Spills and smudges happen, and the right type of cleaning cloth makes a world of difference.
Zwipes is our top pick because its cloths are multipurpose and don’t leave streaks or lint behind.
If you wipe, polish, and dust often, a reusable, sustainable cleaning cloth is practical to have on hand. These cloths aren’t limited to countertops, either – you can use them to dust pantry items, polish metal, and even wipe smudges off laptop screens and car windows.
By selecting the right type of cloth for each task, you can also limit potential damage to the item you’re cleaning. Paper towels and some fabric towels can scratch finishes or leave lint that can damage electronics.
As a home economist who has years under my belt testing cleaning products for companies, I’m always looking for unique picks that are effective, easy to use, and of great value. . Below, I rounded up the best cleaning cloths I’ve found, plus tips on how to maximize their use.
Zwipes Microfiber Cloths are a plush, 110,000 fiber-count cleaner that can scrub stubborn stains or dust delicate decor pieces.
Pros: Great at absorbing water and picking up dirt, can be used without chemicals or detergents, prevent lint and streaks, quick to dry, machine washable
Cons: Thinner and smaller than some other brands, can leave lint if not rinsed before using
If you haven’t added microfiber cleaning products to your arsenal, you’re missing out. These small fibers make a cleaning cloth more effective in absorbing water and attracting dirt molecules.
The Zwipes Microfiber Cloths are constructed with 110,000 microfibers per square inch and can be used without chemicals or detergents. With so many fibers (usually nylon and polyester), the dirt and bacteria are trapped in these cloth types until you use laundry detergent and water to flush them away. The cloths will leave mirrors, surfaces, and stainless steel streak-free, too.
What’s more, these cloths absorb eight times their weight in water and dry in half the time of the average brand, so you can clean multiple rooms in a snap.
The best cleaning cloths for tough messes
If you’re giving your home a deep clean — and hopping from room to room — Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers will conveniently loosen tough grime.
Pros: Flexible for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, can be cut for smaller jobs, no additional chemicals needed, tackles tough grime
Cons: Can’t be used on highly polished surfaces or wood, too thin for some tasks
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sheets use melamine-foam activated with water as micro-scrubbers to remove scuff marks and stuck-on grime from nearly every type of surface. And they aren’t a favorite just because of the advertised cleaner clad in all white — the disposable sheets are only 1/16-inch thick and super flexible so I can reach caked-on dirt in hard-to-reach places.
I often cut the sheets in half for a small job and appreciate the full size for removing grease on stovetops, grime inside the microwave, and deeply-rooted water stains on sinks and faucets.
My favorite thing about the sheets is their functionality without the use of additional chemicals, which is difficult to find when tackling tough grime. For tougher messes where a wipe won’t cut it, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser blocks should do the trick. I do recommend that the freshly cleaned area get a rinse with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any foam particles that might remain.
Pros: Naturally prevents bacteria, sponge and microfiber design, great for cleaning small items, highly absorbent, leaves surfaces streak-free
Cons: Cloths can be stiff until washed several times
If you love using a sponge in the kitchen, but are concerned about the number of coliform bacteria (Salmonella or E.coli) that can lurk in the pores, Libman Microfiber Sponge Cloths are a great option. Made from a synthetic sponge quilted between a soft microfiber exterior, they’re ideal for washing dishes and cleaning kitchen counters alike.
I appreciate that each cloth is small enough to wash the inside of drinking glasses and coffee mugs, too. The sponge adds to the cloths’ absorbency while the microfiber produces streak-free surfaces whether using them wet or dry.
One tip for any type of microfiber cloth is to never use fabric softener or dryer sheets (I hang mine to air dry) when cleaning. The fabric softener will coat the microfibers and make them less absorbent. I find that each cloth stands up to about 25 or so washes until I’m ready to replace it.
Cons: Black cloths may leach dye when wet and should be hand washed separately from other fabrics
Our smartphones, eyeglasses, and other delicate items take much abuse. To remove smudges, the Magic Fiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths are essential, as cotton and paper towels can leave lint and cause scratches.
The long-lasting and pocket square-like cloths are finely woven from microfiber and produce no lint, absorb oil, and can clean fingerprint-ridden screens. The microfiber attracts dust and holds onto it until the screen is spotless instead of dragging the particles across the surface. When I use them, just a few wipes with the dry cloth are effective most of the time. If screens or lenses have lots of smudges, lightly dampening the cloth with plain water will help.
These cloths are amazing, thanks to the polishing agent embedded in the soft microfiber fabric. As you polish sterling silver, gold, brass, or copper, the dark oxidation that dulls the finish is transferred to the Sunshine Cleaning Cloth. When the cloth has turned black, toss it away.
Tips on how to best use cleaning cloths
When something needs to be cleaned, most of us just grab a cloth and dive in. But, there is a proper way to use any cleaning cloth to prevent redepositing soil on surfaces or cross-contamination between tasks.
No matter how great the cleaning cloth may be, once it’s full of soil, it won’t collect any more. If the cloth is saturated, you’re simply swiping dirt or germs all over the surface —not removing them.
When you begin working with any type of cleaning cloth, fold it in half, then fold in half again. This gives you eight clean sides to use. As you move from one area to the next, refold the cloth to a clean side for a fresh and soil-free cleaning cloth for each job.
To help prevent cross-contamination between bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas, use different colored cloths for each room. Once cleaning cloths are heavily soiled or beginning to fray, use them one last time for a really messy job — like cleaning a greasy outdoor grill or dirty car wheels — before tossing.
Check out our other guides to household cleaning products
Everyone seems to have a toilet paper brand that they remain loyal to. After all, if you’re going to apply the toilet paper “where the sun don’t shine,” you want it to treat you right.
Below, we rounded up tissue that is right for your comfort, budget, and shopping preferences. We also included the available roll quantities in a breakout box so you can customize how much you’d like to have on hand.
