The 8 Best Bathtubs for a Satisfying Soak

Nothing makes a bathroom feel luxurious quite like a soak-worthy tub. Prepare to relax your worries away with the best bathtubs.

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Who hasn’t entertained a fantasy of sinking into a freestanding clawfoot tub to escape the world for a while? Choosing a new bathtub creates a beautiful focal point in your bathroom, producing a spa-like experience every time you take a luxurious soak.

Keep in mind, the type of bathtub you choose often hinges on the configuration of the bathroom. That means considering room dimensions, wall space (or lack thereof), access to plumbing pipes and the overall design and infrastructure of your house.

If you’re working with new construction, there’s a little more freedom to design the tub of your dreams (or a bathtub and shower combination). But if you’re remodeling an existing bathroom, the bathtub material and size choices may be limited. Whatever the situation, we have the best bathtub for you.

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Avalon+x+36''+freestanding+soaking+cement+bathtub (1)via merchant

Best Overall

Avalon NativeStone Freestanding Cement Bathtub

The Avalon NativeStone Cement Bathtub not only has a chic and sophisticated design that makes it one of the best bathtubs, it’s also made of a proprietary material that combines jute and concrete. The sustainable material weighs 40 percent less than traditional concrete, which saves money on shipping. This tub comes in five natural colors that will beautifully showcase whatever faucet you choose.

Pros

  • Design is ideal for soaking
  • Made of sustainable material
  • Thick walls provide insulation
  • Handcrafted one-of-a-kind look

Cons

  • May require resealing
  • Expensive

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Freestanding
  • Bath Therapy Type: Soaking
  • Size: 62 L x 36 W x 21 H inches
  • Shape: Oval
  • Material: Cement

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Grayley+60''+x+32''+alcove+soaking+acrylic+bathtubvia merchant

Best Budget

Grayley Alcove Soaking Bathtub

For an all-around alcove winner, look no further than the Grayley Alcove Soaking Bathtub from Wyndham Collection. It scores on price, its easy-clean acrylic material, molded lumbar support and simple installation. The sleek design leans more modern, but could fit many types of bathrooms. The built-in tile flange means you can easily choose your favorite tile to surround the tub for a custom finish.

Pros

  • Won’t break the bank
  • Made of durable acrylic
  • Simple style and comfortable backrest angle

Cons

  • Some might not like the warm touch of acrylic
  • Depth could make stepping into the tub difficult for some

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Alcove
  • Bath Therapy Type: Soaking
  • Size: 60 L X 32 W X 22 H inches
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Material: Acrylic

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Kohler Archer White Acrylic Rectangular Bathtub Ecomm Via Lowes.comvia merchant

Best Drop-In

Kohler Archer Drop-In Soaking Bathtub

If you have a more custom look in mind for your bathtub, consider a drop-in tub, such as Archer from Kohler. It consists of only the shell, offering the design flexibility you crave. Drop-in tubs generally allow for a deeper soak with a lower step-over height. However, if your subfloor is compromised, consider the final weight. The Archer features Craftsman-style beveled edges and a textured non-slip bottom.

Pros

  • Low step-over height
  • Made of durable acrylic
  • Features a reversible drain
  • Available in five colors/finishes

Cons

  • Textured bottom can be harder to clean
  • Drain assembly sold separate

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Drop-In
  • Bath Therapy Type: Soaking
  • Size: 60 L X 32 W X 19 H inches
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Material: Acrylic

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68.9''+x+27.9''+freestanding+soaking+fiberglass+bathtubvia merchant

Best Clawfoot

Akdy Clawfoot Soaking Bathtub

For a vintage-style bathroom—or a historic home—a clawfoot tub is a must. The Akdy Clawfoot Soaking Bathtub makes for a charming soaking station, and the glossy black finish and chrome feet give it a modern twist. Keep in mind that cleaning around a clawfoot tub is a little more difficult (dust and debris can gather underneath the tub) and, if you have sloping floors, it might not be a practical choice.

Pros

  • Charming vintage style
  • Heavy-duty acrylic and reinforced fiberglass
  • Pop-up drain included

Cons

  • Not as deep as other models
  • Elongated back might be difficult to fit in some bathrooms

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Freestanding
  • Bath Therapy Type: Soaking
  • Size:  68.9 L X 27.9 W X 30.3 H inches
  • Shape: Oval
  • Material: Fiberglass

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Utile Marble Carrara Tub Shower Ecomm Via Lowes.comvia merchant

Best Bathtub and Shower Combo

Utile by Maax Marble Carrara Bathtub and Shower Kit

This Marble Carrara Bathtub and Shower Kit gives you the convenience of an all-in-one bathtub and shower combo with the custom look of tile. The fiberglass walls are designed to look like real tile, but the faux grout lines are much easier to maintain than real grout. The acrylic tub features a non-slip bottom and discreet armrests for added comfort.

Pros

  • Convenient all-in-one kit
  • Faux grout is easy to clean
  • Walls easily slip together and lock into place

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the high-end feel of real marble
  • More expensive than other combos

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Bathtub & Shower Combo
  • Bath Therapy Type: Soaking
  • Size: 32 L X 60 W X 81 H inches
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Material: Acrylic, Fiberglass

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Rebecca 70 Soakiing Bathtub Wyndham Ecomm Via Modernbathroom.comvia merchant

Best Freestanding

Rebecca Soaking Bathtub

The Rebecca freestanding tub makes a statement with its simple, elegant style. It’s sure to be the focal point of your bathroom. The acrylic finish is warmer than enamel, and the gently reclining sides allow for mega relaxation. A side-mount faucet placing is prime for a statement fixture—your toes will never brush that cold faucet in your warm bath.

