In a Nutshell:
The Drive Medical Premium Shower Chair is a simple, sturdy, functional design, offered by one of the most respected companies in the business. Recommended for users weighing up to 350 pounds. This chair is a tremendous value for the money.
Value for the Money
Do you suffer from mobility issues that make bathing a challenge?
If so, you’re not alone. It’s a problem that millions of Americans and millions of other folks around the world must contend with too. While there are a number of different ways you can tackle that challenge, one of the simplest and most cost-effective is to invest in a high-quality shower chair.
If you haven’t considered that option and you don’t know much about shower chairs in general, sit back and read on. We’ll not only tell you how a shower chair can help you, but we’ll also introduce you to an excellent model, the Drive Medical Premium Shower Chair.
Drive Medical is one of the most respected companies in the industry, and this chair is an excellent example of their work. It’s not a perfect fit for everyone, but its simple design and durability make it an excellent option for many. If your interest is piqued, read on!
An Overview of the Drive Medical Premium Shower Chair with Back and Arms
Shower chairs aren’t built to be pretty; they’re made to be functional, and that’s exactly what you get with the Drive Medical Premium shower chair with back and arms. At first glance, it’s a roomy, comfy plastic chair with drainage holes in the seat, so it doesn’t collect water, and rubberized feet to help it find purchase in the tub or shower you set it in.
Before we say more than that, let’s take a quick look at the core stats that define the model:
A few things jump out at us right off the bat. For starters, this is a pretty versatile seat. It’s wide enough to accommodate a wide range of body sizes and types, and the seat height is adjustable, starting two full inches below the big and tall range and extending well into the big and tall territory.
Second, it’s incredibly lightweight, which makes it easy to get it in and out of the shower. That’s important for people who don’t live alone because it makes it a snap to get the chair out of the tub or shower so people who don’t need it can easily get it out of the way. In fact, thanks to the convenient handle at the top of the seat, getting it out of the way is a lesson in simplicity.
Third, the rubberized, gripping feet provide greater stability while the chair is in use. You won’t have to worry about sliding all over the place and potentially falling out while getting yourself cleaned up. A safety belt would have been a great addition to provide an added layer of security on that front. In fact, some chairs do offer that, but this is a more basic model, and the safety belt was likely cut to keep the cost down.
Finally, the weight range is impressive, especially for such a lightweight chair. With 350-pounds of supported user weight, it doesn’t quite qualify as a chair that’s optimized for big and tall folk. Still, it will easily accommodate more than 90% of the market.
All of those are good things, but when you combine them with the fact that Drive Medical is such a well-respected company in the industry and the fact that they’re practically giving this chair away, it’s hard to argue against it. Looking at the basic stats, though, will only take you so far.
Let’s take a deeper dive and see what else this chair has to offer.
Adjustability and Comfort
There’s really only one adjustable feature to talk about here, and we’ve touched on it already; the legs are height adjustable (no tools required) which has the effect of raising and lowering the seat height, allowing you to tweak the chair’s height to provide a more comfortable, natural seating experience while you’re using it.
You can raise or lower the leg height in half-inch increments. The current height setting is clearly marked by a colored band inside each leg of the chair, so making sure all of the legs are adjusted to the same height can be done at a glance. It’s a small thing, but just the sort of detail we’d expect from one of the top companies in the industry.
Where comfort is concerned, the Drive Medical Premium series shower chair with back and arms is a plastic chair, so it’s not big on comfort. Still, the seat itself is molded and contoured, which does help some. The upshot is that in most circumstances, you won’t be spending extended periods sitting in it, so comfort usually isn’t that big of an issue anyway.
While not a comfort feature per se, you’ll also find rubberized handgrips on the chair arms, which gives you a slip-free surface to grab onto while you’re easing yourself into and out of the chair. Depending on how severe your mobility issues are, it still may not be a great idea to attempt to get into or out of the chair without assistance, but the combination of the rubberized feet and the no-slip handgrips certainly make doing so a less dicey proposition.
Assembly is Required
If you decide you want one of these, your chair will arrive in a large box and unassembled, so you’ll have a bit of work to do before you can start using it. The good news is that the assembly instructions are quite clear, the pieces are all easy to identify, and you won’t need any tools to put the chair together.
Even if you’re not a fan of putting your own furniture together, this is a project that just about anyone can have wrapped up in fifteen to twenty minutes. It’s a lesson in simplicity.
Pros and Cons of Drive Medical Premium Shower Chair
There’s a lot to like about the Drive Medical Premium bath seat. In our view, and in no particular order, its biggest pros are:
Put those things together with its higher than average maximum supported user weight, and this chair is hard to beat. Having said that, it’s got a few drawbacks to consider, and our review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t point them out. They are:
Final Thoughts: Drive Medical Premium Series Shower Chair with Back and Arms Review
We really like the Drive Medical Premium shower chair. Its two potential downsides are self-selecting. If you weigh more than the chair can hold, you’ll automatically give it a pass. In a similar vein, if you need a bench-style seat to make it easier to transfer into and out of the shower chair, this one just isn’t going to get the job done for you.
For everyone else, though, this one’s superb, and it’s offered for a song, making it a simple, inexpensive, effective bath time solution. On that basis, we recommend it.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, Official Brand Website.
- Drive Medical Premium Shower Chair User Manual.
- What is a Shower Chair?, Wisegeek.
- Recommended Depth for a Shower Seat, SFGate.
- How Do You Use a Shower Chair? / Bathroom Safety Products for Seniors, Senior Safety Advice.