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10 of the best potties for toilet training toddlers

Which potty could make toilet training less stressful and what features are important - our expert guide includes parents' feedback to help you make the best choice for your toddler

10 of the best potties

Potties (portable toilets) help toddlers make the exciting step from using nappies to being toilet trained. They come in a surprising variety of styles and sizes, from standard potty seats to those that look like a throne or even ‘flush’. Aside from potties for at home you can also have potties to take with you on your travels. Travel potties are compact and are made to be portable and easy to carry about and empty out.

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Potty training for child doesn’t have to be super stressful. Granted, it can mean a frustrated or confused toddler, a worried parent and lots of mess to clear up! But get the timing and tools right and things can go more smoothly, so we’ve chosen the best potties tried and tested by real parents and their children to help make the journey easier. There are also lots of resources out there to help guide you with this process, such as potty training books, podcasts and even educational videos for parents to equip themselves and their toddler.

In my own personal experience, I was sure my son would never learn to use the toilet! We tried and failed and tried and failed again, until we simply decided to wait until he was ready and in no time, he just asked if he could use the toilet one day and the rest is history.

Best potties at a glance:

  • Best potty for easy emptying: Pourty Easy-to-Pour Potty, £9.99
  • Best for taller toddlers: Strata Deluxe Lining Potty Chair, £11.99
  • Best budget potty: Ikea Lilla Children's Potty, £3.50
  • Best 3-in-1 potty: Bumbo Step 'n' Potty, £45
  • Best flushing "toilet": Venture UK Pote Plus My First WC, £19.99
  • Best for a high back: Ikea Lockig Potty, £7.50
  • Best non-slip potty: BabyBjörn Smart Potty, £22.99
  • Best potty for toddler appeal: Fisher-Price My Potty Friend, £49.99
  • Best for cause and effect: Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Rewards Potty, £53
  • Best for home and away: My Carry Potty, £26.99

What to look for when choosing a potty

Size – Depending on where your potty will be situated most of the time, your home layout and other logistics, this will determine the size of potty you get. You may need one by your toddler's bed or in the living room in addition to the bigger one in the bathroom upstairs, for instance. Plus, knowing whether your child likes to use a little potty or one that resembles a real toilet is another thing to bear in mind with size.

Suitability – Toilet training a boy differs from toilet training a girl and vice versa. The potty you select has to be able to accommodate your child's gender in order to prevent mess and for your child to be comfortable learning how to use the potty. Picking a potty with a splash guard or high front will be a good option for boys.

Versatility – Some potties do more than just what it says on the tin: we have some potties on our list that convert into a step and have seats that can be detached from the potty and used on the toilet so you have more use out of it as your child's confidence grows.

Comfort – Comfort can also play a key role in toilet training. Some toddlers don’t like to feel too exposed when sitting on a potty. In these cases, a potty with more of an armchair feel may work better.

Cost – There's a surprising variety and choice of potties with prices to match. You can get standard potties with simple features and no bells and whistles but you can also find easy-clean potties, fancy flushing potties, potties that look like thrones and even disposable potties. Our list ranges from £3.50 to £45 but different products offer different advantages with a range of practical and innovative features.

Care – Some potties are easier to clean than others - and you’ll certainly be doing a lot of emptying and cleaning. Potties that have a removable insert can be emptied and cleaned more easily than most one-piece potties.

Practical or fun – A jazzy or entertaining potty can add a sense of play and joy to the whole experience, so they’re ideal for toddlers who are nervous about this new phase or possibly scared of toilets. Children love emulating their grown-ups so a miniature toilet with flush and lid can be a good option.

When should you buy a potty?

The key thing is to take a gently-gently approach – don't force your toddler if they don't feel ready. The tell-tale signs that let you know your toddler is ready include:

  • Showing an awareness of when they are going to the toilet in their nappy
  • Staying dry during nap times
  • Going at least 2 hours in the day with a dry nappy
  • Complaining as soon as they have filled a nappy

Try to avoid comparing your little one with their peers (we know it’s easy to do). Whatever you opt for, try not to put yourself and your toddler under any pressure – and if things don’t go well, don’t hesitate to call the whole thing off and wait a while to try again. There’s no rush - you might all surprise yourselves by how smoothly everything goes if you get the timing right. There are also some fantastic tools that can help you keep the whole experience stress-free and fun. If your toddler responds well to incentives, you might want to choose a potty training rewards chart geared specifically towards potty training.

Here's our pick of the 10 best potties tested by toddlers and parents...

1. Pourty Easy-to-Pour Potty, £9.99

– Best for easy emptying

Described as ‘the potty that pours’, the idea for this Easy-to-Pour Potty came when father-of-2 Jon Rathbone became frustrated with the messy business of emptying a standard potty. So he went on to design the ‘potty pouring spout’.

This award-winning design, with a handle at the front to pour the contents out the back, makes the Pourty super easy to empty without having to faff around with two separate pieces. MFM reviewer Sarah loved this well thought out feature, adding “the Pourty Potty does exactly what it says on the tin – no fuss and no mess – for a very reasonable price”. Due to its simple design it is quite hard and low to the ground but there's a good splash guard for boys and it's very lightweight.

It's a simple and straightforward design which focuses on practicality rather than novelty features that appeal to toddlers. However, it does come in a vibrant choice of colours to suit every preference, so you can at least let your child choose the colour they prefer. If you want a simple yet user-friendly basic option, this is the one for you.

Pros: Easy to clean, affordable, no extra parts, high splash guard
Cons: Low to the ground, not the most comfortable

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Pourty Easy-to-Pour Potty

Available from: Amazon, John Lewis and Über Kids

2. Strata Deluxe Silver Lining Potty Chair, £11.99

– Best for taller toddlers

strata potty

Parent tester Nikki's son is tall and used this potty, and she commented, "I chose it because it seemed more comfortable than a standard potty and it’s a bit higher (my son is tall) I also liked that you just remove the bowl to empty it which made it really easy to clean." Parent tester Chelsea chose this as she was looking for a "comfortable potty seat that our toddler (girl) wouldn't mind spending time sat on reading books when we were training. We bought 2, one for upstairs and downstairs. That's a good tip for training. I'd recommend that potty."

As well as being a good height to accommodate longer legs, this affordable potty is generously-sized with arm rests and has a wide seat that out testers felt was comfortable for their kids. It has a practical removable insert that allows parents to empty contents smoothly, without any spilling.

Pros: Higher seat, arm rests for comfort, removable bowl for quick emptying
Cons: Takes up a lot of space, may not be suitable for smaller toddlers

Available from: Amazon and Daisy Baby

3. Ikea Lilla Children’s Potty, £3.50

– Best budget buy

Ikea is great for bargain buys that perform well without costing the earth. If you’re not planning on using a potty long before progressing to the big toilet, or you’re thinking about putting a potty in every room of the house (never a bad idea with distracted toddlers), you can’t argue with the price of this neon green, high-shine Ikea Lilla children’s potty.

Its key features are impressive for such a low-cost buy: it has a non-slip base and gently curved shape perfect for mini bottoms. Although it doesn't have the pour spout of the Pourty potty, it's actually a very similar design with a handle at the front and an angled back for easy emptying, but may be slightly trickier to clean than some models.

This is also a great affordable option if you're at the early stages of toilet training and still figuring out what your toddler prefers to be trained with – a potty or the toilet. It coordinates with other Ikea toilet training items, such as the training seat and the step stool.

Pros: Great value, simple but effective design, splash guard
Cons: Only available in one colour, low to the ground, harder to clean

Available from: Ikea and Amazon

4. Bumbo Step ‘n Potty, £45

– Best 3-in-1 potty

Award: Gold – Potty & toilet training product, MadeForMums Award 2022

Many parents know and love the Bumbo seat that helps their babies sit up for the first time, and this is the popular brand’s answer to potty training. It is a good quality design that cleverly combines a number of uses – you can use it as an easy-to-clean potty to start your kid off, and as your child gets more confident the top detaches into a trainer seat for your adult toilet with the bottom turning into handy step by attaching the lid that's hidden in the base.

