The 4 battery-powered travel bidets I tested for you are the TOTO HW300, the Bio Bidet TP 200, the Panasonic DL-P300 and the Blue Bidet BB-30. Right up front I’ll tip my hand and say that all four of these are from major bidet manufacturers, and that you really couldn’t go wrong with any one of them. Even so, I confess my personal preferences play a part here, and I’ll pick my favorite at the end. Though, trust me, it was really hard!
1. TOTO HW300
Most people interested in bidets have heard of TOTO. They make a range of bidets and bidet seats that have justifiably been highly praised. Sadly, I can’t have quite the same enthusiasm for the Toto HW300. Don’t take that the wrong way. It’s still a good unit, but some aspects dimmed my expectations for this model.
First, it’s a bit heavy compared to other models I’ll cover here. The weight with the battery installed is 0.55 lbs (249 g).
That’s not massive, but it does tip the scales a little more than some and make it a bit awkward to use. The BB-30, by comparison, is only 0.47 lbs (215 g).
Keep in mind that these are weights before filling with water, so the difference isn’t enormous, percentage-wise. But you can feel it during operation.
Beyond the sheer mass, the unit is oval-shaped (2 5/8″ x 1 7/8″ x 5 1/8″, closed 11 3/4″ open with wand extended).
That makes it visually more interesting, but I found it harder to hold than the models discussed below. In fact, I dropped it the first time I used it, but luckily there was no damage, other than to my pride :).
On the upside, the tank capacity is ample for such a compact unit: 180 ml (6.1 oz). Not a huge leap over the other models but every little bit helps, up to a point.
The water-tank material presents another feature a little less functional than on some other models. It’s a semi-translucent white plastic. I’m sure it’s very sturdy, and it is very well sealed. I had no trouble with leaks. But that design makes it a little harder to judge the water level remaining. How often that’s a problem – and to what degree – is partly a matter of personal style of use. So I’m not suggesting it’s a major drawback, just something to consider.
In addition, filling it is not as easy as with some other models. The flip-top cap on the bottom is secure though not hard to open or close. And it seals very securely. But being on the bottom rather than the side (as with the BB-30, for example) means you need a fair amount of open space in the sink to accomplish your goal.
One of the other minor drawbacks is that the text on the box, as well as that printed and inscribed on the hand bidet, are all in Japanese. It’s minor because figuring out how to use this device – install the battery, fill and operate – is easy anyway. But it would be nice to have an English version.
Speaking of the battery installation, for example, there’s only subtle indication of which way it goes into the cylinder on top. I took a chance and it turned out to be correct. (Positive toward the top.) Of course, reversing it (if there were no power when the button was pressed) would be minor, but there it is. I wasn’t that fond of the insertion method, either; you have to use a coin to unscrew a small cap and replace it. Again, a very minor issue – and just a personal quirk – so judge accordingly.
The battery life is rated at 50 washes. I didn’t have time to test it that much, but it sounds plausible, possibly conservative. In 20 or so uses, I saw no drop-off in pressure. Still, be sure to have a spare AA battery on hand for when it starts to weaken.
Actual use, apart from being a tad hard to hold, presented no major problems. The flow is ample (8-9 ml/sec) and the pressure is just fine. Just to give you an idea. If you press the ON button and hold the bidet upside down at a 30 degree angle, it will shoot into the bathtub about two feet out. So, you’ll have no problem getting the water where you need.
Like all hand bidets, this one is hard to see where to aim – at first. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the stream exactly on the spot you wish. But with a little practice you get used to that fairly quickly. Some will prefer to use it from the front, others around the back. Let your personal choice be your guide here.
2. Bio Bidet Palm TP 200
One of the more unusual portable travel bidets I’ve seen – the Bio Bidet TP 200 has an internal, rechargeable battery. It’s charged using a USB cable you attach to your computer (or TV, cigarette lighter-adapter, etc). It takes about an hour to charge.
I’m not sure how long the battery will last between charges. It will certainly last through several days of normal use. It really doesn’t matter, though. Since it’s a rechargeable you could keep it fully charged every day.
Keep in mind, however, that no rechargeable lasts forever. Eventually – as short as two years or possibly as long as five – it will become unable to recharge. Beyond that, there are some real pros and cons to the model.
It’s a little tricky to make leak-proof. It certainly can seal perfectly, but it requires some care. The water tank and wand / power section are separable. You fill the tank and twist it onto the wand / power half. It seals using a rubber O-ring.
That can make for a solid seal but you have to take some care to twist it just right. I did it wrong a couple of times and, after turning it over, it leaked water pretty rapidly. With a little practice you can get it just right every time, but the integrated / sliding mechanism of, say, the BB-30 is a little easier to ensure a tight connection the first time, every time.
On the upside, the wand is super easy to flip out, it sprays well, and the pressure is just fine. Because the tank fully separates, this model is very easy to fill with warm water. The tank is about six inches high, which allows for putting under almost any public sink. And, it’s made of a very clear, blue plastic so you can tell at a glance just how much water remains.
It fits well in the hand, thanks to the light weight and round design. The major tricky point is that the button doesn’t operate like that on the other models. In the base of the Toto HW300, for example, you press and then let go when you want the flow to stop. Here, the power button clicks and the bidet sprays until it runs out of water.
That has an advantage. It means you don’t have to keep the button depressed while you’re using the device. But on the other hand you quickly get used to clamping the bidet, aiming it, and releasing your index finger when you want to stop. In this case, if you’re done before the tank empties, you have to click it again.
