If you have mobility issues, a bathtub transfer bench makes it easy to get in and out of the shower. Whether you’re using an assistive device – like a wheelchair or walker – or you simply have issues with balance, the right shower chair will allow you to maintain your independence while bathing.
But how do you find the right chair? There are a few things to consider:
- Size: The chair’s size is the most important things. Measure your tub, and the check the dimensions of the bench to make sure it will work in your bathroom.
- Durability: Look for chairs made from durable materials, like hard-blown plastic, to make sure your chair lasts and doesn’t pose a safety risk.
- Safety: Make sure the chair has non-slip tips on the legs or suction cups to keep it firmly in place. Hand rails and seat belts can make chairs even safer.
- Weight Limit: Check the product description to make sure the chair can support your weight.
- Adjustability: Ideally, you want a chair with adjustable legs and a backrest to fit your tub and your body size. Reversible armrests and backrests are a definite bonus.
There are many tub transfer benches to choose from, but these five models are our favorites.
1. Drive Medical Gray Transfer Bench
Height-adjustable and reversible, Drive Medical’s bath transfer bench is designed to make bathing as simple and convenient as possible – without risking safety.
Constructed with heavy-duty, blown plastic, this bench is highly durable and can stand up to heavy use.
Adjustable legs allow this chair to fit into most tubs. The seat and the legs can both be raised or lowered in 0.5″ increments for a truly customized fit.
The seat’s arm handle can be installed on either side of the bench, and the tool-free assembly makes it easy for anyone to put this chair together.
To maximize safety, the legs are outfitted with extra-strong suction cups to keep the chair from slipping and sliding.
- Easy assembly
- Legs and seat can be adjusted in 0.5″ increments
- Arm handle can be installed on either side of the bench
- Suction cups keep the legs of the chair in place
- Blown plastic construction makes this chair highly durable
- Back rest position cannot be adjusted
The biggest issue with this chair is that you cannot adjust the positioning of the back rest, which may make showering uncomfortable for some people.
Otherwise, the Drive Medical transfer bench is comfortable, durable and stable. It’s also made by one of the most respected brands in the medical supplies industry.
2. Eagle Health Supplies Heavy-Duty Shower Chair
If you’re in need of a heavy-duty shower chair, Eagle Health Supplies has you covered. Their swivel, sliding chair can support up to 350 pounds of weight and offers more security than competing chairs.
The clamp and sliding design also makes this “bench” a great option for small bathrooms.
The swivel seat turns 360 degrees, and it also locks every 90 degrees. This makes it easy to get into and out of the tub. The seat is fitted with aluminum tubes, which the chair slides over for easy transfer.
The sliding rings keep the chair securely in place at each end of the rails, so you don’t have to worry about sliding while showering.
- Saves on space
- Highly durable
- High weight capacity
- Slide and swivel design makes it easy to get in and out of the tub
- Very specific tub dimensions are required
The only issue with this chair is that it has very specific tub dimension requirements. This means that you’ll have to measure your tub carefully to make sure that this chair will fit properly before buying.
Despite this issue, we still like this chair. The clamp design saves on space and adds to the overall safety of this chair, while the swivel and slide function allows you to get in and out of the tub with little assistance.
3. Eagle Health Supplies Swivel Transfer Bench
If you require additional safety features, this Eagle Health Supplies tub bench may be a good fit for you. Like the previous model on our list, this chair can support up to 350 pounds of weight, but it also comes with a seat strap for additional safety.
One end of the chair clamps to the side of the tub, while the other end features conventional legs with non-slip tips. The chair slides across the tub to save on space, and allow for easy entry and exit when showering.
The chair swivels 360 degrees, and the seat belt ensures that the user stays in place. This chair is ideal for people with very limited mobility.
- Easy assembly
- Seat belt adds to the safety of the chair
- Durable design
- Saves on space
- Will not fit all tubs
Like the other model from this brand, this chair is not compatible with all bathtubs. You will need to measure your tub and check the dimensions in the product description to make sure you can use this chair.
Aside from this issue, this chair is arguably the most durable and safe on our list because of the clamp design and seat belt feature.
4. MedMobile Transfer Bench
MedMobile’s bathtub transfer bench makes it easy to go from wheelchair to shower. The seat is a generous 24″ x 15,” so the bench extends far enough outward for a comfortable transfer.
The chair also offers five height adjustment levels, which change in 1″ increments. Height adjustment allows for a seamless transition from a wheelchair or chair onto the shower bench.
The comfortable seat has a backrest attached, and can also adjust from 16.5″ to 20.5.” The backrest is completely optional, and you can choose whether you want it on the right or left side of the chair.
Safety is of the utmost importance when using a shower chair, which is why MedMobile has attached Sure-Grip legs to keep the bench in place.
- Flexible design
- Stable legs
- Comfortable seat
- Backrest can be removed
- Difficult assembly
The only real complaint with this chair is that assembly can be difficult. Expect to spend a little more time putting this chair together.
We like MedMobile’s tub transfer bench because it offers such a flexible design. The height and seat are both adjustable, and you can even choose which side you want the backrest on (if at all).
5. Vive Shower Chair
Vive’s shower chair is simple in design, but offers smart features that users will appreciate. The chair itself is lightweight and durable, which makes it easy to readjust positioning if needed. You can also adjust the height of the chair to match your home’s bathtub.
Both the backrest and the armrest can be moved to the right or left side of the chair to fit any tub.
The Vive chair comes partially assembled, which makes it so easy to put together and start using. Assembly takes ten minutes or less and doesn’t require any tools.
The dual-column extension legs can be adjusted to up to 23.5″ tall, and the bench is 30.5″ wide. The chair can support up to 300 pounds of weight. Overall, this chair is larger and more supportive than the competition.
For added safety, the interior legs are fitted with large suction cups to keep the chair firmly in place. The exterior legs feature a non-slip, non-skid tip. The seat also contains 30 drainage holes to prevent puddling and slipping on the seat.
- Quick and easy assembly (10 minutes or less)
- Adjustable height up to 23.5″ (taller than the competition)
- Interior legs have suction cups to keep the chair in place
- Supports heavy weight (300 pounds)
- Not ideal for claw foot tubs
The Vive chair isn’t quite tall enough to fit in most claw foot tubs. Unfortunately, this is a problem with most transfer benches.
Otherwise, we love the adjustable design, safety and high weight accommodation this bench offers.
Do you prefer to have a bath? Click here to see a list our favorite bath lifts.
Tim is a professional caregiver who has helped hundreds of seniors gain back their freedom and independence. He has been actively helping the senior community for 20+ years.