A bedside commode is an excellent solution for anyone who finds it difficult to reach a traditional toilet due to restricted mobility or illness. While a standard commode’s purpose is to offer a portable toilet that can be placed in any room of the house, there are various options to choose from, each one answering specific needs. Over-the-toilet, drop arm, bariatric, and shower commodes are just some examples. People looking for more flexibility can also get a 3-in-1 commode, which can be used both as a portable toilet and an elevated toilet seat. However, before getting one these chairs it's essential to research which bedside commode fits your needs best.
The Different Types of Bedside Commodes
There are various types of bedside commodes designed to accommodate different people and medical needs.
Standard Bedside Commode
The standard version of bedside commodes has a seat, lateral arms, and a removable bucket. These chairs can't be used over a standard toilet and are intended to be used outside a regular bathroom facility.
As the name implies, over-the-toilet commodes are specifically designed to provide additional support when the user goes to the toilet. It doesn't have a container and features four locking mechanisms.
All-In-One Bedside Commode
Also called a 3-in-1, all-in-one bedside commodes can be used both in the bedroom as a portable toilet or in the bathroom as an elevated toilet seat. The device contains a removable bucket, which can be installed or removed as necessary.
Bariatric commodes are standard bedside commode chairs designed for people who weigh over 300 pounds, with some of them supporting up to 1,000 pounds. Usually, they have a deeper and wider padded seat compared to standard ones.
Drop Arm Commode
A drop arm commode is a standard bedside commode, but with foldable armrests for easier transfer. Due to this, it’s a popular option among customers who require a caregiver to help them move.
Unsurprisingly, shower commode chairs are designed to be used while in the shower. They're constructed with water-resistant materials and rust-proof metals, and typically have two or four wheels with locking mechanisms to facilitate entering and exiting the shower.
How to Choose a Bedside Commode Chair
Before jumping the gun and getting the highest-ranking bedside commode on the market, there are various characteristics to consider first. As we already pointed out, there are many different types of bedside commodes, and you need to make sure to get the one that best fits your needs.
The very first thing to think about is the mobility of the user. For example, if the person has a high degree of immobility and a caregiver is going to be necessary to transfer them in and out of the chair, a commode with drop-arms is essential. Moreover, it’s crucial to consider when and where the chair is going to be used. Users that need a commode 24/7 would be best served with a 3-in-1 since it can be used at the bedside, in the shower, or over the toilet.
Another essential factor to take into account is the bedside commode's weight capacity. Standard chairs usually support up to 300 pounds, but if you're dealing with a larger user, bariatric models are the way to go.
Furthermore, getting a bedside commode that is possible to adjust is always advisable. This way you can be sure it will work for the person in question since it's possible to set the height, width, backrest, and armrest to accommodate the user's body type.
Recommended Bedside Commode Chairs
Dignity 3-In-1 Commode Chair by Platinum Health
With a four-and-a-half-star rating on Amazon, Dignity 3-in-1 Commode Chair by Platinum Health is one of the most popular bedside commodes on the market. It features a soft, padded, warm seat base and contains a backrest as well as armrests to offer the best comfortability possible. Moreover, the seat is made with PU foam which doesn't absorb water, prevents sliding, and is easy to clean and disinfect. Since it's a 3-in-one commode chair, it can be used as a bedside commode, over a toilet, or as a shower chair.
While the full open front allows excellent access to proper and effective wiping and cleaning, the padded extra-high armrests provide safety for sitting assistance. The height-adjustable seat is 16” by 16”, which offers a good size for users to sit down comfortably. The commode chair doesn't need tools to be assembled, and the company states that it takes less than 60 seconds to be constructed. The price mark can be a little high for some people though, costing $167 on Amazon.
Drop Arm Bedside Commode by Healthline
At a lower price point – $90.32 – Healthline's Drop Arm Bedside Commode is also an excellent option when looking for a commode chair. It features a padded seat and armrests, which provide comfortability and safety to the user while sitting down or getting up from the chair. The frame can be easily set to use the chair as a bedside commode, toilet safety frame, or as an elevated toilet seat.
For wheelchair users, Drop Arm Bedside Commode by Healthline’s drop arms makes lateral transfers easy and secure. They feature a large and straightforward push release lever, which is perfect for people with limited hand dexterity or strength.
The product comes with a bolt-on seat and lid, a 12-quart commode bucket with cover, a carrying handle, and a splash guard. The seat is 16.75” deep, 23.75” wide, and the height can be adjusted between 19” and 23” and supports up to 300lbs.
Bariatric Bedside Commode by Vive
Bariatric Bedside Commode by Vive focuses on larger users, supporting up to 500 pounds instead of the standard 300. While the seat is 13.85″ wide and 18″ deep, the width between the armrests is 27″. This commode is pretty versatile, and like the others on this list can be used as a standalone bedside commode, a safety toilet rail frame, or as an elevated toilet seat. Furthermore, it's possible to adjust the leg height between 14.5” and 20” to safely and comfortably accommodate any individual.
The product arrives pre-assembled, and it's easily mounted without needing any tools. The commode can also be folded as necessary for convenient storage, costs $149.99, and the company offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee.
If a Fall Occurs When Using a Bedside Commode
There's no question that bedside commodes highly improve their users' life quality. However, they can only do so much. They're an excellent product to have around people who have difficulty reaching the toilet, but that's it. Moreover, while the probability of a fall while using a bedside commode is much lower when compared to using a standard toilet, there's no guarantee that the user will never fall again. That's why we highly recommend having a medical alert system in case an accident happens.
With this kind of service, users and their families can count on a 24/7 specialized care team being a button-push away, ready to help. Moreover, most companies also offer a fall detector that can be purchased as an extra. This feature automatically connects the care agent to the user if the sensor detects a fall. This way, even if the one falling passes out and can't answer the care agent's call, help is sent right away.