Ever since the Great Toilet Paper Hoarding Debacle at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, bidets have been gaining popularity in the United States. Long established in Europe (they are required by law in some countries), these water spray attachments “take care of business” without the need for rolls of toilet paper.
Bidets are worth it in terms of saving money and trees. The average toilet paper user will go through about 384 trees to make their lifetime supply of toilet paper! A bidet will reduce that use by about 75 percent. Another side benefit of a bidet is that they are great for those with arthritis or who are recovering from arm, back or shoulder surgery or from an injury.
There are several types of bidets:
- Standalone – installed nearby and used separately from a toilet
- Bidet shower wand – a handheld shower wand. The user directs the spray, which can sometimes result in wet clothing. You must be fairly flexible and mobile to be able to use a bidet shower wand correctly.
- Add-on bidet attachment – this device is either fixed (a bidet seat) or a moveable piece (a nozzle) that attaches to an already existing toilet.
Because most people will not want to mess with installing an entirely different piece of equipment or worry about keeping dry, we’re focusing strictly on the add-on bidet attachment here.
Are Bidets More Sanitary Than Toilet Paper?
Yes, according to Newsweek. They report that, “Wiping with dry paper or wet wipes contributes to the 30 million annual cases of hemorrhoids, UTIs, yeast infections, anal fissures, and anal itching.’
Because the skin around the anus is so thin (especially in older adults), using toilet paper can actually cause small cuts and abrasions. Bidet attachments eliminate (or greatly reduce) the need to wipe, so that delicate area stays healthier.
Many senior women suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs). Using a bidet is gentler if you have an infection. In addition, it flushes away bacteria, which can help to aid in clearing up an infection and reduces the chances of getting another one or worse, a complication from pressure ulcers.
Can You Add A Bidet To An Existing Toilet?
Actually, adding a bidet attachment to a separate toilet is fairly easy. Most people can do it themselves in under two hours. There’s no need to call a plumber when installing this attachment because it doesn’t use dedicated water lines the way a freestanding bidet does.
According to the Home Depot (click here for detailed instructions and pictures), you’ll need an adjustable wrench, a power drill, and a level (plus the bidet attachment).
Here are simplified, general instructions to adding a bidet attachment to an existing toilet
- Turn off the water to the toilet
- Remove the current toilet seat (the seat with the bidet attachment will replace it).
- Attach the mounting plate for the bidet seat.
- Attach the bidet seat to the mounting plate.
- Detach the toilet’s water supply line and attach it to the lower end of the bidet’s t-valve.
- Attach the bidet supply hose to the top end of the t-valve.
- Attach the other end of the bidet supply hose to the bidet seat.
- Check that connections are tight.
- If there are no leaks, open the water valve to the toilet.
If you’d rather install a handheld bidet shower wand, the steps are similar.
What Is The Best Bidet Toilet Attachment?
For me, the idea of a bidet makes me shiver from the idea of a cold water rinsing, so I was happy to hear that you can get bidet attachments and bidet seats that use warm water.
Also, depending on your list of must-haves, you can get bidet attachments that have night lights built in, as well as adjustable nozzles, seat warmers and built-in dryers.
Super Basic – Bidet Nozzle
The cheapest way to go is to install a bidet nozzle. This fits under your current toilet seat and is sort of a “squirt-gun”, if you will.
The Luxe Bidet Neo 320 is a bidet nozzle that comes with two nozzles (one retractable and one for feminine areas). It also has a nozzle guard to keep the nozzle free of splash back, and allows for warm water via a hose connection to a nearby faucet.
Basic Bidet Seat Attachment
For a basic bidet seat attachment, we recommend the Tushy Classic model. The company boasts that you can install it in less than 10 minutes. It features a nozzle adjustment to help direct the water spray and the pressure.
Upgraded Bidet Seat Attachment (Warm Water)
The Brondell Swash bidet seat features a dual nozzle system (for front and rear washing)
The Brondell Swash also provides warm water – but the drawback is that the warm water is supplied via a separate hose that you will need to connect to a nearby faucet. That wouldn’t work in my own bathroom, so be sure to check that it will in yours before you purchase this one.
Best Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment – 2020
The Smart Bidet SB-2000 is a more top of the line bidet seat. Although this DIY installation model is pricier, you may find the extras are worth it.
The Smart Bidet SB-2000 comes with a self-cleaning nozzle that has 5 different positions – plus it oscillates. It also has 3 temperature settings, as well as 5 water pressure levels.
On top of that, the seat itself is heated – and designed with a skin sensor, so it only heats once you sit down. And, the best feature, in my opinion, is that it has a dryer! This luxury bidet seat will blow warm air in 5 different levels of heat.
Lastly, the seat is designed to allow you to sit on it when the lid is closed. That isn’t always the case with bidet seat attachments – the basic models may make your toilet seat unbalanced because of the attachment on one side.