Types of Shower Benches

A shower bench can be used anytime you need assistance in moving in and out of the shower or when you have trouble standing in the slippery tub. A shower bench typically spans the width of the tub and comes out into the room to allow you to sit on the bench outside the tub and scoot in.

Since you don’t have to step over the steep edge of the tub you can more easily avoid falls and injuries. There are some safety basics to remember when using a bench and several different styles to choose from.

Who Can Use a Shower Bench?

A shower bench can be used by anyone who is in need of assistance in the shower. If you find that standing in the slippery tub has become a challenge and you live alone then getting a bench or shower chair can actually benefit you by increasing your safety.

Many injuries result from slips in the bath every year, including broken bones, concussions, and other injuries. You can easily avoid these same injuries by using caution in the shower and by relying on a device such as a transfer bench to sit on while bathing.

Shower Bench Safety

Safety is always an issue in the bath but becomes even more important when working with patients who have limited mobility. You may want to install grab bars and other safety items in addition to using a shower bench when working with patients.

Grab bars and bariatric grab bars can assist patients in moving in and out of the shower while the bench works to give patients assistance in moving in and out of the tub. You can opt for a cutaway bench when working with patients who have no mobility to ensure bathing is as simple as possible.

You will also want to install non-slip bath mats when using a shower bench. Most benches look similar to a chair but are slightly wider to span the width of the bathtub.

The legs of the chair may slip when the tub becomes wet. It only takes a few moments to install some non-slip mats or decals to ensure the bath is a much safer place for your patients and loved ones. Everyone can benefit from a mat in the bath, not just those with mobility issues.

When using a shower bench you should also be prepared to stay in the bathroom with the patient until they leave the tub. Some patients may not be able to maintain their balance and may fall off the bench or slip through the cutaway portion of the bench easily. Make sure you have all your needed supplies ready before beginning the bath and grab towels to use before running the way to ensure your patients are as safe as possible.


There is a shower bench for all types of patients. You can find the following benches widely available at any mobility shop:

  • Swivel bath benches are used to move patients in and out of the bathtub easily. The bench works on a pivot that moves at a 90-degree angle to quickly slip in and out of the bath. Make sure your bench won’t move before putting your patient into the seat.
  • Sliding benches are very simple to use when patients have limited or no mobility in their legs. The patient sits on the seat that is outside the edge of the tub, and the caregiver pushes the seat to the inside of the tub. This method does take a little muscle but is often the easiest choice when working with a disabled patient.
  • Regular bath benches expand the width of the tub and come out enough for the patient to sit on the bench to scoot inside the tub. This is a good solution when you can’t lift your legs high enough to get into the tub, or when working with a patient who is disabled but still has some limited mobility.

No matter which shower bench you choose there is one that can fit your personal needs whether you are the caregiver or the patient. You don’t have to live with the fear of falling in the bath when you have a bench properly installed. You can sit on the bench and use a detachable shower head for your bathing needs without the fear of being injured and unable to reach help when you live alone.

Benches and Stools for Showers and Tubs

Benches for showers and Bath tub stools and chairs are useful bathing aids especially meant for elderly, invalid, disabled, or obese people who are unable to move or stand for too long taking a bath or a shower.

There are many different types of bath and shower chairs available on the market and many of these can easily be ordered online from online retailers.

1. Teak shower bench

The right bench will depend on your specific needs and preferences. One particular brand of a bench that is well known is the Teak shower bench. Teak has been around for many years providing seniors and people with disabilities relief when they enter the shower.

Best Teak Shower Bench

The reason why benches are extremely useful in that they provide people with the ability to rest when they are taking a shower. If your legs are working as well as they used to, it can often be very difficult to stand still while you are showering. Using a shower bench can allow you the freedom to sit down when you are showering.

The reason why teak shower benches are popular is that teak is a tropical wood that is found in Indonesia. This wood is known for its resistance to moisture and insects.

