I normally don't write about my experience using the toilet, so I'm sorry in advance if this is awkward. But you're here, so you can't really judge me too much. After Toilet Paper Gate in 2020, I've never stopped thinking about what it would have been like had we not mindlessly stocked up on TP at Costco two weeks before the panic-hoarding started. And with the TP shortage came the non-stop ads and think pieces about bidets.
Google queries like, "Are bidets more sanitary than toilet paper?" and "Should I get a bidet" skyrocketed that year. While bidets are commonplace in countries like Japan, Portugal, Italy, and Argentina, many U.S. homes have regular toilets that don't provide a gentle fountain of water that cleanses your nether regions. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, but true believers of the bidet have valid points to make. Are we failing to reach our true clean butt potential by merely using toilet paper?
"The fact that we've been so indoctrinated to believe that dry toilet paper actually cleans the dirtiest part of our body is kind of crazy," Miki Agrawal, founder of bidet company Tushy, previously told us, adding, "imagine if we jumped in the shower, did not turn the water on, and just used dry toilet paper to wipe our bodies down." Fair.
Urologist Lamia Gabal, MD, agrees, previously telling us, "I very often recommend bidets for my patients with recurrent UTIs," says Dr. Gabal. "I feel it helps to evacuate the stool completely, decrease the bacteria in the area and, in turn, decrease the risk for infection. We always teach [people with vulvas] to wipe from front to back to keep the bacteria away from the urethra; a bidet is even better to clean this area."
With toilet paper (or lack thereof) on the brain, I very much wanted to try a bidet. The only problem? I had a regular toilet and wasn't sure how I'd go about installing a (typically very pricey) bidet. Luckily, Google dot com had an answer: attachable bidet seats. They fit on most existing toilet seats, and as long as you have an outlet in the bathroom, you're most likely golden (although do read the instructions and specifications before you buy one—not all toilets are compatible). Back in late September, Tushy had released its first electric bidet seat (a bidet attachment that's fully equipped with a heated seat, water temperature control, water pressure control, air dryer, and a self-cleaning nozzle made from antimicrobial stainless steel).
This is my experience using Tushy's electric bidet seat, the Tushy Ace
As someone who's used a traditional bidet before while traveling, this really wasn't any different. You sit down, and it sensors your butt is on the seat (you'll hear a beep). You then use the remote control to choose where you want the water to flow, how warm you'd like it, and how much pressure you need. When you're down showering yourself off, you can use the drying feature. Let me just say: This was the most pampered I've felt in my own home. Even when I don't feel like using the water spray feature, I'll just turn up the heated seat on a chilly morning.
Everything about installation was super simple, and it attached to my Toto toilet seamlessly. Setup took maybe ten minutes, max. Plus, the modern design does kind of give your bathroom aesthetic an upgrade. It's also comfortable to sit on (the seat isn't hard and the lid provides enough back support as you sit and do your thing).
While Tushy Ace electric bidet seat will set you back $599, it's cheaper than installing a bidet toilet (a nice model will cost you around $2k), and you also don't have to go through the trouble of tampering with your plumbing system, and then having to discard your existing toilet.
Is it a must-have? Not really. Is it a nice-to-have? Absolutely. This is weird admitting on the internet (I told you, I don't have any experience writing about going to the bathroom!), but I actually feel super clean when I'm, uh, done. Different cultures have different bathroom etiquette, so I'm not going to say a bidet is the *best* way to go—but for what it's worth, I like it.
If you're bidet-curious, I recommend the Tushy Ace: It'll make your toilet feel like a throne.
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