Deborah is an incredibly talented journalist who's been working for numerous online magazines for over 8 years now. She's also our main research writer who can turn any boring topic into an easy-to-digest text. Loves biking and her two dogs.
Charles's been a plumber his entire life. Thanks to his vast experience we can always rely on Charles' expert opinion when creating any of our articles. He's also a fantastic fisherman and cook.
Last updated: July 21, 2021
Bathroomer is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
While most of us love the idea of relaxing in a soaking tub after a tiring workday, the installation process we have to go through is less than fun. Still, the pleasure that comes from soaking your body in warm water is unmatched, and a hot bath is the ultimate kind of self-care.
Soaking tubs come in several shapes, sizes, and even materials, making shopping for a tub confusing and stressful. We are here to guide you through the process and bring you a detailed list of the best soaking tubs you can choose from based on your needs. In our review, we’ve included some important features, such as the type of tub, because what is convenient for one person might not for another. It’s also crucial to check the size and capacity of the tubs, so it is easier to select a model suitable for your bathroom. There are many other features to consider, such as overflow, drain placement, and weight because they contribute to the user-friendliness in terms of functionality and installation.
"An impressive freestanding model made of high-gloss white Lucite acrylic, which has a stain and scratch-resistant surface.59″ x 29-1/2″ x 23-1/4″ size.Reinforced with Ashland resin and fiberglass.Comes with brass brushed nickel drain and overflow."
This freestanding bathtub is popular among users for its spacious size and high water capacity. The 59″ x 29-1/2″ x 23-1/4″ dimensions allow your body to soak completely and fit 55 gallons of water. Next, the Woodbridge 59″ Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub B-0014 offers comfort with a gently curving slope that fits in with the body’s natural curves and a shape that lets you get in and out of the tub with ease.
The non-slip design allows not just bathe safety but also makes the tub surface easier to clean. Designed for premium quality, this soaking tub is made from 100% high gloss white Lucite acrylic, and it is reinforced with Ashland resin and fiberglass.
The high-quality materials are durable, and the double-wall reinforced design helps in keeping the bathwater warm. It comes with a stainless steel brushed overflow of 14-1/2″, taking care of any spills. The brass brushed nickel drain is located in the center of the tub.
What do we love it for? Our favorite thing about this soaking tub is that it is extremely user-friendly and easy to maintain. Its stain and scratch-resistant surface is easy to clean and retains its high gloss finish without fading. Another amazing feature is its stylish and chic shape that adds to the luxurious aesthetics of your bathroom, giving you a relaxing and soothing ambiance as you soak. The bottom is bracketed with stainless steel, making it a sturdy tub.
What were we disappointed with? This is close to the perfect model, but its drawback is that it is quite heavy at 165 pounds, due to which installation and transportation can be difficult.
This drop-in soaking bathtub from Fine Fixtures is best known for its excellent price range and amazing quality. With dimensions of 48″ x 32″ x 19″ and a water capacity of 51.78 gallons, this bathtub is suitable for most adults. The cozy inclined backrest of this bathtub will make your bath times even more relaxing and help your muscles get rid of the strains.
Made from superior acrylic fiberglass material with a glossy porcelain finish, this tub is easy on the eyes, durable, and crack-resistant. The slip-resistant surface allows for maximum safety and easy maintenance. It comes with an overflow of 13.5”, making cleanup easier and quicker. Additionally, the side drain allows you to install the tub on either side of the drain. Lastly, it weighs only 44.09 pounds.
Why is it special? We appreciate how this tub is safe for bathing salts and oils, allowing you to enjoy a full spa treatment at your home. The alcove design adds to the pleasant experience of a relaxing soak. Its easy installation is another plus point.
What are the flaws? The only issue with this design is that it can be difficult for larger individuals to fit in without cramping.
This classic clawfoot tub is a bath lover’s dream with its exquisite style that is fit for a king. With a length of 57 inches and water capacity of 35 gallons, this bathtub allows you to soak your entire body easily for the ultimate bathing experience. The weight of this clawfoot soak tub is 275 pounds, making it slightly heavier than other models.