This wood can withstand the heavy tropical rains that often pour down in the rainforest. While ordinary wood will not be able to withstand a large amount of wetness, teak wood is extremely durable.

2. Shower Chair For The Elderly

As we get older it is important for you to use products that can help decrease the risk of injury or falling when you are taking a shower or a bath.

These areas can be very dangerous for those who don’t have full mobility and balance. In order for the aged to get the most support and balance during their shower, it is important to look at shower chairs for the elderly.

Shower Chairs for The Elderly

These chairs make taking a shower or bath much easier for seniors and people with disabilities. Because it can be very difficult to stand the duration of an entire shower, one can use these chairs to help give them the balance that you need when you are showering.

You will find that most chairs are usually designed to be used in either a shower or a bath. However, you should always err on the side of caution and read the manufacturer’s labels to see what type of chair will work for your shower or bath.

Some types of chairs are made specifically for one or the other so it is important for you to look for something that can work for your needs.

3. Bamboo Shower Bench

Bamboo is used for various uses in the household.

Bamboo Shower Bench

4. Tub Transfer Bench

Typically used for transferring someone from a wheelchair to a bathtub, this type of shower seat can also be used for moving from a wheelchair to a shower.

Shower transfer benches are usually one piece with a long seat in two parts, and four or six legs. The person moves from their wheelchair to the transfer bench, which is the outside piece, then slides to the actual seat.

Available options usually include padded seating and removable or adjustable backrests and armrests.

There are also sliding shower transfer benches. In these, the person transfers from their wheelchair to a shower seat. The seat then slides, most often on rails, to a position where they can more comfortably take a shower. Some shower transfer benches have swivel chairs to add to the user’s convenience.

Tub Transfer Bench

Typical features include a safety belt and a handle that can be attached to either side of the seat.

Another type of shower transfer seat is a wall-mounted shower seat that swings into the shower. First, the user transfers onto the seat from outside the shower. Then the chair swivels into the shower. When their shower is finished, the user swivels back out of the shower.

Specialty shower seats, such as these, allow physically challenged people to be more comfortable when taking a shower.

5. Bedside Commode

Wheeled shower seats are for those needing assistance getting in and out of the shower. They are also referred to as shower commode chairs. They let the user get in the shower themselves or be helped in, avoiding the need to transfer from a wheelchair to a separate seat. A commode chair allows for the user to easily move to and from the toilet and shower.

Bedside Commode

The wheels are usually large swivel casters with safety locks. Larger wheels provide less rolling resistance so that a caregiver can more easily move someone across a floor. Other features to consider include backrests and armrests, and the ability to tilt the seat frame so the user or caregiver can shower more easily.

Obviously, the entrance to the shower should be flat to allow the wheels to roll smoothly into and out of the shower.

They can be constructed of stainless steel or PVC.

Shower/commode chairs that tilt are also available. This allows caregivers to adjust the chair to more easily reach the person in it. The ability to adjust this type of shower seat is important when considering the growth of special needs children as well as the comfort of the adult user.

6. Built-in Shower Bench

Built-in shower seats are seats that are a permanent part of your shower design. Also called shower benches, they usually run the entire length of the wall they are attached to provide plenty of space for sitting and storage of bathroom items. They can be covered with tile to match the shower enclosure or with granite or marble for that touch of elegance.

Built-in Shower Bench

Design is an important benefit of built-in shower seats. They add depth and dimension to a shower which is visually appealing with modern showers with frameless glass doors.

Another type of built-in shower seat is a corner shower bench. This is a triangular seat that is built into a corner of the shower wall. It offers the same design benefits with the added benefit of taking up less space in the shower. They are, however, much smaller than the shower bench that runs the length of the shower wall.

The freestanding, hinged, and built-in shower seats are intended for both disabled and non-disabled people. Two other types of shower seats are primarily for those who are handicapped.

