Raised toilet seats are just what the name implies: a way to raise your toilet seat higher off of the ground.
And a raised toilet seat can help individuals, especially the elderly, who struggle while sitting down and standing up from the toilet.
So, in this guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about buying raised toilet seats for older adults. I’ll also include a list of my top recommended products for seniors and the elderly.
How To Choose an Elevated Toilet Seat
When choosing a raised toilet seat for an elderly person, think about the current condition of the elderly person as well as future needs too. Use these tips to choose the right raised toilet seat for an elderly person.
- Right Height. Choose the height of the seat according to the size of the user. Get as high of a raised seat as you can while also making sure their feet remain on the ground.
- Right Shape. Make sure the shape and dimension of the toilet seat fits the length of the toilet bowl that you want to raise. Is your toilet bowl round (16-1/2 inches deep) or elongated (18-1/2 inches deep)?
- Right Weight. Always check the weight-bearing capacity before purchase to ensure that the toilet bowl can safely support the weight of the user.
- Right Support. Raised toilet seats with arms go a long way in helping the elderly get on and off the raised toilet seat so they can use their arms to gain leverage rather than their knees or hips.
- Right Accessories. The presence of a lid or cover helps to maintain high hygiene standards. Also, look for raised toilet seats with shields or funnels that make sure everything goes where it should.
- Right Installation. The best product installs directly to the toilet or has locking mechanisms that keep it from moving while being used. Freestanding options should be stable and have four legs on the ground.
What Are The Best Raised Toilet Seats For Seniors And The Elderly Overall?
Many seniors have difficulty safely sitting on or standing up from the toilet. Common causes include reduced mobility, back or knee strain, arthritis, general weakness, reduced strength, or hip or knee surgery, among others.
Raised toilet seats are higher than a normal toilet seat, reducing the distance a senior needs to move when sitting or rising from the toilet seat. So, they need less leverage which makes it easier – and safer – for them to use the toilet.
Here are my reviews of the top raised toilet seats that I recommend for seniors and the elderly.
1. Bemis Clean Shield 3″ Raised Toilet Seat
- Height Option(s): 3 inches
- Round and Elongated Bowls
- Supports up to 1000 pounds
For raised toilet seats to provide their necessary benefits, they must be correctly and securely installed. Otherwise, they can even be more dangerous than using a regular toilet seat.
Bemis Independence, a division of Bemis Manufacturing Company, one of the US’s top manufacturers of toilet seats, developed their Clean Shield line of elevated toilet seats to address this very issue. Honestly, I was a little skeptical, so they sent me one that I could try out for myself.
I have replaced many toilet seats in the past (I once owned rental properties), and this was one of the easiest to install. It didn’t wiggle from side to side while you were installing it. So, it went on straight and properly lined up without needing adjustments.
Another common installation concern with toilet seats is how tight you should make them. Too loose, they wobble. Too tight, you risk breaking the hardware or hinge.
But, the Clean Shield raised toilet seat makes it easy to know when you have the right tightness because the toilet seat features a bolt head that literally snaps off in the included wrench when it is just right.
They call it Snap2Secure, and that is exactly what it does. It stays tight and secure until the day you replace it – which will be years down the road.
Other than the simple installation process, there are other benefits to love about this raised toilet seat.
Many seniors and elderly people are self-conscious about using medical equipment even if it’s helpful. The Clean Shield raised toilet seat has a more finished – and less medical – appearance while providing 3 inches of additional toilet seat height that many older adults need.
The included lid matches perfectly with most white porcelain toilets – so much so that it looks like standard equipment.
No one wants to spend too much time cleaning their toilet, right? Cleaning is a breeze, too, because the hinges of the elevated toilet seat are off the toilet bowl, which makes it easy to get a cleaning brush or rag around them.
Finally, the user’s weight won’t be an issue with this one either. It has been tested to 1000 pounds. And, if you choose the option with arms, each arm has been tested to 350 pounds.
It is, in my professional experience and option, the best raised toilet seat for seniors, period!
I have a more detailed Bemis Clean Shield review you can read here if interested.
- Easy to correctly and securely install
- Provides the needed elevation for safer toileting
- Has options for arms and even a bidet!
- Sturdy, secure, and safe
- Only one height option (3 inches)
2. Vive Raised Toilet Seat
If you are looking for an easy-to-install raised toilet seat or one that can be easily moved from toilet to toilet, then this Vive model may be the best one for you.
It uses a simple pressure system that is adjusted via a knob on the front to install on your toilet bowl. Plus, you don’t need to remove the existing toilet seat, simply flip it up out of the way and then install this one.
Of course, you should always test it before using it to make sure the installation is still secure. There should be no wobble or wiggle when weight is put on the handles. Because the knob is upfront, it could be accidentally turned, causing the seat to loosen.
Speaking of handles, it has padded handles that make it safe for seniors to sit or stand. The handles can be easily removed and provide a non-slip grip to the senior, reducing the likelihood of accidents.
Because of its plastic construction, you can clean it with most household cleaners without the worry of damage. And, because it is so easily removed, you can pop it off anytime the entire toilet bowl needs thorough sanitizing.
- Padded handles are included and are easy to install and remove
- Seat is easy to install without removing the existing toilet seat
- Easy to clean
- Easy to remove and take with you if needed
- Can become loose with time, so it should be inspected before each use
3. OasisSpace Raised Toilet Seat
Best with Arms and Legs
Toilet seats with arms and legs offer some advantages over standard raised seats.
For one, they can be picked up and moved when another person in the household needs to use the toilet. Because they are not permanently attached, they are highly portable.
Another reason to consider a raised toilet seat with legs is that they are height adjustable. So, you can easily set the toilet to the height that you or your loved one need.
This toilet seat frame from Oasis Space has all of these features and more. The seat is adjustable from 20-1/2 to 27-1/2 inches from the floor. It also supports up to 300 pounds. This means that it is going to fit and support a wide size range of seniors.
Another thing I really like about this model is the funnel underneath the seat that makes sure everything goes where it should. This makes cleaning easier and a whole lot less messy.
I was sent a free unit to try out and was very pleased with the product. The only issue I really had was with the assembly. You have to get the screws lined up perfectly when attaching the cross bars under the arms.
But, once I got them correctly lined up, they went right in. Installation doesn’t require any tools and uses simple bolts with wing assemblies for tightening them down.
- It supports up to 300 pounds
- Easy to clean with a quick wipe down
- Seat height is adjustable
- Fits on most standard toilet bowls
- Assembly took a bit longer than expected and required a few attempts to get screws lined up correctly, but it is tool-free.
4. Carex Round Hinged Toilet Riser Seat
This Carex raised toilet riser seat is added underneath your current toilet seat and adds 3.5 inches to the total height. This is a suitable option if you have an existing toilet seat you prefer because it matches your toilet or decor.
It has a hinged design, so it flips back out of the way for easy cleaning. It is made of plastic, so it can be cleaned with common household cleaners.
Even though this Carex toilet seat is plastic and lightweight, it is durable and supports a weight capacity of 300 pounds. The capacity and the 3.5 inches of height mean it should provide assistance to most seniors.
It easily installs onto existing toilet bowls and replaces both round and elongated toilet seats. You only need a screwdriver to complete the installation, which will take just a few minutes.
Finally, the Carex option is the best one for budget-conscious people because it is quite affordable!
- Easy to clean
- Easy to install
- It fits on most standard toilet bowls
- Made from durable material
- While easy to install, it does require a screwdriver, and care should be taken to make sure it stays tight
5. Platinum Health The Ultimate Raised Toilet Seat
This multiple-use device is a bedside commode, really. It comes with various commode buckets so that it can be used anywhere in the home.
But, it is extremely useful when used as a raised toilet seat for your existing toilet. And all you have to do is slide off the commode buckets underneath and set this commode chair over top of your toilet, straddling it on each side. The legs are then adjustable so that you can set the height right where you need it.
