How Do Raised Toilet Seats Work?
Raised toilet seats reduce the amount of distance an individual needs to move in order to sit down (and get up from) a toilet. They put less stress on the body and require less bending.
Raised toilet seats are designed specifically for people who have difficulty sitting down on a regular-height toilet seat (traditional toilets usually measure at around 15 inches high).
There are several reasons why individuals may have a difficult time using regular-height toilets, including:
- Knee Pain
- Back Pain
- Weak Hips
- Stiff Joints
- Surgery Recovery
These conditions can make it painful for an individual to lower themselves onto a standard-sized toilet. Thankfully, higher toilets can remedy this issue.
How High Are Raised Toilets?
Most toilet seat raisers lift up a toilet seat anywhere from 2-6 inches above the original height.
Types of Toilet Seat Risers
There are a few different ways you can elevate a toilet seat for an individual who needs a higher positioning in the bathroom
- Elevated Toilet Seat. An entire higher toilet seat that replaces your existing toilet seat.
- Toilet Seat Riser. An attachment that fits under your existing toilet seat to elevate it. This option allows you to keep your current toilet seat.
- Toilet Base Riser. Another option is to elevate the toilet from the bottom base, rather than at the seat. This usually requires more installation work, but some prefer the more subtle look of this elevation method.
Most toilet risers use the first two methods – either replacing the existing seat entirely with a higher seat, or relying on a riser that sits between the bowl and seat. The 3rd option required more installation effort, making it less popular.
Features to Consider When Choosing An Elevated Toilet Seat
There are several features to consider when choosing an elevated toilet. Some may be more important than others depending on your needs or the needs of the relative you’re shopping for.
- Toilet Size and Dimensions. Make sure you double check the dimensions of your toilet before ordering a toilet seat riser, as an improper-fitting seat can be dangerous. Most raised toilet seats come in one of two versions to match the two types of toilet sizes – a standard size (16.5″) or elongated size (18.5″). Be sure to choose a riser that matches the dimensions of your toilet, as an improperly-sized seat could slide and cause an older adult to lose balance and fall.
- Handles. Handles positioned on the sides of the elevated toilet seat provide additional leverage, but check hip width to ensure you’ll have enough space. In many cases, the handles can be removed from the toilet seat if they aren’t needed.
- Portability. Some elevated toilet seats are lightweight and more compact for improved portability.
- Padding. Some elderly individuals or those with sensitive skin may opt for a raised toilet seat with padding. While there are some of these available, most padded seats only have minimal elevation (1-2 inches) and don’t provide as much support as harder raised toilet seats.
- Installation. While no elevated toilet seat is especially difficult to install, some do require more effort than others. Some require bolts and screws which physically attach to the back of the toilet, while others use hand-tightened clamps or an angled lip which fits in against the toilet bowl.
- Bathroom Space. You may need to consider the space of the bathroom you are installing the seat in. While handles can be helpful, they also may take up too much space in a small bathroom.
- Toilet Height. Elevated toilet seats can range in height from 2″ – 5″. We discuss below how to select the best height for your needs.
- Maximum Weight Capacity. Weight capacities can vary for raised toilet seats, so make sure you’re choosing a seat that can handle the user’s weight.
- Lid Up or Down? Some elevated toilet seats require you to remove your toilet seat lid. Some individuals will prefer a toilet seat riser that allows them to still easily close the lid, while others may not mind going without the lid. It’s also worth keeping in mind that some people like to use the toilet lid to sit on as a chair if bathroom space is too small for an additional chair.
- Contoured or Traditional Seat? Raised toilet seats usually come in a couple of different designs, usually relying on a more contoured design or a flat, classic toilet seat design. You’ll have to determine what is most comfortable for you or your elderly relative.
1. Vive Raised Toilet Seat With Handles
Best Handicap Toilet Seat With Handles
About: The Vive Raised Toilet Seat With Handles is an elevated toilet seat that comes in two sizes: a standard or elongated version. It offers convenient attachable handles to make getting on and off the toilet easier.
- WHAT SIZE IS RIGHT FOR ME: Toilets typically come in two sizes, standard and elongated. We offer a size for either style, so make sure you know which toilet you are purchasing for before checking out....
- ADDS 3.5” OF HEIGHT TO STANDARD TOILET: Fitting under your existing toilet seat, the toilet seat riser adds 3.5” of height to the seat, making it easier to sit or stand without bending. A great...
- TOOL-FREE INSTALLATION: Installing under any standard toilet seat, the toilet seat riser securely attaches with the included screws and washers without the use of tools. An interior lip on the bottom...
