As an eponymous bathroom fixture, bathtubs use the most space, but get used the least. These designer bathtubs offer both comfort and character, beyond simple sanitaryware.

Devon & Devon’s Admiral bathtub combines an iron body in over 500 colour options with three styles of feet in enamel-, silver-, bronze- or copper-effect aluminium for an enigmatic contrast

12 designer baths that soak long in the memory | News

Devon & Devon’s Admiral bathtub combines an iron body in over 500 colour options with three styles of feet in enamel-, silver-, bronze- or copper-effect aluminium for an enigmatic contrast

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  • Admiral Bathtub

    Admiral Bathtub

    Devon&Devon

I don’t like baths (pause for gasps). But it’s not because I’m an aquaphobic feline, it’s the inefficiency of it all. Compared to showers, baths use more water and waste more time, just sitting around getting nothing done.


Lock the bathroom door and you’re in another world, submerged in sweet-scented comfort and relaxation


But I’m wrong to judge bathtubs on those terms alone, because the point isn’t really about cleanliness and self-care, it’s pure luxury and escapism. Lock the bathroom door and you’re in another world, submerged in sweet-scented comfort and relaxation, far away from the noise and presence of others. It’s important, however, for bathtubs not only to be comfortable, but to look comfortable, enigmatic and inviting too. To promise as well as provide.

  • Paiova 5 - Whirlpool

    Paiova 5 - Whirlpool

    DURAVIT

  • The Tay

    The Tay

    Drummonds

Duravit’s pentangle Paiova 5 bathtub (top) massages the relaxed body in two different positions, while Drummonds’ freestanding roll-top tub, The Tay (middle, bottom), is easy on the arms and eyes

12 designer baths that soak long in the memory | News

Duravit’s pentangle Paiova 5 bathtub (top) massages the relaxed body in two different positions, while Drummonds’ freestanding roll-top tub, The Tay (middle, bottom), is easy on the arms and eyes

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  • The Tay

    The Tay

    Drummonds

A comfortable position

Sitting anywhere for a long time is never comfortable. But while cosy armchairs and deep sofas gently hold you with plush fabrics and padding, bathtubs are formed from much harder, more unforgiving material. Duravit’s Paiova 5 bathtub, therefore, offers users the ability to change position, with two variously angled ends to either sit or lie back against, while enjoying the healing power of massaging water jets in either.


Free-standing tubs have the comforting benefit of allowing one’s arms to drape over the edge


Paiova 5’s larger pentangle shape sacrifices space for comfort, but for those bathrooms with space to spare, free-standing tubs have the comforting benefit of allowing one’s arms to drape over the edge. Roll-top tubs like The Tay bath from Drummonds feature aesthetic curves that are kinder on a relaxing body. For those who prefer to sit up straight, slipper and dipper baths like Big Zinc from Kenny & Mason give additional support at one end, while staying low enough for easy access and egress on the other.

  • The Big Zinc

    The Big Zinc

    Kenny & Mason

Slipper and dipped tubs like Big Zinc (top) from Kenny & Mason have more back support, while disconnected floor standing taps, like the one flowing into Neutra’s Alone bath (bottom), free up movement

12 designer baths that soak long in the memory | News

Slipper and dipped tubs like Big Zinc (top) from Kenny & Mason have more back support, while disconnected floor standing taps, like the one flowing into Neutra’s Alone bath (bottom), free up movement

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  • ALONE V1

    ALONE V1

    NEUTRA by Arnaboldi Angelo

Spine-approved taps

Whether wall-mounted or free-standing, the comfortable shape of a bathtub is pointless if there’s a big tap lodged in the small of your back. The sultry curves of a slipper or curl-topped bath like Big Zinc give two comfortable ends for two users to share, or for feet to move around safely. But those with large, imposing tap contraptions can still cause an obstruction to moving body parts. It’s far safer for bathtubs, like Alone by Neutra, not to have a tap connected at all, instead feeding water in from a floor-mounted standing tap, positioned high above the rim.

