We have nothing against showers. But they do lack the luxury of bathtubs. After a long, stressful day, lying back in a warm soak is one of the best feelings in the world.
We’re here to show you how to up your bathtub game and find the best bathtub for your bathroom. Acquiring a stylish, functional tub isn’t difficult to do, but we’ve made it even easier. If you’re uncertain of where to begin, our top ten recommendations are here to help.
Types of Bathtubs
You get a lot of say in the type of tub you’d like. From custom designs to advanced systems like whirlpool tubs, there’s no need to limit yourself.
Acrylic is a multifaceted plastic with a variety of applications. It can be textured and shaped to almost anything the manufacturer desires — including bathtubs (1).
These are the most versatile type of tub, and can be alcove, freestanding, soaking or whirlpool models. This tough material has a lengthy lifespan and can last for 30 years or more. It isn’t porous, which means it tends to be bacteria and mildew-resistant (2).
An added benefit is that, as a plastic, acrylic is produced on a large scale with cost-effectiveness in mind (3). That isn’t to say that all acrylic tubs are cheap. Still, you’re more likely to find a budget-friendly model made of this material than something like wood or marble.
- Come in all shapes, types, sizes, and prices.
- Plenty of budget-friendly options available.
- Usually simple to clean.
- Quality matters: not all acrylic is created equally.
These tubs are considered the standard and may be built-in in some bathrooms. Dimensions, on average, are 2.5 feet by 5 feet, with water depth roughly 15 inches.
Consider these your general-purpose tubs as they’re made to fit into the alcoves of most homes. They’re not usually as spacious or deep as other models, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be pleasant to bathe in.
Alcove tubs typically take up less room than the others on our list and are more affordable, too.
- More affordable.
- Standard-sized to fit in most bathrooms.
- Wide range of models available.
- All-purpose tubs.
- May be too small or shallow for larger adults.
Freestanding bathtubs are the embodiment of extravagance. We’ve all enviously watched movie characters indulge in a soak in one of these striking models.
You can place a freestanding tub wherever you want it, so long as it’s connected to your plumbing. This makes it a natural choice for users with massive renovations in mind.
Antique styles are excellent for complementing a vintage-themed bathroom. Or, look at contemporary, minimalist models to suit modern decor.
You don’t necessarily need a palatial bathroom for a freestanding tub, but it will help. There are some interesting shapes on offer here, such as oblong or slipper.
- Enticing for users seeking opulence and elegance.
- Usually on the larger side (deeper, wider, and longer).
- Eye-catching fixture.
- Available in all styles, from modern to vintage.
- Can cost a bundle depending on what you have in mind.
- Not appropriate for tiny bathrooms.
Soaking tubs are typically deeper to allow bathers to submerge themselves fully. Regardless, you can still use one of these for everyday hygiene. Though their sizes vary, soaking tubs are generally 20 inches deep.
These tubs are constructed with comfort in mind. If you’re interested in a therapeutic tub or a home spa without jets, these are the better option.
A soaking tub will likely tempt taller or larger adults. Some say that they’re also more stylish, but keep in mind they can cost you more money to install.
- More choice in dimensions.
- Spacious for shared baths.
- Best for relaxation.
- Stylish; more room for customization.
- Could prove difficult to climb in and out of for physically limited users.
- High-end; not budget-friendly.
A whirlpool tub is the ultimate for at-home therapy. They’re much like Jacuzzis, but without the patented name we’re all familiar with (4).
Whirlpool tubs have jets for soothing, water-powered massage. This is the sort of tub you can lose track of time in, once the jets hit you! Those of you who come back from work sore and tired may want to invest in a whirlpool model.
Whirlpool tubs are almost always sizable; they’re not for compact bathrooms. As they have jets, thorough cleaning requires a little more effort. A buildup of gunk can form a biofilm, which is a hospitable environment for nasty germs and bacteria (5).
- Ideal for leisurely soaks and intimate couples’ baths.
- Fun for children to bathe in.
- Great for relieving tension and soreness.
- Luxurious tub all family members can appreciate.
- Can be expensive.
- Requires thorough cleaning.
