TECHNOLOGY

Best Shower Chairs Of 2022

Showers can be exhausting for those who are older, recovering from surgery, or have a chronic illness. Standing for extended periods to clean your body might not be an option. Shower chairs provide both support and assistance for bathing, as well as the ability to empower loved ones.

Renee Makin is an occupational therapist in Culver, California. She says, “We’ll recommend that a shower chair be used to conserve energy because showers can prove very taxing.” People avoid showering when it is too difficult. It can also be frightening because many people fall in the shower. If you can provide them with something sturdy, they will feel more at ease.

Forbes Health’s editorial team reviewed data from 18 companies to determine the best shower chairs. This included average price, maximum weight, user ratings, and other factors. Continue reading to learn more about the various types of shower chairs, key features to watch out for, and which chairs made it into our top recommendations.

Methodology

Forbes Health’s editorial team reviewed data from nearly 120 products across 18 companies to determine the best shower chairs. They then ranked them according to:

  • Average price
  • Maximum weight capacity
  • Safety and comfort features such as padding, non-slip grips and fixed armrests are all included.
  • Material for frames
  • Average user ratings
  • Review count

What is the Work of a Shower Chair?

Shower chairs are a waterproof chair that can be used to support someone while they shower. Brandy Archie is an occupational therapist who founded AccessAble Living in Kansas City. She says it helps them “besafer and more independent when showering.” These chairs are especially helpful for people with permanent or temporary mobility issues and those who find moving painful.

Shower chairs are made with rubberized, non-slip feet that can withstand wet conditions. To provide additional support, some chairs have backrests. Most have armrests on both sides, while those without are meant to be held on the sides.

6 Types of Shower Chairs

There are many types of shower chairs. These are the most common options.

Folding Shower Chair

The four rubberized feet hold the stools up and provide support for the back. Makin says they are best for those who can move around easily. She adds that she doesn’t recommend them to many people. They can be a great option for people who just need a little extra help in the shower. They can also be helpful for those who have difficulty standing on one foot when shaving.

Standard Shower Chair

These chairs have four rubberized feet and a wide seat with backrest. Makin says standard shower chairs offer plenty of space and support. This type is often recommended by Makin.

Rolling Shower Chair

Rolling shower chairs are very similar to standard shower chairs. They have wheels which is a great feature for those with mobility issues or who use wheelchairs. They lock in place so that they won’t move while being used. However, people who use them need to be cautious on wet surfaces.

Bariatric Shower Chair

These standard shower chairs were made for people over 300 pounds. Karen Koch, an occupational therapist, and certified aging in place specialist, based out of St. Joseph, Michigan, said that these chairs are “a lot more durable than other chairs.”

Fold-Down Shower Chair

These chairs can be permanently installed in the shower with two rubberized feet. The back of the chair is usually attached to the shower wall. Koch says that if more than one person uses the shower, the chair can become a problem. She says that fold-down chairs are “great because they allow people who really need them to have them.” The people who don’t need them can flip them up and get out of the way.

Transfer Bench

Transfer benches are extra-long shower chairs that can be used by people with severe limitations. The legs can be placed in the bathtub or shower area, while two of them are outside. This provides excellent support when entering and exiting the bath. Koch says that instead of having to get into the bathtub you can just sit on the bench and swing your feet into it.

What Are the Benefits of a Shower Chair?

Shower chairs can be used both at home and in senior living facilities such as nursing homes. Makin says that shower chairs can be used at home to help seniors retain their independence. These chairs offer security and make bathing more enjoyable.

According to Makin, the following people can benefit from shower chairs:

  • Seniors
  • People who have chronic conditions or are short of breath
  • Mobility issues for people with mobility problems
  • People who have balance issues
  • People who feel extremely tired

Shower chairs offer stability and a place to rest if you get tired in the shower.

What to Know Before Buying a Shower Chair

When choosing a shower chair, there are many things to take into consideration. Archie recommends consulting an occupational therapist if you have a disability. These are the features you should look for when choosing a shower chair.

Overall Size

Makin says that people often don’t check if a shower chair fits in their space. To ensure you get the right size, measure the space in your tub or shower to make sure it fits.

If you are unsure whether your chair will fit, here’s a tip: Make sure the feet of the shower chair sit flat on the ground and not ride up onto the corners where the shower floor meets with the wall. Archie says that the chair should be on flat ground at all times.

Adjustable Height

A shower chair that is adjustable in height is important. Koch says that people can adjust the height of the chair to suit their needs. Koch adds that your feet should touch the ground when you’re sitting in a shower chair. They shouldn’t be dangling above.

Weight Capacity

Shower chairs can have weight restrictions. You will likely need a bariatric chair if you are over 300 pounds.

Fixed Support

To determine the right type of shower chair for you, think about your strengths and weaknesses. Koch recommends backrests and armrests for extra security.

How Much Does a Shower Chair Cost?

Makin says that shower chairs typically cost $50. However, prices can go up to $300. She says that medical equipment is relatively inexpensive.

To buy a shower chair, you don’t need to go to a hospital equipment store. You can order it online. Makin suggests that people with tight budgets check Goodwill or other thrift shops to find a shower chair at a discount price.

CVS sells a 29.99-dollar shower stool and a 3299.99-dollar heavy-duty sliding transfer benches at $29.99 each. A bariatric chair that has a backrest is $129.99

A shower chair with backrest and fold-up option is available at Home Depot for $79.99 and $129.99 respectively. A shower stool is $34.98.

RehabMart sells a standard chair with backrest for $130.97 and a rollable version for $250.20.

Is insurance required to cover a shower chair?

Shower chairs are not usually covered by Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans do cover over-the counter supplies. This could include safety devices for bathrooms. Make sure to check with your plan.

Archie says that health insurance covers only things for your body, and not things that can alter your environment. He also points out the fact that shower chairs aren’t covered by most private insurance policies. If your long-term insurance covers home modifications, you may be eligible for reimbursement. You can also pay for shower chairs with a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account.

Deny Smith

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