How To Measure For A Raised toilet seat ?
Choosing the different types of equipment for my elderly mom to help facilitate the different tasks she performs everyday has, at times, been rather confusing, and choosing a raised toilet seat was no different.
So, How to measure for a raised toilet seat ? For the size of the toilet bowl you measure from the front edge of the rim to the center point between the two seat bolts holes. For the height of a raised seat you measure from the floor to the top of the users thigh, and then subtract from that the distance from the floor to the top edge of the seat.
Raised toilet seats, are not universally fitting
Risers – these raise your toilet seat
Risers are rings of plastic, oval or round, which are to be attached to your toilet under your existing toilet seat through the seat’s bolt holes.
You remove your toilet seat and place the riser on the rim of your toilet with the holes in the riser aligned with your toilet seat bolt holes. You then place your toilet seat on top of the riser, lining up all the holes, and bolt the seat and the riser back onto the toilet.
The riser that you’re using should be measured to fit the toilet that you own. The risers come in standard or elongated sizes.
Seats with spacers
These combination raised toilet seats and risers require the removal of your existing seat and lid completely.
There is no universal “one size fits all”, they come in the elongated and standard sizes, and you will have to pick the correct one for your toilet.
They consist of –
- a new toilet seat which comes with small plastic legs or spacers on the underside – these toilet seats come in 2 inch or 3 inch models
- they are bolted down using the original seat bolt holes
- it is because the spacers sit atop the rim of your toilet bowl quite precisely that they come as either standard, or elongated models
An example of these seats is –
- Centoco 3L440STS-001 raised toilet seat with lid
Which raised toilet seats are universal, and which are not ?
There doesn’t seem to be much of a rule to this, except in the case of “front locking” raised seats, which generally are advertised as fitting most toilet sizes.
I am going to list the category/type of seat/riser combination by how they attach to the seat, and then noting which of these are universal, for elongated, or for standard toilet sizes.
I am starting with the simplest, and cheapest examples, working toward the more expensive, and, dare I say it, more solid.
Combination seat/risers without clamps or locks (sometimes called “Bubble” seats)
These are combination seat/risers and are placed on top of the toilet, and are pushed down so that their non-slip pads can grip the bowl.
They do not have any form of clamping, although some models have a lip at the back which slips under the rim of the bowl, such as the “Carex Quick-Lock”, and which gives them a bit more stability.
The following examples’ advertising says that they fit “most” toilet seats, so are universal –
- Carex Toilet Seat Riser 5 inch – anti-slip grip pads for the toilet bowl edge
- HealthSmart Portable Raised Toilet Seat Riser – has 4 non-slip pads which adhere to the inside of the toilet bowl
- Medline Elevated Heavy Duty Raised Toilet Seat – slots on and into the bowl
- Pivit Portable Raised Bathroom Toilet Seat 4 1/2 inch – non- slip pads
- Yunga Tart Raised Toilet Seat 4 3/4 inch – 4 non-slip pads
- Carex Quick-Lock 4 ” Seat Riser – this has a big lip at the back which secures under the rim of the toilet bowl
This is the only example I have found, to date, which does not fit most toilets. It is for standard toilets only –
- AquaSense Portable Raised Toilet Seat 4 inch – has a flange/ lip around the inside edge which secures it to the underside of the toilet rim
Raised toilet seat and riser combinations with fastenings
Some raised seats are placed onto the top of the bowl and have fastenings on the sides towards the back of the seat. They have a plastic bolt which is then screwed in to create pressure, and to grip the toilet on either side of the bowl.
There is usually a bracket or small lip at the front as well.
