Comfort height or standard height toilet?

There’s a lot to think about when choosing a toilet: water efficiency, durability, whether you’ve got an S trap or a P trap. When you’re trying to find a toilet that fits your space it can be easy to forget to find one that fits you too.  

One measurement in particular that gets overlooked is height. Here’s why it’s so important to consider. 

Why is toilet height so important? 

Most toilets on the market are somewhere between 420-430mm (16-17inches) tall. However, this is a measurement that has barely changed since the flush toilet was popularised over 150 years ago. Back then we were generally several inches shorter. Nowadays, many people find this arbitrary toilet height quite awkward – especially taller people and those with joint pain, stiffness and weakness. 

If you have arthritis in your hips or knees, or have difficulty standing from a low position, a slightly taller height toilet can be much more comfortable to use. 

The seats of most wheelchairs these days are also set to 480mm, making a standard toilet five or six centimetres lower. This mismatch can be very tricky when transferring between toilet and wheelchair. If you use a chair to roll over the toilet (called sanichairs, commode chairs or over-toilet chairs), their clearances can vary and can sometimes prove difficult with standard height toilets.  

If you’re unsure what the right height would be for you, we’d always recommend getting some professional advice. However, as a rule of thumb, your feet should be flat on the floor when seated with your knees and hips at right angles. 

Projection

The other important dimension to consider is how far a toilet projects out into your room. A standard toilet is somewhere around 500mm / 20 inches. Like with height, when transferring from a walking frame or wheelchair it can be helpful if your toilet has a similar depth. Too little depth can make using some over-toilet chairs difficult too, as there’s not enough room to line up over the bowl.  

Customising your toilet dimensions. What are your options? 

Happily, there are a few ways to customise the height and depth of your loo to be more comfortable. 

Wall mounted toilets 

We now have the technology to mount toilets on the wall at the exact level that works for you. While they look like they are floating on air they are incredibly safe and strong – comfortably supporting up to 400kg / 63 stone. They require a bit of building work to conceal the frame and cistern in your wall, but once they’re in they look really sleek and are very reliable.  

They create a beautiful sense of space as all messy pipework is hidden away leaving just the minimal form of the bowl on show. If you do ever need to get to the plumbing, all Fine & Able models can be accessed quickly via the flush controls for tool-free maintenance. We love them because they are so easy to clean too, as there is no awkward pedestal to gather germs or clean around.  

If you think this all sounds like a good idea, but have always assumed a wall hung toilet wouldn’t work in your bathroom, it’s worth getting in touch with one of our experts. There are some incredibly slim cisterns and frames for really tight spots, and even ones that can sit beneath windows. Other options might be available too, like boxing in the cistern and making a feature shelf instead. 

Consilio wall hung toilet on a marble-effect bathroom wall.

Consilio wall hung toilet & seat £175

Comfort height close-coupled or back-to-wall styles 

If you prefer the reassurance of a plinth beneath you when you use the toilet, or like a more traditional style, there are raised height close-coupled and back-to-wall styles available.

Often known as comfort height toilets – these are simply slightly higher versions of standard toilets, in the range 450-480mm (approximately 17-19 inches). In terms of looks, the extra height is barely perceptible from a standard loo, but in terms of comfort you won’t be able to miss it.

Consilio comfort height close-coupled toilet, in a grey tiled bathroom.

Consilio comfort height close coupled toilet, cistern & seat £269

Fine & Able offers raised height options in both our traditional and contemporary collections. We also have long projection versions. 

Hyde comfort height toilet with cistern hidden behind decorative wood paneling, ceramic detailed lever flush.

Hyde comfort height back to wall toilet & seat £275

Your household – now and in the future 

Since we don’t buy toilets very often, it’s important to think long term when buying a new one. Will it stand the test of time as you get older, or if older members of your family stay with you?  

As toilet height and depth is very personal it’s also key to consider all members of your household from kids to grandparents. For example, If you have more than one bathroom is it possible to have a different height toilet in each?  

Our experts are on hand if you have any questions about any toilet in the Fine & Able range. Why not book a free personal review to get you started? 

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