Managing everyday toilet functions can be one of the most challenging aspects of coping with ageing or disability.
Modern toilet aids can make life simpler, safer, and more convenient for the elderly or anyone with mobility issues, but it’s important to select the style and model that best matches the needs of each user.
Toilet Aids for all budgets and situations
An amazingly wide selection of toilet aids are available in a variety of price ranges, which makes it possible to find the right make and model for any budget.
But the sheer volume of choices available can be confusing, especially for a first-time buyer; here’s a breakdown of the most common types of toilet aids available, with some tips for making your selection.
Our Top 3 Picks
Raised Toilet Seats
Raised Toilet Seats: these are the most basic and affordable toilet aids, designed to sit on top of the existing toilet seat and raise its height from 2 to 6 inches.
For users who just need some help getting up and down, these simple, unobtrusive seats may be all that’s needed for comfort and independence. People who use a walker or walking frame may find that a raised toilet seat is a simple and convenient alternative to a toilet surround or toilet frame.
Raised toilet seats function like bolsters that are simply fitted over the existing toilet seat, and most are designed to be clipped or bolted in place for security. Some seats offer an optional attached lid, and most are made with front and rear cut-outs to make personal cleansing easier.
Raised toilet seats are typically made of high-grade, easy-to-clean lightweight plastic that’s stain and odor resistant, though padded models are also available. Standard raised toilet seats generally accommodate weights up to 120Kg while bariatric models can be safe for 180kg or more.
Price Range, Pros, and Cons:
Raised toilet seats are generally very inexpensive, with prices starting well under £20. They’re small and space-efficient enough for easy use in even a cramped bathroom, and they can easily be moved from one toilet to another if necessary or even taken along when travelling.
They’re a good choice for people with minor mobility problems but may not provide enough support or stability for wheelchair users or people with severe mobility issues.
Measure your toilet and note the shape of the seat before you begin to shop; raised toilet seats fit directly onto the existing toilet, so it’s important to select a model that matches in both shape and size. For maximum safety and security, look for models that either clip or bolt securely to the existing toilet seat.
Basic Raised Seats
Good basic models in the £20 price range include the Savannah 2-Inch Raised Toilet Seat, the Homecraft 4-Inch Raised Toilet Seat, the
Aidept 4-Inch Senator Raised Toilet Seat, and the Drive Medical 6 Inch Raised Toilet Seat.
- Lightweight all plastic construction raised toilet seat
- Gently contoured surface for extra comfort
- Seat slopes downwards slightly from back to front to allow easier lowering and rising
- Resistant to stains and odours
- Lid attached for added refinement
- Designed for use with an existing toilet
- Easily attaches to toilet bowl and locks in place with two rear locks
- No tools required for installation
- Easy to clean
- Two hygiene cutouts provide maximum convenience
Foam padded Seats
- A soft cushion that attaches to the existing toilet seat
- Cushion provide extra comfort and to raise the effective seat height
- Cushion simply attaches with four hook and loop straps
- White vinyl covering protects the cushion and is easily cleaned
- Measures 410 mm length by 360 mm width
- Soft cushion
- Raises toilet seat by 2 inches
- Wipe clean
- Attaches to existing toilet seat
- Attaches with hook and loop straps
Raised toilet seats with arms
Raised toilet seats with arms are a variation on the raised toilet seat, offering additional security at a price that remains very affordable with many models available in the £20 to £50 price range.
Like the basic models, they’re clip or bolt-on units designed to raise the toilet seat to make getting up and down easier, but they also come equipped with attached arms that give the user increased leverage and security.
This provides a degree of stability and assistance that’s similar to that offered by a full toilet frame, but in a more portable and less bulky unit.
- A moulded raised toilet seat with built in arms
- Seat has a large front cutaway for ease of personal cleansing
- Easily fitted to the toilet bowl via three adjustable brackets
- Arms are covered with soft foam padding for comfort and grip and may be removed from the seat if no longer required
- 100 mm seat height
- Arms can be removed or added as needed
- Heavy-duty moulded plastic construction
- Foam padding extends entire length of armrest for added comfort
- Improved locking device
- Fits most toilets
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Toilet Surrounds or Frames
Toilet Surrounds or Frames: Toilet surrounds are the next step up in toilet aids, providing the stability and security of a sturdy frame around the toilet with arms for leverage, skid-resistant legs for security, and cross braces for strength. They’re designed to be placed over the toilet to make it easier for the user to get up and down, and to provide additional support for balance while sitting.
Most commonly made of lightweight aluminum, steel, or coated metal, toilet surrounds are designed to remain in place for daily use but are easy to move when necessary.
Many toilet surrounds are height and/or width adjustable and come with a detachable toilet seat that can be removed for use with a raised seat affixed to the existing toilet. Most toilet frames are are freestanding but some are designed to be attached to the toilet for additional security.
Price Range, Pros, and Cons:
Toilet frames are available for under £30, but most fall into the £50 – £90 range.
