9 Best Shower Seats: Which Is Right for You?

shower seat

It may sound extreme, but the truth is shower seats save lives. Slips and falls are one of the most common causes of accidental injury or death and a high percentage of them take place at home in the bathroom. This risk only increases as we age. Bath seating aids provide stability and safety.

There are many styles of shower seats from chairs to stools to benches and I’m going provide a range of options so you can see what best fits your needs or the needs of the person you’re caring for.

Those of us in the disabled community know that on top of being hard, it’s also much more expensive to be chronically ill. We want to make the right purchase the first time which can be hard with items like this that depend on very personal needs. My goal is to make that decision easier for you.

Head down to the end of the article for more information but for now, let’s get into it.

What Are the Best Shower Seats?

Blue swiveling shower chair Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Slides and swivels for easy transfers
  • Assembles and adjusts without tools
  • 330 pound weight limit
Price: $298.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White and grey shower chair with arms Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Straighforward design
  • Easy to assemble without tools
  • Adjustable height and removable armrests
Price: $49.20 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White shower bench Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 500 pound weight limit
  • Lots of adjustability
  • Affordable in its bracket
Price: $79.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Luxe looking wooden shower bench Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Naturally water-resistant teak
  • Luxurious look
  • 250 pound weight limit
Price: $97.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Grey shower chair Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 360 degree rotation
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Removable arm rests
Price: $159.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Blue electric bath lift Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Access to soaking in the bath
  • Fully electric lift
  • Reclines
Price: $371.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
white shower stool with handlebar Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes free shower handle
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Adjustable legs
Price: $36.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dark grey shower chair Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Antimicrobial Microban surface
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Adjustable height
Price: $51.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White and blue shower stool Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Assembles with no tools needed
  • Shower head holder
  • 280 pound weight limit
Price: $38.93 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 2. Vann Medical Shower Chair

    Pros:
    • 300 pound weight limit
    • Adjustable height
    • Easy assembly without tools
    • Can remove armrests and back rest without needing tools
    • Straightforward design
    • Padded armrests
    • Anti-slip rubber feet
    Cons:
    • May be too wide for narrow tubs
    • Limited weight capacity
    • Not as sturdy as some may need

    If you’re looking for a straightforward design, the Vann Medical Shower Chair is simply a chair that’s fine with getting wet.

    The seat is 16″ wide and is capable of holding up to 300 pounds. The backrest and both armrests are removable without having to break out your tools so you can customize the seat of your needs. In fact, you don’t need any tool at all to assemble the chair as it fits together with hand-turned screws and push-button locks for the armrests and legs.

    I like that these are removable so you can have a shower stool when you need it and chair when that better suits your needs. The armrests are padded for better gripping when wet and the slotted shower seat is made of an anti-bacterial plastic.

    Using these press-button locks you can adjust the height of the chair (from the floor to the bottom of the seat) from 16 inches tall up to 21 inches tall.  The legs of the chair have wide, slip-resistant rubber feet and make the chair about 17.5 inches wide so before buying you do want to measure your tub or shower to make sure it will fit. 

    This chair is best for: People who can stand and transfer independently or are comfortable with a pivot transfer.

  2. 3. Oasis Space Shower Transfer Bench

    Pros:
    • Good adjustability
    • 500 pound weight limit
    • Affordable
    • Suction cup feet
    • Assembles without tools
    Cons:
    • Does involve scooting into position
    • Will need a split shower curtain
    • No cushion

    If strength and stability are your main concerns, go with this Shower Transfer Bench from Oasis Space. The reinforced but lightweight aluminum frame can hold up to 500 pounds making this a good choice for heavier folks. 

    The one armrest set up is designed for you to have something to grab hold of and pull yourself into the bath and something to push off from when on your way out for a little more assistance. It’s also removable along with the backrest if you’d rather not use it at all. The height is also adjustable from 17 inches tall to 22 inches tall.

    The angled legs and suction cup feet make this one feel very sturdy. It definitely won’t slip around in the tub., Because the suction cups dictate which side has to go into the tub, the backrest can be placed on either side of the bench to fit your bathroom set up. 

    This chair is best for: Larger folks and those who require extra adjustability and strength.

  3. 4. EcoDecors Teak Shower Bench

    Pros:
    • Beautiful appearance
    • Supports eco-friendly business
    • Plantation-grown teak wood
    • Legs adjust slightly for even footing
    Cons:
    • Best suited for more able-bodied folks
    • Height isn't adjustable
    • More assembly needed than others

    If you’ve been making a face at all the plastic benches, then this one might be for you. This teak shower bench from EcoDecors looks like something right out of a spa. It’s simple, beautiful, and small enough to fit into most spaces at 18 inches wide by 14 inches front to back. 

