Using the toilet can be a trial for someone who has a disability. The toilet may be too low or too high. It could have a small round bowl that’s not easy to sit on if you have balance issues. If you have someone in your house who uses a wheelchair, has mobility issues, or is getting older, changing our your old commode for the best handicap toilet is a necessity.
Let’s look at what you need to consider when selecting a handicap toilet.
How to Select the Best Handicap Toilet
The good news is that you can find a wide assortment of handicap toilets on the market. Narrowing down the options can be a challenge. Here are some key criteria you should consider when selecting a handicap toilet.
Toilet height is one of the first things to consider when selecting a handicap toilet. The user’s height and particular circumstances must be considered when selecting the toilet height.
A standard toilet usually measures about 15 inches from floor to the top of the toilet seat. A comfort height toilet, sometimes referred to as an ADA-compliant toilet, measures between 17 and 19 inches from the floor to the top of the toilet seat. The higher seating height makes it easier for the elderly and the disabled to stand up after using the commode.
For users who are in wheelchairs, the height of the toilet is critical. If it’s too high, it will be hard to get seated. If it’s too low, it will be hard to get back to the wheelchair with minimal effort. The height of the toilet should be close to the seat height on the wheelchair.
Another consideration in your toilet choice is the amount of weight the toilet can handle. Floor-mounted models normally have a greater capacity than wall-mounted models. However, both styles have a wide range of capacities depending on brand and model.
Some floor-mounted toilets can handle up to 1000 pounds, though most models top out between 400 and 500 pounds. Wall-mounted toilets can usually handle between 350 and 500 pounds, though some commercial models can carry up to 1000 pounds.
It’s best to consult the manufacturer before making a purchase.
Many people with disabilities use walkers or wheelchairs to get around. Getting into the bathroom with such a device can be difficult. The size and mounting method for the toilet makes a big difference in how much floor space is available.
Toilets that are wall-mounted take up far less floor space than their floor-mounted counterparts. The tank gets installed in the wall, while the bowl hangs off the wall. Because the tank is in the wall, the bowl sits much closer to the wall, maximizing floor space.
Location/Type of Controls
How do you flush the toilet? Many toilets have a lever on one side of the tank. Newer models may have a button on top of the tank. Wall-mounted toilets often have the controls on the wall above the toilet. The location and type of flush controls are important when a user has a disability or limited mobility.
Consider how easy is it to access and how easy is it to use. If the lever is on the wrong side, or tucked against a cabinet, it isn’t a good choice. If the button is hard to press to get the flush going, you need to look for another option.
When installing a handicap toilet, installation is critical. The toilet needs to be securely mounted, especially if it is a wall-hung model. Use a plumber that’s familiar with the type of toilet you are installing.
When you select any new toilet, you should consider its water efficiency. All new toilets must use a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush according to current guidelines. You will find models using less, especially those with dual flush.
If the toilet has earned the WaterSense label from the EPA, it uses 30% less water (1.28 gpf) than the standard 1.6 gpf.
Let’s be honest. No one likes to clean the toilet, inside or out. Manufacturers have recognized this and make many toilets easier to clean. When selecting any new toilet, consider how easy it is to keep clean.
Look for a skirted base which means you don’t have to clean the curves of the trapway. Consider a one-piece toilet that’s sleek and low-profile. A nice-to-have option is a removable toilet seat. It makes it super simple to clean around the hinges.
A toilet has one job to do: expel the waste as efficiently and as cleanly as possible. If the toilet flush fails to clear the bowl, it’s not doing the job correctly. A key consideration for any toilet purchase is flush performance.
One flush should be enough to clear the bowl with nothing left behind.
Today’s toilets come in a variety of designs and styles, even if they geared for use by the disabled and elderly. When selecting a toilet, it’s important to find one that compliments your bathroom’s style.
You could go with a traditional design that works well in a farmhouse, rustic, or older home. If you like sleek and modern, you will find designs that look like they’re from the future.
Many people have a budget they need to consider when selecting a new toilet. Just as with standard toilets, you will find a wide price range in handicap toilets. It’s a matter of finding a toilet that fits your price while offering you the features you want most.
Some handicap friendly features can cost a bit more. However, if you expect the toilet to be in use for a long time, those features may be worth the extra expense.
Additional Considerations When Installing a Handicap Toilet
Installing a handicap toilet is only the first step in creating a commode that is safe for someone with limited mobility or a disability.
