Among the many basic needs a human has, there are few as private as a trip to the toilet. It’s no secret that people prefer to keep the details regarding their toilet trips, well, a secret. Unfortunately, not everybody has that luxury, and many people with disabilities just can’t use the toilets by themselves – that is, without some support to make it easier.
That’s where these top-notch bathroom chair rails in 2023 come in. While you commonly see them in hospitals and toilets for the disabled in public spaces, they’re surprisingly easy to install at home, too. They aren’t extremely pricey, and after they’re installed you’ve got something that allows your loved ones to use the toilet and bathroom in privacy.
If you need something to keep your loved ones safe and give them the ability to let them do things themselves, then these chair rails may be what you’re looking for. This quick buyer’s guide will cover everything you need to know.
What Is the Purpose of Bathroom Chair Rails?
Bathroom chair rails are support frames installed in key locations throughout the bathroom. The main goal of these chair rails is to support the user as they move in and out of the toilet.
The Benefits of Bathroom Chair Rails
They make it safer for people with abilities to use the toilet
The main reason why people consider getting a bathroom chair rail or toilet frame in the first place is that either they or a loved one has a physical disability that prevents them from using the toilet in the usual manner. This can include people with arthritis, those with physical injuries such as a broken leg, and so on.
By adding or installing chair rails to toilets, users with disabilities can use the toilet with less hindrance and effort, making use of the strength of their arms instead to get them into the right position before and after use.
They give agency to people who otherwise can’t use toilets themselves
One common feeling that many people with disabilities have, especially those who acquire them instead of being born with them, is frustration. They are often frustrated at the fact that they are no longer capable of doing things themselves. Of course, they know that there’s not much they can do about it, but it still stings nonetheless.
This is why adding bathroom chair rails can be more impactful than you think. The user is able to make good use of the rails and with enough strength, they can even use the toilet themselves. This gives them a feeling of agency and dignity, which is important if you want to keep them happy.
It allows for more privacy
Privacy is something that many people with disabilities end up having to part with. When you’re unable to do simple tasks yourself, and these tasks involve private matters such as going to the toilet, it can feel pretty humiliating for some people. Privacy matters no matter how old you are, and not everybody wants to rely on a caretaker or loved one even if it’s the only option they have.
Giving people the ability to use the toilet themselves allows them to take back at least some form of privacy. While they may not be able to, say, take a shower themselves, being able to use the toilet on your own is still something many people would gladly want.
It makes using the toilet safer in general
With old age and injury comes an increased risk of even more injuries. This is because your body isn’t as strong as it used to be, and simple mistakes can lead to devastating consequences. Even if your grandparents or injured siblings are able to use the toilets on their own right now, it never hurts to give them a little extra support to ensure that nothing bad happens to them.
Tips When Setting Up Bathroom Chair Rails
Always check for compatibility first
Not all bathroom chair rails and toilet frames work with all toilets ever made, and while they’re designed to be as universal as possible, you never know if your home’s toilet is one of the rare exceptions. To prevent this from happening, you simply need to check if the bathroom chair rails fit your toilet via a provided compatibility list or measurements provided by the manufacturer.
If you aren’t able to find a list of supported toilet sizes or brands, look for a rail that’s designed to be planted on the floor instead of directly on the seat itself. These rails cater to toilet seats of just about any size, and there’s a very good chance that they’ll work with your particular toilet seat at home.
Clean the rails regularly
The bathroom is a very private area of the home, but it’s also one of the dirtiest. It’s where we dispose of our body waste, and it’s very possible for some of that waste to end up on the rail from time to time. And even if it’s not visible, bacteria can still fester and multiply in those areas, which is why you always want to make sure that the rails are clean as often as possible.
Ideally, you’ll want to clean the rails daily, but for many people, this is obviously impractical and too difficult to achieve. Instead, tell everyone at home to clean up properly after every use, and give the rail a decent wiping during the weekends.
How to Use Bathroom Chair Rails
Bathroom chair rails are pretty straightforward, and there’s no real step-by-step process for using them. You simply hold onto the rails as necessary, and you’re using them in their intended way. You’ll often find the most use for it when you’re either standing up or getting ready to sit down or stand up from your seat.
One thing to take note of is that chair rails will often have padded handles. These handles make it easier and more comfortable to grip the rails, and this can further secure your hold on the support. Just be sure to keep your hands clean before and after holding the rail whenever possible.
While there are many designs for chair rails in bathrooms, we found that this one, in particular, takes the cake. It’s a simple yet sleek design that blends well with its surroundings, and it’s sturdy to boot, so you or your loved ones can reliably place themselves onto the toilet seat. The rails are padded, of course, so as not to injure the user as they let themselves down, and it makes the experience comfortable, too.
Not everybody can install these sorts of support mechanisms by themselves, but you’d be surprised by how easy they are to set up. The safety rail can be installed directly onto your toilet seat without any need for tools whatsoever, so you can get it ready right out of the box. Do note that the size of your toilet can affect this rail’s compatibility, so be sure to check on that before making a purchase.
This next toilet seat frame is very similar to the previous one, and indeed, they share quite a few similarities. The toilet seat frame is very easy to install, and you can get it ready in a matter of minutes. It’s also designed to be almost universal, so while it won’t fit in every toilet you pair it with, it’ll more often than not install without a hitch.
What makes this particular frame special is its ergonomics. The frame helps with both standing and sitting, so whether you’re getting yourself into a sitting position or just need something to hold on to while standing, it’s got your back. The only real drawback to this frame is that it isn’t always available, so be sure to check for availability every now and then if you really want this particular rail.
Sitting on a toilet seat can feel different depending on whether or not your feet are touching the ground. If they are, then you can relieve some of the pressure on your legs and hips, but if not, they’re left to bear all that weight by themselves. This may be fine for most people, but those with injuries in that area may want to relieve the pain in those areas, if only partially.
And that’s what this frame is for. Aside from the handles that can help you get into position, the chair rail also comes with a foot rest that you can use to give your legs and feet some stability. You can also adjust the height of the footrest to cater to the user’s needs. The entire rail is actually foldable by design, so you can bring it around on road trips and use it wherever you end up sleeping for the night.
When it comes to tools that provide accessibility to users, versatility is a prized feature. It allows the user to take advantage of the product in more ways than one. This bathroom safety toilet rail is a great example of this, as you can use it both in and out of the bathroom. The toilet rail is shaped to accommodate just about every toilet size imaginable, allowing you to use it anywhere there’s sufficient room.
The rail can be placed on top of a toilet to help with “business”, but it can be used outside the bathroom for some general support. You can have it in the kitchen, near the bedroom, or anywhere else you could benefit from the device. It’s a great gift for those who need it, and it can find use even if the person already has a handrail for their toilet.
Extremely versatile design
Accommodates most if not all toilet sizes
Can be used outside the bathroom
Not the most comfortable to use
Bathroom Chair Rail FAQ
Q: Are bathroom chair rails meant for the disabled?
A: While people with disabilities benefit from bathroom chair rails the most, they can still very much be used by people without disabilities for support.
Q: Is it safe to use a bathroom chair rail?
A: While it may seem dangerous to install a heavy metal or plastic frame by your toilet seat, the chair rails are padded, making them easy to hold and far safer than unpadded steel.
Q: When should I get a bathroom chair rail?
A: If you or your loved one finds it difficult to use the toilet seat themselves without any support, then you may want to look into purchasing a bathroom chair rail.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.