The Best Soaking Tubs of 2024 to Transform a Bathroom Into a Spa

Create your own personal mini spa with a soaking tub. Find out what to consider when selecting a model to add luxury to your home.

Best Overall

The Woodbridge Whirlpool Heated Soaking Bathtub filled with water in a tranquil, candle-lit bathroom.

Woodbridge Whirlpool Heated Soaking Bathtub

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Woodbridge Contemporary Soaking Bathtub filled with water in a gray-toned bathroom.

Woodbridge Contemporary Soaking Bathtub

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Upgrade Pick

The Kingston Brass Aqua Eden Cast Iron Pedestal Tub in front of a window.

Kingston Brass Aqua Eden Cast Iron Pedestal Tub

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Soaking tubs can take the bathing experience from every day to spa-like. Longer and taller than regular tubs, these ample-size tubs allow you to fully submerge and enjoy a floating sensation. This can benefit those who suffer from chronic pain and those who need relief from everyday stress. 

In addition to expansive proportions, many include a reclined wall at one end, while others offer special features such as heating elements to maintain water temperature, a whirlpool/bubble effect, or an overhead waterfall shower head. The Woodbridge Whirlpool Heated Soaking Bathtub tops this list thanks to premier features, including jet functions, a heating element, and other exceptional design details.

Ahead, find out what to keep in mind when shopping, what a bathroom designer advises when choosing a soaking tub, and why these picks made this list of best soaking tubs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Woodbridge Whirlpool Heated Soaking Bathtub 
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Woodbridge Contemporary Soaking Bathtub
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Kingston Brass Aqua Eden Cast Iron Pedestal Tub
  4. BEST LIMITED MOBILITY: Universal Tubs Builder’s Choice Walk-In Bathtub
  5. BEST CLAW-FOOT: Vanity Art Clawfoot Soaking Bathtub 
  6. BEST DROP-IN: Kohler Underscore Drop-In Bathtub
  7. BEST ROUND: Heatgene Round Contemporary Soaking Bathtub
The Best Soaking Tubs
Photo: istock.com


How We Chose the Best Soaking Tubs

After considering approximately two dozen of the best bathtubs for soaking, I found that these seven picks best represent a variety of options that can suit many bathrooms—all while delivering the luxury of soaker tubs. Those that made the list all come from respected manufacturers with a reputation for delivering high-quality products.

When compiling this list I looked at practical differences among soaking tubs, such as materials, styles, installation types, sizes, and water usage. In addition, I took into account extra comfort and mobility-assistance features such as heating elements, headrests, handrails, and the overall ergonomics of each tub. I then rated these models using manufacturer-supplied product information, research about available options, and user reviews.

Our Top Picks

When shopping for the best soaking tub consider the following selections. These products were chosen to meet a variety of needs and budgets. 

Best Overall

Woodbridge Whirlpool Heated Soaking Bathtub

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Product Specs 

  • Material: Acrylic
  • Dimensions: 72 inches long by 35.4 inches wide by 29.1 inches tall
  • Soaking depth: 14.5 inches
  • Capacity: 60 gallons

Pros

  • Water temperature control keeps bath warmer for longer
  • Features a combination of air bubble, whirlpool, and massage jets
  • Sleek style can suit a variety of bathroom decor
  • Easy-to-read LED control panel conducive to dimmer lighting
  • Option to mount faucet to deck

Cons

  • Professional installation required to maintain warranty
  • Not as deep as some soaking tubs
  • Variety of features add up to a higher cost

The Woodbridge Whirlpool bathtub is large enough to accommodate taller bathers and makes the experience even more relaxing with several extras. This soaking bath features lighting; a combination of air, whirlpool, and massage jets; and a heating element that will keep the bath water at a constant temperature of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The one-piece design eliminates crevices that can make two-piece bathtubs harder to clean. 

All of these great features do come at a higher price, so this bathtub is not exactly for the cost conscious. Plus, for all of these extra features, the Woodbridge is a bit shallow for a soaking tub. Still, its versatile design and bevy of features make this a top choice.

Get the Woodbridge Whirlpool soaking tub at Amazon, Wayfair, or Woodbridge.

Best Bang for the Buck

Woodbridge Contemporary Soaking Bathtub

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Product Specs 

  • Material: Acrylic
  • Dimensions: 59 inches long by 29.5 inches wide by 23.25 inches tall
  • Soaking depth: 14.5 inches
  • Capacity: 55 gallons

Pros

  • Insulated with fiberglass to maintain water temperature
  • 6 drain/overflow finishes available to complement a variety of decor
  • Made of scratch-,stain-, and fade-resistant acrylic
  • Slip-resistant texture on floor for extra safety

Cons

  • Not compatible with deck-mount faucet
  • Professional installation required or warranty is voided

Designed for easy maintenance and long-lasting good looks, the Woodbridge Contemporary soaking tub is made of scratch-,stain-, and fade-resistant acrylic. This nonporous material also discourages bacteria growth, making the tub easy to clean. While it doesn’t have a separate heating element to maintain water temperature, fiberglass insulates the tub walls to keep water comfortable.

