Welcome to my article all about the best commodes available on the market today!
I love talking about commodes because, whilst they’re not the most glamorous of objects, they can make such a massive difference to an elderly person’s quality of life.
Before I get into the detailed reviews of my favourite commodes, I want to talk a bit about what a commode actually is, and the numerous ways it can help an individual. Let’s dive in.
What Is A Commode?
A commode is a kind of chair that has a container or pot attached to the seat of it to allow it to be used like a toilet.
Another good way to describe it is that it’s essentially a portable toilet.
They can come in a variety of different forms, from a simple stool with a chamber pot right up to a proper high-back chair that has a concealed pot underneath a cushioned seat.
Some are designed to look like normal furniture, and others are designed with wheels and a plastic seat to be used in the shower.
Who Should Use A Commode?
Anyone who has difficulty walking to the toilet safely should consider using a commode.
This can range from the elderly, to people with limited mobility, to people who are recovering from surgery, and anyone else who struggles to make it to the toilet.
Commodes are also an excellent way to facilitate shower-toilet transfers, and I’ll discuss this a bit more under the benefits section below.
Benefits Of Using A Commode
As an aged care worker, I have years of experience assisting numerous clients with their commodes.
I’ve helped clients onto a commode, helped them after using the commode, helped clean their commodes, and used different types of commodes as a mobility aid as well.
Whilst they’re not the most glamorous item in your home, I can truly say they make a massive difference in the user’s hygiene, independence and quality of life.
And they made my life as a carer a bit easier as well!
Here are the ways I’ve seen a commode benefit it’s user:
A major factor in toileting is getting to the bathroom safely.
For the elderly and mobility impaired, this small task that most of us take for granted can become a big issue.
Having a commode on hand dramatically reduces the distance the user would otherwise need to walk in order to get to the bathroom, which in turn reduces their risk of falling and injuring themselves.
Particularly at night when the user might be sleepy or disorientated, having a commode right next to their bed not only stops them from risking a fall on the way to the bathroom, but can also prevent accidents in bed.
Many people who struggle getting to the bathroom quickly may wear incontinence pads in case of accidents.
While this is a perfectly good solution, and one I’ve seen most elderly people adopt sooner or later, having a used incontinence pad next to your skin for prolonged periods of time can cause irritation, sores and rashes.
This is the worst at night, when the user might not be able to change their incontinence pad for at least 8 to 10 hours.
Using a commode in conjunction with incontinence pads is an excellent solution for this in that it allows the user to go to the toilet as much as possible, and keeps the incontinence pad as a back-up only.
This greatly improves the user’s personal hygiene, and in turn their physical and mental health as well.
Not only this, but if the user doesn’t need to wear incontinence pads all the time but still has the occasional accident, a commode will help prevent dirty trousers or any extra laundry that might occur otherwise as well!
As mentioned above, going to the bathroom whenever needed is something that most of us take for granted.
However, for someone with limited mobility, getting to the bathroom in time can be an arduous and often dangerous task.
Requiring help with one of life’s most basic needs can make someone feel depressed and isolated.
A commode gives the user back their independence, allowing them to use the toilet whenever required while maintaining their dignity and autonomy.
This can have a tremendous effect on their mental health and overall wellbeing.
Not only that, but getting a carer or family member to help when toileting can be expensive, and time consuming for the family.
A commode can alleviate some of this dependence, which in turn can help save money and time.
Transfers To And From The Commode
This final benefit of a commode is a big one that I think a lot of people forget about. I’ve included it because, as an aged care worker, I’ve seen first hand how useful this can be.
If you or your loved one is really struggling to shower or toilet themselves safely, or move around the bathroom independently, then a shower commode with wheels can be a real asset.
For a safe and stress-free toilet and shower, place your loved one on the commode and put it over the toilet (pants off in this case!)
They can then use the toilet like usual with no mess or clean up required.
Then you can simply wheel them into the shower, where the commode transforms into a shower chair.
Here they can shower properly without the risk of slipping and falling.
Once finished in the bathroom, they can then be wheeled to wherever they need to be and can easily transfer out of the commode.
This sequence does a number of things:
- It removes the need to transfer from the toilet to the shower, and from the shower to the next sitting place, which in turn reduces the risk of a fall.
