How To Choose The Best Bedpan

For bedridden seniors, using a toilet or even a bedside commode is out of the question. A bedpan is a much better choice.

It’s easier and safer to use since it does not require them to get out of bed.

Bedpans come in different styles, sizes and materials but they are all designed to be used while in bed with minimal effort for the user and the caregiver.

Other than bedridden patients, a bedpan is also helpful for seniors who are disabled, paralyzed or recovering from surgery.

How to Use a Bedpan

Note that we are talking about unisex bedpans rather than male or female urinals, which require their own technique.

Unisex bedpans are ideal for any gender and can hold both solid and liquid waste.

What you have to be most careful about when using a bedpan is avoiding leaks and spills that could soil the bedding.

That starts with buying a well designed bedpan. I have reviewed some good ones further below.

How you position the bedpan is also important both to prevent accidents and ensure your loved one is comfortable.

Here’s how to use a bedpan properly.

  • Explain to your loved one what you are about to do. Be gentle and sympathetic. It’s important to make them comfortable especially if this is the first time you are using a bedpan. Remember to also provide privacy. Close the door and if need be, draw the curtains.
  • Wash your hands and put on a pair of gloves.
  • Even with a good bedpan a spill is still possible. Consider placing a waterproof mattress protector under your loved one. Alternatively, place a large towel under their buttocks area.
  • Prepare the bedpan. Add some warm water to it and let it sit for a few minutes. Then pour it and dry the bedpan. This will leave the bedpan warm and comfortable.
  • You can add a little water to the bedpan to make emptying and clean-up easier later.
  • If your loved one is able to lift their hips, ask them to do so then slide the bedpan under their buttocks and have them ease back onto it. Make sure it is oriented the right way (read the user manual beforehand).
  • If they cannot lift their hips, gently roll them on their side, press the bedpan against their buttocks and help them roll back onto it.
  • Check that the bedpan is properly positioned and make sure they are comfortable. Leave some sanitary wipes and tissue within easy reach. Leave them alone to provide privacy and ask them to call you or ring a bell when done.
  • To remove the bedpan, ask your loved one to roll lift their hips (if they can) or help them roll on their side. Set the bedpan aside and help them wipe and clean up.
  • Empty the bedpan into the toilet and sanitize it.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bedpan

a) Size and Capacity

Check the dimensions before you buy a bedpan. Make sure it’s the right size.

A bedpan that is too small can leak or might feel uncomfortable.

Most bedpans are around 13” long and 11” at their widest. For seniors with a bigger body, look for a longer and wider bedpan – at least 15” long and 13” wide.

Also check the bedpan’s capacity. It should be at least 1 litre to ensure it can hold liquid and solid waste without spillage.

b) Material

Most bedpans are made from heavy-duty plastic with a typical weight limit of around 100kg.

Plastic is easy to clean and you don’t have to worry about rusting.

If you want a metal bedpan, look for one that’s made from stainless steel.

c) Design and Shape

The bedpan should have a gentle contoured design that moulds to the buttocks. This makes toileting more comfortable.

A comfortable bedpan is especially important for seniors who take long to relieve themselves.

Some bedpans have a unique anti-spill design. They resemble a toilet seat with a lip at the top keeping the waste contents within the pan.

d) Autoclavable

In most cases, cleaning the bedpan with normal household detergents is enough to sanitize it. But now and then, you may want to do a deeper clean using superhot steam or boiling water.

Make sure the bedpan is autoclavable.

This means it can withstand steam or water temperatures as high as 121°C.

Check the specific maximum autoclaving temperature for your bedpan before you sterilize it in an autoclave machine or a pressure cooker.

Reviews of the Best Bedpans

1. Performance Health Heavy Duty Comfortpan Bedpan

The Comfortpan has a 1.1-litre capacity. It can hold liquid and solid waste without any spillage.

It is 15” long and 14.2” wide, making it ideal for use with most seniors, even those with a larger body size.

It is contoured to mould to the buttocks without causing any pressure or pain.

The deepest end (3”) faces towards the thighs while the part that lies under the lower back is only 1/2″ high. This prevents the back from arching, which could cause pain especially in seniors already experiencing back problems.

