Feb 142011

Compare different Medline bariatric bath benches below. That’s followed by a summary of positive and negative online review comments about Medline bath benches. Finally, you can look at individual Medline bariatric shower chair products.

CLICK HERE FOR Product Comparison Chart

CLICK HERE FOR Product Review Summary

CLICK HERE for Individual Medline Products

Product Comparison Chart

Feature 1. Medline Bariatric Bath Bench without Back

2. Bariatric Heavy Duty Bath Bench/ Chair
3. Heavy Duty Shower Bench Bath Chair by Medline

4. Medline Bariatric Bath Benches (Without Back)

5. Medline Bariatric Bath Benches (With Back)

6. Medline Bariatric Bath Bench with Back

7. Bariatric Bath Bench (With Back)

Weight capacity up to 550 pounds

   Cross Braces
   Aircraft Rivets
   Drain Holes NO
   Integrated Handles NO NO
Assembly Required Completely assembled Completely assembled Completely assembled Completely assembled Required Completely assembled
Blow-molded plastic seat
Dimensions listed 20.5″W x 15.7″D 20″W x 12″D None (Typical: 20″W x 12″D) None (Typical: 20″W x 12″D) None (Typical for this model is 18″W x 21.5″D) None (Typical for this model is 18″W x 21.5″D) 18″W x 21.5″D (Back Included)
Seat Height adjusts in 1 inch increments From 14” to 17” From 14” to 17” From 14” to 18” From 14” to 18” From 16.5” to 20.5” From 14.5” to 19.5” From 16.5” to 20.5”
   Suction cups on tips
Backs / arms NO NO NO NO Back Back Back
Cost Under $50
Click here for latest Amazon price
About $60
Click here for latest Amazon price
Under $50
Click here for latest Amazon price
Under $55
Click here for latest Amazon price
About $70
Click here for latest Amazon price
Under $85
Click here for latest Amazon price
About $85
Click here for latest Amazon price
Other Listed as Model MDS89740AXW No model # listed No model # listed Listed as Model MDS89740AXW Listed as Model MDS89745AXW
Item differs from photo
No model # listed Listed as Model MDS89745AXW


Product Review Summary

The following summarizes reviews of Medline shower seats from various online sites.

Positive comments

  • Benches are sturdy and stable.
  • The cross bars on the bottom helped prevent the legs from bending or collapsing.
  • Most people said the bench was able to support their weight without any problems.
  • The chairs with backs provided extra support.
  • Some people found the chairs easy to assemble, but others like the fact that their model came already assembled.
  • No problems with mildew, mold, or rust.
  • Lightweight enough to store or travel with.
  • Easy to adjust seat.
  • Negative comments

  • Height of seat is too short. (Measure from your feet to a seat bottom on a regular chair to get an idea of how much height you need.)
  • Does not fit in shower or tub. (Check the width and depth of the seat you are buying. A Medline shower bench will typically take up an approximately 2 foot by 18” space. Make sure your shower or tub can handle that size.)
  • One person thought the bolts and screws used on the seat were “junk.” (Note: This review was from 2009, so bolts and screws may have been replaced by rivets in later models.)
  • A few people found the seat height difficult to adjust.
  • A few people found the seat difficult to assemble.
  • To TOP

    Individual Medline Bath Bench Products

    Overall note: Different companies may list different sizes for the same model number of shower chair. These differences may be due to data entry errors or different methods of measurement.

    Medline Bariatric Bath Bench without Back

    What’s Different?

    Listed as Model MDS89740AXW

    Seat dimensions provided: 20.5″ W x 15.7″ D

    Seat height adjusts from 14 to 17 inches

    Needs assembly

    Cost: Under $50. Click here for latest Amazon price

    Bariatric Heavy Duty Bath Bench/ Chair

    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions: 20″W x 12″D

    Seat height adjusts from 14″ to 17″

    Completely assembled

    Cost: About $60. Click here for latest Amazon price


    Heavy Duty Shower Bench Bath Chair by Medline – Size Bariatric 550 LB

    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 20″ W x 12″ D)

    Seat height adjusts from 14 to 18 inches

    Completely assembled

    Cost: Under $50. Click here for latest Amazon price.


