Perhaps you have begun updating your bathroom already, or maybe you are simply looking at what options are available to you as you venture into the world of bathroom renovations. Maybe you are flipping a house, or maybe you just want to update your current home.

Chances are that you have looked around in a couple of stores, perused a few catalogs or searched far and wide across the many internet databases of bathtubs, simply to find that there are nearly endless options. Whether you are an experienced renovator or this is your first time updating a bathroom, you are probably here because you feel lost among those many options. I know that we found it very daunting when we first stepped into this world. Bathtubs were one of the most difficult things for us to choose when we flipped our first house. To alleviate some of that pressure on your experience, we’ve decided to put together this list of the best freestanding, drop-in, recessed, walk-in, and claw foot bathtubs.

Buying Information

Unlike basic toiletries and accessories, it is very possible to select the wrong bathtub for your bathroom. Some bathtubs require very specific bathroom configurations and some bathroom configurations require very specific bathtubs.

Though it is always important to consider the basic look and feel you are hoping the tub will bring to your bathroom and your bathing experience, there are many other logistical and technical considerations you should make before plunging into a bathtub purchase. For that reason, we’ve put together a short buying guide to help you make the right selection. We suggest taking some time to read that over if you aren’t one hundred per cent certain of the type, shape, and size of bathtub you need.

Best Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding bathtubs are like the clawfoot tubs of the modern and contemporary era. They allow you the freedom and space to breathe and relax without the claustrophobic feeling of being surrounded by walls. Unlike clawfoot tubs, however, they do not have ornate legs and a clunky appearance. Instead, they sit directly on the floor and offer sleek lines for a crisply finished appeal.

Best Vintage Appeal
AKDY F278 Free Standing Acrylic Bathtub

If you would still like some of the vintage appeal that you get from a clawfoot tub but prefer the clean appearance of a bathtub which sits directly on the floor, the AKDY F278 should lend a wonderful element to your new bathroom design. The elegant curved line of this tub’s back rest isn’t hidden away behind a straight-lined exterior. Instead, it is incorporated into its overall design, making it more appealing the vintage design elements many people try work into the bathrooms of their older homes.

Composed primarily of an acrylic material, this tub has been molded into a sleigh-like design. The design serves more than an aesthetic appeal, however – it also creates a beautiful arch for full back support as you fully submerge into the nearly 22 inches of water it can hold.

This tub measures a total of 63 inches in length from head to toe and 26.38 inches in width. Of course, the space inside the tub is slightly smaller, but this gives you an idea of the amount of space you will need inside your room for it to fit. At its pinnacle, this AKDY measures 30.7 inches in height. The foot of the tub is only 26.38 inches tall.

The interior dimensions of the tub are considerably smaller than the exterior dimensions, since they only measure the basin. The basin, in this tub, is only meant to house the lower portion of your body, as it has been made tall enough to submerge you fully from neck to toe as you remain in a comfortable, seated position.

Best Bowl-Shaped
American Standard 2764014M202.011 Cadet Freestanding Tub

Looking for a basic bowl-shaped design? This particular freestanding bathtub is best suited to any modern or industrial style, but feel free to experiment with it in any other design style you like. One of only two freestanding tubs on this list to feature its drain in the center instead of at the foot, this tub will allow you to lie facing in either direction. It has no distinct head or foot area; this means that you can choose to look toward your television at one side of your bathroom or out your window at the other side. It also means that both ends of the tub feature a slight curve for back support, making it a comfortable space for two people to enjoy together.

Constructed of acrylic molded around a fiberglass core, this tub will keep your bathwater warm for much longer than any non-insulated acrylic or enameled steel option. In total, the external dimensions of this American Standard are 56.25 inches in length and 23.25 inches wide. The internal soaking space, however, measures 47.5 inches by 20.5 inches.

No need to worry about purchasing all the extra fixtures – this is an all in one product. This tub comes complete with a drain, freestanding faucet, and shower head wand. Of course, if you do not like the fixtures it comes with; you can always purchase extras separately or look at one of our other options which do not come with the fixtures.

Best Contemporary Appeal
Mermaid 67 inch Freestanding Bathtub

The bathtub’s straight lines lend nicely to the crisp design elements of any contemporary bathroom while still accenting the natural elements this style aims to incorporate. If you are planning to design a bathroom in the contemporary style, we suggest pairing this elegant tub with some rich, natural woods on the walls or cabinetry of your bathroom to create the juxtaposition for which this style is best known.

