The simple answer to the question “Are toilet seats a standard size?” is no. Unfortunately, toilet seats aren’t produced in a standard size, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t easily find a replacement for your own toilet.
Like many things in the home, your toilet will suffer a fair degree of wear and tear over the course of its life. It's hardly surprising. After all, it's something you use every day. And it's your toilet seat that takes the brunt of this regular use.
If you share your home with someone of the opposite sex or children, you probably won't appreciate how many times your toilet seat is raised and lowered over the course of a year. However, if you think of it as around 4 times a day, that's over 1,400 times your hinges will be put to work over the course of a year. So it's not a surprise that "are toilet seats a standard size?" is one of the most popular toilet-based search terms on the internet.
Many standard close coupled toilets come with a round shaped pan (as pictured above)
Different toilets require different seats
Modern toilets, of course, come in a range of styles. Close coupled designs, where the pan is connected closely to the cistern, are far and away the most popular, but you can also find back to wall toilets, wall hung toilets, along with the period style high level toilet.
These types of toilet can then vary greatly by shape (square, angular, round, D-shaped) and by size, with differences in toilet dimensions (both length and width) between anywhere in the region of 350mm - 500mm.
D-shaped pans, like the one pictured above, are gaining popularity in UK bathrooms
So it's plain to see why there isn't a standard size toilet seat, which makes finding the right model for your toilet all the more difficult. However, help is at hand.
Finding the right toilet seats sizes
You can find a suitable seat for your toilet by following these steps:
1. Note the shape of your toilet pan
Is it round (curving outwards from the hinges and then back inwards to form a circular edge)? Is it D-shaped (curving only inwards from the hinges to form a continuous arc)? Is it square (both sides perpendicular)? Or is it different to these?
2. Measure your toilet
You will need to take 4 measurements from your toilet:
- Length—Measure from the holes in your toilet to the very front edge of your toilet
- Width—Measure the diameter from edge to edge
- Height—Measure the distance between the holes to the cistern or wall
- Between holes—Measure the distance between the centre of each fixing hole
Check out this handy video to see how:
This will give you a shape and set of toilet dimensions to work with. Now all that's left to do is start your search. But what should you look for in a toilet seat?
Toilet seat options
Many new toilets these days come with a soft close seat as standard, which uses a spring mechanism to ensure that the seat, along with the seat cover doesn't come down with one almighty clatter. It also helps minimise wear and tear on both the toilet pan and the seat itself.
Even though a soft close seat is a great option, they do need to be treated with care to ensure the spring doesn't get damaged. This means not forcing the seat down. If you have children, this can be easier said than done, but a soft close seat does avoid any little fingers becoming trapped.
When it comes to materials, you can mainly split toilet seats into 2 categories: Plastic or wood.
Plastic seats would appear to be more popular, due to their low price, the range of shapes they can be moulded into, and a high degree of durability. Thermoplast seats are very lightweight and hard-wearing, whilst thermoset seats offer great resistance to scratches.
Wooden seats are more traditional and come available in a range of finishes and colours, adding a real warmth and charm to a bathroom.
Bring some natural charm to your bathroom with a solid oak toilet seat
To help give you the best fit for your toilet, look for adjustable hinges. Some seats also come with top fixing hinges and a handy "lift off" mechanism, which makes both installation and cleaning a breeze.
If you have small children who are on their way to potty training, you might want to consider an integrated child toilet seat. This can be flipped down from the main cover as necessary, giving your little ones their very own independence.
If you are still weighing up your options, why not check out our toilet seat buying guide?
When it comes to toilet seats, the best advice is to ensure you buy your toilet from a reputable bathroom retailer, that supplies a wide range of toilets and toilet seats. That way, you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to get a replacement that is specifically designed to fit your model of toilet. It may be well worth your while actually purchasing a spare, so when the time comes to replace it, you have one to hand.
Commonly asked questions about toilet seats
Do all toilet seats fit the same?
The simple answer is no, there are a range of different toilet seat fittings. Some are bottom fixing (fitted from beneath the fixing holes) and some are top fixing (usually required when there isn’t access to the bottom of the pan, e.g. with a fully shrouded toilet). Each toilet seat will come with its own individual instructions.
For more information on this subject, read our article "Are toilet seats universal?"
As well as fittings, toilet seats come with a selection of different hinges, from standard designs to soft close, which bring the toilet seat down slowly, minimising noise. To help with cleaning, you can simply lift some toilet seats straight off their fittings. Most toilet seat hinges are made from nylon or stainless steel, as it provides good durability. Lower quality steel or other metals may be prone to rust.
How do I know if my toilet seat is round or elongated?
Whilst “round” and “elongated” are terms that are more commonly used to describe the shapes of American toilets, UK toilets are more likely to fall into the following types of shape:
- D shaped
To identify the shape of your toilet, it’s a case of using your own judgment. The image below may help.
Are there different sizes of toilet?
Yes, toilets come in a range of different sizes, that’s why it’s important to measure your existing toilet seat before you buy.
For example, our close coupled toilets come in the following size ranges:
- Depth—Between 600mm and 720mm
- Width—Between 350mm and 500mm
They are also available in standard height (between 400mm and 410mm) or comfort height (460mm), for those with restricted mobility.
How to fit a toilet seat
Fitting a new toilet seat is straightforward as our handy video demonstrates.
Discover step-by-step instructions and images showing how to fit a toilet seat.
Shop toilet seats
At Victoria Plum, you’ll find a wide selection of toilet seats in a range of designs, to suit all types of toilet. Simply click on the image below to begin browsing.