Does the Squatty Potty Really Improve How We Poop?

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Does the squatty potty really improve how we poop
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I’m constantly researching tools, resources, and health devices to make our lives easier, healthier, and more enjoyable. One of those resources that I’ve used for years is the Squatty Potty.

I first started talking about the Squatty Potty long before they went on Shark Tank and years before they released their viral video about unicorn poop (which is one of the most hilarious videos I’ve ever seen). If you want an even more hilarious read, check out this Squatty Potty review by a new squatting convert!

But unicorns and rainbows aside … does a stool that you stand on while sitting on the toilet really live up to its claims of helping improve the way we poop?

My midwife actually recommended the Squatty Potty during my last pregnancy to help with getting ready to push. It also makes potty training much easier since it is the perfect height for kids to use without falling in.

But there’s some good research showing it may be beneficial for all of us to make going a little easier.

The Idea of Squatting to Poop

The concept of squatting to poo is certainly not a new one. In fact, I was quite surprised the first couple of times I saw toilets designed for this purpose when traveling in other countries. At that time, I just considered it an outdated and primitive toilet, and couldn’t understand why anyone would use one. Not being used to fully squatting, it was certainly comical trying to learn to use it the first time!

Fast forward a few years to my toothpaste and deodorant-making, organic-cooking days and the concept actually didn’t seem so crazy anymore. In fact, I noticed that my young children often do this naturally when the urge to eliminate hits them. I can often tell when my one year old is about to need a diaper change because she is squatting down behind the couch.

So I started looking into the research and it turns out that these cultures who have been squatting for ages may be ahead of the game!

Is the Modern Toilet Causing Problems?

Recently, I’ve seen posts from everyone from Dr. Mercola to Dr. Oz touting the benefits of proper bathroom posture, and even Bill Gates held a contest to redesign the modern toilet. It seems no one loves the traditional toilet, but can position make it better?

Experts claim that the squatting position is more natural and can help avoid colon disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, pelvic floor issues, and similar ailments.

All About the Angle

The correct way to poop

The basic idea is that the angle makes all the difference when it comes to elimination. When we sit, this creates what is called an anorectal angle, which essentially puts a kink in the elimination process. This creates upward pressure on the rectum and makes it harder to get feces out. The upward pressure also creates the need to strain, even just slightly, to eliminate the stool.

Squatting corrects this angle and removes the kink to let elimination happen more naturally. The squat position is the natural way to achieve easier and more complete elimination. Research has shown that in some people, the kink is completely gone while squatting.

Problems with Sitting on a Regular Toilet

Most of us have been sitting on a “regular” toilet our entire lives and have probably never thought to question this practice. But it turns out that modern toilets that are designed to be more comfortable may actually be contributing to some uncomfortable potty problems, including:

1. Constipation

Let’s face it: most of us aren’t eating the recommended amount of vegetables, much less the optimal amount. And most of us aren’t drinking enough water either. These two things along with improper toilet posture and many other reasons create hard, dry stools that are very hard to push out. It’s called constipation, and we’ve all experienced it. Unfortunately, it’s the norm for altogether too many.

But that’s just the beginning …

2. Hemorrhoids

Several factors contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Straining during elimination can make them more likely. Increased blood flow of pregnancy creates this uncomfortable problem for many womenz as well. Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that have swollen because of our need to push excessively to get those hard stools to pass. They can be exceptionally painful.

3. Colon Disease

Eliminating completely and often helps maintain good colon health. Many studies point to fecal buildup in the colon as a cause of diseases including colon cancer. And when there is buildup in the colon, our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, leaving us without the energy we could enjoy if our colons were healthy.

4. Urinary Difficulty/Infections

Urinary flow is usually stronger and easier when women squat to urinate. The bladder is emptied more completely when squatting rather than sitting or “hovering”. Squatting can help reduce episodes of urinary tract infections in both frequency and intensity.

I personally found during my last pregnancy that using the Squatty Potty to help me squat during urination reduced the need to urinate as often.

5. Pelvic Floor Issues

One of the main causes of pelvic floor issues is straining on the toilet. The “sitting” position causes a great amount of pressure on the anorectal angle of the colon causing the lower part of the colon to drop and protrude into the wall of the vagina. This puts pressure on the pelvic floor and can create unnecessary strain.

Interview with Robert Edwards

To help explain the concept of squatting and how it can be beneficial, I interviewed Robert Edwards, the creator of the Squatty Potty:

Q: How did the concept of the Squatty Potty come about?

A: My mother has suffered from lifelong colon issues and has spent years trying to find a way to alleviate them. A colon hydro-therapist suggested putting her feet up and so she started gathering boxes and stacking phone books in front of the toilet to serve as squatting platforms. The results were immediate, but the method was inconvenient and was always in the way. So, I designed a footstool that fits snugly underneath the toilet when not in use, and is the correct height and slant for use with the westernized toilet.

To create the best possible product, I consulted with doctors, nurses, alignment specialists and natural health experts to identify the perfect height, position and angle ideal for squatting in addition to reading numerous studies on the subject and working with pelvic floor clinics and gastroenterologists nationwide to develop something that they would (and do) recommend to their clients.

We started selling Squatty Potties in fall of 2011 out of our St. George headquarters. We are proud to say that our products are manufactured in the USA.

Q: What are some of the shortcomings of the current way most of us use the restroom?

A: The colon doesn’t fully relax in the sitting position. It isn’t until the colon is in the squatting position that the strain (to go) is eliminated. The kink in your colon maintains continence. Squatting properly aligns the colon and peristalsis is normalized (or quickened).

Q: In short, what is the benefit of using the Squatty Potty compared to just using the restroom “normally?”

A: The Squatty Potty helps create a squatting position while on the toilet which lends itself to better toilet posture, helping users prevent colon disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, and similar ailments.

Q: Can anyone use the Squatty Potty or are there people who won’t be able to use it?

A: Everyone can use the Squatty Potty! Because we have styles that range from 5-9 inches, so most everyone can find a height that works for them. It’s an easy solution for women with pelvic floor issues, seniors with constipation and everyone else in between.

My Experience with The Squatty Potty

The concept of squatting made a lot of sense to me, especially after seeing with myself and other laboring women how relaxation and proper positioning of the sphincter muscles can make a night and day difference in labor (and babies are much bigger!).

I’d noticed in the past how the relaxation techniques I used in labor (relaxing the jaw, natural breathing, etc.) can help elimination be a lot easier, and it made sense that position would have a positive effect (since squatting often makes labor faster and easier as well).

After reading several accounts of people whose elimination was greatly improved by simply changing their position, I attempted to try it their way and just squat on the toilet seat. Sounds easy enough, but I was pregnant at the time and balance was a little difficult. Hilarity ensued.

Does the Squatty Potty Work?

What surprised me with the Squatty Potty was the immediate difference I noticed. The first time I used it, things moved much more quickly (there I go starting with the TMI). Within a few days, this position felt so natural that it was strange to sit in the “normal position” anymore.

The Proper Way to Poo- How Your Posture in the Loo Affects Your Health

Another advantage, as we currently have a baby close to potty training age and the stool is the perfect height for kids to use to climb up to the toilet. Since we started using the Squatty Potty vs. those convertible toilet seats for littles, we’ve had a lot fewer “I-couldn’t-get-there-in-time” accidents. My husband is also very happy that we’ve gotten rid of the free standing kids’ potty, as it had become permanently disgusting after use with multiple kids.

What Size Squatty Potty Is Best?

I was excited to have the chance to try the Squatty Potty, as it is much more convenient that trying to balance on the toilet seat (and more sanitary!). Plus it surely looks a lot better than the empty coconut oil buckets I had tried using.

There are various sizes, but the classic Ecco is 7 inches high and seems to work for most people. The adjustable one can go from 7-9 inches and is a little better for children.

If you haven’t tried it, I’d definitely recommend modifying your restroom posture to see how it will effect your bowel health. I was surprised at the difference and think you will be too!