And, of course, you want to be comfortable on the toilet, right? Especially if you use it more often than you care to admit. Padded toilet seats (and this one has really thick padding) make even the coldest toilet more comfortable. Even the armrests are padded.
Another key advantage to a product like this is that there is no installation per se. You may have to assemble it when it comes it, but there is no attachment to the toilet to manage. You simply set it over top of the toilet, make sure it is level and sturdy, and it’s ready to go.
- Fits all kinds of toilets
- Highly comfortable padded seat and armrests
- Adjustable height to fit a wide range of elderly
- Multi-use device
- The bar, at times, gets in the way of wiping and cleaning
6. HealthSmart Raised Toilet Seat Riser
I wanted to include an option for people who may just need a raised toilet seat for a short period of time, like during recovery from surgery or an injury. And this inexpensive option from HealthSmart is it.
This one uses a plastic collar that fits down in the bowl along with non-slip pads around the rim to secure it. Honestly, this isn’t the most secure or stable option but is acceptable for someone who just needs to use a product like this for a few weeks.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND an option like this for long-term use or for elderly people with balance and neurological health issues because it does not attach or secure itself to the toilet directly. So, it is possible it could move out of place, especially if weight is placed more on one side than the other.
All that being said, this is a durable raised toilet seat that is easy to clean too because it can be removed so easily. It fits most toilets and provides the necessary increase in seat height to assist with recovery.
- Easy to clean
- Made from durable material
- Best for temporary needs and uses
- It fits on most standard toilet bowls
- Does not attach to the toilet, so it could come loose with use
Best Raised Toilet Seat For Seniors With Arthritis
Bemis Clean Shield 3″ Raised Toilet Seats With Support Arms
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70% of individuals above the age of 45 have been diagnosed with arthritis by professional doctors. People with arthritis suffer mobility or health problems which make toileting difficult.
The Bemis Clean Shield is the best raised toilet seat with arms and will help seniors easily use the toilet since it helps reduce the pressure on the joints.
This raised toilet seat offers seniors with arthritis comfort and safety with limited mobility on the knee and hip, which are the main parts affected by arthritis that could limit safe toileting.
It is heavy-duty and can be used to hold up to 1000 lbs. Its size and shape fit most elongated toilets.
- It is easy to install
- Provides stable and sturdy support
- Optional arms add leverage to sit and stand
- User-friendly and easy to clean
- Only provides 3 inches which may not be enough for taller adults
Best Raised Toilet Seat For Knee Replacement
RMS Raised Toilet Safety Seat With Handles
According to Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches, 2021, at least 800,000 knee replacements are performed yearly. More than 60% of them are done among elders.
After a knee replacement, individuals suffer pain, especially during activities such as toileting. The RMS raised toilet seat with handles helps avoid bending the knee when toileting and reduces the chances of having seniors experience pain.
This toilet seat adds a height of 5 inches to the usual seat. It makes it easy for the elder to have their legs almost stretched without strain when using it.
Its padded arms can be easily removed to give way to proper cleaning. It can fit most standard elongated seats.
- It is adjustable
- It has padded non-slip arms
- Does not require tools to install
- Easy to use
- 5 inches could be too much for short seniors
Portable Raised Toilet Seat
PCP 5″ Toilet Seat Riser With Discreet Traveling Carry Bag
Portable raised toilet seats are most useful when a senior needs to travel. These seats are not very heavy and also do not occupy a lot of space.
They are made moderately, not very high, and not very low. You can consider the PCP 5″ Toilet Seat Riser with Discrete Traveling Carry Bag.
It comes with a flat seat. This is an easy toilet riser to install and does not have a complicated locking toilet seat. It allows easy installation since it has no drill holes. Its design allows thorough cleaning helping the seniors maintain high hygiene levels.
- Easy to fit
- Enhanced safety
- Easy to use
- Easy installation
- Care should be taken to ensure it is properly installed before using
Best Toilet Seat Risers
Vive Toilet Seat Riser With Arms
Toilet seat risers install underneath your existing toilet seat. This toilet seat riser raises your current toilet seat up another 4 inches to help with your toileting needs.
