chromotherapy options, a four-piece faucet set with shower and side paneling for a clean installation. It’s priced at $4,299.
- -ADAcompliant, walk-in tub with oversized wheelchair accessible door
- Grab bar, nonslip floor and low threshold make this tub safe and easy to use
- Four-piece, Roman-style faucet set with shower head included
- 80-gallon capacity
- Integrated aromatherapy and chromotherapy (color-light therapy)
- Stainless steel frame
- Tub-mounted faucet
- Low seat for shoulder-height soaking
- 400 lbs. user weight capacity
Consumers who are searching for a true ADA-compliant, wheelchair-accessible tub should take a look at the HandiTub from Therapeutic Tubs. With it’s oversized, swing-out door and large seat, transferring in and out from a wheelchair is safe and comfortable, while more than two-dozen jets provide bathers with a relaxing water massage.
What Customers Like
In general, customers are very happy with this tub, and one reviewer wrote, “This is more than I needed but at 1/3 the price of [comparable name-brand models] at Home Depot, why not get all the bells and whistles?” Another says, “This tub is a dream for me! After 2 knee surgeries, I can’t wait to be able to have a nice long bath!”
What Customers Don’t Like
Despite the high ratings for this wheelchair-accessible tub, some consumers have mentioned the lack of a heated seat or backrest takes away from the spa-like experience. One reviewer wrote, “Directions [are] a little hard to follow and hidden electric cords made this a 4 star rather than 5.” Another mentioned that they needed to install a new water heater just to fill the tub, which added to installation costs.
Ella Bariatric 35 Air and Hydro Massage Whirlpool Walk-In Tub
Best Bariatric Walk-In Tub
Customers who want a walk-in tub that offers plenty of room without compromising on features can appreciate the spacious and well-equipped Ella Bariatric 35 Air and Hydro Massage Whirlpool Walk-In Tub. It offers a relaxing 36.5 inches of soaking depth combined with 18 air jets and six hydro jets, providing a therapeutic bathing experience.
This walk-in tub can be ordered with either a left or right-hand door, and it holds between 80 and 100 gallons of water when occupied, depending on the size of the bather. It plugs into a standard 120V GFCI outlet, however, it’s important to know that a dedicated circuit may be needed.
As with all Ella’s Bubbles walk-in bathtubs, the Ella Bariatric 35 comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the tub shell, door seal and the stainless steel frame, and a five-year parts warranty.
- 5″ threshold height
- Accommodates bathers weighing up to 600 lbs.
- 115-gallon capacity
- Comfortable 17″ H x 30.5″ W seat
- 18 air jets with adjustable three-speed air pump
- Six hydro jets
- Integrated in-line heater
- 36.5″ soaking depth
- five-piece faucet set with hand-held showerhead
- Slip-resistant floor and a built-in grab bar
- 1500W heater
Customers who are in the market for a high-quality, walk-in whirlpool tub that’s spacious, comfortable and safe to use should take a look at the Ella Bariatric 35 Air and Hydro Massage Whirlpool Walk-In tub. Measuring 35-inches across, it’s the widest tub in the Ella’s Bubbles lineup, while the 55-inch length is made to fit into a standard-sized bathtub opening.
What Customers Like
One customer wrote, “I will be 89 years young in 2 months … the ability to keep water at the same temperature and receive massage from the wonderfully, movable jets gives me immense relief from much pain and allows me most nights to get real sound sleep.” Others like the overall quality of the unit, while some happy bathers appreciated the generous-sized seat.
What Customers Don’t Like
Reviewers mentioned that at an average time of five minutes, draining is somewhat slow, especially when compared to other walk-in bathtubs. Some complained that the swing-in door can be awkward, particularly for those who require extra space due to size and/or mobility issues.
Universal Tubs Rampart Nova Heated 3.3 ft. Walk-In Whirlpool Bathtub
Best Combination Walk-In Tub
Universal Tubs is a U.S. manufacturer, based in Miami, Florida, of quality bathtubs, tub surrounds and faucets. Their lineup of walk-in tubs includes the Rampart Nova Heated 3.3 ft Walk-in Whirlpool Bathtub that comes complete with an easy-up adhesive shower surround to create a functional combination tub-shower unit.
