Maybe you are planning on taking a trip to another part of the world that you heard uses bidets. Maybe you are an environmentalist and heard that using a bidet is better for the environment. Maybe you are tired of constantly buying expensive toilet paper whenever you go to the store.
Maybe you got caught up in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and have a hard time finding toilet paper and are looking for other options and you heard about bidets. Or maybe you just don’t feel clean after using the bathroom and are wondering what else you can do.
So what is a bidet anyway? No matter which of the above situations you are in, you probably want to learn more about bidets and figure out if they might be a good option for you and your family.
Here is what you need to know.
What is a Bidet?
A bidet is a plumbing fixture that helps people with personal hygiene by allowing them to use water to wash their privates after going to the bathroom.
The word bidet in French means “pony”, which as it relates to this bathroom fixture seems appropriate since a person “rides” or straddles a bidet in a way that is similar to what they would do if they were riding a pony.
Why Do People Use Bidets?
When first thinking about bidets you might think to yourself, “Why would I use a bidet? Why wouldn’t I just use toilet paper?”
Actually there are several reasons why people might choose to use, or own, a bidet.
If you are an environmentalist you might want to use a bidet in an effort to greatly reduce or eliminate toilet paper usage at your home. So how big of an environmental issue is toilet paper use? In 2009 Scientific American reported that “Americans use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, representing the pulping of some 15 million trees.” As you might imagine those numbers will only increase as the population continues to grow.
Other people might choose to use a bidet for health reasons. For example, people with hemorrhoids might find that cleaning themself up after using the bathroom can cause irritation. Using a bidet can help these people improve their hygiene without the irritation.
Still, other people prefer to use a bidet for religious or cultural reasons. Bidets are very common in the Arab States, West Africa, and southern Europe. In fact, there are certain places in the world that require bidets to be installed in newly constructed or renovated bathrooms.
Types of Bidets
Over time bidets have evolved and they don’t just refer to one specific type of fixture anymore. Depending on how much space you have, what features you want, and your budget there are several options to choose from.