  • Unico Boiserie

    Unico Boiserie

    Rexa Design

  • Step-In Pure

    Step-In Pure

    Duscholux AG

Rexa Design’s walk-in shower over bath combo, Unico Boiserie (top), Duscholux’s Step-in Pure bath and shower (middle) and Kos’ sunken indoor infinity Minipool (bottom) with steps

12 designer baths that soak long in the memory | News

Rexa Design’s walk-in shower over bath combo, Unico Boiserie (top), Duscholux’s Step-in Pure bath and shower (middle) and Kos’ sunken indoor infinity Minipool (bottom) with steps

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  • Minipool with plates

    Minipool with plates

    Kos

Accessible to all

One person’s heaven, however, could be another’s hell. While some struggle without time taken to decompress in the tub, others like myself take no comfort in the rituality. Combination shower/bath solutions claim to suit both sides, but the compromise often serves neither adequately well. Instead of sharing the bath base, the shower portion of Rexa Design’s Unico Boiserie raises its standing surface onto the bath’s edge, supplying the dual-use fixture with easier shower entry and a helpful bath shelf.

The Step-in Pure bath from Duscholux, meanwhile, allows users of both the shower and bath to step in easily, then cover the entranceway with a glass door. And Kos’ sunken indoor infinity Minipool has steps to get in and out with ease, along with stainless steel-lined spill channels, for the luxury of filling it right to the top, without the spillage.

  • Admiral Bathtub

    Admiral Bathtub

    Devon&Devon

  • Admiral Bathtub

    Admiral Bathtub

    Devon&Devon

  • Admiral Bathtub

    Admiral Bathtub

    Devon&Devon

Devon & Devon’s colourful Admiral bathtubs with traditionally-styled feet (top, middle) and Agape’s contemporary Cuna bath in a tubular steel frame (bottom) are both high-contrast statement features

12 designer baths that soak long in the memory | News

Devon & Devon’s colourful Admiral bathtubs with traditionally-styled feet (top, middle) and Agape’s contemporary Cuna bath in a tubular steel frame (bottom) are both high-contrast statement features

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  • Cuna

    Cuna

    Agape

Make a statement

As the largest fixture in the bathroom (indeed lending the room its name), the bathtub has an opportunity for impact way beyond its function. Adding heavily pronounced feet to the base, for example, gives bathtubs a companionable zoomorphic character, while floating it a few inches off the floor lightens the whole interior.


Adding heavily pronounced feet to the base gives bathtubs a companionable zoomorphic character


Baths like Admiral from Devon & Devon also use feet to add contrast, with over 500 exterior colour options and aluminium feet in enamel, silver, bronze or copper effect. If it’s contrast you’re after, without the traditional style cues of an eagle-footed tub, the white or black Cuna bath from Agape is seated inside a black, white or copper frame of tubular steel.

  • Duke Bath DUK.BABB

    Duke Bath DUK.BABB

    Kenny & Mason

  • Duke Bath DUK,BABPB

    Duke Bath DUK,BABPB

    Kenny & Mason

  • Duke Bath DUK.BACT

    Duke Bath DUK.BACT

    Kenny & Mason

  • Controstampo WA6

    Controstampo WA6

    Falper

Kenny & Mason’s handmade copper and bronze Duke tubs (top), Falper’s dystopian steampunk Controstampo bath (middle) and Bisazza’s utopian floating cloud bath from The Wanders collection (bottom)

12 designer baths that soak long in the memory | News

Kenny & Mason’s handmade copper and bronze Duke tubs (top), Falper’s dystopian steampunk Controstampo bath (middle) and Bisazza’s utopian floating cloud bath from The Wanders collection (bottom)

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  • The Wanders Collection I 06

    The Wanders Collection I 06

    Bisazza

Uncommon bathtub shapes and materials help to build the atmosphere of a room around them, even travelling through time. Kenny & Mason produce handmade Duke tubs from sheets of copper or bronze for a Victorian feeling of fireside bathing, while very different versions of the future are experienced through both Falper’s dystopian steampunk Controstampo bath, with cast iron plumbing details, or, as part of Bisazza’s more utopian Wanders Collection, a dreamlike floating cloud bath.

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