They not only wash and dry your bottom, they light up your life.
Bidet toilets are healthier, cleaner and actually even save water. (It takes less to clean your bottom than it does to make toilet paper.) Seventy-eight percent of Japanese homes have them, but they are still not very common in North America. This is a shame, because they really are wonderful. (See Why I spent $1200 on a toilet seat and why you should too.) That sticker shock might be one reason, but if you have the bucks to flush, there are some great new options. Design site Architizer is doing a roundup of the latest loos.
But what is really fascinating is the new ewater+ cleaning system. Before you use the toilet it sprays a mist of water that keeps poop from sticking to the bowl. Then “after each flush, TOTO’s eWater+ mists the bowl with electrolyzed water, reducing the need for harsh cleaning chemicals.”
At first I thought that must be Brawndo from Idiocracy (it’s got electrolytes!), but in fact, according to Wikipedia, it “is produced by the electrolysis of ordinary tap water containing dissolved sodium chloride. The electrolysis of such salt solutions produces a solution of hypochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide. The resulting water is a known cleanser and disinfectant / sanitizer.”
This all sounds good, as the really low flush Toto needs a lot of brushing to keep clean.
Then there is Duravit’s SensoWash, designed by Philippe Starck. According to Architizer, it was developed for the American market.
The flat lid and seat are composed of a robust scratch-resistant and pore-free surface, which can be easily removed with a single hand. This outstanding element of practicality allows for easier, quicker cleaning, thus making SensoWash Slim an ideal solution in public or semipublic settings.
The too-long video explains how it all works quite nicely. And it has a night light!
There is also the Kohler Veil, which at $4,500 is a bargain compared to the do-anything go-anywhere Numi. “A remote control activates and adjusts touch-free opening and closing of the lid and seat and dual flush, heated seat and bidet functions.” But you do have to handle the remote control. I am waiting for Siri or Alexa connected toilets where you don’t have to touch anything.
There are less expensive alternatives. Architizer also lifts the lid on the American Standard AT100 bidet toilet seat that can be added to most American toilets. There are a number of different brands of add-on bidet seats that are available from under US $400 and there are non-electric add-ons that start at as little as US $30; see all your options here. I used one for years before I got the Toto and they are just fine; the hot water and air dryer are luxuries, not necessities if you are after a clean bottom.
You don’t have to spend $1,200 on a Toto or $7,500 on a Numi for your Case Study House. But really, you should try a bidet toilet at any price. You will like it.