Best Portable Toilets for the Elderly (Bedside Commodes That Make Going Safer and Easier!)

close up of a white toilet set against a green wallIf a person you care about has problems with walking or incontinence, you are aware how difficult a trip to the bathroom can be. Luckily, portable commodes for the elderly are comfortable and safe to use. They bring a piece of mind so people don’t have to dread going to the toilet. It is a very convenient and affordable solution to a serious problem. So, to help you solve this problem, I’ve created this list of the best portable toilets for the elderly.

Mobile toilets for the elderly come in different shapes and sizes, and you have to know what to look for when buying one. But they are often an important part of a senior’s bathroom safety plan.  I am going to present five great bedside commodes with explanations to help you. I am also going to give some tips for buying and using a bedside commode, as well as answer some frequent questions which may concern you.

Quick Picks: Recommended Commodes

In a hurry? Here is a quick list of the portable commode toilets that I recommend. If you’d like to learn more about any of these or learn how to choose one yourself, keep reading.

PreviewProductRatingPrice
UltraCommode Voted #1 Most Comfortable Bedside Commode Chair- Soft, Warm, Padded and Foldable. XL... UltraCommode Voted #1 Most Comfortable Bedside Commode Chair- Soft, Warm, Padded and Foldable. XL... 45 Reviews $299.00 $199.00
Drive Medical Folding Steel Bedside Commode, Grey Drive Medical Folding Steel Bedside Commode, Grey 1,628 Reviews $33.79
Medline Elements Bedside Commode, Infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection Medline Elements Bedside Commode, Infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection 71 Reviews $160.16 $123.20
Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode 262 Reviews $87.82 $86.69
Duro-Med Bedside Commode Chair, Heavy-Duty Steel Commode Toilet Chair, Toilet Safety Frame, Medical... Duro-Med Bedside Commode Chair, Heavy-Duty Steel Commode Toilet Chair, Toilet Safety Frame, Medical... 193 Reviews $78.69

Images & Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-08-16 at 02:45 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


UltraCommode

UltraCommode Voted #1 Most Comfortable Bedside Commode Chair- Soft, Warm, Padded and Foldable. XL...

I will start off with the best. This is a great option for people who want the most comfortable commode. It is a high-end product that had padded seat and armrests, which can be moved. The height of the chair can be adjusted so that everyone sits comfortably.

This chair seat is extra large (16×16 inches) and has an open front to make cleaning easy. The distance between armrests is even bigger, so you will surely have enough space. The maximum weight for this commode is 300 lbs.

Another benefit of the UltraCommode is that it can be folded or assembled without tools in less than 60 seconds. That makes it great for storage or travel. Materials used for building this chair are high quality – the padding won’t absorb water, and the aluminum frame won’t rust.

People who have bought this product are extremely satisfied. They say it is easy to set up and adjust the height. The commode is extremely comfortable, much better than the plastic most chairs offer. The build quality is superb and this is a durable product.

Why I like it:

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

Possible downsides:

  • 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
UltraCommode Voted #1 Most Comfortable Bedside Commode Chair- Soft, Warm, Padded and Foldable. XL...
45 Reviews
UltraCommode Voted #1 Most Comfortable Bedside Commode Chair- Soft, Warm, Padded and Foldable. XL...
  • EXCEPTIONAL COMFORT- Soft, padded, warm seat base, backrest and armrests makes the UltraCommode the worlds #1 most comfortable commode chair....
  • PROPERLY SIZED- Extra large seat is 16" x 16" and width between armrests is 20". Compare these dimensions to competitive commodes- most of which are...
  • SUPERIOR ACCESS- 100% open front allows for proper and effective wiping and cleaning. No metal bar or toilet seat in the way like old-style commodes....
  • FAST, EASY ASSEMBLY- Can be assembled without tools in less than 60 seconds. Medical grade rust-free aluminum frame and commercial grade construction...
  • MODERN DESIGN- No more need for embarrassing, clunky, monotone commodes that look like they have been around since the 1950s. The UltraCommode...

Images & Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-08-16 at 02:38 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Drive Medical Steel Folding Bedside Commode

Drive Medical Folding Steel Bedside Commode, Grey

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 total weight capacity is 350 lbs so it will fit some of the larger seniors.