The examples below are universal, fitting most of both elongated and standard toilet seats –
Aquasense 4 inchRaised Toilet Seat with lid
Homecraft Ashby Easy Fit 2 inch Raised Toilet Seat
Homecraft Ashby Easy Fit 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat
Homecraft Ashby Easy Fit 6 inch Raised Toilet Seat
PCP 3 – 6 inch Adjustable Height Raised Toilet Seat with Security Clamps
The examples below fit only elongated toilet seats –
Contoured Tall-Ette Elevated Toilet Seats with Lok-In-El Bracket for Elongated Toilets – 2 inch
Contoured Tall-Ette Elevated Toilet Seats with Lok-In-El Bracket for Elongated Toilets – 4 inch
Contoured Tall-Ette Elevated Toilet Seats with Lok-In-El Bracket for Elongated Toilets – 6 inch
The examples below fit only standard toilet seats –
Contoured Tall-Ette Elevated Toilet Seats with Lok-In-El Bracket for Standard Toilets – 2 inch
Contoured Tall-Ette Elevated Toilet Seats with Lok-In-El Bracket for Standard Toilets – 4 inch
Contoured Tall-Ette Elevated Toilet Seats with Lok-In-El Bracket for Standard Toilets – 6 inch
Vaunn Medical Clamp-on 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat
Drive Medical 2 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock
Drive Medical 2 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock and Lid
Drive Medical 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock
Drive Medical 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock and Lid
Drive Medical 6 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock
Drive Medical 6 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock and Lid
Homecraft 2 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock
Homecraft 2 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lid and Lock
Homecraft 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock
Homecraft 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat and Lid with Lock
Homecraft 6 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock
Homecraft 6 inch Raised Toilet Seat and Lid with Lock
PCP 2 inch Raised Standard Toilet Seat with Lid and Safety Clamps
PCP Universal Fit 3 inch Elevated Toilet Seat
PCP 4 inch Raised Standards Toilet Seat with Lid
PCP 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat
Wxnnx Clamp-On 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lid
Certain raised seats have a front locking system, which is basically a clamp which you tighten by turning a knob, which is located on the front of the seat.
The back of the seat has a lip which slots in under the rim of the inside of the toilet bowl, to give extra stability – stopping it from popping out if you lean on the front of it.
These seats are often referred to as “elevated, or raised, front locking toilet seats”.
These are the more expensive types of raised toilets which attach to the toilet bowl, and come with armrests, some of which are removable, and some of which have adjustable heights.
The seats below are advertised as fitting “most” elongated and standard toilet types –
Bios 4.5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms
Carex E-Z Lock 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms
Essential Medical Supply 5″ Elevated Toilet Seat with Padded Removable Arms and E-Z lock
HealthLine 5″ Raised Toilet Seat with Padded removable Armrests
Nova 5 inch Elevated Toilet Seat with Padded Armrests
OasisSpace 5″ Raised Toilet Seat with Padded Handles
Pivit 5 inch Raised Toilet seat with Padded Handles
Tulimed Deluxe Portable Elevated Riser with Padded Handles, 5 inch
Vaunn Medical 4 inch Elevated Toilet Seat E-Z Lock system
Vive 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Padded Handles
Example of one fitting elongated toilet seats –
Drive Medical Premium 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Lock and Padded Armrests
Example of one fitting standard toilet seats –
Medokare 4.5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms
Safety frames with elevated seats fit all toilets
Safety frames with elevated seats require no bowl measuring at all, as the seat is attached to the frame which stands over the toilet.
How safety frames with raised seats work –
- the raised seat is attached to the safety frame
- the seat of your toilet is put in the vertical position, and the frame is placed over the toilet
- the system is more stable than any raised seats which are attached to the toilet as it rests equally on four legs
- safety frames with seats frames have adjustable height, and as you adjust the height of the legs, so the seat height is adjusted
- the frames have armrests which greatly assist in getting on and off the seat
- the armrests are adjustable on certain models
These frames are particularly solid, and are a very good option for more elderly or fragile people.
Because the frame is height adjustable, you don’t have to worry about buying the right height seat. They adjust to a range of different heights which are equal to those offered by other raised toilet seats.
Certain frames have raised seats which will go as high as 26 inches.
Some examples of frames are –
Maddak Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat with legs
PCP raised toilet seat and safety frame 2-in-1
MOBB elevated toilet seat and frame
Aidapt President raised toilet seat and frame
Lattice commode toilet seat and frame
Portable bedside commodes will fit all toilets
Portable bedside commodes are also known as 3-in-1 commodes, and as All-in-one commodes.
And just like safety frames with raised seats, portable bedside commodes can be used over all toilets, and are height adjustable.
To use the portable bedside commode over a toilet, all that has to be done, is to remove the potty part and the backrest (if it’s in the way), and place the commode over the toilet – your toilet seat has to be placed in the vertical position first.
If your commode comes with a shield, you can place this under the toilet seat of the commode and it will avoid any splashing.
Some examples of portable bedside commodes are –
Drive Medical heavy duty bariatric commode
Drive Medical steel folding bedside commode
UltraCommode bedside commode
This is the system we have been using for my mom since a hip replacement in the summer of 2018.
As my mom improved we lowered the height of the seat by adjusting the height of the frame legs.
She is so happy with this arrangement, that she still uses it today.
My mom feels that with the armrests on the portable commode, just like on the safety frames, it is easy to reach back and grab them, and that this increases her stability and helps her keep balance.
There is absolutely no wobbling to the seat as it is part of the frame.
How to measure for the height of your raised toilet seat ?
So, how high do we want our raised seat to be.
The simple way to measure for this is to measure the distance of the user’s upper thigh to the floor when standing, and to then subtract the distance from the floor to the top edge of the toilet seat.
What you don’t want to have, is an elderly person with their feet dangling in the air, or with only the ends of their toes just touching the floor, as this may cause them to lose their balance and fall when trying to get up from the seat.
How to choose a raised toilet seat for an elderly parent or loved one ?
Height and size aside, you need to consider what is the appropriate type of seat for an elderly person.
You should be asking yourself a range of questions about the person for whom the raised toilet seat is intended –
- what is the reason for using the seat – is it post-surgery, or for chronic conditions
- how old is the person
- how is the person physically in the rest of their body
- are they strong or weak
- is the user extremely frail
- how is their balance – do they lurch a lot
- does the person have confidence in their mobility
- do they have the confidence to back up and reach for a seat without armrests
- how good is their eyesight
- will the person need handles or armrests
- does the user have the strength to sit back slowly without jolting the seat
You also need to look at what conditions the raised toilet seat is being used in are –
- is there plenty of room around the toilet ?
- are there already some grab bars ?
- are there any obstacles in the way ?
- are there any raised rugs which can cause tripping ?
- do you already have a safety frame which could be placed over the toilet ?
For very elderly parents, or loved ones, who have problems with eyesight, balance, mobility, arthritis or pain, I would suggest the following are all necessary –
- have handles of some kind to reach back for
- a safety frame, or portable commode, which could take the impact if they sit back a little too hard
- have some kind of structure to hold onto if they lost their balance
- something they cannot easily slip off
- something which gives them confidence when using it, as this avoids confusion and accidents
My preferred option for an elderly parent is a safety frame with a raised seat, or a portable bedside commode, as they can’t come off the toilet, or wobble around, as they are independent of it.
Portable bedside commodes also have multiple use scenarios, which means that they are a good investment – we have used ours for washing, sitting, a commode by the bed, and of course as a raised toilet seat.
To sum up, size of the toilet seat is important if you buy a raised seat or riser which is not universal.
Don’t think, though, that the size of the raised toilet seat, or riser, is the only important factor when choosing a raised toilet seat; you also need to look at –
- the health of the person who will be using the seat
- and the conditions in which it is being used
You want to make sure that you elderly parent, or loved one, is filled with confidence by the equipment, and by the situation in which they are using it.
I hope this helps.
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I’m Gareth and I’m the owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com
I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.
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