When it comes to toilet seat accessories, the two most popular options are bidet seats and bidet attachments.
Both of these devices help in improving user convenience, which is why they are becoming increasingly popular. But many people tend to get confused between these two products, for they have similar functionalities.
However, they are not all the same, which means that you need to know their differences before purchasing. That is just what we have discussed in this guide. So, read on!
Table of Contents
- What Is A Bidet Attachment?
- What Is A Bidet Seat?
- Bidet Attachment Vs Bidet Seat Differences?
- Pros And Cons Of Bidet Seats And Attachments
- Bidet Attachment Vs Bidet Seat – Which Is Best For You?
- Other Types Of Bidets For Your Toilet
- What Are Bidet Seats And Attachments Made From?
- How Often Should You Clean And Maintain A Bidet?
- Which One Lasts Longer – Bidet Attachment Or Seat?
- What Are The Best Bidet Brands?
- Final Words
What Is A Bidet Attachment?
Before getting to the main comparison, we would like to discuss the basics of these two toilet accessories in this section. The information here will be beneficial for those who are not that well-versed in these things.
Let’s start by discussing what the bidet attachment actually is. A bidet attachment is a device that is installed below your existing toilet seat. It comes with a nozzle at the end that sprays water at high pressure. After pressing the button or pulling the lever on this attachment, you can use the water stream to clean yourself.
Typically, most bidet attachments are non-electric by nature. In other words, you need to operate them manually. With that being said, many bidet attachments nowadays come with convenient control knobs and switches that make them easy to operate. However, these ones are a bit more expensive than the traditional bidet attachments, which often use levers and handheld switches.
What Is A Bidet Seat?
Now that you have a basic idea of a bidet attachment, let’s talk about bidet seats. This toilet accessory is relatively larger in size, and it usually replaces the existing toilet seat entirely.
Bidet toilet seats are available in two variants, which are electric and non-electric. The former type is generally cheaper but lacks a lot of features due to its basic design. On the other hand, electric bidet seats are pretty expensive, and they can improve your toilet experience considerably.
You can change the seat features of an electric bidet with a digital control panel or a remote control. In fact, even the non-electric variants come with analog knobs and buttons that allow you to control the seat.
Bidet Attachment Vs Bidet Seat Differences?
It is now time to discuss the main differences between bidet seats and bidet attachments. Naturally, both these devices are used for supplying water so that you can clean yourself up after you are done using the toilet. Because of this similarity in function, many people tend to use these terms interchangeably.
However, that is probably the only point of similarity between them, and there are many other aspects that set them apart from each other. In that context, there are some major areas in which a bidet seat differs from a bidet attachment, which are:
- Water pressure
On the basis of the above points, we have discussed how a bidet seat is different from an attachment in the following sections.
One of the biggest points of difference between a bidet seat and an attachment is the installation method. You’ll need to tinker with your toilet in both cases, but some variants are a bit easier to install than others. Also, the existing space and design of your bathroom affect the installation.
A cold water bidet attachment has the easiest installation. All you need to do is fit it alongside the toilet seat and hook it up to your cold water supply using a T-adapter. Once that is done, you can start using it.
Conversely, a hot-water attachment needs to be placed beside your hot water supply. If this hot water line is located near the toilet, then the installation process can be completed with relative ease.
But if the hot water line is located behind the wall or another plumbing fixture, such as a tub or cabinet, then the task becomes a bit complicated. In this situation, you will need to remove or drill through them so that the attachment can be installed. As a result, you will have to put in more time and effort.
The installation process for a non-electric bidet seat is similar to the installation of a cold-water bidet attachment. However, since a bidet toilet seat replaces your existing seat, you will have to do more work.
Setting up an electric bidet seat is also pretty easy, as long as you have a power outlet nearby. But if you don’t have that, then the process can become a bit difficult. In that situation, you will have to install a compatible outlet first, which will be able to meet the power requirements of the bidet.
Warning: For your safety, you should keep the electricity line protected from the plumbing line. This will prevent water from splashing into the outlet and causing issues like short circuits.
The overall design of a bidet seat is a lot different than a bidet attachment. Most attachments have a fairly simple design, which makes them easy to fit alongside your toilet bowl or tank. In other words, they do not take up a lot of space and do not alter the overall design of your toilet that much.
On the contrary, dedicated bidet seats have a much more complex design, which makes them a bit difficult to install beside your existing toilet bowl. As we have mentioned in the previous point, you need to replace your existing seat entirely to set them up. Therefore, this can alter the overall design of your toilet, which can cause some trouble.
Not only that, but it also includes other components alongside the seat. These include (but are not limited to) a compressed air dryer unit, AC power plugs and sockets, multiple nozzle heads, a remote control, and LED lamp attachments. All of these additional components can complicate the layout of your toilet.
