The best shower heads aren’t just for giving their users different patterns of water but, more importantly, about water-saving benefits. The best shower heads aren’t just perforated nozzles designed to distribute water over a concentrated area and at an angle, usually above the bather’s head. These are also designed to provide a dual benefit: first, to provide the bather with the ability to adjust the water spray in terms of strength, flow and pattern; and second, to reduce water consumption for conservation purposes. In the United States, for example, the Department of Energy states that residential and commercial showerheads must have a flow of no more than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute. Indeed, your choice of shower heads for your bathrooms should meet the standards of functionality, durability and beauty, as well as affordability.
Top Shower Heads Reviews 2019
Speakman S-2252 Signature Brass Icon Any Stream High-Pressure Adjustable Shower Head, Polished Chrome (Editors’ Choice)
The Speakman S-2252 is among the best shower heads because it’s sturdy with its solid brass construction and it’s easy to install, adjust and maintain. It has the patented Anystream Technology that makes it easy to transition between spray settings, even to adjust the strength of the spray. Its handle can be simply rotated to get your desired spray pattern, a far cry from the more complicated settings of other shower heads. There are actually 48 spray patterns to choose from, such as Intense, Rain, and Flood, with each pattern providing distinctive experiences. For example, the Flood setting involves thick sprays that feels like a hard massage on your body while the Rain setting creates a soothing feeling with larger drops.
- Designed with Anystream360° technology for easy selection and seamless transition between settings, as well as ensures even water distribution for excellent coverage
- Equipped with 6 plungers for better spread of water and for ease of cleaning and maintenance; the self-cleaning plungers prevent the quick buildup of hard water and sediment while the other plungers ensure a powerful spray even with low water pressure
- Made of solid brass with polished chrome finish
We think that it’s the best shower head because it will last for years, thanks to its durable materials and build, as well as provides its user with a wide range of spray patterns from a gentle rain to a full flood. We like it, too, that it has a self-cleaning mechanism that makes the cleaning tasks of a homeowner easier.
- Lasts for several years with proper care
- Suitable for use for everybody in the family
- Ease of installation and adjustments for its spray patterns
- Beautiful finish
- Slightly expensive price
Moen S6320 Velocity Two-Function Rainshower 8-Inch Showerhead with Immersion Technology at 2.5 GPM Flow Rate, Chrome
Yet another of the top-rated shower head on our list is the Moen S6320, an 8-inch diameter unit with 2 spray modes that allow for customized water flow. It has 100 nozzles in all that contribute to sufficient yet water-saving flow of up to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), the maximum recommended flow in the United States. It then releases a steady flow of water that massages your body in a spa-like manner although the intensity of the water flow varies depending on your desired setting. It has two settings only – a concentrated rinse and a full spray mode –and while it’s limited in terms of selection, many people are happy with them.
- Designed with immersion technology that ensures a continuous flow of water resulting in 2-3 times more spray power
- Adjustable water flow via a lever
- ½ inch connection size
- Fits standard 1/2 – 14 National Pipe Thread shower arms
- Comes in several styles –chrome, brushed gold, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze
We think that it’s a great choice for people who’re worried about increasing water costs and/or water supply (e.g., droughts) since it saves on water consumption without sacrificing on hygiene needs. Of course, we also suggest adopting water-saving measures since a shower head can only do so much for your utility bills.
- Powerful spray even with low water pressure
- Provides great coverage over the head and body
- Reduces water consumption with normal use
- Easy to install with existing plumbing
- Easy to use with its simple lever setting
- The connector isn’t long enough for tall people
- Only two settings
High Sierra’s All Metal 1.5 GPM High-Efficiency Low Flow Showerhead(Budget Pick)
Most of the best selling shower heads are expensive but not so the High Sierra All Metal shower head, thus, it’s our recommended unit for budget-conscious consumers. With its 1.5 gpm capacity, it’s also the water-efficient unit with a water flow well below the DOE-recommended amount but it can actually create a powerful spray that rivals most of the shower heads on this list. With its all-metal build, it has a high resistance against bacterial growth, rust and corrosion especially in comparison with plastic shower heads. It also has a compact size so it’s a great solution for smaller bathrooms, such as in apartments, dormitories, and motels. It’s a low flow shower head that still provides a powerful spray experience.
