Toileting often holds the top spot in the things you need to do efficiently if you are to maintain optimal personal hygiene. With most cases, the above is easy enough, and visiting lavatories is no big deal. However, while uncommon, and for a myriad of reasons, you or a loved one might suffer from limited mobility, thereby ensuring that toileting is near impossible. In such a scenario, a bedside commode can offer timely help and ensure discretion and comfort with every toilet time. While it will often take the help of an assistant to ensure the patient has proper situation on the commode, achieving the same ensures that the patient’s dignity and privacy are maintained as best as possible.
When out shopping for a commode, there are a few key factors that must be considered. Chief among these considerations is the product’s weight capacity, and adjustability to fit a standard toilet.
The Top Eight Bedside Commode Options
1. Editor’s Choice – Drive Medical Folding Bedside Commode Seat
There are plenty of features that go into making the above seat one of the best bedside commode options in the market today. Firstly, it comes fitted with a plastic Snap-On seat that installs effortlessly without the use of any buttons. Moreover, its construction also features blue, powder-coated steel construction. Plastic arms also on both sides to provide ample, yet comfortable support.
The commode folds easily to facilitate storage and portability. It also opens up without any fuss when it is need be. The seat can comfortably accommodate patients weighing up to 350 pounds. The commode bucket built therein is also quite generous as it can hold 7.5 quarts. It comes with a handle and cover that every aid will appreciate, plus a splash shield for even greater comforts for the patient.
Moreover, the commode’s legs are adjustable by the push of a button. Accordingly, it can easily be used as an elevate toilet seat with extra side-support. An elastic cord completes the setup by allowing legs to fold up causing the commode to become even smaller.
- The commode is easy to take down and assemble.
- It is lightweight and highly portable.
- The chair has a capacity of 350 pounds.
- The commode bucket comes with a lid and handles.
- However, the seat is not replacable.
3. Second Runner’s Up – Vive Bariatric Bedside Commode – Folding 3 in 1 Toilet Seat Chair
Vive Bariatric is another of the best bedside commode options that promise to deliver great functionality and versatility for your patient. For starters, the commode’s pail has a capacity of 6 quarts, and also includes a splash guard and accompanying lid.
The chair’s versatility can see it being used for three different purposes, namely, as a standalone commode, an elevated toilet seat, and even toilet rail frame. The chair is easy to fold and tuck away, too, making its storage an easy and straightforward process. Additionally, the above commode comes ready to set up, and the process to the same is easy, and with no need for specialized instructions or tools. The bed’s height can also be adjusted to any height within 14.5 inches, to 20 inches for optimal user comforts.
The chair is made from stainless steel, and its design and goes a long way towards making the chair lightweight yet sturdy. The anti-skid rubber caps at the end of each leg tip works to ensure the seat remains stable and firmly in place. The commode can patients weighing up to 500 pounds with ease.
- The chair is highly versatile.
- It has a weight capacity of 500 pounds.
- The commode also features anti-slip additions to make it sturdier.
- The chair also boasts a lifetime guarantee with zero conditions.
- Its pail comes an anti-splash guard.
3. Also Great – Drive Medical 11148-1 Steel Folding
There is plenty that’s great with the product above. Firstly, there’s no doubt that it’s built to last as if features legs and arms that are steel welded and coated with grey powder. Its legs also fold easily and can be held in place by an elastic cord should you need them to. Folding them in such a way helps to reveal the smallest version of the commode, enabling prompt portability.
The plastic portion of the commode is also straightforward. It comprises a Snap-on seat, plus a lid which both fit without the need to push any buttons. Each seat also includes a bucket that holds up to 7.5 quarts. The bucket includes both a cover and a handle for easy transportation, plus a splash shield which helps enhance the patient’s comforts when using the chair.
As a bonus, the commode’s weight capacity is 350 pounds. This weight rating is on the higher end amongst the best bedside commodes on this list.
- The commode is highly durable, with welded steel joints.
- The commode folds and stores away easily.
- Its weight capacity is 350 pounds.
- The bucket holds up to 7.5 quarts of discharge, and it comes complete with handles and a lid.
4. Most Portable – Medline – MDS89664KDMBG Steel 3-in-1 Bedside Commode
One of the lightest, most portable best bedside commodes available in the market today is the Medline Steel 3 – in – 1 seat. The option can be a worthwhile solution to patients that suffer from mobility challenges be they chronic or temporary. The commode is thus a worthwhile option when prompt movement to the bathroom becomes a challenge. When your patient needs to go, the Medline chair will come in handy by offering you optimal support either by your bedside or as an elevated seat over your toilet. However, with the latter purpose, one needs to remove the bucket and activate the splashguard instead. When this action has been carried out, the modified toilet remains a throne with additional security for your patient thanks to the safely rails available on both sides.
The seat is also equally suitable for functioning by your bedside though. The pail, inbuilt, is designed to act as a temporary toilet. Its design ensures an easier, more convenient time when disposing waste from the commode. Moreover, the seats and handles of the commode are also infused with micro-ban protection. This feature ensures the seat remains guarded against bacteria, mould and mildew. The protection also works to reduce wear and tear, while also preventing stains or odours.
The chair’s height is easy to adjust thanks to the locking mechanisms that are controlled via push-buttons. No extra tools will be required for this step, and the height achievable by the seat falls within the 1 – 23.5 inches. The chair can comfortably support patients weighing up to 350 pounds.
- The commode is fairly easy to assemble.
- It comes with a toilet paper holder.
- The seat can support up to 350 pounds.
- The commode also features antimicrobial protection that fights stains and odours.
5. Best Value for Money – NOVA’s Folding Commode
If you are looking for a product that won’t have you robbing a bank, then the Nova Folding bedside commode is the answer. From the moment it is unpacked, you will realize that the commode is easy to assemble, and with no extra tools needed for the same. The product is also quite easy to store away, and it folds easily with little effort applied.
Regardless of its attractive pricing, the seat’s use can be converted to an elevated toilet when the need arises. All one needs to do is remove the bucket at the bottom. The weight capacity for the seat stands at a decent 300 pounds. While there are some options with greater weight handling capabilities, the Nova Commode still competes favourably with most such commodes with regards to other features.
One downside seen in the product is that it is made mostly from plastic, and in consequence, some of the edges can become too sharp for comfortable use.
- The commode is exceedingly affordable.
- It supports up to 300 pounds.
- The seat can be used as an elevated toilet.
- The seat is also easy to set up.
6. Most Comfortable – MedPro Comfort Plus Commode Chair
When looking for an option that offers the most comfort to your patient, then MedPro has one of the best bedside commodes available. The chair offers convenient support for individuals having reduced mobility. All the chair’s parts are made from highly durable and rust-resistant parts, ensuring the longevity of use. Moreover, the commode also features seven height adjustment settings. These effectively ensure the chair can be adjusted to a height measuring between 15.5 – 21.5 inches.
As a bedside commode though, the chair is near peerless with its provision for safety and comfort. The chair’s pail, for instance, is built with a splash guard. The handles and a lid, which add some convenience to the product. Moreover, the commode is quite tight too, weighing only 11 pounds. Don’t be fooled by this weight rating though, for it still boasts a 300-pound weight capacity. Assembly is not rocket science either, you will not need any additional tools or overly complicated tools to assemble it.
- The chair has an adjustable height setting.
- It is made from highly durable materials that are rust-resistant.
- The commode is also easy to assemble.
7. The Premium Option – HOMCOM Folding Commode Mobile Toilet Aluminium Alloy Wheelchair.
This commode is one of the premium options above that packs plenty of versatility for your patient. Other than fulfill its usefulness as a toileting companion for patients with mobility challenges, it doubles up as a wheelchair. The chair comes specially fitted with provisions that allow for easy installing and removing of a commode bucket. For this purpose, the middle cushion of the seat can be removed easily for toileting purposes, before being returned.
Given the chair’s mobility, thanks to the wheels installed, it’s suitable companion for the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, and people that have undergone major surgery. By using it, one can enjoy the convenience of allowing your patient some decency while toileting. At the same time you can help them move from place to place with minimum effort on your part.
Moreover, the chair’s design allows for it to be folded easily when the time comes for it to be put away. Simply pull the rope handles to the side and watch the chair fold up nice and easy. Durability is also not left to chance as the chair features stainless steel parts, with the seat, footrest, armrest and backrest all padded for greater comforts.
- The commode can be used as a wheelchair.
- It is highly durable thanks to the stainless steel parts.
- The chair is also quite comfortable thanks to the padding of the arm, back, and footrests, plus the seat too.
- The chair is quite a user friendly with four easy to roll wheels.
8. Best Adjustable Commode – Duro-Med DMI Adjustable Bedside Commode for Adults
If you want a product that keeps it simple, while still offering a wide range of adjustability then the Duro-Med chair above is the best bedside commode for you. The bedside commode wins among the easiest to adjust as the bucket part can be easy to remove and have the commode framework as a toilet safety frame.
The commode’s bucket has a capacity of 7 quarts, complete with a handle and lid. This is generally ample capacity, and the bucket also slides out of the commode easily any time you need to remove it for some cleaning or waste disposal. The commode height is also easy to adjust thanks to its four adjustable legs. The height setting ranges between 16.5 inches to 23.5 inches.
What’s more, the chair’s legs remain sturdy, and this helps the commode attain its impressive 500 pounds weight capacity. Both armrests are contoured with plastic support for a bit more comfort and safety which every patient is bound to appreciate. Each chair leg also contains latex tips, and this helps prevent slipping.
- The chair has a 500 pounds weight capacity.
- Its bucket has a 7-quart capacity, and it comes with a handle and a lid.
- The chair frame can be used separately for extra support while on the toilet.
- The chair’s height is also adjustable.
- The legs also come with latex tips to make it sturdier and slip-resistant.
What is the Purpose of a Bedside Commode, and who would benefit from Having One?
Bedside commodes come in handy when you or a loved one suffers from mobility issues. With such conditions, movement to the washrooms can be significantly hampered. However, with a commode at your bedside, it is easier to maintain one’s dignity and make a mess halfway to the lavatories. To this end, a bedside commode is most useful for patients that are either disabled or recovering from major surgery.
The commode is also quite useful for people that suffer from incontinence, thereby finding it hard to control their bowel or bladder movement. Such incontinence is brought about by conditions such as urinary tract infection, side effects from drugs, balance issues, age, and difficulty walking.
The main Alternative to Bedside Commodes
A bedpan is the main alternative to using a bedside commode. While the pan is relatively cheaper, it offers little convenience or safety when in use, as compared to a commode. Accordingly, most physicians and caregivers recommend using a bedside commode as it encourages the patient to get out of the bed and flex their muscles and skeleton a bit. The commode also cradles the body’s pressure points better and helps patients avoid bedsores.
Unlike a bedpan too, the bedside commode also allows patients to sit on its chair, much like you would on a typical toilet. Accordingly, the commode is quite convenient, and it will give you some peace of mind that your patient is safe while on it.
The Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Bedside Commode
As you select the best bedside commode for your needs, it is important to consider various factors that could determine the eventual use of the final product you choose. While shopping around for a commode, the best option is the one that will offer ample support and a generous weight capacity. Commodes come with different weight capacities depending on the materials used to manufacture them, including steel, plastic, aluminium and PVC. Steel and aluminium are among the sturdiest materials for a commode, and they naturally lead to the body having a greater weight capacity. On their part, PVC and plastic commodes can be equally sturdy, but they could be ill-advised for particularly heavy patients. In more detail, the metrics to consider when shopping for the best bedside commode include:
The Patient’s Mobility
The user’s mobility goes a long way towards determining what commode you need to get for your patient. To this end, the bedside commode needs for a patient that’s confined to a wheelchair fulltime will differ greatly to those of a patient with at least some mobility, for instance, patients that are bedridden temporarily after undergoing major surgery.
Specialized commodes exist to better serve the needs of patients in wheelchairs full time. However, such commodes generally cost more, compared to less supportive commodes in the market. Moreover, regular, 3-in-one commodes can be a better fit for users suffering from temporary mobility issues. With such an option, patients can conveniently transition from relieving themselves by their bedside to moving to the toilet as they continue to heal and regain leg function.
