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What Does A Water-Saving Toilet Look Like?

A water-saving toilet is similar to a traditional toilet. Models come in various designs, from modern lines to conventional appearances, to match different bathroom aesthetics. Some may include advanced technology and sensor-activated features for hands-free flushing, seat heating, bidet functions, etc.

The difference comes from the design features that make the toilet use less water per flush — a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf), the current federal standard.

How Do Water-Saving Toilets Work?

  • Low-flow toilets. They use 1.6 gpf or less. The ultra-low-flow toilets use as little as 1.28 gpf. For better context, older toilets usually use 3.5 gpf or more.
  • Dual-flush toilets. They have two flush options: a low-volume one for liquid waste and a high-volume flush for solid waste.
  • Pressure-assisted toilets. They use compressed air to force water into the bowl with greater force.
  • Gravity-assisted toilets. They use gravity to move water from the tank into the bowl.
  • Vacuum-assisted toilets. They use a vacuum system to pull waste from the bowl, requiring less water for an effective flush.
  • Composting toilets. They’re waterless systems that use organic materials like sawdust to help break down waste into compost.

Are Water-Saving Toilets Worth It?

The short answer is yes. Water-efficient toilets are worth the investment when considering their impact on water conservation and long-term savings.

For an average household, it means anywhere between 20 to 60% less clean water flushed down the toilet, depending on water consumption habits. The potential is huge — compared to standard toilets, they can save up to 13,000 gallons of water per family annually. It’s good for the planet and your wallet, as a water-saving toilet can help you save about $2,900 in utility bills over its lifetime.

Besides immediate benefits, upgrading toilet fixtures can enhance your home’s overall value. Potential buyers appreciate the property’s eco-friendliness and potential cost savings, making your home more attractive in the real estate market.

Other Advantages of Water-Saving Toilets

  • They reduce the strain on water supplies and wastewater treatment systems, positively impacting the environment.
  • They provide high efficiency for waste removal and reduce the likelihood of clogs and maintenance issues.
  • They help homeowners comply with local rules and regulations for water usage.

What to Consider When Choosing a Water-Saving Toilet

Your Budget

Water-efficient toilets can range in price, so having a budget in mind will help you narrow your options before you go down the rabbit hole of researching tens or hundreds of models.

Local Regulations

Some states take water efficiency more seriously than others, so research local building codes and regulations before investing in new toilet fixtures. You can even find incentives for installing water-saving fixtures.

The Flush Mechanism

It’s not just a debate between a low-flow toilet vs. regular systems. You want to review the pros and cons of the various types available — dual flush systems, vacuum-assisted, and pressure-assisted toilets. Besides water usage, consider user reviews and long-term maintenance requirements.

The Toilet’s Size

Choose a model that matches your bathroom’s rough-in size, which is the distance from the wall to the center of the toilet flange.

Bowl Shape

Elongated bowls are often more comfortable than round toilet seats but require more space.

Additional Features

Some models include extra features such as soft-close seats, easy-to-clean surfaces, or sensor-activated flushes.

Other Factors

  • Warranty and support
  • Ease of installation
  • Style
  • Manufacturer

Top 5 Water-Saving Toilets: Reviews and Features 

  1. KOHLER 3933-0 Memoirs Stately Comfort Height Toilet

The KOHLER 3933-0 Memoirs toilet combines water-saving features, comfort, and traditional design. It has an efficient 1.28-gallon flush and uses AquaPiston canister technology to optimize water flow from the tank. The system smartly uses gravity to enhance the flush’s power and effectiveness while avoiding clogs.

Small and efficient water-saving toilets dual flush.

The toilet seat has a comfortable height for adults for both sitting and standing up. The two-piece design is easy to install, and the left-hand polished chrome trip lever adds a touch of sophistication. Despite being essential for installation, the supply lines and wax ring don’t come with the toilet. 

  1. TOTO MS854114SL#12 Ultramax ADA One Piece Toilet

The TOTO MS854114SL#12 Ultramax ADA One Piece Toilet is a one-piece design with an ADA-compliant toilet bowl. It incorporates a highly efficient 1.6-gallon flush system — not the lowest gallon-per-flush option available, but one of the most efficient, as most users say it doesn’t require multiple flushes. The trapway design minimizes clogs and blockages.

Despite its elongated shape, the toilet occupies less width than most other toilets. Additionally, the tank is relatively short, making it a suitable choice if you prefer your toilet to be lower than a chair rail or wainscoting.

  1. American Standard 2887518.020 H2Option Siphonic Dual Flush Elongated Toilet

The American Standard 2887518.020 H2Option is a dual flush toilet — with a 0.92-gallon partial flush and a 1.28-gallon full flush that eliminates the need for multiple flushes. An included plastic wrench makes installation relatively easy.

