The best bidets
- As everything around us becomes smarter and more tech-focused, electronics have come to the bathroom in the form of multi-feature bidets.
- The Toto Washlet S300e bidet seat has everything you could want in a bidet, plus built-in smart sanitation capabilities that make it the best of the best.
The typical American response to seeing a bidet in a bathroom is to raise an eyebrow or snicker, but to the rest of the civilized world, bidets are rather common. Bidets simply provide extra comfort and cleaning in the bathroom, better cleaning, in fact, than standard toilet paper. They can be especially useful for those with certain medical conditions, physical disabilities, and pregnant women, but even if you don't fall into any of those categories, you can still enjoy the benefits of a bidet.
Bidets (pronounced 'bih-days') are primarily purchased for hygienic reasons. They provide a better cleaning than toilet paper and can save you money over time. In the "Proremodeler" article, "Bidets Finally Making Inroads in US Bathrooms," Philip J. Buffington, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at The Urology Group, in Cincinnati stated, "If you took bacteria cultures after a bowel movement using a bidet versus toilet paper, you would see why it makes much better health sense to use a bidet."
So why are bidets so weird to Americans? There are a handful of theories, but the most plausible one alludes much to an outdated stereotype about how bidets are used. The word bidet comes from the French word for small horse because centuries ago, to use an original bidet, you would have to sit and straddle it as you washed with the water in the basin and your hands.
This isn't how they are used anymore, but because they were never introduced in the US, it's generally thought that Americans, who are usually so picky about hygiene, prefer the paper shield between hand and butt. Americans tend to be hush-hush about bathroom things, in general, considering the first toilet flushing didn't show up in cinema until the 1960's movie "Psycho" and we still call it "the bathroom" even though many personal or public bathrooms don't actually have a 'bath' in them.
Another misconception is that bidets are just for women. That's simply not true. They can be useful to women during pregnancy but are also very hygienic for men to use with or without toilet paper. In fact, many who have converted over to bidets simply refuse to go back to regular toilets, which is where travel bidets can come in handy.
The bottom line is, although bidets are somewhat foreign to Americans, they provide massive improvements in hygiene and comfort. A bidet is one of the most practical products you can invest in because you'll use it multiple times a day. The only downside is the upfront cost - and bidets are not cheap - but it will pay for itself over time.
Types of Bidets
- Bidet seats, which are installed in your existing toilet, are the most common. They have a movable or fixed nozzle that is attached to an existing toilet on the back or side toilet rim. Alternatively, bidets are constructed as part of the toilet itself. Bidet seats are occasionally controlled mechanically, but usually they're powered electrically and have special features.
- Shower bidets are handheld devices that resemble the nozzle on a kitchen sink sprayer. You use the nozzle to spray the area of yourself that needs to be cleaned. They're not as popular as bidet seats because you have to be pretty flexible and mobile to use them and also because they make it easier to accidentally get water on your clothing or all over the place.
- Travel bidets look like water bottles with a curved nozzle at the top rather than a flat top, straw insert, or suction area. To use them, you squeeze the bottle and aim the nozzle at the area that needs cleaning. They're good for those who have converted to bidets and can't use the restroom without one, or for those who want to try out what a bidet feels like, without investing hundreds up front.
Bidet Features and our picks
Some features to look for when shopping for a bidet are nozzle options, water flow patterns, washing modes, water temperature control, remote control or control panel access, air drying, and some deluxe features such as sanitation technology and deodorizing components. Almost all bidet seats will have some type of water temperature control that you determine using either a remote control or a control panel. Many bidet seats also have air drying features built in.
You can find deluxe features on affordable bidets seats, and tons of special features on premium ones. Expensive add-ons include hydraulic seat lids, interchangeable seat levels, deodorizing capabilities, night lights, programmable user settings, and other features that make them more luxurious.
The following are our top picks for bidets, which have been chosen based on expert online ratings, research, and customer reviews.
Here are the best bidets you can buy:
- Best bidet overall: Toto Washlet S300e
- Best bidet for newbies: Toto Washlet C100
- Best bidet for travel: Brondell GS-70 GoSpa Travel Bidet
- Best bidet for luxurious cleaning: Bliss Electric Bidet Seat
- Best bidet on a budget: GenieBidet Seat
Updated on 10/29/2019 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated prices, links, and formatting. Added related guides.
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