What Is A Bedside Toilet Called ?


If you are looking for a bedside toilet there are some many different types and modes that it can be rather over whelming to say the least. I have spent hour perusing medical supply websites and shops over the last few years looking for different types of toilet for my elderly mom. What is required in each individual case will vary, and so there is a huge variety to meet all the different needs.


A bedside toilet which operates without running water is called a bedside commode. Bedside commodes are also referred to as –


  • portable bedside commodes
  • folding commodes
  • commode chairs
  • armchair commodes
  • 3-in-1 commode
  • All-in One commodes
  • drop arm commodes
  • static shower commodes
  • transport commodes
  • rolling commodes
  • shower chair/transport commodes
  • transfer commodes
  • heavy duty commodes
  • bariatric commodes

What does a commode chair or bedside commode do ?


Commode chairs, or bedside commodes, are portable toilets which do not have running water, so they do not flush.

Individuals who have difficulty in getting to the bathroom to use the toilet will often have some form of bedside commode. 

Bedside commodes are so-named because they are often used by elderly or disabled persons who cannot easily leave their bed to go to the bathroom, so they necessarily are very often used by the bed.

If the user is able to get out of bed alone, the bedside commode still grants them a little independence, and the chance to go to the toilet in private, without too much assistance, even if they can’t make it to the bathroom.

To keep down the odors from the commode a lot of people like to use disposable bags which line the commode bucket, which can be very quickly disposed of  without any excessive clean up of the bucket required.

If you don’t mind cleaning a bucket and disinfecting it, you can go without bags and empty the content into the toilet.

What are the names of the different types and how are they different ?


Back to the different names for bedside commodes.

The one thing that all of these bedside commodes have in common is that they are all a form of chair with a pale or container which operates as a toilet without running water.


Bedside commodes can be divided into two distinct groups –


  • static portable commodes – no wheels
  • rolling commodes – with wheels


Bedside commodes are built for all different body types of types, and will have different widths and weight capacities.

If you see a commode which is called a bariatric commode this simply means that it has a maximum weight capacity which is higher than a standard bedside commode which will support up to around 300 lb in weight.

But the word “bariatric” does not designate in most cases a particular type of commode – it designates its capacity to take weight.

All the types of commode that I listed in the beginning have bariatric models ie super strong models for larger people.


There are for example –


  • bariatric 3-in-1 commodes
  • bariatric shower/transport commodes
  • bariatric transport commodes
  • bariatric All-in-One commodes


I think you get the idea.

Just to muddy the waters even more, the manufacturers will often use the words “heavy duty” instead of “bariatric” to simplify thing, and I think it does just that.

Lightweight” is used in the same way as “bariatric” and “heavy duty“, but instead to designate bedside commodes for smaller individuals, and can usually take up to around 200 lb maximum weight capacity.

I have an article where I list the weight capacities of over 140 different bedside commodes, model numbers and names, of which a large number are bariatric models. The article is titled “Bedside Commode Weight Capacity: A Guide With Over 140 Examples and Illustrations” and you can look at it here. I am constantly adding to the list to keep it as up to date as possible.


Common Features

Features which you will find across all the types of commodes and which will be in the names are –


  • “Extra wide” is another term used in the names of commodes, but it can be applied to any actual type of commode
  • “Elongated seat” is another term often used in the same way in the name of a commode, but is available in may types – these seats give extra room for the user to clean themselves by way of a deeper seat form front to back
  • “Padded” is very much self-explanatory
  • “Folding” again is a self-explanatory feature


The last term which is a more important one is “Drop Arm”.

Drop arms are armrests which can in some fashion be moved away form the side of the commode to allow for side access, as oppose d to the standard fixed armrests which you cannot move.

Drop arms are offered on most types of commode, and are designed to allow for a bedridden person or a wheelchair user to transfer onto the bedside commode from the side by lifting or lowering the arm out of the way.

Static drop arm bedside commode

Let’s move on now and look at the different types of static bedside commodes 


The following are the different types of static portable bedside commodes with an illustration and a brief description of their function.


Portable static bedside commodes come is several basic types –


  • static folding – folds like a chair
  • static stacking which does not fold at all
  • static shower and bedside commode which may or may not fold
  • static 3 in 1 bedside commode
  • static armchair commodes


Basic portable folding commode


This design is a lightweight folding bedside commode.

