What’s The Difference Between A Bidet And A Washlet?


If you are considering remodeling your bathroom or building for the first time and wondering about installing a bidet or a washlet, be aware that it’s common to get the two of them confused.

So what is the difference between a bidet and a washlet?

A bidet is a standalone fixture that resembles a toilet; it uses a hand-held sprayer, faucet, or sprays water from the bowl to wash one after using the bathroom. A washlet is a toilet seat that replaces the standard one and sprays warm water up to clean one after using the toilet.

While bidets and washlets have similarities, there are also distinct differences that you need to be aware of before you decide to fit out your bathroom with either or both of them.

Let’s take a closer look at what each has to offer and determine which is best for your purposes.

Bidet vs. Washlet: General Differences

Bidets and washlets are trendy additions to modern bathrooms, and many homeowners are interested in installing one, both from a hygienic perspective and as a way to save toilet paper.

Although they offer very similar uses in terms of convenience and cleanliness, some differences must be considered when deciding on which option with which to go.

Bidet 101

standalone bidet next to white toilet

A bidet is a standalone fixture in the bathroom that resembles a toilet but serves an entirely different purpose.

A bidet is not equipped to flush stool or toilet paper and should be cleaned after each use.

Bidets make use of a faucet, hand-held sprayer, or it may even spray water from the bottom of the bowl to help one clean their genital region after using the toilet.

Washlet 101

washlet with remote

A washlet is a device that replaces your standard toilet seat and adds additional functionality.

Unlike a bidet, a washlet allows the user to urinate and defecate and flush toilet paper, as it’s simply a toilet attachment and not a separate unit.

Of course, washlets do enable you to forgo toilet paper completely if you choose.

A washlet sprays warm water on the genital region.

One bonus to this device is that the user does not need to move to another fixture and can instead remain in position while relieving themselves and for the process of cleaning.

Unlike a bidet, the washlet is a registered trademark of Toto, a Japanese bidet and washlet company.

Toto has a whole line of different washlets, from the luxury Toto S550e to the more budget-friendly options that have fewer features.

Bidet vs. Washlet: Pros And Cons

A bidet is originally a European bathroom feature and has since gained popularity in other parts of the world.

Unlike washlets, bidets are a full feature on their own, where a washlet is an additional component added to an existing toilet.

Now that we are aware of the differences between the two, let us delve into the pros and cons you will face with each of them.

Bidet Pros

  • The faucet of a bidet enables users to alter the water manually, and you can make adjustments to suit your particular desires. You do not have to merely ascribe to preprogrammed options.
  • Some users have described the bidet to be a more comfortable fixture to sit on than the washlet. However, this depends on personal preference, and you should consider various designs before making your final pick. 
  • Bidets have a constant hot water flow, which ensures that you will not experience fluctuating water temperatures. No one enjoys a cold spray of water, especially on more sensitive parts of the body.
  • Since it has lesser features and is not as complex a device, a bidet is less likely to give you problems or stop working.
  • Bidets allows you to save money on buying toilet paper. 
  • Because bidets don’t require electricity, they continue working during a power outage.

Bidet Cons

  • A bidet requires a significant amount of space in a bathroom.
  • The fixture is typically more expensive to purchase than a washlet, and there are also the expenses of acquiring plumbing services.
  • If you are an elderly person or have mobility issues, a a bidet may not be a good option as you typically need to raise yourself a few inches above the fixture to use it. 
  • If your bidet only has a faucet, you are restricted in the reach of it, and you are confined to a particular area. 

Washlet Pros

  • A washlet will save space in your bathroom as it does not need to standalone like a bidet. 
  • Most washlets are simply to install and can be done without the help of a professional. However, if you require assistance, the installation will likely be less costly than that of installing a bidet.
  • Many washlets come with additional conveniences, which are designed to make life more comfortable and practical. Some designs come fitted with heated seats, warm air dryers, customizable settings, and various automation.
  • As mentioned, installation is much easier, as it will match up with your toilet base and gain water via a single hose. 
  • Your washlet is highly likely to be less expensive to purchase and install than a bidet.

Washlet Cons

  • Washlets usually require an electrical outlet to power them.
  • There are more components to a washlet, and therefore there is a higher chance that you will experience problems once wear and tear take effect.


Bidets and washlets have their appeal, and there are reasons as to why having either of them is a bonus.

One that they indeed share is that you will no longer need as much toilet paper, if at all.

However, when it comes down to it, washlets are far more convenient as they eliminate the need to transfer from the toilet to another fixture.

You may also have to wipe yourself before moving to a bidet to avoid messing or spilling. With a washlet, you simply stay where you are and let it do the work for you.

In addition, the many added features that washlets possess such as heated seat, dryer function, automatic lid, nightlight (and even music!) make washlets the better option for most people.

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