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Buyer's Guide: Selecting the Best Raised Toilet Seat

A simplified guide for selecting the ideal raised toilet seat to meet your needs.


Nearly one in four adults over the age of 65 have difficulty using the toilet

The CDC confirmed the bathroom as the most hazardous room in the household due to its slippery surfaces and frequent usage, making it a high-risk area for injuries—additionally, the risk of injury increases as you age.

"Injuries getting on and off the toilet are quite high in people 65 and older"

- Judy A. Stevens, CDC Epidemiologist

As we age, our strength and balance decline, making it challenging to sit and stand. This puts us at risk for toilet-related accidents. One effective way to prevent these incidents is by using raised toilet seats.

Choosing the ideal one can be daunting if you're new to raised toilet seats. This guide offers everything you need to know about selecting the right raised toilet seat, including what these devices are, key things to consider before choosing, how to use them, and more.

What is a Raised Toilet Seat?

Raised toilet seats (also called toilet risers, elevated toilet seats, high-rise toilet seats, and toilet booster seats) are bathroom safety aids that attach to the existing toilet seat. Their sole purpose is to lower the distance needed to sit and stand when using the toilet. They are particularly beneficial to those with sitting or bending difficulties. 

Who Should Use a Raised Toilet Seat?

Raised toilet seats are most commonly used by elderly persons with limited mobility, low strength, recovering from surgery, or anyone with balance issues. Anyone with the following conditions or symptoms may benefit from a raised toilet seat:

  • Struggle with sitting or bending.
  • Find it difficult to transition from sitting to standing or vice versa.
  • Recovering from hip, knee, or back surgery.
  • Have trouble balancing and are more at risk of falls.
  • Have low strength.
  • Take an extended amount of time when using the bathroom because of physical limitations.
  • Require assistance when using the toilet.

For the average non-disabled individual, using the toilet is an easy action to perform. However, those with physical limitations may find it a challenging task to their everyday routine. Handicapped toilet seat risers add an extra level of support to this typical action.

A raised toilet seat shouldn't be used if a person cannot get to the bathroom promptly. Instead, placing a commode next to their bed is the recommended aid for this particular condition. Commodes reduce the amount one needs to travel to use the bathroom, ideal for more prevalent mobility issues.

The Benefits of Raised Toilet Seats

Added Comfort

If one struggles with sitting or bending, a raised toilet seat can add a significant comfort level. Not only do they make this action more manageable, but they diminish the worry of fall-related injuries. This peace of mind can enhance the user's mental health.

Maintained Independence

Independence is vital for anyone's quality of life. And needing help when using the toilet can be embarrassing and discouraging. Raised toilet seats aid in this by potentially removing the need for assistance when using the bathroom. Thus, providing independence and a better quality of life.

Reduced Fall and Injury Risk

Those with sitting, bending, or balance issues are prone to falls and injury. Raised toilet seats reduce the height needed to sit, which limits the chances of falling.

They're Discreet

Most raised toilet seats are an off-white color made to match the existing toilet. Not only that, but they are made to intertwine with the design of the toilet, so they don't stand out. This allows them to blend in with the existing toilet and match the rest of the bathroom.

Added Safety for Caregivers

Lifting and assisting someone to use the toilet can significantly strain a caregiver. Raised toilet seats remove this task and improve the physical safety of the caregiver. This puts them at less risk of bodily injury from caregiver-related duties.

They're Easy to Install and Clean

Raised toilet seats are designed to be easy to install and clean. They either install via the toilet's existing bolts, via built-in clamps or attach directly to the toilet without any tools needed. They're also made of easy-to-clean plastic, which makes them hygienic.

Can be Used when Traveling

Portable toilet seat risers offer convenience and peace of mind when it comes to toilet assistance for the elderly. Standard toilet seats for seniors can be challenging to use. Portable raised toilet seats can be used on any toilet and make traveling much easier.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Raised Toilet Seat

Raised toilet seats are a "must-have" for anyone at risk of falls. However, there is no "one size fits all" solution for purchasing these bath safety aids. Because of the nature of bath safety aids, most companies do not accept returns on raised toilet seats. It's essential to consider these factors before making your decision.

Toilet seat type: Elongated bowl or standard/round bowl

Toilet Seat Type

The first step is to identify which toilet seat shape you have, round (standard) or elongated. Round toilet seats are more circular, while elongated toilets have a pronounced oval shape. The length of a round toilet is typically around 16.5," and elongated toilets are usually approximately 18.5". This is a crucial step as raised toilet seats are designed to fit either round or elongated. However, there are a few made to fit both.

An added tip is to check your toilet brand and model for the type. This is a quick and guaranteed way to correctly decide if you need a round or elongated toilet seat riser.

Raised toilet seat weight capacity

Weight Capacity

Your raised toilet seat needs to be able to support the user's weight safely. Raised toilet seats can support between 250 pounds to 500 pounds depending on the model. If more support is needed, a bariatric-raised toilet seat may be the right choice. Always check the raised toilet seat's weight capacity before purchasing to ensure it can be used safely.

