The bathroom is a place to soak, steam, and luxuriate. It’s not a space we think of as packed with gadgets. But the latest appliances are now creeping into this previously tech-free zone.
Faye Young, senior designer with Ripples bathroom design, says: ‘Having technology in the bathroom, such as controllable mood lighting and music, helps create a sense of relaxation and retreat, which you formerly would have only been able to experience in a luxury hotel or spa.’
So, here are some of the newest advances in technology to transform your bathroom.
Mirror, mirror on the wall: The Luka smart mirror has an integrated Amazon Alexa, along with a demister
You’re a busy person, so don’t waste a single second of the three minutes you spend cleaning your teeth in the morning.
Instead, while you brush away, you can watch news headlines scroll across your mirror’s surface, or ask it to update you on traffic conditions for your drive to work.
The Luka smart mirror has Amazon’s voice-activated Alexa built in, along with a demister — so you will always be able to do your hair properly. Available for £415 from Wickes. Or the Ad Notam Miralite Connect 60, which displays content from the web (£349, My Smart Mirror).
What could be better than an hour-long soak in a big bath? Well, how about a two-hour soak while watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster?
Bathroom televisions are set into the wall, sealed in and connected directly to the electricity supply so that steam can’t penetrate the unit.
ProofVision has a good range (as well as waterproof outdoor TVs, if you want one for the garden). The 24in unit is available for £1,123 at Victorian Plumbing.
Or Bathroom TV’s 24in WaterVue, with heated screen, available for £799.
Wash and watch: Bathroom TVs are set into the wall and protected from steam
Heated seats, integrated bidet functions, self-cleaning, air drying, odour removal, massages, even speakers to play music while you’re using them — there’s a long list of services you can add to your loo, all activated from a keypad.
Welcome to the world of smart toilets or Japanese toilets.
The Sensia Arena from German company Grohe is a wall-hung rimless design with a night light and self-opening lid.
You can personalise its settings from your smartphone (£2,375, Victoria Plum).
But if you don’t want to replace your toilet, you can buy a smart seat from Washloo, which has most of the functionality you could desire.
The Classic bidet toilet seat is £399.
A recycler will take what you had in your bath or washing machine and use it to flush the toilet or water your roses.
They’re not cheap, but if you have a water meter, you’ll see how much money you’re saving, as well as doing a bit for the environment. Try a Hydraloop recycling system, £5,249, from Free Flush.
Set your shower’s temperature, duration and radio station from your phone or via Amazon Alexa.
Most systems have to be installed from scratch, but some can be retrofitted to your existing shower, such as the Aqualisa Quartz smart system, £701 from plumbnation.co.uk, or the SmarTap, £699 from Super Baths.
No need even to touch the taps to get the water to flow with these items. Instead, an infra-red sensor tells when your hands are underneath and starts the water running (the temperature is set by a lever).
The battery-operated Armitage Shanks Sensorflow E mixer tap is available for £185 from Victorian Plumbing.