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The Best Bathtub Lifts for Seniors (Who Just Want a Good Hot Bath!)

Summary (TL;DR):

Bathtub lifts, aka bath lifts, tub lifts, or bath lift chairs, are battery-powered devices that lower you into your tub and raise you out again. The best bath lifts for seniors are rustproof, with floating hand controls, safety lockouts, suction cupped feet for stability, and transfer flaps.

Here are my Top Picks:

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So that you know, I do earn a small advertising fee (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase anything by using these links. If you choose not to use them, I hope the information helps!

Sometimes there is nothing better than a good soak in a tub of hot water.

For many seniors and elderly people though, getting in and out of a bathtub is challenging.

But don’t give up! These wonderful products help seniors and elderly people who want to enjoy a good bath safely.

So, to help you out, here are the best models that I recommend.

Buying Guide: Bath Lift Chairs Features and Options

Before buying a bath tub lift, it’s important to understand the features and options. That way, you can pick the best bath tub lift for you and your personal situation.

  • Bath Lift Materials. You don’t get much choice here actually. Most bath lifts are made of aluminum and plastic. That’s because these materials are naturally water and rust proof.
  • Remote Control. Bath lifts operate by a hand control attached to the unit. Look for a floating remote control so that you can find it without hunting for it. Also, look for large buttons that you can see and read easily.
  • Safety Lockout Mechanism. The last thing you want is to get stuck in a tub of cold water with no way out. Good bath lifts will not lower you if they don’t have enough battery power to get you back out. Make sure you choose a lift with this built-in safety option.
  • Padded Seat and Backrest. The premium models have padded seats and backrests for comfort. This is a great idea especially if you take longs baths or have had pressure-related skin problems in the past.
  • Easy to Assemble. You want a bath lift that snaps together in minutes with no tools needed. This makes them portable too for travel!
  • Suction Cups. You don’t want your lift to move around on you while you are using it. Look for a model with suction cupped feet for security. Note though that they may not work on heavily textured tubs.
  • Transfer Flaps. This option is handy for seniors who have trouble getting on and off of a lift. The flap folds down over the tub edge and gives you a surface to slide across from the tub edge. That way, you don’t have to step over the tub edge then sit.

Best Bathtub Lifts: Reviews, Price Comparisons, and Deals

Now that you know a little more about baths for seniors, how do you know what bath lift to buy?

Based on my experience working at a home medical store, here are five of the best bath lifts for the elderly.

I’ve also included detailed reviews of each model to help you choose your favorite.

Drive Medical Whisper Quiet Bath Lift

Review

A very capable entry level bath lift with all the important features. However, it isn’t as comfortable as some of the others.
Drive Medical Whisper Quiet Bath Lift
  • Suction Cups
  • Transfer Flaps
  • Safety Lockout
  • Floating Remote
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Padded

Price Comparison and Best Deals

amazon.com Amazon.com $399.99
14 new from $399.99
See Deal
walgreens.com Walgreens.com $449.99 See Deal
avacaremedical.com Avacaremedical.com $486.25
out of stock
See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: November 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Pros

  • Sturdy yet comfortable design.
  • Suction cups will keep the bottom of the chair safely in place.
  • Waterproof remote with bright, simple buttons make controlling this lift chair much easier.
  • Easy assembly that doesn’t require tools.

Cons

  • It comes with a cushion but some complain it is too hard. They suggested replacing it with a different material like a waterproof a yoga mat.

The Drive Medical Whisper Bath Lift is one of the least expensive models. But, it still has quite a bit to offer.

Its two-piece design assembles easily without using any tools. It also fits both standard and deep soaking garden tubs.

It features a padded seat and reclining backrest but several users have complained about comfort. The cushions aren’t very thick or plush. It seems their main purpose is to keep you from sliding around.

Speaking of not sliding around, the anti-slip suction cups provide greater grip inside the tub. This helps keep the lift from moving around while it is lowering and raising. This is important for establishing confidence while using the device, especially for the elderly.

