Skip to main content

How to Use A Bedside Commode

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 1, 2023.

What is a bedside commode?

A bedside commode is a movable toilet that does not use running water. It looks like a chair with a toilet seat and has a bucket or container underneath. The container can be removed for cleaning after the commode is used. A commode can be placed beside the bed if a person cannot get to the bathroom. The commode may have wheels so that it can be rolled away when it is not needed. The wheels should be locked when the person uses the commode to prevent the chair from moving.

Why is a bedside commode needed?

A person may need to use a commode if he needs to stay in bed most of the time. A commode is useful if a person is weak or unsteady. If he is at risk of falling, a commode may be safer than walking to the bathroom.

How do I help someone use a bedside commode?

  • Gather supplies:
    • Disposable gloves
    • Toilet paper or wipes
    • Container with warm water
    • Soap
    • Washcloth
    • Towel
  • Help a person use the commode:
    • Lock the wheels of the commode.
    • Make sure the container is under the seat.
    • Put a small amount of water in the container before it is used. This makes it easier to clean the container later.
    • Help the person out of bed and onto the commode. Use a gait belt if needed.
    • Stay with the person for safety, or give them a bell to ring when they are done or need help.
  • When the person is done:
    • Put on a pair of disposable gloves.
    • Help the person to stand.
    • Use toilet paper, wipes, or soap and water to help the person clean their genital area or bottom. Gently towel dry.
    • Help the person wash and dry his hands.
    • Help the person back to bed.
    • Remove the container and take it to the bathroom. Put the toilet seat up and empty the container into the toilet.
    • Clean the container with a toilet brush, germ-killing cleanser, and water. Rinse well and put the container back under the commode. Remove your gloves and throw them away.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.