Which Toilet Seat Is Best for Heavy Use?

We often get asked which type of toilet seat is best for commercial use, frequent use and for heavy users?


Which materials make the best toilet seats for heavy users and why?

Toilet seats are usually made from one of the following materials – solid wood, mouldwood (MDF), polypropylene and urea resin.

Solid wood and urea resin are the most aesthetically pleasing providing a classic look with wood and a china like finish in the case of urea resin. However, both materials whilst very solid are more likely to crack or fracture if subjected to a heavy or sudden weight.

MDF (mouldwood) is made from bonded wood fibres without any grain direction so is very strong without any joints or grain that could break. This means it can be subjected to a heavy weight or a sudden heavy weight. MDF is a heavier, thicker material than seats made from plastic or resin and so feels more luxurious. However these seats tend to have hinges that are screwed into the wood which can loosen with time particularly if not flush with the pan or if subjected to side pressures eg by wheelchair users moving from the chair to the seat. So if considering an MDF seat, it is important to check on the hinges.

Polypropylene is a flexible thermoplastic that is highly resistant to breaking or cracking and can be subjected to extremely high loads so is ideal where users are overweight, obese or moving from wheelchairs. Polypropylene seats also have an element of flex which can be helpful if the pan is slightly out of true as that will help against stresses which could damage other seats. However, polypropylene seats tend to be lighter than those made from thermoset resin (urea) or from wood and so can be perceived to be lesser quality. The surface finish is not as scratch resistant as urea and so can appear duller with time.


Other Considerations:

Some seats come with raised buffers which raise the seat height making it easier to use by people with reduced mobility.

Some seats also have stabilising buffers or grips which reduce side movement which is very useful for wheelchair users.

The choice of hinges has improved greatly. Some also have soft/slow motion closing hinges which ensures the seat and lid drops slowly preventing banging and also stopping accidents where fingers could get caught.

Some hinges have a locking feature which ‘locks’ the hinge to the pan once fitted and so stopping movement and loosening.

Some seats also have release hinges which allow the seat to easily be removed and refitted which may be a consideration at it makes regular cleaning or servicing quicker and easier.



In considering a seat suitable for larger people or wheelchair users, seats made from polypropylene generally offer the most suitable and versatile material. Depending on the area of use, it is worth checking with the supplier as seats for domestic use may be different to those going into commercial or school use.


You can find some of our more specialist heavy duty toilet seats in these categories - Doc M fittings & Suites and Commercial Toilets & Toilet Seats