You can control this lift easily thanks to its remote. The hand control has simple, colorful buttons that make it easy to lift, lower, and recline the bath life. Also, it floats so you wan’t have to hunt for it when you need it.

Overall, the Drive Whisper is a good choice for a bath lift. It is sturdy and durable with most of the necessary features. It is very affordable too! But, it does seem the comfort could be improved.

Weight capacity is 300 lbs.

Drive Medical Bellavita Auto Bath Lift

Review

This light weight model disassembles into 3 pieces! A great choice for travelers or more mobile seniors!
Drive Medical Bellavita Auto Bath Lift
  • Suction Cups
  • Transfer Flaps
  • Safety Lockout
  • Floating Remote
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Padded

Price Comparison and Best Deals

amazon.com Amazon.com $565.00
8 new from $565.00
4 used from $514.94
See Deal
medicalsupplydepot.com Medicalsupplydepot.com $634.99 See Deal
avacaremedical.com Avacaremedical.com $565.00
out of stock
See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: November 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Pros

  • Lightweight yet sturdy aluminum body.
  • Its light construction makes it ideal if you need a lift chair to travel with.
  • Simple, floating remote with raised buttons which is easy to control.
  • Foldable design that allows you to store it away easily.

Cons

  • It doesn’t fit well in round or garden tub because of the overall length.

This bath lift is more portable than the others I have reviewed.

It has a sleek, aluminum build and its two-piece design is easy to put together with no tools needed. It was designed to be very lightweight – only 20.5 lbs. That makes this lift a great choice for seniors who travel frequently or with multiple residences.

The back of this lift chair even folds down when not in use which is helpful when you store it away.

This lift chair features a padded seat and backrest for added comfort. And, there are very few complaints about the comfort with this one.

It also comes with a simple remote control with bright, colorful buttons. This waterproof hand control fits neatly inside your hand and its raised buttons make it easier to control the different functions that the chair offers. And, it floats!

The lift chair also has four suction cups on the bottom surface which will grip smooth tubs securely and keeps the lift in place.

There is a drawback to this one though. Because of the longer, sleek design, it doesn’t fit well in rounder or garden style tubs. It can definitely be used in them but you might find your knees bent at uncomfortable angles though. I’d only recommend using this one in longer bathtubs.

Weight capacity of this one is 300 lbs.

Here is a video of the Bellavita in action:

Mangar Archimedes Bath Lift

Review

This is one of the cheapest bath lift chairs currently available. Overall, it’s ok but it is an example of getting what you pay for.
Mangar Archimedes Bath Lift
  • Suction Cups
  • Transfer Flaps
  • Safety Lockout
  • Floating Remote
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Padded

Price Comparison and Best Deals

walmart.com Walmart.com $399.99 See Deal
amazon.com Amazon.com $479.00
5 new from $479.00
See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: November 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Pros

  • Safety mechanism ensures that the chair will only be lowered if there is enough battery left to be lifted again.
  • Anti-pinch flaps to avoid painful skin injuries.
  • Battery-powered mechanism eliminates power cables trailing across your bathroom floor.
  • Sits back father in the tub for more leg room.

Cons

  • Several users have complained about it breaking during use.
  • No padding on the seat or back
  • The remote doesn’t float so make sure you hang it somewhere close.

The Mangar Archimedes bath lift is very inexpensive but is also a great example of “you get what you pay for.”

It has most of the necessary features: it has suction cups, an easy to use remote, a safety lockout, and it is a cinch to assemble.

Also, like most of the lifts, this one is battery powered which means that there won’t be any wires trailing across the floor.

The Archimedes features anti-pinch flaps which reduces the chance of your skin becoming trapped between the seat and the side flaps when the chair is lowered.

I do like that it was designed to sit further back inside the tub than some of the other bath lifts. This features allows more leg room so it would be good for taller people.

