The Best Toilet Safety Rails (9 Top Options for Seniors and the Elderly)

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

Toilet safety rails provide and secure and safe way for seniors and the elderly to sit and stand during toileting. Here are the best ones - chosen by an industry professional.

Best Toilet Safety Rails
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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.

Many elderly people begin having trouble safely getting up and down from the toilet. This problem can be due to recent surgeries, injuries, or age-related medical issues like arthritis, strokes, or neurological issues. 

The last place they want to fall is while using the bathroom, which leads to embarrassment and loss of privacy and dignity. But, unfortunately, falls in the bathroom are way too common. 

However, toilet safety rails (aka toilet safety frames) can be a literal lifesaver when it comes to improving bathroom safety, especially when toileting.

These helpful pieces of bathroom equipment attach directly to your toilet and using a safety frame provides a secure set of arms that you can use to ease yourself down and push your way back up.

As a medical equipment expert who has worked for multiple medical equipment manufacturers and at a durable medical equipment provider, I will share my knowledge on buying and using toilet safety frames.

Here’s a quick rundown of my favorites:

Decision-Making Factors: How to Choose Safety Rails for Your Toilet

Toilet safety rails are just one of those things you don’t think about – until you need one. Based on my experience, here are several essential considerations you should think about before purchasing one.

Guide to toilet safety rails
© Graying With Grace

1. Product Design

How the product works is one of the most important decision-making factors when selecting a toilet safety frame. 

Here’s why.

You should always choose a toilet safety frame that either:

  1. Attaches directly to the toilet, or
  2. the rail is a freestanding model with a broad base of support or four legs on the ground.

I recommend using a rail that installs onto the toilet because this is the most secure way. You don’t have to worry about the rail moving when you use it.

I know. The word installation scares a lot of people. But, all you have to do to install these is use the same connection point where the toilet seat is connected.

You just remove those bolts, put the toilet safety frame in position, and replace the seat and bolts. Most people can do this in ten or 15 min.

2. Adjustable Height

Not every toilet is the same height, so make sure the toilet rail you buy are height adjustable. Even better if they adjust without needing tools. Most use those little metal pushpins, which let you quickly change the height of the toilet rail without needing your toolbox.

This adjustment lets you set the arm height where needed to help you or your loved one the most. It won’t give you the leverage you need if it’s too low. But, you could engage your shoulders too much, leading to a shoulder injury if it’s too high.

3. Size and Clearance

Most rails are a standard width and will fit most any toilet out there: round or elongated bowls. If you have an abnormally wide or heavy-duty one or you are installing this in a facility, check the width first. 

Also, ensure you have room for the arms and legs to extend to the floor. If not, you’ll need a more compact safety toilet rail option.

4. Comfortable, Anti-Slip Handgrips 

Look at the handrails too. Choose coated or “closed cell” foam handles. These are soft and easy to squeeze but also provide a secure grip that is unlikely to slip. If the foam handrails crack, it’s time for a new one!

5. Durable Materials

Because seniors will use it in the bathroom, you want to ensure it is easy to clean. Choose a toilet safety frame made of steel or aluminum. Then, users and caregivers can wipe the rail down with most household cleaners.

Like any consumer product, you want it to last as long as possible. Look for a toilet safety frame made of metal like steel or aluminum. Avoid plastic or composite ones, which won’t hold up as long.

What to Avoid in a Toilet Safety Rail

When shopping for toilet safety rails, avoid buying products that:

  1. Only have two legs and do not connect directly to the toilet,
  2. Have rigid plastic handles,
  3. Are primarily made of plastic,
  4. Do not have rubber feet to reduce movement, or
  5. Do not have adjustable height legs or arms.

Top Toilet Safety Frames

Based on my years working in the home medical equipment industry, here are some rails and frames that I recommend:

Best Toilet Safety Rail for the Elderly – Vive Health Toilet Safety Frame

best toilet safety rails Vive Health

This toilet safety frame from Vive Health has been one of my favorites for years. The biggest reason is that it has a crossbar across the front that connects the front legs. This addition makes it one of the market’s most stable safety rail. 