This will please those who love integrated design and a product that adapts to different scenarios. It is one of the more expensive options on the market, but should last a number of years. One big selling point is the soft seat: unlike most potties that have plastic seats, this one is made from a firm but comfortable foam that feels warm and soft and can really help if your child won't stay on the potty for long.

The 3-in-1 design was also a hit with our testers. Parent tester Tina pointed out “whichever way your child prefers to potty train you are covered, and it also makes the transition to big toilet easier.” Parent tester Alice commented, "It was a potty, seat and step all in one. We still have the step now 5 years on!"

Some parents have reported that this potty is more suited to girls than boys, explaining that because the seat is detachable, leaks may happen when boys spray forwards. MFM Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma uses this potty with her own son and hasn't experienced this issue, but did find it took a few attempts for him to find the right sitting position as the opening at the top of the seat is smaller than some others.

Pros: Works as a potty or a training seat and foot stool, soft comfortable seat
Cons: Some parents report leaks with boys, expensive compared to other potties

Available from: Kidly, Über Kids and Amazon

5. Venture Pote Plus My First WC Potty, from £28.99

– Best flushing "toilet"

Venture flushing potty toilet

Award: Bronze – Potty & toilet training product, MadeForMums Awards 2022

This miniature toilet is a fantastic product to entice your child towards potty training if they want to be just like mum or dad. It is a cute version of an adult toilet, with a button that conjures a nice flushing sound – ideal for enticing stubborn toddlers (batteries are required). There's also detachable compartment that you can store wipes in, with a hole at the back that allows you to pull one through. Although it's a novel idea our testers found using this was a bit tricky in reality, and found keeping toilet paper close by was both easier and better for the environment.

If you have a toddler that needs a bit more privacy, despite its size this potty is also very easy to move around the house. Best of all it is very easy to clean, as it has a handy removable insert. It is one of the most affordable toilet-like potties on the market, which really impressed our testers and judges at the MadeForMums Awards 2022, who crowned it the Bronze winner. Parent tester Ruth loved the design of the Pote Plus, praising its quality and practicality. “It's a fun design for toddlers and practical for parents,” she says. “So a win both ways”.

Pros: Mimicks a real toilet, easy-clean bowl, good value
Cons: Wipes storage is a bit fiddly, requires batteries, take up a lot of space

Available from: Amazon and Venture UK

6. Ikea Lockig Potty, £7.50

– Best for a high back

This is the ideal product for when your toddler has to go ‘right now’ - wherever you are in the house. It’s lightweight, leak-proof and has a removable insert for easy discarding and cleaning.

Although it's a few pounds more than Ikea's bargain Lilla potty, the extra features may be worth it, especially if you have boys. The high front creates a good barrier to splashes, but it also has an extra-high back – this will support your child if they happen to be sitting on their potty for a while, but also gives you the option to use the potty back-to-front for boys who need that extra protection. These do make it larger overall so you'll probably need a separate travel potty.

Parent tester Celia commented, "We have the Ikea potty as we were told a high back and front are good for boys." She added that, "the separated middle part is very helpful from a parent's perspective."

Pros: High back for support, removable insert for easy cleaning
Cons: Only one colour choice, quite large and not suitable for travel

Available from: Ikea and Amazon

7. BabyBjörn Smart Potty, £22.99

– Best non-slip potty

It’s not often that you get to call a potty stylish, but this one fits the bill. Designed in cool pastel colours, the BabyBjörn Smart Potty size is light and compact, so it’s easy to carry from room to room. What we particularly like is the non-slip base, which prevents the potty slipping underneath impatient and active toddlers. With soft edges, a decent splash guard and a detachable bowl with a handle for easy pouring, it has all the essential features you need in a potty.

Made from BPA-free quality plastic, it’s also very quick to empty and clean, thanks to the removable insert and no nooks or crannies for dirt to collect in. Parent tester Andrea tried a number of potties with her daughter and commented, "Overall I’ll say the most effective one was the Baby Bjorn one. She liked because it was pink. I liked it because it’s very sturdy but not massive. Also you have the detachable inside so it’s very easy to clean and she can help with that. She was reluctant first time we tried any, so we wait a few months and tried again. She was potty trained in less than a week by herself."

