Thursday, September 9, 2021

10 Must-Haves for the Smart Bathroom

The bathroom is a place you spend a lot of time. It’s where you begin and end the day. It’s a place of practicality and luxury where you seek daily basics and occasional pampering. Now it’s also a place of technology. 

It’s about time to get your bathroom caught up with the rest of the house. You have kitchen appliances you can control from your phone and smart connectivity throughout the rest of the house, so why not the bathroom?

A high-tech bathroom offers you a variety of functional and lavish features. Everything from tracking your BMI to getting the latest traffic update can be at your fingertips in a smart bathroom. Explore these 10 smart features you should consider for your bathroom.

Small towel warming rack mounted to a bathroom wall.

1. Warming Towel Racks & Drawers

The only thing not to love about a nice hot shower is when it’s over. You can make that better by providing a warm towel to wrap up in as soon as the hot water stops flowing. These come in a couple of different versions, both of which blend right into your bathroom layout seamlessly. 

Warming drawers can be incorporated into your vanity and let you store and warm towels. They were originally designed for kitchen use, but they do a great job in the bathroom as well. Just switch it on before you get in the shower and you can enjoy pampering every day.

The warming towel rack is available either mounted to the wall or freestanding. You can get electric or hydronic versions in several configurations. They come in the usual bathroom finishes so your fixtures can coordinate.

2. Smart Showers

You’ve heard of the spa shower, smart showers go beyond even that. You can set water temperature, flow rate, and even how long your shower lasts. Many can be controlled by app or voice command. You could get the shower going even before you get out of bed!

Add to that some spa features like rain shower heads, steam features, and body jets, and you’ll never want to leave your morning shower. 

Smart toilet in a gray bathroom.

3. Smart Toilets

Japan has been perfecting the art of the toilet for many years. Automatic opening and closing lids, seat warming, auto-flush, night lights, and cleaning features are just a few of the perks of the smart toilet.

Cleaning, both the toilet itself and you, are at the forefront of the smart toilet world. Some have redesigned flushing features that aim to reduce splashing all while cleaning the toilet bowl better than conventional toilets. They also have touchless flush and touchless lids so the whole experience is more hygienic.

Part bidet and part toilet, the washlet toilet offers an array of cleaning features that are so good you’ll be able to eliminate toilet paper altogether. Remote controlled water temperature, angle of spray, and water pressure leave you fresh and clean. Top it all off with a warm air dryer and you’ll be sitting pretty.

4. Heated Floors

Heated floors have been more of a system for heating the house rather than a luxury item. But what better place to include a little more luxury than the bathroom? The harder, water resistant surfaces of the bathroom tend to be colder, and that’s not a good thing when you’re ready to step out of a nice warm shower. 

Heated floors are basically a radiant heat system that uses either electricity or hot water beneath the floor to heat the room. They make cold tile warm and eliminate vents blowing air on you when you’re dripping wet. 

A smart bathroom mirror on the wall of a gray bathroom.

5. Smart Bathroom Mirror

The smart bathroom mirror is far more than a reflective surface. It can also give you the time, weather, traffic, display emails and messages, and play music and video. It’s the ultimate multi-tasking tool of the bathroom. 

You can also get models that have built-in lighting that can be dimmed or brightened according to what works best for you. Medicine cabinet versions offer storage so everything you need is close. Many smart mirrors also have anti-fogging technology so you don’t have to worry about condensation on the mirror after your shower. 

6. Home Assistant

Your best thinking often happens in the shower. You remember things, have great light-bulb moments, and solve problems there. As often as you have an epiphany in the shower, you probably also forget it the moment you walk out of the bathroom. Time to invite Siri or Alexa into the bathroom!

Now you can record your great ideas so you won’t forget, order more as soon as you run out, and keep lists of things to do. You’ll also be able to play your favorite podcasts or music in the morning. Be sure to protect your device from direct contact with water and you’re ready to go.

Touchless faucet at a bathroom sink.

7. Touchless Faucet

Touchless faucets have been around for several years, but their popularity soared as we all tried to be a bit more vigilant about hygiene in 2020. It senses motion and turns the water on and off automatically. Touchless faucets are not only more hygienic, but also more water efficient. They come in all shapes and finishes to suit your bathroom style. 

If you’ve not been particularly impressed with touchless faucets in the past, the new high-tech versions have smarter sensors and even use their own water flow to power their batteries so you don’t end up with less responsive sensors.

8. Water Efficiency

One benefit of ever-advancing technology is better efficiency and more earth-friendly features. Many faucets and toilets, even showers use technology to limit water flow without sacrificing water pressure. Look for WaterSense certified products, which are certified by the EPA.

Toilets that use 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less are considered water conserving. However, WaterSense toilets use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush. That adds up to 13,000 gallons of water saved every year for a typical family. 

WaterSense bathroom faucets use no more than 1.5 gallons of water per minute and provide 60 psi of water pressure. You won’t notice any difference in these WaterSense products, except when your water bill comes. 

Chromatherapy bathtub with specialized lighting.

9. Chromatherapy Bathtubs

Chromatherapy or color therapy uses colored lights in a bath or shower and is meant to create a soothing, therapeutic environment. It is much like essential oil therapies that tout specific herbs that produce specific results.

White light is for purifying, yellow is stimulating, red brings courage, green creates balance, orange invigorates, etc. Chromatherapy bathtubs are large soaking tubs with customizable LED lights in and around the tub. 

Many of these bathtubs also incorporate additional therapies like massage and heating—all controlled by app or remote. You can also program the settings for the exact experience you desire. 

10. Smart Scales

Smart scales measure all sorts of body composition metrics (BMI, BMR, body fat, muscle mass) in addition to your weight. They use a technology called bioelectrical impedance, which sends a mild electrical current through your body.

Connect to your favorite app and fitness tracker to keep track of your progress. Most can track several users. It’s a good idea to find a model that you can disable the impedance features since it isn’t approved for people who are pregnant or have implanted health devices like a pacemaker.

Amp up your bathroom game and add some high-tech features. It’ll make your daily routines easier, more sustainable, and luxurious beyond belief. 

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