"Hands-On" With the $6,400 Kohler Numi Toilet

"Hands-On" With the $6,400 Kohler Numi Toilet

Joelle Alcaidinho
Apr 18, 2011

Last week we announced the latest from Kohler, the Numi, and now we're following it up with our own personal experience trying out the luxurious $6,400 toilet. Don't worry, we won't be that detailed with the discussion of our experience more than we need to...after all this is not a site known for its potty talk.

Thankfully the Kohler event that we recently attended had two Numi toilets on display. One, very publicly on a pedestal, and the other in a private bathroom on site. We are quite happy that the bathroom was not made of class and offered those who wished to try the Numi privacy.

One of the first things we noticed about the Numi was its shape. While it appeared to be smaller than average, the seat height and size is similar to that of the average American toilet and it is rather comfortable to sit on, whether on the seat or on top of the lid. If you have an apartment anything like ours, the bathroom is so small and tiny that sitting on top of the toilet lid is actually an everyday occurrence. Another eye catching element of the Numi is the blue LED light that emanates out of the right of the toilet and projects onto the floor. This light is an indicator of where the trigger is for the seat to rise and lower hands-free. For those households in which males find moving the seat down to be arduous, they can now either program this action to be done automatically or simply move their foot.

The Numi has a touch-screen remote which controls the settings for the 6 different user preferences and is where one would go to flush, control the bidet, and adjust the volume on their iPhone. Yes, the dock that the remote rests in has a mini audio input for the speakers that are behind the toilet. These speakers are built to bounce off of the wall (since most people do not install toilets in the middle of a glass room) and are actually a decent volume. Loud enough that you could set this up to play music while getting ready for a night out (not necessarily while using the toilet). Being slightly germ averse, we are a bit concerned about how clean the remote is and think that should we ever be fortunate enough to own a Numi, we would be a huge fan of the auto flush and lid close/open features. Kohler reps did assure us that the remote is easily cleaned and it is safe to use an antibacterial wipe on the touchscreen device. For those who are not fans of touchscreens, the Numi also has push button flush controls on the side of the toilet.

Unlike other fancy toilets that I have tried, there was no nervousness about touching the wrong button. This is most likely due to the assurances that Kohler reps provided that there was no way that I could accidentally soak myself from the bidet by simply asking for the lid to be raised. The bidet will not turn on unless someone is sitting on the seat. This is also a blessing for those who have mischievous youngsters who would love to take the wireless remote and give their parents a surprise shower while they were getting ready in the bathroom. The Numi was easy to use and the heated feet and seat were very pleasant. The touchscreen remote is easy to navigate although changing individual user settings is not terribly simple. The post bidet drying feature is not very quick and is definitely not a good solution for those looking to replace toilet paper (with bidet + dry) and are on a time crunch.

My favorite features of the Numi all revolve around flushing. I love that the Numi can be programmed to flush using less water based on how long the toilet was being used. This is green and smart and is so much easier to deal with than toilets with two different flush buttons that are often difficult to press (I am looking at you, toilets of Australia). Whether using less or more water, the flush of the Numi is freakishly quiet. This is fantastic for those in small apartments where one person's middle of the night bathroom run wakes up the other inhabitants of the home.

The level of automation in regards to how bathroom visits are handled is wonderful for those of us who like the lid to be kept down when the toilet is not in use. The Numi can detect (there are different distance options so no fear for those in small bathrooms) when someone is nearing the appliance and can ready itself accordingly. The Numi can also be programmed to close its own lid and flush, which we can imagine is a wonderful thing in households where the "seat down drama" is particularly intense. Germ conscious folks will also be happy to know that the Numi has built-in bidet cleaning. Did we mention that the Numi can deodorize the air ridding it of unpleasant bathroomy type smells with its built-in charcoal filter?

In a nutshell, we kind of love the Numi.

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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