The best toilets are effective, efficient, and subtly stylish. They’ll help you deal with your bodily duties quickly and easily, without headaches or calls to the plumber. You deserve something that flushes powerful and cleanly, something that works so effortlessly you almost forget it’s there.
With all of these factors in mind, we’ve looked at many of the best-selling and critically acclaimed models on the market today, weighing the pros against the cons, and comparing both features and specs to determine which options are truly the best available today.
Keep reading to find out our top rankings!
What makes a great toilet?
Every household is unique, and so is everybody in a household. So, the best toilet for you won’t necessarily be the best one for someone else. Having said that, there are a few basic factors that make any toilet purchase a great long-term investment, or help flush your money away.
Of course, price is the most important factor for most shoppers. Unlike a lot of other products in the plumbing world, the amount you pay only dictates the quality you get to a certain point.
The good news for homeowners on a budget is that a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean a better toilet. Most of our favorite models linger around the mid-price range, and all of them perform better than those sold for twice the price! So, a great toilet costs much less than it looks or feels like it should.
Now, what feels good about a quality throne? Performance is the key. You’ll want one that flushes cleanly, fills up quietly, and doesn’t have you calling your local plumber twice a month. Remember, the best fixtures are the ones you notice least! The ideal toilet operates quietly and cleanly, so you can get on with your life.
Appearance is also important to think about, especially for if you’re a on a remodeling kick and are looking for a piece to complement your new bathroom design. You’ll want to think about what kind of a piece will match your other bathroom fixtures, as well as your overall aesthetic.
A great throne blends seamlessly into the bathroom without drawing too much attention. At the same time, it’s styled enough to set itself above the utilitarian fixtures you see in a gas station. Aim for something clean, smart, and unobtrusive.
Finally, the best toilets use water efficiently and effectively. That’s why the amount of water per flush is an important factor to consider before you buy. On average, toilets account for about 30% of household water usage.
Whether you’re looking to cut back on your eco-footprint or save money on your water bill (or both), a good model should be able to reduce your water usage without compromising flushing power.
So, now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s see which models fit the bill!
Best Toilet Reviews for 2018
- Toto Drake
- American Standard H2Option
- Toto Ultramax II
Top Pick/Best Value: Toto Drake 2-Piece
We’re not alone when we say the Toto Drake line features the best toilets available right now. On nearly every online “Best Toilet” list, at least one member of the Drake family occupies a spot somewhere in the Top 5.
It seems the Toto Drake hits all the right notes for consumers and critics alike. Quite frankly, this simple two-piece model is our favorite thing on the market right now. Though it lacks any special features, it dominates its price range in terms of performance.
We think it demonstrates some of the best flushing power on the market today, without using the excessive water volume of older models. The SanaGloss coating also makes life noticeably easier.
The Drake will definitely be an asset to any homeowner. It’s our top pick for the unbeatable value, great performance, and solid design.
The seat stands at a height of roughly 16 inches, which is on the lower side of ADA-compliant height.
The design is modern and sleek without being too flashy. We think it works with a wide range of decor styles and aesthetics!
Part of that sleek appearance is due to the Drake’s SanaGloss finish—a non-barrier glaze that helps it stay sparkling clean. You won’t see it when the seat’s down, but it’ll mean you aren’t so horrified to have guests see inside the bowl!
The flushing performance of the Toto Drake is the main draw, if you ask us. With the 1.6 gallons used in every flush, the Toto consistently outperforms models that use a much higher volume of water. This is partly due to Toto’s effective G-Max flushing system and partly due to the wide, glazed trapway that resists clogging.
Furthermore, the Drake boasts a one-touch flush, sparing its users the perpetual inconvenience of holding down the handle to empty the entire bowl. As mentioned above, the major draw of the Toto Drake line is consistent high performance for a reasonable price. The roaring pressure-assisted flush, according to reviewers, does an excellent job of clearing the bowl every time. They were very impressed with the level of power in this one, and intended to replace their other toilets with Drake’s when it came time to get new units.
