The 5 Best Shower and Bathtub Transfer Benches for Elderly People (for Safer Bathing)

Shower transfer benches, aka shower benches and tub transfer benches, help you get in and out of the tub easier because you don’t have to step over the tub wall. Instead, you sit on the bench outside the tub, then scoot or slide into the shower area. The best bath transfer benches have sliding bath seats with arms and backrests for support and safety.

best shower transfer bench
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Is getting in and out of the tub or shower difficult for you?

Do you have problems raising your legs to step over your tub wall?

If so, then a tub transfer bench may be just the bathroom safety product you need!

These simple but helpful devices let you scoot over into the tub from a seated position. And, you can stay seated for your shower too without having to risk standing up.

Below are some of my favorite models. I’ve also included a guide on how to use these products safely.

Ready to learn? Let’s go!

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.

Best Shower Transfer Bench and Tub Transfer Bench Reviews

Platinum Health CAROUSEL Sliding Transfer Bench

Platinum Health CAROUSEL Sliding Transfer Bench

Even though the Carousel bench costs a bit more, it’s well worth the money.

It comes with a sturdy aluminum frame which can support up to 330lbs.

It has a sliding seat that swivels 360 degrees. This design makes it easier to get on ans off. Plus, it saves space. A seat belt is included for added security.

This bench even has two armrests which can be raised and lowered to find your best position. The armrests, seat and backrest all have polyurethane padding which is very soft on your skin. But, it’s also slip resistant and waterproof. It’s also a breeze to clean.

Pros:

  • Seat has padded armrests
  • Seat has a backrest
  • Sliding seat also swivels
  • Great build quality
  • Supports up to 330 lbs

Cons:

  • Higher priced than some others

Moen Transfer Bench

Moen Transfer Bench, White

The Moen bench offers a completely different look than the other products. Moen created this one with design in mind! It looks very good and comes in a white color.

While the seat does not slide, it is very wide seat to fit larger users. It’s ADA compliant with total weight capacity of this bench is 400lbs. This is why it’s one of the best bariatric transfer shower benches you’ll find.

Instead of having two legs outside the tub, this one has only one wide leg. Above it there is a strong grip handle which you can hold for extra stability.

The adjustable shower legs go from 16.5 and 21 inches so it should fit most tubs and showers. I love that it includes holders for a cup and a shower head!

Pros:

  • Stylish look and design
  • Strong enough for bariatric use
  • Seat includes a backrest
  • Includes holder for a hand-held shower head
  • Has a handle to hold onto

Cons:

  • No sliding seat, you must scoot
  • Seat is not padded

Drive Bariatric Transfer Bench

Drive Knock Down Bariatric Transfer Bench

I chose this one because of it’s high weight capacity.

Made by a well-known medical supplier, this bench holds up to 500 lbs. It’s non-sliding, but it has a very wide bath seat and a back rest. Both are made from durable plastic which isn’t padded.

The frame is very strong and there is no wobbling. The legs have suction cups on them, which helps hold it in place while you are using the bench.

Drainage holes are included for quick drying.

Another plus is that it’s reversible, so you can set it up either way you like. You won’t need tools for installation and the adjustable seat height changes to fit almost any tub using ½ inch increments.

Pros:

  • Very heavy duty for large seniors
  • Affordable price
  • Reversible to face either direction
  • Tool-less adjustments and installation

Cons:

  • Seat does not slide
  • No padding if you need it

Platinum Health Gateway Premium Sliding Transfer Bench

Platinum Health Gateway Premium Sliding Transfer Bench

This transfer bench is very similar to the Carousel model I also reviewed. But, there are some important differences.

Like the Carousel model, it’s a sliding bench with a padded seat and backrest. There are no armrests for the user, but there is a padded assist handle to help get on and off of it.

Also like the Carousel, the Gateway padding is made from polyurethane which doesn’t irritate your skin and is comfortable. The seat swivels 360 degrees and can be locked every 90 degrees.

It is also one of the few sliding transfer seats that has drainage holes.

You probably noticed that the Gateway model costs less than the Carousel too! (At publishing time at least)

The frame is made from rustproof aluminum which is what you want in a shower. It is reversible and adjustable to fit it in almost any bathroom.

Pros:

  • Excellent features for a great price
  • Reversible with adjustable legs to fit most bathrooms
  • Sliding seat does some of the work for you
  • Great quality and highly rated
  • Transfer handle included

Cons:

  • No armrests on the seat

Platinum Health HydroGlyde Premium Sliding Bath Transfer Bench

Platinum Health HydroGlyde Premium Sliding Bath Transfer Bench

The HydroGlide has a different look because of the commode opening.

This cut-out in the seat is incredibly practical though because it makes a thorough cleaning easier. It allows easy access to the groin area for good hygiene of those body parts too. Best of all, you can stay seated. No standing or squatting that might risk a fall.

