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How Do I Choose the Best Portable Bathtub?

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  • Written By: Elizabeth West
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 03 July 2014
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When choosing a portable bathtub, shoppers should consider if it will be used for babies, pets, or adults. Inflatable and folding tubs are easy to store and less expensive than installing a tub in the bathroom. Specialty tubs are often used for disabled adults. Portable spas help people relax and ease the strain of tired muscles.

Parents buying a portable bathtub for a baby have a choice of practical styles. A wet baby is slippery, and tubs with slings or foam cradles are available to hold smaller infants upright. Some models fold up to maximize storage space. Inflatable tubs are usually made of lightweight vinyl that is easy to keep clean, but they may develop leaks. These tubs can fit in the regular bathtub to contain splashes.

Pets need a sturdy tub that can withstand struggling and claws. A portable bathtub for a pet can be handy when traveling. Some models have a collapsible frame, and inflatable tubs are also available. People with back problems can purchase freestanding polyethylene tubs with attached legs that allow them to bathe the animal without bending over. Most pet tubs are designed for use outside.

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A folding waterproof fabric portable bathtub with a frame is a good alternative for adults if a bathroom only has a shower stall. The tubs are insulated to keep the water warm and have a cover to hold in steam. An inflatable polyvinylchloride tub that stands directly on the ground can be used as well. They are stable when filled with water and come with repair kits to patch leaks. There must be sufficient room to use the portable bathtub without sustaining injury or water damage.

Special vinyl tubs are made for people who must be washed in bed. They slide under the patient and are inflated around the body. A shower that connects to a nearby tap and a drain hose are included. The tub is cleaned with a wet/dry vacuum, which also inflates and deflates it easily. This type of portable bathtub can be expensive, and caregivers should check if medical coverage can assist with its purchase.

Those with tired and aching muscles may like a spa, the largest type of portable bathtub. Many of these units can be plugged into a standard outlet and are movable when empty. Manufacturers sell wooden surrounds and covers, filters, sanitizers, and skimmers for the spa. If used indoors, the floor must be able to support the unit because it will be quite heavy when full. Outdoor spas are a good choice if the weather is mostly temperate, and the users will be able to enjoy nature while relaxing in the tub.

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