What Does A Raised Toilet Seat Look Like ?
It has been almost two years since my mom had hip replacement surgery, and I received my initiation into the world of big white blobby things called raised toilet seats. I had never seen one before I ordered a kit of gadgets that our hospital had recommended. Mom actually wasn’t very impressed with the one in the kit – a rather basic model that had nothing to attach it to the toilet, other than a good hard push, and it was quickly replaced by something a rather more solid.
What does a raised toilet seat look like ? A large number of raised toilet seats look like white donuts which sit atop the toilet bowl or the seat, with or without metal armrests. Other types are suspended in frames and just look like a slightly high toilet seat.
Raised toilet seats come in a range of shapes and sizes, and although quite a few do look remarkably similar, they do have different locking systems, or no locking system at all.
So let’s see what the different types look like, how they each attach to the our existing toilet and which are the best suited to be used by our elderly loved ones.
What are the different types of raised toilet seats ? And what do they look like ?
I am going to divide raised toilet seats into a number of categories to start –
- risers which are not seats at all, and which are placed under your toilet seat
- raised seats which attach somehow to the toilet
- and seats which are integrated into a frame which is placed over the toilet, but do not touch it at all
If you want to learn more about raised toilet seats I have an article “Types of raised toilet seats: what you should know before you buy” in which I outline all the different types of seats in detail, and which are best suited for the elderly in different cases.
Risers look like big oval or round rings of plastic, which are flat on each side, and come in heights of 2 -4 inches, and raise your toilet seat by that amount.
The shape of the ring of the riser – oval or round – depends on whether it is for a standard or an elongated toilet bowl.
Risers are not actually a raised seat, they sit on the toilet bowl rim under the existing toilet seat you have on your toilet.
Risers can be bought with a hinge so that when you lift the seat, you may also lift the riser and are able to clean underneath.
To install it –
- you remove your existing seat
- place the riser with it’s bolt holes over your toilet bolt holes
- on top of the riser you place your toilet seat, taking care to line up it’s bolt holes with those of the riser and the toilet
- now pass the bolts which came with the riser down through the seat the riser and the toilet
- fix the nuts to the bolts – don’t over tighten as you break the toilet
You can buy risers with or without handles/armrests, which make them a very solid and good choice for a secure raised toilet seat system.
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
Clip On raised toilet seats
Clip-on seats look like the top half of a white bagel, in a “c” shape, and come in heights of 2-4 inches.
This type of seat clips on top your existing toilet seat is usually thought of as a temporary solution – often they are referred to as portable seats.
These seats don’t have any clamps or locking devices and don’t come with armrests.
Two examples are –
Ability Superstore 4 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. Unavailable
Performance Health Novelle 3 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No F25145
Raised toilet seats with “spacers”
Seats with spacers, or “tall seats”, look like an ordinary toilet seat which is slightly lifted in the air above the bowl rim by a series of small legs – the seats have spacers, or legs, on the underside and come in two heights – 2 or 3 inches.
These seats can come with lids.
The spacer seats with do not come with armrests.
This type of seat replaces the existing regular toilet seat, and use the standard bolt holes on your toilet.
To install them –
- remove the bolts and your existing seat from your toilet
- place the seat with spacers on your toilet rim lining up the holes with the bolt holes on your toilet
- fix your new raised seat ot the toilet with bolts supplied with it
- remember not to over-tighten the bolts as you can crack the toilet
The spacer seats with do not come with armrests.
Examples of these “spacer” seats are –
Centoco 2 inch raised toilet seat with lid, Prod. No. HL440STS-001
Centoco 3 inch raised toilet seat with lid, Prod. No. 3L440STS-001
Big John raise toilet seats
Big John raised toilet seats are big toilet seats which replace your existing seat, coming in raised heights of 1 and 2.5 inches.
The seats just look wider and thicker than a normal toilet seat.
Big John is a brand which has developed a range of toilet seats for larger people.
These are seats which you install by removing you toilet seat and then bolting the Big John seat back in it’s place.
The seats are literally up to 2.5 inches thick, and work like an ordinary toilet seat
The seats are also wider than a normal seat, as well as being raised, but fit to any toilet shape.
The Big John range of toilet seats –
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, (universal), Prod. No. 1-W
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, (universal), Prod. No. 2-CR
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/lid, open front, (universal), Prod. No. 3-W
Big John 2.5 ” original toilet seat w/out lid, open front (universal), Prod. No. 4-W
Big John 1.5 ” standard toilet seat w/ lid, (universal), Prod. No. 6-W
Big John 2.5 ” classic toilet seat w/out lid, open front (universal), Prod. No. 7-W
Bubble seats look like big blobby white donuts and come in heights of 3 – 6 inches.
The seats are attached to the toilet bowl by simply pushing down hard, so they slip over the rim of the toilet bowl and grip it.
Your existing toilet seat is either removed, or put in its upright position.
