Best Potty Chair
The OXO Tot Potty Chair is our favorite seat for toilet training. It was a simple two-piece design that is easy to empty and rinse out after each use. There are no small cracks for pee to get stuck in. Toddlers like the substantial look, making it more attractive to use, and parents appreciate the simplicity that keeps the seat from becoming a playtoy. The tall back makes kids more comfortable during long potty sessions, and the seat height is a happy medium that will be perfect for most children. The convenient carry hold on the back makes the OXO less cumbersome to move from room to room with your toddler. Our little tester was so excited about the handle that she wanted to carry it with her everywhere. A rubber non-slip base keeps the chair stable and prevents it from scooching away when kids try to sit down. Lastly, we like that there is a large variety of fun colors to choose from when purchasing the OXO Tot, making it easier to match with your bedroom decor or add a splash of color to your nursery.
Our few complaints about this seat mostly have to do with the bowl. It is a bit shallower than others we tested, and the splash guard is a bit low. We found that if our tester leaned back too far when doing her business, pee would shoot over the edge and end up all over the floor. We also noticed that the seat is a bit wider than some, and does not have a contoured shape, so it does not cradle small bums. If your toddler is potty training at an older age, this may not matter as much. However, we love the durable design of the OXO Tot Potty Chair and think it is a potty training staple.
The BabyBjörn Smart Potty is one of the most affordable seats in our review, and also one of the most compact. It is a simple seat with a low back and a two-piece design. The bowl is deep and narrow and has a substantial splash guard, so there is no need to worry about spills. The rubber base keeps it steady during use. A small handle at the front of the bowl makes it easy to lift, and it is small enough to fit in almost any sink for a quick rinse and go. The seat fits comfortably in the back of a car, the basket of a stroller, and is not cumbersome at all, so you can always have a potty right when you need it.
While the tiny size of the Smart Potty is what makes it a great portable option, it can be too small for some, almost dainty. If your toddler is on the older side, the seat's low profile and narrow shape may not be as comfortable. Our product came slightly warped and did not sit flat on the ground. We did not notice that it affected performance in any way, but it is something to note. We also found that our tester preferred seats with a high back, and so she was not as excited to use the BabyBjörn as some other options. However, in terms of value and convenience, this seat is hard to pass up. We recommend the BabyBjörn Smart Potty for families who are on the go a lot.
BabyBjörn Toilet Trainer is a minimalistic potty chair alternative that fits on top of a traditional adult toilet. This set up means no dumping or rinsing involved with potty time. Two adjustable flaps keep it secure on any size seat, and a tall splash guard ensures that everything makes it in the toilet. Although it uses hard plastic, the contoured shape is more comfortable than you would think. We like that this seat allows young toddlers to feel more secure on an adult toilet, and removes additional cleanup steps for parents. A rubber carry handle lets you easily transport the seat and also comes in handy for hanging storage. The slim profile of this seat allows it to slip under the bathroom sink. If your child is entirely potty trained, but still a bit nervous about using the big toilet, an older toddler can put it in place whenever they need to go.
In many ways, this is a potty training dream solution. However, there are a few drawbacks. Depending on when you introduce your child to the potty, they may be too small to use this seat on their own. It will require a stepstool and adult assistance every single time. For this reason, your toddler may be more open to using this seat once they are old enough (and tall enough) to use the bathroom on their own. We also would not recommend using this as your only potty during the first stages of training. It only works in conjunction with an adult toilet; therefore, you cannot keep it next to your child from room to room. Many toddlers do not always have the bladder control to make it to the bathroom in time. Keeping these things in mind, we still highly recommend the BabyBjörn Toilet Trainer and think it is a seat you will appreciate its simple design and long term functionality.
The Mayfair NextStep2 is a unique product that combines an adult-sized toilet with a tot-sized seat. They share a hinge, so switching between the two is a simple as lifting the lid where is stays in place using a magnet. We love that this offers a one-and-done take on a toddler potty; there is no need to remove it or store it when not in use. In our experience, this seat is an ideal long-term solution for older kids who are still a bit nervous about the gaping hole of an adult-sized toilet. Your child will likely be using this up to 7 or 8 years of age. The slow-close lid is a nice touch that prevents the loud slam that may annoy parents and startle young children and the smaller seat is removable when your child outgrows it.
