Add a Zen Touch to Your Shower with a Japanese Bath Stool

solid teak indoor outdoor asian shower stoolWould you like to add a little touch of Zen to your bath or shower area? Of course you would! You can do so with an Asian shower stool made from teak wood. Why teak above other woods? Teak has the perfect combination of beauty and quality that make it such a great choice for use in a bathroom or outdoor shower setting.

Why are Asian bath stools made from teak?

Japanese bath stools are traditionally made from hinoki wood (Japanese cypress), which is also used for building temples and shrines, where its rot-resistant properties are valued. Hinoki is a light-colored wood with a clean appearance and fragrant smell, especially when new.

hinoki wood japanese bath stool
Japanese cypress wood bath stool


Teak is another wood variety highly resistant to rot, and for this reason is an excellent alternative material for the Japanese-style wooden shower stool.

Teak is one of the most durable woods for furniture construction. In particular, teak is very practical for any adaption that involves contact with water. This is because the teak heartwood contains large quantities of naturally-occurring protective oil. These natural oils prevent water from penetrating and damaging the wood. For this reason, teak has been the wood of choice for shipbuilders for hundreds of years.

japanese teak wood shower stool with shelf
Some Asian shower stools include a handy shelf

In the home, teak can be used for a number of uses in the bathroom or shower areas without having to worry about water damaging the wood.

On top of this, teak is a very beautiful wood.

It starts out as a golden brown color when it is freshly cut, and then slowly fades to a lovely silver gray patina over time. Aged teak wood appears smooth, soft, and inviting. It’s the perfect look for a bathroom or shower.

The two biggest differences between hinoki and teak wood is their weight and color. Hinoki is a rather lightweight wood variety, while teak is quite dense and heavy. Hinoki also has a very light color, while fresh teak has more of a rich caramel hue.

Teak is often treated with an oil coating, which will help the color last longer, and you’ll find most teak benches typically arrive pre-treated with oil. Hinoki benches in Japan, on the other hand, are usually left untreated.

The Japanese bath stool in daily life

The teak Asian shower stool design is inspired by the traditional hinoki wooden bath stools used in Japan. Bathing is a very important part of Japanese culture.

Whether in outdoor hot springs, community bath houses, or in private homes—bathing is a daily activity that the Japanese have turned into a way of life.

In the Western world, we may be used to thinking of the bathtub as the place where you go to get clean, but for the Japanese, the tub is only for soaking in hot water. You’re supposed to be clean already before getting in the tub or community bath because it’s shared with others. This means you need to wash yourself before stepping into the water.

How to use a bath stool

The shower stool is used in Japan to sit on while you wash yourself before you soak in the hot bath. You would typically scrub yourself down with water from a bucket or basin while sitting on the stool.

The low stool is convenient for getting at the water and scooping small buckets over your body to rinse off. It allows you to get in a low position without having to squat for a long time and strain your legs.

japanese teak wooden shower stool
A double Asian shower stool gives the classic design a wider seat

In the West, we don’t typically wash off before getting in the bath or shower. But nevertheless, the shower stool can be a very useful item to have.

For starters, it’s much easier to scrub your toes or shave your legs in the shower when you have something to sit on. The elderly and those who lack mobility can also greatly benefit from a shower seat since it allows them to take the weight off their legs while they bathe. And the outward-angled legs of the seat’s design provide a very stable base.

A touch of Zen

The Japanese wooden shower stool also fits in well with the Zen-influenced wabi-sabi minimalist sense of aesthetic. You’ll find this uncontrived sense of beauty all throughout Japanese culture, but it’s particularly evident in Zen temples and gardens. There is genuine satisfaction from being able to appreciate the quiet beauty of a moss-covered rock or a well-worn wooden plank.

You can complete the Zen look for your bathroom or shower area by combining an Asian shower stool with a teak bath mat, teak shower caddy, and teak towel holder. Let the simple beauty of the wood inspire you when you start the day each morning.

Teak shower stools make a great gift.

Nearly everyone would enjoy and appreciate receiving a classy piece of teak shower furniture. Whether for the Christmas season, a birthday, or some other occasion, teak shower benches are a wonderful gift idea.

Here are some of the best Asian shower stools made from teak available:

japanese bath stool from teak wood

Original 18″ Asian Shower Stool

This is your classic Japanese-inspired teak shower stool. It’s simple and elegant. You really couldn’t go wrong picking this as a gift for someone on their birthday or during the holiday season.



double asian teak shower stool or bench

30″ Double Asian Shower Stool

The double sized Asian shower stool has the same clean and simple lines as the standard version, but the width is extended considerably. If you have a little more space available, this variation is quite attractive. The extra width of the legs also provides a very sturdy base.



The Original Spa 24" Teak Shower Bench with Shelf

24″ Spa Collection Teak Shower Bench

Another good choice is a standard rectangular shaped bench. The shelf underneath provides some extra storage space, which can make this model more practical depending on the intended use in your home.



corner solid teak shower stool bath and spa bench

Corner Collection Teak Shower Stool

The corner teak bench is another smart design. This one works best if you’ve got a tight 90 degree angle corner in your bathroom or shower where you intend to place it. It’s very practical without taking up too much space.