Washlets and bidets are unique alternate options to clean yourself after using the toilet. They can either be installed on your existing toilet, as in the case of the washlet, or be a stand-alone fixture, like the bidet.
The cost and installation times for these fixtures vary, but they both will save you money on toilet paper every year! They are great for people with mobility issues and can usually be a simple addition to any bathroom.
Washlets and Bidets: The Basics
Before diving into which of the two options is better, let’s take a look at what each of them is.
What Is a Washlet?
A washlet is a seat that you place on your existing toilet with a spray nozzle located in the back for cleaning. These fixtures tap into your toilet’s water supply and require electricity from an outlet to work.
They were invented and popularized by the Japanese brand Toto.
What Is Bidet?
Since these come with attached faucets, they require additional plumbing. That said, they do not require electricity.
Unlike washlets which are a rather new invention, bidets have been around for a long time and trace their origins back to Europe.
Washlet vs. Bidet: What Are the Differences?
Now that you know the basics, let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.
Washlets can range from $100 to $1000 depending on the seat’s complexity and customization features. The average price of a washlet is between about $450 and $700 since you can easily install it yourself, waiving any installation fees.
Bidets, on the other hand, average around $300 to $500. This may seem like a cheaper option, but bidets need to be professionally installed. The average installation fee is $500, bringing the total cost up to $1,000. Installation fees also vary depending on plumbing circumstances, so that total can be even higher.
Both washlets and bidets can save you almost $200 on toilet paper a year. However, washlets cost approximately $500 less than bidets, making them the more budget-friendly option.
When using a bidet, you have to straddle it and lower yourself down. With bidets also being lower to the ground than washlets are, this isn’t ideal for those with mobility issues like the elderly.
The cold porcelain of bidets can also be quite uncomfortable for a lot of people. The faucet located in the back may also not be pressurized enough for some people, and there isn’t any way to adjust this.
Washlets, on the other hand, are equipped with a spray nozzle that you can use for front or rear cleaning.
Unlike bidets, washlets can come equipped with comfortable heated seats. They are also installed onto your existing toilet, which means they are not extremely low to the ground. You won’t have to move from fixture to fixture just to try and clean yourself like a bidet.
Washlets have a lot more features to increase their comfortability than bidets do. They are also a better option for those with mobility issues.
Washlets only take a few minutes to install if you have an existing toilet and can quickly be done yourself. If you have a new toilet, the plumber installs it simultaneously using a T connector to access the water supply.
When installing a washlet, remember that a GFCI outlet must be nearby since they require electricity.
Bidets, on the other hand, are very rarely DIY projects. They require professional installation because they need a new supply and waste line, best done by a plumber.
The plumber splits off the new lines, sets and seals them into the correct position, then connects plumbing lines. The length of installation time varies depending on the location of the pipes and other plumbing circumstances.
The installation of a bidet takes longer than a washlet. You can still be assured that it is done correctly since it’ll be done by a professional. You can save a lot of money, however, by purchasing a washlet and installing it yourself.
Since you hook washlets up to your existing toilet’s water supply, the water will come out cold. For this reason, most washlets have a heater that will warm the water as it flows out. Unfortunately, these warmers have a habit of wearing out over time.
Since bidets are separate from the toilet itself, they use their own hot and cold faucets. This gives you more flexibility in adjusting the temperature to your liking and more reliability.
Both the bidet and the washlet offer options to adjust the water temperature to fit your preferences.
Bidets will take up a lot more space than washlets because they are stand-alone fixtures. You also have to abide by strict building code regulations.
These regulations state that you need 30 inches of space for a bidet. 36 inches is recommended for more comfortability. You must also have a minimum of 60 inches of space between a bidet and a toilet.
Since washlets are connected to your existing toilet, they take up no additional space. They don’t have any strict spacing codes to abide by. This makes them great for small bathrooms or powder rooms and adds to the ease of installation.
Which of the Two Should You Get?
Washlets are great for those with small bathrooms. It is an excellent choice for the elderly and people with mobility issues. Washlets are ideal for people that are on a budget but still want a customizable option.
Washlets don’t require any additional space. They don’t need a lot of movement or straddling, which is excellent for someone with a disability and older people. Washlets are budget-friendly, and you can quickly and easily install them. They also tend to have more features like heated seats, adjustable water pressure, or even an MP3 player.
If you have a spacious bathroom, don’t have any mobility issues, have a large budget, and want reliable water temperatures, then the bidet is for you.
Bidets can fit into a large bathroom with no issues and still abide by building code regulations. They are ideal if you don’t mind moving from one fixture to the other to clean yourself. If straddling or squatting low isn’t an issue for you, then a bidet will work in your favor. They are great if you have a budget of $1000 or more and want reliable water temperatures over the years.
Bidets and washlets are both great options for cleaning yourself after using the toilet. They both save a lot of money on toilet paper a year, and they don’t use as much water as you’d think. This makes them an eco-friendly choice.
Which one you choose is highly dependent on your preferences, space, physical abilities, budget, and space. These are crucial factors to consider when deciding between a washlet and a bidet. Keeping these factors in mind will help you make the best choice for your wellness and your wallet.
Should you decide to get a washlet, read my guide on how to use it.