Best flushing toilet – 2019 Reviews & Buying Guide

After spending over 22 hours analyzing 39 toilets from brands such as Toto, American Standard and Kohler, we believe that the best toilet for most consumers is the Woodbridge T-0001. It’s a medium priced toilet that comes with a lot of features that could easily put it into a higher price range; it comes in a one-piece design, it has a fully skirted trapway that makes it look elegant and modern, and it’s equipped with a highly efficient dual flushing system that consumes 1.28 gallons of water per flush.

But the truth is that not every toilet suits everyone’s needs and budget because not every toilet is the same. That’s why we have made an extensive buying guide that will help you find the toilet that works for you.

If you are in the process of buying a new toilet, you are probably asking yourself at least one of these three very common questions.

  • What makes a good toilet?
  • What are the differences between dozens of flushing systems that are available on the market?
  • How much water can you save by choosing a highly efficient toilet?

Best Flushing Toilets – 2019 Comparison Chart

Before we proceed with our buying guide and start answering those questions, take a look at the comparison chart of what we consider the top 10 toilets for average consumers right now. We ranked them based on several criteria such as price, flushing system, design, and efficiency.

ToiletStyleEfficiencyFlushing
1. Woodbridge T-0001 (Editor's pick)) One piece 1.28 GPF Dual flush
2. TOTO Aimes One piece 1.28 GPF Double cyclone
2. American Standard Townsend One piece 1.28 GPF Vormax
4. Kohler Wellworth Two piece 1.28 GPF Class Five
6. TOTO Vespin II Two piece 1.28 GPF Double cyclone
5. TOTO Drake (Budget pick) Two piece 1.6 GPF Double cyclone
7. TOTO Ultramax II One piece 1.28 GPF Double cyclone

The ultimate toilet buying guide

Buying a new toilet can be overwhelming and time consuming. It’s an investment that can last several decades and it’s important to make a proper research before deciding which one to buy. An average human spends around 90 days sitting on a toilet over the course of a lifetime and the last thing anyone wants is buying a toilet that will often get clogged and bring nothing but disappointment in the long run.

What makes a great toilet?

While a toilet is just a toilet, not all of them are the same. We talked to several plumbers and interior designers who helped us narrow down four most important things every consumer should take into consideration before buying a toilet.

  • How efficient is the flushing system?
  • How does it look and does it fit into the design of your bathroom?
  • How comfortable is it to sit?
  • How much maintenance does it need?

Now without a further ado, here’s our extensive buying guide that will help you understand everything you need to know to make your buying decision as easy as possible.

Table of contents

Flushing systems

Flushing system is the single most important part of a toilet. It’s responsible for flushing down the waste and keeping the toilet clean. There are several different types of them on the market and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are more efficient than others, some are more expensive than others, and some are overhyped, very expensive and only useful in very specific circumstances.

Pressure-assisted toilets

pressure tank Pressure assisted-toilets use pressurized air to enhance the force of the water coming into the bowl and through the drain.

When the flushing action starts, the flushing valves release the water mixed with compressed air. Because the compressed air enhances the force of the water, it creates somewhat explosive flushing action that is capable of emptying the bowl fairly quickly. This results in a powerful flushing action that is capable of pushing more waste down the drain while consuming less water.

However, not everything is so great about toilets with pressure assisted flushing systems. They do have several benefits that are impossible to overlook, but there’s a reason why they were never quite as popular as standard toilets with gravity flushing systems. Here are some of the most common reasons why pressure assisted toilets never reached the popularity of other flushing systems.

  • They can be expensive and when something starts malfunctioning, it’s likely that the replacement parts will be expensive as well. The air compression tank is often more expensive than the bowl.
  • The pressure assisted flushing action is often very loud which might be a huge problem early in the morning when others are asleep.

Another thing worth mentioning is that several pressure-assisted toilets that are available on the market right now were initially designed as gravity-fed toilets. When the U.S. government decided to limit the water consumption of toilets to 1.6 gallons of water per flush, man manufacturers realized that their toilets are poorly designed and can’t be as efficient as needed with a low-consumption gravity-fed system.

That’s why they decided to go for the more affordable option and equip them with pressure-assisted system instead of redesigning their toilets from scratch.

While we were making our list of the top 10 toilets, we decided not to include pressure-assisted toilets because we believe that their downsides outweigh advantages. If you are still convinced that you need one, feel free to check out our list of the top 10 pressure assisted toilets.

Gravity-fed toilets

gravity-fed flushing system

Gravity-feed toilets have been around ever since the first flushing toilet was invented. The word “gravity” implies that the water that’s dropped from the tank into the bowl uses the force of gravity to flush down the waste.

The tank gets filled with water and once you press on the flush button, the water is dropped into the bowl. This type of flushing system has been around for as long as the flushing toilets exist and it’s the most popular and probably the simplest flushing system on the market.

With that said, not every gravity-fed flushing system is the same. Once the government started regulating the maximum flush rate of toilets, manufacturers were forced to look for solutions to improve their toilets to be just as efficient as before while consuming much less water.
Here are some of the most notable types of gravity-fed flushing systems.

Dual flush

dual flush system It’s not long ago since toilets with dual flushing system were invented, but they are getting more popular each day and they have already become more popular than pressure-assisted flushing systems.

A dual flush toilet offers the option of using partial flush instead full flush. The idea is that you don’t always need the maximum flushing power to flush down the waste and you could save a lot of water by using partial flush for liquid waste and full flush for solid waste when you really need it.

Partial flush usually uses about a gallon of water per flush while the full flush uses about 1.6 gallons, depending on the model of the toilet. Such a small difference doesn’t mean much, but it can definitely save a lot of water on the long run and shave a few numbers off the water bills every month.

Double cyclone

double cyclone flushing system The Double Cyclone flushing system was invented by Toto, the world’s largest toilet manufacturer. It’s praised by many professional plumbers and Toto has been pushing it heavily with their toilets.

The secret of toilets with Double Cyclone flushing system is the rimless design. Instead of rim holes, there are two nozzles located at the side of the bowl. Once the water comes out through the nozzles, it moves through the bowl like a spiral. This creates centrifugal force which is more powerful than the force of gravity alone, making the water able to scrub more waste from the surface of the bowl.

Because Double cyclone system generates more force than standard gravity flush, it uses less water for the same effect. Here are the most notable advantages of the Double Cyclone flushing system.

  • Because toilets with Double Cyclone don’t have rims, they require less maintenance and are easier to clean.
  • Flushing action of the Double Cyclone is very powerful on the surface of the bowl.

The downside of the Double Cyclone flushing system is that it usually comes with above-average priced toilets. It’s exclusively used by Toto who is not particularly known for the most affordable toilets.

One-piece vs. Two-piece toilets

one vs teo piece toilets When it comes to the toilet style, there are two types; one-piece and two-piece.

One piece toilets are made of a single piece of material. The tank and the bowl are fitted together in seamless design which allows the toilet to be a little bit shorter in length compared to two-piece toilets.

There are three main advantages of one piece toilets:

  • Because the tank and the bowl are already fitted together, one piece toilets are slightly easier to install.
  • The lack of space between the tank and the bowl eliminates the need of cleaning the area between the bowl and the tank.
  • Because the area between the tank and the bowl has no edges, the whole appearance of the toilet looks more elegant and sleek.

The downside of one piece toilets is the price. They are about 25% more expensive on average and if something starts malfunctioning, you will often have to replace the whole unit instead of just replacing separate parts such as leaky tank or broken bowl.

What about two piece toilets?

Two piece toilets have the bowl and the tank separated and mounted together with fittings. They are easier to manufacture which makes them more affordable in general and they are often cheaper on the long run because if something gets broken, you don’t need to replace the whole toilet at once.

  • They are cheaper than one piece toilets in general
  • Most parts are easier to replace.
The downside of two piece toilet is that they are often longer in length and require more cleaning than one piece toilets. They are also not as aesthetically pleasing as one-piece toilets, but the design is just a matter of personal preference.

Comfort

When it comes to the comfort of the toilet, there are two factors playing a role; toilet height and the shape of the toilet bowl. round vs elongated toilet bowl There are two main shapes of toilet bowls. Each of them comes with unique sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Round bowl is round in shape. It measures approximately 16 and a half inches from the center front of the bowl to center of the hinge post holes. It takes less space than toilets with elongated bowl which makes it more appropriate for smaller bathrooms, but makes the toilet less comfortable to sit on.

Elongated bowl makes the whole toilet larger. An average elongated toilet measures about 18 and a half inches from the center of the hinge post holes to center front of the bowl. These extra two inches make the toilet more comfortable to sit on, but take up more space in the bathroom.

The height of a standard toilet (measured from the ground to the top of the bowl) is anywhere from 14 to 17 inches. The higher the toilet, the more comfortable it is to sit on it and stand back up for most adults. Toilets that measure 17 inches or more in height are called “comfort height toilets” while toilets that measure 14 to 17 inches are called “universal height toilets”.toilet comfort height

Reviews

Now that you know everything about what to look for when buying a new toilet, here is a list of our suggestions.

1. Woodbridge T-0001

Features
  • Style: One piece
  • Flushing System: Dual Flush
  • Water consumption: 1.0 / 1.6 GPF
  • Height: Comfort height
  • Bowl: Elongated
  • Weight: 119 lbs

OUR RATING: 9.7 / 10

When it comes to toilets, there are plenty of players with decades of experience on the market. The California-based Woodbridge is a fairly unknown company compared to giants such as Toto, American Standard, or Kohler, but they have made quite an impact with their medium-priced toilets.

One-piece toilets with fully concealed trapways are usually much more expensive than toilets with exposed trapway. The Woodbridge T-0001 is one of the rare exceptions that don’t cost a fortune, but still have a lot to offer.

Design

The first area where the T-0001 shines is the design. It has a fully concealed trapway. There are almost zero edges around it which gives it an elegant and sleek design and makes it easier to clean. The flushing button is rectangular in shape and is located at the top of the tank which even further enhances its looks. Of course the design is just a matter of personal preference, but we strongly believe that the T-0001 is one of the best looking toilets we have reviewed so far, especially considering its price.

Flushing system

The T-0001 has a fully glazed dual flush system that delivers a powerful, but quiet flushing action. The partial flush uses 1.0 gallons and the full flush uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush. The average consumption is 1.27 gallons which makes the T-0001 over 20% more efficient than the current federal standard and makes it certified by Watersense.

We have analyzed over a dozen of dual flush toilets that are available on the market and the T-0001 is on the affordable site compared to most of them.

Warranty

The final area where the T-0001 outperforms most of its competition is the warranty coverage. It comes with 5-year limited warranty on porcelain parts which comes handy if the glaze starts fading or staining. There’s also a 1-year warranty on flushing mechanism and the toilet seat.

  • Dual flushing system – 1.0 / 1.6 GPF
  • Quiet flushing action
  • Toilet seat included
  • Comfort height
  • Fully concealed trapway
  • The flush button could be closer

2. TOTO Aimes

Features
  • Style: One piece
  • Flushing System: Double Cyclone
  • Water consumption: 1.28 GPF
  • Height: Universal
  • Bowl: Elongated
  • Weight: 100 lbs

Other featuresSanaGloss ceramic glaze, Watersense certified.

OUR RATING: 9.7 / 10

The Toto Ltd was founded over 100 years ago in Japan and is officially the largest toilet manufacturer in the world at the moment. They own a number of patented flushing technologies and they have a lot of different toilets in all price ranges on the market. We picked the Aimes because as our second choice because it’s a medium-priced one-piece toilet that looks more expensive than it actually is, and because it comes with quite a few advanced features that could easily push it into the higher price range. But let’s talk about the design first because this is the area where the Aimes starts to shine.

