Enter the portable bidet – also known as bidet bottle or travel bidet.
If you’re not convinced how wonderful these devices can be, try one. Low cost, and even more usable than your home model because they’re lightweight and require no water supply or electricity. You’ll quickly be persuaded. You might even want to upgrade to a full-sized model after a short trial period, like I did (now using the excellent Bio Bidet BB-2000 bidet seat). Or, you’ll want to have both, using your portable for when you’re on the go.
What is a Portable Bidet?
A bidet is not a toilet. The two appliances are often combined in modern bathrooms, but historically and functionally they’re completely different devices. A toilet is used to capture waste; a bidet is used to help remove it from you. The bidet – whether full-sized model or portable – sprays water on the anus or genitals to remove unwanted material and wash you.
Some bidets, the full-sized models mostly, can warm your body, dry you afterward, or perform other functions. But all of them feature that same basic ability: removing feces remaining after elimination or in aiding feminine hygiene.
A portable bidet simply does that in a slightly different way than a full-sized home or hotel model. Rather than being built-in to a toilet or toilet seat (there are relatively few entirely separate bidet appliances in the U.S. today), the portable style is just what the name suggests.
It’s typically a bottle containing a small portion of water.
How do Portable Bidets Work?
Most portable bidets operate via mechanical action (you squeeze that bottle) while a few are battery-powered. For those with special medical needs, it can be filled with a solution containing Witch Hazel, disinfectant, or other chemical such as hydrogen peroxide.
Details aside, you take it with you, hold it in one hand, place a finger over the built-in “air lock” most of the time located in the bottom to prevent unwanted leakage and turn over, aim the nozzle where you wish, remove the finger from the “air lock” and squeeze the bottle to start cleaning.
But do they really work? The answer is a moderately qualified “yes”. Like any product, some work better than others. Some are easier to manipulate, higher quality, or offer special features. Others, less so. We’ll see that obvious truth detailed below in my personal top 3 pick.
One thing they all have in common, besides the basic operating method, is low cost. They’re typically a few dollars to a few dozen dollars. Yet, for that low cost, they very often do an admirable job.
So, without further ado, let’s dig into some specific models to see them in action and check out their pros and cons.
1. Brondell GoSpa GS-70
Brondell is not so well known as some of its competitors – especially Bio Bidet. But they still make a fine portable bidet with the GoSpa. It sells for a very modest price – around $15 as of this review – and holds 400 ml of water. That provides an ample spray period, eliminating any need to refill during a single session for most users.
Also known as the GS-70, the soft-squeeze bottle doesn’t require much pressure to operate, a big benefit for the elderly or those with recent hand operations. It’s helpful, too, that the central portion has a molded-in ring of raised knobs that improve your grip. It would take long-term testing to prove, but the material seems robust. I’d expect this bottle to last a good long time.
The GS-70 also comes with a carrying bag, a big convenience for those who might otherwise be tempted to slip it into a big sandwich bag, which wouldn’t exactly be discreet. The added pouch also lets you remove the nozzle and air out both while on the road, which helps cut down on the chance of mold growth if there’s a long delay before you can refill or cleanse the bottle.
The one downside, and it’s both minor and shared by most portable models, is that the bottle isn’t well insulated. Hot water will cool down fairly quickly. If you use it in the winter in certain areas that can be an uncomfortable limitation.
2. Bio Bidet Palm Travel TP-70 & TP-200
The Bio Bidet TP-70 is another best-selling portable bidet on Amazon and elsewhere. The container is about five inches long and holds 450 ml. As you might expect from one of the world’s top bidet manufacturers, even their portable unit is very high quality. It lacks the helpful ring of grip knobs of the Brondell GS-70, but the curve in the center compensates somewhat.
The long 7.5″ nozzle houses twice the usual number of holes of many models, though, so it does empty rather fast. Aside from the nozzle being about twice the length of many others, it retracts into the bottle for good storage. Discreet, and it helps prevent accidental breakage when you’re on the go.
The Bio Bidet TP-200 is an interesting contrast to its cousin. It’s battery operated, so those who have difficulty exerting adequate pressure get an assist from the electrically-powered jet spray.
On the other hand, that means you’ll have to recharge the battery from time to time. How long a time depends, of course, on how often you use it. It plugs right into your computer’s USB port, so there’s no trouble finding a place to charge it up, but it’s not something I would want to do often. I’m not so worried about stares – who doesn’t look weird these days to someone? – but I’ve got enough to lug around without another thing to charge.
Objectively, that’s a minor inconvenience, granted. There is one equally objective drawback, though, and that’s the smallish reservoir. It holds only 230 ml.
It’s hard to say whether that would be enough for the average user, since there really isn’t such a person in this arena. I would find it woefully inadequate, but your mileage may vary. Naturally, it can be easily refilled with water, but that’s not something most people are going to want to do in mid-session.
By the way, the purpose of the electric power is also to give you two different options for pressure: regular or soft. But with a squeeze bottle you can vary the pressure continuously to any degree you wish, with a little practice. It also offers one more electrical feature to malfunction. On the other hand, it would be a big boon to users with a recent hand operation or other difficulty applying pressure.
I put this model down to an interesting gimmick of chief interest to techno-geeks, mostly. But since I am one, that shouldn’t be taken as criticism. Let your goals here be your guide.
3. Blue Bidet BB-20
The Blue Bidet BB-20, for my money, hits a nice “Goldilocks zone” – in price, size, and functionality. It lacks the helpful knobs of the GoSpa but it’s still easy to control. And, at approx. 300 ml, the amount of water it holds is still ample while leaving the bottle itself small enough to fill in a public restroom without undo difficulty or mess.
It offers the same dual set of holes of the TP-70, so it does empty a bit quicker than I’d prefer. On the other hand, because of the two sets, there are two slightly different spraying angles simultaneously. They’re not that far apart, so you don’t have to fear mis-aiming, but you can cover an entire needed area fairly efficiently.
The whole assembly is only about six inches long, however. So, if you prefer a longer nozzle, go for the TP-70. That longer nozzle provides a little extra space between the bottle and you, helpful for those who have difficulty reaching around, such as back pain sufferers. For the rest of the potential user base, this wand is long enough and it tucks away a little more easily.
Quality control is key with this design, though. That small hole in the bottom is capped inside by a tiny spherical bearing. If it gets dislodged from the little “valley” it sits in, the bottle will leak. In the rare instance that happens to yours, don’t hesitate; get a replacement.
More Portable Bidet Models
If you want to check out more available models – both battery and hand squeezable models – than the 3 discussed in this post, play around with the tool below. Click on any of the filters below to narrow down your search. You can click on any product image to see more details including the lowest prices I could find online.
Any of these portable bidets require a little practice to use properly. They all work by expelling water when tipped upside down and squeezed (or started). Since the nozzle holes are open at all times, that can result in wet hands.
A certain level of skill is a must, and some people may justifiably find it isn’t worth the effort. Also, these bottles don’t hold a huge amount of water. For some it will be enough, while others will find it not fully adequate.
Last, some people use these at home, but they’re intended to be operated on the go – around town, on vacation. For home use, there are bidet attachments – some of which are as low as $25 (about the price of two portable bottles) – intended to attach directly under a toilet seat.
So, if a portable turns out not to be a good solution for your bidet needs, don’t despair and don’t give up. Look around the site and you’re sure to find a model that works for you and your family.