Imagine feeling as clean coming out of the bathroom as you did going into the bathroom. It is possible with the addition of a bidet seat – or washlet – to your existing toilet.

Americans don’t typically use a washlet, much less a bidet, in their bathrooms, but Europeans have been using bidets for the last 300+ years. The bidet is believed to have been developed in France sometime in the 18th century for cleanliness and better sanitation. It’s a regular fixture in Japanese homes and businesses as well.

The number of U.S. shoppers willing to give a washlet a try is increasing, though, so we thought we’d help you with some tips about how to choose a washlet for your toilet.

First, the mechanics: A washlet is a toilet seat with a wand incorporated into the design that sprays water and sometimes air as well to wash and dry you after you’ve used the bathroom. Connecting a washlet seat to your existing toilet does not usually require a plumber

Washlet seats most often require electricity so be sure your toilet is near an outlet. Most brands have the control panel on the right as you look at the toilet, but TOTO’s configuration is on the left. Control buttons – and on a remote would be even better – allow you to choose what kind of pressure you prefer and when to begin the air application.

The next consideration you need to take into account is the size and shape of your toilet bowl so you order the right size washlet:

  • Bolt-to-bolt: measure the distance between the centers of the bolt holes. Those are found at the back of the bowl where the seat attaches to the bowl.
  • Front-to-back: you need to know how many inches there are from the spot directly between the bolt holes to the front of the bowl.
  • Width: measure across the bowl at its widest point.
  • Determine if you have an elongated toilet or a round

Investing in a washlet should not be done on a whim; like any new bathroom fixture or appliance, you should take form, function and emerging technologies into consideration. Some washlets include a heated seat while others provide warm water choices. Pricing for washlets on eFaucets.com start just under $400.