24+ Different Types Of Toilets, Styles, Flush Systems (Buying Guide)

Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

We all dig a well-arranged comfort room because it is a place of release, literally and figuratively. One of the indicators of a comfortable comfort room would be a good choice of the toilet.

With all the toilet choices and toilet innovations out there, it might be hard to choose the best fit for your comfort room. 

In this post, we look at the types of toilets for you to have a heads-up of the available options out there for you. If you are looking for a toilet choice to spruce up your comfort room, read on. 

different types of toilets materials styles

History of toilet

The history of the toilet and the throne room in general is perhaps, one of the most colorful to say the least.

It is said to have existed during the Neolithic period but in the form of panned drainage systems. But the recognized genesis of toilets is attributed to the Scots and the Greeks when large, connected, earthen pans with drainage were excavated at the same time. 

Toilets became a societal fixture during the Roman Empire as they were already seen more publicly. Cleaning oneself involved a tiny sponge attached to a wooden stick.

The term potty emerged during the Medieval period among the lower class and garderobes were the toilets of the nobility. It was then replaced by the commode or the boxed toilet with seat and lid cover. 

300 years after the Medieval period (16th century), the discovery of the first flush toilet was credited to Sir John Harrington. This was innovated by Alexander Cummings in 1775 and brought to the world the first sight of the S-shaped flush toilet. 

In 1861, as a response to the unsanitary disposal of wastes from flush toilets, Thomas Crapper, George Jennings, Edward Johns, Henry Doulton, and Thomas Twyford, patented the modern flush toilets. These were the prototypes of the toilets that we know of today. 

Types of toilets

Your choice of toilet depends not only on your preference but also your household size. As such, here are the types of toilets that you should know of especially if you are in the middle of remodeling your comfort rooms. 

1. Gravity-feed toilet

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This is the most common residential toilet used across the globe. We have seen this a lot in our childhood, featuring a toilet tank which drops down whenever the flush is pressed.

They are simply structured, silent when flushed, and are low-maintenance. They are also more clog-resistant compared to other toilet types. 

Related: Is a Tankless Toilet Right for your Home? – Price, Pros and Cons, Problems, Installation

2. Pressure-assisted toilet

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If you are looking for a dependable toilet with a powerful flush, this one is the type for you. Basically, it works by activating highly pressurized air.

The force of the air then pushes the water into the toilet’s water tank. This is the toilet type to choose for larger household sizes and/or frequent using. The only downside to this is it is noisy when flushed. 

3. Dual-flush toilet

As the term implies, this type of toilet features two flush options: one for half flush (for liquid waste) and the other for full flush (for solid waste). This is the most common type of toilet for commercial and residential comfort rooms.

The advantage of this type of toilet is it has the highest water efficiency. Although quite pricey, they are environmentally friendly. 

4. Double-cyclone toilet

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Another water-saving toilet would be the double-cyclone type. It is considered as the latest toilet type in the market, specifically designed to use less water on powerful flushes (comparable to two full flushes).

While it is not as water-saving as the dual-flush, it is still considered an eco-friendly option. 

5. Waterless toilet

waterless toilet
Source: Home Depot

This one is also called the dry sanitation toilet and as the name suggests, it does not depend on water tanks for the waste to be flushed. It is just an open hole and the waste goes directly to compost.

It is not for residential and commercial settings and are mostly found in contexts where water availability is a problem and in less developed areas where infrastructural standard is not a priority. 

6. Upflush toilet

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This one does not require plumbing and hole drilling for it to be installed. They are the mobile types of toilets which fit in any corner and space in your property.

This one features a built-in macerator and a small pipe where everything goes. The macerated wastes are then pushed up to the sewage using a small amount of water.

Types of toilet flushing systems

This one is an important consideration because this defines how much dent your toilet flush would make on your water bill. Hence, these are the most common types of toilet flushing systems around the world that you should know of. 

1. Single-flush toilets

This is the traditional toilet flushing system and as the name implies, it only has one button for flushing both liquid and solid waste. However, their popularity has waned through the years because they are not water-efficient and the single button flush has a tendency to break easily. 

2. Double-flush toilets

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We have mentioned this in the toilet types. And just to reiterate, this one features two flush buttons. The upper flush is for half flushes while the lower flush is for more powerful, full flushes.

3. Touchless flush toilet

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Source: Amazon

This is a more technologically mediated flush toilet. You no longer need flush buttons, levers, and pull chains.

Flushing is motion censored making it a more modern, cleaner, and convenient alternative to traditional toilet flushing systems. This flushing system is then more typically seen in commercial settings.  

4. Flushometer

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Source: Amazon

This one works on a flushometer valve. This one is the complement to tankless toilets. It operates on two flushing systems.

One is a flush system directly installed on the toilet bowl and the other one works through the flushometer valve. They are commonly seen in industrial and commercial settings. 

Toilet styles

If you are already settled with the type of toilet and in your preference of flushing system, the next thing to consider would be the toilet style. Here are some of the most common toilet styles in the market for you to choose from. 

1. One-piece toilet

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The best thing about one-piece toilets is that they can be installed DIY. They do have hard to reach areas so they are low-maintenance and easy to clean. They are usually smaller than the other toilet styles.

As such, if you have a compact space, this is the toilet style to choose. However, because of its ergonomic structure, it is more expensive than two-piece toilets. 

2. Two-piece toilet

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This one is considered as the most common toilet style for both commercial and residential settings. As the term suggests, this one features a separate bowl and water tank.

Aside from the convenient structure, it also comes in handy upsides: it is affordable and durable. On the downside, it is challenging to clean and maintain. 

3. Wall-mounted toilet

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This one is also called the wall-hung toilet. They are modern and minimalist looking like the back to wall toilet style. The water tank of this toilet is built-in on the wall.

Overall, it is a space-saving toilet solution but it is more challenging to install. It requires professional installation and plumbing and this adds to the cost of wall-mounted toilets. 

4. Back to wall

back to wall toilet

For a more contemporary toilet style, this is the choice that you should consider. They are minimalist to look at, space-saving, and are virtually easy to clean and maintain. As the name suggests, the toilet bowl is mounted directly on the wall.

The cistern is then hidden behind a piece of furniture or through a customized enclosure. Compared to wall-mounted toilets, back to wall toilets are less expensive and easier to install.  

5. High-level toilet

high level toilet

For that classic, traditional look, high-level toilet styles are still the best choices. The cisterns are raised up to the wall and sports a long, chrome flush and accented by a long, pull-chain which you have to, well, pull to flush the waste.

However, this one would require a solid wall or backsplash for it to become stable. 

6. Low-level toilet

low level toilet

This is another vintage looking toilet that would give your comfort room a retro appeal. Compared to high-level toilets, the cistern is installed at a lower fit and the flush pipe is shorter. Nonetheless, it still has the pull chain for flushing like the previous toilet style. 

Toilet design options

For the fun part where customization and preferences come in, you also have to know your toilet design options. For this purpose, you have to consider trapway types, shape, height, color and toilet seat type of your toilet. 

1. Toilet bowl shape

There are three most common toilet bowl shapes: elongated, compact elongated, and round front. 

ElongatedCompact ElongatedRound Front
Most common toilet shape. The combination of elongated and round front toilet bowl shape. Takes less space.
Roughly oval; its added length is a major upside. Has the same seat footprint as the round front but as comfortable as the elongated toilet bowl shape. Not as comfortable as an elongated toilet bowl shape. 
18-inches; spacious and comfortable.Offers an extra space for the toilet seat. Good for small comfort rooms. 

2. Toilet dimensions

For this option, we are talking about the relative distance between the height and seat of the toilet. At an average, the best toilet heights should be at 17-32-inches, the depth should be at 27-30-inches and the seat size at 15-30-inches. 

3. Toilet color

When it comes to toilet color, the traditional white and off-white toilet colors are still the most preferred and recommended toilet color because of their aesthetic versatility.

Other common toilet colors, however, include: green, pink, blue, yellow, gray, and brown. 

4. Trapway

Like the toilet bowl shape, there are also three types of trapways: exposed, concealed and fully concealed. 

ExposedConcealedFully concealed
This is the traditional S-shaped, exposed trapway of toilets. The S-shaped is concealed by the trapway. The sides are smooth, instead.  It is also called the skirted trapway. 
The toilet caps serve as the bolt cover which attaches the toilet to the floor.Low-profile caps serve as the bolt cover. Comparable to the concealed trapway but this one features uniform, smooth sides. 
Does not come with bolt caps.

Special features

Toilets also do not fall short when it comes to special features.

Opting for additional toilet features do not only improve our comfort room experience but also complements the theme of our homes and our overall comfort. Here are some of the most common toilet features that you can consider. 

1. Bidet

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This is perhaps the most popular toilet accessory around the globe. It is a simple plumbing fixture but its function in replacing the use of toilet paper makes it an eco-friendly feature to toilets.

Whether it is a full-on bidet, separately attached from the toilet or an integrated bidet that comes with the toilet plumbing. 

2. Urinal

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If you want to save water on liquid wastes, it is practical to install a wall-mounted urinal next to the toilet. They are most typically seen in commercial settings to enforce a water-saving technique for common comfort rooms. 

3. Smart toilet

Redefining the form and function of toilets would be technologically innovative smart toilets.

These feature remote control operation of bidet temperatures, self-cleaning options, flush type, and cleansing as well. Some also come with touch-screen interfaces for more ergonomic control and more modern toilet experience. 

4. Toilet for wheelchair users

disabled toilet

For households with members suffering from mobility problems, having toilet ramps and features for wheelchair users among others. One of the features to be incorporated in this would be a wall-hung toilet bowl. 

5. Eco-friendly toilet

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This one is making waves in North America as of the moment. As the name suggests, it requires less water use. Statistics and research would affirm that eco-friendly toilets use less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. 

6. Heated seats

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This is such an underrated feature but once you have it, you would never regret it. Just having a heated seat to greet you every time you use the potty is a prime comfort feature that we all have especially for those suffering from muscle pains and more. 

7. Entertainment

In Japan, touch-screen interfaces and remote control regulated toilets also have entertainment options. The most common one would be playing soothing sounds.

Think about the most comfortable ‘release’ and that is what you get from this special toilet feature. 

8. Deodorizer

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We all know that comfort rooms are not the most pleasant-smelling spaces in the home. High-end toilets with built-in deodorizers can help you in neutralizing the smell of your comfort room. You can even choose different scent options for your toilet deodorizer. 

Factors to consider when buying a toilet

If you are already set on buying a toilet, you might have to step back once more and look for some factors to consider before buying one. As such, here are some of the most notable factors that you have to take note of as you shop for your toilet choice. 

#1. Cost

This is always a prime concern because toilet sets range from $600-5000 at best. The cheapest ones would be two-piece toilets but of course, you would have to forego more water-saving and added features for this.

You could find reasonable toilet sets under $500 if you are eyeing basic comfort rooms only. 

#2. Bathroom size

The space is an important consideration in choosing toilets. If you are into space-saving toilets, go for back to wall or wall-hung toilets. A low-level toilet is also a good solution for compact bathrooms. All others are perfect for medium to large size bathrooms. 

#3. Preferred comfort features

When it comes to this factor, we are talking about the shape of the toilet seat, the height, and the shape of the toilet. It is also contingent on the bathroom size and who will use the toilet. Remember that kids, the elderly, and those with movement challenges have different toilet needs.  

#4. Water-efficiency

It is also important to ask yourself how much water is consumed by your toilet in every flush. For you to be get the most water-efficient toilet, look for the following labels:

  • Gallons per flush (GPF): get 1.6 gallons per flush and less
  • WaterSense certification: saves 20-60% of water per flush

#5. Installation type

Of course, it pays to know which installation type could save you the most money, time, and effort. For this, note that there are three types of toilet installation: floor mount, wall mount, and freestanding.

The easiest and most common installation would be the freestanding installation. This is followed by floor mounting and the most challenging one would be wall mounting the toilet. 

#6. Noise

Toilets are not built the same. Some are really noisier than others especially when the tanks are filling and when it is flushed. When it comes to this, narrow down your choice to toilets that are labeled ‘quiet flush.’

#7. Flush strength

Just because they are considered as highly efficient would not mean that they feature powerful flushes.

Toilet clogs are always a hassle so you would want a toilet featuring powerful half and full flushes. However, also take note that powerful flushes are not very water-efficient most of the time so that is a tradeoff to consider. 

Where to buy a toilet online?

If you are thinking of purchasing one online, here is a list of the most reputable online stores where you could make that toilet purchase today: 


What is a sitting toilet called?

It is called the Western style toilet. This type of toilet emerged as a response to the challenging squatting toilet. They were made for physically challenged people like those with disabilities and the elderly. 

Why do Chinese stand on toilets?

There are two cited explanations as to why Chinese stand on toilets. Practically, and not just amongst the Chinese, there really are notable cultures around the world who are used to standing on toilets because of the idea that doing so widens the anorectal angle. This is said to lessen abdominal strains. 

On a ghastlier explanation, Chinese people tend to stand on toilets because the majority of their fellows are not accustomed to flushing the toilet after use nor clean themselves up after using the toilet. To prevent getting in contact with that nasty sight, they would stand on toilets when using them. 

Why are there no toilet seats in Italy?

They say that 98% of toilets in Italy are seatless. If you have been culture shocked by this, here is the reason for this thing: toilet seats crack and break.

This might be vague but according to travel magazine, The Florentine, tourists and locals alike tend to stand on toilet seats when using it so toilet seat cracking has been very rampant. 

To address this, toilets in Italy were commissioned not to have toilet seats. This is especially true for bed and breakfasts and one to three star hotels who feel like they are saving money in the long haul because they are saved from replacing broken toilet seats every now and then.  

Are there electric toilets? 

Believe it or not but electric toilets have been around for quite some time. They are good alternatives to help save water in the long run.

As the term implies, electric toilets are operated by a central electrical power system and feature one of the strongest flushing systems among all types of toilets. Other amenities enjoyed through electric toilets would be heated seating and an ergonomic, streamline design. 

What are toilets made of? 

For the longest time, the main material used for toilets would be porcelain and this is based for practical reasons.

One, porcelain is non-porous. This makes it invulnerable to dirt, bacteria, and mold buildup. It is also easy to clean, would not have discoloration issues, would not rust and would not corrode too. 

Up to now, there is no alternative to porcelain made toilets especially for residential and commercial settings. Nonetheless, commissioned or customized toilets could take on a different route and use other materials other than porcelain. 

How long do toilets last?

Overall, toilets are built to last. As such, you can expect toilets to last for more than 50 years.

As a matter of fact, when they are installed well and maintained well, you would never have to replace them at all, ever. But of course, they are still prone to wear and tear so regular maintenance checks are still essential.

When it starts to leak, prepare yourself for future repairs or even replacements too. 

Can toilets be reglazed? 

Yes. They can also be repainted too. This is a part of the regular maintenance checks on toilets. It is also an important aspect of remodeling your bathroom. 


When it comes to toilets, the seat and release function is not all that matters. Optimum comfort is the end goal of toilet rooms and of toilets, in general. As such, you have to make sure that all the determinants of having a good toilet are met. 

With everything that we have covered here, the build, form, and style are also as important as the function of toilets. Now that you know where to start, it should not be hard to choose the best fit for your home, your preference, and comfort room needs.