There are some items you probably wouldn’t waste your time researching before buying because let’s face it, you genuinely believe that from one to the next there really isn’t much of a difference.
A toilet is a toilet is a toilet right? If you are looking for the best toilet, we’d beg to differ.
Our Top Pick for Toilets on the Market:
Rather than do your own research on an item as unexciting as a toilet, you’d probably prefer walking into your local hardware or appliance store and asking for a recommendation from the sales associate then make your purchase decision solely based on that.
But I’d like you to know something; for starters you’ll be lucky if your sales associate at your local hardware store knows much more about toilets other than the makes and a few models, and secondly, there’s more to a toilet than the bowl and seat and whether you believe it or not, the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
So, with that said, let’s delve into the world of the golden cauldrons, aka toilets and provide you with all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision on the best types of toilets you can buy. We’ll also share with you some of the best toilet brands, and what to look for when buying a toilet.
We’ve done the research for you so you don’t have to, and we’ve gone into depth, going through reviews from countless buyers, and have come out with toilet reviews of the 5 best toilets on the market today.
Please note: We will strictly be providing information on the Porcelain ‘throne’ more commonly known as the Western toilet. Depending on where you live in the world, other types of toilets do exist however for the purpose of this Buyer’s Guide on the Best Flushing Toilet, we will not be covering macerating (upflush), compostable, squat or incinerating toilets.
Different Types of Toilets
The main differentiating factor in toilets is normally the design. Besides function and reliability, when selecting the best toilet for your bathroom, you’ll want to decide whether you’re looking for more of a contemporary or classic design. You should also take into account the environment you will be installing your toilet in, as well as what sort of installation the space can handle. There are 4 main designs of toilets you’ll come across: low-level, close coupled, back to wall, and wall hung.
With a cistern positioned on the wall, low to the ground, a short length pipe connects the cistern to the toilet. The low-level toilet flushes by a push button or lever handle which is located directly on the cistern.
For a more traditional design, the close coupled toilet is your best bet. These types of toilets are floor standing and have a visible cistern which is attached to the back of the seat. The flush can be controlled by a handle or push button which is positioned on the cistern.
Back to Wall
The cistern on this toilet is concealed within the wall or directly in the unit, making this design a great space saving option for contemporary washrooms. Back to wall toilets are positioned against the wall and fixed to the floor. Many flush mechanisms exist for this design of toilet: lever flush, push button, or sensor flush kit; the flush can be found in the panel or wall and will activate the concealed cistern.
Also a great space saver, the wall hung toilet is designed and installed, fixed to a panel or wall, to appear as if it’s floating above the floor. Made of high quality materials and complete with a soft closing seat, these toilets would suit a modern minimalist’s bathroom. The cistern on the wall hung toilet will be concealed in a panel or wall and will hide the waste pipes.
Major Toilet Brands
If you’re unfamiliar with the best toilet brands in the market, here you’ll find a small breakdown of five of the more reputable. Take a look at some of the innovations these leading brands have made throughout the years.
Starting out in 1917, this Japanese born brand, Toto toilets became a leader in the WC starting in 1980 with the introduction of the Washlet which was later introduced into America in 1990. Constantly making advancements, in 2010 they came out with a cleaning mechanism which used electrolyzed water to effectively clean the bowl. Finally in 2016, TOTO saw 40 million in sales worldwide and since, have been progressively gaining popularity.
Originally established in 1873, it wasn’t until 1904 that Kohler came out with its first flush toilet which impressively only used 2 gallons of water per flush. As they began innovating and testing out new designs, the introduction of a new toilet, which consumed 8-10 gallons of water per flush, was released. A desire to become more environmentally conscious lead the company to begin manufacturing on The Wellworth in 1970, which consumed only 3.5 gallons per flush. The years following brought about more water saving options such as The Wellworth lite in 1989 and later the Pressure Clean in 1998 which consumed only 1-1.4 gallons per flush.
