For most homes in the United States, traditional toilets with a large tank are the norm. The basic design has been around since the 16th century. However, it’s not your only option.
Tankless toilets are growing in popularity thanks to their space-saving design and efficiency. Commonly found in commercial buildings and high rises, tankless toilets are directly connected to a pressurized water line, eliminating the need for a bulky tank.
These units are a worthy investment that can drastically change your bathroom. Check out our best tankless toilet reviews to find a unit that works for your home.
How Does a Tankless Toilet Work?
To better understand how a tankless toilet operates, you need to have a good grasp of how traditional fixtures work. With your average residential toilet, waste is flushed down through a siphon. To put it simply, the siphon uses the forces of gravity to move liquid and waste from one point to the next. Once water starts moving through the siphon, your toilet bowl empties and delivers the waste through the drain on the floor. But how does this happen?
Well, you have the tank to thank. You see, the tank creates enough water force to start the siphoning process. Take a quick look at the side of your toilet. If you don’t have a skirt, you should be able to see a distinct “S” bend” molded into the pedestal. This is also referred to as the trap.
When you flush a toilet with a tank, that water is able to get around the top curve of the trap to start the siphoning process.
For traditional toilets, the tank is necessary to create enough volume and pressure to move waste. This is because the water pressure going to homes isn’t usually strong enough to provide an adequate flush alone. There are exceptions, which we’ll get into a bit later.
Tankless units work well in buildings with strong water pressure. As we mentioned earlier, they are connected to a direct water line. The amount of water that goes into the toilet is controlled by a special valve called the flushometer.
How the Flushometer Works
You have probably used flushometer hundreds of times before without knowing its name. These units are those large valves between commercial toilet toilets and the plumbing going into the wall.
The flushometer’s job is to release a specific amount of water into the toilet before resealing and building pressure again. They flushometer has a narrow passageway for water to flow. Thus, it naturally builds pressure when not in use. Pulling the lever unleashes the right amount of pressure and water to drive waste down while maintaining efficiency.
What Benefits Does a Tankless Toilet Provide?
The benefits that a tankless toilet can provide you are abundant. From an aesthetics standpoint, tankless units provide greater flexibility in design. While there is a wide range of toilet designs out there, the average length of a traditional fixture is between 27 and 30 inches. A large portion of that depth is taken up by the tank.
Tankless units can be much more compact. Most are between 20 and 26 inches long, providing you with plenty of usable space.
Furthermore, tankless toilets can be installed onto the floor or on a wall. With wall units, the bowl is elevated off the floor without a pedestal. Thus, you’re able to free up even more floor space and create an airy feel in your bathroom. Not only does this lead to better interior design, but it makes the unit easier to clean. There are no grout lines or stubborn crevices to worry about. You can wipe down the entire unit and keep your bathroom sanitized.
Another notable advantage of a tankless toilet is water conservation. While the current federal standard for newer toilets is that they must use no more than 1.6 gallons a flush, older units can use upwards of 6 gallons. Because there is no water reservoir to fill, tankless toilets are considered to be much more efficient. The pressure used during a flush is powerful enough to get rid of even the most stubborn waste. Plus, you can easily find units with dual-flush mechanisms for even better efficiency.
Finally, tankless toilets are simply easier to maintain. Traditional toilets are more complex than most people think. There are several components that could wear out over time. Lift the tank lid and you’ll see filler valves, a ballcock, a lever chain, and so much more. By eliminating the tank, most of your maintenance tasks go away, too.
Will a Tankless Toilet Work in My Home?
So, with all the benefits of a tankless toilet, why aren’t they the preferred choice for homes? Well, it all comes down to the plumbing. The plumbing infrastructure is much different in a large commercial building. Depending on the purpose of the building, it may have to deliver water to hundreds of fixtures. To make that possible, most commercial buildings are outfitted with larger pipes that can deliver huge volumes of water at once.
Most tankless toilets require a supply line that’s one inch in diameter. In homes, half-inch pipes are commonly used.
With that said, it’s still possible to install a tankless toilet! In addition to swapping out your thinner pipes for something more robust, you will need to invest in an additional pump. The pump is going to help create higher water pressure for the toilet to operate efficiently. Most flushometers need about 20 psi.
Installing a tankless toilet requires a bigger investment than the alternatives. But, the benefits you can experience are well worth it. With help from a licensed plumber, you can get a powerful low-maintenance toilet that lasts for many years to come.
