Why buy a toilet seat?
Toilet seats give you a higher, more comfortable, and warmer place to sit than on the toilet’s low, cold, uncomfortable porcelain when you have to go to the bathroom. Since toilet seats are likely something you use every day without thinking about it, it’s great to consider your options. Toilet seats will almost always come with a lid, which can be closed to reduce odors, prevent items from falling into the toilet bowl, and provide a more aesthetic look to the bathroom.
What should you consider in a toilet seat?
- Shape: There are two shapes that toilet seats come in: round and oval/oblong. Round seats are more common and are shorter and rounder (obviously), so they take up a bit less space. Some people find elongated toilet seats to be more comfortable and are often a bit pricier. Otherwise, there isn’t much difference between the two beyond their size. A standard round toilet seat will measure 16.5 inches long, while a standard elongated one will be 18.5 inches. Before buying a new toilet seat, measure your toilet bowl to determine which shape will fit it. The good news is that many toilet seats are available in both shapes, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a seat that fits your toilet.
- Features: There are quite a few features you can look for in a toilet seat. Some will come with all the bells and whistles, while others will only have one or two. Some features, like a heated or padded seat, are designed to increase your toilet’s comfort. Others, like a quick-release or bidet seat, will make cleaning easier. And other features simply add convenience, such as a soft close to prevent the lid from slamming shut or a night light for using the bathroom in the middle of the night. Consider what features you might find most valuable, though note that the more features a toilet seat possesses, the more expensive it will generally be.
- Material: Wood and plastic are the two most common materials for making toilet seats. Wooden toilet seats are excellent and durable, won’t get as cold, and are less prone to scratches. However, they are more expensive and harder to clean since some standard cleaning supplies can damage the wood. Plastic seats are more affordable, easy to clean and wipe down, and tend to hold up better in a moist environment. If you want a durable toilet seat and don’t mind risking colder options, some stainless steel models are on the market, though they are rarer. Ceramic toilet seats are also an option.
What modern toilet seat features should you also think about?
Modern toilet seats can come equipped with an array of features that, while not strictly necessary, you may find convenient and more pleasant, such as a heated seat, an attachable bidet, or a built-in night light. Bidets have become more and more popular and readily available. Soft-closing seats are also worth considering to eliminate slamming toilet seats and pinched fingers.
MAYFAIR Slow Close Toilet Seat
A toilet seat available that will fit most toilets, with front to back adjustability for an even better fit.
Pros: Whether you own a toilet with a round or elongated bowl, this toilet seat will have no trouble fitting right onto it. Available in both shapes, this toilet seat will fit all standard toilets and just about any possible toilet brand. It also has a precision seat fit with front-to-back adjustability, so you can fine-tune it to fit your toilet. The wooden materials are eco-friendly and finished with a high gloss enamel that increases durability to reduce the risk of chips and scratches. This toilet seat installs and tightens from the top so that you don’t have to crouch or kneel on the hard, cold tile bathroom floor to attach it.
Cons: Like any product in your home, this toilet is prone to hinge breakage from heavy use. You may find yourself needing to replace a hinge down the line.
Bottom Line: This widely-compatible wooden toilet seat is a great option for most. As a bonus, the lid is anti-slamming. Give it a quick tap, and it will close slowly and quietly to eliminate loud noises and the risk of pinched fingers.
Bemis Elongated Toilet Seat
A toilet seat with a durable, glossy finish in plenty of color options.
Pros: This all-around excellent toilet seat offers plenty of valuable features and purchasing options, allowing you to choose the custom option that best suits your bathroom. This plastic toilet seat comes in 13 different color options, and each shade is available in elongated and round shapes. It’s resistant to chipping and scratching and provides a high-gloss finish. Each toilet seat comes with two color-matched bumpers and hinges. It’s easy to remove for cleaning or replacement purposes.
Cons: This toilet seat isn’t the most neutral option out there.
Bottom Line: Since this toilet seat comes in 13 colors, it’s great for those who want something special to complete their bathroom design.
Brondell Swash Bidet Toilet Seat
This electronic bidet toilet seat will fit elongated toilets and is easy to install.
Pros: On those nights when you wake up to use the bathroom and stumble in half asleep, sitting down on a cold toilet seat can be quite jarring. This seat has three different heat settings to maintain the same temperature and level of comfort year-round. You can adjust the heat level at any time with one button press towards the back of the seat. The heated system is not the only useful feature that this ergonomically designed toilet seat comes with, either. It also comes equipped with an illuminating, cool blue night light so that you don’t have to turn the bathroom light on if you need to use the facilities in the middle of the night. In addition, the seat and lid are slow-closing, installation is a simple process, the bidet has a warm air dryer and water wash, and the lid is available in two different color choices and round or elongated forms.
Cons: This toilet seat lid is a bit pricier than other options. The warm water runs for about 30 seconds, which some reviewers found wasn’t long enough.
Bottom Line: This bidet’s sleek shape blends seamlessly into both your bathroom decor and bathroom habits. The hidden pocket conceals water and power connections, and the contoured lid looks modern and refined on any toilet.
BATH ROYALE Toilet Seat
A durable toilet seat that's resistant to cracking, breaking, deforming, peeling, and chipping.
Pros: Since toilets in your home are used multiple times a day, it’s important that all their parts be as strong and durable as possible for long-lasting use and this toilet seat fits the bill perfectly. It’s made of light but strong plastic that is non-absorbent, resistant to chemicals and stains, and won’t chip, peel, or fade over time. Since the plastic is light and relatively soft, it offers flexibility, meaning it will adjust to your body without cracking, breaking, or becoming deformed or warped. It’s also capable of withstanding up to 400 pounds of weight, has four seat bumpers that evenly distribute weight, and has stainless steel mounting hardware to hold the seat. In addition to the durability factor, this toilet seat quickly detaches to allow more convenient access during cleaning to keep your toilet and bathroom more hygienic.
Cons: This seat is standard, and it may slide and shift during usage. This movement is not unusual, but if you like a toilet seat that stays firmly in place, this may not be the one for you.
Bottom Line: This toilet seat comes in both elongated and round forms, with three light color options, and it will fit most toilet brands, even those with non-standard mounting hole spacings. It also has a slow-closing lid, too.
Brondell Heated Nightlight Toilet Seat
Your midnight trip to the bathroom will be warm and well-lit with the addition of this nifty toilet seat.
Pros: Say goodbye to the shock of a cold toilet seat and say hello to a warm, welcoming seat. This toilet seat boasts four seat heat settings, making the LumaWarm comfortable all year round. This toilet lid also comes with an illuminating night light that lights up your toilet bowl in a cool, blue light. The ergonomic seat is comfortable and available in both elongated and round sizes and white or biscuit colors.
Cons: While not as expensive as other options, this toilet seat is not inexpensive. The brackets that adhere it to the toilet may need to be adjusted occasionally to prevent sliding when seated.
Bottom Line: The LumaWarm toilet seat installs easily; simply remove your old seat and replace it—no plumber or tools are required.
Whether you’re looking to replace your old toilet seat or are just investing in a new one, there are many options out there. These picks should work well for most people.