What Is The Best Ofuro Japanese Soaking Tub?

Have you ever heard about the ofuro Japanese soaking tub? Japan is a nation that has many unique ancient traditions.

Any of the most striking for Westerners are those relating to their bathing rituals. One of them is ofuro, a popular soaking behavior.

To the Japanese who have a special predilection for water, bath time is not a time of hygiene, but rather a time of relaxing.

In this article, we will introduce to you this unique tradition.

And if you are looking for an ofuro bathtub for your home but still do not know what to choose, we also have a list for you below.

The Top-Rated Ofuro Japanese Soaking Tub (Recommendation)










Why Do Japanese People Like Bathtub Soaking?

Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tub Outdoor

In the summer, Japan is extremely hot.

To overcome this, Japanese houses have historically been built to allow for adequate ventilation.

Because of this, homes will become very cold in the winter, which is why people have to enjoy warming up in the bathtubs.

Traditionally, soaking in a bathtub every evening is a way of life.

A bath before going to bed is soothing and warms up your body, allowing it to withstand even a long and cold winter night.

Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tubs

The bathing culture in Japan can also have a strong cultural component.

Misogi, or purification, is a Japanese tradition that refers to both the body and the spirit and is practiced at shrines and temples.

Misogi is traditionally associated with sacred rituals and sitting under waterfalls.

This idea, on the other hand, could explain why bathing is so popular in Japan.

What Is An Ofuro Japanese Soaking Tub?

In Japan, there are 3 types of bathing places: onsen (hot springs), sento (public baths), ofuro (your own home bath).

Ofuro is the most common one, perhaps because it is the most convenient when more and more people can afford a bathtub at home today.

Japanese Ofuro Bath

Japanese bathrooms are built with a special area for washing hair and body before soaking and relaxing in a warm bath.

The tub would not need to be refilled by each family member because the bath water is not used for cleansing.

The Japanese are also masters at making the most of their space, and this talent is evident in their bathrooms.

Ofuro tubs are shorter in length than standard Western tubs, but they have a deeper depth, allowing you to bask while seated in warm water up to your shoulders.

Many ofuros have built-in benches so you can relax and enjoy your bath in a comfortable position.

Furthermore, the smaller scale not only uses less water but also keeps the water hot for longer due to the limited surface area.

Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tub For Sale

Source: bartokdesign

Despite the fact that traditional Japanese ofuro bathtubs are made of hinoki woods, most bathtubs in modern homes are made of plastic materials such as acrylic or FRP.

These tubs are usually in the size range of standard Japanese tubs and Western style tubs. FRP ones are simple to clean and maintain, and they also do not need to be built into your bathroom.

Instead, they can be put on the floor like a big bucket.

Acrylic Ofuro Tub

Source: bartokdesign

What Are The Standard Designs Of Ofuro?

As previously said, the Japanese bathroom consists of the bathtub (yobune or ofuro) as well as the washing area (araiba).

The araiba is a shower and a faucet equipped space in front of the tub with a floor drain.

The user will sit on a stool and spend time scrubbing and soaping the whole body.

Then, before entering the ofuro, you would take a shower or scoop some water from the tub to clean.

Thus, the bathroom must be waterproofed in the same way that a big walk-in tub would be.

These rooms can be built out of concrete blocks, waterproofed (FRP, asphalt, PVC sheet), and decorated with tiles, wainscoting, and other decorative elements.

2 Person Ofuro Tub

However, unit baths are commonly used and are made of a FRP shell with printed panels or tiles inside.

The unit baths are compact and easy to build in just one or two days.

Another benefit is that their structure is very light weight and space saving.

Some common sizes of ofuro bath tub: 1300 x 1600 mm, 1600 x 1600 mm, 1600 x 2400 mm, 2100 x 3000 mm.

How Many Types Of Ofuro?

Nowadays, you can see many different types of ofuro available. These are some popular ones:

1. Step down bathtubs:

Japan Ofuro

Step-down bathtubs provide a touch of luxury to every bathroom.

