Skip to Content

Pros and Cons of a Bathtub

Pros of a BathtubCons of a Bathtub
You have access to a great method of relaxationEven small tubs take up space
Easily add a showerhead to save spaceBathtubs require maintenance to prevent stains and enamel stripping
Perfect for bathing time when you have small kidsSometimes people like the idea of a bathtub but never actually use it once installed
You are able to more accurately control the amount of water that you useMany people, especially taller people and those with sensitive skin will find it difficult to wash their hair in the tub
Many designs and features are available, so it’s easy to find your perfect tubElderly, disabled, or insured persons can find it extremely difficult and even dangerous to get in and out of the tub.
For some, if there is no tub, they won’t buy the house 
Many people find it a lot easier to shave their legs in the tub 

Bathing is relaxing and there are many available designs. You can add a showerhead and a selling point. Bathtubs are great for kids and leg-shaving. Tubs allow accurate water-usage control. Tubs take space and maintenance. Some disabilities make bathing hard. Hair-washing is difficult in a tub.

pros and cons of bathtubs

Pros of a Bathtub

One of the Best Ways to Relax

When most people think of a shower, they think of cleaning themselves. Refreshing? Absolutely! Functional? Undeniably! Utterly relaxing? Maybe not for everyone.

On the other hand, when people picture a bathtub, they see candles and bubbles and a good hour or so of relaxation. Set up your laptop or tablet and enjoy your favorite series while soaking in the tub. You just can’t do that in a shower.

Some essential oils, bath bombs, or bath salts will take your bathing time to the next level. Furthermore, using Epsom salts and oatmeal (bath-appropriate form!) can be very soothing and healing to your body.

My Grandfather was and still is (at the age of 86!) an avid hiker, and every Sunday after his hike, he would relax in an Epsom salt bath, letting his hard-worked muscles loosen up and recover.

You can even go a step further and invest in a whirlpool tub!

You Can Install a Showerhead

If you are facing a choice between a shower or a tub, there is a strong argument in favor of the bathtub—read on to find out just how strong—but one of the main reasons, in my opinion, is the fact that you can easily create a perfectly functional shower by installing a showerhead and curtain or Perspex screen to the bath.

American Standard 2973102.011 Studio Integral Apron Bathtub Right Drain 60 in. x 30 in. in Arctic White

Not so with a shower, although as kids, we probably all tried to stop up the drain with a facecloth and sit in our make-shift “bathtub” on the shower floor. If you install a shower where you only have room for one or the other, then you completely eliminate the option of a bath.

Ideal For Small Children

When I was very young, my mom and my aunt would line up all the cousins in the same tub and have one big bathtub procession line to make handling five kids under five years of age more manageable.

Even if you only have one or two children, you can tackle cleaning them in a bathtub far more easily than in a shower or having to carry and fill a plastic kiddies tub every day.

Stokke Flexi Bath, White Aqua - Foldable Baby Bathtub - Lightweight, Durable & Easy to Store - Convenient to Use at Home or Traveling - Best for Newborns & Babies

You are more likely to stay dry (I won’t say that you definitely will!), and many small children get upset when water splashes onto their heads and faces, making a shower a less appealing option to them.

There is also the opportunity for fun games in a bathtub to make bath time more pleasant and less of a mission at the end of a busy day when everyone is tired.

Better Control of Water Usage

While it is easy to say that a bathtub will lead to water wastage, this is not actually the case; it all depends on the person.

If someone were to fill the tub up to the brim every time, then, yes, it is very possible that showering would use less water. However, if you draw a moderate bath, this doesn’t use as much water.

You can spend as long as you like in the bathtub without feeling the same pressure to get out and save water as you do when showering.

Furthermore, and depending on what toiletries you use, your bathtub water can be taken outside to water your yard and flower beds when you are finished bathing. Just scoop it up in a bucket and repeat until you can’t get any more in the bucket, then drain the rest.

Wide Variety of Designs and Features

There are so many options of size, shape, material, color, finish, and features available for bathtubs these days that you will are very unlikely not to find the perfect tub for your bathroom, personality, and requirements.

FerdY Shangri-La 59"x30" Freestanding Bathtub, Modern Oval Acrylic Soaking Bathtub with Brushed Nickel Drain & Integrated Slotted Overflow, Glossy White, cUPC Certified, 02522

Go with a Whirlpool bathtub if you are after that spa experience. Or install a free-standing, claw-foot porcelain tub to add some class and richness to your bathroom décor.

They Can Be a Sale Deal Breaker

I know some people who, when house-hunting, have crossed a house off of their list simply because there was no tub.

Even if you are a shower-only kind of person, you should consider what lifestyle changes or moves are in your future. If you are revamping your house for sale, then carefully consider installing a tub to pull in potential buyers.

Maybe you are a single person investing in a family home. What if your significant other likes to bathe in a tub, or you have kids? Having bought or built a house with a tub would pay off in such a situation.

There are studies that have found bathtubs in master suites particularly beneficial to sales.

Easier to Shave in the Tub

Here, I am specifically talking about shaving legs. Balancing on one foot in the shower, especially when your legs are all soaped-up is not the safest arrangement. It is much easier to prop your foot up on the side of the bath to shave.

You are able to clean the razor off more effectively between strokes, which is far healthier for your skin. You are also not racing to shave before the spray of water washes all the soap off.

Furthermore, there is less likely to be steam impairing your vision—always dangerous when wielding a blade!

That said, some people find it absolutely no trouble to shave in the shower.

Cons of a Bathtub

They Take up Space

There is no denying that even the smallest of tubs take up a significant amount of space. In a smaller bathroom, bathtubs are very often not a viable option.

Then there are situations like Jack and Jill bathrooms, which may only be able to accommodate a shower in favor of providing two separate basin stations. A bathtub, shower, and single basin (or a bathtub and a single basin) are much less ideal than a shower and two basins in this kind of bathroom design.

They Require Maintenance

If you have ever seen an old stained bathtub with that brown ring around the bottom, then you know how quickly your chic, feature-heavy bathroom can be brought down if the tub is not maintained.

You are also probably facing refinishing your tub a few times during the course of your life. This can be a hassle!

You also must be careful not to use abrasive cleaners, as this will strip your enamel much faster. Once the enamel is gone, stains develop so much quicker as dirt gets trapped in the now-porous surface.

As an added horror for my fellow tactile-defensive people, bathing in a tub that has lost its enamel coating is like bathing on chalk!

It Might Not Get Used

There are those that just do not like to bathe. They may have purchased a house with a tub or installed one in their house, thinking that they just needed the option of bathing to really get into it, yet their tub remains unused.

Hard to Wash Your Hair

It can be quite a mission to wash your hair in a bathtub.

Tall people will find it especially tricky trying to slide down far enough without their whole lower end having to exit the tub!

For those with sensitive skin, sitting in a tub filled with shampoo water can be a nightmare!

A solution to this would be to install a handheld sprayer and hanging over the tub to wash your hair.

Difficult to Use With Impairments

People with physical disabilities, whether these are permanent or temporary, as well as older individuals, may find it difficult or even impossible to lower themselves into a bathtub, not to mention getting out again.

In some situations, this can be a real danger, especially if the person lives alone.

Was this helpful?

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.