Design

If you are not into standard white bathroom fixtures, you will appreciate the fact that the Aimes comes in several color designs to choose from; colonial white, cotton white, bone, and sedona beige just to name a few. Consumers will traditional bathrooms will most likely opt for the cotton white which has similar shade than most traditional bathroom fixtures while consumers with more colorful bathrooms will probably choose bone or sedona beige. We believe that the whole appearance of the Toto Aimes is a thing of the art. The trapway is fully concealed which makes its appearance more elegant because it also makes it look wider than it actually is.

Flushing system

The Aimes uses Toto’s Double cyclone flushing system which is one of the most highly praised gravity flushing systems on the market. Instead of using rim holes to flush the water from behind the rim edges, the Aimes uses two nozzles that push the water through a single hole on the side of the bowl. This produces centrifugal force that is able to clean the surface of the bowl more thoroughly while consuming less water.

Speaking about efficiency, the Aimes uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush which makes it certified by WaterSense and compliant with CalGreen regulations. Another huge advantage of the Aimes (and all toilets with Double Cyclone system) is that they require less cleaning. We all know that the corners and edges under the rim can get very dirty through time and they are often hard and disgusting to clean. Toilets with Double cyclone flushing systems don’t even have a rim. Instead, there’s a single opening on the side of the toilet where the water comes through, so you will never have to worry about waste and mineral buildups behind the edges of the rim.

  • Low water consumption – 1.28 GPF
  • SanaGloss finish
  • Comfort height
  • Requires much less cleaning than an average toilet
  • Fully concealed trapway
  • Above average price

3. American Standard Townsend Vormax

Features
  • Style: One piece
  • Flushing System: Vormax
  • Water consumption: 1.28 GPF
  • Height: Universal
  • Bowl: Elongated
  • Weight: 100 lbs

OUR RATING: 9.7 / 10

The Townsend is another high efficiency toilet that uses 20% less water than required by the current federal standard. It’s equipped with powerful Vormax flushing system and has an elongated bowl for enhanced level of comfort.

Vormax flushing system

Vormax is American Standard’s answer to increasingly popular Double cyclone flushing system by Toto. It’s been said that the American Standard brand was purchased by Inax, one of Toto’s biggest rivals in Japan, so we could see a lot of similar “battles” happening in the future.

Both Vormax and Double cyclone are very similar. The most notable difference is that the Vormax uses a single jet instead of two used by the Double cyclone system. However, this isn’t necessarily a downside because both Vormax and Double cyclone performed similarly in several independent tests. The Vormax uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush which is the same as the TOTO Aimes and a bunch of other high efficient toilets.

Design

The Townsend comes in one-piece design which means that it’s made of a single piece of material. The tank and the bowl are connected through seamless design which makes the whole appearance of the toilet more elegant and sleek. The trapway is exposed which makes the toilet look smaller and narrower compared to toilets with fully concealed trapways.

10-year limited warranty

The American Standard Townsend also comes with 10-year limited warranty which is way more than industry standard. Just be aware that you need to keep the original receipt and register your warranty on the official American Standard website.

  • Vormax flushing technology – 1.28 GPF
  • EverClean antimicrobial finish
  • Comfort height
  • Attractive design
  • Above average price

4. Kohler K-3948-0 Wellworth

Features
  • Style: Two piece
  • Flushing System: Class Five(R)
  • Water consumption: 1.28 GPF
  • Height: Comfort height
  • Bowl: Elongated
  • Weight: 95.5 lbs

OUR RATING: 9.7 / 10

The Kohler Wellworth is a budget friendly toilet that includes K-4841 14” Rough-in tank and K-4198 elongated toilet bowl. Unfortunately it doesn’t include a toilet seat which has to be purchased separately and that’s one of the reasons we didn’t rank it higher.

Design

Despite the fact that two-piece toilet that shouldn’t look as elegant as one-piece toilets, the Wellworth doesn’t lag much behind because the space between the bowl and the tank is barely visible when the toilet seat is open.

