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Types Of Raised Toilet Seats: All You Should Know Before You Buy

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While looking after my mom and dad as their caregiver and researching my numerous articles, I have managed to wade my way through the world of different types of toilet seats, the secure and the not so secure.

Raised toilet seats come in six main types –

 

  • temporary seats which do not have any type of bolt, lock or bracket attaching them to the toilet bowl or seat 
  • seats which lock onto the toilet bowl – side locking or front locking models exist – for medium term use
  • seats which are bolted onto the toilet itself, which are suited to long term use by the elderly and the disabled – examples being “risers”, “tall seats” or “seats with spacers”
  • raised toilet seats with legs which slot onto the toilet bowl
  • safety frames with elevated seats, which are placed over your toilet, but do not attach to it – ideally suited to the elderly and disabled for long term use
  • bedside commodes which can be used over a toilet – very solid and ideal for long term use for the elderly and disabled

 

The last four types of raised toilet seat are the most secure, and the best suited to long term use for the elderly and the disabled.

 

In this article I will go through all the different types, their best uses, advantages and drawbacks, and which seats are best suited to the elderly.

As well as, all the classic raised, or elevated, toilet seat types, there are also different models of multipurpose bedside commodes which can be used as raised toilet seats. I will outline those with their different use scenarios as well.

Once you have discovered all the different types and come to some kind of decision about which it is that you want to buy, I have an article about the “Where To Buy A Raised Toilet Seat ?”, which outlines the main brands, which stores have the largest selections of raised toilet seats and which brands they carry, and where to get a gently used raised toilet seat.

 

Types of toilet seats

Toilet seat bowls can be split into two main types –

 

  • standard or round shaped toilet seats
  • elongated toilet seats

 

So, this means that you will find that there are raised toilet seat models may fit  –

 

  • only elongated toilet bowls
  • only standard toilet bowls
  • both if they are universal fit

 

Typically, in the US, the standard toilet bowl is 16 1/2 inches deep, and the elongated seat is 18 1/2.

If you want to know how to measure your toilet, you can find out in my article “How to measure for a raised toilet seat ?”, along with illustrations and diagrams on where to measure.
 

Temporary raised toilet seats

 

The more temporary raised toilet seats have no locks, brackets, fixings or bolts to attach them to your toilet seat.

These seats do not require the removal of your toilet seat and generally come in a range of heights – 2 inch, 3 inch, 3 1/2 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch and 6 inch.

If you want to check any weight capacities of raised toilet seats of virtually any type, I have an article of over 180 raised toilet seats, where I list the seat name, manufacturer, model number and the weight capacity – “Raised Toilet Seat Weight Capacities: over 180 examples”.

Let’ take a look at the different types, starting with the simplest.

 

Bubble seats (this is not an official name for these seats)

Bubble seat raised toilet seat

Bubble seat raised toilet seat - underside

Bubble seats are the most basic of seats which attach to the toilet bowl, and look like big white donuts.

The seats are attached by simply placing them on the rim of the toilet bowl, and giving a good hard push.

 

Bubble seats –

 

  • slot over the rim of the toilet bowl, and have an inside edge or rim which typically goes a small distance into the bowl to give some grip and to stabilize it
  • quite a few models have “sticky grip pads” to help the seat from slipping
  • this type of seat has no fastenings on the side or clamps
  • a few of these seats have a lip or flange at the back of the seat slotting under the bowl’s inside rim to reduce movement and to stop it from tipping forwards off the toilet, if the user leans too heavily on the front edge
  • there is usually one model for elongated toilets, and one for standard toilets
  • most of these seats do not have a lid

 

I would really think twice about using a seat like this for a very elderly person, especially without any kid of grab bar or rail.

Examples of this type of seat are –

MODEL
PRODUCT
The NRS Comfort Raised Toilet Seat
F21565
AquaSense Portable 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat - standard toilets
770610
HealthSmart Portable 4 3/4 inch Raised Toilet Seat - universal
522-1508-1900HS
Herdegen Contact Plus 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat - universal
--

 

By the way, if you just want to know what raised toilet seats cost, I have an article – “How Much Does A Raised Toilet Seat Cost ?”– which gives a brief outline of the different types of raised toilet seats and then lists the prices of over 70 models both in the US, and in the UK.

Clip-On raised toilet seats

Clip-on raised toilet seat - topside

Clip-on raised toilet seat - underside

Clip-On raised toilet seats –

 

  • clip onto your toilet seat
  • the raised seat is squeezed and slotted into the inside rim of your existing seat where it clips on as it is released
  • held in position through tension
  • there is no type of fixing, such as a lock or a bolt, holding them to the toilet seat
  • these models don’t come with any form of armrests or handles
  • clip-on seats are made in fixed heights of 2 – 4 inches

 

Some examples of this are –

 

MODEL
PRODUCT
Ability Superstore 4 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat
--
Performance Health Novelle 3 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat
F25145

Clip-on seats are more of a temporary solution for someone who has good balance, and doesn’t need any kind of frame or armrests to help them up, or down from the seat.

I have seen them suggested as a portable solution that you take with you when you are staying in a hotel or someone else’s home where there is no raised toilet seat available.

Personally, I wouldn’t have my 90 yr old mom using one of these seats, as she needs something to hold on to.

Raised toilet seats which lock onto your toilet bowl

 

Seats with side fixings and a front “bracket”

Side locking raised toilet seat with lid

Side locking raised toilet seat without lid

Side locking toilet seat installed on a toilet

Raised toilet seats with side fixings –

  • has two plastic bolts or clamps, one on each side of the seat, towards the rear for securing the seat
  • a lip at the front, called a “front bracket” by some brands
  • are not height adjustable, and come in heights of 2, 3, 4, 41/2, 5 and 6 inches
  • can be bought with, or without, lids
  • don’t come with armrests or handles
  • some are for all toilets sizes
  • some are for elongated toilets
  • some are for standard toilets
  • all have their own different weight capacities

 

I bought a seat of this type for my mom before her hip replacement surgery at 88 yrs old, but when we tried it, we found that it still moved all over the place.

It was when I tried this type of seat, that I became aware of how difficult an elderly person might find it to use a seat without handles or armrests.

 

Examples of raised seats using this system are –

MODEL
PRODUCT
AquaSense 4″ raised toilet seat w/ lid
770 - 626
Vaunn Medical 4.5" Clamp-On raised toilet seat, (standard)
M701 - A3
Carex 4.25" Safe-Lock raised toilet seat
B31300 0000
PCP 4" raised standard toilet seat
7024
Drive Medical 6" raised toilet seat w/out lid
12066

Clipper seats

Clipper raised toilet seat

Clipper raised toilet seat with armrests

Clipper raised toilet seat - underside

There is actually only one brand that makes these seats, but they are markedly different from the other types – Clipper seats.

 

The clipper seat –

 

  • installs very quickly once the toilet seat is in the upright position
  • the raised toilet seat sits on top of the toilet bowl rim
  • has an inside edge which drops several inches into the bowl
  • has four plastic clips which grip the outside of the toilet bowl when pushed in, exerting equal pressure from four points around outside the toilet bowl
  • on the models I, II, III they do not have armrests
  • the models IV and V come with armrest
  • VI and VII come with armrests and legs

Clipper seat on a toilet

The examples of these seats are –

MODEL
PRODUCT
Herdegen Clipper I 4.3 inch raised toilet seat
500400
Herdegen Clipper II 4.3 inch raised toilet seat
500410
Herdegen Clipper III 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ lid
500411
Herdegen Clipper IV 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ swing-up armrests
500420
Herdegen Clipper V 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ swing-up armrests and a lid
500421
Herdegen Clipper VI 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ adjustable frame and armrests
500430
Herdegen Clipper VII 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/lid and adjustable frame and armrests
500431

Front Locking raised toilet seats –

Front locking raised toilet seat

Front locking raised toilet seat with arms

Front locking raised toilet seat clamping mechanism underside

Front locking raised toilet seat on a toilet

Front locking raised toilet seats –

 