It is also easy to install and requires no tools or extra parts. The height is adjustable from 26 to 31.5 inches high at the arms. You can also adjust the width, including the crossbar, to accommodate larger toilets or smaller side clearances. 

Finally, since you are probably concerned about stability, it has big suction cup feet on the front legs that help lock them into place. These feet reduce the chance of movement while your loved one gets up and down. 

These options offer you or your loved one a safe product that will significantly help when used correctly! That’s why I think this is a great rail for more elderly users needing to improve their bathroom toilet safety.

Features:

  • Design: Seat Attachment
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Height Adjustment: 26 – 31.5 inches
  • Handgrips: Closed Cell Foam
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Pros: 

  • The crossbar adds stability, making it less likely to sway or move when using it
  • Wide suction cup feet help hold the legs in place
  • A wide height adjustment range fits more people
  • Comfortable handles that are easy to clean

Cons:

  • People with large legs may find the crossbar uncomfortable, but you can move it into several positions

Best Stand Alone Safety Toilet Rail – Vaunn Medical Freestanding Adjustable Height Toilet Rail

For people that prefer the convenience of a freestanding toilet rail but don’t want to sacrifice stability or quality, I recommend the Vaunn Medical Freestanding Adjustable Height Toilet Rail. This adjustable toilet safety product offers excellent stability without sacrificing other essential features.

It features crossbar technology which adds stability by adding extra support between the front two legs. This support reduces the side-to-side swaying when using the rails.

The long rectangular leg supports all four legs on the ground, improving stability. The arms even angle slightly inward to keep the center of gravity low and towards the middle, which minimizes the risk of the safety frame rail tipping over.

You do not have to install this safety toilet rail directly on the toilet, but you will have to assemble it. However, assembly is easy, tool-free, and takes just a few minutes. You even get a magazine rack you know you will use.

Finally, I love that the foam handgrips are soft and round. This foam covering makes this easier to grasp and hold onto than rectangular ones. These handgrips are a beneficial feature for seniors with arthritis or weak hands with poor dexterity.

So, if you prefer a more deluxe bathroom safety product, this is a great choice!

Features: 

  • Design: Stand Alone
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Height Adjustment: 24 – 29 inches
  • Handgrips: Round, Coated Foam
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Pros:

  • It uses a crossbar to add to lateral stability, so it’s less likely to sway under the user’s weight
  • Long anti-tip base rail for improved stability
  • Round foam handgrips are easy to hold onto 
  • Magazine rack included

Cons:

  • The front support bars are low, which could interfere with the feet of men during urination

Best for Obese – KMINA Heavy Duty Toilet Rails

If you are looking for a heavier-duty stand-alone toilet rail that offers excellent security, I recommend this one from KMINA. It supports people up to 330 pounds, is made of steel, and looks “beefier” than many other rail options which is why it’s a great rail for heavier users.

For stability, it has long and wide rectangular feet with rubber tips to minimize the chance of movement or tipping. Plus, it has stabilizing suction cups that connect on each side.

These make it even more stable by giving it two extra anchor points over the other toilet safety frames. Just be sure your toilet is secured well before using it.

I also love the adjustability of the KMINA rails compared to the others. It is adjustable in height and width, like several of my other recommendations.

However, seniors or caregivers can move the armrests forward or backward to give their loved ones the most secure position possible when standing and sitting. 

All the adjustments and the assembly are easy and require no tools. No installation is needed other than ensuring the suction cups make contact and hold pressure against the toilet. There is no actual attachment point.

Key Features:

  • Design: Stand Alone
  • Material: Steel
  • Height Adjustment: 25 – 29 inches
  • Handgrips: Wide Closed Cell Foam
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

Pros:

  • Steel construction and a higher weight capacity of 330 pounds
  • Adjusts in three directions: width, height, and armrest position 
  • Multiple contact points to improve stability
  • Painted bright white, which gives it a clean appearance

Cons:

  • Make sure your toilet is anchored securely before setting it up
  • Requires at least 6 inches on each side of the toilet

Most Comfortable – OasisSpace Raised Toilet Seat With Legs

best toilet safety rails OasisSpace

I like the idea and function of this combination product from OasisSpace. They created this market to address the downsides of raised toilet seats – mainly their instability. But, in doing so, they created a very nice safety rail with an even nicer soft, padded seat!

