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JLeslie's avatar

What's your opinion about toilet seat height?

Asked by JLeslie (59778points) November 11th, 2014 from iPhone

The standard height is around 15–16” to the top of the seat. Comfort height is 17–18”.

I just looked at what my builder installed in my house and they look mini small. I measured the toilet and they are short compared to what is in my apartment and every house I have ever owned.

I know it’s supposed to be better to have your knees a little up when going to the bathroom to reduce the risk of your legs or feet falling asleep, and also to make “going” easier, but I feel like I am almost sitting in the floor. Amazing what an inch difference can make.

What height do you prefer and how tall are you?

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28 Answers

josie's avatar

I’m 6’5”
Tall is good. Going both directions for that matter.

zenvelo's avatar

Where I live now the toilets are 15” in my daughter’s bathroom; 16½” in mine. Mine is just right; I always feel a bit low when for some reason I use my daughter’s bathroom.

I used to live in a house with low (14”) toilets, they were a fancy low flow design. I got used to it.

I am 5’8”.

As a side note, a “Muslim” toilet, a hole with foot prints etched in the floor, where one squats over the hole, is supposed to be healthiest and cause the least amount of straining. Straining is not good.

chyna's avatar

I’m 5’2 and mine is too tall. I dangle.
Why aren’t you picking this stuff out?

marinelife's avatar

I much prefer taller. They are easier for people with bad knees to get up from.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Because I made the mistake of signing a contract with a builder who does nothing I expect. I have built 4 houses previous to this and two condos and I have never had more than 2–3 issues that needed to be addressed. With this builder it has easily been 30. I didn’t even know they put those short toilets in houses anymore. The salesperson at Lowe’s said she almost never sells them to new Construction. Lowe’s had 1 model at that height and about 10 others at the comfort height. All my houses had the higher height without me picking anything, the house just came that way.

gailcalled's avatar

I am 5’ 7”, with long legs and arthritic knees. I almost replaced my toilets with the highter ones but settled instead with 4” booster seats on two of the three, due to cost. They can be removed easily for people who find them too high.

jerv's avatar

I prefer them taller. I’m 6’0”, and I find that the world is built for people 4–8” shorter than me. That, plus knee pain from a hyperextension decades ago makes low seats problematic.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m 5’9” and I prefer the taller. The ones in my house are standard, and I find them annoyingly short. I also prefer the elongated seat, which I also do not have.

I only use the toilet for immediate waste elimination and can’t imagine being on the throne long enough for my feet to fall asleep!

dxs's avatar

It doesn’t really matter to me, but I used a tall one once and it was a nice experience. I have yet to try the old-world style of defecating, though. As others have said, I hear it’s a healthier, more natural way to let go of things.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I do not have an opinion to offer, instead: There’s a reason they call it TAKING A SQUAT.

Ideally one bends as much as possible to relieve ones self of one’s bowels.

Old (forgive me) fart toilets that practically have you standing are as annoying as the dining room chairs passed (forgive me again) as seats in your typical domestic minivan.

The Japanese have it right: We should all squat over a trough flush (forgive me a third time) in the floor.

rojo's avatar

ADA toilet heights are usually higher than “normal” ones by a couple of inches (17” as opposed to 15”) I don’t know but it appears more folks are opting for the higher toilets.

Here is a quote about it from some website: “Today’s so-called “comfort height” or “right height” toilets feature bowls that are 17 to 19 inches high, as compared to the standard 15 inches of a regular toilet. The higher bowl height can be good for the knees and back and can offer real advantages to taller folks, the elderly and people with mobility problems. But comfort height isn’t comfortable for everyone. Some health experts claim that the chair-like posture inhibits natural functioning. And if you’re short or there are small children in your household, a right-height toilet may not be your best bet. It’s a good idea to sit on the model you’re considering before you buy it to make sure it suits your needs”

JLeslie's avatar

@rojo I was thinking about children, and for the first ten years they are short for any height toilet so I’m thinking why worry about that? It’s like the bachelor height/counter height sinks. When I see the old low sinks they look so short. If I had young children I might put that height in I guess. If they were infants to age 5 when I bought the house.

rojo's avatar

Kids are resilient. They will make do with whatever they are given.

