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Platinum Health Deluxe
DR. MAYA Adjustable
Drive Medical Premium
Table of Contents
After researching 15 different shower chairs, thoroughly testing 5, and using up all the hot water in the building, I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what makes the best shower chair for elderly people.
Safety obviously needs to be your primary concern, because if the basic product design is not engineered correctly then it doesn’t matter how cheap or cheerful it is, it defeats the entire purpose of purchasing an assistance device.
But beyond that there are a number of important considerations you should take in account before parting with your hard earned money. Overall size, seat width, height adjust, comfort, and color (an important safety feature you might not have thought about) are all worth paying careful attention to.
We reviewed shower chairs with arms, shower chairs with both back and arms, and shower bench seats which don’t have either. We looked at a variety of different models, read all the online reviews, then put them through their paces to see how each performed in the real world.
The Shower Chairs We Reviewed
|Platinum Health Deluxe||Best Overall||See It|
|Dr. Maya Adjustable Bath & Shower Chair||Budget Friendly||See It|
|Drive Medical Premium||Widest Seat||See It|
|Platinum Health Bath Bench||Best Bath Bench||See It|
|DR. MAYA Adjustable Bath Bench||Budget Bench||See It|
Our Top Picks
The Deluxe Shower Chair from Platinum Health takes out top honours in our review after impressing us with it’s focus on safety, and scoring top marks for comfort, build quality, and convenience.
The beautiful cerulean blue colour is not just for show, it’s a design safety feature that helps visually cue the user where to sit. Unlike the old style white and grey products that are a similar colour to most bathroom tiles and get lost in the background. This is especially important for senior with impaired vision, helping to decrease the risk of slips and falls.
It took us only a few minutes to setup the chair and was obvious right from the start this is a quality piece of equipment.
The frame is made from medical grade aluminum that is designed to never rust. And it’s fitted with “institutional quality” foam padding on the backrest, armrests, and seat bottom. The padding is much warmer and nicer to sit on than the hard plastic models. And it’s water-shedding so it will not absorb water or deteriorate.
Backed by an unlimited lifetime warranty and almost universally loved by both users and caregivers, it’s really hard to fault this chair. If I’m being picky it is more expensive than most of the other shower chairs we reviewed. But it’s also leaps and bounds above them in terms of safety and performance. So you get what you pay for.
Why we love it:
- High-view blue colour for maximum safety
- Comfortable padded seat that is warm to the touch
- Medical grade aluminum frame will never rust
- Takes only 3 mins to setup without any tools
- Height adjustable from 17″ – 20.6″
- Institutional grade foam does not absorb water
- Easy to clean
- Blue seat eliminates staining and discolouration
- 310 lbs weight capacity
- Unlimited lifetime warranty!
What could be improved:
- It’s one of the more expensive products we reviewed
- Slightly larger footprint — 17″ wide and 21″ deep
If you’re looking for a budget shower chair that will finally help you take a shower again then this model from DR. MAYA will keep your wallet happy. But we do have some concerns about how the chair will withstand longterm use or heavier users.
With a decent range of height adjustment, medium size footprint, and good overall performance, the adjustable bath and shower chair is best described as average. Everything about it is average, which is not a bad thing, it’s just… average.
It was a little fiddly to setup, but we eventually got it ready to use in about 10 minutes. At first it felt quite sturdy but we found that the more times you stood up and sat back down down, or moved around in the chair as you washed yourself, it would sometimes start to get a little wobbly and need to be readjusted. So pay close attention and make sure everything is nice and tight before use.
Why we like it:
- Budget friendly
- Height adjustable from 14″ to 19″
- Corrosion resistant aluminum legs
- Medium footprint — 18″ wide and 19″ deep
- 300 lbs weight capacity
- Comes with a free grab bar
What could be improved:
- Quality of the frame could be improved — not sure how it will hold up over time
- Feels a little unsteady with 250 lbs or more on it
- Not as comfortable as the Platinum Health Deluxe
If a nice wide seat is the main thing you’re after then the Drive Medical Premium Series is the widest seat in our test group and should be right up your alley. Just be aware there have been some quality control issues.
With an extremely generous 21.75 inch wide seat this model is at least 4 inches wider than any other shower chair we’ve reviewed. Combined with the 350 pound weight capacity the Premium Series was no doubt created with larger folks in mind.
However, the all plastic construction does not inspire much confidence. Sure, it’s sturdy enough when sitting still. But the plastic legs can easily twist when moving around (like when you’re washing yourself) and sometimes feel like they could snap if you accidentally pushed them too far or sat on the chair at a weird angle.
Some users have reported either the legs or the seat itself snapping so there are likely some quality control issues going on. These type of issues are somewhat understandable when you’re paying so little, but when you’re putting your safety in the hands of a product like this I’d really prefer to see manufacturers pay more attention to quality standards.
Why we like it:
- Super budget friendly
- Widest seat of all the shower chairs we reviewed — 21.75″ wide and 16.5″ deep!
