Image: Danielle Steinberg/Gizmodo

This year I joined the Squatty Potty ranks, investing in one for the sake of my aggrieved gastrointestinal tract. My digestive system is reminiscent of Moses’ trek through the desert: nothing passes for 40 days and 40 nights. So I did what [apparently] everybody does: I watched a unicorn defecate a rainbow ice cream cone of joy, and procured my Squatty Potty.

The idea was to enjoy a nice bowel movement, maybe while reading something really good on my phone. The reality required an intimacy with my toilet bowl that’s usually reserved for bouts of the stomach flu.

If you’ve somehow missed ad above featuring a knock-off burger king and mythical pooping unicorn, the Squatty Potty is a little step stool for your toilet. Using one allows you to assume a squatting position, rather than a sitting position while pooping. Some doctors recommend it for two reasons. First, I can only assume that they enjoy imagining you poop like Gollum, and second, it relaxes your puborectalis muscle. Sitting causes the muscle to choke the rectum, turning your insides into a malfunctioning Rube Goldberg contraption. Squatting allegedly diminishes the feeling of straining, produces fewer hemorrhoids, decreases bloating and reduces constipation.


These are things my insides would like!

But owning a Squatty Potty isn’t as simple as “add to cart.” First I had to measure the base of my toilet to figure out which size I needed. I didn’t even know toilets [outside of the airport] came in different sizes. It required getting my face uncomfortably close to my toilet bowl. And god knows where that has been. (My bathroom, that’s where, and that place is gross.)

No low. rent burger king, I did NOT feel like Elizabeth II. I didn’t even feel like her sister Margaret. I didn’t even feel like a Markle. Image Credit: Squatty Potty

Then I had to actually use it. And sure, the Squatty Potty makes it easier to use my phone because my knees are in my armpits, but I’m short, so unless I want to completely undress from the waist down (which is the only way I can pee on a camping trip), my pants and underwear touch the toilet bowl—which we’ve established could use more bleach than I’m willing to invest in. Plus when it’s all said and done, I gotta propel myself off of the thing, pants around my ankles, with the velocity and grace of a drunken Elsa from Disney on ice.

Squatty Potty disengaged. Image: Danielle Steinberg/Gizmodo

But my biggest complaint is storage. Unless you’re a monster willing to devote your sweet, coveted bathroom space to this oversized Tetris block, it’s visible in your bathroom. And looks like something a geriatric person would leave in their shower. Now, I’m not one of those “Eww, girls don’t poop!” girls (current text aside), but I am also not a “WELCOME TO MY HOUSE. LOOK! I TAKE SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS TO POOP” girl either. It’s the great, white elephant in the room. People ask. And there isn’t much you can do besides swallowing any remaining dingleberries of dignity and eloquently articulating, “Oh, that’s a Squatty Potty. I know, the name is ridiculous. It’s a thing I use for pooping.”

Squatty Potty engaged. Image: Danielle Steinberg/Gizmodo

As inconvenient and unattractive as the Squatty Potty is, it does, at least, get things moving. Though it took a few erratic moments for me to realize there is no “getting comfortable” on this thing. You know how people say wearing a turtleneck is like slowly/constantly choking yourself? Well, using a Squatty Potty is like slowly/constantly pulling your butt cheeks apart, which doesn’t make for a calm, relaxing dropping off of the kids at the pool. I have to say, I definitely felt less like a human and more like a poop chute. Things certainly left my body more quickly, but there was no change in the ease of the squeeze.


If I were a unicorn whose hemorrhoid-laden rectum produced scintillating, bedazzled ice cream cones, I’d live my entire life on a Squatty Potty. But I am a human, I do not poop rainbows. I do not like to use toilet stools as an ice breaker at parties. I do not like to fling myself off my toilet with abandon or remove my entire outfit every time I have to pop a squat. I do like to poop on a regular basis, unaided by Metamucil or a prodigious number of leafy greens, aided and abetted by an ugly stool isn’t the way. The Squatty Potty is notty for me.

I want this. I did not get this. Image Credit: Squatty Potty


  • It helps you poop.
  • It does not make the poo more comfortable.
  • You have to measure your toilet.
  • No rainbows will emerge from your ass.
  • Storage is a pain.

Sr. Producer for Gizmodo, io9, and Earther. Previously PBS and Nat Geo. Lactose intolerant and addicted to ice cream. On a mission to make dad jokes gender neutral.

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