For additional advice on choosing the right toilet paper, plus tips for shopping for toilet paper online, scroll to the bottom of this guide.
Pros: Soft, strong when wet and dry, rips cleanly from the roll, woven like a washcloth, Roto-Rooter-approved
Cons: Slow to dissolve
You might recognize Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper from the series of commercials featuring bears with comfortable butts. As the name suggests, Ultra Strong is positioned as Charmin’s strongest two-ply toilet paper. Charmin advertises it as having washcloth-like cleaning abilities with four times the strength of “the leading bargain brand” when wet.
This durable and absorbent toilet paper is useful when your digestive system is having an off day and trips to the bathroom are frequent. And, if you’re concerned about a hardy toilet paper wreaking havoc on your plumbing, you’ll take comfort in knowing that Ultra Strong is Roto-Rooter-approved as septic- and clog-safe.
Though it’s strong whether wet or dry — and neatly rips from the roll —, the downside is that it takes a while to dissolve. That said, it might not be the best toilet paper for super finicky plumbing.
This two-ply, minimum 50% post-consumer recycled fiber toilet paper is free of fragrances, inks, and dyes, so it’s a good option for sensitive skin. Because the toilet paper is unbleached, there’s much less water and energy used in the manufacturing process. Plus, it’s safe for sewer systems, septic systems, and low-flow toilets, like those found in campers and RVs.
Though it’s not as plush as other options, Seventh Generation is great for your bathroom if you’re looking to limit your carbon footprint.
Despite Scott’s 1,000 Sheets Per Roll Toilet Paper‘s one-ply stature and quick-to-dissolve design, it stays strong and leaves behind little lint. It’s what we use in our house and Scott is a great, sustainable option that’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, too. Scott 1,000 dissolves quickly and easily while maintaining strength while wet. It’s also recommended for people with RVs and sensitive septic tanks who aren’t looking for luxury — it breaks down quickly but is still rough on the skin.
Pros: Soft, made with plant-based fibers, hypoallergenic, paraben-free, made without harsh chemicals and dyes, sustainably sourced, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, three times thicker and two times more absorbent than the average brand, biodegradable, clog-free, septic- and sewer-safe
Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care Toilet Paper has a cushion-like, rippled texture, which is supposed to clean better while remaining comfortable, strong, and soft. It’s ideal for sensitive skin because it’s hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and made without harsh chemicals and dyes.
Cottonelle’s toilet paper is also sustainably sourced and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. And, because this two-ply tissue is three times thicker and two times more absorbent per sheet than the average brand, you’ll appreciate its ultra-plush feel.
Cottonelle is also biodegradable, clog-free, and septic- and sewer-safe so, even though it’s a thicker toilet paper, it’s just as safe to use as it is soft.
This three-ply toilet paper is sustainably sourced and made without chlorine, fragrance, inks, and dyes. Zero plastic goes into the manufacturing process and the 100% bamboo rolls are wrapped with recycled paper.
You can subscribe and have Reel delivered to you every month, every two months, or every three months, depending on how stocked you want your bathroom cabinet to be. If you want to reduce waste wherever you can, these rolls are a wonderful option.
There is no standardization of toilet paper square or roll sizes, so words like “mega roll” or “double roll” don’t mean much. Instead, if you want to compare prices, look at the cost per square foot and the number of “ply,” or layers of thickness. This scary-looking yet simple equation should do the trick:
(Price in dollars x 14400) ÷ (width of each sheet in inches x length of each sheet in inches x number of sheets on a roll x number of rolls) = cost in cents per square foot
And, when looking at costs, you should keep in mind that you will use fewer sheets of three-ply than one-ply because of the superior cleaning and absorbing abilities.
Less toilet paper is better
Although there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives on the market, for the sake of forests and our environment, the less toilet paper you use, the better.
One way to use less toilet paper is to install a bidet. We have a helpful guide on the best bidets, but basically, you can get a decent bidet on Amazon for less than $100 and install it yourself in about half an hour. You’ll still need toilet paper to spot-check the bidet’s work and to dry off, but you’ll use much less.
A note about buying toilet paper online
As we were doing our research, we found that there were a lot of buyer complaints about the rolls they ordered not being the same size as what they were used to. For this reason, when buying online, pay special attention to the sizes of the sheets, how many sheets are on a roll, and how many rolls you are getting.
If you do find a toilet paper you like on Amazon, we recommend trying the “Subscribe & Save” service. This allows you to save up to 15% off the regular price. Plus, you don’t have to remember to reorder toilet paper. It automatically comes to your home at regular intervals, much like our Reel pick.
We examined hundreds of expert and buyer reviews and ratings of many toilet paper brands and styles. The ones we chose to include in our guide have the ability to clean you down there, are septic- and sewer system-safe, and have discernable softness.
The best shower head should provide a relaxing and satisfying shower experience.
I tested 12 shower heads and determined that the Kohler Flipside was the best.
It has a convenient rotating head, a large variety of spray settings, and an accessible price.
If you think that all shower heads are the same, you might have a second opinion once yours starts sputtering. Even though it’s something you use every day without a second thought, it’s important to choose one that provides the look, flow rate, and stream settings you need.
The Kohler Flipside produces an impressive 1.81 GPM flow rate and has a unique rotating head to change through its flow streams.
Pros: No fragile levers or switches, chrome finish, soft rubber nozzles
Cons: Flow rate can be too high for some states
After testing 12 models with high flow rates, impressive stream settings, and practical designs, the Kohler Flipside was the perfect combination of them all. That’s why it beat out everything we tested, including our previous top pick of the Waterpik High Pressure Powerpulse 9-Spray.
The Flipside impressed me as soon as I opened the box — its heft, chrome finish, and sturdy design gave it a high-end look. The circular wheel that supports the shower head was easy to install and twist into place; you could turn it like a steering wheel. It fit snugly on my existing half-inch shower arm.
