Bidets get a bad rap in this country. At best, they’re superfluous butt water fountains for the rich, famous, and French; at worst, they’re butt water fountains for the rich, famous, and French.
But the bidet should be a bathroom staple: the water sprayer is more hygienic, less irritating, and, well, less disgusting than toilet paper. As one astute commentator analogized: “You have mud on your driveway. Are you going to grab a wad of newspaper and smear it all around or are you going to get the garden hose and spray it off?” With one scenario, the case for the bidet is made. While widespread adoption in the U.S. has been resisted for generations, anecdotal evidence says that sales are on the rise and what was once taboo may become commonplace.
“Attempts to popularize the bidet in the United States have failed before, but recent efforts continue — and perhaps they might even succeed in bringing this Old World device to new backsides,” wrote Maria Teresa Hart in an exhaustive Atlantic story. She explained that, while the French invention is common on the Continent and found in every Japanese home, its presence in the U.S. was stigmatized beginning with World War II, when it was associated with European brothels that GIs would visit. A Brooklyn-invented precursor to the high-tech bidet failed in the domestic market of the 1960s.
Despite these false starts, we can say with confidence that 2019 is the year of the bidet. Why? Well, first, it just makes sense (see: the driveway illustration). And it’s not like installation is difficult. Modern bidets simply slide onto your existing toilet seat, attach easily to the same water source your toilet uses, and spray a clean stream of temperature-controlled water. In short, the taboo is dead; long live the bidet. Here are some great bidet models to check out.
One of Amazon's most popular models, the GenieBidet has a nozzle that gives you a refreshing water cleanse, eliminating the need for harsh toilet paper. It has a contoured seat, and cleans both your butt and your frontal area.
It’s easy to install, easy to use, but not so easy on the eyes. Meaning, the nozzle is in plain view. But that being said, it gives you a very nice cleaning and leaves you feeling nice and fresh.
The Spa is feature-packed and priced to take hold in the Millennial marketspace.
Temperature control is a feature normally reserved for bidets four times more expensive, and the self-cleaning nozzle is also uncommon for bidets at this price point.
For those who want a less-permanent solution, we recommend the mobile Travel Washlet from the Japanese bidet master.
This handheld push-button device sprays warmed water for an experience similar to Toto’s permanent appliances. When not in use, the Travel Washlet collapses into a third of its extended size and packs away in an included carrying case.
The SlimEdge is easy to install and has a narrow profile.
The dual-nozzle spray is easily adjusted with the turn of a knob. While there’s not a warm-water option, its low cost makes the SlimEdge a good choice for someone unsure about the bidet lifestyle.
The Advanced Clean AC 2.0 is a combination toilet seat and bidet. It is so pleasant to use that it makes you forget you haven’t dropped a few grand on a whole unit.
Two independent nozzles, custom water temperature and pressure, and a heated seat provide a truly luxury experience. The entire thing is treated with an antimicrobial finish and is a great midrange option.
The TOTO washlet features a front and rear warm water cleanse with adjustable temperature and pressure settings, plus a self-cleaning wand that is cleaned before and after each use.
If you want the best, get this Washlet, which has a heated seat, a warm air dryer, and an automatic air deodorizer for less stank. If they built Versailles today, the Washlet would be in every bathroom. And the toilet bowl is misted before each use to keep it extra clean.
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