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Best Bathtubs of 2022

Updated
Don't settle for second best when it comes to choosing a bathtub.

Showers provide a quick and effective way to stay clean if you have a busy lifestyle. However, it is impossible to replace the comfort and luxury of a long soak in the bath.

Baths have existed for thousands of years, so it is no surprise that they are now available in countless shapes and sizes. This means you have a vast array of options to choose from, but it can also make it difficult to know where to start your search.

To help you, this article contains our reviews of the best bathtubs available today. We chose these tubs based on their sizes, shapes, and materials. We have also provided a guide to the different types and finishes you can choose from.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the American Standard 2764014M202.011 Cadet Freestanding Tub, Arctic
Best Acrylic Tub
American Standard Freestanding Tub
  • 2-piece design
  • 32-inch wide deck
  • Acrylic & fiberglass construction
Product Image of the FerdY Koh Samui 65' Freestanding Bathtub, Elegant Oval Shape, Double Walled Insulation Bathtub with Center Brushed Nickel Drain & Minimalist Linear Design Overflow
Best Freestanding Tub
Ferdy Elegant Oval Shape Bathtub
  • Fits in most bathrooms
  • Glossy surface
  • Sleek minimalist design
Product Image of the American Standard 2946102.011 Studio Integral Apron Bathtub Right Drain 60 in. x 32 in. in Arctic White
Best Alcove Tub
American Standard Studio Bathtub
  • 60 inches long
  • Weighs just 60 pounds
  • Ergonomic interior
Product Image of the Empava 67 in. Acrylic Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub-Hydromassage Rectangular Jetted Soaking Tub with Center Drain-Waterfall Faucet, 67 Inch, White
Best Whirlpool Bathtub
Empava Acrylic Alcove
  • Acrylic over a steel frame
  • User-friendly control knobs
  • Auto-shut off for safety
Product Image of the WOODBRIDGE White 54' Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub Contemporary Soaking Tub with Brushed Nickel Overflow and Drain, B-0006 / BTA1507
Best Soaking Tub
Woodbridge 54” Acrylic Freestanding
  • Very smooth surface
  • Holds up to 1,000 pounds
  • Insulation conserves heat
Product Image of the KOHLER K-1490-X-0 Greek 4-Foot Bath, White
Best for Small Bathrooms
Kohler Greek 4-Foot Bath
  • Just 4 feet long
  • Almost 2 feet deep
  • Three color options
Product Image of the Duravit 700100, Large-LTL, White Alpin
Rising Star
Duravit D-Code Soaking Bathtub
  • Back rest
  • Positive customer feedback
  • Simple but effective design
Product Image of the KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122L 60-Inch Contemporary Alcove Acrylic Bathtub with Left Hand Drain and Overflow Holes, White
Best for Adults
Kingston Contemporary Acrylic Bathtub
  • 60 inches long
  • Suitable for DIY installation
  • Durable acrylic
Product Image of the WOODBRIDGE BTA-1516 Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub Contemporary Soaking Tub with Brushed Nickel Overflow and Drain, BTA1516, 59' B-0016 White
Most Comfortable
Woodbridge 59” Acrylic Freestanding
  • 59 inches long
  • Ergonomic design
  • Double ended
Product Image of the American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub Right Hand Drain, 5 ft x 32 in, White
Safest Build
American Standard Cambridge 5ft
  • Slip-resistant floor
  • Back, neck & head support
  • All-round


Product Reviews

There are countless bathtub models available today, which means you have a massive amount of choices when searching for one. To help you find your ideal tub, our bathtub reviews examine some of the best tubs you can buy today, chosen for their designs, features, value, and customer satisfaction.

1. American Standard 2764014M202.011 Cadet Freestanding Bathtub

Best Acrylic Tub

The American Standard Cadet is an excellent freestanding acrylic bathtub. As a freestanding model, it is a statement piece that will make a striking focal point in any bathroom.

This product is a complete bathing solution, as it includes a faucet, sprayer, and drain assembly. This removes all the guesswork from buying the necessary accessories for your new tub.

It has a minimalist but timeless design. It is extra deep, has a wide ledge, and fiberglass reinforcement ensures it is highly durable.

What We Like

2-Piece Design

This unit’s two-piece design makes it easy to assemble. Its generous depth means it will be possible to submerge most of your body in the water, even if you are sharing it with somebody else.