The wide, glazed trapway (the hole in the center of the toilet bowl) also plays a crucial role in keeping it from clogging. Several users noted that they had thrown their plunger away after months and months of clog-free use. The cyclone of water that tears through the trapway keeps the drains as well as the bowl clear of any cloggable debris or residue. One other nice benefit is that the force of the flush does a great job washing out the bowl after each use. That meant most users didn’t have to clean their bowls as regularly as they had with older models.
User reports regarding the SanaGloss finish varied somewhat. While some users claimed the finish didn’t work (i.e. failed to keep it any cleaner than average), a majority of homeowners reported that the SanaGloss did in fact help keep the Toto Drake cleaner than other ones they owned. That low-maintenance factor made them eager to replace their other bathroom units with Drake’s.
Owners of the Drake who purchased it online also noted that installation is a breeze. That’s important, because the cost of hiring a plumber could quickly negate any savings on price. It also saves a lot of headache and hassle for homeowners who plan to install it themselves.
Pressure-assisted toilets (like this one) tend to be noisier when they flush. So if your bathroom is located next to a bedroom, or you are particularly sensitive to loud noises, this may not be the right one for you. It’s certainly louder than our middle recommendation below.
Looking at reviews from previous buyers, there were varying reports on the efficacy of the SanaGloss coating. Some users said that the coating wore off or failed to prevent the bowl from becoming dirty after use.
There could be a number of culprits behind these conflicting reports. As with many other glazing products, the coating is fairly sensitive to harsh chemicals and hard water. Over time, these factors can cause the coating to wear off. It’s important to avoid any abrasive brushes or harsh chemical cleaners if you buy something with SanaGloss or other coated glazing.
The downside is that folks with hard water won’t have much fun regardless of whether they follow the instructions to take care of their bowl. Luckily, Toto does offer a version of the Drake without the SanaGloss coating. If you live in an area with hard water, it may be in your best interest to purchase this model instead.
Second Pick/ Dual Flush: American Standard H2Option (updated model!)
The American Standard H2Option should not be overlooked because of its second place status in our rankings! For many homeowners, this one will actually be the better option.
The previous version of this American Standard H2Option was the all-time best selling toilet on Amazon, and the update is even better! It’s currently our favorite dual-flush model. That means it has two different flush functions, one for solids and one for liquids.
The larger volume flush is 1.6 gallons, while the liquid flush dispenses 1 gallon. This option can help you cut down on water, without eliminating the benefits of more water volume for “bigger jobs.”
This one comes in either an elongated or rounded bowl design. The flushing mechanism is controlled via two chrome buttons on the top of the tank.
The H2Option is also regarded as a powerhouse flusher among residential toilets. To demonstrate its strong flush, American standard produced this impressive video. The H2Option easily flushes all sorts of normally un-flushable objects (including 20 golf balls). A clog-free toilet is a particularly attractive option for households full of children. Many parents said the clog-free design meant far fewer headaches for them to deal with.
In addition to the flushing power, the dual flush feature does allow many homeowners to reduce both their water bill and their household’s environmental impact significantly. The larger volume flush is 1.6 gallons, while the liquid flush dispenses 1 gallon. This option can help you cut down on water, without eliminating the benefits of more water volume for “bigger jobs.”
At roughly the same price as the Toto Drake, the H2Option could pay for itself after a couple years of use.
Users also report that the H2Option has a quieter flush and a quicker fill time, which could make the H2Option a better pick for bathrooms within earshot of bedrooms. They said that between the low water usage (which lessens the water moving through walls) and the quick speed of the flush, this one was one of the quietest they had used.
The H2Option, like the Toto Drake, features a special gloss in order to keep it cleaner. American Standard calls their protective glaze EverClean.
According to buyers, the EverClean surface is very effective at keeping the interior of it clean. In addition, its rim is pressurized, which even distributes water all around the bowl during every flush. While other models have strong flushes which do a good job of cleaning the bowl as they go, this is one of the only models that’s actually designed to be self-cleaning.
American Standard also offers the longest warranty of any product on this list. Their limited warranty extends for ten years, which certainly inspires confidence in the reliability of their product.
There were few complaints on Amazon about the toilet itself. However, there were an unusually high number of complaints about missing or broken parts after the product was shipped. Some folks also received only the tank portion of the toilet.
It’s difficult to say whether this is a quality control issue for American Standard, or whether it is one particular shipping company that is responsible for the high number of complaints. The majority of users had nothing negative to say about the H2Option, So we’ll assume it’s a reseller problem. Still, this small minority is worth noting.
Make sure you’re buying an option that’s “shipped by and sold from Amazon” or American Standard. If you’re buying from another reseller or fulfillment company on Amazon, you should check that they’re an authorized merchant, and that they have a solid record of positive sales feedback from buyers! Use our links to be sure.
The H2Option is our top dual-flush recommendation, and it offers the attractive possibility of saving water without sacrificing any convenience. With a powerful flush, great design and a sleek glaze to make your housekeeping just a little easier, the H2Option is one of the best toilets available on the market today. We think it’s a good choice for folks who want to save water without going completely low-flow.
Third Pick Water Saver: Toto Ultramax II
Another Toto model frequently appears in the top spot on recent “Best Toilet” lists—the Ultramax II.
What sets this model apart? The Ultramax II uses the least amount of water of any toilet on this list. With many states imposing water restrictions on households (like California and Texas) and offering rebates for purchases of water-saving toilets, the Ultramax II is both a money saver and a environmentally-friendly pick. Unlike the American Standard above, it saves water every single flush!
You’ll save a lot of water, too. Toto’s Ultramax II uses just 1.28 gallons per flush. There are significant savings to be had even compared with other current models. But if you’re coming from an older toilet, you’ll see a massive reduction in your water usage!
Unlike low-flow toilets of the past, this one works phenomenally well. That water volume is used to move waste more efficiently with Toto’s Double Cyclone flush technology. Essentially, two powerful nozzles spin the water around the bowl for cleaner and more effective use of water than traditional toilets.
The futuristic look of the Ultramax II also distinguishes it from the competition. The one-piece design is both attractive and functional, as one-piece toilets are easier to clean than their two piece counterparts. Like the Toto Drake, the Ultramax II comes with a SanaGloss glaze.
This unit comes with a “soft close” seat, which is designed to prevent the toilet seat from slamming noisily. With the seat down, the seat height comes to roughly 17” inches. This is an ADA-compliant height—-meaning it’s approved for people with joint issues who may have trouble with lower toilets.
The best upside of the Ultramax II is the powerful flush that uses less water than the other two toilets on this list.
According to Amazon reviewers, the “Double Cyclone” flush really does seem to do a better job of flushing with less water. The Ultramax reportedly also has a fairly quiet flush, which gives it some edge over the Toto Drake in the noise department.
Most reviewers stated that they rarely had to flush their toilet more than once to empty the bowl. Despite the lower water use, most also asserted that they no longer had any problems with toilet clogs.
As with the Toto Drake, the majority of users appreciated the SanaGloss coating, claiming it was effective in keeping the toilet cleaner for longer periods of time. They said that cleaning was now both less frequent and less intensive.
The Ultramax II comes with a higher price tag than any other toilet on this list, which is arguably the largest downside.
This price difference may be offset by water rebates from your municipality, so it’s important to check if your local government offers this service. Additionally, if you’re replacing an old water-hogging toilet, it might be worthwhile to calculate how much you will save on your water bill over time.
Another potential issue is that the Ultramax may be uncomfortable for shorter users. Though many people, particularly older adults, will find the height more comfortable, a few reviewers who were on the shorter side complained that the toilet was too tall for their liking.
The Ultramax II from Toto is one of the most highly regarded low-flow toilets on Amazon. The combination of its low water use and high-powered flush makes this toilet worth it’s mid-high range price point—particularly when factoring in the money shaved off your water bill.
