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For some people, getting in and out of the shower presents a high risk of falling. A shower standing handle, or grab bar, can help make showering safer for all individuals. Shower grab bars are assistive devices that mount to a shower’s walls. They come in different sizes, strengths, and mounting options to meet various needs.

A quick look at the best shower standing handles in 2022

The following article reviews a range of shower grab bars and presents several options a person may consider when choosing the standing handle that best suits their needs.

Shower grab bars help support older individuals and others who have a higher risk of falling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3 million older adults fall and receive treatment for these falls in the emergency room each year.

Among other suggestions, the CDC recommends that people at risk of falling consider installing standing handles around the toilet and shower.

Additionally, according to an older report from the CDC, the highest rates of falls and injuries around the house occurred in or around the shower or bathtub. About 37% of the falls occurred while bathing, showering, or leaving the tub or shower.

Additionally, according to this report, older adults had a higher overall risk of falling compared with younger people.

A person may find correctly installed grab bars helpful when they are:

  • getting into and out of the tub or shower
  • bathing
  • changing positions, such as bending or standing from sitting

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a range of budgets.
  • Types of installation: The following list offers both permanent and more flexible installation options.
  • Weight limits: Products on the list support a range of different weights to accommodate different body sizes.

Below are some of the best shower handles available to purchase online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for easy installation: Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Bathtub and Shower Handle

  • list price: from around $13
  • advantages: easy to install and use and suitable for smaller bathtubs
  • disadvantages: the suction cups cannot take as much weight as a wall-drilled shower handle

The Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Bathtub and Shower Handle aims to provide support to a person when getting into and out of the shower.

The bar uses suction cups, which means a person does not need tools for installation. The suction cups can adhere to any flat, nonporous surface, including glass and tiles.

The bar is about 11.5 inches (in) long, making it suitable for smaller and standard tubs.

It comes in a few different colors, including white and chrome, to help match a person’s existing bathroom fixtures.

The bar’s instructions for use state that although the bar can help someone with balance and support, it cannot support their full weight. As such, individuals should not put their full weight onto the bar when standing, sitting, or moving.

Best for higher weights: Moen Home Care Stainless Steel Wall Mount Grab Bar

  • list price: around $41
  • advantage: is suitable for people who weigh up to 500 pounds (lb)
  • disadvantage: people must drill this standing handle into the wall

The Moen Home Care Stainless Steel Wall Mount Grab Bar attaches directly to a wall stud. The manufacturer claims that this gives the bar an increased weight capacity of 500 lb.

The textured surface of the bar helps promote a secure grip, according to the product description.

A person can install the bar at several different angles, meaning they can try different configurations to find what best suits their space and needs.

The manufacturer states that the bar also complies with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

Best for a wider grip: LEVERLOC Shower Safety Grab Bar

  • list price: around $40
  • advantage: suitable for tiled walls and offers a wider grip
  • disadvantage: does not hold as much weight as some of its competitors

The LEVERLOC shower safety grab bar uses suction cups to secure onto walls, glass, and tiles.

The bar can support up to 240 lb of a person’s weight. However, the company notes that individuals should not put their full weight on the handle and should only install it on nonporous surfaces.

The bar is U-shaped and sticks out from the wall further than other shower bar models, which offers more grabbing space.

The surface of the bar consists of rubber, which the manufacturer says helps a person get a better grip on the bar.

Best for suction cups: AquaChase 2-Pack 17-in Suction Shower Grab Bar with Indicators

  • list price: around $40
  • advantage: features suction cups, so people do not have to drill it into the wall
  • disadvantages: requires a flat surface and does not state its maximum weight capacity

AquaChase offers a two-pack of 17-in suction shower grab bars. As with other suction cup bars, a person must install them on a flat, nonporous surface.

This pair of bars has an added safety feature that may make it appealing to some users. Each suction cup features a color indicator showing whether it has a secure grip on the wall.

The manufacturer states that the bars are suitable for use only as balance aids, meaning a person cannot put their full weight on the bar.

Best for extra grip: DIWANGUS 16-in Stainless Steel Chrome Shower Grab Bar

  • list price: around $27
  • advantage: offers a textured surface for extra grip and supports up to 500 lb
  • disadvantage: requires drilling a hole into a wall to secure the grab bar

DIWANGUS offers a two-pack of 16-in, screw-mounted shower bars. The manufacturer states that the bars come with the hardware necessary to install them safely on any wall.

The product description says that each bar can support up to 500 lb of pressure following correct installation.

The bars feature a textured surface that can reportedly help a person get a sufficient grip.

