Most medical supply stores have specific sections for bariatric products, but what makes them different from a standard living or mobility aid? To learn more about bariatric products and who they assist, read on:

What does ‘Bariatric’ Mean?

Bariatrics involves the study and treatment of obesity. Not to be confused with being overweight, obesity is a condition that arises when someone’s BMI is over 30. Doctors who specialize in bariatrics include nutritionists, physical therapists, and even surgeons, as the science itself is focused on healthy weight loss rather than losing massive amounts of weight as quickly as possible. Typically, surgery is a last resort.


Since obesity can limit someone’s movement and make movement even more difficult for those who already experience mobility problems, bariatric living aids are a common sight among patients.

Accessibility Aids

Bariatric accessibility aids are built differently from non-bariatric aids since they need to accommodate a user’s weight and size. Products are all designed to hold more weight, with some scales reaching up to 600 pounds--much higher than the weight capacity of a non-bariatric scale. Bariatric products are often larger in size and made of sturdier materials, which may make them heavier than other products.

●    Bariatric Bathing Aids

Bariatric bath benches and transfer stations are prime examples of a bariatric product that is built far larger than other bathing aids. These devices are meant to carry lots of weight and allow the user a comfortable bathing experience. They are made of similar materials to other benches, but the product will be thicker, built with extra supports, and thus heavier as well.

●    Bariatric Walkers

Just like the benches, bariatric walkers are built with weight distribution in mind. These walkers are built with extra supports around the handles and extra feet to provide greater stability than a non-bariatric walker. These walkers are made of the same aluminum as any other walker, although the metal is thicker. Bariatric walkers are also wider than non-bariatric walkers to accommodate user size. Like all walkers, bariatric walkers can be accessorized with trays, baskets, and the like.

●    Bariatric Lifts

Unlike bath transfer stations, patient lifts are designed to help users get out of bed either on their own or with little assistance. Patient lifts are not designed for the bath, but bath lifts are available for those who need them. Unlike non-bariatric lifts, bariatric patient lifts are powered using hydraulics, allowing them a larger weight capacity. These lifts are also made of thicker metal to further accommodate the user’s weight.

●    Bariatric Wheelchairs

Like all other bariatric products, bariatric wheelchairs are designed to provide mobility and comfort with their larger size and greater weight limit. Bariatric wheelchairs come in all forms as well, including transport chairs, manual wheelchairs, and powered chairs.


If you or a loved one would like to learn more about how bariatric products and research can benefit you, speak with your primary care physician. To browse more bariatric and accessibility products, visit Medical Supply Depot.

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