How Often Should You Change Your Toilet Seat, According To Experts

How Often Should You Change Your Toilet Seat, According To Experts

Step into the bathroom with us for a minute, please, and answer this question: When was the last time you changed your toilet seat? While we’re sure your bathroom has a regular cleaning schedule sometimes things slip under the housekeeping radar. While it is easy to know when your toilet seat needs to be sanitized, what about when it needs replacing? Of course, if the toilet seat breaks or cracks, you’ll need to swap in a new one. And when you do purchase a new one, spending a little bit more on a higher quality seat means less likelihood of breaking and fewer reasons to replace.

Things get a little less clear, though, if the seat isn’t broken. Is there any reason to replace a seat just because it’s been around awhile? We reached out to a few experts to find out.

How Often Should You Change Your Toilet Seat?

“In general, a toilet will outlast the toilet seat several times over,” says Summer Little, owner of Atlanta interior design firm, Prescott Design. “You should expect to replace a toilet seat every five years or so, depending on usage. No one wants to be greeted by a dingy toilet seat, so if there is a crack or stains remain even after cleaning, it's ready for retirement.”

Sean Richardson, Director and Plumber at Complete Plumbing, agrees that most toilet seats last between 5 and 10 years. “Wood toilet seats, though used less often now, need to be changed most often. The finish can wear off over time and break more easily due to water damage. Cheaper plastic seats can similarly discolor over time and become an eyesore,” he says, adding that the hinges are most likely to become brittle and break over time. “In the end, it's up to your own judgment. If it has become damaged or stained, it is best to invest in a new one.”

Vickie Larue, a paint and home expert with Paint Thesis in Orlando, Florida, has a few additional situations that could call for a new toilet seat. Specifically, if the seat cover breaks, preventing you from being able to lower the lid, or if you’re the parent (or grandparent) of young children, swapping toilet seats after the kiddo finishes potty training is a good idea.

If you have just moved into a new apartment, home, or even dorm, Jed Silverlake, founder & CEO of, notes that another good time to make the switch is when you move in: “If you have recently moved into a new home, it is a good idea to replace the toilet seat for hygiene purposes.” Seems reasonable enough!

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