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Bidets vs. Bidet Toilet Seats - What's the Difference?

You finally took the plunge and decided to invest in a bidet for your home. You begin researching for the right bidet – how much should I spend? What is the best design for my bathroom? And then

Oftentimes, when someone is discussing bidets and bidet toilet seats, it’s assumed they’re referring to a singular product, whether that’s the bidet or the bidet toilet seat. But the fact is, even though these 2 products are in the same family, they are very different from each other.

A bidet is sometimes referred to as a standalone bidet, wall-mounted bidet, or a floor-mounted bidet. These are installed right next to a regular toilet so the user, once finished, can step over, straddle it, and then manually clean their nether regions with running water, very similar to a sink. Bidets are very common throughout Europe and in some parts of Asia. Another aspect of bidets is the fact that they have several plumbing requirements, very similar to the standard toilet. The benefits of a bidet are obvious – because they are mounted into the wall or floor and made of porcelain, they are extremely sturdy and will last very long. A bidet will also help you save some money, the environment and your behind (less skin irritation) by reducing the use of toilet paper.

Now that we know exactly what a bidet is, it’s time to discuss bidet toilet seats and how they differ from bidets. The first noticeable feature is in the actual name of the product – bidet toilet SEAT. The main difference between bidets and bidet toilet seats is the latter is simply a toilet seat and not the whole fixture. A bidet toilet seat replaces the seat on a standard toilet and the water supply easily integrates into the toilet’s water supply. This can be done without plumbing – something the bidet can’t do. The installation process of a bidet toilet seat is not difficult and can be done without the need for a plumber. Again, this is not possible when installing a regular bidet, where actual plumbing is required. Other than installation and design, the biggest difference between these two is the bidet toilet seat cleans your nether regions with a spray nozzle that slides out from under the seat and sprays pressure and temperature-controlled water. This clearly is not the case with a bidet, as the cleaning must be done manually.

The differences between a bidet and a bidet toilet seat are crucial and consumers need to be fully aware so they can make the right choice when buying one.

Standalone Bidet – Pros & Cons


  • Less use of toilet paper (some users eliminate toilet paper altogether)

  • Saves trees and money

  • Helps users with sensitive skin

  • Sturdy installation

  • Lasts longer than bidet toilet seats


  • Installation can be very costly (mounting and plumbing)

  • Takes up a lot of space in the bathroom

  • Requires manual cleaning

  • Can be quite expensive

  • Clothes can get wet

  • Improper use and cleaning can lead to infections

Bidet Toilet Seat – Pros & Cons


  • Less use of toilet paper (some users eliminate toilet paper altogether)

  • Saves trees and money

  • Helps users with sensitive skin

  • Installation is easy and doesn’t take up extra space

  • Tons of features (electric models)

  • Most are much more affordable than standalone bidets

  • Cleans automatically vs. manually


  • New toilet seat might need some getting used to

  • Needs power and a GFCI outlet (electric models only)

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