Dual Flush vs Single Flush Toilets: Who is The Winner?

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Homeowners who are remodeling a bathroom will likely face a dilemma: dual flush vs single flush toilet. Each option has its own merits, so it’s best to think about your needs and personal preferences.

A single flush system works better for people who want to reduce installation costs and simplify toilet maintenance. On the other side, a dual flush is better for homeowners who care about the environment more than the price.

This article will explain how dual and single flush toilets work.

How Do Single and Dual Flush Toilets Work?

You need to understand how a single and a double flush toilet works to understand their advantages and disadvantages.

Single Flush Toilets

A single-button mechanism means you only need to press one button to flush a toilet. In other words, such toilets use the maximum amount of water every time you flush. The average single flush toilet can use 1.6 gallons or 6 liters per flushing.

To flush the toilet, you only need to press this button and wait for the water to drain. Some single flush toilets come with a lever instead of a button, but it initiates the same process.

Once you flush the toilet, water from the reservoir enters the tank and starts filling up. When this container is almost full, a float ball closes a valve so no more water can enter the bowl. 

Dual Flush

A double flush toilet has two buttons on the top of the tank. One button is typically smaller than the other. The small button is for liquids, while the large button is for solids.

Each button triggers a separate mechanism inside the tank that controls the amount of water used for flushing. The dual flush toilet uses a smaller amount of water for liquid waste and a larger amount of water for solid waste.

Dual flush toilets use around 1 gallon of water per flush or 3.8 liters. They usually consume 0.8 gallons per half-flush and 1.3 gallons of water per full flush.  

Dual flush vs Single Flush Toilets: Key Features

Both single and dual flush toilets have their pros and cons. In most cases, the advantage of one model is the downside of the other. 


A single flush toilet is cheaper than a dual flush system. As a simple flushing toilet, it doesn’t require too many parts. This makes single flush toilets easy to manufacture. 

When it comes to pricing, single flush toilets win the competition. 


This benefit goes with the first one. The simplicity of single flush toilets reduces their maintenance costs. You can find spare parts quickly, with the price of all elements being very affordable.

As a homeowner, you don’t have to spend too much time and money on toilet repairs or replacements. On the other hand, dual flush toilets are more complex and require additional maintenance costs. 


Homeowners who worry about the bathroom size will try to fit in a toilet as discretely as possible. That’s where single flush mechanisms come in handy because you can adjust and customize them.

You are free to adjust the lever and reposition it so as to suit the bathroom decor. With a dual flush toilet, this is impossible.

Ease of Flushing

Ease of flushing is especially important for the elderly and children. Users only need to press one button and wait for the toilet to flush out all waste with a single push.

It’s much easier than pressing two buttons simultaneously. Besides that, double flush buttons are often harder to push and require more physical strength. Once again, this might be a problem for the elderly, children, and persons with disabilities.

Water Conservation

Water conservation is by far the most important benefit of a dual flush toilet. Compared to a single flush toilet, it acts as a genuine water saver due to the semi-flush system.

Many single flush mechanisms consume around 3 gallons per flush, while older models go as high as 6 gallons (23 liters). Dual flush can lower this amount to 0.8 gallons only, thus reducing water consumption drastically.

Such reduction is very important for saving natural resources and protecting the environment.


Dual flush toilets represent a modern invention, so they tend to look sleeker and more visually appealing. If you pay attention to visual appearance, a dual flush is a way to go.

At the same time, this benefit is significant for homeowners who plan to sell their homes.


A dual flush toilet comes with a larger trapway, aka a channel connecting the bowl with the waste outlet. A long trapway ensures complete and efficient cleaning in all circumstances. 

Single flush toilets don’t have such a long channel and might leave some residues in your toilet after flushing.

Refill speed

Traditional tanks take a while to fill, but the new models are much faster. With their half-flush option, dual flush toilets refill reservoirs in seconds, making them more convenient for everyday use. 

High-Quality Single and Dual Flush Mechanisms

Single and dual flush toilets come in different shapes and sizes, but we can narrow down the options for you. Here are some of the finest models you will find on Amazon.

Top Dual Flush Models

1 – Woodbridge B-0960S Toilet (Best Overall)

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Woodbridge B-0960S is not the cheapest toilet out there, but it has tons of unique features. Its dual flushing system comes at 1 or 1.6 gallons per flush.

2 – Kohler K-3987 Wellworth Two-Piece Toilet (Best Value)

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Sleek design and modest water consumption make Kohler K-3987 an excellent toilet for your bathroom. It allows users to choose between 1.1 or 1.6 gallons per flush. With Kohler, you get value for money.

3 – Swiss Madison Tropez One Piece Toilet (Best Budget)

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Swiss Madison can easily fit into different bathroom designs. It comes with a soft-closing toilet seat, which is a big plus. 

At 0.8 gallons per half-flush and 1.28 gallons per full-flush, Swiss Madison makes a very modest water consumer. This is also the best budget model for your home.

Top Single Flush Models

1 – Toto CST Drake Two-Piece Toilet (Best Budget)

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Toto CST is not only well-designed but also eco-friendly compared to other single flush systems. It consumes slightly less than 1.6 gallons per flush and it’s highly affordable.

2 – Trone Nobelet Toilet with Integrated Bidet (Best Features)

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Trone NETBCDER comes with an integrated bidet and takes only 1.28 gallons per flush. It also relies on new technologies, so you’ll even get an LCD screen with it.  

3 – Kohler K-3722 San Raphael Toilet (Best Design)

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Although a bit more expensive, Kohler represents a great toilet that you can clean very quickly. It takes 1.28 gallons per flush. Like many other Kohler models, it guarantees value for money. 

The Bottom Line: Dual Flush vs Single Flush

Dual flush vs single flush is obviously a tough question to answer since both models have their own merits.

If you want to save on installation and maintenance costs, a single flush toilet may be your best bet. If protecting the environment is higher on your goals list, a dual flush system might work better for you.

Each option has its practical benefits, so it’s up to you to measure the benefits and pick the toilet that satisfies your daily needs.


Are dual flush toilets as good as single flush?

A dual flush toilet is as good as a single flush system. Toilets with a double flush mechanism improve water efficiency and decrease the overall flow of potable water. 

Are dual flush toilets harder to fix?

A damaged dual flush toilet is often more challenging to maintain because spare parts are harder to find. Your plumber will often have to order parts directly from the manufacturer.

What is the problem with a dual flush toilet?

Some homeowners will have a problem with dual flush being more expensive. They are also more difficult to fix because you can’t find too many spare parts.

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