The cut-out piece is quickly removed. Plus, when you want it back in, it simply pops into place. A holder bracket is included so that is always near.

The bench frame itself is made from aluminum and supports users up to 420 lbs.

For added safety, the legs are adjustable to change the seat height and a safety belt is included. There is even a padded assist handle on the side. Since you will probably be using a handheld shower head, there is a holder for one included.

Pros:

  • Commode opening for perineal cleaning
  • Strong and heavy duty
  • Sliding seat helps with getting in tub
  • Assist handle helps getting on and off
  • Shower head holder included

Cons:

  • Seat does not swivel like some of the other models

What is a Shower Transfer Bench?

First of all, you should know that shower transfer benches and bathtub transfer benches are just different names for the same thing. You will also hear them called shower benches or even sliding bath seats. In the industry, we just call them tub transfer benches.

A shower bench is a bath safety device for seniors with limited mobility that you sit on while getting in or out of the bath and shower. If getting over the tub wall is difficult for you, a bath transfer bench is probably worth considering.

Instead of having to lift your legs to step over the tub wall, you sit down on the bench outside of the tub. Then you scoot or slide over into the tub from that seated position.

This is safer because you don’t have to hold on to the wall or a grab bar while stepping into the bathtub. You are less likely to fall or lose your balance when sitting down!

There are different types and models available for different situations. You can get a basic bench, or it can slide and swivel.

Keep reading to see my buying guide. It include suggested features and reviews of particular models.

Transfer Bench Buying Guide

Before you use any type of bath safety equipment, make sure you know all about it first. Using equipment incorrectly or using the wrong equipment for the job can lead to injury. Consult with your doctor or other health care professional about your decision.

Here are the basic types:

1. Basic Adjustable Shower Benches

The basic shower transfer bench is going to have an aluminum frame with 4 legs (two inside and two outside the tub). That way, it straddles the tub wall. It’s basically half in and half out of the tub. From there, they have one wide seat which is why they are called “benches”.

An additional feature you might see is a backrest. Backrests keep you from falling backwards if you are likely to lose your balance.

Most shower benches have drainage holes that allow the water to run off so you aren’t sitting a pool of water.

Another feature, that I think is very important, are anti-slip suction cups. These are located at the bottom of the legs that go into the tub. They help it stick to the bath and shower surface so that it doesn’t move around.

2. Sliding Tub Transfer Benches

This type has a smaller seat that is placed on rails or a sliding frame. It allows you to slide in and out of the bathtub instead of scooting. This way you don’t have to move your hips and the whole process is much easier.

The seats also swivel on some models, so you change your entry and exit position.

Some products, like the HydroGlyde, even have commode openings. Why is that helpful? You can wash your groin area without standing up or having to shift around.

Compared to fixed-seat benches, sliding ones are much more easy to use. The chair slides over on rails with just a gentle push. People who are weak can usually operate it without much trouble.

Caregivers like them too. Your caregiver can help you sit down then push you inside the tub while holding your legs.

3. Padded Bath Transfer Benches

There are also models that have padded seats.

You might say that it’s best if the seat is padded, right? Well, maybe.

You’ll have a better experience because no chafing will occur on your skin. It is also more comfortable.

But, there is a trade-off for that comfort.

Padded benches don’t last as long. Usually the padding is foam covered by a water resistant fabric or vinyl. Over time, these fabrics break down and start to crack. At that point, they need to be replaced. The cracks can cause injuries to your skin and mold will begin to grown inside the cushion.

I do not recommend vinyl padded benches. But, benches that are padded with polyurethane foam are fine. That type of padding doesn’t crack and holds up much better.

4. Larger Benches for Heavier People

Every model has a stated weight capacity. This is the maximum weight the product will support.

So, if you weigh more than about 250 lbs, play close attention to the weight capacities. If you are over 300 lbs, opt for a bariatric shower bench. Bariatric benches are reinforced and heavier duty than standard benches.

Don’t risk your safety by using a product that supports less than your weight!

Summary and Final Recommendations

Bathtub and shower transfer benches help seniors and the elderly get in and out of the tub more safely.

When using a transfer bench, you do not have to lift your legs over the tub edge.That’s the main difference between a transfer bench and a shower chair.

The best shower transfer benches have sliding seats with backrests and arm rests. They should be well built with an adjustable seat height, and easy to install.

My personal favorite is the Hydroglide Premium Transfer Bench because it has most of my recommended features plus the handy commode opening. Check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

When using one of these helpful devices, make sure you have a good hand held shower head. You can see my recommended models in this guide. Non-slip bath mats are another important addition to consider.

You might also consider using a bathtub lift to help lower you into the tub.

Finally, for more shower safety tips, check out this article.

Have you ever used a bathtub transfer bench? Tell me about your experience. Do you have any additional tips or advice to share? Leave them in the comments below!

Also, please share this on your favorite social media if you found it helpful.

About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS® 357 Articles
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. Learn More

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