When shopping for a new toilet, you’ll likely come across the terms “chair height” and “comfort height.” Although they sound similar, there are some notable differences between toilets with chair height bowls versus comfort height bowls.
Understanding the distinctions can help you choose the most comfortable and convenient chair height vs comfort height toilet option for your bathroom.
What is a Chair Height Toilet?
A chair height toilet has a bowl height of approximately 17 inches from the floor to the rim of the bowl. The bowl height is designed to be similar to the height of a standard chair seat, which makes sitting down and standing up easier for most adults.
Chair height toilets first became popular in the 1980s as a more comfortable alternative to the standard 15-inch toilet bowl height. The slightly taller bowl means there is less bending and stooping required when using the chair height vs comfort height toilet.
Key features of chair height toilets include:
- Bowl height around 17 inches
- ADA compliant for accessibility
- Requires less bending than a standard height toilet
- Usually coupled with an elongated bowl shape
- Available in both two-piece and one-piece configurations
Chair height toilets are a good choice for anyone looking for a toilet that is easy to sit down on and stand up from. The height makes them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements as well.
What is a Comfort Height Toilet?
A comfort height toilet has a bowl height of 15 to 19 inches from the floor. The most common comfort height is around 18 inches. This is slightly taller than a chair height toilet.
The reason they are called “comfort height” is because the bowl height mimics the height of a standard chair, similar to chair height toilets. However, the extra inch or two makes them even easier and more comfortable to use.
Key features of comfort height toilets include:
- Bowl height of 15 to 19 inches, typically around 18 inches
- Exceeds ADA height requirements
- Requires minimal bending to sit down or stand
- Elongated bowl shape for added room and comfort
- Available in two-piece and one-piece toilets
- Provides chair-like seating position
Comfort height toilets are ideal for anyone who wants a toilet that feels more like sitting in a chair. The higher bowl reduces straining and makes sitting and standing easier when comparing the chair height vs comfort height toilet options.
Main Differences Between Chair and Comfort Height Toilets
Now that you understand the definitions of chair height and comfort height toilets, what are the main differences between the two?
Here are some key ways that chair height and comfort height toilets differ:
- Bowl height: Comfort height bowls are usually 1-2 inches taller than chair height bowls. Chair height is around 17 inches, while comfort height ranges from 15-19 inches but is typically 18 inches.
- ADA compliance: Chair height bowls meet ADA accessibility guidelines for toilet height. Comfort height exceeds ADA requirements.
- Ease of use: The extra 1-2 inches of comfort height makes sitting down and standing up slightly easier than chair height.
- Seating position: Comfort height provides more of a chair-like seating position and may be more comfortable for some users.
- Availability: Chair height is easier to find across more toilet models and brands. Comfort height may be limited with some manufacturers.
- Cost: Comfort height toilets usually come at a small premium over comparable chair height models.
While the differences are relatively minor, carefully considering your needs and bathroom space can help you decide between the two chair height vs comfort height toilet heights.
Do You Need a Comfort Height or Chair Height Toilet?
When choosing a new toilet, how do you know if you should opt for a comfort height or stick with a chair height bowl?
Here are some factors to consider:
- User height and ability: Taller users or those with mobility issues may benefit more from a comfort height. Shorter users are often fine with a chair height.
- Existing toilet height: If replacing a toilet, match the bowl height to your old one for the most comfortable transition.
- ADA compliance: For commercial bathrooms, chair height meets accessibility requirements.
- Ease of use: If ease of sitting/standing is a priority, comfort height makes toilet use more comfortable.
- Bathroom space: Comfort height bowls take up slightly more space. Make sure you have enough room.
- Budget: Comfort height comes at a small price premium over standard chair height toilets.
Knowing these key differences and factors will help guide you to selecting either a chair toilet or comfort toilet that is best suited for your space and needs when comparing chair height vs comfort height toilets.