Which toilet should you buy?
We believe any of these models will make a great addition to your home, and leave you surprisingly excited about your new toilet.
If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable model that’s renowned for its functionality and design, consider the Toto Drake. The popularity of this model speaks for itself, and you can join the hundreds of satisfied owners who have recently purchased this toilet. It’s our top choice for the average homeowner.
Dual flush toilets are also gaining popularity, however, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better regarded model than the American Standard H2Option. If you’re searching for that sweet spot between conservation and convenience, this might be the perfect model for you.
The Toto Ultramax II should not be overlooked, either. We suggest it to anyone who wants a low-flow model. This high-powered low-flow toilet handily outperforms many older models that use twice or three times as much water. If you’re looking to reduce your water bill and your impact on the environment, this is another model definitely worth checking out.
Here are a few things you should consider whenever you shop for a new throne:
- flushing power: you want to make sure you won’t have to flush twice with your new fixture! So, look for large trapways and valves, as well as high specs for flushing power. Pressure and gravity assists are also excellent features.
- looks: make sure your purchase is going to fit in with the rest of your decor in the bathroom. Do you want something streamlined and modern, or something more ornate and traditional? We’ve included a range of options in our guides. You’ll also find that the majority of our recommendations come in both round and elongated bowl shapes.
- height: do you like higher than average seats, or maybe something lower? The best height for your seat is dependent on your own height–especially the length of your legs. Get out a measuring tape and figure out what’s most comfortable for you. Users who are particularly tall often find that it’s easiest to mount their throne on a slight pedestal.
- accessibility needs: accessibility tends to go hand in hand with height. If you have any kind of accessibility issues to worry about, be sure to choose an ADA-compliant model!
- water usage: these days, it’s more important than ever to be conscious of your water usage. New fixtures are mandated to use 1.6 GPM or less per flush. However, many more conservative options are available! If you live in an area with tighter restrictions or are simply looking to cut your water usage as much as possible, choose a low-flow model. Dual-flush options are also increasingly good. They’ll typically use 1.6 GPM for #2’s, and less for #1’s.
- ease of installation: first off, figure out whether you’ll be doing installation yourself, or hiring a plumber. If you’re calling in a pro, you don’t need to worry about this too much. On the other hand, toilets are super easy for most of us to install at home, so we suggest giving it a try if you’re adept at simple home plumbing. If you’re going to try and get the job done yourself, make sure you get something with thorough documentation!
- warranty coverage
- glazing and finishes: in addition to deciding the color and look of your throne, finishes and glazing materials also determine how easy yours will be to clean! Look for special coatings inside the bowl to resist buildup and staining.
The models we’ve featured here on our homepage are our favorite toilets overall, considering the market as a whole. We’ve selected them to suit the average buyer and average homeowner. If you aren’t feeling totally sure about whether there’s an option here for you, don’t worry! These aren’t the only models worth considering. Depending on the particular type of toilet you’re looking for, the best model for you might be hiding in one of our other, in-depth guides!
Looking for more high-powered flushing toilets? Our Best Flushing Toilet reviews look at some of the more powerful toilets that have a reputation for never clogging. We’ll show you what makes a toilet impervious to clog, and show you a few that can even flush tennis balls!
Want more dual flush toilets like the H2Option? We compared some of the best dual flush toilets available today in our Best Dual Flush Toilets article. These are one of the most popular new plumbing categories, because you can choose the amount of water that you need for each bathroom trip!
The Ultramax II that we’ve recommended here is a great choice for eco-conscious folks. Having said that, it’s far from the only low-flow toilet that can get the job done while saving water. Check out more of our favorites at our Best Low Flow Toilets.
If you love the outdoors, our Best Portable and Camping Toilet Reviews could give you the best options. If you’re looking for green solutions, the Best Composting Toilets could be an option and finally, you can always check out our One Piece toilets as well.