When you hear the word bidet, you might think of a fancy European toilet that seems completely unnecessary. Even if the thought of having a bidet is intriguing, you may assume actually having one installed in your bathroom is not practical or financially feasible. Take it from me: a bidet is life changing. More and more people have been realizing the benefits of a bidet, particularly since the unexpected shortages of toilet paper during the height of the pandemic made a lot of us panic. Unlike the cost of eggs, the price of a bidet attachment has come down significantly. The price point and benefits are definitely something to consider.
Dinner Table Doctor and I were first introduced to bidets on a trip to Italy. Every Airbnb and hotel we stayed in had a bidet, typically separate from the toilet. We even spent a few nights in a convent in Rome and our simple, sparse room had no television, but included a bidet. By the end of our 10-day vacation, I was hooked. Back home in Ohio, I frequently lamented the fact that there was no bidet in my bathroom. My dear husband grew sick of this and surprised me with a bidet on my birthday. It’s the best present I have received to date.
What is a Bidet?
A bidet is a receptacle designed to wash your genitalia. While many are stand alone receptacles (picture the typical European bathroom with both a toilet and a bidet, side by side), now bidet attachments are quite common. A bidet attachment is just as it sounds: an apparatus that attaches to an existing toilet which is used to wash your private areas. In this case, the water either comes from the tank of the toilet or from a nearby sink. Some bidets are made to bolt under the toilet seat or onto the toilet tank, and some come as a replacement toilet seat.
Is a Bidet Expensive?
Bidet prices range from $30 to several thousand dollars. Like most items, the more bells and whistles you want, the more you will pay. Many bidet attachments require an electrical connection. This is only in cases where the user prefers warm water for washing or a heated toilet seat. These models cost more and require the skills of an electrician if there is no electrical outlet near the toilet, so they will cost much more to purchase and to install. For these types of bidets, a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is necessary to prevent or reduce electrical shocks, especially in moist areas of a home.
Other options include a remote control, a warm air dryer, and front and rear angled spray. How much you end up spending on a bidet is truly up to your own personal preferences. Even the most basic and inexpensive bidet will get the job done!
Health Benefits of a Bidet
Consider how you would clean yourself if you had visible dirt on your hands. You most likely would not just wipe vigorously with a dry paper towel; you would want some water, at the very least, to completely get the dirt off of your hands. When most parents change a baby’s diaper, they use wet wipes to completely clean that little bottom. While many adults also use wet wipes in the bathroom, these wipes do not degrade or break up when flushed. Wipes have been known to plug up toilets and pipes and can end up in the ocean where they are ingested by sea animals.
In addition to environmental concerns, there are also mobility issues that make wipes less effective. As we age, our flexibility decreases and it becomes more and more difficult to reach all the right places after using the bathroom. Good hygiene is extremely important for seniors to avoid unpleasant conditions such as rashes and hemorrhoids. Additionally, our sense of sight and smell decrease, so any assistance in the bathroom to make us feel fresh and stay clean is beneficial.
Would I Still Need Toilet Paper?
You will probably still need toilet paper to dry off after using your bidet, unless you opt for the air dryer feature. The good news is, you will go through significantly less toilet paper.
If you are still on the fence on whether or not a bidet is worth having, and you can’t get to Europe in the near future to test one out, you may be able to try one at a high-end home improvement store or interior designer showroom. If this is not possible, then consider purchasing an easy to install, low-priced bidet. After using it for a few weeks, you will know whether you would like the additional features a more expensive version may offer. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy the clean and fresh feeling a bidet offers!
Here are the bidets we have, ranging from least expensive to most expensive. The first one is a no-name brand in our basement bathroom and cost about $25. The second one is in the kids’ bathroom and is the popular Tushy brand. It was about $100. Both of these are individual attachments you can add to any toilet seat. The last two are units that replaced the entire toilet seat and are both Kohler brand. The final one was most expensive at around $350, plus we had to pay an electrician to install a plug behind the toilet seat. This is in our master bathroom and the water is heated, which is why electricity is needed. BEST GIFT EVER!
You know how I feel about bidets! Wish I discovered it sooner!
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LOL me too!!