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Best Walk-In Bathtubs

Updated October 2020
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American Standard Walk-in Baths
American Standard
Walk-in Baths
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The gold standard in walk-in bathtubs, this is the company to choose if you want superior quality and easy, prompt, responsive customer and tech support.


A top, well-loved brand in the industry for more than 100 years. Innovative designs and engineering. Tubs' patented hydrotherapy and drainage systems are focused on safety and comfort. Lifetime warranty on tub, labor, and installation. A+ BBB rating.


Most negative experiences related to installation issues that can be remedied by tech support, not the tub itself.

Safe Step Walk-in Tubs
Safe Step
Walk-in Tubs
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Our pick for those with very limited mobility and chronic pain who want a competitive price on a walk-in bathtub when personable, attentive service is also at the top of your list of requirements.


Tubs have the lowest acceptable step height, making entry and exit as easy as possible. Equipped with pain-relieving hydrotherapy systems for a soothing bath. Made in Tennessee, which keeps prices low. Generous lifetime warranty. Customer and tech support available in the U.S. and Canada. Charitable company donates bathtubs to those in need. A+ BBB rating.


Handful of negative experiences related to rare defects.

Kohler Walk-in Bath
Walk-in Bath
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An aesthetically pleasing upgrade to your traditional tub with all the bells and whistles one might want for a safe, therapeutic bathing experience.


Kohler is a high-end, quality, trusted brand. Steps are lowest industry-standard height, so easy to get in and out. Features/options: heated surfaces, therapeutic hydrotherapy jets, extra-wide seats. Made/assembled in U.S.A. Lifetime limited warranty.


Customer service and support is hit or miss if you need help post-installation.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Choosing the best walk-in bathtub

Last Updated April 2024

Traditional bathtubs present a safety challenge for some elderly and disabled users. Taking that first giant step, especially without assistance, can lead to slips, falls, and fractures — the most common types of injuries among the elderly.

A walk-in bathtub, with its low threshold and ADA-compliant seating, addresses this safety concern. In many cases, it’s a gift to users and caretakers alike.

However, there are some drawbacks when it comes to ordering, installing, and using a walk-in bathtub. These tubs can be expensive to buy, challenging to install, and difficult to use.

Owning a walk-in bathtub provides an important safety benefit for users: safer tub entry and exit.

In this review, we will examine both the positive and negative aspects of walk-in bathtub ownership. We believe that consumers considering such a substantial investment should have an honest evaluation of the end product.

That’s what BestReviews is all about: providing consumers with the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions. So if you’re in the market for a walk-in bathtub — or even just thinking about buying a walk-in bathtub in the future — you’ve come to the right place.

Traditional bathtubs vs. walk-in bathtubs

A traditional bathtub stands two or more feet from the ground. The tub bather must be able to lift one leg over the edge while balancing on the other leg for support. She must also be able to lower her body into the tub at the start of the bath and pull herself out when she’s finished.

A walk-in tub is a vertical version of a traditional bathtub. A door on the side or front of the walk-in tub allows the bather to step over a very small threshold, often just a few inches in height. Once inside the tub, the bather can sit down in a pre-formed chair set at an approved ADA height. The bather shuts the door and activates the water faucets to fill the tub.


A manufacturer may offer a heated chair for improved comfort or a power seat for maneuvering bathers into and out of the water. The cost of these features varies widely, and additional plumbing or electrical work may be required.

Some walk-in tubs offer additional features, including the following:

Walk-in tubs with the above features generally cost more than “bare bones” walk-in tubs that only have the basics.

Pros and cons of walk-in bathtubs

Installing a walk-in bathtub is no small feat. It requires time, planning, and a significant financial investment. However, the benefits of having a walk-in bathtub could be worth it to you. Here are the pros and cons of having a walk-in bathtub in your home.

Walk-in bathtub pros

Cons of walk-in bathtubs


A walk-in tub’s low threshold reduces the chances of a trip or fall while entering or exiting.

Before making first contact

There is no shortage of walk-in bathtub dealers, both online and in the real world, who are ready, willing, and able to pitch their products to interested parties. Walk-in bathtubs have grown in popularity in recent years. This is due, in large part, to aggressive television advertising and endorsements from leading “aging in place” organizations.

Most walk-in bathtub vendors get their products from reputable manufacturers with strong brand recognition. But some less-scrupulous walk-in bath sellers offer poorly designed models from unknown manufacturers. It pays to do research on a supplier before committing to the purchase of a walk-in bathtub.