- It prevents a clean up of a chamber pot or incontinence pad as the user can simply go in the toilet.
- It allows for easy transfers from the commode to the next sitting place as the commode can be wheeled right up to wherever they need to be.
- It removes the need to purchase a separate shower chair as the commode becomes a shower chair itself.
- It reduces the need for a wheelchair or extra mobility aid as the commode becomes the mobility aid itself.
- Finally, the commode is designed to be under the shower, so there’s no issues with it becoming wet, and it’s also super easy to clean!
I hope that this has given you an idea of just how beneficial and advantageous a commode can be!
With that said, let’s now take a look at the different kinds of commodes out there.
Different Kinds of Commodes
A shower commode is a commode specifically designed to be used in the shower. It typically comes with wheels and can be placed over a toilet. It’s also completely water resistant and easy to clean. I speak a lot more about the benefits of using a shower commode above!
A Bariatric commode is one designed to accommodate heavier users. They typically have a higher weight threshold and are built with more stability.
A bedside commode is one that is typically used at night in the bedroom. They are usually designed a bit more discreetly and may look like a normal arm chair, with a chamber pot hidden beneath the seat.
A folding commode is one that does just that – fold or collapse into a smaller size. They are great for storing or travel. They are typically less solid than their non-folding counterparts to make them more lightweight and portable, but this usually isn’t an issue if the user is within an average weight range.
Now let’s get into my top 5 commodes on the market today!
The Best Commodes Are:
- Kmina Pro Self Propelled Commode (Best for high mobility needs)
- NRS Healthcare Traditional Commode (Most discreet)
- Avantia Portable Commode Chair (Best no-frills and most portable)
- Etac Swift Commode (Best combination of simplicity and functionality)
- Elite Care Wheeled Commode (Best value for money)
Here’s a comparison table so you can see how these commodes shape up side by side
Commode Comparison Table
If you’re on mobile, scroll across the table with your finger!
|Kmina Pro Self Propelled Commode
|NRS Healthcare Traditional Commode
|Avantia Portable Commode
|Etac Swift Commode
|Elite Care Wheeled Commode
|Max User Weight
|Aluminium, Low Density Polyurethane
|Steel, Unknown Seat Material
|View Best Price
|View Best Price
|View Best Price
|View Best Price
|View Best Price
Reviews of the Top 5 Commodes
Let’s get into the good stuff. Here are my detailed reviews and opinions of each of the top 5 commodes available on the market today.
Kmina Pro Self Propelled Commode
I feel like the Kmina Pro Self Propelled Commode is incredibly unique, in that it’s a hybrid between a self propelled wheelchair, a shower seat and a commode.
I can’t say that I see many of these on the market, which is surprising because I think it’s such a fantastic product.
If you’re someone who has moderate to sever mobility restrictions and requires mobility aids as well as a commode, this could be the perfect option for you.
Instead of purchasing a wheelchair, a commode and a shower seat individually, the Kmina Pro would allow you to have all three in one, saving you money and storage space.
It would also afford you more mobility and less stress as you won’t have to transfer between all three aids throughout the day.
The option to also use the commode over the toilet is an excellent feature that can greatly enhance your personal hygiene and comfort.
Despite the Kmina Pro being the most expensive model listed in this article, if you’re in need of the extra support, I think it’s actually a very affordable and wise investment!
NRS Healthcare Traditional Commode
I don’t think anyone can deny that the NRS Healthcare Traditional Commode is as aesthetically pleasing as a commode can be.
Simple, classic, and most of all, discreet, it’s perfect to have in any room of the house in case it’s required.
I think this commode is most suited for users who need it occasionally, or who want it on hand in the bedroom in case it’s required at night.
It’s got a relatively low user weight limit so be sure to double check that if you’re thinking of purchasing.
Otherwise, I think this is a great, simple, affordable commode that gets the job done!
Avantia Portable Steel Commode
If you’re after a commode that is portable, lightweight and adaptable to different needs, then I think this model by Avantia could be perfect for you.
Even though it looks simple, it’s actually highly adjustable and can be disassembled easily.
It’s also super light weight, and doesn’t come with any unnecessary features that would make it heavier or more bulky.
As such, it’s super easy to store away in a cupboard or throw in the boot of your car.
Despite it’s simple design, this commode also has a high user weight limit and is particularly sturdy, making it suitable for heavier users.
I also really love that it can double as a toilet frame or raised toilet seat. I think this is such a valuable feature as it means the product can adapt to the user’s needs as they change from moment to moment.
It also means you don’t need to buy a toilet frame or raised toilet seat separately, saving you money and space!
The one drawback is that this commode’s metal frame constitutes it’s backrest and arm rests, so it might not be comfortable to sit in for prolonged periods of time. This is something to consider if the user requires extra support in these areas.
But, if the backrest and arm rests don’t bother you, then I really think the Avantia portable commode is an excellent buy for those who want a commode that is simple and easy to use, but also has flexibility and can adjust to suit their specific needs.
Etac Swift Commode
I love the Etac Swift Commode for those who are looking for a simple, lightweight commode that still offers good comfort and support.
Unlike the Avantia model above which has a stripped-back design, the Etac Swift features a padded backrest, arm rests and a padded seat, making it more suitable for those who want to use their commode as a chair as well.
Despite these added features, the Etac Swift is still almost as lightweight as the Avantia.
I also really love how this commode comes with a slight tilt on the seat to help the user stand up.
I think the combination of the extra support and the seat tilt make this product much better suited to those who have limited mobility, but still want something simple and lightweight.
Plus, it can also act as a shower seat, making it doubly useful if you require support in the shower as well!
Elite Care Wheeled Commode
Elite Care are one of my favourite mobility aid brands, and their Wheeled Commode is another product of theirs that I love.
I think it’s the perfect commode for those who need a high level of support, but don’t want something too bulky or heavy.
It’s padded arm rests, backrest, seat and foot rests all mean that the user will be comfortable and secure in the commode at all times.
In addition, the wheels allow the user to be easily transported around the house without having to transfer to another mobility aid.
This commode also fits over the toilet, reducing the need for clean ups and providing a hygienic solution for the user.
Incredibly, this commode is also the most affordable of all the commodes I’ve mentioned in this article. Considering how many features it has and how durable it’s construction is, I think this is excellent value for money.
The one thing to note is that this is not a self propelled commode, so the user will need someone to assist them if they want to be transported to different areas of the home via the commode.
However, if assistance isn’t an issue and you’re looking for an incredibly affordable commode that still provides comfort, stability and mobility, I think the Elite Care model is definitely the one for you.
What To Consider When Purchasing A Commode
Type of Commode
Consider how you think you’ll use your commode the most – by the bed, in the shower etc – and choose a model appropriately.
I talk a lot more about the different kinds of commodes available earlier on in this article.
Ensure the commode you select is the right size for the space you’re likely to use it in. If you plan on storing your commode away when not in use, check that it can fit in this space or consider a foldable option.
If you think you’ll be using your commode over the toilet and in the shower, consider how big your shower, bathroom and toilet area are, and ensure you select a commode that can move around easily in this space.
In the past I’ve even seen elderly people renovate their bathroom in order to make moving around in the space more easy. This is a drastic step, but one I still mention if you think you’ll be using a shower commode for a long time, and your bathroom is too small or has little steps or levels that can impede the movement of a commode.
Consider the weight limit of the commode and how heavy the user is. It’s important to select a commode that can easily accommodate the weight of the user to ensure they are safe and secure while using the commode.
Some commodes come with arm rests, back rests and cushioning to make using them more comfortable. These are all features you should consider when selecting the right one for you.
It’s really important that the commode isn’t too tall for the user, to ensure they can transfer on and off it safely and easily. Always check the height of the commode before purchasing, and ideally select one that is height adjustable.
Other features like adjustable arm rests and back rests may also help to increase comfort and stability when using the commode.
Most commodes are designed to be very easy to empty and clean. Consider if you want a commode with a chamber pot attached as this will require more cleaning than a shower commode with no chamber pot.
Best Commodes – Conclusion
As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of commodes for people with limited mobility.
I think they make such a difference in the quality of life of those who use them, and even though they’re not glamorous, they’re definitely worth investing in.
There are lots of commodes on the market as I’ve shown. I hope this article has helped you pinpoint the right one for you or your loved one’s needs.