- Height adjustable from 16″ – 20.5″
- Medium footprint — 17″ wide and 15.5″ deep
- 350 lbs weight capacity
What could be improved:
- Plastic construction sometimes feels like it could crack at any moment
- Quality control issues, especially with the legs
- Does not feel like it will last very long
- Not very pretty to look at
In our testing we found the best style shower chair for seniors is one that has both a back and arm wrests. These act as both a safety device preventing you from slipping off the chair, and also as a steady surface to lean on when sitting and standing. However, if you’d prefer a bench-style bath seat then here are the two we recommend.
Platinum Health have delivered another fantastic product in their bath bench with padded arm wrests.
Featuring the same high-view cerulean blue colour as it’s full-backed big brother, the backless bench seat was designed from the ground up with safety in mind. It’s constructed with the same medical-grade aluminum frame and institutional-quality foam padding seen on other Platinum Health products.
Backed by an industry-leading unlimited lifetime warranty, if safety and quality are important to you then you can’t go wrong with this deluxe bath bench.
If you’re looking for a no-frills budget bath bench then this diminutive model from DR. MAYA might fit the bill.
Measuring just 14 inches wide and 12 inches deep, the small footprint on this chair means it will fit in even the smaller showers or bathtub. However with that small size does come some compromise.
Firstly in the size of the seat itself, the sitting area is just 10.6 inches deep which is the smallest in our review. And second in the super light weight (it weights just 5 pounds) which, while it does make it easy to move, it also makes it prone to be easily knocked out of place.
Best for seniors who still have good enough strength in their legs to get up without the aid of arm rests, and who are coordinated enough to adjust if and when the seat moves while attempting to sit on it.
Our Shower Chair Buying Guide
Shopping for a shower chair isn’t exactly most people’s idea of a fun afternoon, and with so many different brands and models on offer it can be a little overwhelming to make the right choice. Luckily we invested about nine hours into our research (not counting all the time spent testing each chair) so you don’t have to. Here’s what we learned about picking the right shower chair.
Your most important consideration first and foremost should be safety. Bathrooms are a naturally wet and slippery environment and can be an extremely dangerous place to have a fall. And anyone who is in need of a shower chair is at an increased risk of falling already, so be extremely careful about cutting corners on safety features.
While most shower chairs are still made in white and grey, a highly visible colour is a MUCH safer option, especially for the elderly or those with poor vision. Bold colours stand out from the surrounding surfaces and help guide you to a safe seat.
The frame should be made of a water-resistant material that will not deteriorate over time when exposed to a wet and humid environment. Medical-grade aluminum is our preferred choice. The little feet on the chair’s legs should be made from rubber (or similar material) that will grip even when wet.
Arm wrests are extremely handy because they allow you to use your arms to assist you when sitting and standing. In fact, many people will struggle to stand up from a chair without them as it requires a good dose of balance and leg strength.
While budget is always going to be a factor for most of us, when it comes to assistive devices such as this, we would always err on the side of spending a little more to get a better product.
If you are simply recovering from an injury and will only need the shower chair for a short period of time you may find the cheaper options will hold up long enough for your needs. However if you’re getting one for an elderly person who might need the chair for an extended period — or if you’re purchasing for a nursing home where the item needs to last a long time — then it will be cheaper in the long run to invest in a quality product such as one of the Platinum Health models.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, make sure the seat you’re looking at buying can hold the weight of the intended user(s). We generally advise taking the manufacturers claims about weight capacity with a grain of salt and getting something with plenty more capacity than you actually need just to be safe.
Another component of weight capacity that’s sometimes forgotten is the seat width. Because if your bum is too wide to fit on the seat then it doesn’t matter if it can technically hold your weight on not! Some people automatically associate a larger seat with being more comfortable, however in our testing we found seat material, padding, and shape have a much bigger impact on comfort.
Is there anything more frustrating than getting a product home only to find it doesn’t fit where you intended to put it? Probably, but this has got to be up there! Carefully measure the width and length or your shower or bath tub so you know the dimensions your new chair must fit. Now, given these dimensions, generally speaking the wider and deeper the footprint the more stable the chair is going to be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are shower chairs for?
A shower chair can be an important safety device to assist elderly people while showering. They help reduce the risks of slips and falls by providing a place to sit and rest. They are especially helpful for seniors who struggle to stand for long periods or who suffer from dizziness when washing themselves.
How much do shower chairs cost?
Shower chairs typically range in price from $30 up to $150 or more. The price you’ll pay depends on factors such the quality of materials used, research and engineering behind the product, features and accessories of the chair, and brand recognition.
Where can I buy a shower chair near me?
You’ll find shower chairs stocked everywhere from your local mobility store, healthcare equipment retailer, disability store, and even some hardware stores. Online both Amazon and Walmart have an excellent selection to choose from.
- The best overall shower chair is the Platinum Health Deluxe
- If budget is a concern then the Dr. Maya adjustable is worth a look.
- And if you need a really wide seat then take a look at the Drive Medical Premium.