Best Bedside Commodes for Elderly People Who Can’t Make it to the Bathroom

Bedside commodes are portable toilets that you can move where needed in your home. The best bedside commodes are adjustable to fit the user, easy to clean, easy to move, and durable.

best bedside comoode
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If a person you care about has problems with walking or incontinence, you know how difficult a trip to the bathroom can be.

Luckily, bedside commodes for the elderly are convenient, comfortable, and safe to use. They bring peace of mind so you don’t have to dread going to the toilet. Or worry about making it on time. Bedside commodes are very convenient and affordable solutions to a serious problem.

These mobile toilets for the elderly come in different shapes and sizes. First, I’ll give you a list of my favorites. Then, I’ll also let you know what to look for when buying one.

UltraCommode™ Foldable Commode/Shower Chair

best bedside commodes for the elderly 1UltraCommode™ Foldable Commode/Shower Chair

I’ll start off with the best. This portable toilet is a great option for people who want a comfortable commode.

This is a high-end product that had padded seat and armrests that can be moved. The height of the chair can also be adjusted to make it easier to get on and off of.

This seating area is large and has an open front for easy hygiene. The maximum weight for this commode is 300 lbs.

A huge benefit of the UltraCommode is that it can be folded or assembled without tools in less than 60 seconds. This makes it great for storage or travel.

Plus, the padding won’t absorb water and the aluminum frame won’t rust.

Pros:

  • Most comfortable bedside commode on this list
  • Adjustable in terms of height and access
  • Materials are durable and also allow it to be used in a shower

Cons:

  • It can’t be used over a toilet
  • Some people say that the seat opening is too small
  • If you have fragile skin the padding can irritate it when used in a shower

Drive Medical Steel Folding Bedside Commode

best bedside commodes for the elderly 2Drive Medical Steel Folding Bedside Commode

Next, we have a basic portable potty for adults that will do the job. It is my budget pick, because you get a well built product. It has a steel frame which opens and folds easily for storage and transportation. The capacity is 350 lbs.

It comes with a snap-on seat and lid as well as 7.5 qt commode bucket with a cover and a splash shield. This commode can also be used as a raised toilet seat.

It’s very easy to clean and some people even used it as a shower chair. The price for the quality is great.

Pros:

  • Great price for a durable product
  • Light and foldable
  • Strong steel frame

Cons:

  • Some users have complained of seat being too narrow

Medline Elements Bedside Commode

best bedside commodes for the elderly 3Medline Elements Bedside Commode

I think this is the best looking chair on my list. It looks a lot like a regular chair And, let’s face it, people coming to your home are probably going to see it..

The seat and backrest are made from hard plastic but are still comfortable. The plastic is infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection which inhibits growth of microbes that cause stains and odors.

The commode has an aluminum frame with 400 lbs maximum capacity.The seat can be finely adjusted in 0.5 inch increments so the chair becomes a perfect fit for most people.

The seat opening is elongated and the backrest is adjustable. The flat-seat lid cover even conceals the commode nicely. It can also be used over a toilet to raise the seat, increasing stability. A splash guard for over-the-toilet use is included.

Pros:

  • It is very eye-pleasing, it looks and can be used as a regular chair
  • There are additional antimicrobial features for better hygiene
  • It is bigger in size similar to an elongated regular toilet

Cons:

  • Difficult to clean without taking the chair apart

Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode

best bedside commodes for the elderly 4Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode

This bedside commode offers improved access.

The armrests can be dropped with a simple push of a button which helps users in a wheelchair. With this feature, they can more easily slide on and off the toilet.

In addition to movable armrests, this potty chair also has padded seat and backrest for increased comfort. Handgrips are padded with foam so they don’t slip either.

It is heavy-duty and durable. Maximum capacity is 350 lbs. Included with this commode you get a pail, a lid and a splash guard.

When you remove the backrest, the commode can be used over a regular toilet seat too.

