Best Shower Chair For The Elderly & The Disabled

shower chair and other stools for elderly and disabled

Showers and bathtubs can provide a halo of relaxation to those who need it, but they can also cause more slips and falls than any other area in your home. A shower chair has been one of the many inventions that help those of us needing a little more stability in the shower. Whether you need to find the best shower chair due to aging, rehabilitation, disability, or peace of mind, there are a lot of options to choose from, but the game of trial and error is much less fun when it’s your safety on the line. To narrow your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best shower chairs, so you can skip the trial period.

Comparison Table

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The Best Shower Chair

As you look through this list, there are a few things to consider that will help you know exactly what you need from a shower chair as well as what will make the best shower chair. We would recommend reading through and answering each of these questions first, so you know what criteria your chair needs to meet before you even think about buying.

1. What Is a Shower Chair?

While the term “shower chair” may conjure up a particular image, there’s a lot more to it than just a chair sitting in your shower or bathtub. There is a range of options from simple stools to full transfer systems depending on what kind of aid you want or need. All of the options should be waterproof and slip resistant, of course, and provide stability where you need it most.

2. Do You Need Assistance In and Out of the Shower?

If you’re looking for a chair that can provide stability or even a full ride into and out of the shower, you’ll want to look at shower chairs that offer support bars or the like as well.

3. Consider Weight

We mean this in two parts: first, make sure the chair you want can support your weight. Most chairs sit around the 250lb to 300lb range, while others will go up to 400lb. Second, consider how much the actual chair weighs – especially if you’ll need to move it out of the way or even in and out of the shower.

4. Do You Need Adjustable Height?

It is a general rule of thumb that having a chair with adjustable height is the safest way to go. When you use the shower chair, it is recommended that you can have your feet firmly planted on the shower floor with your knees bent, and it can be hard to know exactly what dimensions and measurements you need for that, so the safer option is to go for adjustable height.

5. Do You Need Compartments?

Some shower chairs will offer compartments for soap or other bathing necessities. While this is always handy to have, if reaching or bending to get your shower amenities is an issue or danger, this will be a necessary feature for your shower chair.

How We Reviewed

In order to provide a straightforward and unbiased comparison, we are using the following criteria: features, price, back support, weight capacity, construction, portability/storage, adjustability, and multi-functionality. We found these criteria to both highlight the unique features of each chair as well as answer the above questions – hopefully leaving you with a clear choice for the best shower chair.

Overall Price Range

While the range for shower chairs, in general, can be quite large ($20 to over $300), we have narrowed it for this comparison to $20 to about $100, with a little wiggle room on both ends. To keep up with the changing market prices, we have abbreviated the prices as follows: $ for up to $30; $$ to $60; $$$ to $100

What We Reviewed

  • Drive Medical Bath Stool
  • Moen DN7105 Transfer Bench
  • Ridex Shower Chair
  • Pcp Padded Bath Shower Safety Seat

Drive Medical Bath Stool

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  • Features
  • Back Support?
  • Weight Capacity
  • Construction
  • Portability/Storage
  • Adjustability
  • Multi-Functional

This chair is built for those who need help in and out of the shower. The chair sits in and out of the tub to help those who have a hard time getting over the tub walls. It is also a full chair with a backrest and hand support.

No – the rotating seat will help with mobility, which having a back support would get in the way of. If you need support though, we would recommend skipping this option.

The weight capacity is an impressive 450lbs, which is higher than most “heavyweight” tagged chairs.

This chair is made of metal and plastic with a pad on the seat as well – which is removable to make cleaning easier. There are no holes in the seat though, which means water build up could happen; however, with the size of the seat (14 inches), it is not likely.

It is very lightweight (less than 7lbs) and small in size. The legs are adjustable, which means it is possible to collapse them and eliminate some storage issues, however the chair itself is not collapsible.

There is no multi-functionality for this stool as it cannot be transformed into a chair with a backrest or armrests. There are, however, compartments attached to store shower amenities.

