How to Choose the Best Bathroom Grab Bar for the Elderly

How to Choose the Best Bathroom Grab Bar for the Elderly

Little do most people know, the bathroom is actually the most dangerous room in your house, especially if you are an older individual. The biggest physical threat to an elderly person in their home is the threat of falls. They account for the vast majority of injuries sustained in the home. And when it comes to falls, by far the most dangerous room in the home is the bathroom.

The bathroom is where the majority of falls occur, generally because of the slipperiness and the amount of movement needed to get in and out of the shower, to use their toilet, and that other activities that take place there.

The most simple and effective way to get rid of the issue of falls in the bathroom is to install a grab bar.

The Best Bathroom Grab Bar: 2019 Comparison Chart

ImageProduct NameTypeRatingPrice
Medline Bathtub BarClamp-on bathtub grab bar4.6/5Check Price
Suction Grab Bar by ViveSuction cup style grab bar4.2/5Check Price
Bathtub Rail by ViveClamp-on bathtub grab bar4.4/5Check Price
Drive Medical Stand Alone Toilet Safety RailToilet safety rail4.4/5Check Price
Grab Bar by Dr. MayaSuction cup style grab bar4.0/5
Medline Toilet Safety RailsToilet safety rail4.1/5Check Price
Toilet Rail by ViveToilet safety rail4.0/5Check Price
Stander Security Pole & Curve Grab BarFloor to ceiling mount grab bar or pole type4.6/5Check Price
Home 32-Inch Bathroom Grab Bar by MoenStraight grab bar or wall bar4.8/5Check Price
Home Care 12-Inch Suction Balance Assist Bath Grip by MoenSuction cup style grab bar3.8/5Check Price

Why You Need a Grab Bar

For people aged 65 and older, a grab bar is highly recommended. When you are that age, falls can cause some very serious injuries. Hip fractures and other problems are very common results of falls that take place in the bathroom.
Older people are also more likely to be injured while moving off the toilet.

When you sit for a long time and suddenly stand up, some people of advanced age can feel lightheaded and dizziness. This is a very common symptom if you are dehydrated or take certain medications often used by the elderly and really can lead to some very dangerous falls.

A grab bar is very important as it allows you to have a bar you can grab to retain your balance at all times. It severely reduces the risk of any falls and allows gives you the support in the bathroom to make sure you are always as secure as possible.

It also removes all the fears an elderly person may have about the bathroom, as many do develop some anxiety about moving around in the bathroom if they have fallen and been hurt before.

Entering and leaving the shower will be a piece of cake, and people who usually walk with canes or walkers will have that same stability in the bathroom. The support and stability provided by a grab bar can be priceless, and after a while of using one people wonder how they ever managed to live without it.

Where Should You Place a Grab Bar?

Having the correct position for your grab bar is an important part of how successful and useful the grab bar will be. Proper positioning will maximize the amount of support you get from your bar as you perform specific tasks.

It’s important to keep a few factors in mind when choosing a grab bar. These include the type of support you need, your weight and your height, and the amount of strength and mobility you currently possess.

There are some grab bars that are horizontal and placed either on the wall above your bathtub or next to your toilet. They are straightforward and very useful for people who need some assistance in getting up.

Vertical grab bars are also generally on the wall of the shower or above the bathtub. These grab bars are usually really useful for using when you are standing up in the shower and want something to hold on to as you get in and out.

There are also bath side grab bars. These bars are mounted on the side of your bath, giving you support as you transfer in and out of the bath.

Top 10 Bathroom Grab Bars for Seniors

Medline Bathtub Bar

This is a durable bathtub mounted bar that you can lock onto the side of your tub. The level of stability it provides is significant. It works by locking the grab bar onto the side of the bath, and it can attach to tub sides that are up to 6 inches across.

The grab bar has rubber pads on its clasps so that the tub is protected and the grab bar does not cause any damage to the sides of the tub. The grab bar is made of steel, to increase its durability.


  • Made of steel, very durable.
  • Does not cause any damage to your tub.


  • Only suitable if you need help getting in and out of the bath; it’s not too useful in other situations unless your toilet is close enough to your bathtub.

Suction Grab Bar by Vive

This suction grab bar works in an interesting way. It is extremely easy to install, as you just need to use the latches that lock it into place. You also get colored indicators that will let you know if it has been sufficiently installed. It is airtight, making use of suction to stay stuck to the wall and help you maintain your balance during your shower.

It is made of textured rubber that is very comfortable, and also maintains a strong non-slip grip for the user. There are also finger grips that are available for extra safety. Its position is very easy to adjust, and the grab bar is easily portable so you can take it with you on the road if you ever take a trip.

The suction cups are very sturdy and very secure and can support weight up to 300 pounds. This grab bar excels at giving support as you get in and out of the shower, providing you with a safe and ultimately comfortable experience. In addition, this product contains a 60-day guarantee, which many other products don’t; this is definitely a big plus.


  • Has a 60-day trial.
  • Supports weight up to 300 pounds.
  • Suction cup style latches allow for easy portability.


  • Suction style latches may not work with every wall material.
  • It is a vertical grab bar so only useful for maintaining balance while in the shower.

Bathtub Rail by Vive

This grab bar is essentially a bathtub rail, and it is very useful for helping you get in and out of the bathtub safely. Similar to the other grab bar, it supports up to 300 pounds and is especially useful for the elderly and people who are recovering from injury or may have had recent surgery that has left then weak in their recovery period.

The bar is durable, and also adjustable. It has a range of 3 to 7 inches, with regards to the thickness of the walls of the bathtub. It has a comfortable handle that can be gripped securely.

