12 Best Toilets For Every Bathroom – Choose The Throne That Fits You

33 Models Considered
56 Hours of Research
10 Experts Interviewed
294 Reviews Analyzed

Choosing the right toilet for your home’s bathroom or for anywhere else you need to go is a big decision – after all, this is where you are likely to spend some of your time every day for years to come. Having the right toilet can make you more comfortable when using the bathroom and make your life easier by removing worries about clogging and cleaning. In addition, a modern toilet can even be a high-tech gadget that can impress any guests you have over to your home.

In order to help you find the best toilet, we considered a number of features of these essential household fixtures that differentiate them from one another. We first looked at the size of each toilet, which affects how big a bathroom it will fit in, where it can be used, and the comfort of the seat. We also considered the material, which affects the price and durability of different toilets. Water consumption and the type of flush were also big factors in examining the best toilets since more water and more powerful flushing can reduce the chance of clogging but also increase your water bill.

Top 12 Toilets Review 2019

We spent tens of hours researching the most popular toilets on the market today, poring through customer reviews and technical specifications to find the 12 best toilets – highlighted in the table below – for any needs and budget. Continue reading for detailed reviews of each toilet, complete with pros and cons. Our Buying Guide covers everything you need to know about choosing the toilet that is right for you. Finally, we sum up our three overall favorite toilets.

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1. TOTO UltraMax II (Editor's Choice)
One of the most elegant toilets on our list, Toto has an impressive flushing system, is easy-to-clean and pleasant to seat on
TOTO
2. American Standard Champion-4 (Best Classic Toilet)
A nice and familiar toilet design alongside high-quality materials and water saving flushing system
American
3. GALBA Small Toilet (Best Space-Saving Toilet)
This toilet accepts the challenge of saving space, money and water for its owner and does that with efficiency
GALBA
4. Toto Neorest (Best Smart Toilet)
A modern toilet with a smart seat capable of doing all the flushing, wiping and deodorizing job done for you
Toto
5. Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet (Best Composting Toilet)
For your RV or country cottage this wonderful composting toilet will come in handy with no need of water and odorless design
Natures
6. Renovator's Supply Toilet (Best Antique Looking Toilet)
Your bathroom has never looked as stylish as with this piece of art with scratch and stain resistant surface
Renovators
7. Kohler K-3493-0 Highline (Best Two-Piece Toilet)
One of the sturdiest pieces on our list this vitreous china toilet comes with a powerful custom valve for a perfect flushing
Kohler
8. WoodBridge T-0001 (Best One-Piece Toilet)
Designed to serve for many years to come this easy-to-clean toilet you get with the preinstalled seat and all the bolts needed for a simpler installation
WoodBridge
9. Kohler K-3889-0 Highline (Budget Pick)
A budget-friendly toilet grands most value for the money with money saving powerful flushing system and easy installation
Kohler
10. Toto Aquia (Best Wall Mounted Toilet)
A very ergonomic purchase - this is the toilet you want to have when in need of a space saving solution for your bathroom alongside a stylish tankless look
Toto
11. Thetford Porta Potti (Best Portable Toilet for Camping)
An amazingly lightweight toilet for those who desire comfort to be present with them at any environment surroundings
Porta
12. Thetford Aqua-Magic V (Best RV Toilet)
The closest you will get to a home toilet while on the road is this wonderful item with customizable flushing pedals
Aqua
Features
  • Size: 35 x 33 x 23’’
  • Material: vitreous china
  • Water consumption: 1.28 gpf
  • Flush type: tornado flush
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

More features: CeFiONtect™ glaze, 12’’ rough in, fully glazed trapway, soft closing seat, chrome trip lever, ADA compliant, WaterSense, CalGreen

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10

Users rave about this toilet from TOTO for use in a home bathroom. The toilet is fully featured, with a CeFiONtect glaze that reduces microbial growth and staining and a soft close seat that prevents the lid from slamming down after every use. In addition, the toilet is ADA compliant and features a comfort height seat that is perfect for tall adults as well as the mobility impaired. The toilet also cuts down on water use compared to similar toilets at only 1.28 gallons per flush and is WaterSense and CalGreen certified.

The toilet utilizes a tornado flushing system, which works like a modified pressure-assisted flush to give even more flushing power with less water. The rim of the toilet is free of holes, which allows the water to flow in a circular path and clean the bowl effectively during the flush. Thanks to the fully glazed trapway, which features the same CeFiONtect glaze as the rest of the toilets, particles in the bowl are also less stuck on and easier to clean away with a flush.

One of the only downsides that users found to this toilet is that the tornado flush can be somewhat loud, which can be problematic if you plan to put the toilet in a bedroom bathroom. In addition, the top of the tank is curved so it is not really possible to put anything on top of it.

The soft close seat is included with the toilet and the entire unit comes with a one-year warranty.

PROS:
  • Soft close seat
  • Tornado flushing system
  • CeFiONtect glaze throughout
  • ADA compliant and WaterSense certified

CONS:
  • Flush is somewhat loud
  • Top of tank is curved, so cannot put anything on it

Features
  • Size: 30 x 18 x 29.5’’
  • Material: vitreous china
  • Water consumption: 1.6 gpf
  • Flush type: Champion-4 siphon jet
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

More features: ADA compliant, EverClean surface, 4’’ flush valve, 12’’ rough in

OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10

For homeowners and business owners who want a classic toilet design that doesn’t take up a ton of space or draw attention to itself, there are few toilets that fit the bill better than this model from American Standard. The toilet is coated with vitreous china for a subdued glaze and is finished with American Standard’s EverClean surface, which is designed to inhibit the growth of microbes and prevent waste from sticking to the inside of the bowl. The ADA compliant design makes this toilet both comfortable for everyone to sit on and accessible to any guest or client you may have in your home or business, while users found that the elongated bowl shape made this toilet feel especially inviting.

