How To Choose The Best Toilet Seat

by Dan | Last Updated: January 18, 2021

Proper etiquette states that we don’t talk about the toilet seat in public. Despite being the most popular fixture around the house, very rarely do we think about it until when the time comes. And that time is when the seat can no longer offer comfort especially if you like taking your time.
Basically, buying a toilet is somewhat involving than buying the seat. But the advancement in technology has offered a myriad of options in terms of construction materials, functionalities, and designs. All these make choosing the best toilet seat somewhat tricky.

So, what really matters when buying a toilet seat? Learn about it in our guide of how to choose the right toilet seat?
Let’s begin here…

Is There A Standard Size For Toilet Seats?

As any plumber or home improvement store assistant will tell you, there isn’t a single standard size for toilet seats. We don’t have to go tactical to see the reason behind this. The varying shapes and styles that the modern toilets come in explain why there’ll never be a standard size for toilet seats.

Shape vs. Comfort

The shape of the seat comes long before thinking about the construction materials and how soft you want it to be. It makes no sense spending so much on the quietest and the plushiest seat that you are not even sure whether it will fit in your toilet bowl or not.
Simply put, the shape of your commode and its measurements dictate the shape of your ideal toilet seat.

There are 2 standard shapes for toilets: standard elongated (oblong) and standard round. Needless to mention, for an elongated bowl, you’ll need an elongated toilet seat inasmuch as you want it to create a snug and comfortable fit. On the other hand, a round bowl performs better with a round-shaped toilet.
A common question that most homeowners ask is, ‘’Can I use an elongated toilet seat on a round-bowl toilet?’’

Now, an elongated bowl measures approximately 18.5’’ when measured from the center of the 2 holes that hold the seat hinges to the center front of the bowl. Round-bowl toilets are 2 inches shorter at approximately 16.5 inches.

However, all toilets (elongated and round) have hinge/seat post holes on 5 ½-inch centers. What these figures mean is that an elongated seat can be mounted on a round-bowl thanks to the standardized hinge posts dimensions. But considering the 2-inch difference in length, the seat will look weird and funny at the same time. Again, there is the risk of the seat snapping on you since you won’t be applying the pressure evenly.

Bottomline: Get an elongated seat for an elongated-bowl toilet and a round model for a round-bowl fixture.
Toilets that come in different dimensions and shapes other than these (for instance D-shapes and square shapes) come with their special seats commonly referred as proprietary seats.


Best Toilet Seat Material

The market does not offer lots of options here other than wood and plastic. The question about the best of these 2 basically boils down to durability, comfort, and style.

Wood seats are made of thin layers of wood usually oak that has been bonded together. Still, other models use medium-density wood fiber that is pressed and molded into shape before being coated with enamel.

More often than not, homeowners who are more after design tend to favor wood seats. These models come in different finishes and colors and tend to add a charming and traditional look to a bathroom. They also have a heavy feel and are sturdier and naturally warmer than plastic seats.
The major drawbacks with wooden toilet seats are that they are expensive and somewhat hard to find. Again, these models are less resistant to degradation, especially in a high-moisture bathroom.

Most toilets come with plastic seats. There are 2 main types of plastic toilet seats depending on how they are constructed: thermoplastic and thermoset. Of the two, thermoset is more resistant to scratches.

On the other hand, Thermoplastic seats are lightweight, hard-wearing, and also relatively cheaper than Thermoset.
From a durability point of view, plastic seats are more durable. Although the extremely light Thermoplastic seats are more vulnerable to cracking, they may withstand regular slamming better than wood seats.

If you are irritated by toilet seats that never lower without making a loud bang, then a soft close toilet seat with soft close technology might be the way to go. These types are especially more convenient in a home with kids who enjoy slamming the toilet seat.
Soft close technology not only reduces those unpleasant bangs, but it also prolongs the seat’s lifetime by minimizing the chances of cracking. A good recommendation here is the Toto MS604114CEFG-01 Ultramax II toilet in our best toilet buying guide.


These are the major considerations that you need to keep in mind when choosing the best toilet seat for your toilet. But do know that these only help you to narrow down your choices. There is a load of other exciting add-ons that might help make your purchase more worthwhile and don’t forget to be really careful about the toilet seat sizes you find on the market.

For instance, if you want to offer your kids some independence, getting a seat that allows you to add a kiddo’s seat might be a brilliant idea.
Kohler toilet seats also offer the Purefresh technology that emanates a light and fresh scent after each use.

The best part is that other than compact camping toilets and composting toilets, regular fixtures come without the seat. So, you have an opportunity to get the most exciting features that the market has to offer at your budget.

Dan is the editor in chief and founder of this site, after running into troubles with his own old toilet a while ago. Discussing toilets is not your everyday topic, so let’s talk toilets today.