Are Soft-Close Toilet Seats Good? How Long Do Their Slow-Close Hinges Last?

Soft-closing toilet seats are a silent substitute to conventional “shutting-down-with-a-bang” toilet seats. These toilet seats shut close gently on their own and in a controlled fashion as soon as you push them down slightly. Gravity controls it, but the gravity is regulated by special tensioned hinges and grease-packed cylinders. This is where the soft-closing feature comes in so that when these seats come to their closed position, there’s no slamming down and almost no ‘slam-shut’ sound.

Only a gentle touch would do the trick to have the seat on the way to a whisper-quiet and slow closing, like a bird feather landing on the floor. It’s a silent whisper. These seats, equipped with special hinges, descend very smoothly and create practically no sound when approaching their closing point.

Are Soft-Close Toilet Seats Any Good?

Put in plain words, a soft-close toilet seat is the soft closure system for elongated and round toilet bowls. This is equipment for bringing down the toilet cover and the toilet seat, which stops the lid from dropping abruptly, as well as unexpected bangs and the irritating noise they can create. With a soft-close mechanism, bringing both the seat and the lid down is: smoother, slower, and quieter; increasing convenience and ease of usage. Another benefit provided by this toilet lid and toilet seat closure device is safety, particularly when children use the toilet.

Here are the main reasons which make soft-closing toilet seats so good and better than the traditional seats:

Smooth Seat Closing

A soft-close seat features a cushioned automatic closing system supported by tensioned hinges and grease-packed cylinders. You just need to apply gentle finger pressure on the cover and/or the seat and it will slowly close on its own. It’s an easy, soft closeness, guided only by a slight downward impulse.

*Note: It is vital not to forcefully push the lid or seat to close faster, as this can trigger harm to the system.

Closes Without Making a Noise

We’ve all encountered a late-night bathroom session, tiptoeing down the hallway so that our sleeping household members don’t wake up, only to get the quiet disrupted by the toilet seat slamming shut with a loud bang. Soft-close seats are silent, which ensures all the household members can be ensured a decent night’s sleep.

Unlike conventional toilet seats, which produce irritating knocking noises when they are closed, a soft-close seat produces almost no sound at all, regardless of how much friction is exerted to close it. The lack of noisy noise created by these seats is especially beneficial if someone in your household tends to lose their grasp while shutting the toilet seats.

Whether you or some of your family members often get up to use the toilet in the wee hours, you don’t need to worry about disrupting anyone’s peaceful sleep. A soft-close is particularly helpful in houses with REM-sleep members or people who have to use the toilet consistently at different times through the night.

Don’t Damage/Crack Toilet Bowls

Soft-close seats reduce the likelihood of damage to the toilet bowl significantly – once a bowl gets damaged or cracked, it cannot normally be fixed and may have to be replaced.

In addition to making noisy sounds, conventional toilet seats may do serious harm to your bowl if they are closed regularly with great force. To that end, it’s worth remembering that most broken toilet bowls can’t be fixed and will almost always require replacement. As any homeowner knows, toilet bowls can be very costly, therefore try to take into consideration the well-being of your toilet when finding the correct toilet seat.

More Hygienic

Soft-close toilet seats are more sanitary. That’s because to close it, there is a little handling and touching of the seat involved. If you’re a responsible toilet user, you’ll realize that shutting the lid gently will put the fingertips into touch for a few seconds with the bacteria-ridden toilet bowl. Soft-close toilet seats only require the gentlest of taps, before gravity and special tension hinges take over and enable the seat to automatically descend.

No Crushing Injuries

Believe it or not, slam-shut conventional toilet seats are blamed for thousands of toilet injuries each year. Typically, accidents arise when boys are practicing how to urinate whilst standing up and the seat drops accidentally on their penis. Even some adults have also gone through this painful experience. A cat that loves to drink from the toilet bowl may even be hurt or trapped inside the bowl because of sudden collapsing seats. Kids may even have their fingertips or tiny hands trapped if a seat shuts close accidentally. Indeed, a frustrating and unpleasant encounter!

Using a nationwide database of accidents sustained by household goods treated by U.S. ERs between 2002 and 2010, the researchers identified 13,175 bathroom or toilet seat-related genital injuries. About 68% were crush accidents, which is where the penis is crushed between the seat and the bowl. Around 97% of these were children aged seven years and under. The rest 3% were adults.

These statistics could be the tip of the iceberg since there could be children who got injured but weren’t taken to the hospital for emergency care. This may therefore be an underestimation of how much this happens.

Soft-close toilet seats, on the other hand, have a specifically built system that ensures that if a seat is inadvertently pushed down, there is no chance of little children having their fingers or penis trapped.

Soft-close seats allow them to comfortably use the toilet without the possibility of hurting or crushing their fingers underneath a heavy and hard plastic seat. A soft shutting seat shuts at a controlled pace, regardless of how much friction is added to it.

Mold-Resistant & Heavy-Duty

Soft-close toilet seats are premium produced from high-quality, heavy-duty, and mold-resistant plastic. This makes them not only comfortable to sit on but also grants them a long life and strong resistance against mold and mildew infestation than standard toilet seats. Since the bacteria and mold development is low on such toilets, they don’t need to be cleaned regularly or weekly. Although conventional seats are to be cleaned once a week, you will possibly clean soft-close seats twice a week. So they give a much-needed break to housework-embroiled individuals.

Easy Installation & Removal

Many of the soft close toilet seats can be mounted with just a flat-head screwdriver. Some also feature simple “lift-off/quick release” and “quick install” hinges. Even for a novice handyman, it should take no longer than a few minutes to attach or unplug a soft seat. Since they are very easy to remove, you should find no hindrance when deep cleaning the toilet.

How Long Does a Soft-Close Toilet Seat’s Soft Closing Feature Last?

The slow-closing feature of most soft close toilet seats lasts up to 50,000 repetitions if kept with care. But the average for most users is around 25,000 to 30,000 repetitions. [1 repetition = 1x time seat closing or opening]. When rounded off, a soft-closing toilet seat would keep functioning best for 24 months (2 years), after which it would start losing its slow closing functionality.

The fix?

At that point, you may need to:

  • Clean the hinges and remove any crud that is interfering with proper operation.
  • If the seat features cylinder cartridges, then most probably the grease inside the cartridges has dried out. The right and left cylinders control the lid and the seat, respectively. Open the malfunctioning cylinder, and add a small portion of waterproof grease inside the tube. And the slow closing feature would be revived again.
  • If any of the parts are broken, seek the manufacturer’s help or get a replacement from the hardware store.

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