11 Reasons to Swap a Regular Bath for a Walk-in Bath
Walk-in baths are safer and more comfortable than regular baths – especially for elderly people or those with limited mobility. From increased independence to soothed muscles, walk-in baths offer a variety of practical and health-related benefits. Best of all, replacing the bath is relatively straightforward.
This article will give you 11 reasons to replace your bath with a walk-in alternative, explaining how and why they can make bathing safer and more enjoyable.
Walk-in bath vs commercial baths: What’s the difference?
Before discussing the benefits of walk in-baths, it’s important to explain how they differ from regular tubs. They both work in largely the same way – the key difference is that walk-in baths are much easier to access and provide an array of benefits that you can’t get from regular tubs.
Unlike commercial baths, walk-in baths have a watertight door that allows seamless access, removing the need to step in and out. They also come with additional safety features such as grab rails, thermostatic bath fillers and chromotherapy lighting, making them ideal for elderly people, or people who normally face difficulties using a traditional bath.
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- Easier access and improved safety
- Increased independence
- Reduce stress
- Increase washing versatility
- Relax muscles and soothe joints
- Create more floor space
- Variety of styles to choose from
- Difficult to access
- Risk of slipping
- Less independence
- Lack of therapeutic features
What are the advantages of a walk-in bath?
Walk-in baths offer many benefits, from increased independence to improved blood circulation. Below, we’ll explain those advantages in greater detail…
1. Easier access and improved safety
When it comes to bathing, walk-in baths are the safest and most comfortable solution for elderly users or anyone with limited mobility. Rather than step in and out, which can be difficult or dangerous for some people, you simply open the door and enter. It’s similar to accessing a walk-in shower or wet room.
Walk-in baths can come with additional safety features, from grab bars to simple temperature controls, transforming a once-difficult task into an enjoyable bathing experience. Compared to regular tubs, the ease of access and range of safety features of walk-in baths are what make this type of bath replacement so popular.
2. Increased independence
Because walk-in baths are safer than regular baths, they offer more independence. This comes down to the ease of access. Unlike regular tubs, walk-in baths have low thresholds which make it possible for elderly people, or users with limited mobility, to get in and out without stepping over a high threshold. This reduces the risk of slips and falls.
Along with low-entry thresholds, walk-in baths typically have non-slip floors, safety bars, comfortable seating and simple controls, all designed to increase the bather’s independence and peace of mind.
3. Reduce stress
Some walk-in baths come with features that focus purely on comfort. For example, you can find walk-in baths with air jets and powered seating that enables the user to sit or lie down, increasing comfort while reducing stress.
As the walk-in bath releases massage-like bubbles from air jets, the body should start releasing endorphins. This chemical reaction can help your body fight against the unhealthy symptoms of stress. Endorphins are chemicals in your body that are released during comfortable or relaxing activities that help relieve pain, reduce stress and improve your sense of wellbeing.
With powered seating, the bather can easily lower themselves into the warm water, which can help relax the mind and counteract stress-related headaches. Generally speaking, walk-in baths offer greater peace of mind than commercial baths, because they offer seamless access and less risk. This peace of mind can help reduce bath-related stress.
4. Increase washing versatility
Walk-in baths can do more than just cleanse. They can be installed with handheld shower systems, allowing the bather to enjoy the flexibility of a shower while sitting down. With this versatility, you’re essentially replacing the bathtub and transforming it into an easily-accessible shower-over-bath.
5. Relax muscles and soothe joints
It’s no secret that warm baths help you unwind – by relaxing muscles and soothing joints. But unlike commercial tubs, walk-in baths come with features that are designed to specifically relax muscles and soothe joints.
We’ve already discussed how water jets reduce stress, but they also offer physical benefits. By gently massaging the bather’s body, these water and air jets can help to remedy aches and pains related to arthritis, rheumatism or fibromyalgia.
Don’t worry, these jets always come with simple controls, making it easier for the bather to create a personalised bathing experience that suits their specific needs.
6. Create more floor space
Depending on the shape of the walk-in bath you choose, you can open up more floor space in the bathroom. Regular tubs are rectangular and typically measure 1700 mm in length, taking up space that could be used for other accessible features, such as grab rails or non-slip mats.
Some walk-in tubs are compact, allowing the user to sit up while fully submerged in warm, relaxing water. This design helps elderly people, or bathers with limited mobility, enjoy the relaxing bathing experience without having to lie down. Of course, replacing your bath with this compact design will also create more floor space.
7. Variety of styles to choose from
Unlike regular bathtubs, walk-in baths are available in a variety of styles and shapes. With so many choices, you can make the bath replacement that suits your specific needs, or one that matches the exact layout and design of the bathroom. Whether you’d like a full-length tub or a more compact option to help save space, you can easily find the perfect shape, style and design.
What are the drawbacks of regular baths?
Regular bathtubs are less accessible than walk-in tubs, posing various risks and drawbacks for elderly users, or people with limited mobility. Below, we’ll discuss the main cons of commercial baths…
8. Difficult to access
Due to their high thresholds, regular bathtubs are more difficult to access than walk-in baths. Without a door to open, the user needs to either lift their legs over the tub, which could prove challenging for the elderly or people with joint problems or install a chair lift to assist them into the bath.
Either way, entering a commercial bath poses more risks than simply stepping into a low-threshold walk-in bath.
9. Risk of slipping
Very few regular baths come with non-slip flooring or built-in seating, which means you’ll either have to buy a non-slip matt or risk slipping while getting in and out of the bath.
Then, once it’s time to get out, the bather risks slipping on the wet floor after awkwardly stepping out of the tub. Unlike walk-in baths, the bather can’t simply open a door and step over a low threshold onto a secure bath mat.
10. Less independence
Walk-in baths are so popular because they offer more independence. In contrast, regular bathtubs are harder to access, which can demand higher dependence on things like grab bars, chair lifts, or the help of a carer.
Getting in and out of a regular bath can be made easier by installing grab bars, non-slip mats and chair lifts. However, that doesn’t compare to the ease of use offered by walk-in baths, offering unrivalled levels of independence.
11. Lack of therapeutic features
Regular tubs are just that: ordinary. They rarely come with chromotherapy or therapeutic features, such as water and air jets, which means the bather is missing out on features that could help soothe joints or relieve stress.
For example, air and water jets can help relax muscles and soothe joint issues, ideal for elderly people or those with arthritis and joint issues.
Replacing a bath with a walk-in alternative: Roundup
Regular baths are difficult to access for elderly people and those with joint issues or limited mobility. They require the bather to step in and out over a high threshold, increasing the risk of falling or slipping on wet floors.
Walk-in baths can help remedy those issues. With watertight doors, walk-in baths allow the bather to simply step over a low threshold and sit on a built-in seat, or lower themselves gently into the water.
If you’re looking to replace your bathtub to make life a little easier, then a walk-in bath is the best option. They offer a variety of physical and health-related benefits, helping reduce stress and increase independence, which should result in safer, more comfortable times in the tub.