A guide to using US products in Israel: Appliances, bedding & toiletries
"Do I need a converter for my hairdryer in Israel?"
"Will my American sheets fit my Israeli bed?"
"Is it better to buy shampoo in Israel?"
These are the types of questions we're asked on a regular basis by GAP year students and their parents who are planning their stay in Israel. We've compiled this short guide to answer some of these questions and to help you plan your trip...
Small Appliances and Voltage in Israel
American appliances typically run on 110 volts and a frequency of 60hz, while Israeli appliances run on 220 volts and 50hz. Besides for the difference in voltage the shape of the plug and the outlets in Israel are also different.
If your device works on dual voltage, you simply need an inexpensive adapter that changes the shape of the plug to fit into the ones in Israel. Most travel and low power devices such as phones, laptops, shavers and travel accessories usually include dual voltage but you should always check to make sure.
However, if your device does not work on dual voltage, as is often the case with high powered/high wattage small appliances like hair dryers, toasters, and fans, you would require either a converter or a transformer, depending on the type of device. Transformers/converters are typically much more expensive than simple adapters.
In addition, certain products like clocks and timers, or anything that includes a heating element will often not work properly, even with a transformer.
For small appliances that are relatively inexpensive, it is often worthwhile buying the appliance in Israel to avoid the voltage issues and other potential problems.
Don't ask us why, but the standard bed sizes in Israel are different to those in the US. Israeli beds are narrower and longer than their US counterparts.
A typical Israeli bed measures around 35.5" by 79" while your typical US twin size bed is 38" by 75". As a result, the bedding in Israel including sheets and blankets, are sized to match Israeli beds and are different to their US counterparts.
You'll be able to use your flat sheet from America to cover your bed but trying to get an American fitted sheet on an Israeli bed or trying to cover an Israeli blanket with a US duvet cover will be an awkward fit.
This is probably the reason, why many people choose to buy their bedding in Israel to fit the local sizes (and to save the schlep from the US).
Toiletries and Israeli Water
The water in Israel is consider "harder" (higher in mineral content) than the water in the US. As a result, local Israeli toiletry products are often more suitable to be used with the Israeli water and for this reason many people prefer to buy their toiletries in Israel.
This does not mean that you have to use Humus flavored hair products. Many high quality, international brands of toiletries that are suited to the local conditions are available in Israel at reasonable prices.
We hope you enjoyed this guide. At Pack for Israel we provide everything you need for your gap year in Israel. You can order bedding and towels, small appliances, toiletries, storage accessories, and more that will ship directly to your school in Israel.