How do I get comfortable in this tub?
October 25, 2009 4:49 PM   Subscribe

The bathtub in our new apartment has really straight sides making it impossible to recline. How do I make it more comfortable ?

I guess what I'm looking for is some type of reclining backrest but don't really want a pillow type solution. Is there anything available like this? I'm not having much luck with google.
posted by gfrobe to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can buy inflatable pillows for the bath. They stick on with suction cups. That might help.

In a pinch, I fold up a wet facecloth to put under my head on the ledge. Seems to work okay. But not optimal (seriously, who decided to make bathtubs without a reclining slope!)
posted by snailparade at 5:04 PM on October 25, 2009

...Oops...I seem to have missed the "don't want a pillow type solution" part of your question. In which case, I have no idea. But, you might be able to use something that was never intended for the bath. I think that making a wedge shape folded wad of bubble-wrap (the kind with the big bubbles) would be great. It would be cushy and comfy, and would still dry out easily. Plus, it would be really inexpensive to make.
posted by snailparade at 5:06 PM on October 25, 2009

Most of the pillows I've seen are headrests and backrest type pillows don't seem provide the stability to recline in a straight sided tub. What I"d love to find is something hard and smooth that gives the feeling of a reclined bath wall.
posted by gfrobe at 5:14 PM on October 25, 2009

Great question. How does the bathtub attach to the wall? Is there room to attach a piece of hard plastic at an angle?
posted by water bear at 5:24 PM on October 25, 2009

Great question. How does the bathtub attach to the wall? Is there room to attach a piece of hard plastic at an angle?

The wall behind the bath is tiled. At the top of the bath, there is about a 3 inch rim all around (where you'd normally keep shampoo, etc.).

So yes, I guess there is room to attach a piece of hard plastic but not sure where to find one or how it would stay in place.
posted by gfrobe at 5:55 PM on October 25, 2009

I use a towel to sit in uncomfortable bathtubs. Yes, you get it wet.
posted by emptyinside at 5:57 PM on October 25, 2009

I've recently seen some kind of teak bathtub backrest in a catalog or website. Unfortunately I can't seem to find it right now, but that might lead you down a new path.
posted by barnone at 6:07 PM on October 25, 2009

Sort of pillowy but perhaps: a full-body bathtub lounger chair?

A non-pillow (yet expensive) option is the healthcare/medical product called a bath lift, which descends into the bath and ascends from it, and will let you sit up or recline. Looks like heavy plastic.
posted by mmw at 6:10 PM on October 25, 2009

It's not clear to me why you don't want something inflatable. Our bathtub is installed backwards, because apartment owners are cheap buggers who would apparently rather build a small tile wall to hide the drain side of the tub than get the proper corner tub in the first place. Consequently, the leaning-against bit is not only straight, but has the overflow cover as well. I use an inflatable backrest and it works quite well to make up for the straightness and cushion the overflow cover. It works best slightly underinflated. There's not any problem with stability.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:10 PM on October 25, 2009

Just throwing a DIY idea out there; I haven't done it myself.

Cut up one of those blue foam yoga mats or camping mats to fit the contours of the back of the tub. Take the rest of the mat and cut successively shorter pieces of the same contour, say 1" shorter each time. Position the pieces such that the largest front piece is at an angle and the others fit the contours of the tub (place them in the tub to get the best fit.) Tape these pieces together with double-sided tape.

Here's a high-res ASCII representation of what I'm thinking of:

Good luck with it.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:42 PM on October 25, 2009

I used to live in a house with a bathtub like this (that was also so large that we didn't have enough hot water to fill it, and had a ridged bottom. the worst.) and you're right that you don't want an inflatable pillow. That actually won't help, as that will still be straight up and down. It'll be softer, but not any more relaxing.

I used to fold up a towel into a wedge shape, but I think Hardcore Poser's idea is fantastic.
posted by dizziest at 8:55 PM on October 25, 2009

Go to a medical or disability supply store and buy a bed wedge. They're made of foam, but it's very firm foam designed to help hospital patients sit up in bed. Get one with a waterproof cover, seal the zip area tightly and voila, bath wedge! Guess you'll have to weight it down to stop it floating, though.
posted by embrangled at 12:36 AM on October 26, 2009

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