The Ultimate Guide to Bidets
The Vevano Home Team
September 22, 2020
1. Intro — The Bidet Trend is on the Rise
Bidets may be newer in the American market, just now gaining traction in US households, but they’ve been around the world for at least three centuries. If this is a new term or bathroom fixture for you, you’re not alone.
A normal, even expected, plumbing feature in bathrooms in Europe and some parts of the Middle East, South America, and Asia, bidets are very popular and a preferred way of cleaning oneself after using the toilet. However, they are different from toilets and therefore have their own nuances and features to explore.
In this guide, we break down the bidet and the bidet attachments that are increasingly popular in the Western world as well as the most common questions people have about bidets and their usage.
3. Types of Bidets
Bidet Seat Attachments
Cost of Bidet Seat Attachments / Washlets:
Average - $350 - $500, Range - $100 - $1000
Shapes: D-shaped, elongated, round front
Sizes: 18.88” to ~23”
Colors: White or beige
Toto is a top bidet seat attachment manufacturer that we offer here at Vevano Home; they call the bidet seat attachments washlets. Toto washlets are known industry-wide for their innovative cleaning technologies and comfort features.
Many bidet seat attachments come equipped with the expected bidet water jet stream nozzle (usually retractable) that allows for that undercarriage cleaning, as well as water temperature and pressure control for your comfort. More technologically advanced bidet seat attachments may also supply many other features that soothe the go, flow, and cleanup.
Bidet seats often have a remote, either separate or attached to the bidet seat, to operate and select the most optimal settings for you.
Before trying to install a bidet seat attachment, make sure it’s the right size and shape in order for it to fit your toilet and function properly.
Bidet seat attachments come in different sizes and shapes to fit the most standard toilet sizes available.
Cost of Standalone Bidets:
Average - $250 - $700 (not including installation)
Material: Porcelain/vitreous china
Bidets are traditionally the standalone basins installed separately from a toilet. They might look like a low sink or a lid-less and tankless toilet. Usually placed close to the toilet, the user moves from the toilet to the bidet to cleanse. The primary use of the bidet is to clean the body.
Modern models of bidets have a water spout or vertical water jet to get the water where it needs to go to do its job.
Standalone bidets are more commonly seen in overseas countries due to plumbing laws to supply two plumbing setups for both a toilet and a bidet. The standard US home only has the plumbing set up for one toilet--not one toilet and one bidet. (This is why the bidet attachments are growing in popularity in the US since you don’t need that extra space or plumbing setup to get your bidet toilet going.) In order to add a freestanding bidet to an American bathroom that has the space to accommodate another fixture, another plumbing setup would be necessary to construct and install prior to installing the bidet itself.
Bidet and Toilet Combinations
Cost of a Bidet Toilet Combo/Smart Toilet:
Average - $1,200 - $7,000+
Material: Porcelain/vitreous china
Colors: White, off-white, beige
A more modern bathroom feature, commonly called a bidet toilet, combines the flushing powers of the toilet with the cleaning capacities into one fixture, often with other high tech features as well. With the toilet and bidet combined, the user only needs one fixture as opposed to two, making for a more efficient and hygienic bathroom visit that can be beneficial for most people. Activate the posterior wash with either a remote or touch panel and the retractable water nozzle and multi-functional toilet seat does the rest. This saves us from needing to use as much toilet paper and keeps the mess in one place. Sometimes bidet toilet combos are also called smart toilets when they feature other accoutrements to make the visit to the toilet even more pleasant and hygienic.
The first “paperless” toilet emerged from Japanese company, Toto, in 1980. It was the first electric bidet toilet combo with water nozzles for cleaning that also dries the user after the cleanup is finished. The modern bidet toilet combo makes the trip to the toilet an all-in-one experience, complete with many other high-tech features to make the “go” more clean and comfortable.
Most bidet toilet combos will require an electrical hookup for power or an added water hookup to access water in the toilet tank for use. These high-tech bidets don’t use dirty water; they use tap water from the toilet tank or other water supply.
Most bidet toilet combos come paired with a remote or touch pad to help the user take advantage of all the expected and added features to get full use of the bidet and toilet.
There are a couple of bidet accessories that might be useful if you’re seeking that shower-clean feeling down below or need to update your bidet attachments or bidet toilet combo.
Spray attachments: As opposed to the bidet seat attachment or bidet toilet combo, the bidet sprayer attachment is a manual means of getting clean via a handheld nozzle and spout. They usually come complete with a hook and holster to keep the sprayer at an easy reach. This is a manual version of a bidet that uses knobs to control water flow and temperature, and you aim and press on the nozzle when it’s properly aimed for beneath-the-belt cleaning. Average cost ranges between $30 - $200.
Mixing valves and filters: To optimize the water used for your bidet sprayer or attachment, you may need to install a water mixing valve to find the right water temperature or filters to optimize the water coming from the toilet tank to clear it of hard minerals or sediment. Average cost ranges between $15 - $75.
Hoses: For added reach to your spray attachment or bidet seat, an extra hose between the water supply and the bidet feature may be useful. Replacement hoses may also be necessary after time and use. Average cost ranges between $10-$30.
4. Advantages of Bidets
5. Our Favorite Bidets and Attachments
Vevano Home primarily recommends the Japanese brand Toto and Kohler bidets for bidet toilets and bidet seat attachments. We also include fitting sheets and spec sheets to help match attachments to your existing toilet. See our full collection of Toto bidets here.
The most popular Toto washlet is the C200.
6. Bidet FAQ
What is a bidet used for?