Features To Be Considered When Buying a Shower Chair

shower seats, chairs, stools, and benches come in many different shapes and sizes with a wide range of features.  Three main features to consider when purchasing a shower seat include:

  • Seat shape, dimensions, and capacity
  • Seat height and legs
  • Seat backrests and armrests

Seat shape, dimensions, and capacity

Shower seats, chairs, and stools come in two shapes: flat and curved. Shower benches are usually only flat.
Curved shower seat
The flat seat, as its name says, is the same height from side to side. The curved (also called dish- or saucer-shaped) seat has slightly raised sides and curves in the middle. This type of chair tries to match the shape of the seat to your bottom.

Flat seats may have a horseshoe-shaped cut-out at the front to allow easier personal cleaning.

Both shapes usually have holes in the shower seat to let the water drain through.

You will also see shower chairs with padded seats, which can add more comfort when you’re sitting. The padding provides a softer surface that allows you to sit longer. It’s also good for sensitive skin.

The padding is usually made of foam so that it can dry more easily. You may read about cushions made of “closed cell foam.” Closed-cell foams are generally denser, helping to prevent the seat from absorbing water. Another feature of a padded seat is the amount of padding. This is usually measured in inches.

Seat dimensions are an important consideration when you are buying a shower seat. It can be tricky, but use a flexible tape measure to take a measurement of your bottom when sitting in a chair. Then check this measurement against the seat width and depth (W and D) of the shower seat you want to buy. If the seat is not large enough for your bottom, your shower seat may tip over.

Another important consideration is the weight capacity of the seat. Different seats can hold different weights, depending on the strength of the seat and legs. Be sure that the maximum weight capacity of the chair you choose can hold you. Be aware that heavy-duty models are available should you need them.

Seat height and legs

Since you do not wear shoes in the shower, the height of shower seats is usually lower than the typical chair you sit in. So be sure, when you are considering a shower seat, that you will be able to sit comfortably with your feet on the shower floor supporting you.

If your feet are not solidly on the shower floor when you are sitting, you will be less stable and can slide out of your chair. And remember to consider the additional height that a padded seat can add.

For this reason, many shower seats come with adjustable legs. These are usually aluminum legs with holes in them that let you adjust the seat up or down. The holes can be at different increments such as ½ inch or 1 inch. Allowing different increments means the shower seat can be used by different family members.

If each of the legs is adjustable, you can get the right seat height, even on showers that have an irregular surface, such as one that slopes down toward the drain.

Shower seat legs will typically have rubber or suction-type devices on each of the feet. This helps prevent the shower seat from slipping or sliding around once in place.

Make sure that the height of the shower chair allows you to reach the shower controls without having to stand up.

You should also consider height when a shower bench is being attached to the shower wall. Don’t measure from where the holes go in the wall to hold the bench – instead, measure the distance from the top of the bench to the shower floor.

Seat backrests and armrests

Some shower seats offer backrests and armrests that are either fixed in position or are removable.

Shower chair with backrest and armrests

Backrests provided added comfort as they support your lower back. Some chairs use padding, a non-slip textured finish, and/or a curved or contoured shape to ensure you can relax while taking your shower. These features also contribute to your safety by helping to keep you in place in the seat.

Like backrests, armrests can also be padded, contoured, or textured. Armrests help make it easier to sit down or get up because you have something to hold on to. On some shower seats, the armrests swivel back independently, enabling easier side transfers for people who need help getting in and out of their shower seats.

Keeping these key features in mind when purchasing a shower seat will ensure that you get a seat that fits you just right!

Choosing a Shower Chair if you are Overweight

Here, we’ll look at 5 other important features of these shower seats: seat height, legs, backs, and arms, fit in shower or tub, and cost.

Remember, bariatric shower chairs are made to help people who weigh over 250 pounds feel safe and comfortable when sitting in a shower.

