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

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

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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 grab bars around the toilet and shower.

Also, 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

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 are fitted to the wall with suction cups, making them easier to remove and move around the room. Others require hardware for installation. People who may need to adjust the bar placement and people 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 a variety of materials, such as hard plastics and metal, to make their bars. A person may wish to consider bars made using a particular material for stylistic or other purposes.

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.

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.

Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Bathtub and Shower Handle

The Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip bathtub and shower handle is designed 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 to install the bar correctly. 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 a person with balance and support, it cannot support a person’s full weight. As such, a person should not put their full weight onto the bar when standing, sitting, or moving.

Prices for this bar start at $12.49.

Moen Home Care Stainless Steel Wall Mount Grab Bar

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 pounds (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 is also compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

This bar costs $36.98.

LEVERLOC Shower Safety Grab Bar

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

The bar can support a person’s weight up to 240 lb. However, the company notes that a person 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 space to grab it.

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

The U-shaped LEVERLOC bar costs $37.99.

AquaChase 2-Pack 17-in Suction Shower Grab Bar with Indicators

AquaChase offers a two-pack of 17-inch 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 has a color indicator showing whether it has a secure grip on the wall.

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

This bar costs $34.98.

DIWANGUS 16-inch Stainless Steel Chrome Shower Grab Bar

DIWANGUS offers a two-pack of 16-inch, 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 when installed correctly.

The bars have a textured surface designed to help a person get a good grip.

This bar costs $28.89.

Amazon Basics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar

The Amazon Basics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar is 24 inches long and mounts with screws to a wall.

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

This bar is made of stainless steel and comes with the hardware and instructions necessary for safe installation.

On Amazon, users have given the bar mostly positive reviews. More than 80% of reviews offer a 5-star rating.

Flip-Up Safety Grab Bar

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 up to 300 lb, and it can be mounted in the shower or near a toilet for added support, according to the manufacturer.

The bar comes in chrome and gold or brass colors.

This bar costs $79.99.

Though organizations, such as the CDC, recommend grab bars in showers, a 2011 article states that there is little research into the use of grab bars in the shower.

A person may be at risk of injury or falls if they have not correctly installed the bar. It is important that a person follows 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 (NIA) 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.
  • Then, they should self-assess to determine if an injury has occurred.
  • If possible, a person 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.
  • Then, a person may 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. A person may wish to consider wearing a medical alert device to help them in the case of a fall.

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.