- Solid metal construction with polished chrome finish
- 5 gpm water flow, an eco-friendly feature also allows for cost savings
- WaterSense certified
- Nozzle provides satisfactory pressure and spray pattern; the droplets constantly hit everything in the cone of water so there’s little to no need to move around during rinsing
We love that while it’s an affordable shower head, it still provides a spa-like experience during showers, thanks to its world-class nozzle. The fact that it also uses less water is a bonus particularly if you’re looking for an efficient shower head.
- Excellent coverage over the head and body
- Budget-friendly price
- Low water consumption
- Satisfactory water flow even with low water pressure
- Heavy-duty design
- Polished finish
- Slightly louder when in operation
KOHLER K-10282-AK-CP Forte Single-Function Katalyst Showerhead, Polished Chrome
The Kohler K-10282 is among our best shower heads mainly because it delivers larger and fuller water droplets in a concentrated area, a great feature when you want a thorough rinse during showers. There’s less overspray so there’s less water wastage without sacrificing on the rinsing performance, a combination of qualities that make it popular among homeowners.
- Wall-mounted, single-function shower head with air induction technology
- Spray face features high resistance against hard water buildup
- 5 gpm flow rate
- Polished chrome finish with high resistance against corrosion, tarnishing, and scratches
- Easy to install with existing plumbing
- Flow rate within the recommended amount
- Relatively powerful spray with voluptuous water droplets
- Less buildup of minerals from hard water
- Sturdy metal build
- Attractive finish
- Noise can be too loud for some people
- Flow rate may be too high for some users
Ana Bath Anti-Clog LARGE SPRAY FACE 5 Inch 5 Function Handheld Shower and Shower Head Combo Shower System
The Ana Bath shower head is a great transitional product, thanks to its handheld shower that comfortably fits in your hand. The spray face is large and wide enough to provide ample coverage for your body while the ergonomic handle makes it easy to reach many places on your body.
- Nozzles are designed with anti-clog feature; just push the nozzles while the water is on to quickly remove the mineral, lime and calcium deposits that inevitably build up with regular use
- Diverter with brass connector allows it to be used as a stationary shower head, a handheld shower, or both functions. It’s also wider and larger than most diverters we’ve come across so far.
- Comes with 5 spray patterns – rain spray, massage spray, rain and massage, bubbling spray, and bubbling and rain mix.
- Comes with a 5-foot flexible stainless steel hose and 2 brass nuts
- Easy installation (i.e., fits standard shower arm and suitable for the DIY job
- More selection of spray patterns
- Durable materials and build
- Multiple functions
- The showerhead may be at an odd angle
Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower Head with Massage
The CulliganWSH-C125 is as easy as pie to install. Just wrap Teflon tape around a standard shower arm, attach and the shower head, and use it, a three-step process that even an amateur can do without the need for tools. Once installed, it provides a great shower experience partly thanks to its 5 spray settings, from a full body spray to a pulsing spray.
- Wall-mounted shower head
- Less than 2 gpm water flow
- Equipped with anti-clog rubber spray nozzles
- With 5 spray settings
- Comes with WHR-140 cartridge that filters chlorine and sulfur odor
- Equipped with filter for limiting bacterial growth in the shower head
- Compatible with standard 1/2” threaded shower arm
- Ease of installation
- Powerful spray in several patterns
- Easy to clean with its numerous filters in place
- Contributes to softer and cleaner water from the hose
- Saves on water (i.e., meets DOE standards)
- May not actually decrease the amount of scale according to some users
Hansgrohe 27474001 Raindance Downpour AIR Showerhead
The Hansgrohe shower head has a larger-than-usual diameter (9.375”) so it provides fuller coverage and, thus, a more intense experience than many of the units on this list. The RainAir spray mode simply means that its spray pattern is akin to the sensuous experience of dancing in the rain with large, fat and full raindrops massaging your skin.
- Large chrome-plated spray disc
- Designed with AirPower technology that mixes air and water for a soft, pleasant and yet powerful water spray
- Equipped with QuickClean function that makes it easy to clean limescale deposits – just rub it away from the silicon nozzles on a regular basis
- Looks great
- Solid finish (i.e., doesn’t look cheap)
- Sufficient size and weight
- Delivers great coverage and spray
- Pressure may not be as powerful for some users
Best Shower Head Buying Guide
Are you sick and tired of your shower producing little more than a weak sprinkle instead of the refreshing stream of water you’re after? Then, you should look at the best shower heads to replace the current shower heads you have in your bathrooms! The best models we have chosen provide numerous benefits including steady and strong water flow, adjustable spray patterns, and ease of installation and maintenance, as well as fairly low water usage (as measured in gallons per minute).
