We are in the process of designing a new house from scratch, and would really appreciate feedback on up-market bidets as a first install rather than a retrofit. In our current house, we have an old-fashioned bidet which I love as a way to control what I call crutch-rot. You sit facing the wall, will the bidet bowl with water, wash the difficult bits very easily, then drain the water out and dry with a hand-towel. However we have been looking at the Japanese options, which seem to be fairly common in the USA but virtually unknown in Australia. I think that you sit back-to-the wall, but I’m still not sure. As for many people with a back problem, twisting around to wipe my backside can be difficult and painful, so a wash and hot-air dry is very interesting. From a space and finances point of view, sticking to a new model ‘washlet’ could be a good option in a new-build, rather than waiting for a retrofit on top of a standard toilet. Yes, very expensive, but perhaps worth it?

I would be really grateful for some feedback on the options. Is a purpose built toilet-washlet the best option? Is a washlet seat OK? - as good as the whole purpose built thing? And can you use the toilet and flush normally, without having to use the squirt and warm air options?

Please follow posters, please give me the benefit of your experience!

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Hi, cwillie, and thanks for more information. I did find a more useful site (, but your own experience was a winner. In my current reno bathroom, I specified a tap at bucket-fill level with a click-on hose attachment. Filling a bucket with 10 kgs of water and lifting it out of a laundry trough is not good for the back, and the hose is very useful for cleaning too. Bathrooms here always have a central drain, which I gather is not common in the USA or Canada so it might not work for you. However the tap and hose next to the toilet is going to give me the option that worked for your mother. Perhaps not temperature controlled, but we don’t get icy water here.

The last straw for me was thinking about finding someone to fix the super-dooper job in Alice Springs, if something failed in its complicated internal workings. In your dreams! NTWH, we discussed a trip to Japan to investigate, but thought it was going over the top a bit!

I am really grateful. I have digestion issues, my sister is disabled, and DH and I (and our friends) are getting older. Retrofit solutions are usually messy and expensive, so I wanted to get this right instead of waiting for things to get worse. Yours with thanks Margaret
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

You mention washlet. That's a good place to start. Washlet is a Toto trademark. Toto invented these things decades ago. They are the gold standard in the bidet world. No matter what you've seen outside of Japan, it's the bottom of the barrel compared to the models you see in Japan. I'm not sure they sell the high end models outside of Japan. Those things are wonders to behold. Properly used, you shouldn't have to touch anything but your pants to pull them down and then back up. Everything, including lid and seat positioning is done by the toilet. They will even clean themselves, including the toilet seat. There's also no smell. They have a negative pressure system with charcoal filters with optional scents.

Japanese restrooms overall are on another level. Picture the nicest restroom you have ever been to. Most Japanese public bathrooms, even on a train, will outclass that. A restroom in a nice hotel, office building or shopping center will be like you stepped onto the set of a science fiction movie. I've met foreigners who are so overwhelmed, they just stand there baffled how to proceed. Too many buttons. Just because there are so many buttons doesn't mean you have to all of them or any of them. Just let the toilet guide you.

In Tokyo, Toto has a showroom for you to see all these wonders. Otherwise, you'll have to make do with their website.
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Reply to needtowashhair

The videos you want on YouTube are the advertisements trying to demonstrate and sell products, some of the other stuff can really get weird. I think that the bidet seats that attach to a regular toilet are the way I would go, and if money wasn't an issue then definitely heated water and blow dry and all the other bells and whistles.

Lots of people have mentioned the simple sprayer attachments for a regular toilet, I wouldn't consider that unless I could hook one up to a system allowing me to adjust the temperature.

Oh yeah, I should mention that when it came to cleaning up my mother I was lucky enough to be able to reach the toilet with the hand held shower, all the mess was in the toilet and easily flushed away and she got a nice warm wash.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cwillie

Thanks Cwillie, for two very helpful comments. First was that probably most of the people who post about bidets don’t actually have much experience, and second was to check Youtube. Finding information is proving to be really difficult. Most of the net comments I find are of the HaHa variety, totally useless, like the foot bath/ baby bath comments. The other net posts aren’t sufficiently specific. My old-fashioned bidet certainly isn’t a toilet, you couldn’t dispose of a bowel movement through the plug hole. Some of the posts for newer bidets make that same comment, so you would need a flushing toilet as well as a bidet with spray and dry. Moving from one to the other could be a bit messy, and they would take up a lot of room in a small ensuite. Perhaps the $5000 all-in-one options flush first like a toilet and then move into the spray and dry movements. How do they keep the spray and air at a reasonable temperature, and how much power does it all take? It’s quite complex, so how reliable are they? Then there are the toilet seats with spray and dry options. Exactly how do they work? The squirt angle doesn’t seem reasonable. And there are also hand-held squirters, which seem to wash but not dry. The comments about how to dry the whole area with toilet paper don’t seem easy. And how do you keep all these bits clean?

For cleaning up diarrhoea or after removing pull-ups, a bidet ought to be a really good idea, with many more advantages than the original purpose of washing before and after sex. It is a pity that what I usually find is footage of young people’s surprised faces at being squirted in an unusual place, or ‘they are a wonderful idea’ with no real detail.

I’m quite disappointed! At present I think we’ll go for a toilet and an old fashioned bidet, and perhaps consider changing the toilet seat if we find that would be better in the future. If anyone has more information, I would love to hear it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

The Japanese style bidets are designed to be a combination toilet and bidet so you sit the same way as a toilet. The advantage there is you save a lot of bathroom space, most older homes couldn't fit a separate fixture.
Although there is a lot of chat on this forum about bidets of all kinds I don't think most North Americans have encountered one unless it was on their world travels, in fact I doubt most have even heard of them. There are some very interesting videos available on YouTube if you haven't look there,
I have joked that I wish there was a bidet showroom available where a person could try before you buy - can you imagine that in your mind's eye? 🤣
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cwillie
Sendhelp Jan 18, 2020
I can't see! I can't see! I can't see! My mind's eye is having trouble seeing any clean water coming out from a place where one just peed into.
Where is this 'showroom', so I can plan my next vacation?
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