Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seats: Compare the Pros and Cons

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Wood or plastic toilet seat? This is a common question that a myriad of people will ask while installing or replacing a toilet seat. Both materials have pros and cons, and it is tough to give a clear-cut answer. 

wood toilet seat vs plastic toilet seat

Even though it is more about your preference, I want to lay out all the information you need to know at your fingertip to help you make a quicker decision while comparing wood toilet seats to plastic ones. 

Simply put, wood toilet seats are heavier, more comfortable in winter, but harder to clean. Plastic toilet seats are easy to maintain but are cold and not so stylish.

Pros and Cons of Wood and Plastic Toilet Seats

In case you are in a hurry, you can glance at the pros and cons of each type. 

Wooden Toilet Seat Pros
  • More comfortable to sit on cold days
  • Classic appearance
  • Durable
Wooden Toilet Seat Cons
  • Hard to clean
  • Can crack over time
  • Less soft-close option
Plastic Toilet Seat Pros
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Many plastic seats have advanced features
  • Hard to wear down
  • Soft-close options available
Plastic Toilet Seat Cons
  • Shocking to sit on it in winter
  • Not so stylish
  • Not so durable

Wood vs. Plastic Toilet Seats:  6 Factors to Consider

There are many factors to consider while buying a toilet seat for your bathroom. The wood seats and plastic seats may have different performances in each aspect. You can check the content in this section to know which one is better for you.

Note that there are two types of wooden toilet seats:  enameled wood and wood veneer since most people refer to a wood veneer seat as a wood toilet seat. I will compare wood veneer seats to plastic seats in this section.

The wood veneer seat is made of wood without a layer of white enamel. You can tell the natural wood grain from the appearance.

wood veneer toilet seat

Comfort

People can spend over 92 days on the toilet seat in their lifetime. The comfort of your toilet seat can affect you on a daily basis.

Plastic and wood toilet seats are both comfortable in most cases. You can sit on it even for reading and watching movies. 

However, things are different on chilly days. You can’t forget the shock you get while sitting on a cold plastic toilet seat. Wood seat tends to retain more heat so that they wouldn’t become so cold when climate changes. 

Not every plastic toilet seat is cold. More and more advanced plastic seats are showing up in the market. For example,  you can purchase an electric bidet toilet seat that can provide you with a heated seat and different spray modes to make you feel squeaky clean.

Price

Both types of toilet seats have a wide price range. Usually, a regular wood toilet seat tends to be a bit more expensive than plastic models. However, you can find the extremely cheap and expensive ones in each type. 

For instance, some toilet seats are made of exotic wood that could cost hundreds of dollars. A plastic toilet seat with a bidet feature can be as high as $1000.

Don’t go for the lowest-priced items, as you don’t want to replace the toilet seat from time to time.

Cleaning

A toilet seat is a place that you will touch with your butt every day. Keeping it sanitary is an important thing for personal hygiene. People, especially men, can get urine or other waste on it accidentally, and you will want a seat that is easy to clean.

Plastic toilet seats are not absorbent, meaning that the germs and dirt will not get into the material quickly. They will stay on the surface, and you can wipe them off with a soft cloth and detergent.

The wood used to make wooden toilet seats has been treated, making the waste hard to penetrate it. Therefore, wooden seats are as easy to maintain as plastic seats in most cases. 

Nevertheless, The sealants on the seat can wear down with time. Any scratches can rot the wood, causing smells and black molds in the end.

Appearance

This is all about your preference. Plastic toilet seats can blend seamlessly with a modern and sleek bathroom, but wood toilet seats can create an aesthetic and classical look. 

You should consider the style of your bathroom decor so that the seat would not become overly obtrusive.

Durability 

Many people think wood toilet seats are more durable than plastic ones. Some customers complained that their plastic seats are flimsy and easy to break in a short time. 

Wooden seats are thicker and can put up with more weight. So it is not likely to break due to overweight people sitting on it. However, as I said, the protective coating can wear and tear, making the seat prone to warping and cracking.

Another part that affects the durability is the hinges that connect the seat to the toilet bowl. Some will use plastic ones, and some will use metal ones. You can find these designs in both plastic seats and wood seats.

No matter which type of seat you decide to buy, try to find one of high quality. It will last for years.

Weight

Typically, wood toilet seats are heavier than plastic toilet seats. It would not be an issue for most users but could be problematic for people with weak hands. 

Most wood toilet seats don’t have a soft-close feature. It would slam down hard on the bowl, causing damage to your seat and bowl. 

Enameled Wood Vs. Plastic Toilet Seats

Enameled wood toilet seat is a seat coated with a layer of enamel. It is a type of seat between the traditional wood seat and plastic seat. Accordingly, it combines some characteristics of each type.

Comfort

Enameled wood seat has a wooden core to be warmer than a plastic seat on colder days. Beyond that, it would hold up more weight, making you feel confident while sitting on it.

Price 

Even though wood seems to be more expensive than plastic, enameled wood toilet seats don’t have a higher price tag. 

You can find an enameled wood seat in any price range, but enameled wood seats tend to be a bit more expensive than regular plastic seats.

Cleaning 

The enamel coating is non-porous. Therefore, the surface is easy to wipe and clean, just like a plastic seat. Sometimes, it is hard for guests to tell the difference between each other. 

But the enamel coating can crack or break at some point, leading the wood core to expose outside. The exposure can accumulate moisture and germs, making it bad for your health.

Appearance

Enameled wood toilet seats look pretty similar to plastic seats. Most of them are white to lend themselves to modern decor. 

Durability

As enameled wood toilet seats have a wood core, they can hold up a heavier weight than plastic models. Meanwhile, as it has a solid outer shell, it is more difficult to get wrapped and crack. 

Weight

Plastic toilet seats are lighter than enameled wood seats. Enameled seats are just as heavy as wood veneer seats. If you have a seat that feels more durable and long-lasting, enameled seats could be a better choice. 

Final thoughts

In this post, I compared wood toilet seats with plastic toilet seats. There is no significant difference between each type regarding the cost. However, wood toilet seats could retain more heat on cold days but get harder and harder to clean over time. 

Plastic toilet seats could be better in modern bathrooms, and wood toilet seats could be more classical. 

Don’t overthink this question. Both types are great, and you can replace them anyway. 

Kevin Chow is an enthusiast of home improvement. He is an engineer and likes to test all the tech gadgets on the market. He starts to use bidet seats after his journey to Japan and he had tried a few brands.