Have You Ever Wondered Why Public Restrooms Have U-Shaped Toilets?

Public restrooms aren’t generally places that we like to spend a lot of time in. Whenever I find myself having to use a public washroom, I go in with a “get in and get out” mentality. Because we don’t usually spend a ton of time in these places, many of you have probably never given much thought to the fact that public washrooms all have U-shaped toilet seats. However, the toilets in our own homes generally have rounder toilet seats that connect all the way around. So, why is that?

source: FreshHome

Well, there are a few reasons as to why U-shaped toilet seats are in all public washrooms. According to Mental Floss, the first reason has a lot to do with hygiene. The gap in U-shaped toilet seats prevents users’ genitals from coming into contact with the actual toilet seat, which allows public toilets to be somewhat cleaner. It’s gross, I know — but there are other reasons, too.

Another reason for U-shaped toilet seats has to do with keeping down costs. Because they require less material to construct, they’re cheaper than standard toilet seats. But perhaps the most fascinating reason behind why U-shaped toilet seats exist is because they’re less likely to be stolen.

Yes, it turns out that people do steal toilet seats. Roger Barry, managing director of Healthmatic (a UK-based company that designs and manages public restrooms), revealed that people are less inclined to steal U-shaped toilet seats because they won’t fit on standard home toilets. And so, this is a major reason as to why U-shaped toilets began being implemented into public washrooms. Crazy, right?

Anyways, this probably wasn’t a question that was necessarily keeping you up at night. However, random tidbits of information like this are interesting, to say the least. We bet you’ll think about this the next time you use a public restroom!