The flush mechanism included in this toilet is a siphon jet, which allows water to flow extremely rapidly from the tank into the bowl to give you a high-efficiency flush that empties the bowl every time and helps to keep it clean along the way. The design is such that the bowl fills in less than a second, although note that at 1.6 gallons per flush this toilet requires a lot of water and can add to your home or offices’ water bill.

The toilet comes with a 10-year warranty, by far the longest warranty of any toilet we reviewed. Note, however, that it does not come with a seat included and some users found that their toilet was not level upon arrival.

PROS:
  • EverClean surface over vitreous china glaze
  • Siphon jet flush fills bowl extremely quickly
  • 10-year warranty

CONS:
  • Does not come with seat
  • Quality control issues with toilet leveling

Features
  • Size: 24.5 x 13 x 27″
  • Material: vitreous china
  • Water consumption: 1.6gpf
  • Flush type: dual flush
  • Warranty: 1-year limited on parts

More features: 12” rough in, 3’’ flush valve, quick disconnect toilet seat, self-cleaning glazed surface, soft closing seat

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

If your home or business is tight on bathroom space, you need a toilet that takes up the minimum amount of space necessary while still being comfortable enough to sit on. This toilet from Galba is specifically designed to cut down its footprint while still offering all of the features you need in a toilet. The toilet has a 12” rough-in but features a standard bowl with nothing extraneous protruding from the base of the bowl. In addition, the one-piece design helps to save on space behind the toilet. While some users found the toilet seat, which is included with the toilet, to be comfortable, many found the round design to be hard to sit on and were annoyed that the seat can easily move left and right on the bowl. Users did appreciate that the seat is a soft close seat, however.

Another advantage to this toilet is that it features a dual flush mechanism, which can help save a ton of water over time. However, unlike many other dual flush toilets, this model uses 1.6 gallons per full flush instead of 1.28 gallons. In addition, there is not a large volume of water sitting in the bowl in between flushes, so users note that the bowl needs to be cleaned out more frequently than on other toilets – even with the self-cleaning glaze included on this toilet.

Galba includes a one-year warranty on this toilet. Some users noted small manufacturing defects, but few issues were significant enough to affect the toilet’s functioning.

PROS:
  • Space-saving one-piece design
  • Soft close seat included
  • Dual flush mechanism

CONS:
  • Toilet seat moves back and forth and some users found it to be uncomfortable

Features
  • Size: 32.5 x 15.5 x 21.5’’
  • Material: ceramic
  • Water consumption: 0.8/1.0 gpf
  • Flush type: double cyclone
  • Warranty: 3-year limited residential, 1-year limited commercial

More features: remote control, hands-free automatic flush, heated seat with temperature control, nightlight, aerated water spray, SanaGloss finish

OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10

If you or a family member are technology fanatics, it only makes sense to put the latest and greatest technology in your bathroom. This smart toilet from TOTO has a huge array of features, including automatic flush, a heated seat, and a bidet. The seat temperature can be set with the controller attached to the toilet or controlled remotely with an included remote control. The bidet includes both oscillating and pulsating settings, which similarly can be controlled by the included remote. While most users eventually came to like the technology features on this toilet, they found that it could be a steep learning curve at first – especially when using the bidet.

This toilet is also great for small bathrooms and water-conscious homeowners because it takes up very little space and uses less water than almost any other household toilet we reviewed. The secret to the space-saving is that the tank is included right in the base of this bowl – there is no tank on the back of the toilet like for most standard designs. Users also liked that while the toilet is compact, it is designed at a comfort height to cater to tall users. The double cyclone flush mechanism is specifically designed to evacuate the bowl using less water than even dual flush toilets and uses just one gallon or less per flush. Despite the low water use, users found that it removes waste from the bowl every time without clogging.

PROS:
  • Smart toilet with heated seat, automatic flush, and bidet
  • Included remote control
  • Compact design with combined tank and bowl, comfort height seat
  • Dual cyclone flush uses very little water

CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Learning curve to controller and features

Features
  • Size: 22 x 22 x 20.5’’
  • Material: polyethylene plastic, stainless steel
  • No flushing
  • Capacity: 60-80 uses for solids, 2.2 gal liquids
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

More features: made in USA, low volume air circulation fan, vent hose included

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

This non-flushing, self-composting toilet from Nature’s Choice is designed specifically for use in places where you can’t install a standard toilet – outside, in a remote vacation home, on a boat, in an RV, or anywhere else without a water hookup. The toilet is designed to hold solids and liquid wastes in two different reservoirs so that you can remove urine frequently without interrupting the solid waste compost bin. Users found that when used by a few people, the urine waste needs to be emptied roughly once a day while the solid waste needs to be emptied about every 80 uses – the composting works quite quickly so it doesn’t take up a ton of space.

That said, users had mixed feelings about this toilet. Compared to other outdoor toilets, they found that the odor it produces isn’t bad – more earthy than gag-inducing. However, it does have a smell and users found that the included circulation fan is not powerful enough to prevent a bathroom fan like you might have in an RV from sucking odors back into the bathroom. In addition, the odor venting hose is only about five feet long, which may not be long enough to reach outside depending on where you put the toilet. Like any composting toilet, this model requires a lot of cleaning before and after each season of use.

The toilet itself is quite tall and features an elongated seat for comfortable sitting. The polyethylene plastic material is lightweight and durable and easy to wipe down, while all of the hardware holding the toilet together is made from stainless steel for durability. Nature’s Choice includes a five-year warranty with the toilet.

