What is the Standard Height Toilet?

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You spend nearly 4 hours a week on your porcelain throne and yet most people don’t know a lot about their commode.

I mean, it’s understandable. If your toilet does the job, then why think any deeper about it?

Generally, people only think about the height and dimensions of their toilet when they’re shopping for a new bowl. I’m going to assume that’s why you’re reading this article. That or you’re doing an oddly specific pub quiz.

So, what is the standard height of a toilet?

15 inches is the height of a standard toilet. This height is common in most of the western world. If you’re buying a toilet and it doesn’t specifically state the height then you can assume it’s 15 inches.

That 15 inch refers to the height from the floor to the top of the bowl. It does not refer to the height of the tank nor does it count the height of your toilet seat.

The toilets we use today in the US are called sitting toilets. They are different from squatting toilets which are common in many Asian and African countries.

Called sitting toilets because they allow the user to sit down while vacating their bowels and bladder, these toilets are considered more convenient and developed than squat toilets. That being said, many doctors and scientists are realizing that sitting toilets actually aren’t very ergonomic for the bowels.

Squatting with your butt below your knees is considered the best way to go to the toilet. It opens up the bowels and reduces the need to strain. Of course, this position isn’t easy for the disabled or elderly.

Standard sitting toilets can also be difficult for people with mobility issues, the elderly, or taller users. The height of the pan is sometimes too low for these people. This means that more pressure is placed on the back and the joints when sitting and standing.

Enter the comfort height toilet.

What is the difference between standard height and comfort height toilets?

Toilet bowl and bidet in a modern bathroom

The difference is about 2 to 4 inches. Comfort height toilets are usually between 17 and 19 inches from the floor to the top of the pan.

The other dimensions, including width, circumference and length do not change between standard toilets and comfort height toilets.

What is the best height for a toilet?

This is a tricky question to answer. Each kind of toilet has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look.

Standard Height Toilets

businessman thinker on toilet

Standard height toilets are better for shorter people and children. The slightly smaller height means that those of shorter stature are able to get on and off the toilet easily. Small children may have to use a step, but they will still find it easier to use a standard height toilet than a comfort height toilet.

The lower toilet pan also means that most adults will be able to find a more natural squatting position. This can help to reduce constipation and make toilet trips much shorter.

Of course, standard height toilets aren’t as ergonomic on the bowels as squatting toilets, but the latter is harder to come by in the western world.

Standard height toilets are more irksome on the knees and back compared to comfort toilets. This is because you need to bend lower to sit down. This also makes it more strenuous to stand.

Comfort Height Toilets

A man sits with his pants down on the toilet

Two inches doesn’t sound like much, but it can make quite a big difference to those with mobility issues.

The major benefit of these toilets is the fact that you don’t have to bend or squat as low as you do with standard toilets. This reduces the strain on your knees and back when standing up and sitting down.

These toilets are best for elderly, disabled, or infirm people because they are kinder on the joints.

They are also more suitable for taller users because the extra height means that your hips don’t drop as much when you sit.

The downside to this is that shorter people and children can find comfort height toilets uncomfortable. They might find that their feet dangle when using the commode. Extended periods of time with your feet dangling on the loo can lead to numb feet and pins and needles.

Comfort toilets also prevent users from adopting the proper squatting position. This is because your hips are higher.

Who makes the tallest comfort height toilet?

white toilet bowl


Some of the tallest comfort height toilets are made by Kohler. They have toilets measuring as much as 21 inches though these are generally designed for disabled bathrooms.

Kohler is an American manufacturing company that specializes in plumbing items like toilets. They have a wide range of both standard and comfort height toilets. Most styles and designs are available in both standard and comfort height.

How can I make my toilet taller?

toilet constructed for people with disabilities

Raising your toilet post-installation is tricky. Once it’s plumbed in, you’ll need to leave it where it is unless you want to start messing with your pipes and plumbing.

The only real way to make your toilet higher after it’s been installed is to add a raised toilet seat. These raised seats can add a few inches to your toilet which is helpful for disabled or elderly users.

Raised toilet seats come in a variety of different configurations. Mainly, the differences between them are the fastening method and the presence of handles.

Fastenings are important because they prevent the seat from moving or slipping. Unlike traditional toilet seats, raised seats are not usually screwed down. This is because they’re often designed to be removable. The idea is that they can be put in place for those who need them and removed for other users in the home.

Some of these seats have handles on the side. These are to aid users in sitting and standing. Generally, seats with handles hover over the toilet on legs rather than resting on the toilet. This helps reduce the stress on the toilet.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, the standard height of a toilet is around 15 inches.

If you need more height, then you might want to consider a comfort height toilet that comes in at 17-19 inches.