Best Budget Toilets: Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Budget Toilets: Reviews and Buying Guide

  • Posted by Tatiana
  • On March 1, 2021
  • 0 Comment

A lot of factors can influence your choice when you shop for a toilet, and the price isn’t the last of them.

But don’t worry!

Buying a low-cost commode doesn’t mean that you will get something inferior. In fact, it may even mean the opposite!

The best budget toilets we picked for this guide have all the great features of their more expensive counterparts — for a lower price!

So, be sure to check them out and find the commode that suits you!

Top Picks

Editor’s Choice

2nd Best — Toilet Under $200

3rd Best — The Cheapest Toilet for Small Bathrooms

Kohler K-3999-0 Highline TOTO CST243EFR#01 Entrada HOROW HWMT-8733S
chair like height; features more long-lasting canister flush valve patented E-Max flush; WaterSense & ADA compliant siphonic clog-free flush; quiet operation

What to Expect From an Inexpensive Toilet?

Now, even though the majority of affordable toilets are no worse than more expensive models, the price still affects some things. So, here’s what you will be more likely to get if you purchase a toilet with the $250 price tag or below.

Design

Cheaper toilets are more likely to be two-piece, meaning that the tank and the bowl are two separate elements. These toilets require less energy and resources to produce, which reflects in their price.

Also, you might get a toilet with a round bowl, for the same reason. The round bowl runs 2-3 inches shorter than the standard elongated bowl, so it can cost less.

As for one-piece toilets, you can get them as well. Note though, that they will more likely be made by less known manufacturers or may feature a compact design, which also requires fewer materials.

Materials and Parts Quality

Cheaper toilets are produced from cheaper materials.

What this means is the bowl glaze can be less durable, less resistant to stain-causing bacteria, and more prone to hairline cracks. 

Or, your flush actuator might be made of cheaper alloys instead of chrome.

Or, you might need to replace some inner parts of the tank, such as a fill valve or a flapper, more frequently.

Also, some cheaper models may not include a toilet seat or some parts of the mounting hardware, such as the wax ring or bolt caps, and you will have to purchase them separately.

Height

Generally, though not always, affordable toilets will have the Standard seat height, which is 15-16 inches. This height suits the majority of adults and kids. However, if you have a senior or a disabled person in your home, you might need the ADA-compliant toilet with a higher seat — from 17 to 19 inches — which isn’t common among the budget models.

5 Best Affordable Toilets

Best Overall — Editor’s Choice 

Kohler K-3999-0 Highline

Highlights:
  • highly efficient 1.28 GPF flush;
  • comfort seat height;
  • stain-resistant bowl glaze;
  • pre-installed tank bolts for faster mounting;
  • comfort elongated bowl.
Kohler K-3999-0 Highline

The K-3999-0 Highline commode by Kohler starts our best budget toilets because of the balanced configuration. It has a water-efficient flush backed up by the patented flushing technology that scrubs the bowl clean, and costs under $300!

The Highline utilizes a single 1.28-gallon flush and delivers the optimal performance thanks to the Kohler’s canister flush valve. Plus, the bowl and the trapway have a glossy finish that prevents the waste from adhering and keeps the bowl clean for longer.

Also, the toilet has a comfortable height and is compliant with ADA requirements. The bowl measures 17’’ high from the floor, and is comfortable for tall and elderly users, or those who have bad knees.

Pros:

  • 1.28-gallon flush is certified by WaterSense
  • Comfort seat height makes it suitable for everyone
  • Easy to install thanks to a two-piece design and pre-installed tank bolts

Cons:

  • The seat isn’t included
  • Some users report that the glaze loses its non-stick effect within the first years of use

Best Toilet Under $200 

TOTO CST243EFR#01 Entrada

Highlights:
  • patented E-Max flush uses less water;
  • ADA compliant seat height;
  • the close-coupled design takes less space than standard commode;
  • durable chrome trip lever;
  • works for homes with low water pressure.
TOTO CST243EFR#01 Entrada

Sometimes, you may have a strict budget, which may limit your options. That’s why we’ve included a few options for you, such as one of the best toilets under 200, which is Entrada by TOTO. This two-piece unit is no worse than more expensive models and has few awesome features, which we want to talk about.

The first feature is a water-efficient 1.28-gallon flush paired with the TOTO’s patented E-Max flushing system. The water enters the bowl via a 3-inch wide flush valve and creates a potent vortex that removes all the waste. Plus, the Entrada is one of the few inexpensive toilets that have a glazed trapway that optimizes waste passage and prevents clogs.

Also, the Entrada meets ADA regulations. The bowl measures 16.25’’, and if you place the seat on it, it will meet the minimum height requirements of 17 inches. This makes the toilet suitable for a wide range of individuals, including disabled people, seniors, and tall users.

Pros:

  • Suitable for older and tall individuals
  • Quiet gravity-fed flush
  • Can save you up to 16,500 gallons of water per year

Cons:

  • The round bowl might be less comfortable for tall users
  • The seat is sold separately

Best Inexpensive Toilet for Small Bathrooms

HOROW HWMT-8733S

Highlights:
  • dual flush (1.1 GPF/1.6 GPF) with siphonic action;
  • fully glazed trapway;
  • compact design with a round bowl;
  • soft closing seat included;
  • skirted design for easy cleaning.
HOROW HWMT-8733S

The HWMT-8733S by HOROW earned its place among the best budget toilets due to its compact design. The unit has a round bowl and is only 25’’ long, which makes it a perfect fit for a limited space. 

This is a dual flush toilet that meets federal water conservation standards. It uses 1.1 GPF for liquids, and 1.6 GPF for solids, and delivers top flushing performance via the fully glazed 2’’ trapway. Now, you can be sure that there will be no clogs.

