10 Best Toilets | May 2017
- single-piece exterior
- includes seat and lid
- installation is difficult
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
- quiet close lid doesn't slam
- made from durable vitreous china
- makes a gulping sound when flushing
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- tank refills quickly
- basic look fits in with any bathroom
- sometimes requires an extra flush
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- can be installed at any height
- dual flush system
- some find it a little too small
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- electronically timed flushing
- will install anywhere
- can also discharge sink wastewater
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- utilizes gravity to optimize flushes
- looks great in period homes
- doesn't come with a lid
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- easy-lifting slow-close lid
- no choke points to reduce clogging
- certified eco-friendly
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- 360-degree water flow
- easy 3-bolt installation
- comfortable elongated bowl
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- high-quality steel hardware
- flushes very quietly
- easy to clean skirted bottom
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- adjustable temperature air dryer
- automatic flushing
- can be illuminated at night
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
The Birth Of The Toilet
The ancient civilization of Mohenjo Daro is credited with the most advanced plumbing of the early Bronze Age. In 2800 BCE, the city not only had crude western style toilets, but also boasted a network of sewers and cesspools used to eliminate human waste matter.
Other ancient toilets have been in discovered in Scotland, Crete, Egypt, and Persia. All of these advanced toilet systems existed over three thousand years ago, and closely resemble the throne toilets still in use today. The Roman toilets were often a part of public bath houses, and were regularly flushed with water to push the waste into the sewer systems. The people of India and Pakistan also had water cleaning toilets long before the invention of flush toilets.
The use of a chamber pot was a common practice for centuries before the flush toilet. The chamber pot was a large ceramic, china, or metal pot used to collect human waste. In the 16th century, the chamber pot served as a night toilet, and was cleaned in the morning by pouring the waste into the gutters. These gutters ran into cesspools from which solid matter was taken to create fertilizer.
By the 19th century, concern for public hygiene grew and the practice was officially brought to an end. Forms of the chamber pot are still in use today, though their use is limited to the bedpans found in hospitals and invalid homes.
The last step before the modern flush toilet was the dry toilet. These resemble modern composting toilets, and were a little more involved than the flush variety. Partly for this reason, the easy to use flush toilet became the standard by the 19th century, and remains so to this day.
Benefits Of Modern Toilets
The first flushing toilets were engineering marvels. As Alexander Cumming invented the S bend in 1775, which are still in use to this day, one might assume that toilets have not changed much in the last few centuries. In reality, both stylistic and functional changes are made to toilets on a consistent basis. Modern toilets benefit from both centuries of evolved knowledge and the use of advanced modern technologies.
These modern technologies create many benefits for users that were unrealized throughout history. Stylistic choices like comfortable seats and slam-resistant lids exist in some models; others boast a more environmental appeal by wasting less water with every flush.
Old flush toilets use as much as four gallons of water for every flush, but the current Federal Plumbing standards specify the limit to be at 1.6 gallons for the sake of conserving water. Some modern models take it a step further with high efficiency toilets using as little as .8 gallons per flush. Other models may boast a dual flush feature, allowing users to choose if they need a small, efficient flush, or a full sized flush.
Additional features seen in toilets include quiet flushing and advanced flushing mechanisms, as well as various coatings used to deter mold and bacteria while keeping the toilet bowl clean.
The Healthiest Way To Use A Toilet
Evacuating the bowels includes three distinct steps. First, the digestive system stores the fecal matter in the rectal cavity. When the cavity is ready to be evacuated, a relaxation of the anal canal is experienced. This is the feeling a person experiences when they need to defecate. The third component is the evacuation of the bowels using abdominal force and strain. While the first two steps are considered bodily functions which require no effort, the actual evacuation of the bowels is often left to human will to accomplish.
This straining to accomplish a normal bodily function has puzzled researchers, and may be the cause of numerous disorders in the body. Researchers in a recent study note that in areas of the world where humans squat to evacuate their bowels, there was less incidence of gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis. This may be linked to the way toilets are used.
The standard use of a toilet requires to plant both feet firmly on the floor, with the knees bent and the body sitting upright. When viewed under an X-ray, this position actually appears to close off the rectal passageways which cause straining when evacuating the bowels. Over time, this consistent strain causes unnecessary pressure to build up in the colon and rectum, which may contribute to these chronic ailments.
In so-called less developed cultures, many people still squat to evacuate their bowels. When viewed under an x-ray, this squat produces a thirty-five degree angle between the body and the legs, and actually relieves pressure placed on the colon and rectum. This angle keeps the digestive system in line, reduces transit time of fecal matter, and decreases abdominal strain during the act of evacuation. The study notes that the greater the hip angle is, the easier the fecal matter comes out of the rectum.
While there are many products on the market that claim to be the only way to accomplish this task; the proper hip angle for toilet use can be achieved by placing books or bricks on either side of the toilet, to elevate the feet during defecation.