For some people having a seat inside the bath isn’t enough. You may need assistance getting over the side of the tub, whether you plan on using a handheld shower or sitting under your shower’s jets once inside. Bathtub transfer benches make “transferring” in and out of the bathtub safe, simple and comfortable. With a transfer bench, you sit down at the end that is positioned outside of the tub, then swing your legs over the side of the tub and center yourself on the bench, eliminating the need to actually climb over to get in. Think of it as an extension of the typical shower chair.
Despite being called a transfer bench for shower or bath, most styles are more like chairs, offering you the comfort of a wide seat and back for support. Among the features to look for are:
- Comfortable cushioned seat and backrest
- Rustproof aluminum-frame construction for comfort and stability
- Height adjustable legs that adjust in 1-inch increments
- Back that easily adjusts or reverses to accommodate right or left transfers
- Built-in handles (usually in the backrest) to make positioning easier
- Extra large suction cups on legs to provide added safety
- Handheld shower holder
- Integrated soap tray
- Removable outside handle that helps you balance
- Non-slip finish on the seat
- Drain holes on the seat
- Bench with a weight capacity that secure accommodates your weight
- No-tool assembly if desired
Bathtub transfer benches can, however, be as simple as a flat transfer board that spans the width of the bathtub and juts out over the exterior tub wall. Or as elaborate a piece of equipment as the Bellavita Auto Bathtub Chair Seat Lift, the lightest bath lift chair on the market, weighing just 20.5 lbs. This bath lifter by Drive Medical was designed with the assistance of healthcare professionals. Great for standard or deeper model bathtubs, it will lower you in and out of a tub of water, allowing you to take a traditional bath. Just a few of its features are a padded backrest can recline up to 50 degrees at the seat's lowest position and a water-tight hand that control floats in water, making it easy to access the control buttons while bathing.
Some transfer benches also function as a commode, like Drive Medical’s versatile Combination Padded Seat Transfer Bench with Commode Opening also. It comes with a 7.5-quart commode bucket and can accommodate 400 pounds.