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Toilets account for more water use, by far, than any other water-consuming product in your home. And if you still have an old toilet that uses 6 gallons per flush, you’re not only wasting water but also flushing money down the drain—up to $110 a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Federal standards require new toilets to use just 1.6 gallons per flush, and toilets that qualify for the EPA's more stringent WaterSense designation use only 1.28 gallons. Is that enough water to do the job?
“Many of the 1.28-gallon toilet models have excellent or very good performance for solid waste,” says John Banta, the Consumer Reports engineer who oversees our toilet testing. “In our tests, many WaterSense models perform just as well as—if not better than—some higher-gallon toilets.”
Below, CR members can read about highly rated WaterSense toilets, listed in rank order. All cost $200 or less. All of them use 1.28 gallons per flush, with the exception of the very efficient Niagara Conservation Stealth that uses only 0.8 gallons. For more choices, check our full toilet ratings and recommendations.
To evaluate how well a toilet cleans its bowl, CR test engineers leave a measured paint swatch on the inside of the bowl to see whether the toilet is actually sending water all the way around the interior when it’s flushed. If a lot of the paint remains on the side of the bowl, then—you guessed it—the toilet isn’t so great at cleaning the inside of the bowl.
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