When a person has trouble moving around, he can’t do things like use the restroom without assistance. When he first sees a toilet seat, he is confused.
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Patients who have trouble moving around may find the commode chair to be an invaluable piece of medical equipment. The elderly, the ill, and the injured, as well as young children who are unable to use the restroom without assistance, are typical users of this type of chair.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the salient characteristics shared by the best commode chairs on the market today. We will also give you some advice on how to clean your toilet and how to pick the best toilet seat.
Commode Chair Basic Features and Functions
A commode chair, or toilet seat, serves the same function as a shower chair and goes by both names. Assuring the safety and comfort of people with disabilities while they use the restroom, whether they do so independently or with assistance, is a top priority.
Because of its design, this chair is among the most helpful aids for people who cannot independently use the restroom due to mobility issues. A commode seat can be either a stationary unit that stays by the bed or a portable one that can be moved and attached to any standard toilet.
One of the most useful aspects of a commode chair is a removable container, such as a bucket. The human waste is collected and stored in this container that sits beneath the toilet seat. After each use, it is emptied and disinfected.
Toilet seat and toilet lid
The commode chair’s toilet seat performs the same function as a standard toilet seat. There, they can relax while using the simulated toilet. However, the hole in the toilet seat is hidden by the lid.
The commode chair can be easily moved to a more convenient location, such as the bathroom, thanks to the wheels. Locks on the rollers keep the chair in place, protecting the user.
The commode chair’s legs and other pivot points are all housed within this frame. The chair’s height can be adjusted along a rail to suit the individual seated in it. The frame of each chair is made from hollow iron tubes.
The chair’s rubberized feet allow it to grip the floor and prevent it from sliding around.
If the user has something to rest his or her arms on while sitting in the chair, that will increase comfort significantly. They may feel safer using the restroom this way.
What Are The Different Types Of Commode Chairs?
Although there is some variation in commode chairs, they all share the aforementioned characteristics. We’ve listed the different kinds of commode chairs available to make your shopping experience easier.
1. Standard bedside commode
This style lacks wheels and is meant to be placed solely by the bedside; however, it is still lightweight and portable enough to be kept in any convenient location.
2. Commode with adjustable arms
Except for the shape of the armrests, this chair is identical to the regular one. Easy patient transfer from bed to wheelchair is facilitated by the detachable armrest.
3. Raised toilet seat
The container is permanently attached to this one. It’s meant to be used in conjunction with a standard toilet seat for added comfort and support.
4. Shower wheelchair commode
This commode chair can be used not only in the bathroom but also in the shower thanks to its water-resistant construction. Along with the latch, it also has wheels.
5. Bariatric commode
Individuals with weight-related mobility issues can benefit from this style’s unique construction and design. However, it is the type that can support over 300 pounds and is considerably more robust than the standard.
How To Properly Clean A Commode Chair?
Although commode chairs are useful, they require regular cleaning to ensure they continue to serve their intended purposes. They must be cleaned thoroughly after each use to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
Wearing protective gloves, such as rubber or plastic, is a must before beginning this process. Once full, take the container off the seat and flush it down the toilet.
Use a disinfectant soap to scrub the bucket, and then rinse it thoroughly. Hang it up to dry.
The next step is to disinfect the toilet seat and rails of the chair using the same disinfectant that you used in the bucket, or sanitizing wipes. The chair can be given a thorough cleaning by first being run under hot water. Apply a disinfectant spray or pour and brush with a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water, then let dry in the air.
The Best Bedside Commodes for Those With Limited Mobility
Best Overall: Drive Medical Steel Bedside Commode Chair
- Universal toilet seat
- Sturdy steel framework
- Folds flat for easy portability or storage
- Demands cohesion
- Some users may find it too restrictive.
Because of its dependability, adaptability, and user-friendliness, the commode from Drive Medical was our top pick. It can be used as a regular toilet if you have no trouble sitting all the way down, a raised toilet if you do, or as a simple over-the-toilet frame for added support. The commode pail can be removed for cleaning and use, and the whole thing can be folded up for storage or transportation.
The fact that the commode can be customized to the user’s height and can support up to 350 pounds is also very convenient. This toilet can do just about anything you need it to thanks to its sturdy steel construction, adaptable design, and simple bucket cleaning process.
Type: Safety frame for the toilet, raised toilet seat, and bedside commode all in one convenient package. Disallowed Loads: 350 lbs | Method of Cleaning and Emptying: Pail cover and handle detachable, transportable bucket
Best Budget: Medline 3-in-1 Steel Folding Bedside Commode
- Modified in stature
- Quick and simple construction
- Space-saving foldable design
- Tight/snug fit
- For some, the shakiness is intolerable.
The Medline three-in-one steel folding commode is a great alternative to our “Best Overall” pick if you need a toilet but are on a tight budget.