PROS:
  • Separate storage for urine and solid waste
  • Composting works quickly, doesn’t release a terrible smell
  • Elongated seat design
  • Five-year warranty

CONS:
  • Circulation fan is not very powerful
  • Ventilation hose is only five feet long
  • Requires frequent cleaning and thorough cleaning between seasons of use

Features
  • Size: 27.5 x 18.75 x 31.75’’
  • Material: vitreous china
  • Water consumption: 1.6 gpf
  • Flush type: dual flush
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

More features: scratch and stain proof gold accented unique ornate design, 12’’ rough in, ADA compliant

OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10

This two-piece toilet from Renovator’s Supply is designed to pair with bathrooms that are sporting an antique aesthetic, which makes it perfect for niche decoration styles where a standard white toilet simply wouldn’t fit in. The toilet is coated with vitreous china and is finished with ornate designs around the base, seat, and bottom and top of the tank. The gold trim is resistant to scratches and stains, which means that it can be wiped down with any mild detergent and a rag to clean off the toilet.

Although the toilet might look old-fashioned, it is actually ADA compliant and features a high comfort height seat to allow you and guests to more easily get on and off the toilet. This, combined with the two-piece design, means that the toilet takes up a lot of space, so plan accordingly when choosing this toilet for your bathroom. The toilet includes a dual flush mechanism, although it takes up 1.6 gallons per full flush and so is not particularly water efficient compared to other toilet models.

Although the toilet comes with a one-year warranty, users found that Renovator’s Supply is extremely light on customer service and does not respond to questions or returns. Thus, it is important that you are confident in your ability to install the toilet or willing to spend extra on a plumber when choosing this toilet for your bathroom.

PROS:
  • Antique design with gold trim
  • ADA compliant with comfort height seat
  • Dual flush mechanism

CONS:
  • Two-piece design takes up a lot of space
  • Poor customer service

Features
  • Size: 38 x 25 x 27’’
  • Material: vitreous china
  • Water consumption: 1.6 gpf
  • Flush type: pressure assist
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

More features: 12’’ rough in, Sloan FLUSHMATE valve, polished chrome trip lever

OVERALL RATING: 9.1 out of 10

In home and commercial bathrooms where space is not a concern, a quality two-piece toilet like this model from Kohler offers a classic design at a highly reduced price compared to one-piece competitors. This toilet is designed to be extremely comfortable to sit on thanks to the elongated seat and comfort height bowl, which together make it welcoming to anyone you might have at your home or business. The toilet is finished with a vitreous china glaze, although there is no additional finish to help with cleaning the bowl or to reduce microbial growth.

This toilet uses a pressure-assisted flushing mechanism, which users found is extremely effective at clearing waste from the toilet and even provides some cleaning action for removing stuck-on waste from the bowl. Users were especially impressed that the toilet almost never clogs during flushing, although they did note that the flushing can be somewhat loud – especially if you plan to put this toilet near a bedroom. The flush lever is made of polished chrome, a nice aesthetic touch, although users warn that there is no stop to the lever’s movement so you need to be careful when pushing on it. The toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush, so it also can cost you somewhat in your water bill over the long run.

Kohler offers a one-year limited warranty on this toilet and it does not come with the seat or supply line, so you’ll need to add those into your budget.

PROS:
  • Comfort height and elongated seat
  • Pressure-assisted flush never clogs

CONS:
  • Does not come with seat or supply line
  • Uses 1.6 gallons per flush
  • Flush can be somewhat loud

Features
  • Size: 28.5 x 14.5 x 27.5’’
  • Material: ceramic
  • Water consumption: 1.6 gpf
  • Flush type: dual flush
  • Warranty: 5-year limited on porcelain parts against fading/staining of the glaze; 1-year limited on flushing mechanism & soft closing toilet seat

More features: skirted trapway, fully glazed flush, pre-installed toilet seat, wax ring, floor bolts included, UPC & CSA, WaterSense certified, soft closing seat

OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10

This one-piece toilet from WoodBridge is sleek and elegant, making it not only our favorite one-piece toilet but also the best modern toilet on the market today. The toilet is high to provide a comfort height seat, while the flush button on top is rectangular rather than circular to add to the modern aesthetic. The seat is designed to soft close, while the skirted trapway is designed to create one of the quietest flushes around – together, these features make this toilet perfect for installing next to a bedroom so you can go in the middle of the night without waking up the entire house. Best of all for do-it-yourselfers, the toilet comes packaged with everything you need to install it and go, including a pre-installed seat.

The toilet features a fully glazed bowl, both of which contribute towards allowing the bowl to self-clean with each flush so you don’t have to do as much toilet cleaning. Users found that the dual flush mechanism works well and doesn’t clog when used appropriately, and the toilet is WaterSense certified so you can be sure that you’ll be saving money on your water bill in the long run with this toilet. However, be aware that users found that the flush button does not depress all the way without actually removing the tank lid. In addition, the tank lid is curved so you cannot place anything on top of it.

The toilet comes with five-year warranty on the body and glaze and a one-year warranty on the soft closing seat and dual flushing mechanism.

PROS:
  • Modern aesthetic and sleek design
  • Comfort height and soft close seat
  • Dual flush with quiet skirted trapway
  • WaterSense certified

CONS:
  • Tank is curved so you cannot put anything on it
  • Flush button does not depress all the way

Features
  • Size: 41 x 35 x 23”
  • Material: vitreous china
  • Water consumption: 1.28 gpf
  • Flush type: gravity flush
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

More features: 10’’ rough in, three-bolt installation, WaterSense certified

OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10

For homeowners and businesses on a budget, this modestly priced two-piece toilet from Kohler is a money-conscious option for your bathroom. The toilet has a short 10-inch rough-in, which can save some space, but this is somewhat negated by the two-piece design and the elongated bowl. The toilet is designed for a comfort height seat and users found that the toilet was overall quite comfortable to sit on and to get on and off of.

Much of the reason that this toilet can be so budget-friendly is that it uses a gravity flush mechanism rather than a more advanced modern flushing mechanism. However, users found that it works well for small solid waste volumes and that multiple flushes typically do the trick for larger bowl contents without resulting in a clog. The gravity flush system is also quite quiet, which is an advantage if you plan to put this toilet next to a bedroom.

The toilet is WaterSense certified and uses only 1.28 gallons per flush, which can save you money on your water bill in the long run as well. However, note that this water savings can be negated if you find yourself flushing multiple times every time you use the toilet.