A company we all know, love, and trust and which has been around for over 140 years; American Standard prides itself on creating bathroom products that are stylish, comfortable and sanitary focused. They continue to lead the way in bathroom fixtures and are at the top of their competition when it comes to reliability and quality. Their brand vision of ‘‘Making life healthier, safer and more beautiful at home, at work, around town and throughout the world” is something they pride themselves in and commit to preserving. Producing quality products at the forefront of innovation is something American Standard continues to excel at.
What began in 1929, Mansfield Plumbing has built their brand and reputation as being one of the best manufactures of bathroom fixtures. With the introduction of their first Pressure Assisted water closet in 1984, their innovation of toilets kicked off. The company grew even more when they began distributing globally in 1996 and since then have been coming out with new technology to make the best flushing toilet. Their dual flush Pressure Assist EcoQuantum was released in 2004 and around a year later, the Maverick high performance toilet came out.
Although not so much a common household/bathroom brand, WoodBridge manufactures high quality bathroom fixtures that have been proven to be functional and durable. A relatively new bathroom brand, Woodbridge Bath has only been selling kitchen and bathroom products since 2005; in this time they have shown their commitment to providing great customer service along with the best value products.
Top 5 Product Models - The Best Toilets
A toilet doesn’t only need to perform the function of flushing waste and cleaning the bowl, it needs to do it well, not only for efficiency but for sanitation. If you’re unsure of how to buy a toilet, start by taking a look at the top 5 product models below to get an idea of what you should be looking for. We’ve gone through and done the dirty work for you, analyzing product specs and customer reviews to bring you the best of the best when it comes to flushing toilets.
The following are the best flushing toilets on the market, according to consumer reviews.
Please note, all product dimensions are listed in inches and the abbreviation GPF signifies the gallons per flush.
Coming out on top is the 2 piece Drake model toilet from TOTO. This midrange model, priced at $269 on Amazon is a mix between traditional design and advanced technology; it’s the perfect display of a quality product. The G Max flush system provides the power to efficiently eliminate waste while the SanaGloss technology ensures the bowl is left clean with every flush.
Claims by Satisfied Customers: The Drake by TOTO is a toilet that never clogs, can be trusted in to perform the job every time, doesn’t require frequent cleaning, refills fast, extremely quiet, is aesthetically pleasing and has a straightforward and simple installation process.
Product Dimensions: 28 x 19.5 x 28.5
Color: Cotton White
Material: Vitreous China
Weight: 92 lbs
Water Consumption: 1.6 GPF
Flushing System: Gravity Flush
The long standing trusted make and design of an American Standard toilet puts the Fairfield near the top of our list of toilet reviews. Contemporary in design, this low profile one-piece toilet is one that won’t disappoint. With a 2” trap way, waste will have no problem exiting the bowl, making for easier cleaning later. Lastly to note, the height of the seat is slightly lower than the average, at roughly 15 1/2 inches from the ground.
Before we get into the positive customer reviews we do have to raise a customer concern so that when you purchase this model, you won’t be in for a surprise. Many have commented that the toilet seat that comes with the Fairfield is attached with plastic fasteners which makes the seat extremely flimsy. It may be a good suggestion to purchase an alternative seat and attach it yourself if you want something more comfort and durability focused.
Claims by Satisfied Customers: Great bargain, easy to clean, powerful and effective flush, and extremely quiet.
Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 16.1 x 26.4
Material: Vitreous China
Weight: 95 lbs
Water Consumption: 1.6 GPF
Flushing System: Direct Flush
This comfort height one piece toilet doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles as some however the simplicity of the T-0006 guarantees that it will function perfect every time. A skirted trap way with no hidden grooves or corners means that cleaning with be a breeze. If you’re wanting to invest in a high efficiency toilet that will save you on your water bill but won’t cost you a fortune to buy, this could be your best option.
Claims by Satisfied Customers: Reviews of the Woodbridge Bath T-0006 show consistency in customer satisfaction with the total function of this toilet, stylish and a perfect working order is an opinion all users share.
