QB FAQs: Washlet or Bidet?

At Quality Bath, we’re committed to providing every customer, regardless of the size of the order, with a personalized and informative shopping experience. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and dilemmas that our clients have when outfitting their bathrooms and kitchens and will address them regularly on this blog.

To suggest a topic, simply comment below on this post. We’d love to hear from you and help you make informed decisions.

Today, we’ll be addressing a question that is commonly posed to our sales team: what’s the difference between a washlet and a bidet? What are the pros and cons of each? Which one should I get? Read on for a comprehensive guide.

Washlets

The term “washlet” was actually coined (and trademarked!) by Toto, the toilet manufacturer who remains the top seller of washlets. Also known as a shower toilet seat or bidet seat, a washlet is basically a toilet seat with integrated bidet functions, and typically includes additional features.

Toto S300e Washlet

Toto S300e Washlet

Washlet pros

  • It’s a space saver; no need for more than one fixture, and the plumbing that comes along with a separate bidet. A washlet fits right on top of your existing (compatible) toilet.
Brondell Swash 1000 Luxury Advanced Bidet Seat

Brondell Swash 1000 Luxury Advanced Bidet Seat

  • Many washlets include additional features for added comfort. Some models have a warm air dryer, heated seat, deodorizer, customizable front/back wash settings, auto open and close, self-cleaning system, and/or auto flush. You may even find a washlet with lights or the ability to set user preferences!
Duravit Starck 3 SensoWash Wall-Mount Toilet

Duravit Starck 3 SensoWash Wall-Mount Toilet

  • It looks like a regular toilet seat; a washlet has a lid, unlike an open bidet that often resembles a urinal. Some toilets have a built-in washlet, like the Toto Neorest and Duravit SensoWash toilets.
  • Many users find the seat to be more comfortable than the narrower bidet seat.
Toto Neorest 600 Toilet

Toto Neorest 600 Toilet

Washlet cons

  • A washlet can be more expensive than a bidet, not including the extra plumbing costs. There are, however, more affordable options.
  • Some users are averse to the look of a washlet; many have exposed connections that can detract from its appearance  (some, like Duravit’s SensoWash C toilets, feature concealed connections).

A bidet is primarily a European fixture that never garnered much popularity in the USA. It’s a freestanding toilet-like apparatus with a fixed faucet.

Toto Lloyd Bidet with Vertical Spray

Toto Lloyd Bidet with Vertical Spray

Bidet pros

  • Some find bidets more comfortable to sit on than smaller washlets; this is a matter of personal preference. Try physically sitting on different models before making your choice.
  • The faucet allows users to manually adjust water pressure instead of being confined to preset settings.
Scarabeo Wish Supported Bidet

Scarabeo Wish Supported Bidet

  • A bidet will have a hot water line running to it for precise and consistent water temperature selection. Washlets rely on an integrated instant heater function that doesn’t always last as long and may result in temperature fluctuations.
Nameeks GSI Panorama Wall-Hung Bidet

Nameeks GSI Panorama Wall-Hung Bidet

Bidet cons

  • Bidets are not commonly used in the USA; consider resale value on your home.
  • A bidet will require more floor (or wall, depending on mount) space and extra plumbing costs.
  • One must get up from the toilet to use a bidet; a washlet conveniently allows the user to stay in place.
  • Water spray and reach is limited to the area of the stationary faucet.

Which would you rather have in your bathroom?

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