The Best Hand-Held Urinals Share These 13 Features – Boom Home Medical
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How to Choose The Best Hand-Held Urinal for Home Use

by Dr. Shani Saks 03 Feb 2022

Convenience is key these days, especially when it comes to personal care products. People don’t want to put their lives on hold or feel embarrassed simply because they need to use the restroom. This is where handheld portable urinals, also known as medical urinals, come into play.

Top 13 Features to Look for in a Hand-Held Urinal

1. Spill-proof design

When it comes to a urinal, few things are as important as spill-proof! After all, no one wants to deal with a mess, especially when it involves pee!

In fact, spills can be a real issue when it comes to urinals. If you keep one on your bedside table for nighttime use, for example, it’s easy to knock it over in the dark. On the other hand, if you keep one in your car, a sudden stop or pothole is likely to send it tumbling.

Although a snug-fitting lid–either snap-close or twist-on–will prevent most spills, strangely enough, many urinals don’t have them.

2. Adequate capacity

The capacity of hand-held urinals varies considerably, and it’s important to select a urinal that’s large enough to meet your needs and won’t overfill. Most urinals hold roughly 32 oz. (1000 ml) but some are as large as twice that size (2000 ml). Smaller hand-held urinals, many of which are intended specifically for on-the-go use, are also available.

Although a host of factors can influence how much urine you produce each time you pee, an average urination for an adult ranges from about 200 to 400 milliliters (ml), or approximately 7 to 14 ounces. Obviously, these numbers can go up or down significantly. For example, you’ll urinate more if you consume a lot of fluid quickly, “hold in your pee”, or take medications like diuretics which increase the amount of urine you produce.

When choosing a urinal, it’s a good idea to have some sense of how much urine you typically make. You can do this by simply measuring several voids using a standard measuring cup. Ideally, a urinal will be able to comfortably accommodate two complete voids.

3. Ergonomic handle

Dropping a hand-held urinal can quickly turn a convenience into a big mess. To avoid this type of mishap, look for a urinal with a handle that fits comfortably in your hand and is easy to grasp securely. Keep in mind that a urinal will get heavy as it fills and be harder to hold on–a 1000 ml urinal, for example, will weigh over 2 lbs. when full! A contoured or textured grip can also help prevent slipping, especially if you have limited dexterity or grip strength.

4. Easy to clean

In order to keep things sanitary and safe, make sure to choose a handheld urinal that is easy to clean. Regular cleaning will help prevent the growth of bacteria, which thrive in moist environments.

Ideally, a simple cleaning routine like the following one will be all it takes:

  • Empty the liquid completely into a toilet or sink.
  • Fill the urinal with warm water and several drops of liquid soak.
  • Let the soapy solution sit for a few minutes before emptying or shake it vigorously several times and dump it immediately.
  • Rinse the urinal with water.
  • Turn upside down, allowing water to drain and urinal to dry completely.

5. Odor control

One of the biggest concerns many people have about using a urinal is odor. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: purchase one with a top or lid that locks in smells. (It’s actually surprising how many urinals do not have this feature!) Snap-on lids and twist-on lids are most common. Either works effectively against odors as long as it fits securely and–of course–you actually use it!

But, there’s something else to consider when it comes to odor. If you stay well hydrated, your urine–when it’s fresh–really isn’t likely to smell much. So, if odor is a worry for you, in addition to purchasing a urinal with a cap, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. You’re generally drinking enough when your urine is light yellow in color. Also, empty and rinse your urinal frequently. When urine is left sitting around, bacteria can begin to grow and produce foul-smelling compounds like ammonia.

6. Gender-specific designs

Choose a urinal best suited to your anatomy. After all, people with penises and people with vulvas have very different needs when it comes to urinals.

“Male” hand-held urinals typically have a rounded mouth that is two to three inches wide. They can generally be used comfortably by individuals with male anatomy when they are standing, seated, or lying down. “Female” handheld urinals, on the other hand, are made with a larger, oval-shaped mouth, around 5 or 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. Most urinals designed for the female anatomy are straightforward to use in either the seated or standing position, however, they can often be difficult to position properly when laying flat.

Some urinals are marketed as “unisex” or “male & female”. These products typically include a removable plastic attachment (often described as a ‘funnel’) that converts them from “male” to “female”. Unfortunately, users with female anatomy frequently complain that these attachments are prone to fall off mid-stream, leading to spills and mess.

7. Modern style

Most home health products fall well short of our modern expectations, especially when it comes to urinals. Most urinals that are available are poorly designed, unattractive, and look and feel like the hospital. And, since no one really wants to bring the hospital into their home, people who are looking for a urinal for regular usage should take aesthetics into account as well. When it comes to finding a handheld urinal you’ll actually use, finding one that looks like it belongs by your bedside, on your side table, or in your car is key.

