5 Best Toilet Reviews 2020: Swiss Madison Takes #1 Place
We can all agree that picking the best toilet doesn’t seem to be the most important task in the world. But on the other hand, we do spend quite a bit of time in our lives sitting on a toilet.
We have to buy a toilet, regularly clean one, look out for an environment while doing our business. And most importantly, a toilet has to be nice and homely. Why?
Well, we spend up to 30 min per day on the toilet. That is about 1 week per year – just sitting on a toilet (even more if we use mobile phones). That’s a lot! This also means that we better make a well-informed decision when it comes to buying a toilet (you’re looking at $300-$500 prices).
Many things come down to picking the best toilet. At Top5er, we made a shortlist of 5 absolute best toilets, based on how popular they are, what costs they entail, how easy it is to clean them, how they look and so on. Below the list, you’ll find the individual toilet reviews:
We’ll go above and beyond to look at every aspect when it comes to choosing and buying the best flushing toilet. What to consider when buying a toilet, what are the prices, the regular problems to be aware off – in fact, we’ll go right down to how to measure your bathroom and even screw sizes you’ll need with this all-in-one comprehensive 2020 toilet guide. Oh, and by the way, in the Top5er fashion we’ll start with the 5 absolute outstanding toilets(to give you an idea what most popular toilets look like).
What to consider when buying a toilet? [Infographic]
Before going over our top 5 picks for the best flushing toilets, we’ll quickly cover the basics of picking a toilet (you’ll find the details about the best ways of looking at toilets a while further).
Usually, we already have a space in a bathroom reserved for a one-piece or two-piece toilet, but this is about it. We’ve taken care to give you some preview of what things to consider when buying a toilet, neatly packed into the infographics (check it out before moving on):
In short, few things to consider are how comfortably we want to sit (floor-to-seat height and elongated bowl), do we want the modern one-piece toilet or the standard two-piece and always be sure to look at the warranty – we’ll cover those in the best bowl reviews as well.
Best One-Piece Toilet
1 – Swiss Madison St. Tropez Dual Tornado Flush Toilet Review
When talking about best toilet brands, we’ve all heard about Toto, Kohler and of course American Standard. How come that at the top of the list we find a bit edgy Swiss Madison toilet? Well, here are quick facts that will make your bathroom design juices flowing.
Swiss Madison, the St. Tropez model, is an exceptional one-piece toilet. Just look at how it looks in the bathroom setting (on the left).
Type of flushing? It has a dual tornado flush – saves water and is thus good for the environment and your water bill.
Comfortable 18-inch height and elongated seat – that is one of those modern soft closing toilet seats.
It’s has a staggering price for such a stylish one-piece toilet (about $300 or so). And best of all, everybody loves it. In fact, it is one of the most popular and best selling toilets on Amazon.
We’ll cover the basics of what makes a great toilet below in the toilet buying guide but it’s safe to say that Swiss Madison #1 toilet has all the right qualities. We don’t need to lose words about the modern toilet design because that’s quite apparent from the photo.
That’s the clear advantage of one-piece toilets; they look modern by default and some of them, including the Swiss Madison toilet, has a soft closing toilet seat.
As far as the comfort is concerned – the elongated toilet seat is a must for a comfortable loo experience. The 18-inch seat height is a bit above average what other toilet producers offer and it does make a slight, but noticeable difference. Given that we spend quite a bit of time on a toilet, comfort is after all very important.
With a dual flush, the best Swiss Madison toilet is eco-friendly. Old toilets can use up to 4 gallons of water per one flush. With dual flush toilet, you can choose to use only 1.0 gallons of water for urination and 1.6 gallons for more serious business (you know what we mean). The average flush should come up to 1.26 gallons which represent a significant reduction of water consumption and you spend less on a water bill.
What everybody really loves about the Swiss Madison toilet is the price. The best one-piece toilets should be available at above $500 but the No. 1 toilet costs much less, you can check the current price here:
2 – TOTO Drake 2-Piece Toilet Review (Best Budget Toilet)
Most of the best toilets are still two-piece ones with a separate water tank and bowl. What really can lack (but shouldn’t) with two-piece toilets is a sense of modern style. The TOTO Drake toilet is an exceptional example of a 2-piece toilet that can match in style any one-piece toilets. And it has a ton of other benefits as well.
