It can be very difficult for heavy people to stand for a long time in the shower. For safety reasons, you really need a special shower chair or stool that’s specifically designed to be heavy duty. One might assume that a basic plastic chair would do the trick, but this is not a safe idea.
However, you should really look at shower stools or benches that are specifically designed to safely hold 500 pounds or more. We’ve researched the different bariatric shower chairs and benches on the market to narrow down the best option for heavy people.
We selected only chairs that are rated with a 400 lb weight capacity, some even go up to 500 lbs. Our top overall pick is this shower bench from Moen but please continue below to see other top options.
However, if you are looking for a chair with armrests or a more robust bench for transferring in and out of the shower, please see our other recommendations and full reviews below.
Bariatric shower stools and benches are specifically designed for heavy people unlike flimsy shower devices that are prone to break at any time under the heavy weight. Once of the most important factors to consider is whether or not you need a chair with a back support, a simple stool or a transfer bench to move in and out of the bathtub or shower. Here’s a quick look at some top picks, but scroll down to see more details and full reviews of each.
Our Top Picks for Best Bariatric Shower Chair
But while considering using a shower chair, not just any shower chair will do. There are a lot of factors to consider such as the width of the arms, the presence of padding on the seat, the size of the seat, and most importantly the weight capacity of the bath chair that ensures the users safety. All these put into consideration would ensure you purchase the right bath chair for heavy people.
Let us take a detailed look into the most important factors to consider when purchasing a bath chair:
- Weight Capacity: this is the most important factor to consider as bath chairs are available in various weight capacities in order to meet the specific need of any customer. Users with a lesser body weight would require the standard shower seat, while users with higher body weight (heavy people) require the bariatric model rated for 500 lb. capacity. Some models with even up to 700 pound rating are available.
- Construction Material: the materials used in designing the bath bench affects the price. Stainless steel being the most expensive followed by aluminum while plastic being the least expensive.
- Size: one thing to consider here is the size of the bathroom, your shower stall or tub and not just the size of the chair. You’ll need to make sure you have enough room to get in and out of the shower without the stool becoming an inconvenient obstacle. Most of these will do well in a standard shower, not in a compact stall.
- Mobility: some bath chairs are equipped with wheels to ensure that mobility is made easier, while some are studded with safe-grip legs to prevent sliding around. Either of the two depends on the user’s choice.
Let us take a look at some of the best available bath chairs in the market:
Our Top Pick for Bariatric Shower Chair / Transfer Bench:
Moen Non Slip Adjustable Transfer Bench
This Shower chair and transfer bench from Moen has a sleek and elegant design. The unique three legged design provides more stability than some of the other, cheaper options on the market.
The chair is designed to be used with the two individual legs inside the tub or shower and the wider leg to be outside the tub to provide extra stability. The height of the chair can be adjusted from 16.5 inch to 21.
It is rated to hold up to 400 pounds safely and is backed by Moen’s Limited Lifetime Warranty against defects.
- Ergonomic grip handle
- Unique 3 leg design provides great stability
- Moen Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Quality Construction
- Some reports of adjustment pegs slipping.
- Some users find the height too low
- May be too large and bulky for smaller bathtubs
- No drainage holes on the seat, water puddles
Here’s a short video showing the installation, as you can see in the video the set-up is pretty straight forward, you just need to screw in the pre-assembled pieces.
If you are equipping a bathroom for a heavy person, we’ve reviewed many different bariatric bathroom accessories, many of which are rating up to 500 pounds or more. Check out this link here if you are shopping for a heavy duty scale.
We’ve also done a fair bit of research to narrow down a short list of the best toilet seats for heavy people and we’ve also researched heavy duty commodes if you need a bedside toilet option or want to use them over your existing toilet (if you don’t want to modify your existing toilet seat).
