Best Toilet 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.

24 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
401 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 toilet seats

Last Updated November 2019

The toilet seat is perhaps the most common moving part that sends us all to the home improvement store when it fails. It’s not a purchase you’ll make often, but when you do, considerations such as comfort, sanitation, and durability are all important.

When you begin shopping for a toilet seat, you’ll find a dizzying array of choices at numerous prices. How do you make your decision? In this situation, price and performance really go hand in hand. If you’d like a little help finding the best toilet seat for your home, read this shopping guide for information about the various sizes, shapes, attachments, and prices you’ll come across.

Most commercial toilet seats are U-shaped, while toilet seats designed for home use are O-shaped. The only exceptions are commercial toilets with automatic seat cover dispensers.

Key considerations

Most toilet seats, whether made of plastic or wood, are designed for easy installation and maintenance. A professional plumber is rarely required. However, the job itself can be a bit messy, and the workspace can be a little cramped. Fortunately, toilet seat manufacturers use standard sizes and hardware to make the process much easier.

As you shop, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Which seat material is right for you? Would you prefer plastic or metal hardware? Does your toilet take a standard or elongated bowl?

Toilet seat material

Most modern toilet seats are made of plastic or wood. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages. The final decision comes down to personal preference and/or economics. Here are some side-by-side comparisons to consider.

Plastic

  • Plastic toilet seats are generally less expensive than their wooden counterparts. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule.
  • The least-expensive plastic seats are made of thin plastic that tends to flex and bend during use. Higher-end plastic toilet seats have a stronger type of plastic that resists cracking. Often, the material also has natural antimicrobial properties.
  • Plastic is a good choice for mid-range and high-end toilet seats. It’s much more difficult to find a good-quality plastic seat at a budget price.

Wood

  • Wooden toilet seats may be molded (made of wood composite processed from wood and resin) or natural grain.
  • Both molded wood toilet seats and natural grain toilet seats are often painted to look like porcelain.
  • Molded wood seats can crack unexpectedly under moderate pressure.
  • Manufacturers may use plastic or metal hardware with molded wood toilet seats.
  • Natural grain toilet seats are stronger and less prone to breakage than those made of molded wood.
  • The primary advantage a natural wood grain toilet seat has over plastic or molded wood is strength. The grain of the wood provides extra support, so the seat is less prone to breakage.
DID YOU KNOW?

Many common household items, including computer keyboards, cutting boards, and smartphones, contain far more bacteria on their surfaces than an average toilet seat.

Plastic hardware vs. metal hardware

A toilet seat is only as strong as its hardware. The least-expensive models often use soft plastic mounting bolts and fasteners. While the softer material does reduce stress on the toilet bowl's porcelain shell, it also bends and flexes under average pressure. This constant flexing can weaken the bolts over time and cause premature breakage. Replacing thin plastic hardware with metal or hard plastic parts does make sense.

Metal hardware is often a better option than plastic, but there are some drawbacks here as well. Metal components can corrode over time, leading to durability and stability issues. Metallic hinges can snap under pressure just like plastic hinges can. As a happy medium, many toilet seat manufacturers offer a blend of metal and plastic hardware, with stronger metal hinges and less damaging plastic fasteners.

Standard bowl vs. elongated bowl

Toilet bowl manufacturers offer products in two sizes: standard (round) and elongated. Any replacement toilet seat must match the dimensions of the original bowl; they are not interchangeable. When shopping for a new toilet seat, it’s critical that you know your bowl size.

The most common construction materials for toilet seats are wood or plastic, but some institutional toilet seats are made from stainless steel.

Toilet seat features


Soft-closing hinges

Basic toilet seats have standard hinges that connect the lid to the seat and the seat to the bowl. These hinges tend to close at the speed of gravity, which can cause wear at the points of contact. Special “soft-closing” hinges are designed to slow the descent of the lid and seat to reduce impact. This design also reduces noise during nighttime visits and helps ensure that the seat will actually be down for the next user.

Nightlight

You might resist the temptation to turn on an overhead light during a nighttime visit to the bathroom. After all, you’re sleepy and don’t want to disrupt your sleep cycle. Conveniently, some toilet seat manufacturers include a nightlight option to provide just enough illumination for you to find the seat — but not enough to jolt you awake.

Child seat

Younger children are often too small to sit on a standard toilet seat comfortably. One popular solution is the addition of a smaller seat that drops down from the lid when needed. The child seat is pushed back into position after use and secured with brackets.

Seat warmer

Most people don’t relish the thought of sitting on a cold toilet seat. Some mid-range and high-end toilet seats include a heating element that keeps the seat at a comfortable temperature for users.

Toilet seat prices

The retail price of a replacement toilet seat can be a trade-off between affordability and durability. We recommend shopping at the top end of your budget for the best results. Here is what to expect at different price points.

Inexpensive (under $25): At the entry-level price point, almost all toilet seats are made of plastic, though a few may be made of molded wood. Weight capacity and durability are primary concerns here. The plastic bolts may not fit as securely in the toilet’s bolt holes, and the resultant shifting could lead to cracking. Seat comfort in this price range is often decent but not remarkable.

Mid-range (between $25 and $75): The mid-range price point is where more convenient features are seen. The seats may be constructed from heavy-grade plastic, molded wood composite, or full-grain wood. The bolts and hinges are often made of metal or heavy-duty plastic. This is also the range where soft-closing hinges, quick-release lids, child seats, and heating elements appear.

Expensive (over $75): High-end toilet seats tend to incorporate a multitude of features, including nightlights, bidet attachments, heated seats, and remote controls. The seats may still be plastic, but it will be a higher-grade plastic with advanced antimicrobial properties. Customized designs and designer colors are common at this level.

EXPERT TIP

Lowering the toilet seat and lid before flushing reduces the formation of a “toilet plume,” an aerosolized mixture of human waste and water.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Metal toilet seat bolts and hinges may be more durable than their plastic counterparts, but they can corrode over time. Hard plastic bolts and hinges on mid-range toilet seats are equal in performance to metal hardware.
  • Never over-tighten the hinge bolts on a ceramic toilet. The bolt holes could crack under pressure. Many modern toilet seat kits include plastic nuts that snap off when the proper torque is reached.
  • “Standard round” and “elongated” are industry standards in toilet bowl shape. Any replacement toilet seat you get should match your corresponding brand of toilet.
  • Padded toilet seats can be challenging to clean and tend to develop splits and tears. We do not recommend them unless medically necessary. Investing in a raised seat made of soft plastic would be more comfortable.

Other products we considered

While compiling our shortlist of contenders, we discovered some other products that could meet a consumer’s specific needs. The Albustar Self-Cleaning Home Bidet features an affordable non-electric bidet attachment that provides extra cleansing options without the additional plumbing required for a full bidet system. It should fit any standard toilet seat and is completely adjustable.

For families with children, the Bath Royale Premium Elongated Family Toilet Seat with a built-in child seat is definitely one to consider. This model incorporates a quick-release mechanism for easier and more thorough cleaning and is rated up to 400 pounds.

UFFU’s Smart Bidet Toilet Seat with Remote Control is a prime example of what a high-end toilet seat can offer discerning customers. The tankless bidet system offers unlimited warm water, and the seat’s heating element provides both comfort and sanitation. We also like the ultimate convenience of the comprehensive remote control system.

An average person visits the bathroom at least 2,500 times a year. Considering this fact, it makes sense to invest in a quality toilet seat.

FAQ

Q. How can I tell if my toilet seat is standard size or elongated? I don’t see any markings on the seat.
A.
Elongated toilet seats are noticeably more oval in shape than standard round seats. To be certain, however, you should measure the existing toilet seat from the hinge bolts to the very front of the toilet bowl. A standard round seat should measure around 16.5 inches, while an elongated bowl should measure around 18.5 inches.

Q. How can I get my toilet seat as clean as possible?
A.
Many toilet seats have natural antimicrobial properties, so they may not get quite as unsanitary as you think. Using a household-grade sanitizing spray should be enough to keep it clean. However, if you really want to reach every nook and cranny, consider investing in a toilet seat with a “quick release” option. You can easily remove the entire seat, soak it in sanitizing solution, and put it back together.

Q. I want to upgrade my entire bathroom, including the toilet. What luxury features are available on a high-end toilet seat?
A.
One popular feature on high-end toilet seats is a bidet attachment. This may require a little more work during installation, but many users like the additional cleansing a bidet provides. Some advanced toilet seats also feature a nightlight, a heating element, and customized color schemes.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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