Bidet Attachments – What are they?

Most people know what a bidet is, but what is a bidet attachment?


We can all agree that having a clean butt is exhilarating.  Walking, sitting, running, dancing, combing, eating, clapping, yawning – everything feels better with a hygienic heinie.

Bidets provide a way to keep your rear feeling as if you’ve just showered after every toilet-bound adventure.

Unfortunately, the high-tech, robotic, bordering on sentient toilet seat bidets popularized by Japan come at a price premium, with most worthwhile models costing $250 or more.

What if you don’t need a robot getting comfortable with your private areas?

What if all you want is a fresh fart canyon?

In that case, a bidet toilet attachment is exactly what you’re looking for.

Read on to learn the basics of what exactly a bidet toilet attachment is, and which ones are the best of the bunch.


A bidet attachment attached to a two-piece toilet

Bidet attachments LOVE your toilet.


Parts of a bidet attachment.

Bidet attachments are blissfully simple devices that – you guessed it – attach to your toilet.  They don’t replace your existing toilet seat; they instead make their new home in the area between your toilet seat and the rim of the toilet itself.

A bidet attachment will have a control panel on the right side (sorry, lefties!).

This will have a couple dials or a lever which you can use to control the water pressure, temperature and function (nozzle cleaning, feminine wash, rear wash).

 

Connected to the control panel is a thin plastic housing which is going to be nestled between your toilet seat and toilet rim.

This piece will have some form of mounting to attach it to your toilet.  Usually this means rotating or sliding plates that allow the unit to be easily connected to nearly any two-piece toilet.

It also contains the water connection from the control panel to the bidet nozzle, usually in the form of a very small hose.

 

Finally, we arrive at the stalwart workhorse of any bidet, the bidet nozzle.

Depending on which model you have, there will be either one or two nozzles (for front and rear washing).

Every mechanical bidet’s nozzle will automatically retract after use, with some also being self cleaning.

This means that when you stop the flow of water, the nozzle will retract into its housing to protect it from the ungodly fluids and particles that love to hang out in toilets.


The parts of a mechanical bidet.

The anatomy of a bidet attachment.


How does a bidet attachment work?

After reading the appetizer sections about the basics of mechanical bidets and their parts, we’re finally ready to dive into the main course, the bidet-mignon, if you will – actually using your new bathroom upgrade.

So, how do you use a bidet attachment?

  1. Mount your throne, for this is the first step to attaining cleanliness of the booty.
  2. Pinch a loaf, maybe two, weary traveler; for to become clean, you must first dirty thyself.
  3. When relieved of excess baggage (worry not, emotional baggage can also be shed here in this place of peace), peer to your right and lower thy gaze until the panel of impending purity enters your view.
  4. Manipulate the controls, select thy desired temperature (brace thyself if warmer waters are unavailable, for winter is coming to your southern kingdoms) and pressure.  Beware! Do not directly jump to the highest pressure setting; as the philosopher Epictetus once warned, “If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please.”
  5. Adjust thyself to suitably align with the cleansing beam which comes forth from the noble nozzle of neatness. Be not afraid, this bodily adjustment may indeed need to be repeated several times within the same cleansing session, as some filthy, malicious particles will no doubt try to escape the reach of the waters of wellness at the outset.
  6. When thou hath been satisfactorily purified, engage in barter with the nearby roll of toilet paper.  Mayhaps one square will be adequate for drying?  Mayhaps two?  No matter, you have lessened the paper merchant’s power in this realm by reducing your kingdom’s need for his products.
  7. Stand proud and go forth, secure in the knowledge that you are fair, pure and unburdened by worry.

In other words, sit down, do your business, select the appropriate temperature and pressure, open the flow of water, adjust your rear to ensure the whole area gets sprayed, dry yourself off and get on with your day.


Ned Stark using a bidet attachment

Initially, Ned didn’t want the throne, but that’s nothing a bidet attachment couldn’t change.


How do you choose the right bidet attachment?

This section is going to be quite straightforward, as there really aren’t THAT many variables to juggle when it comes to bidet attachments.

  • Quality components

For me, the most important feature of any mechanical bidet is going to be the quality of its parts.  Look for bidet attachments that use ceramic and metal valves.

It is possible to find decent bidets with plastic valves (this Astor Bidet comes to mind), but I prefer the potential for true longevity offered by sturdier construction.

  • Warm water or nah

Jack Torrance frozen by cold water from a bidet.

All cold water and no warm water make Jack an uncomfortable boy.

When deciding between a bidet attachment that has warm water and one that doesn’t, consider these two factors:

Do you live in an area that has a true winter with very cold months?

Are you sensitive to cool or cold water? 

If you answered yes to either of those, you might want to seriously consider opting for a warm-water option.

Living in Michigan for most of my life, I can attest to the incredibly uncomfortable temperatures our cold water could reach during the winter.

If I had to spray my moneymaker with that level of hellish, numbing cold, I’d probably just go back to using toilet paper.  It’s sad, but true.

