Bidet sales soar as Americans give up on toilet paper — should you buy one?

·6 min read

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Bidet attachments clip to your toilet. (Photo: HelloTushy.com)
Bidet attachments clip to your toilet. (Photo: HelloTushy.com)

As confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to grow, we’re reminded once again that, for many, supply-hoarding is the natural reaction to a large-scale crisis. The recent surge in toilet paper panic-buying—which has left both virtual and in-store bathroom aisles practically bare—has driven that point home.

The biggest irony, though, is it’s not necessary, as there isn’t an actual toilet paper shortage, and experts say overbuying it is wasteful, not prudent.

But the behavior has now given rise to a whole new consumer craze: Americans are buying bidets in droves. The hygienic toilet fixture that has been de rigueur in European countries for ages is finally making a splash stateside.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’re seeing record-breaking traffic and sales with no signs of slowing down,” a spokesperson for bidet manufacturer BioBidet told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Like most U.S. companies, BioBidet sells a modified version of the traditional European bidet. Instead of being built into the toilet itself, a nozzle is integrated into a special toilet seat—or a bidet seat—designed to cleanse your intimate areas with warm water after you go. In other words, there’s no need to replace your toilet.

Brondell, a company that sells everything from high-end bidet seats to travel bidets, also confirmed, “We’ve definitely seen a drastic increase in sales.” And Jason Ojalvo, CEO of Tushy, a modern bathroom company that makes affordable bidets that attach to your regular toilet seat, told Yahoo Lifestyle that sales are 10 times what they were before toilet paper was scarce. “Last week we had a few days where we sold over $500K a day, including a day where we hit $1M in sales,” he said.

Consumer interest in these under-the-radar products has picked up speed so fast that suddenly, many companies find themselves completely sold out of bidets—even if some customers aren’t entirely sure how to use them. Bidet-related Google search terms like “what are bidets” spiked last week, when the toilet paper panic was in full swing.

“Many people simply haven’t experienced or encountered them after being accustomed to toilet paper for so long,” the BioBidet spokesperson continued, but “people are starting to take a different perspective on their hygiene.”

Of course, opening your bathroom door to a bidet—and cutting down on tissue—can be a plus for the planet, too. Americans use 141 rolls of toilet paper a year per capita, which adds up to 7.7 million trees cut down for an entire nation to wipe. And that’s to say nothing of all the water and energy used in the manufacturing process—which, by the way, includes chlorine bleach to make the toilet paper whiter and softer.

Bidets provide an even more thorough clean using nothing but a thin stream of water. Converts are already taking to social media to proclaim their love for the life-changing fixture, with hashtags like #bidetallday starting to trend. “I feel like a real idiot for those first 38 years of my life without a bidet,” one tweeted.

Want to test the waters of bidets for yourself? Some are sold out at this point, including a few (but not all) of our favorites, listed below. If your bidet of choice is out of stock, don’t despair—you can still place an order, and companies are working hard to fulfill them as quickly as possible.

The Tushy Classic

The Tushy Classic. (Photo: HelloTushy.com)
The Tushy Classic. (Photo: HelloTushy.com)

Some bidets can be pricey, but on the more affordable end is The Tushy Classic, a small, $79 bidet attachment that takes just 10 minutes to install—and requires no knowledge of plumbing or electricity to do so. All you have to do is unscrew the toilet seat, pop the Tushy device in place along the rim of your bowl, connect it your toilet’s water valve—then replace your toilet seat, and you’re done! Bottom line: it’s literally that easy.

The Tushy Classic even lets you adjust the direction and pressure of the stream. The Tushy Classic was on backorder at the time of this story’s publication, offering a ship date of mid-to-late April—and they’ll soon be offering an expedited shipping option.

Shop it: The Tushy Classic, $79, hellotushy.com

The Tushy Spa

The Tushy Spa. (Photo: HelloTushy.com)
The Tushy Spa. (Photo: HelloTushy.com)

This bidet attachment is similar to its classic sibling, but The Tushy Spa also offers temperature control by attaching to your sink’s hot water connection. By using a bidet, you’ll have a cleaner rear end than dry paper alone could ever deliver—and you’ll use less tissue over time. “Who needs toilet paper?” one reviewer wrote. “Wash your hands and butt frequently.”

Tushy is accepting orders for this product too, but offering the same projected ship date of mid-to-late April as The Tushy Classic—plus a future option for expedited shipping. Also, enjoy free shipping on Tushy orders over $49.

Shop it: The Tushy Spa, $109, hellotushy.com

American Standard Advanced Clean AC 1.0 SpaLet Bidet Seat

American Standard Advanced Clean AC 1.0 SpaLet Bidet Seat. (Photo: Walmart.com)
American Standard Advanced Clean AC 1.0 SpaLet Bidet Seat. (Photo: Walmart.com)

If you want to go whole hog and replace your toilet seat completely, this bidet seat by American Standard is a top-rated product to strongly consider. For everything it offers—dual spray nozzles for front and back, a heated seat, a deodorizing charcoal filter—this perch isn’t too pricey at $298.

One customer calls it “a touch of luxury that was easy to install and very simple & comfortable to use.”

Shop it: American Standard Advanced Clean AC 1.0 SpaLet Bidet Seat, $298, build.com

BioBidet Electric Bidet Seat for Elongated Toilets

BioBidet Electric Bidet Seat for Elongated Toilets. (Photo: The Home Depot)
BioBidet Electric Bidet Seat for Elongated Toilets. (Photo: The Home Depot)

Another relatively affordable bidet seat option is this BioBidet unit, just $299. This one also provides a warm stream, a heated seat, and dual oscillating nozzles—plus it has a night light for after-hours bathroom runs and a warm-air dryer. You can also adjust the water pressure to your personal comfort level.

It’s a pretty universal model, too—built to fit most elongated toilets (BioBidet makes models that fit round thrones, too). Most of BioBidet’s bidet seats are sold out on the brand’s site, but fortunately, The Home Depot still has online inventory.

Shop it: BioBidet Electric Bidet Seat for Elongated Toilets, $299, homedepot.com

Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet

Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet. (Photo: The Home Depot)
Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet. (Photo: The Home Depot)

Eventually, travel bans will be lifted—and by then you’ll be so into your bidet that you’ll want to take it with you. Enter the GoSpa Travel Bidet by Brondell. It may resemble something you’d be not too keen on using for sport, but this portable bottle with attached nozzle provides an angled spray that keeps you feeling fresh and clean wherever you go.

When you’re done, the nozzle tucks back into the bottle, and the whole thing fits discreetly even in your purse. “Lightweight, easy to use, hygienic and leaves you feeling fresh and clean and thoroughly washed,” one user wrote.

Shop it: Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet, $11.50, homedepot.com

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