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 At that time, I just considered it an outdated and primitive toilet, and couldn’t understand why anyone would use one.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. Ana Avatar

    Have you found a squatty potty type potty that you like for your babies or little ones? I’m doing elimination communication with mine and she is getting to heavy to hold so I was hoping to find a small potty for her that would still maintain good potty posture.

  2. Mary Avatar

    Did you see the Squatty Potty was in Shark Tank and now has been featured in Bed Bath & Beyond? And you knew about it way back when 🙂

  3. Blanca Avatar

    Very good information. I am pregnant so it would be a good idea!!!! I have a question, I am thinking in switching to a bidet so we don’t have to use toilet paper. Do you have any suggestions Katty?
    Thank you!!!

  4. Lena Avatar

    Years ago I have used two plastic step stools on either side of the potty. It really does make a difference. Sometimes I lean forward as well. Often I am on my toes to help raise my knees more.

    Recently, I started reading about exercise and how we should all be practicing squatting daily for health reasons. One of the things that struck me was the importance placed on putting weight on your heels. Even if you have to cheat and put a board under your heels while you practice. I forget the anatomical explanation. But, it seems like it actually puts your body in a relaxing stance, good posture, and was important.

    So after reading that and reading about different types of potty stools – I am thinking that the most natural way is probably a complete squat – where I am not touching the toilet at all.

    So, my question is: Is a squatty potty tall enough to allow for this? Or would my butt still be touching the seat? Could I get all my weight on my heels? I figure if I invest in one, I want to go ahead and do it the best way. I’d get all my squat exercises in each day too! LOL.

    Thanks for the great article.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      I think it would depend on the height of your toilet at home and how tall you are. On my commode at home, this would not be possible, but we have “comfort height” toilets.

  5. Charlie Avatar

    Now this is the position assumed by a lot of women in countries that do not routinely use water closets. Pit latrines and various modifications of these are used. They demad a squatting posture, but some may choose to stand.
    It has been shown that with this posture, women have better urine voiding flow rates than in the sitting posture as well. (Studies by Gupta et al, and Agarwal et al)
    Could you give a diagrammatic explanation for this as you did with the puborectalis sling constriction angle postural changes with defecation

  6. Lary Avatar

    I have redesigned the squatty potty it offers three different heights and totally tucks away out of the way of our feet. I would like to talk to you about this.

  7. Robert Avatar

    I hate to be a “potty pooper,” but as a Yoga Therapist I teach my clients to simply bend down while on the toilet bringing their chest close to the knees. This accomplishes the exact same configuration as squatting and, though this product also touts the benefit of gravity while in their upright squatting position, this effect is not only minimal considering the weight of human stool, it also neglects to factor in the colon’s natural peristalsis action which pushes stool through the expulsion n process.

    Once a hard stool “crowns” ( begins to emerge), by far the most effective method of facilitating its exit is rocking. This is accomplished by placing the fists on each side of the abdomen near the hips and pressing inward to protect the transverse abdominal muscles from becoming strained; then pushing the stool outward with your rectal muscles while rocking back and forth. You will find that if you rock all the way backward while you push, this position will cause even the largest, hardest stool to move outward every time until it is expelled. Hope this helps

    1. Matt Avatar

      Thank you Robert. I do believe that what you say is right on. Just lean forward. Knees on elbows or so and this will achieve the same realignment as using the squatty potty. And for those of you who have said they don’t want to fall off well I suppose a seat belt is in order….haha (kidding).

    2. Craig Avatar

      THANK YOU! I’m looking at the alignment charts and thinking “why not just stop sitting like you’re on a job interview and lean forward?” Whenever I see the ‘incorrect’ pooping posture example, I laugh. They look like they are testifying in court. Bend down a bit! Sheesh those are some uptight poopers there.

  8. mahomed Avatar

    i find a huge difference between the eastern and western toilets. the problem is that it is difficult to find the squatting cisterns and bowls. most modern houses dont plan for the eastern toilet system and to convert from western to eastern in an old home is a task. people in the east dont start their day with bran and wholewheats to get their system working. they eat lots of bread , oily food ect but i feel that its the squatting method that does the trick. the squatty potty looks like a great idea, but it does not give you the ability to sit in the proper squatting position. worth a try

  9. sharifa Avatar

    Squatting is the natural way in most eastern countries. Up until about twenty years ago it was absolutely normal to have an eastern toilet as it is called here in South Africa. Amazing that it’s become fashionable again!