RELATED: Best Raised Toilet Seats for Seniors and the Elderly

To compare this to the other rails I have reviewed, it offers a very similar construction with a 300-pound weight capacity. The handles, covered with a rubberized foam, are easy to grip and hold onto. The unit is height adjustable from 26.7 to 31.4 inches high at the arms. 

But, you also get the addition of the thick and soft padded toilet safety seat. Of course, padded seats are more comfortable than hard plastic or wooden seats.

The other advantage of this cushioned seat is that it is attached to the frame, so it raises with the rails as you adjust them. So, they will make the seat higher at the same time as adding toilet safety support arms!

The front and rear support bars stabilize the rails, as do the four rubber feet.

All in all, it’s a pretty standard and stable example of a toilet safety frame with a bonus seat. Personally, I find that to be a great combination!

Key Features: 

  • Design: Stand Alone
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Height Adjustment: 26.7 to 31.4 inches
  • Handgrips: Waterproof Foam
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable padded seat built onto the frame
  • Tool-free assembly and adjustment
  • All four legs have rubber feet to minimize shifting and moving
  • Easy to grip, non-slip and waterproof handles

Cons: 

  • While it fits most toilets, it is not width adjustable

Best Temporary – Medline Toilet Safety Rails

If you are looking for an inexpensive basic set of toilet rails that get the job done, or you only have a temporary need (i.e., hip or knee surgery), this budget-friendly rail from Medline is worth a look.

At this price point, you don’t get a lot of perks, but you do get a well-built and durable product. It is height adjustable from 26 to 31 inches and is width adjustable too. But, the weight capacity drops to 250 lbs. 

Finally, the Medline rails also offer tool-free installation and adjustments and are easy to remove when no longer needed.

Key Features: 

  • Design: Seat Attachment
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Height Adjustment: 26 to 31 inches
  • Handgrips: Closed Cell Foam
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

Pros: 

  • Budget-friendly yet quality built rail
  • Height and width are adjustable to meet the needs of many users
  • No tools for installation, assembly, or removal
  • An excellent rail for people with a temporary need

Cons:

  • Lower weight capacity, so you shouldn’t use it with heavier users

Most Portable – RMS Portable Toilet Safety Frame & Rail

If you find yourself moving your rails often or taking them down and putting them back up frequently, I recommend this set from RMS. They are foldable at the touch of a button, so they can get out of the way quickly when needed.

This set won’t be quite as stable as some of the others I reviewed above, but RMS does add a flip-down footrest which will help with the stability in two different ways.

First, flipping it down into position connects the front two legs, which adds side-to-side stability. Second, the user’s feet will be on the footrest when they stand, which helps hold it into place too.

Because the handlebars have textured, non-slip foam wraps, they are easy to grip. They taper towards the front, which will help users get the proper position to push up.

These are an excellent rail for people who need portable rails for travel and need an easy set to take along for the adventure.

Key Features: 

  • Design: Stand Alone
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Height Adjustment: 28 to 36 inches
  • Handgrips: Textured Foam Wraps
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Pros:

  • Designed to be portable and folds at the touch of a button
  • Footplate adds stability
  • Armrests 

Cons:

  • No width adjustment, which is fine if you have a standard-sized toilet

Toilet Safety Honorable Mentions

Vive Stand Alone Toilet Rail

best toilet safety rails Vive Stand Alone

The Vive Stand Alone Toilet Rail was one of my top picks because it offers excellent stability. My only concern was that the arm height was not adjustable. So, it didn’t fit seniors on the shorter or taller sides.

The Vaunn rail above replaces it because it has adjustable height arms. That is the only reason, though. If the Vive Stand Alone fits you ok (arm height is 26 inches), it, too, is a wonderful product. 


