Toilets Around the World

April 15, 2018

Toilets. We use them every day without a thought. Oftentimes, taking for granted the “luxury” bathrooms that we have here in America. Bathrooms vary greatly around the world, from hygiene routines to plumbing systems, you'll quickly come to find that there is no “universal” toilet in the world.


Middle East


Image of french loo desert Wahiba in Oman


The photo above shows the most common type of toilet in the Middle East, the squat toilet. This was taken in Oman, a nation on the Arabian Peninsula. A squat toilet, as the name states is a toilet used by squatting, rather than sitting. There are several types of squat toilets but they essentially all consist of a toilet pan or bowl at floor level. A squat toilet may use a water seal and therefore be a flush toilet, or it may not use a water seal and therefore be a dry toilet.


Some people think squat toilets are more hygienic compared to sitting toilets because they are easier to clean and there is no skin contact with the surface of the toilet seat. In some countries, squat toilets are more common in public places than in households.




Inside the typical public toilet in Beijing, China


The photo above was taken in a public bathroom in Beijing, China. The majority of toilets in China are squat toilets. Public toilets in China often have no doors, and some have no walls. As you see, most Chinese bathrooms lack toilet paper, people bring their own toilet paper and throw it into trash cans when they are finished. Oftentimes, there is an attendant available in the bathroom who charges for toilet use and sells toilet paper.




Modern high tech toilet with electronic bidet in Japan.


The photo above was taken in Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese are known for their high tech electronic toilets. These toilets are generally more elaborate than toilets in other developed nations. Over 81% of Japanese households have bidets, commonly known as washlets (a brand name of Toto Ltd.). These washlets include many advanced features such as seat warming and deodorization to name a few.




European toilet


Western European toilets are typically the same as American toilets, but often feature a bidet too. In South Eastern Europe toilet paper goes into the trash.


Latin America


Bathroom in luxury hotel in Latin America old San Juan, Puerto Rico


The toilets in Latin America are very much like those in America, however, disposing of toilet paper into the toilet is not permitted because the plumbing systems in most Latin American cities can't handle toilet paper.


Weird Toilets All Over the World


The eccentric toilets below show the variety of toilets that are offered throughout the world. Which one is your favorite?



Photo: Plumbing Plus/via Pinterest



Photo: Mette Søndergård/via Pinterest



Photo: Norfolk Plumbing/via Pinterest



Photo: Anetanoel/via imgur



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Last Updated: June 09, 2023