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What is a bidet? COVID-era trend or bathroom mainstay? We tell you everything you need to know

Thinking about getting a bidet for your bathroom? Here are the facts

If you live in the U.S., you’ve probably thought to yourself at some point, “What is a bidet?” Most Americans don’t grow up using them, because they’re not in public restrooms, and the toilet paper method largely reigns supreme. 

Therefore, Americans may have lots of questions when it comes to bidets in their bathrooms. While bidets became more popular in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic when toilet paper was flying off store shelves, there is still an air of mystery around bidets and whether they should be here to stay.

Allow us to give you the lowdown on bidets — what they are, how to use them, and if they’re worth the investment.


What is a bidet?

Plain and simple, a bidet is a device that sprays your rear end clean with water after you do your business. Bidets originated in France and are now widely used in many European and Asian countries. However, the trend has not quite caught on in the U.S.

A traditional bidet is a short, sink-like structure placed next to the toilet with its own plumbing. But in the U.S., a bidet is usually in the form of an attachment to the toilet because most American bathrooms aren’t designed with extra plumbing for a separate bidet.

How to use a bidet

There are three basic kinds of bidet attachments: electric, nonelectric, and handheld. You use each a bit differently, but they have the same functions and yield the same results: shooting out water to clean your hiney.

  • Electric bidets are the most common. They are pretty simple to install onto any toilet, and they have controls that rest on the side of the toilet seat that can control water pressure and temperature.
  • Nonelectric bidets have a similar, simple installation process and typically have knobs to control the water.
  • A handheld attachment is essentially a sprayer that you hold and aim at your nether regions, like a hose.

Some high-end bidets have dryers, but otherwise, you can use a bit of toilet paper to dry off or air dry from your bidet cleanse.

Bidet with sprayer

Are bidets worth it?

If you’re used to cleaning your tush with toilet paper, using a bidet may seem odd to you. But there are several benefits, and it can even save you money in the long run. Here’s how.

Bidets are better for the environment because you’re saving toilet paper. It’s also better for your wallet because you will save money on toilet paper. Plus, health experts say that washing off down there with water causes less irritation and is all around better for you.

As far as the cost, bidet attachments come at all different price points — from a to to the that comes with all the bells and whistles. But like we said, you’d be paying significantly less for all that toilet paper, so it eventually pays itself off.

For all these reasons, we recommend giving bidets a try. Just because toilet paper is back in stock since peak COVID days, that doesn’t mean we have to be wasteful wipers. At the same time, we understand bidets can be intimidating for those who aren’t familiar. We hope this information helps you choose whether to bidet or not to bidet.

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