Bidet refers to a few types of devices for washing your butt, and each of them has a set of pros and cons. While there is a myriad of options available, it increases the difficulty of decision-making accordingly. How to choose a bidet exactly?
This bidet buying guide will analyze the crucial factors you need to consider while shopping for a toilet, helping you find the best bidet you desire.
1. Consider your budget
Nobody likes to set a budget while shopping for a bidet, but they are important.
As I said, there are various bidet categories. Some are loaded with advanced features, and some are as simple as a plastic bottle.
Therefore they have a huge price range. The price of a bidet can go anywhere from $10 to $7000, meaning that you always get a bidet no matter how much money you want to spend.
Below I will give an approximate cost of each type for your reference.
|Electric bidet seat||$200-$1000|
|Bidet toilet combo||$1000-$7000|
|Non electric bidet seat||$90-$120|
Electric bidet seats:
Many people decide to get onto the bidet bandwagon after traveling back from Japan. The electric bidet seat they experienced in Japan makes travelers feel like it is straight out of a science-fiction movie.
These electric bidet seats are more expensive than other types of bidets. Even the entry-level models will cost about $200. The luxury seats coming from well-known brands could cost more than $1000.
Entry-level electric bidets are bulkier and often powered by a tank-type heater. Luxury bidet seats have a sleeker profile and more cutting-edge features such as auto open and close lid and night light.
Bidet toilet combos:
Bidet toilet combo is an upgrade version of the electric bidet seat. It is a toilet with a built-in bidet that combines all the advanced features.
Instead of adding a seat to your existing toilet, you could get a toilet with a uniform appearance.
These bidet toilet combos are the most pricey items in the bidet world. Some lower-end models cost around $1000, but many high-quality ones cost as high as $7000.
Non-electric bidet seats:
The non-electric bidet seat is a bidet seat powered by water pressure in your household. Since it has an extra bidet function, it will cost a bit more than traditional toilet seats.
Many models range from $90 to $120. But dual-temp non-electric bidet seats can be priced higher than $150. Also, brand matters. Models from Kohler and Brondell tend to have a higher price tag.
Bidet attachment is always a sensible choice for beginners. Even some avid bidet users decide to stick to it.
Instead of replacing your existing toilet seat, you can install the attachment by inserting a plate between the toilet bowl and seat.
Bidet attachments don’t need electricity and don’t have many features.
A typical attachment can be found for $30 to $90. Most of them only use ambient water, but some could offer warm water and cost a bit more.
Handheld bidets have a long history and simple construction. It is similar to a showerhead and has limited features.
Handheld bidets are affordable. You can find a good one for about $30 to $60. Many are even cheaper than bidet attachments.
You can find many standalone bidets in European countries, but they are not expected to see in the US. It looks like a low sink and is made with ceramic.
The product itself can cost around $200 to $300. However, since it is hard to install on your own, you have to pay for the plumber who could be a lot in America.
Portable bidet is the most affordable category. Most of them consist of plastic bottles with slim nozzles and only cost about $10. Electric portable bidets have a higher price tag which is often found for $60 to $100.
2. Which type of bidet do you prefer?
Even if you have a lot of budget in investing a bidet, it doesn’t mean that you have to go for the most expensive one. A specific type may be better than others.
Electric bidet seats offer the ultimate toileting luxury many people expect. As they are powered by electricity, they have the ability to achieve many great functions.
Nowadays, different water spray modes, different water pressure and temperature settings, a dryer, a deodorizer are the norm. Some models can even open and close the seat automatically to give you a hands-free experience. More on this later.
Wondering if bidet can replace the toilet paper? Electric bidets can do that for you.
Bidet toilet combos could be even smarter. People will not notice that you have a bidet installed, and they can flush the toilet for you.
However, electric bidet seats and combos often cost a few hundred or even thousands of dollars. While they can last for a few years, it has a much higher upfront cost, and you should make sure there is an outlet nearby.
The models of non-electric bidet seats are much fewer, but many customers still like them. These toilet seats are low-profile, and many guests will not tell the difference initially.
It doesn’t have a water tank, and the internal construction is simple, making it thin and effortlessly blend with your existing toilet.
The non-electric bidet seat direct makes use of the water from the plumbing system so that it has high water pressure.
Features of these models are limited. You can adjust water pressure, and some have self-cleaning nozzles and a separate nozzle for feminine wash. Only a few products have a warm water option.
Bidet attachment is an excellent alternative to electric bidet seats for many customers. When comparing attachments with bidet seats, attachments are cheaper, easier to install and use. However, these attachments lack advanced features.
You will control the attachment by turning the knobs on the side panel. The water pressure and temperature are adjustable (if it is a dual-temp model). Meanwhile, some of them have feminine wash mode and self-cleaning nozzles.
The water stream propping out from the nozzle may not aim well. This means it is potentially you are going to wiggle around on the seat to get into the correct position.
The handheld bidet is another cheap alternative to bidet seats, but it works in different ways. To clean your butt, you need to hold the sprayer manually, and the sprayer is not fixed on the toilet.
It is more like a showerhead, meaning that you can use it to rinse off your pet and clean the diapers. You can only adjust the water pressure and temperature (only for the warm water model), and that’s it. The water pressure is high so you need to test it before each use.
Many women choose to use portable bidets after postpartum. Some bidet fans like to carry them while traveling.
By squeezing the plastic bottle, the water will come out from the nozzle and wash away the waste. Some battery-powered models are foldable, and the water pressure is adjustable—nothing else you can expect from a portable bidet.
Even though the standalone bidet is rare to see in the US, you may be interested in it still.
A standalone bidet is a bathroom fixture, so you need to hire a plumber to install it. Some prop out water from the bottom of basic, and some pour out water from the faucet on the end of the basin.
You have to straddle on it, and before that, you have to pre-wipe because the drain opening is tiny.
3. Can the bidet you want to buy fit your existing toilet?
Compatibility is not a big issue for most toilets. Technically, you can install a bidet on any toilet.
However, the difficulty of installing a bidet varies, and in some cases, it may require permanent bathroom modification, which most of us do not favor.
Therefore, you should ensure whether or not the bidet can fit your existing toilet and avoid some models and types that are not suitable while buying a bidet.
Elongated toilet or round toilet?
If you plan to buy a bidet seat, ensuring the shape of your toilet bowl can fit it is critical. Generally, there are two versions: elongated and round.
The round toilet bowl is shorter than the elongated one, meaning that you can’t put a bidet seat for an elongated toilet on a round toilet.
Luckily, the majority of manufacturers provide two versions of bidet seats to cater to your needs. However, some only offer models for elongated toilets.
Is it a skirted toilet?
Skirted toilet refers to the toilet with concealed trapways. This design is excellent as it makes the toilet look more tidy and sleek. However, it could add some challenges while installing a bidet seat or a bidet attachment.
When mounting the main unit and the plate of bidet on the toilet, we often use bolts and nuts. These nuts are located under the bowl.
When the trapway is hidden, there is no way to get nuts installed anymore. Instead, you can use a set of top-mounting bolts.
One-piece toilet or two-piece toilet?
Bidets are easy to install on two-piece toilets. These toilets have a separate tank, and you can access the fill valve easily.
To send the water to the bidet, you need to add a T-adaptor attached to the fill valve to divert water from the water hose.
However, the fill-valve of one-piece toilets is located at the back of the toilet, and the back is very close to the wall. You will struggle with attaching a T-adaptor to it, and this situation applies to bidet seats, attachments, and handheld bidets.
To solve this problem, you can install an alternative adaptor on the shutoff valve, leaving the fill valve untouched.
Tankless toilets or wall-hung toilets?
You can’t find a tank in a tankless toilet or wall-hung toilet. You can imagine there would not be a shutoff valve and water line nearby.
To fix this problem, you can either take advantage of the valve under the sink or ask for the professional help from a plumber.
Toilets with a unique appearance
Some toilets are modern and sleek. The unique design increases the aesthetic value of the bathroom. Nevertheless, it could impede the installation process.
The distance between two toilet bowl holes may be wider than standard ones, causing the mounting plate can’t be fixed on it.
Sometimes, the distance between the bowl edge and bowl hole is too long that the side panel can’t extend out from the edge. This could be a big issue for those who have a bidet seat with a side panel or bidet attachment.
Some french curve toilets are not so bidet-friendly. The curve could conflict with the mounting bracket. Anyway, you could choose to buy a handheld bidet instead.
4. Features you need
Any bidets can wash off the waste on your butt, but some have more features than others. These fancy features are great, but you may not need them at all.
In this section, I will enumerate a few standard features of different bidets so that you can make your own decision. In a word, don’t pay for the features you will never use.
Most, if not every, electric bidet seats come with a heated seat. You can adjust the seat temperature to accommodate different climates or turn it off on hot days.
It is not a big deal if you live in a warm area, but it could be a godsend for people living in a cold area or having chilly winter days. How great it would be if you could say goodbye to the shock of a cold toilet seat.
Different spray modes
Electric bidet seats often have an array of spray modes, including front wash, posterior wash, oscillating, pulsating, and vortex. Some have included child mode for the kids in your family.
Each mode has different water pressure and width of the water stream. For example, the feminine wash or front wash has a wider and soft water spray, but the vortex mode is powerful, giving you some kind of enema feeling.
If the feminine wash is a deal-breaker for you, you also can consider buying a bidet attachment or non-electric bidet seat. Many models in these two categories include a separate nozzle or nozzle hole to care for the sensitive area.
Beyond that, the nozzle position is adjustable. Seniors and people with disabilities will like it because they don’t have to change their sitting position anymore.
You can find nozzle with self-cleaning function in bidet seats and attachments. Nozzles can be contaminated with use, and this function is helpful to a large extent.
By turning the knob on the side panel, the attachments and non-electric bidet seats will start to rinse off the nozzle.
Electric bidet seats go one step further. The nozzle will clean itself before or after each use automatically, and it is often made with antibacterial materials.
As I mentioned above, you need to use an electric bidet if you want to ditch toilet paper. This is due to the fact that only electric units have dryers.
The dryer will dry you off after each use, eliminating the use of TP. However, the dryer may not be as powerful as you wish. In my experience, it will take one or two minutes to get it done.
It is useful, but you need more patience and time.
The bidet deodorizer helps you prevent potential embarrassment and purify the air in the bathroom. Instead of using another smell to mask it, the deodorizer uses a carbon filter to break down smelly components. You can find this function in many mid-range or high-end bidet seat units.
There are two types of bidet water filters: internal and external filters. Electric bidet seats are embedded with internal filters to filter out components that could clog the nozzle.
Other types don’t have such part, but you can buy an external one and install it between the water hose. The effect is more or less the same.
Auto open and close lid
This is a feature of luxury bidets and bidet toilet combos. It is a nice touch for seniors and people with disabilities as well. When you step into the bathroom, the bidet will open the lid for you, and when you leave, it will close the lid automatically.
You can save some effort and time on doing these two actions.
Using the bathroom during the night is somewhat dangerous. It is one of the causes of falls in the elderly.
The night light can illuminate the way without waking you up completely and disturbing your partners.
5. Do you live in an apartment?
If you are a renter, there are more factors to consider when buying a bidet. The property owner may not allow you to make modifications, making installing specific bidets difficult.
For example, installing a bidet toilet combo or standalone bidet may not be possible because you need to do permanent modifications in the bathroom.
Aside from that, when you install a dual temp non-electric unit, you need to connect the bidet with the hot water line. The valve is often located under the sink, and you may have to drill a hole on the vanity if it has.
I suggest you avoid this permanent alternation as much as possible when you live in an apartment. Check more information here.
6. Find a good place to buy
The last step in this buying guide is to find a place for shopping. Where to buy a bidet? You could go to the local stores such as Home Depot and Walmart or look online. Honestly, you could get much more options on the websites.
Except for big online platforms, you could also buy at bidet niche sites such as Bidetkind or Manybidets. Some famous bidet brands sell their products on official sites such as Tushy and Luxe.
How to choose a bidet: conclusion
Buying a bidet is not a walk in the park, but it is not something too complicated.
As it has a vast price range, you need to decide based on your budget. Meanwhile, each type of bidet has different pros and cons. It is up to your preferences as well as health conditions.
If you are a senior or a person with disabilities, an electric bidet seat is always the best choice, thanks to various spray modes and even auto open and close lid. Otherwise, attachment and handheld bidet can clean your butt off as well.
Electric bidet seats have a lot of bonus features, but you have to pay way more. Attachments and handheld bidets are much cheaper, but they only provide basic services.
Besides, you could think about if your existing toilet is compatible with the bidet and if your landlord allow you to make the modification.
Hope this bidet buying guide could help you to find out the best bidet you want!