Understanding Common Bidet Seat Terms

Electric bidets provide unbeatable comfort and convenience in the bathroom, but you may come across unfamiliar lingo as you start exploring the different options. If you’ve ever felt confused or uncertain about bidet terminology, this glossary is for you! With our concise summaries of major bidet features, you’ll be able to choose the perfect bidet with total confidence!

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Aerated Wash Spray – Tiny bubbles infused into the wash water provide a wash that’s gentler than a solid stream but effective enough to get you thoroughly clean, all while conserving water. Aeration is a popular feature and almost every electric bidet on the market has an aerated wash spray.

Adjustable Settings – Electric bidets allow users to adjust settings like seat temperature, nozzle position, water temperature, water pressure and/or air dryer temperature (where applicable). The exact amount of adjustability for these functions varies from seat to seat. While the owner’s manual is the best place to find exact specifications for any given bidet, here are a few average ranges:

  • Water Temperature: 3-5 levels
  • Water Pressure: 3-5 levels
  • Nozzle Position: 5 positions
  • Air Dryer Temperature: 5 levels
  • Seat Temperature: 3-4 levels

Air Dryer – bidet air dryers reduce or even eliminate the need for toilet paper by blowing warm air towards your bottom after the wash cycle is complete. Warm air dryers typically feature adjustable temperature settings, and they’re a useful feature if wiping with toilet paper is difficult or painful. The biggest complaint we hear is that it can take several minutes to get fully dry, even for bidets with powerful dryers.

Best Bidet Seats with Warm Air Dryers

Auto Flush – Some bidets have a built-in sensor that detects when someone walks away from the toilet and automatically flushes for you. Popular products with this feature include the Ultra Nova+ bidet seat, most of the Neorest bidet toilets, and many of TOTO’s WASHLET+ systems.

Auto Wash – Also known as “one button washing and drying”, the auto wash bidet feature starts a complete wash and dry cycle, usually with settings pre-determined by the manufacturer (e.g. nozzle position, water temperature, water pressure and air dryer temperature). Auto washing offers a high degree of convenience and simplicity since there’s no need to individually select each wash and dry option. It’s a great feature to have if the bidet’s controls are confusing or difficult for you to navigate, or if you simply don’t want the hassle of choosing specific settings every time you use the bidet.

Best Bidet Seats with Auto Wash

Auto Open/Close Lid – Some luxury bidets are equipped with a sensor that automatically raises or closes the lid when someone walks towards or away from it. Not only is this impressive, it also adds an extra layer of protection against germs since it eliminates the need to touch the bidet. That said, people who opt for auto-open/close lids tend to hate it or love it. If they dislike the feature, it’s usually because the lid is opening all the time, which is a common complaint in small bathrooms. If they love it, it’s typically due to the convenience factor.

C

Catch Plate Installation – You’ll notice that many of our bidet seats advertise “simple catch plate installation”. This simply refers to the three easy steps involved in securing the bidet seat to your toilet. First, remove your existing toilet seat and turn off the toilet’s water supply. Next, attach the bidet seat’s mounting plate, or “catch plate”, to the toilet by lining it up with the toilet’s bolt holes, inserting the brackets provided in your installation kit, and then inserting and tightening the mounting bolts. Last, slide your bidet onto the catch plate so that it’s secure, then hook up the water connections (also a very simple process). Most bidet seats can easily be released from the mounting plate by pressing a button and lifting off.

Child Mode – See “Wash Modes: Child”

Controls – See “Side Arm Control Panel” or “Wireless Remote Control”

Color Options – Most bidets come in a crisp white that’s designed to match the average white porcelain toilet. Since some bathrooms feature beige color schemes, a handful of bidets also come in beige, also known as “biscuit”. While these are often a better fit for bathrooms with beige fixtures, they are typically a bit more expensive than their white counterparts.

D

Deodorizer – Built-in bidet deodorizers draw air from the toilet bowl through a charcoal or carbon filter to remove odors. Bidet deodorizers don’t add scent to the air like an air freshener, rather they eliminate odors at the source. Because there are gaps between the seat, the toilet bowl and your body, the deodorizer won’t eliminate odors completely. It does, however, reduce them significantly.

Direct Connect Flush See “Flush, Direct Connect

Dual Flush Toilet Dual flush toilets have two flush options. The bigger flush is designed to get rid of solid waste, while the smaller flush is perfect for liquid waste. Common dual flush volumes include 1.6/0.8 Gallons Per Flush, 1.28/0.9 GPF, 1.28/0.8 GPF and 1.0/0.8 GPF.

