What is a Shower Stool?
A shower stool (aka shower seat, bath seat or shower stool) consists of a water resistant, back-less bath seat with three or four legs extending down from below. Most have a slip-resistant seat and slip-resistant rubber stoppers or suction cup-style feet to prevent the stool from sliding. Shower stools give users a place to rest while showering and a place to sit while washing feet or shaving legs.
Who Would Benefit From a Shower Stool?
- are unable to stand for long periods of time.
- have the balance and strength to remain seated upright for the duration of the shower without a backrest for support.
Portable Shower Stool Types
- Standard Shower Stool: Most shower stools have a stationary seat and three or four legs that extend down from below.
- Shower Stool With Swivel Seat: Some shower seat models are equipped with a seat that swivels, making it easier to turn hips when getting in and out over the tub wall.
- Foldable Shower Stools: Some models are designed to fold-up making them easier to store out of the way when not in use and easier to pack when traveling.
- Bariatric Shower Stools: Some models are designed to support a higher weight capacity. They will often have cross-bars between the legs to provide added support and stability.
Shower Stool Features
Shower stool models can be found offering one or more of the features listed below.
- Adjustable Height Legs: The majority of shower stool models offer height adjustable legs. Some are adjusted via moving a button up and down notches at preset intervals along the leg, similar to what’s found on crutches. Others adjust by turning a screw-like mechanism found in the bottom of each of the legs. The latter type is better for shower floors that are sloped or have edges that round in at the bottom, because it allows for more fine-tuned adjustments to accommodate the varying heights of the shower floor.
- Feet: Most shower seats come equipped with rubber feet at the bottom of each leg, which helps to reduce the likelihood that the stool will slip away when you sit down. Some models have suction cup-style feet to help further prevent the seat from slipping. The ones with suction cups work best in showers with a clean, smooth floor surface. The suction cups usually do not adhere well to textured shower floors or shower floors that have small tiles with lots of grout lines in between.
- Handles/Armrests: The majority of shower stool models do not include handles or armrests, however, there are some that do. Handles provide a nice place to hold on when you are sitting down and a good place to push up from when you are standing up.
- Shower Stool With Rotating Seat: Some shower stool models are equipped with a seat that rotates, making it easier to turn your hips when getting in and out over the tub wall.
- Shower Stool Materials: Shower stools can be found made entirely from plastic or wood or a combination of materials such as aluminum or steel legs with a plastic or wood seat. Some models have a vinyl-padded seat.
- Folding Shower Stools: Some models are designed to fold-up making them easier to store out of the way when not in use and easier to pack when traveling.
- Shower Stool Shape: Shower stools can be found in a variety of different shapes which include: round, square, rectangular and triangular. The triangular type are designed to fit in the corner of the shower stall. There are even some artistic shapes as well.
- Shower Stool Colors: The majority of shower stools are white or gray. Some models are available in fun, vibrant colors.
Shower Stool Considerations
The following are considerations to keep in mind when picking a shower stool.
- Height of Shower Seat: Shower Stool models will differ in the minimum and maximum achievable seat height ranges, so make sure to select one with a seat height adequate for your needs.
- Width of Shower Seat: The wider the seat, the more surface area you will have to safely land on when sitting down. Shower stools with wider seats typically also have a wider base at the legs, making them more stable as well.
- Stability: Shower stools with four legs will typically be more sturdy than shower stools with only three legs. Furthermore, the larger the shower stool’s base and heavier the stool, typically the more stable it will be.
- Shower Stools With Padded Seat: A model with a padded seat can be helpful for persons who are prone to skin tears or developing pressure sores on their bottoms.
- No Return Policy! Once you purchase it you own it! Due to FDA regulations shower equipment purchased in the USA cannot be returned (unless it is still sealed in the original packaging). Make sure the height, weight capacity, and features are appropriate for your needs prior to purchasing.
The Homeability Advice™
Space permitting, we recommend selecting a shower stool model with a wide flat seat because it will provide more surface area for you to safely land on when you are sitting down. If you fatigue easily, we recommend to consider a bath chair or bath bench with a backrest for added support.
Since portable-style shower seats are free-standing, they do have the potential to wiggle or tip a bit, so at a minimum you must have enough strength and balance skills to sit down and stand up from a surface that isn’t firmly fixed in place. If you do not, you may alternatively want to consider a bathtub bench or a wall-mounted bath seat.
Sitting while bathing is both safer and easier, but it comes with a drawback, which is that you will be further away from the shower head. A simple remedy is to add a handheld shower head. To learn more about selecting an appropriate one for your needs, visit our Handheld Showerhead guide.
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