Portable Toilets For Disabled People – Short Guide and Recommendations

They are toilets outside of bathrooms that can be disassembled and reassembled with relative ease. Usually, there are two types of people who use them: people with injuries or temporary disabilities, until they get back on their feet, and people with long-term conditions.

The toilets generally don’t flush and those who resemble chairs are called commodes. 

The Best Portable Toilets For Disabled People

What are the characteristics of commodes?

Hygiene

Hygienically disposing of the waste is vital for everyone involved. If you are the person who empties the commode bucket, always wear disposable gloves. They protect both you and the user.

Liners are very useful as they make cleaning easier. And speaking of cleaning, it’s important to wash the pail with water, soap, and a scrubber, as well as wiping everything down with an anti-germ product. In addition, some people use an enzyme cleaner, to help with the smells and stains, and some find it helpful to fill the bucket with a little bit of water. It makes the cleaning process go smoother.  

Dimensions 

Since you’re most likely installing it in a bedroom, you have to find a place for it—next to the bed or farther away from it—according to the users’ or the caretakers’ abilities and the configuration of the room.

That’s why it’s useful to know what size the commode is. A bigger seat means more comfort, but it also takes up more space. The height is also critical, you don’t want to buy or build a commode that’s too short or too tall.  

Stability

A very important characteristic of commodes, maybe the most important, is stability. Whether you have (or are) a caretaker, you slide off a wheelchair or bed, or are confused and/or in pain, the commode must stay balanced and secure.

If it stays where it is and doesn’t show signs of falling over then you feel safe and worry is removed making you more confident to use it. That is vital for somebody who is freshly bedridden and anxious about their new situation. 

Time 

Generally, there are two types of commodes when we’re talking about the duration of use: short-term and long term. Short-term commodes may be installed for guests or for short to medium recovery periods.

The causes for needing them are generally surgeries or injuries. Commodes for long term use, however, are usually associated with illness, old age, or a disability. They are more comfortable, have increased stability, and also cost more.

Foldability 

The ability of a commode to fold is extremely important. It may indicate that it’s less stable or for short-term use, but, on the other hand, it’s portable. That means that you can easily take it with you when you’re traveling, is easily relocated to another room, or if you have a disabled friend or family member as a guest, you can install it for the duration of their stay and then store it for future use.

Additionally, it should fit in most modes of transportation.

Here are our recommendations for six portable toilets for disabled people we think you’ll enjoy.


1. Mefeir Folding Commode Chair 

OMECAL Folding Commode Chair for Toilet w/Wheels & Pedal, 350 LBS Weight Capacity, 4 in 1 Multifunctional Portable Heavy Duty Bedside Commode for Elder Disabled People Pregnant Women
Buy on Amazon

It’s a commode with wheels.

Why is it on our list?

Easy to transport. Even though its weight is around 16 lbs, it’s easy to transport somebody in this commode. How come? It’s got wheels.

While it may still be hard to pack it up and take it with you on trips, it becomes useful when you have to transport the user and even the user can easily move with the help of a bar attached along a wall in the bathroom or bedroom. 

Dimensions

This commode’s overall dimensions are 20.08” in width, 17.91” in-depth, and 38.58” in height. The floor to seat height in 7.87” and the seat depth is 16.14”. Its backrest is 16.54” and 7.09” deep. The Mefeir height is between 36.6” and 38.6”.

Pros and Cons

The Mefeir has a frame made out of aluminum alloy. That makes it sturdy but also heavy, presenting strength and a weakness in one. We’ll start with the last: it’s very difficult for a person who can’t move well to find the steadiness necessary to lift it. On the other hand, there are not many situations in which you’d do such a thing.

And don’t worry about the wheels being a hazard when the user, your loved one or you, moves from the bed. Each one has a break, which makes it easy to secure in place. That way, you’ll be safe, but you’ll also have the possibility to move. 

The Mefeir has a hook for toilet paper and a side pocket for books, magazines, hygiene products, or anything else that you may want that is the correct size. It has an ergonomic back and a platform for your feet, which can come in handy when you’re using the commode as a toilet (shorter people aren’t left with their legs dangling) or as a means of transport from room to room.

One more thing about the latter option is that the Mefeir has anti-slip handrails so the caretaker can get a better grip.  

That being said, it still might not be what some of you are looking for. Although it is sturdy, being capable of carrying 350lbs, it’s also mobile and that might turn some of you off. Also, the platform requires a higher additional step, and the disabled person might not be capable of it.   

Final thoughts

It’s a mobile but sturdy commode. 


2. Medline Elements Bedside Commode

Medline Elements Bedside Commode, Infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection, Height Adjustable Seat and Arm Rests, Flat Lid Cover for Discreet Storage, 400lb Weight Capacity
Buy on Amazon

It’s a comfortable commode. 

Why is it on our list?

Style. This commode doesn’t look like what you’d expect. Blending in with the other furniture in the room, the Medline has an overall lid that imitates a chair’s padding and a hidden pail.

