What Is a Bidet and Why Do You Need One?

Experts say bidets are not only more hygienic than toilet paper, but can be easier on your plumbing.

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What Is a Bidet?

Bidets are designed to clean your bottom regions after you use the toilet. Instead of using toilet paper, you basically sit on the fixture, turn on its faucet and a stream of water does the job.

Should You Invest In a Bidet?

While Americans have been slow to add bidets to their bathrooms, the trend is starting to grow. Some experts say bidets are not only more hygienic than toilet paper, but can be easier on your plumbing since there’s no chance of toilet paper clogging your drain. Plus, reducing the use of toilet paper saves trees. Opponents say bidets use too much water; supporters claim bidets require far less water than what’s needed to manufacture toilet paper.

Here’s one more item in the pro-bidet column: Because almost 80 percent of all infectious diseases are reportedly passed on by human contact, and only about half of us actually wash our hands after using the toilet, hands-free bidets are a safer alternative all around. They might just be the bathroom essential you’re missing out on.

How Much Does a Bidet Cost?

According to Homewyze, a stand-alone bidet can range anywhere from $585 to $1,281, plus another $200 or so for installation.

A “Washlet” is a viable option if you’re short on bathroom space. A Washlet (a registered trademark of the Japanese toilet company, Toto) is an electric toilet seat that spritzes water like a bidet. It costs about $300. This Washlet has a control panel, heated seat and adjustable water temperature and volume. Some models even have a blow-dry option!

Spray attachments are inexpensive and growing in popularity as well. These retrofits attach directly to the toilet’s water supply and cost anywhere from $20 to $200 on Amazon. This sprayer attachment from Aqua Nexis is made of stainless steel, attaches to the toilet bowl or a side wall, and works with any standard-sized toilet. It is priced at $40.

Do Bidets Save Money?

Still not convinced? Consider this: Brondell, a well-known bidet maker, estimates that the average person spends nearly $250 on toilet paper each year. With a bidet, accounting for the cost of the extra water, you could save about $180 each year. Check out the best bidet toilet seats to transform your bathroom.

For more on modern smart toilets, check out this video:

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com