As far as comfortability goes, the TOTO Drake is designed to have an elongated bowl. This provides you with additional seating space – it might be as little as 2 inches but even 2 inches means a lot when it comes to the best toilet bowls. The TOTO Drake seat height is about 17 3/4 inches. This is quite the industry standard height. What is important to know is that the TOTO Drake you see on the left comes without a toilet seat. If you buy a toilet seat with an above 1 1/2 inch thickness, you can get that seat height up to or above 18 inches.
What is the TOTO Drake flushing system like? Well, being one of the best TOTO toilets it has a G-Max flushing system installed. This can guarantee low toilet water consumption because it brings down the one flush quantity to 1.6 gallons of water. In the instructions or other best toilet reviews by TOTO you can see something like 1.6GFP/6.0LPF when they talk about how much water does the toilet use.
The GFP and LPF are standard units of for toilet flush; what does GFP mean? It’s an abbreviation of ‘Gallons Per Flush’. It’s a similar meaning when you ask yourself what does LPF mean when it comes to toilets. It’s an abbreviation for ‘Litres Per Flush’, a unit of toilet water consumption that is predominately used in Europe and other non-US markets.
One difference between one-piece toilets like Woodbridgebath toilet and two-piece toilets like TOTO Drake is the space they take. How much space does a toilet take? Well, a two-piece toilet is usually quite bigger because we have to put the separate tank somewhere. The TOTO Drake toilet has a 12-inch rough-in (rough-in, as explained below, is the distance between the toilet flange and the wall behind the toilet).
General tip: You can find toilets with 10-inch or even 14-inch rough-in distance and generally two-piece toilets have a 12- or 14-inch rough-ins while one-piece toilets are smaller and have a 10- or 12-inch rough-in distances from the toilet flange to the wall.
A special feature of TOTO Drake toilet is the fast flush. This is possible because this affordable toilet comes with a 3-inch flush valve. The standard valve is 2 inches wide. Simply put, the wider valve allows for a faster flush because you can fit more water through the toilet valve at the same time.
If you check the price of the toilet, you’ll quickly see why we have designated it as the best budget toilet on the market. It has all the good things a two-piece toilet can offer and it cost only about $300. Nonetheless, before you decide to buy TOTO Drake toilet, count it that it comes without a toilet seat.
A toilet seat can cost as little as $20 if you know where to look for the cheapest toilet seats. Oh, and the warranty is standard 1-year limited warranty – not as great at with the #1 best toilet – but it will get you the required security and peace of mind when you decide to buy the toilet:
3 – American Standard Champion-4 Toilet Review (Best High-End Toilet)
If anything at all, you’ll see what a good warranty for a toilet looks like when you see the 10-year worry-free warranty that American Standard offers for one of it’s best Champion-4 toilet. And that’s not an only exceptional feature this American Standard toilet has to offer.
If you look on the left, you’ll quickly notice what a fusion design the Champion-4 truly is. You don’t have to be a toilet expert to see that American Standard fused the design of the one-piece toilet with the looks of a two-piece toilet. Do you notice it?
You can clearly see the toilet tank and it’s actually quite wide for a tank (also has a neat flushing handle). But when you look at the bowl, you can see they are fused together to form one of the best designed one-piece toilets.
The bowl is elongated here as well and the seat height it 17 3/4 inches, the same as with the TOTO Drake toilet, yet this one does come with a toilet seat.
What really makes American Standard Champion-4 one of the best toilets on the market is, however, hidden to the naked eye.
So to speak, the machinery of the toilet happens within the toilet itself. By now you’re probably asked yourself what does Champion-4 stand for? After all, the AS decided to name the toilet after some important feature.
That special toilet feature is the 4-inch accelerator flush valve. The standard flush valve is 3 inches wide and even with #2 TOTO Drake with a 3-inch valve we saw the advantages of quick flushing. Well, the Champion-4 is a class of itself when it comes to blizzard quick flushing. The 4-inch valve does all the flushing the toilet needs in one sitting in three times less time than a regular 2-inch standard valve would.
So is this a toilet with a bigger water consumption? Not at all. The water consumption of Champion-4 toilet is comparable to #1 and #2 top toilet – it consumes 1.6 gallons per flush. However, it does not have a dual flush like Woodbridgebath toilet that would allow you to choose between a big and small flush.