Different Bathtub Materials
Beyond design and shape, you should think about what your tub is built from. Material factors into your tub’s price, maintenance, and style, so it’s worth looking into before you settle on a specific model.
- Acrylic: As we’ve established, acrylic tubs are durable and tend to be cost-effective since acrylic is a type of plastic. They can be made with a glossy sheen or a matte look. Acrylic isn’t usually scratch-resistant, but it’s not difficult to restore its shine.
- Cast Iron: Because these tubs are virtually indestructible, we recommend them to families with children. A cast-iron frame is coated in enamel for style and smoothness. They’re heavy though, so installation might be tricky.
- Composite: Typically a blend of plastic, carbon fiber, and resin, these tubs are lightweight and easy to install. You’ll have to care for it properly and frequently to avoid nicks, cracks, and scratches.
- Cultured solid-surface: A rather opulent option, cultured solid-surface is a material that’s highly resistant to staining. Similar to quartz, these baths are manufactured by crushing stone for the frame and smoothing it with a gel coating.
- Enamel: Enamel tubs’ frames are made of steel, so they’re lighter than cast iron tubs (6). Frequent maintenance is required to keep enamel tubs in shape. If the enamel coating chips or peels, the underlying steel may rust.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is often used as a reinforcing agent over various materials. It’s durable and can be manufactured to be lightweight. Another benefit is that it’s a good insulator, keeping your baths hotter for longer.
- Wood and Glass: Custom baths are often built with unconventional materials. While these are ornate and distinctive-looking, they’re not standard. Wood, for example, can be susceptible to warping, so special maintenance is needed.
Freestanding vs. Alcove Tubs
The two can differ significantly in appearance, but they do the same job. There’s no difference in their functionality, and which one you choose is a matter of personal preference.
- Alcove: Alcove tubs, as the name implies, are fixed against your bathroom walls and floor, so less space is used. These tubs are typically built-in and come standard with homes that boast them. Initial installation is more difficult (and perhaps costly), but once it’s in place, your job is practically done.
- Freestanding: Freestanding tubs are more like furniture than a bathroom feature. You can place them wherever you like — so long as they can connect to your plumbing. While they’re the stylish alternative, they’re often heavier and take up more room.
How to Choose the Best Bathtubs
You might think that picking a bath requires almost no thought, but you do want to make sure the one you buy will fit into your life.
1. What Will You Use It For?
Are you looking for a bath to withstand the rigors of family life? If so, consider picking a model that’s built with durability in mind (e.g. cast iron).
On the other hand, maybe your goal is to set up a home spa or you want a bath for therapeutic reasons. A whirlpool tub will probably work better for you, or a deeper tub to submerge yourself in.
2. Do You Have Kids?
Shallower tubs are better for children. They’re easier to climb into and are shallower if safety is a concern. If your kids are young and still need supervision while bathing, a built-in bath is best.
Soaking tubs tend to be taller, and it may not be comfortable for you to sit beside.
3. Will You Wash Your Pets in It?
If you have indoor pets that will also put your tub to use, you’ll have to think about the material. Porcelain finishes will be subjected to your pet’s claws, so you might notice a few scratches A cast iron tub may be best if your pet is likely to resist, while stone tubs won’t damage as easily.
4. Where Do You Live?
This will determine the dimensions of your tub. Firstly, freestanding tubs take up a lot of room, so they’re not suitable for smaller spaces. Secondly, some baths are heavy, so if you live in a high-rise building, make sure your floor can handle it.
You can get away with cast iron or cultured solid-surface frames if your bathroom is on the first floor. Otherwise, consider something lighter like acrylic. Don’t forget about delivery and installation when thinking about weight and size.
5. How Will You Install It?
If you want a freestanding bath, how will you set it up with your plumbing? You might have to renovate your whole bathroom, and will likely require professional assistance.
When it comes to alcove tubs, have you thought about how it will connect to your drain? Ensure you buy one with a drain on the side that matches your bathroom layout.
Tubs aren’t exactly ready-to-go once you buy them. Make some time to plan exactly where you’ll place yours, and how you’ll get the job done.