Wide Deck

The outer deck that surrounds the entire tub is extra wide. It provides an ideal place to store your bathing products, to hold your drink while in the bath, or somewhere to put candles to make your time in the bathroom more relaxing.

Durable

The Cadet tub is finished with high gloss acrylic and fiberglass reinforcement. The faucet, spray, and drain is made of solid brass and outfitted with washerless ceramic disc valves, meaning there should be no leaks for the lifetime of this piece. The unit as a whole is designed to last for decades, so you can be confident that you are making a long-term investment in your bathroom.

What We Don't Like

The Faucet

It can be tricky to install the faucet, so it might be best to hire a professional plumber to do it for you. Once it’s installed, it is easy to use but takes a while to fill the tub due to the average flow rate and the size of the bath.

Product Specs

Dimensions 66 x 32 x 23 inches
Capacity Information not provided
Material Acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement
Type Freestanding
Included Tub filler, handheld spray and drain assembly

2. Ferdy Koh Samui 65” Elegant Oval Shape Bathtub

Best Freestanding Tub

The Ferdy Koh Samui deserves to be called elegant, with a minimalist modern design that would not look out of place in a 5-star hotel or exclusive spas.

It is a modern interpretation of classic oval bathtub design, benefitting from cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. The high-quality, lucite-grade acrylic exterior and glossy finish mean it will complement various types of bathroom decor.

This bathtub is durable as well as visually appealing: it is reinforced with fiberglass and polyethylene resin. Its conservative footprint means you don’t necessarily need to have a large bathroom to install it.

What We Like

Fits in Most Bathrooms

Not every freestanding bathtub requires a large bathroom and this model proves that. At 64 inches long and 31.89 inches wide, it should fit into most moderately-sized bathrooms.

Attractive and Accommodating

This tub is great to look at. With a glossy surface and double-wall insulation, it has a high-end appearance without ever feeling excessive.

Its design is also accommodating, with a wide base and an angled backrest. This means you will have plenty of space to relax comfortably in the tub, whether you are alone or with a partner.

Easy Maintenance

This tub’s smooth acrylic surface makes it easy to wipe clean and maintain. It has also been treated to increase its resistance to scratches and stains. As a result, your Samui tub will look pristine for longer.

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What We Don't Like

Might be Too Small for Large Bathrooms

On the one hand, it is great to see a freestanding bathtub that isn’t too large for smaller bathrooms. However, this could also be a negative if you have a large bathroom, as the tub might look too small.

Product Specs

Dimensions 64.76 by 31.89 by 23.62 inches
Capacity 61 gallons
Material Acrylic
Type Freestanding
Included Brushed nickel drain and overflow, drainpipe

3. American Standard Studio Bathtub

Best Alcove Tub

The American Standard Studio bathtub is a minimalist alcove tub that will look at home in a variety of bathroom designs. The muted paper-white “Arctic” finish is great if you want a light bathroom without it being overly bright. It works well with other colors or different shades of white.

There are no unnecessary protrusions, swirls, or decorations on this tub that you might not want. Its simple design will allow you to create a calm mood or get more creative elsewhere in your bathroom.

What We Like

Standard-Sized

The Studio is an alcove tub that falls within the standard size range. At 60 inches long and 32 inches wide, it will fit most bathrooms while still providing plenty of space to bathe comfortably.

DIY-Friendly

At just 60 pounds, this tub weighs about the same as a large dog. This makes it much easier to move and install, especially if your bathroom isn’t on the ground floor.

Sleek Exterior, Welcoming Interior

At first glance, the minimalist design of this model might seem slightly cold, but you won’t be disappointed when you submerge yourself in it. The Studio’s design is molded to accommodate your body and there is built-in support for your lower back.

What We Don't Like

Shallow Depth

Despite the 18-inch high stepover, the internal depth is only 12 inches. If you are tall, you might find this insufficient for a thorough soak.

Product Specs

Dimensions 60 by 32 by 18 inches
Capacity 52 gallons
Material Acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement
Type Alcove
Included No accessories

4. Empava Acrylic Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub

Best Whirlpool Bathtub

This Empava acrylic tub is one of the most luxurious and advanced whirlpool models we have seen. Given that whirlpool tubs are usually high-end, that is no small feat.

The front of the tub is glass, giving it a bold modern look. It has a built-in backrest to provide lumbar support while you are bathing.