  • lock to the toilet bowl at the front of the seat
  • at the back of the seat there is a small lip which slots under the rim of the bowl of your toilet
  • the seats come in heights of 4 or 5 inches
  • a lot of the models come with armrests or handles, which can be adjustable and removable
  • in general, these seats are for all toilet shapes and sizes, as they only clamp to the front of the bowl
  • the weight capacities vary according to the different models, but they are amongst the stronger seats which attach to the toilet bowl
  • are not accompanied by a lid

 

The fact that all of these seats come with armrests or handle, in my opinion, makes them a better option than the bubble seats, the clip on seats or the side fixing seats.

I think they are almost as secure as risers with armrests.

I would though suggest that they would be easier to use, for an elderly person, if you have a grab bar on the wall right next to the toilet.

 

Some examples of this type –

MODEL
PRODUCT
Carex 5" E-Z Lock raised toilet seat w/ arms
FGB311C0 0000
Medokare 4.5" raised toilet seat w/ handles
001
Vive 5" raised toilet seat w/ padded handles
LVA1011
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Raised toilet seats with legs

Raised toilet seat with legs

This is a raised toilet seat which is wider than the toilet bowl, and has 4 legs.

The seat is resting on both the toilet bowl and on the legs.

The design stops any wobbliness, gives a wider distance between the armrests for a larger person, and makes the seat more sturdy in general.

 

The main points –

 

  • the legs have to be adjusted to the height of the toilet bowl
  • the seat itself adds about 4 1/2 inches in height to the toilet on most models
  • depending on the brand the raised seats may attach differently to the bowl, but with four legs there is no real risk of it coming off
  • these raised seats can take greater weight than those without legs and are more stable

 

Definitely more solid than the seats without legs, and armrests are a lot easier for an elderly person to use, and as I have seen with my own mom, when a seat has legs it gives the person more confidence when using it, as there is no problem with the seat moving around.

 

Some examples of raised toilet seats with legs –

MODEL
PRODUCT
Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat w/ aluminum legs
T725881000
Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat with steel legs
T725882000
Mobb 4.5 inchRaised Toilet Seat With Legs
MHRTSL
Herdegen Clipper VII 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/lid and adjustable frame and armrests
500431

Raised toilet seats which bolt onto your toilet

 

Toilet seat risers

Riser

Hinged riser

 

Risers are the only type to go under the toilet seat, instead of going on top like all the other types.

Risers are basically an oval, or round, ring of dense plastic which is fitted under your toilet seat –

 

  • the seat is removed
  • and the riser is placed on the rim of the bowl
  • the seat is placed on top of the riser
  • the holes are all lined up and everything is bolted down again
  • risers sometimes come with a hinge so that you can lift them and clean underneath

Alignment of a riser toilet seat, lid and toilet

Risers depending on the model can come with, or without armrests, and those which do have armrests are often wider than other types of seat.

Risers are either for standard or elongated toilets, so always be sure to find out which shape your toilet is.

Risers are available in heights from 2 to 4 inches.

Due to how they are bolted to the toilet along with your seat, risers are very solid.

The models with armrests will help elderly loved ones who have problems with mobility, stability and sight impairments to sit down.

Riser with armrests

Riser installed on a toilet under the seat and lid

Some examples of these risers are (all the risers have a maximum weight capacity of 300 lb) –

 

MODEL
PRODUCT
Carex 3.5″ toilet seat elevator, (riser – elongated)
FGB30600 0000
Carex 3.5″ toilet seat elevator, (riser – standard)
FGB30700 0000
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser (standard)
8342 – R
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser (elongated)
8341 – R
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms (standard)
8344 – R
Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms (elongated)
8343 – R
Nova 3.5″ hinged toilet seat riser (standard)
8345 – R
Nova 3.5″ hinged toilet seat riser (elongated)
8346 – R

“Tall seats” or “Seats with Spacers”

Spacer raised toilet seat with lid

Spacer raised toilet seat without lid

Seats with spacers or “tall seats” are simply like your existing toilet seat, but they have little legs or spacers on the underside of the rim of the seat to hold it up higher.

