Looking to upgrade your bathroom? Perhaps a bidet could be the next addition!
Bidets are getting more and more popular in the United States and are already being used all over the world. Bidets can not only wash, but also come with various additional functionalities and they really are the toilets of the future.
If you’re looking for the best bidets, this comprehensive article will guide you through from the type of bidet you’ll need for your bathroom to picking out the best models.
Let’s get started!
What is a Bidet?
A bidet is a special bathroom fixture used to clean up after using the toilet. It provides an alternative to using toilet paper and uses a stream of water to remove residue from your genitalia instead of a physical object.
It comes in many different forms but the most common version, often called a Japanese toilet seat, attaches onto your toilet and shoots a stream of water from under the toilet. Because the nozzle is inside the toilet bowl, many often think that a bidet is unsanitary, but the nozzle is always covered when not active and rinsed after every use.
Reasons to Buy a Bidet
Some may feel uncomfortable, even disgusted by the thought of using water to clean themselves in the bathroom. However, once you get past the initial thought, a bidet is a great addition to your bathroom. Here are some of the main ways that a bidet can benefit your life.
When you switch to using a bidet, you’ll reduce your need for toilet paper which helps make your bathroom more eco-friendly. In the United States alone, 15 million trees are being used for toilet paper, which is destroying the environment. Americans use roughly 50% more than the average of other countries and one of the main reasons for this gap is due to the culture of not using a bidet. By switching completely to using a bidet, you can reduce your toilet paper usage by up to 75%, which can greatly reduce the number of trees being cut down.
One of the biggest benefits of switching to a bidet is that it saves money, mainly by using less toilet paper. Toilet paper isn’t expensive, but the cost adds up over time. By reducing your toilet paper consumption, the average household can save about $80 per year! Furthermore, by continuing to use the bidet for several years, a high-end bidet can practically pay for itself!
Another way that a bidet help save you money is by reducing water usage. The average toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush. Toilets with bidets built-in use as little as 0.7 gallons per flush while only using 0.2 gallons for the bidet itself. If you consider how many times a toilet gets flushed every day, this can add up to a significant amount of money.
One of the biggest myths about bidets is that it’s unsanitary but the truth is, bidets are much more sanitary than using normal toilet paper. Using a physical object like toilet paper to clean can only wipe away so much. Water, on the other hand, can get a more thorough wash and remove bacteria instead of smudging it. Wet wipes aren’t necessarily the best thing to use either since it can also cause irritation from strong chemicals or sanitation. The nozzle is also kept clean, protected, and washed regularly when not in use, so you can rest assured.
If you have problems in your genital area, then a bidet can come as a necessity. By providing better sanitation for your lower areas, a bidet can alleviate symptoms for yeast infections and hemorrhoids, as well as prevent them. It’s also known to prevent prostate inflammation in men and urinary tract infections (UTI) in women. If you or anyone in your household has these types of conditions, switching to a bidet is the right choice.
Types of Bidet
Outside the United States, bidets have been around for a long time and lived through various cultures around the world. They come in different shapes, but the idea is the same: to wash with water. Here are some types of bidets that you may encounter in different places.
Bidet Seats (Japanese Toilet)
- Seat warmer
- Pressure and temperature control
- Remote control
The bidet attachment is a popular choice for those that don’t have electricity in their bathroom or are looking for a cheaper alternative. Instead of replacing your entire toilet seat, the attachment is installed under the toilet seat. Since it doesn’t use electricity, it’s limited in providing additional functions such as warm water and seat warmer. However, some come with angle control and dual-nozzle for washing both the front and back.
Bidet Spray (Shattaf)
Bidet sprays are the next most used type of bidet in the United States. It’s shaped like a mini showerhead with adjustable pressure that attaches to the toilet. It connects to the water source instead of the toilet tank, so the water from it is clean. It’s commonly used in Southeast Asian countries and the Middle East (where it’s known as a shattaf).
Also called standalone bidets, European bidets come as an entirely different fixture in your bathroom and often looks like a lower sink for pets. It’s used in various countries in Europe and is installed into 97% of households in Italy. These are not as practical as the other types of bidet but can provide a unique aesthetic to your bathroom.
Bidet Toilet Combo
The luxury version of a bidet is the bidet toilet combo, where the bidet is built into the toilet itself. This requires replacing your toilet fixture completely but with more capabilities that involve improvements to the entire fixture. The toilet combo decreases your flush volume and increases its efficiency, using electrolyte water to have enhanced sanitizing performance, automatic flush, and various other advanced features.
Last but not least, there is the portable bidet. The portable bidet was made for those that are used to using a bidet and find it difficult to use bathrooms that don’t have one. It comes in the shape of a bottle with a long nozzle attached to it. You fill it up right before starting your business and squeeze the bottle to start the water flow. There are also electric-powered models that power the stream with a button.
Best of Each Type
How to Use a Bidet
Whether you’re deciding to get a bidet for yourself or find one while traveling to a different country, using a bidet may be tricky for some. Here, we’ll explain how to use the different kind of bidets.
Bidet Attachment, Toilet Seat, Toilet Combo
This category has the most straightforward usage. Before starting the bidet, set the temperature, pressure, and position to a moderate level. Once you turn it on, adjust these settings to preferred levels. Also for some attachment models, you have to manually turn on the nozzle cleaner, so make sure to do that.
Keep the bidet going for about 20 seconds. Even if you feel that it’s enough, it’s important to keep it going for longer to get a thorough cleanse. After 20-30 seconds, turn the bidet off and check with a small piece of toilet paper. If it’s not fully clean, keep the bidet going for 5-10 second intervals until fully clean.
For the bidet spray, the first step is to turn on the t-valve, located behind the toilet. Then test out the spray strength and adjust the t-valve accordingly. If you’re using a public toilet, it can also be a good idea to use the bidet to rinse down the toilet seat.
When it’s finally time to use the bidet, let the bidet down, either through the front or back, and get a good angle. Once you feel confident in positioning, slowly start the stream and adjust position accordingly.
Keep it going for a good 20-30 seconds before checking with a tissue. Once you’re done using it, don’t forget to close the t-valve to prevent wearing out the spray head.
Since the European bidet is a completely different fixture, using this bidet is slightly trickier than others. The stream can either come vertically or horizontally, and it requires moving from the toilet. When it’s time to use the bidet, the first step is to get an initial wipe to remove any big chunks, which can easily clog the bidet.
When transferring over to the bidet, you’ll need to decide whether to sit facing the bidet or away. Facing the wall can be easier for beginners since it’s easier to control the stream, but depending on the stream direction, you may need to face the other way. It’s recommended to take off one leg of the pants to make it easier to transfer over. Once you start the stream, keep it going for at least 30 seconds before checking.
Before you start using the bathroom, you’ll want to first fill up your portable bidet in the sink. Electrical models have a non-leaking tank that can hold water for a long period of time but most mechanical models have an airhole where water can leak from. Once your bottle is filled up, you can finally start your business.
When it comes time to use the bidet, be careful not to tilt it to prevent making a mess. Once you get it at a good angle, give the bottle a squeeze to get the stream started. Since the bottle can only hold so much water, make sure to check often with toilet paper to see whether you’re clean.
If you feel that the bidet doesn’t hold enough water, a good idea is to bring an extra empty water bottle so you can refill the bidet in the stall.
Bidet Buying Guide
For those looking to buy their first bidet, but don’t want to invest a lot of money yet, the cost may be one of the biggest factor. As with other types of products, bidet have a cost tier as well. For a bidet with full capabilities, it would cost you at least $400-$600 but a bidet with basic capabilities can be bought at less than $100. Here’s a general price chart for each type.
- Attachments, Sprays : <$100
- Toilet seats, European : <$600
- Toilet bidet combo: >$600
Does it Work in your Bathroom?
