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Are Toilet Seats Universal?

Close up front view photo of a toilet seat.

So, there we were, about to set out on our family’s Caribbean and African “safaris”, when our littlest, Lil Lily asked me,

“Are toilet seats universal?!” she questioned, using a BIG word she had recently learned, but visibly concerned.

I paused, unsure whether she meant toilets could be found all over the world. Or,  whether they were the same size and shape all over the world. But since the answer to both was Yes and No, I first answered….

1. Yes, honey toilet seats are found all over the world but only in those developed parts of a country like in…

Cities and Towns

In most cities and towns of the developed and developing world, you will find toilet seats covering toilet bowls. Whether in private homes or public places, you will be able to find toilet seats made of either porcelain, ceramic, stainless steel, fiberglass, or durable plastic covering toilets of similar material.  

There are several toilet seat types available on the market and, interestingly enough, the most common brand of the toilet seat is called the Universal. They are designed to fit most toilets.

Universal toilet seats come in the form of round and elongated shapes. The Universal round toilet seats are designed to fit most round toilets. Conversely, Universal elongated toilet seats are designed to fit most elongated toilets.

Wherever any toilet seats are found, you can be sure they are a sturdy, and reliable, option for your toilet. The design is often sleek and clean with a lid that covers the toilet seat and goes over the toilet bowl when the toilet seat is not in use.

2. And if by “universal” you mean they are the same size and shape all over the world, then the answer is, No…Unless a portable toilet seat

A medical concept portable toilet for elderly people.

For health, hygiene, or potty training reasons, there are those who would rather carry and use their portable toilet seat when they travel away from home. One such portable toilet seat is the  Wssrogy toilet seat. This toilet seat is considered “a universal fit toilet seat” because it will fit any and most toilets and can also be used when potty training your little one.

The Wssrogy toilet seat is made of durable materials. It has a unique design that provides a superior grip on the toilet seat. This makes it easy to clean and resistant to odors. To top it all off, this toilet seat is equally easy to install.

Almost similar to the Wssrogy, the Centoco toilet seat is also made of durable plastic and fits most toilets. Like the Wyssrogy, the Centoco toilet seat is a universal design that fits most toilets and is easy to install.

However, unlike the Centoco or Drive Medical toilet seat, it is not just a luxurious personal toilet accessory. Instead, it is designed to help people with mobility issues- those who find it difficult to get up and down from a standard toilet seat.

Probably the limousine in the fecal matter wipe assist tool range is the electronic toilet seat. It cleans you with a spray of water after you have used the bathroom. The electronic toilet seat can replace the original toilet seat or be attached to the side of the seat.

The Bidet electronic toilet seat, for instance, works by spraying the seated individual’s bottom and ensuring it is fully cleaned. In some Bidet models, after the water is sprayed, there is warm air that dries the area. All of these are controlled with a button panel on the side of the seat. The whole bottom cleaning process is simple and hygienic.

Other than the examples outlined above, however, toilet seat sizes and shapes are not universal. Their design varies depending on the manufacturer. Toilet seats are measured in inches, and do not fit just any toilet bowl-unless perhaps it is a Universal, Wssrogy, or Drive toilet seat. 

A black and white portable toilet inside a camo tent.

In the United States, there are two standard shapes and sizes of toilet bowls and toilet seats. These are elongated and round. Round toilet seats are generally more common in homes and houses. They are designed to fit most round toilets and are usually the least expensive.

Round toilet seats have an oval shape that fits on top of a round toilet. Since they take up less space than their elongated opposite, they can often be found in small toilets or bathrooms.

Elongated toilet seats are designed to fit most elongated toilets. They have a rectangular shape that fits on top of an elongated toilet. They are preferred by many, especially men, because of their extended size. Usually, they are the most expensive of the two toilet seats.

Given their popularity, elongated toilet seats are standard in most large commercial businesses such as hotels, gas stations, and airports. However, although they’re most common in large businesses, you can also find them in houses and apartments.

To find out whether yours is a round or elongated toilet seat, measure from the end of the bowl to the middle of the seat post holes. Usually, round toilet seats measure about 16.5 inches long and about 14 inches wide. Elongated toilet seats are 18.5 inches long and round toilet seats are 16.5 inches long. Because round toilet seats are a couple of inches smaller than elongated seats, they tend to be on the cheaper side, but not by much.

However, if you have a non-standard toilet seat, in all likelihood, it’s a European type. Aside from the two typical toilet seat types, European toilet seats also have a D-shaped option available.

3. That said, toilets in some developing and under-developed parts of a country might not have toilet seats, let alone the toilets themselves. For example in….

Rural and Farming areas

A front view photo of a improvised rural toilet in a farm.

While for urbanites (i.e. people living in towns and cities), a toilet with a toilet seat is quite common and normally expected, the same is not so for some rural and farm dwellers in developing and underdeveloped parts of a country. For some of them, using a pit latrine without a toilet seat, or worse still, squatting over a shallow hole or behind a bush without a toilet is not that uncommon.

In such places, proper toilets, let alone toilet seats are quite rare and far between. I guess the same could be said about relieving yourself when in the bush, jungle, or on a mountain top.

Despite this, however, you might find in the same areas such toilets as BlairVIPs that do have durable round and/or elongated plastic toilets with seats. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  about toilet seats

Q: Where can I find the model number of my toilet seat?

A: If you have the original packaging, your toilet seat’s model number can be found on the outside of the box. If you do not have the original packaging, please call your Customer Service and they will help you determine what model number your seat is.

Q: How do I remove my toilet seat?

A: Depending on the seat, it can be removed with either a screwdriver or a wrench. Please use caution, because your tools can easily chip the porcelain of the toilet. If the toilet seat bolts are rusty, spray them with a rust penetrant. Wait five or ten minutes, and then try loosening the bolts again. If they still won’t loosen, consider calling a professional.

Q: What tools are required to install my toilet seat?

An expert installing a toilet seat with complete tools in a tool box.

A: The majority of our toilet seats can be installed using either a 5/8” or a 1/2” socket or combination wrench, depending on the style of hinge the seat has.

Related: Toilet Cost: How Much Does It Cost To Install A Toilet?

Q: What shape do toilet seats come in?

A:  When buying a new toilet seat, you can choose between different toilet seat shapes. The preferred seat shape is different from region to region. By and large, the shape of a toilet seat can be put in the following four categories:

  • Oval / Universal
  • D-shape / U-shape
  • Square
  • Pointed / V-shape