Trends: Tall toilet

Standing 3 inches taller than a normal toilet, the tall toilet, like the banana slicer or the sock slider, was originally intended for the elderly and disabled consumers but has since seen adoption among a wider audience, including consumers who are simply taller than average.

It’s often the case that there’s a small base of users for whom these types of products are a radical life improvement, but it can be challenging to reach those users directly, so sellers use infomercials and other ads, which give the product a wider profile and can sometimes turn it into a surprise mainstream hit.

In fact, these toilets have been around for decades, often called handicapped toilets or ADA-compliant rather than merely tall. The rising popularity of the term “tall toilet” relative to the other terms suggests mainstream growth, particularly through self-discovery since people might see a tall toilet at a friend’s home or in a public bathroom and not know the exact term for it.

Bathrooms are on the rise too: in the last fifty years, home bathrooms per capita have doubled in the US. When a product goes from being shared to being used by one person, it has a significant impact on product variants: even a small niche market can lead to a large increase in sales volume. In parallel, America is aging, and the high purchasing power of older consumers has made concerns like accessibility more relevant.

Zillow data shows that the return on remodeling a bathroom is higher than for other parts of a house. Paradoxically, this is because there are so few customization options: the general combination of a sink, toilet, and bath/shower hasn’t changed much over the decades. This high ROI, though, encourages homeowners to start looking into bathroom remodeling, and when they do so, they’re increasingly likely to identify tall toilets as a choice that may further improve their remodeling ROI.