What to Do When You Don't Have a Bathtub

Updated on March 20, 2020
justmesuzanne profile image

A few years ago, I got an excellent deal on a wonderful house, except for one thing—no bathtub. I'm a bath enthusiast! Here's my solution.

Longing for a Bath!

I have always enjoyed a good, long soak with music, candles, and the works. Even so, when the opportunity to buy a nice house at a good price came along three years ago, I had to take it—even without a bath. For the last three years, I showered, went to the local pool as often as possible, and searched for a portable bath.

The problem with portable baths is that they are usually too expensive, too big, unwieldy, and have to be inflated. After diligent searching for years, I finally found this one, and I have to share the information!

This is the perfect portable bath.
This is the perfect portable bath.

A Perfect Fit!

I love this bath! At a little over 27" high and 25" wide, it fits perfectly in my shower stall. It's several layers of thick plastic and fabric, so it's not flimsy—and it keeps the water hot. It stays standing thanks to several rigid PVC poles that hold up the sides.

It's like a Japanese soaking tub. I can't stretch out in it, but when I'm sitting down in it, I can barely see over the side. I can run hot water all the way up to my chin, and it's just lovely.

I don't think it uses any more water than a regular bath, maybe less. When I'm in it, I don't fill it all the way up. Naturally, I displace a great deal of water! I'd say it uses about 35 gallons of water, tops.

Care and Maintenance Are Easier Than Expected

When I found this bath, I went ahead and ordered it. Still, I wondered how I would go about drying it and storing it. I didn't care! I had to have a bath!

When it arrived, I still had not come up with a solution. Once I had it set up, I realized that I had a small drying rack in the closet upstairs that would work perfectly. It was just the right size, but I decided I needed to put a towel over the top for padding to prevent damage to the inside of the tub.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A small drying rack makes drying easy. A folded towel adds padding.
A small drying rack makes drying easy.
A small drying rack makes drying easy. | Source
A folded towel adds padding.
A folded towel adds padding. | Source

Draining Can Be a Bit Puzzling

After my first wonderful bath, I tried turning the knob on the drain apparatus and found it very difficult. I was afraid I might break something if I continued to try. Luckily, there is a plug in the bottom of the tub. I pulled that and propped it open to drain out the water.

The first time, this took a while because I had not positioned the plug over the drain hole in my shower (since I thought I would be using the drain apparatus). Since then, I have just positioned the plug over the drain hole and draining is super fast!

After draining, I turn the tub over in the shower to drain a bit before setting up the draining rack. That way, it's pretty dry before I have to handle it much.

The portable tub fits perfectly on the drying rack.
The portable tub fits perfectly on the drying rack. | Source

Cleaning and Drying Take a Bit of Care

This sort of tub is not intended for cleaning yourself. You need to be pretty clean before you soak, and you shouldn't use soap or wash your hair or anything.

So far, I've kept the tub clean by just wiping out the insides with a clean cloth as soon as I stand up and open the plug. I suppose I'll also need to spray the insides with a mild cleaner and wipe it out when it's completely dry at some point.

I leave the tub inverted on the drying rack overnight to be sure it's completely dry before collapsing it for storage.

The tub collapses easily with support rods removed.
The tub collapses easily with support rods removed. | Source

I May Face Complications With Storage

The instructions that come with the tub say to disassemble it completely and fold it up lengthwise in a way that makes it very small. When done this way, it could be stored just about anywhere.

When I started to do that, I worried that disassembling the top multiple times would eventually result in loosening the connections between the bending rods and sockets that form the ring at the top of the tub. I decided, instead, to simply remove the PVC rods that support the sides and allow the tub to collapse down. This seems to be fine so far, but I worry that bends in the plastic material may eventually cause leaks.

I wrap the tub up in an old bedspread, and I find that it fits handily under a twin-sized day bed.

Wrapped in an old bedspread, the tub slides easily under a bed.
Wrapped in an old bedspread, the tub slides easily under a bed. | Source

The Perfect Solution for Me

Adding a bathtub to my house would pretty much mean destroying the bathroom, and that's something I don't really want to do. I like the shower that came with the house, and I have come to like going for a regular swim a couple of times a month. Even so, there is nothing like being able to relax and unwind with a good, hot bath privately, at home.

I was so thrilled to find this item that I just had to share it with others who might be in a situation similar to mine. I hope this information is helpful to others living in houses or small apartments that do not have bathtubs!


Submit a Comment
  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    4 months ago from Texas

    Me too! I plan to take very good care of it! :D Thanks!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    4 months ago from Houston, Texas

    I had no idea that such a thing even existed. Thanks for showing it to us. We do have a bathtub but prefer using the shower. I hope your portable bathtub lasts for many years.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    4 months ago from Texas

    Devika and JC: Many thanks! :)

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    4 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Wow! This is an amazing set up and I learned a lot your informative hub it shows how much one can feel satisfied with this type of tub.

  • JC Scull profile image

    JC Scull 

    4 months ago from Gainesville, Florida

    Very interesting article.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    4 months ago from Texas

    Thanks for your comments, DreamerMeg and FlourishAnyway! :) This bath is intended to be a sit-down, soaking tub. I'm fortunate that I'm fairly fit, and my shower has sturdy shelves and a built in bench that I can use for support when going from sitting to standing! You do have to be able to step pretty high to get in and out!

  • DreamerMeg profile image


    4 months ago from Northern Ireland

    What a find! I have seen bathtubs similar to this for babies, who are too small to use a regular baby bath, because they cannot sit up but have never seen one for an adult before. I suppose it's a stand up bath, except you sit down. Do you have any problem balancing?

  • FlourishAnyway profile image


    4 months ago from USA

    I have never thought about how people still want tubs this much. You are a determined lady! I had no idea they made these. Hats off to you for all the work you put into setting it up, wiping it down, hanging it up, folding it up, etc.


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