When you’re young and free of disabilities, using the toilet requires no more effort than lowering yourself on the toilet bowl and doing your thing.
But for seniors, this simple task can be very difficult and time-consuming because their weak bones make it hard for them to just hop on the toilet bowl and stand up easily when they’re done with it.
One of the best ways to make using the toilet much easier for elderly people is to install a toilet handle.
- What are toilet rails?
- Why are toilet rails important for elderly seniors?
- Toilet rails for seniors: things to look out for when buying
- Best toilet rails for elderly seniors: Our top 7 picks
- 1. Carex Toilet Safety Rail
- 2. Vive Stand Alone Toilet Rail
- 3. Drive Medical Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rail
- 4. Medline Guardian Toilet Safety Rail
- 5. Carex Toilet Safety Frame
- 6. Vive Toilet Rail – Bathroom Safety Frame
- 7. Essential Medical Supply Elevated Toilet Seat with Arms
What are toilet rails?
Toilet rails, also known as toilet handles, are sidebars fixed on to toilet seats to aid seniors and disabled individuals to get on and off the toilet bowl.
In clearer terms, the user grabs the handle to stabilize themselves when lowering on to the toilet bowl and also as leverage to rise up when getting off the toilet bowl.
Why are toilet rails important for elderly seniors?
Toilet rails are safety aid tools that help to prevent falls and accidents in the toilet. Independence is one of the major things elderly people desire, and a toilet rail is one of the many tools that provide them with that independence.
Toilet rails for seniors: things to look out for when buying
- Comfort: Why use anything that brings no comfort? Ensure the hand rests of the toilet rail is ergonomically comfortable, meaning its outer part should be soft to the touch. This will prevent the appearance of blisters on the palms.
- Adjustability: The height of the user must be proportionate to the height of the toilet rail, or else the user will derive no satisfaction from using the product. To save everyone time and stress, just go for one that is of adjustable height.
- Weight support: This is very important, as it will determine if the toilet handle is durable. The toilet handle works by supporting the weight of the user when getting on or off a toilet bowl.
- Non-slip feature: The hand rest must have a firm grip, usually this means it mustn’t have a smooth outer surface
- Universal fit: it has to be versatile and compatible with all toilet types.
Best toilet rails for elderly seniors: Our top 7 picks
There are a thousand and one toilet handle rails out there, and trying to pick the best can be frustrating. Based on buyer opinions, product features, brand trust, and other important factors, we compared several toilet rails to make it easier for you to make a decision.
From the pack, here are the best ones we recommend for seniors.
1. Carex Toilet Safety Rail
Are you looking for a safety rail that can stand by itself? Then the Carex Toilet Safety Rail is your best bet. It’s not attached to the toilet so can be relocated when not in use, and is considered to be quite versatile.
Besides being used as a toilet rail, it can be used for support at the bathroom sink. It is a great companion that provides sturdy support and safety while sitting or getting up from the toilet. Seniors even find it more helpful, especially those with mobility impediments.
Another selling point of the Toilet Safety Rail by Carex is that it’s easy to assemble without any tools and weighs around 9lbs. It’s stand-alone and its sturdy nature keeps it stable, even though it’s not attached to the toilet seat. The handles of the rails are designed with cushions for comfort.
To avoid marking your bathroom floors, the feet have been capped, which also provides security from slipping. The rails were designed with aluminum and require a lot of maintenance to avoid rusting. A few users have said they also use this rail for extra support in the shower.
- Stand-alone design that allows for ease of use.
- No need for installation.
- Easy assembly that can be done by a novice without tools.
- Made from high-quality materials.
- It is not considered to be portable as it does not fold up like some similar rails.
- The foam used for the handles wears away quite easily.
2. Vive Stand Alone Toilet Rail
A toilet rail is designed to provide support for seniors and people suffering mobility challenges. This Stand Alone Toilet Rail by Vive makes it easy to sit and stand while using the toilet.
It is designed to be universal and will work well for any size of toilet, regular or customized. The armrests are designed with some foam for comfort as well as improved grip. As the name implies, it stands on its own so it can be moved around if need be and its sturdy design supports up to 300lbs of weight – and the magazine racks on both sides of the rail are a very attractive additional feature.
The Vive Stand Alone Toilet Rail definitely makes you feel sake, and the fact that it is free-standing and versatile means you enjoy some real value for money. Just like many other stand-alone units, it is very easy to assemble but there is a chance of the rail slipping if it doesn’t fit well on the back of your toilet.
- Easy to use and assemble.
- Cushioned armrests for comfort.
- Rubber grips on the armrests.
- Extremely sturdy design.
- Ease of transport to other locations.
- A propensity to slip on tile floors if it doesn’t fit well on the back of the toilet.
3. Drive Medical Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rail
As a stand-alone unit, this toilet rail by Drive Medical requires no installation or attaching to your toilet. All you need to do is assemble it and place it where you want it to be Setting up the unit shouldn’t be a problem as it requires no special skill, expertise, or tools.
