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I've used the Squatty Potty for years — here's why I'll never 'go without' again

The 'Shark Tank'-famous toilet stool keeps things moving, no straining required, and it's No. 1 (No. 2?) in my heart.

squatty potty toilet stool next to a toilet
Join the bowel movement — give the Squatty Potty a shot. (Squatty Potty)

There are certain things everyone does. Everyone eats. Everyone sleeps. And everyone ... well ... goes. To the bathroom, that is. Though it's not something that many people discuss in polite company, it's a universal experience. And just like I would recommend a great restaurant or a quality mattress, I'm here to suggest a wonderful little item that'll help make "go time" more ahhh and less ughhh: the Squatty Potty toilet stool.

The updated Squatty Potty is 7 inches high and features a slight slope for the perfect lift when you need a little extra help answering nature's call.

$25 at Amazon

The Squatty Potty was invented to help relieve a common issue: constipation. About 16 in every 100 U.S. adults struggle with constipation, and the problem only gets worse with age — that number rises to 33 out of 100 when we're 60 or older. Judy Edwards was one of those people, until her doctor recommended lifting her feet while going to help reduce the strain. It did, inspiring Judy's husband, Bobby, and son, Bill, to build a stool that curved around the base of the toilet so that Judy could easily prop her legs up while using the bathroom. The "gadget" was so successful that the family brought the concept to Shark Tank — and the bestselling Squatty Potty was born.

This surprisingly simple accessory uses science to get the job done. The Squatty Potty is officially known as a "defecation postural modification device" (say that five times fast) and it's intended to position us so that we can unburden our bowels in the way our bodies are supposed to. After all, for thousands of years, cavemen spent time popping a squat — sitting on a toilet is a recent concept. The Squatty Potty promises to "unkink your colon" by raising your knees above the hips, relaxing certain muscles in the bowels and making it easier to go without pushing or straining.

While most people might feel uncomfortable talking about this — and listen, I get it — I have no qualms sharing anything that might help Yahoo readers live life more comfortably. Here is my testimony: I've been using the Squatty Potty since first discovering it nearly a decade ago. Friends, it really does work.

Though I'm no scientist, I have certainly put the stool-relieving stool to the test for several years, and I notice a difference when using it versus not — like, say, in a public restroom, where Squatty Potties aren't exactly a dime a dozen. Even when traveling, I find myself missing it, and "go time" always tends to take longer (or more, uh, effort). At home, I have a standard Squatty Potty in the master bathroom and a sleeker, svelter black version (see below for more on that) in the downstairs bathroom that guests use — and I've received many a rave review.

But I'm not the only one who believes in the power of Squatty Potty: Time reports that, in a study of 100-plus users, "90% of people who used a Squatty Potty strained less, and 71% had faster bowel movements. Fewer users also reported feeling like they still had to go after using the bathroom." Those numbers are pretty staggering!

person demonstrating squatty potty with feet on the stool / squatty potty toilet stool in front of a toilet
Why not make ascending the porcelain throne just a little more comfortable? (Squatty Potty)

More than 5,500 Amazon reviewers are flushed with praise, giving this fresh footrest a five-star rating.

"Can't poop without it," said one frank fan. "If you don't own one of these, you need to. Makes the potty experience so much better — perfect compact size. Easy to clean; tucks perfectly under the toilet. Beware ... makes the potty experience so comfortable you might sit on the pot for hours."

"There's a reason why this was a successful Shark Tank item," insisted another user. "My sister bought one for her boyfriend and I really thought the concept was ridiculous, until I sat on a toilet that was too high for my feet to touch the ground as an adult. I decided to pull the trigger and try [the Squatty Potty]. I'll never use the restroom for a No. 2 without it again. When I go on vacation, I wish I brought it with me. If I have to go somewhere that is not my house, I wish it was portable. The science behind this really works."

A third reviewer summed up their feelings nicely: "It's sturdy, a good height, works really well for its intended purpose, and is easy to clean." (And what else can you ask for when you go?)

Still, a handful of buyers say there's not enough traction for their liking: "If you are wearing socks (and I live in a very cold climate) it is quite slippery as there's no real grip," said one. Agreed another: "Needs traction so your feet don't slide." (Personally, I've never had an issue with the traction on the Squatty Potty — then again, I've never had a situation where I really needed it!)

I also like this slimmer black model, which matches our downstairs bathroom and has a slightly lower profile than the one in our master bath. Get it in a variety of colors, including pink, gray and purple.

$25 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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