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10 of the best baby baths, bathtubs and seats for bathtime fun

A good baby bath or bath support can take the stress out of bath time for you and your baby. Here’s our pick of the best baby bathtubs and bath seats to buy this year.

By Kim Gregory | Last updated Apr 20, 2023

Best baby bathtubs

If you’re pregnant, a baby bath may well feature somewhere on your newborn essentials list. You can certainly get by without one (and many parents have), but first-time parents often say they find a bath or bath seat useful for taking the worry out of handling a slippery baby. The best baby baths will allow your baby to enjoy bath time as they'll be able to freely play and relax in the water - and you’ll, in turn, enjoy it more too.

Shopping for baby products can feel overwhelming, and when it comes to products like bathtubs which have a safety element involved, it gets stressful. Here at Mumsnet we've been dedicated to making parents' lives easier for over 20 years - that's why we do the research for you, so you can make an informed decision without the stress. We've vetted everything from the best breast pumps to the best baby bottles, as well as baby essentials like the best changing bags and sippy cups

There’s no reason why a bath time routine can’t be established from very early on in a child’s life. Our babies spent nine months growing and developing in water and having a bath can have a very calming effect on even the youngest of children. Just remember to always check the water temperature before you put your child into the bath, never leave your child alone for long periods of time, use a non-slip bath mat and wipe up any floor puddles straight away. And, of course, enjoy it! 

There is a huge range of baby baths, tubs and supports on the market so we’ve done the legwork for you, to find the best at every price point and for every lifestyle, to help you pick the right model. We’ve included recommendations of baths for tiny bathrooms, baths for homes with no bath at all, baths for travel, and even blow-up baths, so we think you’ll find the right option for you and your family here.

These are the best baby baths to buy. 

Mumsnet HQ's Best Baths for Babies

1. Best overall baby bath: Shnuggle baby bath

Shnuggle Baby Bath

Price on writing: £21.99  | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Traditional baby bathtub | Suitable from: Birth to 12 months | Dimensions: 40 X 60 X 30cm

What we love 

  • Lightweight
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Baby can stay upright

What to know

  • It doesn’t fold to store, like some others
  • Possibly too large for some smaller sinks
  • If you have the Shnuggle bath stand, please be aware of this safety notice 

What Mumsnet users say 

"The Shnuggle is great, especially in winter because you can fill it up deep enough to keep baby warm but using very little water (so it fills in seconds and is light to lift)" - recommended by Mumsnet user, FizzingWhizzbee123

Our verdict 

Award-winning and incredibly popular with Mumsnetters, the Shnuggle offers something a little different to most baby baths. This award-winning product is somewhere between a bucket-style and a traditional slipper-style bath – the best of both worlds, in fact! If a bucket bath feels odd but you want your baby to remain largely upright (perhaps if they have colic) and to feel snug and secure, this is the happy medium. The foam back rest is soft and warm for comfort and it has a nifty ‘bum bump’ - rather than a seat - on the base, so they can’t slide downwards. When they are tiny they can recline in it; as they get older they can sit. 

It’s very lightweight and has a plug, so if you’re using it in the bath or sink you can let the water out. It can just as easily be used on the nursery floor or wherever your baby is happiest being bathed, and the rubber feet mean it stays steady on any surface. The Shnuggle holds two litres so it’s a great water-saver. It’s still light enough to carry even when full and its compact size means the water can come right up to your baby’s shoulders.

2. Best budget baby bath: IKEA Lättsam Baby Bath

IKEA Lättsam Baby Bath

Price on writing: £9.50 | Buy now from IKEA

Key specs

Type: Classic baby bathtub | Suitable from: Not stated | Dimensions: 71 x 43 x 24cm

What we love 

  • Amazing price 
  • Simple, solid design
  • Rubber base and textured bottom

What to know

  • No frills or fancy features 
  • Quite big to store 

What Mumsnet users say 

“I got the IKEA Baby Bath and we got loads of use out of it. It's hardly expensive, plus a washing-up bowl isn't really the right shape for them when lying down” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Jinglejanglefish

Our verdict 

Go ahead and show this product to anyone who’s telling you not to bother with the expense of a baby bath: at £9, they can’t argue. Yes, you can just use a washing-up bowl. But for a couple of pounds more, you can have this - something actually made for its job with a simple, solid design. 