I really liked how the Flipside switches streams by flipping the head around the axis, as opposed to using a lever, switch, or handle. I worry about the durability of small parts like these since they’re usually made of plastic. The design gives me a lot of confidence that there aren’t any moving parts to break or snap. The tension of the rotational force of the head is perfectly balanced — not so soft that it doesn’t stay in place, but not so tight that it won’t turn easily.
I assumed the Flipside’s swiveling operation would negatively affect its performance, but testing revealed a 1.81 GPM flow rate, coming close to its 2.5 GPM limit.
There are four stream settings on the spray head. My favorite stream was the dense and soft spray, which produced a thick, drenching stream of water. The narrow sides of the spray head produced thinner, focused streams, which were perfect for rinsing shampoo and conditioner out of my hair. I was surprised at how effective this flat stream was, compared to the circular spray patterns of most showerheads. It was easy to rotate on its axis even when my hands were soapy and slippery.
The rubber spray nozzles on the main spray head face were nice and soft, which made me appreciate the quality of the Flipside even more. During my time testing kitchen faucets, I found that the softer and more flexible the rubber nozzles, the easier they are to clean and remove any mineral buildup inside.
Despite its low price tag, the WASSA High Pressure Shower Head generates an impressive amount of power at 1.9 GPM, providing a better shower experience than other models priced much higher.
Pros: Affordable, high flow rate, flexible rubber nozzles
Cons: No options for water flow
Installation was a breeze and WASSA even included a roll of Teflon plumber’s tape in the box, which is always helpful in sealing pipes.
Even though it’s made of plastic, the WASSA had a solid feel to it. I was never concerned with it cracking or snapping as I was twisting it into place, and I was surprised with how modern it looked. The plastic construction doesn’t look cheap, and the rounded head gives it a clean, modern look. I got the feeling that the company made some effort in this department, instead of just manufacturing the cheapest shape they could. The rubber nozzles are nice and flexible, which are essential for dislodging mineral deposits.
What distinguished the WASSA from other competitors was just how satisfying the shower felt. Its 1.9 GPM flow rate was the highest I tested, and that power was definitely noticeable when rinsing out shampoo and conditioner. I especially noticed how effectively it rinsed my lower body since the stream maintained its strength all the way down to my legs and feet.
The WASSA doesn’t have any special features or other stream modes to choose from, but its ball joint is nice and sturdy, making it easy to swivel around and angle the stream where you’d like.
Though this high flow rate may be ideal for some, those with more sensitive skin could find it too powerful, so keep that in mind.
Installing the Moen wasn’t as straightforward as other models I tested due to the short connection that attaches to the shower arm. This wasn’t a huge deal, but it did take a few extra minutes to get the threads to catch. This may have been due to my shower arm though, and having a longer one would probably cut down on installation time.
Once installed, the Moen looked great. Its extra-wide 8-inch face gives it a classic rainshower look, and 100 nozzles let you know it takes functionality seriously. I think it’d look even nicer with a longer shower arm so it could be angled completely downwards, like a real rain-shower head.
What put the Moen on top of other high-end models I tested was the overall feel of the water, which was surprisingly strong. Its 1.85 GPM was one of the second-highest I tested, and the high flow rate was definitely needed for a wider shower head like this one to work effectively.
Without taking apart the shower head to see how the water flowed, I can’t attest to the brand’s “self-pressurizing ” technology, which claims to force water around the shower head in a circular pattern so that it’s three times more powerful. But based on my objective testing, the Moen still had the second-highest GPM.
One of my favorite characteristics of the Moen was the movement of the adjustment lever. Unlike other models that have loud mechanical clicks when you switch from one setting to another, there’s a lever that smoothly and quietly transitions from a full-coverage mode to focused rinsing. The entire unit swivels on a ball joint connected to the water supply arm and provides a decent amount of rotation, though its wide shape restricts it more than slimmer models.
Though Moen only offers those two spray modes, I found myself appreciating the simplicity of not having a dozen to choose from.
Best for water conservation
The high-pressure water dispersion and solid metal construction of the High Sierra High Efficiency make it ideal for anyone looking to conserve water, abide by their state’s low-flow regulations, or just lower their monthly utility bill.
Pros: High flow rate, durable construction, less likely to clog
Cons: Only one spray mode, 1.5 GPM may be too low for some
Installing the High Sierra was simple, and its small size made it possible to screw in one-handed, unlike larger bulkier models that required two hands. The small cylindrical shape and lack of adjustment lever also mean that you don’t have to deal with straightening it out after installation.
The sturdy construction gives the feeling that you could grip it nice and tight during installation, unlike plastic models that might crack at the connection. Its compact size also makes it easy to reach around and use a wrench to tighten or loosen it, if necessary. The chrome finish is easy to wipe clean and adds a sleek, modern feel to your bathroom. Some people may find it too small though, especially in a spacious shower, and would want a larger option with a little more character.
The overall feel of the High Sierra delivered a dense, pressurized spray, which surprised me coming from such a small shower head. In my testing, I measured a 1.37 GPM flow rate, which was impressive considering the High Sierra maxes out at 1.5 GPM. This efficiency means it’s great for those who want a shower head that will produce the strongest stream, while still conserving water. If your main priority is a high flow rate though, and you live in a state that allows 2.5 GPM products, you should probably choose a different model.
In a 2020 Wirecutter review, High Sierra founder David Malcolm explained that the single opening design helps prevent mineral deposits and buildup, something that can occur in the tiny holes of typical low-flow models. However, this also means that the High Sierra doesn’t have any other settings to choose from, so it wouldn’t be great for anyone who wants more spray variety.
Best with a handheld component
The American Standard Spectra+ Duo has a 9.5-inch rectangular face and strong magnetic dock so you can switch from the main shower head to the handheld one quickly and safely.
