Writing mainly for a North American or European audience, I’d like to present here my personal review of the best smart toilets for your home.
My aim here is to offer a perspective on what the best home toilets are irrespective of the costs, focusing on features and elegance of design. Please check out my article on features and benefits here.
I only look at complete models (also called integrated, or combo), to replace your entire toilet, not the simple upgrade done by replacing the seat. I have another article for that purpose.
Perhaps you are coming here looking for the most beautiful and convenient toilet that money can buy, or you are an interior designer looking for options to present a client. Whatever other reasons bring you here, let’s begin where I started: the toilets I saw in China.
The Chinese toilets
I had an awesome experience with the toilets of Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing during my trip in the fall of 2018. So naturally I looked for their availability in the Western world. Unfortunately, there appears to be a plethora of manufacturers which made only a small penetration in the Western markets.
A sleek example is model IT9083 by SunDream. However, the controls are labeled in Chinese and English, and operates on 220V power grid: great for Europe, but inconvenient for North America.
Looking for smart toilets on Alibaba, I noted many other companies with interesting designs: Vogo, Realgres, Ligun, Vancoco, Bravat, Weidesheng, Organs, etc. If your main focus is on finding a rare and beautiful design, your best chance is to explore these companies and see if a suitable item can be delivered to you.
The Japanese toilets: Toto
I’ve been to Japan in 1996 and then again shortly after my China trip in 2018. While I was most impressed by the Chinese toilets initially, the Japanese toilets are amazing too. Not all of them of course: since the Japanese have been the leaders in toilet development for over a hundred years, you will encounter on a trip there plenty of older models that make your restroom stay feel like you are in an old hospital.
However, in the high-end hotels and shopping centers, you will get to experience the very best models. They will come at a higher price than the Chinese models, but shopping for them and procuring one will be much easier. The simple reason is one word: TOTO.
As the market leader in Japan and worldwide for intelligent toilets, Toto has coined the simple pleasant word Washlet, to identify smart toilets with a bidet system. You can readily select and order the model that suits you, feeling confident about their excellent quality and durability.
The main pros is that you will get top quality and the longest list of features. The designs are undoubtedly beautiful, however the choice in designs is rather limited. The main top-end choice are the few models of Neorest. Other models, all quite similar looking, are: Aquia, Carlyle, Drake, Nexus, Supreme, UltraMax, Vespin, Aimes, Vespin, Legato, G400, C200, etc.
For simplicity, we will only consider the top-end Neorest here, model 750H. You will find that these Japanese models, but also the Chinese and American ones too, are often out-of-stock on Amazon and elsewhere, a clear indication that electronic smart toilets are a rapidly growing market in the Western world. Here is a link to model Neorest AH.
The North American toilet makers
The strategy of North American toilet designers is to slowly break the cultural barrier for acceptance of the smart toilets in America. Thus, they aim customers towards replacing their existing seat with an electronic bidet seat, to make the installation experience as seamless and low-cost as possible. This may be your best option, stay tuned for our article reviewing the many models of bidet seats. For now, the main point is that they have produced few complete models, competing successfully with Toto on cost, and perhaps less so on design or features.
- Kohler: Karing, Numi and Veil. While Kohler, a company from Wisconsin, is the leader in traditional American toilets, it is a latecomer in the smart toilet market. The only feature unique to Kohler that I could identify is an option for 8 colors of light. The Numi model has a square, nearly cubic, shape. Only the Karing model has the feminine wash features. Only the Veil K-5401-PA is ADA (American Disability Act) compliant.
- BioBidet: IB-835. Easily an excellent low-end choice, by a company near Chicago.
- Ove: Ove Saga. Ove is a Canadian (Montreal, Quebec) company. As the least expensive option aside from the Chinese manufacturers, its beautiful model is well worth considering.
- EurotoUSA: EUT3828. Full featured and with a neat design, this is a top contender. This company is based in California.
There are undoubtedly more high-end products designed in the USA or in Europe. I would be very to hear about them if you leave a comment.
Comparison: the most complete models
Using the listed features of Toto model 750H as our gold standard, here are how the other models fare on a checklist. Current online prices in March 2019 are in US dollars.
While trying to fit the features of competitors into the description of the Toto model, we realized that each company engineered its implementation of the desirable features in its own way. Therefore, the companies are competing on the basis of small differences in each feature, rather that its presence or absence.
|Toto 750H||Kohler Karing||BioBidet IB-835||Ove Saga||Euroto EUT3828|
|nozzle cleaning / UV||yes (UV)||yes||no||no||yes|
|dual flush||yes||no (other models: yes)||no||no||no|
|washlet (front, rear)||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|auto lid open/close||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|adjustable heated seat||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|adjustable spray position||yes||yes||yes|
|back-up manual flush||yes||yes (battery)||yes||yes|
|auto bowl cleaning||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|air purifying system||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|ADA compliant||yes||no||no (15 inches high)||no||no|
A quick glance at the table shows that all the models are good options, having most of the features. We note that Kohler’s Numi model has additional musical features.
Conclusion: our top 3 choices
Toto’s Neorest comes first with all the features except music, and the most advanced versions of some of the features, such as UV light cleaning and electrolyzed water use. It is difficult to choose the other top contenders.
The 3 Kohler models look very different, and one of them would deserve the second spot; which one will depend on whether you like the cubic shape of the Numi, with the most complete musical features, but curiously without the female hygiene option, or the more conventional look of the Karing model.
In third place, my preference goes for Euroto, but I wish the online documentation was more complete. I’m looking forward to hearing from you with questions and feedback.