Plastic vs Wood Toilet Seats – A Quick Comparison

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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plastic vs wood toilet seats

Toilet seats have been utilized for thousands of years. They’re also included in the ongoing scrutiny of toilet design. Thus, it’s important to be careful in choosing a toilet seat.

Numerous materials are used to make toilet seats and applied to various designs. The primary goal is delivering the utmost durability and a high level of comfort. Since they’re the main materials, plastic vs wood toilet seats is featured in this article.

Plastic toilet seats are versatile and easy to clean but they can be uncomfortable on winter days. Though wood toilet seats are warm and comfortable, cleaning requires a lot of effort. There’s more to learn about them, so take some time to read more.

Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seats – A Detailed Comparison


Discussing the materials is the proper way to begin the comparison of a wood toilet seat vs plastic toilet seat. If you desire a warm seat every time you use your toilet, a wood toilet seat will give it to you. It will also help make your bathroom look incredible, especially if you’re going for a traditional effect.

The wood used on a toilet may be less resistant compared to plastic. Thermoset and Thermoplastic are the common plastic types used for toilet seats. Although the former costs a bit more than the latter, it’s more resistant to scratching.

Both types of plastic guarantee durability, which is a vital feature because you use your toilet daily. These materials make it possible to create a lot of designs, even luxurious soft close seats. As you might have already found out, plastic is cold to the touch in all seasons. This may be inconvenient in winter.

Which is better: plastic or wood toilet seat? To answer this question, evaluate the following features.

1. Comfort


Comfort is essential when choosing a toilet seat given that most people stay for a long time on the toilet to finish their ‘businesses’. Plastic toilet seats may make you feel fragile and cold.

But with wood, you won’t even have the slightest tinge of chill even in winter. Wood toilet seats turn solid after going through mastered workmanship and refined finishing. They define comfort well but it all depends on your preference. You can get the plastic seat if you’re comfortable with it.

2. Durability


The wood toilet seat has an advantage over the plastic counterpart when it comes to durability. Wood is heavier and sturdier than plastic so it won’t break easily. You should keep an eye on plastic toilet seats because the joints or connecting parts of the toilet base and the seat tend to crack.

At some point, the toilet seat material is not the sole element for its durability. The quality of the entire toilet bowl is also accountable. When it comes to the wood toilet seat, the finishing has the final say.

Apart from awesome artistry design, coating to protect the wood is important. Otherwise, it will wear out over time. It can also be flawed or scratched so durability is compromised. As the toilet seat is in the bathroom, deformation can follow due to overexposure to moisture.

3. Cleaning and Countering Moisture


Moisture is a substance that springs from humidity in the air. You need to protect your toilet seat from it. It’s important to deal with as it can interfere with your health too. The backsides turn clammy on hot summer days. Then, the moisture transfers to the toilet seat after you sit on it.

You have to be aware that careless users may leave urine on the toilet seat. This is unavoidable and it calls for the need for thorough treatment of the wooden seat. If it isn’t properly coated, I’m afraid it will remain permanently damp.

You may also face molds and annoying smells if it happens to your wood toilet seat. Fortunately, plastic toilet seats will spare you from these troubles. Plastic won’t give you a hard time cleaning like a wood toilet seat. Blame it on the natural grains that can easily trap tiny particles.

4. Soft Closing


A soft-closed toilet seat can be plastic or wood. Most users prefer it as it doesn’t create a sudden bang. An accidental and quick closing of the seat is not good for durability as it only causes scratches.

The protective coating done for finishing can be affected. That’s why a soft-closed toilet seat is most valued. This is commonly seen among plastic toilet seats. Expect that wooden seats come with a heavy lid that can snap at any moment and create a loud sound.

5. Appearance


A nice-looking product can enhance your bathroom’s looks together with other decors. Aside from the material, you’ll be concerned with the appearance of the toilet seat. Minding this factor requires you to observe the product well.

You’ll also need to do it with your bathroom’s interior and other decorations. Evaluating the appearance of the toilet seat and the interior is essential. Typically, the wooden seat supports a traditional theme. It’s fun to get some seats that are stylish. Wood toilet seats are usually available in varieties of colors.

Looking at Pros and Cons

To know the best toilet seat, wood or plastic, you have to go over the pros and cons.

1. Wooden Toilet Seats


  • Stylish
  • Solid and heavy
  • Won’t get cold even in winter
  • Can be sandpapered to be re-varnished
  • Doesn’t look cheap


  • More expensive
  • Fades and degrades sooner
  • Absorbs moisture and liquid
  • Hard to clean

If you want to know the best options for wooden toilet seats, Sanilo Round Toilet Seat, Angel Shield Durable Wood Veneer Natural Toilet Seat, Design House 561241 Dalton Round Toilet Seat, and PUCOINA Wood Toilet Seat.

Now, you may want to read the elongated vs round toilets comparison.

2. Plastic Toilet Seats


  • More affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Light to handle
  • Has varieties to choose from
  • Not prone to scratches and doesn’t absorb liquid


  • Discolors over time
  • Some brands may look cheap
  • Cold to sit on, especially during the cold season

Check out Kohler 4639-0 Cachet Round White Toilet Seat, Delta Faucet Morgan Round Front Slow-Close White Toilet Seat, Bemis 500EC 006 Toilet Seat, and Hibbent Premium One Click Elongated Toilet Seat.

Also read: Bemis vs Kohler toilet seat, which brand is better?

Some Things About Toilet Seats


Is the wooden toilet seat unsanitary?

Wood is known as a porous material. Due to this characteristic, it absorbs water and other forms of liquid. It’s why wooden toilet seats are less sanitary than plastic toilet seats.

But manufacturers treat the wood to improve its quality. It’s an important process as the coating is made to keep bacteria and germs away. Still, you need to do your part and maintain the cleanliness of the wood toilet seat.

You should be careful when using it and as much as possible, avoid slamming it. A single crack on a wooden surface accommodates bacteria growth. This also causes the urine smell to diffuse, which is not desirable.

Cracks on a wooden toilet seat

Since wood is a natural material, it’s prone to cracking. It occurs when the seat is slammed hard. Weather can also cause wood to contract and expand. Typically, it shrinks when it’s cold. During hot weather, it swells and cracks.

Prolonged exposure to moisture will also make the wood crack. So, you have to prevent your wood toilet seat from being damp from a morning shower. If you don’t mind it and continuously do it, a crack will occur and it may even deform.

Stains on plastic toilet seats

White looks immaculate, but if it’s the color of your plastic toilet seat, staining is inevitable. You can avoid it by getting rid of urine stains. An antibacterial cleaner can also help you maintain the white color of your seat. When cleaning, make sure to use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth not to roughen the plastic surface.

Yellowish plastic toilet seat?

It’s not a mystery if you see your plastic toilet seat becoming yellowish. The yellow color is none other but urine. To set your expectation, the seat will no longer be white as time passes. Degradation is the consequence of continuous use.

Plastic toilet seats break down and discolor at the same time. It means that the dye used on the plastic surface becomes transparent and seemingly white vinyl. This shows that the yellowish stain on the plastic seat is not only caused by urine. UV sunlight can also bring damage.

Last Words

You may think that it’s complex to go over plastic vs wood toilet seats. But it’s a good thing that you’ve finished reading this article. Although there are many factors to consider, your preference means a lot to the final purchasing decision.

Proper care and maintenance will help any toilet seat last long. You know now the properties of wood and plastic so you’ll be able to take care of any seat that you’ll choose.

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