Bedside Commode?
Choose the right one for your bottom line.



The bedside commode options are not all created equally. Depending on your rehab needs, different commodes provide solutions to different problems.

Your best money saving bet for your commode is to ask your doctor for a script for a 3-in-1 bedside commode. Why? Medicare will cover this piece of medical equipment, and this only, in the bathroom. You're on your own for most everything else.


The beauty of a 3-in-1- commode is it can be used bedside, over your existing commode (be sure to use the splash guard!) and in the tub (if it's wide enough). It's adjustable up and down and has convenient arm rails and a back (with some proving to be more comfortable than others).

3-in-1's can accommodate larger people if necessary. Talk to your doctor about a specific prescription for this.

For hard to get to commodes or those needing to use a sliding board to transfer or a low pivot transfer, 3-in-1's with drop arms can be purchased. Side arms that can be dropped down to accommodate this transfer and then swiveled up into place.

There are several things to keep in mind before purchasing any medical equipment. These things will be thoroughly discussed in The Big Three+ - an E-book in the making right now that will cover the three big questions needing asked and begging answers before buying any home health physical therapy equipment. Plus two additional questions that make it all fit together. You can subscribe to your Do-It-Yourself Home Health Physical Therapy newsletter and we'll let you know when it is available for purchase.

The 3 in 1 bathroom commode is not perfect but close!

Things to think about before your shop:

  • A 3-in-1 Commode is generally covered by Medicare with a physician's order.

  • Consider the weight that will sit on your commode. Heavy weights require a sturdier commode. Fudging on this point can be costly and fatal. Bathroom safety equipment must meet needs safely!

  • 3 uses! Over the commode, in the shower as a shower chair, or beside your bed. (Most bathtubs are too narrow these days).

  • Most of these bedside commodes have adjustable legs to adjust height.




  • Be sure your commode or seat raiser will fit your toilet bowl. Round or oval? Safety equipment must be safe!

  • Some commodes have a drop arm on them. Will you be scooting from a bed to the commode? If so, get the drop arm commode.

  • What's the hollow bucket with no bottom in it? Use that if your 3-in-1 goes over your regular commode. It guides everything into the bowl! Liquid on the floor spells disaster.

  • Take your regular toilet lid all the way off to scoot your bedside commode back further if quarters are tight. You don't want a piece of safety equipment tripping anyone!

  • Renting a 3-in-1 is an option at most Durable Medical Equipment stores.

  • You may only need a toilet seat riser or just the chair arms. This is less bulky but likely more expensive as Medicare generally won't cover these items. They are also less adjustable.

  • Start doing a sit to stand squat exercise over and over for quad strengthening. You will be surprised at how quickly your current commode becomes manageable again.

  • Call around in your community. Many cities (even small ones) have some community center that manages donated durable medical equipment. Good will or other thrift stores are a good place to start. Be cautious when buying used bathroom safety equipment. There may be an overlooked reason as to why it was donated in the first place. Check for rust, cracks, missing hardware etc.

simple solutions in a nutshell.

Whether you are needing a portable commode, one for your bedside or one to support extra weight, there is usually a commode just right for you! Many need a raised or 3-in-1 commode due to portability and ease of sit to standing. If you are looking to elevate your commode, consider these economical ways to accomplish this goal:

  • Use a seat riser
  • Use a seat riser with arm holds
  • Use arm holds only
  • Use a 3-in-1 commode

Bedside commodes come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and specific specs for your specific needs. The following list may help you in your search:

Types of Bedside Commodes




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