6 Best Walk-In Tubs: (2023) Side by Side Comparison | ConsumerAffairs®

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Find a Walk-in Tub partner near you. Walk In Tubs For Elderly

6 Best Walk-In Tubs: (2023) Side by Side Comparison | ConsumerAffairs®

Walk-in tubs help those with mobility issues bathe safely, which is one of the keys to living independently — especially when aging in place. According to an analysis of consumer ratings on our site, walk-in tub companies earned an average satisfaction rating of 4.5 stars over a recent three-year period, with 93% of walk-in tub customers reporting happiness or satisfaction. Ease of use and installation quality appear to be top drivers of higher ratings.

Our research team compared 14 popular walk-in tub companies and chose our top six based on safety and comfort features, installation process and cost. Read our full methodology for details on how we selected our top picks. Our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us — this does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

Walk-in tubs are made for accessibility, comfort and convenience. All of our top picks have ADA-compliant seats, accessible digital controls and hand-held showerheads to make bathing as easy and pleasant as possible for the user.

But each brand differs in terms of design, add-ons and therapy options. If you want bidet jets, for instance, check out Safe Step or Boca. If you want a calming background design, Kohler is your best bet. American Standard’s whole-body hydrotherapy system features 44 total jets to soothe your tired muscles, Hydro Dimensions has a plethora of customization options, and Independent Home’s models let you adjust the temperature of your heated seat.

$1600 Off Safe Step walk-in tub purchase + FREE Shower Package upgrade

Safe Step offers three walk-in models for seniors and individuals with limited mobility: a tub, a shower and a hybrid shower-tub. Its tubs are all-inclusive for luxury and comfort, with built-in therapy features, anti-slip flooring, heated seats and backrests and hand-held shower wands. 

The price of your walk-in tub from Safe Step depends on tub size, add-ons and installation requirements. If you find a cheaper tub that’s equivalent in quality, materials, features, workmanship and other factors, however, Safe Step will refund the difference plus $100 within 30 days of your sale agreement.

Safe Step provides a lifetime warranty on the tub (including any manufacturing defects), door seal, faucets, water pumps, heaters, blowers, parts and labor. There’s also a two-year warranty on caulking.

Safe Step reviewers on our site frequently mention loving the various standard and add-on features that come with their tubs, including the bidet jets. “Safe Step was the best quality brand. They had come with excellent reviews. I did a lot of background research, and it was the way to go,” James in New Mexico said. “I can't say enough good about it. ... I like the bubble features, the back heater, and the rear end heater.”

“I feel a lot better with my walk-in tub,” Laverne from Georgia said. “I like the lights and the microbubble feature is really helpful. My husband had some distortions with the rash stuff and it's really helped him. …There's the bidet too, which I never had a bidet before. These things make you feel luxurious. We prepared for our water bill to be really high but it has not gone up significantly.”

She also likes SpaSound, which lets you listen to music through Bluetooth while you bathe. “I can choose my music before I get into the bathtub. You just turn on your music, you sit down, and you're heated. When you hit your water feature, you get a back massage with the water. You can do your feet and your back or just your feet or your back,” Laverne explained. “I would suggest Safe Step from the standpoint of economy. It's a great upgrade to your home and it adds value.”

James of New Mexico, who was very happy with his Safe Step tub overall, said, “One thing I am gonna have to do is get one of those quick return hot water heater things and install that instead of the regular hot water heater because my standard hot water heater will not fill the tub all the way.”

With any walk-in tub, a water heater upgrade may be necessary — but your rep or installer should address this upfront. We’ve received a few reports of the company’s reps assuring customers their existing heater was adequate, only for the buyer to realize later they’ll have to upgrade after the installation.

$1,800 in Savings - Savings include an American Standard Toilet and Bidet ($800 value) Plus No Interest + No Payments for 12 Months* Plus 50% Off Installation**

American Standard offers five walk-in tub styles, including two wheelchair-accessible models. The tubs drain and fill within two minutes, which means you won’t have to wait long in a cold, empty tub before or after your bath. Depending on your mobility needs, you can have your door open inward or outward. 