Kohler provides a one-year limited warranty with the toilet. Also note that it does not come with a seat or a supply line, so you’ll need to factor these essential additions into your budget.

PROS:
  • Elongated and comfort height seat
  • WaterSense certified
  • Quiet flush
  • Inexpensive

CONS:
  • Does not come with seat or supply line
  • Gravity flush may require multiple flushes

Features
  • Size: 23 x 15 x 17.5’’
  • Material: vitreous china
  • Water consumption: 1.6 gpf
  • Flush type: dual-max flush
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

More features: CeFiONtect glaze, WaterSense, CAL Green certified, wall-mount

OVERALL RATING: 8.9 out of 10

Wall-mounted toilets are just becoming popular, particularly among businesses, because of the incredible space savings they offer compared to even one-piece toilets – and this model from TOTO is the best of these new toilets. The toilet protrudes just 23 inches from the wall – roughly half the distance of standard two-piece toilets – and has no rough-in. The only downside to this space-saving design is that it does require some construction to install, including pre-installation of either the TOTO WT151M or WT152M inside the wall, and many older homes will need bracketing to support this in-wall tank system.

Assuming installation is not a problem, users loved the dual-max flush system in this toilet. They found that it rarely, if ever, clogs, although it can be a bit louder than a standard floor-mounted toilet since the wall reverberates during the flush. In addition, users liked that the bowl is glazed with CeFiONtect to reduce the amount of material that sticks to the surface, but found that the unusually low water level of the bowl between flushes means that plenty of gunk can build up inside the bowl and require manual cleaning. The toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush but is WaterSense and CAL Green certified.

In addition to needing to buy the tank with this system, note that it does not come with a seat. TOTO offers a one-year warranty on the toilet, although users did not experience any issues with the toilet after the installation is complete.

PROS:
  • Saves a ton of space in the bathroom
  • Powerful dual-max flush system
  • WaterSense and CAL Green certified

CONS:
  • Requires additional purchase of in-wall tank and bowl
  • Installation can be expensive and difficult
  • Low water level in bowl allows material to build up

Features
  • Size: 18 x 18 x 16’’
  • Material: not specified
  • Water capacity: 4 gal fresh water tank capacity; 5.5 gal waste water capacity
  • Flush type: battery-powered flush
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

More features: comfortable seat height, carrying handle, integrated toilet paper holder, tank level indicator

OVERALL RATING: 8.7 out of 10

This portable toilet from Thetford is designed specifically for use on the go, whether at an outdoor event, camping, or even in a remote cabin that doesn’t have running water. The toilet is designed from plastic and has an integrated carry handle to make it lightweight and simple to carry around with you. While it may not have the amenities of a modern bathroom, the toilet attempts to make up for this by offering a comfort height seat and an integrated toilet paper holder to make you as comfortable as possible. In fact, users were quite happy with the toilet and found it to be as comfortable to use as a home toilet – at least until it comes time to clean it out.

The toilet functions by storing water in a tank and then moving it to a waste storage compartment and uses a battery-powered flush. Users found that while the electric flush works surprisingly well, it can also fail without warning at inopportune moments – leaving you without a way to flush the toilet manually. In total, the toilet holds four gallons of fresh water in the tank and can store up to 5.5 gallons of waste (to allot for urine) before needing to be cleaned out, which gives it capacity for several people for up to a week of use. There is also a tank level indicator so you can easily keep an eye on when the tank needs to be cleaned out and refilled.

Thetford offers a one-year warranty on the toilet, although they are somewhat unhelpful when dealing with pump failures outside the warranty period.

PROS:
  • Portable toilet is lightweight and small
  • Comfort height seat and included toilet paper holder
  • Battery-powered flush
  • Holds up to 5.5 gallons of waste

CONS:
  • Electric flush can fail after one year or so of use
  • Cleaning requires a lot of work

Features
  • Size: 16 x 18 x 19’’
  • Material: plastic
  • Flush type: hand-flush
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

More features: textured which sheds water and resists scuffs, can be fitted with a hand sprayer

OVERALL RATING: 8.6 out of 10

This compact toilet from Thetford is designed specifically for RV bathrooms and offers the space saving and water hookup integration needed for that use. The toilet is designed to sit higher than other RV toilets to offer a more comfortable seat height, while there are few unnecessary protrusions in the base so it takes up as little room as possible. The entire toilet is made of plastic so that it is quite lightweight and durable, although this also made some users feel that the toilet seat was sticky in hot weather and uncomfortable to sit on.

A design feature that users with in-bathroom showers in their RVs appreciated is that the lid is textured to shed water, so the toilet seat won’t be soaked if you take a shower right before using it. In addition, it is possible to add a hand sprayer to the toilet to further reduce water consumption from flushing the toilet.

The toilet uses a simple hand flush mechanism, where pressing the lever down halfway adds water to the bowl and pressing it down all the way flushes it. The toilet is surprisingly effective at removing waste without clogging, although some users experienced issues with the toilet breaking down over time and leaking or spraying water from the back. In this case, these users found that Thetford’s customer service was quite poor, even when they were within the one-year warranty period.

PROS:
  • Compact design specifically for RVs with comfort height seat
  • Textured lid sheds water
  • Hand flush mechanism with possibility to add hand sprayer
  • Does not clog frequently

CONS:
  • Some users felt seat was uncomfortable
  • Occasional issues with water spraying from back
  • Poor customer service

Buying Guide

Now that you’ve learned more about our 12 favorite toilets on the market today, how do you choose between them to find the toilet that’s right for you? This decision comes down to a number of broad factors, such as where you plan to use your toilet and your budget. But there are also fine differences in the many features that make up a toilet that can make one model more comfortable or more suitable for your home or travel. In our Buying Guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about toilets, help you think about what features you need in a toilet, and answer some common questions that people have when choosing a toilet.

