A Soaker Tub Will Perfect Your Bath Night—If You Have the Space

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated November 29, 2021
A black vintage freestanding soaker tub
brizmaker - stock.adobe.com


  • A soaker tub allows for a deeper bath experience for full submersion

  • Its measurements are longer, wider, and deeper to hold more water

  • Some models of soaker tubs cost more than traditional designs

  • A soaker tub can elevate the design of your bathroom, if you have enough space to accommodate it

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Bathtime is making a comeback, and the timing is no great surprise. With comfort-focused home renovations skyrocketing, the idea of a long luxurious bubble bath became pretty appealing. But what, exactly, is a soaker tub and how does it compare to the traditional model?

What Is a Soaker Tub?

A soaker tub—also known as a soaking tub—is exactly as it sounds: a luxuriously deep bathtub that allows you to fully submerge in the water. In other words, you don't have to awkwardly swivel your chilly knees to keep them warm. You'll find both freestanding soaker tub models as well those set within a traditional shower/tub combo. 

While deep tubs have been around for over a century, soaking tubs—particularly freestanding ones—have made a comeback in the past several years. Since you need a larger bathroom to make room for the standalone design, it's not only a comfort item, but a symbol of luxury and style. For this reason, you may see these spa-like additions popping up in more real estate posts.

Here are a few more details to give you the full picture.

Soaker Tub Design Elements

Soaker tubs have higher sides, pitched steeply on either side to encourage that deep immersion. The tubs average 23 inches in height, 4 inches higher than a traditional tub. 

While this may not sound like a huge leap, take a look at the width, which extends between 60 and 72 inches. Some tubs—made for two—can reach up to 90 inches. Compare this to a traditional tub that measures only 60 inches in length. Soaker tubs traditionally hold between 60 and 250 gallons of water, compared to an average of 42 gallons in a traditional tub.

Soaker tubs also come in a wide range of styles. You can choose from:

  • Vintage claw-foot tubs

  • Pedestal-style tub

  • Circular, oval, or rectangular tubs

  • Tubs with asymmetrical sides

  • One- or two-person models

  • Recessed tubs set in a shower combo

Common Soaker Tub Materials

Soaker tubs typically come in the same materials as traditional tubs, balancing heat retention, style, and, of course, the price tag. Your tub material will also dictate how to clean and care for it correctly. They may be made of:

  • Acrylic

  • Fiberglass

  • Porcelain

  • Stainless steel

  • Cast iron

  • Stone

  • Copper

  • Wood

  • Glass

While acrylic and fiberglass tubs are two of the most common choices, you'll spot a few unique materials on this list. Wood soaking tubs provide a natural and rustic soaking experience while stone tubs blend seamlessly with a marble bathroom.

How Much Does a Soaker Tub Cost?

A modern minimalistic space with a soaker tub
peshkov - stock.adobe.com

According to HomeAdvisor, soaking tubs cost an average of $1,000, but the range is quite wide. You'll find simple acrylic soaking tubs for as low as $600 while unique materials like wood, glass, or stone could cost over $10,000. For comparison, traditional tubs can cost as low as $400.

The total cost to remove your old tub, waterproof the surrounding area, and install the new design can range anywhere from $750 to $20,000. The final price will also come down to whether your soaker tub falls within a larger bathroom remodel, such as upgrading your tiles, fixtures, or shower doors. To get started, you'll want to find an excellent remodeling contractor with experience in bathroom design.

Regular Tub vs. Soaker Tub

Let's put the two main types of tubs side-by-side. Sure, the size is the major difference, but factors like price, use, and bathroom requirements also play a role.

  • Soaker tubs are deeper, longer, and wider than most regular tubs

  • Soaker tubs hold up to 250 gallons, while regular ones hold up to 42

  • Soaker tubs are more expensive than traditional tubs

  • Soaker tubs do not typically have jets, but do on occasion

  • You are more likely to find freestanding soaker tubs, unlike the traditional shower-and-tub traditional combination

  • Soaker tubs are more ideal for adults due to their depth

  • Soaker tubs are more often associated with relaxation and lounging than simple bathing

All this being said, both types of tubs are highly customizable. They come in a range of materials, feature a variety of fixture styles, and insulate water just as well.

Is a Soaker Tub Right for Your Home?

Choosing the best bathtub for your home is not just about fulfilling your bubble-bath-and-room-full-of-candles daydream, though that is a huge part of it. A bathtub is one of the largest items in your bathroom renovation, both when it comes to physical size and price. It should go without saying that the investment is best for someone who enjoys a long soak in the tub after a long day.

But is a soaker tub worth the extra investment? For one, it seems that freestanding tubs in general are here to stay when it comes to bathroom trends. And spa-like features are a major focus on the National Kitchen and Bath Association's trend report for 2021. Soaker tubs fall into both of these categories, making them a great addition to your current home or a home you're about to sell.

We will say that the biggest deterrent of a soaker tub is space. You will need more room for a longer, wider, and deeper tub, especially if you buy a freestanding model. A tub should streamline the layout of your bathroom, so be sure you have space to get in and out of the tub safely. 

Also keep in mind that soaker tubs require more hot water—so expect a higher water and heating bill if you plan to take a nightly dip.

If a soaker tub is calling your name, work with a bathtub replacement team near you. Replacing a traditional tub with a soaking or freestanding model requires an experienced eye and a designer that can transform your bubble-bath vision into a reality.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.