Drawing yourself a warm bath may be one of the simplest yet most satisfying pleasures in life. You can relax, let your cares float away, and even relieve aching muscles, not to mention enjoy a crisp glass of wine in peace.
But if you are being denied the most basic luxury of taking a bath because you don’t have a tub, don’t worry for too long. Portable bathtubs are a smart alternative for people who only have a shower stall but are longing for a good soak.
They also come in handy if you’re in the middle of a bathroom remodel. And if you have a great view on your terrace or you like a good bath while you’re camping, these portable and easy-to-store bathtub alternatives can allow you to do it al fresco.
When it comes to choosing the best bathtub on the market, you might be wondering which models and brands stand out from the rest. The truth of the matter is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to the quest for the best bathtub!
According to David Mason, interior designer and owner of The Knobs Company, the answer is that “there is no definitive answer to this question. It really depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some people might prefer a bathtub that is lightweight and easy to transport, while others might prefer one that is more durable and has more features. Ultimately, the best portable bathtub for you is the one that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle.”
Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Bathtub
To ensure yourself a comfortable soak, here are a few factors to consider before investing in a portable tub.
If you don’t plan on using your portable tub outdoors, the first thing you have to consider is size. Many standard shower stalls measure 30 x 30, which is why circular tubs can be a great option. However, be sure to measure your shower stall properly before purchasing.
If you have a larger shower stall, a bigger tub can provide a more comfortable experience. And don’t forget to consider the space where you’ll store the tub when you’re not using it as well!
Portable tubs generally come in circular or oblong designs. Which you choose depends on the size of your space as well as what kind of bath you prefer to take. If you like to soak in a bath that reaches all the way to your shoulders, a circular design similar to a Japanese soaking tub is a good option. But of course, that will mean kneeling or sitting crossed-legged while you bathe.
If you prefer to stretch your legs out, you may prefer an oblong design. But again, be sure to measure the space where you’ll be placing the tub and also measure how much room you need to stretch your legs out.
Height is also an important factor when it comes to purchasing a tub. If you have mobility issues, be sure to choose a height that will make it easier for you to get in and out of the tub.
Whatever type of tub you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s made with decent materials. Looks for tubs made of durable PVC or constructed with multiple layers for added strength. If you’re concerned with the environment or strong chemical smells, choose a BPA-free and non-toxic option.
Inflatable or Not?
While some portable bathtubs can simply be folded or unfolded, others have to be inflated. If you do choose an inflatable option, be sure it comes with an air pump to make setup easier.
When it comes to portable tubs, your after-bath experience is just as important as your soak. A tub that drains easier will make that process smoother and make it more likely that you’ll keep using your tub.
Tubs with dual drainage on the side and the bottom, as well as a water removal hose, will make emptying your tub a lot easier. Struggling to remove water is not what you’ll want to deal with after taking a relaxing bath, so drainage is important!
Be Careful with the Bubble Bath!
While most portable tubs can handle Epsom salts, keep in mind that whatever oils or bubbles use in the tub will get into the lining and make it more slippery. Also, be sure to clean and dry your portable tub before storing it away to prevent mold.
Our Favorite Portable Bathtubs
To help you navigate the world of portable bathtubs, we’ve put together a list of our favorite picks. So, with your needs, lifestyle and preferences in mind, take a look at this list of 14 portable bathtubs!
If you like to stretch out completely while you take a bath, this durable but cozy bathtub model made of high-density PVC may be for you. It even comes with a headrest, armrests and a cup holder. But perhaps most importantly, this inflatable model comes with an electric pump and two drainage pipes for easy water removal. Oh, and to top it all off, it has a zip-up closure to help you maintain water temperature!
- 63 x 33 x 29.1 inches
- Made of durable PVC
- Comfortable design
- Cup holder
- Comes with an electric pump for easy inflation
- Two drainage pipes for easy water removal
- Unique zip-up closure to maintain water temperature
- Won’t fit in small shower stalls
- No handles for moving
If you’re looking for a portable bathtub to use in your shower stall or an RV, this compact model is great for small spaces. Made of non-toxic PVC, it also has an EPE insulation layer to better maintain the water temperature. It also requires no inflation, is foldable and easy to store.
- 30 x 30 x 26 inches
- Made of durable PVC
- Insulation layer to maintain water temperature
- No inflation required
- Good for small spaces
- Has drainage holes on the side and bottom
- Shape doesn’t allow you to stretch your legs out in front of you
- High sides may be an issue for people with mobility issues
If you like to share bathtime, this extra-large inflatable tub has plenty of space for two people to stretch out their legs. It also has inflatable pillows on either end for extra comfort and comes with an electric air pump. Also important, the durable plastic helps to maintain the water temperature.