You can also finance your American Standard walk-in tub with no interest or payments for 12 months (as long as your tub costs $10,000-plus total).

American Standard provides a lifetime warranty on walk-in tub door seals. Its acrylic tubs come with a 15-year warranty on the tub shell and a 10-year warranty on other components.

The glossy gelcoat models have a 10-year warranty on the tub shell and a 5-year warranty on other parts.

American Standard reviewers on our site seem to appreciate the knowledge and professionalism of the installers as well as the overall workmanship of the tubs. “The installers were fantastic,” Judi of Michigan said. “They walked us through everything. They knew what they were doing and were very cautious not to damage anything else.”

Judi said she loves the tub and “being able to go in, sit in it and play with the buttons. We are very impressed. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

David of North Carolina was impressed with everything from the talk with the reps to the installation process and the final product — “There were just no issues,” he said. “The American Standard rep was very informative, helpful and friendly. He answered all the questions I had. It's perfect. It's everything that I hope for. It works and it's very easy to use. It's a no-brainer. All the way around, it was very impressive.”

A few reviewers on our site mention issues with the mechanics of the tub, and some feel the basin is deeper than it needs to be. As Sally from South Carolina put it, the “area around the legs is too big … It takes a long time to get it to where I'm feeling the water where I sit. It's too much.”

Sally said she couldn't close the door by herself: “I didn't have the strength to do it. When the company is selling these mostly to seniors or people with disabilities, if they're not able to open and close that door by themselves, then that means they have to have someone help them. It almost defeats the purpose of the walk-in tub that they're supposed to be able to get in and out without a problem.” Overall, though, Sally would recommend American Standard, she said.

Kohler has six walk-in tub models, including bariatric, wheelchair-accessible and hybrid tub-shower units. The brand is known for its luxury tub and background options — you can choose from a biscuit or white tub, and wall surrounds come in “Adriatic Oasis,” “Classical Decadence,” “Modern Minimalism” or “Coastal Classic” designs.

We love that you can find lots of walk-in tub estimates on the Kohler website (though your costs depend on the model, installation, add-ons, etc.). You can finance a Kohler walk-in bathtub with no payments for 18 months through GreenSky. As of publishing, the brand is offering $1,500 discounts to new customers.

Kohler Co. covers any walk-in tub defects or workmanship issues. The company’s lifetime limited warranty is one year for all other walk-in tub components (door seal, hydrotherapy systems, faucet and hand-held showerhead).

According to reviews on our site from recent years, bathers who use Kohler’s walk-in tubs are most pleased with how easy the tubs are to operate, the quick drain and fill time and the product warranty.

“I love the Kohler bathtub. It's easy for me to get in and out of. I like every part of it,” Nancy of Texas told us. Even though she hasn’t been using the jets due to diabetes-related leg issues, “just getting in a tub makes me happy. It makes my arthritis feel good.” She said her daughter also loves the tub.

“The bath meets all of my mother-in-law's needs. We appreciate that. She now has an opportunity for independence when taking a bath and appreciates the added features for a calming experience.”

Kohler is best for those who want their walk-in tub to have a look of luxury — if you’re looking for a basic model with no flair, you might want to consider another option.

According to review analysis from a recent three-year period, when it comes to billing issues, Kohler ranks a bit lower (3.8 stars) than walk-in tub brands overall (4.2 stars) on our site. One reviewer, Tracee from Kansas, said the company was “not forthcoming” regarding billing details. “When searching Kohler’s website today found those details in the fine print at the bottom of the page, ONLY IF I expanded the ‘Read More’ for when the offer expired – WHY HIDE IT,” they asked.

Basically, their first payment went through much later than expected, which caused surprise when the money was withdrawn: “They ordered the tub, they installed the tub, they sent a comment card, which to us, indicated the transaction was complete and we had already made our first finance payment and THEN they charged the deposit – again WITH NO COMMUNICATION.” Make sure you clarify the billing process before you agree to a sale.

Independent Home’s walk-in tubs come standard with safety features like anti-slip floors, angled grab bars, handrails and 17-inch ADA-compliant seats. All tubs are installed by in-house licensed installers with at least five years of experience, and the company claims it can install a tub for you with just two weeks’ lead time. Its walk-in tubs also feature a self-purging cleaning system and a rain-style showerhead.

