For years, my family had been propping our toilet seat lids up with a metal hook attached to a rubber band. Clearly, the system had its flaws. If the hook slipped or the band snapped, the lid could hit you square in the back — or drop on your hands while you were scrubbing the toilet. So a few months ago, I decided to go looking for the best soft-close toilet seats on the market.
As always, I’ll present a brief buyer’s guide before I get into my product reviews so that you know what to expect. However, at this point, you may not even realize the many benefits of having a soft-close toilet seat. So before I get into the specifics, let’s talk about why you really should go with a soft-close toilet seat the next time you need one.
Growing up, my family usually got cheap, plastic toilet seats. However, those kinds of products have certain flaws that you won’t have to deal with if you get a seat with a quality soft-close feature.
Aside from being prone to loudly flopping down when you flip them up, they’re also likely to crack or completely snap in half. Typically, dollar store toilet seats aren’t very reliable, especially if you or one of your family members weigh over a hundred pounds. Let’s just say I know what it feels like to sit down on a cracked seat only to jump when it pinches a thigh. It’s not a sensation you’d expect to feel at that point.
Of course, the obvious solution is to get a more durable toilet seat. For example, sturdy, wooden ones are much less likely to crack under pressure — so to speak. Yet, even though toilet seats made of thicker materials are less likely to break than their thinner counterparts, they’re certainly not the perfect solution. Because thicker plastic is also heavier, such seats tend to crash down with a bang.
As if all of these problems weren’t bad enough, some of these toilet seats can’t actually stay up on their own. In fact, they fall over fairly frequently. Even the cheap, thin, plastic ones we used to get would make a pretty loud snapping noise whenever they fell over. However, that’s nothing compared to the heavier wooden ones that may even damage the porcelain when they come crashing down.
Why You Need a Soft-Close Toilet Seat
So has the advent of soft-close technology solved the problems we just talked about? I’d say so! With a soft-close toilet seat, you get to use strong and durable materials like thick plastic or wood. However, because the hinges are firmer than the ones that hold up regular toilet seats, soft-close lids don’t tip over as often.
Moreover, when they do start to tip over, they can’t really achieve the velocity that would cause a loud noise. So, that’s the main reason I wanted a soft-closing toilet seat: to rid my home of unnecessary noise.
Still, there are other reasons you might want to get a toilet seat with soft-closing hinges. Namely, having them might improve the safety of your bathroom. For one, soft-closing hinges would prevent the lid from closing over your back or your hands while you’re cleaning the toilet. Additionally, if you have lower back pain, getting a slow-closing lid would stop you from having to bend to close the cover.
If you have small children, you have even more reasons to make your bathroom safe. Whether you are just going through the process of potty training them or they have already started going to the toilet on their own, the products I’ll mention will certainly prevent accidents from happening.
In fact, if you’re potty training your kids, there are some extra features you might want to consider before buying a toilet seat. But before we get into those, we ought to go over the basics.
Features to Look for When Shopping for Quiet Toilet Seats
Usually, when I do these buyer’s guides, I’m talking about electronics. So I get to tell you about the kinds of fans or motors that make a device a quiet one. However, in this case, the products are all on an equal playing field as far as the main feature is concerned.
The soft-closing technology these products use comes down to the hinges — so we can start by dissecting that feature. The other ones you might want to look into don’t really have anything to do with the functionality of the toilet seat. However, I’ll still go over them, if for no other reason than to help you learn more about all the options you have.
Soft-closing hinges are nothing new — though they’ve certainly revolutionized toilet seat design. Still, we’ve seen them before. They’re a pretty popular design aspect for interior and exterior doors, as well as cabinet hinges. Larger doors usually use a combination of pneumatic cylinders and springs or even hydraulic closers to slow down the doors’ path.
However, toilet seats are usually less sophisticated. Namely, most of the products on my list use springs and friction washers to slow the descent of the lid. More specifically, the friction washer slows down the initial descent, which compresses the spring, making sure that the impact is completely silent.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that the seat you end up choosing has damping pads on the underside. No matter how slowly the lid closes over your toilet, it’s going to make a sound if there are no damping materials like rubber or soft plastic to soften the blow, so to speak.