To use one, you just unbolt your existing toilet seat and replace it with the raised seat using the same bolt holes and the new nuts and bolts which came with the raised seat.

 

  • you can get the different models in 2 inch or 3 inch heights
  • these are available with or without toilet lids
  • the seats as well as coming standard or elongated models, the seats can come with or without an opening at the front to facilitate wiping
  • the seats don’t have any armrests or handles

 

The fact these seats are bolted to the toilet in exactly the same way as a normal toilet seat, means that they are stable, and they are not so high that they would be wobbly in any way.

Spacer raised toilet seat installed on a toilet

I do think, though, that if I were getting this for an elderly person, such as my mom, I would still want something on the sides of the seat and on the wall for them to hold onto.

 

Example of these seats are –

MODEL
PRODUCT
Centoco 2 inch raised toilet seat with lid
HL440STS-001
Centoco 3 inch raised toilet seat with lid
3L440STS-001

 

Elevated toilet seats with safety frames

Toilet safety frame with elevated seat

Toilet safety frame with elevated seat placed over a toilet

Safety frames with a raised toilet seat are four legged frames with armrests, a back rest and a raised seat incorporated into the frame.

There is no risk of these coming off the toilet, as they are not on the toilet.

The frame is placed over the toilet, and the seat is above the toilet bowl.

The toilet seat and lid are placed in the upright position, and the safety frame and seat are then placed over the toilet, with the legs being on either side of the toilet.

 

  • some safety frames have the seats as high as 26 inches from the floor for taller people
  • the frame legs take all the weight of the user’s body
  • the legs of the frames are height adjustable and will typically have spring-loaded push buttons like crutches, which you push in to adjust the height until the button pops out of the hole corresponding to the chosen height
  • safety frames have large armrests as well as backrests
  • these are designed to fit over all normal toilets
  • the weight capacity does vary between models
  • for larger individuals there are bariatric frames with raised toilet seats, usually made in steel
  • the frames come in aluminum and steel
  • most do not come with a toilet lid

 

The safety frame with a raised toilet seat is, in my opinion, a very good choice for the more elderly adults with mobility and balance issues –

 

  • the armrests are large and easy to use
  • it’s virtually impossible to fall off
  • it won’t come off the toilet
  • for heavier individuals, there are stronger steel framed models

 

Some examples of frames are –

MODEL
PRODUCT
Aidapt President Bariatric raised toilet seat and frame, adjustable height
VR219AL
Aidapt Cosby bariatric toilet seat and frame
VR224
Aidapt Solo Skandia raised toilet seat and frame, floor fixed
VR158
Ashby Lux toilet seat and frame, adjustable height
VR213
Homecraft Deluxe Sterling toilet frame
081124585
NRS Healthcare Mowbray lite toilet frame and seat
NRS M66625
NRS Healthcare Mowbray toilet seat and frame, Extra wide
NRS M48805
PCP raised toilet seat and safety frame 2-in-1
7007
OasisSpace Premium safety frame and raised toilet seat
--
OasisSpace Stand Alone raised toilet seat and safety frame
--
Platinum Health Ultimate Raised Toilet Seat
PRT4747BPLA

Bedside commodes as raised toilet seats

 

This is my mom’s personal choice of raised toilet seat, and we have had it in our bathroom now for over 20 months.

The commodes have large armrests, back rests, and the height can be adjusted.

You just have to remove the bucket, or pale, and place the commode over the toilet, once you have the toilet seat in the upright position and the legs at the correct height to clear the toilet bowl.

As, the legs are adjustable, you can change the height to fit different circumstances.

For larger individuals there are tall, bariatric or heavy duty, and also extra wide bedside commodes.

Typically, the commode will include one or all of these terms in its title.

If you wish to find out more about the weight capacities, you can just refer to my article where I list over 180 different raised seats, safety frames and bedside commodes with their weight capacities amongst other things – and you’ll find that here – “Raised Toilet Seat Weight Capacity:Over 180 Examples”.