Fortunately, there are now several stylish, modern options available. The Tanker and Loona handheld urinals by Boom Home Medical are perhaps the best examples. Loona, designed for female anatomy, has a sculptural, vase-like silhouette while Tanker is designed for male anatomy. To top it off, both come in a variety of contemporary designer colors.

8. Portable and lightweight

Since urinals can get heavy as they fill with urine, it’s generally helpful if the urinal itself is lightweight. A lighter urinal will be easier to position and use, especially if you’re not feeling 100%.

That being said, don’t buy a urinal that is too thin walled and prone to crack. The last thing you want is a urinal that is going to spring a leak!

9. Markings to measure volume

Markings on a handheld urinal to measure volume can be helpful in a variety of situations. For instance, healthcare providers often want patients with conditions like kidney disease and diabetes to monitor their urine output, as this information can help guide treatment decisions. Similarly, measuring urine output following a procedure or surgery is frequently important.

Volume markings can also be useful if you simply want to track your hydration status. Although monitoring hydration based on urine color isn’t an exact science, urine that is pale yellow generally indicates that it is dilute and is a sign of good hydration.

10. Durability

Like the nicer version of any product, a well-made, durable handheld urinal will come at a premium price. But the additional expense is undoubtedly worth it. A solidly constructed urinal made of high quality material is less likely to crack and leak than a cheaper product; it will also last longer and won’t need to be replaced as frequently.

Although most urinals on the market are made of plastic, they are not all created equally. Some (actually most) are quite thin and flimsy, while others made with thicker walls are constructed to stand up to both time and use.

11. Soft edges for comfort

Most urinals are made entirely of plastic using a manufacturing process called ‘blow molding’. While for the sake of this article it’s not necessary to understand the ins and outs of blow molding, suffice it to say that the lips or edges of blow molded bottles frequently aren’t perfectly smooth. Sometimes they have small imperfections which can feel rough against the skin, particularly sensitive areas of skin like the vulva and penis.

Even when the edges of a urinal are perfectly smooth, holding hard plastic up against your body never feels great. Fortunately, better options, like Loona by Boom Home Medical, are now available. Loona’s soft silicone funnel contours the body just right and makes for more comfortable, safer use.

12. Compatibility with bed rails

If you are confined to bed and require a urinal, it’s nice to have a urinal that hangs on the rails of your bed (provided your bed has rails) so that it’s always within easy reach. Traditional “hospital” urinals can typically do this; the urinals’ handle generally hang over and hook onto the railing of the bed. Even if you’re not confined to bed, a hanging urinal can be helpful if you simply have trouble getting out of bed and using the bathroom independently. This can happen for a variety of reasons including an injury or a recent illness or surgery.

13. Multi-functional use, such as for travel or camping

There’s no question that handheld urinals are great for use anywhere around the house, whether it’s in your bedroom or next to your favorite chair in the television room. But, for many people, the best urinal will be one that’s also handy to take on-the-go.

When you’re on the road, looking for a bathroom can be a huge hassle and having a portable urinal on hand is a huge convenience. Urinals are also great companions for hiking and camping, when a bathroom–especially a clean one–may be hard to come by. Features to look for in a urinal you’re interested in using outside of the house include compact size and spill-proof design. And, if you don’t want anyone to know what you’re toting around, choose one with a discrete design, like Tanker and Loona by Boom Home Medical.

Manufactured by the healthcare innovators at Loona Medical, the Loona portable bedside urinal is designed for women, or anyone with a vulva. The Loona offers a sleek alternative to traditional handheld portable urinals. Its sophisticated contemporary design makes it look like it’s meant to be in people’s homes!

The Loona is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. Loona has a soft, contoured funnel that creates a comfortable and secure seal against the body, a snap close lid that prevents spills and leaks, and a broad, stable base to ensure it stays upright. Its solid construction and opaque color make the Loona more discreet than other urinals on the market, many of which are made of light-weight, clear plastics. Ergonomic handles on both sides of the Loona offer ultimate control over how it’s used. And, although the Loona is only 9 inches tall it can hold up to 30 ounces of fluid, which means that it can typically be used twice before it reaches capacity.

Key Takeaways

When shopping for portable or handheld urinals, it’s important to consider several important design elements. Is it comfortable to use? Does it have a handle that is easy to grip and hold onto? Fill markers that allow urine output to be easily measured? Does it have features that minimize the risk of spills and leaks? Make it quiet to use? Help trap odors?

And, anyone looking for a urinal for regular daytime and/or nighttime use should take aesthetics into account as well. Finding a portable bedside urinal that looks as though it belongs by your bedside is key. Before selecting a portable urinal for you or a loved one, be sure to weigh all these features carefully.

Shop Portable Urinals

Loona portable female urinal

Tanker portable male urinal

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