Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best baby bathtubs

To bathe an infant safely and make bathtime as calm as it can be, a baby bathtub is the solution most parents turn to.

Baby bathtubs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some can be used in the kitchen sink while others are used in a full-size bathtub. Still others can stand alone on a countertop. With so many choices available, it can be hard to know which option is best.

At BestReviews, we delve deeply into products to find out how they work and which ones are best. This guide was designed to help you narrow down your search for the perfect baby bathtub. When you’re ready to shop, we invite you to examine our five top picks in the product list above.

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Bathtime can be a fun way to bond with your baby. Take that special time to talk and sing with her. As she gets older, she may enjoy splashing or playing with plastic cups.

Types of baby bathtubs

Recommended baby bathtubs

With proper care and conscientious use, the following types of baby bathtubs are generally thought to be safe for infants.

Basic plastic baby bathtubs

A basic baby bathtub has a contoured seat with a sloped back so the baby lies at an angle. Many have a foam liner that helps keep the baby in place. If yours does not have a foam liner, you can use a washcloth or hand towel instead.

Hammock (mesh sling) baby bathtubs

This is a basic baby bathtub that includes a mesh sling. Supported with either straps or rods, the sling cradles the child like a hammock. In most cases, the sling is removable once the baby outgrows it.

Convertible baby bathtubs

Convertible baby bathtubs grow with the child from infancy to early toddlerhood – or even longer. There is enough room in a convertible bathtub for the baby to lie in a reclined position or sit up. Many convertible tubs contain a mesh sling that can be removed once the child is old enough to hold her head up. Maximum weight allowances vary by model, so be sure you know what the weight limits are for the baby bathtub of your choice.

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For your safety
Clean and dry your baby bathtub when you are done using it. Even a small amount of standing water could develop mold or mildew.

Compact plastic (foldable) baby bathtubs

These little space-savers work well if you’ve got limited storage space. Usually, both ends of the bathtub fold toward the center, making the footprint smaller for storage. Sometimes these models can’t hold much water, because they start to leak once the water reaches the hinge line.

Baby spa bathtubs

These luxury bathtubs have some amazing features. Most have battery-powered water jets; some even have a shower head. Baby spa bathtubs can be placed in an adult-size tub. Most people won’t need anything quite this large.

To be used with caution: bucket baby bathtubs

As the name would imply, a “bucket” baby bathtub is shaped like a bucket. This type of tub fits in a kitchen sink or regular bathtub and keeps the child nicely contained. But bucket baby bathtubs should be used with caution. Only babies who can sit up independently should be bathed in them.

As with any vessel, a bucket tub could pose a hazard if left unattended while still filled with water. Some bucket bathtubs come with a stand to move it into a higher position, but we recommend against using this type of stand, as it could pose a tripping hazard.

Not usually recommended: inflatable baby bathtubs

Of all tub options, inflatable baby bathtubs are the easiest to store, as they can be deflated after every use. However, the use of inflatable baby bathtubs is not fully endorsed by pediatricians and other experts.

An inflatable baby bathtub could potentially deflate while the baby is inside, subsequently causing the child to slip. Furthermore, if water splashes out of the tub while in use, the tub could actually float on the water, creating an unsafe situation for the child.

Questions to ask when considering a baby bathtub

When it comes to your baby, it pays to make well-informed purchasing decisions. Before you make your selection, ask yourself these questions about any baby bathtub you are considering.

Does the tub have a padded lining?

Some baby bathtubs come with a padded lining for added comfort, warmth, and traction. Often, the padding is made of foam, which helps keep a slippery baby in place. Some linings are removable while others are built into the tub.

Is the tub contoured?

A baby bathtub should have some contoured features; contouring keeps a baby from sliding around too much and helps support the child and keep her upright. For example, some contoured tubs have a crotch post and/or an extra side support.

How easily does the water drain?

Because of contouring, baby bathtubs often have nooks and crannies where water can hide. Typically, the drain of a baby bathtub is located on the bottom or side. Bottom drains are easier to empty, but no matter what kind of drain a tub has, you should dry it thoroughly after use.

Does the baby bathtub have a temperature indicator?

Baby skin is more sensitive to heat than adult skin. A temperature indicator can help you make sure the water doesn’t get too hot or too cold. There may be a sticker strip that changes color with the temperature, or there may be a digital thermometer that gives you an exact temperature reading.

"Always place your baby’s bathtub on a flat surface to prevent it from tipping over. "

How much water does the baby bathtub hold?

Baby bathtubs can be deceiving when it comes to how much water they can hold. Ideally, the tub you choose should hold enough water to cover most of the baby’s legs – about two inches of water depth will usually suffice.

If you’re interested in a compact baby bathtub designed to save space, consider the possibility that some smaller tubs might not hold enough water. Hinge placement could also limit the depth of water you can achieve.

Where will you use the baby bathtub?

  • Some baby bathtubs can be placed in a full-size tub. These tubs will have a nonskid surface on the bottom to prevent the tub from sliding around. If you have a larger baby, you may wish to consider a tub that can be placed in a full-size tub.

  • Some baby bathtubs are designed to sit on the counter. This puts your baby at a convenient height and near a sink. If you’re interested in a countertop model, you’ll want a smaller tub with sides tall enough to prevent water from splashing out.

  • Some baby bathtubs can be placed in the kitchen sink. Bucket baby bathtubs and slings work well in the kitchen sink. Other models are designed to sit on top of the sink, making it easy to fill the tub and drain the water.

Do you have enough space to store the baby bathtub?

Babies require lots of gear, and you need some serious storage space to keep it all organized. Baby bathtubs can be awkward to store because of their length. If space is limited, consider a compact baby bathtub that can be stowed under a bathroom counter or in a linen closet.

Does the baby bathtub have a storage hook or handle?

If you want a full-size baby bathtub but have limited space, consider one with a storage hook or handle. That way, you can use vertical space to store the tub. For example, it could be hung on the back of the bathroom closet door.

Is the bathtub surface nonskid?

Wiggly babies can rock a bathtub. A nonskid surface is essential for a baby bathtub that will be used inside a full-size tub. They’re also a good idea for countertop baby bathtubs.

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Did you know?
Some baby bathtubs are designed to sit atop a single sink, while others are designed to sit atop a double sink.

Baby bathtub prices

Of all the gear you need to raise a child, a baby bathtub is one of the less-costly items.


For less than $20, you can purchase a plastic baby bathtub of good quality. Some have mesh slings, but many in this price range do not have a padded liner.


For $25 to $50, you can buy a larger baby bathtub or a compact foldable model. You’ll also find some fun bathtubs made in the shape of animals and flowers at this price point.


Baby bathtubs that sell for over $50 often have features like a digital thermometer. You’ll also find the baby spa bathtubs in this category.

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Some bucket baby bathtubs come with a pedestal so you don’t have to bend over while bathing your baby. We don’t recommend using these, however, because the pedestal could easily tip over, creating a tripping hazard.


  • Never leave a baby alone in a bathtub. Drowning can take place in seconds.
  • Many pediatricians recommend keeping a hand on infants at all times while they are in the bathtub.

  • Never try to move a baby bathtub with the baby still in it.

  • Make sure any caregivers other than yourself know how to safely use the baby bathtub.

  • For easier bathing, look for a bathtub with cup and shampoo holders built into the design.

  • Compact baby baths work well for traveling or for keeping at Grandma’s house.

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