 

The types of bedside commodes you can use as raised toilet seats

3-in-1, or All-in-1, or portable bedside commodes

 

These are static portable bedside commodes which have a number of uses, other than just as a bedside commode.

These can be used –

 

  • a bedside commode
  • over the toilet as a raised toilet seat
  • as a toilet safety frame or rail

 

The 3-in-1 commodes shouldn’t be confused with a simple foldable bedside commode, they have more functions, are built to be more sturdy, and can hold a greater weight.

3 in 1 bedside commode

For larger individuals, you also have Bariatric 3-in-1 bedside commodes. Some such as the model below are not as portable, but can be placed over a toilet as a raised toilet seat for a much larger person – some models will take up to 1000 lb in weight.

 

3-in-1 bariatric bedside commode

 

Drop arm bedside commodes

 

These are bedside commodes which are very similar to a 3-in-1 commode, with the addition of armrests which are not in a fixed position.

These bedside commodes are really designed for wheelchair users and for individuals who are bed bound.

The drop arm rests can be moved out of the way if the user has to slide over to the side, on and off the commode, into a wheelchair for instance, or off and on a  bed.

This type of armrest can also be very handy if a caregiver needs access to the side of the person they are assisting, without an armrest being in the way, as they can remove it or move it out of the way.

If an elderly loved one needs help with cleaning themselves, a drop arm can be moved out of the way.

The static drop arm bedside commodes have the same uses as a 3-in 1 commode –

 

  • bedside or portable commode
  • toilet safety frame or rail
  • over the toilet as an elevated seat

 

Drop arm bedside commodes

 

Transport or rolling bedside commodes

 

Commodes on wheels, transport or rolling commodes have the following uses –

 

  • as a transport chair, which simply means a chair in which you can wheel someone around the home
  • as a bedside commode
  • placed over the toilet as an elevated toilet seat

For caregivers who are looking after an elderly loved one who has difficulty with walking, these can be very practical as you can remove the commode bucket and then wheel them in over the toilet, once you have put the seat and lid of the toilet in the upright position.

Be careful to pick the correct height commode for your toilet, as some models are not height adjustable.

Always lock the wheels in position when a transport commode is being used as a commode.
 

Attendant transport bedside commode

Self-propelled transport bedside commode

 

Shower chair transport commodes

The extra advantage here is that you can wheel the user into the shower, as long as the shower has no step or rim.

These also have multiple uses as –

 

  • a shower chair
  • a transport chair in which you can wheel the user around
  • a portable or bedside commode
  • some can be used over the toilet as a raised seat, but you must check this as not all can, either due to being too low, or to having a horizontal bar which obstructs the passage of the chair over the toilet

 

Some commode bucket holders also drop a little low, and this can obstruct the passage of the commode over the toilet.
You will always need to check the weight capacities, the heights of the seat and if they are adjustable, or not.

For safety, don’t forget, you should always lock the wheels in position when a shower chair transport commode is being used as a commode.

 

Attendant shower chair transport bedside commodes

Self-propelled shower chair transport bedside commode

Here are some examples of bedside commodes you can use as raised toilet seats –

 

MODEL
PRODUCT
Drive Medical shower padded commode w/ wheels
11114KD-1
Drive Medical drop arm commode with wheels with padded armrests
11101W-2
Drive Medical 3-in-1 Competitive Edge folding commode
11148CE-4
Drive Medical aluminum rehab commode shower chair w/ 5″ casters
NRS185007
Homecraft deluxe bariatric drop arm commode
081706381
Lifestyle Mobility Aids folding 3-in-1 steel commode
B3400F
Lumex 6438A imperial collection 3-in-1 steel drop arm
6438A
MedPro Homecare commode chair
770-315
Mor Medical New Era PVC rolling commode chair
DNE-118-3TWL
Nova padded commode shower chair w/wheels
8801
Probasics drop arm 3-in-1 commode
BSDAC
Probasics heavy duty Wide Commode
BSB31C
TFI Healthcare wide 3-in-1 commode w/ elongated seat
3224

How much does a raised toilet seat cost ?

Raised toilet seats can range widely in price, from as little as $15.00, all the way up to $199.00 in the US and the UK the price ranges from £14.00 to £479.00.

If you want to know more about how much raised toilet seats cost, I have an article a wide range of models, both in the UK and in the US.

There is also a section about how to find less expensive, and free, used raised toilet seats in your local area.

The article is “How Much Does A Raised Toilet Seat Cost ?”.

Best raised toilet seats after a hip replacement ?

 

The best raised toilet seat for after hip surgery for an elderly person is a 3-in-1 bedside commode placed over the toilet, an elevated toilet seat with safety frame, a raised toilet seat with legs, a riser.

I actually have written an extensive article on this subject, which as well as suggesting the best raised toilet seats for the job, with all the reasoning behind my preferences, also includes information about  –

  • how high your raised toilet seat should be
  • who needs a raised toilet seat after hip surgery
  • how long you need a raised toilet seat for after hip surgery
  • how to select a raised toilet seat
  • how to sit on a raised toilet seat after a hip replacement – with lots of illustrations
  • what the 90 degree rule for sitting is – with illustrations
  • how to use a raised toilet seat and a walker to sit after hip surgery – with illustrations

Here is a link to the article “Best Raised Toilet Seats After A hip Replacement”

I am going briefly this question into two sections, and if you want the full answer you can read the answer which I linked to above –

 

  • best raised toilet seats for elderly adults who may be more frail due to age
  • best raised toilet seats for fitter younger seniors who have no mobility issues aside from the new hip, or knee replacement

Best raised toilet seat after a hip replacement, for a frail, elderly individual

 

As we are all different, and no one seat will adapt to all situations, I have selected what I think are the best models for multiple situations, which I have outlined below –

 

1) Medline – basic 3-in-1 Bedside Commode

2) OasisSpace Stand Alone Safety Frame and Raised Toilet Seat – two models, one with a padded seat, one with a hard seat

3) PlatinumHealth Ultimate Raised Toilet Seat (safety frames with raised toilet seat)

4) Nova Drop-Arm Padded Commode

5) PlatinumHealth GentleBoost Uplift 3-in-1 Commode and Shower Chair

 

For larger Individuals –

1) Nova Heavy Duty Drop-Arm Commode

2) Drive Deluxe Bariatric Drop-Arm Commode

Best raised toilet seat for a hip replacement, for a senior who is fit

 

For a senior who is younger and has good strength and balance, I think the following options are very good quality, sturdy, safe and ideal for the job –

 

Risers with armrests –

 

Risers are made for either a standard, or an elongated toilet, they are not universal, so you must pick the correct model for your toilet.

As risers are bolted to the toilet between the seat and the bowl, they are very sturdy, but you still are going to need armrests, so I would only get a model with armrests.

 

1) Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms  (standard)

2) Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms  (elongated)

3) Vive toilet seat riser with handles  (standard)

4) Vive toilet seat riser with handles  (elongated)

5) Vive raised toilet seat with detachable handles

Front locking raised toilet seat with armrests

 

These models of front locking raised toilet seat are a less sturdy than the risers which are actually bolted to the toilet itself.

If you are going to invest in a seat of this kind, I would suggest that you also install grab bars alongside the toilet so that you have something to hold onto which is actually bolted down.

6) Drive Medical Premium plastic raised toilet seat with armrests

7) Nova raised toilet seat with detachable arms

 

How to sit on a raised toilet seat after a hip, or knee replacement

 
I do actually have an illustrated article showing how to use a walker to sit on raised toilet seats, both with, and without, armrests, along with a lot of relevant information about other precautions you need to take if you have had a hip replacement. You can find that article here –  “How To Sit On A Toilet After Hip Surgery: A Detailed Illustrated Guide”

What is most important, is that you learn how to sit down, and stand up properly, immediately after your surgery.

On arrival at home the individual who has had the surgery, and the caregiver, need to know how the sitting on the toilet, and the getting up from the toilet are done, as this is the best way to avoid injury.

Remember to use a walker to back up to the toilet for both sitting down and then standing up, as it will allow you to transfer your weight correctly without injuring your hip, or knee.

