In our Ariel walk-in tub evaluation, we examine the brand’s reputation and evaluate it’s most popular model, the Ariel 3060 Dual walk-in bath, which features both hydrojets and air jets. Ariel is among the few walk-in bathtub manufacturers to sell their products from online retailers, which makes them easily accessible. However, the lack of information online for each model is a concern. Also, you have to find your own professional installer. All in all, if you’re confident you can find an affordable installer, then Ariel is decently priced, though the tubs are average by comparison.
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Ariel has been around for over 15 years, focusing on quality, compassion, innovation, and teamwork. In addition to making walk-in bathtubs, the company makes luxury bathtubs, vanities, steam showers, toilets, and faucets. Their focus is on delivering a spa-like experience with high-quality products at a competitive price. Ariel is one of the few manufacturers to sell walk-in baths at large retailers, like Lowes and Wayfair. This makes the bathtubs very accessible and the pricing transparent. From their website, they offer free shipping on everything and a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee.
Ariel has about 24 models, as shown on the website. However, it’s really just a single model with different features and at various sizes. The style is consistent throughout each model. Still, the tubs have decent reviews across the many sites where it's sold. On Lowes, Home Depot, Wayfair, the Ariel Walk-in Bath averages roughly 4.5 stars out of five. While most models only have between five and 20 reviews, which is not enough to provide a truly reliable rating, the few low ratings it has are generally unrelated to Ariel’s product or service. Rather, the complaint generally seems directed at the seller.
The best walk-in tub for air jets
The Ariel 3060 Dual walk-in tub is its highest rated tub, and for good reason - it holds nearly 90 gallons and features 20 air jets and six hydro water jets. While the six water jets is about half what we’d like to see in a tub of this size, the 20 air jets more than makes up for it. Air jets are excellent for a gentler massage, making it ideal for seniors with sensitive skin. Hydrojets are often too harsh and can bruise easily damaged skin. But with so many air jets, you get a full body massage that won’t hurt. That said, if you want a deep muscle massage, the six water jets are strategically placed to target the biggest muscles in the upper, middle, and lower body. The dual jet feature is meant to provide a truly spa-like experience.
The Ariel 3060 Dual features a fast filling faucet with a 19 gallons per minute flow rate. And it comes with two large drains to drain the tub quickly. These are essential features in a walk-in tub because you can’t run a bath before stepping into it like you used to do. And you can’t get out of the tub once you’re done. Instead, you have to step into the tub, seal the door, and fill the tub. And when you’re done, you have to wait for the water to drain. Nobody wants to sit in a tepid pool of water for more than a few minutes. Of course, the speed of the drain depends on the quality of your home’s plumbing. If you have a small drain pipe, you may not experience a fast drain.
Most walk-in tubs are made of either fiberglass with a smooth gelcoat or acrylic, which is the premium option. This walk-in tub is made of both. It’s a fiberglass reinforced acrylic tub. The surface is acrylic, but the underside is reinforced with a layer of fiberglass, which has an excellent tensile strength.
It doesn’t come with aromatherapy or chromotherapy features, which are common in higher end walk-in tubs. That said, both are features most people can do without. Aromatherapy is something you can supplement with an essential oils lamp next to your tub and you can achieve the same relaxing ambience of chromotherapy lights by using candles.
The step-in on the Ariel bath is a concern. At roughly 8 inches high, it’s one of the highest step-in thresholds of the tubs we’ve reviewed. While it’s certainly lower than stepping over a standard tub, it may be too high for seniors with severe mobility issues.
We didn’t find any walk-in tubs with wheelchair accessible doors or bariatric tubs for individuals who need more space. So despite having 24 models, the options are rather limited to seniors who are fairly mobile.
Ariel walk-in baths are among the most affordable that we reviewed, ranging between $1,999 for a simple soaker and $4,620 if you get all the options. They’re available at most of the big retailers, like Lowes, Home Depot and Wayfair. By comparison, brands like Independent Home and American Standard are priced as high as $12,000. That said, these brands also include installation as part of the price. Ariel does not. They just sell the tub and don’t have any input on the installation, leaving it to you to figure out.
The warranty for the Ariel Walk-in Bathtub is unknown, which is troubling. Every brand we’ve reviewed so far has made the warranty easily accessible. However, we were unable to find the warranty stated anywhere on the website and the company has, as of this publication, responded to a request for warranty details.
Despite having 24 walk-in tub models, Ariel’s walk-in tub options are rather limited and mostly average. Without wheelchair accessible or bariatric tubs, you’re basically left to choose between inward or outward swinging tubs of differing size, as the style is consistent throughout. The most popular model, the 3060 Dual walk-in tub features both air and water jets. And while the 20 air jets are exceptional and should deliver an excellent spa-like experience, there are only six water jets. While it comes with two drains for quick draining and fast fill faucet, it lacks the in-line heater, head cushion, seat warmer, and bidet features of the best walk-in tubs.
Overall, Ariel is an average walk-in tub brand. The accessibility and price make it an attractive option, but you need to keep in mind that installations are complicated and costly. Choosing a brand who installs the tubs themselves might be the safer bet, even if the price seems, at first glance, like it’s much higher.