Bathroom Safety & Fall Prevention, Perineal Hygiene & Toileting

An Introduction to Bedside Commodes

For folks with limited mobility, going to the bathroom can be quite an ordeal. You might have to transfer to and from a wheelchair multiple times to get from your chair to the toilet and back again. It could be straining on your body to have to get up and walk.

Toileting is a normal part of everyday life and shouldn’t be overly difficult. A portable commode can make it easy again by eliminating the travel to and from the bathroom. A commode is most commonly placed by the bedside but can be placed wherever you are for easy access to the toilet with no walking involved.

The commode is a relatively simple device; however, there are differences from model to model that can make a big difference in user experience. This article will walk you through the different types of commodes and their best uses.

Types of Commodes and Their Purposes

The simplest commode is a frame with a back bar and arm bars along with a plastic toilet seat and bucket. Some of these simplest designs may be covered by Medicare so be sure to check your policy!

Adding a couple features to that basic commode can make a big difference! If you use a wheelchair or walking aid, a drop arm bedside commode will make things a lot easier for you.

With these commodes, the armrests can be dropped down out of the way so you can slide onto the seat from the side. Slip right from your bed onto the seat without having to stand fully to support your own weight. This is also a great way to prevent falls.

simple bedside commode from Medline
simple bedside commode from Medline

You can also find 3 in 1 bedside commodes that can be used at bedside, as a raised toilet seat, or as a toilet support frame to help you stand up after toileting. Some commodes are foldable for easier transport.

A heavy duty or bariatric bedside commode is a good choice if you need a commode that can hold a little extra weight. It will be sturdy enough to take the extra weight without buckling or sliding.

If you’re investing in a commode, you’ll probably want to get some bedside commode liners or extra buckets, which can make clean up a lot easier!

Bedside Commodes from The Elder Expo

Now that you know a little bit about the different types of commodes available and which may be best for your needs, let’s look at the commodes we sell here at The Elder Expo.

My personal choice for our best bedside commode is the Steel Drop Arm Commode. This commode comes with a lot of cool features including the drop-down arms, toilet seat and lid, adjustable height, and removable bucket. Its sleek white design is an especially nice detail.

This is also a three-in-one commode chair that can be used over the toilet for extra support.

We also offer two bariatric bedside commodes, which can support up to 500 pounds. One includes a drop-arm feature, and the other is made to be easily portable.

drop-arm bariatric commode
portable commode
portable bariatric commode

Commodes from Other Popular Brands

Bedside Commodes from Walmart

Walmart sells a couple basic and low-cost commodes. My personal favorite option from Walmart is this bedside commode chair, which is a little more stylish than a lot of other options.

Walgreens Bedside Commodes

Walgreens only has a few choices, but their options are impressive. Steel frames, folding bedside commodes, extra wide models, and more make their small collection pretty broad.

Bedside Commodes from CVS

Like Walmart and Walgreens, CVS offers a small number of commodes with a good bit of variety as far as features go. You can get frames to go over an existing toilet or a shower chair/commode combo. They also offer bariatric models with higher weight capacities.

Bedside Commodes from Amazon

On Amazon, you’ll be able to find lots and lots of commodes from basic models with aluminum frames to height adjustable commodes with padding to raised toilet seats with splash guards to tool-free assembly bariatric commodes, to commodes that fold flat for convenient storage and transportation.

The beauty of Amazon is being able to find products with all sorts of features to suit your needs! If after reading this article, you have a very specific idea of what sort of commode would be best for you, Amazon is a great place to find exactly what you want!

Drive Bedside Commodes

Drive Medical is a popular manufacturer of bedside commodes. They have a large selection of commodes with various features and their website makes it easy to find what you need!

Final Thoughts

Bedside commodes may seem inelegant at first glance, but they are a sanitary way to make toileting easier and safer for folks with limited mobility. This can add dignity and independence back to their lives which is far more importance than any slight unseemliness.