In a society recently dominated by innovation, technology, and a drive to pursue improvements to daily life, it's surprising that most people in the U.S. rely on their hand and a piece of toilet paper to clean up after a trip to the bathroom. Bidets have been a popular bathroom fixture for years in many countries, including France, Italy, Greece, and Spain, but the popularity of bidets, bidet toilet seats, and bidet attachments has only recently started to spread.
Bidets are designed to spray the user's nether regions in order to clean away any waste, instead of having to wipe with toilet paper. Standard bidets are completely separate plumbing fixtures that are often installed beside the toilet. They can be wall-mounted or floor-mounted, while bidet toilet seats and bidet attachments are designed to connect directly to your current toilet. Consider the helpful information contained in this guide to learn more about how to buy a bidet, bidet toilet seat, or bidet attachment.
What Is a Bidet, Bidet Toilet Seat, and Bidet Attachment?
Bidets are electric or non-electric wash basins that resemble toilets, except they are equipped with a directional sprayer to provide personal sanitary cleansing after using the toilet. Bidet toilet seats perform the same function, but instead of having a completely separate area to sit and get clean, bidet toilet seats are mounted directly to the toilet. Similarly, a bidet attachment connects to the existing toilet so the user can clean themselves without relying on toilet paper.
Buying Considerations for a Bidet, Bidet Toilet Seat, or Bidet Attachment
It's important to understand that some bidets have relatively basic spray functions that allow you to adjust the pressure and the angle of the spray, but more advanced bidets and bidet toilet seats can offer a variety of settings to help you find the most comfortable and effective function for your bathroom. If you are just trying out a bidet for the first time, then it may be a good idea to choose a basic model that is easy to learn how to use.
Some bidets and bidet attachments have handled bidet sprayers, allowing the user to control both the flow and direction of the water, while other bidets may have a self-cleaning mode that sprays down the bidet before and after use with a separate nozzle. While selecting a bidet, bidet toilet seat, or bidet attachment, take your preference for spray settings into consideration.
In order to control the water pressure and direction of the water, a bidet is equipped with one or more nozzles. This key part of the bidet comes in three common types, including single-nozzle, dual-nozzle, and combined nozzle.
- Single nozzle bidets have just one nozzle. While this nozzle is mounted to the toilet seat with a toilet seat bidet or bidet attachment, it is typically a separate handheld wand on standard bidets.
- Dual nozzle bidets use more than one nozzle for a more thorough clean. These bidets can either have one handheld wand and one bidet sprayer, or they can have two bidet sprayers, with one located further to the front of the bidet and one mounted towards the back of the bidet.
- Combined nozzles include two-in-one and three-in-one nozzles that have multiple sprayers built into a single spray wand. One spray nozzle targets the rear, the second nozzle sprays towards the front, and the third nozzle provides extra options, like an enema wash.
Getting a blast of freezing cold water to your most sensitive areas will certainly wake you up, but it may not be the most pleasant experience, so it's important to look for a bidet, bidet toilet seat, or bidet attachment that comes with some type of temperature control. Handheld bidet attachments may need a hot/cold mixing valve in order to supply the bidet with warm water, but many electronic bidet toilet seats actually use an integrated heater and control panel, allowing the user to set the ideal temperature for personal cleaning.
Just keep in mind that the more features a bidet, bidet toilet seat, or bidet attachment offer, the higher the price of the device. So if you are okay with a cool rinse after using the toilet, then it may be better to go with a more basic bidet option to keep more money in your wallet.
There are a wide range of bidet features intended to offer a more luxurious experience to the user, including heated seats, heated drying, oscillating wash, feminine wash, deodorizes, and nightlights.
- Heated seats are an excellent addition if you dread touching the freezing cold toilet seat in the middle of the night.
- Heated drying provides a steady stream of warm air to dry the user after washing instead of having to use a towel or air dry.
- Oscillating wash functions use moving spray nozzles to provide a more thorough cleaning to the user.
- Feminine wash settings are designed with a wider spray pattern and a softer water pressure to target the sensitive vaginal area.
- Deodorizers are a common addition to many electronic bidets. These devices have carbon filters that remove foul odors without the need for powerful fragrances.
- Nightlights won't offer the same comfort as a heated seat, but they are just as useful in the middle of the night when you really don't want to turn the lights on. These bidets typically offer enough light to see what you are doing without using a bright overhead light.
Bidet, Bidet Toilet Seat, and Bidet Attachment Types
Before trying to find a bidet, you should have a basic understanding of the various types, including classic bidets, bidet toilets, handheld bidet sprayers, bidet attachments, non-electric bidet toilet seats, and electric bidet toilet seats.
- Classic bidets are very common in Europe, including Italy and Portugal, where one in each home has been mandated since 1975. They are typically installed beside the toilet, so the user needs to transfer to the bidet for cleaning.
- Bidet toilets are integrated, two-in-one fixtures. You can use the toilet, then clean up with the built-in bidet system, avoiding toilet paper altogether. Just be prepared to pay a high price for one of these expensive products.
- Handheld bidet sprayers are affordable, fit on the existing toilet, and they are easy for DIYers to install. These sprayers connect to the toilet water supply and the user needs to manually clean up, similar to using a showerhead.
- Bidet attachments connect directly to the existing toilet and they are hooked up to the incoming cold water supply to provide a clean spray of water after using the toilet. Basic bidet attachments do not have temperature settings, but more complex devices may offer oscillating wash functions, heating, and drying.
- Non-electric bidet toilet seats replace the existing toilet seat and connect to the incoming cold water supply. They do not have luxury features, like a heated seat, but they are easy for a DIYer to install for basic personal cleaning.
- Electric bidet toilet seats also replace the existing toilet seat, but these devices are frequently designed with a variety of luxury features, like built-in heated drying, temperature control, and even wireless remotes to activate heated seats or nightlight functions.
Depending on your needs, a bidet attachment can cost as little as $80, while installing an integrated bidet toilet can exceed $2,500 according to HomeAdvisor. On average, you can expect to pay about $800 to $1,560 if you are looking to install a full bidet. If this estimate seems too expensive, especially for a new device you may be trying for the first time, then it might be a better idea to invest in an affordable bidet attachment or bidet toilet seat.
Keep in mind that if you are looking for a luxury experience in the bathroom, then the cost of the bidet or bidet toilet seat will reflect these luxury features. This means you can expect to pay more if the bidet has a heated seat, heated drying, deodorizers, or even a built-in nightlight.
Where to Shop
Shopping for a bidet, bidet toilet seat, or bidet attachment doesn't need to be difficult. With the growing popularity of these bathroom fixtures many home development stores will have a small variety of options to choose from, but if you are looking for a specific function, like a heated seat or heated drying, then it may be better to research models online to find a product with the functions and features you want for your bidet.
If you are looking for a full bidet to sit alongside the toilet or an integrated toilet bidet, then it's recommended to buy in-store. This allows you to see the exact model, take any measurements, and ask about how the bidet functions before taking it home. You should also ask if the bidet requires any special connections, like an electrical connection for a built-in water heating element. Make sure to measure your existing toilet, toilet bowl, and toilet seat before heading to the store.
Online shopping is a lot easier for finding a wide variety of bidets, bidet toilet seats, and bidet attachments. The product descriptions also provide the most important information you need, while the manufacturer's website is a great resource for installation instructions. However, the drawback to online shopping is that you are basing your purchase on a set of pictures, videos, and descriptions, instead of being able to see and feel exactly what you are buying. To help avoid problems, invest in products sold by reputable stores and online dealers.
Where to Buy a Bidet, Bidet Toilet Seat, or Bidet Attachment
Regardless of whether you choose to rely on the local home improvement store, invest in online products, or research the products online and buy in store, it can still take some time to find the right bidet, bidet toilet seat, or bidet attachment. Instead of rushing your decision, consider these top bidet options, look through these bidet toilet seats, or opt for an affordable bidet attachment.
Should you wipe before using a bidet?
Bidets aren't common in the U.S., which means that many new users don't know exactly how they should go about getting clean. You don't need to wipe before you use a bidet to clean up, but some people find that one quick wipe can help lessen the time it takes to finish rinsing.
How do you use a bidet sprayer without making a mess?
Control is important when you are using a bidet sprayer for the first time. Gently squeeze the trigger to begin spraying, then aim the sprayer at an angle and direct the nozzle towards your bottom. The angled spray and light water pressure should be effective for cleaning and help avoid any splash back from inside the toilet. If the water pressure seems too light, then squeeze the trigger tighter to gradually increase the pressure until it is effective for personal cleaning.
How do you dry off after using a bidet?
After using a bidet to clean up, you need to deal with the excess water before you can leave the bathroom. Consider using toilet paper or a designated towel for drying, or invest in a bidet with a heated drying function for safe, hygienic drying.
5 Reasons to Choose a Shower Toilet. Bathroom Manufacturers' Association.