What Is the Difference Between Comfort Height and ADA Height Toilets?

Certified Senior Advisor®
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Comfort Height vs. ADA Height Toilets

Comfort height toilets and ADA height toilets are the same thing really. The ADA establishes recommended heights for toilets and comfort height toilets meet those recommendations.

Comfort Height vs. ADA Height Toilets
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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.

As we age, our muscle mass tends to decrease – and our sense of balance may be impaired.

It is no coincidence given these two factors that slip and fall accidents among the elderly are far more prevalent than in other age groups.

Simple tasks can become a challenge, and the inability to perform those tasks while maintaining a sense of dignity and independence can have an enormously negative impact on the quality of life of the elderly.

One of these tasks is as simple as going to the toilet. Toilet height can make a huge difference to the quality of life for those over the age of 60.

After this age, each and every year makes it more of a challenge to both sit and stand on the toilet. And the difficulty can very easily change from a pain-filled inconvenience to one that results in a trip to an emergency ward – or worse.

Fortunately, there are a number of options when it comes to taller toilets that are suitable for the elderly. Two of these choices are the ADA height toilet and the Comfort height toilet. 

However, is there actually any difference between the two?

ADA vs. Comfort Height

The short answer is no – both ADA height toilets differ from standard toilets in height. The standard toilet measures about 15 inches from floor to seat.

An ADA height toilet and the so-called “Comfort Toilet” measure between 17 and 19 inches from the floor. It is also perhaps worth knowing that this height of the toilet is also known as the “Chair Height Toilet.”

The only difference between Chair Height and Comfort height is that both terms are used by specific manufacturers in their marketing.

comfort height vs. ADA height toilets why
ADA height toilets ensure easy access to bathroom facilities for individuals with disabilities.

So Why ADA Height?

The regulations surrounding ADA height toilets were set in place by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which was passed in 1990.

The purpose of the act was to ensure that businesses would provide bathroom facilities that allowed those with disabilities easy access – and would allow those businesses to comply with equal opportunities legislation, which includes opportunities for those with disabilities. 

Some Hints Before Purchase

It is vitally important that the right height of the toilet be selected for the particular senior.

As mentioned previously, there is considerable variance in both ADA and Comfort height toilets.

Measuring the toilet should be from floor to top of the seat – remember, most toilets are sold without a toilet seat (as a simple ceramic fitting). The average toilet seat adds around 1 inch to the height of the toilet.

Also, ensure that when seated, the senior can have both feet planted firmly on the ground. This will aid in standing from the toilet.

Summary

Purchasing the right Comfort or ADA-compliant toilet can add significantly to the quality of life for the elderly. It reduces their dependence on others and can therefore give them a sense of independence.

Independence is one of the most important contributors to mood – a lack thereof can lead to depression. Purchasing a Comfort or ADA height toilet is, therefore, something that should be very carefully considered.

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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

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