But, there are a fair number of complaints about the overall quality. Several Amazon reviewers complained about early breakage. But, like most other internet reviews, there are more people that swear by it than don’t.

Just remember this is a cheaper bath lift so just adjust your expectations accordingly!

Weight capacity is 364 lbs.

Video Guide: Manger Archimedes Bath Lift

Bathmaster Deltis Bathlift

Review

The Bathmaster is a mid-level bath lift has all the necessary convenience and safety features. Plus, it’s got a great performance record too!
Bathmaster Deltis Bathlift
  • Suction Cups
  • Transfer Flaps
  • Safety Lockout
  • Floating Remote
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Padded

Price Comparison and Best Deals

amazon.com Amazon.com $620.71
2 new from $620.71
See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: November 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Pros

  • The padded seating area is more comfortable than some of the others.
  • The wide variety of add-ons available make the chair easier to use and more comfortable.
  • The ultra-light and compact frame is easy to put together and transport.
  • Innovative battery technology for longer battery life.
  • Works well in standard, larger garden, and even claw foot tubs.

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit well in smaller or round tubs.

This bath lift features a comfortable seat, transfer flaps, and padded backrest that makes sitting and bathing much easier for seniors and people with disabilities.

Its compact, lightweight frame fits most bathtubs and can be separated into two parts for cleaning and transport.

It has a sturdy, waterproof motor that guarantees many years of safe bathing. The remote also features a low-battery light to keep the user informed on the battery level.

Bathmaster also offers many add-ons along with this device.

  • A swivel transfer seat fits perfectly over the lift chair. It makes it much easier for users to get on and off the seat, especially for those with limited mobility.
  • You can also purchase a foam cover that increases the padding over the seat, maximizing comfort.
  • A replacement remote control is available, in case yours get damaged.

The Bathmaster’s weight capacity is 309 lbs.

Lumex 5033A-1 Splash Bath Lift

Review

This is the lightest weight bath lift I could find (only 14.3 lbs). It’s small design helps it fit in smaller tubs too!
Lumex 5033A-1 Splash Bath Lift
  • Suction Cups
  • Transfer Flaps
  • Safety Lockout
  • Floating Remote
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Padded

Price Comparison and Best Deals

amazon.com Amazon.com $501.49
5 new from $498.00
See Deal
avacaremedical.com Avacaremedical.com $506.25 See Deal
walgreens.com Walgreens.com $949.99 See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: November 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Pros

  • Designed to sit at the back of the tub for use in small tubs or for tall people.
  • Lightest weight lift I found – only 14.3 lbs!
  • Can be lifted and moved in one piece – no disassembly required.

Cons

  • The small design may not fit larger people well
  • Remote doesn’t float but mounts to shower wall with suction cups.

The Lumex Splash bath lift was designed for smaller spaces.

It is one the lightest bath lifts available and only weighs 14.3 lbs. This makes it possible to lift and transport the lift without any disassembly needed. Just remove it from the tub and go!

This lift is designed to sit at the back of your tub. So, taller people will have more legroom and be able to stretch out a little better. This also helps it fit better in smaller tubs.

It has all my recommended features with the exception of the floating remote. Just make sure you hang the remote in a handy place so that you don’t lose it.

The Lumex Splash also has the lowest weight capacity at 280 lbs.

senior woman enjoying a bath after using her bathtub lift

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are There Benefits of Taking Baths As You Age?

Most people say that a bath usually provides a more relaxing experience than a typical shower.

Baths have been shown to decrease levels of cortisol which is known as the “stress hormone”. You can even add epsom salts to warm bath water to further relax sore muscles.

Experiment with colorful bath bombs to make bath an exciting, fun time for your elderly loved one! These bath bombs are usually infused with different oils and extracts, which help keep skin moisturized.

Bath tubs can also be safer for seniors than showers. One reason is that you get to sit all the way down instead of standing on your feet while you clean yourself.

