Sometimes a heated toilet seat is a necessity, especially if your bathroom is cold during winter. At times, it’s a luxury. In any other cases, it’s a matter of hygiene and personal preference. Whatever your intentions might be, heated toilet seats can greatly enhance your bathroom experience. In fact, they might influence you so much, you wouldn’t want to accept anything less than that. In this guide, we talk through the benefits and limitations of heating toilets and things you’d better look for when buying. By the end, we review the TOP 4 Best Heated Toilet Seat Covers that would make your life easier and more enjoyable.
- What is a heated toilet seat and how it works?
- Why would you want a heated toilet seat? Benefits & Limitations
- What’s the difference between a regular toilet seat cover and a heated one?
- How to Choose the Right Heated Toilet Seat
- TOP 4 Best Heated Toilet Seats
If you’re as much fascinated with Asia, as I am, then you’re probably familiar with the Japanese obsession with toilet seats. The Japanese have taken the high-tech toilet culture to the whole new level with their washlets, which are, in their essence, cleansing toilet seats with water spray, dryer, seat warming, and other high-techish features.
Heated toilet seats have been popular in Japan since the 1970s. The reason behind this popularity might lie in the fact that toilet rooms in Japan are often unheated, and pre-heating a seat is just a necessity for better comfort and convenience. But having said that, I am sure these are not the only reasons.
In fact, from what I know, there are more than eight names for a toilet in the Japanese language, including toire, otearai, benjo, or benki. There’s even a day that’s called a National Toilet Day in Japan, which is celebrated on November 10, because the date of the celebration, 11/10 (the month and the day), reads in Japanese as ii-to(ire), which means “Good Toilet”. In any case, I decided to share this with you, because I, in particular, find it absolutely amusing that someone would be so much fascinated with toilet culture. But Asia is full of surprises, and that is exactly why I like it. Anyway, let’s get back to the seats, see how they actually work, how they can benefit you and why you need to buy one for yourself.
A heated toilet seat looks like a regular toilet seat, a hinged unit of an oval open seat and a lid, but would also come with additional perks.
A plain heated seat would only heat up without doing much else. However, some such seats would come with other additional features and customization options for cleansing, adjustable water pressure, temperature, and nozzle direction for both feminine and posterior use. Among the latest functions are a remote control, energy saving mode, and automatic closing/opening.
Besides its obvious benefits of saving energy costs (you’re heating up only a seat whenever need be as opposed to heating up the whole washroom), heated toilet seat holds an array of other benefits to its user:
Ease of use and installation
If you’re afraid you won’t be able to properly install the seat or it requires any special technical knowledge, then don’t you worry, some of the heated toilet seats require minimum installation, and some do not need any installation at all.
Easing muscle tension
If you’re suffering from any medical condition (and more on this later), then you might find that loosening muscles might get stiff or aching. And since the heated toilet seat provides that much-needed warming comfort, it will surely help the rear muscles relax and ease tension seldom associated with bathroom use.
Relief for arthritic discomfort
According to the researchers from the Harvard Medical School, overuse of arthritic joints can lead to even more pain, swelling, and additional joint damage. To protect your joints, the scientists advise on conserving energy and using special labor-saving items that can help you cut back on unnecessary bending, stooping, etc. Among the helpful gadgets, the researchers suggested for use, was a heated toilet seat with additional functionality, such as cleansing, spraying, automatic self-cleaning, and closing.
Experts from the John Hopkins Arthritis Center commented on the benefits of heat for those living with arthritis. Even the superficial heat has its fantastic effect on the joints and the subcutaneous tissues that cover them.
The researchers from MayoClinic agreed that the use of heat (heating blankets, heated toilet seats, hot baths, and showers, etc) can help relieve pain temporarily, and are thus, considered beneficial for arthritic patients.
Yet again, you don’t have to worry about your electric bill, since heated toilets really use minimum electricity. There are also things you can do to ensure you’re saving even more energy: set up timers that would heat up the seat only when needed, or when the bathroom is occupied.
The biggest and obvious difference is in the number of features that heated toilet seats can perform. These seats can be literally loaded with additional functionality, which can be operated via a side panel or even a remote control. Some of those fantastic and handy features include:
Most of these toilet seats would come with a gentle closing and a quick release feature. Which is particularly handy when you have a sleeping baby in the other room and you don’t want to wake her up by smashing noise from a closing toilet seat.
Heating is the most obvious advantage and, perhaps, the most luxurious. There’s nothing worse than putting your posterior onto a cold toilet seat in winter. And with a heated toilet seat you can experience an array of benefits: from soothing comfort to easing tension in the muscles.
Heated toilet seats provide on-demand warm water for front and rear cleansing, as well as nozzle oscillation and pulsation, temperature and pressure control. You can adjust the temperature as desired so the overall experience would be more comfortable.
What’s really important and convenient is that heated toilets can actually clean themselves. Self-cleaning nozzles use water to clean an appliance after use. Some toilets flush off automatically with hot water.
All of these features would definitely bring you more comfort and convenience during cold winter days.
Elongated or Round
The heated toilet seats come in two shapes: elongated and rounded. You have to be absolutely sure that the seat you’re about to buy will fit the present toilet fixture that you have in your bathroom. If you have an older toilet, it would most probably be rounded, the inside of the toilet bowl should be around 11 inches. The deluxe toilets now come in elongated shapes and would be a little longer than the round seats. To take a proper measure of the size of your toilet, determine the length of your seat from the two mounting bolts at the seat hinge to the very front of the toilet bowl. If your toilet is round, then the measurements would read about 16 1/2 inches, if it’s elongated, then it’d be 18 1/2 inches. These numbers are crucial in choosing a proper seat.
Features: customization & personalization
Now, what comes to features, the obvious observation is that the more features the toilet seat has, the pricier it is. If you are specifically looking for certain features, like cleansing or nozzle oscillation, you’re probably not going to commit to just a plain heated seat. However, if the heating is the only option you are looking for, then choose the simplest model on the market. The first option we’ve covered in our TOP 4 would suit your needs marvelously.
Again, the more features you want, the more money you’d have to pay. The plain heated toilet seats will cost you somewhat around 100 dollars, and the units with full customization and an array of functions can skyrocket in prices up to 1,000 dollars. Now, that’s okay, if you don’t mind paying a thousand bucks for a toilet, but if you do, then there’s nothing wrong with that either. Because the best model (from TOTO) that we’ve covered here in this guide has all the features packed up nice and neat and costs only around 300-400 dollars. That’s a very good deal for the options and functionality it provides.
Usually, the materials are pretty straightforward, meaning the seats are made of plastic of varying degree. However, you’re advised to look for anti-microbial properties and for materials that feel more or less soft to the touch.
Temperature adjustment is another functionality you want to look for. Usually, the units come with three temperature settings, from low to high, some more sophisticated seats would probably come with even more than that. However, these three basic temperatures would be more than enough.
Water and air streams
In case you’re looking for more than just a toilet seat with heating properties, then consider what kind of cleansing and self-cleaning functionality the unit has to offer. Usually, the advanced models would come with aerated wash sprays, water pressure settings, premist functionality that cleans the toilet before and after each visit to keep it nice and clean.
Almost all good models will come with gentle and non-slamming closing functionality. The models we’ve described further in our TOP 4 all feature gentle closing.
LumaWarm Heated Nightlight Round Toilet Seat | Brondell
This unit from Brondell is the most affordable on our list and would cost you a little less than 100 dollars, which is still not very cheap, but pretty much below the standard price range for toilet seat covers.
The unit is available in two shapes: round and elongated, and would pretty much fit any standard toilet fixture. You won’t find any outstanding or high-techish features in this one, but the provided functionality is more than enough: 3 adjustable heat settings, illuminating LED nightlight, gentle closing, and simple and intuitive controls. The unit is powered by a standard GFI outlet, comes with a top mount hardware, which, the seller promises, is very easy to install.
The customers who bought the seat were overwhelmingly pleased with the unit and its performance, many people commented on the ease of installation, added comfort, durability, the heating temperatures, among other things. Only a few so far have been left unimpressed, mainly because of the shipment problems and other issues unrelated to the unit’s performance. This is our solid recommendation if you’re on a budget.
Brondell L-60-RW: Check the current price
UltraTouch Heated Toilet Seat
UltraTouch is more expensive than the first unit but still relatively priced. The unit features a durable high-quality construction, patented seating surface, added safety, and a built-in antimicrobial agent.
The patented seating is not made of foam, but rather from the materials that can be seldom found in soft handle toothbrushes, writing pens, etc. A brief search revealed that the Hogue’s patented "Comfort Touch" surface is achieved through the process of "overmolding". The process is indeed a little complex to describe and comprehend, but as far as I understand, the seat is made by molding an insert, which is basically a conventional hard seat made to a smaller size in the areas that are later “overmolded”, with a Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE), a synthetic material which is super soft.
Aside from this super innovative and plush UltraTouch heating seat, this model boasts of a molded-in 12-volt Thermal Circuit heating element that heats to a comfortable 20 to 25 degrees above room temperature.
Many testers were ultimately pleased with the seat, praising the comfort and even improved marital relationships (many purchased the units for their wives to keep them happy). The unhappy consumers mentioned that the seat was good for about a year after which they needed to purchase another unit.
UltraTouch: Check the current price
Swash Luxury Bidet with Dual Stainless-Steel Nozzles & Nanotechnology Nozzle Sterilization | Endless Warm Water & Air Dryer | Nightlight | Brondell
This is a high-end seat from Brondell, which is quite pricey, but it’s so much loaded with features, that it’s probably well worth it. According to the manufacturer, the programmable user settings deliver the most hygienic bathroom experience at the touch of a button. The functions it features include cool blue illuminating LED nightlight, replaceable deodorizer, endless warm water heating system, aerated spray wash with width adjustment, and nozzle oscillation.
This unit is the closest to the functionality of the famous Japanese washlets (one of which we’re going to cover later in this guide). However, the seats are specifically designed for the North American toilets and would fit practically any toilet in the country. You can also choose between an elongated and a round shape of a seat to ensure the right placement. The unit features the sleek shape for the best toilet fit and a hidden pocket to ensure that the electrical cord and water hose stay tucked out of sight.
The dual stainless-steel nozzles come with an on-demand nozzle sterilization, which is achieved through nanotechnology. Aerated wash spray and water pressure can be set up in three different ways. Other features that are worth mentioning here include remote control, gentle-close lid, and seven nozzle positions.
Customers were impressed with the functionality of this product, many said they could actually program the settings for two and use them later without adjusting the settings every time. Others said the seat was well worth the investment and easy to install. The unhappy testers related the unpleasant stories of exchanging the malfunctioning units and fixing the leakage.
Brondell 1400: Check the current price
WASHLET Electronic Bidet Toilet Seat with PreMist | TOTO
Now, finally, the famous washlet by Toto. You cannot really go wrong with the Japanese quality, it’s so good, you’ll probably rethink your bathroom routine forever. It costs significantly and surprisingly less than the unit from Brondell, but it’s just as well loaded with super features that would keep you cozy and toasty during the washroom visits.
The Electric bidet features front and rear warm water cleanse with five adjustable temperature and pressure settings, heated seat, warm air dryer, and automatic air deodorizer for added comfort. There’s also a self-cleaning wand, which is automatically cleaned before and after use, as well as a premist functionality that sprays the toilet bowl before each use to help prevent waste from adhering. There’s also a convenient arm control side panel and soft close seat lid.
The customers, as expected, were pleased with the bidet, saying it was a “life-changer”, “a dream come true”, or even “anything less is uncivilized”. The unhappy testers said it was a bit small for big guys. So if you’re overweight, you might find it difficult to use. Other than that, this heated toilet seat is the best one you can find.
TOTO: Check the current price
How to install a heated toilet seat cover?
Some units require very little installation, while others indeed require the help of a professional.
I found this video to be quite helpful and educational in terms of installing the unit:
What is the highest temperature of heated toilet seat covers?
Usually, it’s 20-25 degrees above the room temperature.
What weight can heated toilet seats withstand?
The average toilet seat weight limit is around 1000 lbs.
Are heated toilet seat covers durable?
Depends on a model, manufacturer, other variables, like proper installation, use, etc. Usually, the best models can serve you for years. While others can break in a year. So maintenance and gentle use are very important.
Comparative chart of Heated Toilet Seat
For one thing, a trip to Japan can prove to be fascinating at the very least because of the bathroom oddities you can encounter, but also because of the technologically advanced restrooms and toilets in general. Thus, the Japanese model we’ve recommended here, namely Toto, would be the ideal heated toilet seat you could find on the market. However, if you’re into just a plain seat with a heating capacity, then choose the most affordable option we’ve covered at the beginning from Brondell.