With an overall length of 38.75 inches, a width of 27 inches and a height of 35.75 inches, this walk-in tub has a relatively small footprint compared to other models, making it perfect for installation in small bathrooms where space is limited. It also includes a wall surround complete with corner caddies to create a combination walk-in tub and shower stall that costs only $3,284.
Sold exclusively at Home Depot stores nationwide, Universal Tubs are available for curbside home delivery in all locations except AK, GU, HI, PR and VI. Eligible customers also have the option of financing their purchase over six months using the Home Depot consumer card, and they can also pay via cash, credit card or PayPal.
- 38.75″ L x 27″ W by 35.75″ H, plus the height of the tub surround
- 28″ soaking depth
- 50-gallon capacity
- 13 adjustable whirlpool jets powered by a 1 HP pump
- Heated seat backrest
- Solid stainless steel frame
- Bathing salts and aromatic oils can be safely used
- Designed for alcove-style installation
- Integrated friction heater to maintain comfortable water temperature
- Slip-resistant floor
- Includes shower-height wall surround sheets, two corner caddies, clear silicone, caulking and double-sided adhesive strips for installation
While smaller in size than many other walk-in whirlpool tubs, this combination unit includes many of the same features you’ll find on higher-priced, full-sized models, making it ideal for consumers who want a tub-shower combo that’s affordable and functional. This product may be perfect for those who live in smaller homes or anyone who’s looking for a walk-in tub that requires less than half the amount of water than many larger units.
What Customers Like
Customers commented on the convenience of having a walk-in tub that also functions as a shower, which is particularly important in homes with only one full bathroom. Others mention that the price is fair, especially since the unit includes the wall surround that’s sized to match the tub. One reviewer said they picked this walk-in tub because it didn’t involved upgrading their water heater, as it has a 50-gallon capacity.
What Customers Don’t Like
Despite the overall high satisfaction ratings of this combination walk-in tub and shower, consumers mentioned the lack of an owner’s manual made it difficult to figure out how all the features work. In the words of one reviewer, “The only shortcoming that I see with this tub is that mine came without any sort of owners manual. I got most of the controls figured out … if anything need[s] service in the future, I’d like a working parts list to work from.”
How to Pick the Best Walk-In Tubs
Buying the best walk-in tub involves a number of choices around price, design, features and installation. Here’s the top things to consider before making your purchase:
Set a Budget
Prices for walk-in bathtubs start at about $1,500 for a basic soaker model and go up to $20,000 for customized units complete with all the bells and whistles. Narrow down your options by deciding how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.
Think About Your Needs
Consider why you’re looking for a walk-in tub. Are you simply looking for a luxurious soaker whirlpool tub for comfort and relaxation, or do you have mobility issues that make using a traditional bathtub dangerous or impractical? Are massaging whirlpool jets a must-have, or would you prefer a non-jetted soaker tub?
Also think about who will be using your walk-in tub. Is it to be the only bathtub in your home, and if so, do you need your tub to also serve as a shower? Would you like a tub that’s just the right size for one bather, or are you looking for a unit built to accommodate two adults?
Consumers who rely on mobility devices, such as a wheelchair or medical scooter, may want to focus on bathtubs that are wheelchair accessible, as these units have extra-wide doors and seats designed for easy transferring. Even if you don’t use an assistive device, you may have medical issues that impact your balance, so a walk-in tub with plenty of safety bars would be the best choice.
In-Swing or Outswing Doors?
There are two basic door styles on walk-in tubs — doors that swing into the tub and doors that swing outside the tub. Each style has pros and cons, so you’ll want to carefully review which style best suits your needs and preferences.
Inward-swinging doors are widely used because this style of door self-seals when the bather closes it and fills the tub with water, creating a solid, leak-free barrier. These doors also save space in the bathroom and require a low threshold height for easy entry and exiting.
It’s important to know that some bathers find inward-swinging doors difficult to manage while opening and closing, as the door has to swing in past the bathers’ knees and feet. This style can be especially challenging for anyone who is transferring into the tub from a seated position. Another major drawback of inward-swinging doors is that this type of door makes it difficult to assist a bather who needs the assistance of a caregiver to exit the tub or in the case of an emergency, since the water must be completely drained out before the door can be opened.
