Potty Chair Vs. Potty Seats: Pros and Cons

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by toilethaven

Is a Potty Chair or Seat Better?

A baby’s transition from diapers to a potty chair or a potty seat is one of the most exciting but challenging milestones. Most parents often have a dilemma of whether to potty train their little ones using a potty chair or seat.

This is especially challenging if you are a first-time parent. So, which is the best one to potty train a toddler between a potty chair and a potty seat?

Honestly, this is one of those questions with no right or wrong answers. Each of these two products has its advantages and disadvantages.

The important thing is to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each and make a decision based on what you feel will be right for your little one. What works for your friend’s toddler may not necessarily work out well for you.

The main difference between a potty chair and a potty seat is that a potty chair is standalone and portable, while a potty seat is mounted on top of the existing adult toilet seat. A potty chair will need to be emptied after every use, while a potty seat doesn’t.

Let us look at the pros and cons of potty chairs vs. potty seats and determine if one is better.

The Pros and Cons of Potty Chairs


Potty training chairs, commonly known as potty chairs, are small chairs with a removable basin where a child sits to relieve themselves. They are made short in accordance with kids’ height for easy accessibility.

The Pros of Potty Chairs

The following are the benefits of potty training your child on a potty chair over a potty seat:

1. They are Sturdy

Potty chairs have a very wide base, which directly touches the floor, making them very sturdy. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a toddler toppling over and hurting themselves.

While starting out on potty training, you want your child to feel as safe as possible. Falling off or getting injured in the process will bring fear, which will, as a result, make the potty training unexciting and possibly take longer than it should.

2. They are Safe

In addition to the potty chair sitting firmly on the floor, the kid’s feet will be solidly resting on the bathroom floor during potty training. Your child’s safety is further enhanced as opposed to a potty seat where the kid’s feet are high off the floor.

4. Easily Accessible

The difference between kids and adults is that when kids feel the urge to use the bathroom, they cannot hold it for long. Potty chairs are always ready to be used; kids simply walk into the bathroom and use them without any hustle.

Potty chairs, on the other hand, are not as fast to use. The kid has to grab it from wherever it is and nicely position it on top of the existing seat, look for the step school, climb up, and position themself on the toilet before being able to use it.

5 They are Cute

Potty chairs have a bigger surface area compared to potty seats, which can be as thin as an adult toilet seat. It is, therefore, very easy to mold potty chairs into so many different shapes and use different colors, which make them very attractive from toddlers’ perspective.

Kids will, therefore, see a potty chair the same way they see toys and will most likely be eager and look forward to using it. This aspect alone can make potty training so much easier and fast.

The Cons of Potty Chairs

These are the disadvantages of choosing a potty chair instead of a potty seat for potty training your toddler:

1. Regular Dumping

The least glamorous thing about potty chairs is the constant poop/pee dumping. You will need to dump your child’s waste in the toilet each time they use a potty chair. Dumping is swiftly followed by cleaning in readiness for the next bathroom trip.

After many months of changing diapers, most parents want as little as possible to do with baby poo. And I can’t blame them. I can categorically say that this is the main reason why most parents are happy to give potty seats a chance over potty chairs.

2. Takes Extra Bathroom Space

As opposed to potty seats, which are positioned on top of the existing toilet seat, potty chairs are placed on the bathroom floor. Bathroom space is not something most people have in plenty, and hence, potty chairs can be a little inconvenient.

Therefore, people with small bathrooms will find potty seats a better alternative than potty chairs.

3. Potty Training Takes Longer

After successfully using a potty chair, a kid will still need to learn how to use a standard toilet. The main disadvantage of that is that due to being comfortable using a potty chair, they might not look forward to using an adult toilet.

You will, therefore, need to start training them afresh, which is less than ideal for most parents. Potty training using a potty chair can take longer than potty training using a potty seat.

The Pros and Cons of Potty Training Seats


Potty training seats are small toilet seats that are placed on top of your existing toilet seat to help kids/toddlers learn how to use a toilet. They have a smaller opening than the adult toilet seat to prevent kids from falling inside the bowl.

Potty seats have anti-slip pads at the bottom, which grip the existing toilet seat tightly to prevent slipping, assuring you of the baby’s safety. Some even come with grab handles for extra safety.

Since standard toilets are very high compared to kids’ height, you also need to buy a step stool to help your child climb up and down the toilet.