The cast iron construction makes it extremely sturdy and long-lasting. It comes with an overflow of 13-1/2″, making it a deep tub. Next, the drain placement is on the right side of this clawfoot tub. The slipper-style back adjusts perfectly, allowing you to stretch your whole body in the tub.
What stands out? The construction of this bathtub is one of its most distinguished features with solid brass feet that are plated and have a powder-coated finish to make it both beautiful and durable pick. It is also one of the most stylish and luxurious options on our list. Also, the built-in adjusters allow customization and contribute towards the user-friendliness of this tub. You know it is a promising product because it comes with a lifetime warranty as well.
What cons did we manage to find? The installation of this tub can be difficult because it is not suitable for buyers whose bathrooms don’t have a built-in tub space and a shallow floor flange for drain installation, and constructing one can be expensive.
This freestanding bathtub by Vanity Art is the perfect combination of user-friendliness and luxury. With slim dimensions of 23.6″ x 29.5″ x 59.1”, it makes for a compact model that can fit in most bathrooms easily but still providing ample interior space for comfortable bathing and stretching. Its weight of 99 pounds is another well-liked feature that makes it easier to install.
It has a water capacity of 55 gallons and an overflow depth of 15.6 inches. The center placed drain makes it more versatile. The durability of this model is excellent, with 100% high gloss white Lucite acrylic construction that is reinforced with Ashland resin and fiberglass. It comes with a 1-year warranty that speaks for the quality of this soaking tub. Other excellent features include a flexible drain hose and 4 leveling legs.
Why did it make our list? The slim space-saving design makes it perfect for smaller bathrooms. It still lets you soak comfortably without cramping, thanks to the curved basin and integrated apron. The modern yet simplistic design complements a variety of bathroom styles and fixtures, making this a widely popular tub. The compact size also makes renovation easier.
What is not ideal about it? The drain assembly of this tub is not included.
This tub is a high-quality model, designed with a three-wall alcove configuration that is perfect for traditional-style small-sized bathrooms. With compact dimensions of 19-3/4″ x 60″ x 42″ and a capacity of 75 gallons, this tub is not the biggest model available, but the small size makes it easy to clean. It is built for long life, with high-quality acrylic material that is not only durable but also safe. And there is also a slip-resistant bottom.
It weighs 100 pounds, making it easy to transport and install. Apart from a pleasant bathing experience, you will enjoy an integrated overflow. The drain placement is on the left side of the tub.
What makes it stand out? The best thing about this tub is its 5-year warranty, which speaks for the quality and durability of this product. The alcove style is perfected with the integrated skirts and textured slip-resistant surface. Thus, this model is user-friendly and has impressive insulation, helping you maintain the water temperature to your liking.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? This model is not suitable for bathrooms that do not have a three-wall alcove for installation, and building one can be expensive. The overflow depth is not specified, but you can consult the ProFlo representative for that information.
This modern and elegantly shaped freestanding tub by Woodbridge is perfect for a long and soothing soak. The 59″ x 28-3/4″ x 27-1/2″ dimensions and a 55-gallon water capacity make it a spacious tub suitable for everyone. The premium-quality construction with high-quality materials like 100% high gloss white Lucite acrylic makes it a durable pick.
It is reinforced with Ashland resin and fiberglass that provides a safe and slip-resistant surface that meets ASTM standards for safety. The double-walled construction provides insulation, keeping the water warm and letting you soak for as long as you like. It weighs 150 pounds, but you should note that freestanding style tubs weigh more for safety purposes. The overflow of this tub is 14.5″, and the drain placement, like with most freestanding tubs, is in the center.
Why are we impressed? We love the freestanding style that adds a modern look to your bathroom, creating an inviting environment for you to relax in. The stainless steel bottom allows a high weight capacity of 1000 lbs, which is also a popular feature that speaks for the sturdiness of this tub. The gently sloping design adds to the comfort and pleasant user experience.
