Best Raised Toilet Seats

We cannot be embarrassed or afraid to talk about bathroom needs for aging adults. A very important and commonly needed item is the raised toilet seat. We are all familiar with seeing it in the hospital or at our grandparents growing up. Now, we need to be comfortable to discuss it with our aging parents.

A raised toilet seat, as it sounds, is nothing more than a convenient and comfortable way to be seated on the toilet for those with limited mobility. The mobility challenges that often come with age likely lead to needing a raised toilet seat.

As we have described in previous posts (how to design a safe bathroom and the cost of doing so) there are important and reasonably priced ways to make your bathroom safe. To help you through this process we have researched the Best Raised Toilet Seats for seniors and describe them below, along with tips and background information.

What is a Raised Toilet Seat?

A raised toilet seat is an assistive technology for those with limited mobility designed to help them use the toilet while seated. The raised seat reduces the distance the older adult needs to lower themselves to the seat and stand back-up again. The difference of a few inches can make the world of difference when sitting down and standing up.

How is a Raised Toilet Seat Helpful?

If you do not have mobility limitations going to the bathroom is an afterthought. A raised toilet seat helps to bring back the normalcy and comfortability of going to the bathroom, alone. They are designed to elevate the seat just a few inches. This can make a great difference when sitting down.

The raised toilet seat puts less pressure on your joints and muscles when having to only lower yourself a few inches and standing up much easier as well. The benefits include: reduced pain, comfort, safety and much more.

Who Needs a Raised Toilet Seat?

Anyone that has difficulty bending down, has stiff joints, weak hips, recovering from (hip, knee or back) surgery, as well as finding the transition from sitting to standing difficult could use a raised toilet set. In addition, anyone that has difficulty lowering themselves down to 15-inches (standard height of a toilet) could benefit from using a raised toilet seat (which raises the seat between 17-21 inches).

What is the Size and Shape of a Raised Toilet Seat?

When adding a raised seat to your toilet, it will increase the total height between 2-to-6 inches. The seat itself will either be with a round or elongated front. The options of raised seats accommodate both types. You need to pay attention to extra wide risers and consider the total height in your purchase.

To determine the right height, consider that your knees and hips should be at the same height when sitting on the toilet. If the seat is too low or high it can be uncomfortable and more difficult to get up-and-down. To assist with making the best purchase possible, do some initial measurements to find the right height for you:

  1. Measure from the floor to the back of the thigh (behind the knee) (e.g., 20 inches)
  2. Measure the current height of the seat (e.g., 15 inches)
  3. The raise needed for your toilet seat equals the measurement in step two subtracted from the measurement in step one! (e.g., 5 inches)

Will Insurance Pay for My Raised Toilet Seat?

You should always check with your insurance company when making a purchase like this. In general, most insurance companies (including Medicare) do not cover a raised toilet seat directly but they will cover a commode chair. A commode chair, as defined by most medical services, is a chair that helps individuals with limited mobility get to and from the toilet or bathroom safely and serves as a mobile toilet when unable to reach or it is inaccessible.

Medicare Part B will cover the commode as durable medical equipment (DME) when ordered by a doctor for use in your home if you can’t use a regular toilet. If you choose to position the commode chair over the toilet then Medicare will not cover it.

Common Attachments for Raised Toilet Seats

When purchasing a raised toilet seat, you will want to explore and consider all of the available attachments and additional features. Some of the most common attachments include:

  • A toilet lid to go over the raised seat instead of leaving it open.
  • Splash guards help to prevent any unwanted splashing or leakage when using the toilet.
  • Built-in arms are pre-designed seats with arms already attached (instead of buying them separately).
  • Removable padded handles for the support arms.
  • Support arms are add-ons (removable) to the seat to help with lowering and raising yourself from the toilet seat.

How to Install Your Raised Toilet Seat

Each toilet seat riser will have different instructions for installation. You will likely have to remove the toilet lid to install the seat and it may then go on top or in storage. You should have a screwdriver handy to remove the lid.

Most importantly, you want to ensure there is a secure fit on the existing toilet seat or toilet bowl.

For many seats there are just a few steps for installation but with additional features comes additional steps. Don’t worry! There are plenty of easy-to-follow instructional videos online should you need them.

Safety Features to Consider

Safety should always be your top priority when caring for your aging loved one. To make sure the raised toilet seat is safe, consider the following key attributes:

Slip resistant pads will secure the raised toilet seat and, in many cases, allow for an easy-installation. If you need additional support when getting up-and-down then support arms and clamping them down will be essential. A slip in bracket, attaches to the toilet in seconds without knobs, clamps, screws or other complicated devices, gives an older adult with leg or knee challenges easier access.

Top 10 Raised Toilet Seats

Review each of the top 10 listed below to find the best option for you for price, height, weight-limit, support arms and other important features to keep your aging parent safe when going to the bathroom. The top companies listed below include: Carex, Drive Medical, Essential Medical Supply, PCP, AquaSense, and Vaunn Medical.

Each of the raised toilet seats listed below has a unique difference that may just bring the comfort and support you need.

SeatHeightWeight LimitComes with Support Arms? (y/n)Approximate PriceKey Features
Carex Toilet Seat Riser5-inches300 lbsN$18.50Toilet riser has anti-slip pads on the bottom and simply fits on top of the ceramic bowl.
Drive Medical RTL12027RA5-inches300 lbsY$55.00Easily add or remove supportive metal arms based on personal preference and need.
Guardian Signature Elevated Toilet Seat with Arms5-inches350 lbsY$48.00Locking raised toilet seat that's easy to clean.
Carex 3.5 Inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms for Round Toilets3.5-inches250 lbsY$34.45Built for safety and functionality in mind, this toilet riser is engineered with heavy-duty, lightweight and easy to clean molded plastic.
Carex 3.5 Inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms - For Elongated Toilets3.5-inches250 lbsY$38.50The toilet seats hardware kit allows easy installation and removal on almost every toilet in seconds.
Extra Wide Tall-Ette Elavated Toilet Seat with Frame4-inches350 lbsY$105.00Ideal for people who need extra assistance because of significant lower extremity weakness or poor balance. Legs are height-adjustable.
ProBasics Raised Toilet Seat4.5-inches350 lbsN$14.50Easy tool-free assembly. Provides improved safety for those who struggle with standard height toilets.
McKesson Raised Toilet Seat with Arms5-inches300 lbsY$42.00Anti-slip feature and locking mechanism that secures the seat firmly in place. Tool-free padded metal arms can be removed to save space.
Carex HInged Toilet Seat Riser - For Elongated Toilets3.5-inches300 lbsN$40.00Ideal for easy cleaning. Installs quickly and safely between your toilet bowl and existing seat.
Carex E-Z Lock Raised Toilet Seat5-inches300 lbsN$50.00A toilet seat riser that locks securely to round and elongated toilet seats. Includes built-in handgrips.

As you consider the best raised toilet seat for your aging loved one, think about who they are and what needs they have including:

  • How many bathrooms are in the house that need a raised seat?
  • How portable does the raised seat need to be?
  • At what height does the seat riser need to be?
  • What is the weight capacity?
  • Do you need support bars?
  • Do you have a round or elongated seat?
  • Is the seat permanent or temporary (i.e. post-surgery)?
  • What other physical or mental challenges do you need to consider?
  • Are their grab bars near the toilet already?
  • Is there space around the toilet?

Summary

A raised toilet seat could bring a tremendous amount of comfort and privacy back to your aging parent. Consider how quickly you could have one installed!

Don’t wait and discuss with your physician today.