The 4 Best Squatty Potty and Other Toilet Stools for 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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The 4 Best Squatty Potty and Other Toilet Stools for 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

If you’ve ever wished pooping could be a faster or more pleasant experience, you may like having a toilet stool.

“Toilet angles aren’t well aligned with how the anus and rectum [are] designed to be positioned when it’s time to have a bowel movement,” said Dr. Sophie Balzora, a clinical professor of medicine at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine. The ideal pooping position is a squat—a posture that toilet stools help simulate by raising a person’s feet while they’re sitting on the toilet. This posture helps to straighten the colon and provide a smoother channel for poop to exit the body. (You can read more about how and whether it works here.) The best toilet stool for you depends on your style, space, and budget.

Our recommendations include a stylish plastic stool that’s available in two heights, a wooden one that folds for easy storage, a comparatively inexpensive (but no less effective) plastic model, and a seriously fancy, translucent plastic footrest.

“Anyone can use and benefit from a toilet stool, whether or not they are having acute problems in the bathroom,” said Dr. Rohan Modi, who became a paid consultant for Squatty Potty after working with the company to publish research on the efficacy of defecation postural modification devices (the fancy name for toilet stools). Because a toilet stool can speed up the pooping process, some doctors recommend that their patients try one. A toilet stool can help alleviate a variety of pooping-related problems, constipation in particular. “Patients are sometimes surprised we recommend toilet stools,” said Dr. Salina Lee, an assistant professor of gastroenterology at Rush University, “but it is a safe and highly effective therapy that we in the gastro community embrace.”

“It’s a completely low—if not no—risk intervention,” said Dr. Peter Stanich, an associate professor of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “If it helps, great, and if it doesn’t, we’ll move on to other interventions, like medication and physical therapy.”

However, people who are on anticoagulant medications, those who are unsteady on their feet, or those who use a walker “should talk to their physician first,” Modi said. To safely use a toilet stool, “you have to be strong enough to sit on a stool and lean forward without fear of falling.”

A toilet stool is not ideal if you don’t have the space or budget for a single-purpose item. Nearly all toilet stools, including our picks, cannot double as step stools or be used for any purpose other than propping up your feet while you poop.

The Tushy Ottomon blends into most bathrooms that have white toilets. Plus, it’s especially easy to clean.

If the MoMA Design Store sold a toilet stool, we think it would be the Tushy Ottoman. Even expensive toilet stools tend to be conspicuously mismatched bathroom add-ons. But not this subtle stool. The well-appointed Tushy Ottoman is to a white porcelain toilet what a wedding band should be to an engagement solitaire: a seamless, harmonious, and aesthetically pleasing addition that makes the whole experience better.

The Tushy Ottoman has a smooth and easy-to-clean crevice-free surface that curves gracefully around the base of any standard toilet.

Like all toilet stools (or stacks of books, or anything else you could use to raise your knees to your chest while you poop), it works. It’s sturdy and remains immobile during use. Some reviewers warn that the Tushy Ottoman is overly slick when they’re wearing socks, but we didn’t experience any foot slippage.

The Tushy Ottoman comes unassembled, but it takes only a couple of minutes to pop the legs in place. Choose between faux wood or white legs (available in two heights). We tested the Original Ottoman, with 9-inch legs; the Relaxed version’s 7½-inch legs are an option for taller people or beginner squatters. Tushy told us it will soon sell legs of varying heights separately, for people who wish to adjust their squatting position (to make it shallower or deeper) without having to purchase an entirely new stool. We’ll test that accessories set once it’s available.

Though all of the other toilet-stool picks in this guide say they are safe for people of all ages, Tushy warns that its Ottomans are not intended for use by children under age 12.

Like all of the toilet stools we recommend, the Tushy Ottoman is not to be used as anything other than a footrest.

Dimensions: 7½ or 9 inches tall by 16½ inches wide (foot to foot) by 9 inches deep (front to back) Materials: plastic (polypropylene body; acrylonitrile butadiene styrene legs) Options: There are two leg-height options—9 inches (on the Original, which we tested) and 7½ inches (on the Relaxed version). What you choose depends on your toilet’s height and how new you are to squatting. Tushy said that starting in April 2021, it will sell sets of the interchangeable legs separately ($29), for those who wish to try out different heights without having to buy another stool.

Squatty Potty’s Oslo and Stockholm models are the sturdiest and nicest-looking stowable toilet stools we’ve tried. We think they’re good choices for small spaces.

Squatty Potty’s Oslo and Stockholm models are the sturdiest and nicest-looking stowable toilet stools we’ve tried. We think they're good choices for small spaces.

Squatty Potty’s Folding Bamboo Stools (Oslo, Stockholm) are the nicest-looking of the folding options we've tested. This model folds flat for storage, yet it’s sturdy when set up, so you don’t need to worry about the stool collapsing when you’re using it. (That stability comes at a price, however, because folding the stool requires considerable effort.) The stool has a flat platform, but that platform has multiple crevices that require frequent cleaning, to avoid buildup of dust, dirt, and grime. The toilet cutout is shallower than those on our other picks (except for the Proppr Acer, which has no cutout). This means that when the stool isn’t folded up, it sticks farther out from the toilet than stools with deeper cutouts do.

Like all of the toilet stools we recommend, the folding Squatty Potty is not to be used as anything other than a footrest.

Dimensions: unfolded—7½ inches tall by 18 inches wide (foot to foot) by 8 inches deep (front to back); folded—1¾ inches tall by 17 inches wide (foot to foot) by 8 inches deep (front to back) Materials: bamboo Options: At the time of publication, this stool comes in two colors—all-natural bamboo (Oslo) and natural and white bamboo (Stockholm).

A perfunctory and affordable toilet stool, the Step and Go is larger than all of our other picks.

The Step and Go Toilet Stool is one of the least expensive dedicated toilet stools you can buy. It is also one of the largest, with a wider footprint than other picks and almost every other model we considered (this may be a beneficial feature for those who’d like to be able to spread their legs wider for stability or comfort). The Step and Go is a basic white plastic toilet stool with a flat platform. There are no debris-collecting crevices on the platform. But there are more corners to navigate when you’re wiping the stool down, including ridges at the base, which are prone to collecting dust and, potentially, drips or splashes. Additionally, the top of the Step and Go has two textured, foot-shaped areas, which some of our testers found unattractive (though a child tester did appreciate the visual instructions and deemed this one of her favorite stools).

Like all of the toilet stools we recommend, the Step and Go is not to be used as anything other than a footrest.

Dimensions: 7 inches tall by 18 inches wide (foot to foot) by 11½ inches deep (front to back) Materials: plastic (polypropylene) Options: None; this stool comes only in the white plastic shown.

This acrylic toilet stool could be mistaken for a piece of abstract art (or a display shelf meant to hold it).

If you’re looking for a toilet stool that in no way looks like a toilet stool, and you are willing to pay a hefty premium for a camouflaged device, the Proppr Acer stool is beautiful and functional. Available in colors and materials that will suit any bathroom decor, the well-designed Proppr stool turns a perfunctory accessory into a statement piece. The favorite among our testers: the Acer in Clear. It has a sloped platform and can be flipped around to be used at either height. At 9½ inches on its highest incline (and 8½ inches on its lower side), the Proppr toilet stool is the tallest of any stool we recommend, theoretically offering a deeper squat position (this height may prove daunting to newbie squatters).

Unlike our other picks, the Proppr Acer does not have a cutout to conform to the toilet bowl; you may consider this to be a nice feature or a bug, depending on your preferences. It also doesn’t have conspicuous branding, so to an unsuspecting guest using your facilities, it may look like someone left a display box or desk organizer in the middle of your bathroom floor.

If you love the look of this stool but are put off by its high price, you may find this DIY version to be a worthwhile alternative.

Like all of the toilet stools we recommend, the Proppr Acer is not to be used as anything other than a footrest.

Dimensions: 9½ inches or 8½ inches tall (depending upon which way you turn it) by 15 inches long (foot to foot) by 6½ inches deep (front to back) Materials: acrylic or wood (pine/oak combo) Options: This stool is available in three colors in wood (oak, blackwash, and whitewash) and three colors in acrylic (white, clear, and black), at the time of publication. The wooden versions, which we haven’t tested, have slightly different dimensions and cost more than the acrylic ones.

To learn all we could about optimal pooping positions, we consulted four practicing gastroenterologists: Salina Lee, MD, an assistant professor of gastroenterology at Rush University in Chicago; Sophie M. Balzora, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine; Rohan Modi, MD, who is a paid member of Squatty Potty’s advisory council; and Peter Stanich, MD, an associate professor of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

In my 42 years (40 out of diapers), I’ve pooped all over the place. I’ve popped squats everywhere from a dirt hole in India to the hardwood floor of a Santa Monica birthing center. And—most recently—I’ve pooped in a variety of portable toilets, as part of my job reviewing personal-care products for Wirecutter. A toilet stool has been in and out of my life for nearly two decades. Well before purpose-built devices with kitschy brand names and flashy commercials became bathroom staples, I purchased my first toilet stool at a Los Angeles colonic spa (which I’d visited to prepare for a magazine-cover photo shoot, back in my modeling heyday). That stool was handmade, a wooden work of art, and I miss it to this day.

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First I flushed out the competition by scouring customer reviews. Then I strained through Google search results of personal blogs and brand websites to find lesser-known yet beloved brands, until we had a satisfactory variety of wooden, folding, and plastic stools to consider. Based on previous research and testing, we knew to eliminate from consideration anything that had excessive ridges or grooves, which can collect splashes and make cleaning a pain.