You also have control of the jets, their flow rate, and their angles. With up to one horsepower of water pumping, this unit is strong enough to massage and soothe your entire body after a hard day of work or a gym session.

What We Like

High-Quality Materials

This whirlpool bathtub is made to last. Finished with fiberglass-reinforced acrylic over a stainless steel frame, it has a 660-pound capacity. It is perfect if you want to share a bath with a partner. The front panel is made of thick tempered glass, so it is as durable as the rest of the tub.

Control Knobs Are Easy to Use

Simplicity is key when it comes to this tub’s controls. It is very easy to adjust the flow rate and angle of the jets, so you won’t have to struggle with controls when you should be relaxing.

Easy to Install

All of this tub’s accessories are pre-drilled and pre-installed. It includes an integral triple-sided apron for easier installation. The rectangular design means it will fit snugly into most bathrooms.

Safety Features Aplenty

This bathtub has a textured, non-slip floor to make it safer to climb in and out. It also has a 60-minute auto shut-off to protect the pump. The unit’s whirlpool features will not activate if there is insufficient water in the tub, to prevent damage to its internal components.

What We Don't Like

Hard to Get In and Out

Despite the non-slip floor, some customers found it difficult to climb in and out of the tub due to its depth. There is not an obvious place to hold onto for support.

Cramped If You’re Tall

This is not a small tub by any means but taller people (over six feet) might feel that they don’t have enough leg room to relax in it comfortably.

Product Specs

Dimensions 66.93 inches by 30.71 inches by 22.83 inches
Capacity ‎59 gallons
Material Acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel, tempered glass
Type Whirlpool
Included Overflow, faucet, shower head, water jets, removable PU pillow

5. Woodbridge 54” Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub

Best Soaking Tub

The Woodbridge 54 is a soaking tub that you will be able to enjoy for decades. It is scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and designed not to impose on its surroundings. Maintenance will be simple and it is a great option for compact bathrooms.

This sleek design will look at home in any bathroom without sacrificing space. Its reinforced material can hold up to 1,000 pounds of weight and the unit’s insulation improves heat conservation, whether the tub is occupied by one person or two.

Like the tub, the attached plumbing is high-quality and durable. This product includes an anti-leak and anti-odor drain and pipe system to make installation easier.

What We Like

Easy to Maintain

Acrylic is a low-maintenance material that is usually smooth and easy to clean. This model goes further with a scratch-resistant and stain-resistant finish. You won’t need to worry about bubbles, bath salts, or bath bombs damaging the surface of this tub.

Reinforced

This is a very strong bathtub that is able to hold up to 1,000 pounds, making it ideal for larger individuals or couples. You will be able to sit back and relax without worrying about damaging the tub during everyday use.

Heat Conservation

Effective insulation maintains your water temperature for longer, so you won’t need to add more hot water to keep your bath comfortably warm.

This is very useful if you are building a home spa as you will be able to relax in the bath for longer without interruption. It is also helpful if you live somewhere cold as your bath should lose its heat more slowly.

What We Don't Like

Could Be Deeper

Despite mostly positive customer feedback, some users complain that the internal depth is not as much as they would like. On the other hand, this does mean it is suitable if you want a tub that can also be used safely by your children.

Product Specs

Dimensions 54 inches by 28 3/8 inches by 28 3/8 inches
Capacity 55 gallons
Material Reinforced acrylic; Ashland resin, fiberglass
Type Soaking
Included Solid brass brushed nickel drain, stainless steel brushed nickel overflow, installation manual

6. Kohler Greek 4-Foot Bath

Best for Small Bathrooms

The Kohler Greek is a great option if you have limited space in your bathroom. At just 4 feet long, it will allow you to install a built-in tub even if you have a small bathroom. You can choose drop-in or alcove installation, so it is also versatile.

Despite being compact, the Greek compensates with an extra-deep basin. This means you will still be able to enjoy a thorough soak even with the bath’s small footprint.

Made of acrylic, maintenance will be straightforward. The tub is durable and easy to clean. You can choose from a selection of three colors to ensure the tub matches the rest of your bathroom’s decor.

What We Like

Compact

This Kohler bathtub is a great option for small bathrooms. At just 4 feet long and 2.6 feet wide, it is ideal for the corner of a compact room. Its small size means you shouldn’t need to rearrange the rest of your bathroom to accommodate it.

Extra Depth

Despite its small footprint, this tub’s generous depth means you can still enjoy a comfortable soak. At just under 2 feet deep, you should be able to submerge most of your body even if you can’t stretch out in it.

