Best toilet

5 Best Toilets (2023 Guide)

If you’re searching for the best toilet for your full or half bathroom, here are some factors we think you should consider before making a final decision.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Toilet

Picking out the best toilet should be easy, but there are a lot more options than you may realize. Here’s everything you need to know.

If you’re like most people, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your toilet. Your current toilet is likely a standard white two-piece unit—but with so many options these days, there’s nothing “standard” about any toilet.

Size, style, and technology all play a part in finding the right toilet for your home, and the perfect toilet for one bathroom may not be perfect for another. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to choosing the right toilet, with everything you need to consider, tips to remember, and a few models we like.

Size and shape

The first thing to consider when choosing a toilet is the size and shape, and how much space it will take up in your bathroom.

Toilets generally come in one of three bowl shapes: elongated, compact elongated, and round. The elongated toilet is very common and usually considered more comfortable, while the round toilet is smaller and generally more appropriate for bathrooms dedicated to children or for very tight spaces. The elongated toilet can measure up to 31” from the wall and the round toilet is usually not more than 28” from the wall.

Best toilet

Tip: Measure your bathroom to determine if the toilet you like will fit.

The standard height of a household toilet is between 14” and 15” tall. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that toilets should be at least 16.5” tall. You don’t have to choose an ADA compliant toilet for your home, but you may find that a 15” toilet feels small to you because you’ve gotten used to the higher public toilets. Comfort height toilets come up to 19” tall, which is roughly the same height as your dining room chairs and makes it easier for seniors or people with back problems to sit down and stand up.

Tip: Consider both who will be using the toilet in the short run, and who might use the toilet in the long term when deciding how tall of a toilet you want.

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Wall-mounted or free-standing?

A good way to narrow down the list of possible toilets for your home is to decide what type of toilet you’d like. There are three types of toilets: one-piece, two-piece, and wall-mounted. The two-piece toilet is by far the most ubiquitous type of toilet. While the tank is designed to fit the bowl, there is always some kind of seam between that can be difficult to clean. The classic one-piece toilet has the same looks almost identical to the two-piece but integrates the tank and bowl into a single seamless design, which makes cleaning easier and saves space.

Wall-mounted toilets are becoming more and more popular for their sleek look and minimal footprint. Wall-mounted toilets either have a tankless design or hide the tank behind the wall. Installation is more complicated, but the toilet takes up a lot less space and is easier to clean. There are also floor-mounted tankless toilets, like the Kohler Veil. These toilets are slightly more classic in look, but with all the benefits of a wall-mounted toilet.

Tip: Consider the style of your home. A wall-mounted or floor-mounted tankless toilet looks fantastic in a modern bathroom but would be inappropriate in a very traditional bathroom.

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Flushing systems

The average toilet gets flushed around 2,000 times per year. Before 1994, the average toilet required 3.5 gallons of water per flush—that is literally a lot of water and money down the drain. Toilets manufactured after 1994 most likely require 1.6 gallons of water to flush. EPA WaterSense labeled toilets use at least 20% less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons, and modern dual-flush technology means you use as little as .6 gallons of water per flush.

There are two types of flushing systems. Toilets in private homes generally use a gravity flushing system, which uses the force of gravity to empty the bowl. The benefit of gravity flushing is that the toilet has fewer moving parts, which means repairs are less likely and less expensive.

Some manufacturers like Toto have come up with a variety of branded gravity-assisted flushing systems. Don’t worry so much about the technical aspects of how the toilet flushes but rather defer to reviews of any toilet you’re considering purchasing to see if it’s living up to the manufacturer’s promises.

The other option is a pressure-assisted flush system, which uses air pressure to empty the bowl. The benefit is, clogs are less likely, but with more moving parts, pressure-assisted flush toilets can be very noisy and may need more maintenance. Also, not all plumbing configurations can accommodate a pressure-assisted toilet—you may want to check with your plumber or contractor before making your purchase.

Tip: Consider how much use traffic the toilet will get—and make sure the toilet you choose carries the WaterSense label!

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The act of flushing

There are differences not only in how a toilet flushes but in how it is flushed. The two main options are the push-button and the lever. The button has a little sleeker look but the lever is usually less expensive. They both function equally well.

Touchless toilets are also increasingly popular. Just wave your hand over the sensor, and the toilet will flush. Great for minimizing germs in the bathroom, especially in a powder room that gets a lot of guest traffic.

Tip: Kohler makes a Touchless kit that can convert almost any other toilet.

