What is a Bidet and Why You May Need One

What is a Bidet and Why You May Need One

Bathroom Remodeling
Plumbing
By Alex Mikayelyan January 19, 2022

To most people who live in the United States, the bidet is sort of a mystery. It’s something they’ve seen on their trips to Europe and Asia, where they are commonly found, but most have not given bidets any real thought outside of general curiosity. And many of these Americans are surprised when they find out about the many advantages of having a bidet in their bathrooms.

With this little introduction to bidets, homeowners who were previously curious about why so many houses across the world have them in their bathrooms will be more interested in installing one for themselves. Bidets are very unique bathroom additions and having one certainly has its pluses. So, if you’re looking to renovate or remodel your bathroom in the near future, consider having a bidet installed as well. 

What Is a Bidet?

What Is a Bidet and How Does It Work?

What Is a Bidet and How Does It Work?

A very generalized definition of a bidet is that it is a sink for your nether regions and posterior after you’ve used the toilet or are in general need of a quick cleanup. While toilet paper is the most common way to clean up after yourself in the West, a bidet is considered to be far more hygienic, sanitary, and even sustainable. Standard toilet paper is simply not capable of washing up as thoroughly as water, so a bidet is a great option for those looking for more sanitary alternatives.

While you may rarely find them in American homes, bidets are quite common around the world, especially in Europe and Asia. The earliest bidets were used in the Middle East, but throughout the years have spread out to every corner of the globe. You will find bidets in many European countries, such as France, Spain, and Portugal. In East Asia, Japan is a pioneer and has created some of the best toilets with built-in bidets. So while it may not be very popular in the US, this does not demerit the practical uses and benefits of bidets. 

Types of Bidets

The Kinds of Bidets On the Market Today

The Kinds of Bidets On the Market Today

Separate bidet units are typical wide sinks with a small faucet. The sinks are made wide enough for one to comfortably sit on them, be it forward or backward. They don’t typically come with seats, but the rims are intended to be sat on. For some individuals, sitting on the cold rim of the bidet does not sound pleasant so there are optional plastic seats you can install to help with that. The bidet faucets act as any other faucet you have at home. Depending on the type of faucet you have installed you can have a hot water bidet and control its temperature to your exact preference. Most separate bidet units sit next to the toilet so that individuals can use one directly after the other.

There are also handheld bidets that you can install on your toilet. These accomplish the same task as the standard bidet units, but they don’t need a separate sink and faucet to do this. By tapping into the toilet’s plumbing, the bidet shower additions are also a very sanitary alternative to toilet paper. Much how you would use your standard shower, simply take the shower handset off its designated hook, turn on the bidet faucet, and clean yourself up. These can even come with temperature control, so you can wash them off using warm water if that’s your preference.

The Convenience of Electronic Bidets

The Convenience of Electronic Bidets

Another type of bathroom bidet you will find is the bidet attachment for the toilet. This bidet can either be bought as a separate attachment for the toilet or a toilet-bidet hybrid. The bidet attachment is not hand-operated as it automatically sprays water at the designated area. A panel that attaches to the side of the toilet allows for full control over the strength of the spray, as well as the temperature of the water. This is by far the best bidet for small bathrooms that do not have space for an entire bidet unit. 

Portable bidets are also an excellent alternative to toilet paper. These are refillable bottles that you can squeeze to get the stream of water you need to clean up after using the toilet. They are quite convenient for individuals who need to have a bidet with them on the go to use in public restrooms, but having one at home is not usually all that useful. 

While they are still better in many ways when compared to toilet paper, portable bidets do not provide the same amount of water pressure you’d get from an actual bidet. You can also find battery-powered bidets that are portable and have a slightly stronger flow but are still not as versatile or reliable as the ones you have at home. 

The Benefits of Having a Bidet

Why You Need a Bidet In Your Bathroom

Why You Need a Bidet In Your Bathroom

If homeowners are installing another sometimes cumbersome addition to their bathroom, it should have a few benefits, which the bidet most certainly does. For many people, the simplicity of toilet paper is irreplaceable, but this is only because they have yet to experience how much more pleasant and hygienic bidets are.

First and foremost bidets are more sustainable. Consider how much toilet paper you and your household use every day, then how many people across the globe do the same, and that should give you a general understanding of how many trees get cut down each day to satisfy the world’s toilet paper needs. Add to that the fact that toilet paper doesn’t even do a good job of cleaning up and most people still need to shower afterward and you most likely will start to see the benefits of the bidet.

A bidet installation means no more toilet paper, no more having to take a shower every time you go to the bathroom, so less paper and water waste all around. This is why bidets are considered so much more sustainable and environmentally friendly than toilet paper.

The Health Benefits and Physical Comfort That Comes with Bidets

The Health Benefits and Physical Comfort That Comes with Bidets

Another reason you may be interested in bidets is that they are in many ways much healthier for you than toilet paper. Even the softest rolls out there are still not particularly healthy for your body. A water bidet allows you to control the pressure of the water to your preference. So even the more sensitive individuals of your household have no trouble using it. In fact, bidets can actually help to prevent certain health complications that come from using rough toilet paper. 


And lastly, bidets are far more thorough and hygienic than toilet paper. Sure, you can purchase toilet paper that is infused with aloe or other kinds of oils to make it more hygienic and also physically comfortable. However, water is still going to be a far more pleasant alternative and one that is significantly cleaner as it reduces the exposure you have to waste. Anything from the best bidet toilet to even a simple portable unit is much cleaner than even the best roll of toilet paper money can buy.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan