It’s time to renovate the bathroom! Your parents have gotten older and less independent, so you have decided to move them in with your family. In order to make them feel welcome and comfortable, you have decided to make some changes around the house to make it friendlier for your elderly guests.
One of the least friendly rooms in the house is the bathroom, so you want to make it more accessible without looking like a nursing home. As a result, while you are looking into the best tile designs and modern bathroom trends, you are also looking at tubs and showers that they can simply walk into and out of without stepping or slipping.
Did you know that it’s not just the shower that needs a fix? The type of toilet that is installed can have a huge impact on their bathroom experience, too. That’s why a lot of people are upgrading to comfort height toilets.
What’s a comfort height toilet?
For some of you, the phrase comfort height toilet is a new one. You have no idea what that even means. Strictly speaking, a comfort height toilet is one that is compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The height of these seats will be measured anywhere from 17 to 19 inches from the ground to the top of the toilet seat. Anything lower is what is commonly called a standard toilet seat, and anything higher is considered a non-standard customized seat.
What difference does it makes to have a comfort height toilet seat instead of a standard one?
Aside from being ADA compliant, there are several reasons to consider a comfort height toilet seat.
Shorter toilets are better for shorter people and offer a somewhat more natural position for avoiding constipation, but they are very difficult to stand up from if you have mobility and joint issues and require more of a crouch when seated. It’s similar to lower versus taller chairs.
Comfort height toilets may leave feet dangling and will be harder for your children to use, but they can be cheaper than standard toilets and are a much better option for elderly guests, as it will decrease the difficulty in standing for them because of the heightened position.
One of the other advantages is that these toilets may actually be friendlier on your budget, too! Their standard price range is around $75 cheaper on average than comparable models in standard size.
Could I just use other methods to raise the height of my standard toilet instead?
There are a lot of alternatives proposed to heighten your standard toilet seat to a comfort height seat, but very few of them are practical, safe, and aesthetically pleasing. The ideal bathroom toilet will be al 3 of these things.
A seat height riser or extender moves. No matter how well it seems to fit, it will never be as secure as the toilet itself. The higher it extends, the less stable it becomes. That is why it is a terrible solution for frail, elderly people with injuries and hip problems.
They are unhygienic. Seat raisers change the angle of use. This increases the likelihood that your daily business will end up on the inner walls of the elevation rather than in the toilet bowl. This could lead to waste being leaked onto the bathroom floor. It adds another massive daily cleaning job to your bathroom clean up task.
These are also inconvenient for everyone else using the bathroom. For quick release seats, guests will have to detach and reattach the seat before and after every use. Even without that, these risers often come with bars for stability that actually make it harder to use for anyone except the elderly person.
Finally, these solutions are just ugly. They have no aesthetically pleasing aspect whatsoever. Pads make it obvious that you have elderly people and can be awkward to see for others. Bars will take up space in your bathroom and change the feel of the décor. Risers look ungainly and strange.
What if I add a platform to the base of the toilet?
Many people try to find a way around this by simply adding a base. The issue with that is that it adds expense and looks strange .It is also less hygienic because it adds more areas that bacteria and mold can grow, and it adds another mechanical part that could fail or need replacing.
What makes it the best option for elderly people?
One of the main advantages of the comfort height toilet is the height. When you get old, even if you stay active and healthy, your joints will start hurting, arthritis will set in, and it can be more difficult to get up off the ground or raise from seated to standing. The comfort height eliminates that joint stress by default because it is higher off the ground.
It is also the correct height for elderly people who need to use a wheelchair. The wheelchair usually requires a sliding transfer. The comfort seat toilet is usually positioned level with the average wheelchair, making it easy to side right onto it from the same level.
Elderly people enjoy taller toilets for various other reasons, too. They are engineered to relieve back pain, arthritis, and other bodily issues while using the toilet. The fact that they barely have to lean backwards at all to sit alleviates the pressure of bent knees and backs.
If you are still not convinced, consider that they look much nicer in your home than standard toilets. The extra height generally comes with a more elegant design and shape, so the commercial looking toilet is more streamlined to blend into bathroom décor.
Now that you know the advantages of a comfort height toilet for the elderly and the disadvantages of other options, it’s time to grab one for yourself. This site has reviewed some of the top models of higher height toilets on the market to make your buying decision easier. You can take a look at the different aesthetics of some of the top brands and figure out the right one for your new bathroom.
Jimmy Olivas is a bathroom designer & plumbing industry expert. Jimmy has become an avid blogger by reviewing toilets. In his spare time, he enjoys walking through home improvement stores, rating different bathroom appliances and researching the latest and greatest toilets. Reach him at Twimbow.com