The center drain and side overflow drain allow you to utilize both ends of this tub as a backrest, much like the American Standard tub listed above. Unlike the tub above, this one does not come with its own freestanding faucet, allowing you to go out and select whichever faucet you prefer for your own style and function requirements. You can choose to purchase a freestanding faucet if you are planning to place this tub in the middle of the room or you can purchase a wall-mount faucet if this tub will be placed against a wall.

If relaxing in a hot bath surrounded by the warm light of candles is something you enjoy you will be happy to hear that, unlike many other freestanding tubs, this one features a small ledge all the way around it. Though the ledge isn’t very wide, it is wide enough for small tea light candles or even a rich glass of wine.

The tub’s exterior measures 67 inches in length, 31.25 inches wide, and 23 inches tall. The interior’s basic dimensions are 61 inches in length, 25.25 inches wide, and 18 inches in height. This is one of the shallowest tubs on this list, but it is also one of the longest, meaning that you will be able to lie down a little more inside. Lying down inside this tub, as opposed to sitting upright, will allow you to get your body fully submerged – even in its shallow 18 inches of water.

Popular Drop-In Bathtubs

If your bathroom design includes an alcove for your bathtub you will probably want to consider either a drop-in bathtub or a recessed bathtub. While recessed bathtubs include aprons which cover the exposed side of the tub, these drop-in bathtubs allow you to customize that side by constructing a short, partial wall. You can then choose to cover that wall with wood, stone, tile or any color of paint your mind can imagine.

Best with Undermount Option
American Standard 2422V002.011 Evolution Bathing Pool

Drop-in bathtubs always include a lip that sits atop whatever structure you have built to support your bathtub. Most of these lips, or ledges, are meant not only to hold the tub in place, but also have aesthetic purposes. Undermount drop-in bathtubs are tubs whose ledges can be covered with whatever finishes you like. Though this particular tub can simply be dropped into place, you can also choose to finish it off with an extra touch of stone, tile, or even wood along its ledges, because it has been constructed in such a way as to make undermounting an option. To complete this look, you would simply install your preferred finish along the well-defined lip on the ledge.

The drain, overflow, and faucet for this tub are not included. Though it may seem like more of a deal to get all of these pieces together, we find that purchasing them separately allows you to create a more personalized bathroom. You can choose whichever style of drain, overflow, and faucet you like.

Measuring five feet in length, this tub is rather long, which is a good thing since it isn’t very deep. The length of this tub allows you to relax inside in a nearly horizontal position so that you can become fully submerged. Though many people prefer deep, soaker tubs so that they can remain seated throughout their bathing experience, I like the versatility of tubs such as this one. It is shallow enough that stepping in and out for a shower will not be very difficult if you need to use it as a tub/shower combination.

Something else we really like about this bathtub is that it is available in four different colors. As people who have had to design many bathrooms over the years, we know the importance of matching the color of the bathtub to the overall style of the room. Not all rooms warrant an arctic white bathtub. In fact, such a stark shade of white can actually make some rooms feel clinical and cold. Aside from the typical arctic white, this tub is available in bone, soft white, and linen.

Best with Jets
American Standard 2422VC.020 Deep Soak Massage Tub

If you are looking for more than just a soak in hot water, if you are looking for the relaxing experience of a spa, if you’ve always wanted a whirlpool-style tub but never had the space for their nearly hot tub size – the Evolution Deep Soak Massage Tub may be just what you need. It gives you the experience of a whirlpool tub in the compact and easy-to-install size of a typical drop-in tub.

Measuring only five feet by 32 inches, this compact tub will fit into most bathroom alcoves. There will be no need to remodel your entire bathroom just to try to figure out where you can shove an oversize but very enjoyable water jet tub.

If you like the look and feel of a smooth, glossy, acrylic tub but don’t want to sacrifice warmth, you will be happy to hear that this tub features fiberglass insulation reinforcement. When reinforced with fiberglass, acrylic bathtubs not only become warmer, they also become more durable.

Enough about the basic specifications though, right? You want to hear more about the jets, don’t you? This tub features six jets – two pointed at your back, two on your sides and two at your feet. You can control the strength of the hydro jets as well as the strength of the additional air jets. Air jets create calming bubbles which are said to soothe both body and mind during your at-home spa experience.

Best For Small Bathrooms
Kohler K-1490-X-0 Greek 4-Foot Bath

If your bathroom is extra small and you are struggling to find a way to fit a bathtub inside of it rest assured that you are not alone. Even we have faced this particular dilemma many times. Most of the time, the problem seems to revolve around trying to fit both a bathtub and a shower into the small bathroom of an older home. To fix this problem, we usually have to tuck the bathtub away into the tiniest nook or alcove we are able to find.

Bathtubs such as the Kohler Greek 4-Foot Bath are perfectly designed to fit into these tiny spaces. They can help you turn a powder room into a full bathroom or a three piece bath into a four piece bath. Measuring only four feet in length, this tub takes up much less space than the traditional five foot long bathtub.

Thanks to its incredible depth and gently sloped back rest, you will not have to give up comfort for compactness. Most people should still be able to manage a full soak in this 23 3/8 inches tall bathtub. For comparison sake, I should tell you that most 5-foot bathtubs measure about 21 inches in height. In all honesty, this style is probably better for people with back and neck problems. It is much easier to get in and out of and allows you to remain mostly seated as you bathe – thus not causing you to place your back of neck at uncomfortable angles.

Best Low Profile Option
Kohler K-1123-0 Archer 5-Foot Bath

Whether you are looking for a low-profile tub due to design and aesthetic concerns, or you find it difficult to step over the side of tall bathtubs, the Kohler Archer is bound to impress you. Measuring only 19 inches tall, it is one of the easiest bathtubs to step in and out of on this entire list (except, of course, the walk-in tubs).

What’s even better about this tub is that it still holds the same level of water as most regular height bathtubs. I know that doesn’t seem to make sense. How can I tell you that it is two to four inches shorter than the typical five-foot bathtub but also tell you it holds the same amount of water?

Most traditional bathtubs feature water returns or overflow drains which are round. These round drains allow water to drain out of the tub if it reaches a certain level, to stop the tub from overflowing. The problem with the round drains is that, due to their size and shape, their openings usually sit about three to four inches below the top of the tub. The Kohler Archer, on the other hand, features a long, rectangular overflow drain which sits only one to two inches from the top of the tub. The difference in overflow drain allows you to fill this 19-inch tub with the same level of water as a typical 21-inch tub.

Making this tub even more attractive are its thin, built-in armrests, its thick ledge, its modern, contemporary style, and the fact that it is available in nine different colors: almond, biscuit, black, cashmere, dune, ice grey, sandbar, thunder grey, and white.

Top Choices of Recessed Bathtubs

Recessed tubs are a lot like drop-in tubs, but feature one major difference – an apron. Recessed tubs are made for alcoves where three walls (even just partial walls) surround them. This is because three of their sides are completely open and must abut against something. Drop-in tubs, on the other hand, feature four open sides. They must be dropped into a four-sided structure where the front-facing partial wall must be finished with tile, wood or paint. Recessed tubs take a chunk of that work away from you by covering that front-facing partial wall themselves.

Best Steel Enamel
American Standard 24600.002.020 Cambridge Bath Tub

If you are a fan of durable, relatively lightweight enameled steel we are happy to bring you our top pick of all the enameled steel recessed bathtubs on the market today. This American Standard tub has been built with a very basic appeal. It doesn’t feature any fancy ledgework or intricate apron designs. Instead, it is one smooth, flowing piece of enameled steel.

This basic design can easily be integrated into any style of bathroom, as long as you utilize the right aesthetic touches in the accessories and other major design elements. Its clean-faced apron and lack of intricate details lend nicely to any sleek industrial or modern style, while its curved edges would nicely compliment anything in the vintage or contemporary style.

In case you were wondering what the “enamel” is on this tub, you will probably be happy to know that it is porcelain. Porcelain finishes are preferred by many people due to their beautifully glossy and smooth finish. Porcelain can stain, crack and chip if not properly cared for, but stains come out much easier from this surface than any acrylic surface, and cracks and chips can be repaired by a professional.

We love the absolute simplicity of this tub’s visual appearance and the longevity of its steel structure. Making this tub even more impressive is the fact that it is available with either a right handed drain or a left handed drain, which means it should work in just about any alcove.

Best Enameled Cast Iron
Bellwether Alcove Bath with Integral Apron

One of us is biased toward this particular recessed tub out of a complete and total love affair with cast iron. Cast iron holds heat for an extended period of time, helping to keep your bathwater warm with little to no insulation at all. It is hard, durable, and built to last. The porcelain enamel used to gloss cast iron is easy to wash and difficult to stain. Although enamel can be susceptible to chipping and cracking, Bellwether protects this tub with a lifetime guarantee that it will never stain, chip, or crack.

Unlike any of the other options on this list, the Alcove Bath features a thoroughly textured bottom to create one of the most slip-resistant surfaces of any of the tubs we have featured on this page. The bottom is textured with strips of soft, sandpaper-like grit built into the enamel. This wavy surface helps you stay standing if you use this tub in a bath/shower combination, without interfering with the comfort you will experience when lying down for a warm soak.

