*Affiliate disclosure. 

A run on toilet paper was a notable first reaction when the threat of COVID-2019 began to loom larger in the U.S. Since then, it’s been difficult for the industry to keep up with demand. Traditionally, toilet paper has only been produced as needed, as it takes up so much storage space in manufacturing facilities. As a result, following the outbreak, stores have been consistently stripped of an essential staple. But what if the solution didn’t involve hoarding hundreds of rolls of TP in your basement? Has the time finally come for widespread bidet use in the U.S.?

Interest in Bidets are Surging

According to TUSHY, a company that makes modern and relatively inexpensive bidet attachments, sales of its products have been skyrocketing. Google searches for “how to use a bidet” have also become increasingly popular. Out of necessity, the industry is thriving, but this is far from a bad thing. Bidets have a number of benefits and, outside the U.S., they have long been an accepted toilet paper alternative.

“Almost all non-English speaking countries have some sort of bidet usage," says James Lin, a spokesmen for BidetKing.com. "In Europe/France, the traditional fixture type bidet is prevalent. In Middle Eastern countries, they use hand held bidet sprayers (like a kitchen sprayer next to the toilet). In poorer countries, people just use water + hand to cleanse after the toilet. The U.S. is by far the most dependent upon toilet paper.”

Previously, bidets had been only marginally accepted in the U.S. This is due in large part to the fact that potty talk is still giggle-inducing in the U.S., whereas in other countries it is part and parcel with discussions about health and hygiene. Luckily, this American aversion may soon be evolving.

Choosing a Bidet

We’ve come a long way since the 17th century, when bidets were nicknamed “small horse.” These originals required that users straddle the basin while cleaning up. The stand-alone bidet may still be the best-known option, it's likely an impossible accoutrement to add to your bathroom in the midst of a quarantined nation. Instead, here are some easier options to consider. 

Bidet Attachments

image via TUSHY

image via TUSHY

TUSHY, one of the most affordable brands on the market, currently offers two home models: The TUSHY Classic (currently $79, about a 10 percent savings) is a single-temperature bidet attachment. The TUSHY Spa (currently $109, about a 10 percent savings) also offers temperature control, though it must be near your sink. According to the company, both products are self-cleaning and give you complete control of the water pressure and angle for a targeted spray. All come in a range of colors with options of bamboo or metallic buttons for even greater personalization.

TUSHY also sells an Ottoman that helps you poop. This simple piece of furniture slides neatly under your toilet. When used, it places you into a squat position, which opens up your colon, making it easier for poop to exit the body. 

Our own Laura Klein has been using the Tushy bidet and Ottoman for several months. Here's her experience, "Using a bidet takes some getting used to," she says. "You have to work on changing the life long TP habit! No more double wiping and excessive use of toilet paper. It's surprisingly easy to use. I can say with confidence that you feel a whole heck of a lot cleaner. And the Ottoman, it really does help you poop. There is no strain, and it’s a quicker in and out of the bathroom! "

Bidet Toilet Seats

bidet-toilet-seat

You can also install a bidet toilet seat like the Advanced Smart Electric Toilet Elongated Bidet Seat by Empava ($479). These tend to be more expensive than attachments, but they offer luxury features like a heated seat, temperature and water pressure control, front and rear cleaning, and more. 

Travel Bidet Systems 

image via TUSHY

image via TUSHY

TUSHY also offers portable bidet attachments. The TUSHY Travel ($29) is portable bidet that is basically a small bottle with an attached tube and nozzle.

The Ottoman

image via TUSHY

image via TUSHY

Though not a bidet, the Ottoman is a piece of furniture designed by TUSHY to help you poop. "Perching on the TUSHY Ottoman toilet stool helps get things going by positioning you the way humans were meant to go." ($59) 

Toilet Paper is Such a Waste of Paper

We have already reported on the immense waste produced by toilet paper use. The U.S. uses more toilet paper per capita than any other country – about 20 percent of the supply for just 4 percent of the world population. Much of our toilet paper supply comes from Canada's boreal forests, which account for about 25 percent of the planet's last remaining intact woodland regions and play a critical role in capturing carbon. 

Are Bidets Really Healthier?

While research on the subject is thin at best, TUSHY says that bidets do support better health, because they protect your buttocks from infection and disease. "Wiping with dry paper or wet wipes contributes to the 30 million annual cases of hemorrhoids, UTIs, yeast infections, anal fissures, and itching." 

According to Organic Authority Founder Laura Klein, "using a bidet takes some getting used to, you have to work on changing that life long TP habit! I can say with confidence that you feel a whole heck of a lot cleaner. No more double wiping and excessive use of toilet paper, which in the end saves money."  

Companies like TUSHY are convinced that once Americans become accustomed to this age-old product, they’ll never look back. We may be late to the party, but we could be here to stay. 

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