Text Size:

Current Size: 100%

Bathing accessories

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers is the UK’s leading expert in user-centred research involving disabled and older consumers. We have over 50 years’ experience of independent, specialist research.

Grab rails

Grab rails help you move from one position to another, or just keep steady.

  • There's a wide range of grab rails available, some with different shapes. Some can be made to measure.
  • Most fix to the wall, but some are attached to the bath or floor. Check that they don't get in your way.
  • Handles with suction pads cling to any solid flat surface - useful when visiting and need to use a bath.
  • Prices range from around £5 for basic rails, to £30+ for more complex designs.
  • A rail that goes around the taps can be used to steady yourself. They fold away when not in use. Note: they're not designed to take all of your weight or help you get up.

Grab rail safety

Be sure to position grab rails carefully to suit you.

  • Check that the rails are thick enough to grip easily and that there's space for your hand.
  • The wall  you fix them to must be strong and the fixings secure.
  • A fixed rail along the wall will give you more support.
  • If you need to hold on with both hands as you step into the bath, fit one on the outside edge of the bath too. But make sure it doesn't get in the way of your bath board.

Avoid slipping:

  • Fit non-slip bath mats into the bottom of the bath.
  • Choose rails that are easy to grip - smooth ones get slippery when wet.
  • Make sure grab rails are firmly fixed - consult a builder, particularly if you have cavity walls.
  • Don't put your weight on fittings, such as towel rails or basins. Get a firmly fitted rail.

Smaller items

Long-handled sponge being used to wash between toes
Long-handled sponge bob

Some bathing accessories can make the whole process of bathing much easier:

Bath steps can be a cost-effective solution for many people. They can have one or more steps; some come with hand rails. £20 - £155

Alarms warn you if the bath water is too high or too hot. Some stop the bath from overfilling. Or use:

  • Bath thermometers - £4++
  • Water level indicators - £7++

Sponges, brushes, flannels and lotion applicators with long handles are useful if you have difficulty stretching or bending. £5 - £20+

Soap dispensers are easier to handle than a slippery bar of soap. An automatic dispenser senses when your hand is under it. £36 - £50+

Anti-slip stick-on shapes. £5 - £14

Bath cushions - some go on the bottom of the bath; some are to rest your head or neck; and there are cushions that fit over the tap to act as a backrest. Some can be used with bath lifts. £4 - £30++

Body dryers work like a hair dryer - so there's no need to bother with towels. £540+

(++) shows there's a wide price range

This information from the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers is unbiased and we hope it will help you choose the right option to meet your needs. We don't sell products. Please search online by product name to find suppliers.

Last updated: August 2018

Previous: Bath lifts and hoists | Bathing accessories | Next: Toilets and basins