Seat height: This measurement can be important, especially if you are tall. You want your feet to rest comfortably on the shower floor when you are sitting in your seat. Otherwise, you may be off-balance. While sitting in a comfortable chair, measure the dimension from the floor to where your bottom is on the chair. This is usually from 14 to 19 inches. Some shower chairs have seats that are adjustable. Make sure the seat can adjust to the height you need.

Legs: You don’t want your shower chair slipping around in the shower. Make sure that the legs have rubber tips or suction cups on them to hold the chair in place when you’re using it in the shower.

Backs and arms: Some models are available with backs and some come with backs and arms. People find that having a back or back and arms provide added support, especially if you are overweight. The back prevents you from leaning too far back in the seat and the arms can help you get into and out of the chair. The attached arms can limit the width of the seat, so if you do want arms, make sure the width of the chair will still accommodate your body.

Fitting in shower or bathtub: These bariatric shower chairs are designed for use in a shower. But remember that they will take up space in your shower. So check the chair dimensions against the dimensions of your shower so you know you’ll have enough space left to get in and out of the shower. Also, if you are going to use these chairs in a bathtub, check their size, as bathtubs are often smaller than showers. What’s more, some tubs are curved on the bottom, making it difficult for the shower chair legs to stay flat. Some people find that they have to turn the chair sideways to use it in their tub, which can decrease your stability when sitting on the seat.

Cost: You will probably pay a little more for a shower seat with bariatric support. But it is well worth it for the comfort and safety. Also, chairs with backs and arms will also cost more. You can find these chairs on Amazon and in local pharmacies or large chain stores. Prices can vary a lot, so be sure you are comparing similar models with similar dimensions and features.

NOTE: Some overweight people use wheelchairs. For you, bariatric transfer benches are available. These transfer benches are long seats that provide extra support legs in the middle. You can then more easily move from your wheelchair to sit in your shower.

The Main Materials of Shower Seat

The shower is a wet place. Water sprays. Tiles and grout gets damp. The materials used for shower seats must be able to survive water, mildew, and mold. The types of materials most often used for shower seats include:

  • Plastic, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  • Stainless steel / aluminum
  • Hardwood
  • Mesh


PVC might also be referred to as vinyl or plastic. It’s a smooth material usually with a high gloss finish. Although PVC is a generic term, some shower chairs might say they use furniture- or medical-grade PVC. This is specially formulated PVC containing chemicals to protect against ultra violet sun rays, improve strength, and prevent shattering.

Some shower chairs are molded – that is, they are one piece of plastic material shaped into a chair or seat. Other shower chairs are constructed by gluing PVC pieces together. If not done well, pieces of the chair can become loose, thus becoming a potential hazard.

PVC typically will not chip, dent, or peel and is easy to keep clean. PVC shower chairs are lighter in weight than steel, aluminum, or hardwood chairs. They should not damage your bathtub or shower floor if dropped. They do not rust or corrode, assuring a long life.

Another benefit that you might not think of is that PVC surfaces don’t get cold. This can be very important when you have to put your bottom down on a shower seat.

The one negative about PVC shower seats usually relates to aesthetics. If you are going for an elegant look in your shower or bathroom, a PVC chair may stand out like a sore thumb.

Stainless steel or aluminum

Stainless steel or aluminum is most often used as either framing or hardware for shower chairs and benches. Wheelchairs built especially for showering use stainless steel or aluminum to give the chair high strength and provide resistance to rust and corrosion.

Hinged shower seats and benches often use stainless steel for the brackets that attach the seat or bench to the shower wall. These brackets should have smooth edges to prevent someone from getting cut when using it.

Shower seat product descriptions may mention the gauge of the stainless steel used. As a general rule, better quality steel frames and tubing will have a lower gauge number.

Aluminum is often used for the legs of shower seats made of PVC. Aluminum legs are strong, lightweight, durable, and corrosion proof. Most aluminum legs have holes in them so the height of the seat can be adjusted. A potential problem is water getting into the open holes and causing corrosion inside the legs.

