Baths Always Seemed Pointless to Me Until I Tried These 5 Things

I've had never been a bath person. I don't even think I really liked bathtime that much as a kid. I distinctly remember enjoying the bubbles for a very short time, then asking my parents to take me out. I'm weird; I know.

So when I saw so many of my friends and random people I follow in Instagram rave about the self-care ritual that is a good soak in a tub, I thought, Uh huh, and remained unconvinced. Baths were never a calming, stress-relieving, or even enjoyable experience for me. When given the choice between a bath or shower, I always took the shower. It was quicker and just as effective, cleanliness-wise.

Case in point: I took a 30th birthday trip to Thailand with my sister last year, and one of our hotels had the most amazing outdoor tub. (There was privacy.) Soaking in a tub outdoors in a villa? I mean, it had to be done. But it took forever to fill said tub, and then when it was filled, the water was scalding hot, so I had to wait until it cooled down. After about an hour and a half of prepping the tub and putting in bath salts, I spent a whopping 10 minutes in it. I just sat there, unsure of how to relax or zone out. 


(Image credit: @sarahayang)

I know it's not a bath problem; it's a me problem. I have trouble really relaxing when things are supposed to be, you know, relaxing. Other adjacent activities include massages, meditation, manicures and pedicures… This needs to be discussed in therapy one day, but right now we're here to talk about baths and how I grew to tolerate them.

After seeing everyone enjoy baths, I decided to give it a try again. I was spending more time at home and looking for new ways to relieve stress aside from my go-tos of talking to my mom or friends on the phone, exercise, watching Netflix, or drinking wine. I had gotten some samples of bath products like soaks and bombs and salts, so I added them to my experiment.


(Image credit: @sarahayang)

And now, this is where I admit I was wrong about baths being pointless. The right products made all the difference and upgraded my bathing experience. I had no idea that to create the most soothing bathtime, you had to curate the right list of products. A lavender soak to help you get closer to dreamland? Yes, I loved it. Bath bombs that made my skin feel buttery soft? Sign me up for that every night. A candle that set the mood and made me feel like I was bathing in some Instagram influencer's self-care post? #Mood.

I can't say I'm a bath evangelist just yet, but I do appreciate a nice soak from time to time with my favorite products. So if you're on the fence about baths like I once was, or even if you're a frequent bather, I rounded up some of my favorite bathtime products, others that are on my wish list, and some from my Who What Wear colleagues—all organized into the five categories of products I tried. Take a look below.

Bath Soaks

Bubble Baths

Bath Oils

Bath Bombs

Bath Accessories

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019.

In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot).

She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.