Types of Bidets (Bathroom Design Guide)

Welcome to our bathroom design guide covering the most popular types of bidets including standalone, toilet seat, over the rim, portable and handheld models.
Contemporary bathroom with bidet and freestanding tubPopularized in Japan, bidets are a great addition to any bathroom. They can make the experience more hygienic, efficient, and they generally add a modern touch to your bathroom.

While bidets are often thought of as toilet seats with added functionality, there are plenty of different types of bidets on the market to suit your wants and needs. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about adding a bidet to your bathroom. [toc]

Standalone Bidets

Standalone bidetStandalone bidets are exactly what they sound like. Rather than these bidets fitting over your toilet bowl, they’re a completely different piece in your bathroom. These aren’t meant to replace a toilet but rather are designed for use after you use the toilet – it’s a completely separate appliance.

While a more traditional choice in places in South America, these types of bidets aren’t as popular in the United States. However, they still hold merit as being attractive and functional.

These will come at the highest cost to you since they are a completely additional appliance for your bathroom. They also take up more room than a toilet seat bidet, for example, so they’re best implemented in bigger bathrooms that feature plenty of extra space. If you put one in a smaller bathroom, you might find that you don’t have room at all or you’ve crowded the design. Luckily, there are plenty of other types of bidets that can meet small bathroom needs.

Toilet seat bidetToilet Seat Bidets

One of the most popular American types of bidets are toilet seat bidets, sometimes just referred to as a bidet seat.

These bidets provide the joint function of a bidet and a toilet seat. When you buy one, it will replace your existing toilet seat altogether. The jets that spray water are located underneath and inside the toilet seat and you can usually control them with a panel that sticks out on the side.

The exact controls that this type of bidet has will vary. Some features multiple jet settings or even add functionality such as a heated seat. Remember, though, the more features that a bidet offers, the more expensive it will be.

While more costly than options such as a handheld bidet, toilet seat bidets are more affordable than standalone bidet models. In addition, they take up much less space, making them a great choice if you have a smaller bathroom.

Over-the-Rim Bidets

Water closet with over the rim bidet and toiletAn over-the-rim bidet is a type of standalone bidet. However, they’re a little different than the basic concept of a standalone bidet because they don’t shoot jets of water upward towards you the way that is associated with standalone bidets and even bidet toilet seats.

Instead, an over-the-rim bidet are filled with water to the rim. They don’t remain full, though. Rather, you opt to fill them as needed by turning on a faucet at the top of the bidet, close to the way a bathroom sink functions.

These are a little less popular in common use because they’re more manual. You sit in them and use your hands to do most of the work which some people find a little less than hygienic. If this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. There are plenty of other bidet types out there. If it sounds like it might fit your needs, they’re a great choice if you have enough room in your bathroom for a standalone model.

Handheld bidet sprayerHandheld Bidets

Handheld bidets found their origin in the Middle East and, because of this, are often known as Shattaf. These are a single sprayer that you can move independently where you need it and pull the trigger for a spray of water. Think about how the sprayer hose on your kitchen sink works – it’s the same concept overall just with different purposes in the end.

These are an affordable option that doesn’t cost much to install. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about it taking up too much space either. Since they’re just a handheld fixture, you don’t have to dedicate an entire area in your bathroom to a standalone option or replace a major facet in the decor such as buying a new toilet seat.

These are also great because they can often hook up to the water supply in your house – particularly the hot water supply. Warm water will go a long way in making your experience more comfortable.

Portable bidet sprayer and bottlePortable Bidets

Portable bidets are great for travel. It might sound a little odd or awkward to carry a bidet with you when you travel but if you prefer a bidet over traditional toilet paper, there is a way to easily bring a bidet with you anywhere you go. Portable bidets, also known as travel bidets, are made for this purpose exactly!

There are both electric and manual portable bidets available but a non-electric option will come at a lower cost. Since they don’t connect to central plumbing – for example, the plumbing in your bathroom – they don’t have to be installed either. This saves you time and if you hire a professional to install a bidet, it can further save you on the cost as well.

When you’re choosing a bidet for travel, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right model. You want something that’s easy to store, meaning a no-spill top and a travel bag are great accessories to look for.

Bidet Accessories

Bidets can come with a variety of different accessories and features. Some of these are necessary, such as accessories to help you hook the bidet up to your central plumbing system, while others are optional and can add to the cost of the bidet.

Some examples of these features include options like different sprays, temperature settings, and other features. It may also include additional functionality that isn’t specific to a bidet such as a toilet seat bidet also operating as a heated toilet seat.

How Much Does a Bidet Cost

Master bathroom with bidetThere isn’t a single price tag across all bidets for a few reasons. For one, different brands and types have varying price points.

Another concept that will affect how expensive your bidet is depends on the features your bidet has. A bidet that singularly functions as a single-temperature bidet will cost relatively little. Conversely, additional features such as a warming seat, multiple temperature settings, and other add-ons will increase the cost of your bidet.

The range for bidets is wide and you can find solutions ranging from as little as $30 to as much as $600. This means that they’re an affordable option but if you have extra money to invest in your purchase, you can splurge on additional features to increase the functionality of the new addition to your bathroom.

How Does a Bidet Work?

If you aren’t familiar with bidets, it might be intimidating the first time you try to use one. Don’t worry, though, because they’re actually pretty straightforward!

The general concept of a bidet is that it sprays water to help you clean off. However, different bidets can come with different settings, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific model before using it. Your user’s manual can be a great help here.

The primary function of a bidet is a spray nozzle, usually controlled with a lever or set of buttons. Some bidets will also allow you to control the temperature of the spray as well.

Generally, all you have to do is sit where you’re already sitting or, for some models, position the bidet where you need it to go. Then, just activate the spray. In some cases, it can be helpful to wipe before spraying the bidet to remove any solid particles leftover for the most thorough clean possible.

Some users also prefer to dry off with a towel after using a bidet although toilet tissue often works. We have written more about the placement of a toilet paper holder here for more on that subject.

Bidet Benefits

Bathroom with bidet and marble finishesUsing a bidet has a plethora of benefits. These are just a few of the reasons you should consider having a bidet in your home.

For one, they’re a highly hygienic option because they’re hands-free. All you have to do is press a button and the job is done. There’s no need for additional input from you!

On this note, bidets are also much better for the environment. Toilet paper makes up a significant amount of waste, especially in the United States. By installing a bidet, you can increase how green your home is.

Bidets are a good choice for individuals with limited mobility as well. This means that if you or someone you live with has an injury, chronic pain, or are elderly, a bidet can go a long ways in ensuring their comfort and independence.

Best of all, bidets are generally gentle on your skin and comfortable to use. As such, they’re a good choice to make your bathroom more inviting.

With the information we’ve covered here, you know everything that there is to know about the different types of bidets. You’re ready to go forth and find the bidet that fits your decor, needs, and preferences. If you’d like to see how a bidet would look in your home there are a number of bathroom remodel software programs that can help you add one to your own floor plan.


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