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Best Bathroom Grab Bars For Seniors: Easy-To-Install Options For Aesthetics & Comfort

White tiled shower room with grab bar for disabled persons

Last Updated: September 15, 2021

As time goes by, our elderly loved ones become weaker and less mobile, so tasks such as walking and bathing may be more difficult than ever.

And...

Grab bars are a great option to improve their ease of movement, so we reviewed the best grab bars for seniors to help you pick the model that suits their needs.

Among all the variants, we think that Moen Home Care is the best!

Top 5 Best Bathroom Grab Bars For Seniors Reviewed

1. Moen Home Care - Best Overall

Moen Home CareMoen has dedicated over 80 years of service to making safe and reliable kitchen and bathroom products, and their grab bars are no different.

The Moen Home Care model is made of stainless steel that can withstand up to 500lbs of force — that’s double the ADA specifications!

Its grip has 1.5in diameter and the length varies from 18-36in so you have a lot of options to choose from depending on your wall space.

It features a patented flange design that makes it easy to secure on the wall studs from multiple angles. The screws are also concealed which reduces the chance of getting cut from exposed hardware.

Moen also offers an optional SecureMount anchor which makes installation easy if you don’t have wall studs. However, it is sold separately.

You can choose between a Glacier White or a Reflective Steel finish to fit the design of your bathroom.

Pros

  • Multiple length options
  • 500lbs weight capacity
  • Safe and decorative design
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • SecureMount is sold separately

Takeaway

If you’re planning to buy multiple grab bars for maximum safety, the Moen Home Care is one of the best grab bars for bathrooms due to its length options and weight capacity.

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2. Carex Suction Shower Grab Bar - Best Budget Buy

Carex Suction Shower Grab BarCompared to other products, the Carex Suction combines balance and portability at an affordable price.

The entire grab bar is made of plastic which has a weight capacity of 300lbs.

It has a blue and white color scheme, and you can choose between the 12in and 16in length options.

It is mounted using suction cups which makes installation easy - you can do it yourself as long as you follow the instructions.

Apart from the suction, it also has two levers that lock the grab bar in place.

There’s even a color indicator to determine if it is installed properly (red: not secured; green: secured).

However, you need to make sure that the wall surface is flat, smooth, and non-porous. If you have a tile wall, the tile size must be larger than 4x4in. 

Pros

  • Multiple length options
  • Easy installation
  • Affordable
  • Has a color indicator for security

Cons

  • It does not adhere to all wall surfaces
  • Balance only; it isn’t meant for body weight leverage

Takeaway

The Carex Suction grab bar is perfect if you tend to travel a lot. Its simple instructions let you provide balance for the elderly quickly and at an affordable price.

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3. Vaunn Medical Bathtub Safety Rail - Best Tub Rail

Vaunn Medical Adjustable Bathtub Safety Rail Shower Grab Bar Handle The Vaunn Medical Safety Rail has a compact design that doesn’t only improve balance when getting in and out of the tub, but fits in with bathroom decor as well.

Its powder-coated stainless steel frame has a white finish, supporting up to 300lbs of weight. Despite being lightweight (less than 6lbs), the frame guarantees a firm and non-shaky grip.

The tub rail is only 17.5in long (12in for the handle) and 6in wide, so it won’t become an obstruction while bathing.

This can be installed within mere seconds using the heavy-duty and adjustable clamp that can fit tubs that are 3-7in thick; no external hardware is required.

It also has a portable and ambidextrous design - you can install it no matter where the tub is positioned, perfect for right and left-handed users.

Pros

  • Compact, lightweight, and decorative
  • Adjustable for any tub thickness
  • Easy installation within seconds

Cons

  • Not intended for fiberglass surfaces

Takeaway

The bathtub can be dangerous due to the slipping hazards, especially for the elderly. The Vaunn Medical Safety Rail’s compact design reduces the risks of slipping without being an obstruction while bathing.

