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If you have limited mobility, it’s important to consider the design of your home. This includes investing in products that make your living environment more accessible and safer.

One example is a walk-in tub. It’s a safer alternative to a traditional tub, which requires you to step over a high threshold. A walk-in tub omits this feature, so it’s easier to get in. This can give you a greater sense of independence, comfort, and safety.

If you’re thinking about investing in a walk-in tub, read on. We’ll explore the best walk-in tubs, along with alternatives and tips for installation.

  • Soaker tubs: A soaker tub is a simple walk-in-tub design that looks like the standard bathtub design. This tub type submerges your body to your neck when sitting on it.
  • Aerotherapy tubs: These are tubs with air jets designed to provide soothing relief and ease pressure points with full body massages.
  • Hydrotherapy tubs: You might know this tub type as whirlpool tubs. These tubs deliver massage and relieve tension in the body with water jets.
  • Wheelchair accessible tubs: These tubs create easy access in and out of the tubs for people using wheelchairs with wide doors and handrails or grab bars.
  • Bariatric tubs: Bariatric tubs are designed for people with larger bodies, who weigh more than 300 pounds, and feature wider doors, seats, and size overall.

The tubs on this list were chosen based on their safety features and recommendations from home contractors. We also considered specialty features that might make the tub more enjoyable to use. Finally, we included a range of prices to accommodate different budgets.

Pricing guide

The price range for walk-in tubs can vary greatly. Without installation, walk-in tubs may range between $1,800 to $6,000 or higher.

The tubs on this list range in price. Pricing is indicated as follows:

  • $ = under $2,000
  • $$ = $2,000–$4,000
  • $$$ = over $4,000

The installation is an additional cost. According to CostHelper.com, replacing a bathtub may cost between $1,500 to $5,000.

Best for luxury

ANZZI Left Drain Walk-In Bathtub

  • Price: $$
  • Height: 37 inches
  • Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: No

For a spa-like experience, consider this freestanding walk-in tub from ANZZI. “This walk-in bathtub comes with whirlpool jets that provide a soothing massage,” said Ryan Thompson, plumber and owner of Plumbing Informer.

“It has a quick-fill faucet, which can quickly fill up the bathtub. This is important because one of the most common complaints about walk-in bathtubs is that they take too long to fill up.”

The step-in threshold is 4 1/4 inches tall. Other standout safety features include a showerhead with a 60-inch hose, grab bars, textured flooring, and an ADA-compliant seat. The term “ADA-compliant” refers to design standards defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, for accessibility.

In addition to the whirlpool jets, other spa features include color therapy lighting and air jets. The tub has a built-in heater to maintain the water temperature as you bathe.

According to ANZZI, all products come with a lifetime warranty.

Best for design

Universal Tubs HD Series 60-Inch Walk-In Whirlpool Bath Tub

  • Price: $$
  • Height: 39 inches
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: No

This tub offers ADA-compliant seating and slip-resistant flooring. “It also has a quick-fill faucet and buttons that are designed to reduce stress on fingers and joints,” said Severson. The tub has a built-in grab bar, and the step-in threshold is 7 1/4 inches tall.

Severson points out that the tub’s drain is powered by a pump, so all the water will drain in about 1 minute. This might be ideal if time and convenience are your priorities.

The tub has special features as well. It has 12 adjustable whirlpool massage jets and colored lights, which are used for chromatherapy, or color therapy. Universal Tubs offers a 10-year warranty on the tub shell, frame, and finish, as well as a lifetime warranty on the door’s watertight seal.

If you need help choosing a tub, the company invites customers to call their consultants. They can also help you find a certified and licensed installer.

Best for small spaces

American Standard Gelcoat Premium Series Right Hand Walk-In Air Bathtub

  • Price: $$$
  • Height: 42 inches
  • Warranty: 15-year warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: Yes

This walk-in tub by American Standard is designed for smaller spaces. It has a contoured seat for maximum comfort, along with 26 air jets for relaxing water-based therapy. Safety features include push-button controls, grab bar, and textured floor.

