Pros & Cons of Standard Height Vs Comfort Height Toilets

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When I began looking for toilets, I found toilet height labels very confusing. Some toilets were labeled, “Standard Height” and others “Comfort Height”. There were also toilets with “Universal Height”, “Right Height”, “Regular Height” and even “ADA Height Toilets”.

With so many height labels, I thought toilets had become like shoe sizes. I got questions like, “What do these different toilet heights mean?”, “What’s the best toilet height?” and so on.

However, I soon found out there are only two main toilet heights. Namely, ‘Standard Height’ and ‘Comfort Height’. Others are just alternative or marketing names used by people and toilet manufacturers to describe either of these two main height levels. I also learned a bunch of useful stuff about toilet heights I would like to share with you here.

In this post, I will share with you all you need to know about the difference between ‘Standard Height’ Vs ‘Comfort Height’ toilets.

Standard Height Vs Comfort Height Toilets Comparison Chart

Here is a comparison chart I made for the two main toilet heights with other useful details.

 Standard HeightComfort Height
Toilet Height:15-16 inches with seat (14/15 inches seatless)17-19 inches with seat (16-18 inches seatless)
Other Names:Regular HeightUniversal Height (by Toto), Right Height (by American Standard), ADA Compliant Height, Chair height,
Advantages:Better for kids & shorter people,
A more natural position,
Helps avoid constipation
ADA Compliant toilet,
Easy for tall adults, elderly and disabled,

Disadvantages:Can be harder to stand up from,
Uncomfortable for tall and older people,
Less comfortable for children and shorter adults,
Feet can dangle causing loss of circulation,
May increase likelihood of constipation,
Price:Can cost slightly more for the same brand Can cost slightly less for the same brand
Recommended for:Households with varying height people,
For shorter adults,
For kids,
For common bathrooms & guest rooms
Most adults,
Taller people,
Elderly and disabled people
Semi-public access toilets like offices, buildings etc.

I think the above table made many things clear about toilet heights for you. However, let’s have a look at each toilet height levels in little more detail.

So what is the difference between standard height and comfort height toilets?

As the table shows the main difference is standard height toilet have a shorter seat height (about 15/16 from ground to seat) and comfort height toilets are taller (about 17 or 18 inches from floor to seat level)

Standard Height Toilets

Standard height toilets used to be the normal height for toilets since the modern flushing toilets we use were invented in the 19th century. Hence we get the name, ‘Standard Height’. For this reason, they are also referred to as, ‘Regular Height’ toilets.

Typically Standard Height toilets are about 14 or 15 inches from the floor to top of the bowl. (With the toilet seat they become about 15/16 inches tall.) They are easier to use for kids and adults with below average heights.

There are also health benefits to ‘Standard Height’ toilets. The shorter seat height lets everyone, tall and short, rest their feet on the floor. Your legs won’t fall asleep (become numb) while using this toilet

Research also shows it’s good to have shorter toilets as they allow your hips to be positioned at a height lower than your knees. It’s a more natural position and aids for a more efficient cleansing of your bowels. Hence, if you have a constipation problem, it is better to have a standard height toilet with a lower seat.

However, there are several disadvantages of Standard Height toilets as well. As they are shorter, they are harder to stand up from. Especially for older people and people with disabilities and leg pains. Tall adults also find them a bit uncomfortable as it makes them sit in a lower position with their legs higher up.

Price-wise, standard height toilets can cost slightly more than a ‘Comfort Height’ for the same brand and model.

Standard height toilets are usually preferred by kids, most women and even men with shorter height stature than average men.

The average American male height is around 5′.9″. My height is 5′.7″ and I have a standard height toilet in the common bathroom off the hall. With my height, I can comfortably use both the standard height toilets or the taller comfort height toilets. However my kids and shorter relatives & visitors will definitely find it difficult if I installed the taller comfort height toilet.

(If you interested in this toilet height I’m putting together a post on the best standard height toilets on the market today.)

Comfort Height Toilets

‘Comfort Height’ toilets arrived late in the market. However, with a taller younger generation and an aging population, they are now becoming more popular than ‘Standard Height’ toilets.

