Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair: An Occupational Therapist’s Review

06 May 2024 Blog

Author: Meredith Chandler OTR/L

Date: 04/05/2024

Keywords: Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair, occupational therapist, seniors, aging, arthritis, falls, adaptive equipment


Bathroom safety tends to be a priority concern for aging adults, especially when mobility issues arise. Like any daily activity, bathing should be safe, efficient, and painless; however, many seniors and their loved ones lack the appropriate environmental modifications to make it happen. In this article, we will be reviewing the benefits of the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair and its implications for seniors living with arthritis through an occupational therapy lens.

What is arthritis?

There are several hundred types of arthritis, but the most common include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both types result in breakdown of joint linings and cartilage. With time, the joints become more inflamed and stiffer which causes reduced joint mobility overall. Arthritis can occur anywhere in the body, but common places include the hands, shoulders, knees, hips, and spine. With time, long-term arthritis can negatively affect someone’s ability to sit comfortably for lengthy periods of time, reach and bend, and grip objects with appropriate strength or precision.

What functional problems result from arthritis?

Individuals with mild arthritis can typically go about their day without painful interruption, even with the use of over-the-counter medication. For others, especially seniors who’ve lived with arthritis for many years, simple motions like walking, bending down, reaching, and gripping are difficult and excruciating. Joint inflammation is also wearing on the body and mind, resulting in paralyzing fatigue that can compromise sitting and standing balance. All these factors are embedded in every daily living task, including bathing and showering activities.

Purpose of Bath and Shower Chairs

Post-operative pain, illness, injury, and fatigue can make showering in standing or lying down in tubs nearly impossible and extremely unsafe. That’s where bath and shower chairs come in. Shower chairs are fitted and placed in walk-in showers or shower stalls while bath benches are typically placed in tub/shower combination stalls and draped over the edge of the tub. The primary purpose of bath and shower chairs is to provide users with a safe way to bathe when balance is compromised.

Who is the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair Suitable For?

The soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair offers a more cushioned feel in a seated position while bathing, perfect for seniors with mobility and balance issues as well as arthritic pain. This model is fit for adults up to 330 lbs and is height adjustable. The chair does not come with armrests or a back support, so it’s great for seniors who have good core strength and who don’t require a grab bar to push up into a stand. This is a great option for patients approved for bathing after joint surgery (i.e. hip, knee) and for those with cardiac or respiratory illnesses.

What is set-up like for the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair?

The set-up of the chair requires no tools and is easy to assemble the screws are large and easy to twist by hand, even for someone with mild arthritis. The four legs slide right into place and come with non-slip feet already attached. The handle on the seat makes it simple to transport the lightweight chair with ease. The height adjustment feature is relatively intuitive, but individuals who just a hip or knee replaced should consult with a therapist for accurate height settings.

Benefits of the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair

Compared to similar bath and shower chair models, the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair offers unique benefits, including:

  • Soft, plush seating system for seniors with arthritis
  • Reduces inflammation to conserve energy during bathing tasks
  • Circular, concave seat to offer security and repositioning
  • Drainage holes to avoid pooling and slipping off the seat
  • Easy assembly which includes no tools and ergonomic-friendly screws
  • Easy to sanitize and disassemble when needed

Professionals who may Recommend a Bath and Shower Chair

Commonly, bath and shower chairs are recommended by rehabilitation healthcare professionals. This includes occupational therapists and physiotherapists. On occasion, nursing staff and physicians may request a referral or a consultation with occupational therapists and physiotherapists. When therapists want to explore adaptive equipment options with patients, they may consult with medical equipment providers.

Equipment used to Enhance use of the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair

When a senior requires the use of the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair, they may also need additional adaptive equipment to complement their bathing experience and enhance their overall safety.  For seniors who fatigue easily and need extra sitting support, grab bars (suction cup or professionally installed) for shower use pair well with the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair. Additional equipment may include non-slip shower/tub mats, installed soap dispensers, long-handled bath sponges, and hand-held extendable shower heads. Pairing adaptive equipment with the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair will look different for everyone and should be determined with the assistance of an occupational therapist.

Who the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair may not be Suitable For

Per an occupational therapy perspective, the first few aspects that are missing from this chair is a back support, a 330 lb weight capacity, and armrests. With that in mind, the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair may not be suitable for individuals with:

  • Moderate to severe sitting balance issues
  • Vertigo or other forms of acute or chronic dizziness
  • Quadriplegia or other conditions that impact postural stability
  • Body weight greater than 330 lbs
  • Severe cardiac or respiratory illness


Arthritis can be a lifelong condition that worsens with age, causing debilitating inflammation, reduced joint mobility, and plaguing fatigue.  Seniors living with arthritis may notice how symptoms negatively impact their ability to perform daily living tasks efficiently and safely. Bathing tasks take time, energy, and intentional navigational skills to prevent falls or injury. The Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair offers seniors who have arthritis added comfort and safety in a customized, height-adjustable manner. While this chair provides seniors with ways to conserve energy, manage their bathing time, and reduce their risk for falls, the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair may not be for everyone. Consult with an occupational therapist to see if the Soft Seat Bath and Shower Chair is right for you.


Buy now on Amazon

Read more