Best Bedside Commodes for Seniors

Written By: Nathan Justice
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: March 29, 2021
Last updated: May 11, 2023

Is investing in the best bedside commode worth it? If you're living with a senior, then yes. Going to the bathroom might be more dangerous than one makes it out to be. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an average of 240,000 people aged over 15 suffer from nonfatal bathroom-related accidents per year, and 14.1% of those cases happen on the toilet.

To reduce the risk, fragile seniors are advised to use a commode.

Having a bedside commode can greatly benefit seniors suffering from a lack of mobility and flexibility. They'll be able to relieve themselves without having to walk all the way to the bathroom. Having this option is especially useful at night. Plus, seniors get a sense of ease and freedom knowing they can use the toilet safely without having to rely too much on their caregivers or younger relatives.

There are many bedside toilet products on the market. They range from the old school commode bucket to the modern commode chair equipped with multiple safety features. Having multiple choices is great.

However, customers who have no experience with senior patient care might not know where to start looking. Fortunately, we've narrowed the options to the top five bedside commodes ideal for senior users.

Best for Functionality: GentleBoost Uplift 3-in-1 Commode Shower Chair by Platinum Health

The best bedside commode to use if you're focused on functionality and versatility is the GentleBoost Uplift 3-in-1 Commode Shower Chairs by Platinum Health.

What sets this commode chair apart is its unique GentleBoost Uplift technology. The stand-assist, self-powered seat allows users to freely get up and down from these commode chairs with very little effort. On top of that, it has a maximum weight capacity of 285 pounds. Even larger people struggling with obesity could make use of these commodes without worrying about the weight limit.

Users would be happy to know this product is extremely versatile. These bedside commodes also serve as over-the-toilet support commodes and shower chairs. They're definitely a solid choice for seniors who need an all-in-one toileting device.

Best for Accessibility: Adjustable Drop Arm Commode with Elongated Seat by TFI Healthcare

If you're in search of bedside commodes that provide top-notch accessibility and maneuverability for the dexterity-impaired, a good choice would be the Adjustable Drop Arm Commode with Elongated Seat by TFI Healthcare.

The unique selling point of this commode is the drop-arm toilet safety frame installed on the sides. Each side arm would automatically drop and move out of the way as the user gets up and down from the seat. This feature makes the product more suitable for independent toileting.

Best for Durability: Etac Swift Bedside Commode Chair

Do you feel like most folding commode options you see are too weak? If you're only willing to purchase a durable, reliable commode built to withstand daily use and abuse, check out the Etac Swift Bedside Commode Chair.

It comes equipped with a corrosion-resistant powder-painted steel tubing frame, easy-to-clean polypropylene seat, and a comfortable polyester backstrap. With regular cleaning and maintenance, this item is guaranteed to last years. Plus, weight limits aren't an issue as this commode/bath chair has a maximum weight capacity of up to 280 pounds.

Best for Heavy Duty Use: Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode

Overweight and obese seniors struggling with dexterity issues and need a heavy-duty commode that can accommodate them should check out the Medline Drop-Arm Heavy Duty Padded Commode. It's a padded, heavy-duty, wheelchair-friendly commode that allows easy maneuverability and has a massive weight capacity of up to 350 pounds.

Best for the Budget-Conscious: NOVA's Folding Commode

Don't make the mistake of getting a weak, unreliable commode chair just to save a few bucks. The money you save upfront is nothing compared to the risks and dangers of letting your senior loved one or patient use a cheap commode.

If you need a bedside commode that won't break the bank but also won't break after a few months of usage, opt for NOVA's Folding Commode. It's an affordable commode equipped with a lightweight yet durable frame that has a whopping weight capacity of 300 pounds.

Does your senior loved one have a hard time walking? Senior Strong has multiple resources on the best devices to help mobility-impaired seniors move around independently. Check out the Senior Strong website now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bedside commode? 

Bedside commodes are portable toilets you place beside the bed. They're often used by patients or seniors who cannot freely leave the bed and go to the bathroom by themselves due to dexterity issues.

To use, one would simply have to sit on the chair, position their buttocks into the hole, then defecate/urinate straight into the container positioned under the toilet seat. Commode chairs don't use running water, so you'll have to manually wash and rinse the toileting container.

Note: Does your commode reek? One of the best tips we can give is to use a combination of bleach, soap, and water to completely remove excrement.

How much do bedside commodes cost? 

The price of a bedside commode chair can range anywhere from $40 to over $3,000. Cheaper commode chairs are simple products that consist of a plain seat, chair, and commode bucket, while commodes equipped with steel construction, an elevated toilet seat, or foam padding would likely be pricier. Although, surveys show that the average price of a commode in the United States is around $200 to $300.

Additional Resources

Statistics on Bathroom-Related Injuries for Those Over 15

The CDC reports that an average of 240,000 over 15 years old suffer from bathroom-related injuries every year. Most accidents happen while turning in the shower, standing up/sitting down on the toilet, or even walking into a dimly lit bathroom.

Mobility and Dexterity Issues Among Seniors

People suffering from mobility issues who have trouble with tasks such as toileting are at risk of complications such as urinary tract infection, incontinence, and constipation since they can neither urinate nor defecate freely.

Overall, having a bedside commode toilet is a must for seniors and patients who are no longer capable of going to the bathroom by themselves due to mobility issues. Being able to relieve oneself without leaving the bed is both convenient and safe. Just make sure you get a suitable bedside toilet that offers ergonomic safety features, can handle the senior user's body weight, and has an ergonomic design focused on user comfort.

In need of a bed alarm? Visit our blog about the best bed alarm for seniors to know more.

Looking for more useful durable medical equipment geared toward senior users? Senior Strong has multiple product guides and resources about the best devices that seniors can use to improve their quality of life. Visit the Senior Strong website now!

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Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.
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