    Medline Bariatric Bath Benches Without Back
    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 20″ W x 12″ D)

    Listed as Model MDS89740AXW

    Seat height adjusts from 14″ to 18″

    Completely assembled

    Price: Under $55 Click here for latest Amazon price.



    Medline Bariatric Bath Benches with Back

    What’s Different?

    Item may differ from image shown

    Listed as Model MDS89745AXW

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 18″ W x 21.5″ D)

    Seat height adjusts from 16.5″ to 20.5″

    Completely assembled

    Price: About $70 Click here for latest Amazon price.


    Medline Bariatric Bath Bench with Back
    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 18″ W x 21.5″ D)

    Seat adjusts from 14.5 to 19.5 inches

    Flat seat

    Needs assembly

    Cost: Under $85 Click here for latest Amazon price.


    Bariatric Bath Bench Size: 16.5″-20.5″ H x 18″ W x 21.5″ D

    What’s Different?

    Model MDS89745AXW

    Dimensions: 18″ W x 21.5″ D (Back Included)

    Seat adjusts from 16.5″- 20.5″

    Flat seat

    No drain holes

    Completely assembled

    Cost: About $85 Click here for latest Amazon price.

    NOTE: Smaller model (without back) Model MDS89740AXW also available on this page
    • Dimensions: 20″ W x 12″ D
    • Seat height adjusts from 14”-17”

    To TOP

    Nov 052010

    When people are looking for shower seats they sometimes get confused because they read about fold down shower seats and folding shower seats. Don’t be fooled. These two types of seats are quite different.

    • The fold down seat is really a hinged shower seat, also called a retractable shower chair.
    • The folding seat is really a type of freestanding seat.

    Here’s more about the two different types of shower seats.

    The Fold Down or Hinged Shower Seat

    If you’re short on space in your shower, but still want a place to sit while in the shower, the fold down or retractable shower seat may be your best choice. As I said, yet another name for this type seat is the hinged shower chair. That’s because this type of seat is attached to the shower wall, usually with some type of hinge.

    Benefit: Less space

    Because of the way it’s attached, the seat can then be lifted up or down and locked into place when you want to use it. When not being used, you again fold the chair down or up. That means that when not in use the seat will lie flat against the wall, taking up little shower space.

    Benefit: Convenience

    This type shower seat is very convenient because it stays in the shower where it’s handy for anyone who needs to use it. But if someone taking a shower doesn’t need it, the seat is out of the way. For more information about the overall benefits of shower seats, read What Are the Benefits of Shower Seats?

    Attachment of the Seat

    Since people are going to sit on this type shower seat, how it is attached to the shower enclosure is important. These chairs should NOT be attached to a shower wall enclosure that is only a hollow type surface such as drywall, fiberglass, acrylic, or sheetrock.

    These seats need to be attached to a reinforced backing such as wood or steel that is behind the shower enclosure wall. The mounting or anchoring bolts or screws should be appropriate for the type of backing they are being attached to. If you are not comfortable doing this type of construction, consult a plumbing professional.

    As an option, some fold down shower seats are sold with legs. The legs will provide added support to the person sitting in the chair and fold up with the chair. Some of these legs are also adjustable so the seat can be used by people of different heights. Adjusting the legs also means this type of seat can handle shower floors that slope downward toward the drain in the middle.

    Hinged Shower Seat Features

    Here are some of the key features you should consider when buying a new hinged shower seat.

    Weight capacity: Assuming it’s attached correctly, a typical seat can hold about 250 pounds (113 KG). With legs, seats can hold more weight, such as 400 pounds (181 KG). Always check the weight capacity of any fold down shower seat you buy to be sure no one will get hurt while sitting in it.

    Seat size: Seats come in different lengths and widths, so be sure to find one that will fit the bottom that’s going to be in it. A typical length is 18 inches (45 cm), while a typical width can be from 16 to 18 inches (40 to 45 Cm).

    Because of the way they are attached to the shower enclosure, these seats can also be found that run the length of the shower wall, providing added space for storage.

    Seat material: You will have many different options when it comes to the material you choose for your retractable shower chair.

    Teak is a stylish and popular option. It’s a brownish wood that is strong and resistant to moisture. It typically costs more than any of the other seat material options.

