How To Choose The Best Hydrotherapy Soaking Tub

A hydrotherapy soaking tub is a freestanding bathtub. The special tub holds enough water to submerge your body. Otherwise known as a soaker tub, it can hold more water than traditional tubs due to its depth. Soaker tubs are effective for hydrotherapy sessions that require full-body immersion. 

What Is A Soaking Tub?

Soaking Tub

A soaking tub holds more water than a traditional bathtub, making hydrotherapy possible. You can sit comfortably in the bathtub with water up to your neck and shoulders.  

Modern soaker tubs have advanced features like jets and chromotherapy lights.

Who Should Consider Purchasing a Soaking Tub?

The therapeutic effects of a hot tub or spa in your home is convenient. Soaking tubs are for those who enjoy long baths. 

Full-body immersions are also beneficial to patients looking to experience hydrotherapy. Sitting in warm water relaxes the mind and relieves joint and muscle pain. For the elderly, a hydrotherapy soak tub is a healthy bathing option. By increasing blood flow, water therapy helps with arthritis and relieves pain. 

Bathtub Vs Soaking Tub

Bathtub Vs Soaking Tub

A soaking tub’s length can be similar to a standard tub, which is 60 inches long. Their heights are the main difference. While a standard tub’s exterior height is 16 inches, a soaking tub’s height can reach 22 inches. The extra height provides more water depth. 

When you take a bath in a conventional bathtub, only a portion of your body is submerged in water. The water does not reach your knees or arms. Because soaking requires more water, manufacturers create deep soaker tubs. Opt for a deep tub instead of a regular bathtub to enjoy a long soak.

What to Look for in a Soaking Tub

You will have many options when purchasing a soaking tub for your bathroom. Other than cost, there are other things to look for in a decent soaker tub:

  • Dimensions and Layout – Soaking tubs come in oval, rectangular, clawfoot, and hourglass shapes. When getting a deeper bathtub, consider your bathroom space and design. If you have limited space, you can look into a soaking tub for small bathrooms. 
  • Weight – Stone, porcelain, and marble tubs are heavy and take more time to install than their acrylic counterparts. You may need to reinforce your floor to accommodate them.
  • Durability – Despite being light, acrylic tubs are durable. Porcelain glazed steel is also good for a tub because it doesn’t scratch or stain easily.
  • Heat Retention – Prioritize getting a tub that retains heat. These tubs are more energy efficient, so you won’t have to keep refilling your tub with warm water.
  • Installation – Free-standing tubs are easier and cheaper to install since they support themselves. You will need to insulate the adjacent walls when installing wall mount tubs.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance – All tubs need regular cleaning. However, your detergents and tools will depend on the tub’s material. Using harsh chemicals can cause chipping. Overall, there is no “perfect” material for tubs. How you install and maintain your tub will determine its lifespan.

The Benefits of Soaking Tubs

Soaking tubs offer the same benefits as hot tubs. Taking a bath in warm water is a form of hydrotherapy. If you suffer from numbness and stiff joints, soaking in hot water for 30 minutes twice a week will help increase blood circulation. 

Athletes are encouraged to soak in hot water during recovery from an injury. The buoyancy of water eases movement, making it easier to exercise in the water. A soak after working out helps in preventing sore muscles and enhances mobility.

Taking a bath in an outdoor soaking tub after a long day at work or physical training is refreshing. When you submerge your body in water it relieves muscle tension. One study found that geothermal baths relieve stress, fatigue, mood, pain, and cognitive function.

Types of Soaking Tubs

There are different types of soaking tubs available. Picking the right one depends on your needs and preferences. 

  • Freestanding: These tubs do not need support from walls. The clawfoot tub is a classic design of a free-standing tub. They are also available in modern, sleek designs.
  • Alcove: An alcove tub fits within three-sided walls. This design is common as a bathtub shower combo for small spaces.
  • Overmount/ Drop-In: A drop-in tub basin fits into a surrounding deck. You can have it customized as a deeper bathtub for hydrotherapy sessions.
  • Undermount: These tubs have deck surrounds. The only part visible is the tub basin. These tubs can be sloped and jetted for hydrotherapy.
  • Corner: Corner tubs are compact tubs that fit in any bathroom. Corner tubs have jet features and a big space for hydro exercises. 
  • Walk-In: These tubs have a door to ease movement in and out of the tub. They also have grab bars, making them suitable for older people and those with mobility issues.
  • Japanese: Bathers can sit upright in these extra-deep soaking baths. They are small, circular tubs that take up little room.

The Cost of a Soaking Tub

A basic soaking tub costs $600. For bigger tubs, $5,000 or more is the standard. The prices do not include labor and installation. It’s cheaper to install a stand-alone tub than a tub with decks. You can get financing if you don’t want to pay for the tub upfront. Manufacturers like American Standard offer a few financing options on their soaking tubs. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Are there any plumbing requirements for soaking tubs?

Wall-mount faucets are fitted if there is no existing plumbing for your tub. You may also need to upgrade your water heater to provide enough hot water for the tub.

What’s the typical depth of a soaking tub?

Soaking tubs offer at least 14 inches of water depth. Most Japanese soaking tubs are at least 22 inches deep.

What’s the difference between a bathtub and a soaking tub?  

A soaking tub is deep, allowing full immersion of the body. Average tubs are shallow and use less water to fill.

What type of soaking tub is best for hydrotherapy? 

Walk-in soaking tubs are convenient for seniors and people in recovery from an injury. Jetted tubs and Japanese tubs are also great for hydrotherapy. 

How many gallons of water does a standard soaking tub hold? 

A standard soaking tub holds 60 gallons of water. Bigger tubs can hold about 200 gallons of water.

Soaking Tubs Conclusion

Long baths and hydrotherapy sessions at home can be made more enjoyable with the help of soaking bathtubs. The tubs are available in different sizes and styles and fit in most bathrooms. Things to consider before purchasing a soaker tub include age, height, and weight. 

Freestanding tubs need new plumbing system, unlike built-in soaking tubs. A built-in soaking tub can also accommodate a shower. Nonetheless, luxurious freestanding tubs offer a great soaking experience when placed next to a window.

An ideal hydrotherapy soaking tub measures 60 to 72 inches long to accommodate tall people. Most manufacturers provide custom pieces upon request.