Bidets are growing in popularity daily. No surprise, with everyone concerned about hygiene and health more than ever. But some models are frightfully expensive. Bidet seats can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1000, and there’s a bewildering array of choices.
What to do? How do you choose from so many, especially when you’re on a tighter budget than ever? The answer: consider a bidet attachment.
“But what is that,” you ask. “And how does it differ from a full bidet, or a bidet seat, or a hand-held bidet? Do they really work? Can I get one for a reasonable price?” Whoa… So many questions! Let’s take it one step at a time, starting with what a bidet attachment is and how it works.
What’s a Bidet Attachment?
A bidet toilet attachment offers a similar spray wand and, often, the same kind of controls as a bidet toilet seat. But they’re smaller and fit underneath your existing toilet seat rather than replacing the existing seat.
They usually provide fewer features, though. They mostly lack the ability to warm the toilet seat, for example. They also generally don’t house a warm air dryer, deodorizer, and other convenience features common to a bidet seat.
Because they offer most of the basic functions of a bidet seat, a bidet attachment works just like them – ie. an attachment will provide a spray wand that cleans the posterior and/or feminine parts.
What to Consider in a Bidet Attachment?
Of course, before you can install a bidet attachment for your toilet you have to buy one – and you want one that’s best for your family. Here are a couple of potentially important things to consider.
1. Dual or Ambient Temperature?
You shouldn’t expect to get all the features of a high-end bidet seat in a bidet attachment. A heated seat, warm air dryer or deodorizer are very unlikely.
Still, beyond a simple wand, some bidet attachments like the TUSHY Spa offer an additional warm water hookup allowing you to connect the bidet directly to your bathroom’s hot water supply. Consider whether that’s important for you.
A dual temperature bidet attachment will cost you most of the time a premium. Even so, for many buyers that feature will still be worth the extra cash. Even warm water bidet attachments are still far cheaper than bidet seats.
2. Length Warm Water Bidet Hose
If you plan to buy a warm water bidet attachment, since they don’t heat the water electrically, you have to run the second hose to your bathroom’s hot-water supply.
If you have exposed plumbing under the sink that can be pretty simple. If you have to drill a hole into a cabinet things can get tricky.
At the very least you have to ensure – before you buy! – that the warm water bidet hose supplied with the bidet attachment is long enough to reach the hot water valve under the sink.
You can find that spec most of the time in the product details of the bidet attachment or in the installation manual which is most of the time freely available on the manufacturer’s website.
3. Your Warm Water System’s Speed of Supply
Another thing to take into account when opting for a warm water bidet attachment is your warm water system’s speed of supply. Some bathrooms will feed hot water to the faucet almost instantly.
Others, generally those far from the hot water heater, can take seemingly forever to start warm water flowing. There’s no point in getting a bidet attachment with hot water connection if it takes a solid five minutes for warm water to reach the bidet from the heater tank.
4. Right-Handed or Left-Handed Control Panel?
Most bidet attachments will have simplified controls in part because of the reduced number of features and will have a control panel integrated into the attachment itself.
Ask yourself how important that is to you and your family. Keep in mind here in particular anyone in the house that has difficulty moving an arm back at an angle. They might also have trouble pressing stubborn buttons or turning stiff knobs. A bidet seat model with a separate remote control might be a better solution for users in those situations.
Any left-handed users in the house? Bidet attachments (just like bidet seats) so often have their controls on the right side. Luckily there are some alternatives specifically intended for southpaws.
The Brondell SouthSpa bidet attachments for example house the dials on the left side of the toilet. Heck, some right-handers might prefer a left-hand model, too! After all, maybe your bathroom simply doesn’t have enough room for a jutting control arm on the right side of the toilet.
5. Posterior or Feminine Wash, or Both?
If you want to satisfy all family members, consider a bidet attachment with dual cleansing function. That is an attachment which has a rear and feminine wash mode. Frequently, the bidet will do that by housing dual nozzles – a separate nozzle for posterior wash and a second nozzle for feminine wash.
Sometimes, it’s done by a single positionable nozzle. You can then change the angle by manually moving the nozzle forward or backwards. Other models like the TUSHY bidets allow you to change the spray angle by using a switch on the control panel which imo is much more user-friendly and also more hygienic.