That big 4-inch valve does entail a thing or two, like a siphon trap way, for example. When you have a high-capacity toilet like American Standard Champion-4 is, you’ll also need a wider siphon trap way. The #3 best toilet on our list comes with the widest siphon trap way in the toilet industry – it is a 2 3/8 inch fully glazed siphon. A standard siphon trap way side is 2 inches. Even though the increase from a 2 inch to 2 3/8 inch siphon doesn’t seem much, the bigger siphon can handle an almost 70% larger mass than an ordinary one.
And if you’re worried that this high-end and high-capacity toilet might be sticky at times, have no worries. Firstly, it is a one-piece toilet that it is easier to clean. And secondly, all the internal toilet parts are impregnated with an EverClean surface. That is the toilet surface impregnation American Standard is famous for in toilet industry, you can see on the right how efficient an effect it has on maintaining the cleanliness of the toilet.
As far as the price of the toilet is concerned, you’re looking at a high-end toilet with a middle-range price. It comes with a spot on the 10-year warranty that pretty much the best warranty out there it can still cost less than $500 (and it comes with included seat). You can check the current toilet price here:
4 – TOTO Ultramax II Het Toilet Review (Best TOTO Toilet)
TOTO is one of the most well-known if not the most popular toilet brands around. They’ve been in business for more than 100 years and have made a number of the best-seller toilets in their time. The Ultramax II Het is, given all the features, their top toilet. By the way, you know why we think the best toilets are made in Japan? Well, simply put, because TOTO is a Japanese company and they make the best toilets in the world for quite a while now.
If you check the Ultramax II Het design on the left, you’ll notice that is has a similar design to the #3 pick on out top toilet list. The Japanese have perfected the one-piece toilets that look and feel like two-piece toilets. This is a part of the transition from traditional toilets to modern and the Ultramax II Het design is exactly that – traditional but modern. As far as comfortable sitting is concerned, the best TOTO toilet comes with an elongated bowl but has a lower than average seat height – 17 1/4 inch height is a bit below 18-inches. However, the ADA standards require toilet manufacturers to have a seat height anywhere from 17 inches to 19 inches, so this fits right in. The mastery of the best Japanese toilet is its flushing efficiency and Double Cyclone flushing technology. You know that we’ve asked ourselves how much water does one toilet flush use, right? With all the previously reviewed best toilets, they used about 1.6 gallons per flush. The TOTO Het toilet is much more efficient when it comes to flushing. What does HET actually standards for? High-Efficiency Toilets – and here is the eco-friendly WaterSense approved and bill saving effect they have:
HET toilet by TOTO requires only 1.28 gallons per flush (this translates to 4.8 liters per flush). That is full 20% less water per flush than other already eco-friendly toilets. According to Conserve H20 organization, this can literally translate to few 1000s of gallons per water saved. You can even calculate how much that saves you in water costs.
Add Double Cyclone technology to this. You might wonder what the Double Cyclone technology is when it comes to toilets. Most toilets, most probably even the one you have at home, use gravity to clear the water and feces in the toilet. The Double Cyclone adds, well, two cyclones that help the gravity do its work more efficiently. It can be a bit difficult to explain but here is the picture that really gives you an idea what the Double Cyclone technology is:
As you can see, the Cyclone Technology forms two powerful jets of water at the left and at the right side of the toilet bowl. This additional water thrust pushed and cleans the feces more effectively, and it requires less water in the process.
The whole inner side of the toilet is coated with SanaGloss that acts as a kind of a self-cleaning ion barrier that protects the toilet. When it comes to cleaning it’s usually useful to know what do you clean SanaGloss with, and the answer is that a simple soap or disinfectant will do.
Given all the additional technology that TOTO Ultramax II Het comes with, the price is a bit higher than with the other toilets on our list. The original price of one of the best TOTO toilets can be as high as $800 but if you buy it on Amazon, you can usually get a below $600 deal, check the current price here:
Another all-favorite brand of toilets is KOHLER. They are a big US company with over 150 years of tradition in pretty much everything that relates to plumbing. Of course, this also includes them making the best American toilets. We picked the Cimarron Comfort as the best KOHLER toilet precisely because it is the peak achievement in toilet design and performance.
To start off, this is one of the best looking two-piece toilets, consisting of K-4309 bowl and the K-4421 tank. While other companies like TOTO prefers to go with one-piece toilets that look like two-piece toilets, KOHLER is staying true to the traditional toilet model that has been around for decades. Just remember that even the best two-piece toilets are harder to clean than simpler one-piece ones.
