Is the Bidet Making a Comeback?

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Home Improvement

If you’re from the US, you may not be familiar with bidets. You may have seen one in a movie or in a fancy hotel room, but you probably haven’t used one or have it in your home. However, if you’re from outside the US or have traveled internationally, you’re likely familiar with bidets that cleanse your nether regions after using the bathroom. While bidets have a comical reputation in the US, they’re quite common in other countries. In fact, 60 percent of households in Japan and 90 percent in Venezuela have a Washlet, a toilet/bidet combo made by Japanese firm Toto.

There’s a movement to introduce bidets to Americans, particularly led by environmentalists. The toilet paper industry consumes a huge amount of energy, with 36.5 billion rolls produced annually in the US alone. Bidets use some energy, but it’s significantly less compared to toilet paper. Bidet advocates argue that more Americans using bidets would help save trees.

Installing a bidet doesn’t have to be expensive or involve remodeling the bathroom. The Washlet is a popular option, and there are affordable bidet kits on the market that attach to your toilet without using electricity or hot water. There are also high-end bidets with remote controls, oscillating jets, and warm air-dryers available for those willing to spend more.

Interested in trying out a bidet? Check out the links on the next page to learn more.

Additional Information

Related Readings

  • How the Toto Washlet Operates
  • Top 10 Unusual Inventions for the House
  • 10 Toilets from Around the Globe
  • What is the Most Expensive Toilet in the World?


  • Blue Bidet. “History of Bidet.” (June 27, 2012)
  • Leon, Harmon. “Why are Bidets So Amusing?” Huffington Post, April 30, 2012. (June 27, 2012)
  • Merrill, Linda. “The Peak of the Bidet.” Networx, April 27, 2011. (July 1, 2012)
  • Thomas, Justin. “Bidets: Say Goodbye to Toilet Paper, Boost Your Sanitation.” Treehugger, April 28, 2008. (July 1, 2012)
  • Trend Hunter. “DIY Eco Bathroom Upgrades.” Oct. 20, 2009. (June 27, 2012)


1. What is a bidet?

A bidet is a plumbing fixture that is used for personal hygiene. It typically looks like a low sink or a toilet with a faucet and a sprayer, and it is designed to clean the genital and anal areas after using the toilet.

2. Where did the bidet originate?

The bidet originated in France in the 17th century, and it was used primarily by the upper classes. It spread to other parts of Europe and eventually to other parts of the world.

3. Why did bidets fall out of popularity?

Bidets fell out of popularity in the United States in the mid-20th century because they were seen as something only used by the wealthy and because they were not commonly found in American homes. Additionally, the introduction of toilet paper made bidets seem unnecessary.

4. Is the bidet making a comeback?

Yes, the bidet is making a comeback in many parts of the world, including the United States. People are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of toilet paper and are looking for alternative ways to clean themselves after using the toilet.

5. What are the benefits of using a bidet?

The benefits of using a bidet include improved hygiene, reduced toilet paper usage, and increased comfort. Bidets are also more environmentally friendly than toilet paper, as they do not require trees to be cut down and they do not contribute to clogged pipes and sewage systems.

6. Are bidets expensive?

Bidets can range in price from less than $50 for a basic model to several thousand dollars for a high-end model. However, many bidets can be installed as an attachment to an existing toilet, which is typically less expensive than purchasing a standalone unit.

7. Do bidets require special plumbing?

Most bidets require a separate plumbing connection, which can be more difficult and expensive to install. However, there are also bidet attachments that can be installed on an existing toilet with minimal plumbing changes.

8. How do you use a bidet?

To use a bidet, you typically sit on the toilet and turn on the water. You then use the sprayer or faucet to wash the genital and anal areas. Some bidets also have a drying function or a built-in dryer.

9. Are bidets more hygienic than toilet paper?

Yes, bidets are generally considered to be more hygienic than toilet paper because they clean more thoroughly and do not leave any residue behind. They can also be helpful for people with certain medical conditions that make it difficult to use toilet paper.

10. Can bidets be used by both men and women?

Yes, bidets can be used by both men and women. Some bidets even have separate settings for men and women to adjust the water flow and temperature.

11. Are bidets common in hotels?

Bidets are more common in hotels outside of the United States, particularly in Europe and Asia. However, some higher-end hotels in the United States are starting to install bidets in their rooms to cater to international travelers and guests who prefer them.

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