Bathrooms Throughout History

The bathroom is not something that only recently came into being, they have actually been around for many thousands of years, albeit in different forms from what they are today – comfortable, private, and hygienic.

Earliest Bathrooms

Indus Valley Ruins
Image Source

The very first bathrooms were not, in fact, created with hygiene purposes in mind and were, in fact, used more for religious rituals and ceremonies. One of the first-ever discovered bathrooms was in the Indus Valley in what we now call Pakistan. Whereas steam baths were more popular in America and Europe, in Asia, cold baths were preferred. 

Greek & Roman Times

Bathrooms Throughout History
Image Source

The Greeks and the Romans were the very first civilisations to recognise the benefit of bathing often. This saw them create dedicated spaces for bathing that featured complex systems for draining away water and even bathtubs made out of clay. These spaces were places that people came together to relax and socialise with one another. 

Middle Ages

The act of bathing remained popular right into the middle ages when soap was invented and mass-produced. However, a belief held in the Renaissance times that water was a carrier for many dangerous diseases meant that fewer and fewer people were taking baths. However, their popularity did come back with Edward III installing a bathroom into the Palace at Westminster.

Sixteenth To Eighteenth Century Bathrooms

Bathrooms Throughout History

Although public baths had been popular throughout history, during the 16th to 18th century, people turned to private bathrooms instead – laying down for the modern bathrooms that we have in our homes today. Despite now having bathrooms in the home, bathing was still not done regularly by most people.

Nineteenth And Twentieth Century Bathrooms

The discovery of the causes for many diseases and germs during this time meant that people were taking greater care of their health and personal hygiene more than ever before. Thanks to the industrial revolution, it meant that hot water could now be piped directly into people’s homes, meaning that people could bath in relative comfort now. New houses built by the government during the early part of the 20th century now featured their own private bathrooms.

Modern Day Bathrooms

Bathrooms Throughout History
Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

The bathrooms that we have in our homes today are highly functional and very stylish in their design. This space has developed what it is used for and who and often contains lots of gizmos, gadgets, and pieces of technology to make our lives that much easier. Some of these things can be purchased online from the Victoria Plum website.

Bathrooms Of The Future

Where bathrooms will be in 50 years or 100 years is anyone’s guess. However, trends within other parts of the home would suggest that technology will play a major part. A bathroom will become more than a space where we wash and bathe ourselves but will be somewhere where we consider and work to improve our overall health and wellbeing.

Bathrooms Throughout History 1


  • Pati Robins

    April 6 at 5:12 am

    oh wow what a insightful post and i did not know that the earliest bathrooms weren’t used for hygiene, and its amazing how it all evolved

    1. Sabina Green

      April 7 at 9:59 pm

      It’s fascinating isn’t it.

  • Anosa

    April 6 at 6:38 am

    Bathrooms have sure come a long way but still got to love the modern bathrooms and the right plumming lol.

    1. Sabina Green

      April 7 at 10:00 pm

      Absolutely, I know which bathrooms I would prefer to live with.

  • Sarah Stockley

    April 6 at 10:16 am

    My nan still has her original avacado bathroom suite! I feel like that is pretty ancient now. Very interesting post, who knows what bathrooms of the future will be like!?

    1. Sabina Green

      April 7 at 10:01 pm

      The first house I ever owned had a pink bathroom suite, it certainly didn’t last long once I moved in.

  • Kara Guppy

    April 6 at 10:16 am

    The kids were fascinated when we visited the roman baths and were shocked that people had communal baths. I really want to see a Japanese bathroom – apparently they are amazing with all the tech

    1. Sabina Green

      April 7 at 10:09 pm

      Yes me too, I imagine the Japanese have the most amazing bathrooms.

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