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Step in baths: what are they & what are their benefits?


If you’ve been considering an upgraded bathing experience for a while but are not quite sure which tub to dip your toe into, step in baths could well be the solution.

As you age, bathing can start to become a little more challenging. The same can be said when it comes to having any sort of accessibility issues. If your mobility is restricted, a step in bath is a great way to bathe in both comfort and safety, while also holding onto your bathing independence.

Our guide takes a further look into the many benefits of these types of baths when compared to standard baths. Read on to find out more, and how upgrading to one can seriously transform your bathing experience.

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  1. Step in baths: what are they?
  2. Step in baths: how can they help?
  3. Types of grab bars for different needs
  4. Surfaces and features to aid in mobility issues
  5. Similar options in showers

Step in baths: what are they?

First and foremost, you may be asking yourself the question - just what exactly is a step in bath? You may also be wondering what the benefits of investing in such a bath could be, especially when compared to a normal tub and a walk-in bath.

A standard step in bath is essentially the same as a walk-in bath and using similar these are usually the same size as a normal bath.

The advantages mean the bather can relax in the comfort of knowing their rub has a secure locking device and a lower level to step over and enter the tub. This makes it different to a standard bath, in which the threshold to enter the tub is much higher.

It’s more secure due to the fact that you enter the tub when it’s dry and sit inside while you wait for it to quickly fill. With temperature control features, a walk-in tub helps to take away the worry of any accidents occurring due to the specially designed lower threshold. This means it can help people of all ages and with various mobility issues to enjoy a safer, more comfortable bathing experience.

There are also various types, depending on your needs and comfort requirements. Some come with jets and heated backrests. Others offer hand showers, fast-draining capabilities and extra wide seats. It’s a good idea to make a note of any needs you may personally have to see if it’s worth investing in a step in bath, as well as considering which features you may specifically require.

In the first instance, if you’ve decided a walk-in tub is the way forward, you’ll need to assess your bathroom area, along with any individual needs and wants, before shopping around.

Step in baths: how can they help?

Now that you know a little more about what a step in bath does, you might wonder how they can help.

Designed specifically to help those who may require additional bathing needs due to age and mobility issues, the idea is to ensure a comfortable, calming bath time in the same way as you previously would have experienced.

So, for those who love nothing more than sitting back and enjoying a long, relaxing soak, you can rest easy knowing there are lots of alternative, assisted bath types that can help.

Created with your safety and other personal needs in mind, the options are fairly extensive. For example, if space is an issue in your bathroom, you can opt for a bath with a compact size. If optimal safety is paramount, many models offer additional features, such as slip-resistant flooring surfaces, shower heads and grab bars, each to suit the individual's needs.

Some walk-in tubs even come with foldable bath seats and easy-access doors, making these an ideal option for elderly users and those facing mobility issues.

Types of grab bars for different needs

With a whopping 80% of household falls taking place in the bathroom, you may wish to consider a grab bar or handrail for your bath. As you’ll be entering a tub and moving around as you bathe, these types of support rails are commonplace amongst walk-in tubs.

There are many options available when it comes to grab bars and handrails for elderly users and those with limited mobility. Providing stability due to their non-slip hold and concealed fixings, grab bars help you steady yourself as you transition from standing to sitting.

They also provide an option for you to hold onto as you bathe. This ensures further safety as they help you to maintain both your balance and help to reduce your risk of slipping and falling.

The options are also extensive and can include the following:

  • Chrome Grab Bars - these are a more stylish option for your bath, as chrome grab bars are a little more aesthetically pleasing.


  • Plastic Grab Bars - as one of the safest options in an assisted bathroom, these can come in various sizes and styles, and often offer a raised grip.


  • Horizontal Handrails - these act as extra support in both walk-in tubs and showers, as they are very useful when pushing up from a sitting position and provide support when lowering, without the worry of potentially slipping because they are at an angle.


  • Vertical Handrails - these offer valuable support and work to provide assistance when pulling up into a standing position.


  • Inclined Grab Bars - fixed at a slight angle in your walk-in tub, these bars are often suitable if you have weak or painful arms or wrists. The angle of these means you can support your forearm on the rail whilst pushing up, and in doing this your body weight is spread over a larger area.


  • Angled Grab Bars - placed at an angle of 45° rising away from the individual, these types of bars are ideal if you need steadying support, as you manoeuvre in and out of your bath. These also help to keep your wrist in a neutral position, meaning you do not have to lean too far forward to grip the nearest end of the rail due to its lower position.

Surfaces and features to aid in mobility issues

You can include anti-slip flooring and seating to further help with any mobility requirements. This ensures you can enter, exit and enjoy a comfortable bathing experience without the worry of any slips or falls.

For wheelchair users and those who require additional support when entering and exiting your walk-in tub, you can also choose to install a power seat. This helps to lift wheelchair users in and out of the tub. You can also look at options that help you transition directly from your wheelchair to a power seat.

Similar options in showers

Showers have options that have similar advantages to that of a step in bath, in the forms of walk-in showers and wet rooms, which are both friendly to those with mobility issues or the elderly.