It’s height is adjustable, it folds up, it can be used in a variety of ways, and it can hold up to 350 pounds, just like Drive Medical’s three-in-one commode. It’s a great option for someone who needs a bedside commode for a short while rather than permanently (like someone recovering from an illness or injury), thanks to its simple assembly and affordable price.
Type: Bedside toilet, elevated toilet seat, and toilet safety frame all in one convenient package.Restrictions on Weight: 350 lbs | The Best Way to Clean and Empty: Pail cover and handle are detachable.
Best Folding: NOVA Medical Products Folding Commode
- Rapid, tool-free construction
- When folded, it takes up a mere four inches of space.
- The seat may be too hard for some users.
- The design makes using the commode while standing awkward.
While it’s true that many of the commodes here can be folded up for easy transport or storage, we felt that the model from NOVA Medical went above and beyond the call of duty, and thus earned our “Best Folding” designation. It can be quickly and easily assembled without the need for tools, and its compact folded size (only four inches deep and twenty-two inches wide) makes it easy to store under a bed, in a closet, or in the trunk of a car.
The NOVA Medical commode can support up to 300 pounds, has an adjustable height, is simple to empty and clean, and can be used as either a regular toilet or a raised toilet seat. It’s one of the most hassle-free choices for short-term or occasional usage.
Type: Separate commodes and urinals |Disallowed Loads: 300 lbs | Method of Cleaning/Emptying: Bucket cover and splash guard that can be removed
Best Discreet: Medline Elements Bedside Commode
- The concealed seat and bucket provide extra anonymity.
- Chair that fits in the shower
- Antimicrobial protection provided by Microban technology
- Potentially too tall for some users.
- It could be more of a hassle to clean the cracks and crevices.
Looking for a toilet that blends in with the decor rather than drawing attention to itself as a bedside fixture? This model by Medline Elements is ideal because its seat looks just like any other chair. It has a regular, removable commode bucket hidden within a plastic frame that mimics the appearance of a regular chair seat; it also has a flat lid that completely conceals the seated surface when closed.
The chair’s materials, bronze-colored steel and beige plastic, don’t exactly scream “commode,” either. Because of its versatile design, this chair can double as a comfortable shower chair while still looking like it belongs in any room of the house. It’s height-adjustable, can support up to 400 pounds, and uses microban antimicrobial technology to prevent the spread of germs and unpleasant odors.
Type: Use over a standard toilet or as a separate commode | Restrictions on Weight: 400 lbs | Method of Cleaning and Emptying: Pail cover and handle are detachable.
Most Comfortable: MedPro Defense Comfort Plus Commode Chair
- Ergonomic seat with more width than usual
- Raised and lowered to the desired level of comfort
- Integrated splash guard
- For some, the product’s lack of sturdiness is a dealbreaker.
- Has no protection against water splashing on male users.
It’s important to set realistic expectations for the experience of using a bedside commode (spoiler alert: it won’t be as pleasant as going to the bathroom). Although it’s understandable that having a toilet close to your bed might be necessary for some reasons, that doesn’t mean you should have to put up with any discomfort while doing your business.
The MedPro Comfort Plus Commode Chair is a great option if you’re looking for a bedside commode that prioritizes your comfort. Because of its wide, ergonomic seat, even people with wider hips and buttocks can use the commode without discomfort. Padded armrests make sitting and rising from the commode more comfortable, a top- or side-accessible pail makes cleaning and emptying a breeze, and the seat height is adjustable from 16 to 22 inches. Where the unit’s back is.
This unit has three functions in one, so using the toilet while lying in bed should be as convenient as possible.
Type: Bedside toilet, elevated toilet seat, and toilet safety frame all in one convenient package.Disallowed Loads: 350 lbs | Method of Cleaning/Emptying: The toilet’s bucket and lid can be removed from the front or back.
Most Additional Features: Medline Steel 3-in-1 Bedside Commode
- Seat can be detached and cleaned with the help of a clip.
- Simple, no-tools assembly
- Antimicrobial protection provided by Microban technology
- Tiny opening in the bucket.
Need some luxuries but don’t want to go into debt? The Medline 3-in-1 steel commode is a great option for those looking for a toilet with as many convenient features as possible without breaking the bank.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the baseline requirements: This toilet can accommodate users weighing up to 350 pounds, is constructed of strong steel with a simple push-button height adjustment, and requires no tools for set up or maintenance. Is there anything extra? Incorporate antimicrobial defense, a clip-on seat that can be removed and cleaned quickly, a splash guard, and A holder for the toilet paper.
Type: Combination bedside toilet, elevated seat, and safety rail for the bathroom sink |Restrictions on Weight: 350 lbs | Method of Cleaning/Emptying: Pail cover and handle are detachable.
