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When I get home after a long day of work and just want to relax, I go stand in the corner of my house and just stare at the wall. Doesn’t that sound great?
Not really, right?
If you want to relax, why in the world wouldn’t you sit down? It’s the same when you take a shower. If you’re trying to get clean as fast as possible then, by all means, stay standing.
But if you’re trying to relax (or standing is difficult) then you should have a shower chair!
Before I discovered that there are actually shower chairs for obese people I would spend my time in the shower contemplating whether it was worth it to try and sit on the ground.
Sitting on the ground isn’t a great option. It’s uncomfortable, not very clean, and makes it super difficult to wash and get back up. It does, however, take the weight off my feet and give me the chance to actually relax in the shower.
I’m just glad that there are better options.
Shower Chairs For Obese People – The 4 Common Types
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 heavy-duty 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.
2. Platform with arms/a 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 on a shower chair for obese people 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 and I would recommend them to everyone, 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 big and heavy people) 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!
3. 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.
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 that does the job almost as well is a bench without a sliding mechanism that you can simply scoot yourself along.
4. Wall/tub mounted
If you are in the market for the highest capacity shower chair you can find, a wall-mounted version is usually the most heavy-duty 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 shower benches or chairs is that they require installation which may be beyond the average person.
Here are the top seats I considered while shopping (we’ll get into more detail about each one, including the one I bought, below):
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3 Best Shower Chairs For Big & Heavy People
1. NOVA Medical Products Heavy Duty Chair (500lb Capacity)
When I first started looking for a high-capacity shower chair I told myself that the perfect option would have 3 characteristics: it will be very comfortable, extremely sturdy, and affordable. Well, since this chair was the top of all three characteristics it also took the top spot in my 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 on 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
- The frame is made of rust-free anodized 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 a large person and you’re in the market for a heavy-duty shower chair, this is an excellent option!
2. HydroGlyde Premium Heavy Duty Transfer Bench (420lb Capacity
If getting into and out of the tub is one of your main hurdles, Platinum Health has an elegant and cost-effective solution for you. This bench spans the edge of your shower/tub and allows you to scoot over the lip and potentially avoid the falls that 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 than our #1 recommendation, it has the advantage of helping you in and out of the tub if you experience limited mobility.
My Favorite Features:
- 420lb weight capacity
- Height adjusts from 14″ to 18.5″ to accommodate a variety of people
- Assemblies in minutes and without a need a tools
- And all of that comes with an extremely affordable price tag!
If you want an affordable yet comfortable shower chair that will support over 400lbs and allow you to more safely enter the tub, you just found it!
3. OasisSpace Heavy Duty Shower Chair (500lb Capacity)
If you need a basic shower 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 heavy-duty shower chair is for you, this level of chair is a great one to start with.
5 Things I Considered Before Buying A Shower Chair
Leg Design. My wife has a deep-seated fear of being attacked in the shower. Despite me telling her that it’s far more likely that she gets injured slipping while showering, she always checks at least once while she’s washing to make sure she’s totally alone. For my part, I fear getting injured in the shower. Calling the paramedics to come help get my naked self on my feet and to the hospital is not appealing.
Because of this, I made sure to get a shower chair that had legs that not only supported my weight but appeared to be sturdy. I looked for shower chairs with legs that angled slightly out and had cross braces.
Drain. I looked for shower chairs that had significant drainage slots to avoid standing water. Having water left on your chair is bad for several reasons: it provides an area for bacterial growth, it means you have to clean/dry off your chair after using it, and (probably the worst thing) you’ll sit in a puddle of cold water if you don’t drain it!
I looked for chairs with drains that would be functional but would not be large enough to leave imprints on my legs/butt.
Ergonomic Curve. While the curve you need will probably differ from mine or someone else’s, having a gentle curve (instead of a flat seat) resulted in a much more comfortable experience.
Adjustability. Personally, I need a big and tall shower chair. My wife, on the other hand, would be content with a heavy-duty shower chair for short people. Our solution was simply to get a shower chair that was easy to adjust and find a sweet spot that we both could be comfortable with.
At the end of the day, choosing one of the above heavy-duty chair options will make sure all the boxes are checked off and you’re getting the safest most comfortable option possible!
Getting a heavy-duty shower chair (instead of a flimsy Walmart one) will reduce your risk of falling, add comfort, and make showering a much more enjoyable experience overall. So get the best bath chair for obese people that you can afford and be one of those people who takes a nice warm shower to relax after a long day!
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