Dynamax Tornado Flushing This powerful flush technology comes on select dual flush TOTO standard toilets and bidet toilets. Run-of-the-mill toilets release half the flush water from the rim to rinse the bowl and use the other half to fill the jet siphon hole at the bottom of the bowl, creating a vacuum that helps suck waste down the trapway. In contrast, Dynamax Tornado flushing routes all the flush water through the rim in a forceful spiral motion, allowing the flush to completely clean the bowl while also conserving water. The end result is a quiet, highly effective, and extra efficient flush.

See also, Tornado Flushing

E

Enema Wash – See “Wash Modes: Enema”

Easily Replaceable Nozzles / Easy to Replace Nozzles – The nozzles on most bidets aren’t removable. Should you have a nozzle issue, you’ll likely need to mail your bidet to a certified repair facility for servicing. That said, some bidet seats feature nozzles that easily come off for simple, at-home replacement. These are generally referred to as “easily replaceable nozzles”.

Eco Mode (Energy Saving Mode) – Eco mode reduces a bidet’s energy consumption, usually by lowering the seat and/or water temperature to roughly match the bathroom’s temperature. Some bidets switch into energy saving mode a set number of minutes after their last use, while others sense patterns in your seat usage and switch into eco mode around those intervals. Still others allow you to choose specific timeframes during which you want the seat to go into eco-mode, similar to how many home thermostats can be programmed to automatically turn down the heat during periods of the day when you know you won’t be at home. You can find out which type of Eco mode a bidet has by checking the manual. Eco mode can be turned on or off with the touch of a button, so if you’re not a fan, you aren’t obligated to use it.

Elongated Seat Size – See “Seat Size: Elongated vs. Round”

Extended Warranty – See “Warranty: Extended”

F

Front & Rear Wash Modes – See “Wash Modes: Front and Rear”

French Curve – Most toilets have a near-90-degree angle between the tank and the rear surface of the bowl (the area just behind the seat bolts). “French curve” toilets have a curving slope that connects the front of the water tank to the back of the bowl. While this unique, concave design has a sleek aesthetic, it doesn’t provide enough room to properly install most bidet seats. A handful of seats are compact enough on the back end to fit onto many toilets with a French curve design, but there are some French curve toilets that won’t accommodate any bidet seat, period. If your toilet has a French curve design, make sure to get in touch with us prior to purchasing so we can help you determine which bidet seats will work!

Full Warranty – See “Warranty: Full vs. Limited”

Flush, Direct Connect toilets with direct connect flushing rely on the building’s water pressure to power the flush. The better the water pressure, the more powerful the flush. Because water pressure can vary quite a bit from home to home, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how a direct connect toilet’s flush will perform in a residential setting.

Flush, Gravity Assisted As the name suggests, gravity assisted flushing relies on gravity plus the force of the water in the tank for power. Integrated bidet toilets with gravity assisted flushes tend to have a weaker flush than traditional toilets with the same flush system. This is due to the placement of an integrated unit’s water tank.

Flush, Pump Assisted Pump assisted flush systems derive their power from an electric powered pump that shoots air into the water tank during a flush. This extra boost of force works in tandem with gravity and the tank’s existing water pressure, resulting in a super charged flush that’s particularly powerful. Bidet toilets often feature pump assisted flushes.

G

Gentle Closing Seat and Lid – see “Soft Closing Seat & Lid”

GPF – GPF stands for “gallons per flush” and refers to the amount of water a toilet uses with every flush. Newer toilets use 1.6 gallons or less per flush, while older toilets can use as much as 7 gallons per flush.

Many modern toilets, including most bidet toilets, offer dual flushing.

Gravity Assisted Flush See “Flush, Gravity Assisted

H

Heated Seat – All electric bidets have a heated seat with adjustable temperature settings. It’s especially pleasant on cold mornings or in the middle of the night, and it adds an element of relaxation to the overall experience. Even so, you can always keep it turned off if it’s not your thing or if you’d like to maximize electricity savings. On average, heated seats have anywhere from 3-4 temperature levels, including a room temp option.

Hybrid Water Heater – see “Water Heaters: Tank Heating Systems”

I

Instant Water Heater – see “Water Heaters: Instant Heating Systems”

L

Limited Warranty – See “Warranty: Full vs. Limited”

M

Massage Wash – See “Pulse Wash”

N

Night Light – LED bidet nightlights provide gentle nighttime illumination and are found on many mid-range and luxury bidets. They’re bright enough so you can safely navigate the bathroom in low light, but they won’t jar you awake like turning on an overhead light. Some bidet nightlights brighten the bowl, others are located on the side of the bidet and shine on the bathroom floor. And some bidets offer both bowl and floor illumination.

