types of toilet

15 Types of Toilets: Features, Benefits, Drawbacks

From the beginning of flushing toilets in 1775 (By Alexander Cummings, Scotland), toilets have evolved over time to meet the requirements and preferences of human beings. Where some toilets are made focusing on comfort only, some toilets are made focusing on saving water and energy. Toilets differ in their structure or design, build-up quality, and even differ in flushing mechanisms. Toilets like one-piece or close-coupled toilets are designed to get an elegant look to the washroom attire. 

On the other hand, toilets like dual flush toilets or bidet toilets are made to save water and to make the toilet experience more hygienic. Apart from this, toilets serve different purposes based on location, available space, water supply, age, and personal preferences. 

For instance, to make the toilet experience secure, there are different toilets for youngsters, elders, and even for people who are physically challenged. These varying types are important because they make toilet usage safer and more sound for every age group. Besides, based on the adjusting location, corner toilets are developed to fit in the corner of your toilet and spare a lot of space. 

Moreover, the toilet types differ greatly based on flushing mechanisms because a secure mechanism can save much water and make the toilet eco-friendly. Pressure-assisted flush, double cyclone flush, and up-flush are some of the mechanisms that save more than 20% more water than any other traditional toilets. 

But while choosing a perfect toilet type, the right dimension, color, design, flushing, and toilet bowl shape should be considered. Also, the toilet must follow the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) guidelines, which will certify the toilet for saving water.   

15 types of toilet

15 Different Types of Toilets: Unique Features, Pros & Cons

Every type of toilet differs based on the washroom design, and it’s obvious that every type won’t suit all washrooms. Because the color combination, user choice, technological advancement, and water efficiency level are different for each of the toilets. Moreover, a toilet’s efficiency also depends on its flushing system, which can make toilet water-saving. 

1. Gravity Flush Toilet

Gravity flush toilet means where the toilet uses gravitational force to flush the feces through the trapway. Here, the toilet tank is filled with water for a sufficient amount of time, and when you flush, the water will be released. The released water into the bowl creates a siphon effect that pulls the waste away. Gravity flush toilets are one of the most common types of toilets in the United States. 

Unique Features of Gravity Flush Toilet

  • Gravity flush toilets use a siphon effect to release the water. 
  • This mechanism is efficient, and it releases between 1.6 and 3.5 gallons of water.  
  • Gravity flush toilets are reliable because they provide 1 to 5 years of warranty depending on the manufacturer and model of the toilet. Besides, the warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship.
Gravity flush toilets are easy to install because they don’t require any pumps or other mechanical components. The toilets make a noise when the water is released from the tank while flushing. 
gravity flush toilet

2. Pressure Assisted Toilet

Pressure-assisted toilets use a pump-created pressure mechanism to flush the water to clear the droppings. The pump is secured in the tank, and when someone flushes, the pressurized water releases a powerful flush that fills the toilet bowl and removes the sticky slops. Pressure-assisted toilets are more efficient because the pressurized water cleans the sticky waste more efficiently.

Unique Features of Pressure-Assisted Toilet

  • Due to the pressure-releasing mechanism of water, the pressure-assisted toilet clogs less than the gravity flush toilet. 
  • Pressure-assisted toilets use less amount of water than gravity flush toilets, and the amount it releases is 1 gallon of water per flush. 
  • These toilets require a minimum water pressure of 20 psi to operate the flush efficiently.
Pressure assisted toilets are efficient for the homes that have low water pressure because here the pump creates the additional pressure to flush.Pressure assisted toilets are louder while flushing because the pressure into the tank gets the sudden release which creates the noise.
pressure assisted toilet

3. Double Cyclone Flush Toilet

A double cyclone flush toilet uses two flush jets to form a powerful spinning vortex that eventually cleans the toilet bowl. The jets or nozzles are on either side of the bowl to spray the water at high pressure. The released water creates a rotating cyclone flush to clean the dung or scat. The cyclone flush technique is efficient against the stubborn clinging wastes around the toilet bowl.

