Toilet Seats: Wood, plastic or does it even matter?

Question is in the title.

I’ve always thought that (painted) wood toilet seats were sturdier and seemed nicer somehow, especially as someone who will sit on it with the lid closed to cut my nails or something. Even though I’m small I fear that a plastic seat would dent in or collapse somehow. However, I find that the paint on the wooden seats is difficult to maintain. It is the only place where I cannot remove every stain every time, so I end up replacing toilet seats often.

From what I understand, the plastic seats resist staining and chipping so I am considering trying one. Does it matter if it is wood or plastic, are there preferences about this?

I’m inserting a poll but would appreciate comments too.

  • Plastic is best
  • Plastic is acceptable
  • Only a bad host would use a plastic toilet seat
  • It doesn’t matter as long as it’s clean and sturdy
  • Wood is best

0 voters


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Home Depot sells a plastic wrapped wooden toilet seat for about $20. You get the best of both worlds.

Sturdier is better in any rental.


I have an American Standard plastic one. It’s soft close and not quick release but it’s quick to take on and off for cleaning. It’s sturdy enough for me to sit on without denting and no guest has ever dented it. But plastic scratches easily and it drives me nuts and I end up replacing it more often than I like. Before the pandemic it seems like I was buying a new one every year.

The guest bath in my part of the house is wood and not soft close and either folks don’t put the toilet seat down (which I ask that they do so it’s not a dog water bowl) or they just let it bang closed. It doesn’t scratch nearly as easily so stays looking nicer longer.

My seat is an add on bidet seat and has a plastic seat and lid. But it’s not comfortable to sit on due to the shape.

If the perfect seat exists I don’t know what it is.


I have soft-close plastic seats. Easier to clean and they don’t stain or flake/peel. The soft-close feature is a bonus. We have a couple of the quick-release type which helps with cleaning, but the mounts stay attached to the toilet, so they still have to be removed to do a very thorough cleaning.


I bought a “sea themed” see through resin toilet seat thinking it would be a talking point for guests and might even make it into reviews. 300+ bookings later and no one has ever mentioned it to me or in a review.

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By plastic, do you mean hard plastic, or those soft cushioned vinyl seats that stick to your bum in humid weather? Hard plastic is fine. Those soft vinyl things are not, IMO.

Soft close plastic seat for sure. Wood toilet seats need replacement often because odor will develop (I have a nose like a hound dog)

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I love the look and feel of wood but gave up on them because they are hard to keep clean and nice. The hinges always get green and rusty and the wood finish doesn’t stand up.

The vinyl plastic, cushiony ones are a definite no-go for me as the vinyl cracks and I always imagine germs hiding in the cracks.

So I use my least favourite - hard plastic.

The seat made from a plastic instead of an enameled wood, not the vinyl cushy ones.

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I have that kind of nose too. I’m talking about the ones that are enamel coated, not the ones that look like wood. Anyway, I replace them several times a year because the enamel tends to get chipped or stained. It’s only looks but looks matter on a toilet seat. From what I understand the plastic ones get scratched up and also stain, is that your experience?

JJD, we have Toto toilets that ship with their own plastic seats. No issues with scratching, no need to replace yearly.

I love the look of the wood toilet seats that are not painted----but yeah, just can’t have em!

The wood used on a toilet may be less resistant compared to plastic. Thermoset and Thermoplastic are the common plastic types used for toilet seats. Although the former costs a bit more than the latter, it’s more resistant to scratching.

Traditionally, toilet seats are made of wood. Though this material is still utilized these days, there are many other materials.