As with many other bidet amenities, the nightlight is an optional feature, so you can always turn it off if you’d rather not use it. If the bidet you want doesn’t come with a nightlight, you can purchase and install an after-market model, though these aren’t quite as streamlined as the built-in kind.

Nozzle Material: Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum vs. Plastic – Stainless steel is the gold standard for bidet nozzles because it’s strong, non-porous and resistant to corrosion. This means it’s less likely to harbor bacteria or grime and is the easiest type of nozzle to keep clean. Aluminum and plastic are less expensive than stainless steel and reduce the overall cost of the bidet, but they’re also less strong, more porous and more likely to scratch. Functionally, nozzle material does not impact the wash’s feel or effectiveness.

Nozzle Style – Bidet nozzles are located at the end of a wand. The wand/nozzle(s) are housed inside a compartment in the rear of the bidet until you press the wash button, at which point it extends out and begins spraying water. There are a few different types of nozzle configurations. (Please note: non-electric bidets nozzles are often configured differently).

Dual Nozzles – Bidets with dual nozzles actually have two wands, each with a single nozzle at the tip. One nozzle provides the rear (posterior) wash, and the other provides the front (feminine) wash. Only one wand/nozzle comes out at a time. In other words, if you select a front wash, only the front wash wand/nozzle will extend out of the seat.

2-in-1 Nozzles – Bidet seats with 2-in-1 nozzles have a single wand with 2 nozzles at the end of it, one for the front wash and the other for the rear wash.

3-in-1 Nozzles – As the name implies, 3-in-1 nozzles feature three nozzle spouts on the end of a single wand. The first is for the rear wash, the second is for the front wash, and the third is usually for a specialty wash like an enema wash or a wide wash.

While there’s no hard and fast rule about which is best, we personally prefer a 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 configuration. Most dual nozzle setups place the wands side by side, which means that neither nozzle is truly centered. In our opinion, the “aim” of this setup isn’t as accurate as the centered nozzles of a 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 system

Nozzle Oscillation – The nozzle oscillation feature quickly moves the wash wand forward and backward during the wash cycle to increase cleansing coverage and enhance relaxation.

Nozzle Pulsation – See “Pulse Wash”

Nozzle Position – In order to ensure that the wash stream hits the right spots and provides a thorough cleanse, electric bidet nozzles can be adjusted forward or backward by pressing the nozzle position buttons on the remote or side arm control panel. On average, electric bidets with adjustable nozzles offer 5 front-to-back positions, though a few offer more. A handful offer adjustable spray widths. Generally speaking, the more adjustability, the less body repositioning is required to get completely clean.

Nozzle Sterilization – Many electric bidets feature self-cleaning nozzles, which means the nozzles flush themselves with fresh water before and/or after the bidet is used to rinse away any impurities. Nozzle sterilization takes this hygiene precaution a step further and refers to a variety of measures or processes, from antimicrobial coatings to ultraviolet light and electrolyzed water, that keep the bidet’s components and wash water crystal clean.

O

One Button Wash & Dry – see “Auto Wash”

Oscillating Wash Spray – see “Nozzle Oscillation”

P

Premisting – Premisting automatically coats the toilet bowl with a thin film water whenever someone sits down on the seat to prevent waste residue from sticking to the bowl. This feature is unique to select TOTO bidets and makes it easier to keep the toilet bowl clean.

Postitionable Nozzles – see “Nozzle Position”

Pulse Wash/Spray – Also known as “massage” washing, pulse wash/spray typically alternates the water pressure between hard and soft. This relaxes tense muscles while helping to stimulate the bowels. A handful of bidets, including the Eco Nova and Ultra Nova bidet seats, offer a unique pulse wash that alternates the water temperature between hot and cold, which soothes and rejuvenates.

Pump Assisted Flush See “Flush, Pump Assisted”

Q

Quick Release Seat – Electric bidet seats click into a “catch plate”, which is secured to the toilet (see “Catch Plate Installation” for more details on this straightforward process). Removing the bidet seat is as easy as pressing a “quick release” button on the side of the seat. This disengages the seat from the catch plate and allows it to be lifted off with very little effort. This feature is especially helpful if you wish to give the seat or the toilet an extra-thorough cleaning.

