Today we’re looking at whether bidet water tends to be cold. This is probably one of the most common questions posed by newcomers to the subject. It’s a great question. If bidet water is icy cold, then the phrase, “freezing one’s butt off” would no longer just be a metaphor.
Most non-electric bidets spray unheated water (~40 to 70 F ̊), while electric bidets cleanse with warm water (~90 to 104 F ̊). With unheated bidets, the water can feel cold depending on location and time of year. “Dual temp” non-electric bidets exist that spray warm water, but they’re less common.
Then there are the standalone kind–the old-style European bidets made of ceramic–which provide warm water. Standalone bidets are bathroom fixtures, so they have their own plumbing.
Quick note: recently, I wrote an article on the best warm water bidets for the money including electric and non-electric options.
So, let’s dive in…
The results were consistent with the temperature range mentioned above (~40 to 70 F ̊) comes from data on average cold water inlet temperature for select US states (reference).
In case you didn’t watch the vid, here are the results:
It was during a cold snap, but the climate of the Southeast US is considered mild overall, especially compared to northern states. I will say, 60 F is pretty cool especially for the sensitive skin of the nether regions.
If you live up north, you can expect temperatures in the 40’s during certain stretches of the year.
For Those in a Rush
Discomfort related to temperature isn’t a common complaint, but bidet water can be uncomfortable for some users, especially those who live in very cold climates. Also, some folks are more cold-natured than others and what one finds comfortable another might find too cold or too hot.
If you’re concerned about temperature, you’re probably best off getting an electric bidet seat, warm water bidet attachment, or a handheld sprayer with a warm water connection and mixer valve.
I want to keep it real because those who answer common bidet questions are often manufacturers.
They put out quality info, but are ultra optimistic about all things bidets and tend to skew positive when answering questions.
Sometimes it’s a manufacturer, and other times it’s just a blogger/bidet enthusiast who wants to dispel common bidet “myths”.
They’ll say that bidet water isn’t uncomfortable. But, as we’ll see, it certainly can be. But, don’t worry. If you live in a particularly cold area, you do have options.
Cold Water Vs. Warm Water Bidets
In this article, we’ll go over the different types of bidets that use cold and warm water.
Non-electric bidets include bidet attachments, non-electric seats, handheld sprayers, and standalone bidets. It’s the former three (attachments, sprayers, and non-electric seats) that are known for using cold water. Standalone bidets are basically small sinks so they’re hooked into the home’s plumbing thus proving warm water.
Also, the term “non-electric bidet” is often used synonymously with bidet attachment, but in this article, I’ll be referring to any bidet that doesn’t run on electricity.
Which Bidets Use Cold Water?
Most Handheld Sprayers
Handheld sprayers typically only offer cold water cleansing. For exceptions, see the section on non-electric bidets further down in the article.
Again, the water isn’t necessarily cold, but it’s unheated. This could be a problem depending on where you live, the time of year, etc. Living in the southern US, I know my water runs extra cold during winter months.
This could be a problem if you live in Alaska or Northern Europe. Then again, if you’re from a really cold area, you’re probably a lot tougher than I am.
Most Bidet Attachments
Bidet attachments are kind of a step up from the sprayers, but that’s a matter of opinion. They’re slightly more sophisticated in that they’re automatic. They’re already in the toilet bowl, so with a mere turn of a dial, you get a nozzle that aims and sprays water for you.
If you’re grossed out by the thought of the sprayer being in the toilet bowl, it’s actually inside the seat. It emerges from the spray wand housing only when needed and retreats after each spray session.
While this kind lacks most of the features offered by the electric seats, it is amazing what they manage to do only working off of water pressure.
Bidets That Use Warm Water
Electric Bidet Seats and Bidet-Toilet Combos
Both electric seats and bidet-toilet combos provide warm water. Models vary but the remote control (or side panel) typically allows for adjusting the water temp between 90 – 104 °F (or 32.2-104 °C).
Electric bidet seats are probably the most popular bidets on the market these days. You swap out your current seat/lid fixture for the high-tech one and get all the benefits offered by getting a brand new $2K toilet with a built-in bidet.
Bidet-toilet combos are high-tech commodes that are built from the ground up to have bidet technology. They’re ultra modern-looking and often tankless—though some conventional two-piece toilets are sold with bidet seats.
A standalone bidet is a separate washbasin. They’re located next to the toilet and are about toilet height. After conducting your business on the commode, you make your way to the bidet and wash off with fresh flowing water.
The water pours into the basin like a faucet (horizontal spray) or is shot up from the bottom of the bidet like a fountain (vertical spray).
Because they work off of the home’s plumbing, this type of bidet provides water in the same range as that which comes out of the sink and shower.
