What Are Bidets Used For?

by Mark Vannier
05th Apr 2022

Times are changing and toilet paper is increasingly outdated. Bidets have come a long way over the past decade or so and are much more affordable than before. With countless bidet models for any budget and household, it's time to learn about their true potential.

Although bidets have been around for years now (the original bidet dates back to the 1700s), a lot of consumers only know about their primary function - cleansing after you go. A modern bidet, though, is built with a variety of features, offering much more than just a TP replacement!

What Is A Bidet?

As mentioned above, a bidet is most commonly known as a fixture that cleans you after going to the bathroom by using a water spray. While bidets used to be completely separate and cumbersome plumbing fixtures that consisted of a basin/sprayer combination, modern bidets use a much more appealing design that makes them easier and more comfortable to use.

There are several choices when it comes to bidets in 2022: Traditional bidets, bidet attachments, bidet seats, bidet toilets, or a handheld shower are all different options. All are viable options for replacing toilet paper, but they have some significant differences.

Traditional Bidets

A traditional bidet, as mentioned before, operates on a very basic concept. After using the toilet, you transfer to the bidet basin, where you can position yourself to cleanse with a spray of water. This option is less popular in 2022 because modern systems are more space-conscious, affordable, and convenient to use, but there is still a market for the traditional bidet. Most "low sink" style bidet fixtures can still be found in some South American countries and some European countries. The main drawback of these old-fashioned fixtures is that you have to move from the toilet to the bidet and squat over it to use, and it takes up a lot of space in the bathroom, as much as adding a second toilet.

Handheld Showers

One of the cheapest options to help you kick toilet paper out of your home is a bidet shower. Also referred to as a handheld bidet sprayer, these systems are simply routed into your existing water supply and mounted by the existing toilet. Once you have installed the system, you simply activate the spray nozzle and point, similar to a spray nozzle on a garden hose! While these offer a simple way to clean with water, they are manually operated and can be a bit awkward to use compared to non-manually operated models.

Bidet Attachments

If a handheld bidet isn't for you, you can try a non-electric bidet attachment. The attachment is mounted to your toilet underneath the seat and uses a spray nozzle that points upward from the back of the bowl. This is a good option if you are looking for a basic cold water wash and do not have access to an electrical outlet in the bathroom.

Bidet Toilet Systems

A bidet toilet - also sometimes called a “smart toilet” - is a substantially more expensive option, but offers a long list of features. These systems actually replace your existing toilet since they incorporate both a toilet and an electric bidet seat built into it. These are a good option if you are renovating or building a new bathroom and like the sleek look of the smart bidet toilet system, though it is much more involved installing compared to other bidets as well as the most expensive option.

Bidet Seats

A bidet seat takes the best features of bidet toilets and wraps them into a high-tech toilet seat that installs on your existing toilet. It simply replaces the existing toilet seat, so it is a much simpler installation process compared to the smart bidet toilet. The electric bidet seat is a very popular option since it provides so many modern features and functions. Whether you want a simple spray system or something more luxurious, you'll find it in the bidet seat category.

Replacement For Toilet Paper

The primary purpose of a bidet is to offer a better way to clean yourself compared to wiping with toilet paper. After all, thousands of trees are cleared every year so we can wipe, and that comes with an astonishing amount of pollution. Instead, bidets use streams of water to cleanse, which is better for your bottom and better for the environment.

If that's not enough to make you think, consider the idea that toilet paper is essentially a monthly subscription. It’s the most literal version of flushing money down the toilet there is. With a bidet, you pay once and save on TP for years!

A More Comfortable Toilet Seat

Saving on toilet paper is nice, but for many, the real perk to a new bidet seat is the upgrade in comfort. Have you ever had a heated toilet seat? Rest assured, it's something that taps into your soul when you find yourself sitting down on a cold morning!

Beyond the sitting comfort that a heated bidet seat offers, using a bidet can take away the discomfort of wiping. If your body is sensitive or you are suffering from a condition that makes wiping painful, bidets can be a true gift. Gentle streams of temperature-controlled water can alleviate the discomfort, pain and itchiness caused by wiping.

Improve Your Hygiene With Bidet Toilet Seats

Some of the main benefits of using a bidet are improved hygiene and health benefits. With a bidet, individuals can achieve a more comfortable and thorough cleaning, even if they have limited mobility or conditions that make using the toilet difficult. When you use a bidet properly, it leaves you far cleaner than toilet paper. Like showering versus wiping yourself off with a towel, a better cleanse is obvious when you use water, and that can lead to fewer bacterial and yeast infections, a lower risk of hemorrhoids, and an overall healthier bowel movement. Some bidets even have "turbo" functions, which acts as an enema to relieve constipation.

When To Use A Bidet

Traditionally, people tend to focus on the usefulness of bidets after a bowel movement, but that's not the only time they can or should be used.

The Feminine Wash

Many consumers don't realize that modern bidets have a front wash in addition to the standard posterior cleanse. The nozzle sprays more forward to better wash away urine and can be a better option than wiping for preventing UTIs. .

After Your Bowel Movement

Yes, cleansing after you "go" is, and has always been, the primary purpose of bidets. It's taken American bathrooms quite a while to adapt to the concept, but bidets are the more efficient, green way to clean after a bowel movement.

Refresh Throughout The Day

Washing with a bidet is a great feeling when you are in need to feel clean. Bidets make it easy to wash and refresh on those days when you need it most without having to hop in the shower! A variable water temperature lets you choose between a cool stream or soothing warm water.

Expedite Your Movement

With models like the BB2000 from Bio Bidet, your toilet seat can actually help relieve constipation. By releasing a highly pressurized stream of water, bidets can break apart blockages and help induce movement.

Why Hasn't America Caught On?

Hundreds of years ago, wiping with toilet paper was not a common practice. It was actually considered taboo to purchase something to cleanse your posterior, but eventually, different methods were developed in different regions. In many countries, the idea of a water washing system took root, which was originally a chamber pot and basin. In America, the practice of wiping was refined into modern TP.

Neither method was ideal back then but now there is a clear winner. It's just a matter of time until America catches onto the same benefits that Northern Europe, South America, South Korea, Japan, and so many other nations already have.

Finding your Bidet

If now is the time for you to make the switch, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before purchasing your bidet. First, some bidets require electricity to operate their various functions. Ideally, there will be an outlet within three feet of your toilet. Some bathrooms don't have a close enough outlet, so you may need to install a new one or use an extension cord, or go with a more basic non-electric bidet attachment.

It is also helpful to determine whether your existing toilet is elongated or round in size. There are only two sizes of toilets that are commonly sold, so you shouldn't have trouble identifying what you need. Round seats are shorter and have a more circular shape, whereas elongated seats are ovular and slightly longer.

The final thing to remember before searching for a brand new bidet is that you will probably fall in love and want more, so spend the money and go with a system that will perfectly complement your bathroom. For those with kids, there are auto-closing lids and seats with night lights. If you are a fanatic for cleanliness, consider a self-cleaning model, which will sanitize the bowl and nozzles when you are finished washing. There is a perfect bidet for every household!

Looking for a certain bidet feature? Check out our bidet comparison and add turn your regular toilet into a throne!