Bathroom Safety & Fall Prevention, Perineal Hygiene & Toileting

Best Bedside Commode Chairs for the Elderly

Bedside commode next to bed

Bedside commode next to bed

Sara has rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in her hands and knees. RA is an arthritic condition that causes swelling, stiffness, and extreme pain in the affected joints. The damage to the tissue around the joints from RA causes long-term, excruciating pain and interferes with sufferers’ balance, vision and can cause deformity around the joints. 

In addition to RA, Sara has spinal stenosis in her lower back. Spinal stenosis occurs in the spinal canal and develops due to aging or injuries. Over time, the spinal canal shrinks or becomes narrow, placing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Although the spine is the affected area, one of the symptoms causes weakness or numbness in the legs. Another noticeable symptom shows in the person’s posture. Sara, along with other sufferers of spinal stenosis, usually leans forward or bend over when walking. It’s painful to stand up straight, and leaning forward eliminates the pain. 

EZ-Fold-n-Go-Walker-from-StanderEZ fold n go rollatorThe pain and stiffness from these conditions are so intense that Sara limits her movements. She uses a lightweight walker to get around the house and a special rollator walker when shopping or visiting the doctor. However, Sara’s favorite medical device is her bedside commode chair. This device eliminates the long, painful walk to the bathroom, especially at night. Sara sometimes uses her bedside commode as a chair when she gets tired of lying down.

What is a bedside commode?

A bedside commode is a medical device that resembles a toddler’s training potty but for adults. Sometimes called commode chairs, users place the unit next to their bed, chair, or sofa for easy access. A bedside commode does not replace an existing toilet but makes using the bathroom more convenient and readily accessible without the help of a caregiver. People with limited mobility, including people with arthritis like Sara, use bedside commode chairs regularly. Likewise, people recovering from a stroke or hip, knee, and back surgeries and people living with obesity also benefit from the use of bedside toilets.

Standard bedside commode chairs are lightweight aluminum frames with a hole in the middle of the seat and four adjustable legs with slip-resistant rubber tips. Underneath the hole in the center is a removable collection bucket that attaches to the chair. Most standard bedside commodes come with a snap-on seat and lid that looks like a real toilet seat. Bedside commode users will sometimes insert a disposable liner inside the commode bucket for fast and easy cleanup. 

The Four Basic Types of Bedside Commodes

There are four types of beds commode chairs: 

  • Standard traditional bedside commode
  • Commode chair with drop arms
  • Bariatric commode chairs with a higher weight capacity
  • Three-in-one commode chairs with multiple functional uses

Type 1 – Standard or Traditional Bedside Commode

simple bedside commode from Medline

Standard or traditional bedside commodes have fixed arms and height-adjustable legs, as well as the eight quart removable bucked with lid. These commode chairs’ lightweight and removable buckets make them easier to move from place to place in the home. They are also less expensive than the other models.

Type 2 – Drop Arm Bedside Commode

best extra-wide drop-arm commodeDrop arm commodes have the same standard features as traditional commodes. The main difference is the drop arms feature. This feature makes it easier for users to move to and from the commode, or caregivers to transport patients to and from the commode. 

Type 3 – Extra Wide Bariatric Bedside Commode

Bariatric bedside commode chairs provide an extra-wide area for sitting. The cut-out in the middle of the seat is the same size as other commode chair models but the seat itself is much wider on both sides. These heavy-duty bariatric commode chairs will accommodate obese users weighing 300 pounds or more, up to a thousand pounds. 

Type 4 – The 3 in 1 Bedside Commode

3 in 1 commodeThe 3 in 1 bedside commode is the most commonly used. It shares the same features as the traditional bedside commodes but can function as a raised toilet seat, a toilet safety frame, and a bedside commode. This 3 in 1 bedside commode supports weights of up to 350 pounds.  

All four of these bedside commode toilet seats are adjustable, portable, and made to last. They are safe to use and give users the freedom to remain independent while aging in place or living in an assisted living facility. Check out the video below with instructions on how to place and use a bedside commode over the toilet.

You can find these popular bedside commodes and other helpful toileting items at The Elder Expo. Determine the model best suited for you and place your orders now!