Product Dimensions: 29 x 16 x 27
Weight: 115 lbs
Water Consumption: 1.0/1.6 GPF
Flushing System: Dual Flush
Showing up for the second time in our top 5 for the best flushing toilet is from the brand TOTO. Arguably a better toilet than our number 1 – The TOTO Drake model, the Ultramax is nearly double the price which puts it in the category of a higher end bathroom fixture. This high efficiency toilet consumes less water per flush than the industry standard and is WaterSensor approved. Just like the TOTO Drake model, the Ultramax also uses SanaGloss technology, an ion barrier glazing cleaning, to leave your bowl clear after every flush.
The double cyclone flushing system allows for both the rim and bowl to be effectively cleaned. The flush valve and trap way are slightly larger than the average which means that clogging will be no issue with this bad boy.
The one piece Utramax is sleek and has a streamlined design making it a great fixture for a modern yet traditional style bathroom.
Claims by Satisfied Customers: The Ultramax has a clean solid look, an excellent streamlined design, is ADA compliant (making it comfortable for the average user) and has an excellent flushing system.
Product Dimensions: 28.3 x 16.6 x 28.8
Color: Cotton White (Standard Color) Also available in Bone and Sedona Beige
Material: Vitreous China
Weight: 99 lbs
Water Consumption:1.28 GPF
Flushing System: Gravity Flush – Double Cyclone Flushing (Has 2 Cyclone nozzles rather than rim holes)
Kohler is a brand with plenty of reputation and credibility when it comes to bathroom fixtures. The Santa Rosa, comes in at number 5 on our list for its affordability, functionality, and aesthetically pleasing look. This one piece toilet, weighting in at 102 pounds, with comfort height seating is an ideal fixture in smaller washrooms. As one of the top selling toilets across all bathroom fixture brands, the Santa Rosa offers users a promise of durability and has confidently stood behind its leak free claims. The cleaning system of the Aquapiston canister allows the water to flow around the rim and along the sides of the bowl to keep the toilet clean after every flush.
Although the Kohler has proven itself to be a fully functional and effective toilet, there have been some mixed reviews by customers who have purchased this model. Some comment on lengthy refill times and leakage from time to time. Remember, to avoid problems such as this, it is best to have your toilet installed by a professional plumber.
Claims by Satisfied Customers: Beautiful look, fills quickly, effective flush system no matter the type or amount of waste, great for small spaces and can be bought with confidence.
Product Dimensions: 31 x 20.8 x 29
Color: White (Standard) Also available in: Almond, Biscuit, Black, Dune, Ice gray and Sandbar
Weight: 102 lbs
Water Consumption: 1.28 GPF
Flushing System: Gravity Flush
The Remaining Best Flushing Toilets In The Top 10 List
Coming through in the second half of your top 10 list for flushing toilets are the following:
Buyer's Guide - How to Select the Best Toilet
As previously mentioned, selecting the best toilet will begin with deciding which design you want. Refer back up to the section, Types of Toilets, at the beginning of the article to review the differences between low level, close coupled, back to wall and wall hung toilets. When selecting the best toilets, you’ll want to take note of a few important consideration first. After design, you should focus on your bathroom space and decide which shape and size of toilet will fit best. Following this, the trap ways, flushing system, and handles should be next on your list.
Although not the most popular, square and rectangular bowl shapes do exist
When measuring the size, keep in mind that you are looking for the distance from the center of the waste opening to the back of the toilet. The typical sizes of toilets you’ll find will be either 10,12 or 14 inches. Also, from floor to ground, a standard toilet is roughly 17 inches.
Toilets are typically made out of either porcelain, otherwise known as vitreous china, or ceramic. Some may ask why we continue to use toilets made of porcelain while advancements in materials and technology have gone leaps and bounds; to be honest, its still the choice material for toilets because it stands up like no other. As Kohler’s says, a toilet must perform three functions, “It needs to be a flushing engine”, “It needs to be water-proof, clean, and sanitary”, and finally, “it needs to be sturdy.” Porcelain still comes out on top when looking at all three of these requirements of a toilet and wins in the category of sanitation; it’s not only impervious to bacteria but liquids as well, meaning that it will also be an easy clean.
