Everything You Need To Know About Bidets
With the toilet paper crisis of 2020, increased concerns about the environment, and other factors, many consumers are choosing to invest in bidets for their homes.
But what is a bidet? Who uses these bathroom fixtures? And are they really necessary? Let’s find out.
What Is A Bidet?
This Is The Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment In Our Showroom
A bidet is a fixture or system in your bathroom that uses a stream of water to cleanse you after using the bathroom. Traditionally, bidets have been used as separate porcelain fixtures that stand near the toilet. These are known as standalone bidets. To get the desired results, you first use the toilet. Then, you’ll move to squat or sit on the bidet for cleaning. This is common in Europe.
Alternatively, there is a bidet toilet seat. This seat is more high-tech, allowing you to use the bidet function while sitting on the toilet, without having to get up and move to another fixture.
These high-tech toilets come with a hygienic nozzle that extends out and sprays to keep you clean. Then, the nozzle retracts inside the seat when you’re not using it.
Who Uses Bidets?
Bidets have been common in Europe, in places like France, since the 1600s. Then, in the 1700s, it spread further into Western Europe. After gaining popularity in Europe, bidets made their way to other parts of the world, such as Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. In Japan, bidets have become standard household fixtures, with about 80% of households in the country using a bidet function or attachment.
Only an estimated 12% of the U.S. population has regular access to a bidet. This shows that they are far from an essential bathroom feature in American homes. Many still don’t know what a bidet is or how to use it properly.
An important factor that explains why bidets aren’t generally used in America is the lack of space for them. Bathrooms in American homes weren’t designed with the space for two toilet-sized units. But with new innovations, homeowners can use a hose attachment that hooks up to the water line or an actual bidet toilet seat that comes with a nozzle.
Despite the slow adoption of bidets in America, we now see many households implementing these high-tech fixtures into their personal hygiene routines. This is because various changes in society are altering the way the population views bidets. These include: environmental challenges, the constantly increasing standards if hygiene, and the impact of COVID-19 (i.e. toilet paper shortages).
Are Bidets Really Necessary?
Research regarding the concrete benefits of using bidets is limited. So, there’s really no rule stating that you absolutely have to have one. But what we can say for sure is that bidets can elevate the bathroom hygiene experience.
But what other benefits do bidets pose other than making you feel cleaner? To answer this question, let’s look at the impact COVID has had on the increased popularity of bidets in the U.S.
Panic buying and supply chain issues resulted in a toilet paper shortage amid the COVID pandemic. As a result, bidet companies saw an uptick in demand.
Were sales the same after the pandemic? Not necessarily. But even though sales declined from that peak, they’re still much higher than before the pandemic. This may have sparked a more permanent restroom revolution, as many Americans are finally embracing a bathroom fixture that’s common in other parts of the world.
Part of this culture shift is due to the benefits of saving on toilet paper and preserving trees. Plus, the threat of the spread of the pandemic has led many homeowners to find ways to improve their personal hygiene. Cleanliness and keeping germs at bay has become more important than ever, even in a post-pandemic world.
Concerns over the environmental impact of paper products is another factor driving the increased use of bidets. Deforestation—the permanent removal of trees—due to the toilet paper industry is causing people to rethink their toilet paper usage.
Flushable wipes are also contributing to the impact paper products have on the environment. The problems that result—the clogging of waste pipes and sewers—can be avoided through the use of a bidet.
So, in a nutshell, the question “Are bidets really necessary?”, is a question of personal hygiene, preference, tradition, and concerns about the impact on the environment.
Pros and Cons of Bidets
If you’re doing a bathroom remodel or are just curious about whether a bidet is worth it, consider some of the pros and cons of using one in your home.
- More Hygienic Than Toilet Paper: If personal hygiene is a priority, then a bidet can be a great choice. The spray nozzle allows you to feel cleaner and more refreshed after using the bathroom.
- Better For The Environment: One roll of toilet paper only lasts three to four days for just one person. This adds up to nearly 400 trees over your lifetime. When you use a bidet, you only need to pat yourself dry, which requires significantly less toilet paper compared to when you’re using it to clean yourself. This helps save the environment, considering how many trees and water it takes to manufacture toilet paper.
- Fewer Toilet Clogs: Toilet paper is one of the main causes of toilet clogs. Because bidets significantly reduce the need for toilet paper, they can reduce the chances of your toilet getting clogged.
- Can Be Good For People With Mobility Concerns: Something able-bodied people often forget is that something as small as staying clean can be a challenge for others with mobility concerns. A bidet can be a good way to stay clean with much less struggle to do so.
- Standalone Options Require More Space: If your bathroom is quite small, a standalone bidet may not fit. However, there are plenty of other options that are better fitted to smaller bathrooms. Many toilets can be retrofitted with a bidet sprayer or seat.
- Takes Some Getting Used To: If you’ve never used a bidet before, you’ll have to get used to it. You’ll need to adjust the settings and learn what the different buttons are used for.
- Upfront Costs Can Be Expensive: The initial upfront cost of a bidet is more expensive than just buying toilet paper.
Consider A Bidet For Your Bathroom Remodel
Bidets are easy to use and quite effective for maintaining hygiene after using the bathroom. If you are planning a bathroom remodel, a bidet could be a great addition.
To learn about the different options and get recommendations on the best solutions for your space, contact McManus Kitchen and Bath today. We can help you update your bathroom to make it more functional and ensure it works for your needs.
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McManus Kitchen and Bath is a design and build company specializing in kitchen and bath remodels