That is why many people complain about the bidet seats being uncomfortable after installation. The complex design takes some time to get used to, which can be an annoyance for some people. That said, non-electric bidet seats have comparatively simpler designs, which makes them a bit easier to get used to.
3. Difference In Features
Another major point of difference between an attachment and a seat is the feature list. A traditional non-electric bidet attachment comes with a few basic features, such as a pressure adjustment dial, spray nozzle direction adjustment, and a self-cleaning wand.
In the case of non-electric bidet seats, you will get a similar set of features, along with a temperature adjustment feature to switch between cold and warm water.
Electronic bidet toilet seats, on the other hand, come with a vast array of features that puts them way ahead of any other type of toilet accessory. With a typical electric bidet seat, you get features like adjustable spray modes, seat heating, and controls for water temperature, pressure, and direction.
Spray modes allow you to alter the water flow between pulsating or oscillating patterns. Likewise, the seat heating feature gives you a heated seat so that you can sit comfortably on the toilet.
Subsequently, the water pressure and direction controls allow you to change the pressure of the water and the direction to suit your needs best. The pressure regulation mechanism can be highly beneficial if your water supply has erratic pressure.
Lastly, the temperature control allows you to switch between warm and cold water at will. Most electric bidets nowadays come with quick water heating, which allows you to switch to hot water instantly, thereby saving a lot of time.
Many manufacturers include other features to make them even more convenient. For example, a deodorizer or air freshener helps to get rid of the foul odor and keeps your toilet fragrant and fresh. Similarly, a nightlight helps to provide illumination in the dark.
Some even come with a hand dryer and auto-lid functionalities. And a few models by Bio Bidet come with an enema wash to clean your rectum and prevent infection.
4. Difference In Water Pressure
The water pressure of your household supply can affect the overall functionality of both these toilet accessories. Nearly every bidet attachment and seat has a pressure rating, which means that it requires maximum and minimum pressure to operate flawlessly.
On that note, electric bidets come with an internal motor that allows them to control the pressure of the output water spray independently of the inlet valve pressure. And unless your household pressure is extremely high or low, it won’t affect the output pressure that much.
Of course, the motor makes it more convenient to control the output pressure of the bidet seat. On top of that, the electric bidets use aerated water that improves the cleansing power even at low pressure.
In contrast, non-electric bidets and bidet attachments are powered solely by house water pressure. And while you can control the pressure of their output spray, you won’t be able to alter it as efficiently as an electric bidet. With that being said, the output pressure of these bidets under normal circumstances will be more than sufficient to get the job done effectively.
However, if your household water pressure is unusually high, then the output pressure of the bidet will be quite high, and vice versa. In this regard, high water pressure can hurt your skin and cause irritation.
On the other hand, low water pressure may make it more difficult to clean yourself after you are done using the toilet. In such situations, you may need to install an additional pressure regulator to keep the water pressure in check.
5. Difference In Usability
Another major aspect that differentiates bidet seats from bidet attachments is usability. Naturally, the toilet is a fixture that everyone uses on a daily basis, which is why this is an important factor to consider. After all, there is no point in choosing an option that is inconvenient or uncomfortable for everyday use.
A bidet’s overall usability is determined by the operating method and mobility. The operating method refers to how easy the machine is to use, while the latter determines how easily it can be moved around.
Typically, an electric bidet seat has numerous features and controls that you need to master. Therefore, it has a noticeable learning curve in its operating method, which can make it a bit annoying for beginners. However, once you get the hang of it, an electric bidet can be quite useful.
In contrast, bidet attachments come with a no-frills design that is much easier to use. So, you can use it to its full extent as soon as it is installed, making it a lot more beginner-friendly.
The other factor that needs to be considered here is mobility. If you can freely move or adjust the flow of water, you can use a bidet more effectively for cleaning yourself. But if you cannot do that, then it might cause some inconveniences during usage.
In this regard, electric bidets are a lot more advantageous since you can control the direction, angle, and movement of water flow easily. The same cannot be done for bidet attachments, which reduces their mobility to a great extent.
6. Price Difference
Now, we will take a look at the cost factor, which is another distinguishing aspect between a bidet seat and an attachment. In general, a bidet seat requires more money to purchase than a bidet attachment.
That’s because a bidet seat has a relatively more complex design than an attachment, which ultimately drives up its price. So, bidet attachments are the better choice for people who are on a tight budget. The trade-off to this aspect is that you get only the basic functionalities with these bidets and nothing more.
Also, the price of a hot-water bidet attachment is higher than that of a regular, cold-water bidet. The only reason behind this price difference is that a warm-water bidet offers greater comfort and convenience to the user than a regular cold-water option.
Subsequently, the price of an electric bidet is higher than a non-electric variant. In fact, a typical electric bidet seat has the highest price among all other types of bidets. This is because of its wide array of features and component systems, which increases the complexity of the device and drives up its price.
Thus, if your preference is to purchase an electric bidet, then you should make sure to allocate sufficient funds for it.
Pros And Cons Of Bidet Seats And Attachments
So, now you know how a bidet seat differs from a bidet attachment. Keeping the above discussion in mind, let’s see the overall benefits and disadvantages of using these two toilet accessories.
A. Bidet Attachment
First, let’s look into the benefits and drawbacks of bidet attachments below.
- Relatively straightforward in most cases
- Does not require toilet seat replacement
- Easy to maintain
- Does not have a learning curve
- Fairly simple design
- Low mobility
- Lack of convenience features like dryers, lights, and so on
- Limited pressure and flow adjustments
- Water temperature cannot be adjusted separately
B. Bidet Seat
In this section, we have mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of a bidet seat.
- Water pressure can be adjusted separately
- Convenient water flow alterations
- Comes with heating, drying, lights, and other convenience features
- Many models have automatic lids
- Remote-controlled operation available
- Completely eliminates the need for toilet paper
- Keeps your toilet fresh and odor-free
- Adjustable spray modes (oscillating wash, pulsating wash)
- Expensive to purchase
- Complex installation that requires toilet seat replacement
- Needs to be installed near an electrical outlet
- Maintenance is complicated and costly
- Steep learning curve
- Much more complicated design
Bidet Attachment Vs Bidet Seat – Which Is Best For You?
So, that was our comparative analysis of a bidet seat and an attachment. Now, the question that will obviously arise in your mind is – which one should you get for your toilet?
Well, the answer to this question depends on your individual needs and capabilities. If you want a fairly simple bidet accessory for your toilet that can be used without any fuss, then a bidet attachment will be the best choice for you. Similarly, if you are a bit short on funds, then a bidet attachment will be the most feasible pick.
However, if money is not a constraint and you want the best toilet experience possible, then you can definitely go with a bidet seat. Likewise, if there are pressure issues in your water supply, a bidet seat will be a lot more beneficial as it will allow you to adjust the pressure accordingly.
Or, if you live in a region that has a cold climate, you will find an electric bidet seat much more suitable. With it, you can heat up the water and the seat, and easily control the outlet pressure, making it more convenient to use.
Other Types Of Bidets For Your Toilet
There are a few other bidet types besides the two options discussed here. We have explored these ones briefly below.
1. Portable Bidets
Portable bidets are a great choice for people who travel a lot. That’s the reason why they are also known as travel bidets. These bidets are shaped like a bottle with a long nozzle that allows you to clean yourself. They have small size and can be easily carried around in a backpack.
2. Handheld Bidet Sprays
As you can guess from the name, a handheld bidet spray can be operated with your hands. The fundamental design and installation process of a handheld bidet spray is almost the same as a bidet attachment. However, these sprays are designed like shower heads, which gives them higher mobility and maneuverability than bidet attachments.
What Are Bidet Seats And Attachments Made From?
Most bidets are made from materials like vitreous china or porcelain. These are the same materials that most toilets are made from, which means that you will get a similar feeling while using them.
However, some brands may use plastic since it is cheaper and has a lower weight than the above materials. All of these materials are relatively durable and corrosion-resistant, which means that they will last for a long time.
How Often Should You Clean And Maintain A Bidet?
If you want your bidet accessory to work efficiently and last for a long time, you will need to maintain it. We would advise that you clean the bidet as frequently as the toilet, which is at least once a month.
During maintenance, you should clean the nozzle so that the water flow remains uninterrupted. You can use a standard cleaning solution or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar on the nozzle to get rid of any residue or debris. This is especially useful if you have a hard water supply at home.
Which One Lasts Longer – Bidet Attachment Or Seat?
In most cases, a bidet attachment can outlast a typical bidet seat. This is all thanks to its simpler design that contains fewer moving parts and components than a bidet seat. Because of this reason, it is easier to maintain, which enhances its lifespan.
That said, if you can properly maintain a bidet seat by following all the guidelines, then it will last for a long time as well. Although, the effort you’ll need to put in for its maintenance will be much higher.
What Are The Best Bidet Brands?
There are several manufacturers today that sell bidet seats and attachments. However, some of the best options among them are brands like Brondell, Toto, Tushy, and Bio Bidet.
These brands are highly reliable, and their products are designed to last for a long time. You’ll get good value for your money if you go with them.
A bidet is indeed a highly beneficial home improvement appliance. It doesn’t matter whether you choose an attachment or a full bidet seat – they will improve your toilet experience noticeably.
Of course, an electric bidet seat has a lot more features than an attachment, which makes it a worthwhile investment. And with further advances in technology, you can expect even more interesting features to be added in the future. However, a simple bidet attachment has its perks too, or else people would not use it.
Those who do not have sufficient DIY experience to install them can get in touch with a professional. Better yet, you can purchase a bidet converter kit which will allow you to transform your toilet seat into a bidet without much hassle.