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, and thanks to its sturdiness, it is very useful both beside the bed and in the bathroom.

Users of this portable commode for elderly say that it is very handy. Thanks to its steel frame it provides enough support. It is very easy to clean, and some people even used it as a shower chair. This one is a great combination of price and quality.

Why I like it:

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

Possible downsides:

  • Some users have complained of the seat being too narrow
Drive Medical Folding Steel Bedside Commode, Grey
1,628 Reviews
Drive Medical Folding Steel Bedside Commode, Grey
  • Easily opens and folds flat for storage and transportation
  • Durable plastic snap-on seat and lid installs without pushing buttons
  • Grey powder coated steel welded construction increases strength and durability
  • Comes complete with 7.5 qt commode bucket with carry handle, cover and splash shield
  • Seat Dimensions: 15"(D) x 13.5"(W) x 16.5-22.5"(H); Outside Legs: 22.25"(W); Width Between Arms: 18"; Weight Capacity: 350 lbs

Images & Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-08-16 at 02:38 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Medline Elements Bedside Commode, Microban

This is the most eye-pleasing option on my list. It looks very much like a regular chair. Its seat and backrest are made of firm composite plastic, but are shaped for comfort. The plastic is infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection, which inhibits the growth of microbes that cause stains and odors. The commode has an aluminum frame with 400 lbs maximum capacity. Plus, the seat can be finely adjusted in 1/2 inch increments so the chair becomes a perfect fit for anyone.

The seat opening is elongated and the backrest is adjustable too. The flat-seat lid cover conceals the commode nicely. These are often used over a toilet to raise the seat, increasing stability. A splash guard for over-the-toilet use is included.

People using this toilet say it is very user-friendly because it’s the same size as a regular elongated toilet. Most of the smaller round commodes are too small, and some are not fitting for men. It is also sturdy and durable.

What I like:

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

Possible downside:

  • Difficult to clean without taking the chair apart
Medline Elements Bedside Commode, Infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection
71 Reviews
Medline Elements Bedside Commode, Infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection
  • Height-adjustable seat and armrest aid getting on and off; Seat adjusts in 0.5" increments for a perfect fit;Dark bronze finish and style suits most...
  • Elongated seat opening and adjustable contoured backrest ensures roomy comfort; Height of the product leg - 19 inches
  • Flat-seat lid cover discretely conceals commode when not in use, elongated seat opening ensures roomy comfort. Can be used over toilet to raise seat,...
  • Supports up to 400 pounds, tool-free assembly; Commode height can be adjusted in increments of .5" to a maximum of 22.5" tall
  • This shower chair is infused with Microban Antimicrobial Technology | Microban antimicrobial technology inhibits the growth of stains and odors from...

Images & Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-08-16 at 02:38 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Medline Drop-Arm Commode

Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode

This is a portable toilet for elderly who need easier access. The armrests can be dropped with a simple push of a button. This helps people who need to get on the toilet from the side like wheelchair users. When you remove the backrest, the commode can be used over a regular toilet seat.

In addition to movable armrests, this potty also has padded seat and backrest for increased comfort. Handgrips are padded with foam, so they don’t slip. It is heavy-duty and durable. Maximum capacity is 300 lbs. Included with this commode you get a pail, a lid and a splash guard.

There are some excellent reviews for this commode, some claiming it is the most comfortable one they’ve ever used. The cushions are very soft. Everything can be adjusted properly, even for very tall people.

Why I like it:

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

Possible downsides:

  • Some users have said the bucket does not fit properly for use by an adult man and it can’t be adjusted properly to avoid spilling
  • This commode doesn’t fold
Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode
262 Reviews
Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode
  • Arms swing out of the way for easier lateral transfers on and off the commode
  • Transfers are easier for patients using a wheelchair
  • Place near the bed with near arm down for patients transferring during the night
  • Padded commode

Images & Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-08-16 at 02:38 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Duro-Med Commode Chair, Heavy Duty Steel

Duro-Med Bedside Commode Chair, Heavy-Duty Steel Commode Toilet Chair, Toilet Safety Frame, Medical...

This mobile toilet is the best choice for people who carry more weight since it has a weight capacity of 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.

People who tried it say it is sturdy, comfy and wide. The arms are strong and can hold a person’s whole weight, helping you stand up. The seat is made of plastic but it is high quality and durable.

What I like:

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

Possible downsides:

  • Bucket not easy to get in or out
  • No splash guard under the seat
Duro-Med Bedside Commode Chair, Heavy-Duty Steel Commode Toilet Chair, Toilet Safety Frame, Medical...
193 Reviews
Duro-Med Bedside Commode Chair, Heavy-Duty Steel Commode Toilet Chair, Toilet Safety Frame, Medical...
  • EASILY HAVE YOUR COMMODE CHAIR WHERE YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE needs it, by the bed, in the living room, or wherever is most convenient. FSA eligible
  • A STURDY TOILET SAFETY FRAME AND COMMODE TOILET CHAIR that makes getting up and sitting down significantly easier while providing the stability you...
  • CONVENIENTLY ADJUSTS TO YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONES HEIGHT from 16 and 1/2 to 23 and 1/2 inches in 1 inch increments. Width between the toilet safety frame...
  • STEEL COMMODE HAS PLENTY OF CAPACITY with a 7 quart pail that easily slides out along with a lid that rests on top
  • WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE: Amazon Exclusive Limited warranty may apply. Please see product for additional details. Note: we can only guarantee the...

Images & Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-08-16 at 02:45 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Tips for Using a Portable Commode

Using a bedside commode shouldn’t be difficult. Here are few tips on how to use a bedside commode.

  • 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.
  • Make sure the potty chair 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.

Check out this quick video as a therapist walks you through some of the details.


Using a Portable Commode Over a Toilet

Some mobile toilets can be used on top of regular toilet seats, as I’ve mentioned earlier. This feature improves safety for the elderly when getting up or down 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 joint pain or weakness. This elevates the seat making it easier for them to use the toilet. However, if you want to use a commode like this pay attention that the one you buy fits the toilet you have at home.

This video shows you how to set up a bedside commode for use over a toilet.


Important Features to Consider

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 Size. This means it has the right height, it is wide enough and it is strong enough to hold the person sitting. Check the product specifications to make sure the product fits your needs.
  • Portability. In addition, it helps if the commode can be folded and stored.
  • Cleanability. Also, it’s important that a potty is easy to clean.
  • Stability. Next, some of the chairs have wheels which help move it. This can be helpful if it is being used in a shower. But if the chair will be used in the bedroom or over the toilet, get one with rubber tips on the end of the legs to keep the chair more stable.
  • Durability. Finally, you want a durable product. I’ve already mentioned the weight, some have the capacity of up to 500 lbs. You don’t want your commode rusting or the plastic cracking.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

How do I  Clean a Bedside Commode?

It’s not a fun job but most commodes are easily cleaned. First, the bucket should be emptied as soon as possible into the toilet to eliminate odors. Next, you should clean the container with a toilet brush, disinfectant, and warm water. The body and frame of the commode chair should be wiped with disinfectant periodically.

An even easier way to clean commodes is to use bucket liners.  These liners are extremely helpful because they are mess free and waterproof.

  • Simply place them in the commode bucket before it is used.
  • Next, remove the bag and dump any liquid in the toilet.
  • Then, pull the strings on the sides to tie the bag tightly and dispose of it as you would of a regular diaper.

I recommend the Tidy Care Commode Liners from Amazon  if you want to check those out.

How Much Does a Bedside Commode Cost?

As I’ve discussed above, you can get a budget-friendly commode for as little as $34, going up to over $200 for more premium products.

Are Bedside Commodes Covered By Medicare?

If your doctor orders a bedside commode, Medicare Part B will typically pay 80% of the allowable charges for your commode chair. You are responsible for 20% of the charges plus any remaining Part B deductible. Please note that your doctor must accept Medicare assignment, and your commode chair supplier must participate in the Medicare program, or Medicare will not pay anything for your commode. Also, the patient must meet certain qualifications too.


Summary

A mobile toilet is sometimes necessary to make life easier. I’ve listed five good products, and in my opinion, the UltraCommode is the best one . It is the most comfortable, with many great features that are handy. On the other hand, it is the most expensive one. If that is a concern, or if it doesn’t fit your specific needs, please take a closer look at others listed here and choose the best one for you.

How have you handled nighttime bathroom visits? Tell me about in the comments below. Also, if you know of a potty chair that you recommend, feel free to share that too!

 

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