The Best Bathtub Grab Bars of 2020

Table of Contents

For those recently out of surgery or for the elderly living on their own, the bathtub represents a potential hazard every time it’s used. This best bathtub grab bars review will take a look at some of the most effective solutions for keeping those you care about safe from potentially disastrous slips and falls.

Editor’s Pick
AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar
AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar
AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar

Coming in nine different lengths and two widths, this sturdy stainless steel bathtub grab bar fits in almost any shower.

Doesn't expire

Top Contender
Medline Bathtub Safety Grab Bar
Medline Bathtub Safety Grab Bar
Medline Bathtub Safety Grab Bar

This bathtub safety grab bar installs easily with a simple clamp and provides added support getting in and out of the tub.

Doesn't expire

Best Grab Bar With Shelf
Moen LR2356DCH Curved Safety Grab Bar with Built-in Shelf
Moen LR2356DCH Curved Safety Grab Bar with Built-in Shelf
Moen LR2356DCH Curved Safety Grab Bar with Built-in Shelf

This curved grab bar offers additional support to a shower or bathtub and features a shelf suited to hold shower essentials.

Doesn't expire

Best Suction Bathtub Grab Bar
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Shower Handle
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Shower Handle
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Shower Handle

If you're looking for a little added support in a shower or bathtub without installation, this suction handle is a great option.

Doesn't expire

Best Step-Through Style Bathtub Grab Bar
Vaunn Adjustable Medical Bathtub Grab Bar
Vaunn Adjustable Medical Bathtub Grab Bar
Vaunn Adjustable Medical Bathtub Grab Bar

This lightweight grab bar is made of a one-piece steel frame capable of accommodating weight up to 300 pounds.

Doesn't expire

Editor’s Pick

AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar

When you think of an bathtub grab bar, odds are the first image that pops to mind is a stainless steel bar common in hotels. The AmazonBasics safety grab bar is great for its size options; choose from 1.25 or 1.5 inch diameters and nine different lengths from 12 to 48 inches, making it perfect to fit in almost any tub.

Pros: While many grab bars in the category offer some other ancillary benefits, the main pro of this no-nonsense grab bar is that it does the job it’s intended to do. It installs easily via mounting screws to any standard shower surface, which ensures that it holds firm when it counts. At its low price point, it really is one of the best basic wall mount options on the market.

Cons: The biggest con here is installation; while this grab bar is built for function, it requires a more complicated mounting process to provide that stability you need.

Related: Fire Safety and Security for the Home

Shop Amazon
AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar
AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar
AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar

Coming in nine different lengths and two widths, this sturdy stainless steel bathtub grab bar fits in almost any shower.

Top Contender

Medline Bathtub Safety Grab Bar

This step-through style bathtub safety grab bar requires minimal installation, without tools; in fact, it simply clasps to the side of the tub. Featuring two separate grab surfaces, it’s a sturdy, durable option to support getting in and out of the bathtub.

Pros: This grab bar is extremely versatile. Its clamp design allows it to fit onto the side of most any bathtub without the need for tools or complicated installation. Its sturdy build quality can support a weight limit of 250 pounds. Plus, its two bar surfaces provides multiple places to grab.

Cons: The rubber pads that separate the clamp from the side of the tub are great for preventing damage to the tub, but in a hot, steamy bathroom the adhesive can peel off.

Shop Amazon
Medline Bathtub Safety Grab Bar
Medline Bathtub Safety Grab Bar
Medline Bathtub Safety Grab Bar

This bathtub safety grab bar installs easily with a simple clamp and provides added support getting in and out of the tub.

Best Grab Bar With Shelf

Moen LR2356DCH Curved Safety Grab Bar with Built-in Shelf

This safety bar features a curved design that houses a convenient shelf for placing toiletries. The bar is 16 inches long, and can support a weight of 250 pounds once installed using Moen’s SecureMount anchors.

Pros: The biggest pro here is not wasting valuable real estate in your shower. This dual-purpose grab bar is sturdy enough to support weight while also providing the space you need to store shampoo, soap, and more. Installation is easy using the SecureMount anchors.

Cons: The plastic shelf tray doesn’t have holes in it, so it tends to collect water, which is a bit inconvenient and requires more frequent cleaning.

Shop Amazon
Moen LR2356DCH Curved Safety Grab Bar with Built-in Shelf
Moen LR2356DCH Curved Safety Grab Bar with Built-in Shelf
Moen LR2356DCH Curved Safety Grab Bar with Built-in Shelf

This curved grab bar offers additional support to a shower or bathtub and features a shelf suited to hold shower essentials.

Best Suction Bathtub Grab Bar

Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Shower Handle

While most bathtub or shower handles require some sort of installation, this suction grip option installs in seconds without the need for extra tools. Though it doesn’t provide the same support as an anchored handle, it’s a great option for adding a little grip to a shower.

Pros: This handle can be added to the side of the tub or to the shower wall. It provides much needed added grip. Additionally, it suctions to most flat, non-porous surfaces and detaches easily with the simple pop of a latch.

