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Which bedpan is best for the elderly?

Bedpans, fracture pans and urinal bottles are all portable devices used to make toileting easier or more convenient. This is a big reason why they’re so important for those who need this extra assistance, especially if they’re elderly, have a medical condition or are recovering from surgery. When getting a bedpan for an elderly individual, there are a few things to factor in such as the design, comfort level, materials and weight capacity. The best bedpan for the elderly is Precise Canada PC Stainless Steel Bedpan.

What to know before you buy a bedpan for the elderly

Purpose and design

Bedpans are essentially a toileting aid that can help people who have mobility issues, such as the elderly, relieve themselves with minimal fuss or mess. They can be used for bowel movements and urination, though some designs work better for one of these over the other.

Most bedpans are shaped like shallow toilet seats and have rounded edges for a person to use while in a bed. They often have handles to make it easier to move them around and position them properly as well as to empty them out after use. These devices are also durable and, unless you get a disposable one, can be reused for months or years.


To use a bedpan properly, begin by placing it near the hips of the individual with the widest part pointing toward them and the narrower end facing away from them. If possible, help the individual sit up and lift their hips for the best angle.

If they can’t sit up on their own, gently roll them over to their left or right side. This will let you place the bedpan underneath them so that, when you roll them onto their back, their buttocks will be aligned with the opening. You might need to keep the bedpan in place while you do this.

After use, remove the bedpan in the same way as when you initially positioned it. Never leave it in place for a long time, especially when it’s been used. Otherwise, it could cause pain, pressure sores, ulcers and neuropathy, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.


There are three main types of bedpan, each with a different form factor, purpose and weight capacity. These are:

  • Standard: Standard bedpans have a wide seat that is contoured similar to a toilet seat. They’re ideal for people who can lift their hips to aid in positioning.
  • Bariatric: These have a deeper bowl than standard models and are specifically designed with a higher weight limit. They often have tapered sides that make positioning them easier. They’re best for heavyset individuals.
  • Fracture: This model has a narrow end and is designed for ease of placement. Fracture pans are meant for people who can’t get up very easily or who have a pelvic injury.

All three of these designs come in disposable and reusable forms.

Weight limit

Every bedpan has a weight limit. Most standard and fracture models can hold up to 250 pounds. Bariatric bedpans, meanwhile, can support around 1,200 pounds. Before purchase, check the label for the maximum weight limit.

What to look for in a quality bedpan for the elderly 


Bedpans are generally made from inexpensive, durable materials that are easy to clean, such as polypropylene or other heavy-duty plastics and stainless steel.

Stainless steel models are extremely durable, nonstick and easy to clean. The downside is that they are unyielding and cold to the touch, which could be uncomfortable to use.

Plastic bedpans, meanwhile, are lightweight, portable and more comfortable to sit on than metal. However, they tend to hold odors and can become damaged more easily.


Most fracture and standard bedpans are designed to accommodate the average person, whereas bariatric ones are meant for larger bodies. Before choosing one, double-check the measurements listed in the item description for the length, width and height or depth of the bedpan.

For example, a bariatric model might be 14 inches wide by 15 inches long and 3 inches deep. But a standard bedpan might be 10.8 inches wide by 13.5 inches long by 2 inches deep.

Consider the size of the toileting aid’s opening too. For instance, the bedpan could be 10.8 inches wide but have a 6-inch opening. The extra space indicates the lip of the bedpan, which is where a person can sit for additional comfort while reducing the chance of spillage.

Most bedpans for the elderly don’t list how many ounces or milliliters they can hold. Generally, though, the deeper the bowl, the higher the capacity.


When getting a bedpan, it’s a good idea to also grab a few accessories to make using and cleaning it easier. These include:

  • Cleaning brush to scrub the bedpan and remove any persistent stains.
  • Bedpan liners to go around the outer side of the bedpan and absorb any accidental spills.
  • Underpads that are placed underneath the bedpan to catch any spills and protect the mattress from being soiled.
  • Cleaning supplies such as a disinfectant.
  • Gloves to serve as a barrier to germs or bacteria.

How much you can expect to spend on a bedpan for the elderly 

On average, plastic bedpans cost $10-$25. Metal options usually cost $30-$40.

Bedpan for the elderly FAQ

What’s the best way to clean a bedpan?

A. After making sure the individual who used it doesn’t need any further assistance, take the bedpan and deposit the contents into a toilet. From there, wash it out with a disinfectant and brush or abrasive cloth. Rinse it out with warm water and repeat as needed. Once it’s thoroughly clean, let it dry before using it again. Always wear gloves.

Are urinal bottles better than bedpans?

A. Urinal bottles function similarly to bedpans, but they are only used for urine. They’re best for individuals who can sit up and position themselves with or without help. However, they can be more difficult to use than most bedpans, especially for elderly individuals or those who can’t sit up or adjust themselves.

What’s the best bedpan for the elderly to buy?

Top bedpan for the elderly to buy

Precise Canada PC Stainless Steel Bedpan

Precise Canada PC Stainless Steel Bedpan

What you need to know: This bedpan is sturdy, durable and large enough for most individuals to use.

What you’ll love: Made from polished stainless steel, this reusable bedpan can support a lot of weight. Some users had success with it supporting up to 350 pounds. It has a deep bowl that prevents spills.

What you should consider: The lip can be a little sharp.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bedpan for the elderly for the money

Vakly Heavy Duty Large Bariatric Bedpan

Vakly Heavy Duty Large Bariatric Bedpan

What you need to know: This contoured bedpan is smooth and durable, and it provides maximum comfort during use.

What you’ll love: It has a nonstick surface and is latex-free, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin or allergies. It’s also large enough to support people weighing around 380 pounds or so. The tapered front also makes it easy to position it.

What you should consider: It isn’t very deep, so it doesn’t have a high capacity.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Vakly Smooth Contoured Stackable Bedpan

Vakly Smooth Contoured Stackable Bedpan

What you need to know: Ideal for anyone who can’t get out of bed or needs help toileting, this model is made from plastic and has a comfortable fit.

What you’ll love: At 15 inches wide, this bedpan is large enough to serve as a female urinal. It is easy to use and has a nonstick surface that makes it even easier to clean. Plus, it can be positioned in either a bed or chair without hassle.

What you should consider: The lip isn’t as sturdy as the rest and could end up cracking.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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