Can You Lie Down in a Walk-in Tub?

Person soaking neck and shoulders in a bathtub, relaxing
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Walk-in tubs give seniors and people with limited mobility a safer way to bathe. When you start shopping for your accessible tub though, you’ll see lots of models where the bather is meant to sit upright while they’re in the bath. This can deter some people from making a purchase if they’re used to fully reclining in the bath. There’s a reason for this common design which we’ll explain later, but you can still lie down in a walk-in tub—just make sure you choose the right model of tub.

First, let’s look at the different types of walk-in tub designs and which scenarios each one is best for.

The Different Types of Walk-in Tubs

There’s a wide variety of designs and features when it comes to walk-in tubs, but it’s not just about the look of the tub—the different designs are meant to accommodate different needs.

If you have lots of room available in your bathroom or you want something spacious, consider our wider tub models. Our widest tub is the Grandeur, at 35” wide. It can be fully equipped with all our add-ons for a luxurious, relaxing, and accessible bath. The So-Lo is our second-widest model, at 31” wide (but can’t be equipped with add-ons), then the PanamaOasis, and Zen are all 29” wide.

If you can’t fit a long tub in your bathroom, consider the Zen— it’s just 43” long (compared to a standard tub which is around 60” long). It’s also our tallest tub which means you can fill the water higher than other models. Although the seat is upright, people who like to fully recline may also like this option because it allows for a deeper soak, as well.

If you need a narrow tub to fit in a small space, consider the Rio— it’s 26” wide (compared to a standard tub which is around 30” wide). It’s ideal for getting through narrow doorways and still gives you an excellent experience.

If you’re looking for something affordable that still lets you bathe easily and safely, have a look at our  So-Lo model or our conversion kits. We also offer the Fairmount, which is a perfect combination of luxury and affordability when compared to our other models.

Then of course there’s the models that let you fully recline for that traditional bathing experience. If you like to lie down in the bath, consider our Oasis. It’s 60” long and can be equipped with all our add-ons for ultimate relaxation. Another option is the So-Lo at 59.5” long, although you can’t get our popular add-ons with this model.

A Deeper Look Into Each Model: You Can Lie Down In These Walk-in Tubs

The Oasis was designed to let you fully recline in the tub so you can even submerge your shoulders and neck if you wish. It’s also great for taller individuals; having said this, check the tub specs below to make sure the length will work for you and your space.

The Oasis
Width29” W
Height39” H
Length60” L
Weight233 lbs
Operating capacity70-76 gallons
Specifications for the Oasis model

The Oasis has an outward swinging door which makes it even easier to get in and out and makes it a better choice for people who use wheelchairs. Another fact about the Oasis that you can’t ignore is that it can be equipped with all of our add-ons. This means you can get heated water jets, warm air massage, microbubbles, chromatherapy, and more. A walk-in tub is a significant investment; it’s worth considering the options that the enhance the experience and improve your daily routine that much more.

Our So-Lo model will fit anywhere a traditional tub can. It’s 59.5” long which makes it our second-longest accessible bathtub. It’s one of our most affordable tubs but the tradeoff is that it can’t be equipped with any of our add-ons.
Having said this, it’s still a great option for people who are looking to replace their traditional tub with a walk-in model that allows them to lie down.

If you’re perfectly happy with your current tub but need a way to make bathing safer, have a look at our conversion kits. They’re come with detailed instructions as well as a video so you can install the kit yourself or ask a handy friend. It’s certainly an affordable way to make your bathroom more accessible and it’s great because it still lets you lie down, assuming your current tub does as well.

Why Do Most Walk-In Tubs Have A Seat?

Although some people buy walk-in tubs simply for an enhanced bathing experience, the main reason people buy them is to help improve accessibility. They can be a great help for seniors who aren’t as independent as they used to be, as well as for people of all ages who have various physical disabilities.

Walk-in tubs are therefore designed to be easy to use. When you think about it, it’s usually easier to get up from a seated position than it is from lying down—it takes less effort. This can make all the difference for someone with limited mobility.

Since the basic idea of a walk-in tub is to make it easier for the user to get in and out; having a door certainly helps and having a seat inside the tub helps as well. The seat can also help people stay alert, lowering the risk of falling asleep in the bath.

While seats often prevent you from lying down in accessible tubs, that’s not always the case. Look at the grey area in the drawing of The Oasis; there is still a seat in the tub for safety and usability, however it’s much more reclined than other models. The So-Lo is a traditional bath tub with a door so it does not have a seat; we recommend using the transfer bench to get in and out.

SafetyBathTubs Zen vs Oasis Dimensions 1
The Zen (left) is our tallest tub, compared to The Oasis (right) which is our longest tub. Grey areas indicate seating.

If you’re someone who loves to lie down in the bath for a deep soak, there very well may be an option for you. We encourage you to speak with your health care professional as well as our knowledgeable dealers across Canada and the US to make sure the purchase suits your needs.

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