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Best toilet 2023: Stylish and smart loos from £155

Make sure your bathroom is both functional and easy to maintain with our pick of the best toilets

Whether you’re redoing a bathroom, revamping a cloakroom or fitting an en suite, a new toilet is likely to be on the list of items you need to buy. Sadly, when it comes to priorities, the WC can often be found languishing at the bottom of the list, eclipsed by basins and baths. But there’s a good reason to keep it near the top. Not only are there multiple style options available, which will affect the look of your room, but there are loos that help save water every time you flush or free up floor space, with some models more ergonomic and functional than others. 

In addition, a toilet isn’t an item you buy often, so it would be wise to consider different models and how they might fit in with your room design. For example, there are compact loos that are ideal for small spaces, wall-mounted WCs that may require more thought when affixing, and toilets that use electricity, which need to be wired in. And the decisions don’t end there: these days, you’ll find toilets in a selection of colours. These include your standard gloss white, as well as black and grey, and matte finishes, too. 

Below, we offer guidance on the questions to ask when selecting a toilet for your bathroom, after which you can read on to discover our top picks.

Best toilet: At a glance

How to choose the best toilet for you

What types of toilet are available?

The basic idea of toilets hasn’t moved on that much from the original 18th-century designs; most still use an air-lock trap to prevent smells and water flowing back into the bowl once you’ve flushed. The biggest differentiating factor is the position of the cistern (which holds the water for flushing) and how they flush. Roughly, they’re divided into these types:

  • Close-coupled – The most common type of toilet, the close-coupled model combines a pan and visible cistern. It’s fairly easy to install, hard-wearing and, usually, affordable too, which is great if you’re looking for a model that will do the job and fit a tight budget.
  • High level – Also known as traditional toilets, these models have a cistern mounted overhead on the wall, with a long flush pipe connecting to the pan; this uses gravity to generate a powerful flush. Perfect for setting the tone in a classic bathroom, it’s also likely to have a chain pull to flush.
  • Back-to-wall – Also known as a concealed cistern toilet, this design sees the cistern, plumbing and waste pipes hidden from view. This is achieved either using cabinetry, boxing or the wall behind for a neater, more streamlined appearance. Back-to-wall toilets can also be wall-hung, meaning that the pan doesn’t continue to the floor, resulting in a floating look and more visible floor area. Remember to factor in the cost of any extra building work.
  • Shower toilet – Sometimes referred to as a combination bidet toilet, this type of toilet includes a washing spray arm and warm air drying feature that takes the place of toilet paper. It may also feature a heated seat and a remote control. Since the working parts are usually contained within the seat, you may be able to retrofit a shower toilet seat onto your current WC.
  • Smart toilet – Similar to the shower toilet, smart toilets generally come with additional high-tech features, such as raising the seat when you approach, lights to guide you at night, app control and UV disinfection.
  • Other types – Depending on your requirements, you can also find toilets designed to fit into corners, compact toilets for cloakrooms and en suites, comfort-height toilets for taller users or those with mobility issues, and macerator toilets that pump waste away when no soil stack is available.

What do I need to consider when buying a toilet?

One of the parts of a toilet you’ll interact with most is the seat, so think about your preference of materials from which it’s made. Thermoplastic is pocket-friendly and easy to keep clean, but can be cold to the touch. Wood comes in a wide variety of finishes and is warm to the touch, but can become damaged by harsh cleaning chemicals. Also available is thermoset, a polymer that’s harder and stronger than thermoplastic, so tends to be more durable. A soft-closing seat is usually a must, too, preventing sudden bangs and reducing wear and tear.  

Next, look at how much water you’ll be using with each flush, since this can vary. Older toilets can use as much as nine litres; modern toilets average around 5-6 litres for a full flush. A dual-flush toilet is a good water-saving option, since it allows you to use less water when required. Finally, for the ultimate in hygiene, look for a rimless design. The omission of traditional rims leaves nowhere for germs and bacteria to gather, so they’re easier to keep clean.  

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How much should I spend on a toilet?

A close-coupled toilet with a dual flush can cost less than £100, but it will be fairly basic. For £150-£200, you’ll find a good range of rimless and back-to-wall models, with wall-hung costing between £200-£500. If a shower toilet appeals, you’ll need to up your budget; while the retro-fit seats can cost £400 plus, a whole toilet can cost from £600 into the thousands. Smart toilets can cost from £1,500 upwards. 

The best toilets you can buy in 2023

1. Grohe Euro Wall Hung Rimless Short Projection Toilet: Best toilet for an en suite

Price: £290 | Buy now from Appliances Direct

When space is at a premium, as it can be in small bathrooms, en suites and cloakrooms, a compact toilet is a must. This Grohe WC is ideal: its short projection means it doesn’t extend out into the room too much, while the wall-hung design maximises visible floor space and makes it easy to clean around. Plus, the soft-close seat means you can use it in the middle of the night without making lots of noise. 

Another good reason to choose it is that it’s rimless, so each flush gives the bowl a thorough clean. A dual flush and five-year guarantee are the cherries on top. Note, however, that the seat is plastic, so it could become chilly in the cooler months. 

Key specs – Type: Back-to-wall; Wall-hung: Yes; Rimless: Yes; Dimensions: 37.4 x 49 x 42cm (WDH)

Buy now from Appliances Direct

2. Nuie Richmond High Level Toilet Pan and Cistern: Best traditional toilet

Price: From £172 | Buy now from Mano Mano

For a traditional-style bathroom, few WCs do the job as well as a high-level toilet. While some are highly detailed, if you’re looking for a good blend of practicality and charm, turn to this Richmond design. More sleek art deco than some styles, it has a chrome-plated flush pipe and coordinating wall brackets, plus an attractive plinth at the base. 

It isn’t supplied with a pull chain or seat, offering you more control over the final look you’d like: with a black seat for a monochrome scheme or a warm wood for a country feel. The Richmond is also good if you don’t have a large bathroom, since it has a short projection that won’t jut into the room too much, and should be easy to install. 

Key specs – Type: High level; Wall-hung: No; Rimless: No; Dimensions: 37 x 49.5 x 39.5cm (WDH)

Buy now from Mano Mano

3. Vitra Layton corner close-coupled pan cistern and seat: Best toilet for cloakrooms

Price: £299 | Buy now from B&Q

Part of Vitra’s simply styled affordable range, Layton, this corner WC is a great solution if you’ll struggle to fit a standard toilet into your cloakroom or en suite. It tucks neatly into a corner, delivering greater clearance by a doorway or helping you to eliminate clashing with a basin. It’s also a smart choice for sloping ceilings – and the waste outlet can be connected out in multiple directions. While the loo is available on its own, this pack comes with everything you’ll need to fit it, so you’ll be flushing in no time. It also comes with a ten-year guarantee. 

The only thing to be aware of is that, compared to the usual compact designs, the Vitra Layton will project out quite far into the room from the corner.

Key specs – Type: Close-coupled; Wall-hung: No; Rimless: Yes; Dimensions: 38 x 75.5 x 80.5cm (WDH)

Buy now from B&Q

4. Orchard Wharfe Rimless Back-to-Wall Toilet and Wrap-over Soft-Close Toilet Seat: Best toilet for a modern bathroom

Price: £155 | Buy now from Victoria Plum

Practical and modern, Orchard Bathrooms’ Wharf collection is simple styling at its best – beautifully illustrated by this WC. It comes complete with a soft-close seat and hygienic rimless design, making it easy to keep spotlessly clean. However, since the chunky wrapover seat is plastic, you may want to swap it for something warmer in the winter months. 

This model also comes in at a great price – perfect if you’re on a tight bathroom budget – but bear in mind that it doesn’t include the concealed cistern or fitting pack.

Key specs – Type: Back-to-wall; Wall-hung: No; Rimless: Yes; Dimensions: 35.2 x 51.7 x 45.5cm (WDH)

Buy now from Victoria Plum

5. Milano Luxus Wall Hung Japanese Bidet Toilet with Soft Close Seat: Best luxury toilet

Price: £1,900 | Buy now from Big Bathroom Shop

While smart and shower toilets can cost several thousands, this stylish WC might just be able to fit into some bathroom budgets. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still pricey – but it brings a lot to the table, including washing, drying, massaging and deodorising functions, an integral light for night-time use, adjustable settings with the ability to save preferences for each user, and a remote control. 

It’s also a rather lovely looking loo – gracefully curved, wall-hung to maximise space, with a soft-close seat. A big plus is the 20-year guarantee. However, the price doesn’t include the fixing frame and cistern, so you’ll need to factor in just under £200 extra for those.  

Key specs – Type: Shower; Wall-hung: Yes; Rimless: Yes; Dimensions: 38.4 x 59.3 x 30cm (WDH)

Buy now from Big Bathroom Shop

6. Roca the Gap Close-Coupled Toilet with Integrated Macerator: Best toilet for loft conversions and extensions

Price: £1,093 | Buy now from Plumbworld

Roca has been making toilets for decades, so it’s no wonder that it offers a huge range of styles for all purposes. Its macerator toilet is one such problem-solver. Hidden towards the back, you’ll find an integrated macerator, meaning that you can pop it anywhere where there isn’t direct access to a soil stack (the moving of which is a costly business). Instead, it blends solids into liquid using a high-speed rotational blade, before pumping the contents away into the drainage system.

What’s especially clever about the Gap model is that it looks just like a normal loo, compared to a traditional WC and macerator installation. And if that wasn’t enough, it also comes with an antibacterial seat, 25-year guarantee on the toilet (two years on the macerator) and three additional inlets for other bathroom connections, such as a washbasin.

Key specs – Type: Close-coupled macerator; Wall-hung: No; Rimless: Yes; Dimensions: 36 x 64 x 46.5cm (WDH)

Buy now from Plumbworld

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