You might think toilet paper is a basic necessity, but there’s an alternative option that’s popular overseas for all the right reasons: It saves money and is great for the environment. Some people even argue it cleans better than a toilet paper swipe would.
A bidet uses a stream of water to clean you off after going to the bathroom; specifically, it washes parts of your lower body, including genitalia.
Traditionally, a bidet is a separate low, oval basin that stands alone next to the toilet. Today, bidets come in multiple forms; you can also get bidet toilet seats and bidet sprayers, both of which attach to your toilet.
If you’ve ever been curious about what you need to know about using a bidet, keep reading because we’ve got you covered.
Why Should You Use A Bidet?
If you’re using a bidet regularly, you can reduce your toilet paper usage by 80%, according to Miki Agrawal, founder of bidet company Tushy. This also reduces your costs buying the stuff. It is common for people to rinse with a bidet and then pat dry with toilet paper so you may not completely ditch the toilet paper habit, but air drying is also an option.
Regardless, with less paper going down the drain, septic tank owners will need fewer cleanouts. For homeowners with a traditional sewer system, less paper going through the pipes can equate to fewer clogs.
Who Benefits From Using A Bidet?
Nearly everyone is a good candidate for a bidet. It’s quite popular in other parts of the world, such as Europe, East Asia and Latin America — so much so, that it’s commonly found in homes and hotels. America just hasn’t been as quick to catch on.
Bidets work well for aging adults, who might find it increasingly difficult to maneuver themselves into certain positions. Caregivers also appreciate using bidets when assisting patients who are otherwise unable to wipe themselves. Not only does it help the patient maintain their dignity, it makes the situation more pleasant for the caregiver.
It’s also a great option for those suffering from incontinence who need to freshen up often, or those with disabilities or arthritis for whom wiping is a regular challenge. One study found that bidets made going to the toilet easier for patients in treatment and increased their confidence.
Bidets can also make it easier to help a small child clean up after using the toilet, or to freshen up during your period.
What Types of Bidet Attachments Can You Buy?
Bidet attachments connect to your toilet seat and tap into your toilet water supply. This is most practical for most American households, which don’t come equipped with separate bidets or have the room for additional infrastructure.
The easiest way to outfit your existing toilet to have a bidet function is to install a bidet toilet seat, or put in a sprayer with a nozzle that connects to the toilet. Both of these types of units will draw from the existing water supply and won’t take up extra room, like a classic bidet would.
Select from heated or unheated models, depending on your preferences. Heated systems are generally more cost-effective.
What To Look For In A Bidet Attachment
The best bidet sprayer attachment will allow you to select between different water pressures with the possibility of adjusting the angle of the nozzle. It should be easy to clean and made from rust-free material. A sanitary cover for the nozzle will protect against germs when it’s not in use.
You’ll also want to look at the nozzle. There are dual-nozzle models for an all-around spritz and single-nozzle models that supply one direct stream. Combined nozzles have one spray with different nozzles, which can target different body parts.
Those with children might appreciate handheld models that give users more control than a traditional bidet. You may also want to make sure your heated bidet attachment can be temperature-controlled for comfort.
If you want something a bit more tricked-out, you can consider extra features that come with certain types of bidet attachments, from heated seating to nightlights. Of course, these will bring up the price.
When shopping around for the best bidet attachments, look for something that will be simple to install. Most supply the tools you’d need and thorough instructions. You should be able to set it up all by yourself, but a plumber can help if you feel unsure.
Keep Aesthetics In Mind
If you’re considering bringing home a bidet for your bathroom, look for one that matches the style of your bathroom and will fit next to your toilet. If you’re tight on space, slim-profile bidets have a smaller footprint and can blend into the aesthetic more easily.
Although people in the U.S. have been slower to adopt bidets and bidet attachments, there are clear reasons people are switching over. Will you become one of them?