When it comes to choosing a toilet, it’s quite safe to say that most of us have never shopped for one. Some might even live a long life without needing to purchase a toilet. However, for those of you who are lucky (or unlucky enough) to have to choose one themselves, this article is the place for you.
Let us point the elephant in the room first: there’s no such thing as the perfect toilet for anyone. This article and this series of reviews will try to show you the essential aspects you should look for, the best brands that you will come across on the market, and some of the basic types of toilets that you might not even know existed.
If we were to categorize toilets in the most basic way, we’d say that there are two main types: flushing and combusting. The flushing type is something you already have in your house – the one with a fresh water tank which activates the flush at the push of a button or pull of a lever. The combusting type is what you usually see in national parks or at music festivals. These toilets store the waste in special containers and can be emptied manually any time you have the possibility. There’s also a hybrid third type, which is commonly referred to as a portable toilet. These are, as the name says, portable, so you can take them with you when camping, but have a fresh water tank that uses a tiny amount of water to flush the waste into a separate container. These have to be emptied more often than combusting toilets and don’t transform your poop into actual fertilizer.
We do have two separate articles on both these types: Flushing Toilet, Composting. However, if you can’t be bothered to read through all our product tops, here are our personal number one favorites:
Best flushing toilet – KOHLER K-4007-0 San Souci
When it comes to flushing toilets, few thing on the market can be compared to the KOHLER K-4007-0 San Souci. With its round-front bowl structure, it will be comfortable for most people, especially for those who like to take their time when nature calls.
This unit is a one-piece toilet, which makes is very easy to clean, maintain, and install. It is available in a wide variety of colors as well, starting from the purest white to pitch black. It is also pretty low profile, and overall a smaller unit, which makes it perfect for smaller bathrooms and powder rooms. The toilet comes with a seat and lid which close softly, as well as strong rubber bumpers.
The flushing technology is pretty unique as well. Kohler calls it Aqua Piston, and it basically implies that every time you flush, water flows from all 360 degrees around the rim, cleaning the bowl in a rapid and efficient manner. The water consumption is compliant with the EPA WaterSense standards, consuming only 1.28 gallons per flush. This unit can be purchased here:
Best composting toilet – Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet is definitely the best thing you’ll find on the market when it comes to eco toilets. While in the case of flushing toilets, personal preference might be playing an important role in your decision, this model is hands down the best composting toilet you’ll currently find on the market. You don’t have lots of choices besides it, to begin with, but the quality that Nature’s Head brings to the table tops off everything else.
First of all, quality materials. This toilet is made from all stainless steel parts and assembled in the US. It also comes with a ventilation system of its own, including a 5ft length of vent hose and a fan. There are two different models – one with a spider handle, and another one with a crank handle. Both handles serve the purpose of helping the waste disintegrate quicker by moving it closer to the right spot. The liquids and solids are stored in separate canisters, and there’s no record of this toilet ever leaking. It might have a funny smell at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it.
If you want to live a more environment-friendly life, Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet is definitely the right decision for you. You can have it in your house, camper, or boat right now. Find it here:
Best Portable Toilet: Earthtec ETEC Non-Stick Sanitary Portable Toilet Bowl
The Earthtec ETEC Non-Stick Sanitary Portable Toilet Bowl is the best deal when it comes to portable flushing units. It has everything you need for a weekend out of town with your family or friends (except food and good music). It comes with a 5-gallon wastewater container and a 2.8-gallon fresh water one, which can be refilled easily.
The folks over at Earthtec know that emptying a portable loo might not be the most pleasant activity ever, so they’ve made the discharge tube as discrete as possible. You just have to unscrew the cap, and the waste will flow right out while you keep your hands clean. The unit is pretty lightweight at 13lbs, which makes it easy to carry around and take it with you from one campsite to the other. The Nanotechnology surface is another thing you’ll appreciate, as it will reduce streaking and keep the bowl bacteria-free even in the middle of nature.
The price isn’t too bad either – you can find it here:
Besides these two main types, you’ll come across different brands on the toilet market. Three of the most famous and popular ones are Toto, American Standard, and Kohler. Each of these brands has their own advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll try to present them to you in this following section, along with our #1 favorite among their products.
Toto is a Japanese manufacturer which is famous for quality and diversity of their units. As most of the production and design is made in Japan, the masterminds behind them combine all the best aspects of Japanese and Western toilets and introduce them into their product lines. What’s interesting about Toto is that they cover a wide spectrum of prices, sizes, shapes, and flushing technologies. Because of this, it might be hard to find something among their product that would suit anyone’s taste. Nevertheless, here’s our #1 favorite, but feel free to find out more about them: Toto Toilet Guide
Best Toto Toilet: TOTO MS604114CEFG#01 Ultramax II Het Double Cyclone Elongated One Piece Toilet
This toilet is a good middle ground between Toto’s cheaper lines, such as the Drake, and their computerized-bidet-monsters that cost over $2000. This model is from the Ultramax Series, which has a couple of features we like. For once, there’s a pretty nice flushing technology going on. The Double Cycle implies that there are two nozzles on each side on the bowl, and the flow is so strong that it creates a centrifugal force that drives the flush around the bowl, cleaning it of any stubborn waste. Despite the power and the name, the flush doesn’t sound like a cyclone at all – we’d even say it’s pretty quiet.
Second, this toilet has a glazed, super wide trap way. No matter what amount or kind of waste you drop into the toilet, it will down the drain easily and not cling to the trap way.
Third, this has Sanagloss going on. Sanagloss is Toto’s special antibacterial glaze that ensures that every flush will kill all the bacteria without any streaking. It’s always nice to have a clean toilet, isn’t it?
The toilet is a comfortable height, at 17” with the seat on, has an elongated bowl, and consumes only 1.28 gallons per flush. Check the latest price here:
American Standard is another brand that is extremely popular with American families. It’s not only because of the name but also because these guys have a huge number of products. A line of toilets from American Standard probably has more products than a smaller manufacturer has in total. Besides that, American Standards products are really convenient, as you can easily get replacement parts, matching accessories, or whatnot. Again, with American Standard, it’s pretty hard to find the best toilet for everyone, but here’s our personal favorite:
Best American Standard toilet: American Standard 2886218.020 H2Option Siphonic Dual Flush
If you’re looking for a classic design that won’t clash with any bathroom design, this unit is for you. We wanted to stay away from picking stuff that is too minimalistic, or too chic in appearance, just to make sure that everyone might find this suggestion useful. This model is available in three different colors – White, Linen, and Bone, which are, again, standard colors for most bathrooms.
This unit comes with American Standard’s trademark EverClean surface, which is pretty self-explanatory – a glaze that protects the surface of the toilet from promoting bacteria growing. However, the EverClean surface on this model extends down to the piping system, which means that even the parts that are constantly exposed to water will prevent fungus and mold from affecting the pipes.
The toilet is compliant with EPA WaterSense standards and consumes 1.28 gallons of water per flush. The flushing technology on this model is dual, which means that you can opt for either a stronger (1.28 GPF) or a lighter flush (0.9 GPF), to help you save even more water. It also has a siphon flushing pattern, which ensured that the bowl is cleaned evenly from all directions.
Another thing we appreciate about American Standard’s toilets is the warranty. They offer you a limited lifetime warranty on all their toilets. find the latest price for this model here:
Last but not least, we have Kohler. Kohler is a German brand that has been around since the 19th century and has been coming up with excellent quality bathroom equipment. Their toilets are mostly high-end models, and the price usually starts at around $300. While you can find American Standard units selling for under $300, that’s not the case with Kohler. However, they do have a number of unbeatable advantages, such as the classy European design and the efficient flushing technology. There’s only one thing we don’t like about them – most of their toilets come without seats and lids, which is kind of a pain considering the price. However, do give them a look – here’s one of our favorites:
Best Kohler toilet: KOHLER K-6669-0 Memoirs
We remember that we mentioned another model above as the best flushing toilet. However, we’ll also include this one, just to show you how beautiful Kohler’s design can get. This won’t look foreign in a chic and elegant bathroom and will make you feel like a king every time nature calls. It’s also one of those high-profile models, measuring 18” from the floor to the top of the seat which makes sitting on it more comfortable for most adults.
Other than that, the technology is pretty similar to the model above – it has a 360-degree flushing system called Aqua Piston, doesn’t come with an included seat, and is available in a wide range of colors, from pure white to pitch black.
You can find out more about this model here:
If you were looking for the best toilet for your house, office, camper, summer house, or even boat, we hope you found this short list useful. However, if you want to dive deeper into any of these brands or types, you can try out our separate guides for each of them. In those articles, you’ll also find all the essential information, as well as a short guide to choosing the toilet that will work best for your needs.