Googlers Feeling Quite “Flushed”

Compiled by Jim Gardner
Contributor: Mark Calvey

Always out on the cutting edge of technology, those early-adopters at Google Inc. are already comfortably seated on the next digital frontier. Or perhaps just in the next stall.

The noted Internet search engine has recently installed digital toilets at its Mountain View offices, co-founder Larry Page disclosed to a gathering of the Churchill Club networking group in San Francisco this month.

And not just any old digital toilet. Japan’s Toto, the world’s largest toilet maker, has taken a bidet and added an impressive array of high-tech wizardry to create the Jasmin Washlet, a remote-control, computerized toilet seat with more functions than your VCR. It is all intended to — how shall we say this? — cut down on paperwork.

Forget the reading material. Jasmin will keep you busy setting digital controls that allow you to adjust the temperature of the water, water pressure, and the gender-appropriate direction of the water. As a finishing touch Jasmin provides air drying — adjustable to three temperatures.

There’s a special massage feature, which decorum prevents us from describing, plus deodorizing and a self-closing, hydraulic seat that can be adjusted to your preferred heat setting.

Whew. Even among those, uh, whiz kids at Google, there’s been a learning curve, Page said.

One issue for those taking a break from googling has been that Google’s black bathroom stalls absorb infrared light, confusing Jasmin on when to stop doing what Jasmin does.

But it’s the buttons indicating the gender of Jasmin’s user — crucial information for determining the direction of the water stream — that has been a real problem.

Read more…

Why Aren’t We All Using Japanese Toilets?

The first time the gentle stream of warm water hits your derrière, it’s quite startling. By the second time the water hits its mark, you’re a convert. Why on earth would you use your hand and paper, when a machine can pleasantly and perfectly wash your bum? These exquisite toilets are everywhere in Japan and yet can barely be found in the United States.

Toto G500. Image credit: 3rings.

For anyone who has traveled through Japan, one of the greatest cultural experiences is discovering a modern Japanese toilet. These toilets, known as “washlets”, have many amazing features – the most notable of which is they render toilet paper obsolete. After using one of these washlets for a while, you can’t help but wonder why the American toilet experience is so primitive. Why has technological progress not eviscerated the need for toilet paper in America like it has in Japan?

What is a Bidet Seat?

what is a bidet seatNot surprisingly, many people don’t know what a bidet or a bidet seat is. And for those who have heard of a bidet, they very likely remember the old-fashioned porcelain bowls with the water spout that sprayed them in the face the first time they turned it on to see what it was.

Today’s advanced bidet toilet seats replace the antiquated, and inefficient cold-water porcelain bidet, and add elements of comfort, style, and affordable luxury to any bathroom.

The word “bidet” is a French word, meaning “pony”, and comes from the notion that a bidet is “ridden”, much like a pony. Bidets were popular in France and Italy in the 17th century and weren’t located in the bathroom, but instead, were in the bedroom. By the 1900s, plumbing advances moved the bidet to the bathroom, and it soon became a standard across Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Asia.

Today’s technology has led to some amazing developments with the integration of the bidet and the toilet, and most bidet users are now enjoying the benefits of integrated “bidet seats” that replace the existing toilet seat on most toilets. These new bidet seats bring a slew of wonderful features, such as sprayers that gently cleanse the genitalia and anus, heated seats, warm air dryers, and even modes to help with constipation.

Nearly 70% of homes and public bathrooms in Japan are equipped with a modern, sanitary bidet seat. In Turkey, an integrated bidet is standard on all toilets. South Korea has adopted them too, and  you’ll also find these amazing seats in Argentina and the Middle East.

While American users have been slow to begin using bidet seats, it’s time to ask why so much of the rest of the world uses them. It appears that everyone else knows how wonderful they are, and once Americans realize this, bidet toilet seats will become standard issue in American bathrooms.

At BidetReviews.org, our goal is to educate new buyers about bidet seats, provide bidet seat reviews, and show the world why every toilet should have a bidet seat installed. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to toilet paper.

Bidet Toilet Seat: Why You’ll Love Yours

So you’re on the fence about buying a bidet toilet seat, eh? Maybe you think it’s too expensive, or maybe you think you really don’t need one – toilet paper is working fine for you. Before you make your final decision, allow us to share with you a few of the best features of the bidet toilet seat that you don’t yet realize you’ll end up loving.

  1. The heated seat. There’s nothing like getting out of bed on a cold night or morning and being greeted by a warm toilet seat. You can’t appreciate it until you experience it. It really is that great.
  2. The soft close seat. Before I bought my bidet seat, I was looking to buy a Toto soft close seat, but then decided instead to put that money into my bidet seat. The soft close seat is fantastic – no more noise, no more wear and tear, no more annoyance. It’s pure brilliance.
  3. The toilet deodorizer (if you choose a bidet toilet seat with one). The integrated deodorizers are so effective at removing bathroom odors, you won’t even know someone was in the bathroom doing a number 2! Before the bidet seat, I double flushed, put droplets of peppermint oil into the toilet bowl, and even lit matches to keep the odors at bay. The deodorizer makes all these remedies obsolete. It’s revolutionary.
  4. The warm air dryer. Why? It just feels nice. I usually use a square or two of paper to dab dry, and then let the dryer do the rest of the work.
  5. The feeling of being clean. As we’ve mentioned numerous times on this website, using toilet paper in place of water is so ineffective and unsanitary. And once you begin using water to cleanse, you’ll realize how gross using just paper was. And you’ll feel and smell cleaner all day.
  6. The anticipation of using the bidet toilet seat the next time. You’ll actually look forward to using your toilet. And so will all your friends and family who know that you have a bidet toilet seat.

So go ahead, take the plunge. Buy a Brondell, Bio Bidet, USPA, Coco or another brand. Install it. And then wonder how you ever lived without a bidet toilet seat.

Editor’s Note: Check out our recommendations for the top bidet toilet seats.

Understanding the Bidet Toilet Seat Water Heater

If you’re just starting to research bidet toilet seats, then you’re likely overwhelmed with trying to understand all the features and specifications of each model. (Don’t forget to check our handy bidet seat comparison charts). One of the most important features of any model is the water heater. There are essentially two types of heaters, each with its own pros and cons: The tank type, and the tankless/instant type.

Many of the newer bidet toilet seats are being built with tankless/instant heaters. A tankless heater heats water on demand, meaning there’s no tank keeping the water warm. This is nice for several reasons. First, it means that when you’re not using the bidet seat, there’s no electricity being used to keep a tank of water warm. Second, an instant heater means you’ll never run out of warm water when you’re washing. For users who enjoy or require a longer wash, a tankless/instant heater is your best option. The only drawback of instant heaters is that sometimes the first few seconds of water spray may be cool as the system warms up.

Bidet toilet seats with tanks are still very common, and work just as well as the tankless variety. Water is warm from the first spray, and most tanks are large enough to provide at least 60 seconds of constant warm water before getting cooler. While maintaining a tank of warm may require more electricity, most of the models with tanks offer a power saving feature that learns when you’re most likely to use the bidet seat and reduces power usage during the off hours.

I have been using a Bio Bidet BB-1000 bidet seat for the past 2.5 years, and have no complaints at all. While I sometimes think that a tankless/instant heater would be nice to have, I’ve only run out of warm water once while using my Bio Bidet, and that was because I was exploring all the modes. I’ve found that 60+ seconds of warm water is more than I ever use in one sitting.

Again, if you’re in the market for a Bidet Toilet Seat, take a closer look at our brand/feature comparison chart to better understand each model and its features. As always, feel free to contact us anytime via our chat tool (lower right corner of the site). We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Enjoy your Bidet!

Bidet Toilets? Who Needs One?

Most Americans cringe at the thought of using a bidet, even though most Americans have never even tried one. When they think of a bidet toilet, the image of an old-fashioned porcelain bidet comes to mind – the kind that is usually found in old bathrooms, ans is mounted on the floor, right next to the toilet.  You kknow, the kind you have to squat over, whose knobs you have to fumble with and modulate to get the right pressure, and whose water is always cold. So it’s no wonder that most people are afraid of the bidet toilet.

Those same people have never heard of the modern bidet seat. It’s not really a bidet in the classic sense of the word, as it’s a unique, technologically advanced piece of hardware that replaces your current toilet seat. After using one, most everyone will come to a new conclusion about bidet toilets and whether or not they need one.

Imagine a cold winter morning. You don’t want to get out of bed, but work calls, so you do. You stumble into the bathroom and sit, and grimace while you wait for the feeling of the cold toilet seat to wear off. It only takes 10 seconds or so, you remind yourself. Once you’re feeling warmer, you begin to do your business, and when you’re done, you reach for toilet paper to wipe, but your hands are cold, and your bottom is cold, and wiping just isn’t comfortable.

Now imagine you have replaced your boring old toilet seat for a new, advanced bidet toilet seat that knows what time you wake up and is now warmed and ready for your morning visit. You sit down and are greeted by a cozy, warm seat. It feels great. And then you do your business, and instead of reaching for toilet paper (you’ve gone green now that you installed a bidet toilet seat – you don’t use much toilet paper anymore), you press a button on the wireless remote. A soft, warm aerated stream of water hits you and feels great as it gently cleans off your bottom. You then press the “Stop” button, and then the “Dry” button for a nice, warm air dry. In a minute, you’ve done your business, and cleaned & dried your bottom.

Quite simply, it’s a wonderful, satisfying experience and once you get past the unfamiliarity of being sprayed with water on your sensitive bits, you realize that you din’t know how you lived without a bidet seat for so long. The next logical thought is that you want to buy them for your family and friends. That’s how much you’ll love one of these bidet toilet seats.

Try one today. Not only will you not be disappointed, you’ll discover the best item you’ve ever bought for your house.

10 Steps to Installing Your Own Bidet Seat: It’s Easy!

bidet seat installation

Sample images from Brondell

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not difficult to install a bidet seat on your existing toilet. If you’re handy with a screwdriver, pliers, and a wrench, you’ll see that installing your new bidet seat is simple!

Disclaimer: Before you begin a bidet seat installation, (and maybe before you buy a bidet seat), you need to address the issue of electricity in your toilet room. If your one of the lucky ones whose house is under construction, or not yet built, you have the unique opportunity to have your electrician install grounded outlets in all of your toilet rooms. Even if you don’t need an outlet there now, you may decide to install a bidet seat in that room in the future. Doing it now will save you lots of trouble and a few dollars down the road. If you’re like most of us, however, then you’re stuck with a toilet room that has no access to an power outlet. If that’s the case, your best bet is to call an electrician or a handyman qualified to work with electricity, and have an outlet installed. Plan to spend $100 – $150 (could be less depending on your toilet room’s proximity to the nearest outlet). We don’t advise that you install an outlet on your own unless you’re skilled with electricity and the requirements of having an outlet close to a water supply.

When you’re ready to install your new bidet seat, gather your parts and tools, and be sure to have some teflon tape handy. These are the general steps for installation:

  1. Remove the existing toilet seat. You’ll probably need a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Once the existing seat is removed, take advantage of the rare opportunity to clean all the usually-hidden areas!
  2. Turn off the water supply to the toilet.
  3. Unscrew the water supply tube from the water valve.
  4. Add a new water supply tube to the wall valve, then attach it to the 3-way valve included in your bidet seat’s parts bag.
  5. Attach the existing water supply tube to one of the outlets on the 3-way valve (some valves may screw directly on to the toilet’s water tank, in which case you won’t need an extra water supply tube).
  6. Install the bidet seat’s mounting bracket according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Attach the bidet seat to the mounting bracket (this is usually a simple slide and click operation).
  8. Attach the bidet seat’s water supply tube to the other outlet on the 3-way valve.
  9. Slowly turn on the water supply and check for leaks.
  10. If everything looks good, plug in your new bidet seat and test it out!

Be sure to use teflon tape on all water supply connections.

Please leave a comment to let us know how your installation went.

Toilet Paper Getting Expensive? Go Green With a Bidet Seat

Go green with a bidet seat: Bidet seats will help you use less toilet paperEveryone remembers what it’s like to finish using the toilet only to find that the previous user used the last of the toilet paper and didn’t replace it. It’s annoying, and unless you’re lucky enough to have a replacement roll close by, you’re in trouble. Unless you have a bidet seat.

