Clear, practical advice on daily living equipment
As a general guide if your thighs are horizontal (with your knees and hips at the same height) when sat on the toilet and your feet flat on the floor then the toilet is probably a good height for you (Disabled Living Foundation, 2009). The above diagrams show a toilet that is likely to be too low (the persons knees are higher than their hips) and too high (the persons hips are higher than their knees and their feet are off the floor).
If you wish to check this then the toilet height most likely to suit an individual is approximately the same as the distance between the floor and the bottom of their thigh behind their knee, as shown in the diagram. The toilet height should be measured from the floor to the top of the seat. The height to the person's thigh should be measured when they are wearing their usual shoes or slippers. When being measured they should be sat on a chair at a height at which their thighs are horizontal with their knees and hips at the same height, their knee and ankle joints should be roughly at a right angle, as shown in the diagram. When rounding the measurement to the nearest inch / cm round down rather than up (Disabled Living Foundation, 2009).
There is a range of equipment that can be used to raise the height of a toilet including:
Always check that the weight capacity of any toilet equipment you use exceeds your weight.
Fitting a raised toilet seat. Raised toilet seats have a variety of attachment methods:
The most suitable fitting for your toilet will depend on the shape of your toilet bowl. Toilet bowls with a non traditional shape (see pictures 4 and 5) may require a raised toilet seat that fixes to the toilet via the toilet seat fixing holes or hinge or consider a toilet frame with a seat.
Toilets with heavily sloping sides to the bowl (picture 6) may require a raised toilet seat with the three adjustable knobs, or one that fixes to the toilet via the toilet seat fixing holes/hinge or a toilet frame with a seat. If you're not sure which type of raised toilet seat to purchase to fit your toilet consult with the retailer, manufacturer or health care professional.
This is a only a general guide to toilet height, many individuals will have different needs, perhaps because of restricted movement in their joints, pain or surgery. Thus we recommend you contact your local social services and request an individual assessment with an occupational therapist.
If any toilet equipment is used by other people, then the weight of the other user/s must be within the capacity of the equipment.
If children are using the same toilet a raised toilet seat may make it too high for them to use and the extra height may be a safety hazard for them. If there are no other toilets they can use consider an easily removed raised toilet seat or a moveable platform in front of the toilet for them to step onto (Pain, McLellan, and Gore, 2003).
All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement