Text Size:

Current Size: 100%

Difficulty getting into and out of the bath?

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.

Making your bathroom easier to use

Many people have difficulties using bathroom fittings, from the bath or shower to the toilet. We provide ideas to help, advice on getting into and out of a bath and an overview of bathing products, including hoists, bath boards and bath seats.

Molly Bather bath seat


    Help with getting into a bath

    The main ways to adapt your bath to make it easier to get in and out are by using:

    Patterson Medical bath bench
    Patterson Medical bath bench
    Nottingham Rehab Supplies bath step
    A bath step

    Bath boards and seats

    • A bath board fits across the bath. You sit on it and lift your legs over the rim. You can wash or shower from there or lower yourself onto a bath seat. £14 - £50
    • Washing from a bath seat means you don't have to get right down into the bath. Or you can use one with a board to get into the bath in stages. £17 - £40+
    • Combined boards and seats are also available, from £50++
    • A bath bench is a bath board that extends beyond the bath to help you get in. More expensive ones have a seat that swivels round. £100 - £160

    Bath lifts and hoists

    • With a bath lift, you sit on the seat, lift your legs over the rim and press a button on a remote control and the seat slowly lowers you into the bath. There are four kinds of bath lift: manual, inflatable, band and powered seats. £300 - £650+
    • Fixed bath hoists are available as either electric or manual models and can be floor or ceiling mounted. £800 - £900++
    • Mobile bath hoists can be wheeled about, which is useful if you need to use them in more than one room. £1,000+


    Bath steps can be a cost-effective solution for many people. They can have one or more steps, and some come with hand rails. £20 - £60.

    Grab rails can be combined with many of these solutions for extra security when getting in and out.


    • A wide price range is shown by the ++ sign
    • You don't have to pay VAT on bathing products for disabled people

    For more help, download our printable guide Difficulty getting in and out of the bath? (PDF)

    Find out more

    Visit Living Made Easy (bathing section) from the Disabled Living Foundation charity, which provides unbiased information on the range of bathing products available in the UK. It doesn't sell products.

    Know your consumer rights

    Check the consumer rights page to see if you know your rights when buying goods and services online or when visiting shops.

    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 or go to our Useful contacts section in the menu above.

    Last updated: August 2018

    Next: Cost - new bath or shower?