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.
Review your decision with your doctor or other health care professional. They may have additional suggestions based on their personal knowledge of your unique health situation.
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.
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.
- 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.
- It doesn’t fit well in round or garden tub because of the overall length.
Here is a video of the Bellavita in action:
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.
- 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.
- The small design may not fit larger people well
- Remote doesn’t float but mounts to shower wall with suction cups.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Video Guide: Manger Archimedes Bath Lift
Frequently Asked Questions/FAQ
Are There Benefits of Taking Baths As You Age?
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.
What are the Dangers of Bathing for Seniors?
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. 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?
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.