If you don’t want to buy a separate potty seat and step stool, you can opt to buy a potty training seat with a ladder. A potty seat with a ladder helps the baby to easily climb up and down the toilet easily on their own.

Another advantage of a potty seat with a ladder is that the height of the steps can be adjusted to accommodate kids of different ages. The ladder’s height can also be adjusted to suit either standard height or comfort height toilets.

The Pros of Potty Training Seats

The following are the advantages of potty training your child on a potty seat rather than a potty chair:

1. Smooth Transition

Potty training aims to help your child comfortably and correctly use a standard toilet when the time comes. Starting them off on a potty seat instead of a potty chair means they are as close as possible to the real thing.

Using a standard toilet can be very intimidating for toddlers. Potty training with potty seats can effectively eliminate the fear of heights. Potty training is also faster and smoother, especially if the kids like their potty seats.

2. You Have Nothing to Dump

One of the main advantages of potty seats is that the kids’ waste falls directly inside the bowl; hence, you don’t have anything to dump, unlike when you are potty training using a potty chair. There might be a few instances of urine spillage, but that can be corrected by buying a potty seat with a splash guard.

3. Easily Portable

Apart from potty training seats with ladders, other potty seats are easily portable, which is not always the case with potty chairs. A potty seat like the Gimars Portable Potty Training Seat can be folded into a small package, which is what you need while traveling with your toddler.

You are not always guaranteed to get a potty chair wherever you go. A portable potty seat becomes very handy, especially in public restrooms like restaurants and airport lounges. If your kid can only use a potty chair, traveling with them becomes very difficult.

The Cons of Potty Training Seats

The following are the four main disadvantages of potty training your kid using a potty seat and not a potty chair:

Potty Seat On Toilet

1. Risk of Falling

Due to the height of the standard toilets as opposed to that of potty chairs, there is always a chance that your kid can fall off. This can make potty training difficult or take longer since fear will automatically kick in.

To avert this challenge, try to buy either a potty seat with a ladder or one with grab handles and a step stool. Make sure that the bathroom floor or step stool is always dry. Wet surfaces are more likely to contribute to falls.

2. Intimidating Height

The height of an adult toilet, especially an ADA toilet, can intimidate some toddlers. When this happens, fear sets in, and the kid may not look forward to using the toilet. Potty training will, therefore, be more challenging and time-consuming than you may have anticipated.

In this case, you will have to lift the kids and hold onto them until they are done. Your presence will give them confidence since they know nothing will happen to them. Reassuring your kids that you have their back will also increase their confidence levels and help them get rid of the fear.

3. Takes Time to Use

Unlike a potty chair, which is always ready to use, potty seats need to be prepared. This is not ideal, especially when the kids need to relieve themselves urgently.

4. Not Compatible with All Toilets

Most toilets in the United States are either round or elongated. This is not a problem since almost all potty seats are compatible with these toilet shapes.

The problem comes in when you have a D-shaped or a square toilet. There are many potty seats that will not fit in such toilets; hence, you need to be very careful if you have a toilet that is not elongated or round.

Best Potty Seats and Chairs

If you would like the best potty training chair for your little one, check out the Baby Bjorn Smart Potty. It is sturdy, practical, and made of safe and high-quality material. Baby Bjorn potty has integrated splash guards, which is especially helpful for potty training boys.

For the best potty training seat, check out the Munchkin Sturdy Potty Seat. It comes with grab handles and is ergonomically designed for extra comfort and safety. If you would like a potty training seat with a step stool ladder, then the 711TEK Potty Training Seat will be worth your while.

Potty Chairs vs Potty Seats Comparison Table

Potty Chairs Potty Seats
The Pros
They are sturdy Fast transition to standard toilets
They are safer Easily portable
They are easily accessible No waste to dump
Cute and easy to decorate -
The Cons
Takes extra bathroom space Risk of falling
regular dumping Intimidating height
Using standard toilet will take longer Takes time to set up
- Not compatible with all toilets

Final Words

As we can see, there is no clear favorite between potty seats and potty chairs. It all comes down to personal preference. Some people even buy a potty seat and a potty chair and see what their kid would prefer, then go ahead and use it.

Alternatively, you can potty train your child for a month using a potty chair and then jump straight to a potty seat. Both of these products are generally inexpensive; if that is what will work well for you, then by all means, go for it.