6. What About Faucets?
Faucets are usually sold separately, even when dealing with the best bathtubs. You should set some money aside for these, and also account for them in installation.
If your tub isn’t custom made and has designated points for faucets, think about their placement. Some tubs have faucets on either one of their ends; others are centered. The latter is better for shared bathtime, as no one will hit their head when leaning back.
Best Bathtub Reviews of 2020
If you’ve never had a tub installed, choosing one isn’t easy. Our recommendations can be your starting point. We’ve selected the following with design, features, and customer satisfaction in mind.
1. American Standard 2764014M202.011 Cadet Freestanding Bathtub
Looking for an acrylic tub? The American Standard Cadet Freestanding Tub is a great tub to consider. Of course, it’s freestanding so it will be a statement piece in any bathroom, so long as you have the space.
There are many amazing features to this tub. For one, it comes as a complete kit with the faucet, a sprayer and drain assembly.
Next, it has an amazing design. It’s extra deep, rocks a wide ledge and the fiberglass reinforcement ensures ultimate durability.
Why We Love It
When the bathtub arrives, you can easily install it. The two piece design makes it a breeze to put together. The design of the tub has many advantages when it comes to using it. Mainly because it’s extra wide so you can become fully submerged in the warm, bubbly water. It becomes a total body experience and makes it super relaxing for two people.
The outer deck surrounding the entire tub is extra wide. This is ideal for placing candles all around the bath to create a lush experience. It’s also good for holding up a bath caddy, storing your soap or even as a place to put your glass of wine.
The American Standard tub is finished with high gloss acrylic and fiberglass reinforcement. The faucet, spray and drain is made of solid brass, equipped with washerless ceramic disc valves. That means no leaking for the lifetime of this piece! In general, the bathtub is designed to be durable for decades, so when you finally piece together your dream bathroom — it’s going to last for a long time.
Keep In Mind
It might be worth hiring a plumber to install the faucet, which can be quite finicky to set up. Once it’s set up, it’s easy to use but it does take a long time to fill up the tub. Of course, when it is finally full, it will have been worth it — but keep this in mind so you can time your relaxing soak well.
|Dimensions||66 x 32 x 23 inches|
|Capacity||Information not provided|
|Material||Acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement|
|Included||Tub filler, handheld spray and drain assembly|
2. Pelham & White Mendham Luxury Freestanding Tub
The name of this unit by Pelham & White says it all. This tub will suit bathers who are aiming to recreate a 5-star hotel or spa experience in their bathrooms.
It has a classic oval shape and appearance, but it’s far from dated. The pedestal and glossy finish make it an interesting pick for a range of decorative schemes.
There’s substance to the Mendham too: it’s reinforced with fiberglass and a hardened composite. Also, the conservative dimensions mean you don’t need to instantly count it out of the running if your bathroom is on the smaller side.
Why We Love It
Fits in Most Bathrooms
You don’t need a mansion for an elegant freestanding tub: this model is proof. With a length of 60 inches and a width of 31.4 inches, it should fit into the majority of bathrooms.
Attractive and Accommodating
This tub is just lovely to look at. With a glossy surface and a magnificent pedestal, we think it’s tasteful and high-end without being garish.
It’s also accommodating, with a wide-sump design and an angled backrest. The former means you’ll have more room in the rear to settle in. Additionally, an anti-slip surface will prevent you from sliding around while you bathe.
The patented EnduraClean surface allows for toil-free maintenance. It’s not tedious or difficult to clean and is treated to be resistant to scratches and stains. Your freestanding tub will stay glossier for longer this way.
Keep In Mind
Might be Too Small for Wide Open Spaces
Are you fortunate enough to have an enormous bathroom to work with? This tub may look somewhat diminutive in a vast open space.
|Dimensions||60 by 31.4 by 24.4 inches|
|Material||Acrylic, EnduraClean, brass, brushed nickel|
|Included||Brushed nickel drain and overflow, white pedestal|
3. American Standard Studio Bathtub
Both the design and dimensions of this tub make it a seamless fit into an assortment of bathrooms.