  • Will this bidet be used by any ladies

Unless you’re a dude who is living alone, consider getting a bidet attachment that features two nozzles.

One will be for the traditional rear cleansing, while the other will spray a gentler, more diffuse spray more forward for feminine cleaning.

It is great for everyday hygiene of the area as well as extremely nice to have during monthly periods.

That’s right, a bidet or a bidet attachment can help with the mess of monthly periods.

  • Lever or dial control

Dial operated mechanical bidet versus a lever operated mechanical bidet

Dial v Lever Operation

This is a minor variable and comes down to personal preference.

Do you want to control the water pressure and temperature with dials or a lever?

I prefer a lever because it streamlines the control panel, looks cooler (in my opinion) and feels better to use (also, only my opinion here).

Some prefer dials as they feel they have more control over pressure than with a lever, although I haven’t found this to be the case.

Some of the leading bidet attachments compared:

 
Astor Fresh Water BidetLuxe Neo 180Luxe Neo 320Superior Bidet Supreme
Ceramic Valves?No, plasticYesYesYes
Warm Water?NoNoYesYes
Feminine Cleanse?NoYesYesYes
Average Price~$30~$50~$70~$100

Take a look at our review of the Luxe Bidet Neo 320, my personal pick for the best bidet attachment, or feast your eyes on our expanding list of bidet attachment reviews.

Travel Bidet Enlightenment – The Inside Scoop on Portables

Bidets are wonderful, but now that you’re out the front door, how do you stay clean?


There’s nothing quite like a sparkling-clean bum to improve your day.  A blast of H2O can give you an instant confidence boost, enhance your comfort and  put the “my butt is clean” strut back into your step.

A common problem bidet users encounter is not having enough room in their bag to carry their bidet seat with them to the park, mall, grandma’s house or wherever else they may find themselves.


A backpacker scans the horizon to find a suitable place to connect and use his BioBidet bidet seat.


Thankfully, travel bidets (also called portable bidets) exist.  These magnificent little squirt bottles are a cheap, quick and easy way to freshen the least fresh of places while on the go.

A portable bidet will typically consist of a squeeze bottle that can hold anywhere from 300ml to 650ml of water, a detachable nozzle and a (usually dorky) “travel bag”.


A scientific dissection of a popular travel bidet.


How do portable bidets work?

As seen above in the picture taken from Restroom Geographic’s April 2004 issue, a travel bidet has two components: a squeeze bottle and a nozzle that can be taken off for easy filling and also makes the unit more compact.

After a user struggles to free the bidet from its chintzy tote bag, it will be filled up at a sink and the nozzle will be reattached.  After you finish up your business, you’ll need to invert the travel bidet in order to get it where it needs to go.

Travel bidets have a one way valve on the bottom that acts as a “airlock”.  Covering this valve with your finger will stop any water from trickling out of the nozzle while it’s upside-down.  The valve also serves to keep water in as it’s rightside-up before use.


The International Bidet Station keeps its airlock closed as it orbits Earth.


After the bidet is inverted and in position, it can be squeezed to release its payload (H2O).  The airlock is released and will let air into the bidet to ensure a steady, smooth cleaning stream.  If you need more pressure, you can either squeeze harder or cover the airlock.

When you’re finished, you can inspect the bidet for any splatter artifacts, clean it up (I recommend using a bit of toilet paper to wipe any unsightly remnants off first, then hitting it with water and soap from the sink), pop it in its travel bag and then seal it away in your backpack, purse, etc.

How do you choose the right travel bidet?

In a world where choice is champion, many products (bidet seats included) offer so many options that it can become overwhelming when trying to settle on the best model.

Thankfully, the world of travel bidets is quite simple, with only a few differentiating features between various models:

  • Squeeze bottle size

The most important aspect of a portable bidet to consider. This is exactly what it sounds like: how  much water will you have to get the job done.  You are most likely familiar enough with your bathroom exploits to gauge whether you’ll need more or less water, so choose accordingly – the trade-off for a big jug is going to be portability.

  • Nozzle length

Nozzle length will determine the level of flexibility required to achieve that pristine clean that bidet enthusiasts are always going on about.  A longer nozzle means less reaching and less moving in general as they are easier to adjust.  Once again, as nozzles get lengthier, portability decreases.

  • Color

A pretty insignificant detail, as nobody is gonna see you using your travel bidet and it seems like every single model comes in a shade of either blue or green.

Some of the leading portable bidets compared:

 
Brondell GoSpaBlue Bidet BB-20BioBidet Palm TP-70SmarterFresh Travel Bidet
Bottle Size400ml350ml450ml650ml
Nozzle Length5 in4 in7.5 in7.5 in
ColorPurpleBlueBlue Blue

Take a look at our review of the BioBidet Palm TP-70, one of the best potable bidets available.

Note: There are also electronic travel bidets and I may cover them at a future time, but for now, I’m just sticking to hand pressure operated portables.