Select Your Favorite Color

The Greek has three color options: almond, biscuit, or white. This means you should be able to find a finish color that will complement the rest of your bathroom, whether you are renovating or starting from scratch.

What We Don't Like

Single Person Bath

Due to this tub’s compact size, it is only suitable for one adult at a time. Two small children might fit in together but the tub will probably still be cramped.

Product Specs

Dimensions 48 inches by 32 inches by 23-3/8 inches
Capacity 60 gallons
Material Acrylic
Type Alcove
Included No accessories

7. Duravit D-Code Soaking Bathtub

Rising Star

In bathroom design, simple is often better. This soaking tub provides ample space to bathe comfortably and features a supportive slope for your back.

It is made of sanitary acrylic and complies with industry safety standards. Relatively new on the market, this Duravit tub hasn’t had much time to establish a reputation. Even so, the customer feedback we have seen has been positive so far, hence this model receiving our Rising Star award.

What We Like

Simple but Supportive

Even with its relatively simple appearance, this tub is designed to provide back support. This will aid your posture and provide some extra comfort while bathing. The overall simplicity of the design means this tub is ideal for a home spa or as a calming addition to any bathroom.

Excellent Feedback

As this product is relatively new to the market, there is a limited number of reviews online. However, from what we’ve seen, user feedback appears to be very positive. This includes feedback regarding the product, Duravit’s customer service, and its value for money.

Thoughtful Design

Again, this unit’s simple appearance doesn’t mean it was thoughtlessly designed. From the supportive backrest to the sensible drain placement, this bathtub was designed to make bathing as comfortable and convenient as possible.

What We Don't Like

More Information Needed

As our Rising Star, this tub still needs some more time to fully prove itself. In time, issues with durability might begin to appear, but there is currently no indication of this

Product Specs

Dimensions 66-7/8 inches by 29.5 inches
Capacity Information not provided
Material Sanitary acrylic
Type Soaking
Included No accessories

8. Kingston Contemporary Acrylic Bathtub

Best Bathtub for Adults

Another relative newcomer, this Kingston model provides a generous amount of legroom, making it ideal for tall users. It has an ultra-smooth acrylic finish for improved comfort and much easier cleaning.

One end of the tub’s interior is sloped to provide back support while bathing. At 60 inches long and 30.69 inches wide, this tub provides plenty of space for people over six feet tall to relax and submerge themselves.

What We Like

It’s Spacious

This tub has impressive internal dimensions. Smaller users will find it very spacious, while people over six feet tall will still be able to relax in it without feeling cramped. There is also enough room for two adults to share a relaxing bath together.

The tub has a capacity of 58.2 gallons and a maximum water depth of just below 14 inches.

Easy to Install

Today, the cost of hiring a plumber to install a new bath is often higher than the price of the tub itself. Thankfully, this Kingston model has a simple installation process, so there is a good chance that you will be able to do it yourself.

Durable

This Kingston tub is highly durable and, with proper maintenance, you should be able to keep using it for decades. Its smooth acrylic finish also means it is easy to wipe clean, so it will continue to look pristine for longer.

What We Don't Like

Needs More Time

Like any new product, this bathtub needs more time to prove how durable and reliable it is. So far, customer feedback appears to be very positive, so the early signs are good.

Product Specs

Dimensions 60 inches by 30.69 inches by 22.06 inches
Capacity 58.2 gallons
Material Acrylic
Type Soaking
Included No accessories

9. Woodbridge 59” Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub

Most Comfortable

This Woodbridge freestanding acrylic bathtub is sleek, luxurious, and eyecatching. There is plenty of space for tall people, thanks to its 59-inch length.

The tub’s distinctive curved shape provides both impressive visual appeal and comfortable bathing. Its smooth curves are designed to match the contours of your body so you can lie back and relax.

Relaxation is encouraged by the gently sloped ends, and there is room for a bath pillow so you can rest your head back. This will ensure a comfortable bath, whether you are alone or have company.

What We Like

More Room

Named for its 59-inch length, the Woodbridge 59 is 5 inches longer than some of the brand’s other popular models. These extra inches make a significant difference in how spacious the bath feels. We recommend this tub if you are tall and want some extra room to stretch out in the bath.

Ergonomic Design

This bath is designed with slopes at both ends, providing support when you want to lie back. If you are bathing alone, you will be able to relax with your feet up. If you are sharing the bath with someone else, you will both be able to relax thanks to the dual back supports.