The commode has only the function of a commode and is simple unfolded like any folding chair, and then the commode bucket is placed under the seat, and the commode is ready for use.

You use the commode wherever you choose to.


Examples of this type of commode are –


Aidapt folding bedside commode

Invacare Omega Plinante folding commode

Elite Care lightweight folding commode


Static folding bedside commode

Stacking portable bedside commode


This type of bedside commode is a bit different in that it stacks rather than folding, so it takes a little room to put away, but it is very strong.


It also has three functions if you get one with adjustable leg height –


  • as a bedside commode
  • as a raised toilet seat
  • as a toilet safety frame


Be sure if you want these three functions that you get a model with adjustable legs and that it is high enough to go over the rim of your toilet bowl.


An examples of this type of commode is –


Aidapt stacking bedside commode


Static stacking bedside commode

Shower chair commode


This is a full waterproof bedside commode which can also be used as a shower chair – you should not use a commode in the shower which is not waterproof as the inner workings will rust and possibly break.


Examples of this type of commode are –


Lumex padded bedside commode chair

Platinum Health UltraCommode bedside commode and folding shower chair

Static shower bedside commode

The 3-in-1 bedside commode


The “poster boy” of bedside commodes is the 3-in-1 bedside commode which so-called because it is designed for the three following functions –


  • a bedside commode
  • a raised toilet seat for over the toilet (without the bucket)
  • as a toilet safety frame around a (if your remove the seat, lid and bucket)


Examples of this type of commode are –


Lumex imperial collection 3-in-1 bedside commode

TFI Healthcare wide 3-in-1 commode w/ elongated seat

3 in 1 bedside commode

Armchairs with built in commodes


Armchair commodes are not very commonly found, but they offer a very discreet type of bedside commode.

If you don’t lift up the cushion of the commode to reveal the built in commode area with the pale, or potty, you wouldn’t know that it was a commode.

They are mostly made from wicker or vinyl and offer a more “chic” look !

The model below is a very specific one called the “Derby Corner Commode” and is built so that it cannot tip over.


Examples of this type of commode are –


Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare (Drive Medical) Wicker Commode

Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare (Drive Medical) Basket Weave Commode

Gordon Ellis Derby Basketweave Commode Chair

Gordon Ellis Devon Commode

Gordon Ellis Derby Corner Commode


Derby Corner Commode

Rolling bedside commodes


The following types of bedside commodes have wheels –


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

Attendant transport commode


The attendant transport commode is for those individuals who require assistance to go from A to B.


The attendant transport commode can be used as –


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


Examples of this type of commode are –


Nova drop arm transport commode

Drive Medical drop arm commode with wheels with padded armrests

Lumex Versamode drop arm transport chair commode w/5 ” wheels

TFI Healthcare commode w/ elongated seat


Attendant transport bedside commode

Self-propelling transport commode


This type of transport chair is for those individuals who are able to propel themselves in the chair.


The self-propelling transport commode can be used as –


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


Examples of this type of commode are –


HBing transport commode wheelchair

Yezijaju transport commode wheelchair

LHSS transport commode wheelchair

Belltower folding transport commode wheelchair


Self-propelling transport commode

Attendant shower chair transport commode


The attendant 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


Some examples of attendant shower transport commodes are –


Nova rolling commode shower chair

Nova padded commode shower chair w/ wheels

Tuffcare padded transport commode shower chair w/ wheels

Everest & Jennings rehab padded commode shower chair 5″ casters


Attendant shower transport bedside commode with four small wheels

Attendant shower transport bedside commode with medium sized rear wheels

Self-propelling shower chair transport commode


The self-propelling shower chair transport commode can be use as –


  • a shower chair
  • a transport chair
  • a commode
  • some can also be used over the toilet as a raised seat – but you do need to check with a supplier


Examples of this type of commode are –


Invacare mariner rehab commode shower chair wheelchair

Tuffcare bariatric commode shower wheelchair w/ 24″ wheels

Healthline, Ezee Life heavy duty commode shower wheelchair


Self-propelling shower transport bedside commode

I hope that my little guide to the different names for the different types of bedside commodes offered a little clarity, and was of some use to you.


Articles you may also like …


What are medical alert systems ?

What does telecare mean ? What does telecare do ?

48+ Caregiver tips for elderly hygiene issues and care

I’m Gareth and I’m the owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com

I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.

Gareth Williams

Recent Content