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Published On: Fri, Sep 24th, 2021

Why Are Bidets Becoming So Popular?

In some parts of the world, bidets have been popular for hundreds of years, and they remain a dependable feature of modern bathrooms. In the United States, however, bidets have historically been ignored. There are several potential reasons for this, including the fact that Americans’ early impressions of bidets associated them with sex work.

Regardless of how it began, the momentum appears to be turning. All across the country, and in countries all over the world, people are upgrading their bathrooms, seeking new attachments, and generally changing their minds about bidets. 

La Toilette intime ou la Rose effeuillée by Boilly

So what’s responsible for this bidet revival? And will this popularity last?

The Benefits

For starters, people are beginning to become more familiar with the benefits of bidets. Scientific research and personal anecdotes simultaneously confirm that using a bidet is advantageous over toilet paper for several reasons.

  •         Hygiene and cleanliness. Wiping yourself with toilet paper is a good start, but it’s never going to get you as clean as washing with warm water – which is why washing with warm water is the recommended option for cleaning yourself after using the bathroom. You’ll walk away feeling much cleaner, you’ll spread fewer germs, and you’ll even be at lower risk for certain health issues, like hemorrhoids.
  •         Comfort and personal preferences. If you’ve never used a bidet before, the first time can be a bit awkward or uncomfortable. But once you’re used to the mechanics of the fixture, you’ll wonder how you ever tolerated toilet paper. Gently rinsing yourself with water is far more pleasant than the alternative.
  •         Reduced toilet paper waste. Using a bidet doesn’t totally eliminate the need for toilet paper, but it does sharply reduce it. After installing a bidet in your home, you’ll use far less paper, making your home more environmentally sustainable and saving you money in the process.

Ease of Installation

Bidets are also becoming more popular because they’re becoming easier to install. It’s possible to get a standalone, dedicated bidet in your bathroom, but unless you’re already in the middle of a bathroom renovation or building a new home, this isn’t cost-effective (or practical). Instead, most people are investing in attachment bidets and toilet seat bidets, which can be mounted on your existing toilet in a matter of minutes – even with no prior plumbing experience. Bidets have therefore become less intimidating and more approachable for the general population.

The Range of Options

It helps that there are many different bidet options available. If you want to splurge, you can invest in a “smart seat” with a heated seat, remote control, and other options. If you’re working with a limited budget, you can find something inexpensive that gets the job done. No matter what your budget is or what your goals are, there’s likely a bidet option for you in the modern market.

Changing Cultural Attitudes

Bidets may also be seeing a boost in popularity because of our changing cultural attitudes toward using the bathroom. A few decades ago, people were much shyer and more reserved about discussing bathroom-related matters; speaking in euphemisms was expected and being too candid with your expressions could be seen as taboo. 

These days, people are much more open to talking about their bathroom habits, including their perceived level of cleanliness after using the bathroom – making conversations about bidets much more common.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s possible that the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on bidet popularity as well:

  •         More time at home. People began spending much more time at home, prompting them to optimize the home bathroom experience as much as possible.
  •         Time for upgrades and improvements. People also found themselves with more free time than usual, enabling them to make home upgrades and improvements.
  •         Prioritization of cleanliness. It’s also possible that increased attention to cleanliness prompted more people to upgrade to a bidet.
  •         The toilet paper shortage. The toilet paper shortage, and fears about toilet paper availability, could also have prompted people to invest in bidets.

Self-Sustaining Popularity

Bidets are also enjoying self-sustaining popularity. When one person buys a bidet, they introduce other people to the concept – many of whom may not have discovered it on their own. Their family members, friends, and other guests can have the opportunity to use a bidet for the first time, and if they like it, they’ll buy one for themselves – and introduce even more new people to the fixture, resulting in snowballing popularity.

What’s Next?

It’s likely that the bidet will continue enjoying increasing popularity throughout the United States and around the world. In many ways, it’s objectively superior to cleaning yourself with toilet paper – yet the majority of Americans still don’t own or use a bidet regularly. Until the majority of the population is “converted,” so to speak, the momentum of bidet popularity will likely continue unabated. 

Author: Anne Johansson

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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