The Commode’s Versatility
The versatility of the commode chosen is also important as it helps the patient, and caregivers extend the usefulness of the chair, plus its ability to fit in limited spaces. For a start, a standard commode comes with most bedsides. However, not all commodes double up as shower chairs. If you would like some help in the shower, then getting the appropriate commode is essential. While shopping for the same too, remember to factor in the size of your shower area, and the width of the tub if one exists too.
The Weight Capacity
Most commodes are lightweight by design, and this makes them very portable. However, they are designed to support the full bodyweight of an adult without collapse. While the weight capacity of different options varies, most commodes have been noted to have a capacity of 300 pounds. With some entry-level commodes, this rating lowers to 225 pounds, while other commodes have been known to accommodate weights of up to 500 pounds.
Accordingly, there is something for everyone, regardless of how heavy a patient is, or otherwise. All one needs to do is to know their patient’s weight, and then add a generous weight capacity on top to account for any weight gain on the patient’s part.
The Patient’s Gender
Standard toilet seats come as either being standard, round, or elongated. Accordingly, most bedside commodes follow the same principle while designing their products. While female users can use all three seat shapes comfortably, male patients have been found to experience difficulty with both the standard and the round toilet seat shapes. This challenge has often been attributed to the male anatomy requiring extra space that only elongated seats can provide. To this end, commodes with elongated toilet seats would be better suited for a male patient, while all seat shapes would suit female patients.
Finally, you must consider the price of a commode before spending your cash on the same. When purchasing it out of pocket, most commode prices begin at $80 for a model boasting basic, minimalist features. With various upgrades, including drop arms, padded parts, wheels, and increased weight capacity, the price generally rises to some $100 to $150. Some options are certain to cost even more, depending on the additional features offered too.
While the price above might be a bit prohibitive, it’s a welcome reprieve that some commode options are covered by health insurance. In most cases, to get your commode covered under your insurance, you need to purchase it from a medical supply store, or approved sellers online.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it safe for an obese person to use a bedside commode?
Bedside commodes all come with a weight capacity beyond which patients should not exceed. To this end, some commodes can safely support up to 500 pounds or more. If you are a heavy person, then the very first step one needs to take is establish their weight. Finding out how heavy the patient is, then allows one to shop for the right model, with a weight capacity within their class.
2. Does Medicare cover bedside commodes?
Being a medical apparatus, most commodes are covered by Medicare. The shares are classified under the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and the fall under the Medicare B classification. Accordingly, you can apply a deductible on your costs when you purchase the chair. Such a deductible only covers 80% of the amount you spend on the commode so long as you meet all other conditions stated in the physician’s prescription.
3. Can I get the commode cost covered under private insurance?
Commodes are often considered a medical necessity, especially when their users are unable to use other traditional facilities owing to different physical restrictions. Despite this condition, though, insurers still need the insured individual to be confined in a single room, or home level, within which no washroom is available.
Accordingly, before making a purchase, you should be sure to confirm the terms of your insurance cover, or that of the patient. It will give you a good idea of how much you can claim from your provider towards purchasing the commode. To this end, consulting a broker or insurance provider would also be wise as it will act to better enlighten you of your insurance terms.
4. Can my caretaker leave the room after they place me on the commode?
Bedside commodes are built to provide patients with greater levels of dignity and privacy as they go about their business. Accordingly, using the commode while your caretaker is perfectly OK, but the chair needs to provide you with enough support both to your arms, back, and legs. If you consider yourself strong enough to be left alone, and you are on a supportive chair, then, by all means, request for some alone time. However, it would be advised for the caretaker to remain within earshot in case you need their help urgently.
Bedside commodes are a necessity for people suffering from various conditions including, major surgery, ageing, incapacitation, disability and incontinence. In all the above situations, a commode would come in handy by bringing the bathroom closer to the patient. Consequently, any smelly messes are avoided, much to the relief of both the patient and the caregiver. While most bedside commodes find a home beside the patient’s bed, they are also portable enough to be moved to other parts of the house, including the living room, and the outdoors.
As you move to purchase a commode though, you must consider all options before you carefully. In doing so, you will get the right product, and have the best bedside commode in the market for your specific needs. To start you off though, why not go through the commodes reviewed above one more time and see which one best meets your needs.