Why are Bidets Not Popular in the US?


Why have bidets not caught popularity in the US when they are a common toilet fixture around the world? Bathrooms and toilets across the globe feature a bidet or some type of water cleansing device such as a spray hose. However, bidets are not common in the US. Why is this so? Let us find out the answer below.

Why are bidets not popular in the US? The major reason why bidet is not popular in the US is because of habit. Most Americans grew up using toilet paper and many are not even aware that there is an alternative way to stay clean. Moreover, bathrooms in the US are not built for bidets and there’s not enough space or additional plumbing setup to install the fixture.

While there is no single answer as to why bidets are not popular in the US, there are various theories that go around.  From history to associations and even confusion, there are many reasons why bidets are not a common fixture in American bathrooms. Check out the rest of the article for more information.

Why are bidets not popular in the US
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Why Don’t Americans Use Bidets?

Different reasons floating around as to why Americans never made the bidet a part of their daily hygiene habits include bad reputation, lack of information about bidets, negative association, plumbing issues, and cultural habits. Let us take a closer look at each of these reasons below.

Bad Reputation

One reason why bidet is not popular in the US is that it got a bad reputation. Before the mid-20th century, many Americans had never even seen a bidet or heard about it. Back when American troops went overseas during WWII, many came face-to-face with bidets in an unsavory locations such as brothels. For this reason, American GIs associated bidets with illicit activity.

Lack of Information

Another reason is the lack of information in the US about what a bidet is and how to use one. Because of that, many Americans prefer to stay away from the bathroom fixture. Most Americans would think that a bidet is too expensive, hard to install and that they need to have a huge bathroom to accommodate a bidet. They are not even aware that there are hose and sprayer attachments and toilet seat additions that are affordable and easy to install.

Associated with Scandals

During the early days, Americans and the British thought that douching was an effective method of birth control. Hence, even if neither bidets nor douching really works to prevent pregnancy, bidets are unfavorably associated with contraception. In 1936, Norman Haire, who is a proponent of birth control, said that “the presence of a bidet is regarded as almost a symbol of sin.

American Bathrooms are Not Designed for Bidets

Before the invention of hand sprayers and bidet seats, it is too expensive and difficult to install a bidet because of space issues. American bathrooms are not designed to accommodate stand-alone bidets. Moreover, the installation of a new fixture can be expensive depending on the current layout of a bathroom. However, there are not combination toilets/bidets and bidet seats available for smaller bathrooms.

Cultural Habit

Americans grow up using toilet paper and it is a normal habit that they do every time they use the bathroom. Using a bidet is another experience that most Americans hesitate to do. Take note that different can be uncomfortable. Because they are not used to this kind of bathroom fixture, it can be complicated and uncomfortable to use.

Toilet Paper

Perhaps the main reason why Americans do not use a bidet is because of the presence of toilet paper. It is the common method to clean the anal area and Americans grow up doing this method. Hence, if something new is introduced, they will find it different and uncomfortable. Toilet paper is part of the American lifestyle and it may take a long time to change this particular habit. Check out this article that we have shared that talks about the history of toilet paper. We shared interesting facts about TP that you might not be aware of.

✅ Video – Why US Bathrooms Don’t Have Bidets

Tech Insider shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses why US bathrooms don’t have bidets. Bidets are hygienic as compared to toilet paper and are used worldwide. However, it is not common in the US. Find out why by watching the video below.

What is a Bidet Used For?

A bidet is similar to a toilet but is specifically destined to help you clean and freshen up after using the toilet. There are different types of bidets available. Some can be hooked in your existing toilet while others are stand-alone and need to be installed. Today, modern bidets usually have one or more jets that spray water as you straddle the device.

Are Bidets Sanitary?

Bidets are sanitary ways for post-toilet cleaning. It effectively washes your backside and also reduces the risk of excrement-to-hand contact. Studies have shown that bidets can mimic the beneficial effects of a sitz bath such as reducing anal pressure. Women can also benefit from using the bidet because cleansing with water is less abrasive as compared to using toilet paper or vaginal wipes on sensitive areas which reduces skin irritation.

Why Should Americans Switch to Bidets?

Bidets provide a better method of cleaning your backside and also promote good personal hygiene. It is healthier and reduces the risk of irritation and infection. Bidets use water that is comfortable and refreshing to the skin. Moreover, using the bidet is environmentally friendly and also safe on your plumbing system. Below are a few of the main reasons why people should use bidets in their homes.

Better Cleaning

Toilet paper does not provide the level of cleanliness that water can. A bidet uses a soothing stream of water to get rid of grime, sweat, odor, and other un-pleasantry which will leave you feeling fresh and clean.

Environmentally friendly

With the average American using 141 rolls of toilet paper per year, the US accounts for about 20 percent of global toilet paper usage. Because trees are used to produce toilet paper, this results in deforestation. Moreover, it requires about 37 gallons of water to produce a single roll of toilet paper. If you want to have an eco-friendly option, bidets are a good choice because it reduces deforestation and uses only about an eighth of the amount of water per use.

Better Personal Hygiene

The issue with toilet paper is that it does not thoroughly clean and often leaves skid marks and an unpleasant smell. Fecal residue can cause irritation and allergies. On the other hand, a modern bidet uses strong, well-aimed jets of warm water that will leave you feeling fresh and clean. Water is the best way to promote better personal hygiene. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses if bidets are really sanitary. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Comfortable

As compared to using dry toilet paper, bidets provide a more comfortable method. The gentle stream of water that comes from using a bidet is more comfortable as compared to the rough texture of toilet paper. Take note that even the smoothest toilet paper still relies on friction for cleaning. When you wipe too much with toilet paper, it can lead to irritation. For a gentle and comfortable cleaning method, a bidet is a better option. 

Less Irritation and Infection

Another reason why a bidet is a better option for cleaning after going to the toilet is that it causes less irritation and infection. Wiping your backside with toilet paper regularly can irritate and will leave you feeling raw or sore. This is especially true for those who have sensitive skin or suffering from hemorrhoids. A bidet can solve this problem because it provides a way to clean without all the rubbing. Moreover, a warm stream of water that comes from the bidet can soothe any irritation you may have from excessive use of toilet paper.

Should I Purchase a Bidet?

Bidets provide superior hygiene and are also good for the environment which makes them a good fixture to have for your bathroom. There are different kinds of bidets that you can use. If you have limited space at home, you can opt for handheld bidets that can be hooked on your existing toilet. On the other hand, you can install a stand-alone bidet if space is not an issue. While bidets cost more as compared to a roll of toilet paper, they are proven to be cost-effective in the long run because they are durable and last for a long time. We have also written this article titled, are bidets for women or men? We have shared information on how men and women can benefit from using the bidet.

Are Bidets Bad?

Many benefits come from using a bidet, but like any other fixture, there are instances wherein using the bidet can be bad. Avoid using high-pressure water jet flow because it can cause reflex contractions of the anal sphincters and can damage the mucosa and anal sphincter in the long term. Bidets that have a strong water pressure setting should be avoided because it is strong enough to penetrate the anus. For more information about this topic, you can check out this article that we have written titled, why are bidets bad?

Conclusion

You have reached the end of this article that discusses why bidets are not popular in the US. Clearly, there are many reasons why Americans do not use bidets. However, more and more people are not now realizing the importance of better personal hygiene and are making the switch to bidets. With the convenient features, comfort, and cleaning benefits that a bidet could offer, it is a good fixture to install in your bathroom. Thank you for reading!

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