Potty Chairs vs Potty Seats: Pros and Cons

Last Updated on May 18, 2022 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 and but challenging milestone. The dilemma most parents often have is whether to potty train their little one using a potty chair or a potty seat.

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

To be honest, this is one of those questions that have no right or wrong answers. Each of these 2 products have their 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 now look at the pros and cons of potty chairs vs potty seats and determine if one is better than the other.

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 on to relieve themselves. They are made short in accordance to 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 is in direct contact with 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 in fear which will as 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 also be solidly resting on the bathroom floor during potty training. The safety of your child 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 for long. Potty chairs are always ready to be used hence kids simply walk in 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 him/herself 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 using 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 parent 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 inconveniencing.

People with small bathrooms will therefore find potty seats to be a better alternative compared to 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 therefore 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 tightly on the existing toilet sit 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 the height of kids, you also need to buy a step stool to help your child in climbing 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 height of the ladder 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

The idea behind potty training is to help your child to 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 a potty seats can be effective in eliminating the fear of heights. Potty training is also faster and smooth, especially if the kids really like their potty seat.

2. You Have Nothing to Dump

One of the main advantage 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 travelling with your toddler.

You are not always guaranteed of getting 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 then travelling with them becomes very difficult.

The Cons of Potty Training Seats

The following are the 4 main disadvantages of potty training your kid uding a potty seat and not a potty chair:

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 you kid can fall off. This can make potty training very difficult or take longer since fear will automatically kick in.

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

2. Intimidating Height

The height of an adult toilet especially if it is an ADA toilet can intimidate some toddlers. When this happens fears 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 kid and hold unto them until they are done. Your presence will give them confidence since they know nothing will happen to them. Reassuring your kids that you got 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 needs 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 an 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 also 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 to use it.

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