Taking a long bath after a long day is one of the most relaxing things ever! But there is a hidden downside to even the most soothing activities. The slipperiness makes bathing moderately risky, especially for someone aged or people with disabilities or limited mobility.
Of course, that doesn't mean an entire segment of the population that needs some help with bathing or showering should deprive themselves of the refreshing relaxation! All we need to do is to make the bathroom a little safer for them, simultaneously maintaining their independence.
Building on that, in this post we are going to go into the details of choosing the best bath benches for your needs. This bath bench basic guide will also answer some of the burning questions around this subject. So, let's dive right in.
What is a bath bench?
A bath bench is a kind of seat that extends till or beyond the wall of a bathtub. Users can avail of a resting place while taking a bath. It also simplifies entering and getting out of a tub.
Thanks to the bridge it creates from the inside of the top to the outside, users can eliminate the need to step over the platform of a bathtub. After being seated safely, you can slide across to the tub’s center after raising one leg following the other.
Who are bath benches for? The most eligible candidates for this masterpiece:
Bath benches are the most beneficial for people including but not limited to those with balance issues, weaknesses, limited mobility, disabilities, and wheelchair users who can laterally slide from the seat of their wheelchair to their bath bench. All in all, if your regular bathing experience causes you discomfort, you can use a bath bench to ease things out.
Types of bath benches
The best thing about using a bath bench is that you don't need to undergo an elaborate installation process. Let us take a look at the four main types of bath benches.
2-legged bath bench
As the name suggests, it has two legs with one leg supporting one side and the other one resting on the top sidewall. Most two-legged bath benches have a clamp for securing one seat end to the tub wall.
Four-legged bath bench
In this type of bath bench, two legs rest inside while the other two rest outside on the floor. Some bath benches have all four legs of the bench resting inside the tub.
Bariatric bath bench
If you’re on the higher end of the weight spectrum, a bariatric bath bench is a perfect choice. Equipped with either 6 legs or crossbars, bariatric bath benches offer extra stability and support below the seat.
Sliding seat or swivel bath bench
If you wish to make entering and exiting the bathtub wall simpler, consider opting for a seat model that has a sliding seat or a swivel. This reduces friction while sliding and increases the overall comfort level of your bath bench.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing The Best Bath Bench
Once you have made up your mind to buy the best bath bench, it's important to consider certain factors before making the purchase. Let's take a look at some pointers to take into account.
It's vital for your bath bench to safely support your body weight. If you have a low safety tolerance consider purchasing a bariatric bath bench with a back if you are 250 lbs+, just to be safe.
Depending on your unique requirements, you can opt for a bench-style or a stool-style seat. Moreover, depending on your needs, you can also opt for a seat with or without a back.
If you wish to prevent flopping down or joint strain, opt for a bath bench with height adjustable legs. The height of the top floor can vary and height-adjustable legs facilitate precise adjustments.
Frame and seat material
Among aluminum, plastic, wood, and steel you can opt for the frame material of your choice. However, for better sturdiness, steel is by far the strongest option. Seat materials include phenolic plastic, vinyl plastic, and wood.
If you are prone to pressure sores or skin tears, opting for a padded seat is a wise move. But we should also keep in mind that padded benches are more expensive than their unpadded counterparts. However, unpadded benches have their advantages. Scooting from one end to the other is easier due to less friction as compared to padded bath benches.
Does insurance cover bath benches?
Unfortunately, insurance doesn't cover bath benches or even shower chairs. You might come across an exceptional private insurance plan that might, but it's not a rule.
How can I maintain my bath bench?
To prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms, wipe your bench regularly and dry it with a soft cloth. Regularly clean, rinse, and dry your bath bench and check for potential damage or cracks.
What is the difference between a bath bench and a shower chair?
Most people confuse a bath bench with a shower chair. While both offer safety during a bath, the difference lies in their placement. Users place shower chairs inside the tab whereas transfer benches have two of their legs inside and two outside the tub.
The former is more suitable for use in small bathrooms while the latter is ideal for bigger ones. The biggest benefit bath benches offer over shower chairs is that they offer support to the user while they enter and exit the tab. However, shower chairs only support you when you’re inside.
Summing It Up
There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to buying a bath bench. Everyone deserves to enhance the accessibility of the bathtub.
For instance, free-standing bath benches might not suit everyone since they tend to tip or wobble a bit while standing up and sitting down. If you encounter trouble scooting your body across the other end of the seat, opting for a swivel bath bench can be your way to go.
Besides using the best bath bench, it's advisable to opt for a handheld showerhead for a thorough rinse and some extra independence while being seated comfortably. Some additional tips include being patient and not rushing with the decision of buying a bath bench.
Since it's a safe product for the eligible population, you must exercise the utmost care and carefulness while making an informed buying decision. That’s exactly what this bath bench guide is for. Make the most out of it and explore a wide range of bath benches for all requirements.