Good option for a simple bench/stool with no handles or back:
NOVA Medical Products Heavy Duty Bath Bench:
Designed to be used sitting with use of a hand held shower, this simple bench or stool from Nova Medical is a simple solution if you do not need a strap, back rest or arm rests. The frame is made of anodized aluminum covered by a heavy duty molded seat that can hold up to a max of 500 lbs.
Although the stool only weighs a mere 5 lbs, its sturdy design can hold this much weight due to the quality of the material used to design it. Aluminum is strong metal and is a quality material used in bariatric devices.
The tips of the legs are padded with skid resistant rubber tips that have drainage holes to let out water drain properly.
A special feature is the in-built hand held shower holder, which is a practical feature.
The Nova bench does not come with a back rest, however, you can purchase the back rest separately as an accessory. The bath bench is 16 inches high, 17 inches wide and 18 inches long.
Heavy duty shower transfer benches:
The shower bench by Drive Medical is its ability to safely withstand up to 500 lbs of weight.
It is built extra strong specifically for heavy people, even while being a plastic bath bench.
One other great feature of this bath bench is the suction cups attached to the legs to give it a firm grip with the ground to prevent sliding and other forms of movement.
The reversible bench and extension legs help make it more versatile and able to fit in most bathrooms. The bench and backrest are made of durable blow-molded plastic that gives it stability. It is a product that has tool-free assembly, and leaves no hardware exposed.
Duro-Med Heavy-Duty Sliding Transfer Bench Shower Chair:
The difference between this shower chair and the other is the ability to slide side to side. This makes it much easier for someone with limited mobility or a home health care professional or loved one that is assisting the user to get in and out of the shower.
This chair by Duro-Med with sliding bench is for people with troubles getting in and out of the shower. It is safe and comfortable, and is quite ideal for people in wheel chairs when bathed for by their caregivers. The bath chair is a heavy duty chair that can hold up to 400lbs of weight.
*While it didn’t quite make the cut (we were looking for 500 pound capacity), it’s still a well built and sturdy bench. Anyone weighting under the 400 max weight should still consider this as an option if you are looking for a sliding transfer shower bench.
This sliding bench is specifically design for transferring you (or your loved one you are caring for) from a chair, wheelchair or walker into the tub or shower. The sliding plastic seat runs along two aluminum rods.
The benefit of this design is to minimize physical strain, especially on the lumbar spine -to prevent back pain or even injury- from having to move in and out of the bathtub or assist another adult in doing so if you are the caregiver.
The plastic seat has a textured surface to minimize slipping and the seat has a removable cut out part of the perineal area– providing proper access to maintain proper hygiene. This is critical hygiene concern if you are caring for larger people, disabled individuals or elderly who can not reach their private areas by themselves. You really need to have an open area to access the area between legs and buttocks.
The heavy duty nylon strap can be used to secure the patient into position to prevent them from falling off the bench.
Click here to see more detailed photos and reviews on Amazon of the Duro-Med Heavy-Duty Sliding Transfer Bench Shower Chair:
Thіѕ heavy duty shower chair by AquaSense іѕ constructed wіth hеаvу dutу аnоdіzеd rust-resistant aluminum frame which can hold uр tо аbоut 700lbѕ оf wеіght.
It is adjustable and easy to clean. It is slip resistant with a plastic seat that has large drainage holes and a stable back rest for comfort. Its height can be adjusted up to five levels, adjustable in one inch increments.
To back it all up, it comes with a non-slip rubber safety tips that are large enough to prevent movement and keep the bench fixed to the floor. The bath bench weighs 7.9lbs, its 17.1 inches wide and 16.1 inches high.
You really should not trust cheap shower stools as using one could be a safety hazard. Plastic shower stools or chairs are susceptible to breakage from excess weight, and this can lead to more pain from injuries than just standing under a shower.
Each of the bath chairs come with one special function that makes it suitable for different purposes. The best option is to consider the size of your bathroom first before considering the bath chair size. This is because every bath chair is designed to fit into the standard sized bathroom.
Putting other factors into consideration would ensure that you purchase the right bath chair that supports your weight properly and does not leave out the comfort.