Two terms you may read in descriptions of shower chairs using aluminum are “anodized aluminum” and “powder coated aluminum.” Anodizing is a process used to increase corrosion and wear resistance.

Powder coating is a finish that helps the metal resist corrosion and damage from the elements. Powder coating can come in virtually any color or finish, matte or smooth, is rust-free, scratch resistant, and ecologically friendly.


You might not think of using wood in a shower, but some woods are both water resistant and good looking. In particular, teak wood shower seats and benches are very popular. They are known for being durable, comfortable, and giving your shower a dash of style.

Teak is a tropical wood most often found in Indonesia. It has natural oils which make it resistant to the moisture and humidity found in bathrooms. The popularity of teak has led to growth in sustainable production throughout the seasonally dry tropics in forestry plantations. The Forest Stewardship Council offers certification of sustainably grown and harvested teak products.

Teak comes in brown hues that bring nature’s organic earth tones into your shower. Some shower seats will take on a silver grey patina after months of exposure to water. This is natural. However, if you find your wooden seat beginning to crack and buckle, you should become suspicious about it being genuine teak.

There are teak shower chairs with adjustable aluminum legs, triangular teak shower seats that fit into the corner of a shower, and longer teak benches that can be raised and lowered. Typically, there are spaces between the teak slats to allow water to flow through.

You may also find shower seats made of Iroko, which is a hardwood from tropical Africa. It is sometimes referred to as African Teak. For environmental threats to this type of wood, see this link.


Mesh is typically found in folding shower seats. Because mesh is pliable it is excellent for shower seats that need to be portable and lightweight. Mesh cleans easily and is resistant to mold and mildew. Shower seats made of mesh will fold into a small space for easy storage.

Typically, mesh shower seats hold less weight than those made of other materials. But if you need shower seat for traveling, mesh may be your best solution.

The Benefits of Shower Seats

A shower seat allows you to sit while you take a shower. Although we normally think of standing to take a shower, sitting during your shower offers a completely different experience.

shower seats are also called shower chairs, shower stools, and shower benches, which are seats built into the shower. Shower seats offer many benefits.

1. Stability

A shower seat can provide support if you have a permanent disability that requires lower extremity support when bathing. Or, if your legs are weak because of a temporary injury, a shower seat will allow you to maintain balance and feel secure when taking a shower.

2. Safety

When leaving a bathtub you have to raise yourself up and step over the bathtub edge. Because some bathtub edges are high and/or deep, there is the danger of slipping when trying to climb over the edge. Standing up from a shower chair and walking out of a shower is often easier, and thus safer. Additionally, some people get dizzy or weak when they have to stand for some time in a shower. Sitting in a shower chair also helps these people.

3. Caregiver aid

If a caregiver must help someone bathe in the shower, it is often easier to reach them if they are seated. Chairs for children with special needs are also available. These are often adjustable to make the child more comfortable and make it easier for the caregiver.

Shower stools that rotate also allow a caregiver to more easily maneuver the bather’s body. Keep in mind, though, that stools usually do not have back support. This could be a safety hazard for someone who has trouble maintaining their balance.

4. Relaxation

If you find yourself tired or stressed out at the end of the day, why wait for the tub to fill? Turn on the shower, sit down, and allow the warm water to beat down on you. You’ll be amazed at how it can calm you down.

5. luxury

Showers in newer homes are often larger and have glass enclosures. A shower bench adds the impression of depth to the shower and provides additional visual interest. Teak shower seats, with their rich dark brown wood tones can also add a sense of elegance to your shower.

6. Storage

Some shower chairs have a top that lifts up. The space underneath can be used to store shampoo, sponges, razors, and even kids’ toys. Shower benches also offer a place to gather these items.

7. Footrest

Ladies, why should you have to bend all the way over if you want to reach your legs? A shower seat is a great place to rest your foot when you want to shave your legs.

All these benefits should give you some reasons to consider buying a shower seat.