Best Potty Training Seats

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

13 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
441 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best potty training seats

Last Updated November 2019

Every child is unique, and when it comes to ditching the diapers, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for success. But at the end of the day, potty training parents the world over share one common goal: getting tiny tushies onto the toilet. If your tot is ready to graduate from using a potty chair, or you're hoping to bypass the mess of a potty altogether, a potty training seat can help bridge the gap between little bottoms and big toilets.

With a large surface area and smaller cavity, a potty training seat instantly transforms adult-size toilets into toddler-friendly seats. And with a wide array of designs to choose from, there’s something to suit even the fussiest bums.

If you're ready to take the plunge and try out a potty training seat, but you need help sifting through the various types, features, and sizes, you've come to the right place. The BestReviews team has rounded up several of the best potty training seats and created this in-depth guide to help you find the best fit for toilet training your tot.

Don't overlook the importance of a sturdy step stool. Not only will a step stool of the appropriate height give your little one a surface to plant their feet on, but it will also make getting on and off the toilet that much easier.

Key considerations

Potty chairs vs. potty training seats

If the prospect of potty training has you jumping for joy, biting your nails, or a bit of both, the right tools can make the transition from diapers to toilet a little smoother. If you're unsure whether to opt for a stand-alone potty chair or a potty training seat, a quick look at the benefits and drawbacks of each will help clear things up.

Potty chairs: For most parents, traditional potty chairs are the go-to choice in the first stretch of the potty training journey. With their compact dimensions, these “mini toilets” sit close to the floor and fit little bodies just right.

Pros

  • One can be moved around and used in any room of the house.
  • They’re sized just right for little ones to use comfortably without help.
  • Children younger than three might find a potty chair less intimidating than the real thing.
  • You can choose from a host of appealing colors and designs.


Cons

  • It must be emptied and cleaned after each use, a task some parents find less appealing than dealing with a dirty diaper.
  • There's always a possibility of it being knocked over, making cleanup even more arduous.
  • At some point, you’ll have to put the potty away and get your little one used to a real toilet anyway.
  • A potty chair takes up floor space and most don't easily blend into the background.


Potty training seats: While some parents prefer to start with a potty chair, others find it easier to get their little ones accustomed to using the real thing from the get-go. Potty training seats can be attached to just about any toilet to keep little bums from sliding into the bowl, allowing tots to go with confidence.

Pros

  • It eliminates the need to clean a separate bowl. All you need to do is wipe and flush.
  • Some toddlers are intrigued by the idea of using the “big toilet” like mom and dad.
  • Most are compact enough to travel with, so your little one will never be left in the lurch without a kid-friendly toilet seat.
  • One is generally easier to store than a full-size potty chair.


Cons

  • Unless you choose a potty training seat with a built-in step stool, you’ll need to buy one separately so your little one has a flat surface to rest their feet on while getting down to business.
  • Some smaller children find the size and noise of a regular toilet intimidating.
  • You need to remove it and hang it up or store it somewhere clean between uses.
CAUTION

Never leave toddlers unattended on the toilet. Spills and tumbles can happen in the blink of an eye, especially when wriggly bums are perched on raised surfaces.

Types of potty training seats

Potty training seats are available in a wide variety of styles to suit just about every toddler preference or household requirement. Let's take a look at some of the most common types of potty training seats.

Traditional: These are usually made of plastic, with contoured seats to boost comfort and promote correct positioning. Most traditional potty training seats feature rubberized undersides or adjustable “arms” to prevent slipping, and the compact size makes them easy to store between uses.

Padded: If comfort is key, a padded potty training seat is an option worth considering. While standard models typically have an integrated layer of cushioning covered with plastic, others boast removable soft-touch pads. If you're considering purchasing a padded potty training seat, bear in mind that this style can be significantly harder to keep clean than solid models.

Two-in-one: Looking for a potty training seat that does it all? Then a two-in-one model is an excellent choice. These innovative potty training seats have a fold-out design with a built-in step stool, and many have handles for little ones to hold on to while they make their way to the top. However, it's important to note that this design has a larger footprint than others, so if you have limited space, storage could be a concern.

Travel: Although the average potty training seat is easy enough to take along with you, models that are made specifically for travel are undeniably convenient. These usually come in one of two configurations: fold-up or convertible.

  • Fold-up travel potty training seats fold small enough to fit into a diaper bag and are ideal for traveling light.
  • Convertible models resemble a traditional potty training seat with fold-out legs and can be used along with a suitable plastic bag as a stand-alone potty chair – perfect for road trips or stowing in the car on long drives.


Hinged: If you have a high-traffic bathroom and could do without the hassle of having to remove a potty training seat multiple times a day, a hinged model might be your best bet. These innovative seats feature an adult-size seat on the bottom and a separate potty training seat on top, both of which operate with the same hinge. Most also feature a lid with a depression so your kiddo’s seat rests securely in the lid when not in use. The biggest drawback of this type of potty seat is that you’ll need to replace your entire toilet seat, but for large families, the convenience of this design might be worth it.

Fit

Toilet bowls come in various shapes and sizes. The most common are elongated, with round coming in a close second. Generally, elongated bowls measure approximately 18.625 inches and more, while round toilet bowls measure 16.75 inches or less. Choosing a potty training seat that closely matches your toilet’s dimensions is vital to achieving a good fit, so don't forget to factor this into your decision-making process.

Adjustable fit: A handful of potty training seats offer an adjustable fit to accommodate different toilet sizes. While the actual shape and size of the seat remain the same, arms or prongs on the underside of the seat can be adjusted to deliver a snug fit that doesn't shift or wobble. Some have a dial that can be used to move the arms in or out, while others have prongs that are adjusted manually. Either way, models that offer an adjustable fit are exceptionally convenient, especially if you want to take the seat along for sleepovers with the grandparents or trips to a friend's home.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Clean your potty training seat regularly to prevent bacterial growth, and remember to store it in a hygienic area, preferably off the floor.

Potty training seat features

Splash guard

If you have a little girl, you might be able to get away with not having a splash guard, but when it comes to toilet training boys, most parents agree that this is a necessary feature. A splash guard is positioned in the front center of the potty training seat and works to contain errant splashes of urine, protecting both you and your bathroom floor from sudden showers. While some splash guards are a permanent fixture, others are removable for cleaning convenience and customizable comfort.

Handles

Side handles are a helpful addition for little ones in need of a bit of extra security. Having something to hold on to can provide a sense of stability while also giving tots something to grip and bear down on when the going gets tough. Although handles are more of a convenience than a necessity, they can help foster confidence in toddlers who are less than eager to park their tiny bottoms on a king-size throne.

Colors and prints

Understated potty training seats in shades that blend in with bathroom décor are a top choice among parents but don’t typically hold much appeal for tots. If your toddler isn't as enthusiastic about potty training as you are, bright colors and friendly prints might spark some interest. Even if it turns your color scheme upside down, consider choosing a potty training seat in your little one’s favorite hue or opt for a lively model that sports well-loved cartoon characters. Considering the fact that potty training seats aren't a permanent bathroom fixture, sacrificing a little style in return for your kiddo’s cooperation is a worthwhile trade-off.

Potty training seat prices

Having rugrats sure can rack up your expenses, but, luckily, most toilet training seats don't cost an arm and a leg. Prices typically range from around $10 to $50, depending on the style, quality, and feature set.

Inexpensive: There are plenty of budget-friendly potty training seats available between $10 and $15. While these tend to be rather basic with limited features, most will get the job done just fine as long as you find an appropriate fit for your toilet. Padded models with cartoon characters are also available at this price point, but keep in mind that these can be difficult to clean.

Mid-range: Various potty training seat styles can be found within the $15 to $25 range. Traditional seats with comfort contours and handles, travel-friendly models, and even those with removable padding all fall under this price umbrella. Generally, the quality, features, and comfort escalate along with the price.

Expensive: If you’re looking for a fully adjustable potty training seat, a hinged model, or one with a built-in step stool, expect to pay between $25 and $50. Most potty training seats within this price margin are made with an eye toward comfort, convenience, quality, or all of the above.

EXPERT TIP

A potty training seat with a built-in hook for hanging makes storage a breeze and can help reduce bathroom clutter.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Look for signs of potty training readiness before you dive in. Before you get started, it's best to wait until your little one shows signs of readiness. These typically include fewer wet diapers, interest in others using the toilet, verbalizing the fact that they’re about to pee or poop, seeking out a private spot to get the job done, and asking to be changed.
  • Let your little one choose their own potty training seat or chair. Allowing your toddler to have a say in the selection process can help instill a sense of empowerment and ownership. We recommend narrowing the choices down to a handful of suitable options before presenting them to your child.
  • Lead by example. Kids are born mimics and watching mom or dad use the toilet paints a inspirational picture that details every step of the potty-going process.
  • Hold the scolding and pile on the praise. Accidents happen. Over and over and over again. As frustrating as it can be at times, reprimanding your little one might cause anxiety and possibly bring progress to a standstill. Rather than scolding your tot, suggest that they try a little harder to make it to the potty next time and be sure to be lavish with praise when the job gets done right. Children crave approval and are eager to please, so be sure to reward a job well done with memorable gestures like high fives, hugs, or even a little victory dance.
  • Take a break if necessary. Potty training can be a roller-coaster ride of emotions, expectations, and endless cleanups. If you've tried just about everything and your child still refuses to use a potty or a potty training seat, try taking a two-week break. Getting roped into a power struggle with your toddler will only make both of you miserable and might even draw the process out longer than necessary. Take a breather and try again when the waters are calm.

Other products we considered

If you’re in search of a budget-friendly potty training seat that just about does it all, the small price tag and big features on the Fisher-Price The Perfect Potty Ring won't disappoint. Boasting deep contours to cradle little bums and backs, an extra-large splash guard, side handles, and a top-positioned “perfect fit” handle for a snug fit on any toilet, this potty training seats ticks all the boxes. When it comes to hinged models, the Topseat TinyHiney Adult/Child Potty Seat is undoubtedly one of the best around. The molded wood construction won't elicit gasps of shock in the heart of winter, and the potty training portion of the seat is magnetically secured to the lid, so there’s no chance of it snapping shut when you least expect it. It also features bumpers under the potty training seat to keep little fingers from getting squashed. Already have a great potty training seat for home but need something a little more compact for travel? Then the Gimars Folding Travel Potty Training Seat is a solid choice. With a no-pinch folding design, nonslip rubber pads, a universal fit, and a handy carrying bag, this option is ideal for going on the go.

Make sure your potty training seat has a secure fit, smooth edges, and is free of bits that can pinch tender skin. Wobbling and shifting can destroy confidence and compromise safety, while even a single pinch or scrape can be enough to put your child off potty training entirely.

FAQ

Q. Do I have to start my child with a potty training chair or can I use a potty training seat straight away?
A.
Although many parents prefer to start out with a potty chair, it's not a strict requirement. If your child isn't intimidated by the size and noise of the toilet and seems comfortable enough to try it out, go for it. In fact, getting your little one accustomed to using the real thing from the start will save you having to do so later and can also make things a whole lot easier when you're out visiting friends or family.

Q. How can I clean a padded potty training seat?
A.
That depends on the type of padding. Unfortunately, nonremovable padded potty training seats are notoriously difficult to keep clean. Liquid can work its way into tiny cracks and crevices, and because the padding can't be removed, thoroughly cleaning the seat becomes nearly impossible. However, models with removable padding can simply be disassembled and wiped down.

Q. Are two-in-one potty training seats with built-in step stools worth the extra cost?
A.
Only you and your child can answer that question. For some toddlers, the ladder-like design is simply irresistible, and often even the most toilet-averse tots are inspired to at least give it a try. Also, if you don't already have a step stool, a two-in-one model eliminates the need to purchase one separately  (well, for toilet use anyway – you’ll probably still need one for washing hands and brushing teeth if your little one is too small to reach the sink without help).

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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