What negatives must you be aware of? The only downside of this elegant and stylish soaking tub is that it requires a freestanding faucet that you need to buy separately.
The Cambridge Apron-Front Bathtub by American Standard is an extremely practical and functional alcove-soaking tub, with its simplistic but high-quality construction and materials. This 32″ x 60″ x 17-3/4” tub is a space-saving model designed for a small area but with a spacious inner capacity of 50 gallons. The inner dimensions offer a comfortable space to stretch your legs and lean your back.
The construction of this tub features high-quality and durable materials with a steel base, porcelain enamel finish, and a plastic composite to make a sturdy product. The durable finish is scratch-resistant and retains luster.
The overall weight of this alcove style tub is 147 pounds, which is considerably lighter than cast-iron models. The drain placement of this model is on the right, and it comes with an overflow of 14 inches, making for a sufficiently deep soaking tub.
What makes it stand out? One of our favorite things about this tub is that it has excellent temperature retention for better relaxation. High safety is high up on everyone’s list of priorities, and this tub definitely checks that box with its slip-resistant textured floor surface. The American backing adds to its insulation. The porcelain finish makes it easy to clean and maintain.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? The only concern we have regarding this tub is that the compact dimensions might make it a little cramped for a tall person and leave less room to stretch straight or wiggle toes.
This ergonomically designed and luxurious model is perhaps one of the most exquisite freestanding tubs on the market. Made from 100% glossy white acrylic, this model makes for an elegant stand-alone tub that adds style to any bathroom. It is reinforced with fiberglass, making for an extremely durable and long-lasting purchase.
It boasts adjustable metal feet, making it a stable and safe tub. With dimensions of 66.92″ x 31.49″ x 26.77″ and 15 inches deep, this tub is perfect for even large individuals. The water capacity of this tub is 58.11 gallons, allowing your body to be submerged in the water fully. The pop-up drain is in the center, and the brushed nickel overflow is 14.5 inches.
What are our favorite features? It is an extremely lightweight tub, weighing only 89 pounds and making it easy to transport and install. The non-porous surface is slip-resistant and safe. Also, it comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
What could be better? It can only fit one person comfortably at a time.
Soaking in a tub might be one of the best feelings in the world, but shopping one is never high up on anyone’s list of fun things to do. But once you have been through the trouble of finding and installing a top of the line-soaking tub in your bathroom, you will know that it is worth every tiny bit of frustration you endured. Since a superior-quality tub is like a long-term investment, this guide will make your job easier and help you find the best option for your home.
Reasons to get a soaking tub
Most people believe a soaking tub to be a luxury item. But it is more than just that. Even though self-pampering is a good reason to buy one, there are several other reasons as well. First, a soaking tub can be a blessing during colder months when muscle strain and a sore body seem to be a perpetual issue. A warm and relaxing soak can be just what you need.
Many people invest in soaking tubs for medical reasons because trips to the spa can be expensive. Bathing is also a more relaxing cleaning method than showers, and soaking tubs are comfortable as well. Getting a soaking tub and treating yourself to a cozy bath now and then is perhaps one of the first steps to lifestyle improvement, and once you get a high-quality model, you will know its importance! They also contribute to the aesthetics of your place, making for a great interior design, as well as a welcoming home environment.
Things to consider before purchasing a soaking tub
Getting the wrong one can be extremely inconvenient because replacing one can be quite expensive. You need to know exactly what you are looking for in a soaking tub so that you pick the correct type of tub suitable to your requirements. You also need to be careful about the size and style of your bathroom because some tubs require specific fixtures like a three-wall alcove or a built-in tub area for a drop-in design.
Other factors to consider are the capacity, materials, durability, maintenance, and extra features because you should get value for the money you spend. Surveying the market and deciding on a budget is also a smart way to begin shopping for a soaking tub.
There are several types of soaking tubs, each one with a unique style and its own advantages.