It’s minimalist in almost all respects. The plain, paper-white color “Arctic” should go with bathroom color schemes both vivid and muted. At the least, it likely won’t clash with other shades of white, for example, cream or golden-tinged.
There are no protrusions, swirls or decorations with this tub that some users may find distasteful. It’s plain and simple: an accessory piece to complement your bathroom’s style.
Why We Love It
The Studio is an alcove tub that falls squarely within standard-sized bathtub measurements (7). The 60-inch length and 32-inch width make it unlikely to be oversized or undersized for your bathroom.
This popular tub weighs about as much as a large dog; it’s only 60 pounds. Herculean strength isn’t required to manipulate this model for DIY installation.
Sleek Exterior, Welcoming Interior
The clean, stark lines of the Studio may seem intimidating, but you won’t be disappointed when you step into this tub for the first time. The inside is molded and accommodating, and there’s also built-in support for your lower back.
Keep In Mind
Despite the 18-inch high stepover, the actual depth is only 12 inches. Those of you who are taller or wider may find this insufficient for a thorough soak.
|Dimensions||60 by 32 by 18 inches|
|Material||Acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement|
4. EAGO Clear Rectangular Whirlpool Tub
This whirlpool tub will appeal to those who want a model that stands out from the crowd. Whirlpool tubs are already lavish fixtures, so that’s saying something.
The front of the tub is glass, making it look both startlingly modern and inviting. Both ends are built with backrests to avoid fights with your significant other over who gets lumbar support.
A digital control panel allows you to manipulate things like temperature, Bluetooth speakers, and LED lighting. These futuristic features will likely tempt the gadget-lovers out there.
Why We Love It
Jets and backrests aren’t the only indulgent attributes of this EAGO model. You can soak to whichever sounds you please thanks to the Bluetooth speakers. Listen to your favorite tunes, audiobooks or guided meditations as the jets massage you.
LED lights can set the mood for romantic evenings. Solo bathers can switch them on for a tranquil, spa-like vibe. You’re also in charge of the temperature with this tub.
Bold, Attention-Grabbing Design
You (and any visitors you have over) won’t be able to take their eyes off this tub. The considerable size combined with the see-through front makes it a statement.
If you want a tub that’ll be the center of attention in your bathroom, consider this EAGO whirlpool unit.
With all these ritzy electronic features, you may be somewhat wary of this model. After all, we all know that electricity and water aren’t a great mix.
Luckily this model is Edison Testing Laboratory (ETL)-certified. That means it holds up to North American safety standards. (8)
Keep In Mind
Hefty Price Tag
The downside of this all-in-one whirlpool tub is the price. The ingenious controls and the beautiful design come at a high cost.
|Dimensions||71 inches by 35 inches by 25 inches|
|Material||Acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel|
|Included||Bluetooth, LED lighting, temperature control|
5. Woodbridge 54” Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub
This soaking tub is in it for the long haul. It’s scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and built to conserve space around it. Maintenance is simplified, and it’s a great choice for compact spaces.
It’s sleek and will look good in any bathroom without sacrificing efficiency. Reinforced, it can withstand up to 1,000 pounds of weight. A cool feature is its insulation, which prolongs heat conservation no matter how many people use it.
Like the tub itself, the plumbing is premium quality and designed for durability. There’s an anti-leak and anti-odor drain and pipe system included to save you trouble.
Why We Love It
Easy to Maintain
Acrylic, in and of itself, gives you fairly painless maintenance. This model adds to that by boasting a scratch-resistant and stain-resistant finish. If you’re looking forward to soaking in bubbles, bath salts or bath bombs, you won’t have to worry about your products damaging your bath.
This is a strong tub that’s unlikely to fall over. Able to withstand up to 1,000 pounds, it’s durable and ideal for bigger adults. You can sit back and relax without worrying that it might wobble or buckle while you’re in it.
Maximum insulation preserves the temperature of your water, so you can enjoy it for longer. The number of bathers will not affect this, making it beneficial for intimate moments or shared bath times.
This is a great perk if you’re building a home spa since you can maximize relaxation sessions. For users living in cold regions, this is great in winter, too.
