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The Bidet Revolution: How the American Bathroom Is Transforming

by Busines Newswire
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The average bathroom in the United States is changing. Modern plumbing is a technological advancement we can’t afford to take for granted, but at the same time, bathrooms have remained relatively unchanged over the decades. 

Sure, we’ve seen the rise of smart technology (like smart mirrors) and abundant changes to available styles and aesthetics for bathrooms, but the core fixtures within a bathroom have been more or less the same.

Now, we are in the middle of a revolution. Bidets are taking over American bathrooms.

But why? And is this change a purely +1?

The Strange History of Bidets in America

Bidets have a strange history in American bathrooms. In most parts of the world, bidets are common bathroom fixtures, and they have been for centuries. Houses in most European countries have separate plumbing for these standalone units. But in early American history, bidets began to be associated with brothels – and eventually began to be associated with uncleanliness. Over the years, this led to the fomentation of many bidet myths and misconceptions.

Some people began to view these fixtures as being wasteful or unhygienic. Others simply resigned to the idea that they weren’t worth considering, because they would require a massive replumbing effort that could cost thousands of dollars. Obviously, some of these concerns were more credible than others.

In any case, bidets were practically nowhere to be found in American bathrooms for many decades. It’s only recently that they’ve exploded in popularity.

How did it happen?

The COVID Years

One of the earliest mini-crises within the frame of the COVID-19 pandemic was a perplexing toilet paper shortage. There are a few intersecting explanations for why this phenomenon happened. Early in the pandemic, people began to panic buy critical supplies, for fear that lockdowns would last much longer than originally anticipated. On top of that, supply chains began to suffer from shutdowns and slowdowns, complicating distribution of resources. Once news outlets began reporting on the shortage, people panicked even more, rushing to buy whatever toilet paper supplies were left.

During this phase, many people simply resigned to their fate of not having toilet paper and sought the next best alternative: bidets. Because modern bidets can function as attachments or easily installable toilet seats, Americans began to warm up to them.

Awakening to the Benefits

Once bidets began being used and noticed by more Americans, we collectively began recognizing the many benefits of using them.

  •       A more comfortable experience. Toilet paper has a rough texture, even if you buy the softest stuff on store shelves. It’s a much more pleasant experience to rinse your underside with a jet of warm water, especially if you have complete control of the temperature and pressure.
  •       A more hygienic clean. There’s no question that bidets are a more hygienic overall experience. If you’re interested in feeling clean and fresh after going to the bathroom, or if you want to reduce the spread of germs in and around your bathroom, bidets are ideal.
  •       More control. Some people appreciate the amount of control that modern bidets give. With most bidet attachments and toilet seats, users can control factors like temperature, pressure, spray dynamics, and more.
  •       Cost savings. Bidets eventually pay for themselves because you will no longer have to buy toilet paper – or at the very least, you’ll buy significantly less toilet paper every week. The amount of water you use will be trivial.
  •       Environmental friendliness. Some people are reluctant to install these devices because they’re afraid they might use too much water. But according to the numbers, bidets are actually more environmentally friendly than toilet paper. That’s because toilet paper is extremely wasteful and requires a disproportionate amount of water to produce.
  •       Health support. There’s even evidence to suggest that bidets can be helpful for controlling and preventing certain health complications. For example, bidets can help control and minimize the intensity of hemorrhoids. This makes them practically indispensable for certain portions of the population.

The Gold Rush

As the popularity of bidets continued to grow, more inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs entered the space in hopes of generating profits. This led to the development and promotion of a multitude of technologically advanced bidet products, which has introduced even more people to the idea of using one. There’s a bidet out there for everybody now; you just have to find one that’s a good fit for your needs.

A New Normal

Overall, American bathrooms with bidets still represent a minority, and there will always be people stubbornly adhering to their toilet paper habits. But as time passes, we’re likely to see American bidets evolve to become a new normal. And at this point, it’s going to be ridiculously hard to reverse that momentum.