The step-down variant closely resembles a spa or Japanese hot springs when combined with the wooden and other regular properties of the ofuro.

Its dimensions, on the other hand, rarely match the traditional ofuro’s depth and squareness.

2. Step up bathtub:

Japanese Ofuro Tubs

Step-up ones, on the contrary, have a more charming and homey feel, making bathing feel more private.

These variations frequently keep the wooden ofuro’s material but vary in size and appearance from the standard version.

A pair of steps is often applied to the bathtub’s frame so that users can quickly walk inside.

3. Bathtubs with a lid or cover:

How To Use a Japanese Soaking Tub

As the name implies, covered or lidded tubs have a cover to keep the interior of the ofuro clean.

Foldable plastics, one-piece lids, and stretchable fabrics are also options for the lid.

The majority of people have praised this addition to the ofuro for its potential to keep the water as pure as possible while not in use.

4. State-of-the-art bathtubs:

Japanese Ofuro For Sale

Tubs with built-in recirculation, reheating, or overflow draining systems are referred to as state-of-the-art.

Apart from the use of wood and regular dimensions, these ones look more Western than Japanese.

Nevertheless, because of its simplicity, it has become very popular in many Japanese households.

5. Tiled bathtubs:

In comparison to wooden or stainless steel ofuro bathtubs, tiled ones have a cleaner, more comfortable surface to rest on.

These tubs are similar to acrylic ones but with a more appealing exterior.

Some manufacturers mimic the traditional look of the ofuro by encasing the whole tub in wood.

Best Ofuro Japanese Soaking Tub Shortlist (Updated List)

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*Please notice that the reviews and ratings of the following products were recorded on the writing date by the editor. Ratings can be changed over time.

Ofuro Japanese Soaking Tub: Best Ones To Choose

How To Make a Wooden Japanese Soaking Tub

Although basically, Japanese ofuro tubs are built-in and handmade, in today’s busy life, you still can buy one if you do not have the time and skills to make one in your house.


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Key features:

  • Size: From 55 to 67 inches length
  • Water capacity: 62.4 gallons
  • Water depth: 14.6 inches
  • Weight: 72.8 pounds
  • Different shapes and sizes for all purposes
  • Top class materials: 100% glossy white acrylic

Are you looking for a modern ofuro Japanese soaking tub?

Ferdy Tamago is our top pick as a high-end bathtub that will last very long.

The first thing we love about this product is its ergonomic design, a combination of luxury and simplicity.

This model comes with double-walled insulation, keeps water warm for longer, gives you the best bathing experience.

It has a sloped lumbar design that makes for comfortable, and also a slotted overflow allows you to deep soak.

The versatile tub complements a wide variety of bathroom styles and is simple to install thanks to its gracefully formed lines.

The acrylic tube with a glossy white finish not only has a luxury appealing but is also highly tough and resistant to scratches and cracks.

This tub is solid with no surface layers to chip away, unlike porcelain-enameled tubs, which will rust if the enamel is chipped.


  • Has various options to choose
  • Sloped lumbar support offers the perfect bathing experience
  • High-quality acrylic reinforced with fiberglass materials
  • Long-lasting, durable, and environmentally friendly
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy installation


  • Overflows tend to leak at the bottom
  • Must be attached by silicone to the floor
  • Uncarefully delivery


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Key features:

  • Size: Small: 29.5 x 29.5 x 22 inches; Large: 35 x 35 x 22 inches
  • Materials: Vinyl, plastic
  • Shape: Round
  • Multiple ways to drain, no lifting required

Homefilos Small Portable Bathtub is a portable tub with a common round design.

It has two different lengths for people with different heights.

Thus, you can use it without fear of tripping and feeling claustrophobic.

It is, nevertheless, large enough to provide a comfortable soak for just one human.

We think it would be easier if you have grab rails in your shower stall to get out of this bathtub.

This is fantastic for setup, but it is not so great for deflation.

However, although being told to be foldable and portable, the manufacturer does not recommend folding and compress it repeatedly.

You may damage your bathtub over time.

