smart toilet vs smart toilet seat- featured image

The Difference Between a Smart Toilet Seat and a Smart Toilet

Alright, we know toilets may not be the most glamorous topic of conversation. But recent in advances in smart toilet technology make them surprisingly appealing.

What makes them appealing? I mean you might be asking yourself, “how great can a toilet really be?”

Well, it turns out they can be pretty great. They offer a variety of helpful and convenient features that will impress your guests and make your trips to the bathroom feel more luxurious.

And what’s more–while smart toilets may be costly upgrades, you can pick up an affordable smart toilet seat conversion kit to upgrade a traditional toilet with smart technology without having to replace the whole toilet.

Key Point: In this guide, we’ll provide everything you need to know to decide whether a smart toilet or smart toilet seat is the right choice for your home.

Reasons to Consider Smart Toilet Technology

smart toilet vs. smart toilet seat

Many of us add things to our bathrooms to make the toilet going experience more pleasant.

We use the time to read, watch a video, or browse the internet (you may be reading this now on your smartphone, sitting on the toilet). 

Some people play music or relaxing ambient sounds, and others enjoy the night light or the scent (which isn’t always a thing in toilets).

For the ultimate in elevating the quality of our daily bathroom experience, people turn to smart toilets and smart toilet seats to include these features and more all in one place.

Smart toilets man an important addition to the modern-day smart home, because they provide many helpful features that can entirely change the experience of using the toilet.

Bottom Line: While many forms of smart home technology might be considered unnecessary by the average homeowner, smart toilets offer so many helpful features that they deserve special consideration.

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What Makes a Smart Toilet Different from Traditional Toilets?

Are you trying to find smart toilets?

Defining the difference between a traditional toilet and smart toilet will help you determine which one suits you better.

Smart toilets make life easy. They are efficient in carrying away waste while consuming the least amount of water possible! They typically have to pass strict standards for water efficiency.

Smart toilets elevate the experience of going to the toilet by adding a level of comfort and user control that isn’t normally found in traditional toilets.

Depending on the model and price bracket, smart toilets can have something as basic as a built-in bidet, all the way up to more luxurious options like a heated toilet seat. 

Smart toilets can also have integrated self cleaning features and have a wide range of adjustability, as different family members would have their preferences on water temperature and intensity, reachable via remote control.

The smart toilet is also seen as an eco-friendly solution since they provide a cleaner and less water-intensive alternative to toilet paper.

Bottom Line: While traditional toilets really only flush, smart toilets provide many different features that employ innovative technologies to improve their function. Because of this smart toilets provide a better user experience as compared to regular toilets.

modern smart toilet

What’s the Difference between a Smart Toilet Seat and a Smart Toilet?

Similar to a full-blown smart toilet, smart toilet seats are also a good option to add to the toilet experience without breaking the bank. Numerous options are also available in the market with different features and functionalities.

The major and most intuitive difference is that a smart toilet seat is more compact.

Instead of a whole toilet system with all the features, smart toilet seats, sometimes known as bidet toilet seats, pack several smart toilet features into a package that can more easily adapt to your existing bathroom’s regular toilet.

With a few extra connections, smart toilet seats can attach to a regular toilet, replacing the traditional plastic toilet seat. 

Takeaway: Smart toilet seats represent the most accessible and affordable form of smart toilet technology, however they may not come with as many features as a high-end smart toilet.

Smart Toilet Features versus Smart Toilet Seat Features

A Smart Toilet is designed from the ground up to pack a lot of features into a sleek package.

They typically feature a tankless design that does away with the cistern (toilet tank) behind the user’s seat but still has a powerful flush.

Central to a smart toilet is the adjustable bidet function, which may also be able to spray warm water with the right water pressure and have a warm air fan that helps dry one’s private parts afterward.

Compared to toilet paper, which requires water to collect and flush away, using a bidet can translate to huge water savings per year, as bidets typically use less water.

Many models can also have the following features:

  • Automatic flushing
  • Overflow protection
  • Remote controls and LCD screens in some models
  • Automatic opening & self-closing lids
  • Heated seats
  • Deodorizers
  • Warm air dryer
  • Multiple spray modes
  • Night lights
  • Antibacterial ultraviolet light
  • Self-cleaning bidet nozzles
  • Music/ambient sound playing feature
  • Multiple flush button locations
  • Proximity/foot Sensors
  • Toilet height adjustment

Like many other amazing technologies, smart toilets originated in Japan. Check out a video outlining the user experience in this video:

Lifehacker video on the features of smart toilets

But what about the features of smart toilet seats?

