How To Get In And Out Of The Bathtub Safely

By |

How To Get In And Out Of The Bathtub Safely

Getting in and out of a bath tub can be one of the more challenging home activities facing the elderly and disabled.  However, there are several products available that will make entering and exiting the bathtub a lot safer and a lot easier.  The most challenging part of getting in and out a bathtub is climbing over the outer part, however,  these products are designed to help you transfer effortlessly over this bath wall and the great thing is that there is a product available for everyone’s budget.

In this article I will describe a quick overview of the various devices.  If you like the look of any of the devices then click on the link to see my reviews on my top picks for that device.

1. Bath Chairs

Disability Bath ChairsBath chairs are the most inexpensive aid available to help a person get in and out of the bathtub.  The chair is placed on the inside of the bath, however if the chair is large enough, the person can sit on the chair from the outside and lift their legs one by one into the bathtub.

Now, the person must have some mobility to do this, therefore, I wouldn’t recommend a bathtub chair for the immobile.  A positive feature of the bathtub chair is that it doesn’t restrict movement once you are inside the bathtub and also it doesn’t restrict the opening and closing of the shower curtain.

To view reviews on the best bathtub chairs, click here.

2. Bathtub Benches

Disability Bathtub BenchA bathtub bench or board is a device my mother uses and is similar to a bathtub chair.  A bathtub bench is placed on the ledges of the bathtub giving more of an area to sit on (compared to the chair) before entering the bath.  After sitting on the ledge, the person then lifts their legs over the bathtub walls.

The bench is better than the chair because it means there is more of the seat to sit on when transferring over the bathtub wall.  However,  the negative aspect is that the bench is more restrictive than the chair.  It restricts your movement inside the bath and also restricts the closing of the shower curtain.  The shower curtain can come up and over the bench though, so that isn’t a deal breaker.

To view reviews on the best bathtub benches, follow this link.

3. Bathtub Transfer Benches

Disability Bathtub Transfer BenchThe bathtub transfer bench is a mixture of the chair and the bench together.  The bathtub transfer bench is like a large chair that has two legs inside the bath and two legs on the outside.  There are handles on the inside and outside to help you transfer safely.  The transfer bench allows you to sit down on the chair outside the bath, lift your legs over the bath wall and before you know it, you are sitting on the inside of the bath.  It is similar to the bathtub bench but easier to use.

The same problem with closing the shower curtain will naturally occur with this aid, and also it will take up some space outside the bath making it a little bit more difficult for wheelchair users and walkers.

To view my best bathtub transfer reviews, click this link.

4. Sliding Swivel Inside Bathtub Benches

Sliding Swivel Inside Bathtub BenchesThe beauty of this type of bathtub chair is that it makes it that bit easier to get to the correct position in the bathtub.  How it works is that you first position the chair facing out from the bath and then sit on the seat as normal. You then slide back and lift your legs one by one over the bathtub wall as the chair seat naturally swivels to face the shower head.

Another positive aspect of this device is that your back is resting against the back rest throughout the transfer movement, which provides added safety.

Once again the shower curtain will be restricted opening and closing.

To see reviews on the sliding swivel bathtub chairs, go here.

5. Sliding Swivel Outside Bathtub Benches

Sliding Swivel Bathtub BenchesVery similar in design to the sliding swivel bathtub chair, except part of the chair is on the outside of the bath.  The same technique is involved in transferring from the outside to the inside, however, with this bench it is easier to sit on the chair in the beginning.  The negatives are the shower curtain closing restriction and wheelchair / walker access restriction because of the outer area of the bench.

To view the sliding swivel bathtub bench reviews, click here.

6. Wheelchair Sliding Transfer Chairs

Wheelchair Sliding TransferThe great thing about this device is that the wheelchair part can be disconnected from the transfer part.  This means that a person can be transferred on the wheelchair, from another room to the bathtub.  Once they arrive at the bathtub, the wheelchair can be connected to the transfer bench.  The person then slides along the transfer bench, lifting their legs over the bathtub wall, never leaving the chair.  The chair may also have a cut out portion in the middle of the seat, so it can double up as a toilet seat as well.

To view some sliding wheel transfer reviews, follow this link.

7. Bath Lift Chairs

Bathtub Lift ChairA bathtub chair will not only help transfer you in and out of the bathtub but it will also lower you into the water and lift you up and out of the water as well.  It does sound great and it is a wonderful product if you can afford it, however it may have some down sides.  First of all, you will be sitting on the chair in the bathtub and not the bottom of the bathtub, therefore, you will not be as submerged in the water as you would be if there was no chair in there.  Also for taller individuals, you are restricted to sitting on the chair, which will not be fully up against the back of the bathtub.  This means your legs might lose a couple of inches of room in the bathtub.  Whats more, these devices are battery operated, therefore, will need to be recharged or changed every now and again.

To read my reviews on the best bath lift chairs, click this link.


Hopefully you were able to find a suitable device for your needs from the various devices in this article.  To see more detailed descriptions and my recommended choices for each device, remember to click on the links.