    Rubberwood, also called parawood, is a lighter color than teak, but can be stained. It is also water resistant and less expensive than teak. If you want the look and feel of wood, but want something that is ecologically friendly, you may want to consider rubberwood.

    Both teak and rubberwood seats usually have slats in them to let the water drain through.

    Phenolic is a water resistant plastic often used in hospital fold down shower seats. It is a hard and strong material. It will also have slats to allow water to drain through.

    Some manufacturers offer phenolic seats with padding for greater comfort while sitting.

    Hardware: There are also many options for the mounting bracket and hinge materials used for these chairs. In addition to stainless steel, chrome, brass, and brushed nickel are often available options.

    With the combination of hardware and seat material you can be sure the fold down seat fits in with the décor of your shower and bathroom.

    Be sure the hardware you use has no rough edges so it will not cut anyone using the shower seat. Also, some hinged seats come with covers for the metal hardware.

    Other options:

    Some retractable seats are sold with backs and arms. A chair with a back offers greater support to the person using the chair. Arms allow people to sit more comfortably. These are especially useful when this type chair is being used by a physically challenged person who requires caregiver help when taking a shower. Others are sold with legs for added support.

    Commode type chairs with U-shaped cutouts are also available for handicapped people who need the additional convenience.

    Fold Down Seat Summary

    The retractable shower seat is a great solution for a small shower that needs a shower seat. Choose the features you need before buying. When installing, be sure all the hardware is attached securely so the seat can be used without any worries.

    Now let’s consider the folding shower seat.

    Folding Shower Seat

    The folding shower seat is meant to be used in the shower, then folded up and stored outside the shower. This means that when the folding chair isn’t being used it doesn’t take up any space within the shower.

    Benefit: Portability

    The primary benefit of the folding shower seat is that it is portable. If you want to use the seat in a different shower, or take it with you on a trip, you simply fold it up and carry it with you.

    This type of folding chair is a one piece unit available in various materials and a choice of features. The most common features include the following.

    Seat material

    Teak: At the higher cost end are folding shower chairs made of solid teak wood. Teak is a brownish wood that is water resistant because of its natural oil content. The brown teak will turn to a more silver color over time. This is a natural process but does not mean the teak needs to be replaced.

    Because of its styling and water resistance this type folding chair will look good and works well in both indoor and outdoor showers.

    Plastic: Molded plastic (PVC) is the most common material used for folding shower seats. Some seats are smooth while others are textured. Drain holes are built in to allow the shower water to drain through. These seats are usually molded in a slightly curved shape so it is more comfortable for your bottom. The plastic used is usually quite durable and will provide good support when you’re sitting on chairs made of this material.

    Available options include handles on the sides for easy lifting, as well as back supports and arm rests. Some even come with a holder if you intend to use a hand held showerhead.

    Mesh: Mesh folding shower chairs are often the lightest weight folding shower chair and fold to a smaller size than the plastic type chairs. Mesh resists mold and mildew and is a quick drying material.


    The teak folding shower chairs are usually all one piece made of only teak.

    The plastic and mesh chairs are constructed with a stainless steel or anodized aluminum frame and legs for strength. This material is corrosion proof so will not rust. Some chairs offer legs that are adjustable for people of different heights. And some legs will include rubber tips to help prevent the chair from slipping in the shower.

    Other considerations:

    Since it is meant to be portable, you will want to consider the weight of the folding chair. Typical weights are from 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 Kg), while mesh seats often weigh less.

    When choosing a folding shower chair you need to consider the weight of the people who will be using the chairs. Typical chairs hold up to 250 pounds (113 Kg). If you want to hold heavier weights, you will need to find special bariatric shower chairs.

    Also look into the seat length and width to be sure it will be comfortable for the user.

    Finally, be sure that when opened, the chair will leave you enough space to stand up and walk into the shower and sit comfortably.

    For more information, read The Benefits and Features of Shower Seats.

    Jun 262009

    When you start searching for shower seats, you’ll suddenly find yourself looking at shower chairs, shower benches, shower stools, and many other options. How to sort this all out?

    This article will talk about the different broad categories of shower seats. Understanding the range of options will help you decide in which direction you want to go.