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4. Stander Security Pole & Curve Grab Bar - Best Versatility

Stander Security Pole and Curve Grab Bar, Elderly Tension Mounted Floor to Ceiling Transfer Pole, Bathroom Safety Assist and Stability Rail, Iceberg White The Stander Security Pole is a unique grab bar because it doesn’t mount to the walls - it mounts to the ceiling and floor instead.

This metal pole has a weight capacity of 300lbs and it’s the longest model on this list, measuring 84in long.

However, the height is adjustable to fit ceilings that are 7-10ft tall. Since it is a pole, it can be installed in the middle of a room, whether it’s the bathroom, bedroom, or living room.

You can also transfer it anytime since it isn’t screwed onto the ceiling or floor.

It has rubber paddings on both ends instead to ensure that it can be secured tightly without damaging your house.

Apart from the pole itself, there’s a protruding curved grab bar (20in long) in the middle of the pole. It has a ladder-like design that offers four different hand grips, allowing the person to have a natural wrist motion.

The curved grab bar also rotates by 360°, locking every 45°. This provides many angles for accessibility and space efficiency.

The entire pole includes all the necessary equipment and it can be easily assembled by anyone within minutes. It can be bought in two colors - Iceberg White and Metallic Black.

Pros

  • Can be installed in any room
  • Rubber paddings instead of screws
  • The curved grab bar rotates by 360°
  • Easy and portable installation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Flat ceilings only

Takeaway

Since the Stander Security Pole is attached to the floor and ceiling instead of the wall, this offers more versatility when it comes to positioning, especially for large and open rooms like the living room.

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5. Moen 30-Inch Flip-Up - Best Multifunctionality

Moen 30-Inch Flip-UpThis Moen grab bar model takes the features of a regular grab bar and combines them with space efficiency and multifunctionality!

It is made of stainless steel that has a weight capacity of 300lbs, but it can be bumped up to 500lbs if the mounting plate (11.5 x 5.75in) is installed to a wall stud.

For walls without wall studs, you can purchase an optional SecureMount anchor.

The Moen 30-Inch Flip-Up grab bar is 30in long with a diameter of 1.25” to fit hands of all sizes.

When not in use, you can simply flip it up and rest it against the wall which is ideal for small bathrooms.

This model also includes a toilet paper holder so it will always be at arm’s reach when the support bar is installed next to the toilet.

The corrosion-free frame comes in two finishing options, which are Glacier White and Reflective Steel for all bathroom designs.

Pros

  • Grab bar and toilet paper holder in one
  • Safe and decorative design
  • Long handle length
  • Space-efficient

Cons

  • SecureMount is sold separately
  • Expensive

Takeaway

This Moen model is the best safety grab bar if you have a small bathroom space - not only can you flip it up, but it comes with a toilet paper holder as well so you don’t need to buy it separately.

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What Should You Look For In A Grab Bar For The Elderly?

White tub bar attached for seniors and handicapped

Type

When looking for the best bathroom grab bars for seniors, you need to know their different types to determine the utility that fits your home. These types are:

Straight Grab Bars

As the name suggests, this type of support bar is straight. It is the most commonly used variant due to its simplicity and versatility.

It can be installed in any direction on the wall either by suction cups or by being mounted on the wall studs.

Wave-Style Grab Bars

This type shares the same installation method as a straight grab bar, except it’s shaped like a wave. Although this is more commonly used for aesthetic purposes, it also benefits people who have weaker grips.

Tub Rails

Compared to the other grip bar variants that can be installed on the wall, this one can only be installed on the bathtub.

By clamping to the side of the tub, it provides leverage for people to lift their bodies over the tub’s ledge after bathing. 

Flip In Flip Out

This grab bar is mounted on the wall and can be flipped out whenever it is not in use. You can use this if you have a small bathroom area.

You can refer to this YouTube video for more information about this type of grab bar and the important things to keep in mind about it:

Floor To Ceiling Poles

This is the longest type of safety rail since it connects from the floor to the ceiling. It features a padded grip and/or a protruding grab bar that can be rotated to all angles for convenience.

You can install and relocate the pole in different rooms since it isn’t screwed onto the floor or ceiling. Instead, there are rubber paddings on the top and bottom of the pole.

Corner Grab Bars

For small or angled bathrooms, a corner grab bar with the right grab bar height is a good option since it connects to two walls. Sometimes, this may even be enough to cover the shower and toilet area so you don’t have to buy two separate support bars.

Position

For wall-mounted grab bars, you may need multiple units at different angles depending on your bathroom size and the position of your tub, shower, and toilet.

Vertical

This position is the easiest to grab and best for stepping in and out of the tub or shower.

However, there is little area for maneuvering and it isn’t meant to support a person’s entire weight as they pull themselves up from a seated position.

Horizontal

A horizontal handrail can potentially cover the entire wall in which the shower or tub is positioned. This provides great support as the person moves around the bathroom.

You just have to be careful about its fixed height as it may not support multiple people who use the same bathroom. The wrist action when holding a horizontal bar is also inconvenient if the person has arthritis.

Diagonal

The natural wrist motion when holding a diagonal grab bar is best for transitioning between a seated and standing position, such as after using the toilet or a shower chair.

Due to its height variation from one end to the other, it can support the height of different people using the bathroom.

The only downside of a diagonal angle is that it is only effective when facing one direction in the tub or toilet.

Installation

Installed handle grab bar for shower

Apart from its positioning, wall-mounted grab bars can be installed in two ways:

Fixed

This installation method is used for stainless steel or aluminum grip bars wherein they are drilled onto the wall studs.

Since it relies on the wall’s foundation, this method offers more durability and security. This can also be used for any surface, no matter the texture and size of the wall material.

However, the installation can be tedious so you may need to ask a professional for help.

Suction Cups

From the name, this method involves a suction cup at each end of the grab bar which adheres to the wall. This is normally implemented in plastic grab bars.

This can be installed easily by anyone without the use of tools. Additionally, you can adjust its position anywhere when you need to.
However, suction support bars are weak compared to their fixed metal counterparts and they will wear down over time.

Additionally, the surface options are limited since suction cups can only adhere to smooth and non-porous walls. They also don’t work with small bathroom tiles.

Grip

Support bars vary in diameter - some are 1.25 or 1.5in thick. You need to consider the bar thickness to ensure that it can be gripped properly.

The best shower grab bars even have a smooth and seamless finish to provide not only comfortability but safety as well by reducing the likelihood of hands slipping on the grab bar.

Weight Capacity

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, grab bars should be able to withstand at least 250lbs of force.

However, the best bathtub grab bars offer even more weight capacity, so you need to assess the person’s weight to find the model that fits their needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Different Types Of Grab Bars Based On Where You Want To Install Them?

Yes, there sure are!

Straight, wave-style, and flip-in flip-out grab bars can easily be installed on one side of a wall through mounting or suction. A corner grab bar is also similar, but it requires two walls for installation.

Tub rails on the other hand can only be installed on bathtubs and floor-to-ceiling poles are installed on... you guessed it, the floor and ceiling.

Does The Weight Capacity Of The Grip Bar Matter Even If It's Screwed Steady On The Wall?

Yes. The weight capacity of the grip bar determines how much force it can take before it bends.

You need to be wary of the user’s weight because exceeding the weight capacity may cause the grip bar to bend or break off, even if it is screwed onto the wall studs.

Is A Suction Support Bar Placed In The Bathroom Safe Enough?

Regarding suction support bars, they aren’t the most reliable in the long run since they can’t support a person’s full body weight and the suction may wear down over time.

Additionally, a single grab bar may not be enough if you have a large bathroom. You may need multiple of the best shower grab bars or other equipment such as a tub transfer bench.

Closing Remarks

Once again, we think that one of the best bathroom grab bars for seniors is the Moen Home Care. Meanwhile, the Carex Suction is a good option for affordability.

The Moen Home Care is a fixed metal and straight grab bar that has a weight capacity of 500lbs! It comes in multiple lengths and can be installed in all directions.

It also features a smooth finish that combines comfort and aesthetics.

Among all the grab bar reviews out there, we hope ours helped you improve home safety for your elderly loved ones!

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