After something better than bog-standard? This is our guide to the best toilet seats
When fitting a bathroom to your tastes and standards, the toilet seat can often be left as an afterthought. However, choosing the best toilet seat can really make a design statement and also a difference to your quality of life – besides protecting you from what’s inside the bowl.
In fact, you may not be aware of just how much time you’re spending on your personal throne. UK Active found that Brits spend an average of 3hrs 9mins on their toilets every week – that’s a whopping 164 hours each year. If we’re all spending that much time on the loo, it’s probably best to invest in a seat that offers our butts optimal comfort in a style we love.
In this article, we lift the lid on the best options out there so you can find the perfect toilet seat for you. Whether that’s a simple oval-shaped design, a stylish wooden number or a smart seat equipped with all the funkiest features, there’s something that is sure to take your fancy down below. There are some important questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge-r though, so do read through our buying guide first.
How to choose the best toilet seat for you
What type of seat can I buy?
The most important thing to do when buying a toilet seat is to check the size of your bowl – ordering in your ideal seat and then finding it doesn’t fit is no good for anyone. Unfortunately, there’s no standard size for toilet seats so it will come down to you measuring your own toilet.
To do so, you’ll want to take your current toilet seat off and determine the shape that fits your toilet. On the whole, your toilet seat shape is likely to be dictated by your toilet bowl shape if you want to get the most stable and aesthetic finish you can. Traditional toilets usually require an oval-shaped seat; the most common option out there. There are also square seats that offer the most modern design and an increasingly popular combination of the two in the form of sleek D-shaped seats.
Once you know this, you can get to work measuring the length of your seat: measure the distance from the front edge of the toilet to the centre of the drill holes that fix the toilet seat at the back. You’ll also need to know width measurements from the widest points and the distance between fixing holes so everything can stay in place.
What materials and features are best?
Once you know the size and shape of your bowl, you can get on with picking out seats that match the aesthetic you want and come with all the features you need.
Generally, seats come in two materials: thermoset plastic (or thermoplastic) and engineered, moulded or solid wood. Wood is the classic option that provides a thicker and generally sturdier experience compared to plastic. That’s not to say all plastic seats are unstable, though, as many modern-style seats – which are often plastic to suit the aesthetics of contemporary bathrooms – provide an incredibly comfortable base. Plastic is also often more scratch- and mark-resistant than wood. It can be a little less reliable in terms of durability, but if your plastic seat is also soft-closing then you should be fine – so long as no-one is making a habit of standing on the seat or lid.
In terms of features, there are many exciting ones to choose from. The most lavish come from “smart seats” that often include a bidet, drying system and an adjustable temperature seat for those cool winter months.
A far more common feature is the option of soft closing lids, designed to close in a slow, quiet and controlled way to prevent slamming. For this reason, they can be safer in family environments while also reducing unnecessary noise around the house. Equally useful for families are family seats, which have a smaller, drop-down bowl attached for those small bottoms in the family.
How much will this cost?
As you might expect, the more you pay tends to lead to greater comfort, durability and an altogether stronger build. You don’t want to have to keep replacing your toilet seat after finding a style or design you love, so it’s better to finance something longer-lasting. Many higher-quality seats sell for between £50 and £100. That being said, if you’re sticking to a tighter budget, there are basic seats at around the £10 mark that are perfectly good, especially more durable wooden options.
Likewise, if you want features such as a bidet or heated seat, then you’ll have to pay a premium. However, again, the long-term reliability and quality of these features tend to be higher, with a correspondingly higher price.
But don’t fret too much about costs if you’re reading our best buy list down below. All things considered, we try to get you the best value for your money whatever style you choose, so read on to find the best toilet seats in a range of styles.
The best toilet seats to buy
1. The Bath Co. Wooden Toilet Seat: Best oval seat
Price: £63 | Buy now from Victoria Plumbing
This seat from The Bath Co. gives you both a comfortable sitting experience and something lovely to look at. Its glossy white finish provides a clean finish to a traditional-style seat built with reinforced wood. Soft close and quick release zinc hinges mean you’ll not only have a quiet toilet but an easy release should you want to really scrub your toilet clean beneath the seat. The fixings are also top fixing to make things even easier.
Key specs – Shape: Oval; Material: Engineered wood; Dimensions (WLD): 37.6 x 46.2 x 5.6cm; Distance between hinges: Adjustable (12.9 – 18.1cm); Weight: 2.96kg; Soft close? Yes; Fixing: Top
Price: From £10 | Buy now from Argos
If you’re working to a tight budget, Argos has a number of stylish wooden options for you.
Strong and easily installed, the seats are made from moulded wood and are coupled with stainless steel hinges that should last for years to come. There’s a choice between a light Oak Effect, a darker Antique Pine or a deep Mahogany seat – meaning there should be an option suited to most bathroom aesthetics – all while providing a solid wood base to sit upon. And from just £10, you can’t really go wrong with this one.
Key specs – Shape: Oval; Material: Wood; Dimensions (WLD): 36.5 x 45.5 x 5cm; Distance between hinges: Adjustable (8.5 – 17.8cm); Weight: 3kg; Soft close? No; Fixing: Top
3. Clarity Universal Thermoset Toilet Seat: Best plastic seat
Price: £30 | Buy now from Victoria Plumbing
If you’re after an easy-to-clean, anti-scratch plastic, then this seat from Clarity does a great job. Unlike other thermoset seats, this seat is hardy with a ceramic-like feel, making you feel secure while doing your business. Clarity states that the seat is a universal fit for most oval-shaped toilets, since the length can be adjusted between 43.3 and 45.2cm, but it’s always best to check your toilet measurements. It does have bottom fixing hinges which may be a chore for some; however, once the seat is on you’ll have years of comfortable sitting ahead of you.
Key specs – Shape: Oval; Material: Thermoset plastic; Dimensions (WLD): 37 x 44.5 x 4.5cm; Distance between hinges: 16.6cm; Weight: 1.6kg; Soft close? No; Fixing: Bottom
4. Mode Slim D Toilet Seat: Best-value D-shaped toilet seat
Price: £44 | Buy now from Victoria Plumbing
By virtue of their non-standard shape, there are many D-shaped toilet seats out there that cost a pretty penny. Mode Bathrooms, on the other hand, is selling a thermoset, D-shaped seat for less than £50 – which is a real steal. Much like the D-shape style itself, this seat has the contemporary stylings of a thin, low-profile appearance befitting the year 3,000. While this may not be to everyone’s taste, we think it adds a fantastically sleek accent to any bathroom.
Using the adjustable hinges, installation should take much less than five minutes while also allowing for easy lift-off and therefore hassle-free, under-seat cleaning. Altogether, this makes the Mode Bathroom toilet seat as much a practical buy as it is a tasteful one.
Key specs – Shape: D-shaped; Material: Thermoset plastic; Dimensions (WLD): 36 x 43.5 x 4cm; Distance between hinges: Adjustable (11 – 25cm); Weight: 2.7kg; Soft close? Yes; Fixing: Top
5. LUXFLOW LYRA-R: Best bidet toilet seat
Price: £59 | Buy now from Amazon
For a gentler and more hygienic clean than toilet paper, a bidet is a must-have and fortunately, many toilet seats have them built in for a superb all-in-one package. This option from LUXFLO offers fantastic value, using a dual nozzle that will save you time and effort. Installation is equally as easy, especially since the bidet doesn’t require power to work.
The best bit: it comes in a regular U-shape, a D-shape and an XL oval size, meaning just about anyone can experience a fresh clean. The only thing to note is the seat is a little on the thin side if you’re used to a thick wooden design, but don’t let that put you off as this is a great deal for a bidet-toilet seat combo once you get used to the change.
Key specs – Shape: D-shaped; Material: Plastic polymer; Dimensions (WLD): 37 x 48 x 6.2cm; Distance between hinges: Adjustable (13.6 – 17.4cm); Weight: 2.73kg; Soft close? Yes; Fixing: Dual
6. Storemic toilet seat: Best family-friendly toilet seat
Price: £31 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’ve got a young family, it can be tiresome to routinely break out a range of toilet training seats, not to mention the problem of storing them. This Storemic seat makes life a little easier and gives your child some more independence by including a seat designed for small bottoms. It sits between the main toilet seat and is easily held up and out the way by a magnet so that everyone of all sizes can use it. It’s also soft-closing so there will be no kids smashing the seat just after buying, plus it’s got a non-slip seat base so no-one will be slipping into the bowl itself. Add in that its stain-, fade-, chip- and scratch-resistant plastic material is also antibacterial and it costs less than £30, and you know this seat is a winner for the whole family.
Key specs – Shape: Oval; Material: Polypropylene; Dimensions (WLD): 37.1 x 44.7 x 5.5cm; Distance between hinges: Adjustable (10.2 – 17.8cm); Weight: 7.08kg; Soft close? Yes; Fixing: Top
7. Aidapt Viscount 4in raised toilet seat with lid: Best raised toilet seat
Price: £46 | Buy now from Argos
Many take it for granted, but for people with diminished strength, flexibility or restricted movement, even seemingly simple tasks like standing up from the toilet can be arduous.
Having a raised toilet seat like this one from Aidapt means less pressure on your bending knees and legs. It works by clipping onto your existing seat and raising it by four inches which is more than enough extra height for most people. Plus, Aidapt says it should fit most UK toilet bowl shapes making it a simple purchase for anyone needing a little extra height in the bathroom.
Key Specs – Shape: Fits multiple; Material: ABS recyclable plastic; Dimensions (WLD): 35.5 x 40 x 13 cm; Distance between hinges: N/a; Weight: 1.27KG; Soft Close? No; Fixing: Clip-on
8. Forum Mito smart toilet seat with remote control: Best smart toilet seat
Price: £499 | Buy now from Victoria Plumbing
If you’ve ever wanted to splurge on the ultimate toilet seat, now is your chance with this incredibly multi-faceted seat from Forum Mito. Just about anything you can think of wanting, this toilet seat provides. Too cold? It has five adjustable temperature settings. Want bidet style cleaning? No problem: there are front and rear washes providing temperature and pressure adjustable water in an oscillating or pulsating spray. Too wet from said cleaning? There’s even a customisable warm-drying system. All this is packaged with a comfortable seat and soft-close lid combo.
Add in odour control through an automatic deodorisation and carbon filtration system and you’ve just about got the perfect machine. Unfortunately, all this does come at a cost significantly higher than your standard seat at £500. Still, if you want an unbelievable bit of kit for the bathroom, there isn’t a much better choice.
Key Specs – Shape: D-shaped; Material: Thermoset plastic; Dimensions (WLD): 48.5 x 48 x 19 cm; Distance between hinges: Adjustable (12 – 18cm); Weight: 7.08KG; Soft Close? Yes; Fixing: Top