Starting in the United Kingdom and making its popularity known in the United States, vertical bathtubs are a space-saving design to bring the benefits of a bath to homes that don’t have room for a full-sized tub.
In this article, we will review the benefits of a bath and compare those benefits to the vertical tubs to see if the psychological and physical benefits remain. We will also look at other benefits of a vertical tub over a standard bathtub and find out if a vertical model is right for you.
Frequent bathing isn’t always a good idea. There are studies that state frequent bathing can damage skin, especially when mixed with antimicrobial soaps. As the studies suggest, repeated washing (especially the hands) can cause a breakdown of the skin and the protective microbes of the skin surface. To counteract this, the use of regular soap instead of antimicrobial soaps is encouraged. This will help the dispersion of the microbes and help keep skin healthy.
Hot water in baths also has its risks. Being submerged in too hot water can prevent the body from regulating temperature. This can cause overheating, and have adverse effects on hair and skin. If the water is too hot, it can damage the hair follicles, especially on the head, which can cause hair to stop growing or fall out.
Bathing itself isn’t known to have as many adverse effects on the body or the skin; it is the temperature of the water and the frequency of the baths that can. If you take a bath every other or every third day and use cool to lukewarm water, most, if not all, of the adverse issues can be avoided. Keeping your bathtub clean is also important to taking healthy baths.
There are several physical benefits of taking a bath as long as you follow the advice of a doctor if needed and keep the temperature of the water to a lukewarm and manageable level. If the water is too hot (evidence by your skin turning red) you can experience breathing difficulties or other effects as talked about earlier.
However, one of the biggest benefits of a bath is the ability to have the body fully relax. The muscles will stop being so tense when you are buoyant in water. Being in the water for half an hour can alleviate pain and tight muscles.
There is also the relaxation benefits. Relaxation has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Being in a bath can induce calm which relieves anxiety. When you emerge from the bath, you will have an overall feeling of relief, calm, relaxation, and a lack of stress.
The bath water can also help keep the skin moisturized and clear. While taking a bath, your skin will retain moisture from the water and while soap can help, cleaning with water will unclog pores, help prevent skin level problems such as ingrown hairs and can promote healthy skin.
With regular, but not excessive bathing, you can keep skin firm which reduces the appearance of wrinkles as you age.
Some studies suggest that warm baths can help control blood sugar levels and may, in turn, help those with diabetes control their weight. It doesn’t mean that taking a bath will cause weight loss, but the management of blood sugar from regular bathing immersion can help.
Younger, youthful looking skin with a calm, relaxed body is only part of the benefits package. There are psychological benefits as well.
There are numerous psychological and mental benefits to a bath as well. For instance, you can release hormones which can boost energy levels by taking a warm bath that isn’t longer than 10 minutes. Longer than that will reduce the energy levels and result in the calming effects we talked about earlier.
You can also release a chemical known as noradrenaline if you choose cold water instead of warm. Instead of a boost in the energy level, the noradrenaline has shown to reduce depression. This is generally triggered by shocking the body with the cold water. A quick dip can stimulate the release of the anti-depression chemicals.
Cold water immersion can also refresh the skin and promote blood flow to the brain if done first thing in the morning. This will not only help you wake up but will keep you alert and improve the functionality of internal organs.
Hot baths also help you breathe better by allowing the lungs to open up. While steam can help open air passages and sinus cavities, the pressure from the water on the chest can help the lungs provide more oxygen to the blood.
Vertical Bath Benefits
The benefits of taking a bath either warm or cold are well documented. What happens, though, when you live in a home that doesn’t have a bathtub? Many homes in the United Kingdom are too small to accommodate a bathtub and only have shower stalls.
The same issue is found in smaller apartments and dwellings in the United States. There are many other reasons, aside from square footage of a home that can eliminate a bathtub from the design.
If you find yourself in one such home or situation, you can purchase a vertical bathtub. Vertical bathtubs only take up the same amount of space as a shower stall. The enclosure has a door that seals watertight and allows water to fill up from the bottom instead of down from the top like a shower. This results in a total immersion (instructions will state not to raise the water level over shoulder level.) while standing instead of sitting or laying.
One of the most beneficial aspects, aside from the space savings is to allow those that may have difficulty entering or exiting a bathtub the ability to enjoy a bath without having to risk injury. The elderly or those with difficulty getting up and down, as is required with a standard bathtub are eliminated with a vertical bathtub.
Vertical bathtubs also have a quick drain feature, so you don’t have to stand there long waiting for the water to drain. Once the water drains, you can open the door to exit. You are cautioned not to open the door at any time once the water starts to fill. Most vertical bathtubs will have holes in the top of the door, and the door will open while the tub is full in case of emergency.
You get all of the benefits of a regular bath without the difficulties of getting in and out of a standard tub. You will also have the benefit of enjoying a bath without having to worry about being scalded.
Because the vertical bathtub fills with you in it, the water comes out of the tap and fills from the bottom. If it is too hot or too cold, you can drain and make adjustments before trying again.
Cost Versus a Standard Bathtub
The costs of a standard bathtub will depend greatly on the installation costs, any permits that are needed and if a previously installed tub or shower needs to be removed. This will also extend the same costs for a vertical bathtub.
The actual cost of a standard bathtub can also vary, but the general range is between $300 and $600 depending on size and materials. The technology behind a vertical tub is still new, and most home improvement stores don’t carry them. As a special order/special installation, the current costs are mainly in the range of $400 to $1000.
The range is so broad because of special needs for the quick drain and the expertise to install them correctly. Also taking into consideration the need for shipping and the materials used in construction, the costs can be higher.
Vertical tubs are a new product that offers the many benefits of taking a bath without the disadvantages of a standard bathtub. For elderly individuals or those with mobility difficulties, a vertical tub removes the difficulty of getting in a tub, lowering the body down and the reverse for getting out.
While many will get the benefits of relaxation and reduction of stress, baths also provide the release of chemicals in the brain that can reduce depression or provide energy. You can also have moisturized skin, fewer wrinkles and be more alert.
If you are low on space, or perhaps you even want to add a bath to a smaller bathroom on a different level of your home. Adding a vertical bathtub to these half or ¾ baths will give you the functionality that didn’t previously exist.
Having a vertical tub can help you enjoy bath time again if you have been forced to remove that aspect form your routine.
(And in case you ever have any problems with your new bathtub, here’s a list of things you should keep on hand to keep in tip top shape!)