Best for a longer grab bar: Amazon Basics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar

  • list price: around $28
  • advantage: can support weights of up to 500 lb
  • disadvantage: requires a drill to secure the standing handle to the wall

The Amazon Basics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar has a length of 24 in and mounts with screws to a wall.

In addition to supporting up to 500 lb, it also meets ADA standards for safety.

This bar comprises stainless steel and comes with the hardware and instructions necessary for safe installation.

On Amazon, users have given the bar mostly positive reviews, with more than 80% offering a 5-star rating.

Best for a foldable grab bar: Flip-Up Safety Grab Bar

  • list price: around $60
  • advantage: this grab bar is foldable, making it suitable for smaller spaces
  • disadvantage: requires screws to secure the standing handle to the wall

The Flip-Up Safety Grab Bar is a screw-mounted safety bar that a person can flip up to rest against the wall when it is not in use. This may help save space in a smaller bathroom.

The bar supports a person’s weight of up to 300 lb. According to the manufacturer, individuals can mount it in the shower or near a toilet for added support.

The bar comes in chrome and gold or brass colors.

The following table compares the standing bars in this article.

Weight capacityAttachmentList price
Changing Lifestylesno information availablesuction cupsfrom around $13
Moen Home Care500 lbwall studaround $41
LEVERLOC240 lbsuction cupsaround $40
AquaChaseno information availablesuction cupsaround $40
DIWANGUS500 lbscrew mountaround $27
Amazon Basics500 lbscrew mountaround $28
Flip-Up300 lbscrew mountaround $60

People have different needs when selecting a shower grab bar. A person may wish to consider the following factors when deciding which bar is right for them:

  • Size of the shower or bath: Some companies design smaller bars for small spaces, while others make larger bars for standard or large tubs and showers. A person can consider bars that will fit their space.
  • Weight: A person may wish to check the recommended weight limit of the bar before purchasing to make sure it will support their weight.
  • Permanence: Some bars fit onto the wall with suction cups, making them easier to remove and move around. Others require hardware for installation. People who may need to adjust the bar placement and those who cannot alter their bathroom may want to consider grab bars that are easier to uninstall.
  • Needs: Each person’s needs will vary. Some people may only need a bar to help them get in and out of the shower or bath, while others may need one to hold onto for support when showering or bathing.
  • Materials: Companies use various materials, such as hard plastics and metal, to make their bars. A person may wish to consider bars featuring a particular material for stylistic or other purposes.

There are various types of shower handles, with most using suction cups or wall mounts. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to install grab bars.

However, people generally must rinse suction cup handles under water and shake off the excess water. They then press the handle firmly onto the surface, ensuring there are no air bubbles. It is important to remember that suction cups do not hold as much weight as wall-mounted standing bars.

To install wall-mounted shower handles, a person must drill holes into the wall or surface they intend to place the product. They then screw the handle securely into the wall.

Though organizations, such as the CDC, recommend grab bars in showers, there is little research on this topic.

A person may be at risk of injury or falls if they have not correctly installed the bar. It is important that individuals follow instructions carefully when installing a bar. They may wish to consider getting the bar installed by a professional if they cannot install it themselves.

In the event of a fall, the National Institute on Aging recommends the following steps:

  • A person should avoid panicking.
  • To do this, they may take one or more deep breaths to help calm the mind.
  • They should then self-assess to determine if an injury has occurred.
  • If possible, they should roll onto their side, pause for a moment, and then slowly move to their hands and knees.
  • Once on their hands and knees, a person should use a sturdy surface for support while putting one foot firmly on the floor.
  • They may then raise themselves to a sitting position and progress to standing once they feel comfortable doing so.

If a person cannot move, they should call for help or dial 911 if they have a phone nearby. Individuals may also wish to consider wearing a medical alert device to help them in the case of a fall.

Here are the answers to some common questions about grab bars.

How high off the floor should a grab bar be?

The ADA recommends that grab bars should be between 33 and 36 in away from the floor.

What is the standard grab bar size?

The ADA recommends a grab bar should be between 36 and 43 in long.

However, standing handles are available in a range of sizes, most commonly between 12 and 42 in.

Do suction grab bars work on tile?

People must attach a suction grab bar to a smooth surface for maximum grip and safety.

Smooth and nonporous tile surfaces may be suitable. However, a person should ensure the standing handle does not slide or slip before using it for its intended purpose.

Shower grab bars can help a person get in and out of the shower or bath safely by providing support and stability.

Although anyone can use a shower grab bar, they may provide the most benefit to older adults or people with limited mobility.

When using a grab bar, it is important that a person install the bar correctly to get the maximum level of support and help prevent injury.