No – the rotating seat will help with mobility, which having a back support would get in the way of. If you need support though, we would recommend skipping this option.

Moen DN7105 Transfer Bench

No products found.

  • Features
  • Back Support?
  • Weight Capacity
  • Construction
  • Portability/Storage
  • Adjustability
  • Multi-Functional

This chair is built for those who need help in and out of the shower. The chair sits in and out of the tub to help those who have a hard time getting over the tub walls. It is also a full chair with a backrest and hand support.

Yes, and you can leave it off if that’s preferred.

The weight capacity goes up to 400lbs – a good range, especially for a transfer type chair.

Plastic and metal with a non-slip seat and feet. The legs are adjustable as is the orientation of the chair (left or right facing).

This is a heavier chair (around 16lbs), so it is not meant to travel. It is also quite large, so it should only be used in a shower where it won’t need to be moved around a lot as that will become a hassle very quickly.

The legs are adjustable from 16.5 inches to 21 inches, which should fit most tubs and most heights as well.

The back of this chair is removable, however, the rest of the chair stands as is. There is a small compartment for shower amenities as well.

Ridex Shower Chair

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  • Features
  • Back Support?
  • Weight Capacity
  • Construction
  • Portability/Storage
  • Adjustability
  • Multi-Functional

This is a full shower chair with a back and armrest as well as a seat with holes to allow water drainage. It is adjustable and easy to assemble. The seat is antibacterial, and the armrests are padded for added comfort.

Yes, and it is removable as well for added variability of use.

This chair supports up to 300lbs, which is standard for this type of build.

This chair is made of aluminum and plastic and can be assembled easily and without tools. Users have especially appreciated the ease of assembly for this chair as it is a full chair and requires more assembly than other options.

This seat is not collapsible, so it is only the adjustable legs and removable back that aid in storage. The chair is lightweight though, so moving it in and out of the shower, if needed, shouldn’t be a hassle.

The legs are adjustable from 17.5 to 21.5 inches, which is not a large range, so keep in mind your height as you look into this option for the best shower chair.

Because the back is removable, this chair can function as a stool as well – though it should be noted that the armrests do not come off, and there is no information on whether the chair is reversible.

Pcp Padded Bath Shower Safety Seat

No products found.

  • Features
  • Back Support?
  • Weight Capacity
  • Construction
  • Portability/Storage
  • Adjustability
  • Multi-Functional

This chair features a padded seat and back and is designed for postpartum recovery as well as other shower chair needs. It is made with sanitary and anti-bacterial materials as well.

Yes – it is not removable but is padded with sanitary and anti-bacterial materials.

The weight capacity is 300lbs, fitting into the standard range for shower chairs.

Aluminum and plastic make up the build with rubber feet and the padded seat and back as well. It is very easy to assemble with no tools required.

Though this is a lightweight chair (good news for those who need to move it around and out of the way), it is not collapsible. The legs do adjust, however, the back does not come off, making it harder to store.

The legs are adjustable from 17 to 21 inches, which is a limited range, so keep your height in mind as you check into this chair.

This chair is not multifunctional as the back does not come off – however, it can be used for postpartum recovery with the design of the seat.

The Verdict: The Best Shower Chair

There are a lot of options and a lot of contenders for the best shower chair – but not all of them will be the best shower chair for you. What we have listed here represents a variety of different types of chair (or stool) within a more narrow price bracket, so you don’t end up spending a fortune for something that won’t fit your needs.

While we can’t tell you what the best shower chair is for your individual needs, we can give some suggestions: for those needing portability and ease of use and maneuvering, we would recommend the Ridex chair for those needing a back or the Drive stool for those who don’t need a back. Both offer lightweight and more collapsible options.

For those needing as much support and stability as possible, the Moen Transfer bench is the obvious choice. It will grant you the most support and ease of use in terms of getting in and out of the shower.

Featured Image Source: CC BY 2.0, The Living Room via Flickr.com