Bidet Spray 101: Essentials for Choosing the Perfect Spray
The right bidet spray can take your experience from mediocre to amazing, and we’re here to help you find the ideal setup! This article walks you through everything you need to know about bidet spray so you can feel confident choosing a bidet that’s guaranteed to please.
Bidet Spray vs. Toilet Paper
One of the biggest benefits to a bidet is that it’s much better at getting you clean than the regular old toilet paper most of us rely on. Wiping with TP may seem hygienic, but it actually leaves behind small amounts of waste that can cause itching and irritation. Plus, wiping can be difficult if your range of motion is limited, and it’s often uncomfortable for folks with sensitive skin.
On the other hand, a bidet’s spray completely rinses waste away, leaving your skin fresh and clean. Think of it this way, if you got some doo on your hand while cleaning up after your dog, would you wipe it off with a tissue and call it a day? No, you’d probably wash your hands at the first opportunity! A bidet’s wash spray is gentle, too, so it’s a great solution for cleaning tender areas and helping hemorrhoids or fissures heal.
Bidet Spray Nozzle Types
A hand held bidet sprayer looks like a sink sprayer and works the same way. Simply point it at the area you want to clean and squeeze the trigger to release a stream of water. These nifty bathroom accessories go by a few different names, so you might also see them referred to as a shattaf or a toilet shower.
A classic bidet is a porcelain fixture that sits next to the toilet. It has hot and cold faucets, a drain in the bottom, and a built-in nozzle that directs water towards your undercarriage while you squat above it. This type of bidet isn’t very common in North America, but there’s a good chance you’ll come across one if you travel internationally.
All other bidets, including attachments, bidet toilet seats and integrated units, feature one or two thin rods (called “wands”) with nozzles at the end that spray water towards your nether regions. They typically retract back into the bidet’s frame when they’re not in use in order to stay clean. Rear wash nozzles generate a firmer, more targeted spray while front wash nozzles produce a gentler, more diffuse spray.
Single Nozzle vs. Dual Nozzle Bidet Styles
Single nozzle bidets have one wand with a single nozzle that cleans your rear after a bowel movement. This style is most often found on bidet attachments, and it’s rare to find a single nozzle bidet seat.
A dual nozzle bidet has two wands, each with a nozzle on the end. One nozzle aims water towards your rear to wash away poop, and the other is angled towards the feminine regions to clean up after urination, intimacy or menstruation. Dual nozzles are often found on bidet attachments and on some bidet seats.
2 in 1 & 3 in 1 Nozzle Styles
In comparison, bidets with a 2 in 1 nozzle or a 3 in 1 nozzle have a single wand with either two or three nozzles on the end. The first nozzle washes your bum, the second washes the feminine area, and the third is for special wash options like an enema wash. Most electric bidet seats and integrated units feature a 2 in 1 nozzle or a 3 in 1 nozzle.
How Do Flow Rate & Wash Pressure Affect the Bidet Spray?
Water flow or “flow rate” refers to the amount of water traveling through the bidet at any given point in time. Bidet flow rate is measured in gallons per minute, or “gpm” for short. The flow rate on most bidets is somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.11 gpm to 0.32 gpm.
Wash pressure is how hard or soft the bidet spray feels as it hits your skin. Some people prefer a very soft wash, especially if they have hemorrhoids or anal fissures. Others like the feel of a firm wash stream, particularly if they deal with frequent constipation or need help getting clean after an accident. Some bidet seats even offer an enema wash that directs a thin, high-pressure stream of water into the rectum to stimulate the bowels and loosen stool, making it easier to pass hard bowel movements.
A bidet’s wash pressure is determined by its flow rate & nozzle design. Bidets with higher water flow tend to have higher wash pressure, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some lower flow seats produce wash streams that feel about the same as their higher flow counterparts thanks to careful nozzle design.
We find that customers are happiest with bidet seats that offer medium to high spray pressure since these offer the best wash quality. It’s also important to factor in any gastrointestinal or colorectal conditions you have when considering which spray pressure will suit you best. We recommend that customers with water pressure preferences or special health needs touch base with us to get a personalized recommendation!
Adjusting the Bidet Spray
Most bidets have an adjustable spray nozzle that offers several front-to-back positions so that the water always hits the right spot. The bidet spray on an attachment or non-electric bidet seat tends to be less adjustable than the spray on an electric bidet seat or integrated unit.