A sloped design keeps everything contained in the pan and makes clean-up easier.

What we like about it:

  • Heavy-duty plastic makes the bedpan sturdy and durable.
  • Contoured design ensures comfort.
  • Large enough for bigger-bodied seniors.
  • Easy to clean.

2. NRS Healthcare Oak Leaf Bedpan

As the name suggests, this NRS bedpan looks like an oak leaf.

It is wider and deeper at one end and tappers down to narrower profile at the other end. The flat end rests under the lower back while the deeper end faces towards the thighs.

A contoured lip goes round the sides of the pan to keep contents contained. But there is a cut out on the narrower end for ease emptying of the bedpan.

The bedpan has a capacity of 1 litre, which is plenty enough to hold waste without spilling.

It measures 17” long and 12.5” wide. This is big enough for most seniors.

When it’s time to empty it, a handle at the end makes it easy to slide it out and carry it to the toilet.

The polypropylene material is very easy to clean and sanitize.

What we like about it:

  • Ideal for large-bodied users.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Includes handle for easy carrying.
  • Contoured leaf design increases comfort and prevents spillage.

3. YUMSUM PP Bedpan

This is a good choice if you are looking for a budget bedpan.

Despite being cheaper than the other bedpans, it’s just as sturdy and practical.

It’s made from heavy-duty polypropylene, which is not only easy to keep clean but can take a lot of weight without bending or cracking.

The YUMSUM has a max weight capacity of 100kg or 15.7 stone.

We also love the design. It resembles a toilet seat the top, with a contoured lip pressing gently against the user.

The lip also ensures nothing spills out when moving the bedpan.

Size-wise, the YUMSUM bedpan is a bit small measuring 13.7” long and 10.94” at the widest point. We don’t recommend it for large-bodies seniors.

Emptying and cleaning the bedpan is easy. Since the lip doesn’t go all the way round, it’s easy to pour out the waste from the open end.

You can sanitise it using normal household detergents or an autoclave machine.

What we like about it:

  • Comfortable contoured shape.
  • Affordable.
  • Heavy-duty durable material.
  • Autoclavable.

4. Stainless Steel Bedpan with Lid

If you prefer a metal bedpan, we recommend this stainless steel one.

As you’d expect, it is more expensive than standard plastic bedpans. But it can handle more weight and it’s more durable.

Even though the pan will be in frequent contact with liquids, it will not rust or stain. Just make sure you empty and clean it as soon as it is used.

The bedpan comes with a lid which you can leave on the pan when it’s not in use or when you are taking waste to the toilet (can help reduce smells).

As for the design, the bedpan is somewhat small. Bigger bodied seniors might find it a bit too small.

The lower end is also quite high (2.3”), which can cause the back to arch uncomfortably.

But most seniors should be able to use it without a problem. It’s quite deep and the partially enclosed top contains waste within the pan.

What we like about it:

  • Heavy-duty long-lasting material.
  • Includes a lid.
  • Corrosion and stain resistant.
  • Easy to clean.

5. Aquarius Low Profile Bed Pan

We recommend the Aquarius bed pan for seniors with a bad back. It has a tapered design that moulds well to the buttocks and prevents the back from arching too far up.

It is also quite big, making it ideal for most seniors. It measures 12.25” wide and 17.75” long.

While it is made from polypropylene like many of the other plastic bedpans we have reviewed, it has a stronger and sturdier design.

It can support more than double the weight of other plastic bedpans – up to 250kg or about 39 stone.

It comes with a few extra touches that make it more convenient and practical to use.

For instance, it has a lid that you can use when taking the waste to the toilet. It contains the smells and sight of the contents.

It also has handles on the sides and one end. Most bedpans don’t even have any handles.

The handles make it easy to carry it to the toilet.

Being a polypropylene bedpan, it’s easy to clean and you can safely use any household detergent to sanitize it. You can also autoclave it to 137°c.

What we like about it:

  • Extra sturdy and durable.
  • Side and end handles make it easy to carry.
  • Low profile design is more comfortable especially for seniors with back pain.
  • Easy to clean and sanitize.

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