- 62.99 x 47.24 x 23.62 inches
- Large enough for two people
- Comfortable inflatable pillows
- Comes with its own air pump
- Durable plastic maintains water temperature
- Not suitable for small spaces
- Requires more water than smaller tubs
This non-inflatable tub is another option for people with limited space. Made with seven insulation layers, this tub will maintain the water temperature for up to 120 minutes. It also has side and bottom drainage holes for easy water removable and folds away when you’re finished.
- 30 x 30 x 30 inches
- Good for small spaces
- Added insulation helps to maintain the water temperature
- No inflation required
- Side and bottom drainage holes
- Does not allow you to stretch out
- The high side may be an issue for people with mobility issues
This larger, sturdy tub on Amazon has reinforced seams to prevent ruptures and leaking. It also comes with a wireless electric pump that works for both inflation and deflation. Another nice feature of this model is that it comes with a zip-top cover to help maintain water temperatures.
- 61.20 x 31.5 x 20.47
- Larger dimensions allow you to stretch out your legs
- Comes with a wireless electric pump for inflation and deflation
- Reinforced seams to prevent leaking and ruptures
- Zip-top cover to help maintain water temperature
- Some customers complain that this tub does not drain easily
- Larger size may be too large for small spaces
If you’re looking for a circular tub with slightly more space than most, Homefilos offers this large bathtub model with a 35-inch diameter. At the same time, people with mobility issues may find it more convenient as the depth is only 22 inches, as compared with many tubs that are up to 30 inches deep. It also comes with a center and side drain and a five-foot hose for easy water removal. This package also includes a large storage bag and five sample bathtub liners.
- 35-inch diameter
- 22-inch depth
- Slightly larger diameter
- Lower sides than some circular models
- Center and side drains
- Five-foot hose for easy drainage
- Complaints about leaks around the drainage holes
If you’re looking for a bathtub with a little more personality, this circular model is available with a fun flamingo pattern or a blue moon and stars pattern. Its 3-layer construction helps to maintain the water temperature, and it offers side and bottom drainage for easy water removal. This model also folds and stores away easily.
- 27.5 x 27.5
- Fun design
- Maintains water temperature well
- Offers side and bottom drainage
- Folds and stores easily
- Has a plastic-y smell at first which diminishes with time
- High sides may be an issue for some people
This foldable tub is recommended for kids, but some petite adults also give it a thumbs up. One of the nicest advantages of this model is that there is no assembly required. All you have to do is fold and unfold it! It also has a non-slip base, is BPA-free and has no harsh chemical smell. The lower sides make it easier to get in and out of, but it also has a higher back which provides a good headrest.
- 39 x 20 x 22.8 inches
- Foldable design requires no assembly
- Non-slip base
- No harsh chemical smell
- Lower sides
- Higher back for headrest
- May not fit in a small shower cubicle
- Not as deep as some other models
This oval tub offers more legroom than a circular tub, although not all people will be able to stretch out their legs completely. Six layers of waterproof material and a zip-up top help to maintain the water temperature, which gives you extra time to luxuriate. This bathtub also comes with metal brackets which help to make it more stable than tubs with plastic ones, and it’s also made from food-grade PVC.
- 43.5 x 26.7 x 23.6 inches
- Oval shapes offers extra legroom
- Six-layer insulation maintains water temperature
- Zip-up top to maintain water temperature
- Double drains for easy water removal
- Made from food-grade PVC
- Metal brackets for added stability
- Not all people can stretch their legs out
If you have a little more space and a larger budget, this well-reviewed foldable bathtub is a great option for when you want to stretch out and relax. There’s also no inflation required as this tub simply folds and unfolds. It’s made from non-slip and high-quality material and comes with massage rollers and an insulated cover to help maintain the water temperature. Another thing we love is the bathtub handles which are helpful for getting in and out of the tub. Yes, you will pay more for this option, but the extra features and durability may make it worth it.
- 54.33 x 23.62 x 18.89 inches
- No inflation required
- Made from high-quality material
- Comes with self-service massage rollers
- Insulated cover to maintain water temperature
- Bathtub handles
- Larger in size than other options
- Not good for small shower stalls
This large freestanding tub has two things going for it—it’s not inflatable, so you don’t have to spend time blowing it up, and it folds down to a convenient size that will likely fit in your closet or under your bed. This portable plastic bathtub also features an anti-skid design on the bottom and is designed extra deep—21 inches—so you can soak more of your muscles. It also comes equipped with a head and neck rest for added comfort.