The seats have no clamping or locking devices attaching them to the toilet, just a few of what manufacturers call grip pads, and some models may have a lip or flange at the back which slots under the rim of the bowl to give a bit of extra stability.
There are no bubble seats with armrests at all.
Examples of the “bubble” seats are –
AquaSense Portable 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. 770 610
Carex 5″ E-Z Lock raised toilet seat, w/out arms, Prod. No – FGB312C0 0000
HealthSmart Portable 4 3/4 inch Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. 522-1508-1900HS
Herdegen Contact Plus 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. Unavailable
The NRS Comfort Raised Toilet Seat, Prod. No. F21565
Yunga Tart 4.75″ raised toilet seat w/out arms (Universal) – No Prod No. listed
Clipper seats look like white donuts and sit on the rim of the toilet bowl and are 4 1/3 inches high.
Some models have lids, some don’t – Clipper I, II, IV and VI don’t have lids, and Clipper III, V, VII do have lids.
Clippers IV and V are like white donuts with handles, and Clipper VI and VII are like donuts with handles and legs
Herdegen is the maker of these seats which attach with large plastic side clips which squeeze onto the bowl, hence the name “Clippers”
To install these seats –
- the existing toilet seat is removed
- the clipper seat is placed over the rim of the toilet bowl
- the seat has an inside edge which drops a way into the bowl
- 4 clips on the raised seat on the outside are pushed in to squeeze against the toilet bowl
Depending on the model you may need to adjust the height of any legs it may have.
Clipper seats –
Herdegen Clipper I 4.3 inch raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 500400
Herdegen Clipper II 4.3 inch raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 500410
Herdegen Clipper III 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No. 500411
Herdegen Clipper IV 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ swing-up armrests, Prod. No. 500420
Herdegen Clipper V 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ swing-up armrests and a lid, Prod. No. 500421
Herdegen Clipper VI 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/ adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500430
Herdegen Clipper VII 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/lid and adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500431
Raised or elevated seats with brackets and side fixings
Seats of this type again look like big donuts and come in heights of 2, 3, 4, 41/2, 5 and 6 inches.
Once you have placed the seat on the rim of the toilet bowl you tighten plastic bolt type clamps which squeeze the toilet bowl from two points on the sides, and also a plastic bracket at the front of the seat.
To install these seats you put your existing toilet seat and lid in the upright position and then place the raised seat on the rim of the toilet bowl and tighten the fixings.
These raised toilet seats do not have armrests or legs.
Some examples of raised seats using this system are –
AquaSense 2″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No – 770 -625
AquaSense 4″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No – 770 -626
Gordon Eliss Serenity 6″raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No. 64626/AL
Gordon Ellis Serenity 4″ raised toilet seat w/out lid, Prod. No. 64604
Gordon Ellis Serenity 2″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, Prod. No. 64622/AL
Homecraft Savanah 2″ raised toilet seat w/out lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305507
Homecraft Savanah 4″ raised toilet seat w/out lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305523
Homecraft Savanah 6″ raised toilet seat w/ lid, (standard), Prod. No. 081305556
Homecraft Taunton 2″ raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 091079359
Homecraft Taunton 4″ raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 091079367
Homecraft Taunton 6″ raised toilet seat, Prod. No. 091079383
Front Locking raised toilet seats
Front locking raised toilet seats are large white seats which look like slightly angular donuts, with a knob on the front and usually with armrests.
The seats come in heights of 4, 4.5 and 5 inches and are made by a whole range of manufacturers who have their own patented front locking systems.
They also usually have a flange, or lip, on the back edge of the inside rim of the toilet seat which hooks in under the toilet rim for extra stability.
Most of these raised toilet seats do come with either armrests or handles, a lot of which are either removable or adjustable.
Some examples of front locking raised toilet seats –
Carex 4.5″ Classics raised toilet seat w/ armrests Prod. No – FGB31977 0000
Carex 5″ E-Z Lock raised toilet seat w/ arms, Prod. No – FGB311C0 0000
Drive Medical 3.5″ Premium raised toilet seat w/ removable arms, (riser) Prod. No – 12402
Graham Field 4.5″ Lumex raised toilet seat w/ arms, (riser) Prod. No – 6487RA
Homcom 5″ raised toilet seat w/ removable arms, Prod. No. UK811-030-NEW0331
Maddak 5″ Lock-On elevated toilet seat w/ arms, Prod. No. T725753111
Medokare 4.5″ raised toilet seat w/ handles, Prod. No – 001
Nova 5″ raised toilet seat w/ detachable arms, Prod. No. 8351 – R
Vive 5″ raised toilet seat w/ padded handles (front locking), Prod. No – LVA1011
If you want to know about the different weight capacities of all the different raised toilet seats you can find them in the lists in my article “Raised toilet seat weight capacity: over 180 examples” .
You will also find the correct name for each model, the brand and the product number.
All of which you can just paste into the search bar of your browser, and it will find the right seat for you.
Raised toilet seats with legs
The seats are 4.3 or 4.5 inches high and look like slightly angular donuts with a knob on the front – identical to the front locking seats, but with legs.
The design with legs takes extra weight, stops the seat from having any movement, and gives a wider distance between the armrests for a larger person.
- the seat the legs have to be adjusted to the right height
- the seat is then placed on the rim of the toilet bowl
- and the front locking clamp is adjusted until it is tight
Some examples of raised toilet seats with legs –
Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat w/ aluminum legs, Prod. No. T725881000
Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette 4.5 inch elevated toilet seat with steel legs, Prod. No. T725882000
Mobb 4.5 inchRaised Toilet Seat With Legs Prod. No. MHRTSL
Toilet safety frames with elevated seats
Safety frames with elevated seats look like metal frames with a big white donut suspended in the middle – albeit the donut is a bit more square than round.
These are positioned over the toilet and can have seats as high as 26 inches from the floor.
To install one –
- lift up the seat of your existing toilet
- adjust the height of the legs of the safety frame so that the seat clears the rim of your toilet bowl
- position the frame over your toilet
Examples of toilet safety frames with elevated seats –
Aidapt Cosby bariatric toilet seat and frame, Prod. No. VR224
Aidapt Solo Skandia raised toilet seat and frame w/ clip on seat, Prod. No. VR157FC
Homecraft uni-frame folding toilet frame w/ seat, Prod. No. 49338
NRS Healthcare Mowbray lite toilet frame and seat, Prod. No. NRS M66625
PCP raised toilet seat and safety frame 2-in-1, Prod. No. PCP 70077
Bedside commodes as raised toilet seats
Bedside commodes, some of which can also be used as a raised toilet seat, look like a metal chair frame with a plastic toilet seat with a bucket, or pale, suspended under it.
Static bedside commodes which can be used as a raised toilet seat are going to be one of the following types –
- stacking bedside commode with adjustable height legs
- 3-in-1 or All-in-One
- drop arm commodes – but these also are on some 3-in-1 commodes as well
The mobile types of bedside commode you can use as a raised toilet seat are –
- transport commode chairs
- shower transport chairs
With the mobile models you need to be very particular in checking the height of the seat on the model you are purchasing, and to make sure that if it doesn’t have adjustable legs, that the legs are high enough to go over your toilet rim.
Also make sure that it has no horizontal bars between the back legs which will stop you pushing the commode backwards over the toilet.
To position a bedside commode over a toilet you –
- simply remove the bucket, or pale
- adjust the legs to the height that you want
- either remove your toilet seat and lid, or put them in the upright position
- place the commode over the toilet bowl
- lift the toilet seat and place the splashguard into its holder beneath the seat
Examples of bedside commodes which can be used over the toilet, and their respective maximum heights –
TF1 3244 Extra tall, wide commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3244 – max seat height 28 inches
Aidapt Essex height adjustable commode, Prod. No. VR161 -max seat height 22.22 inches
Drive Medical deluxe steel drop arm commode, Prod. No. 11125KD-1 – max seat height 24 inches
Guardian drop arm bedside commode, Prod. No. 98202 – max seat height 23.5 inches
Healthline bariatric drop arm bedside commode, Prod. No. HL7206-2 – max seat height 23 inches
Homecraft heavy-duty drop arm commode, Prod. No. 081611110 – max seat height 20.75 inches
Lifestyle Mobility Aids folding 3-in-1 commode with elongated opening, Prod. No. B3500F – max seat height 22.5 inches
Lumex drop arm 3-in-1 commode, Prod. No. 6433A – max seat height 22.75 inches
MedPro Homecare commode chair, Prod. No. 770-315 – max seat height 21.5 inches
Performance Health Briggs heavy-duty commode, Prod. No. 081437862 – max seat height 23 inches
Tuffcare extra wide drop arm commode chair, Prod. No. M470 – max seat height 24 inches
Where can you buy raised toilet seats ?
You can find raised toilet seats at most large retailers and medical supply companies.
I tend to stick to seats made by the better known brands, as some of the brands on amazon that I have never seen before are not there for long.
The big brand names are –
- Ability Superstore
- AMG Medical
- Big John
- Gordon Ellis
- Maddak (or Ableware Maddak)
- NRS Health
- Performance Health
- Vaun Medical
Here’s a list of retailers for online in the US –
Heres a list of retailers for online in the UK –
What raised toilet seat is best for an elderly parent ?
As I explained in the beginning of this piece I first discovered raised toilet seats when my mom had a full hip replacement, and we were sent a rather dodgy raised toilet seat which I would not have wanted any elderly person trying to use.
Many of the models of raised toilet seat say in their manuals for installation that a person is not to lean on the front of the seat as they stand up, or it may tip forwards !!
Well, I don’t really see how an elderly person with poor balance and mobility can really be expected to use something of this kind with any degree of safety if it will tip.
So, as you decide what kind of seat you wish to purchase for your elderly loved ones, I wanted to outline some of the questions you may want to ask yourselves to help with the decision making process.
- 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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