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What Are The Types Of Commode Chair With Wheels ? How to Make The Right Choice ?

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One of the great practical pieces of equipment that I have found in caring for my mother is the bedside commode. There are quite a few types though, and even commodes with wheels, which can either be pushed, or self-propelled and can double as transport chairs and shower chairs. It can get a bit confusing, so I’m going to try to guide you through what is available, all the different variations on the basic models, and what they are for.

 

There are four types of commode chair with wheels –

 

  • attendant transport commode chairs
  • self-propelled transport commode chairs
  • attendant shower transport commode chairs
  • self-propelled shower transport commode chairs

What is a commode chair ?

 

I am going to give an outline of all types of bedside commode chair to start, so if you want to jump straight to commodes with wheels, click here.

Commode chairs are portable toilets which don’t have running water, which means they don’t flush.

Commode chairs are also referred to as bedside commodes, or portable commodes.

Some commode chairs are static, and others come with wheels, some are for the shower, some the bedroom, some are for transporting people, as well as being a commode, some fold up, some have one function only, and others have multiple functions.

What is the purpose of a commode chair or a bedside commode ?

 

Commode chairs are typically used by elderly adults, or people with disabilities, who are bed bound or who may have great difficulties getting to the toilet, and so have a portable one very close at hand.

For those individuals who can still walk a bit, but who are unsteady, a commode chair can be of great help at night if used near to the bed, as it avoids trips to the bathroom at all hours when the user may be sleepy, stiff and unsteady.

My own mom after hip replacement surgery had a bedside commode in her bedroom for some time, and it enabled her to recover, without having to try to take long walks to the bathroom.

And because commode chairs are height adjustable, it also allowed us to raise the seat and avoid risking any injuries on a low toilet seat, as well as falling when trying to walk to the toilet.

 

What are the principal types of bedside commode or commode chair ?

 

The four main types of bedside commodes, or commode chairs, are –

 

  • static bedside/portable commodes
  • static drop arm bedside commodes
  • transport or rolling bedside commodes (with wheels)
  • combination shower chair, transport chair and bedside commodes (with wheels)

 

The first two types of chair are static bedside commodes, which you just carry and place them where you wish them to sit.

The third and fourth types are both with wheels, and can be used for a number of functions.

I don’t want to make this too confusing, but you will see the four basic types being mixed up a little, i.e. you may get a transport, or rolling commode, with drop arms, or a shower or transport commode with drop arms.

Static commode chairs or bedside commodes

 

The standard static portable bedside commode is a chair with a commode pale underneath, which you can stick by a bed or in a corner as a toilet.

You lift the seat to place the pale in position, lower the seat again, and it is ready for use.

The most commonly found static bedside commode is the 3-in-1, or All-in-One, and it is the most versatile.

This bedside commode has 3 basic functions it can perform –

 

  • as a bedside commode
  • as a raised toilet seat for over the toilet
  • as a toilet safety frame around a conventional toilet

 

If you want to find out more about a 3-in-1 commodes, I have an article all about them which you can read here.

3 in 1 bedside commode

Static drop arm bedside commodes

 

Static drop arm commodes are simply bedside commodes with arms which are not in a fixed position.

The arms may swing up or down, or be removed.

The drop arm was designed as a model which allowed for transfer in from the side, and as well as from the front. It is primarily for wheelchair users and individuals who are bed-bound.

Drop arm commodes can also be used when access from the side is required for a caregiver. The arm is moved out of the way so that the caregiver may help the commode user more easily.

Another function of the drop arm is that it allows the user to exit the commode from the side, rather than from the front, such as on a bed, or a wheelchair.

The drop arm bedside commodes can also as –

 

  • a bedside commode
  • a toilet safety frame
  • a raised toilet seat over your toilet

Drop arm bedside commode

What is a bariatric commode ?

 

Bedside commodes for larger individuals, 400 lb and more, do generally have a wider frame, as a person’s legs and hips will get bigger.

Bedside commodes for larger individuals are referred to as Bariatric or Heavy Duty commodes.

Bariatric or Heavy Duty commodes weight limits can go all the way up to supporting 1500 lb for some static commodes, and for rolling commodes 750 lb.

To find out more about bariatric commodes, you can read my article, “What is a bariatric commode ?” 

There are bariatric versions of all the existing types of bedside commode so you can find all the following –

 

  • bariatric bedside commode
  • bariatric 3-in-1 bedside commode
  • bariatric drop arm bedside commode
  • bariatric transfer bench commode
  • bariatric transport commode
  • bariatric shower chair transport commode

Commode chairs with wheels

 

Transport or rolling bedside commodes

 

These are bedside commodes on wheels, on which you can push your loved ones around.

If you are caring for an elderly parent who can’t walk, a transport commode is a very practical piece of equipment which will allow you to wheel them around the home.

If you have time you can also wheel your loved one to the bathroom and then position the commode over the toilet, and leave your loved one to have a little privacy.

With regard to odors, being able to wheel the user into the bathroom to relieve themselves, is a great plus, as the odors don’t spread through the rooms of the house, and the waste is just flushed away, also saving time on cleaning commode buckets, or throwing out disposable commode liners.

 

The transport or rolling commode can also be used as –

 

  • a transport chair
  • a bedside commode
  • or placed over the toilet as a raised toilet seat

 

Be warned that if you are hoping to use the commode over the toilet you will need a model which does not have any horizontal bars between the back legs blocking the passage of the commode over the toilet, and that it has adjustable height legs, with a height which is tall enough to clear your toilet bowl.

Whenever the commode is being used in a fixed position, make sure the wheels a re locked in position to avoid accidents.

The two types of transport commode chair

 

There are two types of the basic transport commode chair –

 

  • one with small wheels which requires a caregiver to push the user around in, known as attendant transport commode chairs
  • one which is self-propelled, known as self-propelled transport commode chairs

 

The Attendant transport commode chair – the user will need assistance to be moved around the home.

The wheels on these are generally 3 – 8 inches in diameter and can be plastic casters, rubber casters or a hard plastic.

 

The Self-propelled transport commode chair is just like a self-propelled wheelchair and has a large set of wheels at the back. 

The self-propelled models are a lot more costly than the standard transport commodes.

 

Both types of the transport commode chair model can come equipped with, or without, drop arms, padded seats, hard seats, seats with inserts, adjustable height legs, footrests and seat belts. 

Very often these are listed as add-on options that will change the price somewhat, but they are offered so that you can best customize the commode chair for your needs.

There may also be different widths of the different commode chairs to choose from as well.

Transport commodes also come in bariatric models for larger individuals.

 

Attendant Transport Commode Chair– with 4 equally sized wheels

 

Examples of Attendant transport commode chairs with four equally sized wheels –

 

  • 250 lb –  Nova drop arm transport commode, Prod. No. 8805
  • 300 lb –  Drive Medical drop arm commode with wheels with padded armrests, Prod. No. 11101W-2
  • 300 lb – Lumex Versamode drop arm transport chair commode w/5″ wheels, Prod. No. 6810A
  • 300 lb – 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

 

 

Self-propelled Transport Commode Chair

Examples of Self-propelled transport commode

 

  • 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. —

Shower transport commodes chairs

 

These commodes can be wheeled into the shower and have been specifically designed for this.

Of course, if you have a shower with a lip they won’t go in, so that aspect would be totally redundant.

 

The shower transport commode can be used as –

 

  • a shower chair
  • a transport chair
  • a commode
  • some can also be used over the toilet as a raised seat, but you do have to check the height of these, as not all are height adjustable

 

Always remember to lock the wheels when using it in a static position.

 

The two types of shower transport commode chair

 

You are going to find that the shower transport commode chairs, just like the ordinary transport commode chair, come in two types –

 

  • Attendant shower transport commode chairs with smaller wheels
  • Self-propelled shower transport commode chairs with larger wheelchair sized wheels

 

The attendant shower transport commode chair, as with the basic transport commode chair, can either have 4 equally sized wheels between 3 – 8 inches in diameter, or have two wheels at the back which are typically 8 – 12 inches and two smaller wheels at the front.

The self-propelled shower transport commode chair again has two wheelchair wheels at the back and two small wheels at the front, as with the self-propelled transport commode chair.

The shower models are of course fully waterproof and have all the different features available that I listed earlier – different seat types, drop arms, footrests, adjustable legs, bariatric models, and padding on the seats, backrests and armrests.

There are models available for all different sizes of individual.

 

 

Attendant Shower Transport Commode Chair

 

Examples of Attendant shower transport commode chairs with 4 equally sized wheels, 3 – 8 inches-

 

  • 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

 

Attendant Shower Transport Commode Chair – with larger rear wheels

 

Examples of Attendant shower transport commode chairs with larger rear wheels, 8 – 12 inches

 

  • 230 lb – OUUCL-OT Lightweight transport shower commode chair -, Prod. No.–
  • 250 lb – Xiao Zhu De Dian STB Multi function transport shower commode chair, Prod. No.–
  • 265 lb – JFGUOYA transport shower commode chair, Prod. No.–
  • 330 lb – Nurth 4 in 1 transport shower commode chair, Prod. No.–
  • 330 lb – Platinum Health Baltic professional transport shower commode chair, Prod. No.–
  • 550 lb- JFGUOYA transport shower commode chair, Prod. No.–

Self-propelled Shower Transport Commode

 

Examples of Self-propelled shower transport commode chairs with wheelchair wheels-

 

  • 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

Where to buy bedside commodes ?

Once you have sorted out which bedside commode you wish to buy, you may find these articles of help –

“Where To Buy A Bedside Commode ?”

“Where To Buy A Bariatric Commode ?”

“Where To Buy Shower Commodes ?”

“Does Walmart Carry Bedside Commodes ?”

 

How much does a bedside commode with wheels cost ?

 

Here is an overview of the range of prices that you can find for bedside commode –

 

Bedside commodes with wheels cost between $192.00 and $3303.88.

 

Transport bedside commode – (11 models $192.00 to $449.00)

Shower Transport bedside commode – $917.05 (70 models $119.00 to $3303.88)

Transfer bench bedside commode – $404.99 (11 models $117.00 to $1845.00)

 

I have an article with a huge range of bedside commodes of all types, and you will the prices for all the models. You can read that article here – “How Much Does A bedside Commode Cost ? A Guide  With Over 160 Examples By Category”.

Features which will vary on transport and on shower transport commode chairs

 

Adjustable height

 

Not all the transport and shower transport commode chairs will have adjustable height, so if you want to be using them over the toilet, you have to get one with adjustable height, or one with a fixed height that is great enough to go over your toilet.

Don’t forget to check with the seller that the commode fits over a toilet, and always remember to lock the wheels on a chair when it is in position to be used as a commode.

 

Examples of transport commodes with adjustable height

 

  • Drive Aluminum rehab commode shower chair 5″ casters, Prod. No. NRS185007
  • Drive bariatric rehab commode chair 5″ casters, Prod. No. NRS18500

 

Examples of shower transport commodes with adjustable height

 

  • Drive Aluminum Rehab commode shower chair 24″ wheels, Prod. No. NRS185006
  • Healthline EZee Life commode shower wheelchair, Prod. No.180-24
  • Healthline EZee Life commode shower wheelchair, Prod. No.150-22

      Weight Capacity

       

      The heavier commodes are typically referred to as bariatric commodes.

      In all my research over the years, I have not come across a basic transport commode (not shower transport commode chair) with a weight capacity over 350lb.