Don’t expect any frills or fancy features. But you will find a rubber base to stop the bath from moving around on the floor, and a textured bottom to prevent your baby from sliding around inside. You can usually wipe it clean with a soft, damp cloth and it’s a good size, so should last up until your child is around two years old if you need it to. Talk about value! 

3. Best baby bath for comfort: Angelcare Soft Touch Bath Support

Angelcare Soft Touch Bath Support

Price on writing: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Bath support | Suitable from: Birth to 6 months | Dimensions: 33.5 x 58.5 X 22.5cm 

What we love 

  • Small and lightweight
  • Leaves you hands-free for wash and play 
  • Comfy hammock made of rubber mesh for baby

What to know 

  • Uses a lot of water
  • Only for under-6-month-olds

What Mumsnet users say 

‘Angelcare bath support is brilliant. It fits in the bath, drys quickly and you don't have to hold them in place and try and bath them at the same time’ - recommended by Mumsnet user, Theruffles

Our verdict 

The ergonomically-designed Angelcare Soft Touch is a bath support rather than a tub. This means it sits directly in your full-sized bath with the water at the desired level. Nicely, it has a comfy hammock for your baby to lie in made of a mildew-resistant rubber mesh that feels warm to touch. It gently cradles your baby’s whole body, leaving their legs free to kick away in the water. You’ll be hands-free too, as your baby is completely supported, so you can wash and play easily - more fun for both of you!

When you’re finished, this bath support rinses easily and you can hang it by its hook to dry. Some parents have complained that the design of the support and the low water fill line makes it seem like baby is sitting in a puddle. And as it’s only suitable up to around six months, it’s not a product you’ll be using for very long. Still, we like that it’s easy, lightweight and - most of all - comfortable. 

4. Best foldable baby bath: Stokke Flexi Bath

Stokke Flexi Bath

Price on writing: £38 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Collapsible baby bathtub | Suitable from: Birth to 4 years | Dimensions

H35 x W24 x L66cm | Extras: Newborn insert

What we love 

  • Folds down for easy storage and travel 
  • Grows with your child
  • Heat sensitive plug

What to know

  • Quite expensive but we think good value 

What Mumsnet users say 

“I have the flex bath, it's great, we don't have a bath, just a shower and are low on space, so it was a godsend for us as it folds down. Still in use now at two years old” - recommended by Mumsnet user, DeadButDelicious

Our verdict

You read that right: this bath can fold flat! There’s plenty of room for splashing and playing but, once emptied, it folds down like a cardboard box to be neatly tucked away. Tidy-lovers, rejoice! 

You can buy a newborn insert with the bath, which acts as a sling for your baby to lie in, leaving your hands free. A plug means you can empty the Flexi easily if you’ve used it in a bath or shower tray; and the plug is heat-sensitive so will change colour to warn you if the water is too hot (but always check yourself). Mumsnet users say it’s very handy for camping and holidays too. Though it’s more expensive than others on our list, we think it’s great value as your little one can grow with it. 

5. Best baby bath insert: Skip Hop Moby Smart Sling Three-Stage Tub

Skip Hop Moby Smart Sling Three-Stage Tub

Price on writing: £45.45 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Bathtub with sling insert | Suitable from: Birth to 6 months+ | Dimensions: 70 x 48 x 29

What we love

  • Fun design
  • Three-stage = grows with your child
  • Hands-free sling insert for newborn

What to know 

  • Quite small so not loads of play room
  • Whale-themed accessories available to buy separately, such as a hair rinser

What Mumsnet users say 

“This has a mesh bit for your baby to lie in until they can sit up. So they're in the water but supported, and you have your hands free” - recommended by Mumsnet user, WeaselMcWeasel

Our verdict 

We love the look of this whale-themed baby bath and we reckon your child will too. Popular brand Skip Hop offer this fun bath that grows with your child in three stages. At newborn stage, there’s a mesh sling insert for your baby to lie back in, leaving you hands-free. As they are growing and learning to sit, the sling rolls into a cushioned seat. Once they’re able to sit unaided, remove the insert completely for room to splash and play!

