What is a Bath Lift?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Riccardo Bruni, n/a, Karramba Production
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2019
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A bath lift is a battery operated or water powered seat that fits into a bathtub. Bath lifts lower a person into the water, then raise him or her out of the water when the bath is over. Many elderly people and those with mobility problems find that using a bath lift gives them a feeling of independence as well as safety.

Bath lifts are also helpful for caregivers of the elderly and disabled as lifting a person in and out of the tub can cause back problems. Slipping is also a danger. Some lifts have a transfer area that is a flap or platform attached to the seat. It looks like a small table top and helps provide easier access in and out of the bath lift.

Some types of bath lifts are water powered, but most are battery operated. An important feature to consider when choosing a battery operated bath lift is a system that won't allow the seat to lower unless the battery has enough charge to raise the lift back up. This prevents a person with limited mobility from being trapped in the tub. Safety and comfort should be the main considerations when selecting from the many different models of bath lifts.


Many bath lifts have a padded backrest for comfort. A bath lift should be sturdy whether it is a folding traveling type or a more permanent style. Many bath lifts attach to the tub with suction cups. Folding bath lifts meant for travel can usually be taken apart into two or three sections.

Reclining styles of bath lifts allow a person more room to stretch out in the bathtub. Many reclining bath lifts have a control that allows the bather to select the most comfortable position. Non-reclining bath lift styles limit the bather to a sitting position with the legs outstretched.

Battery operated bath lifts must have the battery pack and electrical cord waterproofed. A water powered bath lift usually operates on household water pressure. Some battery powered bath lifts have the battery in the hand held controller used to raise and lower the lift.


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