Tall Toilets For Elderly People: A Buyer's Guide
When we get older, our muscles may lose strength or become injured. Fortunately, there are products available that can help seniors maintain safety and independence in the bathroom: tall toilets for seniors! For older adults with mobility limitations, these high off-the-floor seats could be essential tools for maintaining a sense of security.
A comfort height toilet means that users can exert less effort getting on and off the seat, making it especially good for seniors with leg, hip, knee joint, or back problems. The extra inches also make these tall toilets for seniors a great option if you are taller and find standard ones too low to use comfortably. Tall toilets for the elderly are commonly known as comfort height toilets.
This article will tell you about the general facts and eight of the best comfort height toilets for the elderly to buy. We also explain what factors are important when shopping around and all that’s involved in having one installed - from planning it out to making sure the toilet fits into your bathroom design.
We know that replacing your toilet with a tall toilet unit might be difficult, so we have included information on what you can do instead. That's why we have also included content about elevated seats and commode chairs that will make going to the bathroom more comfortable.And for extra safety consider Best Shower Chairs For Senior Citizens.
Comfort Height Toilets
A comfort height toilet is slightly taller than a traditional model to ease the process of sitting down and standing up again. The difference between standard and tall toilets is generally two to four inches. A standard toilet typically measures 15 or 16 inches from the floor to the top of the seat; a comfort height toilet is 17 to 19 inches. This increased height can make all the difference to the ease with which an older person can use a toilet.
If you're prone to constipation, a toilet seat that's too high might not be the best option. That is because your bowels are easier to move when you sit in a squat position with hips slightly lower than knees. Resting your feet up on some sort of step stool is advised in this case.
Note that if you're shorter than 5'6", a tall toilet might not be the best choice. If your feet dangle while seated, it could cause pain or numbness in your legs. Other ways to avoid this problem include installing rails on a standard-height toilet and using step stools for assistance when getting up and down from said toilets.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Toilet
A toilet is an essential household item, so how can you be sure to get the right one? Here's what to consider when shopping for a senior-friendly model:
Toilet Seat Height
A toilet seat should be high enough off the floor that you can sit down on it and stand up again easily. It's also essential to be able to rest both feet flat on the floor.
If you use a wheelchair, look for a toilet with a convenient seat height that closely matches your chair to make the lateral-slide transfer to the toilet much easier! If you need something even taller, a wall-mounted taller toilet might be worth considering. With those types of units, the tallest toilet height is about 28 inches.
Keep in mind that many manufacturers only specify height from floor to bowl rim. This height does not include a top if they sell them separately, which most do. Usually, a matching lid will add an inch or two.
The Bowl Shape
Most people these days are using elongated bowl toilets (standard toilets), not round toilet ones. You can tell if you have a round or elongated toilet by measuring from the seat mounting bolts to the very front of the bowl - round bowl toilets measure 16.5 inches and elongated bowls 18.5 inches on average.
Which is better: around toilet or elongated bowl toilet? Elongated toilets offer more sitting surfaces and are generally more comfortable for adults, especially the elderly. However, they also take up an additional couple of inches of space. In a small bathroom with limited walker/wheelchair access, this may be a problem. As you can see by the measurements above, they usually extend at least two extra inches into the room - which might not work well if it's too tight to fit a wheelchair.
There are two styles of toilets: one-piece and two-piece.
With one-piece toilets, the tank and bowl are integrated as a single seamless unit. They generally take up less space than two-piece toilets and are easier to clean because they have fewer crevices in which bacteria can hide. Installation is much more straightforward with these models too! One downside - if you want to install any accessories such as raised toilet seats later down the road, it may not be possible due to a ridge between the seat and tank that some toilets come equipped with.
With two-piece toilets, the tank is a separate unit that bolts to the top of the bowl. They can be more common and less expensive than one-piece toilets. They are also easier to repair, with each piece being able to bolt on separately. The downside? These tanks are harder to install for just one person working alone - you will need someone else around when it's time to fix your toilet too. However, these units tend not to leak as much, so if you're worried about keeping things clean, this might work better.
Wall-hung toilets are a particular type of two-piece toilet in which the bowl is mounted on the bathroom wall while the tank is concealed behind. They can be installed at a wide range of custom heights and save you as much as 12 inches right in front where your feet would usually go. However, they're costly because it requires buying an extra carrier system and opening up that specific area for installation. The pipes would also have to be moved from the floor to the wall.
