Today’s article covers how much power different types of bidets consume. It also tackles questions like, how much does it cost to operate a bidet? Do bidets increase the electricity bill? Do bidets use a lot of electricity, do they NEED electricity? Etc.
The most efficient electric bidets use about 14 kWh/month ($1.85), which is about that of the average printer. The least efficient bidets can consume up to ~160 kWh/month (about $20), but usually cost about $5-10 per month to use. Non-electric bidets exist which pose zero added electrical costs.
Keep in mind, bidet power use depends on a lot of factors, like how often the bidet is used, which features are used, and at what settings, etc. Habits like using the eco mode (if yours has one), foregoing the heated seat function, and keeping the water and air drying temperature to the lowest comfortable level can go a long way in reducing electrical costs.
It also depends on how many people use the bidet, though this matters less with inefficient bidets that draw a lot of power 24/7.
Best case scenario:
- A bidet with an efficient water heater.
- Single person household where the person uses toilet away from home (gym, at work) for half the day.
- Makes use of the eco (power-saving) mode.
- Limited use of the heated seat.
- Lower settings for air and water temp (probably less important).
Worse case scenario:
- A bidet with a tank-type heater.
- A large household of remote workers and homeschooled kids where everyone uses the bidet.
- No eco mode.
- Heated seat left on high at all times.
- Bidet operated at full blast all the time (every feature is set to “high”).
The numbers in this article are based on the bidet being operated for 20 minutes/day, which is about average for a small to medium-sized household.
Now on to the different types of bidets and how they compare in terms of energy-efficiency and costs.
How Many Watts Does a Bidet Use?
Entry-level electric bidet seats consume less wattage when in use (~400 W) but use the most energy overall (about 150 kWh/month). Luxury bidets have higher max power consumption ratings (up to 1200 W) but are much more efficient on the whole (using around 9 kWh/month).
This is based on average max power consumption ratings after having scanned a few dozen manuals.
In case you’re new to the subject, Watts measures how much electricity is used when an appliance is turned on and the power rating of an appliance refers to how many Watts the device consumes when operated for an hour.
Electrical devices have a max power rating, which is the amount of electricity (in Watts) they use when operated at full capacity for an hour–the worst-case scenario. Overall, the bigger the max power consumption rating a device has, the more power it consumes when operated.
To get watts, you multiply volts by amps, but a lot of bidet owner’s manuals list the max rating on the spec sheet. Manuals always list the rated power consumption, which is close enough for our purposes.
Here is the rated maximum power consumption of some of the more popular bidets:
- TOTO S550e: 1444 W
- Brondell SWASH 1400: 1200 W
- Brondell SWASH 1000: 1200 W
- Alpha GXR: 864 W
- Brondell SWASH 300: 850 W*
- Bio Bidet 1000: 660W
- TOTO C100: 406 W
- TOTO A100: 290 W
*Generally, the more features a bidet has, the higher the max power consumption, but there are exceptions. For instance, the Brondell S300 is pretty basic (no air dryer, tank-type heater, etc.) but has a max power consumption rating of over 800 W.
Manuals list the max power rating in Watts, but kilowatt-hours, or kWh, is the best measure of energy use. It’s the metric you’ll find on your power bill and takes into account how much an appliance is used. A super high max power rating doesn’t matter so much if a device is only used for a few seconds.
Power Usage of Different Types of Bidets (W and kWh)
Max Power Consumption When Operated (Watts)
Again, this is worst case scenario, because max power ratings are based on an appliance being operated at full blast.
As usual, it depenes on the type of bidet.
- Entry-level electric seat, no dryer: 300 W
- Entry-level electric seat with dryer: 400 W
- Mid-range electric seat with hybrid heater: 800 W
- Luxury electric seat with tankless heater: 1200 W
Kilowatt Hours (Monthly Power Usage/Costs)
Entry-Level Electric Seats
- Average max power rating: 300-400 W depending on whether there’s a dryer.