Before investing in a high-end bidet, you want to first check to see if it works in your bathroom. If you’re looking into a bidet attachment, you’ll need to check to see if the bidet will fit on your existing toilet seat. For advanced functionalities that require electricity, you’ll need to have an electric outlet available in your bathroom. If you’re looking to invest into a European bidet, you’ll need to have extra space to place the extra fixture as well.
If your bathroom meets all the requirements to install a bidet, you can then start to think about the different functionalities. Most bidets come with the fundamental seat warmer and air dryer, but others have advanced functions, such as remote control and instant warm water heater.
Best Bidet Toilet Seat Review
If there’s one bidet that we recommend to everyone, its the Toto Washlet C200. This bidet isn’t the most luxurious, but it has advanced features and quality that compares to higher tier bidets.
The wash is completely adjustable: pressure, temperature, and position. It even has pulsing spray features that give a massage-like feeling along with a deeper clean. It also comes with the fundamental toilet seat features like the seat warmer and slow closing lid. The design of the remote also makes it very easy to use, yet fully customizable through the LCD screen in the back.
The most advanced feature of this bidet is the pre-mist technology. Before use, the bidet automatically sprays the toilet bowl with a thin layer of water, which makes it hard for things to stick on and easier to clean. With features like these, we honestly think that this bidet is worth every penny.
- High quality product
- Pre-mist technology
- Hard to install
- Limited to warm water
If the Toto C200 isn’t what you’re looking for, then perhaps the Brondell Swash 1400 is. The Brondell Swash 1400 comes with fully adjustable nozzles, heated seat, and a warm air dryer attached to the back. It also uses stainless steel nozzles and is known to have easy installations. The remote is also very straightforward, with icons that show you the action of each button.
Brondell products also come with one of the best warranty services, which makes it one of the safest picks among bidets.
- Awesome warranty service
- Straightforward remote
- Short electric cable
- Weak seat sensor
If you want a good quality bidet toilet seat without breaking the bank, then the Bio Bidet Slim One is the perfect choice. It comes with the basic heated seat and also a stainless steel nozzle to prevent bacteria from sticking on.
One underrated feature that this product has is the night light. If you’re the kind of person that frequents the bathroom often at night, the night light dismisses the need to turn on the bright room lights. It doesn’t come with a remote like other models, but it has an easy to use side panel. Because this side panel is hard fixed onto the bidet, you’ll need to have some extra space besides your toilet in order to install the Bio Bidet Slim One.
The low cost of this bidet makes it one of the best introductory bidet toilet seats.
- Affordable cost
- Night light
- no remote
For those looking to make a proper investment into a bidet, we recommend the Toto S550e washlet. This bidet comes with every feature on the Toto C200 and more. It has advanced sensors that automatically opens/closes the lid and pre-mists the toilet when it detects a person. The tankless water heater helps save electricity and provides unlimited warm water, something which is one of the drawbacks of the C200.
Out of all the features, what makes the Toto S550e stand out from the rest is the EWATER+ technology. The Toto S550e has a built in converter that converts your water source into electrolyzed water, which is arguably more effective at sanitizing than soap and is harmless to the human body. The electrolyzed water is used every time the bidet pre-mists the toilet bowl and used to clean the nozzle before and after every use.
- EWATER technology
- High quality sensors
- high price tag
Whether you have energetic kids or are looking for a bidet to be used by many, some may want to invest in a bidet that can withstand the test of time. The Bio Bidet BB-600 is one of the sturdiest models we’ve seen in the market and it comes with many desired features as well.
The Bio Bidet BB-600 comes with full front & back wide cleanse and the nozzle’s position, temperature, and pressure are also controllable. One of the several highlights about this bidet is the powerful air deodorizer, capable of reducing odor. It also enters power saving mode when not in use.
This bidet can also be installed in under an hour and overall, it’s one of the best choices when buying a bidet for a public space.
- Powerful air deodorizer
- Simple & easy installation
- No remote
- Limited warm water reserve