Simple Maintenance

The smooth acrylic surface is very easy to wipe clean, as well as being resistant to both scratches and stains. The included drain and pipe system prevents leaks, corrosion, and unpleasant odors.

What We Don't Like

Quality Control

Some owners reported problems with the drain system. Some said the components broke easily, while others claimed installation was impossible due to receiving incorrect fittings. It isn’t clear whether Woodbridge is responsible for these issues or if they were damaged during delivery.

Product Specs

Dimensions 59 inches by 28-3/4 inches by 27.5 inches
Capacity 55 gallons
Material Acrylic; reinforced with resin and fiberglass.
Type Freestanding
Included Brushed nickel overflow and drain

10. American Standard Cambridge 5-Foot Bathtub

Safest Build

This American Standard Cambridge 5-foot bathtub is a great option if your household contains children, older people, or anyone else who struggles to climb in and out of the tub. It has a secure slip-resistant porcelain finish, so you will be able to get in and out with confidence.

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) means you can buy with confidence, even if you have limited mobility (1). The tub is also beveled for additional comfort and support.

This tub is designed for alcove installation to make the most of your available space. As such, it is suitable for most bathroom sizes.

What We Like

Slip-Resistant

Getting in and out of deep bathtubs is very challenging for a large number of people, so anything that makes it easier is worth highlighting. American Standard designed this tub with a non-slip surface to significantly reduce the risk of accidental falls.

Ergonomic Features

Alcove tubs aren’t always designed with luxury in mind, but this one is. Its beveled shape provides support for your back, neck, and head. These features combine to make this tub far more comfortable than most models of the same type.

Excellent All-Rounder

Between the safety features and the ergonomic design, this is an excellent all-rounder that is ideal for cleaning or relaxing. This alcove bathtub provides all the comforts of a high-end tub but at a very reasonable price.

What We Don't Like

High Maintenance

As this tub is made of composite material and finished with porcelain enamel, it could eventually develop cracks or scratches. The risk of this can be reduced by proper maintenance. Clean the bathtub using one of our recommended bathtub cleaners to keep the surface in pristine condition.

Product Specs

Dimensions 60 inches by 32 inches by 17-3/4 inches
Capacity 50–60 gallons
Material Americast composite (mimics cast iron)
Type Alcove
Included Information not provided

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Dimensions Capacity Material Type
American Standard Acrylic Tub 66 x 32 x 23″ N/A Acrylic and reinforced fiberglass Freestanding
Ferdy Koh Samui Freestanding Freestanding Tub 64.76 x 31.89 x 23.62″ 61 gal. Acrylic Freestanding
American Standard Studio Bathtub Alcove Tub 60 x 32 x 18″ 52 gal. Acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement Alcove
Empava Acrylic Whirlpool Bathtub 66.93″ x 30.71″ x 22.83″ ‎59 gal. Acrylic; fiberglass; stainless steel; tempered glass Whirlpool
Woodbridge Acrylic Freestanding Soaking Tub 54″ x 28 3/8″ x 28 3/8″ 55 gal. Reinforced acrylic; resin, fiberglass Soaking
Kohler Greek 4-Foot Bath Small Bathrooms 48″ x 32″ x 23-3/8″ 60 gal. Acrylic Alcove
Duravit D-Code Soaking Bathtub Rising Star 66-7/8″ x 29.5″ N/A Sanitary acrylic Soaking
Kingston Contemporary Acrylic Bathtub Adults 60″ x 30.69″ x 22.06″ 58.2 gal. Acrylic Soaking
Woodbridge Acrylic Freestanding Comfort 59″ x 28-3/4″ x 27.5″ 55 gal. Acrylic; with resin and fiberglass Freestanding
American Standard Cambridge Safest Build 60″ x 32″ x 17-3/4″ 50–60 gal. Americast composite Alcove

Types of Bathtubs

When planning your new bathroom or renovating an old one, the bathtub is an area where you have a huge amount of options to choose from. The basic idea of a tub is very simple: it holds water for you to bathe in. However, there are now numerous different types available, each designed for specific needs.

Acrylic Bathtubs

Acrylic is a versatile plastic that is used for numerous applications. It can be made into almost any shape and texture the manufacturer desires — including bathtubs.

