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How Wide Is A Bariatric Commode ?

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It can get a little confusing with bedside commodes, trying to understand what they are forand what sizes they come in. I have been looking for some time for my mom for a second bedside commode, trying to find one with particular features and specific dimensions. So I have put together an article about bariatric commodes and their dimensions.

 

Bariatric commodes come in a variety of widths –

 

  • seat widths range from 13″ up to 31″ 
  • seat depths range from 14″ up to 23″
  • widths between armrests range from 17 3/4″ up to 31 1/4″ 
  • exterior width (including the frame) from 22″ up to 39 1/4″ 

What is a bariatric bedside commode ?

 

The word “bariatric” comes form the greek word “baros” meaning “weight”.

Medical equipment which is bariatric, or heavy duty models is for larger individuals, and can support greater weight.

In the case of bariatric bedside commodes, these are models which typically support more than 350 lb.

Just because a commode does not have the words “bariatric” or “heavy duty” in its product name, does not mean that it is not a bariatric commode.

To identify if a commode will support over 350 lb, you really want to check the weight capacity, as many commodes with a 400 lb – 600 lb weight capacity don’t let you know that they are for a larger person.

Some from designs you can tell because instead of a small oval seat sitting within the frame, the seat is one large flat piece which stretches across the whole frame, and this is only done on the higher weight capacity commodes.

A manufacturer may decide that another feature such as “extra wide”, “extra wide frame” or “drop arm” is a more important selling point for their product than “bariatric” or “heavy duty”, and a term such as “extra wide” does rather imply that the commode is for a larger person.

If you see a commode with the following terms in their product name they will usually be for a larger person, and you can just check the weight capacity to confirm –

 

  • bariatric
  • heavy duty
  • extra wide
  • extra wide frame
  • wide seat

 

Typically the width of bedside commodes become greater with a rise in their weight capacity, the greater the weight capacity the greater the width allowed for the hips and thighs for the user’s comfort.

 

If you want to save yourself time trying to find a commode with the right weight capacity for yourself, or a loved one, you can check my extensive list of bariatric commodes and their weight capacities. I have also listed their model numbers in the articles so there should be no confusion finding them online. You can read that article here.

Static bariatric bedside commodes

 

To make things a little easier I am dividing the bedside commodes into two types –

 

  • static 
  • rolling

 

Let’s start with the static types of commodes which have bariatric models.

 

How big is a standard bedside commode ?

 

So that you have something to compare the size of bariatric commodes with, I am just going to give you the dimensions of a standard 3-in-1 bedside commode with a weight capacity of 300 lb

3 in 1 bedside commode

 

The dimensions of your average 3 in 1 commode are –

Seat size: 13″ wide x 14″ deep

Seat opening: 8″ wide x 10″ deep

Adjustable seat height: 17″- 23″

Width between the armrests: 18″

Overall width: 20″

Base Dimensions: 20″ wide x 20″ deep

 

Bedside commode weight capacity

 

The greater the weight capacity, the larger the frame has to be to be able to support the weight, and also to accommodate the larger individuals using it, which generally means in the hips and the thighs.

Different types of commodes for a larger person

 

As I said previously, it is generally accepted that any commode with a weight capacity of over 350 lb is a bariatric commode.

All of the following bedside commodes have different names, but all are wider than a standard commode and have a far greater weight capacity.

 

Elongated bedside commode seats

 

For easier access for the user for cleaning themselves some bedside commodes may have seats which are elongated form front to back.

Elongated seats may also be open front or closed front, with the open front affording even more access to the user for cleaning themselves.

As you will see the frames are not much wider, but they already are 2″ and 2 1/2 inches wider.

 

An example of an open front elongated seat on a bedside commode is –

 

Probasics heavy duty wide commode with elongated seat –

Model No: BSB31C

Weight capacity: 450 lb

Elongated seat size: 15.5″ wide x 15.5″ deep

Seat height: 17″ – 23″

Base width: 30″

Width between the arms: 21″

Overall width at arms: 22 1/2″

 

An examples of a closed front elongated seat on a bedside commode is –

 

Guardian Medline 3 in 1 commode –

Model No: MDS89664EL

Weight capacity: 400 lb 

Elongated seat size: 16.5″ deep

Seat height: 17″ – 23″

Width between the arms: 19″

Overall width: 22″

Elongated seats with extra wide frames

 

On these models of elongated seat bedside commodes the width of the frames have also been increased to give more room to accommodate the thighs and hips of larger users.

The extra wide commode frames start to appear at weight capacities of 400 lb and above.

 

The following two commodes are examples of this type of static bariatric commode –

 

TFI Healthcare wide 3 in 1 commode with elongated seat –

Model No: TFI3224G

Weight capacity: 400 lb 

Elongated seat size: 14 3/4″ wide x 19″ deep

Seat height: 18 1/4″- 22 1/4″

Width between the armrests: 22 3/4″

Overall Base width: 26″

TFI Healthcare extra large bedside commode with elongated seat –

Model No: TFI3240

Weight capacity: 700 lb 

Elongated seat size: 14 3/4″ wide x 19″ deep

Seat height: 18″ – 21″

Width between the armrests: 24 1/4″

Overall width: 28.5″

 

Extra wide frames with wider seats

 

With bedside commodes of weight capacities of 400 lb and up there are lots of models with extra wide frames and slightly wider seats – typically between 24 and 26 1/2″ in between the armrests, as opposed to around 19″ on a standard bedside commode.

