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  • Writer's pictureCamille Bryant

I Tested And Ranked The Best Shower Transfer Benches For Seniors

Here's my personal ranking of the best sliding shower chairs for seniors. These shower transfer benches are essential safety aids and a necessity for independence in the bathroom.

best shower transfer benches

FYI, prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


1. Carousel - Adjustable Space-Saving Design for Tubs

Top-rated: 4,053 ratings


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Effortless sliding and pivoting allow safe, easy transfers in and out of the tub.

Helpful review: "I became a paraplegic just over three years ago (broke my back in a fall), and purchased one of these at the time. Retired from over twenty-three years as an RN, I have worked with a lot of equipment. This one has been a stellar performer, unique to my knowledge and irreplaceable for my needs. The superior quality is evident in the look (I love blue) and feel of the materials. My wife, bright, but no mechanical engineer, was able to assemble it easily.
Squeezing past the toilet in our 5'X10' bathroom, any other chair would have had me pointed sideways or toward the back wall. With this chair, I make a 90 degree slide onto the seat from my wheelchair. Then, with the side-rail in place, I make a 180 degree rotation to face the shower head, then float over into the center of our 60" X 30" shower stall. Facing the front, I can adjust the controls and function fairly independently.
When finished, I lift myself with my arms and my helper slips a dry towel under my bum so I can slide back into the wheelchair after I towel off. (She dries anything I can't reach.) The dry towel slides easily on the transfer board where my skin tends to stick.
There is absolutely no lifting required by anyone except me. While showering, I lift myself with my arms so my helper can wash and rinse my caboose, and then there is the dry towel to get me back into the chair and back into bed. That uniquely functional shower chair contributes to the difference between me living at home or having to be cared for in a facility.
I already have a three-year track record with this chair. I did have to replace it recently, but given the strains placed on it when I lift myself with the armrests and the corrosive environment, I feel like I got my money's worth. The forward support for the right armrest fractured. I tried to obtain a replacement part but the response from the company was that the chair was out of warranty and that replacement was indicated.
I realized that encouraging patients, aged or not, to begin repairing their own medical devices would likely open them up to all kinds of unpleasant litigation, so the policy seems reasonable and prudent.
The chair has functioned faithfully and its functionality has played a role in keeping me at home and happy without necessitating a major remodel. The looks, reliability, and functionality are exceptional. What more can you ask for?
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
Out of the box this chair was very easy to assemble. The most difficult part was figuring out which legs went where. They do swivel around so I’m guessing they would have worked in any direction as they adjust to whichever way you want the seat to face in the tub. They can be lowered or raised depending on the tub application. The unit itself felt very stable out of the box, after inserting the legs it did seem a bit more wobbly, which is most likely because the legs are very adjustable to each application. The chair does glide very nicely on the rail/guides. It has a button in the front which unlocks the chair when pushed in and allows it to slide side to side. The red lever on the right side of the seat as you sit on it is the swivel release. That lever seems to stick a bit and is a little harder to unlatch. It would have been nice to have a lever on the front to operate the swivel in stead of the side because depending on which way you’d like the user to sit it makes it a bit harder to reach over them to the other side of the seat to unlatch the seat to swivel. This feature is the main reason I paid $300. It's a necessity when it comes to elderly or someone disabled having to sit and attempt to slide sideways, raising their legs over the tub. It’s very easy with this swivel, they sit and are pivoted into the tub area. So, overall, I'm very happy with this purchase, if I were to make any improvements it would be on the leg stability and pivot lever location." — Jerry Bear

Get it from Amazon now: $295.00 & FREE Returns

 

2. DMI - Non-Slip Aluminum Body with Cut Out Access


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: No-tool design for super-easy assembly.

Helpful review: "This worked well. Affordable, we put a towel down on the seat for slip issues (I can't get the sides to lock, relooked and tried again and again they just won't lock) She's not using the seat belt but I use it to pull the seat towards me when she's ready to get out. this slides nicely, she can sit on it and feel solid, I do wish there was a handle on BOTH sides for her but it's not a huge issue.
This really has been a game changer. At first we were soaking the floor. we have a bowed shower curtain (like in hotels?) and then I bought a super long shower curtain, and I cut slits by the legs, then tuck the shower curtain up around the seat after she's IN the tub. (if I had to help her bathe or be in there this wouldn't work). This has kept the floor dry and really worked. The legs are adjustable on BOTH sides so this was helpful as our floor is a bit tilted.
This was easy to put together, and no tools needed, took me 10 min. She feels secure on the chair, she's short, and her legs are weak and she can't balance, so "scooching" wasn't an option. The slide feature is wonderful, though a swivel seat would have been good but it was too expensive at this time. She's used this a few times and so far.. this is GREAT!!
MY FRIEND’S REVIEW:
After much consideration, I chose this transfer bench. I was leaning toward a model with a rotating seat, but was concerned about all of the supports in the way of using the option of the opening in the seat to clean my seated areas. My bathtub/shower is standard size with older triple sliding doors. If I had had just two doors, this unit would not have fit in, without removing both doors. With the triple doors, there is plenty of space for this unit and its large chair.
My wife cut-up a cheap, clear shower curtain to go around the chair slides and then hung-it with string from it's grommets, over the top of the door tracks. I choose to put the side of the bench with the handle on the outside of the tub, to assist me in standing. My wife adjusted the legs to near their top position to make it easier for me to get up and easier to lift my legs over the side of the tub. We cut-off the seat belt, as I didn't need it and doubted whether Velcro would be secure enough anyways. In addition, we taped-over the adjustment holes on the inside legs to eliminate collecting water in the legs. Unit is pretty steady, although you will need to stand up without pushing back on the seat which could cause the unit to tip over, a compromise between compactness of the legs and stability. All in all, I am very happy with this product.
A FEW WORDS FROM A NEIGHBOR:
You do need to have enough dexterity to lock it into place once you're on the other end; otherwise it would move too much. Someone without enough dexterity would need a quick assist from a caregiver to lock it into place. But then, they might also need assistance transferring into it as well. It's quite easy for me, and I suspect it would be for most wheelchair users who are able to transfer to the toilet easily. You do need to be able to hold on and balance yourself, though. So, if you're able to transfer yourself in other situations, this is going to work fine for you. The only downside, I would say, is that it's not that easy to store, unless you stand it on end and put it into the shower enclosure. At least, that is, in my small shower enclosure. You might be able to leave it in place or put it entirely in the shower or tub in some houses. Be sure to measure your space well and compare the sizes to make sure it'll fit properly, but the legs are adjustable, so you can get it even if the floor of the shower or tub is a different height. That's useful as well. To me, the best points are the cutout - which has a removable inset if you don't need it - and the adjustable legs were the biggest selling points. I'd definitely recommend it to someone else, provided it fit their needs for similar reasons." — Myrtle A. McDonald

Get it from Amazon now: $121.41 & FREE Returns

 

3. Drive Medical - Lifted/Lowered in 0.5" Increments

Top-rated: 28,528 ratings


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Dual-column extending legs can be lifted or lowered in 0.5" increments, from 17.5" to 22.5", accommodating most tubs and users.

Helpful review: "First, there are many transfer benches offered on Amazon, so the decision of purchasing becomes almost overwhelming. The most important measurement one needs to make is the height difference between the floor of the bathroom and the bottom of the tub.
In my installation of this chair the bathtub legs were at the lowest setting while the floor legs were set to the highest setting. The chair seat was level. I would have liked the chair to be closer to the outside wall of the tub. The floor legs could be adjusted to make the chair closer to the tub outside the wall lip BUT the legs resting on the tub floor were already at the lowest setting and could not be adjusted any lower. So, I had to be satisfied with the chair height at the leg settings being high on the floor end and low on the tub end.
Having said that, the chair was stable and was easy to use. It helped the process by purchasing a longer hose for the handheld shower wand to get closer to the person taking the shower. The chair does not allow for the curtain to be pulled all the way closed without some ruffling at the chair. When the bather needs bathing assistance, the curtain cannot be closed anyway. We found that with a little attention there was not much water spilled onto the bathroom floor. We did lay down a large bath towel under the floor legs and along the tub floor edge to soak up any splashing that might happen.
I purchased the chair marked as a best seller so do not know if there are any others with a bigger leg adjustment, Good luck!
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
When we first received the bench, it was defective. One of the support tubes was dented in, the support arm finish was marred, and one of the spring release buttons didn't work in one of the legs. These issues prevented complete assembly of the bench. The box was slightly damaged, but it was difficult to tell if the box damage caused the damage to the bench. The issues seemed more like manufacturing defects that didn't get caught with a thorough quality control process. Initially, I had a hard time trying to get a replacement or refund. However, after talking to the manufacturer -- who responded quickly and was very helpful -- and then talking further to Amazon, a replacement bench was shipped out. The replacement had none of the issues that we experienced with the first bench. We were able to put the bench together, finally. The bench is reasonably sturdy, well sized for a normal tub, and seems like it will work well. In short, if you get a defective bench, talk to DMI/Amazon. They will make it right.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
This is such a life saver. I completely ruptured two ligaments in my ankle and have to be non-weight bearing for 4 weeks. It's been really hard to move around in my bathroom. We originally bought a cheaper stool that just goes right in the tub, and my husband had to help me in there by essentially catching me when I hopped on my good leg into the tub. I almost killed us both when I did that, so I spent a little extra money to replace it with this one and the difference is incredible! Now I can shower without help and access things in the shower whenever I need them, like my face wash. I can even sit down there to brush my teeth and just spit out the toothpaste into the shower. It sure beats standing on one leg at the sink! The grab bars on the side and the seat which is not too slippery have allowed me to feel so much safer than the previous cheap stool I had purchased. If you can't bear weight on one or more feet, this is an investment that you will not regret. I'm so grateful that things like this exist so I can have a tiny bit of independence." — Ilene M. Miller

Get it from Amazon now: $69.99 & FREE Returns

 

4. Medline - Durable with Non-Slip Feet

Top-rated: 4,861 ratings


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Easy-to-clean plastic seat with reversible backrest.

Helpful review: "I almost never write reviews, but this product was so helpful I wanted to write one in case you're in the same boat I was in. I had emergency ankle surgery and was told I'd be non-weight bearing for 6 weeks. A friend who is an occupational therapist recommended this shower chair and it is hands down the best purchase I made to make my life easier during my recovery.
I am 5'9" 275lbs and I never felt concerned about the sturdiness of this chair or the strength of suction in the two months I've used it. Being able to sit down outside the shower and then swing in made it a lot easier to get into the tub, and I could prop my cast up on the outside portion to keep it dry.
The chair is adjustable using push buttons into holes (similar to crutches or canes), so it made assembly easy. It's also lightweight, so once I reached partial weight-bearing status I could maneuver it into position by myself.
The back support is sturdy, and being able to switch which way the chair is facing could be really helpful. We have what I would call a standard height tub/shower, and have set the chair on the lowest setting (about 3-4 inches clearance above the tub ledge).
I'd highly recommend that along with this purchase, you also get a shower head attachment that is on a hose with controls on the actual nozzle. These two items together let me shower completely independently and made a barely tolerable situation manageable.
MY FRIEND’S REVIEW:
This product works as described and gives me a lot of freedom to shower with a broken leg. I was concerned about two things, is it tall enough for my overly large tub and the ability to keep the bathroom from getting wet. My tub edge and shower door rail are indeed too high for this chair. Instead of the outside feet sitting on the floor, the structure under the seat sits on the shower door rails. It is very stable that way. The chair then tilts very slightly into the tub - this helps with drainage. A lot of reviews complained about the challenge of water getting everywhere. I found a solution that works very well. My wife bought a fabric shower curtain (I don't think a vinyl curtain will work for this).
After we hung it up we found a method that works well for me. Tuck some of the shower curtain into the slot between the first and second of the three plastic seat elements. In my case this is just inside the edge of the tub. Make sure the curtain naturally falls to that spot by tucking the curtain into the slot at the right height. You don't want the shower curtain to hang outside of the tub or around the end of the chair. This way nearly all of the water runs right into the tub. If you shoot the shower right at that spot for long some water will get through so adjust the shower angle to avoid a direct shot. I always put a towel down outside the tub but most of the time it doesn't get wet.
A FEW WORDS FROM A NEIGHBOR:
I'm in my 70s, handicapped (need a walker) and must sit to bathe or shower. This Transfer Chair lets me wash in my shower stall or bathtub with ease. Its universal design accommodates both bathtubs and shower stalls 36 inches deep. It's water and rust proof and uses plastics and aluminum. For bathtubs, half the chair sits outside the tub and the other in the tub. I just sit on the outside part and pull my legs over the tub wall and slide over into the tub. For showers, the whole thing fits inside. Its expert, ergonomic design is sturdy and convenient to use with height adjustment legs. There's a handle on one side that helps to lean on for sitting down and getting up. And a backrest that can switch to either side of the spacious seat. I use the backrest to also lean on for up/down/twist movements. Unconfining and very easy and roomy to move around and wash up.
I previously used a shower stool with lifting handles to aid me in sitting and getting up. But these stools were too narrow and confining to wash up in. Now I'm very comfortable and get into and out of my shower with ease. Another great feature is the suction cup feet on one end of the open Chair. This stabilizes the chair and prevents its shifting when getting up or sitting down. The chair's only lacking feature is a soft gripper sleeve over the lifting handle to prevent hand slippage. But I manage by placing my washcloth there." — P&R Lock

Get it from Amazon now: $69.99 & FREE Returns

 

5. Flash Furniture - HERCULES Series Transfer Bench

Top-rated: 1,173 ratings


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: FSA-eligible medical transfer bench.

Helpful review: "I'm disabled and had been using a shower chair, but it was hard for me to get in and out of the shower. An occupational therapist watched me transfer and said it was dangerous. He recommended a shower bench. I chose this one primarily based on the size and price. Others had legs that splayed out, and I didn't have room for that, and the shower is small so I needed one that wasn't very large. The therapist put it together for me with just the tools included; however, upon his recommendation, I had the maintenance man tighten the screws to ensure it was plenty stable.
Even though I am large and the bench is small, it still works well and is very sturdy. It's much easier to get in and out now. Based on reviews I read, I was concerned that there would be a problem with water on the floor. However, a nice thick absorbent bath mat on the floor and a small mat covering the part that extends outside the shower to keep water from draining out the holes work great. Both mats get slightly damp but I just spread the one I use on the bench over the bench to dry, and the other one dries quickly on the floor. I'm much more eager to take a bath now--I used to dread showering because I felt insecure getting in and out.
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
Assembling the Flash Furniture HERCULES Shower Transfer Bench was more difficult than I anticipated. You will need tools to assemble the shower bench. At least a Phillips screwdriver, and I also recommend a 10mm socket wrench, to ensure that all the nuts are tight. The instructions were a little hard to make out. I’m in my 30s and had to squint to see where all the washers were supposed to go, and what screws to use where. It would have helped if the installation pictures were larger, or not condensed into 4 steps. Lastly, for securing the back to its support pieces, I recommend inserting the screws into the plastic back first, so as to pop out the plastic holes, so you’ll be able to see and line all the holes up. I put it together for my mother, and I know she wouldn’t have been able to assemble it herself. Usage wise, the bench is great. It’s exactly what we were looking for in stores and couldn’t find! It straddles the tub and doesn’t slip. The transfer bench makes it so much easier for my mother to get in and out of the shower, since she can sit on it and have its support.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
Product appears durable. Package was missing two screws. Contacted seller. They are shipping the two screws. Worked well for my tub that has minimal available space. Included all tools required for assembly but having a 10 mm wrench and regular Phillips screwdriver for assembly will make assembly much faster. They did include a wrench and Phillips, but having better tools will make assembly easier. Assembly is straight forward, takes about 30 minutes to assemble. I would make the same choice again, I understand missing parts sometimes happen. Bench seems durable, in spite of its light weight. Seat sections have drain holes for water." — Lillian Ammann (Lillie)