On the downside, a separate tub filler will have to be used, as a deck mount faucet is not compatible with this model. Also, if not installed by a general contractor, the warranty can be voided. Despite these minor drawbacks, this tub provides the elegance of a freestanding soaking tub with finish options at an affordable price.

Get the Woodbridge Contemporary soaking tub at Amazon, Wayfair, or Woodbridge.

Upgrade Pick

Kingston Brass Aqua Eden Cast Iron Pedestal Tub

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Product Specs 

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Dimensions: 72 inches long by 31.9 inches wide by 23.6 inches tall
  • Soaking depth: 15.4 inches
  • Capacity: 72 gallons

Pros

  • Made of cast iron for exceptional durability and heat retention
  • Drilled holes for convenient deck-mount faucet
  • Symmetrically designed for the comfort of 2 people
  • Extra-long size fits taller bathers
  • Built-in base adjusters to ensure a perfect level

Cons

  • Weight of 542 pounds likely requires professional installation
  • Pricey, particularly for not having additional features

For those who prefer a traditional style, the Kingston Brass soaking tub offers the best of both worlds: a brand new tub with a vintage look. The size and design make this tub equally comfortable for a tall bather or a tub for two, while the nonporous cast-iron construction resists stains and retains heat. Plus, the pedestal includes base adjusters to help ensure even distribution of water.

The cast-iron construction ups the price on this tub—and the weight. This hefty tub may present delivery installation challenges, requiring the help of professionals. Overall, though, its classic design may well be worth it.

Get the Kingston Brass soaking tub at Amazon or Wayfair.

Best Limited Mobility

Universal Tubs Builder's Choice Walk-In Bathtub

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Product Specs 

  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Dimensions: 60 inches long by 30 inches wide by 37.25 inches tall
  • Soaking depth: 32 inches
  • Capacity: 75 gallons

Pros

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant seating, low threshold, grab bar, and slip-resistant flooring
  • Includes shower head, so there’s no need for a separate purchase
  • Can select drain on right or left side

Cons

  • Licensed contractors must install this tub

Universal Tubs Builder’s Choice walk-in soaking tub offers a plethora of features that make bathing easier. They include a 5.5-inch threshold, slip-resistant floor, a sturdy grab bar, and a contoured bench. The buyer can select right- or left-side doors that swing in or out. The shell comes with a 10-year warranty as well as a lifetime guarantee on the door’s watertight seal. 

Get the Universal Tubs soaking tub at The Home Depot.

Best Claw-Foot

Vanity Art Clawfoot Soaking Bathtub

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Product Specs 

  • Material: Acrylic
  • Dimensions: 68.9 inches long by 29.9 inches wide by 29.5 inches tall
  • Soaking depth: 16 inches
  • Capacity: 37 gallons

Pros

  • Leveling legs and included tube drain make for easier installation
  • High reclining wall on one end for great comfort
  • Fiberglass-insulated acrylic construction keeps water warmer longer

Cons

  • Height may make entrance a challenge for some

This claw-foot soaking tub makes a bold statement while retaining a classic style, complete with glossy white acrylic construction and chrome feet. The angled wall makes reclining comfortable, and the fiberglass-insulated acrylic construction helps retain heat. Installation is made easier by leveling legs and an included flexible tube drain that allows you to use existing plumbing. The claw-foot adds 6 inches to the height, so some users prefer to have stairs for an easier entrance.

Get the Vanity Art soaking tub at The Home Depot or Wayfair.

Best Drop-In

Kohler Underscore Drop-In Bathtub

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Product Specs 

  • Material: Acrylic
  • Dimensions: 66 inches long by 36 inches wide by 22 inches tall
  • Soaking depth: 17.75 inches
  • Capacity: 102 gallons

Pros

  • Sloped backrest for greater comfort
  • Available in 7 neutral color options
  • Also available in 60-inch length for smaller bathrooms
  • Sleek style easily blends into a variety of bathrooms
  • Ample water capacity to offer a floating feeling

Cons

  • Requires a frame and tub deck for installation
  • Large capacity may require a water heater upgrade

Not all soaker tubs are freestanding. For bathroom layouts more conducive to a drop-in tub, this Kohler option could be the perfect solution. It nestles easily into tub frames, allowing buyers to customize the look with a tub platform—though that adds to installation costs. A tub deck can also make entry easier, as users can sit on the deck before dipping in for a soak. The Kohler also features a comfortable sloped backrest, comes in a variety of colors, and has a substantial water capacity for a true soaking experience. (Buyers will want to ensure that their water heater can fill this soaking tub.)

Get the Kohler soaking tub at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.

Best Round

Heatgene Round Contemporary Soaking Bathtub

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Product Specs 

  • Material: Acrylic
  • Dimensions: 41 inches in diameter by 27.6 inches tall
  • Soaking depth: 20.3 inches
  • Capacity: 56.8 gallons

Pros

  • Made of stain- and scratch-resistant acrylic 
  • Compact footprint allows it to fit in almost any bathroom
  • Tub floor includes small seat for greater comfort
  • Requires less water than traditional soaker tubs

Cons

  • Too small for taller people
  • Some users note that it does not retain heat well

The Heatgene soaking tub is modeled similarly to the Japanese Ofuro tub, enabling it to fit even the smallest bathroom. This style focuses on water depth, not tub length. The Heatgene allows two seating options. On one side is a bench but, for a deeper soak, you can move to the opposite side of the tub and sit on the tub’s floor. Because this small soaking tub uses less water than larger ones, it can be more eco-friendly and is the perfect vessel for devotees of cold-water baths.

Get the Heatgene soaking tub at Amazon, Wayfair, or Heatgene.

Jump to Our Top Picks

The Best Soaking Tub
Photo: istock.com

What to Consider When Choosing a Soaking Tub

Soaker tubs are not just an indulgent way to unwind; they’re often the focal point of a modern bathroom, so there’s a lot to think about when shopping for the right one. 

Type

Because of their size, most soaking tubs are freestanding with a wall faucet or freestanding tub faucet. Freestanding tubs with showers are also an option. Fran Isaacson, owner and lead designer for Inspiration Kitchen and Bath in Skippack, Pennsylvania, has found that these stand-alone tubs are the most popular. “Most often our clients just want a plain soaking tub without any bells and whistles.”

Other types of bathtubs may fit next to bathroom walls. These include drop-ins, which are installed against one to three walls or into a tub deck frame; alcove bathtubs, which fit into three-wall recesses; and corner tubs that tend to be smaller and fit into a corner of the bathroom. 

For those with mobility issues, there are walk-in soaking tubs with doors, benches, and grab bars. If you are tight on space, the Japanese-style soaking tubs concentrate on depth rather than length for a sitting rather than a reclining experience.

Size

Size is the main difference between a soaking tub and a standard tub. A soaking tub has a water depth averaging 14 to 16 inches with some even deeper, compared to regular tubs with a water depth of 12 inches. Length and width can range from 60 inches long by 30 inches wide found in standard tubs up to 72 inches long by 42 inches wide. Increased bathtub size can add to the comfort of taller bathers as well making a tub for two possible. 

The increased height of soaking bathtubs can make entry awkward, so before purchasing a soaking tub, consider the bathroom size, door frames, stairs, and other challenges that may arise when moving the tub to its intended spot.

However, don’t assume that you don’t have enough room, either. Isaacson notes that homeowners who currently have “old-fashioned clunky tub decks” often underestimate the amount of space available in their bathroom. “Once [the tub deck] is removed and a free-standing tub is installed, it is amazing how much floor space opens up, and sometimes we can enlarge the shower at the same time,” she explains. 

Material 

Soaker tubs can be made of various materials, including fiberglass, acrylic, stone resin, stone, ceramic, cement, cast iron, and copper. The different materials result in a wide range of price points, colors, finishes, and effects. Some of the materials, including stone, cement, cast iron, and copper, are effective at retaining heat and maintaining water temperature. 

A combination of size, material, and increased water capacity can make some soaker tubs extremely heavy, requiring several people to move a tub. Some may require reinforced flooring.

Water Efficiency 

While a standard tub holds on average between 50 and 70 gallons of water, a deep soaking tub can hold up to 170 gallons. The increased size results in a longer wait while your soaker tub fills and increased energy costs to heat the water. Because many soaking tub materials effectively maintain water temperature, bathers are not as tempted to “top off” their bath with more water as their bath cools. But overall, soaker bathtubs use more water and energy than standard tubs.

FAQs  

Soaking tubs can add luxury to your bathroom, but you may still have some questions about choosing the right one for your home.

Q. Do soaking tubs require special plumbing?


Soaking tubs can use standard plumbing. Changes may be required, depending on where your plumbing is located and where you want to place your soaking tub.

Q. Can I install a soaking tub myself?


Even if you have plumbing knowledge, some warranties are voided if the tub is not installed by a professional. Even when that is not the case, consider the difficulties of moving a soaking tub, depending on its weight and size, before taking on this job.

Q. Are there any unexpected costs to installing a soaking tub?


If you use a professional, installation fees can total approximately $300 to $400 for a basic soak tub that uses existing plumbing. Most soaking tubs require you to purchase a freestanding or wall-mounted tub faucet. Some tubs may need a platform built around them or stairs to make entry easier. Heavier tubs may necessitate floor reinforcement to hold the increased weight. You may also need to upgrade your water heater to facilitate the large water capacity.

Q. Do soaking tubs fit in small bathrooms?


Yes, even with their increased depth, soaking tubs are available in a variety of lengths and widths, including Japanese-style tubs, standard-size alcove and drop-in tubs as well as angled tubs that can fit in a corner.

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Jodi Webb

Contributing Writer

Jodi M. Webb is a writer from northeastern Pennsylvania. She started working with the Bob Vila team in 2024. With the help of her husband John Tropp, a contractor for three decades, she writes about electrical work, gardening, landscaping, plumbing, and roofing.

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