5 adjustments to make to your shower chair for better comfort – Showerbuddy

5 adjustments to make to your shower chair for better comfort

5 adjustments to make to your shower chair for better comfort

Showerbuddy |

Shower chairs should be able to adjust to your preferences. A mobility challenge leaves many individuals unable to achieve a fine level of body control, meaning that any assistive equipment really needs to accommodate a wide range of body types and degrees of mobility.
In this article we’re going to talk about 5 main adjustments that may be able to be made on your shower chair to achieve a better experience.

1. Ensure the chair is positioned flat and securely to the shower floor.

A shower chair relies upon stability to provide a safe bathing function. Ensure that any shower chair acquired for the purposes of supporting a mobility impaired person allows for good traction and suction to the floor of the shower or bathtub. You’ll also want to check that the legs can be adjusted independently to make the seated position flat and the frame’s feet flush on the floor. If this is configured at an angle, the individual and their carer will have to work harder to maintain a stable safe seated position.

Upon installing the shower chair into the bathroom, you’ll want to make sure the floor of the bath or shower is clean and dry. This means doing a good clean of the surface with a reputable bathroom cleaner. Any mould or soap build up could cause a slip when body weight is placed on the chair.

If you’ve got a transfer system like Showerbuddy, you’ll also want to make sure the in-shower base lines up with the bridge to easily move the seated user across the edge of the shower. Once you’ve got this sorted during installation, you shouldn’t need to adjust this for a good while, unless the user’s preferences change over time on placement in the shower/bath.

2. Backrest height

Having a backrest that can be lowered or lifted up is important to accommodate different sizes of user.
If the lumbar region of the back is not adequately supported naturally by the seat, the user may be unable to maintain their preferred comfortable posture during bathing or toileting. This adjustment may take a number of experiments to achieve the optimal position for the user, so take some time to get this right.


Back rests are also going to be adjusted over the longer lifespan of the product as the user grows older. Backrests should provide a good centre of gravity where the individual doesn’t feel a strain on their core to stay upright. Together with the arm rests, this will ensure both safety and stability.

3. Feet rest positioning

Feet rests are important because they can relieve pressure off the legs and assist with natural blood flow.
Left to dangle, feet can become uncomfortable and cause pins and needles or even pain. Conversely, foot rests that are too high can cause the legs to feel cramped and bunched up, putting undue strain on the knees. Having the ability to change the position of these foot rests (if your chair has these) helps reduce these problems and get the benefit of supporting lower legs and feet from the equipment itself.


An occupational therapist is the best person to talk to about how the feet rests should be positioned to suit what the user’s needs are. In the case of a Showerbuddy chair, these can be lifted independently of each other, meaning that one leg can be lifted to a 90 degree angle, and the other can be straight – or any configuration as deemed necessary by the carer, OT or user.

Some users may be a height that they prefer to have the footrests folded away entirely – this can assist with mounting from the front and allows taller users to rest feet on the shower floor.

4. Arm rest positioning

Arm rests are not common on cheaper low quality shower chairs, but on proper bathroom mobility assistive technology like Showerbuddy’s range they come as standard. Arm rests may be fixed or can be removed or folded back.

Using arm rests can be useful for:

  • Maintaining stability whilst seated
  • Protecting from sideways slumping out of the chair
  • Reducing tension on arms and hands
  • Allowing for bathing of sides and underarms with no additional exertion by the user

Conversely, the carer and user may remove or fold these away for a number of reasons such as:

  • Allowing for bedside mounting onto the chair (if a wheel-based bathroom solution like Showerbuddy).
  • Enabling the carer to access the user for bathing assistance more easily.
  • The user is able to maintain a safe seated position without armrests and wants the freedom of arm movement outwards.

5. Transfer position

Where the shower chair or base is placed inside the shower / bath makes a difference to the ease of which the user can be transferred.

If you have a standalone shower chair, you’ll want to ensure that it’s placed as near to the edge as possible whilst still allowing a perfectly flat, safe grip onto the floor. This is because when a wheelchair or walker is used to approach the shower, there is less distance to move the user manually.

If you’ve got a full transfer system like Showerbuddy, this adjustment is about where the shower base is located in relation to the chair and transfer bridge. This option allows more flexibility on where the user will ultimately be positioned inside the shower or bath, as the transfer bridge takes care of the shifting of the individual – not another carer. We have guides on how to install this properly over at our YouTube channel, otherwise your local distributor and/or occupational therapist can assist.

Does your shower chair not allow for fine adjustment? Consider a better option with Showerbuddy

We design bathroom mobility products that can be adjusted to suit individual tastes and degrees of mobility. Some users rely on Showerbuddy to continue bathing alone themselves, whilst others combine our chairs with a good home care plan.

If you’ve got a shower chair option that isn’t enabling these adjustments, it may be time to consider an option that does.

Head over to our product range to learn more about the flexibility and customisation available with the Showerbuddy system

Further reading

Enjoyed this article? You may be interested in these resources online:

The information in this article is intended as general information only and is not a replacement for official health guidance by your local medical providers. Please always consult an occupational therapist and/or local healthcare for more specific guidance.