Elongated vs Round Toilets – Pros, Cons and comparisons

All toilets are not made equal. Some are longer than others. Some are more comfortable than others. Some need more space than others. A toilet is ether elongated or round. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. So what are the pros and cons of elongated vs round toilets?

Are elongated toilets better than round toilets? Or are round toilets better than elongated toilets? Which is the best toilets to buy? Let us look at the pros and cons of elongated and round toilets and settle the score

What is the Difference Between Elongated and Round Toilets?

The major difference between an elongated and a round toilet is the length and shape of the toilet bowl. Elongated toilet bowls are oval-shaped and have a length of about 18.5 inches while round toilet bowls are circular with a length of about 16.5 inches.

Elongated toilets are more comfortable than round toilets while round toilets are more space efficient than elongated toilets.

Although most toilets in the United States have an elongated or round bowl, there are still other types of toilets with other bowl shapes. These include:

  • D-shaped toilet bowls.
  • Square toilet bowls.

The majority of such toilets are however found in Europe and so for any one in the United States the best decision would be to buy a toilet with either an elongated or round toilet bowl.

Elongated vs Round Toilets Comparison Table

Pros Cons
Round Toilets
Comfortable for kids Less comfortable for adults
Space-efficient Old design
Relatively cheaper Fewer options
Elongated Toilets
More Comfortable for adults Less comfortable for kids
Modern design Takes more space
Easier to clean A little bit expensive
More Options to choose from -

Pros and Cons of Elongated Toilets


So, why are elongated toilets better than round toilets? Or why should you consider buying an elongated toilet over a round one? Let us look at the advantages of elongated toilets.


  • More comfortable for adults
  • Modern design
  • Easier to clean
  • More options to choose from


And now here are the disadvantages of installing an elongated toilet over a round toilet:

  • Less comfortable for kids
  • More expensive
  • Takes more space

Pros and Cons of Round Toilets



If you have been considering buying a round toilet then here are their advantages:

  • More comfortable for kids
  • Takes up less space
  • Relatively cheaper


The disadvantages of installing a round toilet are:

  • Less comfortable for adults
  • Old/traditional design

Buying a toilet for your bathroom is one of those investment you make once in a long time. It is henceforth vital to survey all options before committing your money to a certain toilet. Buying a toilet for the kids’ bathroom is different from buying a toilet for a disabled person, or an adult.

Governments also have legal requirements that toilets and bathrooms in public places must adhere to. So what factors affects the decision to buy an elongated vs round toilet?

How to Measure a Toilet

Although you can easily tell whether a toilet is round or elongated it is a good idea to confirm. This might also be helpful when you need to replace a toilet seat. It will prevent you from buying the wrong size.

A toilet bowl has 3 critical measurements that you need to know. This include the length, the width and the the bolt spread. The length is the most important measurement of the the 3.

The bolt spread is the distance between the two toilet seat mounting holes on the toilet bowl. In the United States, this measurement is a standard 5.5 inch.

The toilet bowl width is the total thickness of the toilet bowl. Always make sure to measure it from the middle of the bowl to get as a accurate measurement as possible. Elongated and round toilets have have a width of between 14 and 15 inch in the United States.

The toilet bowl length is the distance between the center of the 2 toilet seat mounting holes to the front part of the toilet bowl. Using a tape measure, put the end at the center of the two mounting holes and extend it to the front of the bowl making sure it is centered as much as possible.

In order to measure the length, you will need to first remove the toilet seat. With the toilet seat installed there will be no way to access the mounting holes.

Round vs Elongated Toilets Detailed Comparisons

Let us now look at a more detailed comparison between elongated and round toilets. This will help you make sure that you end up buying the best toilet for your needs.


Elongated toilets are longer than round toilets by about 2 inches. On average, elongated toilets have a length of 18.5 inches. Round toilets have an average length of 16.5 inches.

You cannot replace an elongated toilet seat with a round toilet seat. You can however replace an elongated toilet with a round toilet. You just need to make sure that the rough-in measurement is the same.

Space Required

For people with a small bathroom, a round toilets is the best option for them. It also is a good choice for children’s bathroom. If however you have ample space in your bathroom then by all means go an elongated toilet.

In recent years, toilet manufactures have gone back to the drawing board and come up with elongated toilets which take up the same space as a round toilet without compromising the comfort of an elongated toilet.

Legal Requirements

If you are installing a toilet in a public space, there are laws that regulates how you should do it. Most buildings require a 21 inch free space between the toilet bowl and the front wall. An ADA-compliant toilet should have a 2 inch more height than the standard height of a toilet and at least 48 inches from the front wall. The 2 inch length difference between an elongated and round toilet can come in handy in such scenarios. If your bathroom is shorter you would obviously go with the round toilet

Flushing Performance

Some people are of the opinion that round toilets have a higher flushing power than elongated toilets There is however no conclusive tests tp indicate whether either elongated or round toilets have more flushing power than the other.