Now, if your soft-closing toilet ever starts making noise, you’ll want to focus your attention on the hinges to solve the problem. Fixing a Kohler toilet seat may even involve replacing parts of the mechanism, as you’ll see in this video. However, most toilets start closing a bit faster due to the loosening of the screws in the hinges, so you’ll just need to tighten those. After you do, you can expect the seat to be extra slow-closing until it loosens up again.
Saying that you’ll need to consider the design of your toilet seat may seem like a bit of a given, but I’m making this point for a reason. Obviously, the size and shape of your seat cover have to match those of your toilet. However, there are other things you ought to consider — such as the seat’s color or print.
Full disclosure, I usually just go for plain old white toilet seats. Still, if you have a vibe you want to go with in your bathroom, you can choose from all sorts of other colors and even patterns.
Still, you should mostly pay attention to whether the seat is round or elongated. Specifically, make sure that you keep the width of the space between the hinges and the overall length of the seat in mind. Before you get a seat cover, you’ll need to measure your own toilet to make sure the seat will fit.
Of course, if you have an unconventional toilet shape, you may have a hard time finding a good soft-close seat. Assuming that the original seat came straight from the manufacturer, you may have to get a replacement from the same source.
I’ve already explained why the materials toilet seats are made of are so important. With regular ones that don’t come with slow-closing hinges, the weight of the material can influence the way the product behaves. Even though heavier lids are more likely to stay up on their own, they also make a louder noise when they fall. Conversely, lighter materials are usually also thinner, which makes them more likely to crack under the weight of the user.
Ultimately, the toilet seat you end up purchasing should ideally be flexible enough to be comfortable. That’s why plastic and wood are such popular choices for both the seat and the lid. However, the seat also needs to be strong and durable enough to hold people of different sizes. But don’t worry — most products on the market can hold up to 300 pounds.
Lastly, you should also keep the quality of the hinges in mind when shopping for your next toilet seat. After all, they’re the most important part of a slow-closing mechanism. The bolts of the hinges are usually plastic or metal, with metal being more durable. However, since most products have plastic parts, you should just make sure that they’re strong enough to last you a while.
Most toilet seats don’t come with installation instructions, so figuring out how to install one will probably be up to you. There are some main installation methods manufacturers use, though.
Some seat covers come with nuts and bolts. You just have to drop the bolts through the holes in your toilet, and then fasten the nuts on the other side.
On the other hand, you could also get a product that comes with separate hardware. So you may have to install the hinges separately, as you can see in the installation video of this rectangular seat, and then drop the toilet seat onto the pegs.
In my reviews, I’ll try to mention which installation method each of the product uses so that you know how to set up your soft-close seat when the time comes.
Finally, you don’t need to settle for a regular old toilet seat — even if it is soft-closing. There are all sorts of features you can look for in your ideal seat, including:
- An extra child potty training seat that comes down from the toilet lid. If you’re currently potty training your child, and you don’t want them to fall into the toilet — this feature would be a great addition.
- A nightlight, which is great if you don’t want to turn the bathroom light on in the middle of the night.
- A built-in heater, which will come in handy during long and freezing winters. However, that particular feature does require you to have a power outlet somewhere around your toilet, which is something you ought to consider before buying a self-heating seat.
List of the Best Soft-Close Toilet Seats
The products I’ve found are mostly regular soft-close toilet seats with only a few color options. However, after I go through the most basic seats, I’ll also recommend a few products with some of those extra features I’ve just mentioned. So let’s begin!
1. Bath Royale Premium Round or Elongated Toilet Seat with Soft-Close, Quick-Release Cover
To begin with, let’s examine the most basic, and also the most popular product in this lineup. The Bath Royale soft-closing seat comes in two shapes. The round version of the product is 16.5 inches long, while the elongated version is two inches longer. Both would fit toilet bowls with hinge holes that are between 4.5 and 6.5 inches wide, so the seats are compatible with all toilet brands.
The seat comes with stainless steel hardware that lets you set it up by installing the pegs first, then aligning the toilet with them. Also, apart from soft-closing hinges, it has a quick-release feature. So when you want to thoroughly clean your toilet, you’ll be able to easily take it off the pegs.
The main parts of the seat are made of flexible yet durable polypropylene, painted with a high gloss finish. Both stainless steel and this kind of plastic are non-porous, stain-resistant, and capable of withstanding up to 400 pounds. Lastly, the product is available in three colors: a pure white and two off-white alternatives.
