Smart Asses Use Bidets: What a Bidet Toilet Seat is and Why you Need One
The bidet toilet seat.
It feels a little mythical, doesn’t it?
A magical instrument you only run into in the fanciest bathrooms. Something that might randomly malfunction - spraying you and that schmancy suit of yours with bidet water.
What if we told you, though, that bidet toilet seats are on the rise in the U.S., and that they’re much more approachable, luxurious, and spray-proof than you could have ever imagined.
Here’s what you need to know.
What the Heck is a Bidet Toilet Seat?
Let’s be blunt, here: a bidet toilet seat is a small plumbing fixture which is attached to a toilet seat and is explicitly designed to wash your behind after “the go.”
While they’ve been popular for years in places like Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, they’re only now catching on in the U.S. In Japan, for example, more than 70% of households have a bidet. Not only are bidets widespread, there, but their presence in Japanese homes is also considered a reliable marker of national prosperity levels.
Part of the reason bidets have taken so long to catch on in the U.S. is that people aren’t familiar with the idea of using water to wash after using the bathroom, even though lots of people will hop in the shower after using the toilet, which is mostly the same thing.
A bidet just expedites this process.
While bidets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some of the most common units are made up of a simple toilet seat with a bidet attachment. When you want to use the bidet, a small arm moves out of its housing and directs a spray of soothing, warm water right at your bum.
You come away feeling clean, dignified, and decidedly superior to all those paper-users walking the streets.
Why Purchase a Bidet Toilet Seat? 5 Major Reasons to get one This Year:
Sure, the idea of having some automatic butt fairy washing you after every toilet use is nice and everything, but how important can bidet toilet seats really be? You know - to the world? Let’s break it down:
- Bidets are Eco-Friendly
Did you know that the average American uses about 40 rolls of toilet paper each year? If you live with other people, your household probably uses more like 150 rolls a year. Collectively, Americans use more than 34,000,000 rolls of toilet paper daily.
That’s a massive amount of soggy tissue going down your drain.
This matters because toilet paper is not eco-friendly. All that wasted paper accounts for about 221,000 dead trees, 255,000,000 gallons of consumed water, more than 88,000,000 pounds of emitted greenhouse gases, and upwards of 181,000,000 kWh of electricity each day.
How’s that for wasteful?
Use a bidet, though, and you have a chance to slash your waste production. Bidets use an average of 1/8th gallon of water while they do their cleaning, and are a big hit among the eco-friendly crowd. Compare this to the 37 gallons of water it takes to make a single roll of toilet paper, and you’ve got a compelling case.
While you’ll still have to use a bit of toilet paper to dry off (unless you invest in a unit with an air-dry feature), installing a bidet toilet seat in your bathroom reduces consumption and helps you flush less money down the toilet.
- Bidets are Hygienic
Part of the reason bidets are so popular around the world is that they’re incredibly hygienic. If you think about it, using toilet paper has always been a flawed system. After all, dry-wiping doesn’t remove bacteria that can lead to major health issues down the road.
Using a bidet, however, does.
By using a cleansing stream of water rather than a wad of rough paper, bidets get rid of troublesome bacteria that can cause infections and inflammation. Because of this, using a bidet reduces the risk of bacterial prostatitis, which currently affects about 8% of men.
This isn’t a boy’s club, though!
Bidets also provide some serious health benefits for women. Particularly ideal for warding off urinary tract infections caused by E. coli bacteria, bidets can be a critical hygiene step in any self-respecting woman’s life. They’re especially important for women who had an episiotomy during childbirth, which increases the risk of UTI and can result in pain during traditional dry-wiping.
- Bidets Reduce Discomfort
As if all that weren’t enough, bidets can make for a more comfortable bathroom experience. But don’t take our word for it - listen to the pros!
Here’s what Doctor Alan Kamrava, a colorectal and general surgeon based in California, told SELF during an interview on the topic:
"It's common for people to see a physician for discomfort in the anal area because essential oils have been wiped clean...people who use bidets are much less likely to have issues with rashes and discomfort and irritation.”
When you’re not using friction-inducing toilet paper, you have a lower chance of developing hemorrhoids, suffering uncomfortable irritation, and more.
Case in point? Make your bathroom a more comfortable place, people - get a bidet.
- Bidets are Easy to Install
Today, there are lots of electric bidet seats on the market. Assuming you have modern plumbing and a nearby electrical outlet, these seats work with your existing toilet, and all you need is a wrench to install them.
The installation process takes less than 30 minutes and is a serious upgrade to your existing bathroom situation.
- Bidets Make You Feel Classy
Imagine this: you go out for a game of soccer with some friends. It’s raining, and you come home covered in mud and grime. Would you grab a roll of toilet paper to clean up? Of course not.
The same thing goes for your bottom. At some point, dry paper just doesn’t cut it.
Using a bidet is a fun experience. Once you try it, you won’t want to go back to a regular toilet seat.
The future is here, and bidets are the agents of change. Get on the train.
Bidet Toilet Seat Options
So, bidets are like a small, warm shower for your nether regions. Got it.
But how do you actually go about installing one? Do you have to rip out your entire bathroom?
Do you have to sink thousands of dollars into a super-fancy heated toilet seat that buffs your nether regions, sings you to sleep, and wows your guests?
The simple answer is “no.”
In fact, there are many bidet toilet seat options to choose from. Here’s a simple breakdown of some of the most popular:
Electric Bidet Toilet Seat
Electric bidet seats are the most popular units on the market.
