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This toilet seat is the best purchase I’ve ever made

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I’m embarrassed by how happy it makes me

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Like a sensible pair of white sneakers lessening the appeal of a stiletto heel, my toilet seat-and-lid with soft hinges has ruined normal—and often more beautiful—toilet seats for me.

(For brevity’s sake, I will only refer to it as a “toilet seat” here, even though I'm technically talking about a toilet-seat-and-lid combination.)

I will never, ever consider purchasing any other type of toilet seat. My 13-year-old self would want a clear plastic toilet seat with glitter and figurines mixed into it, or a wooden one with a realistic painting of a red rose on it. But that will never happen, because toilet seats with soft hinges have set the bar too high.

A toilet seat with a soft hinge—I have the slow-close molded-wood toilet seat by Mayfair—means that when you put the seat (or lid) down, there’s no slamming sound. You give the seat (or lid) a little push when you want it to close and it takes care of the rest. Gliding, it slows down as it approaches the bowl. By the time the surfaces meet, the seat (or lid) is going so slowly that it makes zero noise. The whole process lasts about 10 seconds. And it is glorious.

My foray into purchasing a highly specific toilet seat started with a need to replace the tattered one that came with the bathroom when I signed the lease for my apartment. At first, it was a no-frills toilet seat, but after years of daily use—it is the only toilet in the apartment—it was really looking its age. It was embarrassing and unpleasant enough that I decided to purchase a new one.

In my quest to find a replacement, I discovered that toilet seats are very loud when closed carelessly—which is precisely what happens in my household every time it’s used. During the day it’s slammed shut, a sound that echoes through the entire apartment.

Plumbing stores, design showrooms ... visits to these establishments expose you to a world of toilet tech you can’t even find in sci-fi books. Toilets with LED light cycles. Toilets with customizable heating options for the seat.

Too many bells and whistles are just that: too much. All I wanted was an easy solution to a problem I was having.

After many hours spent reading reviews of “whisper close” toilets on Amazon, I opted to purchase the soft hinges toilet seat I now have based on reviews, number of reviews, price, and availability (in that order). Installing it was a breeze, and it’s made a serious impact. I am so amused by how quiet it is that sometimes I open and close it just for fun, which really tells you a lot about where I am in my life right now.

Basically I like that putting the seat or lid down does not feel like a task that needs to be handled with care. There’s no carefully closing late at night for fear of waking up my spouse. There are no loud bangs heard throughout the day. It’s as if the toilet seat and lid don’t even exist, which is exactly the way I want it.