6. Water Pressure & Temperature Adjustment
Many bidet attachments offer water pressure adjustment. Beyond satisfying individual desires, that can be an important feature for some bidet users. Anyone who’s suffering from hemorrhoids or had a recent operation might rate this feature as important.
If you choose to buy a bidet with hot water connection, check whether the water temperature can be adjusted as well to suit individual preferences. For some buyers that can be an equally important feature.
7. Maximum Cleanliness
Don’t forget you’ll probably have to do some cleaning maintenance on your bidet attachment. To keep maintenance to a minimum consider a bidet attachment with self-cleaning nozzle(s) as it will save you a lot of icky effort. Some models also feature a nozzle splash guard gate that “caps” the nozzle(s) when not in use. After using the bidet the nozzle(s) retract behind the splash guard to keep the nozzle system safe and sanitary.
How to Install a Bidet Attachment?
One of the few advantages of an attachment over a bidet seat (besides lower cost) is that they’re typically less restrictive when it comes to installation.
All that’s needed is for the width of the adjustable brackets of the attachment to line up with the holes in the toilet bowl, which they almost always do. One thing that helps along that “universality” is the fact that attachments require no electrical connection.
Even if you’re not a skilled do-it-yourselfer in the bathroom, almost anyone can install a bidet attachment in far less than an hour, typically no more than a dozen minutes. You might need a screwdriver, but often not even that. You’ll need a wrench that fits your toilet’s water supply. Usually, an open-ended crescent wrench is best.
You start by simply removing the existing toilet seat and turning off the toilet tank water supply. Drain out the water by flushing the toilet completely empty. Then disconnect the water supply hose from the fill valve underneath the toilet tank. Before you do make sure to put some towels under the hose assembly to catch up any residual water.
Make sure the rubber washers are placed carefully into the supplied T-adapter. Then connect the T-adapter to the toilet tank’s fill valve where you just removed the water supply hose and reconnect the water supply hose to the bottom of the T-adapter. Finally connect one end of the supplied bidet hose to the remaining open side of the installed T-adapter.
Now place the attachment on the toilet and adjust the brackets until they line up with the holes in the toilet bowl. Then re-attach your toilet seat by screwing the toilet seat back on the attachment and the toilet. Tighten everything down, finger tight. Don’t over-tighten.
Finally connect the other end of the supplied bidet hose to the bidet inlet. Open slowly the water supply again, checking for leaks at the hose. Test your bidet.
Done! Or… not entirely yet…
Extra Connection for Warm Water Bidet Attachments
As already mentioned before, some bidet attachments offer an additional warm water connection. These dual temperature bidet attachments connect directly to your home’s hot water supply. Making that second connection is just as easy as hooking up the cold water hose.
Just as with the cold water connection, turn off the valve that allows hot water to your bathroom faucet. That’s frequently inside a cabinet directly under the sink. Put some towels down beneath the hose coming off the valve to catch up any residual water.
Next, use a crescent wrench to disconnect the hot water supply hose. Ensure that all rubber washers are inserted and flat into the supplied hot water T-adapter, then connect the T-adapter to the hot water shutoff valve and reconnect the hot water supply line to the T-adapter.
Connect the hot water bidet hose to the T-adapter and hot water bidet inlet. Re-open the hot water valve slowly, looking for drips. If everything is sealed well, test your bidet. Done! Entirely 🙂
Here’s how a complete installation of your bidet attachment might look like. Both the ambient and dual temperature bidet attachment require the cold water connection marked in blue. A dual temperature bidet attachment also requires the warm water connection marked in red.
Which Bidet Attachment to Buy?
Picking one best bidet attachment for everyone is, of course, impossible. A good starting point is to take a look at the best selling models and brands among toiletbidet.com readers in the past year (2019).
Summarized: Luxe Bidet was the clear winner with winning models in both categories: the Neo 185 was the best selling ambient temperature bidet attachment while the Neo 320 was the best selling warm water bidet attachment.
Is a bidet attachment for you? If you’re on a tight budget, it’s definitely an option to consider. If you can’t without the absence of some features found in bidet seats like a heated seat, warm air dryer, deodorizer, and other convenience features – you might want to “upgrade” to a bidet seat. Only you can say for sure.
On houses with an instant hot water device attached to the water heater and the director at the farthest sink, if that one is close to the toilet, the cold water will run warm for many seconds. One can use a bidet with a cold line and still have warm water without any cold discomfort.