Before you have your surgery, you may want to discuss with your doctor what type of seat they recommend for you to get.

Now in my mom’s case, she had her surgery at 88 yrs old, and we decided to get her the bedside commode, as we felt she would need all the support that came with that.

We also received instruction, at the hospital, in how to sit down and stand up, after the surgery, and which helps to avoid any injuries.

My mom was also advised to use a walker to help her back up to the seat before sitting down so that she could transfer her weight from the walker to the bedside commode armrests, and from the commode to the walker when standing up.

You should be getting all the guidance from your surgeon’s team.

 

A few last points to remember –

 

  • the two strongest types of raised toilet seat which use a frame, the bedside commode and the safety frame with a raised toilet seat, both offer nice big armrests and can be removed from over the toilet, in a flash, if you have guests
  • a riser which is bolted on, between your toilet seat and bowl, and will take some effort to install, and then quite some time to remove – you can’t just lift it out of the way to remove it when guests arrive
  •  if you are stuck, between picking a 3-in-1 commode or a safety frame with a raised toilet seat, do think about the backrest – safety frames don’t have one, so if you lean back you will be resting against the underside of your toilet seat …. hmm…

 

Before you have your surgery, you may want to discuss with your doctor what type of seat they recommend for you to get.

Now in my mom’s case, she had her surgery at 88 yrs old, and we decided to get her the bedside commode, as we felt she would need all the support that came with that.

We also received instruction, at the hospital, in how to sit down and stand up, after the surgery, and which helps to avoid any injuries.

My mom was also advised to use a walker to help her back up to the seat before sitting down so that she could transfer her weight from the walker to the bedside commode armrests, and from the commode to the walker when standing up.

You should be getting all the guidance from your surgeon’s team.

Best raised toilet seats for the elderly

 

The best raised toilet seat for an elderly person is a safety frame with a raised seat, a 3-in-1 commode, a raised toilet seat with legs, a riser with armrests, or a plinth under the toilet.

I actually have another article which outlines the best raised toilet seats for elderly seniors – very extensive, with around 20 models of 5 types of raised toilet seats – and information about how to choose.

Here is a link to the article – “Best Raised Toilet Seats For Elderly Seniors: A Detailed Guide With Prices”.

I don’t believe that an elderly adult should use a seat without armrests, so all of these are raised toilet seats with armrests.

So, in brief, here is a list of those raised toilet seats for elderly adults –

 

1) Medline – basic 3-in-1 Bedside Commode – 350 lb max weight

2) OasisSpace Stand Alone Safety Frame and Raised Toilet Seat – two models, one with a padded seat, one with a hard seat – 300 lb max weight

3) PlatinumHealth Ultimate Raised Toilet Seat (safety frames with raised toilet seat) – 350 lb max weight

4) Nova Drop-Arm Padded Commode – 300 lb max weight

5) PlatinumHealth GentleBoost Uplift 3-in-1 Commode and Shower Chair – 285 lb max weight

For larger individuals where there are no grab bars or support rails, my choices are –

 

Maddak Extra Wide Tall-Ette ElevatedToilet Seat with Aluminum legs – 400 lb max weight

Maddak Extra Wide Tall-Ette ElevatedToilet Seat with Steel legs – 600 lb max weight

1) Nova Heavy Duty Drop-Arm Commode 8583 – 500 lb max weight

2) Drive Deluxe Bariatric Drop-Arm Commode 11135-1 – 1000 lb max weight

3) TFI Healthcare Wide 3-in-1 Commode with Elongated Seat – 400 lb max weight

For individuals who have no balance issues and don’t feel they need a frame around them, and who weighs under 300 lb –

 

1) Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms  (standard)

2) Nova 3.5″ raised toilet seat riser with arms  (elongated)

3) Vive toilet seat riser with handles  (standard)

4) Vive toilet seat riser with handles  (elongated)

Toilet Plinths

Lastly you can place a Plinth under your toilet to raise it up permanently, but you will need to add armrests, either as grab bars by the toilet, or put a safety frame on the toilet.