A freestanding soaking tub, like the Woodbridge B-0014, is one of the high-end and luxurious options. With large sizes and spacious interiors, these tubs are the ultimate kind of self-treat! As for the drawbacks, freestanding tubs are on the heavier side, so you need to make sure your bathroom tiles can bear the weight.
Alcove tubs are perhaps the most common we see on the market. These tubs are installed in the corner of the bathroom with three walls and an exposed side for climbing in. Alcove tubs are usually the most space-saving and family-friendly options.
Drop-in tubs are created for built-in tub fillers and ensure simple installation. Just like an alcove tub, three sides of the drop-in tub are secured with tiled or walled fixtures.
Clawfoot tub has an elegant and luxurious style, with four short claw-shaped legs to support the tub. Clawfoot tubs are the most stylish and expensive options, just like the Signature Hardware Erica, with a classic yet luxurious aesthetic to them.
The size of a soaking tub is an extremely important consideration. Unless you plan to remodel your bathroom, you should look for a tub that will fit easily in the tub space of your bathroom. For drop-in tubs, you must consider the size and shape of your filler and find a model that matches those dimensions. As for the alcove tubs, you should take the space between your three walls into account before deciding on the size. Other models like freestanding and clawfoot tubs are usually large and require open space.
Unless your bathroom has sufficient space, don’t get a large tub because your bathroom will look cramped, and the tub might not even fit.
Even though the capacity of the tub means the amount of water it can hold, it directly translates into comfort as well. Depending on your body size and how much you like to stretch, you should consider the capacity accordingly. The tub should be deep enough to comfortably soak all your sore limbs and long enough to accommodate your body in a way that it leaves room to wiggle your toes and stretch your limbs. For example, the ProFlo PFS6042LSKWH is a great option here that can hold up to 75 gallons of water.
The water capacity is usually not enough to tell you the person capacity of the tub, so you need not only determine how deep the soaking tub is, but also other dimensions, such as length and width. The standard depth of the tub is 14”, which can comfortably accommodate most types of bodies.
Overflow and drain
The overflow is a space drilled in the bathtub that directs any extra water that might spill over the edge into the walls of the tub, leading to the drain. This keeps your bathroom floor dry and adds to bath safety. Overflow can be traditional, with a hole in the tub wall that directs extra water into the drain or an integrated overflow.
The height of the overflow determines how high you can fill the water before the overflow starts draining it. Most models on our list have a pre-installed overflow. Drains are also usually pre-drilled to make the installation simple. For instance, you can find both in the Empava EMPV-FT1518.
The drain placement of the tub is an important consideration, especially for already built bathrooms and drop-in or alcove style tubs, because it determines where the plumbing goes. In case you get a tub with a center-placed drain and the plumbing in your bathroom is on either the left or right side, you will need either to replace the tub or to get the plumbing redone to accommodate the drain.
One expert tip for tub shopping is to check the drain placement beforehand to make sure you can get a suitable option.
Material and finish
The material of a soaking tub concerns most people because it is directly responsible for the durability, longevity, and maintenance of the tub. Different materials have different levels of sturdiness, and the finish determines how easy to clean and tough your soaking tub will be. Even though soaking tubs feature materials, most of them are made from white acrylic. Also, some are made from cast iron or a unique combination material like steel, plastic, and porcelain. The manufacturers also use Ashland resin and fiberglass to reinforce them, such as seen with the Vanity Art 59″ Freestanding Acrylic Bathtub. Each one has qualities, like slip-resistance and scratch and crack resistance. These protective coatings make the tub sturdy and durable.
The shape of the tub is an important feature because it not only dictates the style and aesthetic of your bathroom interior but also contributes to user comfort. Ergonomically shaped tubs, like the Empava model, are user-friendly, with easy access. The shape also tells the comfort you will get, with gently sloping sides that make for a comfortable surface complementing the natural curves of your body.
Some tubs are shaped specifically to take up less space, with compact exteriors but a spacy and comfortably wide interior to not compromise on comfort. The shape also dictates the tub you buy, with freestanding models having an oval or elongated curvy shape, while alcove models have a rectangular shape.
