For most people with mobility issues, a shower stool, seat or bench is an absolutely crucial piece of kit. Probably because they’re in the sweet spot of catering equally for the elderly and less able markets, a wide choice of ways to approach adapting your shower, stylishly and effectively, for reduced mobility has grown. At one end of the price spectrum you have the option of in-building a granite or tiled bench unit; at the other end you could use a portable stool.
To say that not all are stylish would be an understatement – there’s plenty of dull-to-ugly models out there – but we’ve found some of the most attractive options. We’re not going to look into inbuilt models as they’re so varied, but we’ve looked for stylish stools and fixed seat units and found that even here the price range is over £1,000!
A portable stool makes more sense if your shower is too small for an inbuilt seat. They also save the effort and likely the cost of having to get someone to install them. With many of the more stylish options they can double up as stools to use elsewhere in the house if and when necessary, but, as they’re not fitted to the wall, they’re possibly less stable.
The bog standard white plastic shower stool costs around £40 and there are probably plenty of people who’d say “it’s just a shower stool, nobody’s going to see it, why pay more?”, especially when all the more stylish options we’ve found are more expensive. But we think style is more than just what you show off to your friends – it’s a way of life – so it’s worth paying a little more for something a bit trendier.
If you want something more stylish but don’t want to pay too much, this Yannis Bathroom Stool (£69) is a great choice. They’re not much dearer than the average (dull) shower seat but they’re a lot cooler. These stools were created by designer Lucidi Pevere and awarded the prestigious Good Design Award 2010 by the Chicargo Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. They come in a funky range of orange, blue and green or a more understated black or white option is also available.
The other popular option to avoid wholesale structural changes to an existing bathroom is to go for a wall mounted seat. These are more expensive but in many ways more convenient as they fold up against the wall when not needed, so you don’t have to move a stool into the shower but nor does the seat get in the way for other users. It’s with these seats that the prices really start to range. We start with this Milano Sapele Folding Shower Seat with a dark wood finish that costs just £89. Good value but a little basic.
The Impey SlimFold Shower Seat costs rather more (£175 RRP plus VAT) but looks more supportive and potentially longer lasting than the model above. It is available in 10 colours, with each item coming supplied with a double curvature wall mount, cross bracing support and triangular structures capable of supporting weights of up to 40st./300kg. A good, stylish, budget option.
Back to portable stools with this Decor Walther Acrylic Shower Stool (£179). It has an ergonomic design with “gentle curves and highly finished surface”. It’s very sleek and would transfer well to other areas of the house if you wanted.
KEUCO Tip-Up Shower Seats with Backrest (£390) give extra stability whilst maintaining a sleek minimal style. It folds up completely out of the way when not in use. The price is noticeably steeper but the comfort from the backrest and general design may justify that. The wall and seat supports are chrome plated meaning it looks better, for longer and these can carry weight up to 110 kg.
Now we enter the lap of luxury with the HEWI range. Firstly, there’s the HEWI Hinged Shower Seat With Backrest which costs £1,029. The surface of the seat is slip resistant, the seat is curved for user comfort whilst the seat edges have been rounded for safety. The backrest provides additional support and when not in use, the seat can be folded up unobtrusively against the wall. It is probably the best looking and most comfortable model we’ve seen but it’s also a hefty amount of money to part with.
Finally, the HEWI Hinged Shower Seat With Arm Rest (£1,095) is the most expensive model we’ve found, without having something purpose built just for you. The shower seat has a warm touch surface which is comfortable for the user and a hygienic opening in the seat for the water to drain from. Ergonomically shaped seat with supportive arm rests. Again, it’s the probably the best on the market but one has to work out if it’s worth it or not for them self.
As you can see, the range of shower seating options is wide but one positive is that there are many stylish options available. Whether you go for a fold out seat, a stool or go down another route and have something purpose built, it’s just about finding the model and price that works best for you.
Please let us know what you think works best or if you know of any other stylish models we can add to this list!