- SOFT COMFORT GRIP HANDLES: Removable handles are padded with comfortably soft foam hand grips for additional assistance when sitting or standing. The handles provide a nonslip surface for a safe and...
- Height: 3.5”
- Type: Elongated / Standard
- Weight Limit: 300 lbs
- Seat Weight: 5.3 lbs
Designed to fit under any existing toilet seat, the Vive Toilet Seat Riser With Handles can be attached through the use of screws and washers which are included with the riser, requiring no tools or additional pieces for installation.
The handles are padded with soft foam grips, making them comfortable and easy to use for older individuals who need a bit more assistance and support getting up and down from the toilet.
The handles have a 22” of width between them, which should be plenty of space for most individuals. The handles are also removable, so if you decide they aren’t needed, they can be taken off easily.
This seat is designed to support up to 300 lbs of weight, and the seat is made of a durable plastic that can be easily wiped down for easy cleaning. The handles are made of a corrosion resistant aluminum, also allowing for quick and easy cleaning with disinfectant!
Note that this unit does not include a toilet seat lid – instead, you will need to take off your current lid and seat, install the riser, and then put your old seat and lid back on and screw it back together.
The bolt installation doesn’t require tools, but it is a bit more effort than the simple latch or curved lip installation methods. However, the bolt installation does tend to provide more durability, so this unit is a good choice for those who want a more sturdy and permanent set up.
- Riser is placed on top of toilet bowl, below seat and lid. Existing seat and lid are then re-attached.
- Removable padded handles.
- No tools required for installation – just bolt and washers.
- Includes an elongated and standard model
PROS: Customers appreciate the longer anterior-to-posterior opening that allows the user to easily adequately clean themselves while seated. This setup also allows the lid to be closed, which is beneficial for those who prefer to have a lid on the toilet.
CONS: One user found that the seat had to be completely removed for cleaning, which they found irritating. Also, while most found the installation relatively easy, at least one customers had a tough time with it.
2. Vive 5” Elevated Toilet Seat Riser
Highest Raised Toilet Seat
About: This Vive Elevated Toilet Riser is another offering from Vive, but unlike the model mentioned above, this model has a 5” riser (while the above model adds 3.5”). We weren’t able to find any riser that has more height – this one offers the most elevation out there!
That’s not the only difference though – the 5” Vive Toilet Seat Riser also uses a contoured design, as opposed to the above model’s more traditional toilet seat design.
- Height: 5”
- Type: Standard (Should Work With Round and Elongated)
- Weight Limit: 250 lbs
- Seat Weight: 7 lbs
This Vive Elevated Seat is made of a durable composite material and should work with both elongated and standard-sized toilets. It also boasts padded handles to make it easier for the elderly to lift themselves up. However, if the toilet seat handles for elderly are not needed, they can easily be removed.
The seat can be installed without any tools, using an adjustable tightening knob and rear wings to stabilize the seat. It’s also designed to be easily wiped down with any standard disinfectant and shouldn’t get in the way of regular toilet cleaning.
- Highest toilet seat elevation available
- Contoured seat design
- Padded, removable handles
- Uses a simple tightening knob and back wings for installing
PROS: Care providers and elderly individuals are thrilled with the hefty 5” elevation, and most seem to find it very secure and stable. The adjustable knob is very easy to use, making installation a breeze.
CONS: One customer notes that, due to the design of this toilet rider, it will only work well with toilets that have a flat toilet frame / bowl. Curved bowls may not be suitable for this model. Another users notes that if the rim on your toilet bowl is deeper than 1 1/2 ” this seat will not be able to be appropriately secured.
3. AquaSense Toilet Seat Riser
Best Lightweight Raised Toilet Seat
About: The AquaSense Portable Raised Toilet Seat is lightweight and ultra-portable, making it great for short trips for elderly or disabled relatives. Made of polyethylene, it’s easy to wipe down and clean.
- This raised toilet seat elevates the toilet 4 inches higher than a regular toilet seat
- Makes it easier to get on and off the toilet and features a seamless, easy to clean, polyethylene construction
- AquaSense Raised Toilet Seats are lightweight and portable
- Sized to fit most standard commode bowls. Does not fit elongated toilets
- Height: 4”
- Type: Standard (No Elongated Option)
- Weight Limit: 400 lbs
- Seat Weight: 1.5 lbs
This raised seat fits on top of an existing toilet bowl by simply sliding the lower lip into place, making a snug fit against the bowl.
Many individuals who have had past hip surgery or other injuries praise this raised seat for its mix of simplicity and sturdiness.
