Various shower seats, chairs and stools illustrating a buyer guide

A Complete Buyers Guide for Shower Seats, Shower Chairs & Benches

If you, or someone you care for is unable to stand in a shower for long periods of time, a shower seat can be an invaluable addition to your shower room. But with various options available, how do you know which of these bathroom aids is right for you?

In this buying guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about shower seats. From the different types to consider, to important factors like installation and maintenance. If you’d like to learn more about adapting your shower room to make it more accessible, please review our walk-in showers page.

What is a specialist shower seat?

A shower seat is a stool, chair or bench which is designed specifically for use in the shower. They remove the need to stand up and balance whilst showering. From simple waterproof chairs to fully supportive chairs designed for disabled users with restricted mobility, there are many types of shower chairs.
Shower seats are typically made from waterproof materials and are specially designed to be sturdy and not move. It is really important that you don’t use a seat which is designed for another purpose, such as a plastic garden chair. These chairs are not designed to be used in shower enclosures – they often become slippery when wet, and do not have nonslip grips on the legs to keep them stable. They can also tip over potentially causing personal injury and damage to your shower tray.

How do shower seats help?

Shower chairs are useful for those with restricted mobility, as well as those who might feel unsafe or uncomfortable standing for an extended period of time in the shower enclosure. Shower seats can help people experiencing:
Pain or weakness in their legs: as a result of illnesses such as sciatica, arthritis, or obesity
Breathlessness: caused by lung disease or heart conditions
Back pain: which maybe a result of a disability, an accident, or other health conditions
Balance problems or dizziness: stemming from conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS)

Important Considerations

  • Is the height, size and maximum carrying capacity of the shower seat suitable for your needs? Is it and adjustable chair?
  • Are the materials of the shower chair easy to maintain and keep clean?
  • Will it stay wet or will water quickly drain away thanks to drainage holes or a slatted seat?
  • Does it come with armrests and headrests which offer increased levels of support?
  • If freestanding, does it offer anti-slip feet and other features?
  • How comfortable is it to sit in, can you test it in a showroom?
  • If the chair has wheels, does it have easy to use reliable brakes?
  • Is it possible to complete a DIY install, or does it require a professional service like Absolute Mobility to install?

Types of Shower Seats

Fold-Up Shower Seats

Folding shower chairs provide a sturdy and safe place to sit while showering, reducing the risk of falls and accidents. The fold-up feature allows the seat to be easily stored and out of the way when not in use, making it ideal for smaller shower rooms. With a fold-up shower seat, individuals can enjoy a comfortable and secure showering experience without compromising on style or functionality.
The Onyx folding shower chair is one example of this product type. Developed in collaboration with occupational therapists and bathroom installers, the Onyx shower seat merges minimalist elegance with practicality.

Shower Chairs with Back Support and Arms

Shower seats with back support and arms are essential for individuals who require additional stability and assistance while bathing. These seats provide a comfortable and secure place to sit, allowing users to shower independently and with confidence. The back support and sometimes padded armrests make it easier for the bather or their carer to move in and out of the seated position and reduce the risk of slips and falls. Whether someone has limited mobility, is recovering from surgery, or simply desires extra support in the shower, a shower seat with back support and arms is a practical and valuable addition to any bathroom.

Horseshoe Shower Seats

Horseshoe shower seats are named as a result of their shape. They have an open front, making personal hygiene tasks easier to complete for either the bather or their carer. What’s more they provide a comfortable and supportive seating option while showering. They are particularly beneficial for individuals with mobility issues or those who require extra support while bathing.

Freestanding Shower Chairs

Freestanding shower seats are a more discrete shower seat, which can be conveniently moved out of the shower space when not in use. This versatility makes freestanding shower chairs ideal for shared bathrooms or homes with multiple users. They’re also great for temporary needs, like post-surgery recovery, avoiding the need to drill holes and permanently change the look of the shower cubicle. There are also a range of styles available, some offering a more minimalistic design.
The Etac Swift is an award-winning series of shower stools/chairs designed with functionality and simplicity in mind. The basic freestanding shower stool can easily be transformed to a complete shower chair, by adding arms and back supports. Etac Swift has a unique design that adapts to uneven floors thanks to the flexible seat. The soft, high-quality rubber feet also known a ferrules adapt to the floor and ensure grip and stability.

Wheeled Shower Seats

Wheeled shower chairs come in various different designs, with some looking more like self-propelled wheelchairs, whilst others are designed to be pushed by a caregiver and have smaller wheels. These products have similar advantages to freestanding shower seats, yet also include additional features like a commode pan or a horseshoe shaped cut out so they can also be rolled over a conventional toilet. More complex in their design these chairs account for personal hygiene tasks so have to be constructed with no welded seams or holes, which significantly reduces the risk of corrosion, extends the chair’s life, and aids in infection control by making cleaning the chair far easier.
The Etac Clean Bathing Commode Chair comes with four high-quality, lockable castor wheels which provide excellent control and manoeuvrability, while strong polypropylene arm supports assist the user with sitting and standing. The footrest can slide under the seat when not in use.

Shower Stools and Benches

Shower stools and benches lack the back support of chairs but may be more suitable in smaller spaces as there is no back rest to move around.  They come in a range of sizes and finishes, with certain benches designed specifically for bariatric users that require a more robust design.
These extra wide & extra strong shower seats provide height-adjustable legs for larger and heavier users with reduced leg strength, low stamina and/or unstable balance. Certain designs are fitted with an extra wide and extra deep seat area made from soft and comfortable polyurethane (PUR). The material is anti-slip and it often features openings for good water drainage, normally it can be removed to facilitate cleaning.


A shower seat can provide support and assistance for individuals with restricted mobility, pain, balance issues, or other health conditions. As we have seen, there are various types of specialist shower chair available designed for specific user circumstances and needs, these may be significantly more expensive than using a general chair but will be far safer and more comfortable to use. If you or somebody you care for is supported by an occupational therapist we would recommend discussing your requirements with them. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is also available to answer any questions you might have and to recommend the most suitable shower chairs and stools to meet your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose a specialist shower seat over a normal seat?

When it comes to choosing a seat for your shower, opting for a specialist shower seat is a wise decision. Unlike a normal seat, a specialist shower seat is designed with specific features to enhance safety and comfort during bathing. These seats are often adjustable, allowing you to find the perfect height and angle for maximum support. Additionally, they typically have non-slip surfaces to prevent accidents and provide stability. The specialized design of a shower seat ensures that it fits seamlessly into your bathroom, making it easier for individuals with mobility issues or disabilities to bath independently. By choosing a specialist shower seat, you are investing in a product that is tailored to meet your unique needs and promotes a safe shower experience.

Are there any downsides to shower chairs?

There are advantages and disadvantages when buying any product and ultimately it comes down to priorities. A freestanding shower seat offers flexibility and can be removed from the showering area when not in use therefore not impacting the appearance of the room. However, a wall mounted fold-up shower seat potentially offers more lateral security for certain users, due to being fixed in one position.

How long does a shower chair last?

The lifespan of a specialist shower seat can vary depending on several factors. The quality of the seat, the materials used, and the level of usage and maintenance all play a role in determining its longevity. Generally, a high-quality specialist shower seat can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years or even longer with proper care. Regular cleaning, avoiding exceeding the weight limit, and conducting periodic inspections can help extend the lifespan of a specialist shower seat.

What types of shower chairs do you offer?

Absolute Mobility offers a wide range of shower seats including fold-up shower chairs, shower seats with back support and arms, horseshoe shower seats and freestanding shower seats. Please contact us today to discover our range of shower chairs and discuss your needs in more detail.

What makes and models of shower chair are available in the UK?

Whilst not a comprehensive list, these are some of the makes and models of shower chairs available in the UK:


  • Onyx shower seat with back and arms in white
  • Onyx shower seat with back and arms in black
  • Fold up wooden slatted shower seat with support legs


  • NRS Healthcare Folding Shower Seat with Legs – Padded Seat – Back and Arms
  • NRS Healthcare Folding Shower Seat with Legs
  • NRS Healthcare Folding Shower Seat with Legs – Back and Arms
  • NRS Healthcare Adjustable Economy Value Shower Chair
  • NRS Healthcare Stackable Adjustable Shower Chair
  • NRS Healthcare Folding Shower Chair
  • NRS Healthcare Height Adjustable Economy Mobile Shower Chair
  • NRS Healthcare Economy Shower Chair
  • NRS Healthcare Economy Mobile Shower Chair
  • NRS Healthcare NUVO Shower Chair
  • NRS Healthcare Folding Shower Seat with Legs and Padded Seat
  • NRS Healthcare Folding Shower Seat with Legs and Padded Seat
  • NRS Healthcare Economy Wall Mounted Shower Seat
  • NRS Healthcare Extra Wide Moulded


  • Etac Swift Shower Chair with Arm Supports
  • Etac Swift Shower Chair
  • Etac Relax Shower Seat
  • Etac Relax Shower Seat
  • Etac Clean Shower Commode
  • Etac Edge Shower Stool
  • Etac Smart Shower Stool

Other Brands

  • Medokare Shower Seat – Adjustable
  • Langham Prima Shower Chair
  • Freeway T40 Shower Chair
  • Tooting Slatted Seat
  • Vuela Folding Seat

*Please note options vary across our range and are subject to change by the manufacturer and distributor, and Absolute Mobility reserves the right to make adjustments to its product and service offering at all times for reasons including, but not limited to, changing market conditions, product discontinuation, restricted product availability, manufacturer price changes and errors in advertisements.

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