Pros: Powerful magnetic dock, easy to install, wide spray coverage
Cons: Plastic components may not be durable, maybe too complicated for a shower head
Unlike most options that have a single spray head, dual showerheads are more functional and versatile. The American Standard Spectra+ Duo allows you to detach the smaller shower head to use as a handheld wand, making it convenient to target certain areas while still having the overhead spray of a fixed unit.
Despite its bulky size, I didn’t have issues installing the American Standard. The main head twisted right onto my existing shower arm, and the hose and wand were easy to attach. The packaging included plumbers tape in a flat kite-string spool, instead of the more convenient round spools that you can roll around the pipe fitting.
The American Standard features a unique rectangular head and a large, center-set handheld wand. The construction and finish had a nice solid look, and even the gray plastic components felt intentional and durable. I got a slight “medical” vibe, probably from the gray color of the components, but it didn’t bother me much.
The American Standard provided a nice wide spray coverage, and the water droplets were direct and had a dense, soaking feel to them. Unlike most dual shower heads, it didn’t lose pressure when I used the main head and the handheld wand simultaneously. This was surprising considering the relatively low 1.4 GPM during testing. The American Standard has a massage function similar to the Waterpik, but it lacked strength.
Using the American Standard took more effort than others, but it’s intuitive once you get the hang of it. In addition to the adjustment clicker on the handheld wand, there’s a separate paddle on the main shower head that controls the amount of water used by each one. Even though this paddle felt sturdy enough, it’s made of plastic so I would be concerned about its long-term durability.
I was impressed with how well the magnetic docking system worked — there was a really solid feeling when the wand locked into place, giving you a satisfying “clunk” sound. You need to give the fixed shower head some support as you remove the wand otherwise, it can move around a little. That said, I would rather deal with that issue than a weak magnet that could cause the handheld wand to fall on me during my shower.
I also appreciated the plastic connection panel on the fixed shower, which prevented any scratching to the shiny chrome when docking the wand.
What else we tested
We tested 12 shower heads for this guide after researching more than a dozen models.
What else we recommend and why:
They didn’t crack our top five, but these shower heads tested well and are still quality options to consider.
Kohler Moxie, $162.20: The integrated Bluetooth speaker of the Kohler Moxie was easy to set up, fun to use, and sounded great — I even removed it from the cradle and used it as a standalone speaker in my office for a while. Unfortunately, the thin stream and relatively weak flow rate made this shower head more of a novelty than a legitimate contender. That said, if you prefer a thin, light water stream, you may want to consider it.
Kohler Forte, $29.98: While it looked sleek and stylish, I wasn’t impressed with the 1.26 GPM flow rate of the Kohler Forte and thought that the mist setting wasn’t very functional. I enjoyed the satisfying click of the control lever though, and the sophisticated design. If the flow rate is on the bottom of your priority list though, and you aren’t concerned with having a wide variety of spray settings, this could be a good choice.
Waterpik High Pressure Powerpulse 9-Spray, $39.98: Though this was our previous top pick because of its variety of streams and impressive flow rate, the Kohler Flipside was superior in both categories. It produced a 1.5 GPM compared to the Flipside’s 1.81, and while it had more spray options, it wasn’t as intuitive to use — the Flipside’s swiveling design was much easier.
The Waterpik’s long-term durability was also a factor because it’s made of plastic and had more small parts than the Flipside, whose metal components and fewer moving parts make it less likely to crack or split over time. I haven’t tested either model long enough to experience any kind of damage, but I’ll continue to use both and report back.
The Waterpik is still a great option for those who looking for a hand-held model at a reasonable price. Its powerful massage setting could also be useful for sore muscles.
Delta Hydrorain Two-in-One Dual Wall Mount, $99.98: Although it’s similar to the Delta Hydrorain model that I tested previously, I’d like to see if this version produces a different result. This model has the same rain can head, but with the added benefit of a handheld showerhead as well.
Our testing methodology
I researched more than 20 shower heads based on reviews from shoppers and other consumer review sites, and tested 12. I also leaned on my experience as a residential carpenter for four years and consulted two experts — Nick Yahoodain, CEO of Advanced Builders and Contractors in Los Angeles, CA, and Monica Higgins, a remodeling expert based in Southern California.
I installed each shower head and used it at least three times during the day. I would go through my usual cleansing routine with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and made sure to stagger my showers to reduce the chances of other appliances or household plumbing factors affecting my testing. Showering while running dishwashers or washing machines, or even at the same time as someone else, will increase the demand for your water supply and can sometimes result in a lower flow rate than usual.
After whittling down to my top five, I showered several more times — sometimes consecutively — to get a better idea of how specific features like massage or “power spray” settings felt.
Here’s how we compare shower heads:
Installation and fit: I installed each shower head to the existing shower arm in my shower, timing how long the process took with a stopwatch, and noting any issues that came up. I’ll caveat this by saying I’ve got four years of experience as a general contractor so my installation time will most likely be quicker than yours. Nonetheless, I made sure to note if the installation was easy or not.
Appearance: I took the overall style, design, finish, material, and size into account when comparing the appearance of each shower head, keeping in mind that people may have vastly different bathroom styles, and some options may match better with certain aesthetics.
Overall feel of water: This factor was based on how the water physically felt throughout the shower. I noted the size of the water coverage coming out of the shower head, how focused or dispersed the water droplets and streams were, and how strong and pressurized the water felt overall.
Operation and special features: Along with noting how easy or difficult the unit is to operate and switch between modes, I also made sure to pay attention to any special features, like the number and variety of settings, or interesting operational functions.
Flow rate: I calculated the actual flow rate of each shower head and compared it to the max it could handle. I would fill a 5-gallon bucket for 60 seconds, weigh it, subtract the weight of the bucket, and divide that number by 8.3 (the weight of a gallon of water). This gave me the gallons per minute (GPM) of each shower head.
