Showering may seem like an incredibly simple activity. You stand still, wait for the water to hit, and then wash. At the same time, it requires a lot more bending, twisting, and moving than you may realize. It can be problematic for people with mobility issues, crippling back pain, and other serious concerns.
Reclining shower chairs can help with this. They are designed to give the user more freedom while they wash, allowing them to lean and move without putting them under great stress.
What to Look for in Reclining Shower Chairs
To find the right reclining shower chair for you, check the following features:
It should be built to last and hold your weight, but it should also be waterproof and rust resistant. Many reclining shower chairs are made from a simple mesh material, allowing the water to pass straight through.
As always, it’s important to check the weight capacity. Every mobility product has a limit, and this can range from just 250 lbs. to over 500 lbs. It’s generally not something you need to worry about if you’re underweight or average weight, but it can become a concern for overweight individuals and is something that all obese users should check.
Can you adjust the chair to suit your needs, and how far does it recline? These are important considerations, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
How comfortable is the chair, is it suitable for your specific needs? For instance, if you have back problems, you may prefer a chair that has additional back support.
The Best Reclining Shower Chairs
We have reviewed some of the most popular and widely available reclining shower chairs on the market. Our list below shines a spotlight on the ones that we liked the most, taking into consideration the prices, user reviews, and all of the features outlined above.
- MJM International 191-MC-B: With a simple PVC frame with a mesh seat, this is a basic but effective and affordable option. It costs between $150 to $200 and has a few different colors to choose from.
- MJM Reclining Shower Chair Deluxe: At around $600, this is the most expensive option on our list but it’s probably the best one. It features comfortable padding, a footrest, and it even has a commode fitted, making it the perfect all-in-one chair for the bathroom.
- Sammons Preston Deluxe Chair: Available for approximately the same price as the option above, this blue and white chair is well-made and features a commode. It can hold up to 325 lbs. and is very lightweight and portable.
- MLM International 191-XLC-B: An extra-large option that’s available for half of the price of the smaller ones above. It might be too big and awkward for some users, but it is incredibly strong, sturdy, and durable and is suited for larger users and bathrooms.
Other Mobility Products for the Bathroom
The bathroom is the most dangerous place in the house, as it’s the place where most seniors suffer from slips and falls. The floors are often hard, there are a lot of obstacles, and everything is slick with water. You also must consider just how much time a senior will spend in the bathroom showering, bathing, and using the toilet, and how difficult these basic tasks may be.
To help make the process easier and safer, take a look at these other bathroom products, some of which can be used alongside shower recliners while others are designed to be used in place of them.
- Grab Bars: A grab bar is simply a handle designed to provide support as you move around the room, lower/raise yourself, and try to remain steady. They are cheap, easy to install, and can be fitted in key areas of the room, such as by the door, toilet, shower, and bath.
- Walk-in Baths: A walk-in bathtub removes the risks associated with clambering over the side of the bath. You can walk straight in over a very small lip and shut the door behind you. These tubs provide easier access and bathing and allow for greater submergence and a more therapeutic experience.
- Shower Commodes: A commode can replace the toilet or make it easier to use. It is basically a wheelchair with a hole in the seat. A detachable pot/bucket can be added to this hole to complete toileting needs or the chair can be rolled over the toilet. Many commode chairs are waterproof and rust-resistant, so they can be rolled into the shower.
- Anti-Slip Mats: Simple but effective mats that add traction to slippery surfaces and greatly reduce the risk of slips and falls.
- Transfer Chairs: A bath transfer chair makes it easier for the user to slide into the bathtub. It laps over the edge of the bath and they just sit on one end and then slide along until they are in the bath.
Frames and Raises: When using the toilet is no longer easy or stress-free, you can raise the seat with a toilet seat riser or attach a frame with carefully placed handles. Both are cheap and effective ways to reduce risk and exertion.