The humble toilet has come a long way since mankind first realized that nature’s call is a thing best attended to in private. From being mere drains with cubicles all the way back in 2300 BC to chamber pots in Medieval England to its form as we know it today, toilets have obviously had a history as long as man himself. If you still haven’t grasped the importance of a toilet, consider the fact that toilets have their very own World Toilet Organisation established way back in 2001!
There’s just no stressing enough on the importance of a good toilet. Indeed, toilets have gone from being necessities to luxuries in today’s day and age. Hang Fung’s 5 million-dollar gold toilet, anyone? (But oh, the irony, considering that many developing countries still need to go out into the wild to answer nature’s call!) Either way, despite the existence of these luxurious toilets and the fact that a toilet is indispensable in a household, it’s still a subject people don’t want to discuss and tend to overlook, for obvious reasons. As a customer, it’s important to realize that finding the right toilet for your house requires the same research and consideration that you would put into considering, say, which mattress to use on your bed. Comfort, durability, and size are some of the key commonalities in both cases!
Having said that, customers still find it difficult to pick the right toilet for various reasons. It could be the number of brands and the types of toilets each brand offers. As if that wasn’t overwhelming enough, there are several types of flush mechanisms that consume different levels of water and flush different quantities of water! We get that all this can be pretty mind-boggling, which is why we’ve put together a buying guide of 2019’s 7 best toilets to give you an idea of what you’re either missing out on or what you should be looking forward to, in terms of a good residential toilet!
Finding the Best Rated Toilet for Your Requirements
Before we go on to reviewing 2019’s best toilets, it’s important to understand what exactly to look for in a good toilet and how a toilet’s features can affect your daily few minutes of peace. Some of the things to keep in mind:
Comfort should figure highest on your list of features while toilet shopping. Why? Well, let’s just say you’ll be thanking us for a comfortable seat while catching up on the daily news! Jokes apart, a comfortable toilet is key because it’s not something you’re going to keep changing. A toilet is a long-term investment and something you’ll be using many times a day for many years to come. Thus, while buying a toilet, think about how short, tall, big, small, wide or narrow you want it to be!
As we’ve mentioned in the earlier point, your toilet is something you’re going to be using many times a day for many years. Therefore, durability is something you’ll want to look for in the toilet you’re buying. Look for materials and finishes that indicate a long, sturdy life for your toilet.
Though this is one of the most important parts of a toilet, it’s also one that’s overlooked most often. Seats come in various types, such as heated, standard, or soft close, to name a few. Though it may seem like a small thing, the seat is something that will either add or take away your comfort while using the toilet. Thus, we recommend that you also carefully consider the type of seat you want on your toilet, especially because sometimes, the seat isn’t included as part of your purchase. In this case, you’ll need to research seats to find the right fit for your toilet, and, well, your seat!
Saving the environment isn’t just a trend, nor is it only restricted to one aspect of life. The water crisis is real. Therefore, we feel like it’s the natural step to have an eco-friendly toilet. Luckily for us, toilet manufacturers also seem to feel the same way, leading to some state-of-the-art bathrooms that are also eco-friendly. Some producers have managed to perfect the balance between reducing water consumption and still ensuring a superlative degree of performance and power in every flush. Eco-friendly yet no compromise on quality? It can’t get better than that!
In today’s automatic age, consumers no longer have to be worried about cleaning toilet rims on their own because being the smart manufacturers they are, some toilet makers have equipped toilets with rim cleaning technology. Thus, efficient rim cleaning technology is something you’ll want to keep an eye out for while buying a toilet. Some toilets will have holes in the rims through which water is pumped to effectively wash the toilet rim, while in some, water may flow directly into the bowl. Yet others offer a combination of both technologies.
Now that we know what to look for in a toilet, there’s just one step left — understanding the types of toilets available in the market!
Types of Toilets
We’re not exaggerating when we say there are more than a thousand toilet manufacturers in the world. If this has you spiraling into a bout of toilet-buying anxiety, fear not. Luckily, there are far, far fewer types of toilets. Understanding these types and figuring which maker sells the best of these will definitely help you narrow your options down. Onward, ho!
- Water Efficient Toilets: As the name suggests, this one is a super eco-friendly toilet and saves water every time you flush. This is done by reducing the drain-size diameter and adding a bend that creates a vacuum when the water flows through.
- Flushing Toilets: Also called “powerful” toilets, these are basic toilets which flush water on pushing a button or pulling a trigger. These come equipped with “S”, “J”, “P” or “U”-shaped trap ways.
- One-Piece Toilets: In such a toilet, the toilet’s tank is connected to the bowl, making the toilet one whole ceramic block. Easy to clean due to the lack of a crevice in the middle, these toilets are also advantageous as the water tank is generally smaller in size. To make it better, they most often come equipped with toilet seats, reducing half your work for you.
- Two-Piece Toilets: Probably the most commonly used type of toilet the world over, the two-piece toilet comes with a separation between the water tank and bowl, meaning that the tank is larger than a one-piece toilet and can, therefore, store more water. These types of toilets are also highly durable.