Grab bars offer leverage for the user to move between a toilet and a wheelchair. These bars also offer a handhold for someone who needs a bit of assistance with sitting and standing. You can install permanent bars or a frame that sits around the toilet.
A raised toilet seat is another consideration. This seat reduces the distances a person has to move when sitting down or standing up. Some models come with bars attached for additional leverage.
If someone has issues with personal hygiene, selecting a toilet that also includes a bidet feature is optimal. You can also purchase toilet seats that have the bidet built-in. Just make sure the toilet you select can accommodate the bidet toilet seat.
Who Benefits from Having a Handicap Toilet
A handicap toilet benefits a wide range of people, including the following:
- People with limited mobility
- People in wheelchairs
- People who are aging and want to stay in the home as long as possible
- People undergoing rehabilitation for various medical conditions
- People who may have elderly or disabled visitors who visit frequently
- People who expect to have older or disabled relatives moving in at some point
A handicap toilet, with a raised seating height, is also a good option for taller people. It’s generally more comfortable than a standard height toilet.
Shorter adults and small children may find using a handicap toilet more difficult or uncomfortable. If the toilet seat creates a scenario where the feet are dangling, it can cut off circulation to the lower legs. Adding a toilet stool can make things more comfortable.
Comparing The Best Handicap Toilets
We’ve selected three handicap toilets to compare.
A smooth, sleek design is the first thing you notice about the American Standard Cadet 3. Add in a powerful flush, a space-saving design, excellent water efficiency, and an easy to clean surface and you have a toilet that will serve you well for years to come.
While the Cadet 3 is a two-piece toilet, it has a sleek shape that has a distinctly contemporary edge. The concealed trapway hides behind a smooth rounded skirt, making this toilet extremely easy to clean. Its round front fits into smaller bathrooms with ease, giving someone with a walker or wheelchair a bit more room to maneuver. The toilet comes with a slow-close lid that gives no slam silence.
This toilet comes with the lever on the front which makes it easier to reach for someone with limited reach.
The PowerFlush rim clears the bowl with a single flush. Its EverClean glazing helps prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. This toilet uses FloWise technology for high water efficiency, only using 1.28 gallons per flush, earning it the WaterSense certification.
This commode sits at Right Height comfort with the toilet rim sitting at 16.5″ above the floor, perfect for those who have disabilities or limited mobility. It also works well for taller individuals. The toilet measures 28.2 x 15.8 x 30.8 inches. The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on the chinaware, a 5-year warranty on all mechanical parts, and a 1-year warranty on the toilet seat.
- Extremely stylish design that fits in both traditional and contemporary bathrooms
- Powerful flush performance using only 1.28 gallons per flush
- EverClean glazing helps prevent mold and bacterial growth
- Comes with slow-close toilet seat
- Offers excellent warranty on chinaware and mechanical parts
- Price is lowest of those compared
- Difficult to install even for professionals
- Toilet seat shape is unique, making it difficult to replace
The conventional design of the Kohler Highline Classic fits into almost any bathroom. What makes this toilet stand out is the powerful pressure assist flush and the comfort height seating.
The Highline Classic is a two-piece toilet with an angled tank and an elongated bowl. The angled tank streamlines the appearance of this commode. An elongated seat makes it more comfortable for the users. Its smooth rounded front makes this toilet easier to clean. This toilet does not come with a toilet seat. The buyer will need to purchase a standard elongated toilet seat separately.
Comfort height seating makes this toilet a viable option for those who have disabilities or limited mobility. The lever flush control is on the left side of the angled tank.
Pressure assist flushing clears the bowl every time you hit the lever. The whoosh of air pushes the water down into the bowl at accelerated speed. This clears the bulk waste while also clearing the sides of bowl with ease. The toilet is a single flush model using 1.6 gallons per flush.
The toilet’s dimensions are 38.2 x 25 x 23.7 inches. It’s made from vitreous china and has a standard glaze. The manufacturer includes a one year limited warranty.
- Powerful flush performance
- Clears the bowl with a single flush
- Rounded front of base makes cleaning easier
- Comfort height seating with elongated bowl
- Conventional design
- Does not include toilet seat
- Is not water efficient
- Only one-year limited warranty
The stately presence of the Kohler Memoirs toilet makes it a perfect addition to any traditional bathroom. Its architectural design brings together strong angles, detailed design, and comfort height seating perfect for anyone who needs it. Add in the easy to clean base and the excellent flush for a great handicap toilet.
This toilet is part of the Kohler Memoirs collection that includes sinks and toilets to make redecorating your bathroom a breeze. If you want a toilet that’s built to perform while making a strong style statement, this commode fits the bill. The smooth square skirting conceals the trapway, making it easy to keep clean. It gives this toilet a sturdy appearance.
The Memoirs Toilet is a single-flush gravity feed model that uses precision engineering and the force of gravity to siphon away the waste. The canister flush valve helps prevent clogs from occurring. It uses only 1.28 gallons per flush without compromising its ability to do its job properly.
This toilet comes with a comfort height seating, making it a good choice as a handicap toilet. The elongated bowl makes for easier, more comfortable seating. It’s made from vitreous china and has a standard glaze.
It measures 31.4 x 28.2 x 20.1 inches. The manufacturer provides a one year limited warranty.
- Strong design perfect for traditional bath
- Part of larger collection of coordinated bathroom fixtures
- Water efficient using only 1.28 gallons per flush
- Comfort height seating
- Concealed trapway for easy cleaning
- Good flush performance
- One year limited warranty
- Does not include toilet seat
Other Items You Should Consider For a Handicap Accesible Bathroom
Besides toilets, we are including reviews for a couple of items you can install along with your handicap commode.
The Vive Stand Alone Toilet Rail offers support for anyone up to 300 pounds. It offers two padded rails on either side of the toilet seat. This offers additional safety and security for anyone sitting down or standing up. Using this rail helps prevent slips and falls.
The rail handles have a layer of foam padding for a comfortable, non-skid secure grip. The frame assembly requires no tools and comes together in a matter of minutes. If needed, the handles can be removed for easy storage. Made from corrosion resistant materials, this frame is designed to last for many years. It’s easy to keep clean with standard disinfectant solutions.
The safety rail base is 26.5 inches wide, which lets it fit into smaller bathrooms. It fits easily around round or elongated bowls. It can also be used at the sink or vanity as needed. The bottom rails are 19 inches deep, making this frame stable and resistant to tipping. This toilet rail includes a pocket for magazines or documents. The manufacturer includes an unconditional lifetime warranty.
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Easy to keep clean
- Fits into smaller bathrooms
- Made from corrosion resistant materials
- Provides grab bars on either side of toilet
- Users must use both hands to keep frame stable
- The substantial frame is quite noticeable
Need some extra height to your toilet seat, but don’t want to replace the entire toilet? The Vive Toilet Seat Riser with Handles is a practical solution. This riser elevates the seat by 3.5 inches. This makes it easier to sit and stand without bending. It’s a great solution for those recovering from hip, knee, or back surgery, as well as those who are starting to have mobility issues.
It’s easy to install using the bolts and washers included. There are no tools required. Slip resistant strips and an interior lip keep the riser securely in place. There are two models available to fit standard toilet shapes: round and elongated.
This riser has two removable soft comfort grip handles. They provide extra leverage for sitting and standing. The width between the handles is 22 inches.
The riser is made from a durable composite material that’smade to last. It can handle up to 300 pounds and is split resistant. The handles are made from corrosion resistant aluminum. Both the seat and handles are easy to clean with household disinfectants and wipes.
- Adds 3.5″ to height of standard toilet
- Easy to install
- Easy to keep clean
- Handles offer extra leverage if needed, but can be removed
- All parts included
- Built to be skid resistant
- It is not a portable unit.
Of the three toilets that we compared, the American Standard Cadet 3 is the clear winner. This toilet has comfort height seating which is essential for those with diminished mobility or a disability. It’s a good height for the elderly and even taller adults.
As far as design, the Cadet 3 is the clear winner. It’s sleek style works well in any decor. The rounded skirt makes cleaning extremely easy, while the round seat helps free up critical floor space. The front mounted lever is easy to reach and use. The toilet includes a slow-close seat that is perfect for silent no slam coverage.
The Cadet 3 is a star when it comes to flush efficiency. While the Kohler Highline Classic offers pressure assist flushing, the Cadet 3 from American Standard offers the PowerRim design to clear the bowl in one flush. The tank refills quickly. FloWise technology ensures the toilet uses the minimum amount of water possible, only 1.28 gallons per flush. The EverClean glazing inhibits the growth of mold and bacteria.
American Standard’s excellent warranty is another big plus with this toilet. It is far superior than the one-year limited warranty offers with the Kohler commodes. Add in the lower price and the Cadet 3 is a clear winner.
The biggest downside the Cadet 3 is the difficult in installation. Many buyers need a professional to get it properly set up. However, installation is a one-time thing if done properly.