Walk-in tubs are an excellent choice for couples who enjoy bathing together and for seniors who need a safer option for getting in and out of the tub. Walk-in bathtubs have doors that swing in or out so people can get in without stepping over a wall, which can be difficult for seniors. Opting for a two-person tub not only gives seniors more room when they’re bathing alone, but it also makes space for a partner or caregiver who can either share the bath with them or help with daily bathing.
Walk-in tubs designed for two people can be very simple, or they can come with a suite of extra features. Some of these extras, such as hydrotherapy jets and bench heaters, increase the comfort of a hot bath and may help seniors with circulation issues. Other features are safety-related. Nonslip floors and grab bars help prevent falls, while automatic cutoffs and heat timers can prevent health and safety risks.
This guide is for seniors and their loved ones who may be looking for a two-person walk-in tub for their own home. It aims to clarify the options available on the market and to provide a picture of what to look for in a tub, as well as to give a reasonable estimate of the costs involved.
Ella’s Bubbles is by far the leading brand for two-person walk-in tubs. The company offers several models designed to accommodate two adult-sized occupants, from basic models to more elaborate hydrotherapy options. Most of Ella’s Bubbles’ tubs feature a high-gloss shell and gleaming chrome accessories, as well as frosted tempered glass doors for privacy. The Tub4Two acrylic walk-in bathtub model has an outward-swinging door and a centrally positioned tap with benches on either end of the 60-inch-long basin.
The Tub4Two has a relatively low step-in threshold and a well-textured slip-resistant floor. The tub’s frame is made from solid rustproof stainless steel and features adjustable leveling legs under the acrylic skirt that installers can use to balance the tub prior to use. The entire basin in the premium model has stainless steel vents that apply air and warm water in all areas of the tub. The tap is detachable, letting users convert the tub to a shower in a few seconds. Ella’s Bubbles tubs all have wide-bore drains that can drain all 65 gallons from the basin in less than a minute, and the door has a toe actuator that can pop open the seals from a sitting or lying position.
The Ariel Corner Whirlpool Bathtub is a luxurious corner model with two padded headrests and a step-in acrylic door that’s cut low enough to allow a senior to step over it, if necessary. The tub has a built-in pump to drive air and water jets and a handheld shower extension located near the center of the basin for both occupants to use. The drain is centrally located and drains all 92 gallons in less than one minute.
This acrylic and fiberglass-shell basin has a strong steel frame and a solid brass tub filler that can fill the tub to capacity more quickly than the handheld shower unit. Hydrotherapy is provided by 14 whirlpool massage jets, six swivel jets and eight air bubble jets. These are driven by a strong 1.2-horsepower motor that is protected by a one-year parts warranty. This tub has a large backlit touch screen control panel that’s easy to reach from either of the two sitting positions, giving both occupants total control over heat, water flow and jet operation.
Jacuzzi offers a large alcove walk-in bathtub with room for two occupants as part of its popular Finestra line. The Finestra two-person walk-in tub comes in several trim levels, from a very basic model with a left- or right-drain configuration and acrylic finish that is available in two colors, white and almond. All Finestra models have a quiet electric maintenance heater to keep the water warm for a prolonged bath. The Salon Spa model also has an installed chromotherapy light, as does the Pure Air model, which adds an integral aromatherapy system. These optional systems are controlled via an easy-to-reach push-button control panel that can be used by either the senior in the bath or the caregiver companion.
All models of the Jacuzzi Finestra come with an installed grab bar that is bolted to the stainless steel frame of the basin for a secure hold. The dual-pin locking mechanism helps keep the door tightly sealed. This bar is ideally positioned for holding while the senior enters or exits the tub. The door seals with a fitted rubberized gasket to prevent leaks, and a durable dual-pin door locking mechanism ensures a tight seal that can be quickly broken open with a push in case of an emergency.
Just because people age, doesn’t mean they have to stop doing the things they enjoy. Couples who enjoy bathing together can continue to do so into their golden years thanks to the features of a two-person walk-in tub. In addition, seniors with limited mobility who need help bathing, either from a partner or a caregiver, may find the solution in this option. Having a walk-in tub with a second seat, or that is big enough for two adults to sit and move comfortably, can make washing relaxing and safe, rather than cramped and awkward. By bathing with a companion, many seniors with limited mobility can see to their personal hygiene without taking unnecessary risks from bathing alone. The hydrotherapy many tubs offer is favored by some seniors with leg and back pain. The swinging door, which may open inward or out, depending on the model, is a generally safe way for seniors to enter and leave the tub with less risk of slipping. The two-person walk-in tub helps aging couples stay connected and helps seniors and their caregivers comfortably and safely manage bathing routines.
When it’s time to shop for a two-person walk-in tub, there are several features to keep in mind. The first is safety. Ideally, a tub has a nonslip texture on the floor and a tight gasket on the door to keep leaks and slip risks to a minimum. Large or double drains can quickly empty the tub, and timers automatically cut off heaters to prevent accidents. For two-person units, it is important to have enough space for two fully grown adults to move without restrictions and without getting in each others’ way.
Another important consideration is cost. Very basic two-person walk-in tubs usually cost around $2,000 to $3,000 for the basin, with another $1,000 to $3,000 for the installation cost. Installation varies a lot in price, depending on the location and complexity of the work, but the cost does not tend to go up for more expensive tubs. High-end basins can cost up to $10,000, though most models cost half that price. For more information about buying a two-person walk-in tub, read our comparison of the best walk-in tubs on the market.