The Tushy Classic
The Tushy Classic
PHOTO: Tushy

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To put it bluntly: We are living in strange times. Months ago, I was using my disposable income to happily buy things like fancy dinners at restaurants, drinks out with friends, tight jeans and makeup.

Now, with the world upside down and those things completely unessential, certain items I never really thought much about are suddenly like gold. Chief among them: any and all sanitizing products, toilet paper, flour, face masks, latex gloves — and a bidet.

Typically seen as a luxury item found in European bathrooms and extremely fancy hotels, bidets have long been an alternative to using an excess of toilet paper when you use the bathroom. And in this time of great toilet paper shortages, bidets have very thankfully — and coincidentally — gotten a bit of an overhaul.

While many bidets retail for several hundred dollars, or even $1,000+, certain brands now offer bidet attachments that you can buy for around $100 and clip onto your regular ol’ toilet. Among the most popular and accessible ones come from the bidet brand Tushy, which may have caught your eye on Instagram recently with its cutesy branding.

I had five rolls of toilet paper left to my name and a pandemic keeping me at home for the indefinite future — what better time to try a bidet than now? With devices starting at less than $100, I decided to give it a shot.

What is a Tushy?

This kind of bidet isn’t something that will require ripping up your bathroom floor or hiring a plumber (hopefully). It’s an attachment that’s placed right onto the toilet you already have. Crafted to fit on most models, according to the brand, it slides under your toilet seat and wraps around to the right, where there’s a knob that controls the water that shoots out of the Tushy’s nozzle, which is adjustable and hangs down below your toilet seat.

In the Tushy Classic, which is what I tested, the knob controls the various settings. There are just three: Bum Wash, Nozzle Wash and Pressure Off. Bum Wash is what you turn on to wash yourself. Nozzle Wash is a setting to wash the actual nozzle and your toilet to ensure it’s all kept clean. And Pressure Off is, well, off. Also, there’s a switch on the attachment that allows you to change the angle of the nozzle that shoots out the water, so you can play with that to see what angle feels best to you and your body.

Tushy Classic
Tushy Classic

Tushy Spa, meanwhile, has two knobs. One is exactly the same as the above, while the second one allows you to control the temperature of the water, meaning you could have lovely warm or cool water spray at you at your discretion. This could be especially nice if you live in a cold climate, since the water that shoots out is the same temperature as your tap water. Now that’s what we call a spa experience.

What’s important to know here is that this version connects to your sink’s water, so be mindful about the size and layout of your bathroom if you’re thinking about buying.

Tushy Spa
Tushy Spa

Installation

Though Tushy emphasizes how easy it is to install its devices, I have to be honest: For me personally, it was extremely stressful — especially installing it right now, when the threat of breaking your one and only toilet at home is more alarming than ever before. I had to take extreme caution with every step to make sure I wasn’t about to have to call a plumber — who could then potentially get me sick, or get sick themselves.

That being said, though, it was simple in theory. First, you turn off the water to your toilet, which can be done by turning the knob on your wall, or in the worst-case scenario (which I had to go through), turning off the water to your entire home.

Then, you disconnect the flexible pipe that already runs from your toilet bowl to the wall from the bowl and screw on a three-port adapter onto your toilet bowl. (If you have a hard pipe and not a flexible one, you have to get one of those first, which Tushy actually sells as well.) Then you screw back on the flexible pipe from your wall into that adapter, and also insert Tushy’s own flexible tube that connects to the Tushy device to that adapter.

Then just place the attachment at the top of your toilet bowl, screw your toilet seat back on top, turn your water back on, and you’re ready to go.

I didn’t have to use any tools other than my own (relatively unimpressive) physical strength to unscrew or screw anything off or on, and Tushy’s directions were completely clear, with explanations and diagrams for every step.

As someone wholly unfamiliar with plumbing, who honestly had no idea that a pipe even ran from the bowl to the wall, I can tell you that it can be done. Because of my anxiety around the situation, it took me about 45 minutes, but if you’ve handled any sort of toilet repair and consider yourself handy, it could definitely take less time.

Just take it step by step, remember to breathe, and follow the directions to a T.

How it works

One of the beauties of this bidet is how straightforward it is to use. The pipe connecting your toilet bowl to the Tushy is what allows water to spurt from the device. You control the water with the “remote” of sorts on your right side. So really you just sit down, do your business, and then slowly (the water can shoot out very fast, so test it your first few times to see what level you’re most comfortable with) adjust the knob to the Bum Wash setting and wash yourself thoroughly. You can also use that switch to aim the nozzle in the way you like it.

Then when you feel fresh and clean, just turn the knob off and dry yourself with a few sheets of toilet paper if you’d like. (Tushy also sells antibacterial towels for this same purpose, but they’re unfortunately sold out.) It’s really as simple as that.

How it feels

Before this, I had the luxury of using a bidet — just once — in a hotel room in Italy. Remember hotel rooms? Remember travel? Good times.

Other than that one blissful time, I had no experience, which is what made all of this very exciting.

So, how does it feel? It feels extremely, dare I say, lovely? Refreshing? Amazing? A damn life-changer? I had no idea I would love a bidet so much. It turns a completely ordinary toilet-going experience into a spa-like treat.

Though I was genuinely concerned about water pressure (just how fast was this water gonna shoot out?), again, you can take it slow. I found that after several days of use, I genuinely felt cleaner and like every toilet experience was something to look forward to. Have to say, I never thought I’d ever write that sentence.

The final verdict

Even if you’re not filled with anxiety about potentially rationing your toilet paper use, this bidet feels like the future. It’s easy to use, relatively simple to install and something I can see myself using for years and years to come. Also, I’m pretty stoked about the design, which is extremely minimalist-chic, meaning it doesn’t immediately catch your attention when you walk in.

It also, I have to say, removes much of the anxiety I have around running out of toilet paper, which makes the cost seem entirely worth it. If you’re now interested in Tushy and more of its other offerings, I’ve outlined some of its top products below.

Tushy Classic ($89, originally $109; hellotushy.com)

Tushy Classic
Tushy Classic

The most bare-bones of the full bidets offered by the brand, it’s also the most straightforward to use and install, but still offers everything a bidet is all about. It comes in nine colors, ranging from your basic white, to a suave noir and gold combo, to a cutesy pink.

Tushy Spa ($109, originally $119; hellotushy.com)

Tushy Spa
Tushy Spa

One tier up from Tushy Classic, this offers the ability to control the temperature of the water that shoots out. For people in colder climates, doesn’t the idea of being washed with warm water seem lovely? It’s available in the same nine colorways as the Classic. Both the Classic and the Spa come with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Tushy Travel ($29; hellotushy.com)

Tushy Travel
Tushy Travel

Though travel right now seems like a remote fantasy (and is, actually), hopefully one day soon you will be heading to a far-flung destination. This is essentially a collapsible water bottle that you squeeze to shoot water and clean yourself. This is perfect if you’re curious about the bidet experience, or already a bidet fan and want to take it with you wherever your travels take you — hopefully later this year or next.

Tushy Ottoman ($69; hellotushy.com)

Tushy Ottoman
Tushy Ottoman

Think of it as a Squatty Potty, but chic.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.