I can clearly remember the day that my mom’s first bedside commode arrived. Putting it all together, inserting the bucket with a commode liner in the bucket holder, thinking “Okay that was pretty simple……..oh, what’s that ?” And then staring at a splash guard, wondering what to do with it. It clearly fit inside the commode bucket, but why ?
What is a commode splash guard ? A splash guard is a plastic shield used to stop splashing and messes when a bedside commode is used over a toilet. The commode bucket is removed from under the bedside commode seat, and the splash guard is inserted in its place, slotting down into the bowl of the toilet over which it is placed.
Now of course, if you are just using a bedside commode next to a bed, or to an armchair, you are not going to need a splash guard as you will be using the bucket.
You will then either be using commode liners with absorbent pads which you can dispose of in the trash, or you will be disposing of the bucket contents in your toilet. Either way, you do not use a splash guard.
But if your loved one can get to the toilet and is just using the bedside commode as a very secure raised toilet seat, then you may wish to use a splash guard.
I have to say that my mom has been using a bedside commode placed over our toilet for almost two years now without a splash guard, and we have had no problems whatsoever.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Why use a splash guard ?
A splash guards function is in its name, it protects from splashes when you are using a bedside commode directly over a toilet bowl.
My mom’s bedside commode seat is only raised up around 1 1/2″, so there really isn’t any need to put in a splash guard, as all but one inch of it would be down in the bowl of the toilet, which is pretty pointless.
If you are using the commode 4 – 6″ above the toilet bowl, though, I would think that the need for a splash guard to keep things clean would be greater, due to the larger distance of open space between the seat of the commode and the rim of the toilet bowl, and so an increased likelihood of splashes etc. outside the intended area.
I would definitely say, though, if you are only raising the commode seat an inch, or two, above the toilet rim it isn’t necessary, and you are just giving yourself more work to do.
How to use a splash guard ?
To use the splash guard –
- before you have installed the commode over the toilet you will have removed the commode bucket, and this is where you will be placing the splash guard
- lift the seat of the commode once you have it placed over the toilet
- take the splash guard and slot that into the commode bucket holder
- the splash guard will drop partially into the toilet bowl
- put the seat back down in its normal position
- the commode is ready for use as a raised toilet seat
If you don’t know much at all about bedside commodes, and you want to read more about using them, I have another article “Using A Bedside Commode: An Illustrated Guide”.
- How to use a bedside commode ?
- Where to position a bedside commode ?
- What supplies are needed next to the commode for after use ?
- How to stop a commode from tipping ?
- How to empty and clean a bedside commode ?
- Bedside commode odor control
- How to transfer to a bedside commode ?
- How to assist someone using a bedside commode ?
Which bedside commodes can use a splash guard ?
Bedside commodes, which can use splash guards, are going to be those commodes which can be placed for use over a toilet.
Static bedside commodes
Of the different types of static commodes – (not on wheels) – the following types of bedside commodes have models can be used over a toilet with a splash guard.
Stacking bedside commodes
Static stacking bedside commode
Not all stacking bedside commodes can be placed over a toilet.
You need to have a model which has adjustable height legs, and which has a height which is higher than the level of your particular toilet bowl.
An example of a stacking bedside commode with adjustable legs –
Aidapt Essex height adjustable commode, Prod. No. VR161 – max seat height 22.22 inches
3-in-1 or All-in-One bedside commodes
3 in 1 bedside commode
3-in-1, also known as All-in-One commodes are specifically designed to perform the 3 following functions –
- bedside commode
- toilet safety rail
- raised seat over a toilet
All of this type of bedside commode can be used over a toilet, and should in theory be tall enough to allow for it to be placed over your existing toilet bowl for use. This is of course unless you have one of the models of especially high toilets.
3-in-1 toilets have adjustable height legs which typically have a height range from 17″ to 22 1/2 “, which is enough to clear the top edge of most toilet bowls by some margin.
Some examples of 3-in-1 commodes are –
TF1 3244 Extra tall, wide commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3244 – max seat height 28 inches
Performance Health Briggs heavy-duty commode, Prod. No. 081437862 – max seat height 23 inches
TFI Healthcare wide 3-in-1 commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3224G – max seat height 22.25 inches
TFI Healthcare drop arm commode w/ elongated seat, Prod. No. 3225 – max seat height 22.25 inches
Tuffcare extra wide drop arm commode chair, Prod. No. M470 – max seat height 24 inches
Drop Arm commodes
Static drop arm bedside commode
A drop arm is an armrest on a commode which is not in a permanently fixed position – drop arms are found on a lot of the different types of bedside commodes, but can also be found at a static commode with a drop arm and with no other special features.
The drop arm feature is there to allow for side transfer onto a commode, but may also be used to allow a caregiver to gain side access for cleaning, by moving the armrest out of the way when it is blocking their access.
A lot of 3-in-One commodes will feature a drop arm as well.
Drop arms are also found on shower chair commodes and on transport, or rolling, bedside commodes.
