Copper bathtubs - the pros and cons

Copper bathtubs: the pros and cons

This classic style requires some upkeep, so make sure you're well informed before buying

By Becca Green |

A freestanding copper bathtub makes for an impressive feature in both traditional and contemporary schemes. But it may also represent a significant investment, with prices ranging from £3,000 up to £10,000. So, if a copper tub is your idea of bathing bliss, make sure you know the pros and cons before taking the plunge…

Freestanding copper bath with nickel interior

BC Designs copper boat double ended bath from UK Bathrooms

In hot water

Copper is a great conductor of heat. This means that when the bath is filled, the water retains an even temperature throughout. It will also stay hotter for longer, better than in a cast iron bath, for instance. So, copper is ideal if you like long, relaxing soaks. Some copper tubs are lined with another material, such as nickel or enamel. These options may be less expensive than a pure copper bath. Nickel conducts heat well, though not as well as copper. Enamel lined interiors offer a more traditional look.

Better hygiene?

Copper has antimicrobial properties, meaning it can kill microorganisms like bacteria and viruses – including Covid-19. ‘Copper kills bacteria and viruses without help from cleaning products,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director of BC Designs. Easier, more eco-friendly cleaning is definitely a bonus.

copper bathtub from BC Designs

Antique copper/nickel boat bath from BC Designs

A weighty issue

A copper freestanding bath is fairly heavy in comparison to an acrylic or enamelled steel tub. ‘On average, our copper baths weigh 45kg,’ says manufacturer William Holland. ‘To put this in perspective, a cast iron bath weighs 250kg, often needing reinforced floors and a whole team to install.’

Copper and teak freestanding bath in room with grey flooring and cream rug beside

Dory bath from West One Bathrooms

Limited shapes

Bateau styles are the most common. This type of bath is deep with high sides, and offers a more upright bathing experience than a standard tub. But shoulders and knees are always submerged in the water. So you’ll still be able to soak and unwind in comfort.

Want to take your copper bath relaxation up a notch? Achieve ultimate, hotel-inspired bathing bliss by sticking a freestanding bath in your bedroom

Copper bath with white interior on wooden flooring with white panels beside

Greenwich boat freestanding bath from C.P. Hart

How to keep a copper bath in top condition

Copper will develop a patina over time. Regular maintenance is the key to preserving the original finish. Watch this BC Designs video tutorial on copper maintenance for expert advice on caring for your copper bath tub.