The Flushing Mechanism
Most American homes rely on gravity-feed standard toilets. When you press the flush button or handle, waterfalls from the tank to your toilet bowl and harnesses its force of gravity while sending waste through a drain. These toilets tend to be affordable, effective, and relatively easy for almost anyone to fix when they go wrong. However - if your home has low water pressure, it may require two flushes before all the waste is gone.
Gravity-feed toilets also use a lot of water. Decades ago, such toilets commonly used five or six gallons of water per flush (GPF), but since 1994, federal law has mandated that the most efficient level for these types of toilets is 1.6 GPF and below to help conserve water. It's always interesting to know which state sets what maximum limit. In California, the limit is 1.28 gallons per flush. If you're concerned about water usage, this might be helpful information. Make sure your next purchase includes an EPA WaterSense certification seal as it signifies low consumption and high-performance standards met by only those products.
Some gravity feed toilets are dual flush models, with one flushing option for removing solid waste and another water reduced option for clearing away liquids. Such units typically have a two-position flush handle or two buttons on the tank top, which can be more eco-friendly because they allow you to use less water when appropriate. Alternatively, these toilet types may prove difficult for some elderly people in particular as they require them to press a button or pull a lever rather than simply push down on it as most other toilets do – this makes them costlier too!
Pressure-assisted toilets have a plastic tank within the toilet tank that holds a combination of water and air under pressure. When you flush, the pressurized air forcefully expels the water into the toilet bowl. The pressure-assisted toilet is the perfect solution for those looking to be more environmentally friendly. This type of toilet uses less water, and it's much less likely to become clogged with waste than a gravity feed model.
However, pressure-assisted toilets tend to be very loud when they flush. In addition, they typically cost more than gravity-feed toilets and are challenging to repair. You should also know that your home needs a minimum of 25 psi of water pressure for this type of toilet to work.
Installation Costs And Considerations
Installing a toilet requires you to set up the wax ring around the waste pipe, position it correctly, and bolt it down. It usually takes about 1-2 hours on average. Independent plumbers charge $200 to $500 for installation depending on what type of job is needed (wall-mounted toilets being an expensive example). The plumber may discover leaks or other problems during installation, which could lead to higher costs.
Keep in mind that those figures do not include the actual cost of the toilet. If a seat does not come with your toilet, you will have to pay about $10 to $50 for one. You will also need to purchase the bolts and wax ring separately at a home improvement store. It's important to note that you may need an extra-long supply line if installing a taller model.
When you're about to purchase a toilet, be sure that it has the appropriate rough-in size. The rough-in size is measured from your bathroom wall to the middle of your sewer drain and should typically measure 12 inches but can sometimes range between 10 or 14 inches. Choosing an out-of-fit model will make installation much more difficult.
You should also be sure that the model you buy will fit in your bathroom with enough clearance for doors, drawers, and cabinets. You can do this by measuring carefully before changing from a round toilet to an elongated toilet.
The Best Tall Toilets For Elders - Product Reviews
1. KOHLER K-3658-RA-47 Highline Classic Comfort Height Toilet
This Kohler is a two-piece unit made of vitreous china and includes a right-hand polished chrome trip lever. It has a standard 12-inch rough-in. This WaterSense toilet meets strict EPA flushing guidelines, including using at least 20% less water than 1.6-gallon toilets. A standard and elongated model is available.
2. Kohler K-3658-47 Highline Classic Class Five Comfort Height Toilet with Left-Hand Trip Lever
This comfort height elongated toilet is also a two-piece unit made of vitreous china and includes a left-hand polished chrome trip lever. The Class Five flushing technology provides tremendous bulk waste flushing performance and best-in-class bowl cleanliness. A standard round and elongated model is available.
3. American Standard 211AA.004.222 Champion Pro 1.6 GPF 2-Piece Elongated Toilet
This two-piece American Standard model with the elongated bowl is made from vitreous china and features the Champion Flushing System for extra efficiency. It has low water consumption at 1.6 gallons per flush. And the PowerWash rim scrubs the bowl with each flush. It features a standard 12-inch rough-in.
