Menu Close

Best Bedside Commodes For The Elderly

As we age, many of us will eventually need assistance with activities of daily living such as going to the bathroom. For older adults who have limited mobility or difficulty getting up and down from a seated position, bedside commodes can provide much-needed support and independence.

There are many toilet chairs on the market, so choosing the best one for an elderly person can be tricky. This guide will introduce the different types of bedside commodes available today.

We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of bedside commode, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your loved one.

TIP: no matter which model you choose, the most important feature to look for is to be sure the feet have rubber tips to keep the commode from sliding or tipping over. Wheels are a no-no (yes, they are out there)!

Standard Bedside Commodes

Drive Medical 11148-1  

This is the type of bedside commode chair they provide in hospitals and institutions. My mom was given one when she went under hospice care.

They are cost-effective and do the trick, but they are really just a basic bucket on a frame – very no frills! There is no padding on the plastic seat or on the backrest. I feel like there are better choices out there.

This portable commode chair folds up for easy storage and transportation. It holds up to 350 pounds of weight.

The legs are adjustable for height. Seat dimensions: 13.5″ x 15″; Seat height: 16.6″ x 22.5″; Width between arms: 18″, 22.5″ outside. The arm width is not adjustable, so heavier individuals may want to choose a medical commode with a wider seat and arms.

It comes with a removable bucket for easy cleaning. Also, you can forget about the bucket and simply use the frame as a toilet safety frame over an existing regular toilet.


MedPro Defense Comfort Plus 

This bedside toilet chair has an “ergonomic” seat. That means it is properly curved instead of simply being a flat seat, which helps reduce strain on the back.

This one can be used in 3 different ways – as a commode chair or remove the bucket to make it a toilet safety frame or leave the seat attached to the frame and use it as a raised toilet seat.

This model also comes with a splash guard, plus the bucket can be removed from either the back or the top of the commode for easy access.


Medline Elements With Microban Protection

This model lets you adjust both the toilet seat height and the armrest height. The seat adjustment goes up and down in 0.50 inch increments, so you can get the exact height you need up to 22.5” tall.

It has Microban protection incorporated into the plastic to help inhibit mold and mildew, stains, and odors.

As with other models, you can use this as a toilet safety frame by removing the bucket. It features a large, flat lid to make it look less like a toilet when not in use. It has a splash-guard, as well.

This model can also double as a shower chair.

No tools required for assembly.


GentleBoost Uplift Assist Commode

This bedside commode comes with a self-powered uplift seat for easier transfer from sitting to standing, making it a great choice for seniors with mobility challenges.

To use the uplift seat, the user must lean forward.

As they do, the manufacturer states that “the GentleBoost’s seat will start to raise up and forward from the back of the chair, helping to bring the user to a standing position. When accessing the chair, the same mechanism of action means that the user can be safely and slowly lowered into the seated position.”

Be aware that some reviewers were concerned that there may be too much force and that lighter people might get “catapulted forward.”

It has a padded seat, armrests, and backrest. It can be used as a safety frame over a standard toilet and has adjustable height legs. It can also be used as a shower chair.

This model has an aluminum frame (not stainless steel) and weighs 30 pounds, so it’s portable, but might be cumbersome to move around.


Bariatric Commodes

Healthline Heavy Duty Drop-Arm Commode

You can use this one as a bedside toilet, a toilet safety frame, or as an elevated toilet seat.

This model supports up to 500 pounds of weight. It has a steel frame (however some users reported that the frame bent under heavier weights). It also has a padded seat, but no padded back rest (just a bar).

It has lightly padded arms that can drop down to help in transitioning from sitting or standing up from the commode.

My concern with a drop arm commode is that the user must be stable when transitioning and using the drop arms or they won’t have anything to help steady them if either arm is down.

Lastly, for the price, it’s pretty “no-frills” (basically a bucket on a frame). Users complained that the bucket can only be removed from the front and that you have to be very careful when putting it back on the track to be sure that it is actually on both tracks.


Bariatric Bedside Commode (Height Adjustable Mobile Portable Toilet Supports 660 Lb)  

This portable bariatric commode has a weight capacity of up to 660 pounds. Although it can support that much weight, it only weighs 12 pounds, so you can easily move it if needed.

It has a padded seat and padded backrest for user comfort. The commode pail comes with a carry handle and a lid. The legs of this steel commode are adjustable for to 5 levels, ranging from 1.3 feet off the ground to 1.8 feet off the ground.

It has non-slip feet and an organizer compartment to hold toilet paper, wipes, or paper towels. It also comes with a large and a small toilet brush for cleaning, as well as 60 commode liners.


Dzz Broin 3-in-1 Mobile Bedside Commode Chair (Bariatric)

This one looks like a piece of furniture (A throne, maybe? Kind of)!

It is built to support a maximum weight of up to 770 pounds (350 kg), so it is perfect for larger users. It can also double as a shower chair or toilet safety frame.

It features padded arm rests, back rest, and seat. The seat is extra large for comfort (17” x 18” and width between armrests is 20”). The leg height adjusts from 16.5” to 18.5” high.

It has a box on the side for tissues, etc, and a lid to hide the commode. It also has a splash guard, plus the bucket comes with a handle to make it easier to carry or empty.

The manufacturer says it can be assembled without tools, in less than 60 seconds!


Also A Contender – Toilet Safety Rails

While not an actual bedside commode, a toilet safety rail can help seniors who can still get around stay safer in the bathroom.

Vive Toilet Safety Rail

This toilet frame supports up to 300 pounds.

It secures to the toilet itself so, while it is technically portable, it won’t be as easy to move this one as it would be with a toilet rail frame. The manufacturer says there should be no tools required for installation as it attaches by using the existing seat bolts on the toilet.

The lightly padded armrests can adjust to widths between 17” to 20” wide. The rails are made of aluminum, so they won’t corrode.

NOTE: Be aware that some reviewers said the frame slides if the user puts lateral pressure on the arms while using it for support.


Bedside Commode Accessories

Commode Liners

Honestly, when my mom needed a bedside commode at the end of her life, I had no idea that bedside commode liners were even a thing. But, they would have been so useful, especially for containing odors.

With a disposable liner, you simply close the bag up and the odor is immediately trapped. Then, just carry the leak-proof liner to the trash and dump it.

These liners also make cleanup more sanitary because they eliminate the chance of someone accidentally spilling the contents of the commode bucket while on the way to empty it into the toilet.

They work well for camping toilets, too!


Incontinence Wash Gloves

These pre-moistened incontinence wipes are shaped like a glove, which makes for an easier cleanup than with traditional wipes. They can be heated for comfort and have a barrier cream to help “seal out wetness from incontinence, bed sores or sweat – reducing sores, redness and spots on the most sensitive of skin.”

Each wash glove is unscented and features 3 layers of tear-resistant fabric. These wipes are alcohol-free and have aloe, vitamin E and chamomile to help keep the skin moisturized and promote skin wellness.


Conclusion

There are many different types of bedside commodes and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, the best bedside commode for a senior with mobility issues is the one that meets the person’s individual needs.

We recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional before purchasing one to ensure you’re choosing the right bedside commode for yourself or your senior loved one.

Join our email list for SeniorSafetyAdvice