The toilet’s design, featuring a one-piece structure, adds to its aesthetic appeal and simplifies cleaning. This ease of maintenance is a significant advantage for users seeking a hygienic and visually appealing toilet. According to consumer reports, the seat height is exceptionally comfortable, offering an ergonomic experience that differentiates it from standard-height toilets.

  1. HOROW HWMT-8733U Small Compact One Piece Toilet

The HOROW HWMT-8733U is small but efficient, using significantly less water than traditional toilets — the full flush uses 1.6 gallons of water, while the light flush uses 1.1 gallons. Most users manage to install the toilet themselves thanks to its user-friendly design and clear instructions.

Small and efficient water-saving toilets dual flush.
Small but efficient, using significantly less water than traditional toilets

The compact design is tailored for small bathrooms, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space. Consumer reports say the toilet is easy to clean, thanks to its one-piece construction that eliminates hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

  1. Swiss Madison Well Made Forever SM-1T254 St. Tropez One Piece Toilet

The Swiss Madison Well Made Forever SM-1T254 St. Tropez is a dual-flush with high-performance Vortex of 1.1 and 1.6 gpf. Users appreciate its efficient water-saving features, user-friendly installation, and thoughtful design.

The toilet has a slow-close seat and lid, preventing noisy slamming and ensuring durability — perfect for a kids’ bathroom. You’ll need pH-neutral soap and microfiber cloth for cleaning without damaging the finish.

Installation and Maintenance Tips for Water-Efficient Toilets

When installing a water-efficient toilet, the first rule is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions meticulously. Furthermore, it’s crucial to double-check that all components, including wax rings and bolts, are in place. Also, the toilet flange must be level and properly sealed to prevent leaks.

As maintenance rules go, avoid using abrasive cleaners or toilet tablets that contain bleach, as they can damage the flush valve and other components. Instead, use mild, non-abrasive cleaning agents and a soft brush to clean the bowl. Periodically check the toilet tank for mineral buildup and consider using a descaling agent to clean the tank.

To maintain the water-saving capabilities of your toilet:

  • Conduct regular check-ups and inspections.
  • Check for any signs of leaks around the toilet base and examine the flush mechanism for any wear and tear that might affect efficiency.
  • Tighten or replace any loose or damaged parts promptly to prevent water loss.


  • Can water-efficient toilets be installed in all plumbing systems? 

Water-efficient toilets typically function in most residential plumbing systems. You want to ensure the water pressure is high enough for efficient flushing. If you have low water pressure, you may need a pressure-assisted toilet or a pressure-boosting pump.

  • What is the best toilet to save water?

The best water-saving toilets are dual flush systems — unless you consider dry models, like incinerating or composting toilets. Dual flush models allow users to tailor their water usage to their specific needs, making it easy to reduce water consumption in the long run.

Flushing Water Using Dual Mechanism with water-saving toilets.
Dual flush models allow users to tailor their water usage to their specific needs, making it easy to reduce water consumption in the long run.

  • What is the difference between a water-saving toilet and a regular toilet?

Water-saving toilets use significantly less water than regular toilets. They typically have a flush volume of 1.28 gpf or less, while traditional toilets may use 3.5 gpf or more. Efficient toilets achieve this reduction through efficient flush mechanisms and trap ways while maintaining effective waste removal.

Meet The HomeBiogas Toilet Solutions

The HomeBiogas Toilet Kit brings together the concepts of water conservation, self-sufficiency, and sustainability. The technology uses only 0.3 gpf because you don’t need freshwater to transport waste.

The HomeBiogas Toilet Kit brings together the concepts of water conservation, self-sufficiency, and sustainability.
The HomeBiogas Toilet Kit brings together the concepts of water conservation, self-sufficiency, and sustainability.

The HomeBiogas Toilet Kit is a closed-loop system that uses waste to generate biogas for cooking. This ingenious approach saves water and takes advantage of the energy potential of human waste. It reduces the reliance on fossil fuels and thus further contributes to environmental sustainability.

The Toilet Kit comes in various sizes, making it versatile and suitable for multiple types of homes, locations, and life contexts. It’s also perfect for off-grid or remote areas, allowing homeowners without access to centralized sewage systems to benefit from sustainable sanitation.

Final Thoughts

Water-efficient toilets have become a wise investment for any home, as they save precious water resources and make the property compliant with federal recommendations on water usage. If you’re considering a bathroom upgrade or renovation, it’s best to make the eco-conscious choice and invest in a water-efficient toilet.

The decision benefits you, your wallet, and the planet.

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