One of the simplest and most effective home modifications you can make for bathroom safety is installing a raised toilet seat, either a seat that fits right on top of the porcelain toilet bowl and replaces your regular toilet seat or a toiler seat riser that is sandwiched between the bowl and your existing seat to raise it up.
Sitting down and standing up can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Chronic joint pain from arthritis, mobility issues and frailty are just a few of the long-term conditions—recovering from surgery is a short-term one—that can make lowering yourself to any seated position painful. A raised toilet seat means you don’t have to bend as much and will have an easier time standing up again, so you put less strain on knees and hips.
One of the key differences between most raised toilet seats and a toilet seat riser is cosmetic. Between the riser goes under your own seat, you can usually raise and lower the toilet sit lid. Some raised toilet seats are bulky. However the unique design of a hinged elevated toilet seat allows you to lift and lower it just like a regular toilet seat.
When choosing a raised toilet seat or a toilet seat riser, there are many styles and design features to look for, but only a few key questions you must answer:
How much height do you need? This is the primary measurement for choosing a raised toilet seat or toilet seat riser. A product will add between 2” to 6” in height to your toilet. The less bending you want to do, the higher you want the seat to be. The taller you are, the higher the riser you’ll need.
Do you need arm support? If you want the support that arm rails can provide, you can choose between a seat that comes with them or buy a separate toilet seat frame. If you want the arm rails, decide if you need them to be adjustable and with cushioning. If you use a walker, you may not need arm rails.
Do you want to permanently attach the elevated toilet seat for maximum stability? Investigate how the raised toilet seat will be attached to your toilet bowl. Many attach easily—some without any tools—with clamps or bolts. Because a toilet seat riser sits between the bowl and your own toilet seat, it will come with parts that enable you to add it securely, with no worries about it shifting.
Does the seat accommodate your weight? Like other safety products, most regular elevated toilet seats are made for people up to 250 pounds. But bariatric styles are able to support more weight.
Is your bowl round or elongated? Regardless of which product you buy, it must match your toilet bowl.