The seats are slightly wider, by a few inches, and the seat form is  – deeper from front to back – elongated.

The extra width is more comfortable for larger hips and thighs.

 

Here are some examples of extra wide bedside static commodes –

 

Tuffcare extra wide 3 in 1  commode chair – 

Model No: M450

Weight capacity: 400 lb 

Seat size: 15 1/2″ wide x 16 1/2″ deep

Seat height: 18″ – 23″

Width between armrests: 24″

Overall width: 28″

 

Tuffcare extra wide drop arm  commode chair – 

Model No: M470

Weight capacity: 450 lb 

Seat size: 15 1/2″ wide x 16 1/2″ deep

Seat height: 19″ – 24″

Width between armrests: 25″

Overall width: 31″

 

Nova heavy duty wide drop arm  commode chair – 

Model No: 8580

Weight capacity: 450 lb 

Seat size: 23″ wide x 18 1/2″ deep

Seat height: 19 1/2″ – 23 1/2″

Width between armrests: 26 1/2″

Overall width: 33″

Bariatric or heavy duty bedside commodes

 

These are commodes which have been specifically given the name of either bariatric, or heavy duty and are in the weight capacity range of 500 lb and above.

The width between the arms is between 24 1/2″. and 39 3/4″.

 

Some examples of these larger models of bariatric commode are –

 

Drive deluxe bariatric drop arm commode –

Model No: 11135-1

Weight capacity: 1000 lb 

Seat width: 25 1/2″

Seat height: 17 1/2″- 22″

Width between the arms: 25 1/2″

Overall width: 28 1/2″

Lumex heavy duty drop arm commode –

Model No: 6438A

Weight capacity: 600 lb 

Seat width: 25″

Seat height: 19 1/2″ – 23 1/2″

Width between the arms: 25″

Overall width: 31″

Probasic heavy duty drop arm commode –

Model No: BSBDAC

Weight capacity: 650 lb 

Seat width: 24 1/2″

Seat height: 19 1/2″ – 23 1/2″

Width between the arms: 24 1/2″

Overall width: 28 1/2″

Nova heavy duty drop arm commode –

Model No: 8583

Weight capacity: 500 lb 

Seat width: 24 1/4″

Seat height: 19″ – 23″

Width between the arms: 24 1/2″

Overall width: 28 1/2″

 

Rolling bedside commodes

 

Rolling commodes can be divided into 2 types –

 

  • transport bedside commodes
  • shower chair transport bedside commodes

 

Transport bedside commodes

 

Transport bedside commodes can be divided into two types –

 

  • attendant transport commodes
  • self-propelling transport commodes

 

There are very few of the transport bedside commodes which support more than 300 lb, and certainly none which are in the 350 lb category and above of the heavy duty or bariatric models.

Of the self propelling transport commodes there are no commodes which go above 250 lb weight capacity, so there are no bariatric models here either.

It seems that the designers of commodes have preferred to make all the rolling bariatric models those which are in the shower chair transport bedside commode category.

 

To give an idea of the size of a transport commode here is an example –

 

Drive Steel drop arm commode with wheels and padded armrests –

Model No: 11101W-2

Weight capacity: 300 lb

Seat size: 14 1/4″ wide  x 16 3/4″ deep

Width between the armrests: 18″

Overall width: 24″

Seat height: 17″ – 21 “

 

Shower chair transport bedside commodes

 

Shower chair transport bedside commodes can be divided into two types

 

  • attendant shower chair transport commodes
  • self-propelling shower chair transport commodes

 

All of the rolling bariatric commodes are shower chair transport commodes.

The largest bariatric models are all in the attendant category – “attendant” simply means that the commode cannot me propelled by its occupant, there must be a second person to push the commode.

There are some bariatric models in the self-propelling category, but they do not go above the 485 lb weight capacity, and are somewhat smaller in width.

Even so, the self-propelling commodes slightly wider than they otherwise would be, due to the wheelchair wheels being on the exterior of the wheelchair chassis, and not underneath the chassis as with an attendant commode.

 

This is a example of a standard sized attendant shower chair transport commode –

 

Tuffcare transport padded shower commode chair with wheels –

Model No: S800

Weight capacity: 250 lb

Seat size: 16″ wide x 16″ deep

Fixed Seat Height: 20″

Width between the armrests: 18″

Overall width: 24″ 

This is an example of a standard sized self-propelling shower chair transport commode –

Showerbuddy Roll-inBuddy Solo shower commode wheelchair –

Model No: SB6W

Weight capacity: 300 lb

Seat size: 18″ x 18″

Seat height: 22 1/4″ – 23 1/4″

Width between the armrests 18″

Overall chassis width: 27 3/4″

 

Attendant bariatric shower transport commode

 

The attendant shower chair transport commodes have the larger bariatric models, going up to an internal width of 31 1/4″ and a chassis overall width of 39 1/4″ on the Arjo Carmina.

