As many of us do on a daily basis, sometimes we just need 10 minutes to step away from whatever we might be doing and find some peace and quiet. Some people might do this by taking a walk, others might do some meditation, but Populus has found that a surprising number of people will run away to the bathroom. A new poll, commissioned by luxury bathroom brand Thomas Crapper, shows that 27% of people use their bathrooms as a place to escape, as a kind of ‘place of sanctuary’ to shut the outside world out.

Is your bathroom your new hideout?

Previous research has shown that on average British men spend a total of seven hours a year in the bathroom hiding from their families. Populus survey respondents were asked whether their partners had ever used a trip to the bathroom as a way of getting out of helping with chores or childcare, with 14% of women agreeing that their partner had done this in the past. Mothers say the bathroom is the best room to go to get away from their toddlers because, for the children, the bathroom is the most uninteresting room in the house. More women than men (19% compared to 13%) admitted that running off to the loo was the only time they ever get to themselves. A reason for this could be if a certain number of respondents are mothers who spend a lot of their time at home caring for their children.

The survey found nearly a fifth (20%) of people have hidden in the bathroom to get out of doing work or to avoid certain colleagues.

What are people doing in there?

Nearly half of respondents (46%) said that they use their mobile phones in the toilet, whether this involves endlessly scrolling through social media, streaming a show on Netflix or catching up on daily news. Only 23% of people said they read a newspaper or book.

To view the full data tables click here.


Populus conducted an online sample of 1,074 UK adults (18+) between 17th and 20th January 2020. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of Great Britain. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For further information, see