Choosing the Best Tankless Toilet
Finding the right toilet for your home is often easier said than done. The market is flooded with fixtures for you to choose from. Unfortunately, not all of them are going to be built to the standards you need. To ensure that you’re getting a tankless toilet you won’t regret, keep the following features in mind during your search.
The first thing you should consider is whether you want a floor-mounted toilet or a wall-mounted one. Wall-mounted units offer a sleek and modern design. They can be installed at virtually any height that you choose and free up a lot of floor space.
The downsides? Well, there’s always a risk of the toilet falling off the wall. Generally, it’s recommended that heavier users stick to floor-mounted fixtures for added safety.
The good news is that most wall-mounted toilets should be able to support most people. According to U.S. regulations, wall-mounted toilets must support at least 500 pounds. There are several models out there that support upwards of 1,000 pounds. Of course, the way the unit is mounted and the material it’s anchored to will affect its overall strength.
The great thing about a tankless toilet is that you have greater control over how much water you use. Some units can be adjusted to decrease your water consumption. Even if the valve is fixed, you should have no problem finding highly efficient units.
If you’re looking to keep things as efficient as possible, you can go with a dual-flush model. These toilets have two types of flushes. Typically, flushes for liquid waste use considerably less water than flushes for solid waste. Many dual-flush fixtures carry the WaterSense seal of approval as well.
While it’s not the most important thing to think about, you should always take design into account. Tankless toilets come in a range of styles. You can find minimalist models with straight lines and subtle curves. They tend to be easier to clean as there aren’t many design elements that can accumulate grime.
Alternatively, you can go with a more traditional look. These toilets look very similar to what you’d find in a commercial setting.
Beyond the overall style, you should also think about whether you want a skirted toilet that hides the trap or one that leaves it exposed. You must also decide between a round bowl or an elongated one.
The way you initiate a flush can also vary a bit. The simplest option is a lever. Levers are connected directly to the flushometer and release the water by opening up the valve. You can also get an electronic flusher. These are usually connected to physical buttons on the toilet itself or on a wall nearby. Most dual-flush units use buttons.
The only issue with an electronic flushing mechanism is that you’re at the whims of your power supply. If you experience a blackout, you will not have the ability to make a flush like you would with a non-electric flushing system.
Last, but not least, you should think about whether or not you want built-in bidet functionality. Bidets are growing in popularity in the United States, so it’s worth consideration. For a traditional toilet, installing bidet functionality requires some additional plumbing work. Because tankless toilets are already connected to a powerful water supply line, it’s relatively easy to incorporate bidets into the mix.
Many manufacturers offer tankless toilet-bidet combos. While they do come with a higher price tag, it’s a nice way to add a sense of luxury to your bathroom.
Best Tankless Toilet Reviews
This tankless toilet from Toto is a beautiful addition to any bathroom. From a style standpoint, this fixture is very modern. It has a sleek skirted design that’s reminiscent of the futuristic toilets you would find in Asia. Not only does it look great, but the simple contours of the toilet also make it a breeze to clean.
Hiding behind the smooth ceramic is a lot of great technology. First, this toilet is very efficient. It’s a dual-flush toilet that’s controlled with an intuitive remote. Thanks to the powerful flushing system, this toilet only needs a gallon of water to drive solid waste away. It’s more efficient than most WaterSense toilets on the market.
As if that weren’t enough, the tankless toilet has some unique features that work to keep things clean. First, the unit applies a fine layer of water mist in the bowl before you use it. This helps to lubricate the ceramic glaze and prevent any unwanted sticking. The second feature is the automatic disinfection. An electrolyzer inside the toilet treats incoming water, getting rid of grime and bacteria from the bowl. It’s the same method used in food preparation, so you can rest easy knowing that your toilet is clean.
Toto also included some great bidet functionality. The toilet offers three different cleaning modes, a built-in deodorizer, and a smart lid. The lid uses sensors to open up automatically. There are even some heating elements to keep you warm on those cold winter days.
- Skirted design
- Only uses 1 gallon of water for full flush
- Powerful cyclone flush
- Automatic flushing function
- Built-in bidet with multiple cleaning modes
- Disinfecting feature
- Heated seat
- Automatic seat opener
- Can be difficult to install
- Instructions could be clearer
- Higher price tag
Kohler is no stranger to high-quality toilets. This tankless unit offers a lot of style and plenty of great functionality. Like the previous toilet, this model has an integrated bidet. The bidet feature is very customizable. In addition to being able to change the position of the wand for the perfect clean, you have different spray patterns and pressure settings to choose from. When all is said and done, there’s also an air dryer for comfort.
