One of the biggest challenges for patients with limited mobility is getting up to use the bathroom. Those who suffer with urinary tract or gastrointestinal issues may also have issues getting to the bathroom in time in the middle of the night.
A commode chair can help patients maintain independence and dignity without compromising on sanitation.
top 3 Bedside Commodes
|Model||Weight Capacity||Weight||More Information|
|Drive Medical Commode||up to 350 pounds||13.6 pounds|
|Invacare Commode||up to 350 pounds||14 pounds|
|Nova Medical Commode||up to 300 pounds||11 pounds|
What is a Commode Chair Used For?
A commode chair is a portable toilet that does not use running water. Commodes can be placed right next to the bed for easy access when needed.
Just like a regular toilet, commodes have seats and a bucket, which collects the waste. Most also have handles or rails that make it easier to stand up and sit down.
The waste can be emptied from the bucket.
Because these are portable toilets, they can be used wherever they are needed, whether that’s a bathroom, bedroom, shower or anywhere where there is enough room to place one.
How Do You Clean a Commode?
Commodes can be emptied, cleaned and sanitized to maintain a sanitary environment. The cleaning process is simple and straightforward, but there are certain techniques and products you can use to deal with odors and make the process as simple as possible.
Commode liners are available through most medical supply stores, which are placed inside of the bucket for easy waste disposal.
The advantage of using liners is that they eliminate the issue of smells embedding in the plastic of most buckets. The liners also make it easy to remove solid waste.
Some liners are constructed with gelling agents that actually turn solid waste into liquid and neutralize odors. Most are also biodegradable, so they have minimal impact on the environment.
Conventional Commode Cleaning
If liners are not an option, caregivers will have to clean the commode the old fashioned way. When in use, commodes should be cleaned daily and/or when soiled.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Plastic apron
- Detergent wipes
- Diluted bleach
- Disposable cloths
Start by using detergent wipes to clean the commode. Start at the bottom legs, then clean the following parts in the following order:
- Toilet seat
- Toilet bucket
After using the detergent wipes, go through the same cleaning process again with a disposable cloth and diluted bleach.
Cleaning in this order will help prevent the spread of infection.
When you’re done, dispose of the wipes and cloths. Next, remove your gloves, then your apron, and then wash your hands.
How to Use a Bedside Commode
A bedside toilet is simple to use, but caregivers will need to provide assistance to ensure that the patient is safe and clean after each use.
Make sure you have the following supplies on hand at all times to be ready for each use:
- Toilet paper or wipes
- Disposable gloves
- Container with warm water
Now, prepare to help the patient use the commode.
- Lock the commode’s wheels (if applicable).
- Check to make sure the bucket is under the seat.
- Place a small amount of the warm water in the bucket before use. If using liners, make sure the bucket is outfitted with the liner.
- Assist the patient in getting out of bed and safely onto the commode.
Depending on the patient’s condition, you may have to wait until the patient is finished. You may also give the patient a bell to ring to let you know when he or she is finished.
When the patient is finished:
- Put on a pair of disposable gloves.
- Assist the patient in standing up.
- Use the wipes, toilet paper or soap and water to help the patient clean their bottom and genital area.
- Use the towel to dry these areas.
- Assist the patient in washing and drying his or her hands.
- Assist the patient back into the bed.
- Remove the container, and empty its contents into the toilet. If using liners, the liner may stay in place or be disposed of in the trash.
- Follow the steps in the previous section to clean the bucket.
The Best Commode Chair – Our Top 3 Picks
There are many different types of commodes on the market today, but some are easier than others to use and clean.
The following models are our top three picks for the best bedside commodes.
1. Drive Medical Steel Folding Commode
This model folds up easily for storage or for on-the-go use. It’s highly durable, too, with a powder coated steel construction.
The seat and lid is made of durable plastic and snaps on for easy installation. There’s no button pushing involved when installing or removing the seat.
This portable commode comes with a 7.5-quart bucket that has a carry handle for easy emptying. It also has a splash and cover shield to keep surfaces as clean and sanitary as possible.
- Weight capacity: 350-pounds
- Seat Depth: 15″
- Seat Width: 13.5″
- Weight: 17.9 pounds
- Easily transportable
- Has a high weight capacity
- Highly durable
- Splash guard keeps surfaces clean
- Bars make it easy to get on and off
- Smaller than expected
The only complaint with this commode is that it’s a little on the small side. For taller or heavier individuals, this model may be more difficult to use.
With that said, Drive Medical’s folding commode is highly durable and easy to transport when needed.
2. Invacare Three In One Commode
The backrest can be removed so that it can be used with a conventional toilet.
The frame makes it easy to get on and off with minimal effort, and the angled legs add stability for a more comfortable experience.
The rubber tips are non-marring, so they won’t damage or scuff your floors. It also offers an adjustable height, so you can accommodate users of different sizes.
- Height Adjustment: Handles – up to 29.5″; Seat – up to 22.5″
- Toilet Seat Dimensions: Exterior – 13-3/4″ x 16-1/2″; Interior – 8-1/2″ x 10-1/4″
- Weight Capacity: 250-pounds
- Snap-on seat is easy to remove and install
- Wider interior opening keeps surfaces cleaner
- Can be used in a variety of ways for bathroom assistance
- Lower weight capacity
The Invacare commode has a lower maximum weight capacity, which may be a concern for heavier users.
Aside from this issue, this model is well-made, easy to use and versatile.
3. NOVA Medical Bedside Commode Chair
This chair folds and unfolds in seconds. It also comes with a splash guard, bucket and lid for a complete setup.
Assembly is a breeze – no tools are required.
The NOVA can be used as a stand-alone commode, or it can be placed on top of an existing toilet seat.
The seat height is also adjustable for comfortable use every time.
- Adjustable Height: 15.5″-21.5″
- Width Between Arms: 18″
- Bucket Volume: 7.5-quarts
- Overall Width: 22″
- Weight Capacity: 300-pounds
- High weight capacity
- Folds up for easy storage and transport
- Generous amount of space between arms
The NOVA Medical comes at a higher price, but this chair is more comfortable and durable than many other models on the market.
Tim is a professional caregiver who has helped hundreds of seniors gain back their freedom and independence. He has been actively helping the senior community for 20+ years.