It’s bath time! New YouGov survey examines the nation’s bathing habits

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
August 27, 2016, 10:37 AM GMT+0

Most bathers enjoy a good soak of 10 minutes or more, whilst bubble bath is still a favourite addition to most baths

A third of people still take a bath at least a few times a week, a new YouGov survey on the nation’s bathing habits finds. This includes 14% of people who bathe daily. A third of people bathe less frequently than once a week, whilst just one in five (22%) never take a bath.

Women are more likely to take baths frequently than men (35% vs 29%), whilst bathing frequently was consistent across age groups. Poorer people are more likely to take a bath often than richer people (37% vs 28%), whilst older people are twice as likely as young people (32% vs 16%) to say that they never take a bath – presumably because of the difficulties getting in and out.

Nearly two thirds of people (65%) take a bath that lasts between 10 minutes and half an hour. Longer baths are a preserve of the young – about two thirds of people aged 50 or over have a bath lasting between 10 and 20 minutes compared to just a little over four in ten people aged 49 or younger. Just over a quarter of younger people have a bath that lasts half an hour or more, against just over one in ten older people. Men and women spend about the same time in the bath.

In terms of spicing up one’s bathtime experience, bubble bath is the clear favourite with 60% of people adding some to their waters. Bath bombs are a favourite of younger people, used by 30% of 18-24 year olds and 20% of 25-49 year olds. Men are twice as likely as women to opt for an unceremonious bathtime experience, with 41% not adding anything to their bath or lighting a candle.

Infrequent bathers, those who take a bath less than once a month, are far more likely to take a bath that lasts longer, and are less likely to wash their hair than those who bathe several times a week. Perhaps they are taking the time to savour the bathing experience, but they are not particularly indulgent: infrequent bathers are no more likely to light a candle or add anything to their bath’s water than frequent bathers.

Listening to music is people’s favourite bathtime activity. Almost a quarter (23%) of people always or often listen to music in the bath – this figure rises to 39% for people aged 18-24. Many in this age group can’t put even their phone when in the bath, with one in five saying they use social frequently use social media whilst in the tub. Nearly two thirds (62%) of people normally wash their hair whilst taking a bath, including 54% of women.

Distressingly though, the survey reveals that 17% of people urinate in the bath. Younger people are the culprits here, with 22% of 18-24 year olds and 21% of 25-49 year olds peeing at least occasionally in the bath, compared to just 6% of those aged 65 or over.

Photo: PA

See the full results here