Pros:

  • Drop-Arms give improved access
  • It’s padded which greatly increases comfort
  • It can be used over a toilet or even in a shower

Cons:

  • Some users have said the bucket does not fit properly for use by an adult man, it can’t be adjusted properly to avoid spilling
  • This commode can’t be folded

Duro-Med Commode Chair, Heavy-Duty Steel Commode

best bedside commodes for the elderly 5Duro-Med Commode Chair, Heavy-Duty Steel Commode

This mobile toilet is the best choice for larger people since it has a capacity for up to 500 lbs. With 23 inches between armrests it’s extra wide so you don’t have to worry about room. The height is adjustable from 16½ to 23½ inches. 

Like most others on this list, it can be used as a seat over a regular toilet for improved comfort and safety. The pail is steel and easy to clean. This commode can also be useful for people recovering from surgery or with hip problems.

Pros:

  • Great for people who need a stronger commode
  • It is stable and offers enough space
  • Easy to use over a regular toilet

Cons:

  • Bucket not easy to get in or out
  • No splash guard under the seat

Shopping Guide: Important Bedside Commode Features

When shopping for a bedside commode the most important feature to look for is that the elderly person can use it easily without problems.

  • Proper Fit. This means it has the right height is wide enough and it is strong enough to hold the person sitting. Look for commodes that are adjustable in height so that they fit taller and shorter users.
  • Foldable and Portable. If your home has small doors or you need to take the potty with you, choose one that folds easily.
  • Easy to Clean. It’s important that a potty is easy to clean. You definitely don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning commode buckets!
  • Durable. Steel commodes are more durable and support more weight. But, they are heavier too.
  • Weight Capacity. Some support users up to 500 lbs. Make sure you compare the weight of the user to the weight capacity of the chair.

Tips for Using a Portable Commode

Using a bedside commode shouldn’t be difficult.

  • When you buy it, you should adjust it for the person who is going to use it. The height of the seat should be optimal so the person can sit down or get up easily.
  • Toilet paper and wet wipes should always be nearby.
  • Before use, pour a little water in the bucket for easier cleaning.
  • You should always check if the commode is stable – you don’t want it moving around.
  • A person using the toilet should always grab the handles firmly when sitting down or getting up.
  • When done, you should always clean the commode thoroughly and as soon as possible.

Using a Portable Commode Over a Toilet

Some bedside commodes can be used over regular toilet seats instead of having to get a taller toilet.

This feature improves safety for elderly when getting on or off because commodes have handlebars on the sides to help them remain stable. Also, most regular toilet seats are too low for people who have problems with bones and muscles.

A bedside commode also elevates the seat making it easier for them to use the toilet. Just remove the bucket from underneath and straddle it over your existing toilet.

However, if you want to use a commode like this make sure that the one you buy is tall enough to fit the toilet you have at home.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ

There are a few common concerns about mobile toilets that people have. I will try to help and explain so you have a clearer picture when getting one.

What is the Safest Way to Use a Portable Toilet?

How Do I Clean a Bedside Commode?

Most commodes are easily cleaned, and the bucket should be emptied as soon as possible to eliminate odors. You should clean the container with a toilet brush, disinfectant and water. The body of the commode should be wiped with disinfectant.

TidyCare Commode Liners

best bedside commodes for the elderly 6TidyCare Commode Liners

These liners can be of great help for cleaning, because they are mess free. They are easily adapted into the bucket, and are waterproof. Afterwards, dispose of the liquid in a toilet. Then pull the strings on the sides to tie the bag and dispose of it as you would of a regular diaper.

How Much Does a Bedside Commode Cost?

As I’ve discussed in the text, you can get a budget friendly commode for as much as $34, going up to over $200 for more premium products.

Are Bedside Commodes Covered By Medicare?

Yes, with the correct paperwork, documentation, and an order from your doctor, bedside commodes are a covered item under Medicare.

Summary

Bedside commodes are sometimes necessary to make life easier. They shorten the distance you have to go to use the bathroom. So, they might prevent an accident if you are dealing with incontinence as a senior. They definitely make your trip to the bathroom shorter.

Do you have another potty chair that you recommend? Do you have a question I haven’t answered? Tell me about it in the comments below!

About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS® 374 Articles
Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather
I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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