I also like that it comes with padded arms that gives disabled seniors that extra bit of leverage that they may need. It fits on both round and elongated toilet bowls too while supporting up to 300 pounds.
Installation is a breeze too – just insert the two long bolts through the seat riser and secure them underneath the toilet bowl. You can even attach your current hinged toilet seat to the top.
This attached connection helps make sure it doesn’t move while you are using it. Just make sure it is installed securely first.
- Easy to clean
- Easy to install
- Tool-free installation
- Handles offer soft foam hand grips
- It can only support up to 300 pounds
- It is less portable
Best Raised Toilet Seat With Handles
Drive Medical 2-in-1 Raised Toilet Seat With Removable Padded Arms (RTL12027RA)
Toilet seat handles are the most durable for elders who have trouble toileting. Handles offer them support, ensuring they have reduced chances of tripping and falling in the bathrooms.
Handles that can be removed are better because they allow space for other individuals using the same bathroom. You should consider having the Drive Medical RTL12027RA 2-in-1 raised toilet seat with removable padded arms.
It has armrests that make sitting and standing when toileting much easier. Its material can be easily cleaned using normal household detergents.
It can be adjusted to fit the user’s needs or be used for users with different needs. It uses a simple locking mechanism, which makes it easier to install.
- Easily adjustable
- Does not need tools to install
- Easy to clean
- Strong armrests
- Its stability relies on how well it is installed
- Can easily get out of place if not well installed.
How Can Elevated Toilet Seats Help Older Adults?
Seniors with mobility impairment risk falling when using the toilet. Using the best bathroom safety equipment, like an elevated raised toilet seat, reduces the risks associated with toileting.
An elevated toilet seat increases a senior’s level of independence, guaranteeing them more privacy during toileting because they won’t have to ask for help.
Here are just a few ways that a raised toilet seat will help older adults:
- Increased safety due to reduced risk of slipping, tripping, and falling
- Increased stability due to support that higher toilet seats offer – especially with arms.
- Controlled sitting and standing reduce joint and back pain
- Improved independence and confidence because of reduced injury risk
- Peace of mind for caregivers and loved ones.
Are There Any Drawbacks Of Using A Raised Toilet Seat?
A raised toilet seat has lots of pros but there are a few cons you should be aware of also. Some of these disadvantages include:
Since additional parts have been added to the toilet, more time could be needed during cleaning, especially when the additional parts have to be removed. Look for a raised toilet seat that has high hinges or is removable to make cleaning the toilet and the seat much easier.
Damage From Incorrect Installation
If a raised toilet seat is not installed correctly, it can cause damage to your toilet. Frequently people tighten the screws too much, which can cause cracking or breakage of porcelain toilets.
Seats that are too loose can move, causing scrapes and marks on the bowl. Not to mention increasing the risk of a fall.
Not Having a Lid
Using the toilet seat lid to keep the toilet bowl closed is necessary to avoid the spread of germs and cover unsightly stains. Many toilet raisers do not allow seniors to keep the lid closed, which creates a higher likelihood of spreading germs.
Important Safety Tips When Using Higher, Raised Seats
Elders are likely to have difficulty toileting due to health issues such as impaired vision, reduced balance, inaccurate motor coordination, and pain. There are certain tips that seniors should follow for the effective use of raised seats.
These tips help avoid accidents that would most likely worsen a senior’s physical condition:
1. Always, Always Check the Raised Toilet Seat Before Using
You must, must check the raised toilet seat before using it to make sure it is still securely installed. If it is loose, it could easily throw an elderly person with health problems off balance. This could lead to a fall and possibly an injury.
If the raised toilet seat wiggles or appears to be loose, do not use it. Call a neighbor, loved one, or plumber to attend to it immediately.