4. American Standard 2886218.020 H2 Option Dual Flush Right Height Elongated Toilet
This American Standard is a two-piece unit with a unique EverClean surface for easy maintenance. It features a chrome-plated top-mounted push-button actuator which is easy for the elderly to use. Note: the toilet seat is sold separately.
5. American Standard 2403813.020 Compact Cadet 3 FloWise Tall Height 1-Piece 1.28 GPF Single Flush Elongated Toilet
This compact American Standard model has an elongated bowl design and is made from vitreous china. The one-piece construction of this unit eliminates the gap where dirt could collect. It comes with a right-hand trip lever. The unit includes a slow-close seat and lid for silent, no-slam closure.
6. TOTO MS854114EL#01 Eco Ultramax ADA Elongated One Piece Toilet
This unit has a sleek, high-profile design that won’t take up too much space in your bathroom. It features a 3” wide flush valve (much wider than the conventional 2” flush valves), making for a fast and efficient flush system. It also has a wider than usual, fully glazed trap way for improved waste removal. This toilet is an ADA-compliant toilet.
7. Royal Legend One-piece Toilet, Dual Flush
This Royal Legend unit is made from vitreous china and features a high-performance gravity flush mechanism (0.8 or 1.28 gallons per flush). It has an elongated comfort height bowl for luxury and convenience. A clean design with the trapway concealed from view. Also, you can unlatch the quick-release seat (included) from the toilet for convenient cleaning – no tools required. Wax rings are included to facilitate installation.
8. Swiss Madison Well Made Forever Ivy SM-WT450 Wall Hung Toilet
This porcelain wall-hung one-piece has an adjustable height of 15 to 19 inches. It has a dual flush system with high-performance gravity of 0.8 / 1.28 gallons per flush. The Swiss Madison is seamless and easy to keep clean. All bolts and screws needed for installation are included. Note: The concealed tank and wall actuator are sold separately.
Raised Toilet Seats And Other Accessories
If you need a high toilet seat for a brief time while you recover from surgery or are looking for a way to add height to your toilet without actually replacing the whole thing, then we have good news for you.
You can raise the height of a toilet by installing unique accessories such as a toilet pedestal, toilet seat riser, or an elevated toilet seat. These are available for both round bowl and elongated toilets and can add between two to six inches in height. For an elderly person, this may offer an easy and cost-effective alternative. Some of these accessories bolt directly to the toilet. In contrast, others have locking brackets or clamps that help with stability and provide extra support in attached arms or handles.
1. Toilevator Toilet Pedestal
If you want to keep your existing toilet, the Toilevator provides the best alternative. It is discreet and maintains the appearance of the toilet. This accessory is a spacer installed under the base of your toilet, thereby adding 3.5” of additional height to the toilet seat. The Toilevator provides a comfortable, safe, hygienic, and economical alternative to replacing your toilet with a taller one. It works with a round bowl and elongated toilets for the elderly and will not slip during use - weight capacity: 500 lbs.
2. Vive Toilet Seat Riser with Handles
The Vive comes in two models – one for round and another for elongated seats – be sure to choose the correct one for your existing toilet. An elongated toilet is longer and from the back of the bowl to the front, measuring about 13"; a standard toilet measures 11" back to front. The Vive is installed under any standard toilet seat and adds 3.5” to the seat’s height, making it easier for the elderly to sit or stand without bending. This toilet seat riser securely attaches with the included screws and washers without the use of special tools. An interior lip on the bottom of the riser, coupled with slip-resistant strips, eliminates slipping for a safe and secure seat. The removable padded handles provide reliable support and safety when sitting down or getting up - weight capacity: 300 lbs.
3. HealthSmart Portable Elevated Raised Toilet Seat Riser
The HealthSmart fits most standard toilet seats and adds 5” to the height of your seat. It has four double-sided slip-resistant pads that adhere to the riser toilet bowl keeping it secure when in use. The HealthSmart is made of molded, unbreakable polyethylene and is easy to keep clean. This product is a good option for the elderly as it requires no special toilet installation - weight capacity: 250 lbs.
4. Drive Medical Elevated Raised Toilet Seat with Removable Padded Arms
The Drive is lightweight, portable, and easy to keep clean. Made from heavy-duty molded plastic, the Drive adds 5” to the height of the toilet seat. It fits any standard toilet and most elongated toilets. A simple locking device provides a reliable, secure fit onto the toilet – no tools are needed for installation. The padded armrests are easy to remove and re-attach - weight capacity: 300 lbs.