- Upflush Toilets: These toilets do away with the necessity of having a drain line beside them. This means you can install them in any place at home that you desire. They’re also quite a wallet-friendly option.
- Small Compact Toilets: If your toilet isn’t anywhere close to being a rival to the one in Chonqing, then the small compact toilet is for you. Perfectly designed for small spaces, these toilets, as the name suggests, come in small, compact designs (either wall-mounted, without tanks, or just generally smaller in size).
- Corner Toilets: Also called a “triangle toilet” due to the water tank being shaped like a triangle, these toilets fit very well into corners for precisely that reason.
- Wall-Mounted Toilets: These toilets are elevated off the floor and though it appears that they are tankless, the tanks are actually hidden within the wall they are mounted to. This makes cleaning a piece of cake and also does away with the issue of leaks.
- Square Toilets: Though closer to a rectangle than a square, these types of toilets are quite rare. Though they come with bigger bowls, they’re quite uncomfortable to sit on and replacement parts are hard to access.
- Elongated Toilets: Oval in shape, these are deemed to be the most comfortable toilets to sit. Elongated toilets have a larger pipeline than other toilets, but can be a pain in the bottom side to clean.
- Round Bowl Toilets: Slightly bigger than elongated toilets, these toilets have a lower flushing power than their elongated cousins.
- Tankless Toilets: Linked straight to the pipe, this toilet has an electric pump that assures powerful flushes. However, this means that it requires a higher volume of water for each flush. The pipe is also wider compared to other toilets, is more contemporary in design, and is small and compact.
Apart from these basic types, there are also various toilets such as the portable compost toilet, the pressure-assist toilet, gravity toilets, touchless toilets, pull chain toilets, dual flush toilets, smart toilets, squatting-pan toilets, and even toilets customized specifically for kids or the elderly. Of course, all of these come with their respective pros and cons that need to be researched.
If this categorization is too vast for you, know that you can select toilets based on their seat design (elongated, round, square or rectangular) as well as by the flushing system and trap systems.
According to the trap design, toilets can come equipped with either “S” or “P” water closets. The former is usually used in ground floor installations, whereas the latter is used for any floors above the ground. Another way to distinguish is also by checking whether the trap is concealed or visible. The former comes with a higher price tag but is more aesthetic than the latter.
Types of Bowls
Most toilets designed for the average home come with two different types of bowls — the round bowl and the elongated bowl (though some companies provide square bowls, they’re few and far in between). Elongated bowls are better for user comfort, while round bowls save a ton of space. There’s no saying that one is better than the other as they serve two completely different purposes. Therefore, consider whether you want to prioritize comfort or space before you pick the type of bowl. However, be aware that no matter what the shape of the bowl, the material it’s made from is something you should focus on. Some brands offer antibacterial finishes on their bowls; we highly recommend these!
Types of Flushing Systems
If you want to consider flushing systems, there are four main types:
- Dual Flush: The dual flush system lets you choose between a powerful flush and a more subdued one. As explained above, it comes equipped with two buttons that let you choose which kind of flush you want (one for solid waste and one for liquid).
- Tankless flush
- Touchless flush
- Upflush system
The flushing technology in a toilet is highly important because while it is necessary to flush out waste effectively, it is also important that this action is done with a minimal requirement of water. Today, most toilets are designed in a way that achieves this very objective, so ensuring that the flushing technology is capable and durable enough to handle this, is of utmost importance.
What kind of flushing system, trap, and bowl you choose depends on your requirement.
Of course, the price is one of the most important factors to consider while buying a new toilet. Toilets come priced in three tiers. For a low budget, you’d be shelling out anywhere between $50-150, $150-300 for a mid-tier toilet, and anything above for the more advanced, powerful, cutting-edge-technology-equipped models.
Our Top-Rated Toilet Reviews 2021
Kohler K-3817-0 Stately Comfort
This beauty from Kohler is part of their two-piece toilet line and comes with some features it can definitely brag about! Equipped with the AquaPiston flush system that meets EPA flushing standards, the toilet can save you approximately 20% on your water expenditure when compared to other conventional models. What’s more, the toilet gives you a brilliant flush through a tip lever located on the left, which enables water to flow in from all angles of the bowl.
Perfect for the average American home, the toilet shares its height with the standard household chair, ensuring comfort and lack of over-extension, thereby reducing any pressure on your knee joints. It also comes with an elongated bowl that gives the toilet-goer additional comfort and space. With its aesthetic nature and reputed brand backing, you’d think that you’d be shelling out big bucks for this one, but the toilet is surprisingly affordable!
American Standard 2889.216.020
A great catch for the low-budget shopper, the American Standard 2889.216.020 is a two-piece toilet that comes in two different shades. WaterSense certified, this toilet also has a modern touch and lets you choose between a well-rounded bowl or an elongated one (this, however, depends on which color you choose). The toilet is super eco-friendly, consuming minimal water for each flush (1.6 gallons for a powerful flush and 1 gallon for a less powerful one).