Raised toilet seat height


Raised toilet seats typically increase the toilet height by 2", 4", or 6" depending on the model. The needed size will vary depending on the user's strength, balance, and physical height. If they have more substantial difficulties with strength and balance, then a higher raised toilet seat may be needed. When selecting a raised toilet seat, it's best practice to measure the user first to decide. Use these steps to make the right choice:

  • Measure from the floor to the back of the person's knee.
  • Measure the height of the toilet seat from the floor.
  • Subtract the measurement of the toilet from the person's knee height. The difference between the two measurements is the raised toilet seat height needed.

By design, raised toilet seats reduce the amount of bend needed to use the toilet. When selecting a raised toilet, it's essential to note if the user's knees will be above or below their torso when seated. If they are above, then a higher elevation is needed. It's much easier to stand and sit when less bending is required. Keep their comfort in mind when selecting a height.

Raised toilet seat with handles or without handsles

Handles or No Handles?

Another option to consider is whether handles are required. Some toilet risers with handles feature built-in arms for added support when sitting and standing. Users can hold on to the handles for added support. If the user has weak strength or significant balance issues, then an elevated toilet seat with handles might be the correct choice.

Raised toilet seat arm width/area around the toilet

Width of the Handles

If you decide a raised toilet seat with rails is necessary, it's important to note the width between the handles. If the user has a broader body measurement, then these handles may make it impossible to use. If this is the case, using a raised toilet seat without arms combined with a stand-alone toilet support rail can suffice. Some models feature adjustable handle widths for added convenience.


The Area Around the Toilet

Having ample space around the toilet is vital since raised toilet seats protrude on the outside parameter of the toilet. This is especially present with raised toilet seats with arms. Be sure to measure the room around the toilet and consider this when making a decision. If the width of the raised toilet seat won't fit in the area around the toilet, then using a grab bar may be an alternative option.


Installation Method

The installation method will vary depending on the type of raised toilet seat. Each type will vary in the level of permanence, degree of support, and ease of installation (if tools are needed).

Install bolted raised toilet seats

Bolted Raised Toilet Seats

These attach directly to the existing toilet via the seat's bolt holds and the cover sitting on top. These are the most permanent style and often require tools to be installed. However, they do provide the most stable support.

Install non-locking raised toilet seats

Non-Locking Raised Toilet Seats

These attach to the toilet without the need for tightening or tools. These are by far the easiest to install and most portable. They attach directly to the toilet without using the lid and seat and can be removed easily. They're ideal for those who often travel or live with others who share the same bathroom. While they are the easiest to install, they provide the least amount of support.

Install locking raised toilet seats

Locking Raised Toilet Seats

This style of raised toilet seat utilizes a twist knob that locks it into place. They're a hybrid of the bolted and non-locking seats mentioned and do not require tools. Users place the raised toilet seat directly on top of the toilet and then twist the knob until secure.

Hinge or no hinge on raised toilet seat?

Hinge or No Hinge?

Hinged toilet seat risers provide a more straightforward method of cleaning the toilet seat and bowl. However, they can be tedious to raise and lower. Another advantage of these raised toilet seats is that they don't have to be removed to use the toilet standing up. They can be set in an upward position.

Contoured raised toilet seat


For added comfort, choose a raised toilet seat with a contoured design. The contour in the seat's shape is designed to mold to the user's buttocks for added comfort and support. It also makes sitting and standing easier.

Portable raised toilet seat

Lifestyle (Portability)

Various styles of raised toilet seats offer different levels of portability. Bolted raised toilet seats are not ideal for the avid traveler since they cannot be quickly removed. Meanwhile, non-locking raised toilet seats are more suitable since they can be quickly removed and attached. If portability is a key selling point, be sure to purchase a raised toilet seat that fits both standard and elongated toilets.



Padded raised toilet seats add an upgraded level of support compared to those without padding. If the user has sensitivity when sitting down, then a padded toilet seat riser may be ideal for their needs.

Presence of a toilet lid

Presence of a Lid

If using the raised toilet seat with a lid is necessary, then a bolted raised toilet seat may be ideal. Non-bolting raised toilet seats prevent the lid from going up or down and have to be removed to do so. Bolting raised toilet seats install directly underneath the lid. Thus, allowing it to be raised or lowered without additional steps.



When selecting the ideal seat, you'll want an easy to clean raised toilet seat. Those easiest to clean are made of plastic, can either be removed or moved to clean the bottom and won't damage using standard cleaning agents.


Toilet Seat Lift Comparison Chart

How to Use and Clean a Raised Toilet Seat


The steps on how to put on a raised toilet seat will vary depending on the brand and type of raised toilet seat.

