Les WC japonais : le modèle confortable et hygiénique

Japanese toilets: the comfortable and hygienic model

Today, with this multitude of models and types of WC (free-standing WC , wall-hung WC , Japanese WC, rimless WC , PMR WC , etc.), it becomes difficult to navigate and make the best choice for this purpose. subject. Indeed, the characteristics, dimensions, or even the level of sophistication vary depending on the different models. We've all heard of Japanese toilets at least once in our lives, but do we really know what they are? In this article, we will present the main characteristics of a Japanese toilet, and help you know if this type of toilet is the one you need or not.

What is a Japanese toilet?

For anyone who has traveled to Japan, one of the greatest cultural experiences is discovering a modern “smart” Japanese toilet. Today, more than ⅓ of Japanese homes are equipped with this type of toilet. These toilets, also called "washlets", have many amazing features, the most notable of which is the jet of water washing, thus making toilet paper obsolete. After using one of these for a while, one can't help but wonder why the French toilet experience is so primitive. Why haven't technological advances eviscerated the need for toilet paper in France as in Japan?

As said previously, the innovation of Japanese toilets actually lies in the seat. These electric toilet seats spray water to clean the buttocks or female genitals. The water spray is triggered by a control panel located near or attached to the seat.

In addition, these toilet seats can be equipped with numerous devices: heated seats, dryers, motion sensors to open the lid when someone enters the room, adjustment of the pressure of the washing jet, etc. Almost every function you can imagine.

What happens if the power goes out and your electric toilet seat becomes inert? You can still use toilet paper and flush like a traditional toilet. In fact, you don't have to use the different features of Japanese toilets at all, but you will because they're awesome! Despite everything, many users of this type of toilet use a certain amount of paper, especially for drying.

Brief history of Japanese toilets

In 1903, Japanese inventor Kazuchika Okura took a trip to the West. Impressed by Europe's gleaming white ceramic toilet bowls, he returned home determined to modernize Japanese bathrooms, which were still squatted open-air toilets with no sewage system.

In 1914, he produced the first Western-style flush toilets in Japan, and in 1917 he founded the Toyo Toki Company, which would be renamed TOTO in 1970. In the decades that followed, TOTO became a household name familiar for quality toilets. But it wasn't until the end of the 20th century that the company really began to innovate.

In 1980, TOTO created the washlet. It sold for 149,000 yen (or around 600 euros in 1980). The idea was simple: integrate the functions of the European bidet (a type of sink intended for washing the buttocks) into an electric toilet seat.

Customers could attach the washlet to their existing toilet. The company already distributed a similar product made by an American manufacturer in Japan, but the company's plan was to perfect it.

To improve the concept, engineers perfected the water temperature until it was pleasantly warm - never too hot or too cold. Then they worked tirelessly to find the ideal angle of spraying water from the nozzle that extends under the seat.

After asking 300 TOTO employees to test different positions for optimal comfort and cleanliness, they found what is now called "the golden angle." It turns out that 43 degrees, is the perfect angle.

The washlet didn't become an overnight sensation, but it did find a high-end clientele. Initially focusing on selling washlets to golf courses, TOTO targeted businessmen who, before long, were hooked on them. Today, you can find TOTO washlets at the five-star Shangri-La Hotel at the top of the Shard in London, on board Boeing 777s in business class, and even in the toilets of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Japanese toilet: many features

The bidet

The most common feature of Japanese toilets is the bidet, which is an automatic stream of water designed to wash the rear. A nozzle (often called a cleaning wand or cleaning nozzle) appears under the toilet seat and sprays your bottom with water. Some models also feature an additional cleaning wand for women. The bidet is designed to gently clean with a light stream of water. You can usually control the water pressure, nozzle position and sometimes the water temperature with controls located on the main control panel. Most people who have tried it consider it to be a higher level of cleanliness (compared to paper alone).

The heated seat

Our favorite Japanese toilet feature is the heated toilet seat that keeps you toasty on cold winter mornings. This is a boon for those who live in poorly heated and poorly insulated homes and who have to brave winter temperatures even indoors. Most toilets come with a switch that allows users to turn this feature off during the warmer months to save energy, and some even have a smart sensor that records when you use most often the toilet and heats the seat accordingly during these times.


A refreshing feature of Japanese toilets is the dryer function which dries your washed parts with a gentle breeze. Just press a button and your bottom is completely dry. This allows you to save on toilet paper expenses. What better ?

