Can I buy a self-cleaning toilet for my home?

The short answer is yes ... if you can afford it. Self-cleaning toilets for home use are far less expensive than the public variety -- those sleek booths on the streets of New York and London cost anywhere from $100,000 to upwards of $500,000 apiece -- but they're still out of reach for most homeowners.

Most residential self-cleaning toilets come with other luxury features like heated seats and footrests, lids that automatically open and close, or even integrated sound systems that play your favorite songs while you sit. But to have one in your home, you'll need to spend anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000. And unlike public self-cleaning toilets, which, for obvious reasons, clean the seat and outside surfaces, most of the in-home models focus on the inside of the bowl, spraying jets of water and deodorizing spray to keep the bowl fresh. You'll still need to wipe down the seat and the base just as often as you would a regular toilet.

Of course, the more likely you are to shell out thousands of dollars for a top-of-the line toilet, the less likely it is that you'll be cleaning it yourself. As for the rest of us, we'll add self-cleaning toilets -- along with flying cars and personal robots -- to the list of space-age conveniences that, sadly, we won't be purchasing any time soon.