By now, you may have stumbled across one or two headlines detailing a surge in bidet sales in light of the coronavirus and potential toilet paper shortages across the U.S. If not, here is the gist:
Traditional bidet manufacturers like Brondell and Hygiene for Health have seen considerable upticks in sales since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, reports Business Insider, while Tushy, an upstart direct-to-consumer brand that makes a $79 bidet attachment, is selling upward of ten times its projected forecast, the company’s CEO recently told Wired.
The rationale driving these purchases makes sense, at least at face value. If you can’t wipe your ass, then what can you do? But even if the country is heading into uncertain times, there’s no evidence to suggest the nation will experience any kind of longterm toilet paper shortage. In fact, Amazon just announced it will prioritize the shipment of “household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products” for the rest of the month, and possibly longer, meaning that very, very soon, toilet paper will once again be a single click away.
This isn’t a knock on bidets, of course. Though it’s gained little ground in the U.S., the centuries-old contraption that cleans under the belt is widely used in other parts of the world, and it’s one you should absolutely consider regardless of a pandemic outbreak that, if anything, will keep you closer than ever to your shower should things get a little messy.
For starters, there is some evidence to suggest that bidets are more efficient at cleaning than toilet paper, even if the evidence is minimal. And many manufacturers claim they help prevent hemorrhoids, bacterial prostatitis, UTIs, constipation and the like.
Of course, there are environmental factors to consider: according to one report, the U.S. goes through more than 36 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, accounting for 15 million trees and nearly 500 trillion gallons of water.
But, at the end of the day, the best argument for bidets is the simplest one: they’re just nice on your bum. Modern versions, like the lauded Washlet C200 ($429) from Japanese brand Toto, require very little maintenance and offer variable water temperatures and even warm the seat as you sit down. Yes, please and thank you.
Look, if you want to invest in your health, the environment, your home’s amenities, then, by all means, buy a bidet. Just do it for the right reasons, not because there are long lines at Costco.
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