Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
Back in 2014, a simpler time, Shark Tank featured a kind of crazy product known as the Squatty Potty. The creators claimed that this little white stool would change the way you poop, banishing all sorts of bathroom woes, and it captured the attention of the nation.
The Squatty Potty became a sensation, stirring up interest in bathroom-goers everywhere. Does it actually work? Is it worth $20? Can’t you just use a stack of magazines?
Four years later, the buzz around this plastic bathroom accessory has died down a bit, but for many, the question still remains: Does the Squatty Potty really work?
The short answer is yes. And luckily for you, I have no sense of shame when it comes to talking about pooping, so I’ve happily tested out this little toilet stool to bring you a thorough analysis of its pros and cons. Let's jump right in.
The science behind the squat
In case you’re unfamiliar with the idea behind the Squatty Potty, let me fill you in.
Essentially, there’s this thing called the Puborectalis muscle that puts a kink in your rectum while you’re standing or sitting. This is necessary, frankly, so you don’t accidentally poop while going about your daily business.
When it’s time to relieve yourself, you need this muscle to relax. But it doesn’t fully release its grip on your rectum when you’re in a standard sitting position (for reasons detailed above). As such, you might find yourself straining a little as you try to “go,” and this can lead to hemorrhoids and other unpleasantness.
So how do you skirt this issue? Many experts believe the Puborectalis muscle fully relaxes, releasing its grip on your rectum, when the body is in a squatting position—after all, humans had to squat for hundreds of years before the modern toilet was invented. So when you prop your feet up on a stool like the Squatty Potty, it imitates a squatting position, allowing things to flow more freely.
Is there hard scientific evidence to back up this claim? Not really. However, doctors often recommend patients prop their feet up on something if they’re struggling to have bowel movements, according to NPR, so it’s not such a far-fetched idea.
The good news: Squatty Potty really works
When my roommate came home with a Squatty Potty, my first thought was, “Oh heck yeah!”
I absolutely love trying random products, especially ones that other people scoff at. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had a problem going No. 2, but if something could make the process easier, I’ll happily take the plunge. (So many bathroom puns, so little time.)
After a month or so of Squatty Potty-ing, we are happy to report that this bad boy really WORKS. It truly makes it faster and easier to answer the call of nature—I think one of the first times I used it, my exact reaction was, “The poop just falls out of you!” No straining, no effort. Just quick, effortless bowel movements.
Don’t just take my word for it, either.
“Squatty Potty definitely ruined all other toilets for me, but let me tell you, I’ve never pooped so effortlessly in my LIFE.” –Jessie Freitas, RN, roommate to the stars and Squatty Potty fangirls.
If you search for the #SquattyPotty hashtag on social media or read reviews for the Squatty Potty on Amazon, you’ll see some of the other much-touted benefits include:
- It helps relieve constipation.
- It saves you ample time in the bathroom.
- It lets you use less toilet paper during clean up.
People really love this thing. I mean, there are more than 7,000 positive reviews on Amazon alone. That’s more than 7,000 happy poopers, people.
The bad news: Regular toilets will never be the same
However, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows in the world of the Squatty Potty. There are two major downsides that must be highlighted.
First, as my dear roommate alluded to, Squatty Potty ruins normal toilets for you. I first experienced it when I went on vacation for a weekend and had to poop sans Potty.
“Wait, what is this?” I thought to myself as I sat on the hotel toilet. “It’s so uncomfortable! How am I supposed to poop like this?!”
All of a sudden, standard toilets feel awkward and uncomfortable, and it makes going No. 2 feel really strange without a Potty. Keep this in mind if you travel regularly or feel the call of nature while you’re at work.
Secondly—and maybe this is just me being bougie—it’s really kind of ugly. I hate looking at it. Toilets are not lovely to begin with, and then you add a plastic stool around the base? It’s just not great. There are some different Squatty Potty designs too, such as a bamboo one and a clear acrylic one, but they still aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing. Plus, these designs come at a higher cost, but if you want something to match a certain aesthetic, it's nice that they have options. You could also just paint the plastic one to match your decor if you would rather save the money.
I should also mention literally every person who visits your home will ask about it. I don't have a problem talking about pooping, clearly, but if you're not into BM-related discussions, you might want to hide your Squatty Potty when visitors are coming over.
With that said, if I had to choose between looking at an ugly, plastic stool in my bathroom and having strained, uncomfortable bowels movements, I’m going with the stool, people. It's a great use of $20. Trust me.
*They're also available on Amazon—sometimes at lower prices too—if you want to take advantage of Prime 2-day shipping.