Flushing system

The Wellworth’s flushing system is called the Class Five which is a name Kohler gave to their second most powerful line of flushing systems. It has a larger flush valve and trapway than industry standard which provides efficient and powerful flushing action. The Wellworth consumes 1.28 gallons of water per flush and it’s fully certified by Watersense.

  • Class Five(R) flushing system – 1.28 GPF
  • Standard height
  • Two-piece design

5. TOTO Vespin II

Features
  • Style: Two piece
  • Flushing System: Double Cyclone
  • Water consumption: 1.28 GPF
  • Height: Universal
  • Bowl: Elongated
  • Weight: 106.5 pounds

OUR RATING: 9.7 / 10

The Vespin II CST474CEFGNo.01 is a two-piece toilet with double cyclone flushing system, elongated bowl and modern design. It is one of the most affordable toilets from the Vespin II series and we believe that it has a lot to offer for the money

Design

The first thing that most people probably note on the Vespin II is the skirted trapway and high profile design. The concealed trapway makes it look bigger than it actually is which makes the whole design quite unique. We believe that it looks quite futuristic, but the design is just a matter of personal preference.

Double cyclone flushing system

The Vespin II uses double cyclone flushing system which means rimless design, and a lot of flushing power. It uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush which makes it Watersense certified.

Other features

Like most high-end TOTO toilets, the Vespin II bowl is finished with SanaGloss. This prevents mold and debris from sticking to ceramic surfaces which means that it doesn’t require as much cleaning as an average toilet.

  • Double Cyclone flushing system – 1.28 GPF
  • Universal height
  • Modern design
  • SanaGloss ceramic glaze
  • The seat is not included
  • Two-piece design

6. TOTO CST743S#03 Drake

Features
  • Style: Two piece
  • Flushing System: Double Cyclone
  • Water consumption: 1.28 GPF
  • Height: Universal
  • Bowl: Elongated
  • Weight: 88 lbs

OUR RATING: 9.7 / 10

Most toilets manufactured by TOTO cost above $400, but the CST743S#03 Drake is one of rare exceptions that doesn’t break the bank. It’s a solution for consumers who want to experience Toto technology on a budget.

Design

The TOTO Drake looks contemporary and comes in several designs to choose from. It has a round bowl which means that it takes less space than a toilet with elongated bowl, but offers less comfort.

Flushing system

The Drake features G-Max flushing system. While it isn’t as powerful and efficient as Toto’s double cyclone system, it’s still powerful enough for residential or commercial use.

The secret of the G-Max system is in large 3-inch flushing valve that is about 125% larger than conventional 2-inch valves. This allows more water to get through the bowl at once which allows water to create more force needed for flushing down the waste.

The TOTO Drake consumes 1.6 gallons of water per flush which means that it’s efficient enough for most consumers although it uses about 50% more water than some of the most efficient toilets on the market.

  • G-Max flushing system – 1.6 GPF
  • Attractive price
  • SanaGloss finish
  • Skirted design
  • The toilet seat is not included

7. TOTO Ultramax II

Features
  • Style: Two piece
  • Flushing System: Double Cyclone
  • Water consumption: 1.28 GPF
  • Height: Universal
  • Bowl: Elongated
  • Weight: 99 lbs

OUR RATING: 9.7 / 10

The TOTO Ultramax II is one of the latest toilets in the quite popular Ultramax series. The previous Ultramax toilets were becoming a little bit outdated, but the latest models feature more elegant design and come equipped with the Double cyclone flushing system.

Design

The Ultramax II features simple one-piece design that’s full of curves. The trapway is not fully skirted which gives a certain level of sharpness into the design.

Flushing system

The Ultramax II features Toto’s Double cyclone flushing system. It uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush which makes it certified by WaterSense.

  • Double cyclone flushing system (1.28 GPF)
  • SanaGloss finish
  • Universal height
  • Comes with SoftClose seat
  • Above average price
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply