America is finally starting to catch on to something the rest of the world has known for a long time: your bathroom is better with a bidet! Just how long has it been around, you might be wondering? Where did the bidet originate and who invented the bidet? Here’s a brief bidet history lesson to answer all your questions about the bidet’s origins.
When was the bidet invented?
Before we get into our bidet origin story, it’s important to note that the bidet was not the first system for washing after going to the bathroom. The ancient Greeks and Romans used essentially an old-school loofah for the task: they’d reach down and wipe with a sponge on a stick, which would then be cleaned in salt water or vinegar. Wiping with a vinegar-soaked sponge doesn’t sound like a particularly pleasant experience, but luckily mankind has come up with better alternatives since our time in togas. The early 1700s is when the game got a major upgrade: around 1710 is when the bidet was invented.
Who invented the bidet?
You might know already that the word “bidet” is French, so you can probably guess where the bidet originated. The history of the bidet began when a French craftsman invented a piece of furniture with a basin for water set into a stand with legs. The original use of the bidet was exactly the same as it is now: to get you cleaner after using the toilet.
In 1710, the royal family’s furniture-maker, Christophe des Rosiers, installed the first bidet in the palace. Not much is known about des Rosiers, but he paved the way for a tradition of refreshing cleanliness that continues to this day. One of the bidet’s first users, Napoleon Bonaparte himself, loved his silver bidet so much that he took it around the world with him when he travelled! It was important enough to him that he specified in his will that this prized possession would go to his son when he died.
The bidet today
While the original use of the bidet hasn’t changed, bidets have come a long way since Napoleon’s day. The popularity of indoor plumbing was an important development in bidet history, leading to the installation of porcelain bidets in bathrooms across Europe.
Nowadays, we have bidets that can be attached to your existing toilet, saving space and making use of the bidet even easier. A bidet attachment is a simple and cost-effective way to install a bidet in your own bathroom. For the best that technology can offer, a luxury bidet toilet seat has features like a heated seat, drying feature, and a nightlight to guide you when nature calls in the middle of the night. Imagine what Christophe des Rosiers would think of that!