What is a Bedside Commode?

Bedside commodes are toilets without running water. Typically, bedside commodes have toilet seats with buckets beneath them. The bucket is removed after use, cleaned and returned to the commode. A bedside commode is an important item to have when a loved one is unable to use a normal bathroom. Bedside Commodes are typically made of materials that are easy to clean and sanitize, they might need to be cleaned several times a day.

How can a Bedside Commode help me?

If you or any of your loved ones are weak on their feet, a portable bedside commode can become very useful. Bedside commodes resemble a chair with a toilet lid and seat. A bedside commode has a suspended bucket underneath the lid which catches the waste. Bedside commodes allow the patient to use a toilet when walking to the bathroom is not possible. There are many styles of bedside commodes available. Choosing the right model requires knowing how & where the commode will be used.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Commode Chair?

The first consideration is to figure out how the commode chair will be used. Will it be used next to a bed to reduce trips to and from the bathroom? Will it be used as transportation to and from the bathroom? Is a taller toilet seat needed to make using the existing bathroom toilet easier? The main factors to consider before choosing the right model are:

Patient Weight: Bedside commodes usually come in two weight categories. Most commodes can support patient weights up to 250 pounds. Commodes are also available with a higher 400 pounds weight capacity for bariatric patients. The higher weight capacity commodes can also be used by patients who have a tendency to "plop" down on furniture.

Commode Placement: Most bedside commodes are used in the bedroom so portability isn't very important. Some commode models also come with attached wheels making them much easier to transport to different rooms. Some models also come with collapsible frames which can be easily stored between uses. Hence, selecting a model that can meet these needs is important.

Patient Accessibility: While most commodes have sturdy arms, there are models available with a drop arm option. A drop arm model is helpful for while transferring a patient between a bed or a wheelchair to the commode.

Other Uses: Certain bedside commode models can also double as shower seats, dressing chairs, or an elevated seat. Think about potential other uses before choosing the commode model.

Types of Bedside Commodes

There are many different types of bedside commodes designed to suit different people with different medical issues. Main types of bedside commodes are:

Bedside commode chair: Commode chairs are stand-alone bedside commodes and are also referred to as basic bedside commode chair.

Drop arm commode: A drop arm commode has armrests that can be folded down. The folding arms are one of the basic styles of stand-alone commode chairs that are quite popular.

Bariatric commode: Bariatric Commodes are designed to support people who weigh over 300 pounds. The increased weight capacity is required for heavyweight adults.

Shower commode chairs: Shower Commode chairs are designed for use in the shower and are constructed from water-resistant materials like plastic and rust-proof metals.

Transfer commodes: Transfer commodes chair have wheels attached to the frame which provide easy transport from the bedroom to the bathroom. Some transfer commode chairs can be wheeled directly over the existing toilet, or shower to function as a shower commode.

Over-the-toilet commodes: over-the-toilet commode chairs are designed to fit over the existing toilet in the bathroom. Many commode chairs feature a removable bucket so the chair can be used as a bedside commode with the bucket, or as an over the toilet commode when the bucket is removed.


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