These flow rates can’t be compared exactly across all the products because they all have different flow rate restrictions. But by looking at the max flow rate of the product along with the tested rates I calculated from my shower (which has an average pressure of 64 parts per square inch, or PSI), you get a general idea of how each shower head performs under the PSI of an average household.
Regardless of the style or design, a shower head boils down to whether or not it provides an effective and satisfying shower. This is purely subjective and everyone will have different preferences and priorities, so I made sure to keep consistent and objective notes as I collected my findings.
What to look for in a shower head
We go into more detail below, but here are the main factors to consider when shopping for a shower head:
Type: Consider whether you want a fixed, handheld, or dual (a combination of fixed and handheld) shower head.
Mount: Determine whether you’ll mount your shower head on the wall or ceiling.
Spray pattern: Decide if you want one or many spray options. Some shower heads come with multiple spray patterns, such as rain, full, jet, and massage.
Flow rate: Consider the amount of water that comes out of your shower head. A low flow shower head can help save water, but many people find shower heads with a high flow rate more pleasant.
Types of shower heads
There are several shower head types to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. It’s important to take all these factors into account when shopping for a new shower head.
Fixed: These models are attached directly to the shower arm — the existing water pipe coming out of your shower wall — and usually have a ball joint that allows you to pivot and adjust the angle of their spray. These can be basic models that have just one spray option, as well as multi-functional options that have a range of functions and spray settings.
Handheld: These shower heads sit in a cradle, and can be used like a fixed shower head if you like, but also have a long, flexible hose that allows you to use them as a handheld unit. These are great for rinsing off body wash or shaving cream, bathing your pets, or for cleaning the shower itself.
Dual shower heads: These are a combination of fixed and handheld models, and usually use some type of cradle built into a fixed shower head face. This allows the fixed shower head to be used at the same time as the handheld wand, though this diverts water and can result in decreased pressure. Yahoodain recommends these types of shower heads and designed his own bathroom to have both fixed and handheld options. “Since they’re useful for different things, I can choose which one I want. If I want a regular pressure head for cleaning, or handheld for rinsing, or relaxing rain shower, I have the option to choose.”
Types of mounts
Wall mounted shower heads: The majority of homes and apartments have wall-mounted shower arms, which is why I limited my testing options to products compatible with those fittings. These are your traditional shower heads that are attached to a wall — naturally.
Ceiling mounted shower heads: Ceiling-mounted shower heads allow for larger, rain-style shower heads, but since they’re so high up, they usually aren’t accessible enough to have different stream settings.
What is flow rate?
The flow rate indicates how much water can flow out of your shower head, and is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Since 1992, federal regulations have mandated that no shower head can have a flow rate higher than 2.5 GPM, and in some states like California, that limit is even lower at 1.8 GPM. These regulations have been put in place to help conserve water — a 10-minute shower at 2.5 GPM uses 25 gallons of water.
However, when you see a 2.5 GPM shower head model, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get that flow rate. Your home’s water pressure is the ultimate factor that dictates your flow rate, and is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). A high PSI of 80 will probably get you 2.5 GPM, but most US homes hover around 60 PSI, so your flow rate will be lower.
Higgins told Insider, “If the low water pressure is an issue, consult with a plumber to boost the water flow by adjusting or replacing the pressure regulator.”
While a shower head itself can’t increase the flow rate of your home, effective “low-flow” models can limit the amount of pressure lost during operation. Flow rate preferences can differ from person to person where some prioritize high GPM over all else and others prefer a lower flow. Make sure to check with your household so you can effectively take flow rate into account when choosing a shower head.
If you’re interested in conserving water, look for shower heads with a “WaterSense” label. This indicates that they meet EPA criteria and max out at 2.0 GPM.
The water maintains a comfortable temperature and custom pressure, and the bidet is easy to use.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
At its most basic, a bidet sends a stream of water toward your nether regions to clean them. It’s more hygienic and economical than toilet paper. Although there are variations of bidets, bidet toilet seats and attachments are the most popular options in the United States.
With bidet toilet seats, you can continue to use your existing seat and easily adjust the water pressure and temperature to your preference. There’s no need for electricity and installation is relatively straightforward as far as home DIYs go – which you can read about here.
We tested 22 bidet toilet seats over the course of several months to determine the best ones to buy. You can read how we tested them here, and get right into our top recommendations below.
Pros: Strong water pressure, water heated up to 97 degrees in our tests, easy to use, heated seat, warm air dryer, adjustable nozzle positions for front and rear washes, easy to install
Cons: Remote doesn’t pair with seat automatically, minimal one-year warranty
The Bidetmega 400 Electronic Bidet Seat is one of three Coway bidets I tested for this guide, this one came out on top because it received high marks in every category except warranty. It only has the industry-standard one-year warranty, while a few other units in our guide offer longer.
The Bidetmega 400 heated water up to a comfortable 97 degrees Fahrenheit in my tests and produced strong enough pressure for a thorough cleaning. Plus, there are four temperature options and three pressure strengths to set the water flow to your needs. The basic functions are intuitive to use with the handy remote control, though I was a little annoyed that the remote didn’t automatically pair with the seat once I powered it up. I had to reference the user manual for that step.
The seat fits my toilet well and stays in place. It’s wider than most, which I appreciated because I have a larger posterior. The lid of the seat was also supportive and comfortable for sitting.
The Bidetmega 400 features most of the amenities you’d expect from a high-end bidet toilet seat. The blue night light illuminates the toilet bowl, which makes it easy to find in the dark. The dryer has four levels of heat and gets plenty hot. It does an excellent job of drying after washing, which minimizes the need for toilet paper. There are also four levels of seat heating — up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit — or you can keep it off to save energy.
Lastly, the 400 has three preprogrammed cleaning modes: basic, active, and soothing. Basic is designed for general use. The active mode moves the stream of water around for a more thorough cleaning, while the soothing mode offers more gentle care. The Bidetmega 400 is my main bidet, and I prefer active mode.
The best bidet toilet seat for custom water flow control
With the Omigo Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat, you can control the nozzle position, pressure, and spray width to customize the water flow to meet your needs.
Pros: Three-year warranty, three spray width options, seven nozzle positions for the front and rear, easy to use remote controller, strong pressure, simple installation
Cons: Lid is unpleasant to sit on, need to have an outlet near the toilet or an extension cord to operate (as is the case with any electric unit)
What sets the Omigo Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat apart from other bidets in our guide is the adjustable spray width. You can pick from three settings, ranging from a targeted cleaning to a broader wash. Additionally, as with all bidet seats, you can adjust the water pressure, which gets plenty strong. The Omigo Luxury offers seven nozzle positions in both the rear and front, which is more than most electric seats. Alternatively, you can choose to have the nozzle oscillate.
The easy-to-use remote, numerous features, and overall design remind me of my previous favorite bidet, the Brondell Swash 1400, which has been surpassed by a few worthy contenders, including other Brondell models. The Omigo Luxury is about $65 cheaper than the Swash 1400, and in my tests, it did a better job of heating water. I also found the heated seat and air dryer stayed plenty warm.
The Omigo Luxury has an outstanding three-year warranty so you can count on it lasting. Plus, the installation process was seamless, and the seat fit my bowl perfectly and stayed put.
The biggest negative for me is the lid design. It has a 270-pound weight limit, and it’s angled forward so much that it’s unpleasant to sit on. The seat is nice and has a 330-pound capacity, but don’t plan on sitting on the lid while clipping your toenails or performing other tasks.
Pros: Strong water pressure, vortex wash, attractive appearance, continuous warm water, hot air drying, heated seat, five nozzle positions for each the front and rear, three-year warranty
Cons: Unintuitive remote control, the nightlight is positioned on the side rather than illuminating the bowl interior
In my testing, the Bio Bidet Bliss BB2000 Smart Toilet Seat performed in all categories. It has an attractive appearance with a stainless-steel look. The remote control with its large, easy-to-read screen is the fanciest I’ve seen.
My favorite part was the intensity of the water pressure. There are five pressure levels, including a “vortex wash” that is designed to “stimulate bowel movements” with its enema-like pressure. Sensitive individuals will want to avoid this feature, and everyone else should proceed with caution, but testing showed that it works as advertised.
There are three water temperature levels, but even on its highest setting, the BB2000 only got up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This is warm enough for most tastes, but at this price point, I would have liked to have seen higher temperatures. Fortunately, the water stays consistently warm, even during longer cleans.
Installation was a breeze: It only took me about 10 minutes (not counting the time I needed to remove the old seat) and I appreciate that the mounting plate keeps the seat in place without wiggling. The Bio Bidet Bliss is covered by a three-year full coverage warranty.
The biggest negatives I could find were the nightlight and confusing operation. Instead of a night light in the toilet bowl, the BB2000’s night light is on the side illuminating the on-seat controls. This might be helpful when sitting on the toilet but it’s less so when taking aim while standing up in the middle of the night. Also, I didn’t find the remote control to be intuitive. I had to leaf through the user manual to figure out the symbols and how to access all of the functions.
Pros: Water gets up to 101 degrees Fahrenheit, heated seat, warm air drying, five front and rear nozzle positions
Cons: Pressure could have been stronger, no remote, the lid isn’t comfortable for sitting
I’ve tested half a dozen Brondell bidets over the years and the Swash 1400 was my main bidet for a long time, but during testing, the LE89 Swash Electronic Bidet Seat worked nearly as well for less than half the price. I was particularly impressed with how hot the water got in my tests — it reached 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heated seat and air dryer also achieved high temps. Plus, there are several comfort settings so you can go with lower temps or even choose Eco Mode, which provides a good balance of electricity use and comfort.
Installation should take you less than half an hour, and you can do it with nothing more than a flathead screwdriver, though you might also want a wrench. I liked how securely the seat fit my toilet bowl without any movement, and it looks nice on my toilet. However, the lid tilts forward and isn’t the best for sitting on for long periods.
Aside from a few specialized settings, the controls are intuitive to use, but I don’t like that they’re installed on the seat so you have to turn to your right to see them. There’s no remote controller. This might be a problem for individuals with mobility issues.
The only other negative I found was I would have preferred more powerful water pressure, but I like it stronger. Most people will find that the LE89 is powerful enough for their needs. More sensitive individuals will appreciate the softer end of the five pressure settings.
Pros: Doesn’t require electricity, the water gets as hot as your water heater can supply, strong pressure, virtually limitless nozzle positions, nine color options
Cons: Easy for kids to squirt water all over; no high-end features like a heated seat, dryer, nightlight, etc.
For the most part, non-electric bidets aren’t as good as electric varieties. However, the non-electric attachments do have their benefits. I think the Tushy Spa Premium Warm Water Bidet Attachment exhibits all of the superior features of the power-free units.
The attachment has a hose that connects to the hot water inlet under your sink. After installing the hose, you may want to tape it to the floor to avoid a tripping hazard. Since you are relying on your home’s hot water, the attachment can provide water as hot as your heater is capable of supplying. For me, it was 113 degrees Fahrenheit, which is too hot, but it’s easy to adjust the bidet’s flow to a more moderate temperature.
If having a hot water hose running along your floor doesn’t sound appealing, you can choose the Tushy Classic, which doesn’t have warm water. Alternatively, you can skip installing the warm water hose of the Spa altogether.
