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Handheld Urinals

Handheld Urinals

Handheld urinals are portable devices that can be used when access to a toilet is not possible or convenient. Although designed for men or women, many aspects of urinal use are common to both versions. For information that is specific to urinals for men or women click on the pictures below.

Click on the purple tabs below for general information about handheld urinals.

Top Tips

  1. Often it is inconvenient to put down a used urinal whilst adjusting your clothes. Always make sure you have an appropriate surface nearby to place it on so that you can 'forget' about the full item and not knock it over!
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  3. Consider using super-absorbent gel in the base of a handheld urinal for women to avoid spillage after use.
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There are many different types available which have been designed to suit mainly women or men, although some men prefer to use female urinals so take a look at both types.

Handheld urinals can give people the opportunity to independently manage toileting in a safe and dignified way either at home or when away, for example when in hospital. 1

Handheld urinals are particularly useful in the following circumstances:

  • If you experience urinary frequency and / or urgency when they can help to avoid bladder leakage

  • If you have limited mobility or flexibility making use of the toilet difficult

  • When going on long journeys or any other time when access to a toilet is difficult

  • You would be otherwise be dependent on a helper to use the toilet.

Important features

An effective hand-held urinal must enable you to empty your bladder in comfort and be confident of no spillage.

It should not require excessive physical effort on your part and should be easy to empty without spillage.

Handheld urinals have a number of features which are common to both female and male versions, for example:

  • Varied designs - shapes, sizes and colours

  • Reusable urinals - usually made from plastic or, less commonly, metal

  • Disposable urinals - made from cardboard

  • Use in different postures - Some are better in particular postures, like standing or sitting

  • Handles - designed specifically to assist with grip and positioning

  • Lid or non-spill devices - to help prevent spillage during and after use

  • Drainage bag attachment - some urinals can be attached to a drainage bag which increases the functional capacity of the urinal. This is helpful if you are unable to empty the urinal yourself or during the night for multiple use. 2

  • Travel urinals - small, collapsible urinals can fit in a pocket or small bag

Super absorbent polymer (SAP) can be placed in a urinal to soak up the urine, reducing the risk of spills/leaks from the urinal. These sachets can then be disposed of in bags within the normal household rubbish.

Will I be able to use a handheld urinal?

  • Some continence services or disabled living organisations have a urinal lending library. 3 Ask your healthcare professional if they have sample urinals which you can try out.

  • You can practice holding and placing a urinal without the need to remove clothing. If you think a particular urinal might work for you, ask to pass urine into it, before making a decision about its suitability.

  • You may find that making some alterations to your clothing (e.g. replacing zips with Velcro) can help you to use the urinal quickly if needed.

How do I empty them?

  • Handheld urinals can be emptied down the toilet when convenient or by a helper.

  • If the urinal has a urine drainage bag attached this can also be emptied into the toilet.

  • Some handheld urinals have a spout or a plug for easier drainage.

How do I clean them?

  • If you are at home and the urinal is only for your use, you are recommended to clean it thoroughly, when convenient or if you have help, with soap and water.

  • You can use an anti-bacterial spray.

  • You are recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on specific cleaning requirements.

  • If you have taken your urinal with you into hospital it may need to be autoclaved to reduce the risk of cross-infection. Check the manufacurer’s instructions to ensure that your urinal can be cleaned this way without it becoming damaged.

What should I do with a disposable urinal?

Cardboard urinals are single-use only. They should be emptied after use, wrapped in paper and disposed of in the usual household or clinical waste.

In hospital, where disposable urinals are mainly used, they are disposed of in a macerator.

Click on Worldwide for information about disposal of this type of product where you live.

How much do handheld urinals cost and where can I buy them?

The cost of handheld urinals varies according to the design and which country you live in, so it is not possible to give an exact price range.

They can be purchased directly through the manufacturer, by phone or mail order and on the internet.

Click on Worldwide for information about how to get hold of handheld urinals where you live.

Click on the pictures below for detailed information about urinals for men or women.

Click on Product Advisor for help deciding which product might suit you.