R

Round Seat Size – See “Seat Size: Elongated vs. Round”

S

Seat Sensor – electric bidets have a built-in sensor that prevents them from operating unless someone is sitting on the seat. This safety measure requires skin to be in contact with the seat before it will operate and ensures that the bidet won’t start spraying if the wash button is accidentally pressed.

Seat Size: Elongated vs. Round – Toilets come with either a round or elongated (oval) bowl. Elongated bidet seats are designed to fit elongated toilets, whereas round bidet seats are designed to fit round toilets. Because elongated toilets are most popular in the United States, most bidets come in an elongated seat size. Many come in both round and elongated seat sizes, and a handful come in round seat sizes only. You should not try to install an elongated bidet seat on a round toilet or vice versa, as doing so can risk injury to yourself, your toilet, or the bidet.

Self-Rinsing / Self-Cleaning Nozzles – The nozzles on many bidet seats automatically flush themselves with clean water before and/or after the seat is used to rinse away any impurities. This is different from “nozzle sterilization”, which refers to a variety of processes that eliminate microbes from the bidet’s surfaces.

Silver Nano Technology – Nozzle sterilization systems sometimes use a form of silver-nano technology to keep the bidet’s interior surfaces and/or wash water free from microbes. Some bidets have a silver-nano particle coating on their interior components, whereas others actually release silver particles into the wash water. Silver-nano technology is based on research indicating that silver ions can bind to, and subsequently kill, bacteria and other pathogens. This research suggests that silver can remove microbes from water and prevent them from sticking to surfaces.

Single Flush ToiletSingle flush toilets have one flush volume option, usually 1.6 gallon, 1.28 gallon or 1.0 gallon. For comparison, see Dual Flush Toilet

Sittable Lid – Most bidet seat lids serve only as a covering for the toilet bowl and can’t support any body weight. If you sit on one of these lids, you risk breaking it or damaging the bidet’s electronics, which are housed in the back of the unit. Some bidet seats, however, come with sturdier lids that are specifically designed to bear the weight of an adult. These are known as sittable lids, and are rated to support anywhere from 170-400 lbs, depending on the seat.

Best Bidet Seats with Sittable Lids

Side Arm Control Panel – Electric bidets are controlled either by a remote control or by a control panel attached to the side of the unit. Bidets with side arm controls tend to be less expensive than those with remote controls. Plus, you never have to replace batteries like you do with a remote, nor do you need to worry about misplacing the controls since they’re physically connected to the seat. It’s worth mentioning that we generally recommend against buying a seat with a side arm control if you have vision or mobility limitations that make it difficult to look down and to the side, or if you need to operate the seat’s controls with your feet. Additionally, side arm control panels are located on the right side of the seat, which can make them less convenient for left-handed individuals.

Best Bidet Seats with Side Arm Control Panels

Soft Closing Seat & Lid – electric bidet lids are equipped with soft-close hinges that result in slow, gentle lowering. This eliminates annoying slamming and keeps the seat and lid from being damaged.

T

Tank Water Heater – see “Water Heaters: Tank Heating Systems”

Tankless Water Heater – See “Water Heaters: Instant Heating Systems”

3D Tornado Flush TOTO’s 3D Tornado Flush technology is extremely advanced, combining efficiency and effectiveness for an ultra powerful, eco-friendly flush. This flush system funnels water into the bowl via three jets, creating a forceful stream of water that corkscrews through the bowl to completely remove waste. According to TOTO, 3D Tornado Flush technology saves up to 35% more water compared to toilets with a standard 1.6 gallon flush.

See also Dynamax Tornado Flush

Tornado Flush Many of TOTO’s single and dual flush toilets are equipped with Tornado Flush technology. This innovative flush design channels water into the toilet bowl through two nozzles located on the side of the bowl. The result is a powerful swirl of water that works with gravity to sweep waste away. Tornado flushing is more powerful than the average toilet flush and is designed to keep your toilet bowl residue-free!

See also Dynamax Tornado Flush

U

Unlimited Warm Water – See “Water Heaters: Instant Heating Systems” and “Water Heaters: Tank Heating Systems”

User Presets – Some bidets come with user presets, which allow up to two users to program their preferred water temperature, water pressure, and nozzle position into the remote’s memory for a customized cleanse at the touch of a button. It’s an especially great option to have if you share your bidet seat with a partner or other family member, or if you dislike having to select your favorite settings every time you use the bathroom. Do note that user presets are different from auto washing.

