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It’s an unusual name even for a toilet – the TOTO Washlet – and an even more unusual design. But sometimes the oddest products turn out to be the best. The iPod seemed pretty weird when it was first introduced and look how that turned out. You may not find your toilet as interesting as a music device, but you will definitely find this model more useful.


The TOTO Washlet with Integrated Toilet, technically known by the unlovely name TOTO MS970CEMFG, is unlike any toilet you’ve ever seen. That sounds like sales hype until you actually investigate it. Then you see that high tech has finally arrived in spades to this common household product.

True, toilet design actually has advanced quite a bit over the years, but it’s sometimes hard to see. The external look is very much the same as it was 50 years ago for most models. A little more elongated in some, maybe, but you have to look closely to detect more than minor differences. And, given the type of product we’re talking about, that suggestion doesn’t sound very appealing.

But here it’s the big changes that are easy to see in this unit, once you pay close attention. The shape is wildly different, thanks to the skirt and tank. The flushing mechanism is right up to the present. The accompanying remote control is a big tip off that something really new has arrived. We’ll look at all those and more.

Basic Design

Looks aside for a moment, the specs of the TOTO Washlet don’t appear to be anything extraordinary at first glance. It’s floor-mounted and weighs about 101 pounds, which is modest for toilets in general but especially for such an unusual model.

It measures 15.9″ W x 28.5″ D x 25.1″ H – which I would rank as medium size, somewhat surprising for a unit that does as much as this one does.

The toilet height is a bit higher than the conventional toilet – the bowl itself rises to 16″ – and makes this one ADA compliant. Most individuals – whether of medium height (5’7″) or as tall as 6’4″ express satisfaction with the fit in every way.

Whatever your view of the overall size, you’re likely to like the elongated bowl; most consumers do these days. This particular model is even a little more so than usual. The interior dimensions of the seat are 11.4″ long x 7.9″ wide.

The elongated style is not for everyone. Some individuals need a wider seat. Some bathrooms have wide spaces for the toilet and an oval looks too skinny. But just about everyone loves a one-piece since they’re easier to keep clean.

Obviously, traditional toilets use only whatever water that comes straight from your system. That’s usually fairly cold water and it’s downright frigid in winter in many areas. Here, you can also take advantage of the simple physical fact that the warm water in this toilet cleans both you and the toilet better than cold.

No need to worry about promoting the growth of germs and other unsanitary organisms, however. There are various features that help minimize them. In this case, that means TOTO’s well-reputed SanaGloss ceramic glazing. It prevents mold from sticking to the surface.

In addition, it has a one-piece design, and a skirt (smooth, sloping exterior wrap), and special shaping inside to discourage mold and mildew. Also, the warm water in this toilet doesn’t stay warm on the surface any more than would a traditional design. It’s a thin layer of surface moisture and will quickly evolve to room temperature just like any other toilet.

Naturally, all that makes the installation a little more difficult. I’ll cover that later. For now, I’ll just note that the warm water – along with the other remote-controlled features – require electricity.

Dual-Max Cyclone

The MS970CEMFG features TOTO’s Dual-Max Cyclone flushing system – a combination of two of TOTO’s most popular flushing systems: Dual-Max and Cyclone. The Cyclone flushing system means a hole-free rim design. Instead, three powerful flush nozzles create a 360° centrifugal, cyclonic rinsing action.

The Dual-Max flushing system lets you choose between 1.28 GPF or 0.9 GPF, like many of TOTO’s fine toilet models. Because of that, it earns the WaterSense certification label. That’s a designation a manufacturer can use when the toilet in question is very conservative with water use. Take a minute to watch the video below to see the flushing system in action.



Via the remote you can set whether or not to open the toilet lid and/or seat automatically. Sensors detect when someone comes near and the lid and/or seat open automatically. That can be a little unnerving to “newbies” if the intention is not to use the unit. But the sensors are not unduly sensitive so that isn’t likely to happen often.

During use, an automatic air deodorizer begins operation. There is also an exhaust with a charcoal filter to minimize any odors that would otherwise escape into the room. One more piece of evidence that toilets are truly starting to become high tech.

You can wash yourself by pressing a button on the remote, similar to a bidet of the sort found in Europe for generations. That washing action can be selected in either of two modes: oscillating or pulsating. Another button activates a dryer so you don’t have to worry about disintegrating toilet paper clinging to your hand, as you would if you dried yourself.

Once finished, the toilet will flush automatically just like the models now frequently found in restaurants and elsewhere. Luckily, the “need to flush” sensor isn’t over-sensitive. It waits until you are off the toilet. There’s a delay of about 10 seconds after sitting on it. The delay is three seconds after standing in front then moving away about 30 cm, or one foot. The seat even lowers itself automatically as you leave the room.

Using that same remote control hand unit, you can adjust the water spray temperature and pressure. The water spray temperature adjustment goes from a low of 86F to a high of 104F. The drying air temperature can be set from 95F to 140F. You can even use the remote to set seat temperature! The range runs from 82F – 97F.

The design is so smart, however, that if you don’t use that feature for an extended time – such as overnight – the Washlet will save energy by lowering the temperature automatically. You can adjust that by using the Timer, if you want even more control. Those two aspects – auto-energy saver and Timer – can work in tandem, too.

The remote and what it controls have another nice feature. Many settings you select (temperature, pressure, seat heating, and more) can be stored for up to two different individuals. At last, some true high-tech personalization reaches one thing everyone in the house uses in common.

Apart from the various electric-powered features, there are a couple of LEDs on the unit that glow to indicate whether operational characteristics are activated or not. Those are the only lights on the system itself. The remote buttons do light up when pressed, so operation in the dark isn’t quite as good as a continually illuminated hand unit. But at least you can confirm visually you’ve hit the right button.


As I suggested above, the installation of this full-featured toilet is more complicated than that of the traditional unit. There are many of the same issues, of course, but the electronic controls and heating options add new ones. While many of us can handle a bit of simple plumbing, a pro is typically needed for this kind of electrical work. The installation manual is quite detailed, though, so a pro should have no trouble following it.

The installation manual comes in addition to the instruction manual of about 60 pages that shows you how to use all the features and the remote. The fact that a toilet comes with an instruction manual in the first place should tell you something. The manual is very clearly laid out. A simple chart shows all the features and what page talks about them. It’s written simply, accompanied by clear drawings.

One other note… The manufacturer recommends at least 8″ clearance between the toilet and the outlet. The cord itself is 3.6 ft long. Normally, the outlet will reside on the same (rear) wall as the water supply, but there is no absolute requirement for that. The cord distance can obviously be adjusted up with an appropriate extension cord.

Not to worry about any risk of electrical shock, though. The TOTO Washlet has been in use in many homes for a couple of years now and there are no reports of anyone being injured.


The TOTO Washlet toilet – available in Cotton White (MS970CEMFG-01) and Sedona Beige (MS970CEMFG-12) – is an amazing product. It can sound a little overwhelming when you first read about it. But if you glance through the Amazon customer reviews you’ll quickly see that lots of people love it. Real-world use shows that it’s really not difficult.

Its design does increase the installation complexity. It’s a little harder to use than a standard model, but no harder than your TV. And, it’s so well made, and so simple to learn, that everyone who has owned one says the small effort was well worth the results. Many wouldn’t have a standard toilet again.

With the TOTO Washlet toilet, this common 100+ year-old appliance has finally arrived in the 21st century.

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