The toilet, with its dual flush system, comes with additional features such as power cleaning the bowl through a jet-powered siphon. The rim also has an H2Option system, in which water is dispensed through strategically-placed holes, to get rid of germs and bacteria, and keep it clean, hygienic and in place. With a build of 22 inches by 35 inches by 35 inches and a weight of around 90 pounds, this toilet is a perfect residential fit.
However, customers need to be aware that the toilet does not come with a seat, which means additional research, shopping and expenditure.
American Standard Concealed Trapway Cadet 3
Solely focused on the comfort of the user, the American Standard Concealed Trapway Cadet 3 comes with a rounded front and great height to minimize any stress or pressure that the user may feel. With a simple yet cutting-edge design, this toilet has various features that make it a standout in the market, such as a slow-close specification for the seat to prevent rim damage from slamming or banging, and EverClean surface technology on the surface and in its materials to keep the germs at bay.
The flushing system is a cadet 3 one-flush system, ensuring that waste is flushed away with a single powerful and reliable flush. Touted to have the ability to handle up to a kilogram of waste matter, the toilet uses a mere 1.28 gallons per flush, making it a great eco-friendly option. What’s more, it comes with a 5-year warranty and is a super affordable option!
American Standard 221CA.004.020 Colony
This 12-inch model with 1.6 GPF is definitely a toilet to look out for! With a built-in cleaning system (due to power wash rims), a great siphon action bowl, and looks to rival most other toilets in the market, the American Standard 221CA.004.020 Colony is a great combination of effectiveness, efficiency and comfort.
The toilet comes equipped with a vitreous china elongated bowl, making it a super durable model. It also comes with an affordable price tag, which makes it a great fit for any home looking for a toilet that is cheap but definitely doesn’t look anywhere like it is!
Toto Drake 2-Piece Ada Toilet
The Toto Drake 2-Piece Ada toilet is heavy on water consumption with each flush at 1.6 gallons. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let us tell you that the water consumption doesn’t make a dent on the toilet’s efficiency. From futuristic looks to an effective flushing system that deals excellently with waste, this toilet has it all.
With a G-max flushing system that is strong yet quiet (and commercial grade, as the manufacturers put it), this toilet by Toto has the good citizens of the world wide web singing its praises. With such a fan base, it’s no wonder that this is also one of the most frequently bought toilets in the market. The toilet comes with an elongated bowl made from vitreous china and a chrome finish that extends its durability. In a beautiful, bright cotton white shade, this toilet is great value for your money, if you’re looking for a model in the mid-tier.
Kohler Cimarron Comfort Height Elongated
Whether you’re standing up or sitting down, the Kohler Cimarron (K-3609-0) is definitely a gem to consider. With plenty of positive customer feedback backing it, this toilet has taken the web by storm.
With an elongated bowl that still somehow manages to be more comfortable than some rounded models, the toilet runs on the AquaPiston flushing system and consumes a very slightly heavy 1.28 gallons of water per flush. Despite this, the company claims that these models are EPA-certified and can save you over 15,000 gallons of water a year (in a normal household). A two-piece model with a white finish, the only drawback is that it falls in the higher price range, so if you’re a budget-shopper, you may want to look the other way with this model.
Toto Ultramax II
Another offering from the house of Toto, the Ultramax’s standout is its flushing system. Equipped with Double Cyclone technology and a chrome-plated tip lever, this toilet’s flushing system is almost the epitome of flushing efficiency. The toilet uses 1.28 gallons per flush which can still save you plenty of water in the long run.
Available in cotton white, this one-piece model is symmetrical, contemporary and a great fit for any bathroom, which means that though a good-looking restroom may not be your main aim, this toilet can instantly beautify your restroom. Who doesn’t like a bonus, right? However, like any high-end model, this one doesn’t come cheap, either, with a price varying from the mid to higher range, depending on where you buy it from.
A perfect combination of elegance and simplicity, the EAGO TB351 boasts of a great dual flush system, an eco-friendly ceramic make and a beautiful white shade. This one-piece toilet is ideal for you if you’re going for a light, airy restroom look!
Equipped with a 3-inch flushing valve, the system’s dual flush ensures that users don’t have to face the age-old problems of the ball and chain options. However, what makes this toilet a standout is not its good features, but the fact that it uses a measly 0.8 gallons of water per flush! This is a figure that most of its competitors have found hard to beat, so no prizes for guessing who wins the award of “Most Eco-Friendly Toilet on the List”!
As a bonus, the toilet comes with both the seat and the lid. What makes it better is that the lid is a soft close lid, meaning no more announcements to the rest of the household that you’re using the loo. Easy to clean, with reasonably even water distribution and a bowl that’s designed to minimize odor, this toilet should definitely be high on your list of considerations!
If this guide to toilets is anything to go by (and it is!), the sheer amount of information surrounding this humble and often overlooked necessity of our daily lives can be confusing, frustrating and plain mind-boggling. We hope we’ve helped make the decision process a little easier with all this information, but do keep in mind that at the end of the day, the toilet you buy should meet your requirements. Though every toilet comes with a flush system, finish, bowl, and a beautiful build, look for a toilet that has the best combination of these not just because a bunch of guys online say so (though that is definitely worth consideration) but as per your needs. Good luck!