Independent Home partners with multiple providers to find a financing option that fits your needs. As of publishing, you can get $1,500 off the total of your walk-in tub with an online certificate.

Independent Home’s lifetime warranty covers the door seal, metal frame, fiberglass spa shell, gelcoat finish, faucets, motors, pumps, control panels and workmanship.

Reviewers on our site tend to praise Independent Home for its careful installation crews and high-quality tubs — like Diane from Louisiana, who “could not be happier” with her unit from Independent Home. “I’ve had my spa tub about a month & look forward to using it every day. ... The guys were very professional, personable & took great care in protecting my wood floors.” And the installation took only “one long day,” which Diane said “amazed” her.

“Actually there is nothing about my spa tub that I don’t like & I would highly recommend it to anyone,” Diane said. “The tub has 8 water jets & 30 three speed air jets, chromatherapy & aromatherapy. All the controls are easily accessible & easy to operate. I love the quiet motor & the self cleaning system. The controlled water temperature allows me to be able to enjoy staying in the tub for an extended period of time without the water getting cold.”

Robin of Tennessee was sold on Independent Home’s walk-in tubs when she saw her neighbor’s shower-tub combo: “I could tell it was good quality, and the price they had paid for it was a good price. … It has all the features I was looking for.”

Robin appreciated that the company’s reps didn’t use high-pressure sales tactics and did “a good job of explaining everything.” And when the installation crew showed, they were on time and were “very courteous and careful.” She said the tub is “very high quality. I’ve not run into anything in the design or controls that are not user-friendly.”

Though Independent Home offers a “full lifetime warranty,” it’s unclear exactly what the company means by “lifetime.” And keep in mind that because there are so many customization options (e.g., number of jets), total price can vary considerably.

Reviewers are generally happy with Independent Home, but some mention communication issues and delays. Maureen from New York said her installers couldn’t hook up the jets when they came to install, and then had trouble getting ahold of the crew lead for an updated timeline.

“If he had just communicated to me that he was waiting on an electrician, it would have been better. But there was radio silence for quite a while and that was frustrating.” Still, Maureen reported being happy with the final product.

Hydro Dimensions has 16 models to choose from, including two wide-door tubs, a lie-down tub, a plus-size tub and a tub with a super-deep basin. No matter which series or size you choose, you have the option of adding hydrojet, air jet and microbubble therapy systems.

You can also upgrade your Hydro Dimensions tub with a heated backrest, UV or ozone sanitation, a high-speed drain, aromatherapy, chromotherapy and custom jet placement.

The bathtub’s shell, door seal, motors, electronic controls, frame, finish, faucet, overflow system and supporting equipment come with a lifetime warranty.

Reviewers on our site often say Hydro Dimensions representatives are informative and helpful. They also mention quick installations by pro installers.

“Hydro Dimensions was a very good company to deal with,” Pat from Nova Scotia said. “They sent a person here to sit down with us and go over everything. We then put a down payment, and they weren't supposed to come till the first week of July, but they were here a week and a half earlier. The men they had working were excellent, and everything was cleaned up afterwards each day that they were here. We can't say enough. The tub is great too.”

Hydro Dimensions users also love the tub quality and the suite of features, and they often report improvements in health and various physical conditions after regular use.

Ronald of Alabama told us he opted for Hydro Dimensions for the aromatherapy and LED lights. “I like the whirlpool the best. But the bubbles seem to help my skin and legs,” he reported. “I bought it for me but my wife's in trouble with vein issues popping up in her legs. And since she's been using that tub, that's even got a lot better,” he said.

Danny of Washington appreciates the quick-drain process: “The drain time is excellent. I could watch the water go down. That's important, because we couldn't get out of it until we get the water out.”

Hydro Dimensions’ tubs are only available with a gelcoat finish. If you’re particular about your materials and prefer acrylic for its durability, this brand might not be for you.

We’ve received mixed feedback on our site regarding the time it takes to fill a Hydro Dimensions tub, with some reviewers noting fill times significantly longer than expected. There are also some mentions of shipping delays.