Concealed and skirted toilets

Most classic toilet designs have an exposed trapway, which has a lot of rounded corners and edges that collect dust and can be hard to keep clean. Now many manufacturers are designing toilets with a concealed trapway, which is a smooth surface at the back of the toilet, or a skirt, which offers a clean line all the way around the base of the toilet. Both concealed trapways and skirted toilets have a sleeker look and are much easier to keep clean.

Toilets with a skirt or a concealed trapway are installed in a couple of different ways, some attach to a porcelain piece that is bolted to the floor while others make the attachment points accessible at the very back of the toilet. Some skirted toilets that cover the rear of the toilet as well have a skirt that extends very close to the back wall, which can interfere with the supply line of the toilet. Supply lines can be moved, but it’s an expensive job.

Tip: Check the toilet’s spec sheet to make sure your supply line will work with a skirted toilet.

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Slow-close seats and lids

Once you’ve used a toilet with a slow-close seat and lid, you’ll never want anything else.

Tip: Avoid the urge to match the toilet lid to the wall paint, and learn to love the slow-close. It won’t take long.


We haven’t run the numbers, but we’re willing to hazard a guess that 95% of all toilets are some shade of white. Why? Well for one, they’re easier to match, and they look appropriate in just about any style of bathroom. White is also modern and classic at the same time, while “fun” colors like red and blue can make even a new bathroom appear dated, and can be a minus to potential buyers should you choose to put your house on the market. Also, it’s a lot easier to see when a white toilet needs to be cleaned.

If the style of your bathroom is ultra-modern, you may consider black or stainless steel, but the higher cost aside, even these colors should be used sparingly.

Tip: When it comes to toilet color, it’s best to keep it conservative.

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Space-age extras

Have you heard about the toilets in Japan? With their heated seats, built-in bidets, blow dryers, and motion sensors? The secret to these toilets is actually in the bidet-style seat. The first modern Japanese toilet was the Toto Washlet G, introduced in 1980. The term “washlet” is technically trademarked by Toto but is now used colloquially to refer to any bidet-style toilet seat.

While the Googleplex is famous for their fancy toilets, bidet-style toilet seats are slow to catch on, anyone who’s had the chance to use one generally raves about them. Also, the bidet and built-in dryer can save a lot of toilet paper—good for the planet and good for your wallet.

A version of Toto’s Washlet toilet is available in the US, and other manufacturers have slowly been releasing their own versions.

Tip: San Francisco-based Brondell offers a variety of bidet-style toilet seats that can be installed on any conventional toilet.

5 Best Toilets (2023 Guide)

American Standard Elongated Toilet, HOROW One-Piece Short Compact Toilet isolated on a green grid paper background

Affiliate Disclosure:This Old House’s Reviews Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services. To support this business model, This Old House may be compensated if you purchase through links on our website.

You use your toilet every day, so you don’t want to cut corners on quality. An upgraded toilet can even lower your water bill.

To help you upgrade your bathroom, we researched the best toilets available. Here are our top recommendations for each type of toilet.

Best Toilet Overall
Swiss Madison St. Tropez
Best Classic Toilet
American Standard H2Option
Best Compact Toilet
HOROW Dual-Flush

Top 5 Toilets

  • Best Overall:Swiss Madison St. Tropez
  • Best Classic Toilet:American Standard H2Option
  • Best Compact Toilet:HOROW Small Dual-Flush
  • Easiest to Clean:DeerValley Ally Dual-Flush
  • Best for the Money:WOODBRIDGE Dual-Flush

Compare Top Toilets

Product Height Shape Warranty
Swiss Madison St. Tropez Toilet 31 inches Elongated 1 year
American Standard H2Option Toilet 31.5 inches Elongated 1 year parts, 5 years finish
HOROW Small Dual-Flush Toilet 28.4 inches Round 2 years
DeerValley Ally Dual-Flush Toilet 27 inches Elongated 1 year
WOODBRIDGE Dual-Flush Toilet 28 inches Elongated 1 year
Product Height Shape Warranty

Best Toilet Overall

Product Card Image

Swiss Madison St. Tropez One-Piece Toilet

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This Swiss Madison toilet features a dual-flush mechanism for water efficiency. If its one-piece design isn’t enough evidence of its ease of cleaning, we also liked that it doesn’t require any tools to disassemble when you want to do a deep clean.

Key Features

  • Removable seat
  • Dual flushing
  • 31 inches tall

Pros and Cons

✔ Features a comfort-height design
✔ Includes high-efficiency flush valve

✘ Lacks highly detailed instructions
✘ Not recommended for one-person installation

What Customers Are Saying

We noticed that satisfied buyers cited how easy this toilet was to clean, especially with its detachable seat. However, we also saw some customers complain about complicated installation, saying that the parts were defective or the instructions were confusing.