      There are many more shower transport commode chairs that will take heavier individuals – all the way up to the Gendron bariatric mobile shower commode chair, which has a maximum weight capacity of 750 lb.

       

      Examples of bariatric transport commodes

       

      • 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

        Examples of bariatric shower transport commodes

         

        • 385 lb –  Healthline, Ezee Life heavy duty commode shower chair w/ 5″ casters, Prod. No. 185
        • 385 lb –  Healthline, Ezee Life heavy duty commode shower wheelchair, Prod. No. 185-24
        • 440 lb –  Healthline, Ezee Life heavy duty commode shower wheelchair, Prod. No. 186-24
        • 440 lb –  Healthline, Ezee Life heavy duty commode shower chair w/ 5″ casters, Prod. No. 186
        • 450 lb –  Tuffcare heavy duty rolling shower commode chair, Prod. No. S95o
        • 450 lb –  Tuffcare bariatric commode shower wheelchair w/ 24″ wheels, Prod. No. S99o
        • 500 lb –  Drive Medical bariatric rehab commode chair w/ 5″ casters, Prod. No. NRS185008
        • 600 lb – AcveAid heavy duty rolling commode shower chair, Prod.No. 720
        • 705 lb – Arjo Carmina bariatric shower and commode chair, Prod. No. ARJ-BLB1000-013
        • 705 lb – Arjo Carmina bariatric shower and commode chair w/ adjustable footrest, Prod. No. ARJ-BLB2000-013
        • 750 lb ConvaQuip bariatric rehab shower rolling commode chair w/ 26″ wide seat, Prod. No. 1326P-24
        • 750 lb ConvaQuip bariatric rehab shower rolling commode chair w/ 28″ wide seat, Prod. No. 1328P-24
        • 750 lb – Gendron bariatric mobile shower chair w/ 26″ wide seat, Prod. No. GDN-5226
        • 750 lb – Gendron bariatric mobile shower chair w/ 28″ wide seat, Prod. No. GDN-5228 

        Materials

         

        The frames of the different commodes with wheels come in a range of three basic materials –

         

        • aluminum alloy
        • steel/ stainless steel
        • PVC – a medical grade of antibacterial plastic

         

        Examples of steel transport commodes

         

        • 300 lb – Drive Medical drop arm commode with wheels with padded armrests, Prod. No. 11101W-2

         

        Examples of aluminum transport commodes

         

        • 200 lb – Lattice portable medical aid mobility commode, Prod. No. —
        • 250 lb – AMG deluxe transport commode w/ 3″ rubber wheels, Prod. No. AMG770344
        • 250 lb – Caremax transport and bedside commode w/ casters, Prod. No. —
        • 250 lb – Nova Drop arm transport commode chair, Prod. No. 8805
        • 285 lb – Invacare Glide About commode (transport), Prod. No. H720T4

        Examples of steel shower transport commodes

         

        • 250 lb –  Nova rolling commode shower chair, Prod. No. 8800
        • 250 lb – Everst & Jennings rehab padded commode shower chair 5″ casters, Prod. No. —
        • 705 lb – Arjo Carmina bariatric shower and commode chair, Prod. No. ARJ-BLB1000-013

         

        Examples of aluminum shower transport commodes

         

        • 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
        • 260 lb –  Tuffcare padded transport commode shower chair w/ 6″ casters, Prod. No. S900
        • 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
        • 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
        • 286 lb –  Healthline, Ezee Life commode shower chair w/ 5″ casters, Prod. No. 180
        • 300 lb –  Drive Medical padded commode shower chair w/wheels, Prod. No.11114-1
        • 385 lb –  Mor Medical euro deluxe commode shower chair w/ 4″ casters, Prod. No. MD-118-4TL

        Examples of PVC shower transport commodes

         

