The rising adoption of western toilets or commode in a large part of the globe plays an important role in the substantial growth of the global electric bidet market. One of the key advantages of the western water closet is that it can be easily accessible from all types of people including the elderly and children. Moreover, the commode is widely popular among the group of people who need physical support such as differently-abled and mobility-challenged sections. However, the increasing growth of the global electric bidet market can be largely attributed to the growing production of advanced facilities and features equipped with an electric bidet, due to the impact of the rapid growth of technological advancement.
A bidet, also known as toilet seat bidet, is a key component of a western toilet that is designed to provide comfort mainly during defecation. It is a bowl-shaped container primarily designed to be sat during urination or defecation and also acts as a cleaning agent to wash the human genitalia, anus, and inner buttocks. There are two major types of bidets, i.e. electronic and non-electronic. Although both of the bidets act the same function, they are different in terms of features and facilities equipped with them. An electric bidet seat is normally loaded with various upgraded remote control features and side panels for controlling several functions, which provide several advanced services and performance.
History of Electric Bidet Development
The first development of a toilet seat bidet system can be traced back to the 1960s when Arnold Cohen of Brooklyn, New York developed a design that included advanced features such as a spray nozzle for warm water and another for hot air. Arnold owned the patent of his design in 1964 and started the American Bidet Company to supply products across the country to help patients having difficulty in reaching themselves to clean after using toilets. However, the sales of his devices in the US were not successful due to cultural and social taboo associated with the advertising of the products.
Arnold sold his patent to a Japanese company called TOTO and the company rebranded Arnold’s bidet design as 'Wash Air Seat’ in 1967. However, the products failed to attract a large number of Japanese consumers due to the high price and less popularity of the bidet system. The product gained its popularity in the 1980s after TOTO devised a new design called the Washlet G, which fitted with several advanced functions such as a heated seat, rear cleaning, and a dryer. The popularity of the new device was accelerated by the successful television commercial aired of the Washlet G advertisement showing a Japanese singer with a fake buttock. With the introduction of new technologies, several mechanical problems associated with the Wash Air Seat and the early Washlet operations were solved and the products were adopted by a large number of consumers in the 1990s.
Electric Vs. Non-electric Bidet
Non-electronic bidets generally come with a simple regulator with a fixed nozzle of the water spray. One key disadvantage of this type of bidet is that the nozzle cannot be adjusted as per the convenience of users and the water pressure of the nozzle depends on the tap water pressure. Additionally, two separate supply connections are required to provide cold and hot water in the non-electric bidet system. However, it is widely installed at normal western toilets although it does not provide the same comfort as electronic bidets.
Advantages of Non-electric bidets
- Non-electric bidets usually fit on any western toilets
- Less expensive, the cost price of the product normally ranges around $50-$200
- No consumption of electricity to supply water pressure or clean the container
An electric bidet is normally connected to electricity and largely equipped with an upgraded remote control that can offer a series of advanced functions and provide much better comfort in the performance as compared to non-electric ones. Electric bidets mainly offer more facilities and features including seat temperature control, water pressure, water temperature control, jet or nozzle control, and air dryers that can enhance the overall comfort and cleanliness levels. The dryer facility in an electric bidet may reduce the use of toilet papers although it does not completely provide an effective dryness condition. One key aspect of the electric bidet is that the toilet seat normally provides warm water using electricity and the nozzle is self-cleaning before and after the operation.
Advantages of Electric Bidets
- Multiple functions and features with better performance
- Using multiple features remote control devices
- Easy availability of warm water both from the front and the rear
- User-friendly remote, which can be placed as per the users’ convenience
- Fully adjustable nozzles with numerous positions
- A warm air dryer feature to dry after water spray
Smart Bidets and Integrated Bidet Toilet System
The smart electric bidet seat provides remote operation with eco-friendly features. The device is widely adopted due to certain advantages such as easy to install and convenient to use with providing high comfort and hygiene level. Apart from these factors such as easy to use and friendly to the environment, it offers several designs equipped with a multi-function control panel system.
The integrated bidet toilet system provides full functional control through the use of a highly advanced touch screen, which is supported by a capable handheld wireless remote control with an opaque backlit LCD window. The kind of transparent LCD window allows the user to visually see their selections. The blue backlit LCD screen adds a cool ambiance. Each function can be selected and adjusted by the intuitive touch controls including the ability to flush the toilet directly from the remote. The integrated bidet is equipped with different features to cater to the needs of the users in particular. This represents a key reason that boosts the market in the near future.
As per the latest report published by Growth Market Reports (GMR), the global electric bidet market was valued at USD 943.8 Million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 1,400.3 Million by 2027 expanding at a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period, 2020-2027. Rising concern about hygiene and sanitation among a large number of health-conscious people and the wide availability of advanced technology are the key factors that drive the market growth.
The global electric bidet market is segmented into operations, types, applications, and regions. Smart bidets and integrated bidet toilet systems are the two major categories available in terms of types of operation. Electric bidet can be available in three key types, i.e. tank type, tankless type, and hybrid type. The tank bidet is highly durable with a superior peak performance of approximately 600W. Additionally, it provides features such as warm water without a delay and provides high spray pressure due to internal water pumps and the ability to build pressure inside the tank. The high pressure offers a quick wash, which effectively increases the demand for tank electric bidet. In terms of application, the products are normally fitted for residential (personal use) and commercial (public use). The global electric bidet market is extended over five key regions namely North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Among these regions, Asia pacific is the fast-growing region of the market with Japan holding the largest share of the market in the region. As per a government source, more than 75% of the houses in Japan use bidet seats due to growing awareness regarding hygiene and the rising disposable income of a large number of the population.
Some of the key players in the market include AISIN SEIKI Co., Ltd., Bio Bidet, HomeTECH Industries Inc., IZEN CO., LTD., Kohler Co., LIXIL Group Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, TOTO LTD., and Villeroy & Boch Group.
These companies are considered as key manufacturers of the electric bidet market on the basis of their revenue, research development (R&D) activities, product offerings, regional presence, and supply chain management system. These companies are actively engaged in the adoption of key strategies such as product development, acquisition & merger, collaborations, and geographical expansion to enhance their market share and market position in the global electric bidet market.
For instance, on April 30, 2020, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Group companies together agreed to the production of simplified bed frames and simplified partitions as part of the Kokoro Hakobu Project.
On October 18, 2019, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. entered into a joint development project with Canada-based Element AI (EAI) on explainability in artificial intelligence. This cooperation is expected to help the former company with the black box problem with pass/fail results.
As per an article published by New York Times on October 9, 2020, the Toto Washlet C200 is considered to be the best bidet device as it provides advanced systems such as a pulsating or oscillating stream, warm or cool water, high or low pressure. The runner-up is the Toto Washlet C100, which has a white plastic side control panel attached to the seat, unlike the C200’s exceptional (and stylish) remote. However, the product is considered to be listed in the second position due to advantages such as less expensive with a series of facilities such as a heated seat, warm water, and pressure controls.