Unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with arthritis, weak muscles or poor balance, sitting and standing up from the Ivory throne can become a bit of an issue.
And while it’s often necessary, it’s probably safe to say that neither you nor your elderly parents really want you to help them off the toilet.
Luckily for seniors (and those helping them), mankind’s collective genius has pretty much thought up of everything needed to avoid such embarrassments.
In this case, it comes in the form of toilet seat risers. Who would have thought such a simple invention could make such a difference in one’s life?
What is a Toilet Seat Riser?
Toilet seat risers are probably exactly what you’re picturing as you read this. Designed to be a toilet seat adapter for elderly, they basically act as an elevated toilet seat that reduces the distance needed to sit down. This helps to alleviate strain on your knees, as they won’t have to go past 90°.
While most standard toilet seats are about 16.5” long, modern designs are often 18.5” and have an oblong shape. If this is the case, you’ll likely need an elongated toilet seat riser, which is usually indicated in the product title or description. I’ll be sure to cover that here.
You can also get a toilet seat riser with arms, which provides leverage and makes it considerably easier to stand up. If you opt for this style, make sure to find one that has removable arms, as they aren’t always one-size-fits-all.
Recommended Toilet Seat Risers
Drive Medical Elevated Toilet Seat Riser with Arms
Update: This section originally discussed the Vive Toilet Seat Riser, but we discovered that Drive Medical offers an identical product at half the price.
The Drive Medical toilet seat riser provides an extra 5 inches of height, which is about the tallest you’ll find before you start getting into seats with stand-alone frames (like the one discussed below by PCP).
What’s nice about this elevated toilet seat is that it fits both standard and elongated toilets. All you need to do is place it on top of the preexisting seat and screw the adjustment nob at the front until it’s secure. No tools required!
The seat also comes with removable handles, which makes getting up from the toilet significantly easier. The fact that they’re removable is ideal as they’re about 20” apart when installed, which could possibly prevent larger individuals from sitting down.
One potential issue is the size of the hole in the middle. At 9 inches long, some men might find that there’s not exactly enough room for “everything” to fit while seated. There’s only been a handful of buyer complaints regarding this though.
Drive Medical Wide Toilet Seat Riser with Removable Arms
If you require something that’s a bit more “spacious”, Drive Medical also offers a wider alternative. This toilet seat riser is built for standard seat sizes, so if you have an elongated toilet, this product won’t work properly.
The center of this elevated seat is 9.75” wide by 11.25” long, providing a comfortable amount of space to sit. At 3.5” tall, it doesn’t provide quite as much height as the riser discussed above, but will still help to reduce strain on your knees. In fact, I’d probably suggest finding a seat around this height if you’re looking to purchase it for someone under 5’5”. The taller seats might cause their feet to lift off the ground when seated.
The main difference between these two risers is that this one is more of a permanent solution. While the one above simply locks into place with a screw-latch system, this riser uses your toilet’s preexisting screw holes to bolt it into place.
This results in two things: a more secure installation and the ability to use your existing toilet seat and lid on top of the riser. Not only do you get to keep using the same seat you’ve grown accustomed to, but being able to close the lid is probably something most of us take for granted.
As with the other Drive Medical toilet seat riser, this one also includes removable handles that are padded for comfort. These attach to the bottom, which seem to provide a bit more stability.
Maddak Tall-Ette Elevated Toilet Seat with Frame
This seat is quite different than the other suggestions made here, but it’s definitely one that should be considered.
Whereas traditional toilet seat risers are typically secured directly to your toilet, this seat includes a stand-alone frame.
There a number of benefits to this type of design.
First, it provides a considerable amount of stability. The legs extend past the edges of the seat to ensure no rocking occurs, even when leaning to one side. This particular seat also includes a bracket that slides under the lip of the bowl, adding additional stability.
It also allows you to dictate how high you want the seat to be. If you’re purchasing an elevated toilet seat for someone that isn’t that tall, this feature will come in handy as you’ll be able to adjust the height to keep their feet on the floor while seated. Likewise, if they are tall, this safety frame can extend 23″. Thats about 8″ higher than most toilets, and 3″ taller than the biggest toilet seat riser on the market.
If you or your parents would prefer having something a little more discreet, you’ll definitely want to check this product out. Appropriately named the “Toilevator”, this device is more of a toilet raiser that a seat raiser.
Instead of sitting on top of your toilet, the Toilevator is designed to be installed underneath, effectively raising the entire toilet 3.5 inches off the ground.
Now, this is obviously more of a permanent solution, but you really can’t find anything more discreet. It also doesn’t require any additional cleaning like the top-mounted toilet seat risers, as there aren’t any gaps or crevasses for stuff to get trapped inside of.
If support handles are still necessary, you can always pick up a set of these toilet safety rails by Medline. They simply attach to where your seat is bolted on and are height adjustable to ensure they fit, even with the Toilevator installed.