Get it from Amazon now: $73.85 & FREE Returns

 

6. Carex - Convertible to Right or Left Hand Entry


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Disassembles quickly and easily for storage or travel.

Helpful review: "I'm a 74 year old female. My son lives with me and he had a stroke. We had a shower chair already, but it was not a transfer one. When he had the stroke, I knew he was unable to get himself into the shower by himself and I was faced with a delenda of how do I get him in the shower. I knew he didn't want me putting him in the shower. So I started looking on Amazon for a transfer chair and decided on this one. It was very easy to put together very stable. Once it was pit together, I put it in the tub and asked him to try it out. He was able to sit down on it and swing his legs over into the tub.
Later he was able to take a shower by himself. Yes, the shower curtain doesn't fit around the chair, which I felt was the least of my worries. We have a rug next to the tub and it dries out, so this was not a big deal for me. The fact that he was able to get in the shower by himself outweighs the little water on the floor/rug.
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
Replaced an aging (10 years old) Invacare tub transfer bench with this Carex tub transfer bench. The Carex tub transfer bench was pretty easy to assemble and no tools were required but a Phillips head screwdriver may make it easier for you to push in the pins on the legs when adjusting the height of the tub transfer bench. After it was assembled, I used it and it felt pretty sturdy. It didn’t wobble much as I was careful to make sure it was level before using it. The feet do a nice job of keeping the bench stable while protecting the tub with the rubber feet. A word to the wise, disassemble and clean the tub transfer bench thoroughly every time you clean the tub. A tub transfer bench can get pretty gross if it isn’t maintained properly. I like it and I would recommend it. Definitely a good value as it cost 1/2 as much as the Invacare tub transfer bench (but the last Invacare bench did last 10 years!). If the Carex tub transfer bench lasts as long as the Invacare did, I will be very impressed.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
Got this for my 71 yr old parent who recently had leg surgery. Assembles without any tools and is fairly intuitive even with the easy to follow directions. May be a bit tricky for folks without good hand/finger strength. Some of the fittings and pop-pegs were difficult to get aligned properly, but overall the parts worked as expected. Legs individually adjust so you can ensure the bench is level between the tub surface and out on the bathroom floor if there's a height variance. The seat back is the least favorable as it's not as sturdy as it should be. Do NOT lean back or expect the seat back to provide any real support. The position of the seat back will dictate which direction your side-support handle faces. Easy enough depending on your bathroom layout for right or left facing situations. For the money - seems acceptable." — Jeff Sornig

Get it from Amazon now: $70.95 & FREE Returns

 

7. MedMobile® - Sure-GRIPED Legs

Top-rated: 3,645 ratings


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Seat back can be assembled for left or right hand applications.