Keep In Mind
Could Be Deeper
A few customers, while satisfied with the quality, say they wish this tub were a bit deeper. This is likely subjective but worth keeping in mind for larger users.
On the plus side, its depth is suitable if you’re looking for an all-purpose tub that your children can use, too.
|Dimensions||54 inches by 28 3/8 inches by 28 3/8 inches|
|Material||Reinforced acrylic; Ashland resin, fiberglass|
|Included||Solid brass brushed nickel drain, stainless steel brushed nickel overflow, installation manual|
6. Kohler Greek 4-Foot Bath
We recommend this tub if you have limited space in your bathroom. At just 4 feet in length, it’s a space saver; perfect for families looking to install a built-in tub. You can choose between drop-in or alcove installation, so it’s also flexible.
Though it’s compact, it compensates with an extra-deep basin — a handy feature when you need to soak and relax.
Built from acrylic, you won’t have to trifle with maintenance. It’s durable and easy to clean. You can choose from select colors if you’re looking to jazz your bathroom up.
Why We Love It
This Kohler model is a good choice for those of you who live in small homes. Measuring just 4 feet in length and 2.6 feet in width, it will work well in the corner of a cramped bathroom. You shouldn’t have to rearrange your entire space to fit it.
Don’t be fooled by the dimensions — this tub still has a lot of room. At just under 2 feet deep, adults will still be able to enjoy a good soak in it. You may not have much room to stretch if you’re tall, but you’ll have sufficient water levels regardless.
Select Your Favorite Color
You can choose between three colors, so have a look and see which shade fits your bathroom best. Pick your favorite out of almond, biscuit or white. It’s especially handy if you’re remodeling or starting from scratch.
Keep In Mind
Single Person Bath
Because it’s so compact, only one adult at a time will fit. If you have young kids, there might be room for two, but don’t be surprised if it’s a bit cramped.
|Dimensions||48 inches by 32 inches by 23-3/8 inches|
7. Duravit D-Code Soaking Bathtub
Sometimes, simplicity is all you need. This soaking tub has ample space and is designed with a supportive slope for your back.
It’s made from sanitary acrylic and is industry standard compliant. Seemingly new on the market, it hasn’t had much time to compete. But feedback is promising so far as customers praise it, and only have positive things to say about it.
Why We Love It
Simple but Supportive
We like that the tub has a support feature that you can use to rest your back on. It’s stylish and functional and will aid your relaxation. Because of its simplicity, it will do well in a home spa or as a therapeutic addition to your bathroom.
As far as we can see, buyers of this tub have no criticisms. Customers are extremely satisfied with the product, Duravit’s customer service, and its affordability. Though it has few features to boast, it walks the talk.
It’s an elegant tub, and you can tell that it wasn’t thoughtlessly designed. From the convenient backrest to the drain that’s out of your way, it’s a congenial model. We think this will work best for relaxation, though it’s as functional as it is therapeutic.
Keep In Mind
More Information Needed
Because it’s our rising star, it needs more time to shine. Currently, there is little information available. Perhaps in time, its flaws will begin to show.
|Dimensions||66-7/8 inches by 29.5 inches|
|Capacity||Information not provided|
8. Ariel Platinum Paris Freestanding Tub
Another newcomer, this tub has an excellent amount of legroom for taller users. It’s built from ultra-smooth acrylic for comfort and easy maintenance. With usability in mind, the bath has concealed, adjustable footpegs that give you more control.
Its oval shape has a slope on one end to brace you when you lean back. There’s ample space for long legs with this tub, measuring in at 2.6 feet high and 5.5 feet long.
Included with your purchase are a pop-up chrome drain and overflow. The bath is also industry-standard compliant.
Why We Love It
This tub has impressive dimensions. Petite adults will find it especially spacious, while larger people will fit without feeling squeezed. There’s more than enough room for two in its width of 2.5 feet.
It can hold almost 70 gallons and, when filled, the water will reach just under 15 inches.
You can adjust the feet of this bath to suit your height, which isn’t a common feature in freestanding tubs. Climbing in and out is made easier, which will appeal to shorter or physically limited users.
