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Why Are There U-shaped Toilet Seats?


Have you ever wandered into a public bathroom to use the toilet and wondered, “Why are all the toilet seats U-shaped?” Maybe you thought it’s because they’re cheaper, which they are, but that’s not the main reason.

According to, there are actually several reasons that U-shaped seats are used in lavatorial facilities that are open to the public. First and foremost, they are reqiured by code as mandated by the American Standard National Plumbing Code which was written by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, otherwise known as the IAPMO.

The many hygienic benefits derived from the use of the U-shaped toilet seat include giving the male users a larger area to aim, thus reducing the chances of getting urine on the seat, if they don’t tip it up out of the way. If you’re a toilet sitter, there’s less chance of brushing your equipment against the front edge of the seat. It’s also easier to reach in to wipe from the front. Supposedly they are more comfortable.

From my point of view, a toilet seat is a toilet seat, it’s not meant for kicking back and taking a little nap on, and at least they don’t use those disgusting cushion toilet seats. What fresh hell of germs lives within one of those sponge-like apparatuses?

And finally, almost hilariously, U-shaped toilet seats aren’t highly sought after by toilet seat thieves. Yes, there apparently is a market for used toilet seats.

Hopefully you’re reading this while sitting on a convenience store toilet. If not, it’ll give you something to think about the next time that urge to use the the public loo hits you.

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