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While many skinny people wonder and hypothesize about how fat and/or disabled people maintain their hygiene, very few understand what a laborious process it can be. While a warm shower should be a cure for a bad day and make you feel better about yourself, for many people it is a process that requires help or, at the very least, a large commitment of time and energy. With the hope to reclaim the enjoyment of showers and improve self-care we set out to find the best bath chair for disabled adults with a 500 pound capacity.
What makes bath chairs for disabled adults different?
When it comes down to it, the main difference between bath/shower chairs for disabled people, fat people, average people, etc. is just fancy marketing. There are a few different styles of bath chairs, but as long as you get one with the features you need, it will work for you, disabled or not. So, instead of wondering what chair is specific for a certain type of person, let’s talk about each of the distinct styles and features and then you can decide for yourself what you need!
But before we get there, if you already know what you need, let’s take a quick look at our recommendations for the best bath chairs!
The Main Types of Bath Chair for Heavy and Disabled People
Platform. The platform bath seat is exactly what it sounds like, a square or rectangle with legs. For this reason, it is often called a shower stool. A bariatric shower stool is typically the cheapest and most versatile type of bath seat as it is also the least complex. If you need a wide seat and don’t necessarily need arms, a back, or other features this can be an excellent option. As they are the most simple of the bunch they are typically lightweight and easy to store. The only reason to get a seat other than a platform is if you need more comfort or more support to enable you to enjoy your shower.
Platform with arm/back. This is the next logical step above a platform bath seat and is what most people probably envision when they think of a bath bench. The addition of a back and/or arms allows you to lean back which can be especially helpful if you are disabled because of a back issue. While a back has mostly advantages, the addition of arms to a bath seat comes with some drawbacks. There are two main issues with armrests: they can hinder your motion in the shower making it more difficult to wash, and (for bariatric patients) they limit the width of the seat making it difficult to fit. Only you can decide if you need a back and arms on your seat!
Slider/Swivel Transfer Bench. If you are unable to enter a shower or tub due to mobility problems, a slider shower bench with a swivel may be your best option. While the cost of such a chair is prohibitive for most patients (particularly if they need a bariatric version) they make it much safer to enter and exit a shower/tub. A slider seat bridges the edge of the tub allowing you the walk up to the outside of the tub, sit on your seat, and slide into the tub on wheels. A swiveling seat adds a level of comfort to the whole operation. A cheaper idea which does the job almost as well is a bench without a sliding mechanism that you can simply scoot yourself along.
Wall/tub mounted. If you are in the market for a the most sturdy shower chair, a wall-mounted version is usually the best option for both showers and tubs. They can hold 500lbs or more (depending on the model) typically fold up out of the way, and come with options such as back, armrests, and even footrests. The main drawback of permanent bariatric shower benches or chairs is that they require installation which may be beyond the average person.
The Overall Best Bath Chair for Disabled Adults
When I first started looking for a shower chair I told myself that the perfect option would have 3 characteristics: it will be very comfortable, extremely sturdy, and affordable for anyone. Well, since this chair was the top of all three characteristics it also took the top spot in our recommendations!
While this chair fits into the platform bath chair category it is so much more. The ergonomically curved seat not only keeps you comfy but it allows water to drain efficiently. After all, who wants to sit a flat plank in the shower?
As far as comfort features, I recommend against full armrest for the majority of people. Unless you absolutely need the arms to help you to stand up or sit down, you’ll have a much greater range of motion without them. This chair, though, is the best of both worlds. The curved seat has a handle on each side which will help you to maintain stability as you sit and stand.
The back, however, adds a significant level of comfort to this chair and makes it significantly more useful to anyone who needs more support.
Other awesome features:
- The easy snap-together design can be put together and taken apart in just minutes and doesn’t require any tools
- Heavy-duty 500 lb weight capacity
- 20″ wide seat provides an extra-wide surface for the comfort of big and heavy people
- The frame is made of rust-free aluminum and capped with skid-resistant rubber tips for a sturdy bath seat experience
- It is very affordable and has excellent reviews from users.
If you are in the market for the perfect bath chair, this is an excellent option! If the features cater well to your level of disability or obesity then don’t wait!
Bariatric Shower Transfer Bench
If getting into and out of the tub is one of your main hurdles, OasisSpace has an elegant and cost-effective solution for you. This 30.5″ bench spans the edge of your tub and allows you to scoot over the lip of the tub and potentially avoid the falls the come with getting into/out of the shower. The side rail can be moved from side to side to accommodate different tubs and the whole thing is extremely sturdy.
While this seat is slightly less comfy that our #1 recommendation, it is much wider which may be an advantage if you are large.
- 500 lb weight capacity
- 10 height setting to comfortably fit a variety of people
- Portable lightweight frame weighs only 10lbs
- This chair is cleared by the FDA, the highest certification that a shower chair can have
- And all of that comes with an extremely affordable price tag!
If you want an affordable yet comfortable shower chair that allows you to more safely enter the tub, you just found it!
If you need a basic tub chair to use temporarily or just to add a bit of comfort and function to your shower, this is it. You can rest your legs while sitting comfortably on the ergonomically curved top and enjoy your shower in more comfort than you have in a long time!
This chair has all the standard perks such as an aluminum frame, non-skin feet, drain holes, etc. but it all comes at a lower price than even the other budget chairs in this review! For the cost of your water bill (or at least mine…), you can get this chair and be using it in the shower by the end of the week! If you’re on the fence and wondering if a bariatric shower chair is for you, this level of chair is a great one to start with.
Let’s be honest, we fat and/or disabled people need to put a bit more effort into taking care of ourselves than the average person. It’s more work to shower, it takes more effort to prevent sweat and odor, heck, even going to the bathroom is more work when you’re big and heavy.
However, fat hygiene has always been a bit of a taboo topic and it’s no different for disabled adults. However, let’s break a bit of that silence and talk about some items that will transform your shower routine and, ultimately, your confidence!
Best Shower Items for Disabled or Bariatric Adults
A high-quality soap:
People often joke about “needing to wash between each roll” but the reality of it is far from funny. In places where there is constant skin on skin contact, sweat builds up which can lead to odor, rashes, and even fungal infections. If you are a big person or a disabled person who is able to shower less frequently, a high-quality anti-fungal soap will do wonders in keeping your skin healthy and pain-free.
Which soap can do the trick you ask? Well, a Tea Tree based soap is an excellent start and Remedy Soap is the best of the best. Not only does this soap handle the specific needs of overweight and disabled adults, it has many other benefits including:
- Decreases foot and body odor
- Helps face and body acne
- Soothes dry and cracked skin
- Provides relief for jock itch and ringworm
- Relieves foot itches related to athletes foot, nail fungus, etc.
- Relieves the symptoms and helps get rid of candida and rashes
So if you’re going to be increasing your showering comfort by buying the best bath chair for disabled adults, up the rest of your shower game by getting some soap that will actually keep you clean and fresh!
Now you need to get that soap onto your body…
When is the last time your back got a good scrubbing? Or how about the bottom of your feet? Unless you have had shower help, it’s probably been a while. I know that before I got the right tools for the job it had been an embarrassingly long time since my back had had any sort of washing besides shampoo running down it when I rinsed my hair.
Getting a scrubbing brush on a stick and a long loofah scrubber literally changed my shower experience. Not only is it much more comfortable to reach areas like my feet, but it is also now possible to wash all parts of my body! While there are other options, the two items below are ones that I personally use and love.
A Sturdy Grab Handle
If you need a hand to get into or out of the tub, you should probably be in the market for a sturdy grab handle. Not only do they reduce the risk of falling, but they can also help you stand up or sit down with less pain/struggle.
When it comes to grab-handles, there are three options: permanently installed handles, suction cups handles, and (the one I recommend) a version that attaches to the wall of your tub.
Vaunn’s Safety Rail is sturdier than a suction cup rail and easier to install than a permanent bar. You simply set it on the edge of your tub and twist the screw until it’s tight! Just like that, you have a safety rail that can take up to 300 pounds of weight!
If you are looking for something to use in a shower or the safety rail simply won’t attach to your tub, you can always find a permanent option or a heavy-duty suction cup handle.
Whether or not you decided to add some luxury accessories into your life, many consider a bath bench to be a necessity, especially for disabled adults and bariatric people. They reduce your risk of falling, add comfort, and make showering much less of an ordeal overall. So get the best bath chair for disabled adults that you can afford and be one of those people who takes a nice warm shower to relax after a long day! If you’re interested in additional comfort, be sure to check out our article on the Best Recliners For Plus Size People.
*Remember, we at DesignBigger are not doctors or medical professionals. Be sure to consult with your doctor before use and use any seats or accessories properly.