Now that you’ve learned more about our 12 favorite toilets on the market today, how do you choose between them to find the toilet that’s right for you? This decision comes down to a number of broad factors, such as where you plan to use your toilet and your budget. But there are also fine differences in the many features that make up a toilet that can make one model more comfortable or more suitable for your home or travel. In our Buying Guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about toilets, help you think about what features you need in a toilet, and answer some common questions that people have when choosing a toilet.

Finding the one – where do you place your toilet?

BestOne of the first questions you need to answer before deciding on a toilet, or even a set of potential favorite models, is where you plan to use your toilet. Do you need a toilet for your home’s bathroom, for an outdoor location somewhere plumbing can’t easily reach, or for a mobile bathroom like on an RV?

The first reason it is important to consider this question is that different types of toilets are more suitable for different settings. While a standard flush toilet, like those we reviewed from TOTO and Kohler, may be suitable for an interior bathroom with full plumbing, the same toilets would be nearly impossible to use in a backcountry setting with no access to a septic tank or pressurized water system. In that case, you’ll need a toilet that is designed specifically to work without access to plumbing – like the composting toilet from Nature’s Head or the portable toilet from Thetford. While these toilets would be relatively smelly in an interior setting, they are the perfect alternative for going to the bathroom in areas that lack the amenities of a modern home.

The second reason it is important to consider where you plan to place your toilet is that it can help you determine what size of toilet you’ll need. In spacious interior bathrooms that can fit nearly any toilet and still leave room to walk around, a larger two-piece toilet like the Renovator’s Supply or Kohler Highline toilets are likely to be more comfortable than their smaller counterparts. On the other hand, home bathrooms that are cramped for space may be more suitable for a compact toilet like the model from Galba or a one-piece toilet like the model from Woodbridge. For RV owners looking to outfit their ride with a toilet, a compact and RV-ready toilet like the model from Thetford may be the only option that will fit inside the tight bathroom quarters of these vehicles.

What to avoid while choosing a toilet?

While there are many features to look for in a toilet, there are just as many to specifically keep an eye out for and avoid.

Among these are a noisy flush, which can quickly get annoying. Loud flushes typically occur in toilets that have high-powered flushing mechanisms, and the loud flush can wake up others in your home if you wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night or simply alert anyone else who is home that you are using the bathroom. Similarly, a slamming toilet lid can make a large amount of noise when the house is otherwise quiet. When possible, opt for a toilet with a soft-close lid that slowly lowers itself back onto the seat.

The aesthetics of the toilet itself are also important. White has become the standard color for toilets since it matches with nearly any bathroom décor. While other pastel colors are available and some may even match with your bathroom, keep in mind that repainting the bathroom around a colored toilet may leave you with obnoxious, clashing colors. The same goes for choosing a flashy toilet seat.

Non-standard toilet designs can also be problematic. In many cases, while they offer a nice or modern appearance, they require non-standard parts that can be hard to replace if anything breaks. That means expensive repair costs or, even worse, having to replace the whole toilet for a broken seat or tank lid. Non-standard toilet designs can also be difficult to clean, since many have sharp edges that make it nearly impossible to wipe down all the surfaces of the toilet. These difficult to clean toilets can build up grime over time – not something that you want to see before sitting down on the toilet.

Also watch out for toilets that use an excessive amount of water. Past users’ reviews will give you a heads up if the toilet tank has a tendency to sweat, which not only wastes water but also leaves the toilet feeling wet, slippery, and uncomfortable when you go to sit down on it. Check toilets’ flush specifications to see how much water they use with each flush. While 1.6 gallons per flush is common among standard toilets, water efficient models like the TOTO Neorest toilet that use only one gallon per flush can save you a ton of money on your water bill over time.

Finally, double-check the dimensions of the toilet. Having a toilet that is too tall or too short can make it difficult to get on and off the toilet, especially for those who have limited mobility. Having a toilet that is too short is particularly painful since getting up and down puts a significant amount of pressure on the knee joints. In addition, while many people find toilets with elongated seats to be more comfortable than toilets with standard seats, the former take up valuable bathroom space – so be sure you’ll be able to comfortably walk around your bathroom with an elongated toilet in the middle of it.

How to take measurements for your new toilet?

BestNote that the vast majority of toilets cannot be mounted directly against a wall – so you need to account for the extra space between the toilet and the wall when measuring the space you have in your bathroom. This space between the toilet and the wall is known as the “rough-in” size, and typically varies between 10 and 14 inches depending on your plumbing. To find the rough-in size of your bathroom, use a tape measure to find the distance from the wall to halfway down the flush pipe that extends from the wall. If you are replacing an existing toilet, you can alternatively measure the distance from the wall to the closest bolt that holds the toilet to the floor.

When measuring for a new toilet, after accounting for the rough-in size, it is important to make measurements to any other fixtures in the bathroom, including cabinetry and the shower or bathtub. Remember when sizing your toilet that you will need to have enough clearance to walk around it within the bathroom, to open and close cabinets easily, and to sit on the toilet without having your legs crushed against another wall or cabinet. A standard toilet has a bowl that is 16.5 inches long – plus the added length of the tank – while an elongated toilet has a bowl that is 18.5 inches long.

Know the toilet vocabulary – what does ADA and WaterSense mean?

Like many home fixtures, toilets have a vocabulary all their own that you’ll need to learn when choosing a new toilet. The most common terminology you’ll see are ADA and WaterSense labels – but what do these mean for your choice of toilet?

An ADA label indicates that a toilet complies with the 2010 American Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. These design standards set out specification for how bathrooms and bathroom accessories should be built to cater to the mobility-impaired and other disabled people. If you are choosing a toilet for a bathroom that will be used by the public, rather than just a toilet for a home bathroom, it is important to recognize that you are legally required to choose a toilet that meets these ADA standards.

ADA-certified toilets have several modifications compared to standard toilets. First, they feature a comfort height design, meaning that the toilet seat is raised 17 to 19 inches off the ground rather than the 15 inches found on most standard, non-ADA toilets. ADA-certified toilets also must have a lever flush mechanism that is easy for anyone to activate. These requirements mean that many dual-flush toilets are not certified as ADA-friendly because they have a button flush mechanism rather than a flush lever.

The WaterSense label indicates that a toilet complies with the standards put out by the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2006 Water Sense Initiative. This initiative requires that WaterSense-labeled toilets use at least 20% less water per flush than the average toilet. Thanks to a federal regulation that went into effect in 1997 and mandated that toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less, a toilet must use 1.28 gallons of water per flush or less to be labeled with the WaterSense certification. For dual flush toilets, water usage per flush is calculated as the average water use of a single full flush and two partial flushes.

Estimates indicate that WaterSense-labeled toilets save households around 16,000 gallons of water per year compared to non-WaterSense toilets – a savings that can show up in your water bill. In addition, it is important to note that some cities, like Los Angeles, now require that all businesses and residents use WaterSense or more efficient toilets to conserve water.

Tips on replacing a toilet

While you could hire a plumber or contractor to take out your old toilet and install your new toilet, this can add a significant cost to the overall price of installing a new toilet. For many people on a budget, it is preferable to spend that money and the toilet itself and handle the installation, which is relatively straightforward, by themselves.

When replacing a new toilet, the first step is to remove the old toilet. Before starting any work on your toilet, be sure to turn off the water to your bathroom or house to avoid a flooding situation. You can take all the water out of your old toilet by flushing several times and then using a sponge or towel to mop up any remaining water. Once done, pull the tank off the toilet and put it aside and remove the bolts securing the bowl to the floor. Rock the toilet side to side to loosen the wax seal on the floor, then pull the bowl free. You can use a putty knife or a utility knife to remove the old wax seal from the floor.

Once the old toilet is gone, you can begin installing the new toilet by laying down a new wax seal in the place of the old one. Make sure that the new wax seal matches the shape of your new toilet’s base. When setting the bowl on the seal, don’t apply any pressure until they are perfectly matched up, then press down. Set the bolts to secure the toilet to the floor, cutting down the bolts with a hacksaw if they are too long for your new toilet.

Finally, you can install the new tank onto your toilet. When tightening down the screws that hold the tank in place, be sure to tighten them alternatively bit by bit so as to keep the tank level. You can check your work with a bubble level – this is important since a tilted tank can lead to spilled water when it is full. When everything is set, you can turn the water back on and enjoy your new toilet.

Budget game – how much does a proper toilet cost?

On average, homeowners spend about $375 to replace a toilet – but there’s a lot of wiggle room around that average, ranging from just $200 to over $500.

The cost of the toilet depends on a number of factors, first and foremost among which is the type of toilet you want. One-piece toilets, like those from Woodbridge and Galba, are typically less expensive than two-piece toilets. Wall-mounted toilets like the Toto Aquia tend to be the most expensive type of toilet. However, prices also vary according to whether a toilet has extra features like a warming seat or a bidet. In general, it is best to pay a little more upfront for a toilet you’ll be happy with and that will be durable so you don’t have to replace the toilet anytime soon.

Also keep in mind that if you don’t plan to install your new toilet by yourself, you’ll need to hire a plumber – which will increase the overall cost of buying a new toilet.

Traveling advice – take your bathroom buddy with you

Just because you’re hitting the road doesn’t mean you have to go without a toilet. Compact, portable toilets like the model from Thetford are highly affordable and designed to allow you to take them anywhere. However, note that these toilets still require a large volume of water and a battery to operate, so they are best suited for uses like car camping and outdoor events than jaunts into the backcountry. You can also take a toilet anywhere with you by installing one in an RV – just be sure to opt for an RV-friendly toilet like the model from Thetford Aqua that is small enough to fit in a compact RV bathroom and that will work with your vehicle’s tank system.

Features to consider while buying the best toilet

Now that you know much more about how toilets work generally and what to look for and avoid when choosing a toilet for a specific purpose, we’ll cover some of the important features that differentiate toilets. Understanding these features is essential to choosing the right toilet for your needs and they can make a big difference in the price of toilets as well.

Bowl shape

Toilet bowls come in two basic shapes: a standard round bowl and an elongated oval-shaped bowl. There are a number of factors to weigh when considering which shape of bowl is better for you. Elongated bowls are considered by most people to be more comfortable than standard bowls because the oval-shaped seat is a better fit and provides a larger seat area. However, this extra space can be a problem if you have a tight bathroom since elongated bowls also protrude out from the tank significantly more – elongated bowls are 18.5 inches in length compared to only 16.5 inches in length for a standard round bowl. Toilets with elongated bowls are also typically more expensive since they use a larger amount of material and are considered something of an upgrade from standard bowls.

Bowl height

BestThe height of the toilet bowl may seem insignificant – until you actually try to sit down on it and then stand back up. Having a toilet that is too short for you can force you to put a lot of pressure on your knee joints and reach for support when sitting down or standing up, while having a toilet that is too tall can make you have to hop up onto the toilet. In either case, having a toilet that is the wrong height can be quite uncomfortable and make it difficult for people with mobility impairments to use.

The standard bowl height is approximately 14 to 15 inches off the ground. However, many modern toilets comply with ADA bowl height requirements and thus feature comfort seat heights that place the bowl 17 to 19 inches off the ground. These comfort height toilets are typically much more comfortable for tall adults, but note that they can be difficult for shorter adults and children to reach easily.

One-piece or two-piece?

Toilets can either come with the bowl and tank in two separate units connected by a pipe – the traditional two-piece toilet design – or as a single unit with the bowl and tank combined together – a more modern one-piece design. The choice between one-piece and two-piece toilets largely comes down to price: most people consider one-piece toilets, like the model from Woodbridge, to be superior to two-piece toilets like the Kohler Highline, but they are also significantly more expensive. Two-piece toilets typically come at a discount of as much as 15-25% compare to one-piece toilets.

