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How To Measure For A Raised toilet seat ?

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Choosing the different types of equipment for my elderly mom to help facilitate the different tasks she performs every day has, at times, been rather confusing, and choosing a raised toilet seat was no different.

How to measure for a raised toilet seat ? For the size of the toilet bowl –

 

  • you measure from the front edge of the rim of your toilet bowl to the center point between the two seat bolts holes

 

For the height of a raised seat –

 

  • measure from the floor to the back of the user’s knee
  • measure the height of your existing seat from the floor
  • subtract the second from the first, and that is the amount you need to raise the toilet seat

 

What exactly are we measuring the bowl for ?

 

In the US, toilet bowls come in two basic shapes –

 

  • standard (round)
  • elongated

 

The standard toilet bowls are smaller by a few inches than the elongated bowls, and are also referred to as round.

To measure the toilet bowl size, you simply measure the distance from the front edge of the bowl to the center point in between the at bolt holes.

Generally, in the US, the round or standard toilet bowl is 16 1/2 “, and the elongated is 18 1/2 “.

Raised toilet seats, are not universally fitting

 

In this section, I am only giving a brief description of the main types of toilet seats and whether they are universally fitting, or fit to either standard or elongated toilets.

To find out more about the different types of raised toilet seats, their solidity, their methods of installation and suitability for elderly, or disabled users, you will want to read my post “Types Of Raised Toilet Seats: All You Should Know Before You Buy”.

Risers

Riser installed on a toilet under the seat and lid

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 original toilet seat and lid back 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.

Risers come in standard or elongated sizes.

Seats with spacers

Spacer raised toilet seat without lid

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

Temporary or “Bubble seats”

Bubble seat raised toilet seat

Bubble seat raised toilet seat - underside

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 – you will not be using your toilet seat with these.

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 seats which lock onto the toilet bowl

 

Side locking raised toilet seats

Side locking toilet seat installed on a toilet

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

Front locking raised toilet seats

Front locking raised toilet seat on a toilet

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 inch Elevated Toilet Seat with Padded Removable Arms  and E-Z lock

HealthLine 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Padded removable Armrests

Nova 5 inch Elevated Toilet Seat with Padded Armrests

OasisSpace 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Padded Handles

Pivit 5 inch Raised Toilet seat with Padded Handles

Tulimed Deluxe Portable Elevated Riser with Padded Handles, 5 inches

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

Toilet safety frame with elevated seat placed over a toilet

Safety frames with elevated seats require no bowl measuring at all, as the seat is attached to the frame which stands over the toilet.

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. The frames 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 from the floor.

 

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

3 in 1 bedside commode placed over a toilet

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.

If you want to know more about using a bedside commode over a toilet, you can take a look at my article which covers all the aspects including the specific types of commodes which can be placed over a toilet, those which cannot, and how to set them up for toilet use and more – “Can A bedside Commode Be Used Over A Toilet”.

Some examples of portable bedside commodes which can be used over a toilet  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 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 ?
  • how much does your loved one weigh ? – weight is very important as all the seats have weight capacities, and you certainly don’t want your loved one to have an accident because you chose a seat with weight limit. So go over to another of my articles which is basically a huge list of different types of raised toilet seat, all organized in order of their weight capacities – “Raised Toilet Seat Weight Capacity: Over 180 Examples”.

 

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.

If your elderly loved one is fragile, or has issues with mobility or balance, you will want to know how to sit down, and to stand up, with a raised toilet seat, or bedside commode, with the aid of a walker, which can greatly facilitate the task.

I have a full description of how to transfer using a walker in this article here, as well as guidance about assisting an elderly person with cleaning themselves after using the toilet – “How To Use A Bedside Commode: An Illustrated Guide”.

 

Summing up…

 

To sum up, the 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 your 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.

 

Articles you may also like …

 

What is the highest raised toilet seat ? With 46 examples

48+ Caregiver tips for elderly hygiene issues and care

How much does a raised toilet seat cost ?  

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.

Gareth Williams

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