Unique Features of Cyclone Flush Toilet

  • Cyclone flush toilets have a wider flush valve than other traditional toilets that allows the water to flow directly to the bowl at a time. 
  • Due to the water’s swirling action, the dogged dirt can be removed easily.
  • Cyclone flush releases 1.28 gallons of water in every flush, which makes the cyclone flush toilet more water-saving. 
It has a powerful flushing mechanism due to having 2 nozzles. These toilets are more expensive than gravity and pressure assisted toilets with a price range varying between $200 to $1000 based on the external features.  
Also, cyclone flush toilets are quieter than gravity and pressure assisted toilets. 
double cyclone flush toilet

4. Dual-Flush Toilet

A dual flush toilet is named after having the two flush options for variable use. For instance, it has two flushes: one is for liquid waste and another for solid waste. The dual flush knobs are located above the toilet tank. The small-sized button or knob is for releasing small amounts of water, and the larger is for releasing large amounts of water. The tank has a separate section inside holding the dual water amount. When you choose the button based on your need, the flush valve releases the water according to your order. 

Unique Features of Dual-Flush Toilet

  • Dual flush toilets can save water very efficiently as they release the water according to the user’s requirement. 
  • It releases 1.28-gallon water and 0.8-gallon water based on the command of two buttons. 
  • Dual-flush toilets save about 20% more water than any traditional toilets. 
Dual flush toilets are environment friendly as it saves 20% of water.As the water isn’t consistent on releasing the toilet carries more chances to get clogged than other toilets. 
Also, it saves the water bill over time and becomes cost effective.
dual flush toilet

5. Upflush Toilet

An up-flush toilet or macerating toilet has an anti-gravity mechanism to clear the waste. It uses a pump to grind the waste into a fine mixture or slurry to a higher level, which can be discharged into the septic tank. Up-flush has a small tank behind the toilet containing a grinder and a holding tank. When you press the flush, the pump turns on, grinds the waste, and pumps up to the holding tank to further slower discharge. 

Unique Features of Up-Flush Toilet

  • Up-flush grinds and holds the solid waste to release slowly, which prevents the clogging of the toilet. 
  • Up-flush is famous in areas where no sewer line is available because up-flush toilets can be installed in the basement or attics where the sewer line isn’t possible to install.
Upflush toilets are efficient cleaners and prevent the toilet from frequent clogging in the trapway or drainage line.Up-flush toilets can be noisy when the pump is running and it is harder to repair than any other traditional toilet frames. 
upflush toilet

6. Bidet Toilet

Bidet toilets have a fascinating feature of cleaning the user’s bottom after using the toilet. It has a jet installed inside the bidet seat from where the jet sprays the water to clean. A button or lever controls the jet spray or wand. Many bidet toilet manufacturers also provide a remote control service to control the wand. Besides, users can add a dryer that dries the button as well. 

Unique Features of Bidet Toilet

  • Bidet toilets clean efficiently and provide an efficient toilet experience to the users. 
  • The wand can be controlled using the remote control, and other toilet water temperatures can be controlled. 
  • Bidet toilets also have built-in deodorizers that help to remove the bad smell from the toilet. 
Bidet seats are hygienic and eco-friendly because it doesn’t require any touch of hand or any use of tissue papers. Bidet seats are hard to install and require regular cleaning to maintain properly.  
bidet toilet

7. Waterless Toilet

Waterless toilets use the advanced mechanism of composting or incinerating to flush the waste instead of using water. In the case of composting toilets, the mechanism is to use the micro-organism to break down the waste materials into compost. Further, these composts are used for fertilizing the plants. 

While the incinerating procedure of a waterless toilet involves flaming waste and making it ash. After that, the ash will be collected and disposed of. Also, a waterless toilet can be a dry flush toilet. In dry flush, the toilets have a linear bag connected to the trapway to collect the waste and dispose of it. This mechanism is very effective in places where the water deficiency is at its peak. 

Unique Features of Waterless Toilet

  • Waterless toilets save water from 20% of the total waste amount.
  • This tactic is very eco-friendly and helps the plants to get good growth by providing the compost. 
  • Also, a waterless toilet doesn’t require much care or maintenance cost. 
Waterless toilets don’t require any electricity so it is the most energy efficient toilet. Waterless toilets won’t be suitable for all applications where it’s designed to those areas where the water deficiency is at its peak.
waterless toilet

8. Touchless Flush Toilet

Touchless flush toilets use a motion sensor to activate the flushing mechanism and to eliminate the dung. The sensor is located under the tank lid of the toilet. Here, the toilet uses infrared rays to detect the motion and sends a signal to the flush valve connected to the lids. Further, the flush valve opens, allowing water to pour into the toilet bowl. 