One 70-year old customer notes how helpful this seat has been following her broken femur.
Despite the simple design, many customers note that this seat is very sturdy – some even note that this seat is sturdier and less wobbly than the traditionally more secure bolt and screw style seats.
Users also appreciate that this seat is structured similar to a traditional toilet seat and does not have unnecessary pressure on the sides of the pelvis due to the downward slope found in some other more contoured seats.
- Extremely lightweight (just 1.5 lbs), making it ideal for travel
- Simple yet sturdy design
- Installs by sliding into lip of toilet bowl – no tools or complicated installation required
PROS: This is the most lightweight raised toilet seat we’ve seen. Weighing in at just 1.5 lbs, it’s a breeze to transport and wins when it comes to portability, making it great for hotel stints or short trips.
CONS: This raised toilet seat fits on top of bowl, effectively replacing the existing seat and lid. Unfortunately this means the lid cannot be closed with this model. At least one individual complained that this seat lost its stability overtime, starting to slide and move around more after a few months of use. However, it doesn’t seem many others experienced this issue.
4. Vive Hinged Toilet Seat Riser
Best Hinged Unit
About: The Vive Hinged Toilet Seat Riser is a riser that is installed beneath your existing toilet seat.
This seat is hinged, allowing it to be raised to a 90 degree angle so that it can be moved out of the way for guests or for men. The toilet lid, seat, and riser can all be lifted vertically for easy cleaning.
- VARIATION SELECTION: You have selected the standard toilet seat. Please review images for sizing if you are unsure what your toilet seat size is. Both styles fit under your existing toilet seat, the...
- EASY TOOL-FREE INSTALLATION: Installing under any standard toilet seat, the toilet seat riser securely attaches with the included screws and washers without the use of tools. An interior lip on the...
- HINGED FOR EASY CLEANING: Designed to be lifted up like a regular toilet seat, the seat riser is hinged to lift a full 90 degrees. The toilet lid, seat and riser will safely stay in a vertical...
- DURABLE COMPOSITE TOILET SEAT ELEVATOR: The durable composite off-white toilet seat elevator supports up to 350 pounds and is split-resistant for extended usability. The seat riser can be wiped down...
- Height: 3.5”
- Type: Standard / Elongated
- Weight Limit: 350 lbs
The Vive Hinged Toilet is available in a standard or elongated version, allowing you to choose the perfect model for your toilet.
No tools are needed for installation – this elongated raised toilet seat uses screws, washers, and a fitted lip to securely attach. It’s also designed to be easy to clean and can be wiped down in seconds for little spills.
- Hinged model allows individual to lift up lid, seat, and seat riser 90 degrees for easy full toilet cleaning.
- Available in standard or elongated versions.
- Uses screws, washers, and fitted lip for installation
PROS: Several users commented on how much they love the hinge design, as all one needs to do is flip up the seat and riser to give the toilet bowl a full and proper cleaning, as opposed to some other models that require a full removal for a thorough toilet cleaning.
CONS: At least one users claims this seat is not safe, since the soft plastic does not provide enough friction against the bowl to prevent sliding and compresses when tightening it down, potentially making an immovable fit impossible. Several users complain that they cannot get the two pieces of the toilet riser to fit together. While some seem to have been able to assemble the unit with help from a YouTube video, many individuals found putting the two pieces of the riser together impossible.
5. Vaun Commode Booster
Best Portable Handle Unit
About: The Vaun Commode Booster uses a locking mechanism, an anti-slip surface, and push pins to keep the seat firmly in place. Made from anti-bacterial, heavy-duty plastic, it can easily be wiped down and cleaned. The design boasts a front recess area, making it easier to reach and wipe.
- WIDE & COMFORTABLE RAISER - Unique ergonomic design adds 4" of height extension to your toilet seat to make it easier to sit down or get up from the toilet. Our premium elderly assistant toilet seat...
- SECURE & SAFE LIFT - Anti-slip surface, push pins and locking mechanism ensure a secure fit on the toilet bowl rim. Removable padded grab bar handrail handles ensure a comfortable grip and seamless...
- DURABLE & HYGIENIC - Toilet seat riser is ADA compliant and made with heavy-duty molded premium plastic that is germ-resistant and can withstand frequent long lasting use
- LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE - Weighs less than 5 lbs. Easy to store or to travel with for added convenience. Contoured seat is designed with a wider size surface for added comfort, stability and peace of...
- Height: 4”
- Type: Should work with both standard and elongated toilets
- Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
- Seat Weight: 4.5lbs
- Seat Dimensions: 16.5″(D) x 18.5″(W) x 4″(H)
- Width Between Arms: 19″
- Overall Height: 10″
The Vaun Commode Booster is a portable elevated toilet seat featuring a contoured seat design and a wide surface for plenty of support. This unit also offers padded handles that can be removed when not needed.
This elevated toilet seat is made to fit both elongated and round toilets, which makes especially great for travel and when using guest bathrooms or hotel bathrooms. Despite having the option for added handles, this geriatric toilet is still lightweight and easy to transport, weighing in at under 5lbs.
- Contoured seat design with front recess area for additional wiping space
- Lightweight + portable model that still offers padded handles
- Can fit elongated or round toilets
PROS: Customers find this seat very portable and handy for traveling, with nearly all users raving about the ease of assembly and removal.
CONS: A few users found that, depending on the shape of your toilet – specifically, if you do not have an elongated seat – you may end up with a few inches of space in the back, resulting in a not-quite-perfect fit. Despite this, most customers don’t have many complaints with the stability. A few folks also mentioned that it’s not the most comfortable toilet seat if you like to spend long periods of time doing your business. This design also won’t allow you to reattach your toilet seat lid, so you’ll have to be OK not having a lid.
6. PCP Raised Toilet Seat Cushion
Best Raised Padded Toilet Seat
About: The PCP Raised Toilet Seat Cushion is a bit different than the other toilet seat risers on this list, as it’s less of an elevated riser and more of a cushioned padding pad.
- PCP brand elevated toilet seat riser cushion; Lightweight and easily portable, can be quickly interchanged and removed as needed; Place over toilet seat; Foam padding, 2 inch (5 cm) thick, covered...
- Made for convenience and simplicity; Wipes clean easily to maintain hygine; Velcro fastening straps allow for easy attachment to and removal from round or elongated toilet seats
- Provides extra comfort when sitting on the commode and also helps minimize pressure sores; Designed for use with existing toilet seat, no need to remove standard toilet seats; front cut-out allows for...
- Fits most standard toilet and commode seats; Neutral white blends with bathroom fixtures; Highly portable and travel light, can be applied by infirmed, feeble, weak recovering patients with limited...
- Height: 2”
- Type: Standard (Should Work With Round and Elongated)
- Weight Limit: N/A
- Seat Weight: .5 lbs
- Padding Thickness: 2″
- Width / Depth: 12.5″ Width / 15″ Depth
- Left / Right Padding: 4″
- Gap Width: 4″
- Gap Length: 11″
While the height of the padding itself is two inches, because it is made of soft foam, it will sink down. It is primarily intended to provide comfort and slight elevation, rather than truly raising the height of your toilet seat.
It is designed to work with round or elongated toilet seats, and uses velcro straps to connect to the toilet seat. No installation is needed with this 2 inch toilet seat riser, as this padding simply straps to the top of your existing toilet seat. The soft foam padding is especially useful in preventing bedsores for the elderly or infirm.
- Padded toilet seat riser with 2″ of foam for slight toilet lift
- Soft cushioning foam for comfort
- Attaches to existing toilet seat through the use of velcro straps
PROS: Users note that this padded toilet seat cover is very comfortable and great for those who just need a slight lift for their existing toilet seats.
CONS: Because this padded toilet riser is attached to the seat via velcro, it’s not very sturdy or stable and can easily slide around.
7. Toilevator Toilet Riser
Best Base-Rising Toilet Elevator
About: The Toilevator Toilet Riser works very differently than the other toilet risers covered in this guide.
Instead of adding elevation to the top of the toilet’s seat, the Toilevator adds height to your toilet at the bottom base. This makes it a great option for individuals who want to keep their existing toilet seat.
- When life dictates the need for an elevated toilet seat and you want to keep your existing toilet, the Toilevator provides the best alternative. The Toilevator is a spacer that is installed under the...
- The Toilevator provides a comfortable, safe, economical and hygienic alternative for the whole family to the raised toilet seat. The Toilevator includes an installation kit that works with round or...
- Alters nothing but the height of the toilet. Allows the use of a regular toilet seat. No special cleaning or maintenance. Maintains the appearance and stability of your toilet. Removable if necessary.
- Adds 3.5" of height to any standard 14" or 15" high toilet. Measures 23.125" long, 11.25" wide and 3.5" deep. Supports up to 500 lbs. Composed of a PVC composite (resin) material that can be painted...
