Are Toilet Seats Universal?

Are you planning to replace your toilet seat or just get a new one out of nowhere? The first question that might arise in your mind would be whether the toilet seats are universal in size and shape.

There is no such thing as a “universal” toilet seat. Different countries have different standards for toilet seats, and even within a country, there can be variations. For example, in the United States, there are two common types of toilet seats: round and elongated.

Elongated seats are typically found in public restrooms, while round seats are more common in private homes. There are also variations in the materials used to make toilet seats, such as plastic, wood, or metal.

If you are still confused about it, you don’t need to tense yourself out. Indeed, people are often not aware of the different types and sizes of toilet seats.

Let’s have a look at the following article to know more about the topic. 

How to Measure Your Toilet?

To measure your toilet, you will need first to remove the lid and seat. With a tape measure, measure the distance from the back of the tank to the front of the bowl. Next, measure the distance from the floor to the top of the bowl. Finally, measure the width of the bowl at its widest point.

While measuring your toilet, be mindful and take the exact measurement of tank height, toilet dept, and rough-in dimensions. Also, look out for other barriers that might disrupt your toilet installment.

Tank Height 

First of all, measure the height of the toilet tank to ensure that the new replacement will fit underneath the shelves or other things installed above it. To measure the tank accurately, use a measuring tape from the floor to the top edge of the tank, and mark things precisely. 

Toilet Dept

The next thing that you need to measure is the depth of the toilet bowl. For that, measure the front edge of the toilet bowl and extent the tape to the back of the tank. If you are okay with the current size of the bowl, then select a toilet with a similar dept. But if you want more space, look for a shallower toilet.

Rough-in Dimensions

The space between the wall of the toilet and the waste pipe is known as the rough-in. The standard rough-in dimensions are 12 inches. But, at times, the toilets are different; thus, make sure to measure the accurate position to get a perfect replacement.

Do All Toilet Seats Fix the Same Way?

Different toilet seats have different ways of installation. There is a wide range of fixings and hinges available for people around the world. Some are bottom fixing, while others are top fixing.

Not all toilet seats need to be fixed the same way. Just like the toilet seats are not universal, the way they are fixed is also different. There are some toilet seats that even come with hinges to stay intact for a longer time. 

What Are Some Standard Shapes of Toilet Seats Around the Globe?

Toilet seats are manufactured in two common shapes: round and elongated seats. The round seats do not fit on the elongated toilet and vice versa. Thus, measure your toilet and toilet seats carefully before purchasing a new one. 

If you have no idea why and how these shapes are different, don’t stress over it. Let’s shed some light on both of these shapes below:

Round-Shaped Toilet Seats 

These seats are round or “O” shaped in nature. The ideal size of a round-shaped toilet seat is around 16.5 inches. They are cylindrical and have no sharp edges or pointy corners. These seats are best for small and compact washrooms.

The shape of the seat is traditional and old style. Also, they are cheap and budget-friendly.

Elongated Toilet Seats

While on the other hand, elongated seats are longer and have an average length of 18.5 inches. They are famous for being more comfortable than Round shaped toilet seats.

However, they occupy more space than the former thus, it is better to use elongated seats in residential units and washrooms with enough space. 

D-shaped Toilet Seat,

The D-shaped toilet seat is a popular choice for many bathrooms because it provides a comfortable and stylish seating option. The D-shaped toilet seat is also easy to clean, making it a low-maintenance option for your bathroom.

It is shorter and wider than an elongated oval. This type of seat is typically found in Japan.

Things You Should Consider While Buying a Toilet Seat

There are multiple factors that one should consider while buying a toilet seat for your toilet. Some of these include comfort, cost, manufacturing material, durability, easy installation, and appearance. 

Let’s dive deep and look at each of these factors in detail:


No one would want to buy a toilet seat that will make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy. Thus look for an elongated toilet seat as it is said to be more comfortable compared to others. 

You can even look for a padded toilet seat if your legs sleep quite often while sitting on the toilet. Also, durability affects the comfort level. I bet you don’t want wiggling toilet seats!


At times, people don’t prioritize their comfort levels and look for an economical toilet seat that will not be a burden on their budget. 

Today, there are multiple cost-friendly toilet seats that you can get. But it will be better if you add some more cash and get a durable, comfortable, and advanced toilet seat, as it will be a better investment.


Wood and plastic are the most commonly used materials for manufacturing toilet seats. Plastic seats are affordable, easy to clean, waterproof, and come in multiple designs and colors.

While on the other hand, wood seats are more comfortable, especially in winter when the plastic seats get super cold to sit on. 

Also, they are durable and have fewer chances of getting damaged. The only drawback is that the wood toilet seats are expensive. 


Durability is another important feature that you should consider while buying a toilet seat. The most durable seat is one made up of wood. Next comes the plastic seats. 

A free tip for people who are planning to buy padded seats is that seats feel good at the start, but slowly and gradually, the padded seats split and crack after some time. 


You might have only seen white toilet seats. White is indeed the most common color used for toilet seats. But, for people who want to add some color to their bathrooms, there are multiple color options for toilet seats. 


After reading this article, you will have a clear insight that toilet seats are not universal. Thus, measure your toilet carefully and precisely before getting a new or a replacement toilet for your bathroom!

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