What’s the difference between a bidet and a washlet?
Bidets have been a staple in European bathrooms for decades, but have had a slow transition into the United States. Simply speaking, a bidet is a separate piece of furniture from a toilet. Although it looks like a toilet, it has a faucet on the back and sits next to your real toilet. After using the toilet, you move to the bidet for cleansing. Many people don’t have space in their bathroom for both of these fixtures, and if they do they don’t want more things to clean. For these reasons, the bidet has never been very popular in America.
On the other hand, washlet seats are growing in popularity. A washlet is a high-tech toilet seat with a water hook-up and spray nozzle in the back. Since it is basically a replacement to a regular toilet seat, there is no extra cleaning and it does not take up any extra space in the bathroom.
How it Works:
A washlet seat works very similarly to a bidet but it has a few major differences. Instead of having a faucet in the back, it has a nozzle that sprays cleansing water from behind. When you sit on the washlet, you can choose a front wash or rear wash. When you’re ready, you will push a button for instantly warm water to cleanse you. Many washlets have multiple settings for water pressure and movement to get you clean where you need it. Some inexpensive models found online are very basic and simply use cold water. At Handy Man, we have models that have their own heating element that provides warm water that oscillates to clean more of you, then blows warm air to dry you off.
Most Americans are averse to the idea of washlets and bidets because of their unfamiliarity. But, if you ask anyone who has one in their home, they wouldn’t replace it for the world. There are a multitude of reasons to jump on the washlet bandwagon. Here are just a few.
- Cleanliness – Immediately after using a washlet or bidet you feel incredibly clean. Liken it to cleaning your countertops with a dry towel compared to a damp towel. The wet towel will always pick up more debris than the dry one.
- Hygiene – Rather than using toilet paper and spreading germs and bacteria, your hands are still clean after using the bidet. Most infectious diseases are spread by human contact, so the hands-free functionality of a bidet makes it a much more hygienic alternative.
- Better for pipes – On average, Americans use 50 pounds of toilet paper each year. This toilet paper clogs pipes and wreaks havoc on septic systems and city sewers. With a bidet, you can reduce your toilet paper usage to practically nothing.
- Asists elderly users – With a washlet, your older adult won’t have to bend and twist to wipe their behind. It will do the cleanup and they’ll just need to pat the area dry. It’s hygienic and gentle on senior’s delicate skin.
- Environmental impact – So, you’re thinking this sounds great, but what about all that wasted water? The footprint of a washlet or bidet is much smaller than you think — for each use, the bidet only uses 1/8 of a gallon of water. Compare that to the water used to make toilet paper (37 gallons per roll) and trees cut down each year (15 million) and the bidet is a much more sustainable option.
If you’re still hesitant about bringing a washlet into your home, stop by our showroom where you can see one in action.