What is a Bidet?

Bidets use water to wash you after using the restroom, but there is much more to these centuries-old systems than that. They have been and will remain, a highly popular alternative for toilet paper in many countries throughout the world. If you have traveled to Europe, it’s highly likely that you have encountered a bidet. You’ve also probably seen a bidet if you’ve traveled to Asia as well – as they’re sometimes referred to as a Japanese toilet or washlet. Keep reading and learn what bidet toilet seats really are!

Purpose Of Bidets

In their simplest form, bidets are a fixture or system that uses a stream of water to cleanse you after using the bathroom. For centuries, bidets have used a basic method of using water to clean, much like a shower. By using a bidet, you can achieve a better clean, less abrasion, and a more comfortable experience during your go. Bidets have the same general purpose as toilet paper; they just do a better job. Using a bidet after going to the bathroom is truly the best way to keep yourself cleaner and more hygienic.

Categories Of Bidets

Modern bidets come in all shapes and sizes, making them excellent for any bathroom. While bidets started as simple basins that were used to wash, they now branch off in several directions with various system concepts. The main categories of bidets are:

Standalone Bidet Basin

While many modern bidet systems are built into the toilet for convenience, you may also choose to install a separate fixture next to the toilet. Standalone bidets are a valid option for consumers who want to avoid altering their existing toilet. They do require a significant investment of space and money, but standalone bidets make for a bathroom fixture that will last.

Bidet Toilet Seat

Bidet toilet seats attach directly on top of your existing toilet. Simply remove your toilet seat, and replace it with a BIDET toilet seat. A bidet toilet seat taps into the existing cold water supply behind your toilet, so no additional plumbing is necessary. A water heater is built right into the seat, so you can adjust the water temperature to your liking. A heated toilet seat and a warm air dryer are common additional features.


When ready to wash, simply press the “WASH” button which will commence the wash cycle. An advantage of a bidet toilet seat is you don’t have to transfer yourself to a separate fixture, like the standalone bidet basin. A bidet toilet seat does require electricity however, so you’ll want to plug it into a nearby outlet.

Non-electric Bidet Attachment

These are your standard add-on bidets, which are a great way to start washing without spending a fortune. Bidet spray attachments give you an accurate water jet, and angle adjustment, so you can still get the clean you want. Non-electric bidets are mostly cold water though, which is one of their main drawbacks.

Bidet Shower

A bidet shower is another type of attachment, but with an entirely different design. While many bidets are fixed in place, bidet sprayers operate much like a detachable showerhead. These handheld bidet showers are beneficial for users who like to have better control of the water stream versus having a built-in spray nozzle.

What Features Will I Find?

Bidets have gone from chamber pot accessories to the ultimate bathroom fixture, so, don’t let it shock you that there is a massive range in features and functions when it comes to modern systems. From bidet attachments, which offer simple features to a luxury bidet toilet seat, which will include advanced features, you can expect significant variety between systems. Some basic features of bidet toilet seats are:

  • Adjustable Water Temperature
  • Adjustable Water Pressure
  • Adjustable Spray Position
  • Oscillating Nozzles (which expands the spray coverage area)
  • Heated Toilet Seat
  • Built-in Air Dryer

Once you start getting into the mid-range models, the list of features and functions starts to expand. Many of the features that you find in the next class adds convenience and makes using your bidet a lot easier. Mid-class toilet seat systems unlock the potential for:

  • Wireless Remote Control
  • Stainless Steel Wash Nozzles
  • Automatic Air Deodorizer
  • User Presets
  • Night Light
  • Stronger Warranties

The luxury class of bidet toilet seats has a unique set of features, such as toilet bowl misting and the use of electrolyzed water to help your toilet stay clean. Some luxury seats even include an automatic open/close seat and lid! These systems take it a step beyond most bidets and can instantly modernize your bathroom.

Looking for a specific bidet feature combination? Check out our comparison chart to see what all of the top bidet toilet seat models have to offer.

The Better Toilet Seat

There are several advantages of using a bidet over toilet paper. Certainly, the environmental impact is a big one since bidets can reduce toilet paper consumption by 75% or more. But the most compelling reason to use a bidet is that they are cleaner, more comfortable, and more hygienic. Let’s say, you wanted to wash your face… would you just start rubbing your face with dry paper? Of course not, that would be totally dumb. You know that you should use water to clean yourself. So why do you use dry, abrasive paper to clean the most sensitive parts of your body? Use a bidet and give yourself a gentler, more thorough clean.

In North America, bidets are still in their infancy. Our awareness of bidets actually seems limited to chuckling at jokes about them. But what does the world know that we don’t? Are American anatomies different from the rest of the world? Of course not! As we learn more about this incredible device, adoption will surely rise. The features, benefits, and convenience of using a bidet are undeniable.

Is There A Medical Benefit?

When you use a bidet, the benefits don’t stop at comfort. Bidets help people who are disabled, injured, or limited in mobility use the toilet on their own by eliminating the strain of wiping. With a simple press of a button, you can fully cleanse; whereas toilet paper requires straining, twisting, and potentially a mess.

A bidet can also reduce the amount of bacteria found in the genital area, which can dramatically reduce your chance of acquiring a UTI or other type of infection. For the same reason that you shower instead of wiping yourself down at night, bidets are far more thorough in cleansing bacteria and germs. A bidet is also far less abrasive than toilet paper, which may reduce your chances of developing hemorrhoids and other health issues.


So, what is a bidet? It’s the best way to break free from toilet paper, and the easiest way to improve your toilet use. Using a bidet can improve your personal hygiene, are more environmentally friendly, help individuals “go” on their own, and make bathrooms more enjoyable. Use a bidet seat to transform your existing toilet into a throne!