Potty Chair or Potty Seat? Which Option is Best?

Potty training comes with lots of choices – both for you and for your toddler. But one of the biggest decisions you will make is whether to potty train your toddler using a potty chair or potty seat.

Both options come with their pros and cons and that often makes the choice a difficult one. If you’re trying to decide whether to use a potty chair or potty seat when you begin potty training your toddler, this detailed comparison might help make the decision a little bit easier.

potty seat and potty chair comparison

The Difference Between a Potty Chair and Potty Seat

If you’re new to potty training you may be wondering what the difference is between a potty chair and potty seat.

Both potty training tools are helpful ways for your toddler to use the toilet because they make it easier for your little one to sit on the potty. But each of these seats uses a different approach to toilet training.

blue potty chair sitting next to a role of toilet paper

A potty chair is a smaller, toddler-sized toilet that is used separately from a traditional toilet. A potty chair can be transported from room to room and is designed with a toddler in mind, which means the seat is the perfect size for a toddler to sit comfortably on. A potty chair also sits lower to the ground than a traditional toilet, making it easier for a toddler sit on without the need for a step-stool.

blue potty seat sitting on top of an open toilet seat

A potty seat is an insertable seat that rests on top of a traditional toilet seat. This potty training seat allows your toddler to use the regular toilet by adjusting the size of the seat to fit their smaller bottom. Most potty seats are designed to fit on top of a traditional toilet seat, allowing you to place the potty seat on top of the toilet seat whenever your toddler needs to use the potty. And it can easily be removed when someone else needs to use the toilet.


Pros and Cons of a Potty Chair

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using a potty chair.

A potty chair may seem like a good choice for potty training a toddler, but it has its own benefits and drawbacks.


Potty chairs have a variety of great benefits! One of the best advantages of a potty chair is that their small size makes them more user-friendly for your potty training toddler.

Since these seats are designed with toddlers in mind, they are often more comfortable for your toddler to use. And their shorter size makes them easier for your toddler to sit on when they need to go potty quickly.

An added benefit of potty chairs is their portability. Potty chairs can be transported from room to room, which is great for toddlers who have trouble making it to the bathroom in time.

Portable potty chairs can also be used to facilitate night training because they can easily be placed in your child’s room to help when your child needs to go potty in the middle of the night.

But these handy potty chairs also have some drawbacks.


One of the biggest disadvantages of using a potty chair is the fact that you have to dump it out into the toilet and clean it each time your child uses it. That means a lot of added cleaning time each time your toddler goes to the bathroom.

The potty chair also takes up extra space in your bathroom, which could cause problems if you’ll be potty training your toddler in a small room.

Another disadvantage of using a potty chair when potty training is that you’ll eventually need to transition your toddler to using a full-sized toilet.

Whether your toddler outgrows their potty seat or they need to be able to use a regular toilet at preschool or daycare, training with a potty chair adds an extra step to your child’s potty training. After your child is trained using the potty chair, you’ll need to train them again to use the full-size toilet.

Potty Seat Pros and Cons

Now let’s examine the pros and cons of using a potty seat.

Using a potty seat on a traditional toilet is another great option for potty training. And while this method comes with its own cons, there are also a variety of great benefits to training your toddler with a potty seat.


One of the most appealing benefits of potty training with a potty seat is that your toddler will become comfortable using a toilet right off the bat.

That means there will be no need to train your toddler to use the toilet as they get older. And they’ll be more likely to feel comfortable using toilets away from home, including the toilets at preschool or the public bathrooms at Target.

Potty seats are also much easier to clean than potty chairs.

In addition to the fact that you won’t need to dump out anything when your toddler is finished going, potty seats just need a quick wipe down to keep them clean and disinfected. And they don’t take up much space in your bathroom.

Most potty seats come with a hanging hook so you can easily hang them off the ground, making it simple for your toddler to grab when they’re ready to go but keeping the seat out of the way of the adults who need to use the bathroom throughout the day.

But those handy potty seats also come with some disadvantages.


While adding the potty seat to the traditional toilet seat is helpful in making the toilet more comfortable for your toddler, it may not dampen their fear of falling in. Since the toilet sits up high off the ground, your toddler may still be intimidated by sitting on the toilet – especially when their feet can’t touch the ground.

The toilet’s height may also make pooping on the toilet more difficult for your toddler.

The best position for pooping requires your toddler to be a in squatting position, so you may also need to purchase a step stool that provides some support for your toddler’s feet.

A step stool may also be required to make it possible for your toddler to climb onto the toilet seat on their own, which will require an additional investment in potty training gear.

Which Option is Best?

After reading through the pros and cons of each potty training option, you’re probably still wondering which option is best.

The truth is, the best choice is the one that works for your toddler!

Getting your toddler in on the decision-making process is a great way to help them feel more comfortable about potty training. Take them to the store and let them take a look at the different options and ask them which they would prefer to use.

While some kids may like the safety and security that comes with using a potty chair, others may strive to be a big kid and use the big toilet with the help of a potty seat.

And that means that the best option for your family is the one that makes your toddler feel the most comfortable, which will hopefully lead to potty training success down the road.

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