Which toilet seat for toddlers is best?
When it’s time for potty training, getting little tushies onto big toilets presents a substantial challenge. Toilet seats designed for toddlers provide a sturdy and comfortable seat for your little one as they learn to use the big-kid potty. These seats have a large surface area and a smaller cavity, making any toilet seat safe for little bottoms to rest on.
Toilet seats for toddlers come in a variety of styles and are fitted with different features, so finding the perfect one can be difficult. Our top pick, the BABYBJORN toilet trainer, works for any kid.
What to know before you buy a toilet seat for toddlers
Toilet seats vs. potty chairs
Often referred to as potty training seats, toilet seats for toddlers can provide a smooth transition from diapers to the toilet. Many parents think of a potty chair as the go-to choice for making this transition, while others opt for a toddler toilet seat.
Potty chairs are stand-alone units that sit close to the floor and have a tank you must manually clean after each use. They are easy to move around the house and small enough that a toddler can usually sit on them without any help. Although potty chairs have the benefit of being less intimidating for young ones, the cleaning involved can be more intimidating for parents and guardians. If you don’t mind cleaning it and have the extra floor space, a potty chair may be a good option for you.
Toilet seats for toddlers are seats designed to fit onto your existing toilet seat, creating a comfortable space for your child to use the toilet. Toilet seats take up less space than potty chairs, have little to no maintenance and get your young one used to an actual toilet sooner, rather than having the potty chair in between. With the addition of a good step to help your little one get up on the toilet, there aren’t many downsides to a toddler toilet seat.
Toilet seats for toddlers come in a variety of styles, from traditional seats that aren’t much different from a normal toilet seat to padded seats featuring their favorite TV show character.
- Traditional: Typically made from durable plastic, traditional seats are often contoured to make sure your toddler is comfortable and sits properly. These seats offer the most similar experience to sitting on a normal toilet seat.
- Padded: Little rear ends aren’t used to hard surfaces, and some kids really struggle to use the toilet if they aren’t comfortable. A padded toilet seat allows your toddler to settle in more so they can concentrate on doing their business. Most padded seats have a layer of cushioning covered in plastic, although there are some on the market that have removable padding. Be aware that padded seats are often the hardest to clean.
- Hinged: One of the biggest downsides of a toilet seat for toddlers is having to put it in place whenever your child needs to go potty and take it off whenever anyone else does. If you have multiple household members using the same toilet, consider a hinged toilet seat, which typically has an adult-size seat on the bottom and the toddler-size seat on top, so adults can just lift up the toddler seat when they need to use the restroom. A hinged seat typically replaces your existing toilet seat, which can be a good bit of hassle on the front end.
- Two-in-one: Once you have the right seat for your toddler, you will likely need a step stool for them to get up to the toilet. Two-in-one seats do both, with a fold-out design that has a built-in step stool, and often handles as well. The only real downside to a two-in-one is space because they are a good bit larger to store than other models.
- Travel: Although most traditional or padded toilet seats are small enough to bring with you, there are some models designed specifically for travel. These come in two styles: fold-up and convertible. Fold-up travel seats fold small enough to fit into a diaper bag, making them perfect for all sorts of travel. Convertible models offer the convenience of both a potty chair and a potty seat. They resemble a traditional seat but have fold-out legs that allow you to use it as a stand-alone potty if used with a suitable plastic bag. Convertible seats are great for long road trips or camping.
What to look for in a quality toilet seat for toddlers
Some toddler toilet seats have an adjustable fit, allowing them to accommodate toilet seats of varying styles. The actual size and shape of the seat remain the same, but the arms on the underside of the seat can be adjusted to deliver a snug fit to any toilet.
Since sitting on the toilet is often scary for little ones, having handles on the side can be helpful for making them feel more secure. Additionally, handles give the toddler something to grip onto when it gets hard to go potty. Overall, handles make kids more comfortable.
For kids who would normally urinate standing up, potty training can be very difficult. For this reason, many toilet seats for toddlers have a splash guard, which is positioned in the front center of the seat and works to contain errant splashes of urine. There are some permanent splash guards, while you can remove others for cleaning and convenience.
How much you can expect to spend on a toddler toilet seat
Expect to spend $10-$50, depending on the style, quality and additional features. For less than $15, you’ll find lower-quality seats with limited features, but they do the job and come in a lot of design options. For $15-$25, you can find pretty much any style of toilet seat for toddlers, although the quality increases with the price. Fully adjustable seats, hinged seats and seats with step stools typically cost $25-$50.
Toilet seat for toddlers FAQ
Why is it hard to clean a padded toilet seat?
A. Liquid can drip down through the plastic covering and into the padding, making it impossible to clean deep down. Some padded seats have removable padding, which solves this problem.
Is it better to buy a seat and step stool separately or to purchase a two-in-one seat with the stool built-in?
A. It depends on your needs. Some kids will be enticed by the ladder-style steps of a two-in-one seat, which can be an added benefit. Alternatively, while a two-in-one eliminates the need for a separate stool in the bathroom, you may still want a separate step stool for other rooms in the house.
What’s the best toilet seat for toddlers to buy?
Top toilet seat for toddlers
What you need to know: This adjustable and ergonomic toilet seat has all the basic features and comfortably fits all types of kids.
What you’ll love: The gentle contoured shape of this seat improves comfort and encourages correct position. The adjustable bottom fits securely to most toilets without sliding or wobbling. The splash guard prevents spills, and the built-in handle allows for easy use and storage.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have any handles for kids to hold onto.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top toddler toilet seat for the money
What you need to know: This affordable seat for toddlers offers substantial functionality and features compared to other models in its price range.
What you’ll love: With a non-skid edge that keeps it in place, this seat has a contoured design for comfortable sitting, an integrated splash guard and side grips to give kids a sense of security. You can use this seat with a deodorizing disc.
What you should consider: Some users found it didn’t fit on smaller toilets.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This two-in-one seat and ladder has all the features you could need and makes climbing up to the toilet fun.
What you’ll love: The height-adjustable ladder makes it easy for any kid to climb up to the toilet. Nonslip pads keep the seat securely fit to the toilet and feet keep the ladder from sliding. It has a comfortable seat cushion you can remove for easy cleaning. Assembly is easy.
What you should consider: Although it folds up for storage, the footprint is still quite big.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Collette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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