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Commode guide

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Before you buy a commode, consider the points listed below:

  • Check the space available for the commode
  • Consider if you need a static commode or one with wheels
  • A wheeled commode can be used over the toilet or with the pan
  • If you choose a wheeled commode you will need to check the brakes are easily applied by a carer to hold it steady while you transfer
  • Folding commodes are also available
  • Consider the weight of the commode if it needs to be moved
  • Commodes are not designed for use in a shower; you will need a shower commode chair for this purpose
  • Check weight limit on the commode
  • Check the aperture is the right size and shape for your needs; men who sit may need an oval or horseshoe cut out and men and women might need space for access when cleaning themselves when seated
  • Check the height of the commode is right for getting on and off easily and that your feet will be supported on the floor or on footplates when in use to ensure effective emptying of bladder and bowel
  • If the commode has a seat pad/cover, check this can this be removed and replaced easily and securely
  • Check the commode is stable and comfortable. Positioning against a wall may increase stability
  • Check how and where and who will clean the bucket after use and consider if they can reach and remove and replace the pan from the brackets; some commode buckets are removed from the top, the side or the back of the commode
  • Special features such as removable arms and softer seats will be available on some models
  • Commodes are available in metal, plastic and wood or wicker