Your Guide to Buying the Best Bathtub Transfer Bench

When you think about the most dangerous parts of your home, your mind may not immediately think of the bathroom. However, statistically, this is the one room where the most accidents happen. This is especially true if you are elderly or suffer from a disability. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), more than one in every three people aged over 65 suffer one fall a year, and over 80% of those falls occur in the bathroom.

There are many combined factors that make the bathroom (and the bathtub in particular) a particularly hazardous environment. The wetness, when added to an already slippery surface of a bathtub, can make for a very bad situation. It only takes one loss of footing and you can suffer a life-changing injury.

Fortunately, there are very easy ways to ensuring your safety and that you nor a loved one ever have to risk going through such a potentially catastrophic experience. Which is a very steep price to pay for something that was so easily avoidable.

Number 1 Recommendation: Carousel Premium, Padded, Sliding Transfer Bench
Carousel Sliding Transfer Bench with Swivel Seat. Premium PADDED Bath and Shower Chair with Pivoting Arms. Space Saving Design for Tubs and Shower.

What to Look for in a Bathtub Transfer Bench

Before delving into this, lets take a look at how a tub transfer bench is used in the video below.

Weight Capacity

You need to check the product description to make sure that the chair can support your weight. If you weigh more than 300 pounds, for example, you don’t want to purchase a chair that has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds.

Size

This is another important factor that you should consider when you’re in the market for a tub transfer bench. If you’re unsure of the bench size that you should get, measure your bathtub and check the dimensions of the tub to make sure that it will fit in your tub area.

Security

You need to check that the bench has non-slip suction feet or suction cups at the base for stability. Some tub transfer benches come with a seatbelt for extra security.

Sturdiness

If you want a bench that stands the test of time and doesn’t pose a safety risk, look for one made from durable plastic and a rust-resistant frame.

Adjustability

Preferably, you want to purchase a chair that offers several height adjustments and a reversible backrest to fit in almost any bathtub or shower.

Top Five Bathtub Transfer Benches

ImageProduct NameMaterialRatingPrice
Carousel Sliding Transfer Bench with Swivel Seat. Premium PADDED Bath and Shower Chair with Pivoting Arms. Space Saving Design for Tubs and Shower. Carousel Premium, Padded, Sliding Transfer Bench Polyurethane padding and aluminum frame4.8/5 Above $250
Drive Medical Heavy Duty Bariatric Plastic Seat Transfer Bench, Gray Drive Medical Transfer BenchPlastic4.4/5 Below $100
Textured, plastic seat and aluminum frame4.3/5
Eagle Health Supplies - Swivel Sliding Bath Transfer Bench (77662) - Regular (Base Length: 39" - 40") - Heavy-Duty Shower Bathtub Chair Eagle Swivel Sliding Bath Transfer BenchPlastic/Aluminum4.2/5 $100–250
Tub Transfer Bench by Vive - Bath & Shower Transfer Bench - Adjustable Handicap Shower Chair - Medical Bathroom Accessibility Aid for Elderly, Disabled, Seniors & Bariatric Tub Transfer Bench by ViveTextured, plastic seat and aluminum frame4.6/5 Below $100

Carousel Premium, Padded, Sliding Transfer Bench

Dimensions: Max height 25.5″, Width – 33″, Depth 19.5″ | Item Weight: 20 pounds| Color: Blue | Weight Capacity: 330 pounds | Material: Polyurethane padding and aluminum frame
High-quality professional grade transfer bench. This product shows versatility as it can also be used as a bath and shower chair. With a significant amount of padding to allow for the most optimal amount of comfort, this product has shown its quality by being picked for use in hospitals and care homes around the world.
The seat can swivel, allowing for greater flexibility for the user. Its bright blue coloring increases its visibility, meaning users with poor eyesight or suffering from illnesses such as dementia have a much easier time seeing the key parts of the bench.

Pros

  • Its high contrast coloring making it easier for vision impaired and dementia-afflicted users to see.
  • Very easy to set up, assembly only takes 5 minutes.
  • It is very sturdy.
  • Swivel seat is a lot more comfortable than a standard fixed seat.

Cons

  • Item weight is a little on the heavier side.
  • Width is not adjustable so it doesn’t fit in smaller bathrooms.

Drive Medical Transfer Bench

Dimensions: 32.5″(L) x 24″(W) x 30″(H) inches | Item Weight: 16.2 pounds | Color: Gray | Weight Capacity: 500 pounds | Material: Plastic

This bench has the nifty feature of being reversible, allowing it to be able to accommodate any bathroom layout. It can be easily assembled without the use of tools, and its A-frame provides plenty of great sturdiness and stability. It has a Euro-style clip that will give you extra security while you are on the bench.

Its plastic seat is both comfortable and durable. The assembly is easy, but it can take time to understand as there aren’t many instructions provided.

Pros

  • Provides a lot of height.
  • Very strong, sturdy and reliable.
  • Is reversible so can be attached from either side.

Cons

  • Little assembly instructions provided.
  • The color scheme is not very eye-catching.