Wouldn’t it be great if you stopped caring about toilet paper because you stopped needing toilet paper? Independence from toilet paper is easy when you use a bidet seat, but if you need more convincing, here are some compelling reasons to buy one: [Read more...]

What Japan’s Toilets Tell About Japan’s Culture

From Advertising Age:

Everyone who visits Japan talks about the toilets. Awestruck visitors are amazed, bewildered or just decide to ensconce themselves for a while on toilets that are more like porcelain thrones in an exotic spa. Walk into the most modest of public conveniences and you are likely to find a seat with a control panel that offers a three-speed bidet hose, a warm seat in winter and water with temperature to match. Take in one of the latest upmarket models and you will get much more.”

Read more….


10 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Bidet Toilet Seat

10 reasons why you need a bidet toilet seatIt’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the bidet toilet seat. I can honestly say that it’s the single best home improvement I’ve ever made. It’s consistently the one thing I miss the most when traveling, and it’s the part of my house I’m most excited to show my house guests. Why so much excitement over a toilet seat? I present my very important list of reason why you need a bidet seat:

  1. A bidet seat will help you feel clean all day. Think about this for a minute: If you somehow got poop on your hands, would you be satisfied by just wiping it off with a piece of toilet paper and going about your day? No way. You’d be disgusted, and you’d immediately wash your hand with soap and water. Why should your butt be any different? By wiping yourself with dry toilet paper after defecating, you’re really just smearing poop into tiny crevices around your anus, and allowing it to stew all day. Sure, it’s likely that no one else is going to get very close to that part of your body before you shower again, but you never know… And depending on how much you sweat and your body chemistry, that area can begin to smell even more than it should, and then you’ll begin to feel self conscious. Cleansing yourself with a bidet seat after pooping will remove everything, and you’ll feel fresh and clean, with no smell whatsoever.
  2. A good quality bidet seat with an “enema mode” can really help when you’re constipated. If you’re constipated, a bidet seat with enema mode will help loosen things up and make you regular again. No more straining and bursting a blood vessel. You’ll also have less risk of developing hemorrhoids.
  3. If you have hemorrhoids, you’ll welcome the warm, gentle spray of a bidet seat. This can help your hemorrhoids heal faster, and you’ll stay cleaner. And many seats offer pulsating, oscillating, or massaging spray modes – awesome relief when you’re feeling discomfort and burning.
  4. Cleaning up after sex just got easier. Women will appreciate the ability to quickly and very comfortably clean themselves after sexual activity. Just sit down, press a button, and immediately feel clean and fresh.
  5. Women will feel fresher during their periods. Simply sit down on your bidet seat anytime for a quick and easy cleaning, and feel immediately fresher.
  6. Save toilet paper, and the environment. You won’t believe how little toilet paper you’ll use after install your bidet seat. Once you begin using water to clean up, you’ll only need a small piece of paper to dry yourself, and that’s only if you choose not to use the integrated air dryer.
  7. Say goodbye to the cold toilet seat on winter mornings. Imagine sitting down on a warm, inviting seat every morning. If you’re anything like me, you’ll smile every day when you feel the warm seat (usually adjustable from warm to hot on most seats) after getting out of bed. There’s nothing like it.
  8. No more loud noise from a closing seats. Most bidet seats include a soft-close mechanism, which means you’ll never drop the seat and make a loud noise. Just flip the seat closed with your finger, and it will slowly fall down on its own, noise free.
  9. Minimize odor in the bathroom. A handful of the high-line bidet seats have integrated air filters which suck smelly air right out of the bowl and pass it through a odor-removing carbon filter. No more embarrassing bathroom smells!
  10. Impress your friends. Like you, most of your friends will be a little apprehensive about the concept of a bidet seat, since they’ve probably never used one before. But give them a chance to try it, and you’ll be a star. Trust me.

If you’re not yet convinced that you need a bidet toilet seat, just take a chance and buy one. You can’t go wrong with the editor’s choice seats: the Toto Washlet S300, Bio Bidet BB-1000, or Brondell Swash 800, or if you’re on a budget, try the Brondell Swash Ecoseat, or the Bio Bidet BB-600.