Best Materials for Shower Chairs? (Plastic, Wood, or Metal?)

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

Most shower chairs are made from plastic because it is easy to clean, lasts a long time, and is inexpensive. But it's not always the best material for shower chairs. Read more to learn why.

Best Materials Shower Chair
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Income Disclosure: Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

Adding essential safety features in the bathroom goes a long way in mitigating accidental falls. One such way to improve the safety and usage of a bathroom is by installing a shower chair.

These are especially useful for persons with mobility challenges. But, with so many shower chairs on the market, you may wonder: what material makes the best shower chairs for seniors and the elderly?

Here are some helpful tips.

Best Materials for Shower Chairs

When selecting the best material for a shower chair, it is worth considering the lifespan and maintenance of the material and the budget you have to spend.

Afterward, selecting a shower chair material that best suits your needs becomes more manageable. Sometimes, a shower chair’s material can affect whether or not you can use a shower chair safely.

Below are some of the shower chair materials available in the market, including their pros and cons.

Materials to Consider

1. Plastic

Shower chairs made from plastic are primarily used for medical purposes. They are ideal for elderly people who experience mobility issues as they significantly reduce the risk of bathroom falls.

In addition, they help individuals maintain their balance and strength while using the shower.

Pros:

  • Very easy to clean
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Unpleasant to the eye
  • Cannot be used for built-in shower chairs and benches
best materials shower chair natural woods
Wooden shower chairs are both comfortable to use and stylish.

2. Natural Woods

Wooden shower chairs offer both comfort and style when installed in a bathroom. The materials available include teak and bamboo.

Teak

Not only does teak ooze style and comfort, but it is also one of the best luxurious wooden materials on the market. Regarding shower chairs, teak is both dense and durable and offers an excellent grip for any person using the chair.

Pros:

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Mildew and moisture resistant
  • Offers natural protection from insects
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Teak is expensive to purchase
  • Regular maintenance is required to maintain its aesthetic

Bamboo

In comparison, bamboo is a much cheaper alternative to teak. However, bamboo is notorious for soaking up moisture which leads to expansion and contraction of the material.

In addition, the lack of natural oils in bamboo makes mold and mildew appear when exposed to water and humidity in the shower.

Pros:

  • Affordable if you’re on a budget
  • Comfortable to use

Cons:

  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Not durable

3. Aluminum

The most significant advantage of using aluminum as a material for your shower chair is its availability and low cost. This material is lightweight but still strong enough to support most people.

Additionally, it is corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for use when exposed to water and moisture in the bathroom.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Very affordable
  • Water and moisture-resistant

Cons:

  • Must be measured to fit
  • Unpleasant to the eye
best materials shower chair mesh
Mesh shower seats are lightweight and provide a modern look in the bathroom.

4. Mesh Upholstery

Simply put, these chairs are both ergonomic and comfortable to use. Mesh shower seats offer a modern look and feel and can contour to your body size and shape.

These seats allow for even weight distribution and provide excellent support to the user. They are also lightweight and easy to move around.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Can be weak when used with plastic frames
  • Not as durable as other materials

5. Padded Seats

Do you enjoy taking long, uninterrupted showers? If you’re incorporating a shower seat in your bathroom, you must consider a padded shower seat. These seats offer maximum comfort when taking a pleasant and relaxing shower.

Pros:

  • Less expensive
  • Easy to move around
  • Comfortable

6. Antimicrobial Materials

Shower seats made from antimicrobial materials mean that they are actively killing any microbes and germs that are present on the seat.

The material contains active properties that deal with bacteria that would arise from using the shower seat. In addition, any moisture and mold that builds up on the seat are dealt with immediately.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Expensive material to use
  • Not readily available

RELATED: Is a Shower Chair Covered by Medicare?

Final Thoughts

Whichever material you consider for your shower seat, what you need to remember is the added safety and functionality each chair offers.

In addition, having a clear understanding of your specific needs will help you narrow down on the kind of materials to use for your next shower chair.

Sources:

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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