It makes use of rubber pads to make sure the tub is protected and the bar does not leave any damage. The bar is really easy to install, and it doesn’t require any special tools. You just take advantage of the steel clamp mechanism that will secure the bar in place on the side of the bathtub.


  • Scratch-resistant rubber pad protection.
  • The bar is one of the highest selling bars, and it is very popular.
  • Great for getting in and out of the bath safely.


  • It is less useful if your aim is to have help with balance while taking a shower.

Drive Medical Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rail

This grab bar is an effective toilet safety rail. It aids mostly in helping you get on and off the toilet. It comes with some interesting features, such as a magazine rack where you can conveniently pick up and put down literature to enjoy at your leisure. It also comes with armrests that are padded and created for maximum comfort.

It’s clear that the creators of this grab bar had comfort as a high priority. It is very easy to set up, and it doesn’t require any special tools. Its weight capacity is 300 pounds, which is standard.


  • Very high level of comfort.
  • Extremely useful if you need assistance in getting on and off the toilet.


  • Only useful for help when you are using the toilet; it doesn’t offer assistance for bathing and showering.

Grab Bar by Dr. Maya

This grab bar created by Dr. Maya is a very high-quality bar that provides you with a lot of stability when you are entering and leaving the bathroom, shower, toilet, and bathtub. Its versatility in helping you in many different areas of the bathroom make it stand out from its competitors.

Its installation is very simple, with no tools required. It uses a latching system to lock the bar into place.
It has non-slip grip features, so once you grab on you will feel secure and there is little risk of your hand slipping off the bar.


  • Versatile, usable for many different areas of the bathroom.
  • Very easy installation.


  • You generally have to reattach the bar after every use to maintain its strong grip.

Medline Toilet Safety Rails

This grab bar allows for a lot of movement and positioning, as its handles are very adjustable and do rotate quite a bit. This allows you to get into a position you deem secure, and that choice of positioning can be key to helping you fully make the most of the bar. To aid in your comfort, it has foam armrests to go along with its sure grip material.

It is universally compatible with all standard toilet sizes, and it has an adjustable height to allow you to set it in a way that most makes sense for you. Adjustable height 26″-31″ (66-74cm) accommodates standard or elevated toilet seats.


  • Adjustable height, and handles can rotate.
  • Can fit with any style of toilet.
  • Truly universal.


  • It’s only useful for use on the toilet.

Toilet Rail by Vive

This toilet rail is also universal, and it can fit any toilet. Handles are adjustable, and can easily be customized to fit your home. Its legs are capped with anti-slip tips, to make sure there is no chance of the bar slipping from under you as you try to get up.

It supports up to 300 pounds, and it is perfect for the elderly and people who are weak due to injury or are recovering from surgery. Its anti-slip tips aid in its strength at holding up larger weights.

Its installation is easy, and there are no extra tools needed. The handles are secure and are non-slip, so there is no worry there either.


  • Easily adjustable.
  • Fits with any style of toilet.


  • Only useful for toilet use.

Stander Security Pole & Curve Grab Bar

This grab bar has a two in one standing pole, and the bar comes with a pivoting curve that allows you extra motion. This extra flexibility can really come in handy, especially as it gives you more freedom to using the grab bar in different positions and experimenting with what type of position is most effective for you and your bathroom.

It is height adjustable, so you are able to customize it to the height that suits you best. The bar is durable and strong, with a weight limit of 300 pounds.

It is also easily portable, as its tension mounted mobility pole can be easily installed and uninstalled whenever you need to move it.


  • Easily adjustable.
  • Very easily portable.


  • Needs to be uninstalled and moved around in order to get the most out of it.

Home 32-Inch Bathroom Grab Bar by Moen

This is a very simple and straightforward grab bar, which can be easily installed due to its secure mount design. It’s extremely durable and strong, being able to support up to 500 pounds, higher than 90% of the grab bars on the market.

This build, and the subsequent increase in weight limit (huge increase, might we add), is one of the reasons this grab bar is really effective.

If you are a larger person, or a person who may need a grab bar with a larger weight limit, this is one of the best choices out there. Its grip is also strong and its build is very durable, allowing for high pressure to be exerted on the bar without it giving.


  • Very strong and durable.
  • Very high weight limit.


  • Rather simple and doesn’t have any additional features.

Home Care 12-Inch Suction Balance Assist Bath Grip by Moen

This grab bar using a suction style system that keeps it on the wall once you mount it. It has a very strong “bike handle” like grip, that helps you maintain your balance at all times. The handle is secure, and it brings the utmost in stability and balance.

It can easily be transported and moved if you want a grab bar that is more portable. Its portability is key, as it is very easily installed and removed, giving you the freedom to not only move around with it and take it on trips with you.

It also permits you to experiment in putting it on different positions in your bathroom so you can find that perfect spot where it is most effective.


  • Easily transportable.
  • Uses suction for maximum connection.


  • Quite basic in its features..

Final Word

There are a lot of great grab bars that are available for a person who needs assistance in the bathroom. It’s important to not try to ignore signs of needing help, as ignoring warning signs now can lead to a heavy price being paid.

A grab bar is a very simple, very easy way to quickly eliminate that danger once and for all. It’s definitely worth investing in.

Do you have safety grab bars installed in your bathroom? How did you find them? Let us know in comments below or contact us here to share your experience.


After earning a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering, Lisa A. Cusack traveled to a remote village in Ghana, where she worked as a voluntary worker for 18 months. She later moved to Antwerp, Belgium and now devotes much of her time to writing and creating helpful educational material for medical students and allied healthcare professionals. Visit our About page to learn about the contributors of Healthy Buddys.

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