With proper maintenance, it’s estimated that the Paris tub will keep going for 30 years. While it’s a somewhat high-end model, it’s well worth the cost. You’ll save money in the long run by not having to repair or replace cheaper and less-sturdy models.
Keep In Mind
Needs More Time
Like the Duravit D-Code, this one needs more time to see if it keeps up with other brands. So far, so good, though.
|Dimensions||66.9 inches by 29.9 inches by 31.4 inches|
|Included||Pop-up chrome drain and overflow|
9. Woodbridge 59” Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub
This Woodbridge model is luxurious and impressive. Those of you with longer legs will appreciate the roominess at 59 inches long.
This tub is also set apart by its design. The distinctive curved shape works for both style and maximum relaxation. It has smooth curves designed to contour to your body and is higher at one end.
This allows for ultimate relaxation with room for a bath pillow so you can lay your head back. It has a gentle slope as well to keep your back supported.
Why We Love It
The 5 extra inches compared to a smaller Woodbridge model, which doesn’t make our list, makes a huge difference. We recommend this tub if you’re tall and need more room to stretch out.
A great feature of this bath is that it’s sloped on both sides. If you’re bathing solo, you can rest your back after a long day and put your feet up, too. If you’re sharing, two people on either side can support their necks and backs.
The acrylic frame is easy to clean, and both stain- and scratch-resistant. The included drain and pipe system prevents leaks, corrosion, and odors.
Keep In Mind
A minority of buyers reported problems with the drain system. Some say that the components broke easily, while others mention that installation was impossible due to incorrect fittings. It’s unclear whether Woodbridge is at fault, or if these problems are a consequence of incorrect handling.
|Dimensions||59 inches by 28-3/4 inches by 27.5 inches|
|Material||Acrylic; reinforced with resin and fiberglass.|
|Included||Brushed nickel overflow and drain|
This American Standard Cambridge model is an excellent choice if you have children or elderly people in your home. It also has a secure slip-resistant porcelain finish, so is easy to clean and is perfect for the whole family.
ADA compliance adds further reassurance for those with extra mobility needs (9). The tub is also beveled for added comfort and support.
Intended for alcove installation, it maximizes space conservation, allowing it to suit homes of all sizes.
Why We Love It
What a relief it is knowing that your tub is designed for accident prevention. Baths can be risky for elderly or handicapped users, so we have to shine a light on this feature.
Alcove tubs aren’t always designed with luxury in mind, but this one is. Its beveled shape offers support for your back, neck, and head. Compared to most other tubs of its style, this one has added comfort, so it does well for relaxation.
When you combine the security features with the support aspects, you get an all-rounder that functions well for both pleasure and practicality.
Use it every day for grooming, or fire it up when you need a calming soak. It’s a great alternative to a soaking tub, and you’ll save money.
Keep In Mind
Since it’s made from a composite material and is finished with porcelain enamel, it might develop a few cracks or scratches. This can be prevented with proper maintenance. Keep it clean using one of the best bathtub cleaners as a precautionary measure.
|Dimensions||60 inches by 32 inches by 17-3/4 inches|
|Material||Americast composite (mimics cast iron)|
|Included||Information not provided|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|American Standard 2764014M202.011||Acrylic Tub||66 x 32 x 23″||N/A||Acrylic and reinforced fiberglass||Freestanding|
|Pelham & White Mendham Luxury||Freestanding Tub||60 x 31.4 x 24.4″||56 gal.||Acrylic, EnduraClean, brass, brushed nickel||Freestanding|
|American Standard Studio Bathtub||Alcove Tub||60 x 32 x 18″||52 gal.||Acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement||Alcove|
|EAGO Clear Rectangular Whirlpool||Whirlpool Bathtub||71″ x 35″ x 25″||95 gal.||Acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel||Whirlpool|
|Woodbridge 54” Acrylic Freestanding||Soaking Tub||54″ x 28 3/8″ x 28 3/8″||55 gal.||Reinforced acrylic; Ashland 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|
|Ariel Platinum Paris Freestanding||Adults||66.9″ x 29.9″ x 31.4″||68 gal.||Acrylic||Soaking|
|Woodbridge 59” Acrylic Freestanding||Comfort||59″ x 28-3/4″ x 27.5″||55 gal.||Acrylic; reinforced with resin and fiberglass.||Freestanding|
|American Standard Cambridge 5ft||Safest Build||60″ x 32″ x 17-3/4″||50–60 gal.||Americast composite (mimics cast iron)||Alcove|
Why Bathing Is Better than Showering
The battle between showers and baths has raged for longer than we can remember. With the advent of green living, water conservation is now a real priority (10). Justified by their convenience, compact design, and apparent water conservation, showers are promoted as a less wasteful option (11).
