Toilets Around The Globe

The type of toilet that is commonly found in North America is the result of inventive engineering that was able to take advantage of the growing infrastructure on the continent. The water pressure, sewage treatment processes and sanitation systems that are in place are what make the traditional flush toilet a common sight in North America. There are very different conditions in other countries around the world. The varying levels of available water, sanitation systems and plumbing have resulted in a range of different toilet designs.

Squat Toilets

These are some of the some common types of toilets in the world and are found in countries ranging from the Dominican Republic to Turkey. A squat toilet is essentially an opening that has been formally cut into the floor of a restroom. There is an actual seat that is even with the surface of the floor. It often includes a cover that can be lifted just like on the flush toilets that are seen throughout the United States. A squat toilet has no support or any real way of sitting. It is used while squatting over the opening. This design is simple and can accommodate a range of different plumbing and sanitation conditions. Some doctors around the world have pointed out that squatting creates a more natural experience because of the alignment of the internal organs.


Japan has long been known for technological innovation. The toilets in Tokyo and other large urban areas are no exception. These high-tech toilets use a traditional flush framework so they appear like a typical American toilet on the outside. The difference is that there are a host of small gadgets, electronics and digital controls spread throughout the fixture. The electronics can control the pressure of a bidet, the temperature of the toilet seat and the amount of pressure generated when flushing. The touch-screen controls that are found in high-end hotels in Japan allow guests to automatically raise or lower the toilet seat so it never has to be touched with the hands.

Pit Toilets

Pit toilets are found in parts of the world where there is no water, no plumbing or no possibility of sanitation. These toilets are essentially holes in the ground that have some type of platform, seat or enclosure built around it. Some include chemicals or powders that are manually dropped into the pit in order to control bacterial growth. Pit toilets were common in the United States in the past and were known as outhouses.


Composting toilets are located in parts of countries like Indonesia where there is no infrastructure in small towns. The actual toilet design can resemble a squatting or pit toilet. Some actually are unique and look like large concrete or stone cauldrons behind a home. Composting toilets appear in pairs. One is actively used by residents while the second one is filled. The filled toilet is partially sealed and the waste is allowed to compost until it becomes sterile after which it is used to fertilize crops.