A bidet is not something I’d ever see myself using, let alone owning, but here we are. A few weeks ago, I was sent the Soft Spa 9500 Bidet Toilet Seat by Fluidmaster (retail $400) for my family to test out. I was not prepared for what followed. This piece of equipment, for lack of a better word, cuts down on my family’s toilet paper use and helps us walk away from the bathroom feeling clean and refreshed.
Before we continue, I should tell you that this is essentially a toilet seat review and while pooping jokes are not my favorite, they are a solid number two, so…let’s get into it (the puns only get worse from here…you’ve been warned).
What is a bidet?
For those not in the know, a bidet is essentially a butt washer. After you use the restroom, you would either move to a separate toilet-looking seat that shoots water at your nether regions or activate the one built into your toilet. The Soft Spa 9500 by Fluidmaster is the latter. By using a bidet, you cut down on toilet paper usage, something that is considered tear-able for the environment.
Some of the cool features of the Soft Spa 9500 are:
- Customizable water temp
- Heated seat
- Blow dry
- Adjustable nozzle (with oscillating movement)
- Soft closes
All of these features make our toilet the hottest seat in the house and feel like we potty like a rockstar.
It’s worth noting that the settings are set by the person who used them last. My son was quick to make the seat pre-heated, so until someone changes it, that’s how it will stay. If the last person had cold water for their rinse, it would be cold for the next person unless they changed it before hitting the button.
The bidet is remotely operated, and it works a pretty good distance away. Make sure you either attach it to the wall permanently or keep an eye on any pranksters with ill intentions. It comes with a holster that you can attach to the wall by screws or command strips.
What is in the box?
Inside the box is everything you need to install the Soft Spa 9500 in one sitting. It does require electricity, so if you do not have a three-prong outlet near your toilet, I would get an extension cord before setting it up. Our bathroom didn’t have a three-prong outlet, so we had to swap out the outlet before we could use it (you can also get an adapter in a pinch).
This model is built for elongated toilets, not round, but if you have a round toilet as we do, it doesn’t look bad or out of place. Not saying that when someone who hasn’t seen it before walks into your bathroom, they won’t notice a change because, oh boy, will they. I’m saying it won’t look bad.
For the set up, I’ll admit that I let my husband take this one because I do great with computers, but this intimidated me. He told me after setting it up (around 45 minutes) that he felt I could have handled it if I had taken a step back and done it one step at a time.
Once it was installed, we couldn’t figure out why the remote wouldn’t work. Turns out there is a safety feature that keeps it from working unless there is enough weight on the toilet seat. So, after you set it up, you will either have to lean over the toilet seat and put pressure on it to test it out, or someone will need to feel inspired to have some private time.
You wouldn’t think that using a bidet would cause you to be so embarrassed that your cheeks flush, but each of us eventually got over it and took the hot seat to a new bathroom experience.
My husband likes it and feels it does get him cleaner than toilet paper by itself. My son, who has some sensory issues due to autism, also enjoys using it (that kind of surprised me to be honest). My experience, being the only assigned female at birth in the house, is different.
I find it refreshing, but on female body parts, it does feel a bit weird. At times, it felt like it encouraged my body to use the bathroom more after I had already finished.
I was afraid that a bidet might cause me to have more frequent UTIs (I’m prone to them by nature, so that’s something that scared me). My research showed it’s healthier for those assigned female at birth because you’re supposed to wipe front to back to prevent infection, and the water shoots from the front nozzle.
What I liked
I like that there is a remote and it’s easy to understand each option. I also like how the settings save from the previous user. It would be kind of a pain to have to change it all while sitting there if everyone in your family likes the same settings anyway.
It’s not loud. There is a quiet “beep” when someone sits down and when each phase activates, but that is just to give the person sitting there a heads up about what they are about to feel. And it doesn’t do anything automatically. You have to start each phase using the remote. There is also an stop button.
I was questioning how well the drying feature would work and let me tell you, after that first time, I stopped questioning it. There is no reason for toilet paper if you let the dry cycle run its course.
Another thing I like is that the nozzles are adjustable. Using the remote, you can tell it to move forward or backward to hit the right spot. After using it for a few weeks, you could say this is right up our alley now.
What I didn’t like
The entire process, from washing to drying, takes a good few extra minutes than if you used toilet paper. I feel like the refreshing feeling you walk away with, though, overrides that. It’s also kind of annoying that my family likes it so much, we have to fight for our right to potty.
My family is surprisingly happy with the Soft Spa 9500 bidet by Fluidmaster. It’s not something I would have thought would change how I look at my bathroom, but it has. The extra time it takes for the wash and dry cycles to run is worth it for the refreshed feeling we walk away with. If you’re worried about water usage, let me put your mind at ease and tell you that it uses about the same amount of water that it takes to wash your hands. Now in the immortal words of Porky Pig, “Bidet bidet bidet, that’s all folks.”
The Soft Spa 9500 is available on Fluidmaster’s website and retails for $400
Disclaimer: GeekDad was given a review sample.