Yes, showering has its advantages, but baths don’t get enough credit. There’s also a lot of misinformation regarding them:
- Cleanliness: Baths aren’t dirtier than showers, so long as you keep them clean (and why wouldn’t you?). A time when showers shine is if you’re extremely dirty getting in, like after exercise. When compared to daily cleaning, hygiene experts say it’s a matter of personal preference.
- Environmental: Water usage isn’t as black and white as people make it out to be either. General statistics usually judge baths by their full capacity, which you needn’t use. In reality, a 45-minute shower wastes just as much water as a bathtub that’s full to its brim (12).
The Benefits of Bathtubs
There are many more ways that baths knock showers out of the park. Here are some facts you may not have known:
1. Mental and Physical Health
It’s not just an old wive’s tale. Bathing can improve your mental well-being. One study compared it to showering and reported lower scores for anxiety, depression, and anger (13).
The observation also noted improvements in blood flow and, by consequence, oxygen and nutrient transportation. It was concluded that bathing is better for both psychological and physiological health.
2. Stress Relief
The study cited above also found that bathing reduces stress and tension. There’s something tranquil about sitting in a bath, and science backs this up.
When you submerge yourself in warm water, your brain releases endorphins — commonly known as happy chemicals. Your muscles tense when you’re stressed and heat loosens them, enabling you to release pent up pressure. Heat immersion also improves your breathing, which is one of the most important parts of relaxation (14).
3. Healthy Skin
No matter how you go about washing, hot water will leave your skin dry. This has led many to believe that showering is better, as exposure to heat is reduced, and your skin won’t wrinkle as quickly.
Medical professionals say otherwise. Bathing is said to improve an array of skin conditions, including eczema and vitiligo (16). Another benefit is that you can add skin treatments — like oils or Epsom salts —to a tub.
4. Cardiovascular Health
With improved stress reduction, improved heart health follows. Proof of this is a study that notes how heat improves your circulation and lowers blood pressure (17). Bathing can also improve your blood sugar (18).
There’s also evidence that heat immersion — which is seen in saunas and bathing — reduces the risk of heart attacks (19).
5. Weight Loss
Bathing can’t replace a good workout, but it can burn calories. One investigation noted that an hour-long bath burned 140 calories — the same as a 30-minute walk. (20)
Calorie burning is an essential part of weight loss (21). While you won’t shed pounds just by soaking in a tub, bathing can give you a boost towards your goals.
6. Estate Value
Because of their functionality, baths are sought after in most cases, so having one installed could increase your home’s worth. Statistics show that buyers prefer full bathrooms over shower-only water closets (22). This is especially true in family homes, as parents prepare baths for their kids.
Last, but not least, is aesthetics. Baths are inviting, and in bigger cities where homes generally have less space, they’re elegant fixtures to have.
We think that a bathtub is a worthwhile investment, even if it’s purely superficial. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself. Setting up a home spa is made so much easier with a tub.
Take It Easy
Bathing has many benefits over showering, and a tub can transform your home into a lavish spa. Buying the perfect tub doesn’t have to be an expensive investment though. Some are far more affordable than you’d think.
Choosing the best bathtub seems complicated at first, but it’s easy to determine which type you need. As long as you factor in your bathroom’s dimensions and the look and style of your space, there should be something for every bather.
Don’t forget to factor in any relaxation features, though. We love whirlpool tubs for this reason alone!