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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Dill

Product Review: About that Bidet

What comes to mind when you think of Bidet? Does it make you think of restrooms in European countries? Is it a frivolous luxury product? Or, does it ever make you think, “Wonder if I should try a bidet?” Surprisingly, bidets have come a long away. They are becoming more popular in the United States (centuries after the original invention) and being installed in American households for all ages! Now, how about that Bidet?


Fun Facts

Bidet is French for “pony” and the word was used in France in the 15thcentury to refer to pet ponies kept by the French royalty and maybe referencing straddling the pony. Perhaps this is why bidets can often be thought of as a luxury to some. The standard or conventional bidets have been around since the 1600s starting off in the bedrooms and later moving into bathrooms. The concept spread throughout Europe and Asia. This was a standalone bidet separate from the toilet and required straddling to assist in anal cleansing. Another form is a shower bidet and users would transition to the shower bidet using a handheld shower head after defecation and urination but still required wiping and drying. Do you remember the guy who invented breakfast cereal corn flakes…John Harvey Kellogg? He was an American medical doctor, nutritionist, inventor and active in the clean living movement. And why is he mentioned? Because, in 1928 he patented a design similar to the shower nozzle for bidets for more sanitary reasons among his patients for anal cleansing. Evidently, he was more famous for the corn flakes.

By the mid-1960s, the American Bidet Company created a combo toilet seat with a spritzing function designed to help heal rashes, hemorrhoids, and other irritations. While the bidet invention was slow to growing in popularity in America, Toto, a Japanese company caught up with the idea of combining electronic and bidets, created a “washlet” – a multifunction, control panel bidet-toilet crossover. This idea became attractive to the Japanese market in the 1980s. However, the bidet in the United States just might be finally buying into the idea (The Bidet’s Revival).

Just a squirt, blow dry, and no trailing toilet paper

My first experience on a bidet was by accident in a kitchen and bath store.  It was quite awkward probably because I was pushing buttons (thinking it was selecting seat warmer).    I might have let a kid-like squeal followed by “ew, that was warm water!” As I sat there, I considered people any type of shoulder injury limiting any rotation, elbow stiffness, neurological illness or any other medical condition that would impair the movement or use of my upper body.  All I could think about was, “This is brilliant!” It not only does the squirting and drying (mimicking wiping and drying), it saves toilet paper and yes, money! The technology that has evolved with the bidet eliminates the need to use a separate shower head, keeps us drier, and takes up less space.

When my husband was doing extensive research on bidets while our house was under construction, he found “the one” and purchased the Bio Bidet BB-600 attachments via Amazon for two of our bathrooms: the master and the accessible guest bathroom. The main requirement or most important point to keep in mind when considering a bidet is having a GFCI outlet (suitable for wet areas) behind any toilet planned for bidets. Buying the attachment is inexpensive and fits most toilets. It was easy to install and came with all the components such as the tubing and dual valve to place tube for water to tank and the other to the bidet. The easy DIY instructions also come with a cheat sheet on how to use the control panel. The bidet uses tap water for cleansing. My favorite feature is the heated toilet seat. Using the squirt and blow dry settings felt like I was in the bathroom forever and takes some time to get used to. However, some of the things Bio Bidet users do not realize is the settings can be changed: such as the aim of the nozzle, the temperature of the heated seat (caution for those with decreased sensation or sensitive to temperature changes – it does have a safety setting), and the general use of the buttons. The Bio Bidet also has an economy setting to save electric and water. If you have the money to splurge, companies such as Kohler and Toto have been known to have the best all in one bidets at a heftier price point.

Who can use it?

ANYone!! Would you believe the Bio Bidet BB-600 has two nozzles to perfect the aim of the spritz? It’s made for men, women, and even kids. The fun part is hearing all our little guests (family/friends’ kids) use the bidet…all the squealing. We’ve even had guests use our bidet and go home and buy one for their bathroom at home! One of my remodel projects was my grandparents’ bedroom and bathroom and they requested this bidet for their bathroom after their experience of trialing ours in the accessible guest bathroom. They are extremely satisfied with their bidet and use it daily. They found it very user-friendly and use the automatic setting most often. The challenge of this bio bidet is the placement of the controls. It’s only on one side and hard to see the buttons if you don’t have your settings memorized. Harder for someone with arthritis to turn and look down to see the controls.

Overall, product buy-in is all about the experience. If the bidet is slightly interesting to you, check out the reviews especially on Amazon. The bidet (no matter what brand) have claimed quite the stardom. The Bio Bidet BB-600 even have reviews from someone with limited upper body use due to shoulder surgery. Another person who has one arm to complete the tasks raved about the clever invention. Bio Bidet has great warranties and even customer service according to the reviews. People of all abilities have fallen in love with this bidet! In fact, as an occupational therapist, one of the number one goals that people want to be able to do or achieve on their own is wiping their butt.

Additional benefits of Bio Bidet BB-600 (or bidets in general)

  • It is true (according to numerous articles and reviews), bidets are better for those who struggle with constipation or suffer the pain of wiping with hemorrhoids.

  • Not only is it obviously more environmentally friendly due to eliminating the use of toilet paper but if a 24-count of Charmin Ultra Strong Mega Roll toilet paper is about $30+ then 8 ½ packs of toilet paper would buy you the Bio Bidet BB-600 on Amazon!

  • No more toilet paper = less toilet clogging!

  • Having a kid setting may make potty training more fun or at least encourage good hygiene habits and keep their hands free from booty germs.

  • Great for those with upper body limitations and want to improve their independence in personal hygiene.

  • Soft close lids and seats.

Now, how about that bidet. If you haven’t gotten ahead of the trend and would like to trial a bidet before purchasing…check out any plumbing stores or kitchen/bath showrooms that may have products for you to trial. For those of you that have gotten ahead of the trend, what are your favorite bidet features?

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