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 At that time, I just considered it an outdated and primitive toilet, and couldn’t understand why anyone would use one.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

    Timing is everything! I was just in Costco yesterday in St. George and they had a deal where you got 2 Squares Potty stools for $19.99! That is the best deal I have seen on them, so I bought them. I set them up when we got home and used one for the first time. I have to say, what a difference! Very glad I got them! I had no idea they were developed and manufactured in my area! Yay, local business!

  2. Paulette Avatar

    I don’t have a Squatty Potty but improvised with two bed risers (you know, from the set of four used to elevate a bed?) and it really has helped. Those wouldn’t be tall enough for taller people. I’m short. Squatty Potties would be funny gifts for Xmas but might really make a difference in someone’s life.

  3. Rosie Avatar

    Love it! I purchased 3…one for each of my bathrooms and one for my daughter. She LOVES it also! Makes going to the bathroom easier and quicker! Great product!

  4. Jessica Avatar

    I personally love it. My husband and I feel much better with it and don’t stay in the bathroom as long as we used to. It feels so comfortable. I believe that you could just use a regular stool to do the same job, but to each their own. I wouldn’t give up mine at all.

  5. Marilyn Vandekieft Avatar
    Marilyn Vandekieft

    I was glad to see there is an adjustable model. We seniors who are in retirement apartment buildings have another problem. Most of the toilets are “high-rise” and make squatting impossible. And seniors are notorious for having constipation problems. I guess the only way to learn if the adjustable model would work well…especially for short people…would be to try it, but if it isn’t helpful, it might be a little embarrassing to return it!!

  6. Wendy s Avatar

    I figured this out during pregnancy. I pulled a stool out to use and it was much easier.never had heard of it did it on my own years ago out of necessity.. Baby is now 14 🙂

    1. Wendy s Avatar

      I also have children who literally squat on the seat they always have. My husband thinks it isn’t weird. I grew up in a third world country it seemed natural to me.

  7. Mercer Bonney Avatar
    Mercer Bonney

    I’ve used the Squatty Potty for about 5 years now. I read about it and said YES! I bought one for each bathroom online floor $25 each. I HIGHLY recommend it. I did have a little difficulty bending my knee enough after knee replacement surgery and if you don’t do your work to get back good flexion, it could be an issue for bending that leg far enough.

  8. Georgia Avatar

    I gave birth with episiotomy (to speed up a preterm birth). It was very painful (even if the midwife did a very good job) and I needed more than 3 weeks before I could walk normally. A few months after giving birth I started to have issues in the bathroom which became hemorroids and they were gradually getting worse. When my child was about 8 months old, I got seriously worried and I started to research a natural remedy. I came across the squatty potty and bought it (luckily it’s sold in my country), thinking that if it didn’t help, it would do no harm either (I was breastfeeding so I was worried to ingest anything that could affect my production). On the same day, I immediately noticed the difference: my hemorroids were not getting worse. About 2 weeks after, they were gone. I didn’t have any problem since then.
    As a bonus, the squatty potty helps my child to sit on the toilet (he uses mostly the potty, but occasionally the adult toilet with a seat).

  9. sandy hanson Avatar
    sandy hanson

    My daughter bought a squatty potty for my husband but he is too tall to use it and won’t but I love it

  10. Sara Avatar

    Love the squatty potty. It’s awesome! Can not go to bathroom without it…
    It helps with bladder issues. When I use it or don’t I feel a huge diff…!
    Also really helps for constipation…
    Best thing!

  11. Dorothy Avatar

    I saw a post on FB one day. I tried and love it no other way to do it. Before i was constipated and it all wouldn’t come out, but now it has made a difference in my life. I just use my bathroom trash can I take the bag out and turn it upside down and it’s perfect.

  12. lelouch Avatar

    I have a query regarding my pooping posture . i don’t like to sit on the toilet seats . So I stand and then bend over ( like my head touching my stomach ) to poop/pee . Is it harmful or is it normal to poop like that ?

  13. kevin Avatar

    Hiya melody
    when you went to the toilet for your poop
    and you raised both of your feet on the toilet seat,
    was it easier for you to poop,and did you not have to
    push much.

  14. Melody D. Avatar
    Melody D.

    I ran across a Squaty Potty at a natural food store a couple years ago, and while the idea intrigued me, I had honestly never dealt with constipation that I could remember. That quickly changed when my husband and I found out we were expecting. Not only was my stomach constantly aching from nausea, but constipation became an issue for the first time. My stomach muscles were too sore from vomiting to really “push” so I started putting my feet up on the toilet seat and squatting. This has gotten me through the first trimester, though I might have to buy a squatty potty once my belly starts growing,

  15. Bunty Avatar

    Hi my daughter is 3 years and 6 months.Her height is 3′.5” inches, Does this Squatty Potty really works with the toddlers?? i need to buy this. Can any one please guide about the correct height of this stool.thanks

  16. Tracy Avatar

    We move into a new home about a year and a half ago. The master bathroom has a handicap toilet so it sits higher. I am short, so using the bathroom was uncomfortable for me. I grabbed a little stool to put up my feet which puts me in the squatting position. I have been using that little stool ever since. Who knew, until today when i saw this article on social media, that my new way was the right way.

  17. Anna Avatar

    QUESTION: do you recommend squatting in this position to deliver a baby? What do you recommend for best positions while in labor contractions and actual delivery–the more suatting the best??

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      I think that a mom’s body instinctively knows the best position to deliver, often depending on baby’s position. I will say that with my last labor with a breech baby, I was having trouble dilating because her head wasn’t on my cervix and as soon as I say on the toilet with the squatty potty, I went from 7-10 cm instantly and was pushing, so it definitely sped things up for me. I ended up having to deliver on hands and knees because she was breech, but it greatly helped speed transition for me.

  18. Arun s Avatar

    All you have to do is learn one hard fact. If you travel to China or India you are bound to trip over the Floor Potty. Basically it’s a hole in the floor with a pan (aluminum) forming a bowl like a commode and two foot impressions on either side.
    When you go potty you have to squat over it after positioning your feet appropriately.
    Now you will see that this squatting position will help facilitate ease of eliminating your excrement unlike you ever did before.
    There are also the more familiar toilets (European Water Closets) in these countries, the ones we are accustomed to sitting on top of or straddling. These only enable you to get off the ground but do not help naturally position you correctly in order to void.
    They are plentiful in these countries so you don’t need to panic.
    The Squatty potty falls somewhere between the two and is kinder to your knees in that you get to use a regular (EWC) but attain a somewhat squatting position to facilitate ease of bowel movement or elimination.
    If you can squat on the regular toilet seat and calmly maintain balance w/o stress on your knees, then it’s a more efficient way. Mostly younger people will be able to do this without losing balance or falling.
    People have been squatting since the beginning of humanity and voiding efficiently. That’s because it’s a more natural aligned way to do your business without incomplete voiding leading to constipation or worse yet, impaction.
    That being said,they also ate lots of fiber rich vegetarian/vegan diets as well, besides meats etc.
    Bottom line (no pun intended), Squatty Potty is a winner. ?

  19. Stephanie Avatar

    I’m a long-time fan of the squatty potty! I use just a regular stool that we already have in the bathroom, which works just as well and is much cheaper. (Though the bamboo squatty potty looks so much nicer!!) I’ve been doing this for so long now that it is very hard for me to go when I don’t have a stool or squatty potty! I sometimes use garbage bins and things like that in hotels, etc, when I have nothing else. 😉

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