Some people mistake bidets for awkward sinks, drinking fountains, second toilets, or unusual urinals. Others think bidets are used for washing their feet or even keeping their drinks on ice (shower beer, anyone?).
Maybe you’ve heard stories of people accidentally spraying the whole bathroom… and themselves! Or maybe you’ve just seen a cool real estate listing for a master suite complete with his and hers closets and luxury ensuite bath with bidet toilet and wondered, “what is a bidet?”
Bidets are slowly becoming essential parts of modern American bathrooms and have been an essential part of other countries' bathrooms for a long time. We’ll not only explore the question of what are bidets exactly, but also what bidet is right for your budget!
What is a Bidet?
Though they come in many shapes and sizes, all bidets are used for the same purpose: to clean yourself!
A bidet is a specialized bathroom fixture for washing your undercarriage. It’s the primary way that many people around the world clean themselves up after using the toilet. Modern bidets spray a targeted stream of water exactly where you need it, cleaning up even your worst messes gently and easily.
A bidet has traditionally been a separate porcelain fixture that stands near the toilet (this is the awkward-sink variety). To use these standalone bidets, you use the toilet first, then move over to squat or sit on the bidet for cleaning. You most frequently see this type of bidet in Europe.
Then… What is a Bidet Toilet Seat?
These high-tech, smart toilet seats are a more recent innovation. They are added onto an existing toilet with a simple DIY installation, replacing the toilet seat. You’ll use the bidet function while still sitting on the toilet – no waddling across the bathroom! A hygienic nozzle extends beneath you to spray, then retracts inside the seat when not in use.
Electronic bidet toilet seats even have integrated water heaters, so you can enjoy warm water washes. Plus, these modern marvels have all sorts of extras like heated seats, night lights, deodorizers, and warm air dryers.
In the 1960s, Arnold Cohen (also known as”Mr.Bidet”) assembled the first bidet toilet device, calling it the American Sitzbath. Being truly ahead of its time, his combination bidet/toilet seat was largely dismissed by the American public. In 1980s Japan, however, a manufacturer presented a derivation of Mr. Bidet’s bidet toilet seat… and now over 80% of bathrooms in Japan have one! Because bidet toilet seats are easy to DIY install and don’t require any major renovations, they’ve become some of the most popular bidets in American bathrooms, too.
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