The reasons that one-piece toilets are considered superior is that they take up slightly less space than their two-piece cousins – which can be a big deal in a bathroom that is tight on space – and that they are easier to clean. The latter is important, since two-piece toilets can easily collect urine underneath the edges of the tank with no way to access it for cleaning except to remove the tank entirely.

If you do opt for a two-piece toilet to save money and stay under budget, look for a two-piece toilet with a large sanitary bar, an area between the bowl and tank that can be easily reached and wiped down to keep the toilet clean.

Another toilet design that has become increasingly popular, especially with businesses, is the wall-mounted toilet. These toilets are favorable because they save a ton of space in the bathroom – as much as 12 inches compared to a floor-mounted toilet. Also, wall-mounted toilets like the TOTO Aquia are extremely easy to clean since there is no external tank to get in the way of wiping down the bowl. Unfortunately for many homeowners, wall-mounted toilets are relatively new and, in addition to being expensive, the majority of home bathrooms are not plumbed to accept a wall-mounted toilet. Older homes would also need wall bracing in order to accept a wall-mounted toilet and to place the tank inside the wall.

Flushing type

The type of flushing mechanisms that different toilets use is one of the biggest operational differences you’ll find between toilets, and one of the few major differences that goes beyond appearance, size, and comfort. There are four primary types of flush systems that you need to know about in order to choose the right toilet for your needs: gravity flush, pressure assisted flush, dual flush, and double cyclone flush.

toiletA gravity flush mechanism is the oldest and simplest type of toilet flush. In essence, the water in the tank generates pressure that drives the flush, flowing from the tank up high to the lower waste pipe through the bowl and taking any waste in the bowl with it on its way. Gravity flush mechanisms like those found on the Kohler Highline toilet don’t have any added mechanical components, so they tend to be the least expensive type of toilet flushing mechanism. They are also among the quietest toilets and are extremely simple to maintain and repair compared to other types of toilets. However, because all of the pressure in the flush in these toilets comes from gravity, they are more prone to clogging and leaving residual waste on the bowl surface than toilets that use more powerful flush mechanisms.

Pressure assisted flush systems represent a step up in power from gravity flush systems and are extremely common on more modern toilets. This mechanism relies on pressurized air and water from a separate tank within the main tank that forces water into the bowl with a significant amount of force. Pressure assisted flush toilets like the Kohler Highline toilet are excellent at removing residual waste from the bowl surface and leaving you with a sparkling clean bowl, but they can be somewhat prone to clogging since the pressurized flow tries to force everything into the waste pipe all at once. In addition, pressure assisted flush systems tend to be quite noisy, which can be annoying for some people and especially in bedroom bathrooms that might see use at night, and are also more expensive than gravity flush toilets.

Dual flush toilets have become increasingly popular and a number of modern toilets are incorporating this flushing mechanism. For example, it is found on many of the toilets we reviewed, including the TOTO Aquia, Woodbridge, and Galba toilets. These toilets have two flushing buttons, one that is used for flushing urine only and one that is used for flushing solid waste. The urine only flush is designed to use 25% less water than a full flush without reducing flushing power, which can be a big advantage when it comes to paying your water bill. However, note that most dual flush toilets are not ADA approved since they do not feature a flush lever, but rather a set of flush buttons.

Double cyclone flushes are a relatively new competitor mechanism to dual flush systems and are currently only implemented by a handful of manufacturers – for example, TOTO on their Neorest toilet. Double cyclone toilets are designed to use even less water than dual flush toilets while offering even more flushing power. The trick is that rather than a standard rim hole, these toilets pump water into the bowl through a siphon to create maximal flush power while using as little water as possible. At present, double cyclone toilets are relatively rare and tend to be more expensive upfront than other types of toilets, although the more efficient water usage can save you money on your water bill over the long run.

Material

BestToilets don’t differ much when it comes to the materials the tank and bowl are constructed from – most of the toilets we reviewed, and most of the toilets on the market, are made from porcelain. Porcelain is relatively inexpensive while also being easy to clean and strong enough that it won’t collapse on you without warning after years of sitting on it. Some toilets are coated with a glaze known as vitreous china, which gives the toilet a shining, clean, and modern look, but there is overall little structural difference between vitreous china toilets and porcelain or ceramic toilets.

Note that some styles of toilets, such as the portable and RV toilets made by Thetford, are constructed from plastic rather than porcelain. The reason for this is that plastic is much less heavy and more durable during transportation, which are two requirements that most household toilets don’t face but portable toilets certainly do. The composting toilet from Nature’s Choice is also constructed from plastic.

Durability

Most modern toilets are designed to be highly durable with parts that will last for many years without replacing. However, certain parts, like the fill valve, trip lever, and flapper, see a lot of use since they are operated with every flush and are likely to break down over time. While this is ordinarily a simple fix, it is important to make sure before purchasing a toilet that it uses standard rather than custom parts for these components of the toilet. The body of the toilet – including the bowl and tank – should last for a lifetime on any toilet you buy.

Noise

Having a noisy toilet can quickly become irritating. A noisy flush is sure to alert everyone in your home that you’re using the bathroom, while if you have to go to the bathroom at night you may be afraid of even flushing for fear of waking up everyone else in the house. Typically, toilets with high-powered flushes, like pressure-assisted flushing systems, tend to be the noisiest toilet options, although noise can vary a lot even among these models. The best way to evaluate how much noise a toilet makes when flushing is to try it out for yourself or to check customer reviews – since others are very likely to let you know when a toilet is too noisy to stand.

Seat

Note that the vast majority of toilets don’t come with a seat – this is something you need to purchase after-market. Choosing a seat is relatively simple since they come in the same standard sizes – round and elongated – as most toilets and they are simple to install yourself with a few screws. However, you will need to match the seat with your toilet and your bathroom as well as factor the additional cost of a seat into your budget when choosing a toilet.