    The general categories include:

    • Freestanding
    • Hinged or Folding
    • Built in
    • Wheeled / Shower Commode
    • Transfer benches


    This is the most typical type of shower seat you’ll find. Basically, these are shower seats that sit on the floor of your shower and are not fixed in any way. This means you can move the seat in and out of the shower. Some allow folding so they can be put away when not being used.

    Portability, then, is a key benefit of this type of shower seat. When you don’t want to use it, just move it.

    Within the freestanding category, many different features are available including seat shapes, seat height, and backrests. These type chairs are also available for people of different sizes and weights. For more detailed information, read Three Key Shower Seat Features You Should Consider.

    Freestanding seats can be made of various materials including PVC, steel, aluminum, teak, or a combination of these.

    Not all freestanding seats are square. Seats that fit into the corner of your shower are also available.

    Hinged or Folding

    As its name implies, the hinged shower seat is attached to the shower wall with a hinge that allows it to be folded up or down when not being used. You will also run across this type being called a fold down or retractable shower seat.

    These seats may be built as just a seat or may have legs that rest on the shower floor. The legs then provide added support for the user. The legs may even be adjustable to accommodate more than one user.

    Space savings is a key benefit of this type seat. That’s because when the folded seat sits against the shower wall, you will have more space available in the shower. When more than one person has to use the same shower and one likes to sit and the other doesn’t, this is the ideal solution.

    If you are considering this type of shower seat, be sure it is attached solidly and can easily hold your weight. Also use hardware with rounded edges that will not cut or nick your body.


    Built-in shower seats are seats that are a permanent part of your shower design. Also called shower benches, they usually run the entire length of the wall they are attached to provide plenty of space for sitting and storage of bathroom items. They can be covered with tile to match the shower enclosure or with granite or marble for that touch of elegance.


    Design is an important benefit of built-in shower seats. They add depth and dimension to a shower which is visually appealing with modern showers with frameless glass doors.

    Another type of built in shower seat is a corner shower bench. This is triangular seat that is built into a corner of the shower wall. It offers the same design benefits with the added benefit of taking up less space in the shower. They are, however, much smaller than the shower bench that runs the length of the shower wall.

    The freestanding, hinged, and built in shower seats are intended for both disabled and non-disabled people. Two other types of shower seats are primarily for those who are handicapped.

    These are:

    • Wheeled/Shower Commode Chair
    • Transfer bench

    Wheeled / Shower Commode Chair

    Wheeled shower seats are for those needing assistance getting in and out of the shower. They are also referred to as shower commode chairs. They let the user get in the shower themselves or be helped in, avoiding the need to transfer from a wheelchair to a separate seat. A commode chair allows for the user to easily move to and from the toilet and shower.

    The wheels are usually large swivel casters with safety locks. Larger wheels provide less rolling resistance so that a caregiver can more easily move someone across a floor. Other features to consider include backrests and armrests, and the ability to tilt the seat frame so the user or caregiver can shower more easily.

    Obviously, the entrance to the shower should be flat to allow the wheels to roll smoothly into and out of the shower.

    They can be constructed of stainless steel or PVC.

    Shower/commode chairs that tilt are also available. This allows caregivers to adjust the chair to more easily reach the person in it. The ability to adjust this type of shower seat is important when considering the growth of special needs children as well as the comfort of the adult user.

    Shower Transfer Bench

    Typically used for transferring someone from a wheelchair to a bathtub, this type of shower seat can also be used for moving from a wheelchair to a shower.

    Shower transfer benches are usually one piece with a long seat in two parts, and four or six legs. The person moves from their wheelchair to the transfer bench, which is the outside piece, then slides to the actual seat.

    Available options usually include padded seating and removable or adjustable backrests and armrests.

    There are also sliding shower transfer benches. In these, the person transfers from their wheelchair to a shower seat. The seat then slides, most often on rails, to a position where they can more comfortably take a shower. Some shower transfer benches have swivel chairs to add to the user’s convenience.

    Typical features include a safety belt and a handle that can be attached to either side of the seat.

    Another type of shower transfer seat is a wall-mounted shower seat that swings into the shower. First, the user transfers onto the seat from outside the shower. Then the chair swivels into the shower. When their shower is finished, the user swivels back out of the shower.

    Specialty shower seats, such as these, allow physically challenged people to be more comfortable when taking a shower.