2. Keep The Toilet Paper Close
Make sure the toilet paper is within reach without needing to lean, stretch, or bend over. This reduces the chance of a fall from a higher toilet seat. If you or your loved one have difficulty wiping, consider using toileting aids like teachers and toilet paper holders instead.
3. Clean Up Immediately
Clean up any messes or accidents immediately, especially where liquids are concerned. Slips and falls are the leading causes of bathroom accidents.
4. Ask For Standby Help
I understand that using the toilet is a private event that shouldn’t be shared with others. But, if you are concerned about your safety, ask someone to wait outside the door or within earshot. That way, if you need help, you can get it quickly without violating your personal privacy.
5. Install Some Grab Bars Too
There is never such a thing as too much precaution when it comes to the bathroom. Install grab bars around your toilet to give additional places to hold while standing, sitting, or taking care of personal bathroom hygiene.
Alternatives To Installing a Raised or Elevated Toilet Seat
These are other ways to raise toilet seats and improve bathroom safety overall. Here are several alternatives to raised toilet seats you may want to consider.
1. Install a Taller Toilet
There is always the option of using taller toilet bowls, which average 17-19 inches. Some companies even offer you customized toilet bowls according to the user’s needs, height, and weight.
This requires a bit more work to install and may require a professional but can be a great option for anyone concerned with the aesthetics of medical equipment in the bathroom.
See my guide to tall toilets for seniors and the elderly for more information about this option,
2. Add A Toilet Safety Frame
Toilet safety frames attach to the toilet and provide a stable set of arms for pushing up from the toilet.
Most don’t address the height of the toilet seat, but there are a few models that have seats built onto them too. The height of the armrests and the seats of a safety toilet rail are usually adjustable to fit the user.
There are freestanding models available too, which are portable.
You can see my list of the best toilet safety rails and frames here.
3. Consider a Bedside Commode Chair Instead
Bedside commodes are just that – potty chairs that are designed to be used in places other than the bathroom. Many people don’t realize, though, that they are also called 3-in-1 commodes because they can also be used as raised toilet seats and toilet safety frames.
To use them this way, you remove the commode bucket from underneath and then set the frame over top of your toilet. You can then adjust the height to fit the user.
Check out my recommended bedside commodes in this guide to learn more.
4. Try a Thicker, Padded Toilet Seat
This alternative won’t work for a lot of people. But, if you or your loved one are just starting to have health problems, a raised seat with thick padding may provide enough of a difference to help.
Padded toilet seats are always going to b be a more comfortable toilet seat, right? Some raised toilet seat options come with padded seats as well.
5. Install a Higher Toilet Riser
Rather than adding height to your toilet seat, you can increase the height by putting a “spacer” or toilet riser under the base of your existing toilet. This raises the height of the entire toilet, including the seat, of course.
The most popular of these products is the Toilevator. Learn more about it here.
6. Mechanical and Electrical Toilet Seat Lifts
This category of products uses hydraulics that is mechanically or electrically powered to lift a person off of the toilet. Think of it as giving them a gentle push upwards to help them stand. They can also slow the speed at which a person sits, providing a safer way to get on the toilet too.
Think of these as a toilet seat elevator, if you will. The Mcombo Electric Toilet Lift (available at Amazon) is a popular product in this group.
Raised toilet seats are a life saver for elderly seniors who have difficulty using regular toilet seats. Increasing the height of the toilet seat decreases the effort they have to put into sitting and standing while toileting.
The best raised toilet seats for seniors and the elderly are ones that attach directly to the toilet or have four legs to provide the most stability while they are used.
I recommend you choose a raised toilet seat that comes with arms or has some that can be added later if needed. My professional opinion is that the Bemis Clean Shield (available at these retailers) is by far the best product out there.
When buying a raised toilet seat, you should also consider its ease of use, compatibility with the existing toilet bowl, and cleanability. Pay particular attention to durability and ease of installation.
Most importantly, a raised toilet seat must improve their safety and comfort second. I hope that these reviews helped you make critical decision.
If you have any questions about raised toilet seats, please leave them in the comments below. If your question is more personal in nature, contact me directly.
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