- 56 X 23 X 21 inches
- The tub is insulated to keep water warm
- No inflation required
- Anti-skid bottom
- Extra reinforced brackets for support
- Head and neck rest
12. W Weylan Tec Tub
If you liked the style of the Besthls foldable tub but want just a little more room, the Weylan Tec is a great pic. This rectangular portable soaking tub also features six layers of insulating material to maintain water temperature. However, this pick also offers a bit more room, stretching out to 47.2 inches. It also comes with a bath seat and pillow to help you relax after a long day.
- 47.2X21.7X19.7 inches
- Insulated tub
- 47 inches of legroom to sprawl out
- Two ways to drain—out the side or the bottom
- Comes with a bath seat and pillow
- Can fit in most showers
- Reviewers say the brackets could be stronger
So far, all of our picks have been a cozy bath for one. This Kiseely tub’s biggest flex is that it can fit two adults. This sturdy tub uses a full metal frame and also features seven insulating layers—one more than most of the other tubs on our list. The company boasts that in an experiment with the tub’s cover, the water temperature only dropped 5 degrees in two hours. Although, reviews indicate that the cover could use an upgrade.
Keep in mind that while the tub is built for two, there is only one inflatable seat and pillow.
- 53 X 23.5 X 21.7 Inches
- Metal frame for support
- Fits two adults
- Added insulating layer
- Only one pillow and seat
- Reviews say the cover could be more sturdy
If you’re looking for a portable tub for the littlest member of the family, consider this convertible changing table/tub combo from Sweeby. This portable tub adjusts from 4.8 to 6 feet, depending on your preference. It also features lockable wheels that make it easy to move from room to room. The materials from this station were tested by the Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) and are non-toxic and BPA-free.
The tub also features a draining tube, so you don’t have to worry about taking everything apart and dumping it out when you’re finished.
- 33 x 21.25 x 19 inches
- Multi-use tub converts to changing table
- Storage basket included
- Easy to move from room-to-room
- Non-Toxic & BPA-Free
- Draining tube
- Only for babies
- Not the softest changing table
Portable Bathtub FAQS
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding a portable tub.
Can I put a freestanding bathtub in my shower?
Yes, if it fits. Before you choose a shower, it’s important to get clear on what you intend to use the tub for. If you want something to fit in your shower, make sure to measure the space and check the dimensions before you purchase a portable tub. However, if you’re looking for a way to take a bath when you’re traveling, fitting in your home shower won’t be as important.
How do I fill up my portable bathtub?
If your tub fits in the shower, then the easiest way to fill it up is by turning on the shower and letting it fill up that way. However, if your portable tub doesn’t fit in your shower, you can purchase a hose that connects to your faucet for a quick fill up.
How do I drain it when I’m done?
This one also depends on where you put your tub. If you choose to put your tub in the shower, just pull the drain and let gravity do the work. Many picks on our list include a bottom drain for this very reason. (Protip: if you do decide to go this route, put the plug directly over the drain for the quickest and easiest cleanup.) However, if you choose a tub that doesn’t have a bottom drain or one that doesn’t fit in the shower, you can attach a drain hose and let it drain into a nearby sink or tub. While many tubs on our list include a drain hose, not all do. So pay attention to that feature if that’s something you’ll need.
How much water does a portable bathtub hold?
You can expect your portable bathtub to hold anywhere from 40-55 gallons. However, some tubs can hold up to 72 gallons, so each one is different.
Are portable bathtubs just for kids?
Gone are the days of portable tubs being just for kids. Many of these bathtubs are designed for adults, although not every tub is designed for sprawling. Some feature a much more confined tub experience similar to that of a Japanese soaking tub, while others will resemble a typical bathtub we’re used to.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of portable bathtub options. No matter your budget or the size of your bathroom, there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself to a good soak. Before you purchase, be sure to measure the space where you’ll be using and storing your tub.
And also, be sure to consider factors like inflation and drainage to make the setup and breakdown of your tub easier.
Whether you plan to use it in your shower stall or in the great outdoors, the right portable tub will ensure that you never have to skip out on one of the simplest pleasures in life!
You might also be interested in: 35 Bathroom Essentials That’ll Spice Up Any Washroom [Guide]
The 14 Best Portable Bathtubs:
- CO-Z Inflatable Adult Bathtub
- WEY&FLY Portable Foldable Bathtub
- PPBathtub XL Inflatable Bathtub
- InflataFun Portable Foldable Bathtub
- Thermae Studio Mobile Bathtub
- Large Homefilos Portable Bathtub
- LUCKUP Portable Bathtub
- W WEYLAN Tec Large Foldable Bathtub
- BesthIs Foldable Tub
- Foldable Portable Bathtub
- Freestanding 56″ Soaking Bathtub
- W Weylan Tec Tub
- Kiseely Extra Large Foldable Tub For 2
- Sweeby Portable Baby Changing Table & Tub