This blog introduces you to raised toilet seats, the different types available, when you might consider using one and how you can choose the right raised toilet seat based on your needs.
What is a Raised Toilet Seat?
Raised toilet seat is a toilet aid that is used to raise the height of a standard toilet seat. This is generally done when the user finds it difficult to raise and lower themselves from a standard toilet seat.
By raising the height of a toilet seat, the user has to travel a lesser distance, therefore, making it easier for them to use the toilet independently.
Raised toilet seats can be used in conjunction with other toilet aids including grab rails, toilet surrounds or can come with built-in arms to provide more support to the user while using the toilet.
What are the Different Types of Raised Toilet Seats?
- Standard Raised Toilet Seat: A standard raised toilet seat can be simply placed over a normal toilet and can either have a locking mechanism or no locking mechanism. The models that do come with a locking mechanism will either have a bolt or a clamp to secure the seat.
The height or elevation levels will vary between 40 mm to 150 mm.
- Raised Toilet Seat With Arms: Similar to a standard toilet seat but with additional arms on the side to provide a disabled or elderly user with more support to raise and lower themselves on the toilet seat.
- Portable Raised Toilet Seat: Generally made with a lighter material such as rubber, these raised toilet seats can simply be placed over a toilet bowl and removed when not in use. This makes it easier to carry when required by the user.
- Raised Toilet Seat with Cover (Lid): Another variation you will find is a raised toilet seat with a lid. The lid can be opened and closed when required, similar to a standard toilet seat and is a more hygienic option, overall.
All the above models can come in varying heights and locking mechanisms. The height or elevation levels can vary between 40 mm to 150 mm.
What are the Key Considerations for Purchasing a Raised Toilet Seat?
- Height of the seat: Raised toilet seats come in differing levels of elevation, 40 mm to 150 mm. The higher the seat, the easier it will be for the user to raise and lower themselves on the toilet bowl as they will be able to travel a shorter distance to use the toilet seat.
A quick guide to determine the elevation level of a raised seat required by a particular user has been provided below.
- Dimensions and shape of the toilet bowl: While most raised toilet seats are universal, it is good to measure the toilet bowl from end to end in order to determine its length and width. The length should be measured from the holes provided on a toilet bowl to fit a toilet seat.
Take a note of the shape of your bowl for an optimal fit, most toilet seats are either elongated or round.
- Presence of padding: Some raised toilet seats come with padded vinyl which is excellent for users who are prone to pressure sores. The other option is durable plastic, much like a standard toilet seat and rubber. Rubber raised toilet seats are lightweight therefore portable.
- Weight of the user: This is a very important consideration as each toilet seat comes with a certain weight-bearing capacity. Please ensure that you know the weight of the user and that the raised toilet seat can take their weight.
- Presence of support arms: Some models of raised toilet seats come with built-in support arms that provide more support to the user in order for them to maneuver themselves on and off the toilet seat.
In case you cannot find a raised toilet seat with support arms, you could consider purchasing other toilet aids such as a toilet frame or support arms that can be fixed to the wall on either side of the toilet suite.
If the user requires lesser support, then a single grab rail on the sidewall next to the toilet suite would suffice.
- Presence of a lid or a cover: Some raised toilet seats can come complete with a lid. This is good to have especially for hygiene reasons.
- Locking mechanism: Most raised toilet seats come with a locking mechanism to hold the seat in place when being used. These range from clamps to screws.
- Presence of slip-resistant pads: Another common safety feature built into raised toilet seats is the presence of slip-resistant pads under the raised toilet seat. This ensures that the raised toilet seat does not slip when in use.
When to Consider Purchasing a Raised Toilet Seat?
For using any independent living aid, it is best to discuss your mobility issues with a trained independent living consultant or an occupational therapist. Generally speaking, raised toilet seats are appropriate for users who experience the following problems:
- Stiffness in the knee or hip joints.
- Have recently gone through surgery on the lower part of their body. E.g. Knee replacement or hip replacement surgery.
- Users who have a weak back.
- Users who find it hard to sit, stand or transition from a standard toilet seat.
How To Measure For a Raised Toilet Seat?
As mentioned above it is best that a trained professional provides you with the appropriate height or elevation level of a raised toilet seat but if you would like a rough number then you can undertake the following exercise:
- Measure the length of the user’s leg starting from the floor to the top part of the thigh.
- Measure the height of the toilet seat from the floor.
- Subtract the height of the toilet from the user’s leg measurement and this would give you a number that should be the ideal height or elevation level of the raised toilet seat.