I had planned to post about the Toto Washlet a few weeks ago when I returned to my Los Angeles home. These washlets aren’t that common in the U.S. and are probably best known as those “crazy Japanese toilets that spray water at your butt”. They’re everywhere in Japan restrooms, of course, but they’re also fairly common in Taiwan and I’m sure in other Asian countries. My uncle has had these toilets in his Taiwan house for a few years, which was an inspiration for my family to install them.
The main purpose of the washlet is the bidet functionality, which sprays fresh water at the anus and/or vagina to clean them after evacuating at the toilet. A common misperception is that water already in the toilet bowl itself is used to spray, which obviously is not true because that would be water mixed with urine or feces. Instead, a little sprayer slides out when you sit on the seat, then recedes when you’re done and automatically rinses itself.
There are a bunch of miscellaneous water settings like temperature, pressure and pulsation, but the bottom line is that you get sprayed with fresh water. Does it actually make you cleaner? Probably, plus it actually feels pretty good. It’s like a quick massage for your anus. As bizarre as that sounds, it’s very comfortable.
Here’s the wireless control panel mounted next to the toilet. As you can tell, all the controls are in English because this is the U.S. model made by Toto. The warm air dryer isn’t that effective because I still had to use toilet paper to dry myself. Other features include motion-sensors that automatically open and close the toilet seat as well as automatic flushing and air purification. Probably my favorite feature is the heated seat, which I am sorely missing now that I’m back in my apartment and it’s freezing. These features will vary depending on the model. I have the S400, but if you’re interested, here’s Toto’s PDF comparing their line-up.
Obviously, having a toilet like this is a luxury and not a necessity, but Toto washlets are definitely a better alternative to the traditional toilet. Plus, they make for an unusual conversation piece for visitors, particularly those who have never even heard of anything like this. They are quite pricey, but depending on your local dealer, you should be able to get prices much less than those listed in the PDF above. Our S400’s were about half those prices.
Here’s a video by the ever entertaining CheapyD from CheapAssGamer showing his Japanese toilet and giving it a go.