Understanding the benefits of comfort height toilets for seniors, those with disabilities, and more
While you’re in the process of redesigning your bathroom, there may be one decision you hadn’t thought about before: How tall should my toilet be? With multiple options on the market, you should know the difference between standard and comfort height toilets as well as the benefits of each.
First, there are generally two toilet heights: standard, which is about 15 inches off the ground, and comfort height, which is about 17 to 19 inches off the ground. The latter is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA, which requires that public spaces have toilets that are a bit higher off the ground to accommodate those with more limited mobility. Though it might not seem as though two inches would make that big of a difference, it definitely does.
The toilet that’s right for you is going to depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to whether you have a family member who needs a comfort height toilet, how tall you and your family are on average, and whether or not there are any restrictions or issues with the way you or a family member transfers to and from the toilet. The seat’s height can impact all of these issues, so you’ll want to take them into consideration first.
In addition, if you’re a shorter person without any physical needs to accommodate for, a standard size toilet might be the option for you because it will likely not result in you having your feet hanging off the side. This isn’t ideal because to use the bathroom properly, you want to be as much in a “squatting” position as possible. A toilet that’s too high will make it more difficult to squat.
Here’s everything you need to know when making your final decision:
Are There Appearance Differences?
Generally, no. Aside from the obvious — which is that the comfort seat is slightly more elevated than a standard toilet — the design of the toilets should be somewhat similar. If your issue is aesthetics, you’ll be able to find the look you want in either model.
Are There Cost Differences?
Maybe. Though it is possible to get a new toilet for under $100, that will usually be lower quality. Mid-range toilets will cost you between $125 and $300, and that’s for a standard size. However, a comfort height toilet can cost you anywhere between $220 and $370. Though it might be more expensive depending on the make and model that you choose, the difference can be negligible.
Are There Installation Differences?
Not really. Given that the main difference is a matter of height rather than width or depth, you’re going to see more of an installation difference between one- and two-piece toilets than you would with standard or comfort-sized ones.
Are There Health Benefits?
In some cases, yes. If you struggle with mobility or have any other kind of physical limitation, having a comfort height toilet can greatly improve your ability to use it. However, in other cases, if a standard size is better suited for you, being closer to the floor can help your body achieve more of a “squatting position,” which NPR explains is a more natural and healthier way to defecate. Specifically, the human body was designed to squat while using the bathroom, and thus, just being in a seated position often results in more uncomfortable straining than would be necessary.
Our Favorite Comfort Height Toilets
Kohler K-3887-0 Cimarron Comfort Height Two-Piece Round Toilet Less Seat with AquaPiston Technology 1.28 GPF
This comfort height, two-piece toilet is a classic. With a moderate price, it’s designed for long-term use and wear.
Kohler K-3837-0 Devonshire Comfort Height Two-Piece Elongated Toilet with Left Lever Less Seat 1.28 GPF
This toilet features a unique beveled design around the tank as well as a feature on the left-hand side that allows you to move the seat up and down with ease.
Kohler K-3887-U-0 Cimarron Comfort Height Two-Piece Round Toilet Less Seat with Tank Liner and AquaPiston Technology 1.28 GPF
This comfort height toilet features a tank liner, ensuring minimal condensation buildup when exposed to high humidity. Though it is comfort height, this toilet is great for smaller bathrooms, offering function as well as utility in tight spaces.