A slight angle is built into this tub to support your back as you hunker in for a nice bath. It should be noted that this model appears to only be available with a right handed drain, meaning that you may need to select a different tub if your plumbing is located on the left side of your bath alcove. Four color options and a very basic design make this tub well-suited to many different interior decorating schemes. It is available in the following colors: white, almond, biscuit, and dune.

Favorite Walk-In Bathtubs

If you are looking for the ultimate bathing experience or have great difficulty getting in and out of a bathtub these walk-in options are bound to impress. Remember, though, that walk-in bathtubs are not only for people with disabilities – they can be enjoyable experiences for people of all ages and body types. In fact, one of us has been begging the other for a walk-in tub for quite a while. Of all the bathtub types we have featured here, the walk-in tub gives you the most hot tub or spa-like experience.

Best with Left or Right Drain
American Standard 3151.204.WLW Whirlpool Walk-In

Let’s begin with the basics. This walk-in is built completely of fiberglass-reinforced polyester. What does this mean? It means that it will hold heat decently well and that it will be difficult to puncture or crack. Unfortunately, completely solid walk-ins just are not possible. The amount of molding required for seats and arm rests would be difficult to manage for something made of steel or cast iron – therefore, most walk-ins are, like this one, made of synthetic materials. If you were ever worried that this material will not hold heat well you needn’t fret. A built-in heating system continually heats the water for you as it cycles it through the jets.

This particular tub features a total of thirteen non-adjustable jets, all pointed at different parts of your body. Six of those jets focus solely on your mid to lower back, helping to melt away the stress most people carry in that location. If you are looking to purchase a walk-in tub because a back injury prevents you from using a more traditional option, these jets will be of particular interest to you.

A textured floor helps you safely move to and from the comfortable, extra-wide built-in seat. Knob controls allow you to adjust the pressure of the water jets as well as the bubbles from the air jets. Air jets are an additional luxury in that they provide relaxation and comfort of their own without focusing on actually working your muscles – therefore, we haven’t included them in the grand total count of the thirteen jets included in this tub.

Since walk-in tubs must be built into some sort of an alcove they, like recessed tubs, depend upon location of plumbing and drain holes. Thankfully, this American Standard Whirlpool Walk-in is available in either a right handed drain option or with a left handed drain, making it perfect for almost any alcove.

Best with Electronic Control Panel
Left Drain Fully Loaded Walk In Bathtub

If you are interested in something slightly more technologically advanced than the typical knob control, a walk-in tub with an electronic control panel may be more to your liking. Completely protected from any interference by water, the control panel on this Fully Loaded tub allows you to control the temperature of the water, the pressure of the hydro jets, the intensity of the air jets, and the impressive built-in LED lighting system.

Not only will your muscles be relaxed by the massage power of the water jets, you will also be lulled into a state of relaxation by the gentle caress of the air jet bubbles and the chromotherapy of the color changing lights.

Two one-horsepower motors (one for the water jets and one for the air bubblers) keep this walk-in tub working at peak performance. In total, these motors power 12 water jets and 20 air bubble blowers. This is one of the most impressive walk-ins on this page in terms of the number if jets it includes. Removable front panels allow for easy access to all working interior parts, making maintenance a quick and simple task.

Three built-in bars help you get in and out of the molded seat. Aside from a nicely-molded rear-hugging seat, this tub also features a soft, padded head and neck rest for ultimate comfort. A handheld shower wand is within reaching distance of the seat, allowing you to have a full bath and shower experience from the comfort of a seated position. A shiny chrome faucet, drain, and overflow are also included.

Best 2-Person
Companion Massage Walk-In Tub

Have you always wanted a two-person hot tub experience for you and the other half of your heart, but could never commit to the constant upkeep of an actual hot tub? The Companion Massage allows you to have just that experience with the simple filling of a tub. This walk-in features two seats, each with their own jets and bubble blowers. Multicolor chromotherapy lights set a peaceful, romantic, and relaxing tone for your two-person bath.

Of course, if you ever prefer to use this tub on your own, you can rest assured that you should be able to reach all of the important controls from the main seat on the left-hand side. The left-hand seat is also best for whichever of you needs the most help getting up and down, as it features a stainless steel grip bar for added convenience.

Two extra wide, molded seats and a total of 24 jets make this an incredibly relaxing experience. Once you are all relaxed you can quickly exit the tub within 80 seconds, as it features two drains and a state-of-the-art quick drain system. This means you won’t have to worry about going from a perfectly relaxed state to a cold and shivering state as you wait for the tub to drain.