JLeslie's avatar

A side comment on squatting since others brought it up. In public rest rooms it has its pluses. If you don’t want to sit on the seat at a public restroom it is much easier to squat than hover over a seat, which takes lots of thigh muscle strength. No one is really squatting in my opinion on any of the toilet seats we are talking about here when compared to going to the bathroom basically over a hole in the floor. I guess it depends how you define it. They say pushing a baby out in a squat position is better too than laying on your back, but we seem to continue to favor laying down.

Brian1946's avatar

Mine are both about 15½” to the top of the seat.

I’m 5’10”. When I’m sitting, my legs are at a slightly upward angle, which is very comfortable for me.


Have you read the contract or consulted an attorney about breaking it?

ucme's avatar

Like a toilet with a busted flush, I couldn’t give a shit.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You bring up an interesting point. We never think to specify the height of the seat when having our batrooms built or remodeled. The expense is the same regardless of height Our architect friend when remodeling her bathroom had the foresight to include a urinal for her husband and teenage son, since she couldn’t pin down which of them was irrigating the seat and floor ( she suspects them both). There are going to be a lot of tall toilets as baby boomers lumber into old age. They’re probably the last generation able to afford a new toilet anyway. By the way, have you noticed the proliferation of those horrible plastic booster seats in households with an elderly resident. Every time I stumble across one of these, I’m forced to dwell on the miseries awaiting me in the not so distant future. Those things place a guy in a tricky position because it’s impossible to lift the seat. It was probably 10 years ago when I first encountered one of them, and I was both flummoxed and intrigued. Now they seem to be everywhere, which can’t be the case. I just know a lot of old folks, and forget that I’m one of them myself. Old age is just one big barrel of laughs.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly We thought about putting in a urinal in the master, but I thought it might be a turn off to women.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie The women certainly would benefit from not having to worry about a wet seat. And I can tell you, the advantages of the thing in any household with boys and or men are manifest. Guys as they age have serious aiming difficulties. You never know where things are going to go, and though correction is quick, “random sprinkles” are sadly the norm. And little boys-no commentary is necessary. A urinal will also save an awful lot of water over time. But once again, you’re faced with the decision of how high to mount the fixture. I’ve often wondered why more households don’t have one.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly I don’t disagree with any of that. As far as how high to mount the fixture, in my master it would have been a pretty easy decision I would think. For children it’s a different story.

Cupcake's avatar

I’m 5’4” and prefer the taller toilets… but some seem a smidge too tall.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I rest my feet on a stool while I #2. It seems to make everything align better. :) Granted, I wouldn’t have found that out if I didn’t have a pottying 2 year old who needed a stool in front of the toilet.

jca's avatar

I just measured mine and it’s 15” without the seat, so you figure close to 16 inches, total. I am 5’9”. My parents just got their half bath redone and their toilet is this architectural thing that’s quite high. I like it.

A friend recently posted on FB about resting one’s feet on a stool or low bench to defecate. She told me all her bathrooms now have stools in them to rest their feet on. I never tried it.

ibstubro's avatar

Honestly. I don’t enter a bathroom unless my needs are immediate. I prefer the taller urinal and the taller toilet. 2 minutes and I’m washing my hands.

chyna's avatar

^Glad you wash.

wildpotato's avatar

I’m 5’ and I prefer the squat toilet style. I discovered after lots of backpacking that squatting makes it way easier to go. Because I rent, I’ve never owned a real squat toilet, but I can’t wait to have one in the house we’re going to build. For now I use a home built squatting stool that looks like this.

@jca Footstools can help, but they don’t promote a true squat position; one is still “fighting” the improper angle of one’s intestines. See here.

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: Me, too. No books or newspapers for me. In and out.

Adagio's avatar

@Cupcake Brilliant compromise! I always found squatting the best position for having a shit.

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