19 Products That Can Make Showering Easier If You Have a Chronic Illness or Disability
For the average person, taking a warm, luxurious shower might be one of the best parts of the day. However, what many people consider a brief, everyday activity can actually be one of the most challenging chores for those with chronic illness.
Standing in the shower, picking up bottles of soap and shampoo and scrubbing your entire body can quickly lead to fatigue, dizziness and pain. Often, these tasks don’t all get done in one go, and they certainly don’t happen every single day. Just know that if showering is difficult for you, you are not alone.
To help those who struggle with showering, we asked our Mighty community to share which products they use to help make showering easier with a chronic illness. Here are their recommendations.
1. Shower Seat
Whether you struggle with fatigue, chronic pain or dizziness, having a place to sit can make showering so much easier. It can also be helpful for propping up your legs to shave or scrubbing hard-to-reach parts of your body.
Normala DeLaney told us, “Shower chairs or stools. I can’t stand up long enough to finish showering even on medium pain days so my shower stool is a lifesaver. Great for shaving legs without too much bending. I also love it on pain days when I just needed a hot shower on my back to relax it and all I do is just sit under it till I feel better.”
“My shower seat!” said Samantha Rubin. “Wouldn’t make it out alive without it! It doesn’t get any better than being able to sit when I need to yet I’m still able to do what I need to…wash hair, face, etc. Showers have always been a major challenge for me as fainting is very common for me, especially when I get hot. I used to dread showering but my helpful friend lets me take breaks and doesn’t let me stand that long so I’ll take it!”
Buy the shower seat above for $36.99 from Amazon.
2. Pump Bottles
Buying large bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap is often cheaper in terms of price per ounce, but they can be heavy, awkward and slippery to handle in the shower. Try filling a few pump bottles with your favorite bath products – that way you don’t have to expend precious spoons on lifting and prying open the lids of regular bottles.
Janey Grover wrote, “I use push pump shower gels, shampoo and conditioner bottles. It’s so much easier on ouchie mornings with stiff, achey hands. Having to squeeze bottles is hard. Now I can just push down the dispenser and hey, presto! So much easier.”
Buy the pump bottles above for $6.77 from Amazon.
3. Shower Water Filter
If you are sensitive to chemicals or odors, a water filter can help purify the water in your shower by removing chlorine, heavy metals, sulfur odor, bacteria and sediment, making the water feel “softer.”
“Shower head that filters chlorine out,” recommended Sarah Langer. “I’m chemically sensitive, and the chlorine in the water makes my skin painful and tender, and it hurts to breathe in the steam. The filter has helped calm all those problems down to a minor and tolerable level!”
Buy the shower filter above for $32.99 from Amazon.
4. Dove Shower Foam
This foam body wash makes it super easy to lather up your skin with minimal effort and minimal scrubbing. Plus it comes in a pump bottle – so you don’t have to deal with lifting or holding it in the shower.
Alison Wonderland said, “My Dove brand shower foam…so much gentler against my skin than a washcloth or loofah! Sometimes I’m so sensitive that the water stream hurts…this foam has made it so much better.”
Buy the shower foam above for $11.66 from Amazon.
5. 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner
Washing your hair can be exhausting, painful or even cause dizziness from keeping your arms elevated. Instead of going through the motions twice, try using a 2-in-1 product to combine shampooing and conditioning.
Tawnie Ashley wrote, “I occasionally like to use 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners to save time/energy.”
Buy the shampoo/conditioner above for $13.94 from Amazon.
6. Non-Slip Bath Mat
Showers can be dangerously slippery whether you’re sick or healthy – but for those who have conditions that cause you to struggle with balance or dizziness, a non-slip bath mat can be extremely helpful (and keep you safe!).
Cindy Sink Kepley recommended, “A shower mat not only on the floor of the tub but placed over the side so it isn’t slippery.”
Buy the bath mat above for $11.92 from Amazon.
7. Spa Gloves
Wearing a pair of these gloves while showering (or bathing) means you can scrub and exfoliate your hands as well as the rest of the body – without having to hold on to a sponge or loofah.
Chailine Markey said, “They exfoliate, make it easier to grip even when soapy and are under $2 at most Big Lots and dollar stores. These have been the biggest help for me with my rheumatoid-arthritis-damaged hands.”
Buy the gloves above (four pairs) for $7.45 from Amazon.
8. Soap Dispenser
Similar to pump bottles, a soap dispenser is another great alternative to lifting heavy bottles in the shower. One benefit of the dispenser is you can attach it to the wall in your shower at whatever height works best for you, so you don’t have to bend over to access it.
Michelle MyBelle told us, “I couldn’t live without a liquid soap dispenser like this one [featured above]. No more bending down or struggling to pick up and open several different bottles with each shower. It’s installed at just the right height for me.”
Buy the dispenser above for $19.99 from Amazon.
9. Grip Bars
If you struggle with exhaustion, dizziness or balance, installing several grip bars in your shower can help keep you safe and prevent accidents or injuries. Bars that suction onto the wall (like the one above) can easily be moved or even packed for travel.
