Today we’re looking at whether bidets come with warm air dryers. A common question folks have when first hearing of toilets that clean with water is whether or not using one requires walking around wet all day long. When using a bidet how do you dry? Do bidets have built-in dryers?
Warm air dryers are present on premium and luxury electric bidet seats, though some entry-level seats have the feature. A small vent is located at the back of the seat next to the nozzle. Bidet attachments, non-electric seats, and handheld sprayers never have dryers.
Thus, electric bidets typically have dryers, while non-electric bidets always require that you dry off manually. Bidets without dryers include non-electric seats, attachments, handheld sprayers, and standalone bidets. Some electric bidets lack heaters, so you’ll have to check the spec sheet for each model.
It’s the entry-level electric seats that often lack dryers. Most manufacturers offer a wide range of bidets to fit a wide range of budgets. The warm air dryer feature tends to start showing up on seats closer to the $300 price range, though I’ve seen them on less expensive models.
What we’ll do here is go over the different types of bidets and how you’re supposed to dry with each kind. Along the way, we’ll naturally be covering some of the pros and cons of each type.
In case you’re new to the subject, here’s an image of the different types of bidets discussed below.
How Do Bidets Dry?
Electric bidets that are equipped with dryers use a heater at the back of the seat to blow warm air through a small vent directed at the posterior region. The air temperature is adjustable, via remote control or side panel, between 95 and 140 °F (or 35 to 60 °C).
Bidet seats replace the seat and lid on your current toilet. It’s a reversible installation and keeps the rest of the commode so they’re compatible with rental properties.
Some are strictly mechanical (non-electric) but most bidet seats are electric and 99% of the time when someone says “bidet seat” they’re referring to the electric kind.
Electric seats are the most popular bidets on the market because they offer all the features associated with modern units (e.g. warm water, dryer, adjustable nozzle).
And, of course, because they can be installed on most any toilet. I say “any” toilet but the right bidet needs to be chosen depending on the type of commode (round vs. elongated, etc.).
Bidet-toilet combos are high-tech toilets with built-in bidets. They’re usually ultra modern-looking (often tankless) and, as would be expected, cost the most of any bidet category. Seats offer most if not all the same features at a fraction of the cost.
Both bidet seats and toilet combos come with air dryers.
Not all dryers are created equal. They can differ in a few ways:
- Time to dry. Most bidet seats and toilets will provide a thorough drying session in the range of 2-4 minutes with some of the higher-end models doing the job in less than a minute and a half.
- Air volume and pressure. Some provide a higher air volume and greater pressure. I’ve sat on a range of seats at this point and I can say that most feel similar but some have a stronger draft than others.
- The number of dryer settings. Some models have a wider range of temperatures and pressures to choose from. Warm air dryers are typically adjustable and usually blow air at a temperature range between 95 to 140 °F (or 35 to 60 °C). The heater capacity is usually around 350 watts. So, they’re warm enough to dry but not so much as to cause irritation.
Bidets That Don’t Dry
Bidet Attachments and Non-Electric Seats
Like with bidet seats described above, attachments are hooked up to your current toilet. The difference is that they don’t replace parts like the seat or lid. Instead, they attach just beneath the seat in the same bolt holes.
Non-electric seats, as mentioned above, attach the same way as the electric kind but have a mere fraction of the features on offer by their electric cousins.
As basic as they may be, non-electric bidets are quite impressive in what they manage to get done without electricity. They’re mechanical and work strictly off of water pressure.
While they manage to have a nozzle that extends and retracts—and some nozzles are self-cleaning—they do not offer a drying function. Instead, the user has to use a bit of toilet paper to dab dry—either that or have a dedicated bidet towel. You still end up saving toilet paper overall.
These are very popular because they’re cheap and easy to install. Handheld sprayers look like the little water nozzles common in kitchen sinks–the sprayers used to wash produce and dishes.
Like with the above non-electric bidets the user washes with cold water. The main difference is that the wash is manual. You get more precision and control, but at the expense of convenience—the attachments spray water automatically from inside the bowl.
Like with bidet attachments and non-electric seats, the user has to dab dry with TP or a towel. Like the sprayer, a small towel rack would be in arm’s reach of the toilet.
If you ever wonder whether you could get by without an electric dryer, just consider the handheld bidet which is one of the most (or the most) common bidets used worldwide.
I love my electric dryer (I have the TOTO C100) and can’t picture myself going back to manual drying. But people have and will continue to get by just fine with the humble towel or a square or two of TP.
The old-style standalone bidets remain quite popular in certain parts of the world. We have them here in the US, but they’re much less common. They need floor space and have several bidet-related plumbing requirements. More so than other types of bidets, that is.
They are separate washbasins located next to toilets—they look like little sinks positioned low on the wall.
You do your business on the toilet and proceed to the bidet to wash off. Folks who use these tend to make use of dedicated bidet towels. So, if you find yourself at a residence with a standalone bidet, don’t use the small towel next to the bidet—it’s not a face towel!
I think one reason they tend to be less popular in North America is that they have to be installed separately. This means making permanent alterations to the property (something off-limits to renters) and taking up significant floor space.
Because they’re wired into the home’s plumbing (the hot water lines), they do offer warm water, something lacking in modern non-electric bidets which reroute water just before it goes to the toilet tank.
A Note on Drying with Toilet Paper
You might be wondering what makes a bidet worth it if you still had to use TP. I’ve heard this from time to time and it’s a great question.
For one, no type of bidet requires that you use toilet paper. Bidet towels are quite sanitary if you clean the soiled area thoroughly before drying and wash them regularly. I.e. don’t use the same towel for a month without cleaning it. So, using a bidet can replace all toilet paper.
For another, many consumers choose to use non-electric bidets over toilet paper primarily for reasons of hygiene—not so much reducing TP use.
It’s true that a lot of folks are attracted to bidets because of environmental concerns (bidets save trees and use less water overall), but the most common reason cited for cleaning with water is to get a more thorough cleansing.
And bidets of all kinds offer a cleaning far superior to that of toilet paper.
Finally, users of TP and non-electric bidets still manage to use a fraction of the toilet paper compared to non-bidet users. After using the bidet, you only need to dab dry which takes a square or two of TP at most.
Some especially frugal non-bidet users claim they can get away with using only one square but you have to question how thorough of a clean they’re getting—not much even by traditional TP standards.
On average, using a bidet can save 2 toilet paper rolls/week per person (1). So, a household of 4 would save around 8 rolls per week. Extrapolate that out to a large population (hundreds of millions), and bidets have the potential to replace billions of rolls every year (2).
Do Bidets Dry You? Conclusion
So, there you have it. Hopefully that answers your question.
Some bidets do the drying for you by blowing warm air at your backside through a small vent. Non-electric bidets require you to dry off manually. Whether a certain model has a dryer or not, using a bidet doesn’t leave you wet all day, as there’s always the option to use toilet paper or a bidet towel.
Many bidets have dryers but not all. Some seats are non-electric so make sure to check the product description thoroughly before making a purchase.
While they look similar to electric bidets, attachments and non-electric seats are strictly mechanical and don’t offer a way to dry.
So, if you go with one of these (or the handheld sprayer) you’ll still need to continue using TP to some degree. Either that or use a small towel.
Electric or not, all bidets far surpass toilet paper in every way. From the extra thorough clean you’ll get to the saved money and lessened environmental impact, bidets win every time.
Some of the electric seats may appear pricy, but even with the most expensive model, you’d still save tons over a lifetime by ditching toilet paper altogether.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.