The Toilet Seat Buyer’s Guide

traditional toilet with wood seat

So, your toilet seat is broken.

You’ll likely be thinking that it will be easy to choose a replacement, but there are a few thing to consider to ensure you buy the correct one.

Before you pick up the first one you see, use our expert guide below to find the perfrct replacement loo seat.

Over time, toilet seats can suffer a degree of wear and tear – whoch is hardly surprising considering we all use them a few times every day.

If the toilet seat is put up and down four times a day, that is over 1400 times a year the hinges will move – so it is definitely worth spending a little more on a quclity seat that will stand the test of time.

a traditional toilet

How to choose a toilet seat

There’s a variety of toilet types to choose from to suit any bathroom.

The most popular type is the close coupled toilet, which is where the pan is fitted closely to the cistern. There’s also back to wall toilets, wall hung toilets and traditional high-level toilets.

As well as these toilet types, the shape can vary too – round, square or d-shaped, and there’s differences in size – length and width. So, it’s quite clear that there’s no standard size or shape for a toilet seat. This is what makes it a little tricky to choose the right one.

To make it easier for you, just follow these points:

  • Take note of the shape of the toilet pan.
  • Measure the point between the two fixing holes in the pan.
  • Measure the widest point of the pan.
  • Measure the distance the pan sticks out from the cistern or wall.

You will now have a shape and set of measurements to work from.

square toilet

Toilet seat options

From soft closing toilet seats to d-shaped styles and top fixing hinges, here’s a rundown of the various toilet seat options.

Soft close toilet seats

Most toilets are now supplied with a soft close toilet seat as standard. Also known as a slow close toilet seat, this type uses slow closing hinges to prevent it from banging down. This also helps to minimise wear and tear on the pan and the seat itself.

Soft close toilet seat hinges are a practical option for any bathroom, as they help to avoid little fingers from getting trapped, and put an end to accidental bangs and slams. But care must be taken to not force the toilet seat down, as this could damage the hinges.


There are two main types of hinges, and not all are suitable for all toilets.

A top fixing toilet seat is fitted by feeding two bolts into the pan, and is used when the bottom of the pan is inaccessible, for example, in back to wall or one-piece toilets.

The bolts on a bottom fixing seat are tightened from underneath, so there will need to be unrestricted access to these.

You can also get toilet seats with soft close hinges (as previously mentioned), and quick release hinges, which allow for easy removal of the seat, so you can clean with ease.


The design of your toilet will determine the shape of the seat. Angular shaped toilets with a square toilet seat are ideal for creating a contemporary look.

A round or d-shaped toilet seat is used on a toilet with rounded lines – a versatile shape that’s perfect for any bathroom style.


Toilet seats are either made from plastic or wood. Wooden toilet seats are mainly used for traditional style toilets, and they come in a variety of colours and finishes – such as oak – for a classic and timeless look.

Plastic toilet seats are more popular as they are less expensive than wooden seats, and it’s a material that can be moulded into a greater range of shapes.

When shopping for a new toilet seat you may come across the terms ‘thermoset’ and ‘thermoplast’.

Made from a synthetic resin (powder) and catalyser (hardener), thermoset (also referred to as Duroplast) is scratch resistant and easy to clean. It’s a material that looks like ceramic and is used by most manufacturers. One way to tell thermoset and thermoplast apart is that, thermoset has a far less plastic sound and feel to it.

Thermoplast, which is made from synthetic resin (grains), is lightweight and has more of a plastic look. It is not scratch resistant and dust sticks easily to the surface. For these reasons, thermoplast toilet seats are more affordable than thermoset.


As well as the different materials and shapes, there’s also a choice of colours available too.

The most popular being white and black. A white toilet seat is the most popular as it suits any bathroom décor, and blends in easily with fixtures such as the basin and bath.

A black toilet seat is a great choice for both modern and traditional bathrooms, and suits a black and white scheme perfectly.

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