Static drop arm commodes can also be used –
- as a bedside commode
- as a toilet safety frame
- as a raised toilet seat over a conventional toilet
Some examples of drop arm commodes which can be used over the toilet are –
Drive Medical deluxe steel drop arm commode, Prod. No. 11125KD-1 – max seat height 24 inches
Drive Medical drop arm commode with wheels with padded armrests, Prod. No. 11101W-2 – max seat height 21 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
Lumex drop arm 3-in-1 commode, Prod. No. 6433A – max seat height 22.75 inches
Transfer bench commodes
Transfer bench bedside commode
The transfer bench commode is a bedside commode and a bench for transferring to the bath or shower.
Transfer bench commodes with adjustable leg height can be used as a raised toilet seat as well.
Some examples are –
300 lb – Carex transfer bench and commode, Prod. No. 081295278
300 lb – Nova padded transfer bench with commode, Prod. No. 9073
Rolling bedside commodes
Of the different types of rolling commodes, the following commodes may be used over a toilet with a splash guard.
Do be warned that this is not all-inclusive – some rolling commodes have low horizontal bars at the back, between the legs, and cannot be rolled backwards of a toilet due to this.
Other rolling commodes are fixed height, and this height may be too low to go over a toilet, so be sure to check these details on a model before you purchase one.
Attendant transport bedside commode
Self-propelling transport commode
Transport commodes are incredibly practical if you are caring for someone who often is unable to walk much, or too tired to walk a lot of the time.
Transport bedside commodes typically have casters, or rubber wheels, usually up to around 5″ in size these chairs are known as “attendant transport chair commode” and require that a caregiver pushes the user from A to B.
Other transport commode chairs have larger wheelchair size back wheels, and these are known as “self-propelling” transport commodes. The user is able to move around without assistance.
Transport bedside commodes can be used as –
- a transport chair
- a bedside commode
- a raised toilet seat over a toilet
Note that not all transport commodes can be used over a toilet either because some –
- do not have adjustable height legs and may not be tall enough to be placed over a toilet
- have a very low horizontal bar joining the rear legs of the commode making it impossible to place the frame over a toilet
Lastly, do remember, whenever you are using a rolling commode as a commode, to lock the wheels in position before use.
Shower transport commodes
Attendant shower transport bedside commode with four small wheels
Attendant shower transport bedside commode with medium sized rear wheels
Self-propelling shower transport bedside commode
Just like the transport bedside commode, there are two types of shower transport commode, the “attendant” model where the carer pushes the user, or the “self-propelling” model, where the user is independent and able to wheel around under their own steam.
The shower transport bedside commodes can be used for –
- a shower chair
- a transport chair
- a bedside commode
- a raised toilet seat over a toilet
Note – there are two reasons a shower transport bedside commode may not work over a toilet –
- if there is a very low horizontal bar between the rear legs which means the frame cannot be placed over the toilet
- the legs are not adjustable, and the commode is too low for your toilet bowl
Once again, always lock the wheels when using the commode in a static position.
While you are looking for bedside commodes, there is lots more that you can do to make your bathroom a safer place for seniors, or anyone else with mobility issues.
To find out all the different things you can do, to have an instant impact on bathroom safety, take a look here, “54 Bathroom Safety Tips For Seniors – A Helpful Guide”.
How to set up a bedside commode over a toilet
To install the bedside commode over a toilet –
- take out the bucket from under the seat of the commode
- put the lid and seat of your toilet in the upright position
- stand the bedside commode next to your toilet, decide how high you want the commode seat to be
- adjust the length of the commode frame legs by pushing in the metal buttons, and then by pulling the leg out, or pushing it in, until you get the length you require
- the metal push buttons should make a loud click when they pop back out of the holes in the leg at the chosen level – if they don’t make a definite clicking noise, keep on jiggling the leg, until they do
- always make the four legs the same length for stability and safety
- never make the legs so tall that when seated, the user’s feet don’t touch the floor – people may lose their balance and fall when they stand up, and also the feet can go to sleep from the lack of circulation of blood, caused by the dangling in space – a major part of the foot should be on the floor whilst the user is seated on the commode
- install the commode over the toilet once you have the legs, and seat, at the preferred height
- if the space between the seat and the toilet bowl rim is only about an inch, you may not need a splash guard
If you want to read more about this, I have written another post, “Can A Bedside Commode Be Used Over A Toilet ?” in which you can find out –
Which bedside commodes can be used over a toilet ?
- 3-in-1 bedside commodes
- Drop-arm bedside commodes
- Transfer, or rolling commodes
- Shower transfer commodes
A complete list of bedside commodes you can use over a toilet
- 25 Inch seat height
- 24 Inch seat height
- 23 Inch seat height
- 22 Inch seat height
- 21 Inch seat height
- 20 Inch seat height
- 19 Inch seat height
Bedside commode vs raised toilet seat
Where to buy a splash guard ?
You can buy universal splash guards at most large department stores, and on a huge number of websites online.
Just make sure that you buy the right size for your bedside commode – the universal size is only good if you have a standard sized bedside commode.
Here’s a list of retailers for online in the US –
Here’s a list of retailers for online in the UK –
I’m Gareth, the author and owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com
I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.