How I Ditched Toilet Paper and Finally Embraced the Bidet

I was never against the bidet, I simply never realized how great they were. But then I got my own and nothing was the same.

Omigo | Maitane Romagosa
Omigo | Maitane Romagosa
We independently source all of the awesome products and experiences that we feature on Thrillist. If you buy or book from the links on our site, we may receive an affiliate commission — which in turn supports our work.

Like most of you, I grew up in a household that exclusively used toilet paper to clean up after pooping. I imagine it all started when I first exited the womb and had to be wiped down 3-4 times a day, as the only things I excelled in were pooping, sleeping, and crying. Not much has changed in 33 years. 

One thing, however, has changed: I recently got a bidet and I'll never not have one again.

I'd like to assume that, since you decided to read this, you know what a bidet is. But if you don't, here's the gist: A bidet is an inconspicuous water sprayer that you use to clean your butt/genitals after using the bathroom. You do your business, turn a knob, and a stream of water jets out right into your booty. I'll be honest, it's jarring at first. But after a couple of times and getting the water pressure just right, it becomes second nature. Like riding a bike or saying "hope you're safe" to people in emails. 

And as The Great TP Shortage of 2020 continues, more Americans are beginning to look to bidets as an alternative. If you're on the fence about getting one, do it. You'll never go back to a TP-only method again. The bidet I chose was made by a company called Omigo. It’s their basic model, the Element, which starts at just $71. And when you consider that the average American uses $10 worth of toilet paper a month (or around two rolls per week), this thing will pay for itself in less than a year. 

If you’re at all familiar with the modern bidet market, you might be familiar with the brand, Tushy, which -- like Omigo -- has been making bidets for some time now. And like Omigo, uses straight-forward, design-friendly irreverence to sell their products. They basically take something somewhat taboo and conversationally uncouth -- at least in America -- and make it playful. The acknowledgement that this is a naturally occurring bodily function is the first step towards acceptance and understanding. You'll also notice both companies are selling out of bidets quicker than TP from, well, literally any store right now.

Omigo | Maitane Romagosa

The mark of a budget-friendly bidet is a price tag under $100. You can browse Amazon and find highly-rated models that range from $30-$50, but I figured something in the range of $80-$100 would be good enough for my ass. That said, Omigo also makes an extremely luxurious model that replaces your old seat with what can only be described as the gold standard for your bum: The Omigo (I know this seems confusing, but it's the Omigo by Omigo). It features three pressure settings, four water temperatures, seven nozzle positions, a heated seat, and if you ask nicely, it'll even do your taxes. It certainly ain't cheap ($584), but it's barely a drop in the toilet bowl compared to some other models made by brands like TOTO.

For the price of a tiny home, you can acquire your very own TOTO Neorest. This toilet is worth more than everything I own… combined. I'm not sure who actually needs this toilet, but if you're out there, please DM me because I have questions. It's like a roommate that lives in your bathroom. When you walk in, the lid will open automatically and the toilet will illuminate. As you sit, the toilet will start misting itself to -- I don't know -- make sure no particles stick to the inside bowl? Hydrate your butt cheeks? After you're finished, you can pick a normal cleanse, a pulsating cleanse, or an oscillating cleanse. This isn't a toilet. It's a spa treatment. Finally, as you walk away, "The lid automatically closes as if it is saying 'Goodbye'." Most of my friends don't even say goodbye to me.

I'll never go back to a life without a bidet.

What I'm getting at here is that a bidet is an investment you should take advantage of now. Humans are creatures of habit, so if you think this is the last time in history we'll have an unprecedented and inexplicable TP shortage, you're wrong. As someone who's been comfortably using mine for about a month now (along with my roommates), I can safely say we're saving a significant amount of TP and the bidet has become as much a part of our bathroom as the shower curtain or plunger. At this point it might be the most utilitarian thing we own.

We've been wiping with paper far too long. And it makes no sense when there's a cleaner, budget-friendly and eco-conscious alternative out there. This isn't a question of whether bidets work, it's an ideological question of why we -- as Americans -- aren't incorporating bidets into our everyday lives. If you look at countries like Japan, Portugal, France, Italy, and countless others, you'll find bidets as ubiquitous as Australians on holiday. And I understand that no one really enjoys talking in-depth about poop -- save for gastroenterologists, I suppose. But pooping will always be a part of our everyday lives. And as such, we have the ability to make it much more pleasant. I'll never go back to a life without a bidet.

Viva hygiene! Viva bidets!

Alex Robinson is a writer and editor at Thrillist. He predicts bidets will take America by storm in 2021 and squeaky-clean butt cheeks will be all the rage. Follow him on Twitter if you want.
Want to know more about our favorite products and services, and get great deals on cool stuff? Sign up for the weekly Thrillist DealMail.