For most Americans, bidets are something we only see when traveling in a foreign country. But what if it’s actually something that you should have in your own house? Once you understand the benefits, you’ll see why so many people across the globe prefer bidets to toilets.
What is a Bidet?
If you’ve ever traveled abroad in Europe, you’ve probably seen a bidet in the bathroom. They usually sit right next to the toilet and look very similar in shape and size. But they perform an entirely different function.
As home improvement expert Alexa Erickson explains, “Bidets are designed to clean your bottom regions after you use the toilet. Instead of using toilet paper, you basically sit on the fixture, turn on its faucet and a stream of water does the job.”
After using a bidet, you typically need to use a couple of pieces of toilet paper to dry off. Other bidets actually have drying features built in.
5 Reasons to Use a Bidet
Bidets feel like a foreign concept to most Americans, but they’re actually a far better option than toilet paper. Here are four specific reasons why:
1. Gets You Cleaner
If you think about it, toilet paper is kind of nasty. You’re scrubbing fecal matter off your underside using a piece of paper that’s as thin as a tissue. We don’t need to explain why that’s gross – it should be obvious.
Bidets are significantly cleaner than using toilet paper. (You don’t have to put your hands down there.) According to one study, using a bidet properly can limit the amount of bacteria in your urine, which is an indication that it prevents fewer bathroom bacteria from entering your system.
In addition to keeping your hands away, a bidet actually does a better job of removing everything from…back there. It provides a much more thorough clean, which results in better hygiene.
2. Uses Less Water
With a bidet, you don’t have to flush nearly as much. (After all, most of the flushing required by a toilet is to suck up toilet paper.) If the average person flushes two to three times per bowel movement, a bidet reduces that number to just one to two flushes. You can also set your tank to use less water per flush, since less power is required.
3. Reduces Paper Waste
Did you know that the average person uses more than 17,000 pieces of toilet paper per year? A bidet can reduce the amount of toilet paper used by as much as 75 percent. For a family of four, this amounts to roughly 100 fewer rolls of toilet paper per year. Not only is this less expensive, but it’s good for the environment! (And if there’s ever another toilet paper shortage, you’ll be just fine with your bidet.)
4. More Comfortable
If you’ve never used a bidet, you might think the concept sounds odd. However, it’s a far more comfortable experience than using toilet paper.
We don’t spend much time thinking about it, because we’ve used it our entire lives, but toilet paper can actually be quite harsh. (Especially if you have multiple bowel movements in the same day.) A bidet is much more comfortable.
Bidets are especially comfortable for women who are on their periods.
“One study reported that 73% of females experienced period-related gastrointestinal symptoms. Some people describe these changes as ‘period poop.’ A bidet helps provide relief and soothes a lady’s area that monthly can feel like it’s on fire,” BidetMate explains.
Bidets can also reduce the risk of hemorrhoids, infections, rashes, and other issues.
5. Less Clogging
Finally, there’s the practical benefit of less toilet clogging. By using less toilet paper, you reduce the risk of backed up toilets. This means less time spent plunging (and fewer expensive calls to a plumber.)
Give a Bidet a Try
While you can always buy a dedicated bidet, they typically cost between $1,000 to $2,000. And, depending on your bathroom’s current setup, you may need to rework some plumbing. However, there are less expensive and easier alternatives that do the job just as well. Bidet seats and attachments can be purchased and installed on your own (for as little as $50 in some cases). So don’t let price scare you away!