There’s nothing quite like a beautiful toilet seat to bring a bathroom design together. Do you need a replacement because the previous seat was no longer up to scratch? Or perhaps you’ve decorated your bathroom and need to update the toilet seat to fit your new design. Either way, it’s always worth finding one that helps to complete the look and with a whole range to choose from, the possibilities are vast!

So, where do you start? Well, that’s where our buyer’s guide comes in. We’ll be working through all the main areas of consideration, from shapes to materials, colours and more, so that you can confidently choose the right toilet seat that’s perfect for you.

Table of contents

What is a toilet seat?

Typically, a toilet seat is an oval or circular ring attached to the top of a toilet bowl and covered by a hinged top. They’re regularly made of plastic or wood but come in many beautiful colours, sizes and shapes.

So, how do I know what toilet seat to buy?

First things first, identify the shape and size you need for the new seat. You will need to:

  • Note down the shape of the toilet pan.
  • Measure between the two fixing holes in the pan to find the middle point.
  • Measure the widest section of the pan.
  • Measure the distance the pan sticks out from the cistern or wall.

These will give you key features to work with. Now, onto the toilet types!

Essential lily toilet seat

Toilet seat shape

The oval isn’t the only option when it comes to toilet seats. Modern designs now have way more options depending on the type of toilet bowl shape you have.

Here’s a summary of the different toilet seat shapes.

Type one: The classic round toilet seat

This a common but excellent design that suits many traditional toilets as these are the ones most likely in need of this toilet seat.

Type two: The snazzy square toilet seat

Contemporary-style toilets are the perfect fit for these types of toilet seats (even if they’re technically more rectangular than square, but that’s beside the point!).

Type three: What do you get when you combine the two seats above? The D-shaped toilet seat!

That’s right! A toilet seat that is D-shaped. They typically come with a flat hinge edge and are used on contemporary-style toilets. However, the general idea is that this type of toilet seat can suit toilets with rounded lines which makes it a versatile choice.

Toilet seat material

Typically, you’ll find two main toilet seat material types:

  • Wood
  • Plastic

These two materials each have special qualities which are demonstrated in the table below.

Toilet seat materialDescription
Wooden toilet seat•Commonly used for traditional-style toilets.
•Variety of colours to choose from.
•Unique range of finishes.
•Engineered, moulded or solid wood.
Plastic toilet seat•Popularly used in contemporary bathrooms.
•Cost-effective compared to wooden toilet seats.
•Can be moulded into a wider variety of shapes.
•Variety of colours to choose from.

Now, what about when you’re faced with these terms?

  • Thermoplastic
  • Thermoset (also known as Duroplast)

These materials might be more alien to you if you’re not a toilet seat fan. So, once again, the qualities between the two will be demonstrated in the table below to help you understand what makes them unique.

Toilet seat materialDescription
Thermoplastic toilet seats •Manufactured from synthetic resin (grains).
•More plastic-looking than thermoset.
•Cost-effective compared to thermoset toilet seats.
•Not scratch-resistant.
•Dust able to stick to the surface more easily.
Thermoset toilet seats •Manufactured using synthetic resin (powder) and catalyser (hardener).
•Easy to clean.
•Ceramic-style appearance.
•Used by majority of manufacturers.
•Minimal plastic sound and feeling.

Toilet seat colour

Now for one of the most fun parts of the search – choosing the colour of your new seat!

Although a white toilet seat is the most common because it matches all bathroom décor, don’t just opt for the easy choice. Really explore your options. The right colour can set the right tone for your bathroom.

A grey toilet seat, for example, can create a calming atmosphere with a chic and modern design.

Love nature and have a couple of plants living in the bathroom? Get this beautiful green toilet seat to match and encourage the natural feeling.

Feeling fancy? This blue toilet seat will stand out and can create a feeling of richness with a luxurious purple appearance.

The point is, there are plenty of colours to choose from. When you explore your options, make sure you really think about your choices to create the right atmosphere for your property.

The extras

The toilet’s features aren’t just an aesthetic choice but a practical one; some will be more suited than others. Here’s what you’ll need to ensure your toilet seat is looking good and practical for the long term.

Toilet seat hinges

There are two main types of hinges for toilet seats. The one you choose will depend on the type of toilet seat you get as not all are appropriate for the fitting.

If you have a top-fixing toilet seat, this is fitted by slotting two bolts into the pan. It’s also used when the bottom of the pan cannot be accessed (e.g., if you have a back-to-wall or one-piece toilet).

For a bottom-fixing toilet seat, the bolts must be tightened from underneath. As such, access will need to be possible to deal with these.

Now, toilet seats with soft close hinges and quick-release hinges are perfect for easy seat removal. This enables quick cleaning and maintenance over the time of its use.

Soft close toilet seat

Now you may be wondering “Why is this in extras?”. Well, believe it or not, it isn’t always an option despite most suppliers providing them.

Also referred to as slow-close toilet seats, these use slow-closing hinges which help prevent the seat from causing a bang when put down. It also helps minimise the damage that can be caused to the pan and seat when they collide.

Any bathroom can benefit from soft-close toilet seat hinges. They can help prevent fingers from being trapped and stop the seats from being slammed down by accident. Having said that, do not force the toilet seat to close as the hinges can be damaged.

Quick-release toilet seat mechanisms

Some toilet seats come with quick-release mechanisms. These allow you to remove the seat easily from the hinges. So, if you want to clean or maintain the seat more quickly, you can do so much faster with this mechanism.

Family toilet seats

This is a toilet seat that comes with a smaller seat. It’s likely to be secured by magnets to not disrupt normal usage of the toilet by adults but can be easily put down if needed.

This is exceptionally useful if you have small children. It can allow them to use the toilet normally without having the difficulty of dealing with a normal-sized toilet.

Where can I buy a toilet seat?

Right here at Plumbing Superstore! We have many beautiful toilet seats for you to choose from. Here are just some of the products we have available. Explore our site to discover more and maybe a toilet to match!

Toilet seatCost (ex VAT)
Hudson Reed Carlton Soft Close Old London Twilight Blue Wooden Toilet Seat£82.55
Nuie White Luxury Square Soft Close Toilet Seat With Quick Release & Top Fix£40.65
Hudson Reed Ryther Soft Close Old London Storm Grey Wooden Toilet Seat£80.05
Hudson Reed Chancery White Soft Close Toilet Seat£78.38
Hudson Reed Traditional White Wooden Toilet Seat With Chrome Hinges£40.95
Nuie White Luxury D Shape Soft Close Toilet Seat With Quick Release & Top Fix£35.88

Toilet seat size guide

If you are wondering whether a standard toilet seat size exists, the answer is no. This is why you must measure the toilet before shopping for a new seat.

Here are some example sizes we have available from our range at Plumbing Superstore. Explore our wide variety of toilet seats to discover more available products.


Is your toilet seat a bit loose? Check out our guide to tightening a toilet seat. We also have a guide dedicated to knowing how often you should clean your bathroom – this includes your toilet seat!

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