While the NextStep2 is much more expensive than many other options, we think it is worth it as you can get years of use out of the product. Installing it is more of a process, as it requires you to remove your old seat entirely and attach the new one. You will need a screwdriver and a can-do attitude to get the job done. However, you will only need to do this once, and it is not that difficult. This product may be better for older kids, as it does not have a splash guard, and it is not portable, so your child must have sufficient bladder control to make it to the bathroom. If you are looking for a potty chair to help your little one feel more comfortable using the toilet on their own, and want something that will blend seamlessly into your home, then the Mayfair NextStep2 is an excellent choice.
Nuby My Real Potty Training Toilet is a toddler potty that looks like a grown-up toilet. This design is fun and enticing to young toddlers that want to be just like their parents. It encourages them to use the potty and helps along the training process. The tall back has a button on top that makes flushing sounds when pressed, and there is a compartment on the backside to store baby wipes. The height of the seat is ideal for toddlers who are a bit older or are tall for their age.
Depending on how focused your toddler is (and let's be honest, how many focused toddlers do you know?), they may be easily distracted by the flushing button, the toilet lid, or the wipes in the back. You risk turning the potty seat into a playtime item and hindering the training process. The Nuby is large and bulky, and not something we would want to lug around the house following baby. It is something that you would leave in a dedicated space and hope you can get your toddler there in time. However, if these things do not bother you, and you are looking for something fun and exciting to get your toddler interested in potty training, the My Real Potty Training Toilet is an interesting contender.
If you can't decide which style you want to use, the Munchkin Arm & Hammer 3-in-1 has got you covered. It can be a standalone potty, but the seat is removable and can sit over the top of an adult toilet. When not being used as a potty, the lid lowers, and the whole thing becomes a sturdy stepstool. This feature can be a convenient addition to a child's bathroom. Although small, the splash guard is tall enough to keep everything in the bowl. Overall, the seat's construction feels robust and durable, making it a product that will likely last through multiple children.
Unfortunately, we were frustrated by a few things on the Munchkin. The lid does not stay open on its own, so your toddler will have to sit down while simultaneously holding the top up, a task which may be unattainable for some younger kids. To access and empty the bowl, you must lift the lid and remove the seat, and we do not like that there are multiple steps to this process. Because there are so many parts to this chair, there is an abundance of cracks and hinges that pee may get stuck in, and are not that easy to clean. The lid has a deodorizing tablet that supposedly prevents bad odors from building up. However, we think it smells like strongly scented diapers, and prefer to use the seat without it. While there are some design flaws in this seat, we feel that it is a good option for parents who value versatility and multifunctional products.
The Dreambaby Soft Touch Potty Seat is an on toilet product made of a squishy foam coated with a flexible vinyl material. The deeply contoured shape combined with the slightly more pliable material is more comfortable for tiny tushes to rest. It is one molded piece, making it super easy to clean. The Dreambaby is lightweight and easy to place on a toilet, so toddlers will quickly figure out how to do it independently. The on-toilet design saves you from cleanup duty, and the slim profile allows for quick storage.
Small ridges on the bottom of the seat hold it in place, but it is not adjustable, so it may not fit snugly on every toilet. Many parents also note that the durability of this seat is not the best. Over time, the vinyl coating may start to crack and create a tush pinching hazard. As with other on-toilet options, this seat must be used with an adult toilet, and cannot follow your toddler throughout the day. When testing the product, we were surprised by how not soft it is. We were not expecting it to be quite so stiff, although it is still cushier than hard plastic options. The Dreambaby may be appealing for toddlers who spend a lot of time on the toilet and need a little extra support.
The Jool Baby Potty Training Chair is a potty with all the bells and whistles, many of which we feel are unnecessary and even make it less functional than more straightforward options. It has a back/armrest combo that detached too readily and kept falling off during our testing. There are two carry handles on either side of the seat, but it still requires two hands and feels substantial and bulky when carrying. You empty the bowl by way of a drawer that slides out the backside. It clicks in and out of place, making it nearly impossible for baby to "help" clean up and leads to accidental spills. However, we as parents, also found it somewhat difficult to open without creating a sloshing mess. Many parents also complain that the splash guard is more or less useless, and the way the seat hangs over the bowl creates a gap for pee to splash through, creating a cleaning nightmare. The plastic components all feel very flimsy and may get separated easily. In the beginning, we were intrigued by the unique design of the Jool Baby, but after putting all the seats to the test, we found this is not one we'd recommend.