Surface finish

Many of the toilets on the market today have a special, manufacturer-specific finish on their surface that is designed to give them a clean-looking sparkle and protect them from wear and the effects of acidic urine over time. These finishes are especially designed to prevent anything from sticking to them, which makes flushing more effective at clearing out stains from the bowl and makes it easier to wipe down the toilets. In addition, most of the surface finishes are anti-microbial in order to prevent the growth of smelly mold or bacteria on your toilet.

While it’s impossible to cover every finish, two examples are the SanaGloss finish from TOTO found on their Neorest toilet and the EverClean gloss found on the American Standard toilet.

Whenever cleaning your toilet, it is important to use relatively mild cleaning detergents rather than something like bleach in order to protect the surface finish and keep it from wearing off over time.

Warranty

You should expect that your toilet will last for years to come, so it’s a no-brainer that you should be looking for a good warranty on whatever toilet you’re interested in. While it can be hard to imagine something in a toilet breaking, there is always the possibility of a hairline crack or broken bolt when you buy the toilet that you don’t notice until much later when it becomes a problem. Thus, it’s important to get the longest manufacturer’s warranty that you can when choosing a toilet. Most manufacturers only offer a short one-year limited warranty, while American Standard stands out with a 10-year warranty and Woodbridge and Nature’s Choice offer five-year warranties on their toilets.

Smart toilets

Smart toilets like the TOTO Neorest are considered by some to be the future of toilets, and they certainly offer a number of exciting features. These toilets are typically highly compact and perfect for small bathrooms because they are tankless – the bowl functions as both the bowl and the tank, something not seen in nearly any other toilet design. Most smart toilets also have a built-in bidet that can be programmed from a toilet-side control panel and that offers multiple functions. For many smart toilets, the control panel also controls a heating mechanism in the seat – which can be a major plus for people living in colder climates. Smart toilets also often offer remote controls and smartphone apps so you can really get into customizing the features on your toilet.

While the only smart toilet included in this review is the TOTO Neorest, check out our other review covering the best smart toilets if you are interested in this modern technology.

Portable toilets

BestPortable toilets like the model from Thetford are ideal for camping, picnics, and any other activities that take place away from modern plumbing systems. While many people might balk at the idea of a portable toilet, they are designed with hygiene in mind and are totally reliably when it comes to flushing. Plus, they are surprisingly inexpensive and are quite practical to use thanks to modern design innovations. The advent of composting toilets has allowed permanent toilets to be used in places where a toilet will always be needed off the plumbing grid, but there is still no substitute for a portable toilet when you’re going somewhere new or moving around.

While there is a lot to be said for portable toilets, they do have a few setbacks. Notably, portable toilets are typically made of plastic rather than porcelain to save weight, but plastic is far less stable under weight than porcelain. That means that on occasion a portable toilet can break at an inopportune moment. However, many portable toilets address this by reinforcing the plastic seats with corrosion-resistant metal brackets that are certain to hold up under any weight.

Odor can also be a minor problem with portable toilets, since the waste remains in the toilet body after flushing. Most portable toilets have a double seal over the waste tank to lock out odors along with any flushed water, which can go a long way towards reducing unwanted smells. Other portable toilets use a vent pipe that dissipates the smells far away from the toilet itself, although this may be less helpful if you are travelling with the toilet before emptying it. If odors are an issue with your portable toilet, it may be because there is debris blocking the seal from fully closing. Alternatively, the seal may need repairing or replacing if it is degraded or broken. When odor is really an issue, it is also possible to add chemicals to the waste area that will soak up some of the odor-causing fluids and materials.

Another thing to think about when choosing a portable toilet is weight – after all, you’ll need to carry the toilet over some distance. Many portable toilets are designed to be lightweight with their plastic construction, but also take into account the weight of the water in the tank and the size of the tank when considering the overall weight of a portable toilet.

FAQ

Toilets don’t sit flush to the wall, but rather protrude out from the wall by the length of the toilet plus the rough-in – making the rough-in an important measurement to know when determining if a toilet will fit inside your bathroom. The rough-in can be measured as the distance from the wall to half the length of the waste pipe, or from the wall to the closest bolt if you already have a toilet installed in the bathroom.

Toilet seats are designed in two standard sizes for the most part, corresponding to standard and elongated toilets. Therefore, you don’t need to measure seat sizes for most toilets. However, if you do wish to measure because you’re not sure which type of toilet you have, measure from the screws at the base of the seat to the front of the bowl – standard seats are 16.5 inches long and elongated seats are 18.5 inches long.

Yes, composting toilets are designed to work in all climates and temperatures. However, it is important to note that the composting process will work more slowly in cold environments and will largely stop below freezing. If possible, keep the composting chamber insulated or in a heated part of the house in order to make the composting process more efficient during cold weather.

In general, the trip lever, flapper, and fill valve are the most likely parts of the toilet to break and need replacement. This is because these three parts are moving every time you flush the toilet. The flapper and fill valve are also exposed to water nearly all of the time, making them particularly susceptible to wearing out.

Our Verdict

Although your choice of toilets depends largely on how you plan to use it and the dimensions and aesthetics of your bathroom, we feel that the TOTO UltraMax II, the American Standard Champion-4, and the Galba Small Toilet are three of the best toilets on the market today.

Both the TOTO and American Standard toilets are ADA compliant and offer comfort height seats to make your bathroom experience more comfortable, while the Galba toilet is designed specifically to be the optimal toilet choice in bathrooms that are tight on space.

All three toilets feature glazed bowls that are designed to limit the amount of stuck-on waste that needs to be cleaned manually. The dual flush mechanism on the Galba toilet is excellent for saving water, while the siphon jet and tornado flushes on the American Standard and TOTO toilets, respectively, offer a ton of flushing power to prevent clogs.

We feel that the TOTO toilet is the best toilet available today thanks to the combination of the tornado flush, ADA compliance, and a WaterSense certification all within a sleek, modern toilet design.

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