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You’ve probably seen the bizarrely entertaining commercials for the Squatty Potty, featuring a unicorn who poops rainbow ice cream. If you aren’t familiar with the Squatty Potty, it’s a stool that raises your feet while you sit on the toilet, putting you in a squatting position that straightens out the colon and reportedly promotes easier bowel movements with less straining, therefore alleviating problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids.
The name brand Squatty Potty can be purchased at a variety of retailers, including Target, Kroger, and ACE Hardware. The original Squatty Potty costs $24.99 on the Squatty Potty website. It’s also $24.99 at both Amazon and Target. You can also buy a budget version of the Squatty Potty for around $16 at Walmart.
Or, once a year, Aldi sells its own off-brand version of the Squatty Potty, and for less than any of those.
The Welby Squatting Stool cost $9.99 at Aldi at the time of publication. It’s an Aldi Find (Special Buy), which means it’s only in stores for a short time.
Aldi sold this stool along with a range of other health- and comfort-related products, including the Welby Memory Foam Knee Cushion and Welby Any Position Pillow, a fitness watch, joint supports, a folding cane, hot/cold gel bead packs, pill splitters/crushers, pill storage, and orthotic shoes.
The Welby Squatting Stool is 8 inches tall and measures 18.8 inches wide and 12.3 inches deep.
The stool label states that it:
- accurately aligns the colon
- features ergonomic design for comfort and stability
- has non-skid feet to prevent sliding
- imitates a natural squatting posture
- stores neatly under most toilets
The stool was made in China, and it can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth.
To use it, the label says to “sit, place feet on stool, lift knees and eliminate comfortably.”
It also advises: “This toilet stool is not to be used as a stepping stool. Use around and in unison with sitting or squatting on your toilet only.”
The stool also has a warning label that states: “CONSULT DOCTOR BEFORE USE. Use of this Product maybe cause leg and/or back strain in some users. Use of this Product means you acknowledge and assume these risks, and hold ALDI harmless for any injuries you may sustain from using this Product. In jurisdictions where damages waivers are recognized, you understand that ALDI shall not be liable for any loss or damage as a result of using this ALDI Product, whether direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential, regardless of the legal theory asserted, including but not limited to warranty, contract, negligence, or strict liability.”
With that said, with the young and young-ish healthy people in my household, I’m not too worried about anyone in my family using this stool or experiencing back strain.
The question, then, of course, is does a squatting stool like this actually work as advertised?
Time cites a study from Ohio State University indicating that the Squatty Potty does help with toilet-related issues. Also, the Mayo Clinic is conducting a broader, controlled study to determine whether a “squat assist device” really helps. That study is scheduled to conclude within the next couple of years.
A writer for Women’s Health tried using a stool for a week and thinks it might help people with pre-existing problems with constipation or hemorrhoids, but others may not notice a big difference. NPR also spoke with a colorectal surgeon who also says using a Squatty Potty may be beneficial for some people, but not necessarily for everyone.
The good news is that even if the health benefits are still uncertain, using a Squatty Potty is not likely to hurt you (unless you are prone to leg or back strain, as the Aldi warning label addresses). That makes the Aldi squatting stool a good bargain if you want to see what all the hype is about without spending a lot of money.
My Welby Squatting Stool fits well under the toilet without taking up too much extra floor space, which is a big deal to me because my bathroom is tiny. It looks good in the bathroom, has gotten some use by family members, and is likely to be an interesting conversation starter for some of our house guests in the future.
The Welby Squatting Stool is a cheaper version of the name brand Squatty Potty. It claims to straighten out the colon and promote easier bowel movements with less straining, reportedly resulting in less constipation and fewer hemorrhoids. The science about whether Squatty Potties actually work is uncertain, although the Mayo Clinic is in the midst of a controlled study. In the meantime, squatting stools are fairly safe to use even if their benefits are in question, and if you want to try a squatting stool, the Aldi version costs less than half of what the name brand costs.