UPDATE: With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the worldwide toilet paper shortage, I felt it would be timely to revisit this post!
While bidets are popular and even ubiquitous in some countries around the world, they’ve never quite caught on here in the U.S. (For a fascinating look at the history of the bidet and America’s aversion to it, check out “The Bidet’s Revival” on The Atlantic!)
But I believe it’s time for us to revisit our stance on the bidet. They’ve never been more affordable, and many are so easy to install that you can do it yourself without any special tools or plumbing knowledge!
Although easy installation and affordability are nice, there are much more compelling reasons to own and use a bidet. I’ll be sharing the 3 best reasons to use a bidet below, followed by my picks for the best bidet for every budget! :-)
What Is A Bidet?
A classic bidet is a stand alone fixture that resembles a combination of a urinal and a bathtub. It usually sits alongside the toilet in bathrooms.
Today, the classic bidet is less common than the bidet toilet seat attachment, which is affixed to your existing toilet seat. There is also a handheld bidet (or bidet sprayer), which attaches to your toilet or bathroom sink. With this type, water comes out of a spray nozzle for washing.
All types of bidets are used primarily for cleansing yourself of urine and fecal matter with water after you use the bathroom.
How To Use A Bidet
The correct way to use a bidet entirely depends on which type you are using. The classic or traditional standalone bidet is used by straddling it, either facing toward or away from the faucet (depending on what area you want to focus on cleaning.) After adjusting the temperature to your liking and cleaning yourself, you pat yourself dry with toilet paper or a towel, rinse the inside of the bidet, and clean up any water splashes.
To use a bidet toilet seat attachment, you use a “wash” button or knob on a controller to the side of the attachment. The water jet extends from the attachment and sprays a stream of water on your underside and the excess water drips back into the toilet bowl. After you are clean, wipe off the excess water and flush as normal.
Some toilet seat bidets have the option to control the water temperature. They are known as electric bidets and use an electric water heater to heat the water. They tend to be more expensive than the ones that exclusively use cold water (which operate using water pressure alone). And from personal experience, you get used to the cold water after a few days of using it!
Benefits of the spray attachment type of bidet, also called a bidet shower, are the lower cost and the ability to control temperature with your bathroom sink. However it can be the hardest to use as the high pressure of the water can spray excess water in unintended places. However it is used very much the same way as the other two: clean yourself with the water, dry yourself, and flush.
The Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Get A Bidet
1. Better For Your Budget
When you rely solely on toilet tissue for post-potty cleanliness, a roll can disappear in no time! Even those Costco-sized packages of toilet paper don’t last all that long when everyone in the house is using a lot of it!
On the other hand, using a bidet can drastically reduce the amount of toilet paper you need to use. You’ll buy toilet paper less often, saving yourself money and probably a few trips to the store too!
2. Better For The Environment
Our collective reliance on toilet paper and flushable wet wipes isn’t only hard on our budgets. It also wreaks havoc on the environment, and in more ways than one!
Considering the amount of trees that go into making toilet paper, we flush the equivalent of 30,000 trees per day down our toilets! And in addition to the resources required to make them, toilet paper and wipes themselves take a heavy toll on the environment by clogging up sewage systems and even polluting our oceans.
But a bidet not only makes flushable wipes obsolete, it also helps conserve toilet paper. And that’s a clear win-win for the environment! :-)
3. Better For Your Bum
There are a variety of unpleasant conditions that can affect one’s personal hygiene and nether regions, including hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and more. And many of these conditions make wiping with dry paper a literal pain in the butt!
For those affected by them, bidets offer a gentler, and thus healthier, alternative. As long as the water isn’t too forceful (and most bidets are fully adjustable), it’s sure to make using the bathroom a much more comfortable experience!
Which Bidet Should I Buy?
I prefer the toilet bidet attachment because it combines the best features of the classic bidet with the frugality of the handheld sprayer. You lose the ability to use warm water for self-cleaning, but it’s hard to argue with the savings.
In addition to the savings, having a toilet with a bidet rather than a separate fixture can save gallons of water along with space savings.
(Note: The models below are all toilet seat attachments, but there are more styles out there! To learn more about sprayer-style bidets, read my blog post about them.)
My Budget Pick: Greenco Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment ($23)
This simple bidet attachment from Greenco is a perennial favorite on Amazon! It has an average rating of 4.5 stars from over 2,700 reviews, with customers raving about how easy it is to install and use.
If you’ve never used a bidet before and aren’t sure how you’ll like it, this option is inexpensive enough to make it worth a try!
My Mid-Tier Pick: Luxe Bidet Neo 230 Toilet Attachment ($58)
If you’re looking for more features, this bidet attachment has what you’re looking for! In addition to an adjustable nozzle, it also offers temperature control and a self-cleaning function.
Because it needs to be hooked up to hot water, installing this model will be slightly more complex. But the additional features may make it worth the added cost and effort!
My High-End Pick: Brondell Swash SE400 Bidet ($260)
Looking for an attachment with all the bells and whistles? This deluxe model offers adjustable water temperature, oscillating nozzles, a night light, a heated seat, and even a warm air dryer!
With this bidet attachment, using the bathroom is sure to become as luxurious an experience as using the bathroom ever could be! ;-)
Do you have a bidet in your bathroom?