    While the 18-inch height is not adjustable, there are small anti-skid rotating discs on the base of each leg that allow you to slightly adjust the height of individual legs enough to make sure your seat is level even in tubs that slope. 

    There are no bells and whistles on this to aid in safety or mobility so this is best suited for folks who have fewer issues standing and transferring but would like a place to sit in the shower when needed as well as for people who might need a shower bench temporarily after breaking a bone for example. 

    This chair is best for: People who are post-surgery who will need to sit in the shower temporarily and those who can stand and transfer independently and want something more elegant.

  4. 5. Mobb Swiveling Shower Chair

    Pros:
    • 360 degrees of rotation for easier transfers
    • 300 pound weight capacity
    • Adjustable height
    • Padded, removable armrests
    • Swiveling locks at 90 degree intervals
    Cons:
    • Too wide for some bathtubs
    • Still have to scooch from the edge of the seat back
    • Seat is too narrow for larger folks

    A swiveling chair is a nice compromise if you’re trying to avoid the sideways scoot required by longer shower benches. This chair by Mobb has 360 degrees of rotation so you can face it outwards to transfer to the chair and then swing your legs sideways to be facing the shower. 

    To keep you in place, there’s a locking mechanism on the right-hand side that locks the chair in 90 degree intervals, so facing front, right, back, and left. There’s still a little scooching involved since the chair stays inside the tub and you’ll likely transfer to the front part of the seat and need to scooch back.

    The chair is simple to assemble without tools and the armrests are padded as well as removable. The legs are height adjustable from 20 to 25 inches so that’s a bit taller at it’s lowest than most other chairs so keep that in mind for short people. In general, I would say this seat is a little to narrow for larger people.

    Be sure to measure your tub as well to make sure the 19-inch wide chair will fit.

    If you’ll be helping someone into this chair, check out this article on “How To Help Seniors Get Up Without Injuring Yourself” from Daily Caring.

    This chair is best for: People who can stand and transfer independently or are comfortable with a pivot transfer.

  5. 6. Drive Medical Bellavita Bath Lift

    Pros:
    • Allows you to take a bath
    • Electric lift Lowers and raises with remote
    • Waterproof floating remote
    • Reclines when fully lowered
    • Machine washable liner
    • Flaps create transfer section
    Cons:
    • Not for showering
    • Needs to be charged
    • Doesn't get you as low in the bath as without it

    While the rest of the supports are designed for showers, the Bellavita is designed to assist folks in having a good soak in the bathtub. Getting in and out of the bath is a chore for even able-bodied people so for anyone who is at an increased fall risk needs to take extra precautions.

    The Bellavita installs simply with four suction cups and uses an electric motor and remote control to slowly lower you from a seated position down to laying with your bottom about two inches above the normal base of the tub. You do lose a little bit of submersion but it’s worth it for the ease of getting in and out.

    Unlike most other bath lifts, this one also reclines. So it lowers you while seated upright and once you’ve hit the bottom it starts to recline to about 50 degrees. To lift you, the process is reversed with the chair raising you a seated position before raising upwards.

    Those weird looking flaps on the side actually serve a neat purpose. They are meant to sit over the edge of the tub and create a makeshift transfer bench. They fold down when the lift is lowered and automatically slip up and over the edge of the tub when it raises up. The comfort lining on the back and seat are removable and machine washable.

    I know electricity and baths aren’t the best of friends but the small rechargeable battery is safely contained and the handheld remote both waterproof and floating so if you drop it, it’s no big deal. 

    See it in action in the YouTube video below.

    This chair is best for: People who want to take baths but have difficulty getting in and out of the tub safely.

    VideoVideo related to drive medical bellavita bath lift2019-01-30T09:53:05-05:00

  6. 7. Dr. Maya Shower Stool

    Pros:
    • Comes with free shower handle
    • Small and lightweight
    • 300 pound weight limit
    • Adjustable height goes very low
    • Assembles without needing tools
    Cons:
    • No arms or backrest for support
    • No cushion
    • Straight legs are not as stable

    For those who don’t require a lot of assistance or support and need something small, the Dr. Maya Shower Stool should fit even into tight spaces. The legs measure at a narrow 14 inches by 12 inches so this ought to be small enough for you.

    This seat can also get lower than most on the list as the adjustable legs span from 12 inches tall to 19.5 inches tall. It assembles quickly without tools and is a straightforward stool for those who need a small seat. 

