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Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Japanese Soaking Tubs


There’s certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to whirlpool baths in 2017, but some are definitely more unconventional than others. One excellent example of this is the renowned Japanese soaking tub, also known as an ofuro bath. Known for its steep walls and depth, the Japanese soaking tub is an excellent choice for a truly immersive experience – but what’s all the fuss really about? Well, we’ll tell you…

What is an “ofuro” bathtub?

Put simply, the word ofuro is the Japanese name for a specific type of tub known in the west as a Japanese soaking tub. These baths date back to at least the year 1400, but the precise origins of the design aren't clear. The design itself, however, is instantly recognisable. A Japanese soaking tub will generally have steep, high walls with a height starting at around 60cm. In addition, these bathtubs tend to be square-sided rather than the conventional rectangular form seen in the west. And finally, the original ofuro baths were known for featuring a small wood-burning stove below them to provide heat to the water. For reasons that we hope would be obvious, this last feature is very rare in modern models.

The benefits of the Japanese soaking tub

So, what's the deal with Japanese soaking tubs, and why are they any better than conventional bathtubs? Well, that's probably a simple matter of personal preference. That said, there are some clear benefits that the Japanese soaking tub design can provide. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that ofuro baths were created not necessarily for bathing, but rather for relaxation. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why Japanese soaking tubs are regarded as a source of relaxation and stress relief. The depth of the water in one of these baths means that you’re almost suspended weightless in the water – and this immersive experience is only heightened by the addition of whirlpool jets with certain modern models.

The modern approach to the Ofuro bathtub

One of the most wonderful things about the design of Japanese soaking tubs is that it's pretty much timeless. Those very same stress-busting benefits that people enjoyed generations ago are accessible to anyone today in just the same way. In fact, modern Japanese soaking tubs are arguably a superior experience simply because you have premium options such as full whirlpool systems along with that unmistakeable deep-soak experience. That's right: not only can you enjoy the immersive benefits of the ofuro bathtub, but you can also take advantage of a relaxing whirlpool experience at the same time. That's what we call the best of both worlds, and it’s easily one of the most relaxing bathing experiences you’ll find here.

If we’ve whet your appetite for all things ofuro, you can check out our ever-growing range of whirlpool Japanese soaking tubs right now on our website. If you prefer the personal touch, call our friendly team with any questions.

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