What Is The Most Secure Raised Toilet Seat ?
Just like you probably have, I have seen some pretty ropey and wobbly raised toilet seats, and as I wouldn’t have my mom using them, I don’t think your loved ones should either. In this article I am going to outline the most secure raised toilet seats for our elderly or disabled loved ones.
What is the most secure raised toilet seat ? The most secure toilet raised seats are seats which either bolt onto the toilet using your regular toilet seat bolt holes, raised seats with legs, elevated seats with safety frames or bedside commodes used over a toilet.
Raised toilet seats are used to decrease the distance between a standing position in front of, and a seated position on the toilet.
Anybody with mobility issues, joint problems, a lack of strength in the legs and hips, people recovering from hip, or knee, replacement surgery can use a raised toilet seat.
It is very common for the elderly to use them in some form.
As my mom’s caregiver, I have crossed paths with a number of different types of raised toilet seat, and wasn’t really that satisfied, as the mounting systems were not that tight and the seats wobbled quite a lot.
In the end my mom decided to use a bedside commode as a raised toilet seat.
It sits on an independent frame and as such cannot come off the toilet, or wobble around.
To my mom’s delight, the bedside commode has worked flawlessly as a raised toilet seat since her surgery, some 22 months ago.
As mom has gained in strength with time, we have been able to adjust the height for her, slightly lowering it.
We continue to use it for her, as it has big armrests and a frame that she can easily hold onto, to guide herself back into position. My mom has issues with eye sight and balance to contend with, and so she finds the frame helps her with these.
What are most secure types of raised toilet seats, and how do you install them ?
Seats and risers which bolt to the toilet
Risers are oval shaped rings or blocks of plastic, which come in a range of heights from 2 to 4 inches.
The risers are placed under the existing toilet seat.
A riser will raise your toilet seat by the the amount of its height.
Risers are extremely solid, and bolt onto the toilet using your existing bolt holes through which the seat and lid are attached.
To install –
- first remove your existing toilet seat and lid from your toilet
- align the holes in the riser to the existing bolt holes on your toilet
- place your toilet seat and lid on top of the riser and make sure everything lines up and you can see all the way down through all the bolt holes as they line up
- take the extra long bolts which came with the riser and push them through the bolt holes and then fix with the nuts
- never over tighten the nuts as a toilet can break – its only ceramic
A few other points to consider –
- some risers have hinges, making cleaning under them easier
- some risers come with big armrests
- if you have a standard toilet you need a standard riser, and the same for elongated models
Some examples of these risers are –
- 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
There is no doubting the solidity of risers, and they are securely bolted onto the toilet, so I think they are perfectly secure.
If I have an issue it is simply that I wouldn’t use the models without armrests for an elderly loved one.
But with armrests and a grab bar on the wall to help with backing up to the toilet seat they are a very solid option.
I would always advise an elderly loved one to use a walker, to help with backing up and sitting on a raised toilet seat if they have problems with coordination.
Seats with spacers, or “Tall Seats”
“Spacer seats” or “tall seats” are toilet seats which have little legs, or spacers, evenly spaced apart on their underside.
The seats replace your existing toilet seat and bolt to the toilet using the same bolt holes.
Th seats come in 2 inch, or 3 inch high models, so although not very much of a lift they are very secure, and won’t wobble around or come off the toilet.
To install –
- remove the existing toilet seat and lid of your toilet
- place the new seat and lid in the same position as the old one
- re-attach the seat with bolts using the existing holes
The seats come –
- with or without lids
- can be open or closed at the front – open at the front is for easy access for cleaning
- with no armrests
- in an unadjustable height
I would not argue with the fact that these seats are perfectly secure, but for a frail or very elderly person who has poor balance, mobility and coordination, I would find the lack of armrests a problem.
You can of course solve this issue by putting up grab bars, or a safety frame around the toilet, and then you have a very good solid set up.
If you do get this for someone, when they are seated on the raised seat their feet should be firmly on the floor, and definitely not dangling in the air, as this can lead to falls when they stand up
An example of one these seats is –
- 300 lb – Centoco raised toilet seat with lid, Prod. No. 3L440STS-001
Big John raised toilet seats
Big John raised toilet seats are extra wide toilet seats which come in a few different heights, and which bolt onto the toilet using the existing seat bolt holes.