For those of you who don’t enjoy seeing a commode yourselves or don’t want your visitors’ to notice it, it’s a great product.

Dimensions

This commode has an overall width of 27.2” and an overall depth of 22.6”. The distance between the arms is 19.6”, with the arms of adjustable height between 7” and 10”.

The backrest may be raised or lowered, between 5.5” and 7.5”. Its seat has a 13” width and 16.25” depth. Seat height is also adjustable between 19.5” and 22.5″. The Medline Elements has got a bucket with the dimensions 10″, 13″, and 6″.  

Pros and Cons

The design of the commode is not reminiscent of a hospital, with bronze accents and pleasant pastels, but that does nothing to deter its function. In fact, it’s clearly meant for long-term users.

It can support weights of 400 lbs, its arms and backrests are adjustable, as is the overall height. This is where it’s got a bit of an issue—it’s not meant for a short person to use, at the lowest setting of 19.5”. It can be assembled easily, without additional materials, but that can still cause problems. 

The Medline Elements has antimicrobial protection built-in. While that doesn’t mean that you’re safe from germs, viruses, or bacteria, but it helps in other ways. It keeps the smells and stains at bay, as well as mold or mildew, and keeps the commode cleaner for a longer time. What also helps in this area is that the plastic it’s made from is very easy to wipe off. 

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t disadvantages too. They’re pretty serious, actually. Between the discrete design and the metal frame, it may eventually rust or have issues with hard to reach places making cleaning difficult. 

Final thoughts

It’s a comfortable and discreet commode. 


3. Drive Medical Steel Folding Bedside Commode

Drive Medical 11148-1 Steel Folding Bedside Commode, Grey, Bariatric
Buy on Amazon

It’s a light commode. 

Why is it on our list?

Foldable. All the commodes on the list are portable because they are toilets that you can install in any room and can be disassembled and reassembled with relative ease. And this is why the Drive Medical common is special—it doesn’t come apart, it folds. At 13lbs, it’s light too, making it perfect for transport. 

Dimensions

The commode’s seat has a width of 13” and a depth of 15”. It comes with a pail of 7.5 qt and also has an adjustable height between 16.5” and 22.5”. Additionally, there are 18” inside the arms.  

Pros and Cons

The Drive Medical can carry a weight of around 350lbs, but you should know that it doesn’t have adjustable or drop-in arms. That means all this commode will allow in width is the space between its arms or 18”. It won’t fit heavier people, but the people that can fit will do so safely. 

It’s got a powdered steel frame, which is welded, and a plastic lid. The lid is very important as it helps stop the smells for spreading. What’s more, it’s got an adjustable height and it’s suited for shorter people too, with the lowest setting at 16.5”. 

Drive Medical’s price is yet another point in its favor. At around $35, it’s a budget-friendly option for all of you who want to see if a commode is the right fit. If you do try it out and you like it, the commode is perfectly good as is, especially if you’re all right with its’ limitations. 

The disadvantage that the Drive Medical presents is its stability and for a short-term commode, as we mentioned above, that’s to be expected. Being light and easy to travel doesn’t render well to dependable seating, but it isn’t a tipping-hazard either. It’s just not as stable as others on our list, but it does meet other requirements.

Final thoughts

It’s a light and practical solution for traveling.


4. NOVA Heavy Duty Bedside Commode Chair with Drop-Arm

NOVA Medical 500 lb. Weight Capacity Heavy Duty Bedside Commode Chair with Drop-Arm (for Easy Transfer), Extra Wide Seat & Bariatric Commode Chair, Grey
Buy on Amazon

It’s a commode made with stability in mind.

Why is it on our list?

Sturdy. The Nova Heavy Duty commode can carry a weight of about 500lbs. It can easily accommodate heavier people or simply offer peace of mind. The commode wider base, at 30”, and weight, at 18.1 lbs, offers stability and makes it easy to slide onto it off a wheelchair or bed. 

Dimensions

This commode’s seat has 23.25” in width and 18.79” in-depth, with its height varying between 19.75” and 23.75”. Its toilet opening is 8.25” wide and 10.25” deep. The overall size is 30” in width and 22” in depth. It comes with a bucket measuring 11.5″ in width, 12″ in depth, 6” in height.

Pros and Cons

The Nova Heavy Duty is easily put together. It comes mostly assembled and you only have to snap in place a few parts. That being said, that you have to do anything is a disadvantage over a folding version. 

One other feature that is an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others is that the seat isn’t padded. That’s good for those who want to clean it easier and bad for those who want comfort. The arms have the same hard plastic on them and they use a lever to drop. It seems the Nova Heavy Duty was built more as an accident-proof aid then a cozy one. 

The extra-wide chair, however, makes sitting on it very comfortable. You can move around or scoot closer or father without fear of falling off. The same can be said for its use as a safety frame, its innovative design is specifically made for balance. 

Final thoughts

The Nova Heavy Duty is a sturdy, stable commode that you can clean easily.


5. Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode

Medline Heavy Duty Padded Drop-Arm Commode
Buy on Amazon

It’s a stable and comfortable commode.

Why is it on our list?

Long-term use.  The Medline Heavy Duty is made with long-term use in mind. It’s got a padded seat and arms for comfort and a removable back to accommodate being installed over the bathroom toilet as a safety frame. You shouldn’t worry about stability either, the commode is sturdy. 

Dimensions

The commode has an adjustable seat, ranging in height from 20”-25”. Its seat depth is between 18” and 21”. The width between the arms is 18.5”, with the overall width being 22”.

Pros and Cons

We mentioned above that the commode was sturdy; we’ll get into more details now. To help you feel safe on it, for example, it has foam arm pads that won’t slip even if they or your hands are wet. 

It can carry weights of around 350lbs, itself weighing about 17lbs. Yes, that means it’s heavy. It helps the stability if it has some heft to it. On the other hand, it can be too much for you to lift alone. 

The Medline Heavy Duty has drop-arms which make it easier to side slide or to accommodate larger people. It’s also a tall commode, with a maximum height of around 25”.

The legs are adjustable, however, and can go as low as 20”. There is another disadvantage you should be aware of, though, when it’s set at maximum height, the splash guard barely reaches the toilet or doesn’t reach it at all (depending on the height of your facilities).  

Another point against the Medline Heavy Duty is that it needs to be assembled. Installing it isn’t such a problem because it’s intuitive and pretty easy to accomplish, but depending on your disability you may struggle a bit or not be able to it at all. Just in case, you should have another person there to lend a hand.  

Final thoughts

The Medline Heavy Duty is a customizable, sturdy commode that’s perfect for long-term use.


6. Qube Porta Potti Thetford 165, 365, 465 with Frame

Thetford Porta Porti Qube 345 92813 Camping Toilet
Buy on Amazon

It’s an ingenious solution.

Why is it on our list?

It flushes. This Porta Potti is a portable toilet for those abled-bodied that has an added frame. Similar to other such models, it flushes, which is a great deal of work that doesn’t need to be done anymore. Disabled or injured people can use it by holding on to the frame. 

Dimensions

The frame is 21.5” in width, 19.6” in-depth, and ranging in height from 32.5” to 38.5”.  Its platform height is ranging from about 2” to 8”. The seat height (Porta Potti plus platform) is between 18.25” and 24.25”. 

Pros and Cons

The portable toilet can carry a weight of about 350lbs. Its frame is made out of steel and coated with plastic. The Thetford’s weight is about 12.5 lbs, and it has two tanks: a waste tank that is 5.54 gal and a water tank that is 4 gal.

As such, Thetford allows multiple uses before it requires emptying and cleaning but when it does, it’s going to be a little heavier. 

The Thetford wasn’t built with disabled people in mind, however. That’s the primary disadvantage. The seat’s comfortability proves it as does the frame. It gets shaky and you can’t slide on easily. However, it might fit your needs better. 

Final thoughts

The Porta Potti Thetford with frame offers an innovative solution.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my bathroom accessible for people with disabilities?

First, you need to think about what sort of disabilities you’re going to be accommodating. Generally, movement issues (caused by age, injury, or illnesses) are the ones that push us towards making a change. 

That means grab bars, non-slip floors, sensor lights, making the shower roomier by giving it a square shape (with a bench, if needed), lowering the sink or installing a wall-sink, and lifting the toilet. 

How much does it cost to make my bathroom accessible?

It can be as low as around $200, by installing bars, or as much as around $10,000 if you’re going to put in place all the options. 

What’s one vital device for people with aren’t able to move?

An intercom and a panic button. They help communication between those disabled and the caretaker(s). It can be as simple as the commode needs cleaning out, or something more severe, the person is not feeling well or is in pain, or even more serious, the user managed to fall while trying to get to the commode.

Yes, phones can be a treasure and can mostly replace an intercom, but it can be anyone calling while only the disabled person is using the intercom. And the panic button is something small that can very easily be kept in a pajama or nightgown pocket. It works on the same principle, when the caretaker hears it they know what it means. 

Can I make my bathroom accessible by myself?

It depends on how handy you are, but we don’t recommend it. You need an electrician, a plumber, and a carpenter for the types of modifications that can be made. If, however, you only want to install bars, then you could give it a shot, as long as you use the right tools and are careful not to burst any pipes.

Be sure that’s something you are prepared for, however, you wouldn’t want end up paying more to fix what you attempted instead of simply letting a professional handle it. 

Can I DYI a commode? 

You could. A commode is basically a raised or attached bucket and a chair with a hole in it. Is it worth it? Possibly. There are budget-friendly options out there, but maybe they aren’t cheap enough or they cost too much to ship in your area. Maybe they don’t ship where you live and you don’t have any stores that carry commodes nearby.

Then, yes, of course. You could also make the pail a portable toilet that flushes, raised on something stable to reach seat height, a sturdy frame, with an optional (though more comfortable) seating and a lid. That’s a way to make it worth spending the time and money.