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7 Best Low-Flow Water Conserving Toilets to Efficiently Save Water at Your Home

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So you’ve decided to take steps to be more respectful of the environment and its resources, and one way you’ve identified is to manage your household water usage. There are a few big things that consume water, but one thing with steady water usage all day long is the toilet. If you’ve decided to go with low-flow water conserving toilet, you may be unsure of what is the best kind to use. This article will help you for that.

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Product Name

Flush Capacity

Price

Rating

Kohler K-3988-0 Wellworth Dual Flush Toilet

1.1 & 1.6 GPF*

$$$

B

Niagara 77001WHCO1 Stealth

0.8 GPF

$$$

A

American Standard 2887.216.020 H2Option Dual Flush

1 & 1.6 GPF

$$$

A+

Penguin 527 ADA Dual Flush

1.1 & 1.3 GPF

$$$$

B

Kohler K-3817-0 Memoirs Stately

1.28 GPF

$$$$$

A

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

No Water

$$$$$

A

TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II

1.28 GPF

$$$

A+

* GPF = Gallon per Flush

Our pick

THE BEST WATER-CONSERVING TOILET

TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II

Toto CST744SG#01 Drake has the highest MaP rating for its class, which makes it the most efficient toilet with the best performance. It also comes with Sanagloss coating that will reduce bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Choosing the Right Water Conserving Toilets

Turns out there are a few things to take into consideration when deciding on the best toilet to use in your new water-wise home.

1. Basic Construction

Toilets can come as one piece or two pieces. Although one pieces are easier in terms of overall construction, they are actually very heavy and can be difficult for the average person to install. Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional when dealing with a one piece.

Two pieces are simpler to install, but can be harder to clean later due to a sometimes convoluted internal construction.

You should also decide what type of bowl you want. The traditional round shape is more common, but you may prefer an elongated bowl.

Before you purchase a toilet, you should measure something called the “rough in.” This is the distance from the center of the toilet flange to the wall. The standard measurement is 12 inches, but 10 and 14 inches are also available.

2. Flush options

There are three options for eco toilets, single flush, dual flush, and pressure assisted flush. Single flush toilets are required by law to flush with at least 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

Dual flush toilets offer options for the type of waste. Solid waste is flushed with the required 1.28 to 1.6 gallons, but liquid waste is flushed with half that amount at around .8 gallons to 1.1 gallons.

Pressure assisted flush toilets use compressed air to aid in the flush action. One perk of this type of toilet is that not only does it cut down on water usage (flush uses only 1 gallon or less) it also holds water inside a plastic reservoir which cuts down on external sweating. If you have trouble with condensation on your current toilet, this model may solve that problem.

3. Standard Ratings

There is a range of toilets offered in each price range, but the cheaper options may still require more than one flush to get the job done. In this case, it’s worth it in the long run to invest in a better toilet. Maximum Performance ratings (MaP) take into account toilet test ratings and reviews to give the consumer an overall score for performance.

Standards are widely accepted by plumbers from this particular site. They test using a soybean paste, and verify that a toilet can flush a certain amount of solid waste. Look for toilets that pass their 500 gram test.

The other way to check ratings is through WaterSense. In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense verifies water saving claims.

Do they really work?

Originally, toilets flushed with up to 7 gallons of water, but in 1994 new restrictions mandated a 1.6 gallon flush. Though manufacturers changed the design to accommodate this restriction, they made no effort to change the way waste was propelled. Low flow toilets got their infamous reputation during this time.

Manufacturers have since stepped up and handled the design to account for lower water flow. Water conserving toilets today are better equipped to handle removal of waste without multiple flushes.

What about no water at all?

We can’t talk about water conserving toilets without mentioning the option of a composting toilet. You may be envisioning old school outhouses, or the dreaded port-a-potty, but modern composting toilets are easy and odorless to operate. They even look somewhat like regular toilets, minus the water.

Composting toilets use anaerobic processes for decomposition of waste, and an system of evaporation since human waste is about 90% water. At the end of evaporation and decomposition, human waste is clear of dangerous pathogens and is safe to use as compost.

Water Conserving Toilet Reviews

Now that you know what some of your options are, we’ve compiled a list of the best water conserving toilets you can find.

1. Kohler K-3988-0 Wellworth Dual Flush Toilet

Performance:

Design:

Our Rating:

The Wellworth dual flush toilet features two options for flushing, one at 1.1 gallons and the other at 1.6. The lever is located on the side of the toilet instead of the top like many other dual flush toilets so you can still use the top for storage or decoration.

The 1.1 gallon flush options saves 30% over the 1.6, which adds a potential 4000 gallon saving over the course of a year. The toilet also features a class 5 flushing action that handles waste efficiently.

The canister flush valve is actually two pieces, which offers great flushing performance and consistent water usage.

What we like:

  • 2 piece canister flush valve
  • Traditional side flush release lever
  • Saves 30% water with dual flush

What we don't like:

  • 1.1 gallons per flush is still slightly more than other options on the market.

2. Niagara 77001WHCO1 Stealth

Performance:

Design:

Our Rating:

The Niagara Stealth uses a system of pressurized air to aid in flushing waste which reduces water usage to an impressive .8 gallon per flush rate. It has a low profile body and a quiet flush.

The tank harnesses the energy of the tank filling using Niagara’s patented air transfer system. It pressurizes the bowl’s trapway, and when activated, air pressure assists in flushing waste. This saves you about 37% of water over regular high efficiency toilets.

It has both a round front and an elongated option and is made of vitrous china.

What we like:

  • Pressurized system further cuts down on water usage
  • Quiet flush
  • 0.8 GPF is the lowest water use on the market

What we don't like:

  • Can sometimes take a long time for delivery if you purchase online
  • Need to double flush solid waste every single time

3. American Standard 2887.216.020 H2Option Dual Flush

Performance:

Design:

Our Rating:

The American Standard features a dual flush design that uses either 1.0 gallons or 1.6 gallons. The two button flush release is located on the top, which is a plus in narrower bathrooms.

It also has Everclean antimicrobial surfaces that cut down on the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria, mold, and mildew.

What we like:

  • Smaller size, but still fits well with most people
  • Everclean antimicrobial surface
  • 1.0 and 1.6 GPF is very efficient

What we don't like:

  • Does not come with a seat
  • American Standard is known for its bad customer service
  • Some people complained for its bad porcelain quality

4. Penguin 527 ADA Dual Flush

Performance:

Design:

Our Rating:

Penguin’s single flush toilet is certified by WaterSense and uses just 1.3 gallons and 1.1 gallons for its dual flush. The bowl height 16 inches and the toilet is two pieces.

The unique thing about Penguin’s low flow toilet is that it features an overflow protection system. Just as bathtubs and sinks have an overflow valve, the bowl features the same type of system, protecting you from costly water damage.

What we like:

  • Certified by WaterSense
  • Overflow protection system

What we don't like:

  • Bowl height is 16 inches which may be too tall for some

5. Kohler K-3817-0 Memoirs Stately

Performance:

Design:

Our Rating:

This Kohler toilet is particularly attractive, featuring an elegant design that mimics crown molding.

It’s not just attractive though. It features a 1.28 gallon flush which could save you as much as 16,500 gallons per year over the standard 1.6 efficiency flush toilets.

It features an elongated bowl and 90% less exposed seal material, meaning fewer leaks. Water flows in from all sides of the bowl, improving the flush and reducing the amount of waste material left in the bowl.

What we like:

  • Elegant design for customers looking for something extra
  • 1.28 gallon single flush
  • Fewer leaks in the design

What we don't like:

  • More expensive than some models
  • Some customers reported issues with the tank lid fitting properly
  • Sometimes you need to double flush for solid waste

6. Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

Performance:

Design:

Our Rating:

No water conserving toilet review would be complete without a suggestion for a completely waterless toilet system. Although a composting toilet may seem intimidating, modern versions are user friendly and odorless.

Nature’s head was designed by two sailors who wanted something easier to install, user friendly, and self contained.

There are separate tanks for liquid and solid waste, which cuts down on odor. Most users report that the solid waste looks and smells like regular dirt when they emptied the tank.

What we like:

  • Water conserving? Try no water at all
  • Self contained system for easier installation
  • The only composting toilet on the market for less than $1000
  • No smell

What we don't like:

  • Composting toilets may be intimidating for some
  • Requires lifting the system to remove the solid waste tray
  • Expensive compared to standard toilets

7. Toto CST744SG#01 Drake

Performance:

Design:

Our Rating:

The Toto Drake 2 Piece Elongated Toilet is a WaterSense certified toilet and comes with the company’s Sanagloss finish to reduce bacteria, mold, and mildew. The bowl has a larger water surface and cycles more water around the bowl per flush than other models, meaning less cleaning overall for you.

The 16 inch bowl height meets ADA standards but may be a little awkward for children or those of shorter stature.

Overall, it meets the requirements of WaterSense, and MaP testing was 900 grams, well above the standard rating.

It comes with a 1 year warranty, and their reputation for excellent customer service is a feature that makes the installation and life of the toilet easier for the consumer.

What we like:

  • Larger water surface means less cleaning
  • Sanagloss coating to further cut down on bacteria, mold, and mildew
  • High MaP rating
  • Excellent customer service

What we don't like:

  • Sanagloss finish can be damaged with harsh cleaners

Conclusion: The Winner

It's hard to find the winner from the seven candidates reviewed above mainly because most of them use the same technology. Judging for the best water conserving toilet solely based on gallon per flush and performance alone is not enough because they're pretty much similar (excluding Nature's Head, which is a different kind of toilet).

For that reason, we suggest you to choose based on your own taste of design and comfort.

But still, if we have to choose one, we recommend the TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II.

Our pick

THE BEST WATER-CONSERVING TOILET

TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II

TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II has the highest MaP rating for its class, which makes it the most efficient toilet with the best performance. It also comes with Sanagloss coating that will reduce bacteria, mold, and mildew.

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