What do you think? Crazy concept or does it make sense? Have you tried the Squatty Potty? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


103 responses to “Does the Squatty Potty Really Improve How We Poop?”

  1. Greg Hartley Avatar
    Greg Hartley

    The Squatty Potty is one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. I became proficient in about three days and notice a huge difference when I can’t use the SP (out in public, etc.). I’ve had hemorrhoid flare-ups in the past, but none since using the SP. It’s an amazingly simple yet effective device.

  2. Lagana Avatar

    Letting toddlers squat to eliminate makes toilet training so easy & quick. Thai babies as soon as they could squat were encouraged to squat while the adult encouraged, “Sisst now child, sissst,” for the one, “URRRT, now child, urrrt,” for the other. Back in the States I let my babies squat over newspapers or in the shower stall & both were toilet trained at about 1 yr old.

    But if you are older and haven’t squatted much in life, like on the floor to work or sit, be very aware of any stress you are putting on your knees.

  3. Lagana Avatar

    What this article says may do as much for one’s health as any medicine, procedure or practice. One caveat: if you are not young and have not been squatting much of your life – be very careful of your knees.

    Don’t Oriental cultures have longer lifespans than the West? Is it perhaps not diet so much as squatting to eliminate? Google: “Getting up and down from the floor without using hands or knees adds years to one’s life.”

    Squat toilets on Thai farms were set over their own small septic tank, had gas traps so no outhouse smell. AND were so elegant in their simple porcelain lines that lay low to the floor and left the small room almost a chapel in its simplicity. And a quart or 2 flushed it. Thai city squat toilets often have a kitchen-type sprayer next to the toilet: bidet without a second fixture. And the Thai bathroom is so easy to clean. Floor slants to a shower pan at one end, no shower curtain to clean etc. In the FL house I designed, couldn’t find a squat toilet, but have the slanted floor, the shower pan at one end, and find myself using this bathroom instead of the Western one upstairs. It is so much easier to clean.

    Didn’t humans always squat to eliminate until the Victorian era when the sitdown toilet became a status symbol.

  4. Ty Branaman Avatar
    Ty Branaman

    THANK YOU! I had extreme hemorrhoid pain and an intense need to use the potty, nothing was working the pain was to much, I came across your article and tried it> It helped get the job done! now that its 3 am, I can finally get some sleep and will be ordering one in the morning.

  5. Viola Avatar

    Question, if I am a short person (like 4 feet and 11 inches) would it be better for me to buy the 9 inch version as opposed to the 7 inch one?

  6. Sarah Avatar

    Do you think a little boy (3 years) could use the Squatty Potty to pee standing up? How wide is the front part of the stool? Thanks for the info!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Definitely wide enough to stand on for a child. My 22 month old uses it to climb up and go to the bathroom…

      1. Leone Grenfell Avatar
        Leone Grenfell

        Hi I have a lil girl nearly 2 and I want her to continue with the correct squatting she uses now with nappies so what size should I get for her to use the toilet with?

  7. April Avatar

    I read this post when you originally posted it, and thought about it for a while. Last week we had to get a new toilet and it’s one of the “right height” ones that are higher. I’m 5’6″ (though all of my height is really in my thighs), and I can only touch the floor with my tiptoes. I’ve never had trouble going, but now I do. I have a scheduled c-section (I have to have another one) in a week, and there is no way I am going to be able to “go” with a new incision when my feet don’t touch the ground. I’m ordering today and hoping to take it to the hospital with me too. I just have to decide between the heights and how many. 2 or 3? My husband offered to replace the new toilet, but this seems like a much easier/cheaper solution. Thanks!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Good luck for a safe delivery and congrats on your little one 🙂 This definitely was great postpartum for me 🙂

  8. Erin Palladine Avatar
    Erin Palladine

    Can’t wait to try this. Just a comment in general, it would be neat if the businesses that you point your readers to, for example Squatty Potty, could offer your readers a discount as incentive to purchase their products. I’ve seen this on many blogs, not sure if it’s something you’ve explored. In any case, I can’t wait to use this product.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      They do offer a discount on purchases of three of the Ecco stools with the code SP-ECCO-PACK but that is a great idea… I”ll see what I can do.