Best Bidet Seats with User Presets

 

W

Warranty, Extended – Some bidet companies give customers the option of extending their seat’s warranty coverage in scope, duration, or both. Bio Bidet and Brondell are two high-profile bidet companies known for offering extended warranties on many of their bidet seats, usually for around $99.

Warranty, Full vs. Limited – The electric bidets sold at Many Bidets all come with a standard manufacturer’s warranty, ranging from 1-year limited warranties to 4-year+ full warranties. Provided the customer does not violate any of the manufacturer’s warranty policies, the warranty will help cover the costs of repairing defective parts or workmanship. Limited warranties partially cover costs while full warranties cover the entire cost. Before purchasing, it’s always good to review the warranty fine print found either on the manufacturer’s website or in the seat’s owner’s manual to know what is or isn’t covered.

Bidet Seats with the Best Warranty

Warm Air Dryer – see “Air Dryer”

WASHLET – TOTO refers to their electric bidet seats as “WASHLETS”. So, the “TOTO S7A WASHLET” could also be called the “TOTO S7A Electric Bidet Seat”.

WASHLET+ – TOTO WASHLET+ systems include a toilet and bidet seat that fit seamlessly together, concealing the bidet seat’s power cord and water line from view. This creates an ultra-streamlined look that you just can’t get with a typical bidet seat and toilet. They’re a terrific option if the price or aesthetic of a bidet toilet isn’t up your alley.

Wash Modes: Enema – Enema wash modes use a high-pressure spray to introduce a small amount of water into the rectum. This softens stubborn stool, creates the sensation of needing to empty the bowels, and makes it easier to complete a bowel movement. Investing in a bidet with an enema wash can be especially worthwhile if you often experience constipation.

Wash Modes: Child – Child mode initiates a wash cycle using the bidet’s gentlest spray settings, often reduces select temperature settings (e.g. seat temperature), and/or moves the wand forward to better accommodate smaller individuals. Additionally, some child modes automatically initiate a dry cycle after the wash is complete. Some bidet manufacturers provide a minimum age requirement for using the child mode feature, so it’s always a good idea to check the owner’s manual of any child mode-equipped bidet before purchasing to make sure it will be compatible with your family’s needs.

Wash Modes: Front & Rear – Rear wash, also known as “posterior washing”, rinses the anal area with a firm stream of water in order to get you completely clean after a bowel movement. Front wash, also referred to as “feminine washing”, directs a gentler stream of water towards the vulvar area, including the vagina. Front and rear wash modes come standard on every electric bidet we sell.

Wash Modes: Soft – In addition to standard front and rear cleansing, some bidets offer a “soft” wash mode that is especially useful if your intimate areas are extra-sensitive. How this is accomplished depends on the seat. Some “soft” modes simply lower the water pressure, whereas others achieve a softer touch by widening the spray, increasing the wash stream’s aeration and/or lowering the flow rate.

Wash Modes: Wide – Wide washing is a special setting found on select bidets that broadens the size of the spray for greater side-to-side cleansing coverage. It’s worth noting that widening the wash stream can decrease the wash stream’s pressure, reducing the wash’s effectiveness or requiring you to run an additional wash cycle to get fully clean.

Water Flow – Electric bidets come with a water flow rate that usually ranges between 0.11 gallons per minute and 0.32 gallons per minute. While a lower water flow rate means you’ll conserve water, a higher water flow rate can result in a stronger, quicker wash. However, it’s important to note that nozzle design plays a huge a role in determining a wash stream’s power and efficiency, so even bidets with lower water flow rates can provide quality washing.

Water Heaters: Instant Heating Systems – Instant water heaters warm water in real time using a powerful heating coil, so you’ll never run out of warm wash water. They’re also the most energy efficient heating option.

Water Heaters: Tank Heating Systems – As the name suggests, tank heating systems keep a tank of warm water on hand at all times. Some of these heating systems only use a tank and provide limited warm water. Others use a small tank in tandem with a small instant heating element and typically offer unlimited warm water (some manufacturers call this a “hybrid” heating system).

See Also: Warm Water Bidets

Wide Spray – See “Wash Modes: Wide”

Wireless Remote Control – bidets with remotes are the easiest and most hygienic control option. Most remotes can be mounted on the wall for easy access, and they can be operated with hands, feet or elbows. They come in a wide variety of designs, sizes, and configurations, so chances are good you’ll be able to find a seat with a remote control that fits your needs.

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