If you spend time on the throne listening to music or catching up on social media or the news, don’t you want a comfy toilet seat to relax on? But what shape seat will prove most blissful for your bottom?
The shape of the toilet seat is generally determined by the shape of the toilet bowl. Many people find elongated toilet seats more comfortable as they are ergonomically designed to suit the shape of the human body. Fitting the wrong shaped toilet seat to the toilet bowl can affect the toilet aesthetics as well as the stability of the seat on the bowl.
Although a toilet seat is a toilet seat, there are a few differences. If the average person uses the toilet 6 times in 24 hours, spending an average of 3 minutes at a time, that’s 15 minutes a day or 109 hours a year! Why wouldn’t you want to be as comfortable as possible?!
Let’s explore the pros and cons of round vs elongated toilet seats on our quest to find the perfect partner for your backside.
Is Your Toilet Bowl Round or Elongated?
The best way to figure out the shape of your toilet is to measure it. Use these measurements to determine the shape and size of your toilet before your buy a toilet seat to match:
|Toilet Shape||Length (Back to front) Measured from Bolthole to top of toilet bowl||Midpoint between boltholes||Distance between midpoint and tank|
|Round||16.5” (41.9cm)||5.5 – 7.5”(14 – 19cm)||3” (7.6cm)|
|Elongated||18.5” (47 cm)||5.5 – 7.5”(14 – 19cm)||2” (5cm)|
8 Pros and Cons of Round Toilet Seats
The round toilet seat is the most common toilet seat type because it is the seat shape used on regular toilets.
Pros of Round Toilet Seats
- A more traditional style suits all bathroom designs
- The best style for smaller bathrooms and spaces
- This style is cheaper than elongated toilet seats
- The wider seat with a larger opening is easier for small children to use
Cons of Round Toilet Seats:
- The seat shape might not be as comfortable as elongated toilets
- Round seats are harder to use than elongated seats for people with mobility issues
- This style is harder to clean
- Fewer design options to choose from
8 Pros and Cons of Elongated Toilet Seats
Many people consider elongated toilets more attractive than round toilets simply because they are a newer design.
Pros of Elongated Toilet Seats
- This style is more comfortable to sit on than a round toilet seat
- Elongated seats are easier to clean, as they are longer and smoother with less of an underseat rim
- Easier to use for people with mobility issues
- A more contemporary design for modern bathrooms
- More design options to choose from
Cons of Elongated Toilet Seats
- This style might not fit into smaller bathrooms or spaces
- Slightly more expensive than round toilet seats
- Difficult for smaller children to use
The Best Round Toilet Seat
The Kohler Stonewood is a quality, no slam, quiet-close, round toilet seat. Manufactured from molded wood, this toilet seat is easy to install and even easier to clean!
The color-matched quick-release hinges make for easy removal, while the grip tight bumpers add stability, preventing the seat from slipping when in use.
This seat is ergonomically designed to fit most one and two-piece toilets.
Available in a white, versatile design, the manufacturer offers a one-year limited warranty from the installation date.
The Best Elongated Toilet Seat
This slow-closing seat and lid with the elongated shape is designed for user convenience. Manufactured from durable polypropylene plastic, this toilet seat is super easy to install – no tools required, and the mounting hardware is supplied!
The two-button push seat design allows for easier removal and cleaning, while the ever-tite stabilizing hinge prevents the seat from shifting, providing a happy user experience!
Designed to fit most elongated toilets comfortably, the EverClean surface prevents the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria, giving you added peace of mind!
Round or Elongated Toilet Seat – Which Is Better for You?
While neither toilet shape is better than the other, many people consider the elongated shape more stylish and more comfortable. But whether that will work for you depends on:
- Your existing toilet bowl shape
- Your budget
- Your style and preferences
This table provides a quick overview of the 2 toilet seat styles:
|Appearance||Traditional styles to suit all bathroom designs||Suits bathrooms with more modern designs|
|Comfort||Less comfortable than elongated||More comfortable than round|
|Seat Sizes||Harder to use than elongated||Easier to use than rounded|
|Hygiene||Harder to clean than elongated||Easier to clean than rounded|
|Cost||From $15.00 per unit||From $22.00 per unit|
How to Choose the Best Toilet Seat
Before you decide on the best toilet seat, consider these points:
Toilet Seat Material and Design
Most toilet seats are constructed from wood or plastic and are available in a range of colors.
Plastic is more durable as it doesn’t absorb moisture, making it an ideal material for use in an often wet and steamy bathroom area. It is also waterproof, easy to clean, and scratch-resistant, offering a longer lifespan than wood.
Wood is great aesthetically but can crack and warp over time, so consider a wooden toilet seat in a less-frequently used second bathroom or powder room. While wood is durable, its harder to clean than plastic. Then again, wood is warmer to sit on and looks so much nicer!