  9. shamrick Avatar

    Thank you for posting this! I read this article before Christmas, and ended up asking for a squatty potty for Christmas. I have been very impressed and pleased with the improvement I have experienced. My husband, who at first was skeptical, is now “singing praises” for the squatty potty. 🙂

  10. Megan Avatar

    I don’t use the SquattyPotty, but I have used a 7-inch-high stool for the past two years to help with my potty habits. I had years of – ahem – potty issues (and I’m only 30) before I read about changing your position on the toilet. Now, I rarely have issues “evacuating” (TMI, I know), particularly since I abandoned gluten and unfermented diary.

  11. Christin Avatar

    Interesting. Since I don’t have a squatty potty or a stool for kids, I put a pair of yoga blocks in the bathroom. Same idea and the same set can be height adjusted 3 ways, just chose the height that works for each person.

  12. Helen Sidabutar Avatar
    Helen Sidabutar

    Well in my country, Indonesia, we have been using squatty toilets for ages, but since most of modern views thought of us as primitives, therefore there are more and more sitting toilet nowadays. I’m personally more comfortable with squatty and still using it until now.

  13. Andrea Avatar

    That’s so funny, I just reviewed the Squatty Potty on my website too! I’ve been using the little stool that my son uses. We did elimination communication with him from birth and it is no surprise that the deep squat in arms hold in EC is the same as using a Squatty Potty or a stool. I’m so glad that he invented this. It totally makes sense and I look forward to hearing how it affects you in this pregnancy.

  14. Willow Carver Avatar
    Willow Carver

    So interesting! I’ve used a stool for this purpose for years and years, but I never knew any of this …

      1. Agi Avatar

        This I my dilemma. Squatty Potty doesn’t make one, or an accessory to add, for children. They suggested a 9″. But, will a small child really have proper alignment? Also does the child still need a step stool to get up onto the toilet and Squatty Potty? Is it stable enough for them to put their weight onto while getting up and down on their own?

        I am undecided between this or the Little Looster which seems more stable and at 8″ or so in height would have the same squatting benefit. However, it doesn’t tuck away as nicely.


  15. Renee Avatar

    I have one and I had the same reaction as you did…Things moved more quickly! It does feel strange now to sit in the old position. I think it is well worth it.

  16. Jen Avatar

    You could also buy a little stool (not pun intended) and place it under your feet when you’re on the toilet, the elevation is somewhat like a squat.

    1. SARA Avatar


  17. Jessica Ferraro Avatar
    Jessica Ferraro

    Thank you for the article! I first experienced real squat toilets while traveling and thought they made a lot of sense for pooing. Hated them for peeing, though–it was an annoying challenge to keep my ankles dry with porcelain just inches below me. But even with that, I imagine I’d have some serious Kegels if I practiced!

    But I digress! After coming home, I never thought of buying a contraption for Western toilets, (which would solve that pesky pee problem) and my cheap toilet seat would break if I climbed on it over and over, so I started leaning my chest forward onto my thighs while raising my heels. Sometimes I touch my toes. Is it weird that I enjoy the little morning stretch while I do my business? And I know it’s not exactly the same as squatting, but it seems to be a good happy medium solution.

    Anyways, I also wanted to mention, though, that I currently have really serious knee issues–botched knee surgery, torn ligaments, etc.–and I know I won’t be able to squat for at least a good long while after my upcoming surgeries–possibly never. I’ve had physical therapists tell me how “bad” kneeling and squatting are for knees, generally. I’ve come to reject this idea as simply dismissing their job of getting me back in full working order, but I’m curious if anybody has any thoughts about this…

    1. Michele Avatar

      I think in this kind of situation you wouldn’t be putting as much pressure on your knees as you would if you were actually squatting.

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