Guide written by:
Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds
No matter what type of toilet you have, it's important to choose the right toilet seat. From budget options to stylish designs, there's a range of options available with extras including soft-close hinges or wash mode. Follow our guide to find the right seat for your toilet.
- Design and style
Toilet seat materials
Toilet seats come in a range of different materials which will affect the price, look and durability of the model.
Basic plastic (polypropylene): not very strong and has a tendency to yellow over time.
Duraplast (polymer blend): very resistant to cleaning products and UV rays; boasts a long service life.
Resin: offers a wide selection of designs; a very resistant material.
Thermoplastic: a synthetic resin created by injection moulding; very hard-wearing material.
Synthetic resin: scratch-proof with a high quality finish. It is made by compressing powdered or liquid resin with a hardening agent.
Wood: attractive finish, service life depends on treatment (e.g. varnish) and type of wood.
MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is composed of compressed wood-based fibre that offers high quality and easy maintenance.
Please note: when choosing any wood-based products, it's important to ensure that the material is treated to withstand moisture. Of course, no one wants unpleasant odours in their bathroom and wood can start to smell if it is not correctly treated.
Toilet seat hardware
Toilet seat hinges tend to come in one of four types of material. The material of the hardware will usually be an indication of the quality of the toilet seat.
- Zinc alloy is used for fittings in mid-range toilet seats. It is hard-wearing and offers good value for money;
- Brass fittings are common on traditional or vintage-style toilet seats as they are more durable and offer better protection against corrosion;
- Stainless steel fittings are the top-of-the-line offering both corrosion resistance and strength;
- Plastic is a lighter material and less hard-wearing material but the colour can be chosen to match your toilet seat and pan.
Toilet seat designs
No matter your decor or theme, there is a toilet seat out there for every bathroom. Here are a few ideas:
- Zen: resin toilet seat with a pebble or vibrant green plant print;
- Minimalist: resin seat in black resin or wood;
- Family-friendly: white or shades of grey or beige.
Bear in mind that the more elaborate the design, the more expensive the seat. Generally speaking, toilet seats can range anywhere from £10 to £100.
Toilet seat sizes and features
Around 90% of toilets can be fitted with standard seat so you won't usually have to give that much thought to size. That being said, having the right size toilet seat is paramount to your user comfort. Be sure to check:
- The width and length of the toilet pan;
- Distance between the fixing points.
Depending on the set-up of your bathroom and your own needs, toilet seats can be equipped with:
- Soft close hinges to avoid noisy slamming and damage to the toilet seat;
- An built-in child seat for young children.
Japanese toilet seats
Something of a recent addition to the market, Japanese, or smart, toilet seats come with a wash mode like a bidet. These toilet seats range widely in price depending on their features which include things like multiple washing jets or electronic control. Prices start at about £60 but can stretch up to several hundred pounds.
Choosing the right toilet seat for your bathroom
High-quality toilet seats can cost as little as £25 and some models will offer very good value for money.
That said, the model to avoid from the outset is undoubtedly the basic white plastic toilet seat which will quickly turn yellow or break. These models are cheap and the seat itself tends to be relatively flexible making it more liable to cracking. The hinges will either be made of plastic or low-quality metal.
All toilet seats vary in terms of the following:
- Flexibility (rigid or flexible)
- Permeability (resistance to water and spraying);
- 'Anti-bacterial' properties.
The more elaborate the toilet seat, the greater day-to-day comfort you'll enjoy. For example, most mid-range toilet seat will feature soft close hinges to prevent seats and lids from slamming down
As a rule of thumb, low-end toilets are white while mid-range models tend to come in more colours. If you're looking for the perfect resin toilet seat with a printed design,bold colours or patterns, you should set aside at least £40. If you have a wall-hung toilet, the dimensions of the seat should still be the same, although it never hurts to check the measurements and spacing for your fixings.
All that's left now is to choose the toilet seat of your dreams!
Guide written by:
Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds, 107 guides
With a handyman-father, I grew up with the soft sound of the sander and hammer on weekends. I am both manual and cerebral (yes, it is possible.), I learned the basics of DIY and the customization of furniture because I was passionate. The salvage mentality is a true way of life that allowed me to know how to use all the tools and products needed to give something a second life, from sander to varnish. I have two favorite activities: the transformation of old furniture and decoration tips. I am always ready to lend a helping hand to revamp a table or to restore a mirror that was intended for the trash that will become a friend’s centerpiece. I’m convinced that it’s possible to reinvent an interior by small, regular modifications, I constantly research low-cost, test ideas.