Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for Best raised toilet seats

Some physical things about us change over time, like our ability to bend, squat, or balance. Other things, like our need to eat, breathe, and eliminate waste, never do. Unfortunately, as humans, our physical limitations sometimes get in the way of our needs. Fortunately, there are assisted living devices that can help a person maintain as much independence as possible, even in the face of a physical problem. One such device is the raised toilet seat.

A raised toilet seat can help seniors and those with other limitations meet their toileting needs independently. Raising a toilet seat prevents the user from having to bend to a level where they may lose their balance or fall.

Like the people who need them, raised toilet seats are not all the same. Different models are designed to help with a variety of challenges and injuries.

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At least 80 percent of falls among senior citizens happen in the bathroom, according to the National Institute on Aging. A raised toilet seat with handles can help guard against balance-related falls.

Key considerations

First of all, make sure the shape of the raised toilet seat you buy matches the shape of your existing toilet bowl and seat. Most toilets have seats that are either rounded or elongated. The raised seat and the existing seat must match in order to give the user maximum stability.


Once you’ve identified the shape you need, you can address the most important safety factor: height. Most raised toilet seats increase toilet height anywhere from two to six inches. A properly sized toilet seat will allow the user’s feet to rest flat on the floor for maximum stability. Additionally, the user’s knees and hips should be at a level height on a properly sized seat.

Shopping online gives you the greatest number of options, but it can make it challenging to select the right height. However, a few quick measurements can eliminate the guesswork. To find the right height, have the user sit in a chair that allows their feet to rest comfortably on the floor and keeps their knees and hips level. Measure the height from the floor to the back of the thigh, behind the knee, where the thigh contacts the seat. Write that number down.

Next, measure the height from the floor to the top of the current toilet seat. Subtract the second number from the first. This number tells you the height your raised seat needs to be.


Raised toilet seats that will primarily be used by women are straightforward, but selecting one for a man requires extra consideration.

Some raised seats have an opening or cutout in the front. This feature makes it less likely that a man will urinate on the seat if he eliminates while standing. If you choose this option, make sure you consider the man’s stability while standing. A grab bar my be another helpful safety addition.

If you are ordering for a man who is not able to stand to urinate, be sure to look for a raised toilet seat with a splash guard to help prevent messes.

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Did you know?
Seats with arms that flip backward can help wheelchair-bound users transfer from chair to toilet more easily.

Raised toilet seat options


Customers without stability problems who just need a little extra height to avoid joint pain may choose a raised seat that does not lock onto the toilet. Besides costing less, they are also easier to remove for cleaning (and when another member of the household uses the toilet). If you choose a non-locking seat, consider purchasing a grab bar or toilet safety rails as well. You should pass on the non-locking seat if mobility or stability are issues, though, because these seats are not securely attached and can move with pressure.

Customers with major balance or stability challenges should choose a seat that locks onto the toilet. These seats are far more stable than seats that do not lock. Cleaning is more of a challenge, however, and it’s not a simple task to remove the seat for another user. Raised toilet seats usually lock at either the front or the back. If you’re purchasing one for a man, look for a toilet with a lock in the back.


You can choose a raised toilet seat with arms or without arms. Arms can help users with minor balance and stability challenges reach and leave the toilet more securely. However, they may give a false sense of security. The arms on a raised toilet seat are not intended to bear significant weight, and if too much pressure is applied, a seat without locks could flip.

If your seat will regularly bear significant weight, it may be better to buy separate toilet rails or grab bars.

Additional choices

  • Bariatric seat: This type of seat is available for customers whose weight exceeds 250 pounds.

  • Padded seat: A padded seat may be more comfortable than a hard plastic seat, especially for people who suffer from bedsores. However, a padded seat is also more challenging to clean.

  • Asymmetrical seat: Some manufacturers make asymmetrical seats for patients recovering from hip replacement or other challenges. If you have a specific concern, ask your doctor whether an asymmetrical seat would help you.

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Expert Tip
Try adding slip-resistant pads to your seat if you want more stability.

Raised toilet seat prices

Since there are raised toilet seats designed for both short-term and long-term use, the price and construction can vary greatly.


The lowest-priced seats usually cost between $15 and $25. Seats in this price range resemble molded plastic rings with few other features. They will not have handles, and they may or may not be designed for standing male urination. Perhaps best for temporary use after surgery, this type of seat does not usually attach to the toilet.


Mid-grade raised toilet seats can be found between $30 and $40. These seats often have handles and may come with options for both standard and elongated toilets. Many attach to the toilet with locks or bolts, but they may not be the easiest to clean. They can be used for short-term or long-term purposes.


The best-raised toilet seats generally cost $50 or more. At this price, seats should come with stable handles for easy lowering and lifting. They should attach directly to the toilet, but they should also offer features that make them easy to remove for cleaning. These toilet seats tend to be more versatile, fitting both standard and elongated toilets well. Customers who invest in this type of toilet seat generally need it for the long term.


  • Check the seller’s return policy before purchasing so you don’t get stuck with a seat that doesn’t work. For sanitary reasons, some manufacturers will not take back seats once they’ve shipped.

  • Many bathrooms are not spacious. Measure carefully before ordering, and consider other fixtures like toilet paper holders or grab bars.

  • If a raised toilet seat doesn’t offer enough stability or support, it may be time to consider a commode. This is a decision that should be discussed with a doctor first.

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If you buy a raised toilet seat with an attached safety frame, take your time getting up. Depending upon the design, the front legs could create a tripping hazard. If possible, consider using grab bars instead.


Q. If I can buy a seat with handles, why should I consider a grab bar?
Seats with handles are good for users who need them to support a minimal to moderate amount of their body weight. However, they’re not the best for people who need greater support. Placing too much force on the handles while sitting down could cause the seat to slide; applying too much force to stand could cause the seat to flip. Either could be disastrous for a user with limited mobility.

Grab bars, in contrast, are not attached to the seat, so applying significant force or pressure won’t affect the position of the seat. If you have balance challenges, it may be safer to pull than push when you need to stand.

Q. How long will I need to use a raised toilet seat after surgery?
Each individual is different, but most doctors recommend using a raised seat for at least six to 10 weeks after knee or hip replacement surgery. It’s especially important to use a raised toilet seat after hip replacement surgery, because bending at the hip — a natural part of seating yourself on a low toilet seat — is prohibited for many weeks after surgery. It’s usually best to keep using a raised seat until your doctor lifts restrictions on certain movements.

Q. What’s the difference between a raised toilet seat and a commode?
A raised toilet seat essentially makes a standard toilet taller for easier use. A commode, or commode chair, is a piece of equipment that holds and hides a chamber pot. Commode chairs are usually recommended for those whose condition has deteriorated to the point where they can’t reach the bathroom. If it’s unclear whether a raised toilet seat or a commode has been recommended, it’s important to double-check with the doctor. Many assistive devices used for toileting are not returnable, and you don’t want to get stuck with something that could put a loved one at risk.

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