Helpful review: "At my weight, I would recommend this bench for temporary use (less than 12 months). It doesn't feel like it will last forever and at this price, it's cheap enough to replace. If you are lighter, then the stress on the plastic will be minimal and may last longer. It's definitely been a life saver for me now because I've regained some of my independence.
MY SITUATION:
Broke my hip socket and was told not to put any weight on my right foot. When I left the hospital, they gave me an old man walker and a commode, which they told me could double up as a shower bench. Bad idea listening to the people run by the insurance company. The commode is not made to withstand rust, fit well inside a bathtub, nor make it easy for someone to get in and out of a bathtub.
SOLUTION:
I decided to get a real shower bench and this one was priced right. I've been using it for the past 3 weeks and now I look forward to taking a shower because of its convenience. I'm 215 lbs.
WIDE SEAT:
Yes, the seat is wide and supports my big behind. It's plastic, so don't expect a soft cushy seat and it's cold because plastic is not a good insulator. I like the fact that it's long, so I can sit easily, then slide myself all the way into the bathtub and close the shower curtain. This prevents water from splashing outside the tub, which I consistently saw when using the commode as a shower seat.
ADJUSTABLE SEAT HEIGHT:
Adjustments can easily be made by pressing the button tabs on each leg and they feel sturdy. This is important because at the right height, it makes standing up with one leg a lot easier.
Sure Gripped Legs: Two legs in the rear have strong suction cups. This makes it difficult to move once the one in the bathtub takes hold. The two in the front have rubber grip to prevent sliding.
LIGHTWEIGHT:
Yes, relative to the effect of the suctions.
RUST-RESISTANT SHOWER BENCH:
Believe it's all aluminum. I have not seen any rust.
DURABLE:
The aluminum portion feels durable, but the plastic squeaks with the pressure of my body weight. I need to use my hands to lift my body up and slide it across the bench, which means I am applying palm pressure on the bench. My suggestion is when you are doing this, be sure to place your palm where there is an aluminum support beneath it. This will provide a stronger support for the plastic seat against your body weight. I am sure if I put my palm right in the center, it will probably crack the plastic. I've actually left an imprint of my behind on the plastic bench after a week of use, which tells me the plastic may have certain limits that I am particularly not interested in discovering." —Gordon Otterbourg

Get it from Amazon now: $57.98 & FREE Returns

 

8. Drive Medical - Splash Defense Curtain-Guard Protection


best shower transfer benches

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Pinch-free lever allows the push pins to be depressed without pinching fingers.

Helpful review: "After pneumonia put me in the hospital for a week I was weak and unstable, and getting into or out of a tub, let alone a shower, was a life-threatening task.
This is an extremely sturdy tub chair, with an extension that goes outside the tub, so you can sit on that, rotate to face the shower and just slide over, without any risk of falling (and the same thing in reverse, getting out).
Best of all, though a bit complicated to assemble, the two-part support (one inside the tub, the other half in and half out) allows you to slide a shower curtain between the two parts, so you can sit and shower INSIDE the tub, and not get any water OUTSIDE.
This and grab bars should be in at least one tub in any home; obviously needed for old and frail people, but as my experience taught me, even if young and healthy, a hospital stay can leave you too unsteady to risk standing in a shower or tub, and the safety this provides can't be over-rated. Falls in showers are one of the leading causes of death and/or permanent injury in the home, and this is the perfect way to prevent them.
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
We've had the original Drive bath bench for many years, and the only reason we replaced it is because of this new design- we had always had issues with water getting on the floor because there really was no way to keep it contained completely. We recently had to convert our bathtub to a shower and this bench is absolutely ideal if you have a shower pan with a lower side than a tub to keep the water in. We use 2 curtains: one shower stall width and one regular; the shower width lays perfectly in the curtain holder of the bench and the water "funnels" right down the curtain into the shower pan! We haven't had any of the usual water spillage that used to drench the bath mat. It was well packaged, came quickly, had very clear directions and was easy to assemble (although the push pins were a bit stiff).
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
When we bought the first batch we thought we had considered everything, except for the fact that the shower curtain hung on the outside of the bench. Dislodged all the water from the shower coming off the individual to go against the shower curtain and onto the floor. You can’t have water all the floor and a raised foundation home while you’re ruined everything. After some searching I found this bench with a slot for the shower curtain. I did cut two small slots in the shower curtain to hang straighter but all in all the water on the floor is not ruining the bathroom and everybody’s happy." — Randall Crawford

Get it from Amazon now: $145.42 & FREE Returns

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