    1. Sufia Avatar

      Its like this in the subcontinent as well, at least in Pakistan. In fact my grandmother, who is now touching 90 years old, is unable to use a regular sitting-down toilet because she grew up in India where it was apparently considered “normal” to squat. She has never complained of constipation and other elimination related issues in her life. I was introduced to what we call an Indian style commode when we moved into this house some 15 years ago and one of the bathrooms had it built in. Im sold.

  10. Elizabeth Avatar

    Years ago my mother told me that when she had to go she would frequently have to insert a finger into her vagina to physically push against her vaginal wall in order to facilitate elimination. (I know, my family is all about sharing).

    Anyway, I don’t remember why I started doing it but I do remember squatting on the toilet seat in order to eliminate when I was younger, and I continued doing this for many years. I did this through two pregnancies and continued well after the children were born.

    After I became a working professional I found it inconvenient to squat on the toilet seat and began practicing what my Mamma told me. Particularly if the urge struck me while I was away from home. At some point I completely abandoned squatting and found my mother’s method to be my default. Obviously I am not in love with this method, since here I am looking for answers on the internet.

    Thank you for writing this. While I am not inclined to go out and buy the Squatty Potty, I am reminded that squatting is far healthier and still easy enough to do in the privacy of my own home. The trick will be to find a private stall while in public if I need to go.

    As for the sanitary question, I assume we’re talking about the toilet seat. With so many people “hovering” I usually find public restrooms in worse condition then I would ever dare to leave it in myself. Well, thank goodness for those little paper covers, moist towelettes, and portable hand sanitizer. In my own home we have a few potty rules. After you go close the toilet cover before flushing, because flushing creates an aerosolized spray of the contents of the toilet that has a five foot range and lasts for no less then one hour. After taking a shower, empty the little hair trap that covers the drain and dump it into the toilet with the seat up. While the seat is up, and since there’s a gross wad of hair in there that you have to flush anyway, wipe down the lip of the toilet and the bottom of the seat, then flush as described above. Last rule, after going poop, flush, wait, then use the swisher to clean the bowl. Personally, I usually wipe down the entire sink every time I brush my teeth, it wouldn’t be a big deal to add the top of the toilet seat to that routine too. Each of these things takes seconds to do if you do them every day and reduces the amount of time spent cleaning and scrubbing on the weekend.

    One more thing: I mentioned that I have two children. The first I had in a hospital in the traditional way, with feet up in stirrups. This was a terrible position to give birth in and the labor was much more difficult this way. My second child I had with a Midwife, at home. I highly recommend this for any healthy mother to be. With this labor I was allowed to move about freely and get as comfortable as I was able. While in the pushing phase of labor I decided to squat. This went much more quickly, it was much easier, and I remember every detail of it (In a very good way).

    Sorry for writing so much. I hope that this adds value.

  11. Stephanie Avatar

    We just bought one and it has definitely helped! Goes much faster and easier now. My husband was skeptical at first, but then I showed him the website and he was all for it, went out to buy it the same day. 🙂

  12. Amanda Cornweabor Avatar
    Amanda Cornweabor

    Hey Katie,
    I am so thankful I came across this post. My midwife recommended that I try the squatty potty in hopes that it would help with labor. My last pregnancy, I never felt the urge to push. I had a unmedicated home birth, but it was so challenging to push without the urge. Do you feel like the squatty potty helped prepare you for labor? And if so, how?

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I do think it helped some. I just got more used to being in that position and dilated much more quickly (6-10 cm in one contraction) and definitely had the urge to push this last time.

  13. Laura Avatar

    I have a 3 1/2 year old who has been EC’d since birth and will not poo on the toilet. This is understandable reading your post – it has been very informative, thank you. (And I have been reluctant to ‘make’ him anyway).

    He’s approximately 3.3 feet – or 1 meter – tall.

    Do you think the 7″ or 9″ would work for him? Might I need to order one for me and my husband and one for my son?

  14. Lori Avatar

    Ok. First of all, I have NEVER felt the need to comment on anything online. However, after this link was shared with me curiosity got the best of me and next trip to the bathroom I had to drag in a simple step stool just to investigate. I’ve fortunately never had any issues with constipation and such and have always been very regular, but even I noticed a difference the very first time. I came out of the bathroom raving to my daughters and husband that we need potty stools for each bathroom! My husband used it, just to shut me up, and he was amazed too! He has ALWAYS had issues we BMs and he was so thrilled that he he came out of the bathroom with a smile and a fist bump for me rather then the normal grimace and rubbing of his tummy. I’m sold. Thank you!!!