2. MAYFAIR Slow-Close Round or Elongated Enameled Wood Toilet Seat
The Mayfair slow-closing toilet seat is similar to the previous product I’ve mentioned in several aspects. For one, it comes in the same two shapes — the 18.5-inch elongated version and the 16.5-inch round one. Furthermore, this manufacturer offers three colors that are fairly similar to the options we’ve already seen. So you can either get a completely white seat or one of the two off-white options.
However, that’s pretty much where the similarities between these two products end. While this seat has a shiny finish similar to the previous one’s glossy coat, the material under the paint is actually wood. That means that this particular seat is both durable and somewhat flexible as well. Still, it does appear to be more fragile than my previous recommendation since the manufacturer hasn’t mentioned any weight estimates in the product description.
Additionally, unlike the previous product, this one installs with a snap. All you need is a wrench to tighten the bolts, and you’ll be able to pop your seat on and off as you please.
3. KOHLER Cachet Elongated or Round Quiet-Close Toilet Seat
Even though the Kohler quiet-closing toilet seat is somewhat similar to the seats we’ve seen so far, it also manages to distinguish itself a bit. But let’s start with the features that are the same across the board.
First, I ought to note that this product has both an elongated and a round version. In this case, the seats can be 18 5/8 and 16 5/8 inches long from the hinges to the tip of the lid. Speaking of which, the plastic hinges are 5.5 inches apart, so make sure that you measure the holes on your toilet before you buy the seat.
Like the previous product, this one uses a simple snap closure, which also allows it to have a quick-release function. It also has a quick-attach feature, allowing you to slip the whole cover off and on without an issue. There are also several grip tight bumpers underneath the seat that help make it as quiet as possible.
This soft-closing toilet seat is made of durable polypropylene plastic that is resistant to staining, chipping, and peeling. The product is actually available in nine colors, though they only range from white to black.
4. Toto SoftClose Elongated or Round Toilet Seat
The Toto SoftClose seat cover is another basic slow-closing toilet seat that can be either 18.5 or 16.5 inches long. Both versions are 14 inches wide with bolt holes that are 5.5 inches apart.
The seat is easy to install by simply securing it with the nuts and bolts that come in the package. After you attach the bolts, you can neatly cover them with two flat lids. When the seat is installed properly, it won’t move at all. However, the slow-closing feature may be a bit testy at first — especially if you’ve never had to deal with a similar product.
The seat is entirely made of polypropylene plastic, which is firm but also comfortable. Molded bumpers provide additional padding between the seat and the toilet. So, between the slow-closing feature and the bumpers, I’d say this product deserves a spot on my list!
5. WSSROGY Elongated or Round Slow-Close Toilet Seat
The WSSTOGY slow-close toilet seat is fairly similar in design to the Kohler one, although it appears to have much smoother lines. Still, like the other products on this list, it can comfortably fit onto elongated or round toilet bowls. As long as the mounting holes on the toilet are about 5.6 inches apart, you should have no problems installing this seat.
In fact, this product lets you choose the mounting accessories you want to use. The seat comes with two rubber pads that can provide padding between the porcelain bowl and the plastic seat. As for the mounting nuts and bolts, the product comes with both metal and plastic ones, so you can choose either option.
One interesting design advantage this product has over other seats is the ergonomic design of the lid that covers it. Namely, there’s a small gap on top that will enable you to easily pull the lid up when you need to.
6. Delta Faucet Morgan Round or Elongated Slow-Close Toilet Seat with Non-Slip Bumpers
The Delta Faucet toilet seat is the last of the most basic kinds of seats I’ve found. Like the rest of them, it is compatible with either elongated or round toilet bowls, and you can even move them about half an inch forward or backward. However, you may want to measure your current seat before getting a new one. If you’re used to a wider opening, this product’s 11.5-inch long and 8-inch wide one may chafe.
This seat will be pretty easy to install, though you may want to use metal bolts instead of the plastic ones that come in the package. When you attach the bolts, you can flip the cover over to conceal them. If you tighten the hinges every few months, the slow-closing function should last you a good while.
7. MAYFAIR NextStep Slow-Close Toilet Seat with Built-in Potty Training Seat
If you’re looking for the perfect transitional toilet seat that can accommodate people of all ages, the MAYFAIR NextStep toilet seat may be it! The seat has a snap fastening system, so it’ll be easy to remove and clean. Once you have it on your toilet, it won’t budge, and the seat cover will stay up without falling.