Moreover, it is not a good idea to use bath oils in this one.

They will make the plastic slippery, making it dangerous to get in and out.


  • Portable
  • 2 sizes for people with different heights
  • Include a large storage bag
  • 6-month warranty
  • Center drain and drain hole gives the flexibility to use without water spilling everywhere


  • Water leaking problem
  • Some users do not feel really  comfortable
  • Very flimsy


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Key features:

  • Size: 45 x 36 inches
  • Material: Copper
  • Capacity: 158 gallons
  • Shape: Round
  • 4 living patina finishes Matte Copper, Café Natural, Rio Grande, and Dark Smoke.

If you have some money, why don’t invest in a really good ofuro Japanese soaking tub?

This handcrafted $4500 bathtub offers you a variety of benefits, from aesthetic to health advantages.

Maybe you did not know, copper is antibacterial naturally.

With Soluna Copper Soaking Tub, you can build your own corner sanctuary.

This stunning round tub is designed inspired by the traditional Japanese ofuro.

It would match well in every corner of your bathroom or even in limited spaces.

All of the products are made of 14 gauge copper, which makes for both indoor and outdoor installation.

Furthermore, its double-wall construction keeps water warm for longer.

As mentioned above, copper is an antimicrobial metal, together with a living patina finish that remains durable over time.

This ofuro also comes with a built-in bench seat, which is a competitive feature compared to the others.


  • Traditional Japanese inspired design
  • Versatile construction
  • Extra durability
  • Variety of patina finish options
  • Have a built-in bench seat


  • Heavy
  • Very expensive
  • Require careful maintenance


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Key features:

  • Size: 3 options: 47 inches, 58 inches, 72 inches length
  • Material: Wood, fiberglass
  • Weight: 80 pounds
  • Finish type: Gloss

American Wood Cypress Bathtub is the tub for you if you want a wooden product that does not need a lot of maintenance.

This freestanding cypress product has 3 different lengths, a flat bottom was made to be used on a daily basis.

It does not require any special cleaning products to keep its quality.

However, we advise you to avoid using harsh chemicals on the wood.

In comparison to acrylic, copper, or brass ones, a wooden ofuro has further health benefits.

The wooden material is good to relieve stress and the reduction of irritations and insomnia.

When you take a shower, the different types of wood will emit interesting smells into the air, making your bathing experience more soothing and relaxing.


  • 5 years warranty
  • Invisible fiberglass coating
  • No need for special care
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Easy to install


  • Can not deep soak
  • Not really effective in keeping water warm long


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Key features:

  • Size: 3 sizes (48 x 30 inches, 54 x 30 inches, 60 x 30 inches)
  • Can be customized
  • Made from real wood
  • Finish type: Semi-gloss

If you really want to invest in a traditional ofuro Japanese soaking tub, this product from Zen Bathworks is a significant choice.

Imagine soaking in a traditional appealing tub, made from real wood with hot water after a long working day.

They offer two types: Onsen and Kyoto.

All four sides of the Osen are vertical for a contemporary but traditional feeling.

This is a popular choice thanks to its clean lines and ample internal space.

On the other side, the Kyoto model is unusual in that it has all four sides angled (splayed) for a stunning effect and less water use.

Both models are common in modern bathrooms with this unique piêc because of their clean lines.

The product comes in three sizes and you can customize what material, waste drain finish that you want.

However, you will need to pay some extra money for larger sizes or hinoki and teak wood.


  • Can be customized from size, material, drain method,
  • Made from real wood
  • Offer a traditional either luxury appealing to your bathroom


  • Expensive
  • Do not have an auto reheat system


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Key features:

  • Size: 26 x 71 inches
  • Include 120 bubble jets soak sore muscles
  • Digital control water temperature and jet flows
  • Superior strength and durability
  • Made for on-the-go usage
  • Fit up to 4 persons

The BestWay Saluspa Miami Inflatable Hot Spa is a no-frills entry to hot tubbing at home at an affordable price.

Although being told to accommodate four people at a squeeze, it is better for two people.