1) Toilevator – 500 lb max weight

2) Medway Easy Toilet Riser – 800 lb max weight

 

How to choose a raised toilet seat for an elderly person ?

 
To choose the appropriate raised toilet seat for an elderly person, you need to be asking yourself, and the person in involved, a number of questions –

General questions

 

  • how much room is there for maneuvering ?
  • is the person using a walker to back up and sit down on the seat ?
  • what is the reason for using a raised toilet seat ?
  • is the user very elderly ?
  • what is the person’s mental condition – are they confident or nervous about using a raised toilet seat ?
  • how confident is the user about moving backwards ?
  • does the person need to have extra safety equipment to make them feel confident about using a raised toilet seat ?
  • is the seat for long term or short term use ?
  • if it is for the long term, do you want to have to buy another raised seat later as the person gets weaker, or do you want to get a more solid seat with safety rails from the start ?

 

Physical condition

 

  • what physical shape is the person in ?
  • are there any mobility issues ?
  • what is the person’s balance like ?
  • how good is their eyesight ?
  • how strong, or frail, is the person ?
  • how strong is the person’s grip ?
  • how good is their coordination ?
  • are they okay cleaning themselves afterwards ?
  • will the user have the strength to sit back without giving the seat a jolt ?
  • will the person be needing armrests to push themselves back up with ?
  • is the user overweight – will you need a bariatric seat ?
  • does the user need an extra wide seat ?

 

Medical reasons for needing a raised toilet seat

 

  • if there are medical issues, what are the specific problems ?
  • do you need to check with the person’s doctor or nurse ?
  • if they have eye conditions, do they need extra grab bars or bigger armrests ?
  • is the seat just for after an operation ?
  • is it for a long term medical condition, and what does that condition require ?

 

Asking questions, such as these, should help you to decide what type of seat is appropriate for your personal situation.

Personally, I only like the risers with large armrests, the raised toilet seats with legs, or a frame, to be used by an elderly person.

If you have grab bars right by the toilet then a riser without armrests may be possible, but with very elderly and fragile people, you really need something to hold onto on either side of the seat.

My mom uses a bedside commode over our toilet, and this is super steady and easy to use, and has the great advantage of being easy to move if you don’t want to use it – they are very light and can just be picked up and put elsewhere.

After my mom’s hip replacement she tried different raised toilet seats in the hospital, and at home, all of which locked onto the toilet bowl, and none of those without legs, or without armrests gave her any confidence.

Don’t forget that a walker really does help the elderly to back up to the toilet, to sit and to stand, if they have balance issues, or are recovering from surgery.

 

If you wish to find out more about using a bedside commode over a toilet, I have a post covering the subject – comparing it with raised toilet seats, how to set it up, cleaning it, and its maintenance – “Can A Bedside Commode Be Used Over A Toilet ?”.

Higher toilet seats for the elderly

 
The average toilet is between 14 1/2 – 15 inches, from the floor to the rim of the toilet bowl.

Taller toilets, known as Comfort toilets, Chair height toilets, Universal height toilets and Right height toilets are all a few inches taller at 17 – 19 inches from the floor to the rim of the toilet bowl.

Taller toilets may help elderly adults with problems with sitting and standing, but they can also cause –

 

  • problems for those suffering from constipation
  • problems if the user’s feet are not solidly on the floor, cutting off the circulation in the legs, which can lead to a fall when standing

 

Padded toilet seats for the elderly

 
As you will see, if you read the article on “Best Raised Toilet Seats For Elderly Seniors: A Detailed Guide With Prices” you can purchase two types of raised toilet seat which are padded.

There are elevated toilet seats in safety frames, and bedside commodes, which come with a permanent padded seat, and then there are attachable padded toilet seats which are attached to toilet seats with velcro straps.

The second type of seat with the velcro straps is not exactly the most sturdy type of seat, and does not come with any type of armrest, which are both rather important for seniors.

The padded seats on raised, or elevated toilet seats with safety frames, and 3-in-1 bedside commodes are a permanent feature of the seats, and are of a far higher quality.

 

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 !

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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