Outswing doors are less common on walk-in tubs largely due to the extra space this type of door takes up in the bathroom. This door style is also more likely to leak than an in-swing door, and users who bath without assistance need to have the strength and dexterity that’s required to close and seal the door locking mechanism.
The distinct advantage of a walk-in tub with an outward opening door is the ease of entry. Outswing doors leave lots of room for a bather to either step into the tub or transfer from a seated position, and this design makes cleaning easier.
Decide on Must-Have Features
Today’s walk-in tubs are available with a host of features ranging from heated seats to waterproof LED lighting and adjustable water-massage jets.
Many manufacturers offer the exact same walk-in tub shell in a variety of models, so start by picking the size and style of tub that you prefer. Decide which features are must-have items of your walk-in tub, and make a list of the things you don’t need. Ask your dealer to price out different models that have the same basic design, so you can make an informed decision about which features are worth the added cost.
Check Your Measurements
Another critical factor to consider when buying a walk-in tub is the amount of space you have available in your bathroom. Many walk-in tubs we’ve featured here are designed to fit into a standard 30″ x 60″ bathtub opening, requiring a relatively simple installation that doesn’t need extensive renovations when replacing a traditional tub.
Take the time to carefully measure the space where you’ll be installing your new walk-in tub. Also measure the clearance by checking the height and width of all doors and hallways the tub has to be transported through, as you don’t want to wind up with a walk-in tub that won’t fit into your home.
Consult With a Licensed Contractor
Walk-in tubs often include mechanical systems that require dedicated electrical connections. These tubs also come equipped with extra drains that may involve moving existing water pipes or even installing new fittings. Remember, walk-in tubs are usually twice as tall as traditional bathtubs, so your existing tub surround will likely need to be upgraded.
Before purchasing a walk-in tub, it’s a good idea to consult with one or more licensed contractors who have experience installing whirlpools, spas and other similar fixtures. Ask for written quotes that cover the entire installation, so you’ll know exactly what your entire walk-in tub project costs before you make a purchase.
Financial Assistance for Seniors Buying Walk-In Tubs
A walk-in tub may be a great option for seniors with limited mobility and balance issues. However, the cost of these tubs can be hard to cover on a fixed income. Fortunately, there are many financial programs and insurances that can help cover part or all of the cost of installing a walk-in tub.
Private insurance, federal and state coverage programs, Veterans Affairs, and other assistance options are available for seniors who could benefit from a walk-in tub. Typically, a senior will need a primary care physician to declare that they need to have a walk-in tub in order to bathe safely. Installing a tub is considered a home modification in the eyes of insurance companies, so insurance coverage for home modifications will be a necessity.
Below are a few paths seniors can take to obtain a walk-in tub for their home:
Medicare Coverage for Walk-In Tubs
Medicare Parts A and B can cover a wide variety of healthcare bills for seniors, but unfortunately, neither program will cover the cost of a walk-in tub or the related installation costs. Medicare Part A covers hospital stays and services related to being in the hospital. Medicare Part B offers coverage for outpatient care, such as doctor visits, x-rays, and outpatient surgeries.
Medicare Part C works differently from Parts A and B. These are independently managed health insurance plans that meet basic requirements set by Medicare. They can also provide additional coverages, such as assistance for home modifications. Each Medicare Part C plan is unique, so it’s important to understand what is covered before signing up.
Medicaid Coverage for Walk-In Tubs
One of the goals of the Medicaid program is to make it as easy as possible for seniors and the disabled to age safely in their homes. Moving to a nursing home is more expensive and jarring for a senior compared to making home modifications.
Medicaid offers funds to cover home modifications in a variety of situations. These include:
- When a home modification is recommended by a healthcare provider
- When a home modification could prevent a beneficiary from having to leave their home
- When a home modification would cost much less than an alternative option
Every state has different rules and regulations in regard to funding for home modifications. While walk-in tubs may be classified as a home modification, certain states may only cover the cost of the tub and not the labor to install it. Other states may see a walk-in tub as durable medical equipment and not cover the cost at all.
Each state provides coverage for home modifications in its own way, using one of the following programs:
- Waivers – Also known as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), waivers are given by Medicaid to those who need a home modification for a medical reason. These waivers allow a certain amount of money to be spent on Medicaid-directed modifications and may also cover labor costs.