From a performance standpoint, the toilet does pretty well. It doesn’t have the strongest flush around, but it is still quite efficient. The full flush uses 1.28 gallons of water. However, this is also a dual-flush model with a smaller flush that uses only 0.8 gallons.
The toilet is relatively low-maintenance. Cleaning is easy thanks to the smooth lines of the bowl and wrap-around skirt. The unit also has some great hands-free features to keep things sanitary.
The first is a motion sensor. The lid will automatically open up as you approach the unit. When you’re done, it will close as well. Alternatively, you can give the lid a small push to close it. The soft-close hinges ensure that it won’t slam down.
- Simple skirted design
- Uses 1.28 gallons for full flush
- Comes with motion-activated lid
- Bowl light
- Heated seat and air dryer
- Integrated bidet
- Adjustable bidet wand with several cleaning modes
- Comes with touchscreen remote
- Relatively easy to install
- Weaker flush compared to other options
- Heater and light prone to issues
- Higher price tag
From Woodbridge is this tankless toilet and bidet combo. It’s an elongated toilet that measures just under 29 inches in length. While the unit is a bit longer than some other options on the market, Woodbridge made up for the extra inches by making the rest of the toilet very sleek and easy to clean. It’s quite smooth and free of any stubborn crevices that could hide bacteria.
Once you open up the toilet lid, you’ll find a slew of handy features. The bidet system is surprisingly robust for a toilet in this price range. The primary cleaning wand is fully adjustable and can perform several different cleaning functions. There’s also a feminine wash wand up front. An air dryer and air deodorizer are included as well to amp up the comfort levels.
The seat has some convenient features, too. First, it has a sensor to open and close automatically. Once you’re seated, you can turn the heating elements on to produce a soothing warmth. You don’t even have to use the included remote to start a flush. The sensors will detect when you get off the toilet and take care of that for you.
- Full skirt
- Integrated bidet
- Multiple cleaning modes available
- Automatic flushing mechanism and lid opener
- Built-in air deodorizer and dryer
- Comes with touchscreen remote
- Dual-flush mechanism
- LED night light
- Elongated bowl
- Lower water level in bowl
- Uses 1.6 gallons of water for a full flush
Here’s another tankless toilet from Toto. The Washlet toilet combines the convenience of a bidet with the basic functionality of a traditional toilet. Because the entire unit is tankless, the bidet is quite powerful and feature-rich. There are multiple pressure settings and cleaning patterns to try out. Plus, there’s an additional feminine wash feature.
Like the other Toto toilet on this list, this model comes with a built-in air deodorizer and dryer. The deodorizer prevents odors from lingering in your bathroom. The air dryer, while not the most powerful system on the market, does a decent job. When you pair it with the heated seat, the toilet is quite comfortable to use.
This particular Toto toilet uses the brand’s Tornado flush system. It diverts water strategically to blast away waste. To help keep the unit cleaner for longer, the toilet also has a premisting feature. The bidet will apply water to the bowl to create a protective layer over the glaze.
- Full skirt
- Integrated bidet
- Front and rear cleaning wands
- Premist function
- Motion-activated lid
- Air deodorizer and dryer
- Powerful Tornado flush
- WaterSense certified
- Can be difficult to clean due to bidet
- Seat features susceptible to damage
- Air dryer is weaker than alternatives
- Weaker flush
And The Best Tankless Toilet Is
Tankless toilets have a lot to offer. Thanks to their compact nature, these toilets can free up a lot of space while adding plenty of style to your bathroom. Pair that with their smart use of water and you’re getting a highly efficient toilet that can save you money in the long run.
Out of all of our recommended tankless toilets, we recommend going with the Toto Neorest. While the toilet does come with a higher price tag, it has a ton of features that you never knew you needed. The entire unit is designed with convenience and comfort in mind. From the automatic toilet lid to the customizable bidet system, you have complete control over how you use the toilet. It’s capable of giving you a spa-like experience every single day.
While many of the other toilets have bidet functionality, none of them are as feature-rich as this one. Plus, this model has the cleaning features that the Kohler and Woodbridge units lack. The disinfecting and premist system decreases your maintenance tasks even more.
As if those features weren’t enough, the Toto Neorest is the most efficient of the bunch. It only requires a gallon of water to get rid of waste efficiently. That’s considerably less than the 1.6 gallons needed for the Woodbridge toilet or the weaker flush provided by the Kohler unit.
The Toto Neorest has it all. It’s a sleek floor-mounted tankless toilet that will take your bathroom to the next level.