Pros and Cons of Chair Height Toilets
Chair height toilets offer both advantages and disadvantages compared to other toilet heights:
- ADA compliant for accessibility
- Standard 17-inch height is widely available
- Affordable, with models at various price points
- Compact size works in small bathrooms
- Easy to sit down on and stand up from
- Shorter than comfort height options
- May not be ideal for very tall users
- Some users may need to stoop or bend slightly
- Limited style and design options compared to comfort height
Pros and Cons of Comfort Height Toilets
Comfort height toilets also come with their own set of pros and cons:
- Chair-like seating position is very comfortable
- Tall bowl makes sitting down and standing easy
- Good for users with mobility issues
- Exceeds ADA accessibility standards
- Available in many styles and designs
- Usually costs more than chair height toilets
- Tall bowl takes up more bathroom space
- Fewer options compared to standard chair heights
- Not required to meet ADA standards
Factors to Consider When Choosing Toilet Height
Choosing between a comfort height or chair height toilet ultimately comes down to your own needs and preferences. But there are a few important factors to keep in mind as you compare the chair height vs comfort height toilet options:
- User height and mobility: Consider the heights of primary users and if any have mobility limitations. Taller users tend to prefer comfort height.
- Toilet location: Measure the space to make sure the toilet and bowl height you choose can fit well.
- Existing plumbing: The rough-in measurement must work with the new toilet’s dimensions.
- Price: Comfort height costs more than chair height. Make sure it fits your budget.
- Toilet style: You may have more style and design options with a chair height bowl.
- Ease of use: Comfort height makes sitting, standing and cleaning easier.
Signs You Need a Comfort Height Toilet
If you’re still unsure between chair and comfort height, here are a few signs that a comfort height toilet may be the best choice for you:
- You are tall, elderly, disabled, pregnant, or have mobility issues that make sitting down and standing up from a toilet difficult.
- Your existing toilet feels too low and you need to stoop, bend or struggle to use it.
- You want a toilet with a seat height and comfort level similar to a chair.
- You don’t mind paying a bit extra for the most comfortable, easy to use chair height vs comfort height toilet option.
- You have ample space in your bathroom for a large, comfort height toilet and bowl.
- You prioritize comfort and ease of use over other factors like price or design.
- You want a toilet that exceeds ADA height standards for accessibility.
Tips for Choosing the Best Toilet Height
Follow these tips to help choose the most comfortable toilet height for your needs:
- Measure the users: Know the heights of who will use the toilet most. Taller users will benefit from comfort height.
- Check rough-in size: Make sure the toilet bowl height works with your bathroom rough-in plumbing.
- Sit on display models: Try sitting on chair height and comfort height toilet displays at stores.
- Consider bowl shape: An elongated bowl offers more room and comfort.
- Check doorways: Measure bathroom doors to ensure the toilet will fit through during delivery and installation.
- Consider versatility: Chair height fits more spaces and budgets. Comfort height is ideal for comfort.
- Read reviews and feedback: Customer reviews can provide insight on comfort, quality, and ease of installation for the chair height vs comfort height toilet options.
The Bottom Line
Chair height and comfort height toilets both offer increased height and comfort compared to standard toilets. Comfort height is slightly taller, but chair height is often more readily available and affordable.
Consider your own height, mobility, bathroom space and budget to decide which is best for you. Try sitting on toilet displays and measuring your space to ensure you get the right fit.
Either option will be an improvement over older, lower toilets when comparing the chair height vs comfort height toilets.
With this guide’s help comparing chair height vs comfort height toilets, you can now confidently choose the best toilet height for comfort, convenience, and your specific needs.
Frequently asked questions about chair height vs comfort height toilets:
Q1: What is the main difference between a chair height and a comfort height toilet?
A1: The main difference is the bowl height. A chair height toilet has a bowl height around 17 inches, while a comfort height toilet bowl is typically 18-19 inches high. The extra 1-2 inches on a comfort height toilet makes it easier to sit down and stand up.
Q2: Is a comfort height toilet required by ADA regulations?
A2: No, only chair height toilets meet the ADA minimum height requirements. Comfort height exceeds ADA standards, but is not mandatory.
Q3: Who might benefit more from a comfort height toilet?
A3: Tall people, the elderly, those with mobility issues, and anyone who values a more comfortable seated position may prefer a comfort height toilet over chair height.
Q4: Will a comfort height toilet fit in my small bathroom?
A4: It depends on the space and layout. Comfort height bowls are slightly larger, so you need to carefully measure to ensure it will fit. A chair height may be a better option for very tight bathroom spaces.
Q5: Is a comfort height toilet more expensive than a standard chair height toilet?
A5: Yes, generally expect to pay $50-$100+ more for a comfort height toilet compared to a similar chair height model. The added height comes at a small premium.
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