Top Three Claw Foot Bathtubs

What says vintage better than a clawfoot tub? Whether you are renovating a Victorian home, trying to breathe life into a cold, modern space, or trying to stay true to the rustic feel of your woodsy cabin, the clawfoot tub has always been a go-to fixture for bringing a sense of tradition and old-world charm to a bathroom. Though the options on today’s market are incredible in terms of materials and styles, we have put together our three favorite clawfoot tubs based on what we imagine you may be looking for.

Best Acrylic with Fiberglass
Luxury Clawfoot Tub with Vintage Design

First up is our choice of acrylic clawfoot tubs. The Luxury Clawfoot tub has all of the vintage appeal you are looking for without the heavy cast iron body. Its lightweight materials make it easy to install and perfect for any location. In case you weren’t already aware, the sheer weight of a cast iron tub, plus your own weight and the weight of the water you will fill it with means that you can only place it on a very well-supported floor. This acrylic option, on the other hand, is much lighter, allowing you to place it almost anywhere.

Flat across the entire width of the foot area, rounded along the top, and featuring a large curved lip edge, the shape of this tub lends nicely to the vintage appeal for which it strives. The flat bottom allows you to butt it up against a wall for a wall-mount faucet. Speaking of faucets, the faucet is just about the only thing this tub does not come with. You do, however, get the drain, overflow, and feet in the package. The ornate polished chrome feet on this tub are designed as actual bird’s claws gripping balls. Together with its slipper shape, the new-meets-old style of the feet keep with the vintage theme of this tub while adding an extra contemporary feel. It should be noted, however, that brushed nickel feet are also an option when purchasing this tub.

The tub itself measures a total of 53.5 inches long. Though this isn’t as long as some other tubs, the tall, angled back rest allows you to find a comfortable position without having to use a full five feet of space in your bathroom. The height of the tub at the foot is 24.25 inches. The backrest measures 29.5 inches. To conserve water, the tub has been designed wider in the area where your rear end will sit than where your feet will be, since your feet will require less space.

Best Cast Iron
Cast Iron Swedish Tub with Bronze Feet

If you are looking for an extremely personalizable and durable clawfoot tub, this Swedish style tub will happily check off those boxes for you. Its slipper shape and slim design lend perfectly to the Victorian feel of any older home. It is constructed of cast iron with a porcelain coating for a very durable, long lasting, and easy-to-clean surface.

Though often pictured with beautifully ornate bird’s claw feet, the feet, drain, overflow, and faucet for this tub are all sold separately. Though this may seem like much less of a bargain than you can find with other clawfoot tubs, we like the fact that you can purchase each of these elements separately to ensure that the tub perfectly matches your décor.

Measuring a total of 53.5 inches in length with a 41-inch long basin, an angled backrest, and 29.5 inches in width, this tub allows for a comfortable yet compact bathing experience. It is perfect for those who want the look and feel of a freestanding clawfoot tub but who also do not have much space to offer that tub. The drain for this tub is located at its foot, meaning that it can easily be worked into a traditional bathtub alcove with a little bit of work.

Most Color Options
Kohler K-710-W-0 Iron Works Historic Bathtub

Some people enjoy the traditional appeal of a white, porcelain coated cast iron clawfoot tub. Others are looking for the juxtaposition of the clawfoot style with a modern, industrial, or contemporary flair. Some people simply want their tub to have a softer, warmer appeal than the cold, arctic white of most other clawfoot tubs. Enter the Kohler K-710-W-0, a tub built to suit any style preference.

Of all the tubs we looked at when creating this website and while renovating our many hobby homes, this was the only clawfoot we could find which was available in an incredible five colors. You can choose between white, almond, biscuit, sand dune, and even flat back. What’s more, you can select different interior colors for the tub as well. You can choose between white, almond, biscuit, and sand dune for the interior and choose to match them up with any exterior color.

The feet themselves are available in a masculine black cast iron or a soft white. Of course, you can always choose to purchase feet separately as well to make this an even more customized piece.

A slip-resistant finish has been added to the porcelain interior, making this the perfect clawfoot tub for a bath/shower combination unit. Measuring a healthy 36 inches in width and 66 inches in length, this tub may take up a lot of floor space, but will make it much easier to move around in for showering purposes than many other clawfoot options.

Relax and Enjoy

Although the renovation process can be hectic and sometimes stressful, the best advice we could ever offer is to try to relax and enjoy the process. Take your time with your decision to ensure that you are satisfied with the results. When all is said and done, don’t forget to take a moment to relax and reflect. If this renovation is of your own bathroom, don’t forget to light some candles, turn out the lights, and reap the rewards of all your hard work.