How High Are Raised Toilet Seats ?
Raised toilet seats come in quite a number of forms, and in a whole range of different heights . As a caregiver for my parents, I have bought a number of different types of raised seats, until we finally found something which was well suited to their needs. Height is a big part of it, but certainly not everything to be considered.
How high are raised toilet seats ? Raised toilet seats and risers which attach to the toilet come in a range of heights from 1 to 6 inches. Toilet safety frames with raised seats, and bedside commodes used over a toilet, can be between 23 – 28 inches from the floor.
If you are responsible for caring for a loved one and searching for the right type of raised toilet seat, you are going to want to get the height right, but you are also going to want to look at –
- the general health of your loved one
- how strong your loved one is
- if your loved one is frail, will they need extra support when they are sitting down and standing up
- how good is your loved one’s balance
- how good is your loved one’s vision
- will you actually be assisting your loved in the bathroom
- will your loved one need other aids, such as a walker
And so it goes on.
I will go further into the different questions you should be asking as you choose a raised toilet seat for an elderly loved one, after I have answered the main question on the heights of raised toilet seats.
What are the heights of the different types of raised toilet seats ?
Raised toilet seats can be divided into two broad categories –
- those which are attached to the toilet in some way
- those which are on a frame placed over and above the toilet
The seats which attach to the toilet may be called by a number of different names –
- Elevated toilet seats
- Raised toilet seats
- Clip-on raised toilet seats
- Spacers or tall seats
- Bubble seats
- Clipper seats
- Easy lock raised toilet seats
- Quick lock raised toilet seats
- Front Locking raised toilet seats
- Raised toilet seats with legs
The seats which are on frames which are placed over the toilet may be called –
- Safety frame with an elevated toilet seat
- Safety frame with a raised toilet seat
- Toilet safety frame with an elevated seat
- Toilet safety frame with a raised toilet seat
- Mechanical toilet safety frame with raised toilet seat
If you want to learn more about the actual types of raised toilet seats rather than just their heights, I have an article “Types of raised toilet seats: what you should know before you buy” where I outline all the different types of seats in detail, how solid they are, and which are best for the elderly in different cases.
Bedside commodes which can be used as raised toilet seats are also called –
- Portable bedside commodes
- 3-in-1 bedside commodes
- All-in-One bedside commodes
- Drop arm bedside commodes
- Transport or rolling bedside commodes
- Shower chair / transport bedside commodes
If you wish to know more about these different types of bedside commodes and to whom they are best suited, you can find lots of information on that in my article “Types of commode chair: what you need to know” where I fully explain the different types and the types of jobs they are best suited for.
We have been using them everyday for a number years now for my mother, and in the article I list a lot of models by type, with their weight capacities and model number; how to assist a loved one in using a commode; how to stop commodes from tipping; how to clean a commode properly; and how to set one up for use as a raised toilet seat.
Lets get started with the heights of raised which attach to your toilet –
Risers come in heights of 2 -4 inches, and raise your toilet seat by that amount.
Risers are not technically a seat, they go under the toilet seat you already have on your toilet.
Risers are a flat oval, or round, ring of plastic which you bolt to your toilet underneath you existing seat.
Risers can be bought with or without armrests, and can be hinged just like a toilet seat .
Some examples of these risers are (all of the risers have a maximum weight capacity of 300 lb) –
Carex 3.5″ toilet seat elevator, (riser – elongated), Prod. No – FGB30600 0000
Carex 3.5″ toilet seat elevator, (riser – standard), Prod. No – FGB30700 0000
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser (standard), Prod. No. 8342 – R
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser (elongated), Prod. No. 8341 – R
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms (standard), Prod. No. 8344 – R
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms (elongated), Prod. No. 8343 – R
Nova 3.5″ hinged toilet seat riser (standard), Prod. No. 8345 – R
Nova 3.5″ hinged toilet seat riser (elongated), Prod. No. 8346 – R
Clip On raised toilet seats
Clip-on seats come in heights of 2-4 inches.
These clip onto your existing toilet seat, and are very much a temporary solution – they are often referred to as portable seats.
Clip On seats don’t have any clamps or locking devices and do not come with armrests.
Some examples of this are –
Ability Superstore 4 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. Unavailable
Performance Health Novelle 3 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No F25145
Seats with spacers
The seats come in 2 and 3 inch heights.
These seats replace your existing toilet seat, and are attached with bolts using the same bolt holes as your previous seat.
You cannot get these seats with arm rests.
An example of these seats is –
Centoco 2 inch raised toilet seat with lid, Prod. No. HL440STS-001
Centoco 3 inch raised toilet seat with lid, Prod. No. 3L440STS-001
Big John raise toilet seats
Big John raised toilet seats come in a raised heights of 1 and 2.5 inches.
Big John is a brand which has developed a range of toilet seats for larger people.
These are seats which you can bolt to the toilet once you have removed your existing seat.
The seats are wider than a normal seat, as well as being raised.
Examples of these seats –
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, (universal), Prod. No. 1-W
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, (universal), Prod. No. 2-CR
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, open front, (universal), Prod. No. 3-W
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/out lid, open front (universal), Prod. No. 4-W
Big John 1.5 ” standard toilet seat w/ lid, (universal), Prod. No. 6-W
Big John 2.5 ” classic toilet seat w/out lid, open front (universal), Prod. No. 7-W
Bubble seat is not an official name for these seats which generally come in heights of 3 – 6 inches.
The seats are attached to the toilet bowl by simply pushing down hard, so they slip over the rim of the toilet bowl and grip it.
Your existing toilet seat is either removed or put in its upright position.
The seats look like big white donuts, and have not clamping or locking devices attaching them, just a few grip pads, and a few models may have a lip at the back which slots under the rim of the bowl to give a bit of extra stability.
There are no models with armrests.
Examples of this type of seat are –
AquaSense Portable 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. 770 610
Carex 5″ E-Z Lock raised toilet seat, w/out arms, Prod. No – FGB312C0 0000
HealthSmart Portable 4 3/4 inch Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. 522-1508-1900HS
Herdegen Contact Plus 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. Unavailable
The NRS Comfort Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. F21565
Yunga Tart 4.75″ raised toilet seat w/out arms (Universal) – No Prod No. listed
Clipper seats are all 4.3 inches high.
There is actually only one brand – Herdegen – which makes these seats, but they are markedly different from the other types.
The existing toilet seat is removed and seat and the clipper seat is placed over the rim of the toilet bowl.
The seta has an inside edge which drops a way into the bowl and 4 clips on the outside which are pushed in to squeeze against the toilet bowl on the outside.
Depending on the model they may come with armrests and with legs.
The examples of theses seats are –
Herdegen Clipper I 4.3 inch raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 500400
Herdegen Clipper II 4.3 inch raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 500410
Herdegen Clipper III 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No. 500411
Herdegen Clipper IV 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ swing-up armrests, Prod. No. 500420
Herdegen Clipper V 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ swing-up armrests and a lid, Prod. No. 500421
Herdegen Clipper VI 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500430
Herdegen Clipper VII 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/lid and adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500431
Raised or elevated seats with brackets and side fixings
Seats of this type come in heights of 2, 3, 4, 41/2, 5 and 6 inches.
The seats go over the rim of the toilet and have plastic bolt type clamps which squeeze the bowl on the sides, and a plastic bracket at the front of the seat.
Examples of raised seats using this system are –
AquaSense 2″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No – 770 -625
AquaSense 4″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No – 770 -626
Gordon Eliss Serenity 6″raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No. 64626/AL
Gordon Eliss Serenity 6″raised toilet seat w/out lid, Prod. No. 64606
Gordon Ellis Serenity 4″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No. 64624/AL
Gordon Ellis Serenity 4″ raised toilet seat w/out lid, Prod. No. 64604
Gordon Ellis Serenity 2″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No. 64622/AL
Gordon Ellis Serenity 2″raised toilet seat w/out lid, Prod. No. 64602
Homecraft Savanah 2″ raised toilet seat w/out lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305507
Homecraft Savanah 4″ raised toilet seat w/out lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305523
Homecraft Savanah 6″ raised toilet seat w/out lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305549
Homecraft Savanah 2″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305515
Homecraft Savanah 4″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305531
Homecraft Savanah 6″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305556
Homecraft Taunton 2″ raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 091079359
Homecraft Taunton 4″ raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 091079367
Homecraft Taunton 6″ raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 091079383
Front Locking raised toilet seats –
The seats come in heights of 4, 4.5 and 5 inches.
These seats as their name suggests lock to the front of the toilet bowl with a sort of plastic clamping system, and at the back there is usually a lip which slots under the rim of the bowl on the inside and stops the seat moving.
The majority of these models come with either armrests or handles.
Some examples of this type –
Carex 4.5″ Classics raised toilet seat w/ armrests Prod. No – FGB31977 0000
Carex 5″ E-Z Lock raised toilet seat w/ arms, Prod. No – FGB311C0 0000
Drive Medical 3.5″ Premium raised toilet seat w/ removable arms, (riser) Prod. No – 12402
Drive Medical 3.5″ Premium raised toilet seat w/ removable arms, (riser) Prod. No – 12403
Drive Medical 4.5″ Premium raised toilet seat w/ arms and lock, (elongated), Prod. No – 12013
Graham Field 4.5″ Lumex raised toilet seat w/ arms, (riser) Prod. No – 6487RA
Homcom 5″ raised toilet seat w/ removable arms, Prod. No. UK811-030-NEW0331
Maddak 5″ Lock-On elevated toilet seat w/ arms, Prod. No. T725753111
Medokare 4.5″ raised toilet seat w/ handles, Prod. No – 001
Nova 5″ raised toilet seat w/ detachable arms, Prod. No. 8351 – R
Nova 5″ raised toilet seat / detachable arms, Prod. No. 8353 – R
Vive 5″ raised toilet seat w/ padded handles (front locking), Prod. No – LVA1011
Raised toilet seats with legs
The seats are 4.3 or 4.5 inches high.
The design with legs stops any wobbliness, gives a wider distance between the armrests for a larger person, and makes the seat more sturdy.
The seats are attached to the toilet bowl rim with a front locking system, so the original seat of the toilet is either removed or placed in the upright position.
Some examples of raised toilet seats with legs –
Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat w/ aluminum legs, Prod. No. T725881000
Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette 4.5 inch elevated toilet seat with steel legs, Prod. No. T725882000
Mobb 4.5 inchRaised Toilet Seat With Legs Prod. No. MHRTSL
Herdegen Clipper VI 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500430
Herdegen Clipper VII 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/lid and adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500431
Safety frames with elevated seats
Safety frames with elevated seats are positioned over the toilet and can have seats as high as 26 inches from the floor.
Safety frames have a metal chair shaped frame with a seat attached to that frame.
The toilet seat does not necessarily need to be removed – in our home we have simply left it in the upright position – and the legs of the frame are adjusted to the height you wish to have the seat at.
Frames have large armrests, an incorporated seat and 4 legs, making them very solid.
Frames can be bought for heavier individuals and are called bariatric frames.
If you would like to know more about the different weight capacities of all the raised toilet seats and bedside commodes, I have an in-depth article with over 180 examples which I am adding to all the time with the latest models as I find them. The article also has the manufactures product numbers so you can make sure you are buying the right model – Raised toilet seat weight capacities: over 180 examples.