- Managed Care – Similar to waivers, managed care programs handle home modification through Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). These groups administer the modifications, helping to choose the products that will be installed and scheduling installation.
- Money Follows the Person – As the name implies, this program ensures that the person who needs funding for their healthcare receives it wherever they may go. These programs often come into play when someone is temporarily in a nursing home and will be moving home in the future, but also require a home modification when they get home.
- Consumer-Directed Care – These programs allow more autonomy for the beneficiary so they can choose the products and installers they want for a home modification. Beneficiaries are given a budget and allowed to shop around for exactly what they need.
Below is a list of states and home modification coverage information. Be sure to contact your state’s Medicaid office for more details.
|State||Coverage for Home Modifications||State Medicaid Website||State Medicaid Contact|
|District of Columbia||Yes||dc.gov/service/medicaid||202-645-4614|
Medicaid programs can change their rules over time, so it’s important to contact your local Medicaid office to confirm what is covered before purchasing a walk-in tub.
Veterans Resources for Walk-In Tubs
Veterans Affairs provides eligible military veterans with a variety of grant opportunities that can be used for home modification:
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant – Through this program, disabled veterans can receive funds to help purchase or update a home to make everyday living easier. Applicants must be in the process of buying a home or own the home, as well as have a service-related disability. A total of 120 grants are provided every year and grants can be as high as $110,000. These grants are primarily for disabled veterans who need many upgrades for their homes in order to stay in their residences.
- Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant – The requirements for this grant are less strict compared to the SAH grant. Disabled veterans or their family members can qualify for up to $22,000 in financing for home improvements. Veterans must have a qualifying, service-related disability.
- Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant – Through this program, veterans can obtain financing to cover home modifications based on their current health issues, related to service or not. Service-connected veterans can receive up to $6,800, and non-service-connected veterans can receive up to $2,000 for home modifications.
Additional Financial Resources for Walk-In Tubs
For seniors who need more assistance or cannot obtain the assistance mentioned above for a walk-in tub, there are a few other options for helping pay for a walk-in tub home modification:
Many different charitable organizations focus on providing funds for those who need home modifications to help them lead a normal and safe life. A wide range of national organizations provide financial assistance, low-cost installation, or both. Below are a few charities that could help those who need home modifications:
|Habitat for Humanity – Repair and Accessibility Modification Program (RAMP)||The goal of the RAMP program is to create a safe environment for those who struggle with activities of daily living. Applicants can receive funding for home modifications to help make daily living easier for the disabled.||This program is for Maryland residents but other local Habitat offices may have similar programs. Homeowners must have property insurance, be willing to pay for part of the project, and have a qualifying level of income.||RAMP contact|
|Rebuilding Together – Safe at Home||Safe at Home is designed to provide low-income seniors with home modifications to help them stay as safe as possible in their homes. The program can cover modifications to bathrooms among other rooms.||Those in need can contact a Rebuild Together local office to begin the application process.||Contact a local office|
|Operation Homefront – Critical Financial Assistance||Operation Homefront provides assistance for veterans and their families. The Critical Financial Assistance program provides finances for a wide range of needs, including home modifications.||Applicants must prove veteran status and contact Operation Homefront to apply for help.||Apply now|
|Elks Clubs||Elks clubs often raise money to provide many services to their local area. Members can contact a local lodge to learn about home repair projects that could cover home modifications or installation services.||Requirements vary by specific Elks Club and program.||Find a Lodge|
GreatNonProfits.org has a large list of charitable organizations that could assist those who need home modifications. Many small organizations are listed, so visitors can research their local area for financial assistance.
Home Modification Grants
A variety of home modification grants are available outside of Medicaid, the VA, and other health-related programs. The USDA Rural Repair and Rehabilitation grant provides up to $7,500 for home modifications for those who need them for safety or health reasons. The Housing Improvement Program offers up to $7,500 in financing to Native Americans who need home modifications for their safety or health.
Many local-level programs are also available. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Older Adult Home Modification Program (OAHMP) provides financing to many local programs that determine eligibility based on the needs of the local people in their area.