It also has an ergonomically shaped neck rest, which is a stand-out feature, according to Severson. This may be ideal if you’re concerned about neck support. Most walk-in tubs lack a built-in neck rest.

The tub “has a quick-draining system so you’re not stuck waiting several minutes to the open door,” added Severson. You can also call the company’s bath specialists to determine if the walk-in tub is right for you.

American Standard offers a lifetime warranty on the door seal, a 10-year warranty on the tub’s shell, and a 5-year warranty on all other parts. The company also offers in-home evaluations and professional installation.

Best for comfort

Empava EMPV-WIT373 Acrylic Freestanding Walk-In Bathtub

  • Price: $$
  • Height: 40 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years limited parts warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: No

If you’re looking for a freestanding walk-in tub, you might like this 52-inch tub by Empava. “The Empava 52 has a curved and practical shape that makes it easy and convenient to install in bathrooms,” said Thompson. It has safety features like ergonomic control knobs, interior grab bars, and a handrail along the rim. The door is extra wide, and the floor is slip-resistant.

A unique feature is the extra-low step-in clearance height, which is less than 4 inches tall. “[This] is great for people who don’t want to, or can’t, raise their feet too high when entering the tub,” said Thompson. Empava also offers a 3-year limited parts warranty.

Best for budget

Universal Tubs Builder’s Choice Walk-In Soaking Bath Tub

  • Price: $
  • Height: 38 inches
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: No

If you’re looking for an inexpensive walk-in tub, consider this product from Universal Tubs. “This is a very safe and affordable tub without the bells and whistles,” explained Severson. “It still has a slip-resistant floor, safety rail, and a low step threshold.”

The tub has also ADA-compliant contoured seating, a quick-fill faucet, and a wide-opening door. It’s simpler than other walk-in tubs on this list. “If you don’t need a whirlpool or powered drain features, this tub performs well at a lower cost,” said Severson.

Universal Tubs offers a 10-year warranty on the tub shell, frame, and finish and a lifetime warranty on the door seal. The company can help you find a certified and licensed installer.

Best for safety

Boca walk-in tubs

  • Price: $$$
  • Height: 36 to 40 inches
  • Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: Yes

Boca allows you to build the walk-in bathtub you like by providing the option to choose the bathtub’s size, finish, and color.
The manufacturers design each bathtub for the safety of older adults and people with limited mobility or balance problems. The bathtub features slip-resistant flooring and seating to prevent slips and falls. This tub’s seat and grab bars are ADA compliant.
Boca makes stepping into its tubs smooth by building them with the lowest threshold and safest step in the industry, a 2-inch step-in.
You can also elevate your bathing experience by including additional features into your bathtub build like light therapy, aromatherapy, a heated seat and heated back, an Ozonator cleaning system, and more.
According to Boca, 90% or more of the product’s components and 100% of the product are assembled and manufactured in the United States.

Best for customizing

The Hydro Dimensions Series 2645

  • Price: $$$
  • Height: 39½ inches
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: No

Hydro Dimensions, a walk-in tub manufacturer, delivers additional walk-in tub features — including massage therapy features, skin therapy, aromatherapy, UV sanitization, ozone sanitization, and more — to meet your bathing and relaxation needs, and color packages, giving you a personalized bathing experience.

The Hydro Dimensions Series 2645 bathtub can fit into smaller spaces without sacrificing comfort. It features a 5-piece faucet with a handheld shower, a built-in safety grab bar, removable front access panels, a Sure-LOCK™ tub door latch system, custom jetting and pump locations, and wall-to-wall installation

This product is built in the United States and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Best for shower and tub combination

Safe Step Hybrid™ Walk-in tub

  • Price: Not indicated
  • Height: Not indicated
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Expert assembly option available?: Yes

Looking for a bathtub you can also shower in? The Safe Step Hybrid walk-in tub is one of the best choices on the market.

