Modern bathing is done for more than just personal hygiene and being submerged in water can have many health benefits for a variety of individuals. Swimming in bodies of water such as the ocean or a lake can be just as effective as bathing in a tub at home, and many individuals have sought out baths as a supplementary treatment for various medical conditions.
Whether you prefer hot or cold baths, both temperatures can have lasting benefits that are backed by science. Heat can soothe aching muscles, while ice baths have been famous for decades with athletes looking to alleviate inflammation and muscle strain.
How Deep Is A “Deep” Bathtub?
While a standard tub may be deep enough for many average sized individuals, others will prefer a more immersive experience that allows more of their body to be covered by the water held in the tub.
In fact, many Americans have splurged on Jacuzzi and other brands of tubs that include several jets, lights, and bubbles to enhance their bath time and relax. Conventional “deep” bathtubs are traditionally 19 or more inches deep, and they come in many shapes and sizes, both with and without jets.
Deeper tubs have gained popularity in America as baths have been backed by science as helpful for specific conditions. Hydrotherapy has been around for centuries and practiced all over the world, and hot and cold water are both valid options for gaining health benefits.
There is no limit to how deep a soaking tub can get, and many of them are more than 24 inches deep. Of course, the depth of the tub largely depends on the amount of space available and the shape of the tub itself. Regardless of form, deeper tubs can alleviate the pressure of your body weight, and many enjoy the floating feeling of being in a deeper tub.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Having A Deeper Bathtub?
Before you go out and buy your favorite deep bathtub, consider the benefits you have to gain, and the drawbacks that may be different than your current set up. While deeper tubs have many benefits to offer, they may also pose problems for specific situations and individuals with specific needs such as:
- Mobility issues
- Stiff joints or limbs
- Minor injuries
- Specific chronic conditions
Bathing itself has many health benefits including improving heart health and easing your ability to breathe, but there are other things to consider. Deep bathtubs allow you to stretch out and rearrange your body in different positions so you can adequately soak the various parts of your body.
Deeper tubs also have better heat retention which means that your hot bath will stay warmer longer and require less added water to keep warm. Based on the materials used to create the tub, this may translate to better energy efficiency and heat retention up to 6 times longer than a conventional tub.
In a deeper tub, you can also sit more upright which can be an added benefit for those addressing injuries, arthritis and other conditions where good posture is helpful. Some tubs come with an integrated seat which can also aid those with stiff joints, or those who have more limited mobility.
If you're one of those people who like to experience shared bathing, then a deeper tub could enhance the experience of your next bath with your chosen partner. Deeper tubs frequently come in sizes suitable for more than one person and can cater to the needs of two bathers.
Having a deeper tub can also provide therapeutic benefits that come with your body being mostly submerged in the water. Ice baths, for example, can be more effective when a certain percentage of the body is immersed in the cold water, and the same can be said for hot soaking baths as well.
Submerging more of your body can help improve the health of all of your muscles, bones, and joints, and can also reduce the pain and inflammation that comes with overuse of body parts, medical conditions, stress, and anxiety.
Soaking in a bath can also calm the brain and nervous system and improve your gastrointestinal health. Baths are also frequently used in the birthing process and can balance hormones, improve your urinary health, and help to optimize your body temperature.
Deep tubs are no doubt a luxury item, and frequently that is reflected in the price tag. With the simpler models starting at around $900, the prices can quickly jump to a few thousand if you want other features like water jets.
The kind of material that your tub is made from can also make a difference in its price and performance. For example, wood or bamboo tubs are significantly more money than conventional composite plastic or cast iron, but each material will also have an individualized installation method and maintenance routine.
If you have mobility issues or stiff joints, a deeper tub without a door may make it more difficult to get in and out of the tub without discomfort. Deeper tubs can also mean that more water is used in each bath which can inflate your water bill over time.
If you shower most of the time, your deep bathtub may go unused more often than not. It's also more surface area to clean and maintain and many smaller bathrooms cannot accommodate a deeper bathtub that may have a larger than average footprint.
If you have small children, a deep bathtub may also pose an additional drowning risk when it is full of water so be sure not to leave the tub unattended. Also consider the extra expense of needing more additives for each of your baths such as Epsom salts, bubble baths, and other bath products.
Who Would Most Benefit from A Deeper Bathtub?
If you are looking for a practical and enjoyable way to relax at the end of your day and also treat minor injuries, bathing could be a welcome tactic to relieve stress and soothe minor aches and pains. For more significant injuries be sure to consult with your doctor to confirm that baths are beneficial and safe for your condition.
For those who are particularly athletic, tall, or more substantial in stature, a deep bathtub can offer a unique experience that traditional bathtubs cannot. While many individuals find traditional bathtubs to be far too short and consistently too shallow, deep bathtubs can provide added comfort, buoyancy, and therapeutic benefits.
If you have dry or flaky skin, bathing with the right things added to your bath could be very beneficial. Also, your hair may benefit from a regular soak in mineral-rich water, and cold water has been shown to open pores in the skin while offering hydration.
If you live in a location where the temperature changes or can get extreme, a deeper bathtub can help you optimize your body temperature. If you live in a hot area, a cooling bath can be very beneficial, and if you are in a cold climate warm baths may help take the chill off and help you relax.
Ask your doctor about bathing if you have health conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fertility issues, or pituitary gland problems. Some of these conditions have been shown to improve with cool baths, while warm baths have been shown to increase the levels of serotonin in your body which is the chemical that triggers happiness.
Getting A Deep Bathtub
Before you buy a deep bathtub, be sure to look at several models and sit in them to get a feel for their size and depth. Depending on your body size you may prefer different dimensions than other tubs you have tested, and often the shape of the tub can change the feel of it from the inside.
Traditional boxy tubs are commonly found in home improvement store showrooms nationwide, but if you want a more stylish tub, you may have to visit a manufacturer showroom directly to test run unique sizes, shapes, and tubs with various features.
Manufacturer showrooms, home improvement, and hardware stores frequently carry a select number of deep bathtubs in their showroom, but they can also provide brochures and other materials to help you in your buying decision. You can also do an online search to see what your options are as not all companies have their products in physical locations.
A quick online search should yield many different kinds of deep bathtubs that you may find appealing, and frequently they can direct you to the physical location of a store where you can test out the tub. If they operate solely online, it's a good idea to request more information about their products, shipping policies, and delivery fees.
Keep in mind that once your fabulous new tub is delivered, it will also need to make its way off of the delivery truck, through your home, and into its final resting place in the bathroom. Make sure to measure to ensure it will fit through its whole journey and have an installation professional prepared in advance.