5. Essential Medical Supply Elevated Toilet Seat with Padded Arms
The Essential Medical Supply unit comes in two models: round and elongated toilet seats. It installs under your existing seat, giving you a 3.5” rise. The heavy-duty padded arms will help the elderly person push off the toilet from a seated position, lower down easily and have something to lean on when seated. This riser comes with extra-long screws with wing nuts to keep it securely in place once installed – all hardware needed for installation is included. The Essential Medical Supply unit is sturdy and easy to keep clean.
A medical toilet chair can be a viable alternative for adults who find it challenging to make the trip to a regular bathroom. As a chair-like frame with a removable bucket under the seat, portable commodes for elderly people can be used in many convenient locations. These chairs are typically adjustable to fit any height, and some have easy folding options. Once the bucket is removed, most of these commode chairs can be positioned over a regular toilet as a support aid.
1. Deluxe Rolling Shower Commode Chair with Drop Arms and Seatbelt
The Deluxe can also be used over a regular toilet or as a shower chair. It features drop armrests for easy access, and the footrest slides in under the commode. 4 heavy-duty castors prevent sliding. It has a soft padded seat open in the front and a seat belt for additional stability - weight capacity: 300 lbs.
2. NOVA Rolling Shower Commode Chair with Locking Wheels and Removable Footrests
This multi-purpose wheeled commode can be used over a regular toilet or as a shower chair. The bucket with a handle and lid easily slides in and out from the rear of the seat. This commode is comfortable and safe with contoured armrests, a backrest with a handle cut out, a comfortable padded seat, and locking wheels that easily engage with the foot without bending over. The footplate folds up, the footrests can easily attach and detach in seconds, and the footrests are adjustable for optimal fit and comfort - weight capacity: 250 lbs.
3. NOVA Drop Arm Transport Chair Commode
This Nova wheeled commode can also be used as a transport chair. It has a quick-release drop arm feature for easy access and a comfortable, removable pad that fits the commode seat. Bucket and lid are included and are easy to slide in and out from the rear of the seat. The footrests swing out of the way when needed and can be removed. The wheel locks are engaged and released with a foot pedal. This chair is not suitable for use in the shower and cannot be used over a regular toilet - weight capacity: 250 lbs.
4. DMI Rolling Shower and Commode Transport Chair
The DMI shower and commode transport chair easily moves in and out of the shower and can fit over a standard toilet seat. The durable 4” wheels ensure that this chair can move across any type of floor or carpet. The padded vinyl backrest and seat make it comfortable to sit on for more extended periods. Safe and secure wheel locks ensure stability while the armrests offer additional security, making it easier to sit or stand up from the chair - weight capacity: 250 lbs.
5. Duro-Med Heavy-Duty Steel Commode Toilet Chair
Use your Duro-Med commode wherever it is convenient. It fits over a standard toilet, and the bucket easily slides out along with a lid that rests on top. It has an exceptionally sturdy frame that makes getting up and sitting down easier for the elderly. The height is adjustable from 19” to 23“ in 1” increments. This commode can accommodate a weight capacity of up to 500 lbs..
6. Multi-Function Heavy Duty Folding Medical Commode Chair with Armrest and Backrest
This commode features an ergonomic anti-slip design. The seat has a curved shape providing more comfort and support. The commode opening has a cover so that this product can also be used as a transport chair. It has anti-slip rubber foot pads for more excellent stability and security. The footrest is so strong that one can stand on it without the chair tipping over. It can be used as a shower chair and is fully washable.
7. Drive Medical Steel Folding Bedside Commode
The Drive Medical commode can be used as a bedside commode, a raised toilet seat, or a toilet safety frame. It features fold-up legs for convenient storage and transportation. The seat height can be adjusted to your requirements with easy-to-use push pins. This commode features supportive armrests and is easy to keep clean - weight capacity: 350 lbs.
These new taller toilets for the elderly are great for seniors. They promote comfort and allow you to be as independent as possible. And if fitting a new toilet is not an option, then the raised toilet seats or even a commode can be considered. We hope this article has been helpful!