Duro-Med Heavy-Duty Sliding Transfer Bench

Dimensions: 39 x 18 x 37 inches | Item Weight: 14.5 pounds | Color: Gray | Weight Capacity: 400 pounds | Material: Textured, plastic seat and aluminum frame

A bestselling transfer bench that can work in conjunction with wheelchairs and walkers to provide a smooth transfer process. The seat is covered with textured plastic, as is the back giving the user a strong non-slip surface to maintain them throughout the transfer.

The legs are adjustable, with suctions on the bottom creating strong grip and friction. The bench is easy to set up, with no tools required for assembly. It is quite large, so you need to make sure you have sufficient space in your bathroom.

Pros

  • Seat has wide range of adjustability (4 inches).
  • Legs are also adjustable, allowing you more flexible positioning.
  • Is compatible with wheelchairs and walkers.

Cons

  • Color scheme is a little drab.
  • Quite large and may not fit well in a small bathroom.

Eagle Swivel Sliding Bath Transfer Bench

Dimensions: 20.5 x 49.8 x 23.2 inches | Item Weight: 14.2 pounds | Color: White | Weight Capacity: 400 pounds | Material: Plastic/Aluminum
This bench features a very impressive swiveling, flexible seat. Unlike other benches, this seat moves with the user, rather than the user having to slide across it. This adds a layer of trust, as you know the seat will not slide out from underneath you.
There is a huge range of potential positioning it allows you to have while you use the bench, allowing the user to stay in the position that best creates stability for them. It is very sturdy and has a decent weight limit.

Pros

  • Superb seat mobility
  • High level of flexibility and effective positioning.
  • Very sturdy.

Cons

  • Questionable latch quality.
  • May not fit well in smaller bathrooms.

Tub Transfer Bench by Vive

Dimensions: 30.5 x 23.5 inches | Item Weight: 14.4 pounds | Color: White | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Material: Textured, plastic seat and aluminum frame

This bench has drainage holes that will allow water to pass through, meaning that it won’t collect on your seat while you are using the shower. Its non-slip feature means it has rubber bottoms that create friction so there is a much lower chance of you slipping while you are on the bench.

Its assembly is quick and simple, although the instruction can take a little time to get your head around. It is strong; however, it does have quite a low weight limit.

Pros

  • Has drainage holes
  • Assembly is very quick and easy
  • Reduced risk of any injury with the non-slip feet feature.

Cons

  • Weight capacity could be higher.
  • It could be stronger and sturdier.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are bathtub transfer benches covered by Medicare?

No, they aren’t covered by Medicare. Medicare doesn’t cover bathroom accessories except for three-in-one bedside commodes.

2. Do private insurance companies cover the cost of bathtub benches?

Exceptionally, some private insurance companies will cover bathtub benches. It is advisable that you contact your health insurance provider to request reimbursement. However, you should bear in mind that your insurance provider might not reimburse part of the cost.

3. I don’t have a disability. Do I need a bathtub bench?

You do not necessarily need to have a disability to benefit from a tub transfer bench. If your health is declining or you’re having mobility issues, you might need a tub bench.

4. What is the difference between a bariatric and a standard bathtub transfer bench?

The difference is mainly based on the weight capacity of the bench. If you’re looking forward to buying a bariatric bathtub transfer bench, you should aim to purchase one for persons > 250 pounds (113 Kg) for safety.

5. Should I buy a padded or unpadded tub transfer bench?

These two types differ in terms of cost and comfort. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to go for an unpadded transfer bench. However, unpadded tub transfer benches may not provide the level of comfort that can be achieved with padded tub transfer benches.

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About Author:

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.

6 thoughts on “Your Guide to Buying the Best Bathtub Transfer Bench

  1. Oh wow, thank you for this review, I did not know they had swivel seats, that would have come in so handy when my Uncle had his knee surgery. I will definitely keep this site in mind when he gets scheduled to have his other knee done. Thank you for expanding my knowledge on what is available now days.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Pam.

      I’m glad you found this review helpful and hope everything goes well with your uncle’s knee surgery. I know how that mobility issues can be very difficult to handle after knee replacement surgery, as patients have to use crutches or a walker initially. Getting into a shower or bathtub can be even more difficult and dangerous. Hopefully, your uncle will get all the help he needs.

  2. I think you have provided an authoritative review on an important subject. I hope that I won’t be needing one of these myself for a while yet, but my mum is an older person, and she would benefit from a quality product to help her remain independent in her own home.
    I have passed your details on to my brother who deals with all her therapy needs.
    Thank you for your excellent article!

    1. Hi Marcie,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Don’t we all wish to be well all the time? ☺ Unfortunately, mobility and stability issues are so common in the elderly, who are prone to falls and hip fractures.
      I hope your mom gets all the support she needs.

  3. Hey, no one knows just how handy a Transfer Bench is until they can not get in the bathtub by themselves, or we, who are healthy enough to help them in or out has to help someone get into and out of the tub.

    I discovered the benefit of a Transfer Bench on January 2, 2018 when my Dad moved in with us because he can no longer life alone.

  4. We all need to be ready for our relatives late years in life. This info you have put together on your website is quite substantial, especially when it comes to the elderly care. Everything is really clear, I liked the videos and the pros and cons and the variety of the subjects you have. I will go back to read more of your articles. Thank you!

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