Who Invented the Bidet? A Brief History

A bidet is a low-mounted sink or plumbing fixture used as a bathroom sanitation tool. People all over the world have been using bidets as sanitation tools after using the toilet. In some regions, they have entirely replaced the need for toilet paper.

Although it is hard to pinpoint the actual year or inventor of the first-ever bidet, it is thought that Christopher Des Rosiers, furniture-maker for the royal family, made the idea famous. He came up with the original structure of the bidet, which was a stool with a washbasin.

Bidets were first seen in France in the 17th Century, mostly in French palaces and noble houses. Given that there was no plumbing at that time, they were the best way to clean after a #2.

Now, bidets have gone through an evolution and use innovative technology. If you consider installing the accessory in your bathroom, below is a brief history of the invention and progression of bidets.


Before the bidet, things were pretty rough when it came to the bathroom. For instance, it is believed that Ancient Greeks used clay, whereas Ancient Romans stepped up the game by using a sponge attached to a stick after relieving themselves.

In the 14th Century, a Chinese Emperor acquired large sheets of paper that he had installed in his bathroom. It was better than the leaves, corn cobs, and animal fur that people were using then.

Bidets were, therefore, an excellent step for the bathroom industry. Compared to all the other methods, they are convenient and help you sanitize the buttocks, anal region, and legs properly after using the toilet for a #2.


The bidet is an upgraded version of bourdaloue, a portable pot elegant for French ladies during extended trips. According to The World Toilet Organization, the term ‘bidet’ was first coined in France. It came from a French word meaning ‘pony.’ The basin in the stool was supported by legs, so using a bidet closely resembled riding a pony.

Christopher Des Rosiers played a considerable role in making bidets popular in France and, later on, other countries. Napoleon Bonaparte had a silver bidet that he loved so much and took it to all his trips.

French aristocrats instantly bought the idea. After all, a porcelain bowl with inlay artwork standing on the mahogany is better than chamber pots and sponges.

After WWII, bidets spread to other parts of the world, especially Italy and Japan. Before the 20th Century, the bidet had undergone so much development, with manufacturers’ adding different special features.

In the 1960s, bidets were now approaching their golden years. Arnold Cohen designed the modern bidet seats that most people are currently familiar with. This design was licensed to a company in Japan. 


By the 1980s, bidets were well-accepted in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Americans, however, were not that accepting of the bidet until the invention of the integrated Japanese version known as ‘Toto.’

The prototype for the modern-day bidet was made in Switzerland, after which Japan bought the patent and improved it.

After Japan introduced the bidet seat to America in 1981, several companies in the U.S have ventured into bidet production. Baby boomers thought of bidets as the trendy new accessory to have in your bathroom.

Bidets have also gotten popular among millennials due to their cleansing technology and features like hot and cold water and heated seats. Furthermore, present-day bidets are luxurious and lush.

More than 80 % of households in Japan use bidet seats, and 95% in Italy and Portugal. In the U.S, there has been a significant rise in bidet installations. The current design has a lot of environmental and sanitary benefits.


There are four main types of bidet seats. First off, the over-the-rim bidet. Of all the four designs, this one is the most standard and easy to install. The water faucets fill the bowl like a sink so having a rimless bidet is better.

Next, there is a flashing rim bidet. The rim is heated, meaning the unit has a hot/cold handle(s) at the top. Water is heated or cooled when the water fills the bowl from beneath the rims.

The most common bidet design is the vertical/horizontal spray. The models are equipped with a fountain jet or spout that provides a stream of water. Such units must be installed with backflow prevention to avoid water contamination.

The fourth design is a combination bidet. Such bowls use features from the other three designs. You can have a bidet seat with heated rims and a vertical spray or hot/cold hubs with an over-the-rim bidet – the choice is yours!


The contemporary bidet seats are user-friendly. You should sit on them, legs astride, ensure you face the faucet, and adjust the temperature to your preference. Then, turn on the water to cleanse your nether regions.

The controls can be at the side, rear, or front of the bidet. To make using a bidet cozier, try installing a grab bar and shelf for storing soaps and towels.

Finding the best bidet design depends on your bathroom needs and budget. The more expensive the bathroom accessory costs, the more advanced the features are.


These instructions should not make you hesitate to make the switch to a bidet. They are to help you make a quick adjustment to their effective use and avoid beginner messes, especially when using public bidets. At home, choose bidets that are convenient, serve your needs best, and have excellent build quality. Do that, and you will forget all about the need for wiping and drying.

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