There are many walk-in tub makers in the world, but Safe Step is one of the leading names when it comes to walk-in tubs for seniors and so we bring you this comprehensive Safe Step walk in tub review.
Made from Tennessee USA, Safe Step walk-in tubs are specifically designed for seniors who are struggling with dizziness, joint paints, arthritis, any kind of mobility issues, or recovery from a surgery or illness. Because the features of each Safe Step walk-in tub is customized for the needs of a senior or senior couple, it guarantees improved bathing experience.
However, like everything custom-made, expect the Safe Step walk-in tub cost to be higher than standards tubs you see on Lowe’s, The Home Depot and other builders’ supply stores.
Is paying extra worth it? This Safe Step walk in tub review should answer all your questions about the brand, from quality to warranty, how they handle customer complaints, and difference with other brands.
Safe Step Walk in Tub Models and Features
The main difference with Safe Step and other brands is that you won’t find any other Safe Step model beyond the standard walk-in tub.
The “bare” (or standard) Safe Step walk in tub is definitely much more fully-featured than other brands. Standard models come with features such as:
- Senior-friendly seats – Seats built low or wide are common for Safe Step tubs since these design changes make it easier for seniors to sit in it.
- Sturdy grab bars and towel bar – These bars help users climb in and out of the tub more safely and help with balance when moving around the tub. Newer models also have the option of installing an easy-to-reach towel bar.
- Temperature control technology – Prevent accidental burns with Safe Step’s anti-scald and temperature regulation technologies.
- Non-slip floor and seats – Safe Step’s gel-coated floors and seats prevent mold buildup and reduce the risks of slipping.
- Handheld shower hand – No need to transfer to a shower with a handheld shower hand, users can easily rinse shampoo or soap off, and clean out the tub after use.
- Special door features – From left-hand or right-hand door swing option, to sturdy door handles, all special features of a walk-in tub are considered for senior use.
- Drainage – All Safe Step walk-in tubs come with a quick drain system
- Spa experience – Painful joints can definitely benefit from aromatherapy, chromotherapy, or hydrotherapy components built into a Safe Step walk-in tub. The company even developed MicroSooth air therapy – a technology that uses oxygen-filled microscopic-sized bubbles that massage the user’s skin from head to toe.
Whether you pick the standard model, or add on other components, a Safe Step crew visit your home, measure the space available, create a list of features to suit your needs, build the walk-in tub from their factory, and then go back to have it installed professionally into your home.
As you might have guessed, Safe Step tubs come in various shapes and sizes to fit your space. The controls, which are always strategically located for easy reach, will vary based on the components included in a particular unit.
The company can also create hybrid walk-in tubs (tub and shower combination) by request.
Hiring Safe Step to install a walk-in tub sounds like a complicated process, but the features you can get built into a walk-in tub can be a welcome solution for seniors in need of extra safety and accessibility components.
Safe Step Walk-in Tub Price and Warranty
If you’re weighing your walk-in tub options, this is where you’d probably get frustrated with Safe Step. You won’t have any clear information on pricing, even if you talk to a representative on live chat, e-mail or phone. You have to schedule a free in-home consultation instead.
How much does a Safe Step walk-in tub cost?
The standard Safe Step walk-in tub comes at around $7,000 to $8,000, depending on which affiliate you talk to. This price also doesn’t include heated seating, additional drain, or the fancy hydrotherapy jets, but you could have them installed for $5,000 or more.
The total price will depend on which features you want built into the tub. Plus, if you look at Safe Step walk-in tub as an investment, you’ll understand that the total price already includes plumbing, installation, electrical, and bathroom/shower upgrades that would normally be expenses added if you buy a ready-made tub from a store and have it installed.
Safe Step has a 30-day price match guarantee, two-year warranty on caulking, and a lifetime “tub and parts” warranty. They also offer financing options (with approved credit) and a “Helping Hands Rebate” of up to $1,500 since this tub isn’t included in any healthcare coverage like Medicare.
Pros of a Safe Step Walk-In Tub
There are numerous impressive features Safe Step can offer, but the following benefits are probably the most significant:
- Good for achy joints – Features like hydrotherapy jets have adjustable intensity and speed. You can even set them up to target certain body parts like feet or back.
- Stay warm, even if not underwater – When the user is seating down as the tub fills up, or drains, he/she can remain warm thanks to heated back and seat. And Safe Step adds thermal cut-off control to this, so it won’t ever be too hot to the skin.
- Self-cleaning tub – This is particularly useful for seniors living independently. Many bathroom accidents occur while cleaning the tiles, walls and bath tubs. Having the automatic, ozone cleaning that self-cleans the tub after use is a good addition.
- Discounts and financing options – Safe Step offers rebates, military discounts and financing options.
- Lifetime warranty – Safe Step offers lifetime warranty on labor, on the tub, and parts like the heater, pump, faucets, doors, and so on.
Cons of a Safe Step Walk-In Tub
The biggest disadvantage of the Safe Step walk-in tub is its price – it can get really expensive. However, if money is no problem, here are other considerations you should weigh:
- Limited product range – If you’re someone who wants options when shopping, having only one standard model from Safe Step may be a downside for some. (Interestingly, this “issue” can be an advantage for other people)
- Not wheelchair accessible – The walk-in tubs from Safe Step are designed with inward-opening doors, which make it double challenging to bring a wheelchair halfway in as support.
- No Price availability – Safe Step walk-in tubs are custom-made, so your only way to get a proper pricing is when you request for a free consultation and in-home visit and you are given an estimate from professionals.
- Less durable foundation – Safe Step tried to bring cost down to the walk-in tubs and opted to use gel-coated fiberglass shell (instead of acrylic shell that has been known to be more durable but also more expensive) and aluminum frame (instead of stainless steel).
- Installation takes longer – The process begins with a consultation and followed by actual installation, so it would take weeks (sometimes months) to have a walk-in tub fully installed into your home. The time varies, since removing old tub may also be included in the process.
Safe Step Walk in Tub Reviews: What Users Say about Safe Step Walk in Tubs
Like what I noticed when I called to inquire, the sales people of Safe Step are courteous and not pushy, which is a good thing since overselling can be a turn off.
Current users share that installation teams are knowledgeable and answer any possible questions during the job.
Safe Step has no problems with complaints about the tub, but the smaller parts like the handheld shower and door usually show signs of wear and tear earlier.
The main issue users report involves the cost, which is understandable because anything above $5,000 can really hurt a household’s budget. What’s causing the extra charges often comes from updating the plumbing, or removing the old tub. I recommend checking with a local plumber about the cost of having the old tub removed or pipes updated, so you have a real price comparison.
A few users complain of leaking. Safe Step tries to get the issues resolved, as you see from cases the company answers directly on BBB.
Walk in Tub Buying Guide: Is a Safe Step Walk in Tub Worth it?
To determine if a Safe Step walk-in tub is worth the investment, check out what constitutes a good walk-in tub and other considerations to think about.
- Type of users – The best walk in tub is easy to get into and climb out of, even if you’re a senior with mobility issues, or a user with balance problems. Are there enough grab bars? How low are the seats? Can it be used without assistance? Consider the people who are going to use the walk-in tub when deciding if Safe Step’s offer can meet the requirements of your loved ones.
- Design and accessibility – Low-level entryways and extra wide access are just two of the must-have design properties of walk-in tubs. The swing direction of the door is just as important, since only outward-opening doors can accommodate wheelchairs.
- Safety features – Easy-to-reach controls, grab bars with double grip strength, accessible towel bars, non-slip floors, slip-resistant benches and other safety features that can reduce the risk of falls, slips and other unwanted accidents.
- Comfort – Is the walk-in tub simply for deep-soaking? Or are you looking for spa-level jet bubbles and other technology similar to Safe Step’s MicroSooth air therapy? These technologies were invented specifically to help sooth aches and pains.
- Filling time – How quick does the tub fill up? How quickly does it drain? You might not think of this right now, but some users complain that they are left cold inside the tub for a long time as they wait for water to rise. The Safe Step fills up fairly quickly and also have temp control to keep a user’s back warm while waiting.
- Cleaning – Is there a feature that makes tub cleaning possible (and safe) for seniors? Does a bit of water get stuck on the floor after draining? Will the floors get slimy? Many walk-in tubs for seniors are designed with self-cleaning capabilities so the risk of mold building up remains low.
- Hazards – Because a walk-in tub fills water vertically (compared to the horizontal way of traditional tubs), you’ll feel a pressure on your chest as the water goes up. This shouldn’t be an issue for most people, but for those who have breathing difficulties or heart ailments, this could become an inconvenience.
Weighing these considerations are important. You wouldn’t want to be left with a walk-in tub that doesn’t meet your requirements, right? This is too big of an investment to never use it due to your chosen tub’s limitations. You could have easily fixed if you’ve chosen the right walk-in tub.
Safe Step Walk-in Tub Review Verdict
If you’re planning to purchase a Safe Step walk-in tub for a newly-constructed house, the cost for plumbing upgrade or old tub removal shouldn’t add to the expenses of installing the Safe Step tub.
If you’re shopping for a walk-in tub for an older house, you do not necessarily have to bite the consultant’s recommendation of adding these serves into your total bill – you can have a trusted plumber check these issues out for you first.
Aside from choosing lower-priced materials, Safe Step walk-in tub checks all the right features. The company definitely thinks about accessibility and efficiency when it comes to designing walk-in tubs for seniors and people with mobility difficulties.
Overall, Safe Step’s bare and decked-out options are really on a level of its own. Some features you see on Safe Step’s standard walk-in tub are optional paid add-ons from tubs offered by other companies.
Just make sure to include any possible Safe Step component that would help all users enjoy the freedom of a safer, more comfortable, and independent bathing experience.