Elongated toilets cost slightly more than round toilets from the same brand and of the same features and specifications. Apart from just shape, the price of toilets is determined by many other factors. Plumbers charge the same amount of money to install a toilet, whether round or elongated

Ease of Cleaning

Going by its shape, it is marginally easier to clean an elongated toilet compared to round toilet. It is however too small of a factor to influence someone into buying it for that sole reason


Round toilets are more traditional while elongated toilets are modern. Round toilets are mostly found in old houses while elongated toilets are found in modern houses. Most people also agree that elongated toilets are more aesthetically appealing as opposed to round toilets


When choosing elongated vs round toilets, the biggest talking point is comfort. Elongated toilets are made to offer comfort to the user. Its long shape provides a bigger surface area parallel to human anatomy which makes them a first choice for many people

Not all people find elongated toilets comfortable .Young kids prefer round toilets than elongated toilets. Most say that they almost feel as if they are falling in the bowl if they use an elongated toilet


There are way more elongated toilet models in the market than there are round ones. This is means that if you are shopping for an elongated toilet you will be spoiled for choice.

There is unfortunately not very many round toilet models so getting one which you like can be a little harder. It is even tough if you are looking for a round toilet with a non-standard rough-in.

Best Elongated Toilets

If you would like to buy an elongated toilet, I will give you 2 options to choose from. The first option will be a little bit more high-end while the second one will be a budget pick.

Here are 2 of the best elongated toilets:

1. Toto Ultramax II


The Toto Ultramax II is a single flush one-piece WaterSense-compliant elongated toilet. It is available in several colors with white and black being my favorite.

Its water consumption is only 1.28 gallons per flush but with a powerful flush thanks to Toto’s Tornado flush system. The distance from the floor to the top of the bowl is 16.25 inches which translates to 17.25 inches seat height meaning it is ADA-compliant.

2. Toto Drake


Toto Drake is a single flush two-piece elongated and comfort height toilet. It uses Toto’s G-Max flushing technology which is known for powerful flushing.

Its water consumption is 1.6 gallons per flush meaning it cannot be used in some states like California. It is however very budget-friendly and would be a perfect pick for most people.

Best Round Toilets

For anyone who would like to buy the best round toilet, I have 2 options that I believe are some of the best in the market today. The 2 best round toilets are:

1. Kohler Wellworth



Kohler Wellworth is a single flush two-piece round-front and comfort height toilet. It is available in white, black, biscuit and almond.

With a water consumption of only 1.28 gallons per flush, Kohler Wellworth is WaterSense-compliant. Its flushing power is quite decent, utilizing Kohler’s Class Five flushing technology.

2. American Standard H2Option


The American Standard H2Option is a dual flush two-piece round-front toilet with an optional standard or comfort height. It is available in white, bone or linen.

With its dual-flush buttons, it gives you the option to either use 0.92 or 1.28 gallons per flush. Its surface is coated with American Standard’s EverClean antimicrobial additive making it very easy to clean.

Compact Elongated Toilet vs Round Toilet

A compact elongated toilet is an elongated toilet that takes up the same bathroom space as a round toilet but has the comfort of an elongated toilet.

For people with a small bathroom but looking for an alternative to round toilets then compact elongated toilets are the best option. You can also replace your old round toilet with a compact elongated toilet without as long as they have a matching rough-in.

Compact elongated toilets are more comfortable than round toilets. The shape/design offers the toilet user more surface area to sit on, and also provides support for thighs.

Some of the best compact elongated toilets are:

  • Toto Eco Ultramax
  • Kohler Santa Rosa
  • Saniflo Sanicompact
  • Swiss Madison st Tropez
  • Toto entrada

For a comprehensive review of the best compact elongated toilets for people with a small bathroom check out this post.


Elongated toilets are getting more popular while the round toilets are fading away. In fact, most round toilets are found in old homes and institutions. The compact elongated toilets have proved to be a worthwhile replacement for the round toilets. Wall-hang elongated toilets are also taking up their places. The wall-hang toilets use less space and are very stylish and modern


1. Why would I want an elongated toilet bowl?

An elongated toilet bowl is oval-shaped and about 2 inches longer than a round toilet, which is almost circular. Elongated toilets therefore offer a bigger surface area to sit on and are hence more comfortable than round toilets.

2. Can an elongated toilet replace a round toilet?

Yes. An elongated toilet can replace a round toilet provided that there is enough space for the elongated toilet to fit and that their rough-in measurement is the same. In instances where space is limited then a compact elongated toilet is a perfect alternative.

3. Can I put an elongated toilet seat on a round toilet?

No. Elongated and round toilet bowls are of different sizes and hence their seats can cannot be switched. an elongated toilet seat will therefore only fit in an elongated bowl and the same applies to round toilet seats.

4. Is my toilet round or elongated?

To know whether your toilet is round or elongated measure the length of the bowl from between the seat mounting holes to the front of the bowl. If you get around 18.5 inches then it is elongated. A round toilet bowl will have a length of about 16.5 inches.