First-Time Buyers Guide to a Bidet
Bidets are not toilets. They are, in fact, specialised fixtures for washing up after using the toilet. Bidets are available in an assortment of shapes and sizes and are used primarily for one purpose: for cleaning the posterior regions. Compared to toilet paper, a bidet is healthier as it provides better hygiene.
A modern bidet is capable of spraying a steady stream of water at the exact spot, cleaning the most stubborn mess gently and easily. This exhaustive guide in Q&A format gives an in-depth description of all matters of importance that concerns bidets. We trust you’ll find it easier to find the perfect Bidet toilet for your bathroom after reading this guide.
Click to jump to any of the sections below
- What is a Bidet Toilet? What Does the Word Mean? Who Invented It?
- How Does a Bidet Work?
- Are Bidets Meant for Men, Women or Both?
- Which Countries Use a Bidet?
- Is a Bidet Hygienic/Sanitary? Can it Cause Infections?
- What Are the Different Types of Bidet Toilets?
- What Are the Top Benefits of Using a Bidet Toilet?
- How Much Does a Bidet Cost?
- Top Bidet Toilet Recommendations
- Shop Bidet Toilets
What is a Bidet Toilet? What Does the Word Mean? Who Invented It?
A bidet toilet is a bathroom fixture with plumbing connections. It’s installed as a separate unit adjacent to the toilet, and the user typically straddles this unit (pony toilet).
The word Bidet, pronounced bee-day or bi-ˈdā, was first used in the 15th century by the French royalty to refer to their pet pony. According to the World Toilet Organization, this term was coined in 1710 referring to furniture, in a French publication.
Christopher Des Rosiers, a French furniture maker, is credited with creating the world’s earliest bidets more than three centuries ago.
How Does a Bidet Work?
A basic model of bidet sprays water so that you are able to clean your posterior region more thoroughly after using the toilet. The sprayer of a bidet toilet connects to the water source in your bathroom. The mechanism of this sprayer is identical to that of the sprayer in your garden or on your kitchen sink. The water pressure can be adjusted from low to high by turning a knob. The right way to use a bidet toilet is by starting at a low water pressure and increasing it gradually.
Premium models are equipped with an air dryer that helps you dry off. Other features include precise water temperature, nozzle adjustment, heated seat and even a nightlight. The risk of plumbing issues in your home is reduced considerably as toilet paper will not enter the plumbing lines.
Are Bidets Meant for Men, Women or Both?
Bidet toilets are truly unisex. There are no bidets manufactured only for men or for that matter, only for women. Since plain water is the best option for cleaning the posterior as well as the frontal regions, bidet toilets are perfect for use by both men and women.
Women stand to benefit a lot as using a bidet helps them manage medical issues such as urinary tract infections (UTI), bladder infections and haemorrhoids better. For people – whether a man or woman – with mobility issues, a bidet makes it easier to clean down there.
Which Countries Use a Bidet?
Bidets are popular in Portugal, Italy, Argentina, Venezuela and Japan. Although the word bidet is French, more than 50% of French households don’t have a bidet. In Europe, other than Portugal and Italy, Spain and Greece also use a bidet. South American nations such as Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile that are influenced by the Italian culture also use a bidet.
Sadly, in the UK, a nation notorious for lacking in self-hygiene (apologies for telling the truth), only 3% of households had a bidet in 1995. And an early 2000s poll confirmed that less than 5% of the Brits use a bidet regularly.
Is a Bidet Hygienic/Sanitary? Can it Cause Infections?
A common misconception about bidets is that water comes from the toilet bowl. However, water comes from the tap. Proponents say that since more faecal matter can be removed when using a bidet compared to toilet paper, a bidet is perfectly hygienic and sanitary.
The main benefit of using a bidet toilet is you won’t contaminate your hands, so the chances of a bidet causing infections are low. A bidet is also a great option for people afflicted with severe arthritis in their hands or for people who suffer from other disabilities that make using toilet paper challenging. Research from Berkeley Wellness suggests that bidets do help with some medical conditions such as pruritus ani (itchy anus), anal fissures and haemorrhoids.
What Are the Different Types of Bidet Toilets?
A wall-hung bidet is fixed to the bathroom wall via a support frame. This bidet is the perfect choice when the floor space is limited. The robust construction and sleek contemporary styling of this fixture complement any modern bathroom.
2. Back-to-Wall Bidet
A back-to-wall bidet sits flush to your bathroom wall. This bidet conceals all the plumbing lines and looks neat and tidy. Since this bidet is fixed to the wall, there’s no risk of damage to exiting floor pipes during installation.
A floor-standing bidet is a completely self-contained, separate fixture that’s fixed to the floor of your bathroom. This bidet is easy to install and lasts longer than other bidets. They’re the most common type of bidet used in Japanese and Italian homes.
4.Bidet Toilet Seat
A bidet toilet seat is an all-in-one combo deal that delivers the benefits of both a toilet seat as well as a bidet. This bidet add-on option to your toilet has a more streamlined look. While these bathroom fixtures have been around in the US for more than 50 years, they simply haven’t caught on in the UK as they should have. A bidet toilet seat is a great choice for a small bathroom that simply does not have the space for a bidet.
What Are the Top Benefits of Using a Bidet Toilet?
Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, toilet paper has become a scarce – and precious – commodity. As a result, the demand for bidet toilets has skyrocketed. However, reducing the need for toilet paper isn’t the only benefit of using a bidet toilet.
Other benefits include:
- Bidets ensure that you and your hands remain cleaner.
- Bidets are more environment-friendly as you don’t need to flush tonnes of toilet paper down your plumbing lines, resulting in needless clogging issues.
- Since bidets spray plain water, they help address certain medical conditions – haemorrhoids and genital health concerns – better than wiping with toilet paper.
- Bidets are helpful for the elderly and people with mobility issues.
- Bidets are easy to install and relatively maintenance-free.
How Much Does a Bidet Cost?
The price of a basic bidet toilet starts at roughly £180.00. The cost of premium models ranges from £320.00 to £340.00. The professional installation of this bathroom fixture is an additional cost factor you need to keep in mind. A bidet toilet, however, can be connected to your existing plumbing line but still needs fresh supply and waste lines.
Top Bidet Toilet Recommendations
Let’s take a quick look at some of the top bidet toilets.
i) Westminster Bidet | £315.00
The magnificent Westminster Bidet is a traditional white ceramic bidet. This Made in England timeless design comes with a lifetime guarantee. Since this bathroom fixture captures the essence of yesteryear, it will complement a toilet that matches its elegant styling.
ii) Britton Curve Back to Wall Bidet | £152.00
The easy-to-install Britton Curve Back to Wall Bidet comes with a 25-year guarantee. This fixture will enhance your bathroom layout effortlessly. This skillfully crafted contemporary piece is made of quality vitreous china ceramic.
iii) Fitzroy Bidet | £161.00
The Fitzroy Bidet brings the grandeur of Edwardian times into your bathroom. This carefully crafted stunning piece is made of the finest vitreous china ceramic. With a 5-year guarantee from Bayswater, this bidet is indeed a stress-free buy.
iv) Burlington Wall Hung Bidet | £183.00
The Burlington Wall Hung Bidet captures the splendour of a bygone era. The curved wall hung design is ideal for a small bathroom as it saves floor space. This bidet evokes a striking appeal with its fine blend of excellent craftsmanship and supreme function.
v) Sanctuary Back to Wall Bidet | £179.00
The unique and stylish Sanctuary Back to Wall Bidet is the ultimate addition to a contemporary bathroom. This distinctively styled elegant fixture will ensure your bathroom looks fresh and special for years to come.
Shop Bidet Toilets
At Bathroom City, in addition to the bidets detailed above, you can shop for designer bidet units. You can pick the best bidet from our choice selection – from the traditional to the ultra-modern. We assure you of the most competitive prices online for bidets. Browse through our exquisite selection and choose the perfect bidet for your existing or new bathroom.