Best Drop-Arm: NOVA Medical Products Heavy Duty Bedside Commode Chair with Drop-Arm
- Wider than average at 23.25 inches
- Drop-arm design allows for simple operation.
- Allows for bariatric use.
- Negative splash guard
- Shipping costs can add up quickly if the item is too large.
You probably have mobility issues if you need a commode by your bed. However, if you have trouble stepping onto and off of a standard toilet, a beside commode may be more accessible. any simpler unless your toilet has a drop arm that allows you to easily slide onto it from your bed or couch.
Internal medicine doctor at Houston Methodist Hospital, Mariana Hurtado, M.D., recommends a commode with drop arms and adjustable heights for patients who have trouble with ambulation and gait instability.
The commode arms of the NOVA Medical Heavy Duty Commode with Drop-Arm can be lowered with a single lever, creating a wide opening that facilitates a smooth transition from the surface onto the commode. The nearly 26-inch width of the bench seat makes it easy to settle in.
This heavy-duty NOVA Medical model has a weight limitation of 500 pounds, compared to the typical 350 pounds, so you won’t have to worry about using it with a larger patient or needing to put the weight of two people on the unit to assist with the transfer. Other standard commode features include an adjustable height and a removable bucket.
Type: Private restroom |Restrictions on Weight: 500 lbs | The Best Way to Clean and Empty: Pull-out container with a strap for transport
Best Bariatric: Drive Medical Heavy Duty Bariatric Folding Commode
- Can hold 12 quarts of liquid
- Easy-to-use, height-adjustable buttons
- Easily unfolded and stored
- The frame is more sturdy than the plastic seat and lid.
- Limited space and a tight fit
This toilet may not look like much, but it may be just the thing for those with larger frames. This seat’s 650-pound capacity means it’s suitable for the vast majority of bariatric users, and it comes with all the standard comforts and features of comparable models.
This freestanding unit has a sturdy steel frame and requires no additional tools for assembly. It’s height is modifiable, so you can sit low to the ground for added stability, and it comes with a large pail that can be carried easily thanks to its handle, lid, and splash guard. Last but not least, the commode’s backrest is detachable, allowing you to tailor its size and shape to your needs and preferences, whether you find it comfortable to use as-is or need to fit it around an existing toilet.
Type: Separate toilet | Restrictions on Weight: 650 lbs | Method of Cleaning/Emptying: Pail cover, splash guard, and handle are all components of this detachable bucket.
What to Look for in Bedside Commodes
Bedside commodes typically have plastic seats and buckets, which are both comfortable and simple to clean. However, a bedside commode should have a steel frame for maximum support, as it is used frequently regardless of the user’s weight. You’ll be using it as a seat and a footrest, leaning on it to get up, and taking the bucket off of it when you clean it, possibly even transporting it from your bedroom to the bathroom. Steel is the most likely material to endure frequent use.
Wofford recommends picking a toilet that has a bucket that can be removed completely for the utmost convenience during cleaning.
You might need a commode by your bed if you have trouble or discomfort using a standard toilet. Choose an adjustable-height bedside commode to avoid the same issue; otherwise, you may have trouble getting on and off of it because it is either too high or too low.
The last thing you want is to hurt yourself while using a bedside commode because you are frail, have trouble keeping your balance, or are nursing an injury.
Wofford says, “At the very least, make sure the commode is sturdy and has rubber tips on the feet to keep it from sliding and to help prevent it from tipping over.”
Dr. Hurtado recommends using a commode with hand rails because they add an extra layer of safety when sitting down and standing up.
- Does Medicare pay for toilets that can be brought to a patient’s bedside?Yes. Medicare and Medicaid both cover bedside toilets, as Dr. Hurtado explains.Please verify coverage with your insurance company before making a purchase; there may be specific models you must select from or coverage may be subject to other restrictions and limitations.
- If you have a toilet at your bedside, how do you keep it clean?It’s not pleasant to consider, but sanitizing your bedside toilet is essential for avoiding the spread of disease. To keep your unit running smoothly, however, you won’t need any advanced skills or expensive medical equipment.Wofford recommends following the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning, but adds that the toilet can otherwise be treated like any other. After each use, give it a good rinsing and wipe it down.Most detachable plastic buckets can be washed in the tub or sink with some warm water and a mild detergent. Turn the unit upside down to drain the water if you have the luxury of time; otherwise, wipe it down with a paper towel or clean cloth before replacing the bucket.
Your understanding of what a commode chair is and the benefits it offers its user should no longer be in doubt. You have also recognized its standard attributes, classifications, and maintenance requirements. To avoid the hassle of constantly cleaning the bucket, you can purchase disposable liners that fit inside the bucket and act as an odor neutralizer.