They make getting up and down easier for the user and offer more stability and security than a simple raised toilet seat, but they take up more space and may be difficult to place in a very cramped bathroom.
Be sure to measure the space available for the frame or surround before you start shopping, and take placement into consideration; frames are generally designed to remain in place for daily use, so be sure that the frame won’t restrict access to the door, sink, or shower.
Popular and very affordable choices in basic, no-seat toilet frames include the Sigmobility Free Standing Toilet Frame and the Aidapt Broad Stairs Toilet Frame With Adjustable Height and Width, both of which are available at under £20.
- Width and height adjustable
- Coated with a tough white polymer finish
- Moulded support arms for maximum safety
- Double transome bar
- 30 stone weight limit
Well-reviewed toilet surrounds that have seats include the Merlin Raised Toilet Seat Frame, the NRS Healthcare Mowbray Freestanding and Adjustable Toilet Seat and Frame, and the Aidapt President Raised Toilet Seat and Frame, all in the £30 to £70 range.
- NRS Healthcare G44869 Mowbray Toilet Seat & Frame gives additional support to person using the toilet - PRE-ASSEMBLED
- Free standing toilet frame with toilet seat for use over standard toilet.
- Smooth, one-piece contoured seat is ergonomically designed
- Steel frame for durability and strength
- Easy height adjustment.
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Commodes and Toilet Chairs
Commodes and Toilet Chairs: These are the toilet aids that come in the greatest variety and the largest price range.
A commode is a portable toilet that can be used in any room because it has a detachable waste receptacle that can be removed, emptied, cleaned and replaced.
Though commodes are typically used in bedrooms for overnight convenience, they’re also an excellent daytime solution for users who have very limited mobility or who would otherwise have to travel up or down stairs to use the toilet.
Some commodes even look like an ordinary chairs, cleverly disguising the toilet function with padding or well-placed padding or panels.
Commodes with wheels can be easily moved from room to room as needed.
Price Range, Pros, and Cons:
Commodes and toilet chairs range in price from under £30 to well over £300 or even more, depending on their size, materials, and features.
They’re generally meant to be left in place for daily use, which is very convenient for users with severely limited mobility, but the waste receptacle must be removed, emptied, cleaned, and replaced regularly; depending on the user’s capability, this could be a task that requires assistance.
Commodes take up a certain amount of space and must be carefully placed in order to be usable without blocking access to the door or other furniture in the room. Commodes that have removable arms or other accommodations for side transfer may be a good choice for users who are in wheelchairs.
Always measure the available space before starting to shop and keep the logistics of the room in mind; it’s crucial to find a commode that can be placed where it’s usable without blocking access to the door or other furniture in the room.
Look for models with waste receptacles that are easy to remove for cleaning, particularly if the user will be expected to take care of it without assistance. If the receptacle is difficult to remove or the commode has to be moved in order to detach the receptacle, it may not be a practical choice.
Popular budget commodes that cost under £50 include the Drive Medical Folding Commode, the Days Adjustable Height Commode, and the Easy Clean Economy Commode with Detachable Over Seat.
- This extremely lightweight, sturdy steel commode folds easily for storage or transport
- It has comfortable armrests and a soft plastic backrest for added comfort
- The commode 5 litre pan with lid and handle
- Pan with lid and handle are mounted on a metal frame beneath the grey plastic seat
- The back of the frame forms a backrest when in use and a handle when folded
- Height adjustable
- Pram handle with Padded overseat and Back with detachable arms
- Vinyl welded upholstery to reduce bacteria build up
- Complete with Four braked castors
- Long lasting chrome plated finish
If you’re looking for a commode that looks like an ordinary chair, consider the Homecraft Bedroom Commode Chair, the Aidept Dark Wood Commode, or the Basketweave Commode Chair, all of which are available in the £150 price range.
- The design will subtly integrate into virtually any home décor
- Wipe clean weave
- Moulded plastic seat is ergonomically shaped for comfort
- Easily removable pan with lid and folding handle for ease of use
- Does not resemble a commode when used as a normal chair
When installing a commode or raised toilet seat, we recommend adding an extra handrail to ensure safety and mobility. Other popular bathroom aids include bath lifts for the elderly who may find themselves unsteady on their feet at times – they can be used by people of any age!
Shower seats for the elderly are also great if you have limited strength due to illness or age – some models even incline slightly so it’s easier to sit down while in use.
How should disability toilets help with arthritis?
Disability toilets can actually help people who suffer from arthritis by relieving the pressure that is put on the back and joints by toileting. However, disability toilets with a raised seat may need to be used with a stool or perching aid if joint pain is still an issue.
How do you empty a bedside commode?
The easiest way is to lift up the lid and pour out the contents into an appropriate container. If this isn’t possible then there’s usually a small hole at the bottom which allows water to drain away. The toilet bowl should be emptied regularly using a suitable product like disinfectant wipes. These wipes have been specially designed to clean all types of commodes including hospital commodes. They’re also safe to use around children and pets.