- Height: 3.5”
- Type: Standard (Should Work With Round and Elongated)
- Weight Limit: 500 lbs
- Seat Weight: N/A
- Dimensions: 23” (length) x 11.25” (width) x 3.5” (depth)
The accompanying installation kit provides all the tools and information needed to install this toilet base riser. The installation is quite a bit more effort than the standard geriatric toilet seat risers, but most handy individuals don’t have much trouble with it.
This high toilet for elderly or disabled individuals is designed to work with both standard and elongated toilets. The structure itself is made of PVC composite material that can easily be painted to match the color of your toilet or bathroom decor.
- Toilet riser that elevates from the toilet base, rather than the seat
- Allows user to keep their existing toilet seat setup
- Designed to work with standard and elongated toilets
- Includes installation kit with required water line extension and other items needed.
PROS: Customers loved the ability to add height to their existing toilet without needing to replace the seat. This is especially handy for individuals who have a custom or specialized toilet seat – or, for example, a bidet.
CONS: While many may prefer the idea of adding a riser to the bottom of the toilet rather than the top, the instillation is a bit more complicated and requires more effort than top seat attachments. Sealant must be removed from the floor and you must attach a water line extension (included with installation kit). Despite this, it seems most even slighty-handy individuals were able to handle the installation without too much issue.
One individual found that this riser didn’t fit with any newer, larger toilets. While the width worked fine, the toilet would hang a few inches on the back or front. However, with older toilet models, this base riser seemed to work fine.
Raised Toilet Seat Attachment Methods
- Toilet Seat Bolts. Generally considered the most secure, this attachment method uses bolts of screws to attach to the back of the toilet bowl. Even with the bolts, assembly usually does not require tools.
- Clamps. Some toilet risers attach to the bowl through cleverly-placed clamps or hand-tightened crank knobs.
- Nesting Fit. Some risers are designed to have a slimmer bottom edge that slides in and fits against the existing toilet bowl.
How to Determine What Toilet Seat Height You Need
It’s important to select a toilet seat riser that matches your existing toilet’s shape in order to function properly.
To decide what height you need:
- Find a chair that allows you to sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor. You can use a shorter chair and add books underneath you if need be.
- Once you’re at a comfortable height, measure the height of the chair from the floor to the top of the seat.
- Next, measure the height of your toilet, from the floor to the top of the seat.
- Subtract the toilet seat height from the height of the chair. The difference between the height is the height you need in a raised toilet seat.
In order to determine the width size of the raised toilet seat that you need, measure the width and depth of your existing toilet seat. These dimensions should match the dimensions of the raised toilet seat you choose.
Choosing a Toilet Seat Shape
Standard toilet seats come in two sizes:
- Round / Standard (roughly 16.5″ long)
- Elongated (roughly 18.5″ long).
Permanent vs Portable Raised Toilet Seat
When considering various types of raised toilet seats, it’s important to take into account whether you need a permanent raised seat, or would prefer a temporary option for mobility-impaired visitors or short-term living.
While none of the toilet options here are completely permanent, screw-installed elevated toilet seats are certainly enough effort to install that they wouldn’t be practical to use just for short-term trips or visitors.
Portable raised seats are better for travel, as they are made of one single form of plastic and can be simply placed right under or on top of an existing toilet seat. Portable raised toilet seats are lightweight to make them easy to transport, and use anti-slip padding to keep them in place, requiring no tools or instillation.
Other Tips for Toilet Seat Risers:
- Steps Can Help. If you find a great toilet seat riser that is a bit too tall, consider adding a step stool that can lift up the user higher. This may not be a great option for every elderly individual, especially those who have balance issues with steps, but otherwise it can be a good method for making a high toilet seat work out.
- Watch Out For Slipping. Sliding and slipping are cited as common complaints with raised toilet seats, so be sure to test out the seat’s stability before committing.
Are Toilet Seat Risers Covered by Medicare?
Most DME (durable medical equipment) items used in the bathroom tend to be considered personal convenience items, and therefore not covered by Medicare.
However, certain DME items are covered in some cases when medically necessary if the member is bed-confined or room-confined.
Toilet Seat Riser Alternatives
- Toilet Frame. A larger unit placed over the existing toilet, with adjustable legs that extend to the floor, providing additional support.
- Toilet Rails. If you don’t require the toilet seat itself to be elevated, but just need some extra assistance getting on and off the toilet, toilet grab rails can function as handles to provide a bit of aid. Depending on the size of your bathroom and the positioning of your fixtures, some bathtub safety rails may be able to double as toilet rails or toilet lift-assist bars.
Have you ever used a toilet seat riser for yourself or for an elderly family member? How did you choose the riser? How did the elevated seat work out? Share your experience in the comments!
Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API