In a recent survey of 800 U.S. consumers conducted by Kohler, the study found 51 percent to be paranoid about germs in the bathroom. That number jumps to 65 percent for moms with children. Introduced for residential use in May 2014, the firm's Touchless toilet technology takes away part of this concern with a more hygienic way to flush. Unlike a beam-based sensor, in which a beam of light is broken to trigger the actuation, the Kohler Touchless flush projects an electromagnetic field to detect the user in the field and initiate the flush. Kohler says this emerging technology is accurate and reliable.The sensor runs on four AA alkaline batteries which last six to 12 months, depending on use.

Touchless technology is available in the manufacturer's Cimarron Touchless toilet as well as in a retrofit kit compatible with most single-flush toilets.