What to expect from a walk-in bathtub sales representative

Once the decision to buy a walk-in bathtub has been made, the next step is to contact a supplier and negotiate the purchase. This could be a matter of driving to the nearest home improvement store and speaking with a knowledgeable sales associate. At the store, there may be several floor models on display, from a no-frills model that costs $1,000 or $2,000 to a deluxe model with whirlpool jets, a bubble jet, and a water heater that costs more than $5,000.

Another purchasing scenario involves visiting a specialty store. A specialty store will likely have a higher number of floor models than a home improvement store, along with details on each unit’s accessories and specifications. Because the sales associates at specialty stores often work on commission, they tend to lead customers toward high-ticket options.

Shoppers should keep in mind that while whirlpools and bubblers may sound relaxing, they may be far too complicated for the intended user to operate. What’s more, these deluxe features will jack up the price considerably.

Some risk-taking consumers may want to consider doing business with an online or telephone-based company. The main advantage these outlets offer is selection. Instead of deciding between a handful of floor models, you can search through pages of offerings from a variety of manufacturers. However, because the walk-in bathtub industry has experienced a boom in recent years, there are a large number of manufacturers and middlemen offering substandard models at artificially low price points. It can be difficult to gauge the actual quality of a walk-in tub from a glowing written review or flattering photo. Shipping costs can also be substantial for a product of this size, and professional installation should be factored into the final price.

Other bathing solutions

Perhaps you know, without a doubt, that you want to install a walk-in bathtub. Or perhaps you’re still debating whether to make the investment. As you prepare to shop around for a new walk-in bathtub, keep these alternatives in mind.

Consider a roll-in shower

A roll-in shower is similar to a walk-in shower, but there are no barriers to it; the floor simply slopes down a bit to drain the water. A roll-in shower addresses many of the same safety and mobility issues that a walk-in bathtub addresses, often at a much lower cost to the customer. If desired, the user could add a special ventilated bath chair for additional support while showering.

Explore traditional bathing aids

A well-stocked home health store should have a number of options for bathing assistance.

A bath bench, for example, will extend over the edge of a traditional bathtub, allowing the bather to slide in and out of the tub.

A shower chair keeps bathers in a seated position while bathing. And of course, safety rails are a helpful safeguard in any bathroom.

Hire a professional bathing team

In many areas of the country, bathing assistance is available as a home health care service. A trained nurse or a team of professionals will visit a client’s home and assist her with basic personal hygiene tasks, including bathing.

Some people may find the cost of such a service more affordable than the cost of installing a walk-in tub or roll-in shower.


Walk-in tubs often feature stability bars and textured surfaces to help prevent slipping.

Use alternative cleansing methods between bathing sessions

If using a traditional bathtub has become problematic, there are other ways to maintain personal hygiene between formal bathing sessions.

For example, there are dry shampoos available for routine haircare and disposable cleansing cloths for personal cleansing.


If you only need a short-term solution for bathing while sitting, there are inexpensive bathtub chairs that are not permanent fixtures.


Walk-in bathtubs address a major cause of injuries among the elderly. Negotiating a high bathtub threshold requires good balance, muscle strength, and flexibility. If any of those elements are compromised by age or injury, the result could be a dangerous fall.


Q. My elderly mother could benefit from a walk-in bathtub. Will Medicare or another insurance plan help with the expense?

A. Unfortunately, the short answer is no. Medicare does not currently consider walk-in tubs to be “durable medical equipment” (DME) and will not reimburse the cost of purchase or installation. Some Medicaid plans will consider a partial compensation for walk-in tubs, but in general, the user would have to demonstrate a bona fide medical need.

However, it is possible for qualified walk-in tub owners to deduct certain expenses (including a therapeutic walk-in tub) if they have dependents living in the home. Check with your healthcare provider and tax advisor for more information.

Q. I want to put a new walk-in tub in my existing bathroom. Are the installers going to have to tear out and replace all of my pipes and drains?

A. Under most circumstances, the installers will be able to attach the existing water supply lines and drain to the new walk-in bathtub. Some manufacturers claim to include faster fill valves or drain openings, but they are still limited by the capacity of the existing plumbing. If you have opted for accessories such as whirlpool jets or a heated seat, however, then the installers will have to perform some additional plumbing and electrical upgrades.

Q. Can I get other design options on a walk-in tub? I don’t like the location of the door, and I have trouble getting in and out of the chair.

A. A number of modifications are possible with a typical walk-in tub, but you need to be aware of the positives and negatives of such changes. For example, an inwardly opening door works well for most users, but some doors swing outward for easier access or emergency drainage. The door could be placed on the side or front of the tank, and this placement might affect the way the bather enters and exits the tub.

The team that worked on this review