Despite having a standard look, the best KOHLER toilet is anything but standard. With everybody in the toilet industry trying to decrease the flush volume, KOHLER invented its own AquaPiston technology. It has enabled them to deliver a fast, powerful and low-volume flush. How many gallons does the best KOHLER toilet use?
Well, thanks to the AquaPiston technology, it requires only 1.28 gallons per flush. That is even below the modern best toilet standard of 1.6 GPF.
On the other hand, it’s seating arrangement of Cimarron Comfort KOHLER toilet is, as the name says it, very comfortable. What makes a toilet more comfortable?
Two things – the elongated bowl that does require more space but gives back in comfort, as well as 18-inch floor-to-seat height. Unfortunately, the KOHLER Cimarron Comfort toilet comes without a toilet seat – which means that we can only say that a toilet seat of standard thickness will bring the seat height to 18 inches.
The KOHLER toilet that comes with standard 1-year limited warranty costs considerably less than the best TOTO toilet. When considering how much you’re spending for two-piece toilets vs. one-piece toilets, you’ll find that two-piece ones are much more affordable. This is the case with the best KOHLER toilet as well:
As we’ve seen going through the best toilet picks of 2020, the Swiss Madison toilet is an overall #1 pick and hands down the most popular 2020 choices for modern bathrooms. We thought it best to look at it and learn what makes the T-0019 model such a successful toilet. This will help us better illustrate and understand the whole toilet buying guide.
We will go through all the considerations when it comes to buying a brand new toilet, down to the siphon size and the basic plumbing fixes. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for, just do a quick comment and we’ll try to help you as best we can.
When it comes to basic toilet design, the first thing we should as if we want a one-piece or two-piece toilet. We have covered some of the one-piece and two-piece toilets in our list, here we’ll focus on the Woodbridgebath toilet simply because it is the best toilet of 2020:
First of, the Swiss Madison is a one-piece toilet. Most of the toilets we use in our homes, restaurants, hotels and so on are the two-piece settings. They are comprised of a toilet tank that holds up to 2 gallons of water and a separate bowl that we sit on. This is the old-school toilet standard that is quickly being replaced by the new standard – the one-piece toilets.
Why are one-piece toilets better than two-piece ones?
Well, two-piece ones are generally cheaper but harder to install (you have to put two pieces together) and harder to clean. You can imagine that there are all kinds of cracks between the toilet bowl and tank and lots of nasty stuff gets caught up there.
Woodbrightbath one-piece toilet costs about $300 if you can find a good deal, and in fact, the average cost of a flushing toilet is about $400. However, the T-0019 is an exception when it comes to pricing (a good one!). Most of the one-piece toilets cost $50-$200 more than two-piece toilets. For example, one of the most expensive toilets (costs almost $5,000) is TOTO’s Neorest and it is, of course, a one-piece toilet.
Preference comes down to you: Nonetheless, the choice between one-piece vs. two-piece toilets comes down to you. Both are quite comparable when it comes to doing your business, but you’ll notice the difference in elegance, cleaning requirements and the price of the toilet itself.
2. What makes a toilet comfortable? (Elongated bowl and 18+ inch height)
During the list of the best toilets of 2020, we have talked a bit about what makes a toilet comfortable. Considering we spend about half an hour per day being seated on a toilet, comfortability is something we should definitely factor into the equation when we’re buying a new toilet.
How comfortable a toilet is generally a subjective matter – you might find one comfy and the other one very disagreeable. Nonetheless, there are two objective things that roughly speaking make toilets more comfortable.
The obvious one is the bowl. Here we have two varieties of toilet bowls – round and elongated. The best toilets usually have an elongated bowl. As a matter of fact, all the top toilets on our Top5er list have elongated bowls. What is an elongated bowl anyway? Here are two KOHLER toilet bowls – one is round and the other is elongated:
A standard bowl was round (not a circle, more like an ellipsis) until a few decades ago. Someone has a great idea: if you want a more comfortable toilet experience, why not just make the bowl longer? And the elongated toilet bowl was born. Obviously, you have more space now and all the guys will know the struggle of sitting on a round bowl with little to no space in the front.
Of course, longer bowl and requires you to reserve more space in your bathroom for the toilet. The difference, however, is quite small – you’ll need an additional 2 or 3 inches from the wall. For a standard bathroom, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have a small bathroom, you might check out some round bowl toilets as well.
