The Truth About The Squatty Potty

It has a fanbase that includes celebrity A-listers like Jimmy Kimmel, Sally Field, Howard Stern — and Bryan Cranston, who gifted his wife with one and said, "Elimination is love" (via The Guardian). It has more than 7,300 5-star user ratings on Amazon. It even has its own mascot — a unicorn named Dookie whose YouTube video went viral with over 37 million hits. So what is it about the Squatty Potty that has people talking?

The Squatty Potty was originally invented by Bobby Edwards for his mother Judy, who kept a footstool in the toilet to help her along when she needed to go. But the footstool didn't really do the trick, so mother asked son (who was taking design classes at the time) if he might take a look to see if he could help. Bobby says, "She took me to the bathroom and she showed me how it worked, and as she was sitting there explaining it to me, it's like a light went on in my head." What followed were experiments that used phone books and paint cans as props until the duo worked out the right height and width for a pooping stool. As a result, the first Squatty Potty was born, right out of their garage in 2010.

How does the Squatty Potty work?

The original Squatty Potty is seven inches high and lives at the base of your toilet bowl. Manufacturers say that by using your ceramic throne and putting your feet on the Squatty Potty to do your business, you'll mimic the squatting position humans used before the advent of today's seated toilet. 

Squatty Potty says that when the human body is in the squat position, the colon is naturally compressed, which allows the bowels to empty completely and easily (via Squatty Potty). Fun fact: Many countries in Asia still rely on squat toilets today, and in a number of urban developed areas where they are in use, these toilets are modern, pristine, and cleaner than their western-style counterparts. 

The benefits of using a squatty potty

Squatty Potty has received rave reviews from most of its users, some of whom claim the device has made a big difference. One Amazon user says: "This squatty potty gave me the most relief I've ever felt in my life. 5 minutes. I opened a game on my phone and it wasn't even done loading by the time I finished..." Even sites like Cleveland Clinic say the use of a stool like the Squatty Potty could work for some people, but they also warn that it's not for everyone.

The hype around the Squatty Potty is such that the Mayo Clinic is currently in the middle of a study on the effects of what they call a "squatting assist device" has on patients suffering from constipation. The study, which kicked off in 2016, is scheduled to be completed by September 2021 (via Clinical Trials). If you've been having problems, you may not want to wait until 2021 to decide if the Squatty Potty is worth a try. All you need to do is check to find out if the store or site you bought it from has a return policy. Otherwise, you can always give stacking paint cans and phone books a go before making the investment.