As we age, many things become more difficult. Getting up from the toilet seat is particularly troublesome for our aging parents and grandparents, but we can help by installing grab bars. Grab bars are stable bars that are screwed into the wall (some are also suction cup based) that can be grabbed onto by seniors and used to help hoist themselves up off of the toilet, or maneuver in the shower. We put together this handy guide to help you choose the best grab bars for the bathrooms of your aging loved ones.
- What are grab bars?
Answer: Grab bars are sturdy bars that are firmly attached to walls for the specific purpose of being grabbed onto in order to help someone maneuver their own body.
- Where should I install grab bars?
Answer: Grab bars are usually placed near the toilet, inside the shower, or on the lip of a tub. They can be installed anywhere that a senior has difficulty moving around.
- Are suction cup grab bars strong enough?
Answer: Generally yes, as long as you can get them installed where you want. Suction grab bars require a very smooth surface, so you will only be able to install them in a bathroom with large tiles on the wall, or on a bathtub.
- How do I install grab bars?
Answer: Most of the grab bars mentioned in our buyers guide come with installation instructions and no tools are required. Suction cup grab bars are very easy to just pop onto the wall, given the surface is adequate, and some types of grab bars are best installed with a screwdriver or drill.
Our Top Picks
Moen R8960FD 30-Inch Flip-Up Screw-In Bathroom Grab Bar
- Stainless steel finish
- Supports up to 300 lbs.
- 30 inch bar length
The Moen R8960FD is one of the stronger models with great reviews on Amazon. One of the only viable options for larger seniors, this grab bar can increase the weight capacity from 300 to 500 by installing it directly into a stud. Learn more from this review
AmeriLuck Decorative Grab Bar, ADA 500LBS Loading Capacity
- More atheistically pleasing
- ADA and ANSI Compliant
- Lifetime warranty
- 500 lbs loading capacity
These grab bars from AmeriLuck are great if you want to avoid the “nursing home” look and feel. The brushed nickel slick look of these make them a great addition to a renovated bathroom for any senior.
Vaunn Medical Adjustable Bathtub Safety Rail Shower Grab Bar Handle
- Lightweight product (6 lbs.)
- Tool free assembly
- 300 lbs. weight capacity
This Vaunn adjustable bathtub safety rail is great if you are going to attach a grab bar to a bathtub. Also this is one of the easiest ones to install, no tools are required. You can really customize the fit of this grab bar to any size bathtub.
Moen R8962FD Home Care 30-Inch Flip-Up Bathroom Grab Bar with Toilet Paper Holder, Stainless
- Polished stainless finish
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Toilet paper holder included
- Lifetime warranty
The R8962FD from Moen is one of the nicest looking and most functional grab bars on the market today due to it’s polished finish and attached toilet paper holder. Specifically for use for the toilet, the bar can move up and down very easily and provide great stability.
Getting older has its benefits, such as having more time to oneself to enjoy hobbies and reflecting on life, but it comes with obvious disadvantages as well. We should do everything we can to help make our seniors feel more comfortable, and one small thing we can do that will have a huge positive effect on their level of independence is install grab bars in their bathrooms. Hopefully this buyer’s guide helps you pick out the perfect grab bars for your loved ones!