The Tushy Spa also allows you to control the water pressure intensity and the nozzle position. Since both functions rely on levers, there are virtually infinite intensities and positions, and the pressure at its strongest is much more than you’ll need. You’ll want to be careful you don’t turn it on too high.
Since there are so few functions, the Tushy Spa is easy to use and much less expensive than an electric seat. Plus, since it’s just an attachment, you can use it with any toilet seat you want. Another great thing about Tushy is its nine color options.
We tested nearly two dozen bidet toilet seats and attachments while researching this guide.
What else we recommend:
Brondell GoSpa ($9.98): This one is for the serious bidet fans who want a portable option. The GoSpa stayed in my overnight bag and use to do with me anywhere I’d travel. It’s a travel bidet with a 13.5-ounce reservoir/bottle attached to a nozzle. You fill the bottle with tap water before you sit on the toilet. Once you’re done, you aim the nozzle at the area you want to clean and squeeze the bottle for a makeshift bidet experience.
Brondell Swash S102 Non-Electric ($124.99): This is one of the best non-electric bidet toilet seats I tested. The S102 features a warm water hookup that attaches to the hot water connection under your sink — like the Tushy Spa. The pressure is outstanding, and the overall appearance looks nice. However, the unobtrusive knobs can be hard to read, and as with other non-electric toilets, you’re missing a lot of features that make bidets a luxury experience.
Toto C100 ($333.27): I tested three Toto models for this guide, and they’re all very good. The C100 has plenty of options for drying, heated seat, nozzle position, and water temperature. The seat fit my toilet well and didn’t move around, and the controls are intuitive. However, the controls are attached to the unit so you have to turn to make adjustments.
What we don’t recommend:
Toto C200 ($429): This is similar to the C100 but uses a remote control. Unfortunately, I found the water pressure was inferior.
Kohler C3-430 ($496.50): The water consistently stayed at the temperature I wanted, the pressure was strong and adjustable, and the remote control was easy to use once I get the hang of it. But, at this price point, I’d expect the bidet to have a dryer. I also couldn’t get this to stay securely in place.
Kohler C3-230 ($974.25): This has a dryer, but it didn’t perform as well as the C3-430 in other categories. I couldn’t get it to stay in place either.
American Standard Advanced Clean SpaLet 2.0 ($357.44): American Standard has been a trusted name in the bathroom fixture space for nearly a century. The SpaLet 2.0 is a quality unit with excellent warm water and pressure cleaning. Plus, it has plenty of options for a custom wash. However, I feel strongly that if you’re going to be spending more than $300 on a bidet seat, it should be able to dry you, and this model doesn’t have a dryer.
Our testing methodology
I installed 22 bidets on my Mansfield Waverly Toilet and put them through several tests. The most important bidet factors to consider are performance, ease of use, and adjustment options.
Here are the main attributes we look for and how we test them:
Ease of use: There are three types of controls used on most bidet seats: on-seat buttons, on-seat dials, and remote controls. The easiest to use are the remote controls because you need to twist to your right to view the other two options, which may be a deal-breaker for individuals with mobility issues. Another way to make bidet seats easy to use is to have clear, simple-to-understand graphics or words that tell you what each button is for. I examined the controls myself and also questioned my wife about her experiences to see if she could figure out the functions without reading the user manual.
Pressure: Whether washing dishes or using a hose, anyone who has used water to clean knows that stronger pressure means an easier, more thorough cleaning. Well, the same is true using a bidet. Since I don’t have a device for measuring PSI, this was a subjective test based on my personal experiences. I tend to like very strong pressure. If a unit was strong enough for me and featured at least three pressure adjustment options, including a gentle flow for sensitive people, then it received high marks.
Water temperature: Upping the temperature of the water you’re cleaning with will also help. So, I looked for bidet toilet seats that can produce hot water, usually around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not so hot that it will scald you, but warm enough to get the job done. I tested the temperature by running the bidet on its highest water temperature, collecting the water in a container, and measuring it with a probe thermometer. I also looked for at least three temperature options in addition to ambient.
Seat fit and look: If the seat doesn’t fit right on your toilet, it won’t function properly and will look awful. I took notes on how easy it was to securely install the seat. I also assessed how good the seat felt on my posterior and whether the lid was supportive and comfortable to sit on. Lastly, I looked at how attractive it looks on the toilet. Were the cords and hoses sticking out everywhere? Did the controls look ugly or intimidating?
Nozzle positions: We’re all made differently, and we all have different preferences. Bidets should have enough nozzle positions to deliver water right where you want it without making you move around a lot.
Extra features: The best bidets have several less-than-necessary features that just make bathroom trips more enjoyable. At the top of the list is drying. Next is a heated seat, especially on those cold winter mornings. And, if you have a youngster in the house, you’ll want a bidet that only activates when significant pressure is applied to the seat, like when you’re sitting on it. Otherwise, your young one can send water everywhere.
Warranty: All but four of the bidets we tested have one-year warranties. The four outliers have three-year warranties, and each cost more than $500. In my 5+ years of owning bidets, I’ve never experienced a malfunction, but if you are particularly risk-averse, you may want to choose a bidet with a longer warranty.
What we’re looking forward to testing
In addition to testing our picks for long-term performance, here are the models we are currently testing or looking forward to testing:
Bio Bidet Discovery DLS ($899.99): This is the first bidet toilet seat I’ve tested that automatically opens and closes the lid. Additionally, it has all the features of high-end models, including a remote, warm air drying, a nightlight, and a five-year warranty.
Bio Bidet USPA A8 Serenity ($549): This is another candidate for our best overall category with its full array of high-end features, including a remote, heated seat, and consistent warm water.
Brondell 33Swash LE99 ($289.99): This is similar to our budget pick, the LE89, only it uses a remote instead of side controls so it will be interesting to see if it has the same high performance at an affordable price.
Toto Washlet C2 ($675): This is an update to the C100 so it’ll be interesting to see how the new features perform and whether it outperforms our other picks.
Toto Washlet C5 ($780): This is an update to the C200 so it’ll also be interesting to test the new features.
Whisper Bidet ($79): This is a relatively new brand of bidets, so it’d be good to compare it to industry heavyweights like Toto and Brondell.
LUXE Bidet Neo 120 ($36.27): This has a lot of good reviews from Amazon, but reviews can be misleading, so I’d like to test the quality and see how it holds up given its affordable price.
Brondell S1000-EW Swash 1000 ($579.99): There are a lot of high-end features with this bidet, such as self-cleaning stainless steel nozzles and an instant heating system. This would offer a good comparison to our current high-end pick.
Bio Bidet BB-1000 ($499): Bio Bidet makes our best budget pick but this is more expensive and has features like a heated seat, self-cleaning retractable nozzle, and drying function.
Ruiling ATK-1186 ($41.99): Handheld bidets are less popular than seats and attachments, so it’ll be interesting to see how this type compares to the others. Installation doesn’t look too hard and the price is among the lowest you’d find for a bidet.
SmartBidet SB-1000 ($241.99): Despite the generic plastic-y look, this has a lot of good reviews, so I’d want to put this through our tests and see how it performs.
GenieBidet ($109.98): Non-electric bidet seats aren’t very popular and I’ve mostly seen non-electric bidet attachments. It’s also relatively affordable as far as bidet seats go.
Kohler Novita ($246.87): The curved look is a bit different from other bidet seats I’ve tested. Kohler is also a household brand that more people might be familiar with than, say Bio Bidet, so it might be appealing for those who are new to the bidet world.
How do you install a bidet?
All bidet seats and attachments get their water from the same source your toilet does. So, while each manufacturer may have slightly different instructions, the basic installation process includes the following steps:
One step the manufacturer doesn’t include is that you should clean your toilet and the surrounding area before you get started. You want a clean working area!
Remove the toilet seat that is currently on your toilet.
Turn off your toilet’s water supply (usually located by the wall or floor near the toilet.)
Flush the toilet once or twice to get as much water out of it as possible.
Disconnect the water supply hose where it attaches to the toilet’s tank. You may want a bucket handy to catch any water still in the hose.
Connect the T-valve that comes with the bidet to the hose and the toilet tank.
If you have a bidet attachment, you will now mount it to the toilet as you reinstall your seat. If you’re installing a bidet seat, you’ll install the mounting plate and snap the seat into place.
Make adjustments to the positioning so that the front of the seat lines up with the front lip of the toilet bowl.
Connect the T-valve to the bidet using the hose that comes with the bidet.
Turn on the water supply and check for leaks. If there are leaks, turn the water supply off and make sure the area leaking was screwed in properly. Hand tightening is usually enough, but you may need to use a wrench to gently tighten the connection a little more if the threads are properly seated and you’re still getting a leak.
Wash your hands and enjoy bidet life!
Will my bidet fit my toilet seat?
Like toilet seats, there are two shapes of bidet toilet seats — round and elongated.
The best way to determine this out is to use a tape measure and mark from the center of the bolt holes, where the current seat is attached to your toilet, to the front lip of the bowl.
Most round toilets are about 16.5 inches from where the seat attaches to the toilet to the front lip. Elongated toilets measure 18.5 inches. Many bidet seats come in both styles so you should be able to find one that matches your toilet easily.
How does a bidet work?
Basically, a bidet squirts a concentrated stream of water at your rear or front to clean off any debris left behind after going to the bathroom. You can adjust the water pressure based on your comfort levels. While more pressure is likely to get more of the debris, it can also hurt you. So, start with gentle pressure and slowly add more based on your comfort.
Also, the warmer the water, the better the clean. Unless you have a non-electric bidet that gets its warm water from the hot water supply under your sink, you don’t have to worry about the water getting too hot. Most models max out at around 100 degrees.
How do I use a bidet?
If you have a bidet with a remote control or side control panel (and most do), continue to sit on the toilet and press the appropriate button — usually “front” or “rear.” Hold down on the button until you think you’re clean or let it run its timed cycle, and then pat yourself dry (or use the drying cycle if you have one).
If you have a non-electric bidet, you’ll usually turn a knob to position the nozzle and then another knob for water pressure. You can find more specifics on usage here.
Is a bidet better than toilet paper?
“Cleaning with a bidet minimizes the amount of wiping and cleans off any residue that can lead to itching, soiling, and infection,” says Heidi Bahna, MD, a colon and rectal surgery specialist at Palm Beach Colorectal Surgery. “Excessive wiping can lead to dry cracked skin, bleeding, itching, and pain. Using a bidet can provide better hygiene and pain relief for those after vaginal delivery, those with inflammatory bowel disease, or irritable bowel with frequent bowel movements.”
Think about how you clean the rest of your body. You use water to wash your hands, bathe, and shower. You don’t just take a dry towel and wipe your body with it. In this way, using a bidet is better than using toilet paper alone.
Do you still need to use toilet paper after using a bidet?
Yes, if you want to make sure you’re clean as a whistle, you can use toilet paper. You’ll also want to use TP if your bidet doesn’t have a drying option.
Are bidets hygienic?
“Is your toilet hygienic? A bidet is no different,” says Dr. Evan Goldstein, an anal surgeon and founder of Bespoke Surgical and Future Method. “Keeping your bidet clean is just as important as keeping your toilet clean. Nowadays, bidets are quite simple and easily cleanable with built-in mechanisms to wash the bidet after each use. They’re also attached to the same water supply as your toilet and sink, which means it’s the same water we ingest when brushing our teeth.”
“When it comes to our bodies, we innately have good and bad bacteria inside and on the outside of our behinds,” Goldstein says. “That homeostasis is paramount to maintaining equilibrium and using bidets helps foster happy and healthy behinds.”