Of course, the problem here is getting in and out of a deep tub might seem impossible.

This is where bath lifts come in handy. They eliminate this problem by providing a sturdy chair that raised and lowers you inside the tub.

Other benefits of baths:

  • Soaking in warm bath water makes it easy to scrub off any dead skin cells for cleaner, softer, and healthier skin.
  • Some studies have even linked baths with lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • The steam from a warm bath helps clear up your sinuses if you are fighting a respiratory disease or a cold.
  • The relaxing effect also makes it easier for seniors to fall asleep.

Finally, being clean and feeling clean is so important to your health.

Poor hygiene can have disastrous effects on both your physical and emotional health. It is one of the main risk factors for many infections, especially skin infections. This can lean lead to embarrassment and lead to a cycle of reduced socialization or depression.

Sources:

  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-lower-cortisol
  • https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6394163/Take-bath-lower-blood-sugar.html
  • https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/aging-affects-sleep#1
What are the Dangers of Bathing for Seniors?

As we age, our bodies lose some of the strength that we always took for granted.

For seniors, this means that simple everyday tasks can become strenuous. Or, even dangerous. Bathing and showering are particularly hazardous.

Many seniors have limited mobility due to degenerative diseases. This makes it very difficult to get in and out of the shower or bath tub.

Because of the wet and slippery surfaces, the risk of falling is higher in the bathroom. Seniors who are unsteady on their feet have a higher risk of falling and suffering physical injuries.

If you do fall, objects such as glass shower doors can increase the risk of injury. This is why the use of bathroom safety equipment becomes important as you age.

RELATED GUIDE: Shower Safety Tips for the Elderly

Staying seated inside a slippery bathtub is the most common advice given to seniors. Bath tub lifts help because they lift and lower you into the tub safely. Another alternative is to use a shower chair or transfer bench combined with a handheld shower head.

How Do Bath Lift Chairs Help Seniors at Bath Time?

They help you to get in and out of the tub on your own. Or, with just minimal assistance. This helps you feel more confident and independent.

It also lets you keep your bathing time private as long as possible. A device like this might encourage elderly people who resist bathing to bathe more often.

RELATED GUIDE: Practical and Usable Tips For Getting an Elderly Person to Bathe

Here is how a bath lift works:

  • First, fill the tub and make sure the water temperature is safe.
  • Next, sit on the bath lift seat then lift your legs over and into the tub.
  • Then, press the button on the remote control and the seat will slowly lower you into the water.
  • After bathing, press the up button on the remote to raise yourself out of the water.

Here is a video demonstration of a bath lift and how it helps one senior couple:

Bath Lifts vs. Walk-in Tubs: Which is Better?

A bath lift is a more cost effective solution to bath time for seniors than a walk-in bath.

You do not have to permanently install a bath lift. It simply sits in the tub and can be removed when needed. So, no construction (or mess!) is required.

Most bath lifts are also easy to operate and tend to feature simple remote controls. They include a sturdy chair that helps seniors maintain their position inside the tub without slipping.

Conclusion: Is a Bath Lift Right for You?

These helpful devices can make unsafe bathing manageable for many seniors. It can help restore your independence and your bathroom privacy!

But, not every bath lift is the same. The best ones have features that improve the bathing experience safely. Look for models that have floating remotes, suction cups on their feet, transfer flaps for getting on and off, and are easy to put together.

If you travel or move between different homes, choose one of the lightweight bath lifts. These are also very helpful if you have multiple people sharing a tub.

Finally, insist that the lift you buy has a safety lockout. This features keeps the lift from lowering itself if it doesn’t have enough charge to lift you back up. This keeps you from getting stuck in a tub of cold water waiting for help.

Do you have any experiences with bath lifts that you would like to share? What models and features do you recommend? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Also, please share this article on social media if you found it helpful!

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About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather | I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's.

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