The safest and most practical bath lifts
A relaxing bath in warm, fragrant water is one of life’s most comforting pleasures. A luxurious soak can soothe skin, aid sleep and be a rare moment of peace in a busy life.
Washing is also a vital part of a happy, healthy life and the ability to do it independently is something most of us take for granted until we lose it.
For people who find it a struggle to get in and out of the bath due to pain, strength and mobility issues then a bath lift is a fantastic purchase.
There are several types of bath aids to choose from. A swivel bath seat or a bath hoist are both options depending on your needs. An occupational therapist is the best person to help you make the decision.
Which bath lift to buy?
Removable motorised bath lifts
The best value
Bellavita Bath Lift Approx £209.99 from Amazon
- One of the lightest bath lifts available at 9.3kg
- Reclining backrest
- Sits very low in the bath
- Ease of operation, installation, removal, storage and transport
- Washable covers
- Non-slip base
- Waterproof, floating handset so it is easy to locate
- The batteries for the controller charge quickly.
Aquajoy Bath Lift Approx £335.95 Available from Aquajoy and manageathome.co.uk
- Easy and suitable for use as a mobility bath aid for all kinds of users
- Simple, waterproof handset that floats so is easy to locate
- Compact and will fit most baths
- Comfortable seat
- Washable covers available
- Backrest included
- A very stable base.
The most hygienic
Neptune bath lift Approx £383 and part of the Mountway Bath Lift range. Available from The Complete Care Shop
- Slimline shape so that it sits further back in the bath so the user can stretch their legs
- Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatment on the plastic so offers superior hygiene
- Durable suction pads on the base for stability designed for use on both curved and flat surfaces
- Large, easy to use handset
- One of the most stylish bath aids for the elderly
- Easy to remove and transport.
The Aquatec bath lift range is another good option to research. Their Orca bath lift often appears in bath lifts reviews.
Bath seats for the elderly and people with disabilities are the focus of the bath lifts UK market. However, there are some children that are also in need of a little help with bathing. The Aquila bath lift range has smaller sizes for those young people.
Fixed band bath lifts
The most natural, full depth bathing experience.
Aqua Lift Bath lift Approx £600 depending on the installation fee.
- Slim design
- Quick and easy to install
- Smooth movements
- The fabric is soft and comfortable to sit on but robust enough to take someone weighing 20 stone (127 kg)
- The belt is compact enough not to impede other bath users
- Long-lasting battery life – 20 uses on one quick charge
- Water temperature checker
- Safety features included to accommodate all types of users.
Removable inflatable bath lifts
The most comfortable
Mangar Bathing Cushion and Airflo 12 Approx £697.00 from Mangar
You need to have a good amount of upper body stability for this product. If you do, this is one of the most comfortable bath aids for adults you can buy.
- The lowering mechanism is smooth and gentle
- Retain some air as you bathe to provide a backrest or let all the air out for a totally natural bathing experience
- Soft, comfortable fabric that warms quickly
- Lightweight, easy to remove and portable
- Robust, suitable for weights of up to 24 stone (152 kg)
- Clever safety mechanism which means the battery will only lower you if there is enough life in it to raise you back up.
Mangar also offer a very impressive electric bath chair. It’s called the Archimedes bath lift and is also available from the Mangar website.
The most portable
Bathmate Inflatable Bath Lift Approx £220 from Nationwide Mobility
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Easy to use. Inflates and deflates with the touch of one button
- Can be used even in small baths as you can inflate it to the size you need
- Folds up so it can be stored and transported very easily. A great product to provide bath help for elderly people while they are travelling
- Anti-slip seating fabric
- Provides lumbar support.
Bathmate manufacture many other bathroom aids for the elderly. The Deltis bath lift is for people who require more upper body support.
Why are bath lifts a good idea?
- Supportive, safe and controlled by the user. Independence is easier to manage with a bath lift when compared to bath hoists for the elderly.
- Cost. A bath lift will help those who are having difficulties getting in and out of the bath but are a much cheaper option than altering the bathroom itself.
- Minimal impact on the other bathroom users. It depends on which style of bath lift you choose but they tend to be a more compact, un-intrusive bath aid in comparison to a bath hoist.
- Flexibility. A bath lift will fit on most types of bath as there are many different styles to choose from
Types of bath lift
Check that your style of bath will suit the bath lift chosen and fit grab rails to either side of the bath before using any bathroom mobility aids.
Removable motorised bath lifts
A sturdy plastic seat that will attach to the inside of your bath with suction. A battery-powered handset (waterproof!) is provided and is used to lower and raise the seat into the bath.
- Pros: Removable, one of the best bathroom aids for a shared bathroom, easy to use, supportive backrests that angle back so you can recline in the water.
- Cons: Anyone using this type of bath chair lift needs to be able to move their legs to the side to get off and on the seat, the handset will need its batteries recharging regularly. Electric bath seats for the disabled can be bulky and take up a lot of storage space.
Removable inflatable bath lift
A plastic seat which is inflated with an electric pump to sit level with the edge of the bath. You sit on the seat and as it deflates your body is immersed in the bubbles. When the water has cooled and it’s time to get out, you re-inflate the seat.
- Pros: Easy to remove so it’s one of the most suitable bath lifts for adults who have a young family who also want to splash in the tub. The electric pump gives smooth movements. The seats are comfortable to lie on, no hard plastic, so reclining in the bath is a pleasure again.
- Cons: The user of this electric bath seat will need to be able to turn their legs sideways to get in and out of the bath.
Fixed ‘band’ bath lift chair
A large roll of fabric is rolled up and attached permanently to the wall at one side of the bath and to a floor bracket to the other. You sit on the tightened fabric band and then lowered to the very bottom of the bath at the touch of a button. After a leisurely recline or a quick wash, the fabric band tightens and you’re lifted back up.
- Pros: Your body will be lowered to the very bottom of the bath for maximum comfort. Leave it in-situ after each bath as others can shower and bathe around it.
- Cons: No back support so sitting balance is needed for the lowering and raising of the bath lifts belt. They are the highest costing of all the mobility bath aids. Can be intrusive for other bath users as it is fixed.
Managing the cost
The price of bathroom aids for disabled people is prohibitive for many, so here are a few tips to consider before splashing out on splashing about.
- Check to see if you are eligible for VAT relief. People with long term illnesses or disabilities often are
- Shop around. Don’t assume you have to go straight to the manufacturer
- Ask your occupational health advisor and/or GP for advice
- Speak with relevant local organisations in your area. They may loan, rent or supply good quality second-hand disabled bath aids and similar products for the elderly.