Unique Features of Touchless Flush Toilet

  • Touchless flush doesn’t require any command and releases the water efficiently as much as it requires. 
  • As the water release is automatic, it saves up to 40% of the water compared to traditional toilets. 
  • Also, it is a great help to people with limited mobility to keep the toilet clean. 
Touchless toilets are hygienic, convenient and water saving as well. These toilets use a motion sensor which requires regular maintenance and can show malfunction.
touchless flush toilet

9. Composting Toilet

A composting toilet uses the collection of aerobic bacteria to break down the dung material and convert it into compost. In this mechanism, a container is attached below the toilet that stores the excrement. The container chamber is ready with bulking agents such as wood chips, sawdust, etc. These materials will absorb the moisture and influence the growth of potential bacteria that start the composting of waste. 

Unique Features of Composting Toilet

  • Composting toilets are waterless, which saves more than 20% of water which would have been wasted while using the toilet.
  • These toilets are very suitable in remote areas where water or sewer lines aren’t yet available. 
  • Compost is a useful material for plants, which boosts plant growth.
These toilets are odorless because the ventilation system consists of a fan, vent pipe and louver. There is a storage limit for the container below the toilet and it needs to be disposed of regularly. 
composting toilet

10. Solar Toilet

Solar toilets are one of the industrial solutions for making quality compost. Solar toilets collect the waste, expose the dung to sunlight, and let the waste dry. Also, the ray kills harmful bacteria, which becomes a quality fertilizer for the plants. The waste is collected in a chamber covered with glass or plastic so that the sunlight can be accessed easily. 

Unique Features of Solar Toilet

  • Solar toilets produce good quality fertilizers.
  • It helps to keep the drain line clear and prevent contamination of the clean water.
  • Solar toilets don’t require any machinery to ferment the compost.
Solar toilets convert the dung into fertilizer without any water which saves the water and prevents contamination to clean waters.  Solar toilets are not suitable if the area mostly has a polar climate where the access of sun is very limited.  
solar toilet

11. Biogas Toilet

Biogas toilet is an updated version of the solar toilet where the toilet uses bacteria to produce biogas. The waste is collected in a compact chamber and mixed with appropriate water to promote bacterial growth. Bacteria and molds grow well in moist places. Within a while, the bacteria breaks down the waste materials and produces biogas.  

Unique Features of Biogas Toilet

  • The produced biogas can be directly used for cooking 
  • Biogas toilets produce methane gas, which can be converted to produce electricity.
  • The produced energy is renewable and environment-friendly.
Biogas toilets can be a solution that can form a cycling motion to solve the problem of deficiency of energy and gas.Biogas requires a compact chamber which is costly to prepare and maintain. 
biogas toilet

12. Vacuum Flush Toilet 

A vacuum flush toilet creates a vacuum with the help of a pump located under the toilet bowl. When the flush handle is pulled down, the vacuum is created by the pump to pull the waste down into the drain. Vacuum flush toilets use the water to make the flush, but the amount is less than other traditional toilets. 

Unique Features of Vacuum Toilet

  • Vacuum flush toilet uses 50% less water than any traditional toilet.
  • It has a simple mechanism of action which doesn’t create clogging to the toilet. 
  • Vacuum flush toilets don’t require frequent repairs due to having a pulling waste mechanism.
Vacuum flush toilet is eco-friendly and uses only 1.2 liters of water where the gravity toilet uses twice more. Vacuum toilets are not suitable for the areas of low pressure otherwise flooding areas water can be mixed with the waste materials. 
vacuum flush toilet

13. Hydrodynamic Flush Toilet 

Hydrodynamic flush uses the water in a dynamic manner to clean the toilet bowl. When the flush is pulled down, the water is released from the flush valve. But the water is released through a nozzle, which creates a speedy outcome of water to form a vortex and clean the sticky dirt on the wall of the toilet bowl. 