Jordan Lum said, “I highly recommend having the [grip] bars. Those have been lifesavers for me when I’ve almost fallen down or slipped!”
“I put in a [grip] bar and it’s priceless! It keeps me from falling backwards when I rinse my hair. My balance is terrible now!” added Jennifer Strickland Deese.
Buy the grip bar above for $15.48 from Amazon.
10. Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath Wash
Just because the label says “baby” doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy this bath wash, too! It is gentle and has calming aromas that can help you relax.
Jill Kessler said, “[I] use the Johnson’s baby soothing aromatherapy wash as it helps with headaches.”
Buy the wash above for $4.88 from Amazon.
11. Microfiber Washcloths
If you have chronic pain or sensitive skin, it can be difficult to find towels that aren’t too hard or scratchy. Microfiber tends to be very soft, which would be especially helpful for washing your face or other sensitive areas.
“Microfiber washcloths are very soft and don’t hurt my sensitive complex regional pain syndrome skin as much as normal ones do,” said Sally Rolfe.
Buy the washcloths above (set of 7) for $9.99 from Amazon.
12. Razor With Grip Handle
For those who struggle with muscle control or weakness, handling a razor (especially when it’s wet and slippery in the shower) can be a challenge. A large grip handle can make the razor much easier to hold onto.
Deborah Furniss said she uses razors with large grip handles so she doesn’t drop them.
Buy the razor and grip handle above for $14.95 from Amazon.
13. Adjustable and Detachable Shower Head
Having a shower head that is both adjustable and detachable can be helpful in a variety of ways for those with chronic illness. If you are sitting down on a shower seat, you can slide the shower head down so it is just above you, rather than being several feet higher. Detaching it gives you more control over where the water hits you.
Khana Kassandra Carvajal said, “[A] handheld shower head is life. Allows me to get a quick cleaning when I don’t have the energy but really need to shower.”
“Adjustable shower head,” Jill DeVol told us. “They make ones that slide up and down so you can take an actual real shower sitting down with normal water pressure. I had one in my college dorm and I’m dying to get one at home.”
April Less told us she uses a shower head with a lower shower head that can reach her while she’s sitting.
Buy the shower head above for $58.99 from Amazon.
14. Swivel Shower Chair
A swivel shower chair not only allows you to sit down during your shower, but you can also easily rotate to be in or out of the stream of water and reach bath products at both ends.
Amber Roth said, “I’ve got a swivel shower chair and a shower head that detaches. There are days where I’ve subluxed joints, including ribs, just getting out of bed. So everything from washing my hair to shaving is exhausting. The chair allows me to at least halfway relax and swivel around instead of shifting my weight too much and stressing painful areas.”
Buy the swivel chair above for $145.00 from Amazon.
15. Long-Handled Loofah
If you struggle to wash certain spots of your body due to chronic pain, hypermobility, stiffness, etc., a long-handled loofah might make those areas a bit easier to reach.
Diana Estell Butler wrote, “[I use] my shower poof/loofah attached to a long stick, since my arms don’t work well and I can’t reach most of my torso.”
Buy the loofah above for $8.49 from Amazon.
16. Shower Caddy
For many with chronic illness, bending over or reaching up to access your bath products can be painful or trigger other symptoms, such as dizziness – which can be dangerous when you’re in the shower. If you’re searching for a shower caddy, make sure to find one that keeps all your products at an accessible height.
“I am all about not falling!” said Tawnie Ashley. “Shower caddies are great for keeping everything at an easily accessible height and preventing slip risk.”
Buy the shower caddy above for $19.91 from Amazon.
17. LUSH Shampoo Bars
These shampoo bars from LUSH offer a smaller and easier to handle alternative to big bottles of liquid shampoo. They are packed with essential oils and are supposed to last for up to 80 washes.
Jacinta Howells told us, “LUSH hard shampoo. Froths quick and easy and no need for conditioner. Helps my dry scalp too. And it lasts ages!”
Melissa Mansell also recommended, “LUSH just brought out a solid shower gel, I find it so easy to use. I can just grab it, rub some of it on, lather with a shower puff and let it rinse off. It makes a massive difference not having to mess around picking up and opening bottles!”
Buy the shampoo bar above for $21.43 from Amazon.
18. Hand Towels
If large, bath towels are difficult for you to use due to pain or limited mobility, a hand towel (or a few!) might be a more manageable option.
Kim Hobbs-Paolino said, “I use a small towel to dry off. A regular size is too heavy for my hands and the hand towel is easer to maneuver.”
Buy the hand towels above (set of six) for $24.50 from Amazon.
19. Water Pressure Regulator
While some might find a shower with high pressure helps them relax and feel better, others might prefer low pressure if they have chronic pain or sensitive skin. Either way, installing a water pressure regulator can help make sure your shower is at the perfect setting for you.
Tiffanie Burrows wrote, “Water flow regulator. If the water pressure is too high it really hurts my skin. My boyfriend likes high water pressure. This has a little lever that you can move to allow more or less water pressure. Easy to install and use. And pretty inexpensive, too.”
Buy the pressure regulator above for $14.99 from Amazon.
Have a product you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below!