You will find acrylic bathtubs of almost every type, including alcove, freestanding, soaking, and whirlpool models. This tough material has a long lifespan and will last for decades if properly cared for. It isn’t porous, which means it is usually resistant to bacteria and mildew (2).

As a plastic, acrylic is widely produced on an industrial scale with cost-effectiveness in mind. Not all acrylic bathtubs are cheap, but you are likelier to find a budget-friendly acrylic model than luxury materials such as copper and marble.

Pros

  • Available in all shapes, types, and sizes
  • Many budget-friendly options
  • Long-lasting
  • Usually simple to clean

Cons

  • Quality matters: not all acrylic is created equal

Alcove Bathtubs

Alcove bathtubs are considered the current standard and are often built into bathrooms (or “inset”). Their average dimensions are 2.5 feet by 5 feet, with a water depth of about 15 inches, but this varies significantly.

These can be considered general-purpose tubs as they are designed to fit snugly into alcoves in most homes. They are usually smaller and shallower than freestanding bathtubs but they will still provide enough space for most people.

Alcove tubs are an excellent option if you have limited space or a limited budget.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Sized to fit into most bathrooms
  • A varied range of models
  • All-purpose tubs

Cons

  • Could be too small or shallow for larger people

Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding bathtubs embody bathroom luxury. They require more space than alcove tubs but they are also far more impressive visually.

You can place a freestanding tub wherever you want, as long as it can be connected to your plumbing. This gives you far more freedom when designing your new bathroom or renovation.

Freestanding bathtubs are available in countless styles. You can choose a traditional roll-top or slipper bath if you want to evoke a vintage feel in your bathroom. On the other hand, sleek, minimalist freestanding bathtubs are perfect for bold modern homes.

You don’t necessarily need a large bathroom for a freestanding tub, but it will ensure you have sufficient space to maneuver around the unit.

Pros

  • More luxurious and elegant than alcove tubs
  • Usually larger (deeper, wider, and longer)
  • Visually impressive
  • Available in traditional and vintage styles

Cons

  • High-end models can be very expensive
  • Not suitable for small bathrooms

Soaking Bathtubs

Soaking tubs are usually deeper to allow bathers to submerge themselves fully. Their sizes vary but soaking bathtubs are generally 20 inches deep.

These tubs are designed with comfort in mind. If you want a therapeutic bathtub without having to pay for jets, soaking tubs provide an excellent alternative.

These units are ideal for taller people who might struggle to fit into alcove or even freestanding tubs. They can also be more impressive visually, but keep in mind that your bathroom will need to accommodate the extra size and installation could be more complicated.

Pros

  • More size options
  • Enough space for shared baths
  • Perfect for relaxation
  • More room for customization

Cons

  • People with limited mobility might struggle to enter and exit
  • High-end; not budget-friendly

Whirlpool Bathtubs

A whirlpool tub is the best choice for a therapeutic bath at home. They are essentially Jacuzzis, only without that famous brand name.

Whirlpool tubs feature jets to provide a water-powered massage and help your body relax. If you frequently suffer from aches and pains after working or exercising, one of these tubs might help.

Whirlpool tubs are usually large and aren’t suitable for compact bathrooms. Their jets make it more difficult to clean them thoroughly. Improper cleaning can lead to biofilm forming, which provides a home for harmful germs and bacteria (3).

Pros

  • Perfect for relaxing soaks alone or with company
  • Children will enjoy bathing in them
  • Great for relieving tension and soreness
  • Luxurious bathtubs with high-end features

Cons

  • Usually expensive
  • More difficult to clean thoroughly

Different Bathtub Materials

In addition to the size and shape, you will need to consider which material your tub is made of. The material will influence your tub’s price, durability, and maintenance. The most popular materials used to make bathtubs include:

  • Acrylic: Acrylic bathtubs are durable, lightweight, and usually offer good value as acrylic is a type of plastic. These tubs can have a glossy sheen or a more muted matte look. Acrylic usually isn’t scratch-resistant but it is easy to make it shine again.
  • Cast Iron: Cast iron bathtubs are extremely durable, so they are an excellent option for families with children. A cast-iron frame is coated in enamel for a smoother finish and extra insulation. These tubs can be very heavy, so installation is more difficult and often more complicated.
  • Composite: Typically made using a combination of plastic, carbon fiber, and resin, these tubs are lightweight and easy to install. They require proper care and maintenance to prevent nicks, cracks, and scratches.
  • Cultured solid-surface: A luxurious option, cultured solid-surface is a material that is highly resistant to stains. Similar to quartz, these baths are manufactured by crushing stone and using it to make a frame, then finishing it with a smooth gel coating.
  • Enamel: Enamel bathtubs have steel frames, so they are lighter than a cast iron tub. Frequent maintenance is required to keep enamel tubs in top condition. If the enamel coating is chipped or scratched, the steel can be exposed and might rust.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is often used as a reinforcing agent over other materials. It is durable and can be manufactured to be lightweight. It also provides effective insulation, keeping your bath water hotter for longer.
  • Wood or Glass: You are unlikely to see these at a bathroom retailer, as they are usually custom made. These rare bath materials are ornate and unique but they also have potential drawbacks. Wood, for example, is susceptible to warping, so it is important to get a high-quality tub and maintain it properly.

How to Choose a Bathtub

With so many bathtubs to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start looking. You can narrow down your search significantly by answering the following questions regarding your potential bathtub.

What Will You Use It For?

If you take showers and baths interchangeably, you should be able to get by with a lightweight acrylic bathtub. On the other hand, if your tub will be used frequently by multiple people, choose a model that is made with durability in mind, such as a cast iron unit.

On the other hand, if you want to create a luxury bathroom to serve as a home spa or treat aches and pains, a therapeutic whirlpool tub would be a great option.

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Do You Have Kids?

If you have children, it is a good idea to choose a more durable bathtub such as a cast iron model. If your children are still small, it is also sensible to get a tub that is shallower so they can climb in and out easily.

Will You Wash Your Pets in It?

If you have pets that you intend to clean in your bathtub, it is important to consider the tub material carefully. Softer materials such as acrylic and composite could be scratched by your pet’s claws, which will ruin the entire tub. If you want to ensure your tub will stay pristine, choose a durable material such as cast iron or stone.

Where Do You Live?

The size of your home, particularly your bathroom, will determine the potential dimensions of your tub. Freestanding tubs require more space, both for the tub itself and to maneuver around it, so they are unsuitable for small bathrooms. Don’t forget that you also need to fit the tub through any doorways to get it into your bathroom.

Some baths, such as cast iron and stone, are heavier, so they might be unsuitable for upstairs installation in your home. Check how much weight the floor can take, and keep in mind that your bath will be heavier once it is full of water and has someone in it. If you aren’t confident in the strength of your floor, choose a lightweight material such as acrylic.

How Will You Install It?

If you want a freestanding bath, consider how it will be connected to your existing plumbing. You might have to renovate your entire bathroom, which will probably require professional assistance.

When it comes to alcove tubs, think about their orientation and how they will be connected to your drain. Ensure you buy one that will best match your current bathroom layout.

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Some tubs can require a lot of extra work to be properly installed in your bathroom. Spend some time planning exactly where you will place yours, and how it will be installed.

What About Faucets?

Faucets are usually sold separately, even when buying from top bathtub brands. This allows for greater customization but it is an additional cost that you will need to take into account, as well as an extra part that needs to be installed.

If your tub is pre-drilled for faucets, consider whether or not you are happy with their location. Some tubs have faucets at one of their ends, while others are centered. Centered faucets are better if you plan on sharing your baths with someone else, as neither person will have to lean back against the faucets.

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Is Bathing Better than Showering?

Experts have long debated whether you should choose bathing or showering, and those discussions have only intensified in recent years. With an increased focus on green living, people are more concerned with water conservation than ever before. Showers are often lauded as being more convenient, saving space, and apparently reducing water waste (4).

It is true that showers have advantages but it isn’t a clear win over baths. There is a lot of misinformation regarding taking baths:

  • Cleanliness: Due to the volume of water, baths aren’t dirtier than showers, as long as you keep the bathtub itself clean. It is true that showers excel if you are very dirty when you get in, such as after intense exercise. In terms of everyday cleaning, hygiene experts say this is largely a matter of personal preference.
  • Environmental Impact: Water usage isn’t as black and white as people often imply. Comparisons usually judge baths by their full capacity, which you probably won’t use for an everyday bath. In truth, a long shower can use just as much water as a bathtub that is full to its brim.

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About the Author

Peter Gray

Peter has been a homeowner for 35+ years and has always done his own repair and improvement tasks. As a retired plumber, Peter now spends his time teaching others how they can fix leaks, replace faucets, and make home improvements on a budget.