Unique Features of Hydrodynamic Toilet

  • It is more efficient to clean the toilet bowl due to dynamic water release and the formation of a vortex.
  • Hydrodynamic toilets don’t require frequent flushing to clean the bowl and save water very efficiently. 
Hydrodynamic flush creates a vortex through using a nozzle which makes a quieter flush.Hydrodynamic flush has a sophisticated nozzle which if broken then it’s hard to repair. 
hydrodynamic flush toilet 

14. Portable Toilet

Portable toilets contain a holding tank for storing human waste for a certain period. The waste further needs to be removed from the container or can be composted. The portable toilets are lightweight so that they can be carried easily. It is made of plastic or fiberglass, which is not heavy. 

Unique Features of Portable Toilet

  • Some portable toilets contain bio-digesters, which use bacteria to break down the waste and produce methane gas. 
  • Also, you can add multiple features to it, such as a handwashing facility, lighting, or even ventilation. 
Portable toilets are good to carry and transport which is very helpful to the people who are handicapped. Portable toilets can have bad odors and the cleaning procedure requires manpower.  
portable toilet

15. Japanese Toilet

Japanese toilets use water and air to clean the toilet and the user. The user can control every feature of the toilet through a remote control where the toilet water temperature, air pressure, and spraying of the water can be regulated. Besides, there is a nozzle or sprayer located below the seat, which will appear after the user’s command. This nozzle will spray the bottom of the user to clean the surface area. Also, there is a vent located near the nozzle, which blows air to soak the water. 

Unique Features of Japanese Toilet

  • The Japanese toilets will combine the water and air, which is very hygienic and comfortable.
  • The water and air temperature can be controlled through the remote control. 
  • The seats are adjustable and also have an auto-flushing mechanism.
Japanese toilets have built-in deodorizer that reduces the bad odor and it doesn’t make any noise while flushing due to soundproofing. Japanese toilets with advanced features will cost higher than any traditional toilets and the price range varies between $500 to $1000.

You should choose a toilet based on your requirement and personal preference. But make sure the toilet you buy provides a watersense certification that will follow the EPA water conservation guideline. Also, it will save much water, energy and will become eco-friendly. 

japanese toilet
source: www.japan.travel

Common Styles of Toilet

According to the washroom design and personal preferences, some common styles of toilets look different with the same stable functionality. 

One Piece Toilet

A one-piece toilet is a compact solution where the tank and bowl are synced in a piece. The design brought an elegant look with a simple mechanism. When you flush the toilet, the water flows down in the bowl, creating a siphoning effect to flush the dung away. One-piece toilets mostly use two types of flushing mechanisms. One is gravity flush and pressure flush. Based on the manufacturing company, any flush can be installed. 

One piece toilets are easier to install and clean. These are water efficient due to having a smaller tank carrying 1.6 gallon water per flush.These toilets can’t be customized and are difficult to repair due to less access inside the toilet. 

Benefits of The Style!

  • One-piece toilets have a sleek and modern attire that suits the bathroom decor. 
  • A one-piece toilet is designed to prevent leakage because it has no joints exposed where the leak can initiate. 
  • These toilets are easier to clean due to the lack of nooks and corners. 

Two Piece Toilet

A two-piece toilet is the traditional toilet, which is most seen in households. It has two separate sections of tank and bowl connected through the pipeline. The mechanism of action for a two-piece toilet is a bit slower than a one-piece toilet because the tank and bowl have a distance to cross. Besides, two-piece toilets can have multiple flushing mechanisms based on the manufacturers, such as gravity flush or a pressure-assisted flush.

These toilets are more durable  because two piece toilets are made separately and bolted together where the potential weak points are very minimum.These toilets can’t be customized and are difficult to repair due to less access inside the toilet. 

Benefits of The Style!

  • Two-piece toilets have separate sections, which allow them to be repaired according to the requirement of the tank or bowl.
  • Also, you can customize the two-piece toilet, which is not possible in the case of one-piece toilets. 

High-Level Toilet

The high-level toilet has a water tank high above the toilet bowl, which is connected to a long pipeline to supply the water from the flush valve. The flushing effect is the same as the gravity flush, which works with the siphoning effect, and the bowl starts cleaning. High-level toilets use a chain to pull to perform the flushing action as the tank is located high.  

High level toilets are a good choice for the large families as it carries 1.6 to 3.5 gallons of water at a time. Difficult to repair the tank as it is located at a great height. Also it doesn’t look very aesthetic due to its long pipe located behind the toilet bowl.

