Page Reviewed / Updated – March 09, 2020

Walk-in tubs are designed to make bathing safer and more enjoyable for seniors, people with mobility issues and anyone else who is looking for a relaxing, spa-style experience. These innovative bathtubs are equipped with a number of features that can reduce the risk of a slip-and-fall injury, such as anti-slip flooring, integrated chair-height seats and grab bars.

Unlike standard bathtubs, walk-in tubs are filled once the bather is inside the tub. A door with a heavy-duty seal, which swings into the tub or out into the room, must be secured before the tub can be filled with water. Many walk-in tubs come with dual drains that quickly clear all the water from the unit, and some tubs have integrated heaters to maintain comfortable water temperature while bathing.

How to Find the Best Walk-In Bathtub

With prices for walk-in tubs ranging from under $5,000 up to $20,000, choosing one that fits your particular needs and budget can be a real challenge. Many companies use confusing marketing language that can make sorting out the pros and cons of each unit difficult, and it’s often hard to find details such as tub measurements, capacities and optional features.

To help you find the walk-in tub that’s right for you, we’ve researched all the major manufacturers, reviewed their products and compiled the information in a series of head-to-head comparison articles. Today we’re comparing Ella’s Bubbles and Freedom Bathtubs by Accessibility Professionals — two of the most trusted names in walk-in tubs. Below, you’ll find an in-depth overview table that covers each company, followed by a company profile and our expert recommendations.

Overview Table

Ella’s Bubbles Freedom Bathtubs
Least Expensive Model Approximately $2,300 $2,878
Most Expensive Model (without added options) Approximately $8,237 $3,398
Warranty Limited lifetime warranty on door, frame and shell Limited lifetime warranty on door seals; 10 years on structure; 5 years on pumps
Features & Specs
Available Door Styles Inward and outward swing Inward and outward swing
Tub Types Built-in and freestanding Built-in or freestanding
Minimum Water Capacity (unoccupied) in US Gallons 70 60
Smallest Tub Outside Dimensions 25″ x 45″ 29.5″ x 51″
Largest Tub Outside Dimensions 30″ x 60″ 29.5″ x 51″
Safety Features Grab bars, anti-slip flooring Anti-slip flooring, grab bar
Wheelchair Accessible Tubs? Yes, including a lift-equipped unit Yes
Optional Add-Ons/Accessories Heated seat and backrest Microbubble therapy kit Thermostatic control valve Tempered glass bath screen Upgraded fixtures Heated shell (on soaker tub model) Heated air jet system Heated whirlpool jet system Combination air and whirlpool jet system

Ella’s Bubbles Overview

Founded in 2005, Ella’s Bubbles is a Chicago-based company that designs, builds and distributes a wide range of walk-in bathtubs for residential applications. Its lineup includes wheelchair-accessible tubs with an extra-wide door for easy transfers, a compact 32-inch by 40-inch tub for small spaces and three types of two-person walk-in that accommodate two adult bathers.

Another unique product from Ella’s Bubbles is its specialized hoist transfer bathtub that comes complete with a comfortable, power-assisted lift chair. This design lets bathers transfer directly onto their bath chair while outside the tub, providing extra safety for those with limited mobility.

Ella’s Bubbles Pros

  • Offers a wide range of walk-in tubs, including two-seat and wheelchair accessible units designed to fit into a standard bathtub
  • Ella’s Bubbles bathtubs are assembled, jetted and tested at the company headquarters in Chicago, Illinois
  • Built with UL-certified components from California-based NuWhirl Systems Corporation
  • Maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Limited lifetime warranty on all doors, shells and frames
  • Uses 2-inch dual-drain technology to quickly clear water from the tub
  • Available through a nationwide distribution network that includes big-box stores such as Home Depot and Lowes

Ella’s Bubbles Cons

  • Ella’s Bubbles walk-in tubs are priced higher than many comparable units from other companies
  • Prices aren’t listed on the Ella’s Bubbles website, so potential purchasers need to contact a sales rep for a quote
  • Prices can vary between dealers, so customers need to shop around

Freedom Bathtubs by Accessibility Professionals Overview

Freedom Bathtubs by Accessibility Professionals is a Canadian company located in Barrie, Ontario. The company specializes in accessible bathroom products such as walk-in tubs, easy access tubs, bath seats and grab bars. It offers four walk-in tubs for residential use and sized to fit into any typical home bathroom. All tubs are based on the same mold and come complete with comfort-height seats, 2-inch drains, textured anti-slip floors and double-speed entry pipes.

Accessibility Professionals Inc. has held Better Business Bureau accreditation since 2011, and it maintains an A+ BBB rating. All of its walk-in tubs are made-to-order in Cleveland, Ohio, and shipped directly from the manufacturer to the consumer. Customers can customize their walk-in tub with features such as shell heaters, heated whirlpool jets and a combination air and whirlpool water massage system.

Freedom Bathtubs Pros

  • Founded in 2006 and based in Ontario, Canada
  • Manufactured in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Lifetime limited warranty on door seals
  • 10-year warranty on tub frame and electrical connections; 5 years on water and air pumps
  • Choice of inward- or outward-swing doors
  • Offers ADA-compliant walk-in tubs
  • An integrated safety bar and anti-slip floor, faucet and hand-held shower, and either a deck extension or end panel for clean installation
  • Customizable with heated shells and heated air jets

Freedom Bathtubs Cons

  • Freedom Bathtubs are not available in retail stores — consumers must purchase directly from the company or an authorized distributor
  • Walk-in tubs are made to order, and manufacturing time varies depending on the model and options
  • Customers need to be able to inspect the tub when it’s delivered
  • Only four walk-in tub models offered; all models have the same exterior dimensions

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Our Pick

While Ella’s Bubbles and Freedom Bathtubs are well-established companies known for their high-quality, user-friendly products, Ella’s Bubbles offers the widest range of walk-in tubs backed by an industry-leading warranty. By comparison, Freedom Bathtubs only offers four walk-in tub models, but their prices are among the lowest on the market, with all of its base units priced below $3,500. We also appreciate that Freedom Bathtubs prices are listed on the company website, while Ella’s Bubbles doesn’t list its pricing.

Both Ella’s Bubbles and Freedom Bathtubs have traditional walk-in tubs and budget-friendly step-in tubs designed to fit into most residential bathrooms, and each company manufactures its walk-in tubs in the United States. Unlike Freedom Bathtubs, which builds each walk-in tub to order, Ella’s Bubbles tubs are available immediately through its network of nationwide distributors, which may be important for consumers who don’t want to wait for their walk-in tub.

Ultimately, the choice between Ella’s Bubbles and Freedom Bathtubs comes down to price, availability and options. Overall, Ella’s Bubbles tubs can cost more than comparable models from Freedom Bathtubs, although Ella’s Bubbles appears to have a better warranty and a much larger product range. Freedom Bathtubs may be a good option for those who are budget-conscious, don’t need a lot of added features and can wait for their tub to be built, while Ella’s Bubbles have installation-ready tubs available nationwide.

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