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Bathroom vs. Restroom: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 23, 2024
A bathroom typically refers to a room containing a bath or shower and often a toilet, while a restroom is a public facility primarily providing toilets and sinks.

Key Differences

A bathroom, in most contexts, refers to a room in a residential setting that contains at least a toilet and a sink, and often includes a bathtub or shower. It's a private space usually found in homes or hotel rooms. Conversely, a restroom is a public facility designed for use by the general public or customers in places like restaurants, malls, and workplaces. It primarily includes toilets and sinks but rarely features a bath or shower.
The term "bathroom" implies a space for bathing, highlighting the presence of a bath or shower. This term is commonly used in residential contexts and emphasizes the personal hygiene aspect, including washing and bathing. On the other hand, "restroom" is a polite euphemism primarily used in public settings in North America, indicating a place where one can rest and refresh, typically without the facilities for a bath.
In terms of design and amenities, bathrooms in homes are often more personalized and can include a range of toiletries, towels, and sometimes luxurious additions like bidets or jacuzzis. Restrooms, being public, are designed for functionality and efficiency, equipped with multiple stalls or urinals, hand dryers, and sometimes baby changing stations, but they lack the personal touch and amenities found in a private bathroom.
The terminology can also vary regionally. In the UK, for instance, "bathroom" usually means a room with a bath, and a room with a toilet is often referred to as a "toilet" or "loo," whereas in the U.S., "bathroom" and "restroom" are used more interchangeably, particularly when referring to public facilities. However, "restroom" is less likely to be used to describe a room in a private home.
In a cultural context, the use of "restroom" over "bathroom" in public spaces can be seen as a more polite or formal way of referring to these facilities, avoiding direct reference to personal bodily functions. "Bathroom," being more explicit in its reference to bathing, is considered more informal and direct, appropriate within the home or in casual conversation.

Comparison Chart

Primary Setting

Residential (homes, hotel rooms)
Public (restaurants, malls, workplaces)

Main Features

Contains bath/shower, toilet, and sink
Contains toilets and sinks, rarely showers

Usage Implication

Personal hygiene, including washing/bathing
Facilities for relief and basic handwashing

Design and Amenities

Personalized, may include luxury items
Functional, equipped for public use

Regional Terminology Variance

"Bathroom" in U.S.; "toilet" or "loo" in UK
Consistently referred to as "restroom" in U.S.

Bathroom and Restroom Definitions


A bathroom is a room containing a toilet and a bathtub or shower.
She renovated her bathroom with new tiles and a modern shower.


A restroom is a public facility with toilets and sinks for handwashing.
The mall's restroom was located next to the food court.


In some contexts, a bathroom may refer to any room with a toilet.
The airplane had a small bathroom at the back.


Restrooms are commonly found in public places like restaurants and offices.
There's a restroom on every floor of the office building.


A bathroom often includes a sink, mirror, and storage for toiletries.
He hung a new mirror in the bathroom.


It's designed for use by multiple people, often with stalls or urinals.
The stadium had large restrooms to accommodate the crowds.


It's a private room in a residence for personal hygiene activities.
Their house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.


Some restrooms include additional amenities like baby changing stations.
The restroom in the park had a station for changing babies.


Luxury bathrooms may have additional features like bidets or jacuzzis.
The hotel suite had a large bathroom with a jacuzzi.


They prioritize functionality and cleanliness for public use.
The airport's restrooms are cleaned regularly.


A room containing a bathtub or shower, and usually a toilet and sink.


A room equipped with one or more toilets and sinks for public use.


A room containing a toilet and sink.


A room containing a public toilet: a public lavatory.
Could you tell me where I can find the restroom?


A room containing a shower and/or bathtub, and typically but not necessarily a toilet.


A toilet that is available to the public


A lavatory: a room containing a toilet and a bathtub.
Most Americans don't know 'WC' and many Brits mock 'bathroom' but almost everyone understands 'toilet' or 'lavatory'.


A room (as in a residence) containing a bath or shower and usually a washbasin and toilet


A room equipped with toilet facilities


Can a bathroom exist without a toilet?

Rarely; most include at least a toilet and sink.

Do all bathrooms have bathtubs?

Not necessarily; some have showers instead.

What amenities are common in bathrooms?

Toiletries, towels, mirrors, and sometimes luxurious additions.

Is a bathroom considered a personal space?

Yes, it's a private area in a residence.

Are restrooms and bathrooms the same in public places?

Yes, in the U.S., the terms are often used interchangeably for public facilities.

What hygiene facilities are in a restroom?

Toilets, sinks, hand dryers, and sometimes baby changing stations.

What is a restroom?

A public facility with toilets and sinks for handwashing.

What is a bathroom?

A private room in a home with a bath or shower, toilet, and sink.

Do restrooms in restaurants have baths?

No, restaurant restrooms typically do not have baths.

Are restrooms designed for individual or multiple users?

They are designed for multiple users, with stalls or urinals.

Are restrooms gender-specific?

Often, but there are also unisex or gender-neutral restrooms.

Do restrooms usually have showers?

No, showers are uncommon in public restrooms.

Is it common to have multiple bathrooms in a house?

Yes, especially in larger homes.

Are bathrooms a recent invention?

Modern bathrooms have evolved over the past two centuries.

Why are restrooms important in public places?

For health, hygiene, and convenience of the public.

Is accessibility important in restrooms?

Yes, public restrooms should accommodate people with disabilities.

Can a bathroom be public?

Rarely; the term usually refers to private facilities.

How often should restrooms in public places be cleaned?

Regularly, for hygiene and public health.

Do bathrooms contribute to property value?

Yes, especially well-designed or multiple bathrooms.

Can bathrooms have laundry facilities?

Yes, some bathrooms include washing machines or laundry areas.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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