Toilet Vs Commode: What Makes Them Different?

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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toilet vs commode

While you may have heard that a commode is a toilet, its picture gives you a different definition. Hence, comparing toilet vs commode is a way to clarify things.

A toilet is composed of a bowl and a tank that is attached to a permanent plumbing fixture. On the other hand, a commode is a more versatile toilet. It is also a portable toilet that you can transfer from one area to another. It has a toilet riser or more accessories used for the elderly and individuals with disabilities or had surgery. Further details will follow, so keep reading.

What You Need to Know About Toilets

This refers to the regular toilet with a porcelain bowl and a tank. In addition, this is attached to a bathroom’s floor through a floor flange and a permanent plumbing fixture. As you can see, this is the opposite of being portable. Note the other meaning for ‘toilette’ is a woman’s dressing table or vanity.

A toilet where waste disposal occurs is called differently in different parts of the world. It’s called a water closet and loo as well. Also, you have to be particular with the different types of toilets to determine the pros and cons.

Different Types of Toilets (Pros and Cons)

1. One-piece toilet


A one-piece toilet doesn’t have a gap and a cistern. It looks sleek as the pipes can be hidden. You can check out Swiss Madison Well Made Forever and American Standard Champion 4 as excellent examples for this toilet type.


  • Straightforward installation and flush control

Since it’s a one-piece unit, installation is straightforward, and it’s not necessary to alter the plumbing. Therefore, you won’t only save time in installation but also money. The flush is at the back of the cistern so it’s easy for every user.


  • Problem with the back part

Compared to other toilets, the back part that is connected to the base is prone to dirt accumulation. However, Kohler Parliament and Santa Rosa are exempted from this issue due to their modern and sleek design.

Needs replacement

Typically, you need to replace the whole unit when some parts are damaged.

2. Two-piece Toilet


This is the basic type of toilet with a tank and bowl. Depending on the toilet model, it can be a single flush or dual flush.


  • Affordable and efficient
  • People view it as an affordable option but it’s still efficient and can be found in various designs.
  • Easy installation and repairs

Two-piece toilets are easy to install even if they are situated in a tight area. It’s no sweat to assemble them and you can connect the two parts before installation.

When some parts are damaged, you can buy new components and replace them. You don’t have to replace the whole toilet so you can maintain the condition of the toilet in the long run. The best examples of two-piece toilets are Toto Drake and Kohler Highline.


You have to be patient with this toilet as it requires regular deep cleaning. Dirt build-ups can be expected on its crevices. Pay attention to the rubber gasket that might break and cause leaks.

3. Wall hung toilet

With its floating set-up, it has a minimalist effect since it’s a space saver. Since it hangs on the wall, the cistern is concealed. Good examples of wall hung toilets are Swiss Madison Well Made Forever Ivy and Duravit Starck 3.


  • At any height

Individuals who have limited mobility will benefit from this as it can be placed at any designated height. From their chosen height, they can get up and sit on the toilet properly.


The need to put the cistern in the wall costs more money than the installation of other toilet types.

4. Smart toilet

The integration of advanced technology makes it possible for a smart toilet to provide ultimate comfort and control. Numerous features function through electronic control.


  • Additional features

A smart toilet has several additional features such as heated seat, self-cleaning nozzle, automatic flushing, night light, and more. You can rely on smart toilets like VOVO Stylement and Woodbridge T-0022.


  • More expensive

You have to pay more in exchange for the convenience of the additional features. It increases your electricity bill as it needs power to work.

What Exactly Is a Commode


What is a commode toilet? It’s modeled as a commode chair with an enclosed chamber pot and wheels so it can be moved. In addition, it can be described as having a mini-folding stool, a tank for water and waste, and a toilet seat. The main purpose of this thing is to make it possible to have a toilet everywhere. Thus, you can put it beside a person who finds it hard to go to the toilet or camping.

You may find antique commode toilets in hospitals and houses of invalids in the past. It’s not different nowadays as the commode in medical industry is an essential tool, especially for caregivers. This tool has leveled up because it promises comfort, efficiency, and practicality.

Getting up from bed and going to the toilet is a tedious task for the elderly and individuals with mobility restrictions. These people may trip and fall, and this can cause injuries and even death. They should use a toilet called a commode to prevent accidents. Sitting on it and getting up are simple so they won’t fall.

There’s a commode chair over a toilet or it can have a bedpan or pails. Moreover, there are various options like bedside and shower chair toilets, drop arm, aluminum commodes, and toilet liner bags. Besides that, there are various height options for your needs, especially the suitable height for the elderly.

Aside from a standard commode, there are different styles of the seat like the raised toilet seat, with cushion seat, handrails, and a portable commode toilet seat that is heavy-duty.


  • Many beneficiaries

Many people can benefit from a commode such as senior citizens, handicapped people, those with lower body issues and injuries, people who just had surgery, those with knee problems like arthritis, and those who find squatting on a regular toilet difficult.

  • Portability

This is a portable toilet that you can move around.

  • Offers confidence and independence

The people who are mentioned above find confidence and independence when using a commode since they don’t have to rely on someone else when doing their business.

  • 3-in-1 Commode

Since there are new ideas in the definition of a commode, a 3-in-1 is available in the market. It’s composed of a toilet riser, bedside commode, and safety frame. It’s versatile as you can adjust the height that is comfortable for the user. There’s a splash guard or a tube that allows the waste to get into the toilet without creating a mess.


  • The need to empty the toilet

With a regular toilet, you only need to press a button or handle to flush the waste. But you have to empty a commode just like any portable toilet. This job is not for everyone as some will feel disgusted doing it.

What Can You Expect From a Regular Toilet and Commode Toilet

After you know the features and nature of these items, you realize toilet differences. In this part, they’ll be compared based on the things that concern you when using a toilet.

  • Weight capacity

Sizes of the users won’t be a big deal for the regular toilet as it’s made of ceramic and vitreous china, which are known as hardy materials. However, a commode toilet has some limitations as it has a weight capacity of around 350 lbs.

  • Height

The recommended height for the comfort of the users is from 16” to 19”. However, not all household members are adults. Hence, a 15-inch tall toilet will be great for kids and adults of average height. This is too low for those who stand six feet and up. You can meet somewhere in between after considering the heights of the people in the family.

On the other hand, commode toilets are made to assist the elderly and people with limited mobility in their needs to go to the toilet. This is put into consideration by making the commode’s height adjustable.

  • Waste disposal

While it’s so convenient to get rid of your waste in a regular toilet, some issues can come up like clogging, leakage, and waste sticking to the bowl. So, you have to spend time fixing the issue and cleaning.

Time is also needed for waste disposal when using a commode and it should be done in the appropriate place as regulated by the local authority. It all depends on the purpose but you can’t expect that you can always be carefree with a regular toilet as it needs cleaning too.

  • Cost

The most expensive commode I’ve found so far is the McKesson as it costs $239. You’ll also find toilets around this price but the high-end ones can cost twice, thrice, and even multiple times. Smart toilets can cost thousands of dollars or more. Even though the commode toilet has a special purpose, it doesn’t cost a lot.

The Final Words on Toilet and Commode

In toilet vs commode, you should understand that the latter has a specific purpose. Regular toilets are common in households and public places. A commode toilet can also be in a house where there are elderly and individuals with mobility restrictions. These people may also be found in the hospital so caregivers provide commode toilets to their patients.

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