One click engages one speed and a second press moves it to another speed. This is another instance when I really couldn’t tell the difference between the two settings, but that’s not so much the issue here. It means that if you want to shut it off you have to cycle it through two pushes. Not great from an ease-of-use perspective.
There is a method that allows you to press part-way to get one speed and all the way down for the other. By that trick, you can in theory get it to stop by one more press. I did sort-of master this but it took several tries and it was never fully reliable. That might well be my fumble fingers at work, but things aren’t supposed to be that hard.
That aside, it does a good job. The pressure is fine, it’s easy to hold, and it snaps apart very easily when you’re done. The two parts fit together very compactly.
3. Panasonic DL-P300
The Panasonic DL-P300 is really a quite different animal. It has some nice features, but some serious drawbacks. The tank is fairly narrow in diameter. The capacity is ample but it means that the unit is that much longer. Likewise, the wand / power section is equally long in both components. Once fully assembled, and with the wand flipped out, you have a portable bidet that is nearly 15 inches long.
On the upside, that length makes it extremely easy to place wherever you need, especially if you have longer legs and use it from the front.
There are two settings (Hi and Low) and once again there’s very little difference between them. That said, you can get a very thorough cleansing in one session. As with the TP 200, the tank is separable so you can easily fill the unit with warm water. In fact, if you took this to work and wanted to microwave a few ounces of water for 30 seconds, you could get a supremely comfortable rinse.
As before, though, because it is composed of two sections, you have to exert some effort to get the unit to seal properly. Once you do so, there’s no leakage at all. In theory, it has a locking mechanism to make double sure but I never figured it out.
Unfortunately, despite the company’s huge American presence, all of the text is in Japanese on the paperwork and on the box and the unit itself. In one case, that led to a serious difficulty…
It took me about 15 minutes to figure out how to insert the two AAA batteries. It’s regrettable they chose that size rather than the single AA to begin with. It made for too many possibilities of getting them inserted incorrectly.
Granted, that was my error but I’m a firm believer that home products should be idiot proof, or as nearly as one can make them. Having to use a coin to open the battery compartment is a minor annoyance. But having to figure out how to put in the batteries – when there are four possibilities (two positives up, two negatives up, one + up / one – down, and one – up with one + down) is too much to ask.
Finally, I was able to figure out the illustration on the side of the unit, and it still wouldn’t work. Then, the twistable, locking compartment top got stuck and I had to force it off. Luckily, no damage. I reversed not the batteries this time but the top. It’s very subtle but there’s a tiny bump on the inside that makes contact with the negative pole of one battery. Making contact with the positive pole of the other was the problem.
It’s a powerful unit that works well once you get past the learning-curve barriers. But, at nearly $90 (the others are around $55-$60), I’d give this one a miss. On the other hand, it’s a Panasonic and their products are usually high quality and last a good, long time. You can flip your own coin on this one.
4. Blue Bidet BB-30
I recently reviewed Blue Bidet’s squeeze bottle version (BB-20). This time around the BB-30 battery-powered unit is on deck. And what a hitter! First off, it easily passes the most primary test of any portable bidet; it doesn’t leak when you tip it over. True enough, like any of them, you need to put it together correctly. Fortunately, that’s especially easy in this case because the wand / power-base half is integrated seamlessly with the “water tank”.
All you do to begin is open the fill spout and pull the tank downward until it’s maximally extended. You could do this without opening the plug, but vacuum pressure makes it a lot harder.
Next, use a fingernail or small tool to open the battery compartment and insert the supplied AA battery. Close the door. Obviously, you only have to do that once every few weeks. The little door can be a bit stubborn but I liked that. No chance of coming open during transport or use. You can test the bidet empty by pressing the button on the side. You’ll hear a low whirring noise.
Then pour water through the side hole ’til the tank is full, or nearly so. And, since it’s on the side it’s very easy to fill; you don’t need a deep sink. Next, extend the wand and adjust the setting to your preference: soft or regular. Take care when doing this, as half the wand tip is detachable for cleaning.
“Soft” exposes more holes (all five), which – in theory – decreases the pressure. I’m pretty sure that theory is correct; it’s a basic law of physics.”Regular” closes down two, leaving three in a small triangle pattern.
Frankly, I was unable to tell the difference during use. Maybe I’m just not sensitive enough but the pressure difference is too subtle for me to detect. Soft gives a flow rate of 6 ml / second and Regular is 5 ml / sec. I haven’t calculated the pressure difference but it must be small, then.
It really doesn’t matter, though. You depress the button on the side in either setting and the water flow is strong and ample in either setting. Strong, but not too strong. Even those who are sensitive – from a hemorrhoid operation or other issue – are unlikely to feel any additional discomfort.
Most interestingly, despite having a relatively small water tank capacity of 170 ml (5.75 ounces), the spray will last a good long time. It takes about 30 seconds to empty entirely, set on Regular. 26 secs, approx, on Soft. That’s typically plenty of time to get the job done. Even with my full-sized Bio Bidet BB-2000 I rarely use it for more than 10-20 seconds.
It helps to use warm water, naturally. It’s more soothing and helps loosen material more easily. You can often get that from a public restroom if you’re willing to wait a few minute for the tap to run. Either way, there’s plenty of cleansing ability with this model.
It was a tough call, but the Blue Bidet BB-30 is my favorite. Any of the battery-powered hand bidets reviewed here would do a good job. You might weight some of the features differently than I did, and that’s fine.
But as a balance of compactness, ease-of-use, and all-round functionality, the BB-30 won my “Best Battery-Powered Hand Bidet Award”. As always, the best product is the one that suits you best. Luckily, you really can’t go wrong here. Enjoy!