    1. Jonathan Avatar

      If you’re having such good results with “wishful squatting”, wait till you try the real thing. On a 1 to 10 scale, using a footstool is about a 2 or 3. Children know how to squat, but adults have to be re-trained.

  15. Danielle Avatar

    I heard about squatting being healthier for elimination from a friend and kind of dismissed it: as a westerner who has also traveled frequently to places with ‘squatting’ toilets, my impression of them being primitive comes from my personal experience of public ones so filthy that they were a health hazard, with layers of poorly-aimed semi-liquid eliminations all over the footpads and floor (and walls and door). Obviously it should be totally different to have a private one in my home that I can clean, so I’m open to starting with a stool and maybe moving on from there. Sounds like other posters’ husbands have come around, so there’s hope for mine then.

  16. Jon H Avatar

    What about the problem of leg blood circulation? When I was younger I would literally sometimes fall asleep on the toilet… And because of being bent over (which is close to the same position as talked about in this article, except bringing your legs up instead of torso down), when I would wake up, my legs would be completely numb, and sometimes hurt really bad. So I learned my lesson! But wouldn’t constantly going to the bathroom in this position cut off some of the circulation to your legs, like what happened to me? That can’t be good, and when you get old I’m pretty sure you’ll start to notice problems with your legs, having bent forward so much through the years. Or am I totally wrong?

    1. Jessica Avatar

      You really won’t be on the toilet long enough to fall asleep. The entire point of squatting is to get it moving, not sit there and think. Although some people manage to do their best thinking in the bathroom…
      I haven’t seen any comments yet about technique and it seems some people are thinking this is an extreme position. It can be, but you don’t have to start that way. Sit on the toilet like normal, then use your heels on either side to pull the SP forward a bit and tuck your legs up onto it. Or if that unbalances you too much, reach down and slide it out. It helps to not have any bathmats or rugs in the way. Start small if you have any knee problems, don’t strain yourself. Even a small change in the angle can help drastically. Or you can use it for a few minutes to help get things moving and if it hurts your knees/legs, put your feet down to finish. Gradually work your way to using it all the time.
      While I don’t personally have knee issues, I’m not a particularly small person, but just tucking my legs up works perfectly for me. My husband is amazed at how little time I’m in the bathroom, but guess who also refuses to use the SP??
      We’ll definitely get another one of these for when we have kids!
      Hope these tips help some of you.

  17. Wellness Mama Avatar
    Wellness Mama

    I’m not at all trying to hide the truth… I have a comment system that flags all posts with links to cut down on spam and I am way behind on moderating comments (back to the having five kids thing). It is absolutely possible to squat with full weight on a Squatty Potty (which I do) and some elevation is an improvement over feet completely down. I also find it funny that your quest to spread the truth coincides with the fact that you have a vested interest, as your email address indicates that you are part of the natures platform company. I’m all for helpful discussion, but please keep the tone charitable.

    1. Jonathan Avatar

      Thanks for your reply. I only became “uncharitable” when my first two much more polite posts were ignored. I didn’t expect this one ever to be seen by the public. I only submitted it because there’s no email address where I could reach you.

      I’m not only part of Nature’s Platform, but I’m a one-person company. The business is just a “pretext” to educate the population, not the other way around.

    2. Jonathan Avatar

      Children are the real experts. Just give your kids the chance to squat properly and they will never want to go back to a footstool. You don’t have to buy anything except two concrete blocks and a plastic container.

  18. Chuck Avatar

    Ideally people should have a bowel movement for each meal that they eat. So Dr. Oz asked people about this. Many people have only one bowel movement a week. That is awful. The Chinese have to squat to use their toilet.

  19. Jonathan Avatar

    I’ve tried several times to post a comment on the difference between genuine squatting and using a footstool (explained at ). It is very sad to see that you don’t want to jeopardize your affiliate income by allowing the truth to come out. On your “about us” page you say your goal is to “help others”. You also say that you “absolutely love helping women have positive birth experiences.” Using a footstool like the squatty potty will not help prepare women for childbirth, because women giving birth need to squat with the body’s full weight on their feet. You also “have five kids under seven” who obviously can squat perfectly well. If you force them to use a footstool, you are doing them a great disservice. Your attempt to suppress the truth shows extremely poor judgement.

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