While they come in lots of different classes and offer many different features (some go so far as to provide instant warm water spray, oscillating and pulse wash settings, a carbon filter deodorizer, heated seats, night lights, remote controls, warm air dryers, and more), these units cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to upwards of one thousand or more.
They work with most modern toilets and are easy to install in your existing bathroom, even if you don’t moonlight as a plumber.
Bidet Toilet Combos
Bidet toilet combos are for the one-stop-shop person. Integrated units that combine toilets with bidet seats, they’re both beautiful and functional.
Designed to replace your entire existing toilet, these combos do away with the need to measure your current toilet to find a seat that will work.
Available with a variety of features, these are the ultimate in luxury. As such, they come with a higher price tag than electric seats.
Non-Electric Bidets (and Attachments)
Non-electric bidet options are available in seats, attachment, handheld bidets, and travel bidets. Here’s a breakdown of each:
- Bidet Attachments. Designed to attach to virtually any existing toilet seat, bidet attachments are a great retrofit option for anyone just looking to get started with the bidet feature. They’re affordable, easy to install, and ideal for households that don’t want to make a substantial upfront financial commitment.
- Non-Electric Bidet Seats. Some of the most cost-effective options on the market, these non-electric bidet seats use a direct water supply to provide targeted cleaning and are available with features like additional nozzles, water control features, and more.
- Handheld Bidets. Handheld bidets don’t attach to your toilet seat. Instead, they install alongside your toilet bowl and are used manually to clean your nether regions. They’re also a great way to wash reusable diapers!
- Travel Bidets. Ever wished you could take the comfort and luxury of a bidet with you wherever you go? Now you can! A portable bidet is small enough to fit in your pocket or briefcase and allows you to take the pleasure of warm water with you on your business or personal travels!
The Case for Bidets
Bidets have taken the rest of the world by storm, but they have yet to make a huge appearance in America. Luckily, that all looks like it’s about to change.
Major bidet manufacturers have been reporting upticks in sales recently, with lots of people purchasing them as gifts for friends and loved ones. While a schmancy toilet seat isn’t something you might expect to find under the tree at holiday time, it’s clear that bidet toilet seats have a whole host of benefits. Sure, they save trees, but they also make your butt feel glorious, and that’s not something any of us should be overlooking.
What’s more, since bidets come in a large selection of sizes, shapes, and configurations, it’s easy to find one that works for virtually any household.
Understanding Your Toilet Seat Bidet Options
If you’re exploring the idea of remodeling your master bathroom and including a bidet, you have a few options, as mentioned above. Which one is really going to work best for your bathroom, though?
The answer, as it turns out, is pretty personal, and will depend in large part on your preferences and priorities.
A decade or more ago, the standard was a separate bidet fixture, complete with the fancy feature of hot and cold mixing water. Today, though, the toilet seat bidet has risen to prominence, and most consumers are opting for them, instead.
Here are a few things to consider as you decide which bidet to opt for:
Most People Don’t Use Standalone Bidets
These are pretty uncommon in the modern world, especially for consumers who have normal-sized homes and bathrooms. In addition to the fact that they take up more space, they also require an additional step: use the toilet, move to the bidet, use the bidet, dry off, put your pants back on.
As such, most people don’t opt for standalone bidets. Today, the toilet seat bidet is much more common.
Non-Electric Bidet Attachments Can be Flimsy
If you’re considering adding a non-electric bidet attachment, there are a few benefits and drawbacks you’ll also want to consider. The first is that non-electric bidet attachments can be a bit flimsy, compared to their more robust toilet seat counterparts.
While these attachments come at bargain prices, and can be fantastic for short-term use, they have a shorter lifespan (about 3-5 years) than toilet seat options, and are made of thin plastic, which can crack and break over time. As such, it’s smart to consider whether or not you’re willing to replace your attachment every few years. If not, you might want to upgrade from the get-go.
Additionally, since bidet toilet seat attachments install between your existing toilet seat and your toilet bowl rim, they can look chunky and less sleek than unibody seats. This may matter to you if you’re looking for a streamlined and sexy bathroom setup.
Toilet Seat Bidets Offer More Features Than Anything Else
If it’s features you’re after, toilet seat bidets are the place to look. Because they offer features like heated seats, dryers, carbon filter deodorizers, and soft-close (potentially automatic) lids, toilet seat bidets are the most popular units out there.
What’s more, these bidets are also easy to install and feature a sexy, sleek, unibody design that most people find visually appealing. They fit nicely in most bathrooms and look modern and cool, which is all that really matters, right?
As if that weren’t enough, a toilet seat bidet will last longer than an attachment, not take up the same amount of space in your room as a standalone bidet, and won’t require icky touching of your toilet seat, like a non-electric bidet attachment.
Choosing the Right Toilet Seat Bidet
All evidence points to toilet seat bidets being the best option. Now, how do you choose one? Think about these things before you make your move:
- Price. Price varies depending on the model and brand you want to buy. Choose one that’s within budget, but high-quality enough to be durable and long-lasting.
- Warranty. Lots of the toilet seat bidet options available here on Bidet Genius, for example, come with warranty options that will cover parts and labor for a specified period after purchase. Choose one with a warranty that will cover unexpected events and repairs.
- Shape. The toilet seat bidet comes in round or elongated options. Choose one that fits your existing toilet and will work well with your one-piece or two-piece toilet.
- Features. If there’s a feature that’s particularly important to you, like a feminine wash function, be sure the bidet you’re interested in includes it. This guarantees long-term functionality and happiness with your choice.
When you consider these features and functionalities, it’s easy to find the right toilet seat bidet for your setup.
Ready to upgrade your bathroom? Shop our collection of best-selling bidet toilet seats today!