Even before we fill it with water, the first thing we realized about this product was how comfortable it was, especially the bottom.

Since most spas lack seating like a traditional hard-walled hot tub, users have to sit on the ground.

Moreover, we really like the water heater timer feature.

The disadvantage is that the timer can not be set for more than 48 hours.

In other words, if you want to keep this portable spa running for days or weeks at a time, this might not be the right choice.

This feature was designed on purpose to save electricity, but we noticed that some buyers were irritated or disappointed by it.


  • Big size and large capacity for up to a group of 4 people
  • Transportable
  • Controllable water temperature and flows
  • Tough and durable
  • Affordable


  • The plastic on top is very thin
  • The bubble jets only go a little more than halfway around the tub
  • No ground cover pad


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Key features:

  • Size: 23.6 x 31.5 x 66.9 inches
  • Material: White acrylic with polished chrome
  • Drain Type: Pop up
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Weight: 140.8 pounds

If you want a luxurious touch in your bathroom, choose Vanity Art products like this Bordeaux style. This tub is more affordable than you would expect. Surprisingly, it is much comfortable than you imagine, and it comes in 59 to 67 inches lengths to fit your room.

Though normal bathtubs can only accommodate 8 inches of water, this freestanding version has a 16 inches soaking depth. This ofuro is perfect for at-home relaxing when you add some bubbles, or just soaking in hot water is enough. It is made of easy-to-clean acrylic material. However, bear in mind you should not use abrasive cleaners when cleaning it.


  • Flexible drain hose and slotted overflow included
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Stain-resistant, scratch-resistant
  • Modern design can be paired with any tub filler


  • One has on size and shape
  • Faucet not included


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Key features:

  • Size: 24 x 5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 6.45 pounds
  • Shape: Round
  • Material: Plastic, Polyvinylchloride

Joysee Heavy Duty Folding Bathtub is an easy option to go with if you do not want to invest too much. Joysee said it would accommodate two adults, but they are kind of small for Western people so just one person is better. It has a utilitarian style. The cover is blue, with darker blue text instructions on the side but in the Chinese language. A lot of people have a complaint that they do not include an English guideline which makes them disappointed.

It would need to be inflated before use, but fortunately, it comes with a little pump. It is tough because it is made of non toxic PVC. However, because of the height, climbing in and out is pretty difficult. Other products can fit better if you are not very stable on your feet.


  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Water valve and piping system designed for easy drainage after use
  • Safe and environmentally friendly materials
  • Big enough for two people


  • No English instructions
  • Two plastic poles are easy to be bent and buckled
  • Tiny for Western people
  • Hard to get in and out

How To Make A Japanese Soaking Tub?

Based on the simple ofuro design, everyone can make their own to fit their needs and desires.

However, there are still some features you need to pay attention to:

Are Japanese Soaking Tubs Comfortable

1. Materials:

As mentioned, Japanese ofuro soaking tubs are usually made of wood because of any health benefits that theirminerals offer to the users.

Therefore, not every kind of wood can be used. Furthermore, some varieties of wood are better suited to being exposed longer than others.

Choosing the wrong kind of materials can shorten your home ofuro’s lifespan and render it useless.

Cedar is one of the best types of wood to use for making a typical Japanese bathtub.

This wood is much more durable than other ones.

Also, it will keep the ofuro in excellent shape even after several years of use.

How To Make Japanese Soaking Tub

Nowadays, since wood is too hard to find and expensive, some people choose other materials for their modern ofuro, most of them are plastic and tiles. These materials are cheaper and easier to install.

2. Size:

Although the ofuro soaking tubs have a set of standard dimensions, there is no need to restrict one’s personalized decisions to this range.

Because obviously, there are people who are taller or shorter than the Japanese.

However, the most important thing is that how to design the bathtub in such a way that one can spread legs when sitting or completely submerge the body.

As a result, when settling on the size of the shower, always overestimate to prevent having to bathe in an uncomfortable position.

How Much Is a Japanese Soaking Tub

3. Structure:

The structure should be well throughout to ensure that all of its sides fit together correctly as a whole.

Before assembling the tub, the waterproof sealant should be added to each item, particularly the base, seams, and joints.

This method is best done with silicon, according to experts.

How To Use Japanese Soaking Tub

4. Plumbing:

To avoid the hassle of working out one’s piping and drainage scheme, we highly recommend you hire a licensed specialist for the plumping part.

If you want to keep it simple, only one hole at the bottom is needed for water drainage.

4 important things you need to discuss with your plumber: Hot and cold water system, high flow plumping system, reheating system, built-in water filter.

How To Build a Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tub

5. Design:

Finally, anyone who already has a distinctively styled bathroom would have no trouble decorating the outside of the ofuro.

Staining or painting the bathtub’s surfaces would not affect its quality and is a simple way to make it seem more aesthetically appealing.

How To Build a Japanese Soaking Tub

If you want an outdoor ofuro soaking tub, we strongly advise you to use treated wood or materials to protect it from weather damage.

How to make ofuro Japanese soaking tub from recycled lumbers: 

Ofuro Japanese Soaking Tub: Frequently Asked Questions

Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tub

1. Are Japanese soaking tubs comfortable?

Personally saying, a Japanese bath is the most relaxing.

According to the Japanese, the aim of any step taken during the bathing process is to calm the body as much as possible.

Normally, people do not use soap in this kind of bath.

By soaking in hot water and gently massaging the skin with heated sawdust, your skin is cleansed and relaxed.

Japanese Ofuro Bathtubs

2. What Is The Average Size Of An Ofuro Soaking Tub?

The ofuro tub dimensions vary depending on the type, but they are usually at least 27 inches deep to allow bathers to fully immerse when seating.

The tubs, which are normally square or circular, but may also be rectangular or oval, have a diameter of no more than 45 inches, most are smaller.

Japanese Bath Ofuro

3. How Do Heated Soaking Tubs Work?

Nowadays, modern soaking tubs have a special pump installed.

The pump produces heat as it passes water through the system, which retains the bath’s temperature and keeps the tub heated during use.

It means that the user never has to worry about the water gets cold.

When you press the reheat button, the water in your ofuro bathtubs will stay warm for around 1 to 4 hours.

How To Build a Wooden Japanese Soaking Tub

4. What Is The Proper Way To Take In A Typical Japanese Bath?

When bathing in Japanese style, you must first clean your body with the shower or a washbowl outside the bathtub.

Following that, you enter the bathtub, which is only for soaking.

The temperature of the bathwater is usually between 40 and 43 degrees.

Japanese Wood Ofuro Soaking Tub

5. What Do I Need To Do After I Take A Bath In Japanese Public Bathrooms?

Wetness is told to be unpleasant in Japan, which is why you will almost always see wet shoes, umbrellas, and even washing machines outside people’s front doors.

As a result, returning to the dressing room wet after taking a bath is deemed impolite.

No one expects you to be totally dry, so just make an attempt to dry off and tie your bath towel around yourself before heading back.

In public bathrooms, hairdryers are usually provided and are free for you to use.

Japanese Ofuro Tub


We understand how hard it can be to decide the best home ofuro, so we still suggest reading feedback from people who have already purchased the products. However, it is important to keep taking your own analysis about the tub according to our guidelines.

Our top pick is ZEN BATHWORKS OFURO WOODEN SOAKING BATHTUB. In comparison to many modern ofuro alternatives, this product has good shapes and excellent thermal qualities. If you want to experience bath soaking in a luxury way, SOLUNA COPPER JAPANESE SOAKING TUB MATTE FINISH is the best option we highly recommend.

This concludes our reviews of some best ofuro Japanese soaking tub. We hope you now are confident to make the best decision for you. Whichever choice you choose, we hope you will get the most wonderful and relaxing bathing experience.

Further Reading: 

1 Comment

  1. The Japanese bath is an indispensable item in my family. On weekends, I often treat myself to a night in the bath with wine and candles. Sometimes, I turn on music to increase the romance, so it’s also very interesting. You can make your own if you like!

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