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Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seats | Which One’s Better for You?

Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seat
Written by Joe Richter

Did you know the toilet seat dates back over 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty in China? The first wood toilet seat was invented in 1859, and the plastic version in 1993 by Matt DiReberto.

Today’s most standard toilet seat is the plastic seat, but the wooden seat has regained popularity in recent years. Let us look at how they measure up against each other!

Wood toilet seat – Pros and cons

Pros

  • Stylish with a variety of designs to choose from
  • Easy to clean
  • Weighing more than plastic seats makes the probability of braking less
  • Easy and fast installation
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Heavy-duty hinges for added lifespan
  • Won’t shift around when you sit on it

Cons

  • Pricier than plastic seats
  • Harder to clean
  • Can warp and crack in high heat
  • Vulnerable to bug attacks such as termites
  • Water can sip through the wood and cause rotting
  • Fading can occur over time
  • Lower weight-bearing capability than plastic toilet seats

Plastic toilet seat – Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to clean and maintain because of the smooth service
  • Cost-effective
  • Extended lifespan
  • Can’t be scratched easily
  • Secure and comfortable fit
  • Can be used in public and private bathrooms

Cons

  • Can get cold in the winter
  • Not very appealing to the eye
  • Limited design features
  • Can break easily
  • Won’t be able to hold heavier users

Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seats | A Quick Look

Comparing factors  Wood toilet seat Plastic toilet seat
Weight  Heavy  Light 
Weight tolerance  Higher weight tolerance  Handles less weight
Comfort  More comfortable  Less comfortable 
Warmth  More  Less 
Hygiene  Less hygienic  More hygienic 
Durability  Less durable  More durable 
Style  Less stylish  More stylish with several color choices
Cleaning  Harder  Easier 
Closing  Louder  Quieter 
Aesthetics  Has a strong aesthetic appeal Not aesthetic
Versatility  Has a limited design range Comes with a broad range of styles
Price  Costly  Cheaper 

1. Weight

Wood toilet seat

The wooden seat has more weight plus a higher weight tolerance.

Plastic toilet seat

As plastic is a very light material, it won’t feel as solid as the wooden seat and it can handle less weight.

Winner

The wooden seat is the heavier, steadier winner.

2. Comfort

Wood toilet seat

Because the wood toilet seat is thicker, it’ll stay warmer and thus be more comfortable. You will experience less movement and bending with this seat.

Plastic toilet Seat

The plastic seat can be slightly flimsy and thin, making it less comfortable, especially if you spend some time on it.

Winner

The wooden seat wins this round with its thick and well-built body.

3. Warmth

Wood toilet seat

Toilet seats do get cold, but the wooden toilet seat does a better job of heating up quickly when you sit on them. Also, in general, wood has a warmer feel than plastic.

Plastic toilet Seat

The plastic toilet seat can get cold, which might be uncomfortable for some people.

Winner

Hands down the wooden toilet seat.

4. Hygiene

Wood toilet seat

Wooden seats are usually made of enameled wood with a glossy finish all over them. The seat is impervious to any kind of liquid. However, the glossy varnish weakens over time and cracks may form up that may make it less hygienic.

Plastic toilet Seat

Plastic takes a long time to deteriorate, meaning you’ll face fewer hygiene issues in general. However, how hygienic your seat is vastly depends on how well you maintain and clean it. You may get a UTI even after using a high-quality plastic seat if you don’t maintain it properly.

Winner

As the wood deteriorates faster than plastic, wooden seats become less and less hygienic over time. As a result, plastic seats have a slight edge over wooden ones. However, hygiene depends primarily on your maintenance pattern.

5. Style

Wood toilet seat

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Plastic toilet Seat

Plastic is far more available than wood. Although it’s possible to get a plastic toilet seat in just about any color or pattern, the wooden seat takes the lead by rarity. But the modern ones are often made of recycled wood pulp.

Winner

Even if most other people are content with their plastic seats, there are some who’ll prefer wood over plastic any day. Wood wins this round by superior design and texture.

6. Durability

Wood toilet seat

Wood and water are never a good mix, so this will affect the durability of your toilet even though the wood gets treated before use.

Plastic toilet Seat

Even though they are lighter, the plastic toilet seat is strong and durable. Their finish resists water, stains, and chips.

Winner

Look no further than the plastic toilet seat if you are looking for durability.

7. Lifespan

Wood toilet seat

A wood toilet seat is solid, but because of constant exposure to the ‘elements’ (think: sweat, moisture, urine, etc.), it can rot and become warped after time.

Plastic toilet Seat

If you are looking for a long-lasting, durable seat, go with plastic.

Winner

The clear winner is plastic.

8. Cleaning

Wood toilet seat

Because wood seats have an absorbent surface, they can be harder to clean.

Plastic toilet Seat

The surface here is much easier to clean; a simple wipe with a sanitary wipe will do the job.

Winner

Plastic comes out the winner here.

9. Soft Closing

Wood toilet Seat

Because it has a heavier lid, the wooden seat will be louder when closing.

Plastic toilet Seat

Plastic has a soft touch and is lighter, making the closing much smoother.

Winner

Plastic

10. Aesthetics

Wood toilet Seat

Wood has a story and a strong aesthetic appeal.

Plastic toilet Seat

On the other hand, plastic is mass-produced, cold, and ridged.

Winner

Wood toilet seat

11. Versatility

Wood toilet Seat

Wood seats have a limited design range, and they are heavier, so the soft close option will come at a premium.

Plastic toilet Seat

Plastic seats come with a broad range of styles and a lighter frame for soft closing.

Winner

The versatility of the plastic seat gives it the win.

12. Price

Wood toilet Seat

Depending on the type of wood you go for has a significant effect on the price but the average cost is around $50.

Plastic toilet Seat

With a wide range starting from under $20 to over $100, plastic seats provide low prices and a wide variety.

Winner

Plastic as a budget-friendly option.

Are wooden toilet seats safe?

A wooden seat can be as safe as a plastic one when adequately maintained. Care must be taken when cleaning, so the surface is properly sanitized.

Are plastic toilet seats prone to staining?

Staining can occur on a white plastic toilet seat without proper caretaking. By cleaning the toilet seat instantly, these stains can be prevented.

FAQs

1. Why do wooden toilet seats crack?

Ans. The heavier frame of wooden seats makes them prone to closing hard, leading to cracks. High heat and humidity can also cause cracks.

2. Why did my plastic toilet seat turn yellow?

Ans. Many factors can play a role in your seat turning yellow, such as splashes, urine, and hard water.

About the author

Joe Richter

Academically brilliant, technically flawless and professionally successful, Joe Richter is Toiletsguide’s head of the market research team. He studied Business Studies from the University of Houston and started his professional career as a Market Data Compliance Analyst in the stock market. He’s been following the updates on the bathroomware industries for a long time now and his elaborate studies have profoundly enriched his knowledge on the newer trends of toilets, showers, and related fittings. Apart from that, Joe goes around the street with his Leica Q2 taking pictures of people and buildings. He does most of the photography of the site.

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