However, unlike other seats on this list, this one has a built-in plastic toddler seat. Basically, while you’re not using the potty, the slip seat will stay flush against the seat cover. When your child needs it, they’ll be able to push it down themselves without getting their fingers pinched! Best of all, this product gets rid of the need to have additional potty seats in the bathroom.
The MAYFAIR toilet seats are compatible with either elongated or round toilets. Additionally, you can get them in three colors, including white and two shades of tan.
The most common complaint I’ve seen about this seat is that the enamel layer covering the wood core may be a bit too thin. If you’re training a toddler to sit on a toilet seat, you can be sure that it will get wet at some point.
8. Sanilo Round Slow-Close Toilet Seats
Now, you don’t have to stick to the plain old white, tan, and gray toilet seats we’ve seen so far. Sanilo has molded wooden seats that are compatible with either round or elongated toilets. Even within those two categories, the length is adjustable between 15.3 and 17 inches, and 16.9 and 18.7 inches, respectively.
Both shapes come with various images printed on them, some of which are available with both versions. Others are available in solid colors only, like the glittering gold, pink, or silver ones, while a few have pictures or illustrations. No matter your taste, you’ll definitely be able to find a seat with an image you like.
In all other ways, these seats should perform as well as the ones I’ve already reviewed. Specifically, thanks to their strong and durable hinges, they should be slow-closing and quiet.
9. Bemis Radiance Heated Slow-Close Toilet Seat
Finally, these last two products on my list are perfect if you live in a particularly cold climate. If you don’t want to freeze your bits off during your nightly visits to the bathroom, you can always get a toilet seat with a built-in heater. But before I get into the extra features of the Bemis Radiance toilet, let’s go through the basics.
Like the other products on this list, this one is compatible with both round and elongated toilets. Both of those versions of the product come in white. However, the elongated seat is available in tan as well.
The seat installs with snaps in the back, which will also allow you to adjust it to get the perfect fit. In addition to softening the plastic lid’s landing, the Super Grip Bumpers also improve the stability of the seat.
Apart from the soft-closing hinges, this product also boasts several other interesting features. First, there’s the not-strictly-necessary addition of the nightlight, which will illuminate the bowl with a gentle blue light. That feature is particularly helpful if you don’t want to turn on the bathroom light at night. Simply plug the toilet seat in and press the light button in the back, near the hinges.
But the real pièce de résistance of this product is the fact that you get to choose between three temperature settings. The lowest setting is at 97 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about body temperature, while the hottest one is at 104 degrees. Like the nightlight feature, you can control the heat through the button on the right.
10. Brondell LumaWarm Heated Elongated or Round Soft-Close Toilet Seat with Nightlight
Lastly, we have the LumaWarm toilet seat from Brondell, which is also compatible with both elongated and round toilets. Like the previous product on the list, this one has a blue LED nightlight and a built-in heater. They even have the same temperature range since this one also lets you set the heat between 97 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, both items are available in similar colors — white and biscuit, which is basically tan.
There are certain distinguishing characteristics, though they’re too minor to make a difference. For example, while the previous product has gray print on it to indicate the different buttons, this one has all the letters printed in blue. Everything else is pretty much the same, though the manufacturer took the time to explain the specifics of the product.
The installation system has some wiggle room. So if the width between the bolt holes is 5.5–6.25 inches, this seat will fit. Additionally, the length of the toilet can vary since you can push the seat back and front by an inch. Finally, it can handle a maximum weight of 320 pounds, so it won’t crack under pressure.
HOW TO SOUNDPROOF A BATHROOM
Final Thoughts on Quiet Toilet Seats
If you’re looking for soft-closing toilet seats, you can’t go wrong with any of the products on my list. After all, no matter which kinds of soft-close hinges they use, they’re all going to be pretty much silent. You’ll only need to tighten them every once in a while. Everything else is a matter of preference.
So pick the seat that suits your needs! It can have plenty of additional features and special design elements or be one of the plain models I’ve mentioned. Either way, you won’t have to worry about the seat suddenly crashing onto the porcelain bowl. Best of all, your bathroom will be much safer for you and your little ones.