Bidets Vs. Toilets

By The Vevano Home Team
October 1, 2020

 

It’s pretty safe to say that everyone in the modern world knows how a toilet works. A bidet, on the other hand, is just starting its upward trend in America, and it’s changing the toilet game.

What is a Bidet?

Modern bidets and bidet attachments have a water spout or a vertical water jet to help clean sensitive areas much easier. In many models, there’s water temperature and pressure changing capabilities to make the cleansing as comfortable as possible for the user. Newer variations of the bidet include manual and electronic add-on bidet seats and seat attachments. These are installed or added to existing toilets in place of the toilet seat.

Manual bidet versions use knobs to control water flow and temperature.he nozzle can be handheld or attached to the toilet seat. There’s also a bidet sprayer or bidet shower, which is typically attached to the toilet’s plumbing if not the shower, though they may be trickier to handle.

What’s the Difference Between a Bidet and a Toilet?

The biggest difference between a bidet and a toilet is how you clean yourself up. One requires toilet paper where the other does not. Features are another defining difference. Toilets are pretty simple in their design and use. Bidets, on the other hands, have more options and features for cleaning, maintenance, and care.

Since the bidet has more features, it makes for a more efficient and hygienic bathroom visit that can be beneficial for many kinds of people and of all ages. You simply activate the wash either with knobs, a remote, or touch panel, and the water nozzle does the rest. This saves from needing to use as much toilet paper and keeps the mess in one place.

Where Did the Bidet Come From?

The bidet has origins based in France from the late 1700s, much like the predecessor of the modern flush toilet. The name comes from the French word for “little horse,” thanks to the straddling motion needed to use the traditional standalone bidet. By 1975, bidets became a required plumbing addition to the bathroom in Italy, Portugal, and other European countries. Bidets also have a stronghold in southern Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, a few countries in South America, Japan, and parts of Asia. To these countries and cultures, bidets are an essential part of personal hygiene.

While bidets didn’t really arrive in America until the 1990s, their use has been almost minimal until the last few years. This year in particular has seen a dramatic uptick in bidet seat attachment sales. However, since the bidet is not a usual plumbing fixture in American bathrooms, bidet seat attachments are easier to install rather than a standalone bidet due to small bathroom spaces and the required plumbing needed to install a standalone bidet.

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In 1980, Japanese toilet company Toto upped the game by inventing the first “paper-less” smart toilet that makes toilet paper almost entirely unnecessary by combining the toilet and bidet experiences together.. Toto manufactures both combination toilet-bidets and bidet seat attachments (also called washlets) to make 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.

Who Would Use a Bidet?

Bidets aren’t limited to any specific group of people, though many groups could (and do) benefit from it. They work well for most ages and needs. While some people find them medically necessary, others simply prefer the experience and cleanliness of a bidet.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Bidet as Opposed to Toilet Paper?

At its core, the bidet provides a more hygienic post-toilet cleanup compared to toilet paper alone. If you use a bidet attachment that doesn’t come with a dryer, then you may need to use toilet paper or a towel to pat dry after.

By using the water-based cleanup from a bidet seat or bidet toilet, you will also use less single-use toilet paper, which is better for both the environment and your plumbing. Did you know that it takes 37 gallons of water to manufacture just one roll of toilet paper? Whereas a bidet only uses about ⅛ of a gallon of water per use. Using less toilet paper saves more water and more trees. Plus, you’ll save money you would spend on toilet paper, an estimated $180 per year, while saving hundreds of trees! Also, toilet paper and flushable wipes can get backed up in your plumbing, switching to a bidet toilet or seat attachment can help your plumbing run smoother.

Electric bidets in particular can come with a host of other perks like adjustable water nozzles, heated seats, water temperature and pressure control via remote or touch pad, air deodorizer, pre-misting, nightlight, automatic drying, self-cleaning features, and more. Some will even play music.

With these benefits and perks, it’s easy to see how the bidet toilet and seat attachments are gaining traction in America. Granted, they may be strange to use at first; but once bidets are given a chance, most people wonder how they lived without one.

Pros, Cons, and Cost

Bidet Toilet & Bidet Seat Attachments

Pros:

  • More hygienic
  • Eco-friendly
  • Remote, gentle cleaning
  • Promotes posterior health
  • Added features for comfort and cleanliness of user & toilet
  • Minimal use of toilet paper to dry (if no drying feature

Toilet with Toilet Paper

Pros:

  • Familiar cleanup (in the US)
  • Manual, intimate cleanup
  • Disposable

Cons:

  • Tricky to set to comfortable settings
  • Unusual for Americans to adjust to
  • May shift natural female flora

Cons:

  • Not eco-friendly
  • Can smear or leave a less-than-clean finish, contributing to rashes, hemorrhoids, and infections
  • Can be abrasive
  • Can back up plumbing

Cost:

  • Toilet Seat Attachments / Washlets: Average $350-$500 / Range $100-$400
  • Spray Attachments: $30 - $200
  • Bidet Toilet Combo / Smart Toilet: $1,200+

Cost:

  • Toilet Paper Annual Average: $40 - $70
  • 384 trees in one person’s lifetime
  • Two-piece toilet: $150 - $600
  • One-piece toilet: $400 - $1,200
  • Wall-hung toilet: $800 - $2,500