The story of the Coway Bidetmega 200 starts in Taipei, Taiwan, at my first Computex. The Tom's Guide/Laptop Mag team checked in to our hotel. I got to my room, plopped down my stuff and went to the bathroom to freshen up. And there it was in all its unassuming glory, a bidet.
I sat down and was greeted by a gently heated seat, which put me at ease as I did my business. And when I was done, a button sent a gentle stream of water toward my rear. This was a revelation, and I knew at that moment that I wanted one at home.
Pricing and configurations
I've been reviewing the $449 Coway Bidetmega 200, which is the base model. The company recently released a $599 premium model, the Bidetmega 400, which offers a few more features than the 200, including a night light and wireless controller.
There has been nothing but admiring oohs and ahhs from friends and family since I installed the Bidetmega. This makes sense, as the toilet attachment definitely strikes an imposing, yet inviting figure. Made from white ABS plastic, the IPX5 device is resistant to continuous low-pressure water jets.
The lid is rather large and has a gentle downward slope to the front. It's connected to the hinge, which has Bidetmega printed in gray. Lifting the lid reveals the white seat where you'll do your business. It's not as large as my regular toilet bowl, but it's big enough to accommodate everything comfortably.
The round version of the Coway Bidetmega 200 I reviewed weighs 13.9 pounds and measures 20 x 19.8 x 5.9 inches. The elongated version (20 x 21.1 x 5.9 inches) is a bit heavier, at 14.3 pounds.
Installing the Coway should realistically take only 15 minutes — if you follow the directions. Me wanting to be Bob Vila and wing it meant I took 25 minutes. After disabling the water-shut-off valve for the toilet, it was as easy as removing the old toilet seat, detaching the water-supply pipe, connecting the T connector, and placing and securing the Bidetmega 200 on the toilet.
OK, it's not that simple; I left out a couple of steps, but if you have a Phillips head screwdriver and a wrench, it seriously takes only 15 minutes.
Once everything was attached, all that was left was to plug in the Bidetmega. Unfortunately, the power cord is fairly short, which meant I had to invest in a rather garish orange extension cord. I've managed to tuck most of it away, but it would be nice if the bidet's cord (47.2 inches) were long enough to support most bathroom setups.
"Damn, it has more buttons than my TV remote," one of my friends remarked.
He's right. The bidet comes jam packed with buttons and controls. Located on the right of the bidet, the control panel has no fewer than 18 buttons. In addition to a power button, you have buttons to adjust nozzle position, water temperature and pressure. You'll also find buttons for rinsing the nozzle, child mode and drying.
Buttons that control temperature or positional control have bright LED buttons so you can easily see what's going on. And I really appreciate that all the buttons have Braille for a measure of accessibility. But for those moments when I need to go in the middle of the night and am trying my hardest not to fully wake up, I wish the bidet had a night light of sorts. That way, I wouldn't have to hit the lights and reach full wakefulness.
It'd also be nice if there were a way to create separate profiles. My boyfriend is taller and skinnier than me and obviously has different equipment than I do. So it'd be nice to be able to hit a button that would switch between our personalized settings.
How does it work?
The basic idea of a bidet is pretty straightforward. You hit a button, and a stream of water hits specific areas, clearing away any odiferous detritus resulting from using the bathroom. The Bidetmega accomplishes this with its iWave technology, a system that combines water pressure, air and positioning to deliver a targeted clean.
Using dual stainless-steel nozzles and three pre-programmed modes, the bidet engages in four steps (Soft Start, Prewash, Main Wash and Rinse Wash) to ensure cleanliness for both the front and the back. Depending on your preferred wash type, the water pressure and targeted area circumference are modified to deliver a comfortable experience.
And if you're worried about toilet water engaging with your bits, know that Coway makes sure that otherwise-questionable water has been sanitized before it touches you. Hitting the Clean Bidet button pulls in water from the nozzle and hits it with a bit of electricity to create mixed oxidants in the water, which disinfects the water.
This treated water is then pushed through the dual waterways in the bidet and out to the dual nozzles, disinfecting everything along the way. The company recommends running the treatment process twice a day to ensure a hygienic environment.
How does it feel?
It's winter here in New York City, and as you can imagine, getting up in the morning is brutal. But man, let me tell you, the best part of waking up is not Folgers in my cup; it's my behind being nestled on a heated toilet seat. I now understand why Rodin's "The Thinker" takes that pose; I feel like I could solve the world's problems from this heated throne if given enough time.
Within seconds after I sit down, an integrated sensor lets the bidet know that it's showtime and to prime the pump, so to speak. As my buns are being warmed, the nozzle is exposed and releases a stream of water to let me know it's ready to go. Since it's winter, I have the water temperature for both the front and the back set to a medium-warm stream. In the summer, I might opt for a cooler temp to guard against swamp-butt, but for now, warm nethers make for a nicer, happier me.
When I'm done using the facilities and it's time to freshen up, I prefer the Soothing Wash setting. Lasting 1 minute and 10 seconds, this setting offers a strong stream of water broken up between long and short rhythmic blasts at your backside. And although it's a stronger blast than the regular Wash, it doesn't feel intrusive, and at the end of the cycle, I typically feel confidently clean. But on a three-day weekend when I've made a huge batch of my dark chocolate, stout-laced chilli, I do two cycles just to be sure.
The Front wash is about as gentle as the regular wash setting, for understandable reasons. Just like with the rear, my water temperature is weather-specific. The setting takes about 70 seconds from when I press the button to finish. And when I'm done using whatever wash is needed for the occasion, I hit the Dry button, which lets out a cool stream of air gently to dry off my undercarriage in preparation for the penultimate wipe. This is the only setting I can't tweak, and I really wish I could, as I would really prefer warm air in the colder months.
And if you have kids who will be using the facilities, they can use the Child setting, which delivers an extremely light stream of water. It's enough to clean tiny bottoms but lacks the force of the other two settings.
What I like about bidet life
The time that my boyfriend and I have had with the Bidetmega 200 has been transformative to say the least. We've definitely seen a decrease in the amount of toilet paper used in a sitting, which has to be good for the environment. And with the bidet, there's less wiping, which cuts down on potentially irritated skin. Now, I just hit the dryer button after the wash and pat the rest down. Plus, I just feel cleaner overall.
If there's one downside to owning a bidet, it's that my house is now the only place that I can experience this true cleanliness. I used to pride myself on having the ability to go anywhere (yes, even the work toilets and begrudgingly the ones at Penn Station and Port Authority). Now, while I can still do my business as necessary, it's just not the same as my good ol' home bowl.
How good is bidet life? I'm seriously considering getting one in the downstairs bathroom. That way, I'm not being assaulted by inhuman smells and noises when my boyfriend decides to use the toilet while I'm in the shower.
My fellow Americans, for too long we've been depriving ourselves of a truly enlightened bathroom experience. Stuck on the can, wiping and wiping and wiping with cheap two-ply, causing unnecessary discomfort to our nether regions. (I went to the bathroom, and all I got was this irritating butt rash.) And for what — dingleberries and a sneaking suspicion that you're still not all-the-way clean? I say no more!
For $449 and 15 minutes of your time, you can elevate your throne with the Bidetmega 200. For the money, you get a heated seat and a customizable clean for you and everyone in the family. True, I wish there were a few more features (night light, more customization and a deodorizer), but the Coway Bidetmega 200 is a great starter to midlevel bidet. It's a luxury we all deserve.