To install a Big John seat –
- remove your existing toilet seat by taking out the bolts
- now bolt the big John seat to your toilet in place of your old seat
Here are the range of Big John seats –
- 1200 lb – Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, (universal), Prod. No. 1-W
- 1200 lb – Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, (universal), Prod. No. 2-CR
- 1200 lb – Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, open front, (universal), Prod. No. 3-W
- 1200 lb – Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/out lid, open front (universal), Prod. No. 4-W
- 800 lb – Big John 1.5 ” standard toilet seat w/lid, (universal), Prod. No. 6-W
- 1200 lb – Big John 2.5 ” classic toilet seat w/out lid, open front (universal), Prod. No. 7-W
These are very secure as they attach to your toilet in the same way as an ordinary seat does.
The only shame is that they only raise the seat by a maximum of 2 1/2 “, but maybe they don’t go any higher as there are no armrests.
Still these are very strong raised toilet seats, and if you only need an inch or two extra and you can put a grab bar by the toilet to hold onto.
Raised toilet seats with legs
Raised toilet seats with legs are seats which attach to the bowl by plastic clamping systems, but also have legs in each corner which also take the weight, and make it impossible for the seat to wobble or to come off the toilet.
The seats are 4.3 or 4.5 inches high.
The design of the seat also gives a wider distance between the armrests for a larger person, and makes the seat even more sturdy.
The seats are attached to the toilet bowl rim with a front locking system, which means that the original seat of the toilet is either removed, or placed in the upright position.
The seats also all have armrests which make it easier for an elderly loved one to sit down.
Some examples of raised toilet seats with legs –
- 400 lb – Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat w/ aluminum legs, Prod. No. T725881000
- 400 lb – Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette 4.5 inch elevated toilet seat with steel legs, Prod. No. T725882000
- 300 lb – Mobb 4.5 inch Raised Toilet Seat With Legs Prod. No. MHRTSL
- 330lb – Herdegen Clipper VI 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500430
- 330 lb – Herdegen Clipper VII 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/lid and adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500431
Safety frames with raised seats
A safety frame with a raised, or elevated toilet seat, is a metal frame which has a toilet seat built into it.
The frame can be adjusted to the height you need for it to stand over your toilet.
Because the frame is independent of the the toilet, and has all 4 legs on the ground, it is very stable, and obviously can’t come off the toilet, as it is not on it.
These are a very good stable systems for the elderly, which have large armrests built into the frame, making it easy to grab ahold of them, helping to make coordination for an elderly person that much simpler.
To install –
- put the seat and lid on your toilet in the upright position
- place the frame over your toilet
A few points to consider before you purchase one –
- the height on all models is adjustable
- the width on some models is adjustable
- the weight of the user is spread over the legs and not the toilet bowl rim
- there are bariatric frames for heavier people
- there exist mechanized lifting frames for individuals who don’t have enough strength to stand or to sit on their own
- all the frames have armrests
- the frame takes the weight of the user and not the plastic seat
Some examples of frames are –
- 220lb – Lattice commode toilet seat and frame, Prod. No. Un available
- 275 lb – PCP raised toilet seat and safety frame 2-in-1, Prod. No. PCP 70077
- 280 lb – Homecraft uni-frame folding toilet frame w/ seat, Prod. No. 49338
- 280 lb – Aidapt Solo Skandia raised toilet seat and frame, floor fixed, Prod. No. VR158
- 330 lb – Aidapt President Bariatric raised toilet seat and frame, adjustable height, Prod. No. VR219AL
- 420 lb – Homecraft Deluxe Sterling toilet frame, Prod. No. 081124585
- 420 lb – Ashby Lux toilet seat and frame, adjustable height, Prod. No. VR213
- 420 lb – NRS Healthcare Mowbray toilet seat and frame, adjustable width, Prod. No. NRS M11089
- 540 lb – Aidapt Solo Skandia bariatric raised toilet seat and frame w/ lid, Prod. No. VR215B
- 560lb – Aidapt Cosby bariatric toilet seat and frame, Prod. No. VR224
- 550 lb – NRS Healthcare Mowbray toilet seat and frame, Extra wide, Prod. No. NRS M48805
- 560 lb – Aidapt President Bariatric raised toilet seat and frame, adjustable height, aluminum, Prod. No. VR219
- 560 lb – Aidapt Cosby bariatric toilet seat and frame, Prod. No. VR224
If you have any doubts about the physical capacities of your elderly loved ones and aren’t sure about their balance, strength or mobility, I wouldn’t hesitate to get them a frame with a raised seat.
Now to our family’s favorite, the bedside commode.
The 3-in-1 bedside commode, or also an All-in-1 commode, is the best model for using as a raised toilet seat out of the range of static bedside commodes – you can get these with, or without drop arms, if you need to give your loved one help with cleaning and need the side access that a drop arm allows you.
