Bidet Review: 'I Have Less Toilet Paper Anxiety'

Panelists score six popular models on installation, water pressure, usability, and more

empty roll of toilet paper iStock-172389877

Even if you weren’t caught unprepared by 2020’s toilet paper shortage, you may have looked into alternatives for a staple most of us take for granted.

It’s a short list. At the top is the bidet: a toilet accessory that employs a spray wand (or two) to deliver a cleansing stream of water to your undercarriage.

A bidet allows you to wash rather than wipe after using the loo, reducing the need for TP. (While many bidet seats come with an air-drying function, Allen P. Chudzinski, MD, a fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, says that people should always pat themselves dry after using one to guard against problems associated with excessive moisture.)

According to a recent user study CR conducted, having a bidet has been a huge relief for some people these days. “I would estimate our toilet paper consumption has gone down by half,” a respondent said. “And I have less toilet paper anxiety.”

CR’s consumer experience and usability research team conducted a study of more than two dozen owners of six popular bidet models from BioBidet, Brondell, Luxe Bidet, Toto, and Tushy. (Our panelists were screened from more than 1 million consumers who have signed up to participate in research on common products and services.) Participants were asked to score four usability tasks for their bidet on a five-point scale and describe their experiences performing those tasks. See the reviews below.

More on Toilets and Bidets

Participants also scored their bidets on a 10-question system usability scale, covering user experience factors such as whether they needed help from a technical person to install it or use it; how much troubleshooting they had to do; whether they liked using the bidet seats; how intuitive the functions are; and how well those functions are integrated into the design. Each bidet was evaluated by four to six participants.

“By taking participants through a systematic process, we help them unpack the many facets of their experience so they can accurately assess it using five-point scales,” says Charu Ahuja, CR’s director of consumer experiences and usability research. “That allows us to produce quantitative user experience scores.”

Aftermarket bidets come in two configurations: bidet seats and attachments. Unlike the freestanding porcelain fixtures you might expect to find in Europe, with these DIY devices you attach a T-valve to the toilet’s water supply to split it between the bidet and the toilet tank.

A bidet seat needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet and typically features a heated seat, a warm-water spray, an adjustable nozzle, and a heated air dryer. Some have oscillating and pulsating modes, night lights, and even remote controls that allow you to program settings for various users, like the driver’s seat of a European sedan. The power cords are typically about 4 feet long, and you’ll need to make sure that the outlet is a ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, which protects against shock or electrocution. (It will have “test” and “reset” buttons.)

A bidet attachment is simpler: It mounts between the ring of your existing toilet seat and the bowl. Bidet attachments are less expensive, but no electricity usually means no heat (though some connect to your faucet’s hot-water supply). “I don’t like that there isn’t an option to heat the water,” said one participant with a bidet attachment. “It can be quite cold.”

Expect to pay around $50 to $120 for an attachment and up to $1,200 or more for a seat, though many seats are in the $200 to $500 range. In addition to Brondell, Toto, and Tushy, top brands include BioBidet and Luxe.

With such a range of prices and features, how do you decide which bidet seat or bidet attachment is right for you? CR members with digital access can read on to find out what our respondents think of the models they’re using in their homes, and see how each model ranks on these key factors: installation, usability, and adjusting water pressure, angle of the water stream, and—for the seats—water temperature.

You can also learn more about bidets by reading our answers to some of your most pressing bidet questions. Think you’d like a whole new toilet as well? Check our toilet buying guide; CR members can see how the toilets in our tests perform in our toilet ratings.

Bidet Reviews From Consumer Reports

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