What is the Best Toilet Height for Seniors? (Safety and Comfort)

Certified Senior Advisor®
Updated:
Best Toilet Height for Seniors

While the best toilet height for seniors varies based on thier height and leg length, toilets for the seniors and the elderly should sit about 17" to 19" from the floor to the top of the seat.

Best Toilet Height for Seniors
Share on:

Income Disclosure: Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

Because it is difficult for the elderly to rise from a squatting position due to the weakening of the major muscles in the legs, it is essential to ensure the toilet is at the correct height.

There are many ways to increase the height of a toilet including installing a new taller toilet for the elderly.

But before buying a new porcelain throne, you need to know what is the best toilet height for seniors.

Here is how to choose a toilet height for you or your elderly loved one.

The Ideal Toilet Height For Seniors

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) suggests that the ideal height for a senior toilet should be between 17 and 19 inches from the floor. This height is higher than the average toilet, which sits 14 and 15 inches from the floor (without the seat).

The 17-19 inch height means the senior can sit with both feet on the floor, which aids in balance when standing. If the feet dangle, that can lead to tingling and pain in the legs.

A step stool is also worthy of investigation. Resting the feet on a stool helps the body more efficiently void itself of waste. However, the feet should still be able to reach the floor comfortably when the stool is removed.

If replacing your current toilet with a taller toilet for any reason (including financial restraints), adding a toilet riser might be the solution.

These risers fit underneath the base of the toilet to ensure that the toilet is ideal for senior use. There are toilet seat risers, but they can be unstable.

best toilet height for seniors handrails
Adjustable handrails can help prevent accidents from happening.

Suppose you choose the toilet seat riser option: look for models supplied with adjustable handrails that can make accidents far less likely.

The seat riser can add around 5 inches to the height of the toilet, and the handles are almost always width adjustable to ensure comfort and effectiveness.

Read about more ways to increase the toilet height for the elderly here.

For Seniors Using A Wheelchair

For seniors who need the aid of a wheelchair, a wall-mounted toilet is certainly a viable option. These toilets can be as high as 28 inches. However, they require extensive replumbing work if you change from the standard toilet setup.

The aim of designing the toilet to suit the unique needs of the senior is to make the entire process of going to the toilet more comfortable and a whole lot safer.

It is not only the height of the toilet that is important. There are a variety of bowl configurations available too.

If you are in the market for a toilet that is the right height for a senior, it may be worth visiting a showroom and trying a few out.

Summary

Although we think toilets are just another porcelain fixture – they are central to modern life.

Using one safely contributes to the quality of life for the senior – and toilet height contributes to that quality of life. It is a choice that seniors and caregivers should make carefully.

Photo of author

Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, 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

Subscribe to My Weekly Newsletter

Not Finding What You Looking for?

Leave a Comment