The second less obvious contributor to toilet comfortability is floor-to-seat height. ADA regulations require all toilet seats to be 17” to 19” from the floor. These are the comfort height toilets (you can check out Top 5 Comfort Height Toilets list here).
Experience shows that some people find a 17-inch height less comfortable. A general rule here is that best toilets as far as comfort is concerned to have 3. a floor-to-seat height of 18 inches or more.
Side note here: producers many times talk about floor-to-bowl height which is not the same as the floor-to-seat height. The seat thickness is the difference there. Why do they do that? Well, quite often the toilets are sold without a seat, so they can’t really talk about floor-to-seat height, can they. An easy calculation is to add a 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch to the floor-to-bowl height and we’ll get the floor-to-seat height. This is because a regular toilet seat has a thickness of about 1 inch or a bit more.
3. Eco-friendly And Saver Toilets
When it comes to great toilets, they also have to be great at conserving water. About half of the water we use in our home is used in the bathroom and the biggest water drain in the bathroom by far is the toilet. This only means that we can save quite a bit of water if we’re smart when it comes to choosing a toilet.
How much water does one flush of toilet use anyway?
Not too long ago, even the best toilets used even up to 5 gallons of water per a single flush. Today, the best toilets use innovative technology to reduce water consumption to about 1.6 GPF. This a result of stricter ADA requirements and not only saves us big time on water bills; it is primarily designed to protect the environment and enables us to have better control over our water consumption.
General tip: When choosing a toilet, just make sure that it doesn’t use water unnecessarily. That means that toilets with 1.6 GPF / 6.0 LPF are already a great choice, and anything below those numbers is considered exceptional and eco-friendly.
As a matter of fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formed a so-called ‘WaterSense’ label. It is quite a nifty label that is connected with all kinds of products which use 20% less water than an average product.
In the case of toilets, if a producer like TOTO or KOHLER can achieve a 20% reduction in water flush volume, they can use the WaterSense label on their products. If you check our post about the best low flush toilets, you’ll notice that the first 3 spots are reserved for TOTO and KOHLER toilets.
The innovation in the toilet industry has allowed for the creation of water-saving toilets with different systems like HET and G-Max flushing system (that’s the one in the best TOTO toilets).
20% less than average GPF brings the water consumption down to 1.28 GPF or less. What is important to remember, however, is that dual-flush toilets can be exempt. For example, the small flush in the best dual flush toilets can be as little as 1.0 GPF but the big flush is usually 1.6 GPF which is too much to be given a WaterSense label.
4. Toilet Warranty Standards
Toilets are built to be as durable as possible. A toilet should be replaced only every 20 years or so. And, after all, the cost of the toilet is quite high and you should always check the warranty that comes with the toilet.
Usually buying a toilet is quite risk-free because they’re built to last for ages. We’ll cover the common problems with toilets below but they can be quite easily fixed. What can’t be fixed is if we get a defective toilet right from the production line and this is exactly why the warranty is the most important for.
The golden standard as far as toilets go is a 1-year limited warranty. Anything above 1-year is great, anything below 1-year is below average warranty.
KOHLER, for example, is a company that offers a 1-year limited warranty with most of their toilets. American Standard, on the other hand, can offer some great warranty on specific toilets.
This toilet comes with a limited lifetime warranty on chinaware, a limited 10 year warranty on all mechanical parts of the toilet and a limited 1 year warranty on the toilet seat if included with product.
As you can see, the toilet warranty is actually a warranty on specific parts like chinaware, mechanical parts (that’s usually flushing system) and toilet seat.
When reading the warranty focus on the mechanical parts warranty. Those are usually the most complex and expensive to fix. That is, of course, if you don’t choose one of the fancy electronic auto lifting seats – those can be costly to replace as well.
The main thing to remember is that a warranty is a standard consideration when buying a new toilet. Everybody gives you some kind of warranty, just make sure you read the small print and you’ll be able to compare different toilets as far as the warranty goes as well.
Hope You’ll Enjoy Finding A New Toilet
Hopefully, we’ve given you some things to think about when choosing a new toilet. As we’ve learned, it actually quite an important and interesting part of bathroom design. Besides that, it is the one we spend most of the time sitting on in the bathroom and that uses up quite a bit of water.
In any case, always look for durability and water conservation when it comes to the best toilets. You want an elegant piece that will serve you for 20 years or more and will not be a drain on your water supply and will be friendly to the environment.
Even something like picking a perfect toilet can be fun!