Four people of different ages, heights, and bathroom habits living in the same household (mine) rotated through 13 toilet stools over the course of five weeks. In testing toilet stools, we considered a stool’s slip factor (related both to our feet upon it and to the stool itself on tile and wood floors), ease of cleaning, aesthetics, and comfort (a subjective, but important, ranking).

The right toilet stool height depends on a few factors: the height of your toilet, your height, and your comfort with squatting. If your toilet is higher than 16 inches from floor to rim, you’ll likely need a higher (9 inches) toilet stool in order to raise your knees up enough to unkink your colon. If your toilet is shorter than 16 inches from floor to rim, any toilet stool will likely work.

“Many people don’t realize that they need a higher stool than they think so that the knees are as close to the chest as possible,” said Lee. “The goal is to mimic a full squat.”

Novice toilet stool users and taller people may find they’re more comfortable with 7-inch stools; shorter people, long-time toilet stool users, and those who are comfortable squatting often gravitate toward 9-inch stools. “There can definitely be a transition period for new users,” said Modi, urging people to not give up on their toilet stool. “It can take up to three weeks to adjust to the change in position.”

Of the several Wirecutter staffers who tried toilet stools, the only complaint regarding stool height came from taller folks (5'10" and taller), including some who found that even a 7-inch stool was too tall. One 5'9" tester found the 9-inch toilet stool to be less comfortable than the 7-inch setup (which I liked just fine). They said it made their knees bend more, putting additional pressure on their butt. Another tester, at 5'5" inches, said they loved the 9-inch height and even found themselves wishing for a much higher toilet stool to truly create a deep squat—not unlike this full-squat Poop Stoop.

Using terrible toilet paper is a bummer. We meticulously compared 36 types to find sustainable and traditional options that are tops for any bottom.

Because the translucent Proppr Acer reminded us of an acrylic display shelf, we tried to prop up our feet on one of those, too. Despite being roughly the right dimensions (8½ inches tall, 13½ inches long, and 9 inches deep) and around half the price, the homemade shelf lacked nonslip grips on the bottom, which can be a danger both to floors and to bodies. However, when we put a few cents’ worth of grip tape around our DIY version’s perimeter, we were able to create a beautiful clear “toilet stool” for under $55 total. Compared with the Proppr, though, the modified display case is bulkier (because of its depth) and not as versatile (because of its uniform height).

If you’re looking for a shorter acrylic toilet stool (the Proppr ranges from 8½ inches to 9½ inches in height, and our display-shelf DIY stool is 8½ inches tall) or one with a cutout to fit around the base of your toilet, the Squatty Potty Ghost is 7 inches high. But it sports a bulkier profile overall and has many grime-collecting ridges.

Our budget pick, the Step and Go, does not offer a 9-inch version. If you’d like a 9-inch plastic stool, consider the Squatty Potty Original or the folding Squat-N-Go, both of which are slightly more expensive than the Step and Go we recommend.

Pooping while using the Toilestool felt like trying to poop on stilts—slippery, sliding, scary stilts.

The Squatty Potty Slim Teak, our previous top pick, is still a nice toilet stool. But at 7 inches, it is shorter than our folding pick from Squatty Potty, and it has conspicuous branding. It also has a larger footprint and many grime-catching crevices. Furthermore, the large Squatty Potty sticker on the one we reordered in 2021 left behind an impossible-to-remove sticky residue.

The rustic-looking bamboo Step and Go comes in two different heights (7 inches and 9 inches). But it was difficult to put together, and it has conspicuous branding as well as grime-catching crevices.

The Squatty Potty Bamboo Flip, which can be switched around for different heights (7 inches and 9 inches in the same stool), was difficult to assemble. And some of the wood had rough spots. This stool also has conspicuous branding and grime-catching crevices.

The MallBoo Adjustable Toilet Stool with Massage Rollers (currently unavailable) wasn’t difficult to assemble, but it’s not easy to figure out which height will work for you before assembling the stool for the first time: You may have to take the pieces apart to raise or lower the stool after using it. All the nooks and crannies make it a poor choice for a highly trafficked bathroom—it gets dirty pretty quickly. Though we thought the massage rollers would be a frequently used benefit, they collected dust (literally and figuratively).

This article was edited by Tracy Vence and Kalee Thompson.

Salina Lee, assistant professor of gastroenterology at Rush University, phone interview, January 29, 2021

Sophie M. Balzora, clinical professor of medicine at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, email interview, January 29, 2021

Rohan Modi, MD, consultant for Squatty Potty, phone interview, January 29, 2021

Peter Stanich, associate professor of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, phone interview, January 29, 2021

Nancy Redd is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter covering everything from Santa hats to bath bombs. She is also a GLAAD Award–nominated on-air host and a New York Times best-selling author. Her latest picture book, The Real Santa, follows a determined little Black boy's journey to discover what the jolly icon truly looks like.

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The 4 Best Squatty Potty and Other Toilet Stools for 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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