A plug makes emptying the tub easy if you’ve used it in the bath or shower tray. Handily, it’s very lightweight and compact so can be used almost anywhere. Be aware that some parents have complained that the safety stickers are on the inside of the bath and become messy when they disintegrate and leave a sticky residue. 

6. Best baby bath seat: Angelcare Soft Touch Baby Bath Seat

angelcare baby bath seat

Price on writing: £24.99 | Buy now from John Lewis 

Key specs

Type: Bath seat | Suitable from: 6 months, when the child can sit unaided | Dimensions: H12.6 x W33.6 x D33cm 

What we love

  • Little one will be sat in a comfy position 
  • Drain holes in seat 
  • Suction cups to hold secure 

What to know

  • A bit pricey but a liked brand

What Mumsnet users say

'I have 9 month old twins and we used the Anglecare bath seats from 6 months. They are really good and few very secure' - recommended by Mumsnet user TwinMum89

Our verdict 

Our Mumsnetters seem to like this bath seat and the Angelcare brand is appreciated amongst parents - that’s why it’s on our list twice! It’s got lots of handy functions too. There are drain holes in the seat so bath water can pass through as you rinse your little one and suction cups to hold it secure. 

It’ll leave your baby sitting in a lovely position for play too, to get both them and you excited about bath time, and they should be super comfy. 

7. Best bath support: Aqua Scale 3-in-1 Digital Baby Bath

Aqua Scale 3-in-1 Digital Baby Bath

Price on writing: £69.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Digital baby bath | Suitable from: Birth to 2 years old | Dimensions: ‎74 x 42.5 x 24 cm

What we love 

  • Displays weight on LCD screen
  • Built-in thermometer for water 
  • Good longevity

What to know

  • Most expensive on our list

Our verdict

If you’re willing to fork out for all the frills to support you at bath time, this one’s pretty special. This multi-tasking baby bath is an ergonomic tub that will weigh your baby (with or without water!) on a digital scale and remember previous weight to track weight gain. It can also take the water’s temperature with its built-in digital baby thermometer, alerting you if the water gets chilly, so you’ll always know it’s just right for your little angel.

It doesn’t forget about the basics, though. This bath is light to manoeuvre with a plug for easy emptying. It has a non-slip base to keep it steady on hard surfaces (like your bath) and an insert that stops your baby from slipping down. It also has pretty good longevity and should last up to around two years of age, with two different bathing positions for newborns and toddlers. It’s pricey but, we think, worth it to support you and your baby.

8. Best inflatable baby bath: Munchkin Hot Safety Duck Bath

Munchkin Hot Safety Duck Bath

Price on writing: £14.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Inflatable baby bath | Suitable from: 6-24 months (for babies who can sit upright) | Dimensions: 6.99 x 24.13 x 23.5 cm

What we love 

  • The fun design 
  • Can deflate to take on travels 
  • Decent size so it’ll last

What to know 

  • Not recommended for use from birth
  • Not to everyone’s taste!
  • Can be bought in a bundle with rubber bath toys

What Mumsnet users say 

‘We have a blow-up bath. It’s been a lifesaver. We put it in the shower tray. We also take it on holiday when there's only a shower, and you can fly with it and inflate it when you get there’ - recommended by Mumsnet user, Windsorthewashingbasket

Our verdict

What better way to make bath times fun than inflating this bright rubber duck number?! Your baby will love it and this Mumsnetter really rates having an inflatable bath at home and on travels (as it can deflate).