Best Classic Toilet

Product Card Image

American Standard H2Option Toilet

Prices are taken at time of publishing.

We were impressed by this powerful round toilet which features siphon jet bowl flushing technology with a power wash rim. The dual-flush feature and fully glazed trapway prevent clogs, and the few extra inches of height make sitting on this toilet comfortable.

Key Features

  • Glazed trapway
  • Seat sold separately
  • 31.5 inches tall

Pros and Cons

✔ Features anti-clog trapway
✔ Includes high-efficiency flush valve

✘ Does not include a toilet seat
✘ Seat height may be too tall for children and small adults

What Customers Are Saying

We found that customers loved the flushing mechanism on this toilet, reporting fewer clogs. In addition, they mentioned its extra height, which meant less squatting to sit. However, our team also saw some reviewers give this toilet low ratings, citing frustration that the seat wasn’t included.

Best Compact Toilet

Product Card Image

HOROW Small Dual-Flush Toilet

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This HOROW model is skinnier and shorter than standard toilets, making it our pick for those who have small bathrooms. In addition, it comes with a 5-year warranty on its porcelain glaze, giving you peace of mind about the longevity of your purchase.

Key Features

  • Dual flushing
  • Self-cleaning glaze
  • 28.4 inches tall

Pros and Cons

✔ Features a compact design
✔ Offers a child-friendly seat height

✘ Seat may be too short for those with mobility issues
✘ Slim design may not be ADA-compliant

What Customers Are Saying

According to our verified-buyer research, most customers said this toilet’s one-piece design made it easy to install and clean. However, the model had mixed reviews on the chair height. Some people liked how compact it was, while others couldn’t sit comfortably.

Easiest to Clean

Product Card Image

DeerValley Ally Dual-Flush Toilet

Prices taken at time of publishing.

We like that this toilet’s one-piece design and self-cleaning finish make cleaning easy. Everything you need to install the toilet, including the seat, comes in the package, making it a one-stop shop with no need for a plumber.

Key Features

  • Dual flushing
  • Soft-closing seat
  • 27 inches tall

Pros and Cons

✔ Features a self-cleaning glaze
✔ Offers a child-friendly seat height

✘ Seat may be too short for those with mobility issues
✘ May not be as comfortable as some competing models

What Customers Are Saying

We found that customers often mentioned this toilet’s water efficiency, stating that it saved them money on their water bills. However, we also saw some reviews that said this toilet’s smaller seat wasn’t as comfortable to sit on as a full-size seat.

Best for the Money

Product Card Image

WOODBRIDGE Dual-Flush Toilet

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Given the price, we found that this WOODBRIDGE modern toilet offers many luxury features. For example, it has the highest flush rating on the market, and its dual-flush mechanism conserves water when you’re flushing liquid waste.

Key Features

  • Dual flushing
  • Stainless-steel hinges
  • 28 inches tall

Pros and Cons

✔ Boasts best-in-class MaP score
✔ Features water-saving dual-flush valve

✘ Brand lacks a winning customer service reputation
✘ Not recommended for one-person installation

What Customers Are Saying

In our review of customer feedback for this toilet, we learned that most buyers were very happy with the unit’s ease of installation and high-quality craftsmanship. For most buyers, the toilet arrived intact with no scratches or dents. The small percentage of buyers who we found to have received a defective product reported poor customer service to get the issue resolved.

Toilet Buying Guide

If you’re searching for the best toilet for your full or half bathroom, here are some factors we think you should consider before making a final decision.

Toilet Bowl Shape

Most toilet seats are either round or elongated. We find that elongated bowls are spacious and comfortable to sit on, while round bowls fit better in smaller bathrooms. There is a third option: compact elongated. Compact elongated bowls split the difference, providing the comfort of an oval shape without taking up too much room.

Toilet Seat Height

We recommend measuring the height of your current toilet seat. If that works for you, stick with that height when shopping for a new one. If that isn’t your preference, you can choose a toilet that’s a few inches shorter or taller.

Flushing Mechanism

Our team found that most modern toilets have a gravity flush system, which creates flushing pressure by releasing the tank water into the bowl and forcing the contents through the drain and into the pipe. The other option is pressure-assisted flushing. Pressure-assisted toilets use the flushing power of siphoned air to create a more powerful flush.

Toilet Build

Many newer toilets have a unified tank and bowl design, which looks seamless and makes the toilet relatively easy to clean.

However, according to our research, there are still many two-piece toilets that feature a tank separate from the bowl. This is the classic build, but it can be more difficult to rough in and clean.

Extra Toilet Features

As technology advances, so do toilets. You can now find high-efficiency toilets, wall-mounted toilets, and quality commodes with the following features:

  • Automatic flushing
  • Bidets
  • Built-in deodorizers
  • Dual flushing
  • Heated seats
  • Night lights
  • Remote control
  • Slow-close hinges
  • Touchless flushing

How To Keep Your Toilet Clean

Now that you have a new toilet, our team recommends taking the following steps to keep it in pristine condition. Here are some easy cleaning tips.

Research Toilet Bowl Cleaners

There are many toilet bowl cleaners on the market. You can go for a wand, liquid, or tablet. Toilet wands use single-use heads that come presoaked in a cleaning solution. Liquid toilet bowl cleaners come in a squirt or spray bottle. Toilet tablets sit in the bowl and flush down the pipe.

Identify Stains

Most toilet bowl cleaners treat limescale buildup. However, if you notice hard water or rust stains along your toilet bowl, you may n in a specialty bathroom cleaner.

Don’t Neglect Crevices

While the bowl is the most important part to clean because it sees the most germs, don’t forget the other surfaces. We find that wiping the tank and post with a paper towel soaked in a cleaning solution typically gets the job done.

Treat Overnight

If you have tough stains, try soaking them overnight in a cleaning solution or white vinegar, then wipe it away in the morning.

Clean Frequently

Our advice is to clean your toilet bowl at least once a week. This keeps it looking and smelling fresh by eliminating germs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Toilets

What is a toilet’s MaP score?

A toilet’s MaP score is its maximum performance according to the protocol put forth by Maximum Performance Testing (MaP Testing), an independent evaluation program. It refers to the number of grams of waste a toilet can discard in a single flush. An ideal score is between 600 and 1,000 grams. Learn more about the testing protocol at MaP Testing’s What is MaP? page.

How much do toilets weigh?

We find that most toilets weigh between 80 and 120 pounds. As such, moving and installing most toilets takes at least two people.

Who should I buy a toilet from?

There are several reputable toilet sellers out there. Our research indicates the top brands include:

After our research, we also recommend the brands listed in this review.

What is the WaterSense label on a toilet?

The WaterSense label on a toilet is a label from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that designates the toilet as water-efficient and eco-friendly.

Water-efficient toilets can use 1.28 GPF, or gallons of water per flush, instead of the standard 1.6 GPF, which is 20% less water usage.

Can I install a toilet by myself?

If you have rudimentary plumbing experience and a basic kit of essential plumbing tools, you can probably install a toilet yourself. But keep in mind that most toilets are quite heavy and cumbersome, so having two people on the job is typically safer and easier.

To proceed with a DIY toilet installation, refer to our How to Install a Toilet in 8 Steps and How to Change a Toilet guides.

Also, if you have a smart toilet with a built-in bidet and other features, we find it’s usually best to hire a professional plumber for the installation.

Other Bathroom Resources

We’ve reviewed many bathroom products for customer reputation, longevity, ease of use, and more features. Read our top resources below:

How We Selected the Best Toilets

To provide our readers with the best toilet recommendations possible, we rely on several key sources of information to help guide our selection process.

Initial Research: Our research process began by generating our list of top picks. To do this, we isolated toilets with a significant number of verified-buyer reviews and an average customer review rating of 4–5 stars. We looked at positive and negative reviews alike, focusing on information from both satisfied and critical buyers.

Expert Insights: Through our years of experience, we’ve learned that listening to what others have to say is key to building accurate, well-rounded articles. To complement our in-house expertise, our team looked at reviews from trusted publications and independent testers, learned from subject matter experts, and drew insights from reader contributions.

Final Product Selection: We then began fine-tuning our list by replacing older models with the latest versions and eliminating any discontinued models. From there, we pared the list down further by comparing each model’s feature set and selecting the best-in-class options for a variety of buyers, budgets, and scenarios.

Why You Can Trust Us

This Old House has empowered homeowners and DIY-ers for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement advice in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content.

Our team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content. To date, we’ve published over 1,600 reviews on products in the home improvement space, from ceiling fans and floor coating to doorbell cameras and garage door openers.

Once we conclude our research, we craft a comprehensive, user-friendly article of recommended products and additional information to help our readers make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at [email protected].

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