- Power consumed throughout the day: ~5400 W.
- Monthly power use (kilowatt-hours): 162 kWh
- Max monthly cost: $21.06
The monthly cost is based on the average electricity rate in the US of 13 cents per kWh (source).
Entry-level seats may only use 0.13 kWh throughout the day when the bidet is actually in use, but the primitive tank-type water heaters they use never sleep. The heaters alone are typically rated at 225 Watts/hour which means they use up to 5.4 kWh/day (with 20 minutes of use) or 162 kWh per month.
Luxury Electric Seats
- When operating the bidet: up to 1400 W.
- Power consumed throughout the day: 466 W.
- Monthly power use: 14 kWh.
- Average monthly cost: $1.17
Luxury seats have all the bells and whistles so they consume way more power when operated—hence, the higher max power ratings. But they don’t use much power when the seat isn’t in use, especially if you use the Eco mode and take it easy on the heated seat function. So, they save TONS of electricity over time.
Mid-Range Electric Seat (Hybrid Heating Technology)
Bidets with hybrid water heaters use about 800 Watts when operated. They are more efficient than those with tank-type heaters, but much less efficient compared to units with tankless (instantaneous) water heaters.
So, the wattage used by mid-range electric bidets should fall somewhere between that of the entry-level and luxury bidets.
They still make use of heated reservoirs to keep water warm, so you can still expect to use a good bit of electricity with this type of bidet.
Bidets vs Other Appliances (Power Usage)
The above numbers don’t mean much if you don’t have anything to compare them to.
|Non-Electric Bidet||0 kWh||$0|
|Blender (400W)||2 kWh||$0.26|
|Luxury Bidet||14 kWh||$1.85|
|Fridge (440W)||161 kWh||$21.23|
|162 kWh||Up to $21.36|
Kilowatt hour numbers for different appliances can be found here.
I’d imagine you’re pretty surprised by the $21/month cost of running an entry-level electric bidet seat, even if it is the worst-case scenario. I would be too if I didn’t already own one. Of course, it depends on the bidet. The most I’ve seen extra on my utility bill since using a bidet with a tank-type heater is an extra $10.
To get the above numbers, I mostly went by the water heater capacity in kilowatts and multiplied it by the number of hours used each month, and multiplied that number by 13.19 cents. Since tank-type heaters draw power around the clock (720 hours/month), the number is higher than you’d think.
How Many Amps Does a Bidet Use?
Entry-level electric bidet seats consume about 4 amperes per second, while luxury seats can use up to 10. Because the former lack features like a warm air dryer, they have a lower max power rating. However, entry-level bidets are less efficient and use more energy throughout the day.
Amperes or “amps” measure the current, or number of coulombs, moving through a circuit per second when an appliance is in use.
To get amps, you divide watts by volts. In the US, the rated power supply of most bidets is 120 volts and electric seats use anywhere from 300 to 1400 W. Hence, you get the above range.
Here’s how the bidet compares to other common appliances. Lights and small appliances typically use 15 to 20 amps, while larger appliances can use up to 50 or 60. So, pretty good in comparison.
|Oscillating Fan||1 Amp/Sec|
|Luxury Bidet||10 Amps/Sec|
*Even more important when comparing different appliances is how much they’re used (how long and how often). For example, lights are typically used for a few hours at a time, while bidets are used anywhere from a few minutes per day to 24/7 depending on the technology.
So, overall, the average amps used in the short and long term depends on the type of bidet.
Amp Draw of Different Types of Bidets
Entry-Level Electric Seats
- When operating the bidet: 4 amps/sec.
- Amps per day: ~200K to 350K amps/sec.
- Amps per month: 10M+ amps/sec.
Hence, entry-level bidets consume less amps/second when in use, but way more throughout the day and beaucoup in a month.
Luxury Electric Seats
- When operating the bidet: 10 amps/sec.
- Amps per day: 12K amps/sec.
- Amps per month: 350K+ amps/sec.
Luxury electric seats consume more amps when operated but much less overall (day-to-day, month-to-month). This is because they’re more efficient overall but have more features that require electricity. Hence, they have higher max power consumption ratings but consume less energy throughout the day.
Mid-Range Electric Seat (Hybrid Heating Technology)
When operating the bidet, seats with hybrid heaters use about 6.5 amps/sec. The number of amps used in the long term depends on the model.
Hybrid heaters are supposed to be more efficient, but they use a heated reservoir to some extend—the idea of a hybrid heater is that it uses a mix of instantaneous and heated reservoir technology.
Since a heated reservoir will need to draw electricity when the bidet isn’t in use, hybrid heaters use a lot more energy than instantaneous water heaters.
What Are the Electrical Costs of Operating a Bidet? Do bidets increase the electricity bill?
The monthly electrical cost of operating an electric bidet can range from $2 to $20, with the more efficient models (I.e., those with tankless water heaters) costing the least. Hence, electrical costs should rise when switching to a bidet, but it may not be noticeable on the electricity bill.
Of course, non-electric bidets come with zero electrical costs, but lack features like warm water and a dryer.
Non-electric bidets use more water and save less toilet paper (for drying), but net more savings overall. They come with few features, so it is a tradeoff.
Do Electrical Costs Cancel Out Toilet Paper Savings?
The extra cost that comes with using the more affordable electric bidets may not be a big deal if it was canceled out by savings in toilet paper.
The extra electrical costs can, but probably won’t, cancel out toilet paper savings. But it really depends on the specific bidet and how much toilet paper a household uses.
For more info, check out the article, do bidets save money overall? It covers the savings you can expect over a lifetime of bidet use once you factor in water and electricity costs, TP savings, and the initial cost of the bidet.
For maximum savings, I’d recommend a non-electric bidet (a bidet attachment, handheld sprayer, or manual seat), or if you can swing it, a bidet with an instantaneous water heater.
Electric bidets are awesome (I use one), but non-electric units offer pretty much the same quality clean for much cheaper.
Do Bidets NEED Electricity?
Bidets don’t require electricity. Non-electric bidets exist (attachments, handheld sprayers, and manual seats) that work off of water pressure alone. Even electric bidets can operate in a limited capacity (I.e., spraying cold water) without access to a power source.
Electricity is needed to operate the extra functions offered by electric seats. Bidet seats are bigger than regular toilet seats because they house a lot of technology.
Features that run on electricity include:
- A water heater.
- A warm air dryer—to reduce or eliminate toilet paper use.
- Different spray patterns (oscillating and pulsating).
- Spray modes (feminine wash modes, child modes, enema functions to help with constipation, etc.).
- Heated seats.
- An air deodorizer (a small fan that circulates air through a carbon filter).
- Automatic toilet bowl and wand cleaning functions.
- Automatic opening and closing lids.
- Body sensors.
- Remote controls and side panels.
And that’s just a few.
Does a Bidet Use a Lot of Electricity? Conclusion
So, there you have.
Bidets can use a lot of electricity, namely, those with less efficient water heating systems. But plenty of high-tech bidets exist that use very little power (about $5.00/year/person), and non-electric bidets are strictly mechanical using no electricity.
Keep in mind that the electrical cost is only one thing to consider when deciding whether to make the switch to a bidet.
Sure, there’s water usage, but bidets use very little extra water overall and may save water in some circumstances. More on that here.
For one, there are toilet paper savings. It’s not uncommon for someone to spend thousands on toilet paper over a lifetime. Energy-efficient models cost a lot upfront (some up to $1000) but more than pay for themselves over time with TP savings alone.
Then there are the environmental benefits. Bidets clean with water instead of paper but save tons of water when it comes to the environment as 37 gallons of water are needed to make a single roll of toilet paper (source).
Whoever you are, there’s a bidet out there that will fit your budget and preferences. So, as the old saying goes, for every person there’s a bidet and for every bidet, there’s a person.
Thanks for reading.