Examples of toilet safety frames with elevated seats –
Aidapt Cosby bariatric toilet seat and frame, Prod. No. VR224
Aidapt Solo Skandia raised toilet seat and frame, Prod. No. VR157
Aidapt Solo Skandia raised toilet seat and frame w/ clip on seat, Prod. No. VR157FC
Aidapt President Bariatric raised toilet seat and frame, adjustable height, Prod. No. VR219AL
Homecraft uni-frame folding toilet frame w/ seat, Prod. No. 49338
Homecraft Deluxe Sterling toilet frame, Prod. No. 081124585
NRS Healthcare Mowbray lite toilet frame and seat, Prod. No. NRS M66625
NRS Healthcare Mowbray toilet seat and frame, adjustable width, Prod. No. NRS M11089
PCP raised toilet seat and safety frame 2-in-1, Prod. No. PCP 70077
Bedside commodes as raised toilet seats
Bedside commodes usually have adjustable legs which offer a range of around 5 different seat heights in increments of one inch – the heights will be generally be between 17 – 22 1/2 inches from the floor. But their is one model which goes to a head spinning 28 inches from the floor – TFI Healthcare Extra Tall bedside commode
My mom’s personal choice of raised toilet seat is the 3-in-1 bedside commode, and we have had one our bathroom now for almost 2 yrs.
I explained the different types of commodes which can be used over a toilet, but don’t forget to check that a commode has adjustable legs, and that the leg length offered is greater than the height of the rim of your toilet bowl, otherwise you won’t be able to position it over your toilet.
To position a bedside commode over a toilet you –
- simply remove the bucket, or pale
- adjust the legs to the height that you want,
- either remove your toilet seat and lid, or put them in the upright position
- place the commode over the toilet bowl
- commodes come with a removable splash guard which can be placed in a holder under the seat of the commode if you are worried about the space between the seat of the commodes and the rim of the toilet bowl not being closed off
Bedside commodes, of all the types that I have described earlier, come in models for larger people and are referred to as “heavy duty” or “bariatric” commodes.
Examples of bedside commodes which can be used over the toilet, and their respective maximum heights –
TF1 3244 Extra tall, wide commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3244 – max seat height 28 inches
Aidapt Essex height adjustable commode, Prod. No. VR161 -max seat height 22.22 inches
Drive Medical deluxe steel drop arm commode, Prod. No. 11125KD-1 – max seat height 24 inches
Drive Medical drop arm commode with wheels with padded armrests, Prod. No. 11101W-2 – max seat height 21 inches
Guardian drop arm bedside commode, Prod. No. 98202 – max seat height 23.5 inches
Healthline bariatric drop arm bedside commode, Prod. No. HL7206-2 – max seat height 23 inches
Homecraft heavy-duty drop arm commode, Prod. No. 081611110 – max seat height 20.75 inches
Lifestyle Mobility Aids folding 3-in-1 commode with elongated opening, Prod. No. B3500F – max seat height 22.5 inches
Lumex drop arm 3-in-1 commode, Prod. No. 6433A – max seat height 22.75 inches
MedPro Homecare commode chair, Prod. No. 770-315 – max seat height 21.5 inches
Performance Health Briggs heavy-duty commode, Prod. No. 081437862 – max seat height 23 inches
TFI Healthcare wide 3-in-1 commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3224G – max seat height 22.25 inches
TFI Healthcare drop arm commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3225 – max seat height 22.25 inches
Tuffcare extra wide drop arm commode chair, Prod. No. M470 – max seat height 24 inches
How to measure for a raised toilet seats ?
There are two things you need to measure for a raised toilet seat which attaches to your toilet.
You need to know –
- whether or not you have a standard or an elongated toilet bowl – different raised seats ofetn only fit one type
- how you measure to see how high your elderly loved one needs their raised toilet seat to be
I have an article on this topic where you can find the answer to those two questions – “How to measure for a raised toilet seat”. The article also lists many toilet seats and whether they are standard sized, elongated, or universal, so you won’t have to take lots of time looking it up for your self.
Where can you buy raised toilet seats ?
You can buy raised toilet seats at most large department stores and at a huge number of websites online.
Most large retailers sell a wide range of raised toilet seats, safety frames with elevated seats and bedside commodes.
Here’s a list of retailers for online in the US –
Heres a list of retailers for online in the UK –
What raised toilet seat is best for an elderly parent ?
Deciding which type or model of raised toilet seat is not just an issue of the height of the seat which will offer relief from bending, there are many other factors you have to consider.
In my case my mom has problems with her vision, had just had a hip replacement, has a shoulder problem, also has a bad knee, is 91 yrs old and is not immensely strong. So all of this had to be taken into account when we were trying to find a suitable option.
Knowing little about these seats we tried one which came with a kit of supplies for those who are having hip replacement surgery, but that was not a success.
The seat with the kit was a generic model with side fixings and a front bracket, and it was way to wobbly – a bit like being in a storm at sea every time you moved. The seat also tips forwards as you lean on it to get up, which could have dumped my mom rather badly on the floor.
There were also no arms on the seat or handles, so my mom had nothing to grab onto as she sat down, and nothing to push up with when she stood up.
Here are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself and your elderly loved one about the type of seat they will need and the environment around the toilet.
Environment in bathroom
- is there much space around the toilet for maneuvering ?
- has everything been cleared away which may cause a fall ? – rugs that curl up, cables, matts etc
- is the person using a walker to back up and sit down on the seat ?
- if your loved one is using a walker to back up to the seat, have they been taught how to sit on a raised toilet seat ?
- does the person need to have extra safety equipment to make them fell confident about using a raised toilet seat ?
State of Health – what physical shape is the person in ?
- for what reason is your loved one using raised toilet seat ?
- is the raised toilet seat going to be for long term or short term use ?
- if it’s a short term need will your loved one still need armrests etc ?
- if it is for the long term, you may want to buy a more solid seat now rather than another raised seat later as the person gets weaker ?
- will your elderly loved one require assistance ?
- are there other mobility issues, not just with sitting and standing ?
- is the user very elderly and frail ?
- what is your loved one’s balance like ?
- does your loved one have problems with their vision ?
- how strong, or not, is your elderly loved one ?
- how strong is your loved one’s grip ?
- does your loved one still have good coordination ? – seats with big armrests are easier for the elderly
- what is the person’s mental condition – are they confident or nervous about using a raised toilet seat ?
- how confident is the user about moving backwards ?
- how can you make them more confident about using the seat ? – the more stable the model and the more there is to hold onto will increase a person’s confidence
- can your loved one clean themselves afterwards ? – if they can’t, you may want a drop arm bedside commode which allows access from the side, or an open front raised toilet seat so they can pass their hand underneath without getting up
- does your loved one sit back with quite a jolt ? – if so you will really want a secure model which can’t come off the toilet, and you will need handles
- will the person be needing armrests to push themselves back up with ?
- is your loved one a larger person who will need a bariatric seat ?
- will your loved one need wide seat ? – if so you will have to get either a raised toilet seat with legs like the Maddak, a bariatric a safety frame with raised seat, or a bedside commode which you place over the toilet which comes in extra wide models
Medical reasons for needing a raised toilet seat
- if there are medical issues, what are the specific problems ?
- do you need to check with your loved one’s doctor or nurse ?
- if your elderly loved one has eye conditions, do they need extra grab bars or bigger armrests ?
- is it for a long term medical condition and what does that condition require ?
- is the seat for a younger person who has had a hip, or knee, replacement, who otherwise has good strength and balance on their good leg ?
- is the seat for an elderly personwho has had a hip, or knee, replacement, who has poor strength and balance ?
Asking questions such as these should help you to decide what type of seat is best suited to your personal scenario.
Raised Toilet Seat Checklist
You can download and print out your own copy of the Raised Toilet Seat Checklist below for free – no strings attached !
Raised toilet seats which are attached to the toilet come in a range of heights from 1 to 6 inches.
Safety frames with raised toilet seats and bedside commodes which can be placed over the toilet, come with maximum heights from the floor to the seat ranging from 20 inches up to 28 inches, but the amount this raises the seat from the toilet depends on how high your toilet bowl is from the floor.
To see how much a frame, or commode, will raise the seat for your toilet, you need to subtract the height of the rim of your toilet bowl to the floor, from the maximum height of the seat of the frame, or commode and that will tell you how much higher the new seat will be.
Height is not the only important factor in choosing a raised toilet seat.
You also need to consider –
- the weight of the user
- the width of the frame for larger individuals
- whether or not armrests or a frame are needed for additional support
- the state of health of the user
- whether or not the user is getting assistance in using the seat
I hope this was of help and good luck with your choice of raised toilet seat.
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