Pros

  • Sleek design to work with many styles
  • Extra-deep for full immersion
  • Adjustable base to ensure level installation

Cons

  • Might be too big for some bathrooms
  • Not slip-resistant

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Freestanding
  • Bath Therapy Type: Soaking
  • Size: 70 L X 32 W X 23 H inches
  • Shape: Oval
  • Material: Acrylic

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Mansfield Restore Bathtub Ecomm Via Lowes.comvia merchant

Best Walk-In

Mansfield Walk-In Soaking Bathtub

This walk-in tub takes top marks for the low step-in height, right or left drain location and acrylic material with fiberglass reinforcement.  It offers a substantial depth, making it an ideal spot to soak and relax the day’s worries away. There’s a spacious integrated seat with a sloped backrest for added comfort. As if it wasn’t already one of the best bathtubs, this walk-in has adjustable leveling legs to make installation as painless as possible.

Pros

  • 6.5-inch step-in height
  • Features a seat and sloped backrest
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Handles and rails not included

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Walk-In
  • Bath Therapy Type: Soaking
  • Size: 51.5 L X 30 W X 40 H inches
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Material: Acrylic

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59''+x+29.5''+freestanding+whirlpool+acrylic+bathtub+with+faucetvia merchant

Best Whirlpool

Empava Freestanding Whirlpool Bathtub

This is not the outdated and oversized jetted bathtub from years past. The Empava Whirlpool Bathtub has a sleek, freestanding design, with water jets discreetly located near the bottom of the tub. The hydro-massage system features seven water jets with infusion settings to target aches and sore areas. Unlike other bathtubs, the faucet is included along with a handheld showerhead with three soothing spray settings.

Pros

  • Has hydro-massage water jets
  • Freestanding design
  • Faucet and showerhead come pre-drilled and pre-installed

Cons

  • Might not be big enough for some users

Product Specs:

  • Installation Type: Freestanding
  • Bath Therapy Type: Whirlpool
  • Size: 59 L X 29.5 W X 29.5 H inches
  • Shape: Oval
  • Material: Acrylic

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What to Consider When Buying a Bathtub

  • Size: The available space determines a lot when it comes to purchasing a bathtub. “With a smaller-sized space, some people choose to have a dual shower/bathtub [an alcove tub], while those with ample space have the luxury of choosing a free-standing style,” says Katie Simpson, interior designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors. You’ll also need to consider the height of your potential tub’s walls, especially if you have little ones or someone with balance issues in your household.
  • Material and weight: These two elements usually go hand in hand. A cast iron tub is typically expensive and extremely heavy, but its durability makes it one of the best bathtubs you can buy. Fiberglass is lighter and stronger (and requires less maintenance), but can be prone to scratches or warp over time, according to Arnold Long, General Operations Manager at Mr. Blue Plumbing. “While higher-quality materials, like cast iron, natural stone and copper, are very popular and desirable, they tend to be too heavy for many homes,” he says.
  • Shape: Are you considering a traditional, rectangular alcove tub or a freestanding tub, perhaps with a shower elsewhere? Do you want a corner tub or a deep soaker? Whatever you’re thinking of purchasing, keep in mind that the shape can influence the overall style of the room. “Oval and round tubs tend to lean more modern,” Simpson says, “while rectangular tubs are more traditional.”

Types of Bathtubs

  • Alcove bathtub: An alcove bathtub fits into a three-wall nook in your bathroom with only one exposed side. This is ideal for smaller bathrooms where you don’t want the tub taking up too much space.
  • Drop-in bathtub: A drop-in bathtub “drops in” to a pre-built deck, so it lacks finished sides and consists of the shell only. This is one of the best bathtubs for people that want a custom look that blends seamlessly with a bathroom’s existing design.
  • Freestanding bathtub: If you want to make a statement in your bathroom, consider a freestanding tub. From vintage clawfoot to sleek and modern, they come in a variety of styles. A freestanding tub does not connect to any walls, and is usually paired with a freestanding floor-mounted faucet.
  • Walk-in bathtub: Often used by older adults, a walk-in bathtub is easily accessible through a watertight door, eliminating the need to step over the side. Often, a walk-in tub also includes other safety features, like a seat and grab bars.

How We Found the Best Bathtubs

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

What is the most durable material for a bathtub?

Cast iron is the most durable bathtub material, but it might not be the best choice for everyone. Made with iron ore and coated with enamel, cast iron is resistant to scratching, chipping, denting and staining. However, it’s worth noting that a cast iron tub is extremely heavy (and expensive). For a durable, lightweight material, opt for acrylic.

How much does it cost to install a bathtub?

You can expect to spend about $500 to $2,000 in labor to have a new freestanding, drop-in or alcove bathtub installed. This does not include walk-in bathtubs, which usually require more labor and custom design.

Can I install a bathtub myself?

Yes, you can install a bathtub by yourself, but it’s not for beginners. You should have some experience working with plumbing (P-traps and faucets) and basic carpentry tools. If you replace the shower valve and have copper supply lines, you’ll also need soldering skills. Here’s the step-by-step process on how to install an acrylic tub and tub surround.

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Katie Dohman
Katie Dohman is an award-winning freelance writer who has written about home, design, and lifestyle topics for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured in Artful Living, Midwest Home, Star Tribune, and Teen Vogue, among many others. She is currently living her own how-to story as she and her husband work through a complete gut remodel on their 1921 home—while parenting three tiny tots and dodging their dog and cat, who always seem to be underfoot.