What You Will Get Here
- Why Buy A Shower Chair?
- Who Are These Products For?
- How Did We Pick the Best?
- Things to Consider While Buying The Best Shower Chair?
- Our Top 15 Best Shower Chair
- Best Overall: Vaunn Adjustable Carex Shower Chair
- Best Shower Stool: Dr Kay's Adjustable Height Bath and Shower Chair
- Best Shower Transfer Bench: Carousel Sliding Transfer Bench
- Best Comfortable Shower Chair: Platinum Health Deluxe Shower Chair
- Best Portable Shower Chair: Nova Shower and Bath Chair
- Best Wooden Shower Bench: The Original Asia Teak Shower Bench
- A List of 8 Other Shower Chair We Reviewed
- Safety Tips for Seniors and Handicapped
Why Buy A Shower Chair?
The use of light-carriage shower chair is as old as the 19th century. At this time, there was much difference between a transfer bench and the bath chair. Early designs of bath chairs have three wheels like the tricycle. While being used by disabled persons, the inventor of bath chairs (James Heath) made improved the design with a steering device.
Chairs suitable for bathrooms are safe seats that are designed as benches and stools. They help to transfer elderly and disabled people with mobility problems from their wheelchairs into bathtubs. Also, shower chairs prevent the risk of falling on the shower floor or tub. There are reasons to buy adjustable shower chair for seniors or people that have weak muscles or poor balance with their limbs. Also, a small shower chair for elderly people is cost-effective.
It's not enough to place a non-slip mat in bathtubs when the user can't stand upright. So, the best shower seat for elderly can provide both balance, and anti-slip support when they take their bath. Apart from the risk of injury, bathroom falls often lead to sudden death. Old people might be lucky to have non-fatal bathroom injuries while bathing, but slippery bath floors are threats to safety always. The inevitability of bathrooms' use for vulnerable people with disabilities and seniors require investments in accessories like shower seats, stools, and bath benches.
Many shower chair models that we reviewed had different designs and style of mounting. Our recommendation for elderly homeowners with walk-in showers is to install wall-mounted shower seats. However, foldable shower seats or bath benches are ideal for people that can't stand for too long. Also, we have posture support chairs with full transfer systems that can handle any body weight.
Do you know that high-quality shower chairs for the elderly might improve the quality of their lives? Our team of experts includes administrators of nursing facilities, and they recommend the use of well-designed shower chairs with perforations. It's these holes that prevent the growth of bacteria (Serratia marcescens) on damp show chairs. In promoting hygiene, it's proper to clean shower chairs with vinegar and water after use.
This cleaning solution will inhibit the formation of Serratia marcescens bacteria too. We have tested shower chair models that ease transfers of patients from wheelchairs. Another medical benefit of using this product is the range of mobility improvement. People living with physical disabilities or joint conditions will feel more empowered by using wheel-driven bath chairs.
Who Are These Products For?
Usually, patients with joint, back or bone injury find difficulty in standing alone when they use the bathroom. A shower seat is ideal support for disabled, and elderly people. Generally, these safety aids bring many benefits to people of all ages (excepts kids) that might need support in the shower. Regardless of the body weight, you will see well-designed shower seats that are convenient for use. Here's a list of people that might need assistance with shower seats.
- Seniors that are in nursing facilities, and are suffering the effects of old age
- Patients that are recovering from back injuries or living with joint pain
- Patients that are suffering from weak bone mass, broken bones or damaged joints
- Athletes that are in casts, or use crutches
- People that have permanent disabilities, especially with their limbs
However, we advise homeowners to remodel their bathrooms when they have shower chair users living with them. With a little modification to the wall and floor tiles, the shower seat user can attain more stability when there's a chance of sliding off the tub or bathroom's floor. Also, it will save the time and energy of ensuring the transfer of show chair users from their wheelchairs.
How Did We Pick the Best?
The best shower chair under our review is a top-of-the-line product. However, our team of physiotherapists chose ten of these top-rated products after some rigorous tests. In line with our organization's policy, every quality control process ensures community-based usage. Also, this quality test process includes an initial 20 hours of web research on a range of thirty products.
Apart from these physiology experts, we hired some industry volunteers because of their valuable experience from working in nursing facilities. This set of aid workers have the first-hand experience with our model of shower chairs. Usually, the process of choosing great products is painstaking because customers rely on our judgment before they spend their money.
After conducting some integrity tests on a range of senior shower chairs, we went online to sample reviews from online buyers of our shower seats. Though our top picks have superior features, the offline and online consultations helped us to prune the total number to fifteen. Also, we excluded some models of shower seats because they failed to stand out. Consequently, our team of experts saw some basic features that might influence smart buyers to pick the best-rated shower chair.
- Weight and Portability
- The strength and quality of material
After the community-based tests, our experience of using these shower seats will enhance disabled people and elderly people. As we told you, high-end shower chairs come with more features. Whatever aligns with your budget and purpose of buying a shower chair must be considered before making your choice. However, we confident of each of these fifteen products in our buying guide. These shower seats have impressive ratings that are triggered by user experiences, and the features they bring to respective owners.