Comfort Height toilets are around 17 to 19 inches from the floor to the seat top. They are usually about two to three inches higher than Standard Height models. Two or three inches might seem like not much, but it does add a factor of ease. It makes the trip to the loo more comfortable, hence the name ‘comfort toilet’.

If you look at the toilet market today, different manufacturers are using different names for ‘Comfort Height’ toilets. For example, TOTO is adamant they should be called, ‘Universal Height’. American Standard calls it, ‘Right Height’ toilets. Kohler calls it as it is, ‘Comfort height’. Its also known as “ADA compliant toilets” as the height matches that specified for toilets by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

When you go to buy a comfort height toilet you might notice some terms like ‘Toilet Bowl Height’ and ‘Toilet Seat Height’.  You need to know the difference between these two terms, especially when shopping for Comfort Height toilets.

Toilet Bowl height is the height from the floor to top of the toilet bowl (without seat). The ‘Toilet Seat height‘ means from floor to the top of the toilet seat (bowl height + seat height). Usually, toilet seats are about an inch thick. So even a toilet with a bowl height of 16 inches is sold as a ‘Comfort Height’ toilet because when you add the toilet seat it becomes a 17-inch toilet. So if you need an 18-inch seat height, you need to get a toilet with a bowl height of 17-inch. An 18-inch toilet bowl height for a 19-inch toilet seat height.

The Comfort height toilets are good for tall people or households with big tall stature. The extra height also makes it preferred by the elderly, and arthritic population as well as those with physical disabilities. The added height makes getting on and off easier from them.

There are disadvantages for these tall toilets as well. The taller height makes them less comfortable for children and shorter adults. It’s difficult or awkward for them to get on and off them. It also their legs and feet dangle from the toilet without touching the floor. This can cause loss of blood circulation in the legs. Some health experts claim the chair-like posture inhibits natural functioning. Research also shows taller toilets can increase the likelihood of constipation and they are less efficient in cleansing your bowels.

However, in recent years, Comfort Height toilets have become more popular than ‘Standard height’. The ADA act requires publicly accessible toilets to be ADA compliant toilets.

They also cost slightly less for the same model than their standard height counterparts.

(My post top comfort height toilets deals with the top models of comfort height toilets in the market today.)

Deciding on Your Ideal Toilet Height

It may sound strange, but to find the best height toilet, I suggest you test it out. 🙂

The one that is ideal for your home depends on the heights of your family members, whether anyone has physical needs, and the way that family members transfer to and from the toilet. An ideal toilet will depend on the following;

  • Height of people who will be using it
  • Physical needs (age, disabilities etc. )
  • The manner in which you transfer on and off the toilet.

You will also want to keep in mind;

  • The toilet should allow you to sit down and stand up easily;
  • It should allow to comfortably rest both your feet flat on the floor while seated.

These are the goals which need to be met when thinking about what should be the height of your toilet.

When there are people of different heights living in your house, it can become difficult to select a toilet height. But its vitally important that you select a toilet height which will strike a compromise between the needs of all the household members.

I  notice, many people install the taller Comfort toilets in their master bedrooms and have a standard height toilet for the common bathroom or kids bedroom.

Rather than changing your toilet to suit your height, you also have the option to use some accessories to make your trip to the loo a comfortable one. These accessories include Toilet seat height extenders, raised toilet seats, and toilet rails.

I’m lucky where toilet heights are concerned. Being, 34-years-old and only 5′ 7″ tall, I can use both standard height and comfort height toilets with ease and without a problem. However, I use a standard height toilet at my home as its easy for my kids and shorter relatives and visitors.

So, how about you? What height toilet do you prefer? Feel free to share your thoughts and experience with different toilet heights in the comments below.

About Aksam Zarook

Aksam is a 36-year-old dad of two. He is into marketing bathroom fixtures since 2012. He likes learning all he can about bathroom fixtures and writing about them here. He is also handy with tools and loves improving and fixing things around the house.

View all posts by Aksam Zarook →

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