While it is not something that comes up during a typical conversation, there might be certain times in your life when you may not be able to physically get to a bathroom under your own power. If this ever happens to you or a loved one, you need to learn about bedpans.
The best models should be comfortable, durable and designed so they do not leak or spill. The YUMSUM Heavy-Duty Bedpan is a great example of a model that has these features and more. It is lightweight yet strong enough to support 220 pounds, making it suitable for most individuals.
A bedpan is a portable device that often looks like the top seat of a toilet with a very shallow basin beneath. People who are bedridden often use bedpans to go to the bathroom without leaving their beds. The mobility level of the individual ultimately determines which type of bedpan is best.
If the individual has some mobility but still has trouble getting to the bathroom, a bedside commode is another option. To learn more about these devices, check out the BestReviews buying guide for bedside commodes.
Bedpan: A bedpan is for an individual who is able to move but can’t get to a bathroom. It is best for an individual able to sit up and assume a more natural elimination position. This usually means the caregiver must reposition the individual as well as the bed before the individual can use the bedpan. A bedpan has higher walls than a fracture pan and may be uncomfortable for some individuals to sit on. The deeper basin of a bedpan means it can contain more waste and it is a little less prone to spillage than a fracture pan.
Fracture pan: Individuals who have no mobility, specifically in the hip area, need a fracture pan. This type of bedpan has a low, sloped front so a caregiver can slide it beneath an individual without needing to reposition them; the patient can use it while lying on their back. It features a handle to help with both placement and removal of the pan. The lower sides of a fracture pan make it more comfortable but increase the possibility of splashing or spilling the pan’s contents.
Since a bedpan is a device primarily used by an individual who lacks the mobility needed to get to a bathroom, this can include someone who is pregnant, is disabled or no longer has the strength, balance or mental capacity to get out of bed and walk to a bathroom. Someone experiencing incontinence or who just had surgery could benefit from using a bedpan, whether in the hospital or at home. Individuals who travel and may not have access to a bathroom or may not feel comfortable going into a public restroom might find bedpans handy.
Bedpans are made out of polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride or stainless steel so they are durable yet easy to clean and sanitize. A lightweight plastic bedpan is more affordable than a stainless steel model but not as durable.
Since a bedpan is placed beneath an individual, it must be rated to support that individual’s full weight. Check the weight capacity on your bedpan before purchasing.
There are two sizes on a bedpan: the size of the seat and the size of the opening. A bedpan with a larger seat can provide better support and possibly greater comfort for an individual, while a bedpan with a larger and deeper basin is best for an individual who may be concerned about overfilling their bedpan.
In general, bedpans are not the most comfortable devices on which to sit. For the greatest comfort level, an inflatable bedpan may be the best option. However, these models tend to be smaller and are harder to clean.
A larger seat that overhangs the basin can help prevent spillage. If you can’t immediately clean the bedpan, get a model with a lid; this helps keep odors in as well as prevent spilling.
If you are interested in a plastic bedpan, the price range spans from just under $10 to around $20. Stainless steel bed pans typically cost between $30-$40.
A. No. Bedpans are not gender specific.
A. Even if a bedpan is marketed as being easy to clean, it is not a fun task. A bedpan liner goes inside a bedpan to facilitate cleaning. A bedpan liner has a drawstring and it often also has a super-absorbent gel that can solidify both feces and urine in a matter of seconds. When an individual has finished using a bedpan, you can tighten the drawstring and remove the liner for easy cleanup.
What you need to know: This durable bedpan is a top choice for individuals who want a high-quality, spill-resistant model.
What you’ll love: Made from lightweight materials, this bedpan only weighs a little more than 13 ounces but can support up to 220 pounds. It features smooth, contoured edges and has a wide rim to help prevent spills. It comes apart, making it easy to clean.
What you should consider: This is a two-piece model. There is a small possibility it could leak at the seam if mishandled while it is full.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
What you need to know: This is the best model for an immobile individual.
What you’ll love: The tapered front end of this fracture pan makes it easier to slip it beneath an individual, while the handle makes it easier to position and remove. This model has a plastic guard designed to reduce spills and is made of durable, easy-to-clean plastic.
What you should consider: The intentional shallow design can lead to some spillage if you’re not careful.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
What you need to know: This is a hospital-quality polypropylene bedpan intended for home use.
What you’ll love: Designed to be anti-spill and anti-splash, this bedpan is made with odor-resistant material. The smooth, nonstick surface is easy to clean with household cleaners or it can be boiled or autoclaved. The contoured shape or the seat adds comfort.
What you should consider: While this model works fine, some users did not feel comfortable with its compact size.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.