Small personal loans are always an option for those who need money quickly to handle a serious home modification. These loans vary in size from situation to situation and can feature low-interest rates. Paying off the loan as quickly as possible can also help seniors keep costs under control.
Reverse mortgages provide seniors a way to use the equity in their homes to pay for home modifications. Seniors can obtain a loan based on their home’s equity and pay off the loan at whatever pace works for them.
Walk-In Tub Manufacturer Discounts and Financing
Companies that manufacture and sell walk-in tubs want to make it as easy as possible for seniors to buy their products. They often provide in-house financing, essentially providing a loan to the buyer in order to cover the cost of the product and possibly even installation. These in-house loans may also come with a 0% interest rate for a certain number of months.
Manufacturers of walk-in tubs may also have older model tubs available that they could not sell in the past. Rather than take a loss of these tubs, they may be willing to sell them to a senior at a discounted rate. This can help greatly reduce the overall cost of obtaining a walk-in tub.
What Additional Costs Should I Expect When Purchasing a Walk-In Bathtub?
You may need to pay for shipping from the manufacturer to your local dealer, and there’s often a delivery charge to bring the tub into your home.
Installation should be done by a licensed plumber, and you may also need to hire an electrician, as most walk-in tubs are powered by a dedicated GFCI circuit. Some tub manufacturers have a network of factory-trained installers that customers must use, otherwise, the warranty on the tub may be invalid, so be sure to ask about installation in advance.
What's Special About Wheelchair-Accessible Walk-In Tubs?
One common misconception about walk-in tubs is that they’re all wheelchair-accessible. The reality is that while these bathtubs are designed to be safe and comfortable for users who may have mobility issues, wheelchair users may want to look for a unit that’s specifically designed with their needs in mind.
On wheelchair-accessible walk-in tubs, the door is much larger than what you’ll find on many walk-in tubs, allowing for easy transfer onto the bath seat from a mobility device. Wheelchair walk-in tubs also must meet ADA standards for safety, which includes features such as a slip-resistant floor and grab bars.
Do Walk-In Tubs Hold More Water Than Regular Bathtubs?
In some cases, yes.
Small, shallow bathtubs that are often found in older homes often hold as few as 40 gallons, while larger soaker-style tubs hold about 80 gallons. Depending on which walk-in tub you pick, you may find that you’ll either use more or less water than you did with your previous bathtub once you upgrade to a walk-in tub.
Will I Need a Larger Hot Water Heater?
Some smaller walk-in tubs only require 45 gallons to fill, while many larger walk-in tubs hold upwards of 80 gallons, and the biggest models hold more than 100 gallons. Residential water heaters come in 20, 40, 80 and 100-gallon sizes. Whether or not you’ll need to upgrade your water heater to service a walk-in tub depends on both the size of the tub you pick and the capacity of your existing water heater.
Does My Bathroom Floor Need to be Reinforced Before Installing a Walk-In Tub?
If you plan on installing a walk-in tub it’s always a good idea to consult with a licensed contractor or building engineer to ensure your bathroom floor can handle the added weight from both the tub and additional water.
Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of a Walk-In Bathtub?
Whether or not you can get partial or full insurance reimbursement for a walk-in bathtub depends on your insurance provider, where you live and any medical reasons you may have for needing a walk-in tub.
Depending on which state you live in, Medicaid may provide partial coverage for a walk-in bathtub when it’s proven to be medically necessary and allows a Medicaid-insured individual to remain in their own home and avoid institutionalization.
Medicare doesn’t currently cover walk-in tubs because they’re excluded from Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment list, as these units are classified as convenience rather than medical devices. However, in some rare situations, post-purchase reimbursement may be provided if the consumer can show that the walk-in tub is medically necessary.
I Can't Afford a Walk-In Tub — What Other Options Do I Have?
There’s no doubt about it, a walk-in tub is a major purchase for most people, and those on a limited budget may have difficulty financing such a large expense.
If you can’t afford the cost of a new walk-in tub, consider looking for a used one online at buy and sell sites, such as Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji. Check with your local disability resource center, as some organizations collect donated medical items for distribution to low-income people. Also ask walk-in tub retailers about discounts on floor models, discontinued styles or scratch-and-dent units.
Many medical supply companies and retailers also offer financing on large purchases to spread the cost of a walk-in tub out over a number of months or even years.