Things to Consider While Buying The Best Shower Chair?
While testing these shower chairs, our team noticed some features that made many of these bathroom aids unique. So, buyers that need high-quality shower chairs must consider these basic features.
Every model of shower chair tries to have a unique design that can accommodate different body types. These are a few types of regular shower chairs with different specification and are available in the market.
- Standard Chair
The standard chair for bathing is stool with two armrests and a backrest for convenience. Usually, a standard chair has pads on the areas that support the user's limbs and backbone. You can choose between wall-mounted or moveable standard chairs. However, the high-end models of standard chairs are lightweight and have anti-slip materials over their frames. These types of shower chair are ideal for people with mobility problems.
- Transfer Bench
A transfer bench is an extended version of a standard shower chair, but it comes with an armrest, wide seats and backrest. It's an ideal bathroom aid for handicap or elderly persons that use wheelchairs. Usually, the height of a transfer bench from the ground ranges between 17 – 19 inches. With the bench, patients can move out and into the tub with ease. Many high-quality transfer benches are foldable and have multiple holes to drain residual bath water and soap lather. Ideally, transfer benches and shower chairs are built with aluminum frames to prevent corrosion. However, buyers should know the dimension of their bathrooms before buying any transfer bench model.
- Shower Stool
The shower stool has a simple design without arm and back supports for users. Shower stools fit any size of bathtub or shower readily. Usually, shower stools have small holes (self-draining seat) that prevent pooling, and adjustable legs to make users comfortable.
2. Construction & Quality
An important feature to consider before buying shower seats is the quality of the construction. A compact shower seat might be lightweight, but it should have sturdy frames, anti-slip body, and legs. These features ensure that most well-made showers seats can guarantee the safety of their users. Also, their seats should be roomy to allow for convenient use, and self-draining to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria.
3. Weight Capacity
All shower seats are not designed to handle the same weight as users. Usually, the risk of sliding is high when people use shower seats that can't accommodate their weights in wet conditions. It's ideal to have a benchmark the weight of shower seat models between 250 to 400 lbs. With this range, you wouldn't have to worry about buying another shower seat even when your weight increases.
4. Back and Armrests Support
The armrests of shower chairs provide lumbar support, and their backrests give balance to the neck and waist of users. Without these features, it would be very difficult for any user that has a limited range of motion to use the shower chair. Unlike shower stools, shower seats with armrests and back support give the elderly high levels of comfort, stability, and support.
5. Weight & Portability
Generally, shower chairs that are not mounted on bathroom walls are portable. Many models of these special chairs come with foldable legs and frames. The frames of their interior legs often allow for easy stacking, and adjustments. Also, you'll see the weight limit on the body or instruction manual of every shower seat. Using shower stools or chairs that are not suitable for your weight might increase the risk of bathroom falls.
6. Seat, Compartments, and Legs
Generally, most of the shower seat models that we reviewed had crack-proof seats, and leg frames that are resistant to stains or corrosion. Normally, wet hands or floors increase the chances of going off-balance. These legs, handles, and seats of premium shower chairs have special (non-slippery) textures that reduce the risk of bathroom falls. However, some legs are mounted with large suction cups for more stability on wet bath floor or tubs. Also, transfer benches are compartmentalized to ease the transport of disabled users to and from bathrooms. It's this seat compartment that gives them extra assistance.
The installation process of shower chairs might not be easy for elderly or physically-challenged people. It's better to buy a pre-assembled model of shower seat when you are not sure of getting any assistance for installation. However, most premium brands of shower seats for the elderly come with easy-to-understand installation manual.
8. Ease of Use
The shower seat is designed to assist individuals with mobility or physical disability problems when they need to shower. Except when they are confined to wheelchairs, models of shower chairs that offer much ease of use often allow users to be independent of the caregiver. Usually, these types are foldable or wall-mounted so that users can use them with ease.
A small shower chair for elderly, benches, and stools are often designed with anti-slip materials to enhance the user's stability. Normally, the bathroom is a wet place and lather from soaps often increase the risk of tripping down accidentally. So, shower chairs are designed with comfortable grip handles, and legs to withstand any wet condition. This safety feature shouldn't be ignored when you want to buy any model of shower seats.
The ideal shower seat should serve your purpose and align with your budget. Ideally, a lightweight shower seat that can be adjusted and lifted with ease. You'll get a decent wall-mounted shower chair for between $50-150. However, customized shower seats are more expensive than regular models, and they are above $250.
Our Top 15 Best Shower Chair
Regardless of some minor flaws that we saw in our final list of the top 15 best shower chair, they are qualified to be called dealbreaker products. Don't forget that our team of shower chair experts and physiotherapists left no stone unturned to select our top-of-the-line models. However, many of our preferred products have superior features and different prices. You will agree that high-end models of shower seats cost more than regular products in the market.
The difference is because ours' have more quality, features, and durability. Consequently, we are offering you products that will make your choice for shower seat easy. It's the reason for highlighting the specifications, pros, and cons respectively. Let's share these features that make our shower seat models must-haves for the elderly and disabled people.