What Is the Difference Between Chair Height and Comfort Height Toilets

A typical person takes a poop anywhere from once a day to 3 times a week and uses a toilet to urinate at least once a day. There is a standard toilet height but there are also toilets that are higher off the ground. Today, I will explain the difference between a chair-height toilet and a comfort height toilet.

Overall, chair height and comfort height toilets are two names for the same toilet. A standard toilet is 15 inches (38.1 cm). Whereas, a chair height also called a comfort height toilet is 17 to 19 inches (43.2 cm to 48.3 cm) from the floor.

You may have heard that it’s better for your body to be in a lower position, like a squat when you poop. Below, I will explain the best height for a toilet, and how and why you should choose a comfort/chair height toilet over a standard toilet.

What’s the Best Height for a Toilet

standard height toilet
Image from Walker Kitchen – Bath

According to medical professionals, it’s easier to go poop the closer you are to a fully squatting position. It’s also better because it creates more space between your butt cheeks. This allows a more open path for poop and means there will be less poop residue on your anus that needs to be wiped.

The fully squatting position also puts your lower large intestines, known as your rectum in a vertical alignment. Whereas, when you’re closer to a seated position the rectum is on more of an angle tilted back towards your butt (source).

This causes the force of gravity to act more on your poop. Making it easier to pass. The reason is the poop goes straight down vertically, rather than at an angle. This means that a toilet seat that is lower to the ground is better for pooping overall. 

And a toilet seat that is a standard height or lower is better than a toilet seat that is chair/comfort height. But, this only applies to being the easiest to take a poop. 

One main reason why a chair/comfort height toilet can be better

There is one main reason why a comfort/chair height toilet is better. As people age, they often have decreased mobility and muscle strength. Therefore, squatting down lower can be difficult. 

Some people also may have a knee injury that is exacerbated by squatting. For these reasons, a higher toilet offered by a comfort/chair height toilet is more comfortable. And is better suited for elderly people, and people with leg, knee, or ankle issues.

Although you may have difficulty squatting down, you may find that a standard height toilet is in fact fine, and isn’t overly bad. For this reason, it makes sense to ‘test drive’ a toilet before buying one. 

Try out both a comfort/chair height toilet, as well as, a standard height toilet, and see if a standard height toilet is fine for you. It will be more comfortable to go poop and will be cleaner so it’s worth checking it first.

Can you get toilets that are even lower than standard height

It’s possible to buy toilet bowls that aren’t as high as the standard height (15 inches). There are quite a few options available that are low as 10 inches (25 cm) in height. These are far more comfortable to poop in. 

But, it’s important to note that you will need reasonably strong legs. You’ll also need to be careful as you sit down and place your feet wide apart to give you balance before squatting. Unlike, a standard height toilet where the distance from your butt to the seat is much shorter so you don’t need to be as careful when you sit down.

Are Chair Height/Comfort Height Toilets Better?

Chair height, also called comfort height toilets are a bit further off the ground than a regular toilet, which makes them easier to sit down on. This is one advantage, but below is a rundown of whether a chair height/comfort height toilet is better.

regular toilet and chair height/comfort height toilet
Image from Milton Frank Plumbing & Cooling

Overall, chair height also called comfort height toilets are not better. A standard height toilet allows poop to pass more easily. It also spreads the buttocks wider which leaves less feces residue on your anus. But, chair height/comfort height toilets are easier to bend down to sit on.

This makes them better for elderly people who are typically weaker. It’s well known that as people age after about age 40 they will tend to lose muscle mass and find it difficult to squat low. It’s also better for people with chronic leg issues, such as a bad knee or hip from a sports injury. 

People with a disability such as multiple sclerosis or people in a wheelchair find it easier to use a comfort height toilet. There are various standards outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A chair-height toilet meets these standards. And is sometimes referred to as an ADA toilet.

What Height Toilet Is Best for Children?

Children typically wear diapers up until the age of 3 at the latest. When they first learn to use a toilet they will need a special step stool to reach the bowl. But, is there a better toilet height for children, and what’s the best height toilet for children?

toilet bowl with a step stool

As a general rule, a standard height toilet is best for children. A standard height toilet or a comfort/chair height toilet will both require a special stool to make them easy for small children to use. A toilet bowl that is lower than the standard height, 15 inches (38.1 cm) is also better.

Overall, a toilet bowl that is lower than the standard height is better for going poop. But, there is a trade-off, which is that it’s more difficult to squat down. 

If a toilet is only for small children to use, it can be a good idea to get a lower than standard height toilet such as a 13-inch, or 10-inch bowl. However, it will be harder for very tall children, and adults to sit down on. Because they will need to bend down much lower.

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