How to Find the Perfect Toilet

In the 1990s, toilets used a whopping 3.5 gallons every time they were flushed. As our country was becoming more concerned about water conservation, this seemed like an obvious place for improvement and so the low-flow (or high-efficiency) toilet was born. 

What makes a toilet efficient?

Toilet efficiency is generally measured by how much water is used per flush. Today's toilets should use a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush with the ultra-high-efficiency toilets that using just 0.8 gallons to 1.1 gallons per flush.

You can also measure a toilet's efficiency using a MaP score, which tells you how many grams of solid waste can be removed with each flush. The only downside to this scoring system is that it's voluntary, so not all manufacturers rate their products this way. 

Types of efficient toilets 

There hasn't been a ton of toilet innovation in the U.S. since low flow toilets became necessary. If you want to see the pinnacle of toilet technologies, you can look to Toto, a Japanese toilet manufacturer. These toilets come equipped with bidets, seat warmers, and air fresheners. They even have options for white noise so you can get a little privacy. 

Toto toilets might not be common in the U.S., but we still have some great options for efficient toilets. 

Gravity Assisted 

This is the type of toilet you'll find in most homes. This simple system uses gravity to move the water and waste from the toilet bowl into the pipes. Modern gravity-assisted toilets are designed to be efficient, but if you have an older home you might still have a water-guzzling model. 


  • Can be inexpensive to buy and repair
  • Easy to find at local stores


  • Might not be as efficient as some other types of toilets 

Dual Flush

Dual flush toilets are popular in countries that frequently experience droughts, like Australia. Instead of using the same amount of water for every flush, these models feature two buttons. You choose button number 1 or button number 2 depending get it. 


  • Allows you to use only the amount of water you need 
  • Doesn't clog as often thanks to the larger diameter trap way


  • These aren't very common so they can be expensive 

Pressure Assisted 

Chances are you're familiar with this type of toilet, even if you haven't seen it in a house. Pressure assisted toilets are what you normally see in commercial buildings. They sound like a plane taking off, but they get the job done. These models have a tank inside a tank. As the toilet tank fills with water, the air pressure goes up in the tank chamber. When you flush, that air pressure is released, helping empty the toilet quickly and forcefully. 


  • Very powerful, so they only need to be flushed once
  • There's never condensation on the tank, even when it's humid


  • It's very loud
  • It's expensive to purchase and repair 

There are a lot of options for upgrading your toilet. So when you're thinking about making your home more energy-efficient, don't forget the commode!