    It comes with a suction cup shower handle to add some more stability that you can stick to your shower wall without needing any tools and without causing permanent changes in the wall which is great for apartment dwellers. 

    My main issue is that to get the base this narrow, the legs have to be straight, unlike many stools and chairs that design their legs tilting out at an angle. This angle gives the chair stability. Think about it like the difference between trying to keep your balance with your legs shoulder width apart or with your legs pressed tight together. The straight legs mean this stool is not as stable as others on the list which is why I think it’s best for folks who are closer to the able-bodied end of the spectrum. 

    This chair is best for: People who can stand and transfer independently or need a shower seat temporarily post-surgery.

  7. 8. Medline Shower Chair

    Pros:
    • Antimicrobial Microban material
    • Lightweight to move
    • Adjustable height with no tools
    • 300 pound weight limit
    • Dark color is good contrast to white baths
    Cons:
    • For those who can stand and transfer independently
    • No armrests
    • Size and weight cap are limiting

    This chair from Medline is a simple but comfortable design for those who feel comfortable getting in and out of the shower but need to sit while they shower. The scooped seat provides some more stability and both the seat and backrest use Microban material which is antimicrobial and prevents mildew, mold, stains, and odors.

    The legs are push-button adjustable from 14.5 inches to 19.5 inches tall and the seat is safe for up to 300 pounds. Assembly is easy and doesn’t require tools and the backrest is removable if you find a shower stool better suits your needs.

    I like that the chair is this dark grey color so that it stands out against the white of the tub which helps vision-impaired folks get a better sense of it.

    This chair is best for: People who can stand and transfer independently or with little assistance as well as people who need a shower seat post-surgery or temporarily. 

  8. 9. Padded Shower Stool

    Pros:
    • Great for post-surgery or temporary use
    • Doesn't take up much space
    • Handy shower head holder
    • 280 pound weight limit
    • Adjustable height
    • No tools needed to assemble
    Cons:
    • Not for those who need more assistance
    • Weight capacity is limited
    • No arms or back for support

    If you’re looking for a small, minimal seat, this shower stool gets the job done. I can’t recommend this for people who need a lot of assistance while transferring, but for those who just need to be able to take a rest in the shower or are post-surgery, this is a good fit as it doesn’t have any of the other bells and whistles that you don’t need.

    The stool assembles quickly without tools and has height adjustable legs from 12.5 inches to 18.5 inches tall. It should fit even small baths at 20 inches side to side by 12.2 inches front to back. For comfort, there’s a bit of a cushion on the seat that still accommodates the drainage holes, but it doesn’t add much softness.

    For convenient moving, there are two built-in handles for the light seat and for easier showering, there’s a built-in slot to hold your shower head.

    This chair is best for: People having surgery who will need to sit in the shower (or stand with one bent knee resting on a surface) temporarily as well as folks who don’t have a lot of trouble transferring but just need a place to sit in the shower.

How to choose a shower bench.

Choosing a shower chair really depends on what you need it for. 

Post-surgery folks and others who will only need to use it temporarily can get away with smaller, cheaper options. Years back after an ankle surgery I used a cheap Ikea stool, which I do not recommend.

If you are in otherwise good health and need something for your shower while you recover, go for a shower chair or stool that fits entirely inside your shower. The rest is just dressing.

Those users who are elderly, take note of is the issue is standing or if the issue is getting in and out of the tub. If it's just standing, a simple chair will do. If there is a fall risk getting in and out a swiveling chair might be best.

For the disabled community, this is going to really depend on where your personal obstacles are. If you have good upper body strength and feel comfortable scooting over, a transfer bench is likely the way to go. 

If scooting isn't in the cards, a sliding or swivel chair might be a better call. 

For caregivers, if you're buying for someone more dependent who needs a lot of help in transferring, keep an eye out for good back support and security belts to keep them safe. 

Transfer tips.

The most common transfer for shower seats is the Stand Pivot. This relies on being able to stand and so will not be applicable for some. 

The basics of a stand pivot is to be close to where you want to end up, stand, and turn slightly until your back is to the secondary location so you can immediately sit again. For illustrations, check out this Stand Pivot Transfer sheet from Ohio University Wexner Medical Center.

This short sheet from the California Department of Social Services offers more transfers techniques. 

Won't water get everywhere?

If you're using a shower bench that sits partway outside the shower, then yes a normal shower curtain isn't going to work and you'll end up with some water issues. 

They make Split Shower Curtains that are designed to fit around your shower bench and greatly reduce the amount of water leaving your shower.

See Also:

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