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What Is a Shower Chair?

Shower chairs are key items for people with disabilities, the elderly, users with reduced mobility or their care givers. These bathing aids allow users or their caregivers to undertake hygiene care while maintaining ease and dignity for both parties throughout.

But what exactly is a shower chair, can they cater for the most complex and specialist of conditions, what is the potential for adjustability and most importantly…which one is right for your situation?

We will cover these some of the features to look for to help you identify the right shower chair for your needs.

What is a Shower Chair?

The first thing you must decide is whether you are looking for a shower chair or a shower stool. These can sound similar, and that is because they are…but the main difference is in the mobility offered.

Shower Chair or Shower Stool

A shower stool is a stationary seat that a reduced mobility or low strength user can sit on if/when they need a rest when in the shower.

A shower chair usually comes with wheels and enables increased mobility around a bathing environment thanks to the wheels.

Sort of like a waterproof wheelchair, shower chairs are specially designed to give people the ability to use practically every part of the bathroom with ease.

Available in self-propelled and attendant-propelled models, shower chairs will usually have a larger gap beneath the seat to allow you to be positioned over the toilet. There will also be a horseshoe shaped aperture in the seat itself.

Where Can a Shower Chair Be Used?

As the name suggests, you can use a shower chair…in the shower. You can use also shower chairs in bathrooms, wet-rooms, and other damp environments. They are made using waterproof, non-corrosive materials that are much better suited to bathrooms.

Shower Chair Features

Shower chairs range in size and features depending on what you need. You can get a standard, basic shower chair that will allow you to move around the bathroom with no problems.

But if a user’s needs are more complex, then there are other shower chairs that have more specialist features to accommodate this.

Adaptability & Adjustability — The shower chair that you decide to buy should meet all adjustability needs. If you expect to see the user of the shower chair change, then you may want a shower chair that is adjustable in height and features several configurations. A well-chosen, adjustable shower chair should change to accommodate the user and not the other way around.

Footrest — Pay attention to the footrest, it may be that you have to choose between a single large footrest like you may see on one of our recliner chairs, or you may have two individual areas to rest a user’s feet. You should also pay close attention to the number of configurations that the footrest can be placed in. This will allow you to achieve a range of comfortable positions when the shower chair is in use.

Material — Of course, the ideal material here is a waterproof and easy to clean one. So, a hard and easy to wipe clean surface may sound like the only way to go. This may be the case, but if the comfort of the user is important to you, then a material that is comfortable and skin friendly is the way to go. The Osprey shower chair is crafted with a mesh fabric throughout to allow for water to pass through while providing the user with a softer surface to rest on.

Central Aperture — This is an area in the centre of the seat that allows the shower chair to double as a commode.

Accessories — Shower chairs that are highly adjustable and configurable can sometimes come with a range of accessories that are better suited to certain configurations. From seat covers to accompanying commode pans to work alongside the central aperture.

This is the case with the Osprey shower chair, a range of accessories are available upon request and enable the chair to be used in the most comfortable way possible for the user.

What are the Benefits of a Shower Chair

Shower chairs are incredibly beneficial for users who are disabled, elderly or struggle with low mobility. This is because shower chairs with wheels allow mobility around and the bathroom, these wheeled shower chairs also have brakes to ensure stability when mobility isn’t required.

For users with low mobility or reduced strength, who may not be steady on their feet, a slippery floor can be a nightmare.

In this case, a shower chair provides a stable place to sit on and provide support if you’re washing or using the toilet.

Shower chairs also give you the chance to take care of yourself and maintain good hygiene. You can use the toilet, bathe, and shower with ease.

If independence is a concern, then you might choose a self-propelled shower chair if you are strong enough to push yourself around. Self-propelled shower chairs give you independence and the ability to move around your bathroom with no hassle.

They’re also particularly versatile pieces of equipment because shower chairs can be doubled up as commodes. Many models have an aperture which allows for a removable commode pan to be fitted.

Our Shower Chairs

Just like other care equipment, the shower chair that is right for a user very much depends on the user’s requirements and needs.

If a standard shower chair with wheels and a central aperture sounds like what is right for your situation, then the Ocean shower chair & commode range is a fine option.

This is a range of shower chairs that all come with wheels for increased mobility.

Ranging from a base, height-adjustable model, to bariatric, gas-powered self-propelled and heavy duty bariatric versions. There is a shower chair to cater for every need.

If you’re looking for a shower chair that will suit a wider range of complex needs, then the Osprey shower chair and commode range will meet this criteria.

Just like the Ocean shower chair, the Osprey shower chair is available in a range of sizes and allows you to find the perfect fit for your specific requirements.

The Osprey shower chair range also has various models that cater to users of all sizes.

From infant & child shower chairs to extra tall and bariatric shower chairs with wheels, the Osprey shower chairs boast a range of configurations including height-adjustability that allow for a personalised fit when in use.

The Osprey Tilt in Space shower chair is a more specialist shower chair with wheels and a gas-powered tilt in space movement. This shower chair is designed with for users with more complex disabilities.

From paediatric to bariatric care, you can find a shower chair to fit your exact needs with the Osprey shower chair range. this shower chair. There’s a bariatric version as well that will suit people up to 42.5 stone in weight.

This is a more specialist bathing aid and offers a tilt in space movement that allows care for a range of users with more complex conditions.

The Osprey is not just a shower chair with arms, but it is a shower chair with a range of arm configurations, a range of seat styles, and a range of footrest styles.

Choose from 4 seat styles and various arm styles so the chair can be configured to the user’s exact size.


From shower stools to commodes, the range and functionality on offer with shower seats and shower chairs can be extensive.

Like with all care equipment, the most important part of buying a shower chair is ensuring that it is suited for your needs and has the features you will require to be safe and comfortable when using it.

Here are the important questions to keep in mind:

  1. Do I want a shower chair or a shower stool?
  2. Do I want a shower chair with wheels?
  3. Will I be using the shower chair as a commode?
  4. Will I need a range of adjustability options?
  5. Will I use this shower chair with a caregiver or on my own?

If you have the strength to move around on your own, then a self-propelled shower chair with wheels may be ideal. This can help maintain independence and allow a user to undertake hygiene care in a dignified manner.

If you would still like more information on our shower chairs, have provided care equipment to NHS hospitals, care homes, and private homes for 50 years.

Ask us any question that you need to make this process easier and to find your ideal fit. Get in touch and a member of our team will happily answer your questions.

Date Published

24 October 2018

Reading Time

7 minutes

Author avatar


Graeme Wilson

Graeme has worked alongside the public sector for much of his working life, helping departments improve efficiencies and deliver on projects. In his role at Vivid.Care, Graeme used his experience to tackle some of the most challenging issues in the healthcare sector, from falls through to winter pressures. He was also a guest speaker and a number of different conferences, including at the Falls Prevention Summit in London.

Osprey tilt in space shower chair/commode for low mobility & disabled users.

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