Toilet Frame Information

Although everyone’s needs are different, toilet frames generally help make the bathroom safer and ensure users can retain their independence and dignity.

What is a Toilet Frame?

Generally made from coated metal, toilet frames are designed to assist with sitting and standing and fit onto or around a toilet. As such, they must be strong enough handle the users’ weight. They can be either free-standing or permanently fixed to the floor or wall. Some toilet frames also include a built-in toilet seat. Toilet frames offer support on both sides of the toilet.

What is a Toilet Support Rail?

Similar to toilet frames, toilet support rails are designed to support the user while sitting down or rising up from the toilet. Typically, toilet support rails are placed on only one side of the toilet. Rails can be attached to either the wall or the floor and frequently fold up out of the way when not in use.

One-Sided or Two-Sided?

Two-sided toilet supports are ideal for users who have weak, stiff, or aching joints from conditions such as arthritis or injury. They’re also the logical choice for people with balance issues. However, if the user is stronger on one side than the other or often uses a wheelchair, a one-sided support system may make more sense.

Temporary or Permanent?

The decision whether to use a temporary solution or a permanent one largely depends on lifestyle. If the patients using the toilet frame or rails lives with others or has frequent visitors, a free-standing frame with non-slip feet that can be removed by other uses makes sense. Also, toilet rails that fold away when not in use work as a temporary solution. However, if the patient normally lives alone and minimizing falls is a concern, a fixed frame or rail may make more sense.

Wall-Mounted or Floor-Mounted?

Although wall-mounted rails typically take up less space, not all walls are strong enough to properly support the users weight safely. Therefore, it’s often a smarter choice to use a floor-mounted system that can be screwed into the timber or concrete.

Other Considerations

The user’s height is a factor in selecting the proper toilet support system. Find one that is height adjustable to ensure short or tall users get the best fit. In addition, extra-wide and width adjustable systems are available. Hygiene, of course, is a key factor, so ease of cleaning must be a consideration. Look for joints that are free from gaps or divots as well as easy to clean arms. Although padded arms can be more comfortable, they can be more difficult for weak or small hands to grip and may also be harder to clean.


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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

  • have a physical or mental impairment that has a long-term and severe effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities;
  • have a condition that doctors treat as a chronic sickness - like diabetes, for example;
  • are terminally ill

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).