Why You Should Trust Us
Having lived through potty training days with more than one child, as parents and professional caregivers, our BabyGearLab team has a good idea of what works and what doesn't. Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford, draws from her experience as a nanny and older sister to inform this review. Two-year-old Annie gave us help with hands-on testing. She started her potty training journey with lots of options, and together we quickly narrowed it down to the favorites. Throughout her toilet training days, we kept track of which potty chairs she was able to use by herself, which ones she was drawn to, and also which ones we had the easiest time cleaning and toting around.
Analysis and Test Results
To find the best potty chair, we considered portability, ease of cleaning, durability, and, most importantly, how much a toddler likes to use the potty chair.
Toddler Ease of Use
How much your toddler likes to use a potty chair should probably be the most critical factor to consider when making a decision. After all, if they don't like it, they won't use it. You should take into account how comfortable the seat is. Products like the BabyBjörn Toilet Trainer and the Dreambaby Soft Touch Potty Seat have deeply contoured shapes that form to baby's bum and make them comfortable for long sitting sessions. If your child is a bit older, they will likely want to use the chair more independently. The OXO Tot Potty Chair is light enough for toddlers to carry around by the handle, giving them a sense of pride and ownership over their potty.
The simple design of the BabyBjörn Smart Potty may not be as appealing to some kids, but it is easy for toddlers of all ages to sit. It can be tempting to get a potty chair that is fun and flashy, but we recommend keeping things simple to prevent any possible distractions. The Nuby My Real Potty Training Toilet is the most toddler-enticing chair in the group. But beware, if the potty becomes a toy, it may be challenging to keep them focused on the real goal.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning the seat is a job that falls to parents, and you probably want to find something that is simple and quick to tidy up. When choosing a potty, take a look at the design. Are there any nooks and crannies that may trap liquids? How do you remove the bowl? Will it easily fit into a sink? All are essential considerations. The BabyBjörn Smart Potty is one of the most straightforward chairs to clean, as it only has two parts, and both are small enough to fit in the kitchen sink for a good scrub. The bowl is small enough to fit in any restroom sink when used on the go. The Jool Baby has many parts to clean and crevices that allow pee to reach unexpected places.
Products such as the Mayfair NextStep2 require no more cleaning than your standard bathroom routine. No dumping, no rinsing, and no storing. We love it. The Dreambaby Soft Touch Potty Seat is the next best thing, as it is a single piece of vinyl-covered foam that has no cracks to catch liquid. However, beware of surface tearing that could let pee reach the inner foam.
While maybe not the first thing that comes to mind, portability is more important than you would think, even if you don't plan to bring the seat outside the house. Having a potty chair that is light and convenient to carry around while following your toddler can mean the difference between a successful potty experience and a mess on the carpet. When considering portability, size and weight come into play, but also factors such as the number of parts and any carry handles. If you plan to take the chair with you on outings, you will want one like the BabyBjörn Smart Potty, that is easy to stash in the bottom of a stroller or the trunk of your car.
Despite the slightly larger size, we like the OXO Tot Potty Chair because it has a handle that makes it convenient to carry, and is even fun for toddlers to tote around on their own (just make sure it's empty first). Regardless, it is essential to have a seat that is easy to keep near toddlers at all times, especially in the early days of potty training before they have enough bladder control to make it to the bathroom.
The durability required of a seat will vary depending on how long it takes to potty train, how many kids you plan to use it for, and how often you plan to bring it along while on the road. We are confident that all of the seats we tested will last through the training of at least one toddler, but some stand out as an item that you would be able to reuse or pass along. The Mayfair NextStep2 is as durable as they come, and can to endure years of use by toddlers and adults alike. The Munchkin Arm & Hammer 3-in-1 has some of the stiffest plastic we encountered, and the lid is extra thick so it can act as a stepstool when not being used as a potty chair.
There are many ways to go about toilet training your child, and some parents choose not to use a potty chair at all. However, if you decide to use one, finding a comfortable and convenient chair for you and baby is the key to success. After weeding through the multitude of potty chair available, we included a wide variety of styles for you to consider. We note the pros and cons of each and make specific recommendations to help you choose a seat that best fits your home and lifestyle to make potty training as painless as possible.
— Abriah Wofford