Dual Temp Non-Electric Bidets
Some folks don’t really care to have all the bells and whistles offered by modern electric bidets—features like a warm air dryer, digital temperature and pressure control, an adjustable wand that can be aimed automatically, etc.
If you’re a minimalist and would really prefer a handheld sprayer or attachment, then there are a few options.
Bidet attachments, non-electric seats, and handheld sprayers can be set up to provide warm water. This type of setup does have a few drawbacks and we’ll be covering them here.
They can use warm water in the following ways:
- Lavatory warm water shutoff valves. Non-electric bidet seats and some attachments come with a 3/8″ T-valve and extra water supply hose that allows the bidet to source warm water from the hot water shutoff valve beneath the bathroom sink.
- Mixing valves. To get warm water from a handheld sprayer, you can attach a mixing valve on the toilet fill valve. Mixing valves have three ports: two for the supply hoses (one hot, one cold) and one for the bidet. The valve takes the hot water from the sink and the cold water from the toilet shutoff valve and lets you mix the incoming water to get the right temperature.
- Special plumbing equipment. This kind seems to be limited to handheld sprayers like the TRUSTMI bidet. The sprayer comes with a mount, cover plate, faucet, and a fixture that allows you to install the bidet directly into the home’s plumbing. The faucet turns the water on/off and controls the temperature. On average, these are more expensive than standard handheld sprayers.
- Special faucet attachments. There are several handheld sprayers on the market that come with special connectors that allow hooking the bidet’s supply hose up to a spigot. It’s usually the sink faucet, but I’ve seen them hooked to showerheads before.
Limitations of Non-Electric Warm Water Bidets
- Constant installation (faucet bidets). If you purchase the kind that hooks up to a faucet, then you may find that you have to hook the bidet up with each use, unless you don’t mind having an unsightly supply hose suspended from your faucet 24/7.
- The water has to warm up (faucet bidets). The warm water comes from the home’s plumbing. So, just like with a sink, you’ll have to turn the bidet on for a bit before it starts to run warm. While it may sound like a minor inconvenience, a lot of folks find that they’re done cleaning before they feel the water become warm.
- Permanent alternation of the bathroom. If you own the property that you live on, then this isn’t a problem. But, bidets that hook directly into the home’s plumbing often require altering the bathroom. Also, bidets that hook up to the warm water shutoff valve may require drilling into the vanity to reach the sink shutoff valves. Such an alteration is off-limits for renters unless special permission is obtained first.
- Difficult (or costly) installation. Again, this only applies to the kind of sprayers that hook into the plumbing. If you’re going to go this route, you’ll need a little know-how. You can outsource the project, but plumbers aren’t cheap. At that point, you’d probably be better off getting a modern electric seat. Electric bidets have ten times the features and would cost less overall.
Are Cold Water Bidets Uncomfortable?
Cold water bidets are generally considered comfortable. The water is unheated but not necessarily cold. But, they can be uncomfortable for those who live in colder climates. Both the location of the user and the time of year determine how cold bidet water gets.
The times I’ve used cold water bidets, they’ve been perfectly comfortable. I’ve also talked to a few non-electric bidet owners who live in cold climates.
It’s probably no coincidence that handheld sprayers (non-heated bidets) are popular in warmer regions of the world.
There are cultural reasons behind bidet use in certain regions, but areas with warmer average temperatures are ideal for handheld sprayers.
Are Bidets Cold? Conclusion
So, there you have it.
Most non-electric bidets clean with unheated or “cold” water (~40 to 70 F ̊). While unheated, most don’t find cool tap water to be uncomfortable. Electric bidets have warm water (~90 to 104 F ̊) that can be adjusted via remote control. “Dual temp” non-electric bidets exist that provide warm water.
So, some of the most common bidets do use unheated water. The water is usually comfortable but can be quite chilly depending on where you live.
Folks are often attracted to non-electric bidets because of the cheaper price tag. But, you have to consider the long-term costs to determine which type of bidet would be cheaper overall.
If for a few months out of the year, a cold water bidet was just too uncomfortable to use, then one would end up paying for toilet paper until the weather warmed up. Over time, this could cancel out the money-saving benefits of opting for a non-electric bidet.
Also, some handheld sprayers require a lengthy installation that calls for altering the property. Unless you know how to do the installation yourself, you’ll end up having to outsource the job to a plumber.
Cold water bidets are probably just fine for most places in the USA. Even if the water is uncomfortable in the winter months, it’s unlikely to give you frostbite.
I’ll always recommend electric bidets. I have one and it’s awesome. But, non-electric units are still a hundred times better than toilet paper.
Thanks for reading.