Why do Americans not use bidets?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Americans do not use bidets for several reasons, ranging from practicality to cultural habits. One of the main reasons is the lack of space and additional plumbing setup required for bidet fixtures. Many American bathrooms are not designed with bidets in mind, and retrofitting them can be expensive and inconvenient. This lack of infrastructure makes it difficult for bidets to become widely adopted.

Another significant factor is the deeply ingrained habit of using toilet paper. Most Americans grew up using toilet paper and have become accustomed to this method of cleaning themselves after using the bathroom. It has become a cultural norm, and many might not even be aware that there is an alternative way to stay clean.

Historically, bidets were more commonly used in European countries, and the concept of using water for personal hygiene may not have been as prevalent in American culture. As a result, bidets have not been widely marketed or promoted in the United States, further contributing to their limited adoption.

Additionally, bidets are often associated with luxury or upper-class living. This perception may make some Americans view bidets as unnecessary or extravagant. The cost of purchasing and installing a bidet can also be a deterrent for many households, especially considering that toilet paper is relatively inexpensive and widely available.

Cultural factors and societal norms also play a role in the limited use of bidets in the United States. People are often resistant to change, especially when it comes to personal hygiene habits. Bidets require a different approach to cleanliness, and some individuals may feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar with this method.

Furthermore, bidets are not commonly found in public restrooms in the United States. This lack of exposure to bidets outside of private homes further perpetuates the notion that bidets are not a necessary or common fixture.

The limited use of bidets in the United States can be attributed to a combination of factors. These include the lack of infrastructure and space for bidet fixtures, the deeply ingrained habit of using toilet paper, the historical association of bidets with luxury, and the resistance to change in personal hygiene habits.