The Arjo Carmina can take a weight of 705 lb, which is almost 300 lb more than the  strongest self propelling shower chair transport commode.

 

Some examples of attendant bariatric shower commodes are –

 

Mor Medical New Era shower commode chair with wheels –

Model No: DNE 126

Weight capacity: 435 lb

Seat size: 16 3/4″ wide  x 17″ deep

Fixed seat height: 20 1/2 “

Width between the armrests: 26″

Overall chassis width: 29 1/2″

 

Convaquip Model 131-5 bariatric shower transport commode –

Model No: 131-5

Weight capacity: 700 lb

Seat size: 30″ wide x 23″ deep

Fixed seat height: 22 1/4″

Width between the armrests: 30″

Overall chassis width: 34″

Gendron bariatric shower transport commode –

Model No: 5228

Weight capacity: 750 lb

Seat size: 28″ wide x 20″ deep

Fixed seat height: 22″

Width between the armrests: 28″

Overall chassis width: 35 1/3″

 

Arjo carmina bariatric shower transport commode –

Model No: carmina

Weight capacity: 705 lb

Seat size: 31″ wide x 20 1/2″ deep

Fixed seat height: 19″

Width between the armrests: 31 1/4″

Overall chassis width: 39 1/4″

 

Self-propelling bariatric shower transport commodes

 

Here are the only bariatric (over 350 lb weight capacity) self-propelling bariatric shower transport commodes I know of.

The width is slightly larger than the standard self-propelling models, but as I said earlier due to the wheelchair wheels their exterior width makes them a little wider, but it doesn’t translate into leg room.

 

There are two models of the same commode –

 

Ezee life heavy duty shower commode wheelchair by Healthline –

Model No: 185-24

Weight capacity: 385 lb

Seat size: 20″ x 16 1/2″

Seat height: 19 1/3″ – 21 1/3″

Width between the armrests: 20″

Overall chassis width: 28″

 

Ezee life heavy duty shower commode wheelchair by Healthline –

Model No: 186-24

Weight capacity: 440 lb

Seat size: 22″ x 16 1/2″

Seat height: 19 1/3″ – 21 1/3″

Width between the armrests: 22″

Overall chassis width: 30″

Tall bedside commodes

 

Surprisingly, at least to me, there is not much variety in the height of bedside commodes.

The standard commode has, at best, a range of 16″ – 23″ for the seat height from the floor.

The tallest bedside commode, and the first on my short list, having a maximum seat height from the floor of a dizzy 28″ ! This only 5″ more than that on a standard commode, but that is all there is for taller individuals.

 

For taller individuals there is really only one bedside commode and that is the –

 

TFI Healthcare Extra tall wide commode with elongated seat –

Model No: 3244

Weight capacity: 650 lb

Elongated seat size: 14 3/4″ wide x 19″ deep

Width between the armrests: 24″

 

There are some which are a little higher than others –

 

Drive deluxe drop-arm bedside commode

Model No: 11125KD

Weight capacity: 300 lb

Width between the armrests: 19.5″

Seat height: 20″ – 24″

 

Medline heavy duty padded drop arm bedside commode

Model No: G98204

Weight capacity: 350 lb

Width between the armrests: 18 1/2″

Seat size: ” 18 wide x 20″ deep

Seat height: 20″ – 25″  

Tuffcare extra wide drop arm commode chair – (previously mentioned in extra wide frames and seats)

Model No: M470

Weight capacity: 450 lb 

Seat size: 15 1/2″ wide x 16 1/2″ deep

Width between armrests: 25″

Seat height: 19″ – 24″

Where can I get a bariatric commode ?

 

If you have Medicare Part B and qualify under their guidelines, you can a bedside commode through a Medicare- enrolled  Medical Equipment Supplier.

So long as you qualify, Medicare will cover 80% of the cost, and you pay your deductible if it applies, and a 20% coinsurance of the cost of the bedside commode.

You can find out if you qualify for a bedside commode under Medicare Part B or C if you read my article “Does Medicare Cover Bedside Commodes”.

If you do qualify, you can find a Medicare-enrolled Supplier on the Medicare.gov website here.

 

If you have to pay for a bedside commode yourself you can find them at most large retailers and specialist retailers online.

 

Retailers who sell bedside commodes in stores –

 

  • Home Depot – they have a big range
  • Walmart
  • Lowes
  • Walgreens
  • Sears
  • Target

 

If you want to look online –

 

  • American Discount Home Medical Equipment – https://www.home-med-equip.com/ (these are specialists with a huge range, and a lot of rolling commodes as well)
  • Amazon
  • Home Depot 
  • Walmart
  • Lowes
  • Walgreens
  • Sears
  • Target

 

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48+ Caregiver tips for elderly hygiene issues and care

 

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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