Bolted Raised Toilet Seat

  • Unscrew and remove the toilet's lid and seat.
  • Place the raised toilet seat on the toilet, lining up the screw holes.
  • Place the toilet lid and seat on top of the raised toilet seat.
  • Insert the raised toilet seat's screws through the bolt holes.
  • Add a washer and wing nut on the bottom, tighten until secure.
  • To ensure it's appropriately secure, place some pressure on the seat and make sure it doesn't move.

Locking Raised Toilet Seat

  • Place the toilet's lid and seat in an upward position.
  • Place the raised toilet seat over the toilet.
  • Twist the tightening knob until secure.
  • To ensure it's appropriately secure, place some pressure on the seat and make sure it doesn't move.

Non-Locking Raised Toilet Seat

  • Place the toilet's lid and seat in an upward position.
  • Place the raised toilet seat over the toilet.
  • To ensure it's appropriately secure, place some pressure on the seat and make sure it doesn't move.


  • Lift the toilet seat lid.
  • Stand in front of the toilet, close enough to feel the seat against the back of your legs.
  • Slowly lower yourself onto the raised toilet seat, bending forward slightly at the waist. Be sure to use armrests for support if applicable.
  • Once finished, slowly lift yourself using your legs. If there are armrests, push up on them using your arms.

Cleaning and Maintenence

When it comes to cleaning a raised toilet seat, use these steps:

  • Always wear gloves as a safety precaution.
  • Wash the seat using a wipe/cloth, warm water, and a non-abrasive detergent or household cleaner.
  • Make sure you scrub the entire seat, reaching tight/hidden spots.
  • Once washed, rinse the seat with warm water and wipe using a dry cloth.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or cloths to avoid damaging the seat.

How often you'll clean your raised toilet seat will vary depending on how often it's needed. It's always a best practice to clean at least once weekly as you would with a standard toilet. However, if your raised toilet seat becomes dirty more quickly, cleaning it more often may be necessary.

Caregiver Questions to Ask When Selecting a Raised Toilet Seat

If you're a caregiver, selecting the right raised toilet seat for elderly persons can be tedious. It's essential to know your care recipient's needs and level of mobility beforehand. To make the process simple and less time consuming, ask the following questions:

  • What is the reason for needing a raised toilet seat? Is it a temporary need from post-surgery or a permanent solution?
  • Do they need a round or elongated raised toilet seat?
  • What's the person's physical condition? How impaired is their ability to sit and stand?
  • How bad is their ability to balance?
  • Do they have any upper body strength?
  • What is their weight?
  • What is the width of their hips? Do they need a bariatric-style seat?
  • Does their bathroom have an adequate amount of space around the toilet?
  • Do they have any sensitivity when sitting?
  • Are they able to get to the bathroom promptly?
  • What is their living environment like? Do they share a bathroom with others?
  • Do they travel often? Will they need to take their seat with them?

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to Buy a Raised Toilet Seat?

You can purchase our line of Carex raised toilet seats on our website, Amazon, or your local health store. We offer a wide collection of raised toilet seats with handles, without handles, with padding, and in a variety of sizes/heights.

What is the Cost of a Raised Toilet Seat?

A handicap-raised toilet seat price will vary depending on its features (weight capacity, arms, elongated/round, etc.). They typically will range from around $15 and can be as expensive as $200.

How High Should a Raised Toilet Seat be?

There is no "one height fits all" solution to this question. The height should meet the comfort and support needs of the individual using it. Check our section on height to learn how to select the proper height.

How to Fit a Raised Toilet Seat?

You'll first want to check which type of toilet you have, elongated or round. Once you've found a seat that fits your toilet, you'll then want to follow the included raised toilet seat fitting instructions. Fitting it to a toilet will vary depending on the style.

What does a Raised Toilet Seat Look Like?

These bath safety aids appear to be an extension of a standard toilet. They're usually white, made of plastic, and have curves and edges made to mold to the shape of your body. Different variations have arms, bolt holes, and even padding.

What is the Best Raised Toilet Seat?

There is no single make or model solution to this question. The right seat will offer the adequate amount of height needed, offer ample support, is easy to clean, and properly secures to the toilet.

How to Measure for a Raised Toilet Seat?

To measure for a bathroom-raised toilet seat, use a tape measure to get the length from the floor to the back of the person's knee. Then measure the height of the toilet seat from the floor up. The difference between these two numbers will be the height needed. Be sure to measure the person's width of their hips. Having an adequate width is vital if you are selecting a raised toilet seat riser with arms.

What Disabilities is a Raised Toilet Seat for?

The disabilities these safety aids are used for include:

  • Conditions that make bending or sitting difficult (joint pain, arthritis, bariatric, etc.).
  • Post-surgery healing, most commonly from hip surgery.
  • Conditions that make balancing difficult (osteoporosis, weak muscles, etc.).

Standard toilets for elderly persons or the disabled can be a challenge to use. The right toilet riser, tailored to their specific needs, can make a major difference in their independence and quality of life. Use the information and tips in this guide to select the ideal solution.

About the Author

Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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