By now, you’ve probably had at least one person in your life try to convince you to switch to using a bidet. They might make one of several valid arguments, such as that a bidet is more comfortable or that it allows you to save money on toilet paper.
But did you know that using a bidet might also be the healthier choice?
The Basics of Bidets
A bidet is a device found in the bathroom designed to provide a much more thorough cleaning experience to a user. Generally, these devices make use of a nozzle or similar apparatus to provide a gentle stream of water to your underside. After washing up, the user simply pats themselves dry with a small amount of toilet paper.
There are many different types of bidets.
Standalone bidets are the traditional type of bidet found in a bathroom. They exist as a totally separate fixture and require separate plumbing. Accordingly, they aren’t very common in the United States.
Instead, most people rely on bidet attachments and toilet seat bidets, which attach to your existing toilet and provide an augmented experience. They’re available in a wide range of different styles and offer different levels of functionality. Some are very basic, while others offer luxury options like a heated seat, pressure controls, and air drying.
Health Benefits of Using a Bidet
When it comes to health, bidets do offer some measurable, significant benefits.
- Hygiene and cleanliness. It’s hard to argue with the fact that bidets are simply more hygienic than wiping with toilet paper. This should be intuitive to you. Imagine that you touch raw chicken in the kitchen and you wipe yourself off with a dry paper towel. This may remove much of the chicken juice, but it’s not going to make your hands officially clean. For that, you’ll need to wash with soap and water – and even washing with water alone is preferable to wiping with a dry paper towel. A similar principle applies to bathroom visits; washing with water is more hygienic.
- Reducing the spread of germs. This type of fixture also reduces the spread of germs, which is especially important during cold and flu season. If you use a bidet, you won’t have to use your hands as much, and you won’t be as likely to spread your germs to other people.
- Hemorrhoid avoidance. Less than 5 percent of people globally suffer from symptomatic hemorrhoids, but the people who experience them regularly know how awful they can be. Using a bidet can decrease the prevalence of hemorrhoids and make those hemorrhoids far more comfortable to deal with.
There is one important caveat to consider here. The cleanliness and germ reduction benefits of using a bidet are only applicable if you keep the bidet clean; this is a fixture that requires regular cleaning to provide its full value.
Other Benefits of Using a Bidet
Health benefits aren’t the only benefits of using a bidet.
- Reduced environmental impact. Some people are reluctant to use this fixture because they believe it to be wasteful or bad for the environment. This is because bidets do use water as their method of cleaning. However, bidets are considered to be far more environmentally friendly than the alternative, which is using toilet paper. Toilet paper production and distribution requires the expenditure of far more resources, giving bidet users improved environmental friendliness.
- No more money wasted on toilet paper. You’re probably spending a lot of money on toilet paper, even if you don’t realize it. Adding a bidet to your bathroom isn’t going to completely eliminate the need for this product, but it is going to significantly reduce it. Ultimately, using a bidet should be capable of saving you hundreds of dollars over the course of a few years.
- Greater comfort. Most people who use a bidet claim it’s much more comfortable than wiping with toilet paper. If you already have a health condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which could lead to uncomfortable, unpleasant bathroom experiences, this is especially valuable. Toilet paper, even in its softest and most comfortable form, is dry and rough – while a stream of water is generally much more pleasant.
- Tastes of luxury. Depending on which type of bidet you buy, you may also gain access to small luxuries that make your bathroom experience more pleasant. Who doesn’t like the idea of sitting on a heated toilet seat in the cold of winter?
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that, yes, there are some health benefits associated with using a bidet. In addition to being more economical and environmentally friendly, bidets can reduce the prevalence of hemorrhoids, reduce the spread of germs, and provide you with an overall cleaner experience. If you’ve never used a bidet before, it’s time to try one and see what you think.