From the way people discuss bidets online, you’d think they were talking about some transformative self-help book or multi-level marketing scheme. For proponents, it’s not just a practical bathroom gadget but “the best financial decision” ever made and a “life-changing experience,” as members of Reddit’s r/Frugal recently described it.
“The random times I’ve had to use a toilet outside my home without a bidet I’ve felt so gross and dirty. Love my bidet,” one top comment reads.
Budget-conscious Redditors love bidets for two main reasons: 1) they save toilet paper and 2) they’re more hygienic.
Although Americans spend only around $100 on toilet paper a year, it’s a significant enough expense that it could warrant a bidet. In fact, the bidet will probably pay itself off in a single year — manual models are as cheap as $30 on Amazon — provided you consequently reduce your toilet paper use.
@insider Have you ever used a bidet? #insider #TikTokPartner #LearnOnTikTok #bidet #didyouknow ♬ More Muscle - Chris Alan Lee
One r/Frugal Redditor claims that their toilet paper budget has dropped so dramatically post-bidet that they can make their supply last eight to ten times longer.
But even the thriftiest bidet adherents aren’t just in it for the savings as they themselves are willing to admit.
“Initially (I) got a bidet for frugality reasons, but I would continue to use it even if it were more expensive than buying toilet paper! Anything else seems barbaric,” an r/Frugal member shares.
“The money savings is just a bonus,” another comment reads.
But are bidets as sanitary as they make people feel? Not quite.
Although a properly sterilized bidet is unlikely to be a major health concern, studies have found that their nozzles can be infested with nasty pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus. Similarly, bidets may disrupt the good bacteria that grow in and on your body. That said, it is true that a clean bidet will help you fully wash hard-to-reach areas, as experts explain in an article from SELF.
And, lest we forget, bidets have been popular in places like Japan, Italy, Argentina, and Venezuela long before they were trending here.