Moen Glacier Toilet Safety Bar Rails

The Moen Glacier safety bar rails are, admittedly, a better-looking set of safety handles than others. They are sleeker with more of a minimal presentation. They are pretty affordable.

They install and bolt at the seat connection on the back of the bowl. Then a bar rests across the front of the bowl, providing some front stabilization. This toilet safety bar is adequate, but they are still not as stable as the ones that make contact with the ground. 

I’d say they are ok for someone who needs minimal assistance and can use both hands. I would not recommend them for someone who has had a stroke or puts more weight on one side than the other than sitting and standing. 


Carex Toilet Safety Frame

This basic toilet safety frame from Carex is similar to the one from Medline, which made my Top Picks above. It is adjustable in width and height and is relatively sturdy.

The hand grip cushions of the Carex toilet safety rails are a little easier to hold onto than the ones from Medline. This safety frame is another economical, budget-friendly rail option. But, it is more expensive than the Medline model, which is why it is an honorable mention only. 

Best Toilet Safety Alternatives and Options

You do have other choices if you are looking for some assistance sitting and standing while using the toilet. Not everyone wants to install a big stainless metal rail onto their toilet.

Here are a few alternatives you can use instead of a toilet safety frame.

Use a Bedside Commode Instead

Bedside commodes, aka 3-in-1 commodes, were initially designed for people who couldn’t make it to their bathroom, especially at night while sleeping. But they have become multiuse devices which is why they are also known as 3-in-1 commodes.

Because bedside commodes also have arms, one of those uses is as a toilet safety rail. Just remove the bucket underneath the commode, and set it over the top of your toilet’s bowl.

Another advantage to using a bedside commode is that it also raises the toilet seat higher because the commode seat now becomes the seat.

You can learn more about bedside commodes in this guide.

Install a Taller Toilet

Another option is to replace your current toilet with a newer, taller one. This alternative has a few challenges. Because you have to remove your old toilet and install a new one, this alternative is a bit more expensive, messy, and will take more time.

But, it might be a good option for people who are embarrassed by having medical equipment in the bathroom, especially if more than one person shares the toilet. 

Read more about tall toilets for seniors in this guide.

Add a Raised Toilet Seat

A common alternative to a toilet safety rail is using a raised toilet seat instead. These seats are attached to the current seat or bowl and increase the seat height by 2 inches to 6 inches, depending on the one installed. Many of them come with arms, too, which is helpful.

Depending on how installed, they can sometimes be easy to take on and off, which is good if you have visitors or a shared bathroom. But the easier-to-remove options can be less stable, too, which could affect safety overall.

If you’d like to explore this option, see my guide to raised toilet seats for the elderly here.

Toilet Grab Bars

Adding grab bars around your toilet can also provide a place to steady bad balance and to hold onto when toileting. Often, a bar is put horizontally across the wall behind the toilet and another one along the wall on the side of the toilet. Of course, how your toilet is positioned in the room may limit the options for grab bar installation.

Tips for Using a Toilet Safety Rail Safely

  1. Read the installation instructions and follow them completely.
  2. Adjust the height of the legs to match the toilet height.
  3. If you choose freestanding toilet rails, ensure all legs are at the correct and same height and that the unit is stable.
  4. Make sure the arm height is adjusted correctly. The armrest should be at elbow height when the arms are at a 45-degree angle from the body.
  5. Test it before each use. Give it a little shake and make sure it is still secured correctly.
  6. When standing, push up using the arms and not the shoulders.
  7. Replace the handles or entire unit when they show cracking or wear.

How I Chose My Top Picks

I researched 77 different toilet safety frame models from 13 different manufacturers to create this guide for you.

To make my recommendations, I applied my knowledge and 15+ years of personal experience selling and providing toilet safety rails to hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and directly to patients.

You can learn more about my qualifications here.

RELATED: Toilet Safety Resources for Seniors and the Elderly

FAQ/Resources:

If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide to the best toilet safety rails for seniors and the elderly, please let me know in the comments below! You can also email me with personal concerns or questions. 

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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