This bathtub features a heated anti-slip seat so you can unwind while showering without slipping. It also has an overhead shower, so you can enjoy the shower experience on days you want to.

The bathtub also comes with two built-in grab bars, 10 hydro massage jets, anti-scald technology, a handheld shower wand, a sanitary gel coat, and safe water ozone cleaning, all of which support convenience, well-being, safety, and relaxation.

The bathtub is also designed to provide aromatherapy and color therapy to soothe and reenergize your body.
To find out the price and what size or model works best for you, speak with a Safe Step specialist to see what fits best for your needs.

NameBest forPriceHeightWarrantyExpert assembly option?
Anzzi Left Drain Walk-in Bathtubluxury$$37 incheslifetime limited warrantyno
Universal Tubs HD Series Walk-in Whirlpool Bathtubdesign$$39 inches10-year warrantyno
American Standard Gelcoat Premium Series Right Hand Walk-in Air Bath Tubsmall spaces$$$42 inches10-year warrantyyes
Empava EMPV-WIT373 Acrylic Freestanding Walk-in Bathtubcomfort$$40 inches3-year limited parts warrantyno
Universal Tubs Builder’s Choice Walk-in Soaking Bathtubbudget$38 inches10-year warrantyno
Boca Walk-in Bathtubssafety$$$36-40 incheslifetime limited warrantyyes
Hydro Dimensions Series 2645customization $$$39.5 incheslifetime limited warrantyno
Safe Step Hybrid Walk-in Bathtubshower/tub combon/a–call for quoten/a–call for quotelifetime warrantyyes

Here are some factors to consider when picking a walk-in tub:

  • Cost: You probably have a budget you’re working with and don’t have to exceed it. The price of each tub will vary depending on its size, special features, installation, etc. First, prioritize a bathtub that satisfies your basic bathing needs before anything else. You can speak with a customer representative to decide which tub to go for.
  • Size: A walk-in tub model can come in different sizes. You have to pick the one that fits in your bathroom and allows you to sit and lay in it comfortably.
  • Safety and convenience features: Consider looking out for tubs that are ADA compliant and have standard safety and convenience features like low step-in height, anti-slip seat, textured flooring, and grab bars.
  • Door design and accessibility: How easy is it to step in and out of the tub? Look at the door’s design — does it swing outward or forward — and see whether it allows you to enter the bathtub without any barriers. A physical therapist can look at the bathtub’s door and tell you if it works for you.
  • Warranty: A walk-in tub is an expensive long-term investment. Ensure that the warranty the company you’re buying from offers can protect you against manufacturer’s defects on the bathtub or its parts. You might get a lifetime or a 5- to 10-year warranty for the tub, parts, or door seal.
  • Special features: Asides from offering safety and convenience, bathtubs also provide features like aromatherapy, color therapy, heated surfaces, massage, and hydrotherapy — some of which you might have to pay extra for — that promote comfort and relaxation.

If you want to create a safer bathroom environment, walk-in tubs aren’t your only option.

Other potentially effective alternatives include:

Step-in shower

A step-in shower is a pre-fabricated shower that has no threshold to step over. It has a seat or bench that allows you to sit while bathing. This is ideal if you prefer to use a handheld showerhead versus soaking in a tub.

According to Severson, you can install non-slip flooring, safety rails, and comfortable seating in a step-in shower. The floor tile can also be continued throughout the bathroom.

A good option is the Freedom ADA Roll In Shower. Safety features include a folding shower seat, grab bars, and a textured floor. It also meets all ADA guidelines and has a 30-year limited warranty.

Built-in shower

If you’d like a shower that’s built-in and tiled, contact a licensed contractor who is experienced in bathroom remodeling. If possible, work with a contractor who has experience installing accessible showers for people with limited mobility.

Your contractor can install safety features such as a bench, grab bars, and ergonomic doors. They can also provide suggestions based on your budget and personal needs.

Grab bars

For an inexpensive and simple way to make bathing safer, install grab bars in your existing tub or shower. A contractor who has experience designing bathrooms for limited mobility can determine the best location for each bar.

It’s worth noting that towel bars aren’t the same as grab bars. Towel bars lack sufficient support, so using them as grab bars might be unsafe.

Shower bench

A shower bench or chair is another budget-friendly option. When choosing a bench, make sure the feet have a non-slip grip. Some benches fit into the tub, while others are placed over the edge so you can sit and slide into the tub.

Nonslip mat

To reduce the risk of slipping, place a nonslip mat in your tub or shower. Consider placing a nonslip mat or anti-slip rug just outside of the shower, too.

Some state programs might offer financial assistance for walk-in tub installations. However, Medicare and insurance companies generally don’t provide coverage. Walk-in tubs usually aren’t considered medically necessary.

Many retailers offer financing options that let you pay for a product over time. This won’t reduce the overall cost, but it might be easier to pay in smaller portions.

You might get a tub that self-cleans. But if you don’t, you can clean your tub daily, weekly, and monthly. Here’s a guide from Safe Step on how to clean your walk-in bathtub.

Daily cleaning

  • After bathing every day, rinse off the tub walls, seat, and other parts with warm water to prevent the buildup of soap or body oil residue.

Weekly cleaning

  • Use a soft sponge to scrub off the walls and tub fixtures.
  • Avoid using abrasive sponges; they can leave scratches on the tub’s surface.
  • Wash off with warm water

Monthly cleaning

  • Fill the tub up with warm water till the water gets to the first jet
  • Pour a cup of bleach into the bath
  • Turn on the tub jets and leave them on for 15 minutes.
  • Drain the water
  • Refill the tub till it gets to the level of the first jet with clean water, let the jet run for 15 minutes, then drain the tub.

What are walk-in tubs?

A walk-in tub is a bathtub with a door. It lets you walk directly into the tub, rather than stepping over a high edge.

Also, “Walk-in tubs have very high walls and an elevated seat,” said Ralph Severson, licensed contractor and owner of Flooring Masters. This means you can submerge yourself in water without sitting on the floor.

How do walk-in tubs work?

A walk-in tub has a door with a watertight seal. It also has a faucet that fills the tub with water, just like a standard tub. It may have a handheld showerhead attached to a hose as well.

When you’re done bathing, the water flows down the drain. Once the tub is empty, you can walk out of the tub.

Is a walk-in tub right for me?

You might be a good candidate for a walk-in tub if you have limited mobility. This includes mobility issues related to age, injury, or chronic conditions.

Are all walk-in tubs ADA compliant?

ADA put down specifications that tubs must follow to be accessible to people with disabilities. Although walk-in tubs are generally designed to meet the needs of people with limited mobility and balance, a walk-in bathtub won’t be ADA compliant if its design doesn’t follow ADA’s specifications.

Are walk-in tubs covered by insurance?

Walk-in tubs are generally not covered by health insurance. However, every insurance company is different, and some states might offer financial assistance. Your healthcare professional can let you know about state programs that may provide financial help.

Does Medicare cover walk-in tubs?

Currently, Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for walk-in tubs.

Medicare only covers durable medical equipment (DME). DME includes equipment and devices deemed medically necessary. A walk-in tub isn’t considered a DME, meaning Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for related costs.

Again, your state may offer programs that offer financial help.

A walk-in tub may be ideal if you have limited mobility. Compared with a standard tub, this type of tub is safer because you don’t have to step over a high edge.

Typically, walk-in tubs have safety features like grab bars and slip-resistant floors. You can also get tubs with specialty features like whirlpool jets and colored lights.

Walk-in tubs are available in different sizes, shapes, and configurations. A licensed contractor can determine the best option for your home and needs.

Currently, walk-in tubs aren’t covered by health insurance and Medicare. However, your state might offer a financial assistance program, and retailers often have financing options.