Without an overflow drain, an infinity tub allows water to run over the rim of the bathtub into a surrounding channel on the floor. This creates a spa-like experience, especially when the infinity tubs also have air or water jets to provide further relaxation. But is an infinity bathtub worth it?
An infinity bathtub is worth it for those in the market for luxury bathing. Not only do they eliminate the worry of splashing water onto the floor, but they are longer than a typical bathtub, allowing the entire body to submerge and relax in an at-home spa-like experience.
Infinity bathtubs evoke and celebrate the Japanese bathtub called ofuro, where people soak up to their necks to relax. However, infinity tubs are much larger than traditional ofuro.
As a result, not all homes can provide the structural support these tubs require, and the cost is out of some people’s price range. But if you decide that an infinity bathtub is worth it for some people, but not for you, there are some amazing alternatives.
What Is an Infinity Bathtub?
An infinity bathtub is a large and luxurious freestanding tub that allows water to flow freely. While some infinity tubs are designed to be dropped into the floor, others rest on top of the floor.
Because of its 2.5 foot depth, bathers can fully submerge, while listening to the relaxing sounds of water streaming over the sides of the tub.
At the start of 2021, Kohler announced a revolutionary infinity bathtub: Infinity Experience Stillness Soaking Tub. The Japanese-style soaking experience allows users to operate the tub by voice command, provides options of chromotherapy, aromatherapy, and creates an atmospheric fog that hovers over the water.
As if this new infinity tub isn’t cool enough, the Stillness does not have a typical faucet. Instead, the bathtub fills from the bottom.
The Infinity Experience Stillness Soaking Tub with all the bells and whistles can be yours for $16,000. This model includes the cypress wood catchment surrounding the base of the bath creates a natural, soothing soundscape as the water flows in. However, you can also get a version of the tub for $8,000, without the mist or LED lights.
How Does An Infinity Bathtub Work?
Infinity bathtubs work with rim-flow technology. Water is allowed to overflow and is captured by a surrounding channel. This water is reheated and pumped back into the tub, so you won’t catch a chill during your soak.
Many infinity bathtubs are marketed to those looking for a luxury freestanding tub. However, there are infinity bathtubs that work in a corner or against a wall. These tend to have the catchment for the overflow only a few inches from the rim.
Since an infinity tub is usually freestanding, our buying guide for how to pick the right freestanding tub can help you weigh your options.
How Much Does an Infinity Bathtub Cost?
You can find infinity tubs for $2,000-$25,000 and up, especially if you are custom designing your model.
But let’s take a look at some of the more affordable infinity bathtubs:
1. Jetted Sea Spa Infinity Tub by Whirlpool
This infinity bath is FAR more affordable than Kohler’s Stillness. The hydrotherapy tub is made of acrylic and reinforced with fiberglass. The water flows over the edge into an immediate surrounding channel at a similar height to the rim. But it still provides the advantages of minimizing splashing onto the floor.
2. Endless Flow by Atlantis
Atlantis Whirlpools has an Endless Flow with 37 air bubble jets complete with a heater. The 50 X 86 X 40 in tub is acrylic and comes pre-leveled. (Read more about air tubs here.) Use essential oils to create a transcendent sensory experience with this infinity tub.
Can You Get An Infinity Bathtub/Shower Combo?
You won’t typically find a bath/shower combo in Japan, because the bath and the shower have two distinct purposes: the shower is for cleaning, while the bath is for relaxation.
However, if you really want to combine a shower with an infinity bathtub, you can. This works best when the infinity tub is positioned against a wall, in a corner, or in an alcove to provide a mount for the shower.
To get a better idea of potential positioning for a shower and bathtub combo, take a look at our guide on the various bathtub types available.
4 Pros of an Infinity Bathtub
For those wishing for a luxurious bathing experience, there are many reasons you might find an infinity bathtub worth it. Here are some of those reasons:
Infinity Bathtubs Are Gorgeous
Infinity bathtubs are gorgeous to look at, regardless if they are flush with the floor or raised above. The design options are endless. Take a look at many stunning examples in the video above.
Infinity Bathtubs Eliminate Splashing
Infinity bathtubs eliminate the worry of having the tub filled right up to the brim. Regardless if you reach for your e-reader, a glass of wine, or even your partner, the water can spill over the sides without any stress. It is made to overflow without mess for the ultimate relaxing bathing experience.
Infinity Bathtubs Are Relaxing
Infinity bathtubs are incredibly relaxing, even if you don’t have a model that comes with its own light system, fog, and aromatherapy dispenser. It is like finding your own natural hot spring-fed pools in your own home. But this hot-springs pool is cleaner than the one you’d find in a forest, plus it often will have hydrotherapy air or water jets. Many infinity tubs also come with special neck support to ensure you are fully relaxed.
Infinity Bathtubs Allow Unobstructed Views
No matter if you have a view of the mountains, the city, or even your bathroom decor, the infinity bathtub is as unobtrusive as an infinity pool. Its clean aesthetic makes it a decorator’s dream, easily blending with your personal style.
