Elderly people can have a difficult time bathing independently. A great addition to grab bars in a bathroom are the use of non-slip bath mats. They can help to prevent falls and make bath times (or showering) safer and more comfortable.
While we usually recommend removing throw rugs throughout the house, there is one room that really needs to have a safer, non-slip mat for seniors to stand on and that’s in the bathroom. When using or exiting the shower or bath tub, wet surfaces and wet feet can be just as big of a slipping problem for seniors as tripping on a throw rug.
The solution to this is to use a bath mat with a non-slip surface for your elderly parents – both in the shower or tub and on the floor outside of it.
To illustrate: my dad nearly fell in his shower one day because he wasn’t using a bath mat. He sat on the shower bench and lathered up his feet with soap.
Not thinking, he stood up to get closer to the water so he could rinse his feet and ended up skidding halfway across the shower stall. Luckily he didn’t fall. But it wouldn’t have been an issue if he’d had a bath mat on the floor.
Whether it’s a bath mat or a shower mat – it’s an extremely inexpensive addition to your bathroom that can literally save your life.
NOTE – to be an anti-slip mat, it must be put down on the tub or shower floor before the water is run. If water is already present, some of the suction cups may not contact the floor’s surface, which means they won’t stick.
One issue that some non-slip bath mats for elderly face is that they don’t work well on smooth surfaces. This can be a problem if you have bathroom tiles or another type of flooring in your bathroom that doesn’t have a lot of texture.
If you’re looking for a mat that will work on slippery surfaces, a great option is one that has suction cups on the bottom. This will help to keep it in place, no matter what type of flooring you have.
One of the most important features to look for in a bath mat, especially if you are elderly or have balance issues, is slip resistance. A mat that is slip resistant will help to prevent falls and injuries in the bathroom.
Full Length Anti-Slip Bath Mats
It is important to get a mildew-resistant bath mat that won’t peel over time. One good choice that we recommend is the No-Skid Vinyl Cushioned Mat from Briggs Healthcare.
If you need a large size mat, consider this long (about 40″ long) one. It provides more floor coverage.
Additionally, it has drainage holes throughout, plus multiple suction cup on the underside to help it stay in place. You need to have a lot of suction cups so the mat doesn’t slide when it gets water underneath it.
Best Non-Slip Bath Mats For Seniors
Because some suction-cup mats don’t stick to the floor as well once they get water underneath them, one non-slip mat we really like is the Gorilla Grip Original Patented Shower Stall Mat (pictured here).
This mat actually features 324 suction cups and is one of the best options available!
Do keep in mind that mats with suction cups are only able to attach to smooth surfaces. If you have a textured surface on your tub or shower floor, you want a mat specifically made to accommodate for that.
We’ve got our favorites listed in the next section below.
The Gorilla Grip mat (check price online) is easy to clean, mildew resistant, and BPA free.
It is also machine washable, which is helpful for removing soap scum and buildup from other products that happens over time.
This one is also nice because it has drain holes and is 35 inches long, so it covers quite a lot of the shower or tub floor.
Best Non-Slip Shower Mats For Textured Surface
Some of the best non-slip mats are made out of natural rubber. Rubber mats are perfect for showers and bathtubs and bathroom floors with a textured surface.
Some of the best shower mats have a textured surface to prevent slipping, are made of durable materials like rubber or PVC, and are easy to clean. These mats provide extra traction and can help hold an older adult in place, preventing a fall.
The solution to having a shower or tub with a refinished or textured surface is to use a safe, non slip bath mat for your elderly parents – both in the shower or tub and on the floor outside of them.
The Original Refinished Bathtub Mat is made of 100% rubber. It’s specifically designed for resurfaced tubs or textured tile floors where suction cups can’t stick. This makes it an excellent choice if you don’t have a smooth surface to put your mat on.
Since the mat does not have suction cups, instead it uses a “reverse” suction cup design. This means that the pressure of your feet and your body weight hold it in place when you use it.
One drawback to this mat is that it is really heavy because it’s made of rubber. That may make it difficult for an elderly person to lift it up to drain it or hang it to dry.
How To Clean Your Bath Mats
For a long time, people have been using bath mats to prevent slipping in the shower. However, some mats can be difficult to clean and may not last as long as others. If you are considering purchasing a bath mat, be sure to read the instructions on how to care for it. This will help you prolong the life of your mat and keep it looking new.
If you have a washing machine, you can usually use it to wash your bathroom mat. Just be sure to put it on the delicate cycle and use cold water. You may also want to hang it up to dry or lay it flat to prevent mildew from growing.
Of course, you can also clean it with your hands and some mild detergent.