Smart toilet seats also include an adjustable bidet as a core feature. Some models also come with a built-in water heater as well. Despite their compact size, they can pack in a surprising amount of features.

Typical smart toilet seats may also include the following features:

  • Heated seat
  • Remote control
  • Warm Air Dryer
  • Self-cleaning bidet nozzles
  • Deodorizer
  • A strong lid for sitting
  • Self-opening and closing lids

Bottom Line: You will find the central features of smart toilets available in many smart seat conversion kits, however full smart toilets offer more bells and whistles by far.

a smart toilet

Who Would Want a Smart Toilet?

If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in smart seat conversion kit or to buy a smart toilet, then there are some key points to make.

So let’s take a look at who specifically might want a smart toilet over a seat conversion kit.

A smart toilet makes sense for large families.

When you have many people using the same bathroom, a smart toilet is great at increasing sanitization and cleanliness. And if you get a self-cleaning model, you won’t have to pull out your toilet brush as much.

For one, the adjustable bidet in smart toilets can be helpful for a person with limited mobility, those with disabilities, or the elderly. The amount you save in toilet paper and water consumption might also attract larger families looking for long-term savings throughout the house.

A smart toilet is ideal for individuals drawn to the latest and coolest tech features.

Still, the luxury features and creature comforts offered by most smart toilets may be attractive to those who love to have all the latest and coolest features in their homes.

Additionally, for anyone looking to upgrade their home to a smart home, a smart toilet represents an accessible but impactful option.

A smart toilet suits people with the means to spend for extra comfort and luxury.

A smart toilet is understandably not cheap. Upgrading into a smart toilet would suit those with the extra cash to spend.

Perhaps the time has come for their home to need a new toilet finally, or going for a smart toilet might be a good option for the future house renovation/remodel. After all, smart homes tend to achieve higher appraisals and sell faster.

Bottom Line: Feature-rich smart toilets benefit large families, those with special needs, and techies who love smart home technology.

Pros and Cons of a Smart Toilet

how to upgrade your toilet
Modern smart flush toilet in small bathroom with push button flush.

If you’re still unsure about smart toilets being worth their price tag, we’ve broken down the positives and negatives of buying one.

So let’s dive into the pros and cons.

Pros of a Smart Toilet

  • Hygiene

There’s a huge difference between washing with water and merely wiping with toilet paper. It is argued that using a bidet is cleaner and more hygienic and translates to healthier living in the long run.

  • Water savings

Toilet paper requires several dozen gallons of water to flush, while bidets in smart toilets use an average of around an eighth of a gallon of water per use. Smart toilets are also designed to save water and use the least amount necessary per flush. 

This translates to a more eco-friendly use of the world’s limited supply of fresh water and reduces the water bill in the long run.

  • Convenience

The automatic functions of smart toilets can be convenient for those suffering from mobility issues because of disease, disability, or age.

Cons:

  • Price

A full-blown smart toilet can be expensive, depending on the model and brand.

  • Associated Costs to Install

Older houses that were not built with smart toilets in mind may need additional modifications to accept a smart toilet, like additional electrical connections and having existing plumbing modified (to hit the necessary water pressure requirements).

  • Potential Quality Issues or Breakdowns

Smart toilets have a lot of electronics and moving parts. Given the wide range of manufacturers/brands and products, some of these may have parts that might break easily, which is where a good after-sales and warranty service would come in handy.

Similarly, if something goes wrong with a smart toilet, it’s not always an easy fix–as it usually is with a traditional toilet.

Bottom Line: The awesome features come with higher costs–more expensive to buy, to install, and fix if there are issues with it.

smart toilet seat with functionalities

Who Would Want a Smart Toilet Seat?

If you’re thinking the benefits of a smart toilet might not justify the cost, then your best bet may be a smart seat conversion kit instead.

Let’s take a look at who specifically might benefit more from this choice.

A smart toilet seat is for households on a limited budget.

A full-blown smart toilet can be a sizable investment. All the technology included in the package can come at a price, and not all households or individuals will have the necessary budgets. 

A smart toilet seat works for homes and individuals that do not require an extensive upgrade.

It might also be the case that replacing the entire toilet would be costly and inconvenient, and some might prefer a more straightforward conversion of their existing toilets.

A Smart Toilet Seat would be the better choice in this case.

