Bidets, the toilet’s cousin that seems to make every New Zealander a bit uncomfortable. What are they, why are they better than toilet paper alone, and which one to get?
A bidet is a fixture equipped with a water stream meant for post-toilet personal hygiene. They can exist in a few different forms including stand-alone bowls that sit next to your toilet and integrated bidets or shower toilets, both of which we will discuss later on in this blog post.
Originally invented in France, bidets have been a bathroom essential throughout Europe since the 18th century. In fact, installing a bidet in your bathroom has been mandatory in Italy since 1975! More recently they have become incredibly popular in Asian and South American countries due to the hygiene, health, and environmental benefits of using bidets. Yet most kiwis get giggly and embarrassed at thought of using one. So let’s break the stigma.
The environmental impact of going to the toilet is not always at the front of our minds, but maybe it should be. 140L of water and 680g of wood is required to produce a single roll of toilet paper. In 2010 it was found that New Zealanders use approximately 10.5kgs of toilet paper annually , that’s about 46 rolls. The average bidet use only uses 500mL of water. Bidets also contribute to a reduction in water usage as people who use a bidet tend to feel cleaner, and they require fewer showers and baths as a result.  Think about how much water, money, and trees we could save if everyone switched to using bidets?
Hygiene and Health benefits
In the same sense that wiping up spilled food with a dry paper towel will leave behind residue, using toilet paper may not get you sufficiently clean. Washing with a bidet allows you to fully cleanse, reducing your chances of UTIs, itchiness, and general discomfort when compared to using toilet paper.
Using water to clean yourself after going to the toilet is more hygienic than simply wiping with paper. Studies have found that the use of a bidet can lead to a reduction in bacteria found in urine, indicating that bidets offer a more thorough clean than toilet paper. Adding to that bidets could potentially limit your germ spread. When you use a bidet, your hands don’t often come into close contact with fecal matter. That could limit particles from getting on your hands and spreading.
The shower toilet. The perfect all-in-one package is ideal for bathrooms that are more on the compact side and individuals that would prefer to finish their business all in one spot. This is a more recent innovation of the traditional bidet. They include a retractable water spout that can be controlled from the side of the toilet. depending on the model they can have the option to control the temperature and flow rate of the stream.
Back to wall Bidets
Perfect for matching your back-to-wall or wall-faced toilets. As the bidet sits directly next to your toilet you want them to match for a cohesive bathroom set. This form of bidet uses a bidet faucet allowing you to match with the rest of the tapware in your bathroom. Read more about bidet tapware below.
Wall Hung Bidets
Wall Hung bidets and toilets not only make your bathroom feel bigger with a behind-the-wall cistern but also make cleaning a breeze with just enough room to fit a mop underneath. Available in a wide array of designs wall hung bidets and toilets can be the perfect solution for a modern and practical bathroom.
Make a Statement
Bidets don’t have to be an afterthought. With their huge popularity in Europe, our Italian, Turkish and German suppliers offer a great range of designs and colors so that your bidet can be the star feature of your bathroom and fit perfectly with your bathroom’s aesthetic.
Traditional bidets require a faucet. Unlike toilets or toilet seats with a built-in bidet function, standalone bidets provide an opportunity to show off beautiful tapware. Our German tapware partner Hansa has bidet faucets to match most of their tapware ranges allowing you to match all your tapware creating cohesivity within the bathroom.
Hopefully after reading this blog post you feel slightly less squeamish about the thought of using a bidet. The statistics are undeniable bidets are better for the environment, better for your health and more hygienic. Europe, Asia and South America are on to something, maybe its time us kiwis caught up. Would you consider a bidet for your home? Let us know what you think here.