The automatic opening flap

A recent advancement in Japanese toilet technology is the automatic lid that greets you as you enter the toilet. The automatic flap raises as you approach the throne, and lowers with a gentle tilt when you're finished. We have never seen such beautiful manners in all our lives!

Noise maker

Have you ever been embarrassed when going to bless the place? Japanese toilets have the solution you need: Otohime, or Sound Princess. This cool feature allows you, with a simple wave of your hand, to create ambient white noise (sometimes even parts of classical music) to hide all those natural sounds while you vent to enhance intimacy.

Adjustable water temperature

Most models clean with hot water, the temperature of which is often adjustable. The cheapest models heat a tank of water, when the tank is empty the jet suddenly becomes cold. High-end models heat the water continuously.

Adjustable water pressure

Most Japanese toilets give you the option of adjusting the water pressure of the cleaning jet. By default, the back wash is more powerful than the front wash. They often have separate pressure controls.

Different types of Japanese toilets

3 possibilities are offered to you to transform your classic toilet into a Japanese toilet, which we will present to you below.

The Japanese toilet block

Here all the functionalities are integrated directly into the ceramic of the bowl (which can either be placed on the ground or suspended). To do this, you will have to replace your traditional toilet and therefore call a plumber. Therefore, expect to pay more (between 2000 and 10000 euros). By investing in a Japanese toilet block, you can benefit from as many features as you want, as long as you pay the price.

The Japanese toilet seat

If, for reasons of budget or scale of work, you do not want to change your entire toilet, you can replace your classic seat with a Japanese seat. This is a seat equipped with a shower, with more or less functionality. Depending on the model, the price may vary greatly. It will be difficult for you to find a Japanese toilet seat for less than 200 euros.

The Japanese hand shower kit

By far the least expensive solution, the Japanese hand shower kit is installed between the bowl and the lid of your toilet. This solution is the simplest (you will not need to call a plumber). With this kit, you benefit from the basic functionalities, namely one or two water jets with adjustable temperature and pressure, and on certain models, the blast of hot air to dry you. It is possible to find Japanese hand shower kits for less than 100 euros.

Advantages of a Japanese toilet


The flap works using a motion sensor, so it opens automatically when you approach it, which avoids having to bend down in an uncomfortable manner. The same goes for the flush, which also works automatically, eliminating any twisting or extra effort. Note that these automations also allow for better hygiene by no longer touching areas with high levels of bacteria.

Personal hygiene

Restricted mobility can lead to problems with personal hygiene. Personal spray arms provide comforting and hygienic cleaning after each use.

This also means less toilet paper is needed, which is great for people who have problems such as marisques or fissures, which can be more common in people of older age.


One of the main advantages of Japanese toilets is comfort. With features like air drying, a heated seat, and personal wash jets, it's a much more pleasant experience.


You can easily adjust the toilet to your preferences, thanks to a convenient remote control panel. It can even be used with a mobile phone app, for complete customization.

Reduced maintenance

Japanese toilets are usually made with a unique non-stick coating, which helps prevent stains.


If you like the idea of ​​a bathroom bidet, a Japanese-style toilet is the perfect option. As it combines both a toilet and a bidet, there is no need to install both, which is very convenient when space is limited.

Disadvantages of a Japanese toilet


Even if there are slightly less expensive solutions (Japanese shower kit and Japanese toilet seat), Japanese toilets are by far the most expensive model. (count at least €1500/2000 excluding installation)

Power supply

To work properly, they need electricity, so you need to make sure there is a power outlet within a reasonable distance of the toilet. If there isn't one, you need to install one...

Price of a Japanese toilet

As you will have understood, the Japanese toilet is still a very expensive product. Not very common in France, it is still considered luxury equipment and not hygiene. You will find entry-level models with drying, pressure and water temperature adjustment functionalities from €1,500 (prices can rise to several tens of thousands of euros).

However, as said above, for budget reasons, you can always get a Japanese toilet seat from 200 euros.

Prerequisites before purchasing a Japanese toilet

Before purchasing your future Japanese toilet, it is important to ensure that you have an electrical supply located approximately 1.50 m maximum from the place where they will be installed, but also that you have sufficient water pressure.

We also advise you to check that the washing nozzles are made of anti-bacterial material.

Opt for a Japanese toilet bearing the NF standard, which guarantees, among other things, perfect safety of electrical appliances used in the bathroom.

Finally, even if you feel like a DIYer, choose installation by a professional or by an installer recommended by a Japanese toilet brand.