The millennial generation’s discretionary cash isn’t being mashed into avocado toast. It’s being spent on cell phones, smartwatches, wireless headphones, and Netflix subscriptions. Senior reviewer Adrienne So says we pay this much for little things because the big things are broken. If we can’t fix health care, rid ourselves of student loan debt, or compete with skyrocketing housing prices, we may as well treat ourselves to The Witcher on a big ol’ flatscreen.
I think she’s right, in no small part because, over the past two weeks, I’ve discovered a new must-have for fellow techno-nihilists: A $599 electrified toilet attachment called the Bidetmega 400.
Butt tech: The next thing you didn’t know you needed. Coway’s heated seat, heated water, auto-cleaning, blow-drying, and night-light-laden throne is a masterpiece of comfort and cleanliness I now can’t live without. If I’m gonna Uber to the hospital because I can’t afford an ambulance, I might as well do it with a sparkling undercarriage.
It’s basic armchair philosophy: If you got pooped on by a bird, would you wipe it off your skin with some two-ply and keep walking? No. You’d use water. The bidet is better, right?
Not necessarily. There’s no indication that the amount of microbial junk in our trunks (about 0.14 grams in the average American wiper, according to fellow WIRED writer and bidet enthusiast Jason Kehe) is an actual health concern. I couldn’t even find peer-reviewed evidence that suggested using bidets is actually cleaner, which is crazy because bidets make me feel so much cleaner.
The real reason to use a bidet, I’ve learned, is how gently they clean your nether regions. Some studies have shown that bidets may be helpful for people with hemorrhoids or other issues where wiping causes physical discomfort (or, in some cases, more damage). Medical professionals also say they are good tools for people with physical disabilities. They’re also popular in several parts of the world, just not the US.
The Bidetmega begins its magic as soon as you descend into its ergonomic clutches.
A pressure sensor on the front of the bold, slanted toilet seat automatically tells the bidet to rinse itself clean—trickling a bit of water below you, as though self-aware of the generation of economics that led to this moment. At the same time, the Bidetmega starts heating the seat to one of two temperatures (three if you include leaving the heat off entirely).
My butt now follows the seasons. I prefer the hot setting during the dreary Portland winter but envision myself transitioning to medium heat in springtime and no heat in summer. It’s mega fast, reaching a warm temperature in about a minute.
After you’ve done your business, you press the Rear or Front buttons on the included remote—which is wireless, and thus a hilarious way to surprise a visiting friend or relative.
Push the button (also printed with braille), and the Bidetmega starts one of three preselected cleaning modes: Basic, Soothing Wash, and Active. I prefer Soothing Wash, for obvious reason. Active mode isn’t why anyone buys a $600 bidet, and Basic mode just feels like a waste of the money.
Soothing Wash mode is as magnificent as it sounds. Unlike many cheaper toilet attachments—like my previous model from Amazon, which bows its plastic spritzer wand at the feet of this well-heeled Coway model—the Bidetmega very carefully regulates pressure and temperature of its water stream using something it calls “i-wave technology.” The stream changes in intensity throughout a cleaning, providing a multistage wash at one of three user-selected water temperatures. I, now a connoisseur, prefer medium heat.
Unlike that Amazon-bought predecessor, the Bidetmega never misses, so there’s no weird waddling action; both nozzle positions can be adjusted forward or backward using the remote during the first use, for laserlike precision thereafter.
That’s the best part of the Bidetmega 400: There’s nothing to think about. You press a single button, and for a brief, private moment, you are a God, gloriously beloved by a toilet seat. You’re cleaned, warmed, and—in the end—you press another button, and a warm stream of air blows you dry.
This is a perfect modern machine. There’s no internet connection and no virtual assistant to talk to. Nobody at the NSA is going to snoop through your poop data. The Bidetmega simply takes something that offers you little excitement and makes it a joyous highlight of your day. It’s even got a glowing blue light to guide you in for late-night landings.
Think you might want to experience the Bidetmega’s magic? Coway offers a 90-day free trial on its website—which raises the question: What are they doing with used bidets?
In any case, installation didn’t have me fearing I was going to break my toilet or flood my bathroom. It was as simple as changing a toilet seat. Put it on, install a T-connector to your toilet’s water supply, and plug it into an outlet. Job done. The remote even comes with a tape-backed mount, so you can put the controls anywhere you want.
The Bidetmega is the Rolls Royce of bathroom accessories, but there are many similar products from well-known brands that offer many of the same features for less. I’ll be testing more soon, but for now the Bidetmega 400 reigns supreme. This is the fanciest device I’ve ever put in my bathroom, and I cherish every moment I spend in its company.
Don’t believe me? Give it a shot. Your parents might have a ritzy house and no student loan debt, but they probably don’t poop like this.