A bidet is used to clean yourself after using the toilet. A bidet uses a water stream to gently clean waste away from your sensitive areas. We all could use a thorough, gentle cleaning down there! Different types of bidets and bidet attachments will accomplish this in a few different ways, but the core use of a water stream for undercarriage cleaning is the same.
How does a bidet work?
Modern bidets have a water nozzle that emits a water stream, often vertically, to help cleanse the user. Whether through a remote with a bidet seat attachment/bidet seat combo or levers, the user can adjust the water stream (flow, temperature, pressure) to make sure the clean is both efficient yet not uncomfortable.
Traditional standalone bidets fill the basin with enough water for the user to lap it up with their hands to cleanse themselves, or eject the water stream at an angle to rinse where necessary.
How do you use a bidet?
Different bidet options come with manual knobs or a remote control to control the water temperature and flow of water for cleansing comfort. It may be strange at first, but you are able to adjust these settings so it’s comfortable for you. Electrical bidets also may have the option to move the water jet as needed to reach the necessary places, along with a multitude of other features--also controllable by remote or touchpad.
A traditional standalone bidet has a basin design, allowing the water to cleanse where needed.
How do you use a bidet attachment?
Most bidet seat attachments will come with a remote or touchpad to control the cleaning water’s characteristics, such as temperature, pressure, and oscillation, as well as the added features that can enhance the experience. It’s like a fountain attached to your toilet designed for rear and front cleansing.
More manual options, such as spray attachments, require the use of your hands to grasp the sprayer, manually maneuver it, and press the nozzle to get the cleaning water flow going in the right direction, at the right pressure.
What is a bidet toilet seat?
A bidet toilet seat is also commonly called a bidet seat, bidet seat attachment, or a washlet. It’s a replacement toilet seat for your toilet that may require a water and/or electrical hook up for full use. Most bidet toilet seats feature the vertical water stream that can adjust in and out to different lengths in order to clean difficult to reach areas. With a remote or touch pad, you can control water temperature, water pressure, angles, or other features, like automatic drying, pre-misting, air deodorizer, heated seat, ambient lighting, or even music.
How do you install a bidet?
Most US household bathrooms don’t have the plumbing hookup capacity or the space to add a freestanding bidet without extensive reconstruction.
As for bidet toilet combos, they usually come in one-piece toilet form, so they can be easier to install as a replacement toilet with existing toilet plumbing.
Perhaps the easiest to install and take up the least amount of space are bidet seat attachments, which is a reason why they are growing in popularity. The most important thing is to get a bidet seat attachment that fits the measurements and shape of your existing toilet seat. Once you have the right size and shape of bidet seat attachment for your toilet, then you can follow the steps below to install it. Similar steps are needed for spray attachments as well.
- Shut off your water supply with the shut-off valve on your toilet.
- Flush the toilet until the tank is empty.
- Remove your existing toilet seat and clean the rim.
- Attach the bidet mounting plate (or catch plate) by aligning it with the bolts on the toilet rim then inserting and tightening the mount bolts.
- Slide on the bidet toilet seat onto the mount plate until it locks into place.
- Remove the flexible water supply hose from the base of the tank of the toilet.
- Attach the bidet T-valve where the flexible water supply hose was on the tank.
- Attach the flexible water supply hose on the lower side of the T-valve.
- Attach one end of the bidet supply hose to the upper side of the T-valve.
- Attach the free end of the bidet hose to the bidet seat.
- Turn back on the water supply--and voila!
- Make sure you test the bidet and check for any leaks and tighten attachments where necessary.
Know that when it comes to bidet seat attachments, one size does not fit all. Not all toilets are the same and bidet seat attachments come in different sizes and shapes, just like a toilet does. Always double check the size and measurements of your toilet rim before choosing a new bidet seat or else you’ll run into issues in installing the attachment. Select carefully to get the correct size for your toilet.
Are bidets sanitary? Are bidets clean?
Bidets — particularly bidet toilets combos and bidet seat attachments — are very sanitary to use and often have features like pre-misting and self-cleaning to help keep the seat and toilet cleaner than your usual toilet.
One common misconception about bidets is that they spray water everywhere, and that’s not the case. The water jet stream isn’t that strong, and it’s mostly targeted depending on the model of bidet or attachment. Most bidet toilets and bidet seats have sensors to make sure the user is actually on the toilet in order to function. Another misunderstanding is that the water is taken from the dirty water from the toilet, and that’s not true either — bidets and bidet attachments use tap water.
If you’re working with a freestanding bidet, they are still quite sanitary; they may just need to be properly rinsed after use.
What is a bidet toilet?
A bidet toilet is a combination of a toilet and a bidet, where the user can handle their business and stay in one place for the cleanup after. They often come with a host of other features as well to make the visit to the porcelain throne even more clean and comfortable. See above for the Bidet Toilet Combo details.
How much does a bidet cost?
Depending on the features you want, you can find bidet attachments in a very affordable range. The more high-tech features, the higher the price tag. Below is a breakdown of the different bidet prices you can expect.
Toilet Seat Attachments / Washlets: Average - $350 - $500, Range - $100 - $1000
Spray Attachments: $30 - $200
Bidet Toilet Combo / Smart Toilet: $1,200 - $7,000+
Bidets: $250 - $700 (not including installation)
Do bidets work?
With the stream of water to clean waste away from your lower body, a bidet is definitely an effective way of cleansing oneself. It will feel more like you’ve taken a shower down there, as opposed to wiping yourself with toilet paper that smears and leaves you feeling less than clean. So, yes, bidets work.