Pros: Non-slip base, removable bowl with handle, nice colour options
Cons: Quite expensive compared to similar models

Available from: BabyBjörn, Amazon and Samuel Johnston

8. Fisher-Price My Potty Friend, £49.99

– Best for toddler appeal

There’s nothing like an incentive to get potty training off to a good start and the Fisher-Price My Potty Friend will reward your child with a song every time they sit on it – a brilliant way to get bums on seats!

My Potty Friend is one of the more expensive options, but it offers quite a few extras that other products don’t. As well as a flush and a built-in toilet roll holder, it has five encouraging phrases and two songs to entice kids.

Parent tester Amy said, "We used the Fisher Price singing toilet and my little boy was out of nappies within a week of having it at 2 years old. My little boy loved it as it sang a song every time he went." In addition, the design of the potty allows the seat to be clipped onto a regular toilet, so it’s longer-lasting and makes the transition to an adult toilet easier.

We love the fact that this is so toddler-friendly and that some potty-weary parents found that My Potty Friend instantly took away the hesitation and reluctance from toilet-averse children. Parent tester Iman commented, "We picked it as it looked the most interactive as it made noises, had a toilet roll holder and a flush. I loved that it had a removable bowl in the toilet which made it really easy to empty without needing to take the whole potty upstairs."

Pros: Appealing to toddlers with sounds and pretend flush, converts to toilet trainer seat
Cons: "Toy" style design may not appeal to all parents, requires batteries, takes up a lot of space

Available from: Amazon and Argos

9. Thomas & Friends Rewards Potty, £53

– Best for cause and effect

Thomas tank engine potty

The Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Rewards Potty is a great option for children who may be a bit apprehensive about potty training and need extra encouragement. Similar to the Fisher Price potty, it uses sounds to help build confidence. The potty creates rain sound effects and sings the hit show's theme tune when it has been used.

Parent tester Kimberley praised, "The Thomas the Tank Engine potty is great for cause and effect as it plays the tune when she has done a wee or poop in there and that becomes a celebratory sign for her (along with praise) she sits very comfortably and even shouts potty and sits on it when she doesn't need to go!"

The potty has removable bucket to discard of any waste easily and not only that, the seat is all removable too, so you can place it onto the toilet when your child is ready to upgrade and feels more confident. When the lid is folded down the potty also transforms into a step so your child can use it when washing their hands by the sink or to get onto the toilet.

Pros: 3-in-1 design with trainer seat and step, plays music that encourages toddlers
Cons: Toy-like design not right for all families, large, requires batteries, very expensive

Available from: Amazon and Argos

10. My Carry Potty, £28.99

– Best for home and away

My Carry Potty

With 10 colourful designs to choose from, including a ladybird, cat, bee and penguin, My Carry Potty looks less like a potty and more like a cute travel bag, and our home testers report that most toddlers absolutely love carrying it about.

Designed as a travel potty, it's also just as good for home use, especially if you want something you can easily move around the house. If you'd rather keep expense to a minimum this offers the best of both worlds for home and away. Our reviewer Sarah found that her 2-year-old daughter was thrilled to carry it around, and praised its sturdiness: “The plastic outer is very durable and can be dropped, kicked and knocked about without worrying.” Once the potty is closed and the vacuum seal is engaged it's completely leak-proof and has a handle for easy carrying.

While it’s not the most compact of travel potties – and it’s one of the more expensive ones – it is small enough to fit into the basket of most buggies and as a bonus there’s no need for bags or liners. Emptying and cleaning in a small space can be slightly fiddly as the lid doesn't come off, but you soon get the knack.

If you like everything to match, it coordinates with a trainer seat and step stool, and there are even training pants to complete the set.

Pros: Works for travel and home, leak-proof, no need for liners or bag
Cons: Can be hard to clean / empty with fixed lid, low to ground, quite expensive

Available from: John Lewis, Amazon and Kidly

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How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

When testing and selecting potties we considered size, suitability, versatility, comfort, cost, care and whether they're practical and fun.

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

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