Integrated units and some electric bidet seats offer “nozzle oscillation”, which quickly moves the spray front and back for better wash coverage. Other special spray options include “pulse wash”, which quickly alternates the water pressure between firm and soft, or “dynamic stream”, which varies the temperature between cool and warm. These are designed to help you relax so that it’s easier to do your business.
A bidet’s spray width is usually fixed, so you may have to shift your body if you need greater side to side wash coverage. However, if you’d prefer a bidet with adjustable spray width, you’re not totally out of luck! Many of our TOTO bidets feature a wide spray option, and a few of our Brondell bidets, like the best selling Swash 1400, offer adjustable spray widths.
As a general rule, the wider the spray setting, the gentler the wash pressure, so getting clean may take a bit longer than usual. However, sacrificing a little wash power may be worth the extra coverage, especially if you think you may use your bidet to clean up after accidents or messy bowel movements. It’s also worth mentioning that many bidets offer adjustable pressure, so you can choose a softer wash or a firmer spray depending on how you’re feeling right then.
- Hand held sprayers: some hand held sprayers have adjustable pressure, but most don’t. The pressure tends to be pretty firm whether it’s adjustable or not.
- Bidet attachments: many bidet attachments offer adjustable pressure in theory, but it’s often pretty limited. Usually when people are unhappy with a bidet attachment’s pressure, it’s because it’s too firm.
- Bidet seats & integrated units: adjustable pressure (usually 3-5 levels)
What is an Aerated Bidet Spray?
If you’ve been researching bidet options you’ve probably come across phrases like “aerated wash” or “aerated water stream”. Simply put, aeration infuses tons of tiny bubbles into the bidet’s wash water. These air bubbles break up the water stream so that it feels gentler when it hits your skin, and they help the propel the water from the nozzle to your backside so that you get an effective cleanse. It’s such a useful feature that almost all bidets offer an aerated wash spray.
Hot and Cold Bidet Spray Options
There’s a night and day difference between a hot and cold bidet spray, and the unbeatable comfort warm water washing offers is well worth spending a little extra money! Some bidet sprayers and attachments give you the option of connecting to your bathroom’s hot water line for a warm spray, but keep in mind that it usually takes time for the warmth to kick in, similar to when you turn on a sink’s warm water tap.
In comparison, all electric seats and integrated units offer a bidet spray with warm water. The amount of warm water and its temperature consistency really depend on the type of heater the bidet has.
Tank heaters keep a reservoir of warm water on hand at all times, with enough to provide 30-60 seconds of wash time. The bidet spray is warm from the minute it leaves the nozzle until the warm water tank runs out.
Instant water heaters use a ceramic heater to warm water on demand so that you never run out of warm water. The biggest downside is that there’s usually a quick burst of cold water at the beginning of the wash spray.
Hybrid water heaters use both a warm water reservoir and an instant heater, so they provide the best temperature consistency. The instant heater on most hybrid systems isn’t powerful enough to heat the bidet’s water for more than 60-90 seconds, but we do sell a few seats with hybrid heaters that provide unlimited warm water.
Does it Matter What a Bidet Nozzle is Made out of?
Bidet spray nozzles are usually crafted from plastic, aluminum or stainless steel. While the type of material used won’t impact the bidet’s spray pattern, it does play a role in your bidet’s hygiene and longevity. Stronger, less porous materials produce nozzles that are sturdier and more resistant to microbes.
Stainless steel is the gold standard for nozzle construction because its relatively non-porous, resists cracking or chipping, and is easy to clean. Aluminum is the next best option, though it’s more porous than stainless steel and isn’t as strong. Plastic is the most porous of the three as well as the weakest, so it’s the most likely to crack, break or harbor germs.
Do Bidets Spray Poop Everywhere?
A lot of people wonder if a bidet’s spray makes a mess while rinsing away poop. The short answer is no! Bidet manufacturers design their bidet spray angles very carefully so there’s no need to worry that your bidet will spray poop back at you or splatter poop all over your toilet.
Got Questions? Contact Us!
We know there’s a lot to consider when buying a bidet, and we want you to find the right bidet solution. If you’d like customized feedback, we encourage you to reach out to us for expert advice and personalized recommendations. Here are the best ways to connect with one of our bidet specialists: