So, you’re finally convinced to install a bidet in your bathroom. But you can’t decide whether an electric or non-electric type is best for you?
No worries! This article on electric vs non-electric bidets will help you make an informed decision and one that will have you raving about bidets to your family and friends!
Electric and non-electric bidets are not the same for the obvious reason that the other requires energy to operate. Meanwhile, the other type relies on water pressure for water to come out with the considerable force needed for cleaning.
It’s also important to note that there are various options, particularly on the non-electric types, including hand-held and toilet seat attachment models. As for electric bidets, they come in the form of a toilet seat.
With that settled, we’re ready to delve deeper into how these two types differ and find out which one is a match for you.
Electric vs Non-Electric Bidets
Electric bidets generally look better than their non-electric counterparts. Non-electric bidets, such as the one installed under the rear part of an existing toilet seat, can raise the back part a little, resulting to a slightly sloped toilet seat. For a level seat, you may need to get a toilet seat riser.
As you may have very well guessed already, an electric bidet has more features to offer than a non-electric type. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, electric bidets can fetch you a number of useful and fancy features. Among them are:
- water pressure and temperature control
- a seat-warming feature
- an air-drying function to further reduce, if not eliminate, tissue paper use
- a built-in air freshener
- a self-closing lid
- a music-playing option to muffle embarrassing noises
- remote control operation
On the other hand, non-electric bidets can be limited in terms of the features they can offer. At most, you can get:
- a warm and cold water option
- pressure control
- a retractable nozzle
Ease of Use
Both electric and non-electric bidets need some level of acquaintance and practice particularly on what pressure level works for you. That’s why it’s recommended that you get to know the controls or buttons before the need to use the bidet arises. Definitely, you don’t want to be surprised by water spurting from the front or the rear—and at an uncomfortable pressure at that!
Nevertheless, most users will find non-electric bidets more challenging to wield. The bidet shower, for example, relies completely on the pressure you apply on the trigger. If that is a problem and you’re intent on taking the non-electric bidet route, then toilet attachments with pressure controls have this problem sorted out for you.
For people with limited strength or mobility, electric bidets are recommended. They promise precise levels of pressure and temperature.
Ease of Installation
Generally, non-electric bidets are easier to set up than electric ones. For one, there’s no electrical outlet to worry about or unsightly cords in the bathroom. If there’s no outlet, then you may have to hire someone to do the job. Still, some bathroom layout will not accommodate the addition of a power outlet, settling the issue of electric vs non-electric bidet for you.
As for non-electric bidets like the handheld bidet sprayer, you need to attach it to a water line. If hot water is desired, then you can use the hot water line of a nearby sink or other fixture.
If you’re ruminating on which one can give you a good cleaning, well then, either the electric or non-electric type can give you that. Even the portable ones can! In case you don’t know, there are portable bidets, and they come in electric and non-electric variants, too.
Whether you get a good cleaning or not from a bidet is all up to you and has nothing to do with the number of features your unit or attachment comes with.
As to the chances of an electric or non-electric bidet fitting your pre-existing toilet fixture, it’s higher with non-electric bidets. In fact, handheld sprayers can be fitted into most toilet models. With toilet seat attachments, it’s a level playing field for both electric and non-electric bidets. This shouldn’t limit or discourage you though. The best recourse is to find one that works with your toilet model.
The cost issue can be divided into two. First is the initial cost and the second is the operational cost. In either case, it’s obvious that it is an easy win for non-electric bidets.
For as low as $20, you can already get a non-electric bidet in the handheld spray or toilet seat attachment department. Understandably, the standalone units or the floor standing or wall-mounted types are much more expensive. Still, if you’d compare them to electric ones, then you will have to spend more. For electric bidets, you need to shell out at least $250 for a toilet seat attachment.
As you can see, a non-electric bidet can easily pay for itself in less than a year with the annual budget you have for tissue paper since bidets are known to reduce tissue paper use by 75% or more.
However, it will take more years for an electric bidet to break even costs for tissue paper. Not to mention, running an electric bidet will also add to your utility bills, which is somewhere between $20 to $65 a year. If breaking even or getting an ROI is your goal in choosing a bidet, then this is probably not the best choice for you.
Using bidets, regardless of the type, is an eco-friendly way of cleaning up than using tissue paper. However, it’s difficult to gauge which one offers a more eco-friendly option since you can never put a price on trees used in making tissue paper as well as on resources used to produce energy or electricity. Plus, you need to take into consideration individual bathroom habits.
What we do know is that electric bidets, particularly the ones that come with an air drying feature can further reduce, if not eliminate, the use of tissue paper in the bathroom, presenting a clever solution to an important environmental issue.
Tissue paper production uses up a lot of resources—15 million trees, 474 billion gallons of water, and 17.3 terawatts of electricity in the US alone in one year! Add to that the use of 253,000 tons of chlorine.
In this light, you’ll also have to consider whether the annual $20-$65 energy consumption for running an electric bidet is worth it, knowing that it translates to zero to less bathroom tissue paper use. As it is, energy production is a different issue that also has its environmental implications, depending on your country’s energy source.
In the battle between electric and non-electric bidets, only you can determine which side wins. It all depends on what your bathroom and your budget allow for, your preferences and needs, which one proves to be a more eco-friendly choice for you, and which consideration is a priority.
Still, with the variety of options available on the market right now at different price points, you’ll find one that will tick off most, if not all, of your requirements.