4 Cons of an Infinity Bathtub
While infinity bathtubs are undeniably gorgeous and relaxing, that doesn’t mean they are perfect. Here are a few cons to consider:
Infinity Bathtubs Are Expensive
Even if you buy a cheaper model, under two thousand dollars, there are still the installation costs and the water bill to consider. The price of the bathtub does not always include the shipping or the pump, either.
Even after you’ve bought the tub and paid for the installation, there are still the running costs to consider. These bathtubs use a lot of water and require electricity to run the pump and keep the water from cooling.
Infinity Bathtubs Require a Lot of Structural Support
Infinity bathtubs need a lot more structural support than your average bathtub. A typical bathtub holds between 30 to 42 gallons of water. However, infinity models often hold at least twice that amount. Then there is the weight and space required for the pump, heating, and rim-flow system.
Depending on the age and style of the home, it could take a lot of remodeling to provide enough floor support for such a bathtub. For this reason, sometimes it’s better to consider alternatives.
Infinity Bathtubs Require a Lot of Water
If you live in an area prone to droughts or with limits set on a household’s water usage, then an infinity bathtub may not be the best option. Again, these bathtubs use a lot of water, easily twice as much as a standard bathtub, and unlike a hot tub or a pool, they are drained after every use.
If you do live in a water-stressed area, but you really have your heart set on an infinity tub, consider reusing your bath’s gray water to do laundry or water your garden. You can get a special tank to make this possible. Read all about how to reuse bath water here.
Infinity Bathtubs Require Significant Space
Infinity bathtubs take up space. The rectangular ones are longer than your average bathtub, between 6-8 feet long, to allow for the entire body to be submerged. While that sounds like heaven, some homes do not have that kind of space, even with remodeling.
There is also the extra width involved in the rim-flow drainage system. Regardless if it cascades gently over the side into the floor or has a catchment into the built-in base, this eats up extra room that your home might not have to spare. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a luxury bath to suit your smaller floor plan.
Alternatives to an Infinity Bathtub
If an infinity bathtub is not worth it to you (whether due to price or water usage or another reason), there are some luxury alternatives. These include Japanese soaking tubs and jetted tubs with air and/or water jets that can provide a relaxing experience while looking beautiful.
Ofuro tubs, for example, are wonderful space savers. They were traditionally made of wood, some resembling half a barrel. Many of these contained a stool or seat, allowing a much more upright bathing experience. Today they are available in a variety of materials.
Since traditionally the ofuro is for soaking, not for cleaning your body, the water from the tub is not drained immediately. Instead, it is kept for the next person to use after their shower and sometimes reused later for laundry or watering plants. In this manner, it is a very water-friendly way to relax and luxuriate in a good soak.
Soluna Copper Japanese Style Soaking Tub
The Soluna Copper Japanese Style Soaking Copper Bathtub is an excellent alternative for those wanting a more ofuro experience. The 158-gallon soaking tub costs a little over five thousand dollars and comes in four finishes: cafe natural, dark smoke, matte copper, and Rio Grande (a textured, smoky black).
This elegant and clean copper design is perfect for smaller bathrooms without sacrificing depth and comfort. It is also great for people who do better in a sitting bathing position but don’t want the top half of their body chilling in the air.
Empava Freestanding Air Jets Bathtub
The Empava Freestanding Air Jets Bathtub is a perfect choice for those that want a more affordable ofuro style but still crave the relaxation air jets bring. The white acrylic tub is under fifteen hundred dollars and is 32 inches deep. It comes with a handheld showerhead, 48 pinholes to release the air bubbles, and it holds 55 gallons.
DKB Dylan Jetted Tub
The DKB Dylan Jetted Whirlpool Tub holds 77 gallons. It has a hydro-massage system with 14 Whirlpool jets and air bubble infusion settings. The tub fills from the bottom, eliminating the need for a faucet.
While the tub does not have a heater, users report that it holds heat very well, providing plenty of time to soak in peace.
So Is an Infinity Bathtub Worth It?
Whether an infinity tub is worth it to you, depends on how much you crave and value a luxury bathing experience and how much disposable income you can part with to achieve it.
But keep in mind, a luxury bathing experience can have health benefits too. A hot bath is proven to reduce stress, improve sleep, decrease joint pain and more. (Read 20 Hot Bath Benefits for Mind, Body and Soul).
If you weigh the preventive mental and physical health benefits you might attain with your infinity tub against the doctor’s appointments you may need to endure, you can certainly convince yourself to take the plunge!
Buying a bathtub is an incredibly personal choice. Only you can decide if an infinity bathtub is worth it. That said, it’s best not to follow trends and instead purchase the bathtub that best fits you and your needs, be it a sleek and modern infinity or a cozy ofuro.
Be sure to see my detailed guide to help you through the process of finding your perfect tub.