What Is a Powered Toilet Lift (& Why Do You Need One)?


Most adults have struggled to get on or off the toilet at some point, maybe from an injury or just everyday aches and pains – but almost no one talks about it. Needing help in the bathroom is one of those topics that people are so embarrassed by that many would rather struggle than ask for help. 

The comedy show Grace and Frankie helped bring some levity to this tough topic by featuring it in Season 6 of the popular show. In the infamous episode, Grace has trouble getting up from the toilet. After stubbornly trying and failing several times, she finally caves and calls her pal Frankie to come rescue her from the uncomfortable predicament. The friends then turn the mishap into an opportunity by inventing the “Rise Up” – a simple device that lifts people up from the toilet.

Since that episode aired, many people have wondered whether such a product actually exists. And – spoiler alert - it does! It’s called a powered toilet lift and it helps thousands of real people safely and comfortably use the toilet every day! There are several different models currently available, but LiftSeat is the one you want, and here’s why…

Did you know that show producers purchased a LiftSeat to use as inspiration for the “Rise Up” featured in Grace and Frankie?


What Does a Powered Toilet Lift Actually Do?

Powered toilet lifts do exactly as their name implies. They use an electric lifting mechanism to raise and lower people on and off toilet seats. Simple, right? The concept is simple, but knowing which lift to get can be a bit more complicated.

There are a couple key things to consider when purchasing a power toilet lift that will affect overall usefulness and satisfaction with the product. Here are 5 questions you should ask:

  1. Can the lift be modified?
    This is the single most important question to ask. Your current needs will likely not match your needs a year from now, so being able to make modifications is important. One of the most common modifications people make is adding a bidet. Only one toilet lift can be modified with a bidet, and that’s LiftSeat. Other common modifications people make are adjustable handlebars and feet, to make sure the height it just right.
  2. How does the lift operate?
    A lift should raise the user to a height where they can easily transition to a standing position. If the lift does not come up high enough or raises too high, its puts additional strain on both the user and caregiver. Some lifts follow a straight up and down path, while others follow an arcing path that guides the user forward while lifting them up. Look for a lift with the option to switch between them since you may not know which style you prefer.
  3. Is the lift portable (i.e. can it be used bedside also)?
    Portability is a great feature for people who may need to use their lift bedside. Look for features like locking wheels and bedside commode options.
  4. Is the lift free standing or does it require installation?
    Some lifts are free-standing and install right over the existing toilet – without any need for tools. There are other lifts that must be mounted directly to the toilet. Mounting to the toilet, however, can create issues with the stability of the toilet and cause leaking around the wax ring. Opt for a free-standing unit – it will give you more flexibility and is easier to install.
  5. Does the company who makes the lift stand behind their product?
    When it comes to medical equipment (of any type) the company is as important as the product. You need to be sure that the company is reputable (are they registered with the FDA?) and that they are available when you need assistance. You should also check what kind of warranty and return policy they offer. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a toilet lift that doesn’t work for you.

The LiftSeat Toilet Lift checks all the above boxes and more (click here to download our free buyer's guide checklist). With over 250 positive reviews (more than any other lift!), you can’t go wrong with a LiftSeat.

Who Should Consider Getting a Power Toilet Lift?

Not everyone needs help getting up from the toilet – but there are many more people who do need help than admit it. The key to really benefiting from this tool is to get one before you really think you need it. 

People fall in the bathroom – a lot. Bathing and using the toilet are the 2 activities most likely to result in injury, with “more than a third of the injuries happen[ing] while bathing or showering” and “more than 14 percent occur[ing] while using the toilet.”1

Getting a power toilet lift at the first sign of instability can help prevent a fall – and help you keep your private business, well, private.

LiftSeat has thousands of customers worldwide. From individuals with ALS and MD that have little to no lower body strength, to aging adults who want to use the bathroom without fear of falling or getting stuck, LiftSeat helps thousands of people use their home bathrooms safely and comfortably every day.



1.     Bakalar, Nicholas. “Watch Your Step While Washing Up.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Aug. 2011,


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Interested in learning about how LiftSeat can help you or a loved one?