Also known as an Ofuro tub (if you want to be super polite when discussing it), it’s a Japanese tub where you can easily soak up to your neck in hot water, but it uses less water than traditional American tubs because it is much shorter in length. Instead of laying down flat in the tub you sit upright. They’re also designed to retain heat for many uses – typically a family will all use the same water, so they shower beforehand. In a way, you can think of it as just a one person hot tub.
After soaking in these amazing Furo tubs in Japan I wanted to find something I could use in my apartment that was temporary, could fit inside my existing shallow tub, and could be stored quickly and easily when I wasn’t using it.
Searching for Furo tubs online yields results targeting manufacturers of very high-end, very expensive permanent tubs. While it would definitely be nice to be able to spend a lot of money on a remodel to get one of those, I rent, and I don’t think it would add much resale value for traditional Westerners who haven’t experienced a bath like that even if I did own a home. Ideally I really just want a house that has nice showers in it and completely fore-go the standard American tubs because they’re not designed for an adult to soak in. You can’t be submerged, the water loses heat very rapidly, and I always end up cold and disappointed if I do try.
Eventually I was able to find this one person Furo Tub. For around $60, this tub was perfect. As a 6’1″ male, I can disappear into this thing. In fact I wish it were 3-6″ shorter. If I fill it up halfway, I can submerge myself completely and very easily. I usually sit cross legged and upright, or bend my knees and slink down until the water is near my chin. The water in this Furo tub stays very warm on its own. If you fill it and it is too hot, it may take an hour or more to cool it down enough for it to be comfortable, and it will stay very warm. My main goal with this Furo tub is to sweat, increase lymph flow and drainage, and speed up natural detoxification.
I do add a couple tablespoons of vitamin-c powder to the water to eliminate the chlorine from the tap water. A little goes a long way. Vitamin-C is also supposed to be great for your skin. I also add a cup or two of magnesium flakes aka epsom salt to relax muscles.
After using it, I use a bucket to recycle the water into the garden, drain off the rest, let it drip dry for an hour, wipe it down with a small towel, deflate the top cushion that maintains its shape, roll it up, and stick it in the closet until next time.