Fact: it can be hard to feel restful when you’re not feeling fresh. For those who are committed to observing Shabbat in our secularized world, this presents a unique challenge for which there are now (thankfully!) Sabbath-friendly solutions.
Namely, the bidet. And while not all bidets are ideal for Shabbat, some — such as the handheld bidet as well as non-electric seats and attachments— will work perfectly for the 7th day, or any day of the week, for that matter.
What is a bidet?
Simply put, a bidet offers a fresh, clean water stream to cleanse your nether regions after you’ve relieved yourself, or just want to freshen up. Think of it as a replacement for toilet paper— or at least a way to drastically reduce the amount of wiping you do. On Shabbat, you’ll likely opt to air-dry, unless your family agrees to tear squares on Friday before the candle lighting.
The wonderful thing about a bidet is that it isn't just making sure things aren’t messy. It actually cleanses your body and leaves you feeling fresh, much the way a shower does for your whole body.
Which bidets can I use for Shabbat?
Depending on your Rabbi’s perspective, the answer can vary. But for most Shabbat-observing Jews, the two essential components are that 1) the bidet does not require the use of electricity and 2) the water is not heated.
The most obvious answer to these requirements is a hand sprayer, also known as a handheld bidet. But there are highly-functional, 5-star models in every category that will absolutely do the job, and then some.
A Shabbat Favorite: Handheld Bidets
Handheld bidets are perhaps the simplest option — they’re easy to install, easy to use, and do exactly what they’re meant to without any bells or whistles. They can be used for front and rear cleansing, and you can easily control the aim and how close the stream is to the target. Plus, they offer uses beyond what other bidet options can: they’re ideal as a diaper sprayer or to wash your pets.
Brondell offers a range of handheld bidets that can be retrofitted to your existing toilet for a quick, effective solution to making your home more accommodating to Shabbat.
Bidet Toilet Seats
The Ecoseat S102 is a non-electric bidet seat with temperature control options. The seat is powered by water pressure, so it naturally doesn’t require electricity. (That means it’s very eco-friendly, too!)
You can easily set your seat to “cool water” the day before Shabbat to use the day of, and then enjoy a warm water setting the rest of the week.
If using a setting control, or simply the possibility of hot water concerns you, you can always opt for the Ecoseat S101, which offers the same benefits as the S102 model, but with cold water only.
Non Electric Bidet Attachments
Brondell offers a wide range of non-electric attachments. That may be a little surprising, given that the attachments have control settings— but rest assured, these non-electrical units all operate off of your home's incoming water pressure alone. No electricity needed.
The primary differences between models comes down to whether they offer 1) dual temperatures and 2) dual nozzles — a front and rear or just rear cleanse.
One of the thinnest bidet attachments on the market. At just 0.2 inches, it’s thin profile helps keep your toilet seat level.
- SimpleSpa Thinline Bidet Toilet Attachment - cold water only
- SimpleSpa Thinline Dual Nozzle Bidet Toilet Attachment - cold water only, with dual nozzle front & rear options for a superior clean
Easily fits onto your existing toilet seat for a refreshing cleanse with the turn of dial.
- The FreshSpa Bidet Toilet Attachment - cold water only
- FreshSpa Comfort+ Bidet Toilet Attachment - cold water only, with dual spray to cleanse both front and back
- The FreshSpa Comfort+ Dual Temperature Bidet Attachment - dual temperature options, plus innovative luxury spray
Similar to the FreshSpa line, with adjustable nozzle positions for a precise cleanse.
- PureSpa Bidet Toilet Attachment - cold water only, fully adjustable water pressure and position
- PureSpa Dual Temperature Bidet Toilet Attachment - dual temperature bidets can be used with both hot and cold water
Designed for those who are left-hand dominant, or for bathrooms where there isn’t space for a right-handed bidet attachment.
- SouthSpa Left Handed Bidet Toilet Attachment - cold water only with single nozzle (rear)
- SouthSpa Left Handed, Dual Nozzle Bidet Toilet Attachment - cold water only with dual nozzle (front and rear)
- SouthSpa Left Handed, Dual Temperature Bidet Attachment - cold water only with dual temperature (cold and warm)
- SouthSpa Left Handed, Dual Temperature, Dual Nozzle Bidet Toilet Attachment - dual temperature with dual nozzle (cold and warm, front and rear)
A note on dual nozzles: Many people say dual nozzles offer a more complete cleanse. They’re also often ideal for women, especially if you’re experiencing menstruation during Shabbat and want to cleanse completely.
Is a dual temperature bidet Shabbat-friendly? Yes. You just have to be committed to only using the cold water setting!
How Do You Use a Bidet?
If you’re unfamiliar with bidets, they may sound a little intimidating. But for most people (including many of the enthusiastic reviewers on our site!), there’s a brief “settling in” period. After that, they not only like their bidet, they actually prefer it. It may indeed be one of the few “gadgets” you discover to accommodate Shabbat that actually proves equally useful in your daily life.
- Get to know your settings first. Every bidet is different, depending on the type you choose. You can choose a simple handheld model (which is fairly self-explanatory) or an attachment like one of the options listed above. If you have an attachment or toilet seat, make sure to familiarize yourself with the basic settings before you go.
- Take a seat. After you’re familiar with the bidet settings, pop a squat and do what you came to do.
- Reach for the bidet controls (or the handheld sprayer). Turn on the water by turning the dial, slowly at first. If you have a handheld, simply aim the sprayer and squeeze the handle (also gently at first.)
- Dab dry (or don’t!). When it comes to drying after a bidet, you have options. For the purposes of Shabbat, you may choose to air dry, which is perfectly acceptable. After all, you are clean, if a bit damp. You could easily address this by finishing with a fresh bidet towel — a hygienic, comfortable, and Shabbat-friendly way to make sure you’re completely dry.
How much is a bidet?
Bidets range in cost depending on the level of features they include, and whether it’s a handheld sprayer, an attachment, or toilet seat.
Because Shabbat necessitates a non-electric, non-heated model, the bidets you’re likely looking for are quite affordable — though price can vary slightly depending whether you want to opt for a more basic model or a dual-temperature and/or dual-nozzle option.
Are bidets easy to install?
Yes! All of Brondell’s bidet products are designed for easy, DIY installation. Brondell provides installation guides and helpful videos to help you install them yourself. If you don’t have the tools, the time, or the will to do it yourself (which is completely understandable!) you can just as easily hire quick help from TaskRabbit.
We hope this helped you get a sense of your options during Shabbat — and most of all, left you with the impression that you do indeed have options. From a simple, handheld sprayer, to an attachment that could offer a more luxury experience throughout your days, there’s a range of solutions for staying cleansed and refreshed during the holiest day of the week (and every other day for that matter!)