We want to emphasize the importance of choosing shower heads with low water usage. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, showers account for almost 1.2 trillions of gallons of water used each year, a number that represents 1/6 of the total water used in residences for bathing across the United States. Part of such a high water usage is the high flow rate of shower heads manufactured before 1994 – these have a typical flow rate of 5.5 gpm. Nowadays, shower heads should only have 2.5 gpm, a restriction strictly enforced by the DOE. The restriction is designed not only to conserve water but also fuel used for the water heater.
Tip: Look for a shower head with the WaterSense label since it uses 2.0 gpm or less. Most manufacturers also design their shower heads for a balance between low water usage and high customer satisfaction in terms of the feel of water on their skin and body (i.e., water spray, pattern and pressure). This is because the weaker the flow of water, the longer you will spend using the shower and, thus, the greater your water use – and it will defeat the purpose. With that said, here are a few important tips to keep in mind.
- Don’t buy based on price alone.
Spending top dollar isn’t an assurance that you will be getting the best shower head. Many of the top-rated units on our list are reasonably priced, if not affordable. Instead, you should consider the price in relation to the ease of installation, spray performance, and durability before making your choice.
- Check for water usage and spray performance
Getting a shower head with lower water usage (i.e., lower stated gallons per minute) should be the goal when changing an old shower head. You can check your existing shower head’s flow rate by placing a bucket with gallon increment markings under it, turn on the shower, and time the period when the water hits the 1-gallon mark – if it’s filled in less than 24 seconds, you may want to consider changing to a low-flow shower head. You may also do the same check to determine if the manufacturer is being honest about the flow rate. If possible, take advantage of the working showerhead displays in plumbing supply showrooms. These displays allow customers to experience the water spray and determine whether it meets their needs or not. Turn on the shower head, run its stream across your hand for a minute or so, and see how it feels on your skin. If you like the overall spray performance, then it’s probably the right one for you. Check that the settings can be changed easily, too, if you’re looking at a multi-setting shower head (i.e., with different spray patterns).
- Consider the ease of installation
Most shower heads are easy to replace so much so that it’s a DIY task. The shower head should fit into a standard threaded shower arm; plumber’s tape is a must to secure the seal. But if you’re buying so-called shower towers with multiple jets, you are well-advised to hire an experienced plumber for their installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do manufacturers refer to when they use the term “gpm” or gallons per minute?
A: This is known as the flow rate, a measure of the number of gallons of water flowing out of the shower head every minute.
Q: Why is gpm important?
A: The government at the local, state and federal levels regulate flow rates in shower heads because of the significant potential for water and energy savings. For example, a showerhead with a 2.5 gpm flow rate will use 25 gallons of water for a 10-minute shower whereas a showerhead with a 2.0 gpm flow rate only uses 20 gallons for the same period. Over time, the water and energy savings will add up. Check with your local and/or state government, too, since many jurisdictions have lower gpm flow rates than the federal government. For example, California has a 1.8 gpm standard while New York City sets it at 2.0 gpm. Check with your local government, too, as there may be rebates and incentives for residents using low-flow shower heads.
Q: How do you clean a shower head?
A: Read the instructions manual since each shower head manufacturer usually has specific cleaning instructions. In general, nonetheless, a shower head can be cleaned in two ways:
- Remove it from the arm and place it in a medium-sized bowl filled with a mixture of warm water and baking soda until the buildup has been removed.
- Place it in a bowl with a mixture of distilled water and vinegar.
Clean a shower head once every 6 months to prevent the extreme buildup of limescale and the like. Otherwise, bacterial growth can happen and it can make you sick; atypical microbacteria is the common growth.
Q: Why isn’t there no water flowing out of the shower head?
A: Check that the shower head doesn’t have any clogged parts. Remove it from the pipe, clean it well, and reattach to the pipe before checking if water is flowing out again. The clogged shower head can be from mineral deposits that have accumulated in its fine pores.
The best shower heads should provide you and your family with a pleasurable experience every time you take a shower. These should make showering easy with their powerful spray performance, even water distribution, and excellent coverage over your head and body. These should ideally have several spray patterns to choose from but it’s usually a bonus.