For an audio version of this post, please click on the speaker icon (top left).
What do you get someone who has “everything?”
I have been told by more than a few people that I am very difficult to shop for.
As a radiologist I am a de facto techie geek.
As such, when I see something I like, I just end up buying it.
However there was something that I was always curious about, and wanted for quite some time, but I never really pulled the trigger.
I just could not justify the cost of this item and thought it was way too opulent to actually splurge on.
The item in question?
Why a toilet, of course.
But this was just no ordinary toilet.
In fact articles in the internet have described it as the “Mercedes Benz” of toilets.
[Given the high tech in this toilet, I think the Tesla of toilets would be more apropos.]
Leave it to the Japanese to bring the toilet from the dark ages and give it a shot of 21st century technology.
My obsession with this particular toilet happened way before I became financially independent, or even heard of the FIRE community, when I saw it featured on a TV segment.
But even so, I still could not bring myself to spend $5-10k+ on a porcelain throne.
So I pushed the thought of getting a toilet, with all the bells and whistles imaginable, far back into the recesses of my mind, to slowly fade away.
Or so I thought.
One of my favorite blogs that I follow is Financial Samurai, a personal finance website authored by a former financial analyst, Sam Dogen.
It was actually Sam who re-ignited my quest for owning a robotic toilet when he penned a post about potential splurges you should consider to reward yourself with because of the stellar gains of the 2019 market.
One of those items listed just happened to be a Toto toilet hybrid that provided a lot of benefits of the flagship model but at a substantial savings.
As it was right around Christmas time when I read this post, I thought it had to be a sign that I should purchase this version of the Toto toilet as a treat to myself.
After a few weeks of use (at time of writing), I feel comfortable enough to share my experiences with you.
Now I am not going to lie.
Spending this amount of money was still quite extravagant, especially when you can get a complete, fully functioning, perfectly serviceable toilet from a box store like Home Depot or Lowe’s for under $100.
On top of that, spending this kind of dough only entitled you to receiving just the toilet lid system itself.
You still had to provide your own toilet for the base of operations.
But getting the majority of benefits of the flagship Toto toilet model at just a fraction of the cost still made this look like a great bargain (at least in my eyes).
Apart from the actual purchase price of the robotic toilet lid, there was some additional expenses that I had to incur before the first flush could be undertaken.
I am not sure about you, but my master bathroom setup did not have a GFI outlet anywhere near the vicinity of my toilet.
As the brains of this fancy toilet lid required electricity, it was vital that I was able to bring an outlet to within 3 feet of the toilet for the cord to reach.
It just so happens that a local hardware shop had a service guy that was an electrician and plumber so I arranged for him to come by and not only create a suitable outlet but also install the toilet lid itself.
The latter task was probably unnecessary as I could have likely accomplished the feat on my own as there were videos showing how to install the toilet lid that did not seem overly complicated.
But since I already had the guy here for one thing I thought might as well let him complete the entire project in one go.
I was fortunate that he was able to tie into another outlet, on the other side of the wall, to create my GFI receptacle and the whole process was accomplished in relatively short time.
Final cost of installation: $225.
A true royal flush.
I was incredibly excited once the installation was finished and I could not wait for the electrician/plumber to leave so that I could give it a spin.
[Side note: The service guy told me when he was leaving he never had installed one before but was amazed at what this toilet lid was capable of.]
As soon as I stepped into the water closet, the tech went to work and greeted me by automatically raising the top lid.
As you can see in the video, when the toilet lid lifts, there is a “pre-misting” function where water is gently sprayed on the sides of the bowl so that things you normally have to do on a toilet don’t “stick.”
The toilet even came with its very own remote control!
On the back of the remote there was another LCD screen that allowed you to set your desired preferences including:
- Option for bowl light and/or a side night light to turn on automatically when the toilet is activated.
- Seat warmer options:
- Desired temperature.
- Ability to program if seat warmer is always on or, if you are more frugal, during higher use times only.
- If you would like the lid and seat to lift when approaching or just the lid.
- If you choose the latter option, you can have the seat automatically lift by tapping a button on the top of the remote (which I demonstrated in the above video).
- Bidet wand position.
- Water pressure of the bidet stream.
- Temperature of water sprayed from the retractable bidet wand.
- Temperature of the blow dryer.
The above bidet preferences could be saved for two different user profiles.
The Bidet: Toto We’re Not In Kansas Anymore.
It is interesting, but the use of a bidet is far more common in European countries than it is in America.
My ex-wife even had a separate standalone bidet installed in the guest house that she built on my property (with the intention that it would be where her parents would stay when visiting.)
I am not sure I would be a fan of a separate bidet system.
The thought of getting up from the toilet and transferring to the separate stand alone bidet makes me grimace as I am not sure I could accomplish this maneuver cleanly and without some possible friendly fire shrapnel potentially deploying in the process.]
I like to think America is in the forefront of most luxurious things, but in this instance the Europeans have beat us hands down.
Prior to this toilet addition, I have never ever used a bidet in my life.
Boy, was I missing out!
Not to get too descriptive in the reason why one would need this feature, I will say that I have never felt cleaner in my life after doing my business.
Previously, even after using substantial amounts of toilet paper, I never felt like the undercarriage was fully taken care of.
Plus the fact that after each wipe I would have to inspect the toilet paper to see if “I had gotten it all” was not a favorite activity of mine.
That all changed with the bidet.
The Toto toilet bidet wand could be positioned to the ideal spot, which was easily identified when you start to hear angels singing.
On the remote you can then further up your rear cleansing game by choosing soft gentle wide stream, concentrated focus stream, oscillating wand mode, and pulse mode.
I was even tempted, but refrained, to use the front bidet position that is reserved for the XX audience.
Having gone through the automatic car wash for my bottom experience, I completed the process by using the heated under seat blow dryer.
The seat warmer.
This is a feature I never experienced before but now I cannot fathom going without, especially during the colder months of the year.
I have programmed it to be in the frugal seat warming setting, where the toilet anticipates when it is used and heats accordingly.
Even on the times where I may catch the system off guard, the seat is still mildly warm and then rapidly heats up to the normal desired temperature.
The one negative I can think of that makes this Toto toilet hybrid inferior to the complete Toto toilet is that, because of constrained space from having to work with an existing toilet bowl, there had to be some compromises made.
Most notably, the hardware required to make the robotic toilet lid function requires the back part of your normal toilet seat to be elevated some.
This is not a problem for my fiancee as she is quite petite and fits on the seat without issue.
However, larger, particularly male individuals, such as myself, may find that this seat configuration may cause one’s genitalia to come disturbingly close to the front part of the bowl.
Although the blow dryer is a nice feature, unless you are willing to sit on the seat for an extended point of time, it will not fully dry the “nether regions.”
I typically solve this by using a small amount of toilet paper to finish the job.
This purchase was definitely a splurge but one that in my mind was justified in undergoing because of how much better the resulting bathroom experience is for me.
Because of the cleaning bidet functions, I have also drastically reduced the amount of toilet paper I use (which is now mainly used for drying rather than cleaning my bottom).
I have adapted/gotten used to the position I am in when I do sit down and the above described negative is a non-factor for me.
Larger individuals, however, may feel the space lost because of the hardware may be too great for it to work in their particular situation.
For everyone else I would highly recommend this product and give it the Doctor’s Bag Seal of Approval.
If you are curious to see what other items were included in the Financial Samurai post I spoke of, you can check it out at, “Great Things To Buy With Your Massive Investment Gains.”
Curious to see what other items are in my doctor’s bag?
Just open the bag and peer inside, you may find something of use.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN