In this article, we’ll be looking at the top-rated best walk in tubs 2020.
A walk in tub is a big investment but a wise one. Stay independent and enjoy more luxurious baths without risking harm. We’re here to help you find the best walk in tub that’s right for you.
We’re a team of experts with a passion for luxury bathing and elderly care who have spent hundreds of hours analyzing and testing individual brands to bring you the best walk in tub reviews.
We began out of frustration in 2015 when our founder, a digital journalist, found their mother targeted by bath-aid salesmen and was struck by the lack of independent research into this vital sector.
The Top-Rated Best Walk In Tub 2020 Reviews
American Standard Walk in Tub Home Depot Exclusive Series
American Standard Exclusive Series Walk in Tub Review
American Standard walk-in tubs offer all of the desired safety and therapy options of walk in baths bundled together at one low cost, placing it among the best walk in tub brands.
That means a Portsmouth faucet, a handheld shower head and a range of massage options that make the American Standard walk in tub a great all-rounder for a reasonable price.
American Standard’s best walk in tubs are also recommended by the Arthritis Foundation for ease of use.
American Standard Gelcoat Premium Series Walk in Tub Review
A more luxurious American Standard walk in tub, the Gelcoat Premium series is smaller and more compact which means it uses less water than many walk in tubs and easily retrofits to your previous bath space.
The biggest difference between the Gelcoat Premium and the Home Depot Exclusive Series is the home spa system of 26 air jets that make this walk in bath more like a luxury hot tub. However, the 13-jet deep tissue massage water jets remain. There’s also a setting for a deep tissue leg massage if you only fill the tub half way.
Anzzi Walk in Tub Review
The Anzzi walk in tub is an unusual presence market. The walk in tub cost is among the lowest for a tub with massage jets and chromatherapy lights and its made from marine-grade acrylic with fibreglass reinforcement and a steel support frame.
It is this low price and good quality that places it in Amazon’s best-selling walk in tubs.
Certainly there are plenty of imports out there. That doesn’t mean a bad quality tub necessarily, but it is good to be more careful with these brands made in China with a logo slapped on – at least to ensure you don’t pay a premium for them.
However Anzzi is based in Miami, Florida and appears to be an established bathroom designer. We have also attempted to trace their design back to Chinese factories but haven’t been able to find the same model reproduced for other brands. This leads us to believe this is indeed a high quality tub.
We were concerned that they do not appear to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau like other brands such as Ella’s Bubbles and American Standard. However, further investigation showed Anzzi are a brand of Spa World – the luxury bathing group behind Meditub – who are accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.
Previous customers agree with that and praise Anzzi’s excellent customer service. Like other walk in tubs installation requires a bit of work with wiring but nothing that should be too challenging for a professional.
Ella Walk in Tub Review
Ella’s Bubbles’ mission is simple it says – to offer only the best walk-in bathtubs in terms of safety, design, and therapeutic features, at an exceptional price.
From our research this does appear to be the case with this 100% American brand with a Chicago headquarters and parts sourced from California.
Ella’s Bubbles walk in tubs have a number of features that stand them out from the crowd. These include the tempered glass door with inward and outward opening options. This door is removable for easier cleaning as well as offering a nicer look. Next is a swivelling tray for drinks, books or your phone.
Another benefit of the best walk in tubs from Ella’s Bubbles is the drain. While some walk in baths use electric pumps to empty faster, an Ella walk in tub uses two drains that are each 2″ in diameter for industry-leading draining speed. That means a quicker time from luxury bath to towelling dry, as opposed to slower drains that leave you cold while the water drains before you can get out.
Finally, the Ella walk in tub brand has an extra ace up its sleeve in couples’ bathing. They offer a range of 2-seater tubs that means you and a partner can both enjoy a walk in bath simultaneously facing each other.
Kohler Walk In Baths Review
Kohler walk-in tubs, and walk-in showers, are committed to the variety of needs of their customers, especially those who need help but want to stay independent.
Their walk-in tubs have great water pressure in their jets, both air and water jets and along with the air-jets and water jets, they have fast-fill and drain times.
This walk-in bathtub come with thresholds to the entrance that are super low. The threshold of this walk-in bathtub is only three inches, which is one of the lowest thresholds around for walk-in bathtubs. This will allow you to stay as independent as possible since you won’t need so much help stepping into the bathtub.
You’re also going to have grab bars not only on the inside of the tub, but on the outside as well. This will increase your mobility and lessen the need for help moving in and around the tub.
You shouldn’t have a problem slipping in the Kohler walk-in tub because the floor is actually textured and include a safe step in the entry. Most reviews suggest you’ll be able to grip the better and if you end up making a sudden movement, your feet should slide dangerously across the floor.
This walk-in bathtub also has an easily manipulatable control panel. There are only a couple of buttons and they control water flow and heating preferences.
The heated seats and heated headrest are all great addtions. This will really help when you are waiting for the bath to fill up. Obviously, with walk-in tubs you’ll have to sit inside while the bath fills, and the chill may be a little tough to handle. The fully heated backrest and heated seats will really reduce your discomfort.
They have some great wheelchair accessible models as well, and limited lifetime warranty and multiple year warranty.
The shower is retractable as well and can help you get to hard to reach places without much outside assistance.
A drawback of some of these particular tub models is that they open inwards. This means that once you enter the tub, you have to do a little bit of fancy foot and legwork to get yourself out of the way of the door. Some people may just not have a range of mobility to make these motions. Because you will have to position and re-position yourself this way every time, if you don’t have a wider range of mobility, this may not be the tub for you.
Jacuzzi Walk In Baths Review
Jacuzzi is known for making more luxurious and technologically advanced systems in their walk-intubs. They innovated the Jacuzzi ClearRay water system that really helps with cleaning and management of the walk-in tub, and their walk-in bathtub can even be manipulated with their easy to use phone app.
Typically, the Jacuzzi walk-in tubs come made as closely as possible to the size of the inset of your normal tub. This is great because the design of this walk-in bathtub cuts down on renovations in your bathroom and enhances ease of use for you.
Their doors are a good bit wider than most walk-in tub doors, and they specialize in making their doors as leak-proof as possible with a strong door seal. The wide door increases your range of motion while entering and exiting the tub, and the lack of leaking at the crevices of your walk-in tubs door will improve your safety. No slipping on an overly wet floor as you exit.
Some models of the Jacuzzi walk-in tubs actually feature aromatherapy features along with your jets, air and water jets, and a fast drain, emitting soothing smells as you rest in your tub.
Also, if you are worried about sitting in the walk-in bathtub while it fills and the water initially be too hot, the Jacuzzi tub features a way to increase the heat of your water so you can start with a cooler temperature.
These tubs features wheelchair accessible models as well.
A couple of their models also have sloped backings. Many reviews say this keeps you from having to sit straight up at all times and may relieve the pressure on your back that some other walk-in tubs cause.
The tubes have highly manipulatable temperature control features. The heat in the water has actually been known to lower inflammation in your body and also burn calories. If your range of motion is limited in your daily life, you may not be able to get as much exercise as is necessary, so this calorie-burning capability can be very important for you.
The drawback to buying a tub from Jacuzzi is their customer support isn’t the best. They also don’t always refer quality companies to do repairs or maintenance on their walk-in tubs. The Jacuzzi’s are very expensive walk-in tubs, so be aware that back end support may be a little lacking.
However, their lifetime warranty may make up for some of this problem. There may be a multiple-year warranty as well.
Ariel walk-in tubs tend to focus on the lower end of the market. This means their walk-in tubs wont have as many features as other walk-in tubs, and when they do include features, these will usually be the most basic and the most needed.
If you are looking for a walk-in tub that is very affordable and doesn’t have too many features to be confused by, Ariel walk-in tubs come ready to be geared towards your needs.
Be aware that the Airel tub’s most basic model doesn’t provide any hydrotherapy features such as jets or any of those “whirlpool” options. Make sure to check out the models to be sure you are picking one that fits your expected needs.
Most models do have a swinging door, however, so you can expect this feature.
You can, however, pick from two different models that either feature air jets, which provide a much gentler massage, or a hydrotherapy system which is a little more forceful than air jets and similar to whirlpool jets. This may improve muscle tightness and soreness. They have plenty of features that include grab bars for safety, and a safe step.
They don’t have wheelchair accessible models, unfortunately. But it will still be more accessible than a traditional bathtub.
You can also choose a dual massage tub that features both of these massage types. This dual massage model also features a heat booster. You can use this to control the temperature level and bring the walk-in tub water to a higher degree than the other models of the Airel walk-in tubs.
With installation and maintenance, these walk-in tubs are usually the easiest. They are simply designed and so don’t need a lot finagling when the install happens and don’t require as much maintenance as some fancier options available.
Some reviews say a problem with the Ariel is that they are routinely built to fit into alcove like areas where three sides of the walk-in tub is covered by a wall. If you have a different arrangement, you will have to have your installer build in faceplates for the exposed areas.
The other flaw is that all of the hardware such as faucets, showerheads, etc. are not installed before the installation of the tub. You will have to drill your own holes and make those adjustments yourself. This does provide for a higher degree of customization, but if you are not expecting this extra work it may be frustrating to find that your walk-in bathtub isn’t as easy to install as you thought.
Also, they do feature a lifetime warranty on the walk-in bathtub body.
The Independent Walk-in tubs are one of the most customizable tubs because the company actually features molds based on what best fits your comfort level. You’re best bet if you’re worried about meeting your limited mobility or senior-related needs is to work closely with Independent Home and give them your specs.
They also have a large selection of walk-in tubs to choose from as well as many features like air and water jets and grab bars, and a safe step. Their models can go from very basic to very luxurious.
They have one of the best wheelchair accessible models on the market. The ease of use is very high. Most have a swinging door which makes higher ease of use. These two factors are the biggest differentiators between a walk-in and a traditional bathtub
They are usually in the middling price range as well so they are more affordable but still are a high-quality brand.
Their team is all in house, from their sales rep to their installer, and both departments work closely with each other to give you as much detail as possible.
They have some of the best in-home consultants around. They cater to senior buyers, so they are trained to specifically listen to the needs of their elder clientele and are known for making their customers feel in control and heard.
Their installers are vetted well, requiring 5 years minimum of installing walk-in tubs and each installer averages 200 installs.
The cleaning system in the Independent Home walk-in tub is very efficient as well. This walk-in bathtub features a self-cleaning system and all that is required is a good amount of bleach and dishwashing soap and the system does its work.
An anti-scald valve is built into the tub to prevent there from being sudden changes in temperature in the water. This is a great safety feature that will cater to seniors that may be afraid of having to move too quickly because of water temperature change.
Boca is actually a veteran owned company based in the U.S. The husband and wife founders ensure their of reps and installers do a great job of catering to the needs of seniors and people with limited mobility and are committed to increasing safety and providing therapeutic solutions.
Boca features life time warranties, but their walk-in tubs have specific features that make them able to last for a very long time, even longer than a traditional bathtub. The walls of the tubs are three times the thickness of standard tubs, and the finish on the exterior of the tub are treated with bacteria resistant substances. They also prevent mold and mildew build-up to add even more life span.
They are also one of the more customizable walk-in tubs and Bob and Carol (the owners) have a great team that will work with you on your specifications. This also includes creating a swinging door and creating a more spa like, accessible tub experience.
The company places anti-skid material on the seat of the walk-in tubs and they also place it on the floor of the walk-in bathtub to prevent slipping or sliding.
Reviews say the average cost of a walk-in Boca tub is around $5,000, but the company does not list specific prices on their site because of how unique each tub will be to you.
Some customers have even gotten to actually speak to the owner. They are a small but efficient company and typically you will be able to not only speak with a rep before they come to do measurements but before the installer comes you should be able to speak with him as well if you have any concerns.
Elevate walk-in tubs do not actually have a step-in built into them. This means you will do the least amount of work getting into this walk-in tub. Also, you shouldn’t have any problems sidling a wheelchair up to the tub and laterally sliding into your tub.
The door’s height can actually be adjusted as well, leaving a lot of room for each unique user.
The drain is super fast as well. Typically, it should only take about 10 seconds for this drain to function. This allows for the least amount of wait time which can prevent you from suffering from getting too chilly.
There are only two models to choose from in the Elevate collection. The Elevate Tub and the Elevate Sanctuary Tub. They both have almost the same design but differ in a couple of ways.
The Elevate Tub is your standard soaker, similar to a traditional bathtub, as it is only meant for long sit-ins and not for muscle therapy and it doesn’t have chemotherapy options like the Sanctuary does.
The Sanctuary offers more spa experience features with hydrotherapy. 20 jets are built in and the backrest is heated to increase warmth and comfort.
Both have a lot of safety features that are truly specific to the senior user. The door is built to be leakproof and should be able to be closed with less than one pound of pressure. This will help if you are too weak to open and close a traditional door.
A grab bar is included for maximum safety as well. This is one of the most basic but most necessary safety features.
If there ends up being a power failure in your house and you can’t get the door open, once the tub drains the door should automatically open and let you out.
The ten-second drain is also designed for safety. If the water becomes too hot or there is an emergency, you can count on the drain getting you out of the tub in record time. And while getting in and out of the tub, the safe step should keep you from tripping in an emergency.
Lastly, there is an emergency button installed in the walk-in tub that doesn’t take precision to press and is super visible in case your faculties are impaired during your bath.
Why Buy a Walk In Tub?
Your whole life, bathing has been an effortless, refreshing experience that leaves you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. As you get older and moving around isn’t as easy as it used to be, the best way to preserve a secure and enjoyable bathing experience is with a walk-in bathtub designed to let you easily and safely step in and out of your tub without having to worry about slipping or falling.
Consider the many benefits of the best walk in tubs and how they can make bathing safe while helping you maintain your independence.
Ease of Use
The best walk-in bathtubs make entering your tub and bathing simple and easy. No need to fret over your every move in order to get in or out of the bath. You simply pull the easy-open door, step in, close the door, and take a seat.
Many of the best walk-in tubs feature extra wide, low level entryways; this means no climbing over the side of the tub and fumbling around with a shower chair. Getting out of the tub once you’re done is also a lot easier without having to hoist a leg over the edge of a conventional tub.
Enhanced Safety in the Bathroom
Climbing over the side of a traditional tub in order to get in and out to bathe carries a lot of risk if you have trouble holding yourself up. Moreover, the interior of many such standard baths can be dangerously slippery.
With the many additional safety features walk-in tubs offer, there’s a decreased risk of slips and falls. Sturdy, easy-to-grip grab bars provide you extra support when entering and exiting the tub, while slip-resistant bench seats and floor surfaces ensure no amount of soapy water leads to a fall.
Independent Bathing With The Best Walk In Tubs
The best walk-in baths foster an independent, safe bathing environment with less of the trepidation, inconvenience, and burden to others a conventional bathtub presents to seniors with diminished mobility.
If you are unable to stand for extended periods of time, traditional bathing without assistance becomes problematic, tiring, and even dangerous.
Whether you want to enjoy a replenishing shower using a handheld shower wand or choose to luxuriate in a long, soothing soak, a walk in tub allows you to do so with greater independence.
With the use of a walk-in tub, your bathroom experience can remain a private, comfortable one. Along with easy access, many walk in tubs offer deep-soaking capabilities, unlike traditional bathtubs that tend to give you limited, shallow water capacity. This improves mobility within the tub and allows you to easily submerge most of your body, safely soothing those aches and pains.
Many seniors choose a walk-in bathtub to enjoy the freedom of safer, independent bathing. Combined with the comfort and convenience many of the best walk in tub designs offer, a walk-in tub can be a welcome means to staying clean and healthy in your own home for years to come.
Is a Walk In Tub Right For You?
Walk in tubs are not for everyone, despite what some aggressive salesmen may say. Completely replacing your current bathtub with a walk in bath will completely change the way you bathe and so you need to know your investment is worthwhile.
At Liberty Bathing we pride ourselves on conducting deep research into every bath to help you make the right choice. As such here are some of the negatives of walk in baths we’ve encountered.
We’re all too aware of the enormous cost of some walk in tubs. Buying a walk in tub is a big decision and if you get it wrong then you are stuck with the purchase. Installing a walk-in bath may require additional changes to your home plumbing. We’ve even heard stories of walk in bath salesmen holding a new boilder in the same van ready for when they had to upsell the correct boiler for the bath.
Some people buy a walk in tub and never use it because they can’t adapt to it or dislike some of the limitations like a long fill time.
Having gone through the full installation no one wants to admit defeat and revert back to a normal bath and so a walk in tub can literally just gather dust unused.
It is important that if you purchase a walk-in bath that it is installed quickly and properly to cause the least disturbance in your home and day-to-day life.
The best walk-in tub companies will even assist with taking away your old bath as part of the process.
While your regular bathtub fills horizontally with a walk in tub things are much more vertical. That means to begin with you only have a footbath while you wait for the water level to rise.
In that time you are sitting in the bath trapped and possibly quite cold in the air. Some users have found that temperature is also an issue and it’s difficult to fill the walk in tub with hot water before it cools down.
While walk-in tubs are easy to access, you might have a problem if you need to get out in a hurry. That could be as simple as forgetting your cup of coffee or as serious as needing to escape the hot water if you don’t feel well.
Walk in tubs that open inwards are unable to be opened until the water level has receded. You can’t climb over the top like a regular bath so you are very much stuck inside until you drain the water out, which can also take a while and could be wasteful if you intend to get back in the bath.
As much as walk-in baths can be loaded with massage jets and other therapeutic devices it remains that you are more upright which isn’t the same experience as lying down in a bath. You’ll still have some weight on your back and that could be an issue if you have back problems.
Bathing is never risk-free and walk-in baths do create some additional hazards not encountered with a normal bath. For instance, it is perfectly possible to slip in the footwell and do damage or get stuck.
A walk in bath also puts some pressure on your chest owing to the weight of water – you’ll have probably noticed this before in a hot tub. While this shouldn’t be an issue to most people it could make breathing more difficult for someone who struggles, unlike lying down in a bath with the chest exposed.
Some walk-in tubs have issues with staying warm and also use a lot of water. That means some walk in tub users face higher utility bills because they use more hot water. That can be frustrating after paying thousands of dollars for a walk in tub.
Question Your Salesman
We want you to get the best walk in tub that’s right for you. Don’t feel pressured by any salesman who glazes over details or avoids difficult questions. If you don’t feel comfortable then don’t continue with the transaction.
The Top-Rated Best Walk In Tubs 2020 – Final thoughts
We know that purchasing a walk-in tub can seem like quite a big investment to make, but when you think about the health benefits and overall wellbeing that having your own walk-in tub can bring you (and your family) for years to come, it becomes clear that it is one of the best investments you can possibly make.
We hope that this comprehensive overview over the best and most highly rated walk in tubs of 2020 has been both helpful and illuminating by presenting you to the cream of the walk-in tub crop on the market today.
If you are someone who is serious about not only maintaining but improving both your physical and mental wellbeing as we move further ahead into the 2020s, granting yourself one of the walk-in tubs presented on this list is a great place to start.