It comes with a magazine rack on one side and is designed to be a universal fit for all toilets. For maximum comfort during use, the armrests are well-padded. The sturdy design of this toilet safety rail by Drive Medical allows it to support up to 300lbs of weight.
Besides the armrests being super comfortable, they are very easy to hold onto, and the versatile design means it can be used with chairs that have no armrests and in other parts of the bathroom for support.
It is quite basic and simple, with no premium features, but it is recognized as one of the best toilet rails for seniors, especially as it’s portable and relatively cheap.
- Sturdy design.
- Portable design that makes it great for travel.
- Has a magazine rack.
- Armrests are padded, making it comfortable and easy to grip.
- Easy to assemble for a novice without tools.
- Stands alone so doesn’t need any installation.
- Does not fit elongated toilets well.
4. Medline Guardian Toilet Safety Rail
When Medline designed this toilet safety rail, they had both the handicapped and the elderly in mind, best seen by the fact that it provides both sitting and standing support in the toilet.
To make it more comfortable, the armrests are covered with closed-cell foam, which allows you to enjoy a firm grip during use. It can be adjusted in height as the armrests can be lifted from 26 inches to 31 inches, making them comfortable for people of all heights.
The universal fit and sturdiness of the design are part of what makes it popular. Made from premium aluminum, the rails are easy to clean and maintain but require frequent maintenance to avoid rust.
The frame mounts securely just above the toilet bowl and can support up to 250lbs of weight. It doesn’t stand alone and has to be installed on the toilet, which many people find quite easy to do. However, some users have said that the armrests are less comfortable than those on other similar products and feel that the unit is a bit too wobbly for safety.
- Easily adjustable features.
- Easy to install, which is rare for rails that are not stand alone.
- Mounted on the toilet bowl for steady support.
- Very easy to clean and maintain.
- Armrests are not so durable.
- Can be a bit wobbly when in use.
- Construction is not heavy duty.
5. Carex Toilet Safety Frame
The first thing to note about this toilet safety frame from Carex is that, unlike most of the rails on this list, it is not stand alone. It was designed just for toilet use so it is fixed to the toilet bowl.
Made from steel, tests have shown it is very durable. The frame is designed to be one-size-fits-all since its width can be adjusted from 16 inches to 18 inches. The sturdy design ensures that it is easy to grab while sitting or standing, and its anti-corrosive properties prevent it from getting rusty, although it still requires a bit of maintenance now and then.
The armrests are cushioned to ensure that they are comfortable and easy to grip. They are also strong enough to help the user to move from a wheelchair to the toilet seat and back. It is very easy to install, clean and maintain, and works well if you have a toilet seat specifically designed for the elderly or the handicapped.
- Easy to assemble.
- Easy to install.
- Made from premium materials.
- Affordable for people on a budget.
- Armrests are well-padded for grip and comfort.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Adjustable width.
- The arm may drop to the floor if it is not mounted properly.
- There is no attachment at the front, which many people consider to be unsafe.
- Slides attached between the seat and toilet base could slip off very easily.
6. Vive Toilet Rail – Bathroom Safety Frame
This safety frame by Vive is designed for both safety and comfort and is regarded as one of the sturdiest toilet rails on the market. Its two-legged designed makes it look really simple but its well-suited to handle weight and remain firm.
It can support a weight of about 300lbs or less and has a 26.5-inch width, which makes it very comfortable for most toilets. It’s mounted onto the toilet frame and doesn’t take up too much space as it only has the two legs.
It is not just sturdy but attractive to look at and easy to assemble. The legs have rubber suckers to stop them from slipping on any surface, the perfect insurance for someone who is prone to falling.
The armrests are padded for perfect grip and comfort, although some users have said the cushion is much thinner than most rails in the same class. Depending on your height, the rail can be adjusted lower or higher so you can enjoy maximum comfort, with ample space between the bars to allow you to turn, twist, and maneuver without stress.
- Sturdy design.
- Easy to assemble.
- Rubber suckers to prevent slipping.
- Adjustable height.
- Ample space between the bars.
- Padding on armrests is not as lush as those on other rails.
- Not too easy to install.
- Seems a bit wobbly during use.
7. Essential Medical Supply Elevated Toilet Seat with Arms
This elevated toilet seat is considered to be one of the best on the market, not just for the safety it provides but the comfort it gives the user.
It is mounted on your regular toilet seat, adding about 3.5 inches in height, and can be used for both elongated and standard toilet designs. The armrests are designed for comfort with a firm rubber grip and padding.
This is a great pick if you are a senior, handicapped, or just recovering from surgery. Installation is not very complex and you won’t need tools. Simply following the instructions in the manual makes installing the unit a walk in the park.
- Comfortable to use.
- Easy to set up and install.
- Does not need tools for installation.
- Easy to clean.
- Sturdy design to support heavy weights.
- Stability might be an issue if it isn’t properly installed.
- A bit too pricey.