If you’ve traveled abroad, you’ve likely seen a bidet next to the toilet. Bidets look kind of like a sink, kind of like a urinal. So, if they’re standard plumbing fixtures in other parts of the world, why don’t we see them more often in the U.S?
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 report that bidets are not only more hygienic than toilet paper, but they 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. Those who say that bidets use more water are countered by those who say that the water used by the bidet is far less than the water used to produce the toilet paper.
And, here’s one more item in the pro-bidet column: Because it has been reported that almost 80 percent of all infectious diseases are passed on by human contact and that only about half of us actually wash our hands after using the toilet, hands-free bidets are a safer alternative all around.
How Much Does a Bidet Cost?
A stand-alone bidet can range anywhere from $539 to $1,182, along with another $200 or so for installation, according to Homewyze.
However, if you’re short on bathroom space, a Washlet is a viable option (Washlet is a registered trademark of the Japanese toilet company, Toto). A Washlet is an electric toilet seat that spritzs water like a bidet. It costs, on average, $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 and attaches to the toilet bowl or a side wall and works with any standard-sized toilet. It is priced at $40.
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. That’s less money down the toilet. These 30 zero waste tips are simple and effective.