The 10 Best Shower Grab Bars
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in December of 2016. If you or a family member have issues with balance due to age or injury, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in your house. Installing one of these shower grab bars can help create a safer and more relaxing environment for bathing. They come in a variety of styles and most offer a fairly painless installation. Some are appropriate for use in other rooms of the home, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
September 04, 2020:
At this time, we've looked for safe, reliable models, keeping in mind aesthetic concerns, too. We ultimately removed the Healthline Trading Chrome over availability concerns; if you're looking for a similarly wallet-friendly choice, the AmazonBasics Handicap remains the one to beat. Offered in various sizes, it complies with ADA standards and arrives with mounting screws for your convenience. Keep in mind that this model, as with the rest, are only safe when installed properly, and when used according to given specifications — which means paying attention to weight limits and use constraints. This is especially true of the Safe-er-Grip Traveler, a suction cup choice that should be considered for light duty only.
As for options with true aesthetic appeal, Moen still comes out on top, and that includes the Moen 16-Inch and the newly-added Moen Kingsley. The Kingsley was designed to fit in with the other pieces in the Kingsley line, so if you want your Moen faucet and grab bar to match, you're in luck. Another stylish option is the CSI Bathware Bar-Wave, which is handsomely curved, but not offered in as many sizes as some others.
Finally, we kept two tub-mounting choices, the Drive Medical Adjustable and the Medline Bathtub Bar. If you are unable to mount a bar to your wall, perhaps because you rent, these are handy options to consider. They don't mount equally well to all bathtubs, however, so you'll need to pay careful attention to installation requirements.
July 05, 2019:
At this time, we still think Moen makes some of the best shower grab bars you can buy, although they do have one drawback. While their SecureMount design lives up to its name, most options do not come packaged with the necessary hardware — and it isn't exactly cheap. When you figure this cost in, as well as the cost of the actual bar, you'll be looking at something of an investment. But for the peace of mind and durability, it's worth it for most users. If you'd prefer an all-in-one choice that comes with mounting hardware, the Healthline Trading Chrome or the AmazonBasics Handicap are ones to consider. They aren't quite as elegant in appearance, but they'll get the job done.
We also decided to add the Stander Security Pole. It is made to go next to the shower, rather than inside it, but it makes it much easier to step in and out of a bathtub for some. This is thanks to the ladder grip that allows for hand-over-hand use. You could install it next to a bed or toilet, as well, so it's plenty versatile. Finally, we opted to leave the Safe-er-Grip Traveler because some users prefer removable suction-cup type grips; however, it cannot hold a person's full body weight and is not a good option for those with severe mobility or balance problems.
Invisia Linear The Invisia Linear is a simple but sleek choice that you can place in your shower stall, on the ledge surrounding a bathtub, or by your toilet. Each is rather pricey, but there are several handsome finishes to choose from. invisiacollection.com
Inpro Vinyl Coated Bariatric The Inpro Vinyl Coated Bariatric can support 1,000 pounds and is completely ADA-compliant, so it's a great option for users who need extra-sturdy support in the bathroom. Plus, with 11 mounting holes, the installation options are flexible. inprocorp.com
Seachrome Huntington When you're seated in the tub and need to get up, or start to slip while standing in the shower, you might naturally reach for the faucet — not the safest move. But with the Seachrome Huntington, you'll have peace of mind, since it encircles the faucet to give you help where you may just need it most. seachrome.com
Why You Should Install Shower Grab Bars
Even if you only ever use it once, you'll be absolutely grateful that it was there.
Even though it's where we feel the safest, a person's home can also be a pretty dangerous place. Countless mishaps occur on a daily basis that pose a significant risk of injury to homeowners, even though many of these risks and mishaps are rather avoidable. Oftentimes, we hear of people harming themselves while up on ladders trying to do housework, carrying heavy loads up and down steep stairways, or while performing such simple tasks as cleaning or rearranging furniture.
The bathroom is also a prime example of a place where a lot can go wrong rather easily. You've got a collection of electrical equipment like hair dryers, clippers, and flatirons, all in the vicinity of a lot of water. You've got scissors, razors, and Q-tips, all of which can be extraordinarily hazardous if wielded incorrectly. Quite possibly the most dangerous thing about your bathroom, however, is the tub and shower area. Here you'll find surfaces made of porcelain and other relatively slick materials in near constant contact with water, creating a cocktail that's practically designed to cause a person to fall.
You don't have to be suffering from any physical ailments to be at risk of a bathroom fall either. There are certainly demographics that are more at risk than others when getting into and out of tubs and showers, but the reality is that we all lose our balance from time to time, that we all are capable of slipping on a bar of soap. That's why, no matter what your age or condition, it's a smart idea to install a shower grab bar in your bathroom. Even if you only ever use it once, you'll be absolutely grateful that it was there.
So, if you're getting up there in age, and you want to make sure that you protect yourself against slips and falls, installing a grab bar is practically non-negotiable. If you recently suffered an injury that makes getting in and out of the tub or shower a little more difficult, you definitely want a bar to help stabilize you and prevent setbacks on your road to recovery. And even if you're in perfect health, with impeccable balance and a slow, careful demeanor, it's still a smart idea to install a shower grab bar, just in case.
How To Choose The Right Grab Bar For Your Shower
Given the variety of showers and tubs that you're liable to see in homes around the country, it should come as no surprise that there are so many different kinds of shower grab bars. Even among our list of the most admirable models, there are a lot of subtle differences. To make it easier for you to find the model that's right for your bathroom, it's important to pay attention to a few specific aspects of each bar.
Ultimately, however, wall-mounted grab bars are going to provide the most reliable stability over the longest period of time.
For starters, the most important thing about the grab bar that you choose is how it’s going to be installed into your shower. There are basically two kinds of installations you have to look forward to. The first is installation by suction cup. These grab bars can be installed almost instantaneously, and the suction cups that they use provide a surprising amount of stability thanks in large part to their size and the use of levers to create extra force. The other option is to install your shower grab bar by screwing it into the wall itself. Depending on the construction of your bathroom, this could prove to be a more difficult process than you have the time or patience to execute. Ultimately, however, wall-mounted grab bars are going to provide the most reliable stability over the longest period of time.
If the people who need the grab bar the most are permanent residents in your home, and they aren't the type to regularly check the security of a suction cup model, it might be a smart idea to suffer the more complicated installation of a permanent, wall-mounted bar. If, on the other hand, you only need the bar for a short period of time, as with an injury that's going to heal, or if you occasionally have a visitor that requires such a device, a suction cup bar is likely your best bet. You'll easily be able to remove it when you no longer need it, and it won't do any lasting damage to your bathroom wall.
After you've considered the method of installation, you can look at additional features of each grab bar. The angle of the bar, for example, may be a great concern to you. You may need a bar that covers multiple angles to make it easier to get in and out of a shower chair, or in and out of a low bathtub. You may also want to model that comes with a small storage shelf for things like bars of soap or bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
Other Bathroom Safety Essentials
Whether you're temporarily injured or you're going to need to use a shower grab bar for the foreseeable future, there are some additional items that you can introduce into your bathroom to increase its level of safety. We mentioned shower chairs above, and these can be tremendously helpful if you're recovering from a bad sprain or a broken bone that makes standing in the shower a challenge. They're also very useful for elderly individuals who have a hard time standing for long periods of time, but who can't comfortably get in and out of a low bathtub.
This could make it so that you never need to reach for that grab bar, but of course you'll be happy it's there if you do.
It's also important that you have a bath mat that increases your traction in the tub. This could make it so that you never need to reach for that grab bar, but of course you'll be happy it's there if you do.
While you're upgrading certain aspects of your bathroom, make sure that all of your outlets are up to code, meaning they all must be GFCI outlets that will cut their own power if they get wet. Also, consider cleaning old light fixtures and exhaust fans, and investing in brighter light bulbs to increase the visibility in your bathroom. With all of these tactics in place, you'll create an environment that's exceedingly safe.