Some may find it style over substance - we’ll let you decide - but the padded bath does have fab features like a contoured headrest (hello, dreaded hair wash) and textured base to help prevent your baby from sliding down. Unlike some other baths, it has a White Hot Safety Disc on the bottom which reads ‘HOT’ when the water temperature is too high (though you should always check yourself). There’s a drain plug too. To be used from six months when your baby can sit up, it’s an investment as the decent size means it’ll last a long time. 

9. Best baby bath for sinks: ClevaMama ClevaBath

Puj Infant Bath Tub

Price on writing: £30.94 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Baby bath sink insert | Suitable from: Newborn to 12 months (max 9kg) | Dimensions: 53 x 38 x 15cm folded; 53 x 38 x 30cm unfolded

What we love 

  • Folds flat: easy to store and transport
  • Adjusts in size as baby grows 
  • Great for those without a bath at home

What to know 

  • Only suitable to 12 months

Our verdict 

This innovative bath product fits into most standard kitchen or bathroom sinks, thanks to its extendable base and non-slip extendable arms. Bathtime will no longer be back-breaking work and the cocooning design will be cosy for your baby. Plus, super cute! The bum support in this bath is reassuring for younger ones, plus it's adjustable as your baby grows (though it’s only suitable up to 12 months).

There’s lots of convenient features too. Water drains away easily as there’s a perforated base, reducing mess. It’s lightweight and folds flat so it’s easy to store and transport if you’re away from home - without any inflating or deflating, like some others. A fab all-rounder! 

10. Best baby bath for a newborn: Nuby Newborn Baby Bath

Nuby Baby Bath

Price on writing: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Baby bath tub with built-in seat | Suitable from: Birth | Dimensions: 41 x 41 x 76

What we love 

  • Built-in seat leaves you hands-free
  • Foam headrest for comfort 
  • Easy to use

What to know 

  • Some say it’s on the small side

What Mumsnet users say 

‘We had the Nuby newborn bath. It was excellent with a built in support, smaller water capacity (good news for water bill and much lighter and easier to carry / empty)’ - recommended by Mumsnet user, Cautiouscovidity

Our verdict

Sometimes, you can’t beat simple and traditional. This Nuby gets the job done nicely with design features to make life easier for you and your baby. An anti-slip base means the tub won’t move around on hard surfaces and easy-grip handles make it simple to pick up and move to empty after use. There’s also a water indicator to show you where to fill it.

A built-in seat stops your baby from sliding down and leaves you hands-free; while a soft foam headrest ensures they are comfy to enjoy their soak. Some reviewers have flagged up that this bath is on the smaller side, which meant their baby outgrew it faster than they expected. Still, we think this is a solid, easy-to-use buy from a renowned baby brand with a good price tag. 

Do I need a baby bath tub?

A baby bath isn’t a necessity and many parents will tell you that they got by just fine without one. However, some do find them to be very useful. If you have any issues with your back, a freestanding bath offers you the freedom to bathe your baby wherever you like. Alternatively, a bath support or baby bath sink insert, designed for a kitchen or bathroom, will allow you to be completely hands-free and bathe your baby while standing up.

First-time parents often like the security of using a baby bath and, if your bathroom only has a shower or you’re going to be staying somewhere with no bath, it can come in very handy. While parents can get by with using a sink or a washing-up tub to bathe their baby, many parents will prefer shelling out for something designed specifically for the job. And as we’ve demonstrated above, there are options out there for all budgets.

How long can you use a baby bath for?

That depends on the bath product. Some bath supports or sink inserts are only big enough to last until around six months, while others can be used all the way up to six years of age. Once a baby can sit unaided, many parents move onto a non-slip bath mat.

Types of baby bath

  • Bucket-style

These look like a large bucket and you simply pop your baby in it in a seated position. Lots of babies with colic prefer this as they remain upright and newborn babies find this soothing as it reminds them of the womb.