Elongated toilet seats might be more comfortable than round toilet seats because they are closer to the human anatomy. They also provide enough space in the front and the back to ensure that everything goes into the toilet bowl.
The longer elongated seat design (at about 2”) longer than round seats is easier for certain people to use than rounder seats.
Men, in particular, tend to prefer an elongated bowl because it provides some extra room. But smaller children will benefit more from a rounder shape as they can sit all the way at the back of the seat, ensuring everything they “drop off” will get delivered to the proper location.
As toilets collect and wash away human waste, they have the potential to become a health hazard if they are not cleaned often and correctly.
Some toilet seat materials like plastic are anti-bacterial, ensuring great hygiene, but others like wood can crack, creating places for germs to breed.
Some bidet toilet seats have built-in deodorizers to remove unpleasant odors after use – a fabulous feature!
Available Space in the Bathroom
If you have a smaller bathroom or not too much space in your larger bathroom, a round toilet might fit better.
Always measure the available space before choosing your toilet and your toilet seat.
In some smaller bathrooms, the extra few inches on an elongated toilet seat could make the toilet too big for the space and, quite literally, prevent you from closing the toilet door!
Traditionally, regular toilets were manufactured with standard round front bowls.
However, when elongated toilet bowls were introduced, they were initially more costly. However, with more modern techniques and materials, the costs have evened out, with regular toilets and toilet seats being slightly more affordable than elongated, depending on the style and materials used.
Budget-friendly toilet seat options start at about $15.00, but a toilet seat with all the bells and whistles (like auto open-shut and heating) can easily cost $1 000.00.
Spending a little more on a toilet seat could be more beneficial in the long run as it will last longer and could be more comfortable than a cheaper model.
Installing a toilet seat is a fairly easy DIY job. You should be able to install a new seat in a matter of minutes without using any specialized tools.
The bolts and hardware required for the installation are generally supplied with the new toilet seat.
The only possible snag could be if the bolts on the existing toilet seat have rusted or broken. You might need lubricating oil to loosen the bolts or a hacksaw to cut through them.
Should the Toilet Seat Match the Bowl Size?
As toilet seats go, the shape you need will generally depend on the shape of the toilet bowl – a round seat will fit comfortably on a round toilet bowl, while an elongated seat will fit better on an elongated toilet bowl.
Technically, an elongated toilet seat will fit on a round toilet bowl as long as the fastening dimensions are the same. The distance between the bolt holes should be 5.5 – 7.5”(14 – 19cm) for either shaped toilet seat to fit comfortably on the round toilet bowl.
However, the elongated toilet seat will extend about 2” (5cm) beyond the rim of the round toilet bowl, allowing the edge of the porcelain bowl to be visible. The user will make contact with the edge of the toilet bowl when they sit down, making it an uncomfortable experience!
Can I Place a Round Toilet Seat on an Elongated Toilet Bowl?
You can install a round toilet seat on an elongated toilet bowl as long as the fastening dimensions are the same—but it will look awful! However, the round toilet seat will not completely cover an elongated toilet bowl rim and may cause great discomfort.
Does the Type Toilet Matter?
Toilets have different design types. Before you decide on your new toilet seat shape, figure out which of the following toilet types you have:
- One-piece toilets
- Two-piece toilets
- French curve toilets
- Tankless toilets (Read my post, Will You Got Tankless? Toilet Pros and Cons to learn more.)
For maximum comfort, purchase a toilet seat specifically designed for your type of toilet.
What About a Bidet Toilet Seat?
A bidet toilet seat is designed to assist the user in freshening up after doing their business, so it should fit the toilet bowl comfortably.
Bidet toilet seats are available to fit most toilet sizes and shapes. That being said, a two-piece toilet is generally more bidet friendly because of the separate tank and bowl.
The bidet toilet seat should match the toilet bowl shape for the best results. Always pair a round toilet seat with a round toilet bowl and an elongated toilet seat with an elongated toilet bowl.
Read my article How to Find a Bidet That Fits Your Toilet for some ideas on how to choose the best bidet for your toilet type.
So, Will You Buy a Round or Elongated Toilet Seat?
If you have the space, are getting a new toilet, or already have an elongated toilet, then definitely go for an elongated toilet seat. You’re likely to find it more comfortable.
However, if you have a small bathroom or a round-shaped bowl—or if small children plan to use the toilet—then go for a round toilet seat to match your existing fixture and make your little ones as comfy as possible.
If you’re considering a whole new toilet and not just the lid, check out the best water-saving toilets of the year. And if you really want something extraordinary, consider a smart toilet that is not only ecofriendly but can warm your parts and clean itself!
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