What is a Bariatric Walk-In Bathtub?

Bariatric equipment is designed for overweight people or for the elderly who have difficulty with mobility. You can get walkers, chairs, patient lifts, hospital beds, scooters, bathroom equipment and bariatric walk-in bathtubs. The bariatric walk-in bathtub is a relatively new concept that offers people the ability to take baths without worrying about getting in or out of a tub without falling or slipping.


What is a Bariatric Walk-In Bathtub?

The bariatric walk-in bathtub is built so it can accommodate larger people, the elderly and people with disabilities. Most showers and regular-sized bathtubs are made for people weighing less than 300 lbs. and people who can balance easily. Some walk-in tubs will handle people weighing up to 600 lbs. These walk-in bath tubs have anti-slip floors to avoid falling as well as a low step for easy access.


Bariatric walk-in bathtubs have an anti-slip booster seat, which is approximately 17 inches off the floor to allow for ease of bathing and easy standing. Hand-held shower heads make it easy for the large person or disabled person to reach all parts of the body. Grab bars help with balance. The doors can open from the left or right to accommodate the existing bathroom. Walk-in bathtubs will fit into the existing space of most regular bathtubs.


Extra wide models can be as wide as 42 inches and have a 25- to 26-inch door. These extra wide models will accommodate a person up to 600 lbs. Standard models are around 30 inches wide. The height of a walk-in bathtub is about 40 inches. Average lengths are around 50 to 55 inches. Extra long models can be as long as 67 inches, and space saver models can be as short as 38 inches.


Walk-in bathtubs can deliver a spa experience. Some come with whirlpools and as many as ten adjustable jets. You can purchase walk-in bathtubs with heaters and air channels for massages. Some have adjustable seats and even sanitation systems.


The price range for bariatric walk-in bathtubs varies because of the different sizes and extra features such as whirlpool jets. Expect to pay a minimum of $2,000 to $12,000. Bariatric walk-in bathtubs are available at medical supply stores and online (see Resources below).

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.