  • Inflatable

You can buy baby baths that are a bit like mini paddling pools. These can then sit inside your full-sized bathtub or on your bathroom floor.

  • Traditional baby bathtub

Shaped like an old-fashioned metal tub, these are small baths, usually made from sturdy plastic that you can use on the bathroom floor or in your baby’s nursery. They are typically shaped to support your baby’s head and shoulders and sometimes have a built-in seat for extra comfort.

  • Baby bath support

These are used in a full-sized bath and are more like a bath seat, but they allow your baby to lie back on a specially-shaped base.

  • Bath supports or inserts for the sink

Usually made out of something squishy like foam or soft plastic, these fit straight into the sink.

What to look for in a baby bath

Make sure it’s safe, solid and unlikely to tip over. Although you’ll never leave your baby in the bath, drowning can happen in a matter of seconds. 

Many baby baths have supports for the head and shoulders or come with a sling to keep babies secure. Gently curved supportive areas will also make the experience more comfortable for your baby. The more comfy your baby is, the more likely they are to take to bath time happily.

Look for non-slip areas on any hard plastic parts so that, as they get bigger and move around, they're less likely to wriggle and slip. Also check the base to make sure it’s not going to slide about on a hard surface. Some baths have built-in temperature checks so you know the water is at optimum temperature, which is a useful feature if you’re nervous about getting the elbow test right.

How do you bathe a newborn?

The NHS has a good step-by-step guide on how to bathe a new baby, but the key things to know are:

  • Have everything (baby shampoo, a baby towel, nappies etc) to hand first because you mustn’t leave your baby in the bath unattended, even for a second.
  • Ensure the room is warm enough.
  • Fill the bath with 8 to 10cm of water, running the cold first and then adding hot. Make sure it’s the right temperature (37 to 38 degrees Celsius) and that there are no hot patches.
  • Strip your baby down to their nappy and wrap them in a towel while you first wash their face and then hair, leaning them over the bath. Dry their hair off gently with the towel, then remove their nappy, clean the nappy area and get ready to lift them into the bath.
  • Gently lower them into the water, with one hand under their bum and one arm behind their head and shoulders, supporting the arm furthest from you. Keep this arm around them while they're in the bath if you aren’t using a tub that supports them with a sling or similar.
  • Using a flannel, muslin, sponge or your hand, clean your baby gently from top to bottom. You don’t need to use any soap for a new baby.
  • Lift them out onto a towel, wrap them up then dry them quickly so they don’t get cold. Apply nappy rash cream if needed before putting a new nappy on. 

How do you stop a baby from slipping in the bath?

Using a baby bathtub with some kind of support and a non-slip floor helps with this, but if you don’t have one with those features, just keep one arm behind their head and shoulders at all times, with your hand supporting them.

How often should you bathe a baby?

It’s up to you. New babies don’t need a proper bath more than once a week – a top and tail will do. But as they grow, three times a week is fine. If your child loves having a bath, you might want to do it every night as part of a relaxing bedtime routine.

What’s the best baby bath to buy?

This will of course depend on your lifestyle, budget and home. We hope our list gives you some options of what could work for you and your baby. We chose the Shnuggle Baby Bath as the best baby bath of 2023 as it’s lightweight, easy, comfy, can be used anywhere and popular with Mumsnetters. 

How we choose our recommendations

Because we believe parents who have been there before know best and are honest about what they like, we looked at recommendations from Mumsnet users themselves. We trawled the Mumsnet forums for posts about which baby baths they rated highly and why, and which left them a little lukewarm. 

We also consulted consumer watchdogs such as Which?, and took note of what they looked for in a baby bath and which brands they were recommending to their readers, weighing up which ones we think will appeal most to Mumsnet users. Additionally, we collated information from other review websites to see how the baby baths they featured had performed in testing, had impressed parents and were bestsellers. Then we looked at recommendations from the NHS and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to check that the baths we were looking at complied with their bath safety advice. We pooled all that information and research to come up with our final list of the best baby bathtubs right now.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.