Toto Colonial White vs Cotton White: 5 Main Differences

If you haven’t heard of the Toto toilet, they are one of the most well-known manufacturers of luxury bathroom appliances. These toilets were initially popularised in Japan way back in the early 1900s. But over time, their innovative designs and convenient features allowed them to grow in popularity in the West.

Nowadays, you will find Toto bathroom products everywhere; as such, their color and design schemes will often become a consideration when fitting a bathroom. They offer other products, such as faucets and sink people like to match together.

Toto has a range of unique colors you can pick from when choosing their products. And many people want to ensure that these colors match or complement each other.

So today, we’re going to look at two of their whitest colors which are 01 Cotton and 11 Colonial White. These colors have caused much confusion amongst potential buyers as it’s not immediately clear which one is a true white or which one will be best to match their bathroom fixtures from another brand.

The main difference between Toto Colonial White and Cotton is that cotton is the closest to a ‘pure’ or ‘brilliant’ white, whereas colonial white has a very mild off-white, yellow, and grey hue. It’s subtle, but when placed next to cotton, it’s very noticeable.

These color names are unique to Toto toilet seat products, so let’s take a deeper look at these so you can see their equivalents against other manufacturers to decide better which one suits your need the best.

What is Toto Colonial White?

Colonial white is offered as Toto’s primary ‘off-white’ color. To the naked eye, it will often appear as just a regular bright white, but once you place it next to something like Kohler white, you will see that it has a slight creamy quality.

It’s a little warmer and slightly less clinical by comparison, giving it a softer feel which can often make it sit well in more modern home decor, which uses non-white materials.

What is Toto Cotton White?

Cotton, as the name suggests, is designed to match the appearance of plain white cotton. That is to say, white it’s not quite pure/brilliant white. It’s pretty close! And the whitest color Toto offers in their lineup.

This is the closest color that Toto offers that can pair with a regular Kohler white, and as such, it is the most popular due to its ability to blend in with almost any home decor style you can imagine.

Although some might consider this a generic white, for many, it’s a nice safe option to pair with other white goods, mainly when they are from other brands.

What are the differences between Toto Colonial White and Cotton White?

While the differences between different shades of white may seem trivial at first glance, it is well worth considering because if you don’t pick the correct one and end up with mismatched shades in your bathroom, it will be noticeable.

So let’s take a deeper look into the differences between these two, so you can be sure you’re picking the right one.

1. Core color differences

Arguably the most crucial distinction between them is in their color. While they are both considered white, the differences in shade and hue can affect the look of your decor, so picking the right one is essential.

Cotton white is a brighter and more ‘pure’ white. It’s number 1 on the Toto color swatch and is the brightest color they offer, making it applicable to the widest variety of decor styles.

At first glance, Colonial white looks very similar, but when put side by side, you will see Colonial White has a slight grey and yellow hue, which some have described as having an ‘antique’ quality. 

To the naked eye, it will look white. The real consideration needs to go into what appliances it’s being paired with so they can match.

2. Matching other manufacturers

One of the big challenges when dealing with colors that come from different manufacturers is they will often use confusing names that are hard to marry up with one another.

As a general rule of thumb, Toto’s Cotton white is the equivalent of Kohler’s simple White color. At the same time, Colonial White is equivalent to American Standard White which is slightly darker.

So if you pair them with items from another manufacturer, you can use this as a loose guide to ensure you’re picking the closest shade possible, as not every manufacturer has an equivalent Cotton or Colonial white.

3. The best substitute for plain white

Many manufacturers don’t use unique names for their colors; instead, they call it plain or basic white. This can make it tough to know which color on the Toto swatch pairs best with it.

As a general rule of thumb, Cotton white is your closest equivalent to an unnamed plain/basic white and is your safest bet if you are unsure about anything.

Because Colonial White is more stylized, it can be a bit hit or miss when placed against another manufacturer’s pure/brilliant white equivalent.

4. Product availability

While toilets are, without a doubt, Toto’s most popular product, they also offer things like sinks, faucets, and other household goods.

It’s important to remember that not every product in the Toto range is offered in every color. Here’s a quick rundown of their available colors so you can know beforehand if Colonial White is available in the  product you are looking for:

  • Drake II: Available in both Colonial white and Cotton white
  • Aquia IV: Only available in Cotton white
  • Carlyle II: Has all of Toto’s color options available
  • Nexus: Cotton white only

So if you were looking for an Aquia IV or Nexus in colonial white, unfortunately, it’s unavailable, and you will have to opt for cotton white.

5. Standard decoration uses

Suppose you are wondering which color might suit a particular decoration style better. In that case, a good rule of thumb is to remember that Colonial White is more of a darker, off-color that also compliments bathrooms that make use of other non-white/off-white colors.

On the other hand, Cotton White is a more generic white that can complement standard decoration styles, whereas the other appliances are all white. 

But the big benefit of Cotton white is that it’s generic enough to where it can still fit in with alternative decor styles without standing out too much, which colonial white cannot do.

Toto Colonial White vs Cotton White: Are they the same?

At first glance, it probably seems like these two white colors are nearly identical, and it may not matter which one you choose. But after further inspection, the subtle differences between the two can dramatically change the appearance and feel of your bathroom, so it’s essential to pick the right one.

  • Colonial white has a more antiqued and yellow hue and appears more off-white compared to cotton’s more generic/pure white.
  • Cotton white is the closest match to Kohler’s simple white, whereas American Standard white can be more easily matched with Colonial White.
  • As cotton fits with the more generic white color better, when paired with other products marketed as plain white, it’s a far safer matching choice compared with colonial white.
  • Cotton White is available across the entire range of Toto bathroom products, whereas Colonial White is only available on specific models. Be sure to research which one you need carefully beforehand.
  • Colonial White fits better with other off-white appliances and is generally more of an alternative decor style. Cotton white is a far safer color for the standard bathroom looks.
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