If you’re taller than the average person, or struggle to bend down, you may find that it’s challenging to use a standard toilet. Although it’s possible to find toilet seats that are raised up higher than an average toilet seat and that allow the user to sit up to 10cm or 4” higher than on the standard toilet seat, these are not a permanent solution and aren’t ideal if you have an ongoing issue that will cause problems with using a regular toilet in the long term.
However, if you’ve ever thought that you’d prefer to use a toilet with a higher seat, the good news is that comfort height toilets are perfect for you.
If you thought there was only a single height of toilet, you might be surprised to learn that this isn’t the case at all. Comfort height toilets are higher than a standard toilet, and that makes them a good choice for many different homeowners.
Here, we take a closer look at these popular toilets to find out more about what they are and why you could benefit from choosing one for your bathroom.
What is a Comfort Height Toilet?
Sometimes, comfort height toilets are called “right height toilets” and they have been popular for a long time in Japan. Comfort height toilets have a bowl that is in a higher position so that people who have restricted movement or who are taller than average can use it more comfortably.
A comfort height toilet is the same as a standard close coupled toilet or back to wall toilet in every way except the height difference. It is installed in exactly the same way and used just like you would use a regular toilet. Most people entering the bathroom wouldn’t even notice that the toilet is slightly higher than an average model, although they may realise that they feel more comfortable when sitting down on the seat.
You can find comfort height toilets on the market in both traditional and contemporary designs. You can choose from comfort height toilets that are close coupled, back to wall designs, or combination WC units. There are even rimless comfort height toilets that are easier to clean than standard rimmed toilets and that are also a lot more hygienic. That means that you’re likely to be able to find a comfort height toilet that is right for your bathroom and that suits your individual requirements.
What height is a Comfort Height Toilet?
From the name, it isn’t easy to tell exactly how high a raised height toilet would be. Would it be more comfortable to sit on a higher or lower toilet seat? In fact, evidence shows that sitting on a taller toilet is far more comfortable for many people who are of average height or above, and that is why these models with a higher seat are known as comfort height toilets.
Comfort height toilets are designed to have a bowl that is at a higher level than an average toilet. That makes it an ideal choice for any user who has a mobility issue. Sometimes, comfort height toilets are known as high rise toilets, and they are at the perfect height for reducing pressure on the joints and knees of the user, allowing them to use the seat more easily without having to struggle to bend or to rise from a low sitting position.
Although they can come in different heights, in general the seat is between 17 – 19” from the floor (equivalent to 43 – 48cm). A standard toilet, on the other hand, has its seat at around 15” or 38cm from the floor. That is a lower height than that of a typical chair, whereas a comfort height toilet is the same height from the ground as a standard chair, or even slightly higher depending on the model that you choose.
Although the height difference isn’t especially great, it’s enough to facilitate easier use for those who are tall or with mobility issues. With a few extra centimetres added onto the standard height, a comfort height toilet will allow the user to sit an extra 5 – 12cm or 2 – 5” from the ground, putting less pressure on the lower back and the joints when compared with traditional toilets.
Why do I want a Comfort Height Toilet?
As you might imagine from the name, a comfort height toilet can be more comfortable, especially for those who are above average height. These days, both men and women are taller on average than in the days when toilets were initially designed, so it makes sense to choose a toilet that has a bowl slightly higher than the traditional height.
If anybody will be using the toilet who struggles to bend, who is elderly, or who has a mobility problem, a comfort height design is often the best choice as it eliminates much of the discomfort of trying to sit on a lower seat. A standard height toilet is lower than a typical chair, and so it is naturally more difficult to get up and down from a regular height toilet seat than to get up and down from a chair.
As everyone needs to use the toilet regularly, it’s important to choose a model that facilitates the process and makes it as comfortable and simple as possible.
If only adults live in your home, if everyone in the property is at or above average height, or if anybody has or is likely to develop a mobility issue, then choosing a comfort height toilet for your bathroom or cloakroom renovation could be the best possible course of action.
Many homeowners whose children have grown up decide to opt for a comfort height toilet when giving their bathroom a makeover as they want to futureproof their home for when they are older and potentially more infirm.
Why would I not want a Comfort Height Toilet?
Although comfort height toilets are a great choice for many people, there are some instances where they may not be the best choice for you.
For example, if you have small children who will be using the toilet regularly, a comfort height design may not be a good choice for you at the moment as it can impede their independence and make it harder for them to use the facilities. If the only people who will be using the toilet are under average height, choosing a standard close coupled toilet may be a better idea. In such cases, the feet may dangle down above the ground from the seat, and that can negatively affect blood circulation through the legs.
Interestingly, there has been some research published recently that has suggested that squatting down as low as possible when using the toilet could help you to empty your bowels more thoroughly and easily, which could be good news for anyone who suffers from bowel issues, haemorrhoids, or other toilet-related problems. In fact, it may even cause constipation in those who are below average height.
There is a solution to this problem, though. If you struggle to use a regular height toilet and want the benefits that come with installing a comfort height toilet in your bathroom, but are concerned about whether you’ll suffer from bowel issues due to not being able to take up a more natural squatting position, it’s possible to use a squatty potty or step stool in combination with the comfort height fixture. By placing the step stool alongside the toilet base, you’ll have a place where you can easily rest the feet in a more natural squat position, but also be able to sit down more easily on the toilet seat and get up again without any difficulties, and without putting any undue pressure or strain on your joints and back.
If you’re looking for a wide variety of different styles to choose from, you may also want to choose a different type of toilet as there are only a limited range of styles available when it comes to comfort height designs.
Are Comfort Height Toilets just for less able people?
Although comfort height toilets are ideal for people who are older or less able, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t suitable for any other users. In fact, comfort height toilets are becoming increasingly popular with a wide range of homeowners who are keen to achieve greater comfort when using the toilet.
Are Comfort Height Toilets longer projection?
Although comfort height toilets come with different projections, in most cases you’ll find that comfort height toilets don’t have any longer projection than a standard toilet. That means that they won’t take up too much space in your bathroom, and makes them suitable for installation even in compact rooms.
There are, however, some comfort height toilets that have been specifically designed to be even easier and more comfortable to use, and these do have extended projection. These toilets are especially suitable for anybody with significant mobility issues or problems with bending to use the toilet.