Benefits of The Style!

  • High level toilets have a protected cistern which is safe as it is located far from human touch. 
  • These toilets are durable as the possibility of malfunctioning is fewer due to the location of the tank being out of reach. 

Low-Level Toilet

Low-level toilets have a smaller water tank than most traditional toilet tanks. Also, the tank is located below the bowl. These toilets flush using the gravity water flush mechanism as well. However, other flushing mechanisms can be installed depending on the manufacturer, such as pressure-assisted or up-flush. 

These toilets can be installed in smaller washrooms where low level toilets will adjust easily. The height can’t be adjusted in the low level toilets because the tank is located below the bowl.

Benefits of The Style!

  • Low-level toilets use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush, which is very water-efficient. 
  • These toilets are easier to install because the tank and bowl come in a compact way where the bowl sits above the tank.  

Back To Wall Toilets

Back-to-wall toilets are only exposed with the toilet bowl, and the toilet tank is sealed behind the wall. Here, the flushing action is based on a motion sensor, or a push-button needs to be pressed. The sensors carry the signal to the flush valve and release the water to pour into the toilet bowl. Back-to-wall toilets come with a variety of options when it comes to flushing mechanisms. You can choose gravity flush, pressure-assisted flush, or even a dual-flush system.

The tank isn’t visible, that’s why the toilet takes little space to be arranged. The position of the toilet is fixed and the tank is sealed behind the wall. That’s why repairing is very challenging. 

Benefits of The Style!

  • Back to the wall is a modern way of making the washroom attire classic, which is favorable to most users.
  • Except for the looks, it offers multiple options for adding features that other toilets won’t allow. 

Wall Hung Toilet

Wall-hung toilets are not positioned on the floor; rather, it is hung on the wall. In this type of toilet, the toilet tank, trapway, and sewer line are stationed behind the wall. Here, the flushing mechanism isn’t contained in a tank; rather, it flows behind the wall.

Wall hung toilets don’t take much space with an elegant and minimalist look. As most of the portion hides behind the wall, it requires enough space to contain the components of the tank. 

Benefits of The Style!

  • As only the bowl is exposed, it takes very little space to contain and is very easy to clean.
  • Also, this toilet’s sleek and modern design will shine with the bathroom decor. 

Close Coupled Toilet

Close coupled toilets have adjusted the toilet pan with the cistern or tank at a minimal distance. It can appear like a one-piece toilet, but the difference is the attire’s appearance. The first and foremost difference is a close-coupled toilet has separate and visible joints on the cistern and bowl. But the one-piece toilet contains a single unit with no visible joint. Moreover, the other mechanisms are the same, including the flushing mechanism, which follows the gravity flush. 

The price range of close coupled toilets is more affordable in terms of elegant toilets, where the price range varies between $100 to $1000.As the visible joints appear on close-coupled toilets, there’s a risk of leakage.

Benefits of The Style!

  • These toilets are easier to install as they have fewer parts to connect.
  • Easy to repair due to the separate portion in the bowl and cistern.  

Corner Toilet

Corner toilets are designed to fit in the corner of the washroom. It is suitable for a public washroom or anywhere with a small space and requires a toilet. These toilets are easy to adjust due to having a triangular shape to fit in the corner. Corner toilet manufacturers give the facility to adjust the tank shape based on the washroom size. Corner toilets use the dual flush mechanism to release the water based on the requirement. 

Corner toilets are one of the best space-saving toilets to purchase, with a small price range of $200 to $1000. As the tank is positioned in the corner, it is not easily accessible if needed.  

Benefits of The Style!

  • Besides giving the space-saving facility, it is customizable as well. 
  • Corner toilets are available in a variety of styles. Also, these toilets are water-efficient because they use a dual flush mechanism. 

Choosing the right toilet style is essential to make the bathroom experience more comfortable. . 

Different Toilet Design Options

According to the craftsman, the toilet designs have multiple options. These options start with engineering the dimensions, bowl shape, and color and end with even possible changes in flush handles. 

Toilet Dimensions

Toilet dimensions carry three parameters, including height, width, and depth. A standard toilet height measures from the floor to the top of the toilet seat where the width means measuring the left of the toilet bowl to the right side. Lastly, the depth of the toilet carries the distance from the back to the front of the toilet bowl. A standard toilet dimension varies between this below range.

Height68.5-81 cm
Width51 cm
Depth69-76 cm

Table 1: Toilet dimension measurement

The dimensions have variations based on the producers, brands, and preferences. Also, many companies allow consumers to select and customize the dimensions according to their needs. 

Toilet Bowl Shape

Toilet bowl shapes are variable as well because the shape modifies the functionality. For example, elongated toilets are more suitable for people who are handicapped. Most of the toilets have two main types of shapes. 

  • Round toilet bowls: These toilets have a circular shape in the bowl, which is space-saving and fits any washroom design.
  • Elongated toilet bowls: An elongated bowl is considered more comfortable to sit on because of the long-axis shape and well-adjusted while a person sits on it. 

Aside from these two types of toilets, some are square or rectangular-shaped toilets. These toilets are becoming famous due to their adjusting nature and modern look. 


The color of the toilet depends on the design mindset of the owner, who wants to match the toilet color with the washroom appearance. Toilet-producing companies mostly make white and yellow colored toilets that are suitable for nearly all designs of the washroom. But other colors are available, including gray, black, biscuit, and cream.  

Also, you can order the manufacturing companies in any color that you prefer, including blue and green. 

Toilet Seats

There are seats in keeping with requirements and age. Some seats are suitable for elders, and some are for children. 

  • Standard Toilet Seats: These are the common type of seats available in the market, made of plastic. 
  • Soft Close Toilet Seats: These seats don’t make a loud noise while closing or slamming. It uses a damper or hydraulic cylinder to absorb the force and prevent loud noise.
  • Bidet Toilet Seat: These automated featured seats can be controlled with the remote. It has an attached wand that can spray the water to clean the bottom of the surface.
  • Child Toilet Seats: These seats are smaller and designed for the children to sit comfortably.
  • Elderly Toilet Seats: These seats have handles beside the seats so that they can help the older man to sit and get off. 


The trapway connects the toilet bowl to the sewer line through the toilet flange. There are mostly four types of tramways. 

  • Exposed Trapway: In an exposed trapway, you can see the trapway from the outside of the toilet, which is visible behind the toilet bowl. And this trapway is the most common. 
  • Concealed Trapway: These trapways are not visible, which gives the toilet an elegant look. But also, it is difficult to repair if any hardship occurs.
  • Skirted Trapway: These trapways are enclosed in a skirt that hangs and hides the toilet bowl. These trap ways are difficult to install. 
  • Dual Flush Trapway: This type of trapway has two openings for each flush the user chooses. 

Flush Handle

To ease users, the flush handle has some variations as well. These variations depend on the type and design of the toilet and its flushing system. 

  • Side-mounted Flush Handle: These handles are located on the side of the cistern, and you must push down to make the command for flush.
  • Top-mounted Flush Handle: These handles are located on the top of the tank, and you must push the handle down to release the flush valve. 
  • Touchless Flush Handle: These handles activate based on the motion sensor, so you don’t need to touch the handle. 
  • Dual Flush Handle: It has two options with variable switches that control the different commands while the smaller switch releases the small amount of water and the bigger switch does the rest. 

These are the variations that can make the toilet experience far better. 

Types of Flushing Mechanisms Used on Toilet

To make the toilet experience more comfortable, multiple flushing mechanisms also exist. 

  • Gravity Flush System: It is one of the most common flushing systems where the water is released by the one flush key to pour into the toilet bowl.
  • Dual Flush System: Here, it has two keys or buttons to command whether a small flush of water or a larger flush based on the requirement after using the toilet.
  • Siphon Flush Valve System: After activating the flush valve, the drain will pull the waste into the drain through a tube or pipe.
  • Ballcock Flush System: In case of ballcock flush, it uses a float valve to control the water level in the tank to release into the toilet bowl.
  • Double-cyclone System: The double cyclone system activates through the two nozzles, creating a swirling effect into the toilet bowl to flush the waste away. 
  • Tornado Flush System: It is almost like the double cyclone system, but a tornado flush only has one nozzle to form the tornado effect inside the toilet bowl while flushing. 

Thus, these flushing mechanisms come with different types of toilet.

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