        • 310 lb – Mor Medical New Era PVC rolling commode chair, Prod. No. DNE-118-3TWL
        • 385 lb –  Mor Medical New Era PVC 22″ wide shower bedside commode chair, w/out soft insert, Prod. No. DNE-122-3TWL
        • 385 lb –  Mor Medical New Era PVC 22″ wide rolling shower bedside commode chair, w/ soft insert, Prod. No. DNE-122-3TWL-SSI
        • 385 lb –  Mor Medical New Era PVC 22″ wide rolling shower bedside commode chair w/ footrest, w/out soft insert, Prod. No. DNE-122-3TWL-SF
        • 435 lb –  Mor Medical New Era PVC bariatric 26″ wide rolling commode shower chair without insert, Prod. No. DNE-126-4TWL
        • 435 lb –  Mor Medical New Era PVC bariatric 26″ wide rolling commode shower chair with insert, Prod. No. DNE-126-4TWL-SSI

        Drop Arms

         

        Each type of commode will have its variations, and the following are a few of the commodes with wheels which also feature drop arms in their design.

         

        Examples of drop arm transport commodes

         

        • 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

         

         

        Examples of drop arm shower transport commodes

        • 300 lb – Showerbuddy Roll-in Buddy Solo, shower commode wheelchair, prod. no. SB6w
        • 300 lb – Nuprodx Foldable travel shower transport commode chair (drop arms optional)
        • 350 lb – AMG Medical MedPro AquaCare shower commode w/ swivel armrests, Pro. No. AMG770300

        Seat type

         

        There are a number of different seat types from which you can select for your commode.

        • hard seat
        • padded seat
        • padded seat with front opening seat
        • padded seat with back opening

        Some commodes will offer each type of seat in a menu, along with lots of other options, so you can customize the type of commode chair you buy.

         

        Overall width

         

        You will have doubtless realized by now, if you have looked at the lists a little, that the transport and shower transport chairs also come in a variety of widths as they become more sophisticated, and that quite a few of the commode chairs will again have a selection menu where you can choose different widths from narrow, through to wide and extra wide.

        How to choose commode chairs with wheels ?

         

        You will need to consider the following –

         

        • transport commode chair or Shower transport commode chair – only use the shower models in the shower as they won’t rust and cause accidents
        • an attendant commode chair or a self-propelled commode chair
        • if you are getting an attendant commode chair, check the wheel size as they do vary
        • remember that if you are getting a shower transport commode chair you need to have a walk in shower with no lip or step
        • if you are getting an attendant transport commode chair you may not want a steel one, as it is heavier to push
        • whichever type of commode chair you get, you will have to have the right weight capacity
        • if you hope to use the chair over the toilet as well, you must get one with adjustable leg height and no horizontal bars on the back which will not allow you to roll the commode over the toilet
        • with the shower transport commode chairs, you will find that fewer of these can go over the toilet, so check with the supplier
        • remember to check the height of your toilet bowl if you are using it over the toilet
        • if you are getting the commode for a person who doesn’t need side transfer – if they are not a wheelchair user – you may still want drop arms as it can be very useful if the caregiver needs side access to help the user with cleaning themselves.
        • if the person using the commode chair is going to spending a tremendous amount of time in it, you really want to consider the models with good padding
        • look at the seats which have sections which can be removed from the seat itself, and then which can be popped back into place – you have front and back sections for seats which can be removed
        • if the user has wider than average hips, you will want to pay attention to the width of the seat, and many have different width options
        • make sure that you like the wheel brakes, and they are easy to lock – especially if you are getting an attendant model, as you don’t want to have problems fiddling with the brakes on wheels every time you need to lock them in place
        • last but not least, don’t forget to check overall widths of doorways in your home so that you don’t get a model which won’t be able to turn properly, or to go through door frames

        For more information on how to choose any type of bedside commodes, I have an article about all types – “Bedside Commodes: How to make the right choice ?”.

        I know that was rather a lot of information to take in, but I hope it is of help.

         

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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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