Also, the HOROW is incredibly easy to clean. Its one-piece design and concealed trapway ensure that there are no hard-to-reach places and cleaning will take less time. Plus, the toilet features a self-cleaning spray option, so the bowl will stay cleaner for a longer time.

Pros:

  • Perfect fit for smaller spaces without sacrificing comfort
  • Water-efficient dual flush will save you water
  • Easy to clean thanks to its skirted design

Cons:

  • Fitted for ¾’’ waterline, not the standard ⅞’’
  • The hinges on the seat might loosen quickly

Best Toilet Under $150 

American Standard Cadet 3 Flowise

Highlights:
  • 3’’ flush valve ensures efficient flush;
  • EverClean bacteria-resistant bowl glaze;
  • 1.28-gallon flush saves 20% less water per year;
  • Powerwash rim ensures clean bowl for longer;
  • 15’’ standard seat height.
American Standard Cadet 3 Flowise

The Cadet 3 by American Standard is one of the best toilets under $150, and the most cost-efficient option you might find today. This is a two-piece toilet with a round bowl, and it has some awesome features that make it no worse than more expensive models.

First, the Cadet is one of the few affordable toilets with clog-free performance. It has an oversize 3-inch flush valve and a fully glazed 2 ⅛’’ trapway that can easily eliminate bulk waste.

Second, the Cadet is WaterSense certified and uses only 1.28 gallons of water per flush, which can save you a significant sum in the long run and adds to the overall affordability of the toilet.

Finally, the toilet is easy to maintain thanks to the EverClean glaze that repels mildew and stain-causing bacteria, so the bowl stays clean for longer.

Pros:

  • Is significantly cheaper than similar models, while being efficient
  • Clog-free performance thanks to a glazed trapway and wide flush valve
  • Operates smoothly and quietly

Cons:

  • Isn’t ADA compliant
  • The tank and the bowl ship separately

Best Affordable Self-Cleaning Toilet 

American Standard ActiClean

Highlights:
  • patented VorMax flush ensures 2 times more efficient waste elimination;
  • EverClean stain-repellent bowl surface;
  • ADA compliant bowl height;
  • battery operated self-cleaning system;
  • 1.28-gallon WaterSense certified flush.
American Standard ActiClean

Our final pick for this selection of the best budget toilets is the ActiClean by American Standard. This toilet will make your life much easier because of the automatic self-cleaning system that uses cleaning cartridges and batteries to operate.

So, when it’s time to clean the toilet, you just need to press the corresponding button on the sensor control panel. You can choose between 1-minute quick cleaning and 10-minute deep cleaning. Once you press the button, the system will pour the cleaner into the bowl, scrubbing it clean, and then will saturate the bowl for the needed time. After that, the system will trigger a standard flush and rinse the cleaner with any residue.

The ActiClean uses 1.28 gallons per flush and is WaterSense approved, meaning that it will help you save water and money. Plus, it features a Comfort height bowl, which is suitable for everyone, including older relatives or tall users.

Pros:

  • WaterSense certified and will save you up to 16,500 gallons per year
  • The self-cleaning system minimizes maintenance
  • The round front bowl fits smaller spaces without sacrificing comfort

Cons:

  • The low water level in the bowl can make cleaning more frequent
  • The seat is sold separately

How to Choose a Decent Low-Cost Toilet?

Look for WaterSense Certification

Low water consumption is one of the sure ways to make the best inexpensive toilet even better!

See for yourself:

An average family of three uses the toilet 10-15 times per day. Older toilets installed before 1994, could use as much as 7 gallons per flush, whereas new models are required to use 1.6 gallons per flush at best. The US Environmental Protection Agency states that by installing a 1.6 GPF toilet you can reduce your water usage by 60% per year (1).

There’s more:

Modern toilets, including those in the cheap segment, can have a water-efficient flush that uses 1.28 gallons, or dual flush for different types of waste, which allows you to reduce the water consumption even further.

Pick Well-Known Manufacturers

The lower the price, the more are your chances to stumble upon a manufacturer with an unclear history. And then, if your commode will have some issues (2), you might not be able to get a refund or reach out to customer service.

To prevent this, read reviews from the actual users or industry experts, and try to find out about the brand’s history and available contacts before you make a purchase.

Be Ready to Spend Some Money on Accessories

Finally, you will have to make some extra purchases, such as buying a toilet seat or mounting hardware, along with your commode. These things, in general, won’t cost you a fortune, but they still add to the overall price.

FAQ

No. The modern plumbing industry allows you to purchase a cheap toilet that will be no worse than an expensive model by a well-known brand. However, you have to be extra careful and read the labels to make sure that the toilet you purchase is of decent quality.

You can find toilets as cheap as $100. But we recommend choosing the commodes with at least a $150 price tag: they are way more reliable, and you won’t spend another $100 on repairs within the first year of use.

Generally, two-piece toilets cost less than one-piece. That’s because a one-piece mold requires more resources and effort to be manufactured, which reflects in the price. Although you still can find inexpensive one-piece toilets, note that they will have a compact build.

In some cases, they might be. One of the ways to reduce the price of the toilet is by using fewer materials. This may result in a more compact design, and hence, a narrower trapway, which can fail to remove bulk waste and cause a blockage. However, most cheap toilets still have a glazed trapway, which optimizes waste passage and ensures clog-free performance, at least for the first couple of years?

They don’t. Modern toilets need to comply with water conservation standards established by the EPA. These standards require all new toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush or less, regardless of their price and design.

Owner - Mary O. Frazier

Founder

Mary O. Frazier

Mary O. Frazier — lead author of our website, connoisseur of interior design and plumbing. I will tell you the most interesting and important facts about household items. She reads a lot, plays chess and collects useful information for you. You can read more about her here.

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