Bathroom Breakdown: Understanding Bidet Showers and Hoses
If you're interested in toilet paper alternatives, consider a bidet shower. They're simple, effective, inexpensive and easy to install.
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Traditional bidets are basin-shaped fixtures permanently installed on a bathroom floor and designed to let you wash your private parts rather than wipe them with toilet paper. Bidets are often marketed as a more economical, hygienic and environmentally-friendly alternative to toilet paper.
Standard bidets are stand-alone units typically installed near the toilet. But what if you’re interested in this clean and simple toilet paper alternative, but don’t have the know-how, space or budget to add a traditional bidet to your bathroom? That’s where bidet showers and hoses come in.
How Bidet Showers Work
A bidet shower or bidet hose isn’t exactly what it sounds like. Other than the ability to spray water, it has nothing to do with standard walk-in or in-tub bathroom shower. A bidet shower is a flexible rubber or metal hose that connects to your toilet’s water supply line on one end. At the other end is a hand-operated shower head designed to cleanse you when you squeeze the trigger with your thumb or forefinger. And a hand-held bidet isn’t just for cleaning you up. You can use one to clean your toilet, shower, bathtub or cloth diapers. You can even use a bidet shower to bathe your pets.
Choosing a Bidet Shower
There are many models available, ranging from $30 to $80 or more depending on how fancy and well-engineered you go. Many models have adjustable nozzles, allowing varying water pressure and spray patterns.
If you’re after a simple but high-quality bidet shower, Abedoe makes a stainless steel unit with excellent reviews. On the higher end, SonTiy makes a solid brass bidet shower with lots of spray settings and parts made to last a lifetime.
Here’s a bidet shower from SmarterFresh designed to thread onto your bathroom sink tap, allowing hot and cold water flow and thus a more pleasant bidet experience.
Pros and Cons of Bidet Showers
As convenient and environmentally friendly as bidet showers are, they’re not for everyone. One reason is water temperature. Most hand-operated models connect directly to your toilet’s water supply line, which means the water will be cold. Higher end models are also capable of generating lots of water pressure — enough to penetrate the rectum if you’re not careful — potentially leading to health problems. Still, for the responsible user, a bidet shower is easy to install and refreshing, all without the hassles of toilet paper.