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Your guide to bath seats

Your guide to bath seats

If you’re living with weakness, pain or restricted movement in your lower body which makes it difficult for you to get in and out of your bath, you may want to consider buying a bath seat.

How to choose the right bath seat

How to choose the right bath seat

If you, or someone you care for, are starting to feel a little unsafe when getting in and out of the tub you may want to think about trying a bath seat.

There are three main types to choose from. A free-standing bath seat sits inside the bath and enables you to sit on a raised surface to wash without getting down to the very bottom of the tub. If you find it difficult to lift your legs over the side of the bath, you may also want to think about using a bath board or swivel bather alongside your free-standing bath seat. All of these are explained in more detail further down the page.

There are a number of reasons why you may be feeling unstable on your feet or find it challenging to lift your lower limbs. It may be worth trying a bath seat if you have:

  • Pain or weakness in your legs or back (possibly from a recent hip or knee replacement)
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Pain or weakness in your shoulders and upper body
Types of bath seats
Free-standing bath seat

If you can step into the bath but find it hard to lower yourself down to the bottom and lift yourself back up again, it’s worth trying out a free-standing bath seat. These generally sit at between 6-12" from the bottom of the bath which allows you to sit in the water and wash but not worry about getting stuck. You will need some upper body strength to help you rise out of the bath, but a grab rail could easily help you with this.

Main features of a free-standing bath seat:

  • Simple to fit and remove (usually suctions onto the bottom of the tub) so other people can use the bath
  • You will need some upper body strength to help you push up out of the bath
  • Can be used with a bath board for people who have difficulty stepping into bath but have the upper body strength to lower/raise themselves in and out
    Free-standing bath seat
    Bath board

    If you find it difficult to step over and into the bath, a bath board provides a surface on which you can sit and swing your legs into the tub. A bath board enables you to sit over the bath and use an over bath shower and it can also be used to lower yourself onto a free-standing bath seat in order to wash.

    Good sitting balance is required to use a bath board, but a grab rail can assist with this if needed. Main features of a bath board include:

    Easy to fit, with various sizes available to suit the width of your bath.

    Can be used with an over-bath shower and in conjunction with a free-standing bath seat if you wish to get into the water.

    Easily removed so that the bath can still be used by other people.

      Bath board
      Swivel bath seat

      A swivel bather sits over your bath and has a seat that swivels round which, when released, can help you to lift your legs over the side of the tub without losing sitting balance. A swivel bath seat also enables you to sit and use an over bath shower.

      The main features of a swivel bath seat include:

      • Supports your back whilst swivelling and lifting your legs over the side of the bath
      • Easy to fit, with adjustable width
      • Can be used with an over-bath shower and corner bath options are available
        Swivel bath seat

        All products shown in our catalogues or on our website have a guide to the maximum user weight limit. Please ensure the product will be suitable before you make a purchase.

        Things to consider

        long handled sponge will make it easier to reach your lower limbs or back.

        bath step will make it easier to sit on a bath board or swivel bath seat and also simplify climbing in to the bath.

        The bathroom is one of the most common places for people to slip or fall, so reduce the risk of this happening with the help of a non-slip mat.

        Tap turners can be fitted to the taps on your bath to make them easier to turn.

        Magiplugs are an easy-to-use safety device, which prevent flooding by releasing the plug if there is too much weight from the water. They also change colour to indicate when the water in your bath is too warm.

        Bath seat safety

        It is really important you don’t use a stool or other item designed for different purposes, such as a kitchen stool or a child’s step, as a bath seat. These items are not safe to use in the bath – they could be very slippery, they won’t sit flat on the bottom of the tub and they aren’t guaranteed to have non-slip feet. They could also cause damage to your bath tub.

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        Why buy from us

        We’ve been working for over 70 years to help people maintain their independence for longer through daily living aids and support from our team of Occupational Therapists. As members of the British Healthcare Trades Association, we abide by a strict code of practice and will never force you to buy a product you don’t need.

        If you need any help in deciding if a product is right for you and your unique mobility needs, please contact our Expert Advice Service.

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