Cons: This handle is a great option to help keep you steady in the shower or tub, but it’s not designed to support entire body weight; rather, it also requires a specific type of surface to adhere.

Shop Amazon
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Shower Handle
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Shower Handle
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Shower Handle

If you're looking for a little added support in a shower or bathtub without installation, this suction handle is a great option.

Best Step-Through Style Bathtub Grab Bar

Vaunn Adjustable Medical Bathtub Grab Bar

This best-in-class walk-through style bathtub grab bar strikes the perfect balance between ease of installation, light weight, and durability. Made of a one-piece steel frame, it can accommodate 300 pounds of weight, and requires no tools for installation.

Pros: The clamp-style design with a unique locking mechanism enables the grab bar to be installed securely, tool-free, on nearly any bathtub. Its adjustable three to seven inch width can accommodate most tubs. Even though the grab bar weighs a scant six pounds, its heavy-duty steel construction allows it to handle a 300 pound weight limit.

Cons: The grip surface can get a little slick, which may present an issue for those with severe arthritis.

Related: Caregiving Essentials: What You Need to Know to Keep Seniors Safe at Home

Shop Amazon
Vaunn Adjustable Medical Bathtub Grab Bar
Vaunn Adjustable Medical Bathtub Grab Bar
Vaunn Adjustable Medical Bathtub Grab Bar

This lightweight grab bar is made of a one-piece steel frame capable of accommodating weight up to 300 pounds.

Bathtub Grab Bar Methodology

Best Bathtub Grab Bars

In selecting the best grab bars for your bathtub or shower, there are a number of things we considered. These are devices designed to potentially save a life, so it was essential that they be reliable when you need them most. As we assembled our list, some of the things we considered were:

  • Installation: Bathtub grab bars come in a host of installation types that work better for certain circumstances. Grab bars that mounted directly on the wall are great for how sturdy they are, but can be difficult to install. Suction-style grab bars are easy to mount, but are generally unreliable for anything more than a little extra support (meaning they’re not to be relied on to carry your whole weight). Clamp-style grab bars, on the other hand, held firm while also requiring minimal installation and tools.
  • Weight Support: For a device as essential as a grab bar, it was important that it be able to manage a person’s entire weight. We tended to favor devices that could hand 250 pounds or more without buckling under the pressure.
  • Size and Positioning: Grab bars that offer a variety of size options are great; if you’re looking to install multiple smaller bars or a single long bar into the tub, it’s good to be able to select the right size for your needs.

Bathtub Grab Bar Tips

There are a number of variables to selecting the right bathtub grab bar for your needs. Especially if you’re purchasing the bar for an elderly relative, it’s important that you consider their unique situation to determine the best solution for you. Some things to consider:

  • Bathroom Wall Material: Whether you’re looking to add a suction-style grab bar or a wall-mounted bar, it’s important to consider the type of material of the shower wall. For example, suction grab bars won’t adhere to porous surfaces, so that style may be useless in your bathroom.
  • Showers or Baths?: Some grab bars work better for those who take baths while others are better for those who shower. Make sure the grab bar type you choose will be most effective and mounted at the right height for the person using it.

Related: The Best GPS Trackers of 2020

Recapping the Best Bathtub Grab Bars

Selecting the right bathtub grab bar for an elderly relative or someone who medically needs extra support getting in and out of the bathtub can be a great source of comfort. Bathrooms are huge danger risks for many people, so finding a solution and offering a little support can really help the cause. Have you used a bathtub grab bar? Let us know in the comments!

FAQs

Where should grab bars be placed in a bathtub?

For grab bars that are installed using a screw kit, it’s important that they’re anchored on wall studs to provide maximum support. Beyond that, it’s important that grab bars are placed where they’re most convenient for the end user. If you’re a caregiver, have the end user get in and out of the tub naturally to eyeball where it makes most sense to place the bar.

How do you install a grab bar in a bathtub?

First, add painter’s tape to the wall where you plan to install the grab bar. Next, use a stud finder to locate the position of wall studs and mark them on the painter’s tape. Drill pilot holes using a bit a size smaller than the mounting screws. Add the mounting screws, leaving enough space to mount the bar. Place the bar on the screws and finish drilling to secure the bar in place.

What are the ADA requirements for grab bars?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are two sets of requirements for grab bars:

For the back wall, “a 36 inches (915 mm) minimum length grab bar, mounted 33-36 inches (840-915 mm) above the finish floor, is required behind the water closet. The grab bar must extend at least 12 inches (305 mm) from the centerline of the water closet toward the side wall and at least 24 inches (610 mm) from the centerline of the water closet toward the open side.”

For the side wall, “A 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum length grab bar is required on the side wall, spaced a maximum of 12 inches (305 mm) from the back wall and extending a minimum of 54 inches (1370 mm) from the back wall at a height of 33-36 inches (840-915 mm). The toilet paper dispenser shall be mounted below the grab bar at a minimum height of 19 inches (485 mm). The height of the toilet seat shall be 17 to 19 inches (430 – 485 mm) above the finished floor.”

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.