“I liked the walk-in tub from Hydro Dimensions,” Sharon of Indiana told us. “But it took a long time for it to get here. It was supposed to be here in four weeks and it took twice that long. The water goes out quickly, which is a plus, but the fill takes quite a while. So, you're sitting in there and you're cold in the tub you're filling.”

For many with mobility issues, a low step threshold is crucial to bathing safely — and Boca has the lowest step-in height of any of our picks. It also stands out in the industry for offering online quotes (though getting an in-person quote still might be more reliable). The company offers seven walk-in tub sizes/orientations: standard, petite narrow, petite short, deep, wide, wide/deep and two-person.

Boca offers five-, eight-, 10- or 12-year financing opportunities for walk-in tubs. You could also qualify for a 12-month “same as cash” option with no interest or monthly payments for the one-year period.

Boca’s limited lifetime warranty covers the following: manufacturing defects, tub shell, tub door and seal, faucet, drain, controls, pumps, blowers and heaters.

From November 2020 to November 2023, the average rating among Boca reviewers on our site who mentioned product warranty, service with billing and/or ease of use was 5 out of 5 stars.

Because the tubs have the lowest step threshold of any of our picks, it didn’t surprise us that reviewers found Boca’s tubs easy to use. Crystal of Illinois said about hers, “It's about an inch to step in my tub, which I love. That's great for my mom.” Crystal’s family loves the tub too — “My sister said, ‘We're gonna need to schedule who's turn is it to get in the tub.’"

Reviewers also love Boca’s features and the look of the tubs. “My husband likes the dual jets,” Nelda in Georgia, whose husband can’t get in or out of a traditional tub, told us. “I was against it because I thought it would be ugly and make our house look old, but it made the bathroom look very pretty.”

Several reviewers also say they’d recommend Boca to others — like Robert in Florida, who shares a walk-in tub with his wife. “We're using it as often as we can. It's our weekend getaway. I like the jets, and I love the Boca bubbles. ... I'd tell my friends if they're looking into a walk-in bathtub, they need to go with Boca.”

Occasionally, a reviewer on our site mentions pressure from sales reps. This didn’t bother M. of Washington, though: “The rep was pushy, but he was a salesman. We liked him. The installer was a great guy. He did well.” Overall, M. said they were “very happy with the walk-in tub.”

Ronda of Idaho loves her Boca walk-in tub but has one complaint: “There's only one downfall to the tub and it's the amount of time it takes to fill. We're looking [to] see if we can install something in our home that would increase the water flow because it takes probably about 20 minutes to fill the tub.”

Offers walk-in tubs, showers and shower-bath combos. Includes standard safety features plus spa-like hydrotherapy systems. Financing and discounts available. Limited lifetime warranty on tubs, parts and labor.

Find soaker tubs, two-seaters and shower-bath combos. Features quick-drain, air jets and whirlpool massage system. Financing options and free evaluations. Costs start at $4,600 to $8,400, not including installation.

Select from multiple colors, styles and designs. Soaker and shower-tub combos feature proprietary air jets and heated surfaces. Costs include installation and a limited lifetime warranty. Financing options available.

Sells compact and luxury baths. Wheelchair-accessible and bariatric tubs available. Costs include installation services and a lifetime warranty. Get a quote for pricing.

Sells more than 28 unique models of walk-in tubs, including two-seat, wheelchair accessible, inward/outward door and shower combo kits. Offers fast fill and dual drain technology. Includes lifetime limited warranty.

Find soaker and bariatric tubs plus shower-bath combos and two-seaters. Features internal frame design with two-inch step-in threshold. Provides free quotes. Comes with a lifetime warranty on the tub and parts.

Manufactures soaker, shower-tub combo and bariatric baths. Features hydro- and air-massage systems. Comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the tub and parts. Get a quote for pricing. Installation not included.

6 Best Walk-In Tubs: (2023) Side by Side Comparison | ConsumerAffairs®

Affordable Walk In Tubs Comes with standard safety features. Optional upgrades include faucet sets, marine-grade fiberglass shells and glass shower doors. Provides free in-home estimates. Financing available.