Slip and scratch-resistant surface
These features are an important consideration because they determine the user-friendliness and quality of the material of your soaking tub. A chipped or scratched tub is not just unpleasant to look at but may also be dangerous because cracks can scratch your skin. The finish of the tub surface determines how sturdy and tough it will be.
The anti-slip feature should be high on your priority list because it determines bath time safety and provides a stable surface that is not hazardous to climb in and out of it. The key is to look for an ASTM certification for safety standards.
Durability is a number-one priority for most people, as it should be because if you spend your hard-earned money on a soaking tub, it should last you long enough. Soaking tubs are a long-term investment, so you should ensure the durability and sturdiness of the materials. Most products on our list of the best soaking tubs are made from high-quality and sturdy materials that do not scratch, stain or crack easily. We only included tubs from trustworthy brands, who have built fine quality tubs for decades to have mastered the art of reliable soaking tubs.
The weight of a soaking tub is an important and practical consideration because it directly translates into ease of transportation and installation. Heavy soaking tubs are not only difficult to transport and install, but your bathroom flooring may not be able to bear the weight as well. It is always important to check the weight to see you have the correct type of tiles or flooring in your bathroom that can support the weight of a freestanding or clawfoot tub.
People sometimes wrongly assume that if the size and dimensions of a tub fit with their bathroom, the weight will do so as well. If your tub weighs a lot, it will be quite difficult to install, too.
The warranty of a tub is a crucial feature that speaks for the manufacturer’s confidence in the product. A tub that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty is always a durable, sturdy, and reliable option. It also helps you protect your money in case you are not satisfied with the tub you get.
Different types of soaking tubs come in various price ranges. The price changes depending on the materials, finish, construction, and even style. Most clawfoot tubs, such as the Signature Hardware Erica 57″ Soaking Clawfoot Tub at about $1,200, can lean towards the more expensive side because of their 18th-century classic charm and high-quality materials used to make them sturdy and functional. Other standard models, such as drop-in or alcove tubs, can be more affordable. However, most high-quality soaking tubs cost about $1000.
If you are familiar with the techniques of plumbing, you can install a soaking tub by yourself, but you always need some assistance because soaking tubs are heavy, and installation of a tub is never a one-person job. It is always better to get a soaking tub installed by a professional. Some models, like drop-in tubs, need proper fixing and cementing. The drainage system also needs to be taken care of, so it is always safe to get some help to install your soaking tub.
Even though soaking tubs are fairly simple and easy to clean, especially if they are made from fine quality materials, they can sometimes scratch, or the color can fade if you use the wrong tools. The best way to clean a soaking tub is to get a tub cleaner and a brush with gentle bristles.
Also, you can try DIY techniques, such as a dilute solution of vinegar to remove any unpleasant stains. If you clean your tub frequently or after every use, you will not have to worry about deep scrubbing or stains. You need to wash your soaking tub thoroughly, especially if you use bath salts and oils frequently.
Various soaking tubs have a different weight capacity, but most of them are built to bear the weight of at least two grown individuals. On average, the minimum weight limit most tubs built to accommodate is 40 pounds per inch, but some extra tough models, like the Woodbridge 59″ Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub B0016, can support up to 1000 lbs of weight.
If you are over-weight or a large person, it is better to check the weight capacity of the soaking tub before you purchase it. The instructions manual usually includes the specifications regarding weight capacity, so it is always a good idea to read them thoroughly.
Spending time in your soaking tub can be like a mini-vacation when you can relax and soothe your sore muscles as well as your mind after a long busy day. But before you can do that, you need to first decide on a suitable model that matches your budget and install it.
Finally, we have the Signature Hardware Erica 57″ Soaking Clawfoot Tub, which is a luxurious model with a spacious and comfortable interior, sturdy construction, and a lifetime warranty. It’s no wonder why we’ve included it on our list of the best soaking tubs.