A smart toilet seat is for people who prefer an easy-to-install fixture upgrade with a hint of the traditional option.

While they can have less, they usually cover the essentials that make smart toilets attractive, so one can save on costs while enjoying many features.

A smart toilet seat is still an upgrade, after all. With their features designed around the layout of the typical toilet seat, smart toilet seats are also easier to install and integrate into existing traditional toilets if you enjoy the design of your current model.

Pros and Cons of a Smart Toilet Seat

Ceramic toilet bowl with toilet paper in bathroom interior

If none of those reasons resonate with you, let’s break them down into positives and negatives.

Here are the pros and cons of buying a toilet seat conversion kit instead of a full-featured smart toilet.

Pros

  • Price

Smart toilet seats are a far more affordable alternative to buying a smart toilet and having it installed.

  • Hygiene

Similar to smart toilets, the bidet in smart toilet seats would be a more hygienic alternative to toilet paper.

  • Ease of Installation

Installing a smart toilet seat is essentially the same as replacing your existing toilet seat, requiring a couple of screws. In some cases though, you might need some extra plumbing and electrical connections.

Cons

  • Limited Features

While they have the essentials, smart toilet seats often have fewer bells and whistles compared to full-blown smart toilets.

  • Extra Installation Work

Smart toilets seats sometimes need their own plumbing and electrical connections to work. This might mean you need to pay a plumber and/or an electrician, which can be expensive.

  • Build Quality

Not all smart toilet seats are created equal, and some may not last as long as others.

Smart Toilets Versus Smart Toilet Seats: Price Comparison

The first major factor of price comes down to whether you buy an electric or non-electric bidet toilet seat.

Price of Smart Toilet Conversion Kits

On the more simplistic end, a typical smart toilet seat–or a non-electric bidet seat that connects to a toilet’s existing plumbing–starts at around $50 to $100. 

More premium brand non-electric bidets hover around the $60-$120 range.

A base-level smart toilet seat with heaters (electric seat) starts at over $100, but good quality smart toilet seats that have much of the features of smart toilets start at $500 and can go up to $1200.

Price of Smart Toilets

Smart toilets, meanwhile, start at around $1,000. Though you can find affordable models for around $700, you will sacrifice some features and material quality (less metal).

High-quality smart toilets from well-known brands hover around the $2,000-$3,000 range.

Some fully-featured luxury smart toilet models go for over $5000. 

These market prices are only for the toilets themselves and do not include any extra costs that may come with installation.

Bottom Line: A major cost comes down to whether you will have to pay for installation costs–such as additional plumbing or electrical hookups. Be sure to factor this into your budget before making a decision.

smart toilet seat with controls

If you’re ready to move on to the next phase of planning or buying, then consider our other guides and rankings on smart bathrooms.

But if you have lingering questions about smart toilets and seat conversion kits, then consider the FAQs below.

Just click on the question in blue for a drop-down answer.

Will a smart toilet seat kit work on any traditional toilet?

Smart Toilet Seats are designed to take the place of regular toilet seats and have the same ballpark dimensions. 

There is also a degree of adjustability with how smart toilet seats fit onto a toilet bowl and are offered with standard round or elongated variants, so unless you have an irregularly-shaped non-standard toilet at home, fitment should generally not be an issue with most models.

Does a smart toilet seat require an electrical hookup?

Typically, yes!

Many of the features of a smart toilet seat (and of smart toilets) are electrically-driven systems and, as such, would need to be hooked up to the house wiring. 

A non-electric bidet toilet seat, however, don’t require an electrical connection and can be connected to the toilet’s existing water supply.

How do you install a smart toilet seat?

Installing a smart toilet seat is the same as installing a traditional one. They are typically held onto the toilet bowl by the same 2-bolt system and screw on easily. Smart toilets typically have the proper fittings to connect them to the existing toilet’s plumbing. 

For any electrical connections, it would be good to have a nearby, preferably water-resistant outlet to minimize the risk of electric shocks.

How do you install a smart toilet?

Smart toilets can either be wall or floor-mounted, and a lot of them have water and electrical connections hidden for a cleaner look

Smart toilets have plumbing/sewer layouts similar to traditional toilets so that the same building dimension standards would apply.

When in doubt, consult the installation instructions included in the smart toilet, which would indicate crucial dimensions.

Jack Kelle

Jack is an entrepreneur, outdoorist, and animal lover with a background in philosophy, psychology, and business. He enjoys music, friends, and family. At RAVE, Jack works as the manager of marketing and content development.