TOTO LTD. (Headquarters: Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture; President: Noriaki Kiyota) is pleased to announce that the electric toilet seat with bidet function, WASHLET markets broke the 60 million unit mark in cumulative sales in August 2022. (Total of domestic and international shipments of seat type WASHLET-integrated toilets) Since launching 42 years and two months ago in June 1980, WASHLET units have been used not only in homes but various public restroom*2 facilities in Japan. Meanwhile overseas, TOTO has continued with activities to promote the use of WASHLET units in ways tailored to each region, spreading a new culture of restroom usage around the world.
Progression of Cumulative WASHLET Units Shipped
WASHLET has always provided new value to bathroom culture. With NEOREST WASHLET-integrated toilets and other sophisticated designs packed with hygienic and comfortable features, TOTO continues to propose new innovations to the world. In recent years, function and design have been combined at a higher level, and TOTO has enhanced its product lineup with standard global models that can be rolled out worldwide. Over the last decade, the number of units shipped overseas has achieved roughly fivefold growth.
Going forward, TOTO will continue to spread comfortable and hygienic restroom culture around the world.
A higher-resolution version of the above photo can be downloaded with the related news release from the URL on the right.
In Japan, the penetration of heated bidet toilets in regular households*3 reached 80.3% (2021), and there is broad uptake as housing equipment. In terms of public restrooms, since 2015, based on the concept of “making Japan a showroom for the world,” the installation of WASHLET units in the public restrooms of commercial facilities, public transportation facilities, accommodation facilities and elsewhere was accelerated, in an effort to promote experiences using WASHLET units among foreign visitors to Japan. WASHLET units are also increasingly used in the various facilities, including the restrooms of offices, hospitals and schools, and over the last decade, the number of WASHLET units shipped in Japan has increased by 1.2 times.
Sales by Overseas Region
Overseas sales of WASHLET began from the late 1980s in the United States. WASHLET units are now sold in 18 countries and regions, the result of pursuing each country’s lifestyle, culture and design sensibilities.
By expanding sustainable products like WASHLET that are typical of TOTO and achieve cleanliness, comfort, and environmental friendliness, going forward TOTO will contribute to the realization of an affluent and comfortable society that is conscious of the global environment.
The first WASHLET in 1980 began with three functions: (1) Rear cleansing with warm water, (2) Rear drying with warm air, and (3) seat warming. In the years since, the number of components has increased each time various new functions to make toilets cleaner and more comfortable have been added, and today the units can use up to 400 individual components.
Meanwhile in overseas markets there has been a strong trend towards strong design qualities in plumbing equipment, and heated bidet toilets are no exception. Especially in the current European market which is the leader in worldwide design, there is a strong trend towards “thinner” products. TOTO, which has championed the sophisticated fusion of technology and design, searched for ways to make its product thinner without removing functionality.
Making the product thinner meant reducing the “height” of WASHLET unit. WASHLET component which the greatest height is the nozzle when stowed.
Previously the height of the nozzle was controlled by extending and retracting it in two stages like a fishing rod, but it was the “curved nozzle” that was developed to make it even thinner.
The development of a nozzle that has a curved shape with no straight lines and which also extends and retracts in two stages required designers to fundamentally revisit the molds that formed the nozzle components and overcome a host of challenges, including miniaturizing the motor and innovating the cable rack that extends and retracts.
The curved nozzle, which reduced unit height by about 30% compared with previous models, was first equipped in WASHLET RW (“RW,” hereafter), which was not released in Japan. The product was launched in the European market starting November 2019. The RW was very well received in the European market and has become the bestselling model despite being the highest grade product offered.
NEOREST LS standard global model that went on sale in August 2022 is also equipped with the curved nozzle, which has contributed to its elegant design. In addition, by revising other components as a whole in the unit, such as reducing the size of the ceramic heater that produces warm water by around 20%, WASHLET continues to evolve into something thinner and more compact.
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