How to Choose a Bidet.

The world of bidets can be surprisingly vast and confusing, so how do you know you’re picking the right one?

Do you wipe too much?  Can’t get clean? Well, most bidets can solve this problem, but they all do it in different ways.

Strangely, bidets aren’t very popular in North America, unlike much of the world, so most people here haven’t had a chance to try one.  That can make for a tough time when it comes to making purchase decisions.

Read on to find out which bidet suits your patoot.

 


Are you willing to spend $250+ (or view this as a long-term investment)?

Not all bidets require a casino robbery to afford.

A bidet will save you money.  This is a fact.

Most households in the US spend upwards of $350 on toilet paper annually.  A typical bidet will cut down on your toilet paper use by 70%-80%.

That is an annual saving of $245-$280.

Now, I know it’s easy to talk about savings and how great it can be long-term, but for some, it isn’t easy to justify a $250+ initial purchase, even when the savings will eventually, one day, show up.  Also, some people just don’t want to spend that much money on a device that is essentially a tush squirt-gun.

So, if your budget for a bidet is above $250, you’ve got more choices to make further down in the electric bidet section.  If not, read on to the next point about options for budget bidets.


What is there to consider with inexpensive bidets?

Non-electric

There is no way around this one, nearly all sub $300 bidets are going to be mechanical (they use your home’s water pressure to function).

Heated water

Cold water on sensitive areas can be a system shocker for some people.

Baby, that heated water got me sayin’ “Oooooo, ayyyy, papa got a clean bootayyy”

Luckily, many inexpensive bidets allow for a heated water option.  You can take a look at the Superior Bidet Supreme vs the Boss Bidet Toilet Attachment to see how the controls and prices can vary when adding this feature.

How long does it take to heat up the water for your bidet?

Well, it is going to hook into your hot-water supply, just like your sink, so, if your sink takes a while to heat up the hot water, your bidet will, too.

A good way to avoid this is to either get the warm water flowing in your sink first (this will heat up the same supply your bidet is going to use), or to use the nozzle self-clean function that many bidets have to warm up the water.

Self cleaning nozzle

Having the ability to spray your bidet’s nozzle with water before and after each use could be required.  To decide if this is a make or break feature, first consider who is going to be using this bidet.

If you’ve got young boys, chances are, they may in fact be trying to target the poor little nozzle when they pee (practicing pee-accuracy as a kid is very important).

I’m just so fresh , so clean.

Also, men do tend to create a bit more splatter when taking a number one.  Being able to give the nozzle a quick rinse before using it can definitely make the whole process feel a lot more sanitary.

On the other hand, any mechanical bidet worth buying will at least have an automatically retracting nozzle as to provide a modicum of protection from rogue pee droplets and streams (not to mention other explosive ‘dirt’ spreading activities that might occur in a toilet).

This makes self-cleaning something that isn’t absolutely required as you can easily pull the nozzle out and blast it with some Lysol every couple days.  Nonetheless, it is a nice feature and one worth thinking about.

Attachment or full seat

Nestled safely under your seat, a wild bidet attachment has found a new home.

Most mechanical bidets are going to be attachments, like the Luxe Bidet Neo 120

As you can see, this attaches under your current toilet seat.  In my opinion, they really don’t look too bad, although they create a small decline from the back of the seat to the front (this can be fixed with some cheap toilet seat risers).

Some mechanical bidets offer a more streamlined appearance as they replace the whole seat.  Some also offer a slowly closing lid that prevents the seat from crashing down.  The GenieBidet Seat is a good example of this.  You’re going to pay a bit more for these features, as most full-seat non-mechanical bidets are a bit pricier than their competition.

One nozzle or two

Some mechanical bidets have the added benefit of having two different nozzles (or one adjustable one.  This is quite rare in mechanicals, but you can see it in the KOHLER Puretide Manual Bidet Seat).  These different nozzles will clean both your rear and also provide a feminine wash that is angled more forward.  

The multiple nozzle models will, of course, run a bit more than their single-nozzle brethren. Now, be warned, not all dual-nozzle mechanical bidets utilize a hot water connection, so, once again, if that is important to you, choose one that has both features like the highly rated Zen Bidet Z-500

These are the features that will separate most mechanical bidets from one another.  Some bonus elements to think about are component materials and installation materials.  Some bidets are all plastic, including the valves you’re going to use to hook it up to your water supply.  Others include brass valves or have some ceramic internal components.  Most people find plastic to be good enough, however, bidets with metal components (or buying the brass valves separately) can bring greater peace-of-mind as there have been a higher number of people who have encountered leaks when using all plastic bidets.  You’ll be rolling the dice a bit, but chances are very good you’ll be just fine either way.


Electric bidets.

Electric bidets are becoming more and more what people think of when they hear the word “bidet”.  These are the super toilets popularized in Japan, and until recently, very intimidating to the average North American.  Heated seats, water pressure controlled by an electric motor and able to be fine-tuned to please any booty, soothing ambient noise that muffles the natural sounds of our exhaust ports and more.  The features can seem endless and often overwhelming.

I’ll start with a quick list of features that nearly any electric bidet SHOULD have.

  • Heated water and seat with multiple adjustment levels for each.
  • Adjustable water pressure.
  • Slowly closing lid.
  • Electronic controls on either a separate remote or attached side panel.
  • Either a nozzle (or multiple nozzles) whose position can be changed with the remote or two static nozzles, one for the rear and one for feminine cleansing.
    • Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with a dual-nozzle model that doesn’t offer adjustable positions.  Just go for one you that lets you change its position via remote. The SmartBidet SB-1000 is a wonderful, inexpensive model that provides not only an adjustable nozzle, but also an oscillate feature and air dryer! Don’t settle for anything less.

Here’s where electric bidets start to diverge from each other and hopefully where this guide will help narrow down your choices.


Appearance

Each brand is going to have its own brand identity, and some of this can been seen in the design of the seats across most models.  Some models are very sleek and are as futuristic as anything a modified Delorean could possibly show you.

The best looking bidets are going to be the most expensive, as they are all-in-one, integrated models.  These include the bidet, lid, and the rest of the toilet as well.  The BioBidet IB835 is a particularly eye-catching model.

When it comes to bidet seats, here are some of my favorite looking models from various manufacturers.  I hope they can give you a better idea of what to expect from different companies and price points.

  • The BioBidet Aura A7 has some great curves and a futuristic LED control panel that pulses as it’s being used.
  • The TOTO S350e Washlet has a low profile and will blend well with the profile of most toilets.  It also comes in beige in addition to white and has a slick remote control that adds to its clean look.
  • Brondell’s Swash 900 Bidet Seat has been meticulously crafted to glamorize not only your toilet, but your whole bathroom.  From the sensor on the back of the seat to the stainless steel nozzles and gentle slope of the lid (this can be divisive, but I really like the look of a sloping lid), this is truly a glorious seat.
  • Kohler also has a beauty on its hands with the KOHLER C3-230 which is my personal favorite.  It is a magnificent treat for eyes not accustomed to ogling fine art before they take the Browns to the Superbowl. An incredibly clean looking device, the C3-230 has a very unique control panel on the right side that is contoured to look more like part of the seat than simply added on.  It also has a very sleek touch-remote that can be mounted beside the toilet.

Air dryer

What you’re going to get with a unit that has an air dryer is something that’s similar to the hand dryers you find in public bathrooms.

 They will output a moderate amount of warm air and can take a little while to actually get you fully dry.

I believe most people are more willing to comfortably sit on their throne and let the dryer work than they would be standing in a public restroom as everyone else weirdly looks at them for not just wiping their wet hands on their pants.

This is a worthwhile feature and can go a long way towards mostly freeing you from the chains of toilet paper.

A pro tip for using a dryer in a hurry is to use a piece of toilet paper for an initial wipe to soak up a good amount of water before turning on the dryer to get the rest.

Pulsating/massage wash options

This function does what its name implies; it sends pulses of water instead of a solid stream.  This can improve cleaning, but more interestingly (and useful, in my opinion) is that this can stimulate a bowel movement (WOOHOOO).

This is extremely useful for those of us who have a tough time getting enough fiber in their diets.

Deodorizer

Deodorizers make sporadic appearances in almost all price ranges, from the midrange TOTO C100 to the lavishly expensive Coco Bidet 9500R.  What a typical bidet deodorizer is going to do is intake air from the bowl and pass it through an activated carbon filter which will eliminate a good portion of noxious odors.  You will have to decide for yourself if this is a worthy feature, but if you live in a multiple person household, you may want to consider it.

User profiles

Now we are really getting into the more esoteric, mysterious features that are somewhat uncommon in the bidet world.  A user profile will save various pieces of information, such as nozzle position, water temperature,  pressure, etc.  This can really streamline the experience if you’ve found settings that work well for you.  Most bidets that offer this feature allow up to two separate profiles.  There isn’t anything better on this sweet Earth than feeling like your toilet truly knows you on a very deep level.

Remote or side panel controls

Having a remote can be a major boon to those lacking mobility, as it can be mounted on either side of the toilet and shouldn’t require much bending or turning of the body if smartly mounted.

They also feel a bit more premium while streamlining the look of the toilet and are the perfect bidet solution for small bathrooms as there isn’t a side panel taking up valuable space.

The BioBidet BB-2000W has some attractive remote options (black or white).  A side panel should be adequate for most, and some also look very nice like the BioBidet Aura A7.  If you don’t have mobility issues, this is completely a personal preference feature.  Check out a few models and see which appeals more to you.

Nozzle sterilization

The benefits of being able to sterilize your nozzle without having to clean it yourself are obvious: less work and a more consistently clean nozzle.  This is accomplished in different ways such as UV light, silver nanotechnology, infrared rays and more.

Stainless steel nozzles

Not only do they look great, they’re also a lot more sanitary than their plastic counterparts as bacteria has a harder time finding nooks and crannies to climb into and set up shop.  Some models combine this with a sterilization method for a exceedingly sanitary user experience.  The Brondell Swash 1000 features two very pretty nozzles as well as sterilization technology.


These next features are going to be very common, so most likely won’t affect your decision.  Be wary of models that lack these.


Eco mode

Eco mode is a huge bonus on models where the water is heated in a tank attached to the bidet.  Usually eco mode will tame the power consumption of both the water and seat heating elements which are usually always-on features (due to them being kinda useless if the seat is cold when you first sit down and the water isn’t yet heated by the time you finish your business).  Most models should have this option as all models have heated seats.

Oscillation

Very common in bidets that feature movable nozzles, the oscillation function will automatically move the nozzle back and forth to widen the cleaning area so that your rear can stay planted in one spot instead of shimmying around or having to manually adjust the nozzle position back and forth, again and again.  This feature is really quite important in my opinion, and thankfully, will most likely be on any bidet worth your consideration (this is why it is so low on this list).

Warranty

Finally, any model worth purchasing will have at least a year-long manufacturer’s warranty with some giving generous five year warranties.  Even many of the inexpensive bidet attachments will offer a warranty of a year, so, reward the manufacturers that offer these and skip on those who don’t.  A bidet should be an investment you can expect to last for many years and to clean many butts.


A good bidet can really change the way you think about basic hygiene and should be something you feel totally comfortable with using.  Don’t skip out on features, as you can most likely find a model with everything you want within your budget.