The 3 in 1 bedside commode can be
- used as a bedside commode
- used as a toilet safety rail
- used as a raised toilet seat
To install as a raised toilet seat –
- place the existing toilet seat and lid of your toilet in the upright position
- remove the potty from the commode
- for the tightest fit remove the backrest
- place the commode over the toilet with its seat on
You can find 3 in 1 bedside commodes with all types of variations –
- “bariatric” or “heavy duty” models for larger individuals over 350 lb up tp 1500 lb
- the seats can come in a range of sizes “narrow”, “standard”, “wide” and “extra wide”
- seats may be padded or hard plastic
- seats may be elongated to allow for easier access for cleaning, if the user is cleaning themselves
- with, or without, drop arms
- all 3 in 1 commodes should have height adjustable legs
- “tall” models for taller users
- the commode frames can be made from steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloy or medical grade PVC
Some examples of the 3 in 1 commode are –
- 250 lb – Nova drop arm 3-in-1 commode, Prod. No. 8900W
- 300 lb – Lifestyle Mobility Aids folding 3-in-1 steel commode, Prod. No. B3400F
- 300 lb – Lumex drop arm 3-in-1 commode, Prod. No. 6433A
- 300 lb – MedPro Homecare commode chair, Prod. No. 770-315
- 300 lb – Nova folding commode, Prod. No. 8700-S
- 300 lb – Probasics drop arm 3-in-1 commode, Prod. No. BSDAC
- 300 lb – Probasics 3-in-1 steel commode, Prod. No. BS31C
- 350 lb – Drive Medical 3-in-1 Competitive Edge folding commode, Prod. No. 11148CE-4
- 350 lb – Homecraft Heavy-duty 3-in-1 commodes, Prod. No. 081437862
- 400 lb – Lumex imperial collection 3-in-1 bedside commode, Prod. No. 7446A-2
- 400 lb – TFI Healthcare wide 3-in-1 commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3224G
- 400 lb – TFI Healthcare 3-in-1 commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3223G
- 500 lb – DMI Extra wide, adjustable height, heavy duty steel commode w /platform seat, Prod. No. 23044
- 600 lb – Performance Health heavy-duty 3-in-1 drop arm commode, Prod. No. 081202704
- 650 lb – TF1 3244 Extra tall, wide commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3244
- 700lb – AMG bariatric drop arm commode, Prod. No. AMG770322
- 800 lb – Big John Commode chair, adjustable legs, Prod. No. BJBC
- 850 lb – Model 724T Bedside commode w/ fixed arms, Prod. No. 724T
- 1000 lb – Model 730 Bedside commode w/ fixed arms, Prod. No. 730
- 1500 lb – Model 736DAR Bedside commode w/ right drop arm, left arm fixed, Prod. No. 736DAR
This is pretty much perfect, in my opinion, for an elderly person who needs a bit of assistance with their balance, and who doesn’t have great mobility.
There are also static commodes which stack, which are less versatile than a 3 in 1 bedside commode, but the models with adjustable height legs can be used as raised toilet seats as well.
Transport and shower transport commode chairs
Both transport commode chairs and shower transport commode chairs can be used as raised toilet seats.
The transport commode chair and the shower transport commode chair come in two main types –
Attendant – these require a caregiver to be present to push the user when they are being transported
Self-propelled – as the name suggests the user can wheel themselves around – these models have wheelchair wheels at the back, and they are equipped with wheelchair breaking systems.
If you are purchasing a transport commode chair or shower transport commode chair and hoping to be able to use it as a raised toilet seat you will want to make sure that there are –
- no horizontal bars across the rear of the chair which would impede you from wheeling the chair over your toilet
- if the legs are not height adjustable you need to make sure that they are tall enough the clear the rim of your toilet bowl
- if the legs are height adjustable do they have the height needed to clear you toilet bowl
Both the transport commode chairs and shower transport commode chairs come with a range of variations –
- some models are fixed height
- some models are height adjustable
- there is a great range of seat types because of the fact that these are also transport commodes, and people will use them as chairs – they will mostly have nice padded seats with a range of inserts
- the frames can be made of steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloy and Medical grade PVC – the shower transport chairs have to be fully waterproof so they will be specially coated if they are made of steel
- there will be a range of widths as on other bedside commodes from “narrow” to “extra wide”
- there are also models for taller individuals
- there are a lot drop arm models for side transfer access as you would expect
- there is quite a large range of weight capacities and the strongest shower models can take up to 750 lb
Transport commode chairs are designed to be used as –
- a transport chair
- a bedside commode
- a raised toilet seat
Shower transport commode chairs are designed to be used as –
- a transport chair
- a shower chair
- a bedside commode
- a raised toilet seat
To install either type of transport commode chair as a raised toilet seat –
- you must make sure the legs are the right height to clear the rim of the toilet bowl
- if you have adjustable height legs on the commode, you can set the legs to a range of different heights
- remove the bucket from the commode
- place the toilet lid and seat in the upright position on the toilet
- wheel the transport commode backwards into position over the toilet bowl
- lock the wheels of the commode once it is in position
- lift the commode seat and insert the splash guard
- put the seat down and the transport commode is ready for use as a raised toilet seat
Here are some example of attendant transport commode chairs –
- 250 lb – Nova drop arm transport commode, Prod. No. 8805
- 250 lb – Nova lightweight transport chair, Model No. 377B-R.
- 300 lb – Drive Medical drop arm commode with wheels with padded armrests, Prod. No. 11101W-2
- 300lb – Lumex Versamode drop arm transport chair commode w/5 ” wheels, Prod. No. 6810A
- 300lb – TFI Healthcare commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3217
- 350 lb – AMG Medical MedPro Euro commode with drop down arms, Pro. No. AMG 770365
- 350 lb – AMG Medical MedPro Euro commode with flip up arms, Pro. No. AMG 7703755
- 350 lb – Drive Medical upholstered commode with wheels, Prod. No. 11120SV-1
Here are some examples of self-propelled transport commode chairs –
- 198 lb – HBing transport commode wheelchair, Prod. No. —
- 220 lb – Yezijaju transport commode wheelchair, Prod. No. —
- 220 lb – LHSS transport commode wheelchair, Prod. No. —
- 220 lb – Belltower folding transport commode wheelchair, Prod. No. —
Here are some example of attendant shower transport commode chairs –
- 250 lb – Nova rolling commode shower chair, Prod. No. 8800
- 250 lb – Nova padded commode shower chair w/ wheels, Prod. No. 8801
- 250 lb – Tuffcare padded transport commode shower chair w/ wheels, Prod. No. S800
- 250 lb – Everest & Jennings rehab padded commode shower chair 5″ casters, Prod. No. —
- 260 lb – Tuffcare padded transport commode shower chair w/ 6″ casters, Prod. No. S900
- 275 lb – Drive Medical aluminum rehab commode shower chair w/ 5″ casters, Prod. No. NRS185007
- 286 lb – Healthline, Ezee Life commode shower chair w/ 5″ casters, Prod. No. 150
- 300 lb – Drive Medical padded commode shower chair w/ wheels, Prod. No.11114-1
- 330 lb – Invacare Aquatec Ocean Ergo shower/ bedside commode w/ casters, Prod. No. INV-OCEANERGO
- 385 lb – Mor Medical euro deluxe commode shower chair w/ 4″ casters, Prod. No. MD-118-4TL
Here are some examples of self-propelled shower transport commode chairs –
- 250 lb – Everest & Jennings shower transport commode chair w/ wheelchair wheels, Prod. No. 12022010
- 260 lb – Tuffcare padded commode shower chair wheelchair, Prod. No. S970
- 275 lb – Drive Medical aluminum rehab commode shower chair w/ 24″ wheels, Prod. No. NRS185006
- 300 lb – Invacare Mariner rehab shower/ bedside commode wheelchair(18.5″ x 18.5″), Prod. No. 6895
- 300 lb – Showerbuddy Roll-inBuddy Solo, shower commode wheelchair, prod. no. SB6w
- 300 lb – Nuprodx Multichair Ultra narrow shower commode wheelchair (drop arms optional), Prod. No. 4020RX
- 330 lb – Invacare Aquatec Ocean Ergo self propelled shower/ bedside commode w/ wheelchair wheels, Prod. No. INV-OCEANERGOSP
- 330 lb – Invacare Aquatec Ocean SP shower/ transport bedside commode w/ wheelcahir wheels, Prod. No. INV-OCEANSP
- 385 lb – Healthline EZee Life heavy duty shower commode wheelchair, Prod. No. 185-24
How to choose a raised toilet seat for an elderly person ?
What do you need to consider ?
So far, I have concentrated my article on which are the most secure types of seat i.e. those which are the most solid and stable on, or over the toilet.
You also need to consider how secure and stable your elderly loved one is, as you are choosing what type of seat to buy, and if they will need any extra features to make sitting safer.
To make a decision on which type of raised toilet is suitable for your loved one, you really want to be asking yourself a number of questions which relate to –
- the environment the seat is being placed in – how much space ? clutter ? access ?
- the state of health of your elderly loved one
- the medical reasons for needing the raised toilet seat
To help you with all those questions, and more, I have a free pdf checklist that you can download below.
I hope it helps you out.
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 !
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I’m Gareth and I’m the owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com
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