Main benefit of being a travel writer is having access to exquisite restrooms worldwide. I’ve stayed in rooms with anything from freestanding volcanic rock tubs to ornate rain showers with various calming settings. These improvements are enjoyable to experience while traveling, but they aren’t practical — or, to be honest, inexpensive — for me to put in my home.
Although luxurious amenities are good to have during a hotel stay, the heated toilet seat at Lake Nona Wave Hotel in Orlando piqued my interest. It’s an upgrade I didn’t realize I needed. However, after years of perching my rear on a frozen throne, a warm seat was an enhanced experience that isn’t as frequent in the United States as it should be.
Although I haven’t crossed Japan off my travel bucket list yet, it’s common knowledge that Japanese technology is cutting-edge, and their toilets are equally so. Veronica Hansen, a nomad, currently dwells in Tokyo and is intimately aware of its creature pleasures. “Japanese bathrooms have the most wonderful toilet seats,” she says, pointing to features such as heaters and built-in bidets.
Another convenience is that toilets play music from the time you sit down until you flush the toilet. “You’ve got a warm bum, a clean bum, and no one can hear you,” Hansen adds. While you and I may not be able to buy the TOTO Neorest Smart Toilet that I encountered in Florida — it may cost anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 — you can get by with a few easy adjustments to improve your time spent on the toilet. This is how.
Include a spraying feature.
Bidets are used to clean your most private parts and are common in Europe and Asia. Although they are frequently separate from the toilet, putting a sprayer on your current throne is easy to imitate bidet functions.
The TUSHY Spa 3.0 comes with a hose and a temperature-controlled bidet system that attaches effortlessly to your toilet. All you need is simple access to your sink and $159 to get started. The buttons and the unit can be customized in a variety of colors. For roughly $40, Wayfair has even more affordable, simple handheld self-sprayer alternatives (akin to the one at your kitchen sink).
Make use of white noise in your bathroom.
A bathroom fan is the most convenient way to mask uncomfortable noises. Install an exhaust fan if you don’t already have one to assist in eliminating humidity and keep air flowing, mainly if you use a shower. Amazon has what it claims is the first bathroom noise machine for $20 if you want white noise. If the sound of running water aids the flow, though, this made-in-Japan model costs $23. It has AA batteries and two volume levels.
Invest in a seat warmer.
The heated toilet seat is the cherry on top for me. I’ve never experienced an aha moment with something so simple. Furthermore, they are easily accessible online and in-person at merchants and home improvement stores.
For example, Kohler’s PureWarmth seat costs roughly $200 and requires minimum installation — though you will need an outlet beneath or beside your toilet. As a bonus, this model comes with a nightlight and an associated app. For roughly $150, Brondell sells a similar LumaWarm nightlight/warmer combo. Although a seat warmer is a touch pricey, it’s one travel-inspired purchase I’ll be making shortly.