Ceramic is most often the second choice to porcelain and is almost as equally effective of a material. The one main difference between ceramic compared to porcelain is that it fires under a lower temperature than porcelain which may explain why it doesn’t have the same durability.
Lastly, to clarify, vitreous enamel is a coating that is often placed over porcelain to give it a glass like look and feel. When this coating is put over porcelain it is often referred to as vitreous china.
Simply put, the trap way is the place where the waste is carried from the bowl to the pipes for expulsion to the sewage system. Take a look at the types of trap ways below.
Exposed: Trap ways can be seen from the side of the toilet
Concealed: The trap ways are concealed by a smooth covering that can easily be wiped clean
Skirted: Present with toilets that are uniform from front to back
Note: If you are doing a ground floor installation, you will need to purchase a toilet with an S trap; top floor installations will require P traps.
The flush system you select will ultimately be up to your personal preference however there are a few basics to remember when making your decision. No matter which flush you choose, make sure that it performs the job; it must be efficient and powerful, ensuring all waste can be eliminated in one flush, after each flush the bowl is left clean, and the water regenerates without delay. The most common flush systems are as follows: Gravity Flush, Pressure Assisted, Dual, and Double Cyclone.
The quickest and simplest flushing system for toilets is the gravity flush. The flushing pressure simply comes from the water traveling from the tank to the bowl which is then siphoned through to clean the bowl. One of the advantages of this flushing system is that it lacks extra moving parts which means that you most likely won’t need to put any maintenance into it since the functioning is dependent on the natural flow of the system.
For a powerful flushing system that almost always guarantees you won’t run into the problem of a clogged toiled, the pressure assisted system can be trusted to eliminate waste faster and with greater force, making sure you won’t need a double flush to get the job done. This system effectively eliminates waste by use of pressurized air to force waste through the bowl. The clear downside to this system is the noise it creates during a flush but you can rest assured that the power of the pressure assisted system more than makes up for it.
If you can’t decide between Gravity Flush or Pressure Assisted, the Dual flushing system is definitely your answer. Allowing you the option to use one or the other, you really get the best of both worlds. Only needing to flush a small amount of waste? Use the Gravity Flush however, for those heavier loads, the Pressure Assisted option will take care of business effortlessly. With a Dual Flush system, you’ll be able to save money without sacrificing power; the Pressure Assisted system will consume roughly .4 gallons more of water per flush which is why, having the option to use it only on solid waste if needed, will keep your water bill down.
With money saving on the mind, the Double Cyclone is a good option for managing water consumption while offering a high amount of power, the same as that of a full 1.6 GPF system. The flushing system creates an efficient flush by using propulsion to direct more water to the siphon, and completes the flush in a similar fashion to that of the Gravity system.
There a number of handle design types that you will come across. Selecting the best one for your toilet will depend on personal preference and what sort of look you are after. Some of the more common types of handles are the pull lever, push button, swing lever and the on wall push plate.
We hope that by now, you have the knowledge needed to know how to buy a toilet and make an informed selection on the next best toilet for your bathroom. Whether you’re replacing an old one or buying for the first time, we’d highly recommend one of the 5 best flushing toilets in our list above. Follow closely the list of considerations above on how to buy a toilet and when you make your purchase decision, we’re confident you won’t be disappointed. Overall, toilets with an elongated shape, gravity flushing systems or dual flush make the best flushing toilets; they are not only effective in performance but often cost effective too.
Taking all considerations into account, winning by a landslide as the best toilet brand according to satisfied customers is TOTO and topping our list of toilet reviews is the TOTO CST744SL#1 Drake 2 piece toilet with elongated bowl. Second in line as the best toilet brand is American Standard which has been manufacturing toilets with confidence for over a century. Some of the best toilets on the market come from the American Standard manufactures who have risen to the top, are consistently keeping up with the latest innovations and coming out with toilets for everyone’s style and needs.