Plastic vs. Wooden Toilet Seats: Which is Better? Complete Guide

Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by

Are you torn between buying a plastic or wooden toilet seat? You’ll be glad to know that this article provides all the information you need to make an informed purchase decision.

With tips on strength, hygiene and affordability, learn the advantages of each material and how the right type of seat can help improve your bathroom experience.

When buying a toilet seat, one of the most important decisions to make is the material it’s made out of—plastic or wood. While both materials offer unique advantages and drawbacks, they each have distinct properties that you should consider before making a purchase.

This guide will provide an in-depth comparison of plastic vs. wooden toilet seats, outlining their differences in cost, maintenance, durability, and more so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a seat for your bathroom.

Definition of plastic and wooden toilet seats

Plastic toilet seats are made out of strong, durable materials like polypropylene or synthetic urea-formaldehyde resins. They are typically designed to be lightweight and easy to clean, while also having a smooth and even finish. Plastic toilet seats come in a range of colors and designs, from glossy black to interesting shapes that may even have a decorative function. These plastic toilet seats are often preferred so that they can easily fit into smaller bathrooms or be replaced if necessary.

Unlike plastic toilet seats, wooden toilet seats are made out of genuine wood which is highly resistant to wear and tear. While not as lightweight as plastic, these wooden models lend a touch of luxury and sophistication to any bathroom setting. Wooden toilet seats typically come in light or medium brown shades with a woodgrain finish that is warmly inviting. As an added bonus, many wooden seat models feature slow-close technology which helps reduce noise when closing the seat lid.

Importance of choosing the right toilet seat

Choosing the right toilet seat can make a big difference in your comfort, safety and overall bathroom experience. Both plastic and wooden toilet seats have their own advantages and disadvantages but one must be aware of their differences when determining which is the best option to suit their needs.

In terms of cost, plastic is usually cheaper than wood, however, wooden toilet seats may last longer if they are made from good quality materials. When it comes to selecting between the two types of materials, consideration should also be given to its durability – plastic toilet seats tend to be more durable as it is less affected by humidity or moisture whereas wooden toilet seats require more upkeep; they need to be maintained regularly with oil or varnish in order to keep them looking new for longer.

In terms of hygiene, there tends to be a slight advantage for plastic toilet seat over traditional wood due to its smoother material and non-porous construction which makes it easier to clean off bacteria and dirt. Wooden toilet seats can also be wiped down with cleaners but may require more frequent cleaning due its absorbent surface that may collect unseen particles from within the atmosphere.

When it comes down to style, one must consider their bathroom theme or color palette before purchasing a seat; as plastic models are available in various color options while wooden ones come in either natural or dark colored finishes. Plastic models come with open-front designs which make it easier to access— help people who suffer from limited mobility or physical ailments– while traditional wooden models offer a hinged-style design that provides padded contouring seating surface for added comfort upon sitting.

It is important that one takes into account all these differences when deciding which type of material best suits his/her needs as there’s no definite answer as each type offers distinct pros and cons that should be weighed accordingly. The effectiveness of your bathroom experience highly depends on making an informed decision on your selection so take time exploring all options available before hand prior making your purchase!

Comparison of Plastic and Wooden Toilet Seats

When comparing plastic vs. wooden toilet seats, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each material. It can be hard to make a decision without the proper information. This guide hopes to provide an in-depth look at both materials so that you can make an informed decision.

Plastic toilet seats: While plastic seats are generally considered to be more affordable than their wooden counterparts, there are still several advantages and disadvantages when it comes to plastic seats:

Pros: Plastic is easy to clean and maintain, it is also inexpensive, which makes it attractive for those looking for a bargain buy. Additionally, some plastic toilet seats have built-in features such as bumpers or hinges that make them easier to install and keep germ-free.

Cons: Plastic tends to discolor over time, making it difficult to maintain its original whiteness or brilliance. Additionally, some people find that the hard material makes prolonged sitting uncomfortable or measly warm during winter months. Moreover, many forms of plastic aren’t recyclable and may contribute towards environmental pollution if thrown away inappropriately.

Wooden toilet seats: Wooden toilet seats bring a sense of natural beauty into the bathroom space as well as providing warmth on cold days. Additionally, wooden materials are often born from sustainable sources which provides an ecological benefit too!

Pros: Not only does wood add an aesthetically pleasing element into your bathroom decor but it also offers comfort during long sitting periods due to its natural insulating qualities when compared with other materials like plastic or metal. The unique grain structures of most wooden materials adds another layer of elegant beauty too! Furthermore, recycling broken or damaged wood is much easier than recycling other synthetic materials like plastics which can be advantageous for those seeking eco-friendly solutions with their purchase decisions too!

Cons: Despite its many benefits real wood needs regular maintenance and sealing treatments in order for it not rot or succumb other issues like warping over time due to moisture changes – making them slightly less beneficial results wise in comparison if they are not kept up correctly regularly towards upkeep efforts (cleaning etc). In addition they will cost more upfront when initially purchased so this should be considered if you’re on a tighter budget versus durability wise with extensive use overtime – especially if the climate where you live has extremes like very hot summer months with extended times of direct sunlight contact excessively (for example).


When it comes to hygiene, plastic and wood both have benefits. Plastic toilet seats are specifically designed for bathroom use due to their high durability and easier cleaning. Most plastic toilet seat models also have antibacterial protection, preventing the formation of mold, mildew, and bacteria. For those concerned about exposure to hazardous materials, some manufacturers offer a range of plastic toilet seats with no added chemicals or fragrances.

Wood toilet seats are naturally more durable than plastic and provide a softer surface. Some wooden types feature a special coating that prevents water absorption, which helps reduce mildew growth caused by humidity and moisture. A bonus is that wooden toilet seats are less likely to become cold in winter months—a great benefit during cold weather climates!

Both types require regular cleaning with warm soapy water to keep them looking new, although you may need harsher cleansers on plastic models to get rid of stubborn stains or blemishes. When it comes down to it, the choice between plastic vs wooden toilet seats largely depends on your preference or budget—but make sure you keep up with regular cleaning for both!

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of selecting a type of toilet seat is an important consideration when choosing between plastic and wooden toilet seats. The production and maintenance of wooden seats, while more durable than plastic seatings generally require significantly more energy, raw materials and resources to construct. Wood also is not recyclable in its original form but the energy required for recycling processes requires additional resource consumption. In contrast, plastics have a low cost-per-manufacture that is cost effective for producing larger quantities in comparison to the manufacturing process associated with wooden seatings.

When evaluating the environmental impact from the perspective of long-term use and disposal, plastic seats have a greater amount of benefits due to their ability to be easily broken down during breakup compared to wood whose components require additional energy consumption for breaking down its composition during recycling processes. Plastic materials are typically much easier to recycle after use due to their damage resistance capabilities over wood which tends to degrade more quickly over time.

Therefore, when considering environmental impacts, plastic seats are usually considered beneficial due to their lower production requirement as well as their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions with minimal damage throughout its lifetime compared wood’s tendency towards degradation after prolonged exposure.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Plastic and Wooden Toilet Seats

When considering the plastic vs. wooden toilet seat debate, there are many factors to consider. The most important thing to keep in mind is that both types of toilet seats are designed for easy installation and can be adapted to fit a wide variety of toilet styles and sizes.

Aesthetic appeal: Wooden toilet seats offer a far more aesthetically pleasing option compared to plastic models. They are available in a range of natural wood shades, including cherry, walnut, oak, and pine. In addition, they can come with intricate carvings or also be ordered in custom designs and stained to match existing bathroom decor. On the other hand, plastic toilet seats tend to have limited colours available, existing mainly only in standard white or bone shades.

Durability: Plastic is the perfect choice if you’re looking for longevity due to its characteristics of being more resistant against fading and cracking than wooden models which can easily chip or scratch over time. Furthermore, wooden toilet seats must be oiled periodically each year in order to preserve their beauty and functionality because the wood will lose its luster or warp if it’s not treated properly. Plastic models do not require any sort of oiling and will rarely require maintenance beyond basic cleaning with a mild detergent or wiping down from time-to-time with a damp cloth as needed.

Price: Another factor worth noting when deciding between a plastic or wooden toilet seat is cost. Wooden versions usually carry a heftier price tag compared to their plastic counterparts since vinyl is generally much less expensive than natural materials like wood.

Toilet Seats: Wood vs Plastic (5 Factors You Should Consider) -

Personal Preference

When deciding which toilet seat material is best for you, the most important factor to consider is personal preference. There are pros and cons to both plastic and wooden toilet seats, so it comes down to what you value most. Both materials come in a variety of colors and finishes, so aside from comfort there may be aesthetic reasons to choose one or the other.

Plastic toilet seats are usually made of polypropylene or polystyrene and typically provide superior durability compared to wooden ones. Although plastic can be cold to the touch, there are many options with comfortable cushioning that could be better suited for those who find traditional wooden toilet seats too hard on their skin. Plastic toilet seats can also come with features such as built-in lights or heated surfaces that may provide enhanced convenience or comfort compared to wood.

Wooden toilet seats are usually some combination of oak, mahogany, birch and other hardwoods. They tend to provide more stability than plastic toilets due to increased weight and unique assembly methods; plus they look great regardless of age! Wooden toilet lids often offer more padding than plastics including specialty models with memory foam cushions that mold themselves around your body. This type of seat may age better than plastic if you take care not to chip it over time.



When it comes to toilet seats, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Whether you choose a wooden or plastic seat depends on your budget, preferred aesthetic, and personal preference.

Budget is a primary consideration when choosing between wooden and plastic toilet seats. On average, a basic wooden toilet seat runs around twice the cost of a basic plastic one. But if you want something special—like an ornate design on a wooden seat—you can quickly increase your price range significantly. On the flip side, if you’re looking for something durable but don’t want to spend too much money, basic plastic models start at just $10.

The choice in materials also affects cost. For instance, molded wood is less expensive than solid wood because it’s made from compressed sawdust combined with glue; such composite materials are highly durable and are generally considered on par with solid wood seats in terms of quality. Of course, more expensive options such as teak or mahogany also exist for special needs or preferences.

Overall, budget will likely be the deciding factor in your purchase decision as it concerns both material and style choices for toilet seats.


Bathroom Decor

Bathroom decor is an important consideration when making a toilet seat purchase. In a modern bathroom, the materials used for the toilet seat can either add to or detract from the overall look. Plastic and wood have been two of the most popular materials for toilet seats, but which one is better? The answer depends on the factors that are important to you!

When deciding between plastic and wooden toilet seats, it’s important to consider a variety of factors, including bathroom decor, budget, comfort level, easy installation and cleaning. The type of material used will affect all these factors in some way. Plastic toilet seats are often chosen because they are affordable and they come in a range of colors and designs that can add a touch of style to any bathroom. They usually require minimal maintenance and installation is usually straightforward.

Wooden toilet seats tend to be more expensive than plastic ones, but they can lend warmth and character to your bathroom accessorizing with their natural beauty. They are durable, though it might take more effort to clean them regularly since wood absorbs moisture from air exposure more easily than plastic does.

Whether you go for plastic or wooden toilet seats depends on your budget as well as your personal preference when it comes to appearance and feel. Both offer distinct advantages in terms of bathroom decor; it’s up to you to decide which option is most suitable for your needs!

Maintenance and Cleaning of Toilet Seats

Maintaining and cleaning toilet seats ensure that they remain in the best possible condition over a long period of time. Plastic toilet seats, in general, are easy to clean as they require very little maintenance. All you need is warm, soapy water and a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or dust.

Wooden toilet seats require more maintenance and should generally be wiped down using warm, soapy water and wood cleaner regularly to avoid wear and tear. It may be necessary to use a soft-bristled brush for any stubborn dirt or grime build up. If you have a wooden seat with varnish or paint, ensure that it is properly treated to extend its shelf life. The sealer should be reapplied every 6-12 months depending on use and wear.

Additionally, as wooden toilet seats are prone to warping from moisture accumulation, it is important to dry them off if exposed to steam or humidity for an extended period of time.

Cleaning tips for plastic toilet seats

Keeping your toilet clean is important for maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Toilet seats — especially those made of plastic — require regular maintenance and cleaning to properly disinfect them. Plastic seat covers are considered one of the most hygienic materials, and they’re particularly useful in businesses or homes with multiple users.

To keep your plastic toilet seat clean, you should use warm water and a mild detergent or disinfectant like bleach to wash it on a regular basis. Be sure to use enough water when rinsing so that all the soap or bleach is removed. If you have trouble scrubbing away some grunge, you can also use an old toothbrush to ensure all the dirt is removed.

If there’s excess moisture after cleaning, make sure to wipe it down with towels for complete drying. This will prevent mildew from forming on your seat surface and causing an unwanted odor in the restroom area. It’s also recommended that you routinely check for any cracks in the plastic material as this can create crevices where dirt and germs can accumulate over time.

Cleaning tips for wooden toilet seats

Cleaning wooden toilet seats is a necessary task to ensure they last. The general rule of thumb with wooden toilet seats is to use cleaner appropriate for the finish and then a light polishing with furniture wax. Here’s what you should keep in mind when cleaning your wooden toilet seat:

– If your seat has a plastic finish, use household cleaners such as bleach or other all-purpose cleaners; avoid use of abrasive scrubbing pads or instruments- these could cause damage to the finish.

– If your seat has an unfinished wood surface, use warm soapy water and then dry thoroughly with a cloth. Use alcohol free products such as Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean unfinished wood surfaces. Excessive use of water may cause warping of the seat, so be sure to wipe it off as soon as possible after cleaning.

– When finished cleaning, apply furniture polish or wax suitable for wood surfaces on both finished and unfinished surfaces. This will help protect the surface from wear and tear and moisture.

– Do not over lubricate the hinges since this can attract debris which may build up during normal useage; doing this will also reduce any noise created by using the seat when opened or closed.

Toilet comforts: Plastic or wood? |


Ultimately, the choice between a plastic or wooden toilet seat comes down to personal preference. Plastic toilet seats tend to be less expensive and easier to install, but they may not last as long and are not as aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, wooden toilet seats are generally more durable and attractive, but they are costlier and may require more maintenance over time. Both options also come in a variety of styles and finishes so it is important to research all available options before making a final decision.

If you’re still unsure which seat is right for you, it is best to consult an experienced home improvement expert who can help guide you through the process.


What is the best material for toilet seats?

 The best material for toilet seats is generally considered to be either solid wood, plastic or high-density molded wood.

What is the advantage of a wooden toilet seat?

 The advantage of a wooden toilet seat is that it is durable, comfortable, and has a natural aesthetic appeal.

What kind of toilet seat is most comfortable? 

Toilet seats made of soft-close materials or high-density molded wood are generally considered the most comfortable.

How long does a plastic toilet seat last?

 The lifespan of a plastic toilet seat depends on its quality, usage and maintenance, but on average, it can last from 2 to 5 years.

What toilet seat will not crack?

 Toilet seats made of high-density molded wood or solid wood are less likely to crack compared to plastic toilet seats.

How do I choose a toilet seat? 

When choosing a toilet seat, consider factors like size, shape, material, color, and features like soft-close hinges or quick-release buttons.

What is a safe seat for a toilet seat? 

A safe seat for a toilet seat refers to a seat that has a sturdy and secure attachment system, as well as a smooth and easy-to-clean surface.

Which company is best for a toilet seat? 

There are several reliable and reputable companies that manufacture high-quality toilet seats, including Kohler, American Standard, and TOTO.

What not to use on a toilet seat?

 Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on toilet seats, as they can damage the surface and cause discoloration or cracking.

What are the 2 types of toilet seats? 

The two types of toilet seats are the round seat and the elongated seat, which differ in their shape and size.

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