You’ll agree with me when I say:
Life isn’t possible without a good shower head… Or is it?
But finding that “Good” shower head isn’t easy…
Just search for “shower heads” and you’ll see thousands of shower heads available on the internet.
Best Shower heads 2018
Skip to: Shower head Installation Video
1. Delta 75152 – Best Choice for most people.
The best shower head for most people is the Delta 75152. It offers the best value for money than the other dozens of shower heads we tested.
Offered in a chrome finish, the Delta 75152 Adjustable Water-Amplifying shower head is an excellent economy choice costing about $21*. Also employing the Delta H20kinetic system of water delivery, the pressure is very good. An unusual feature of this unit is that you may select the water usage level you want. Several manufacturers offer their shower heads in standard and water economy versions, but for this Delta, you can toggle between economy and standard in a single unit.
- Quick installation
- Offers best value for money
- H2OKinetics technology: Water saving, but still feels like traditional showerhead
- Dual flow settings operate at 1.85 or 2.50 GPM
- Excellent pressure at both the standard and economy settings
- Lifetime faucet and finish warranty
- Easy to switch settings
- Lacks premium feel
- Offer less settings compared to other shower head we tested
2. Speakman S-2252 – Ultimate Best Pick.
Quick Summary: If you are looking for an ultimate showering experience, we recommend the Speakman S-2252 to most people. It offers the overall best showering experience across the widest variety of models we tested. The shower head features the patented Anystream 360 technology, patented plunger system and offers 6 adjustable jets which produce 48 individual sprays. The Speakman S-2252 outranks most of the high-end luxurious models available today.
This svelte, compact shower head costs about $80*. The big selling point of this design is the 360-degree technology. The shower head has a single control to move from one setting to another. The 360 references the ability of this control valve to move through all the settings in a full circle. This eliminated the uncomfortable and fussy process of so many similar products for which you have to toggle back and forth between settings looking for the correct one. With the Anystream, you just keep circling until you reach the setting you want.
- Premium Built Quality
- Offers a lot of settings: 6 adjustable jets producing 48 individual sprays
- Patented Anystream® 360° technology
- Excellent performance even under low water pressure
- Various colors available
- Same quality grade used in hotels
3. Delta 58480-PK (Best shower head under $150)
Our handheld selection is the Delta In2ition 58480-PK. A bit more expensive than our previous selections at about $125*, this nested handheld is a unique design with some pretty keen features.
Unusually among handhelds, it is a great water economist at about 2 gallons per minute and that does not detract from the pressure; you get a great shower with this model. The Delta so-called H2Okinetic delivery is supposed to provide sprays in a kind of wave pattern intended to produce heavier droplets. We could not verify droplet size, but the standard rain setting is very strong. One drawback, and it is a minor one, is that there is certainly a noticeable lack of water, like a water hole, in the center of the shower head that cools the overall feel of the shower.
Delta offers an unusual marketing approach for this item in that you can purchase the elements as a complete unit or separately. This is excellent if, for example, the hose breaks. You don’t have to shell out another $125* to replace the entire unit.
- Its a 2-in-1 shower head
- Offers 5 settings
- Offers Touch Clean spray holes
- Looks: 10/10
- Self-cleaning H2Okinetic spray holes
- Watersense, certified frustration-free
- Finish & Faucet Lifetime Limited Warranty
4. Speakman S-2005-HB (Best Budget Shower head)
This Speakman S-2005-HB also features the Anystream 360 degree rotation setting selector and costs about $34*. This means you can continuously turn the selector knob to move from setting to setting; you do not need to double-back to find the setting you want. The HB has 5 adjustable jets that produce 50 individual streams of 8 pulsating massage sprays. Armed with self-cleaning nozzles ensures consistent water provided from all nozzles without the difficulty or extra steps needed to clean the unit.
Attractively bell-shaped, this model is offered in four finishes: brushed chrome, brushed nickel, polished brass and polished chrome. The primary unit is made of plastic which is a substantial differentiation from its hotel brother, however, the functionality is similar. Our reviews were positively impressed with the ease of installing this shower head. An unusual feature is that you may purchase this unit in either of two flow rates: 2.5 or 2.0; a very appealing feature for the aqua economists among us. The HB Hotel Anystream includes a limited lifetime warranty.
5. Moen S6320 (Best luxury Shower head)
The 8-inch diameter of the Moen S6320 Velocity is generous while still a comfortable fit for a standard-sized shower. It delivers the rain shower experience without requiring ceiling mounting. Priced at about $150*, this easy-adjust rain style head features two functions: rainshower and concentrated rinse. The rainshower setting uses all of the available nozzles; the concentrated rinse focuses all the water to use the center nozzles only which our uses found on being a very strong stream.
To improve the shower experience and the delivery pressure, the Moen S6320 Velocity has self-pressurizing channels for triple spray power. Though unable to match the exact multiples of spray, our reviews found the spray more than adequate and did not find it lacked water pressure.
Offered in four finishes, this circular rain shower head has a low profile yet it is attractive, like a sand dollar. The finishes are: antique bronze, brushed nickel, chrome, and oil rubbed bronze – this last is a very dark finish indeed and often featured on current design programs and magazines.
The flow restrictor is easy to remove. The Velocity 8 inch includes a limited lifetime warranty; it is also available in an Eco model that uses even less water.
6. ToTo TS200AL65-CP (Best shower head $50)
Our Second pick is the ToTo TS200AL65#CP Transitional Collection Series A multi-spray. This economical, water-efficient, high-performance ToTo was very well-liked by our reviewers. Its clean lines and anti-scale provisions add value to an already impressive offering. Costing about $40*, you receive excellent value for your investment in this shower head.
Certified WaterSense, which means it has been confirmed to restrict water flow below the required 2.5 gallons per minute, this attractive head is something of a design compromise between a standard head and a rain head. Attractive and unobtrusive, the flat face of the Transitional is pretty and can be positioned as needed. There is a single control on the head for changing settings. It is a small tab that you push in around the circumference of the head.
Shower Head Laws & Environmental Considerations
As of the Energy Policy of 1992, the domestic shower head flow rate is restricted to 2.5 gallons per minute. The Environmental Protection Agency offers a partnership program to reduce that rate to 2.0 or less. This program encouraged manufacturers to make products that restrict water usage below the law’s requirement. When a manufacturer creates such a product, they present it to the EPA for independent testing. If confirmed, that product is permitted to display the WaterSense label. These products and other water saving measures are much prized by consumers who desire to lower their water consumption, water heating bills and over all environmental impact.
Understanding Shower Heads
Technology has entered the shower. You may have thought that your daily ablutions would always be low tech events, but that does not need to be the case anymore. In addition to high-tech showers, there are a few categories of the shower head for you to familiarize yourself with before selecting a replacement for your current model. There is no shower head perfect for everyone; that’s why there are different kinds. You need only consider your style and preferences to make a good decision.
Handheld Shower Heads
Designed to be removable from the head bracket, these shower heads provide you with the functionality of holding the head to specifically direct it. This mechanism allows you to target, for example, your scalp after you have applied shampoo for a thorough rinse. They come with attached hoses that allow you to direct the spray where you want. When you do not need to target any specific areas, remount the head to use it as a standard shower head.
Dual Shower Heads
Provides two streams of water for your shower. The design elements of this concept are extraordinary. The basic dual shower head is two identical shower heads mounted side-by-side; more shower for your buck.
This expands the breadth of the shower which can mean a shorter, more efficient showers. However, it usually adds so much fun and comfort that you don’t realize any time savings. Dual showers come in a combination of one stationary and one handheld head, heads mounted one above the other, a very large head and a smaller head. If you prefer two heads, you can find the perfect combination of heads for your needs.
High Pressure Shower Heads
These are specifically designed to provide more pressure with the same amount of water as your current head. There are many advantages to this. First, people prefer stronger pressure showers. Low pressure shower heads make rinsing soap from the skin and shampoo from the head a large, frustrating effort.
Additionally, people feel colder in lower pressure heads as the water is not equal to covering the evenly as they shower. With high pressure shower heads, you can rinse more quickly and efficiently, feel warmer and enjoy your shower more. Yes, if you elect to take a shorter shower as a result of higher pressure, you may save water as well.
Rain Shower Heads
Rain Shower heads are very popular on design shows these days. The concept is to provide a larger head face such as eight to fourteen inches, placed directly above the center of the shower.
These are most often mounted to the ceiling though you can achieve the rainfall effect by a wall mounting and a long arm to hold the head in the correct position. Not only trendy, these have their own challenges. They require a larger space inside the shower and if not mounted correctly tend to dribble water out the sides of the unit.
Led Shower Heads
Our first example of new technology in the bathroom shower is the LED shower head. One of the cool aspects of these heads is that they require no batteries or electricity. The power for the LED is generated by the water.
You can find LED shower heads in nearly every design and color scheme.You can pick an LED light to match your bathroom color scheme or you can find LED shower heads that feature your favorite team’s colors or school colors. They bathe the shower in fun, usually varying, lights adding a techno feel to your ablutions.
Many people install water filters to remove unwanted impurities and chemicals from their drinking water. Most, if not all, communities treat their water with harsh chemicals such as chlorine to kill harmful bacteria that can cause diseases. Though not likely to make you sick, many people prefer to refrain from drinking these added chemicals.
By the same token, many people feel such additives are not good for their hair or skin either and install shower filters to remove them. There are shower filters on the market to filter nearly every style of the shower head and they are available in most places where you find shower products.
Bluetooth Shower Heads
Turn your everyday shower into a party shower with Bluetooth shower heads. Unlike the LED shower heads, these do not run on the pressure generated from the water. Instead, they have USB ports for charging. Most of the Bluetooth shower heads run for hours on a full charge, so you don’t have to charge them very often.
Many people enjoy showering to their favorite music. Therefore, there is likely a radio in the bathroom for this very purpose, but it’s not as good as having the music playing in the actual shower with you. To add another accent of fun, many Bluetooth shower heads also have LED lights for the full funk effect. For those of you who love the idea but are not ready to replace the shower head, there are Bluetooth speakers that suction to the shower wall.
Low Flow Shower Heads
Specifically designed as a double economy, low flow shower heads restrict the flow of water to the person showering. This saves water as well as the price. Unfortunately, these economic measures often cause the opposite effect since many people feel that they must shower longer for the desired results. This causes a loss in both economies.
For many years, these weren’t popular arrangements. Americans were spoiled by long, powerful showers and adjusting to shorter, less powerful showers has been difficult. However, addressing the specific concerns of insufficient pressure, new designs of low flow shower heads seek to amplify pressure without increasing water use. Reviewers find several shower heads on the market that accomplish this goal.
Preparing for Shower Head Evaluation
We do not have a shower head expert on staff. To prepare for this evaluation, we had to undertake an extensive period of study. This included but was not limited to, interviewing product managers, who are boots-on-the-ground experts in the construction of shower heads and their different niches.
We attended plumbing works shows, interviewed additional experts, performed extensive online and direct research and took many, many showers. Though this may not qualify us as shower head experts, it certainly indicates that we have been able to do the research you would like to be able to do before making a shower head purchase. Our intention is that you profit from our experience when you shop for a shower head.
Our Selection and Testing Process
After familiarizing ourselves with the options, goals, and complaints about shower heads, we developed a list of characteristics that seemed to best reflect what most people want in a shower head.
- Engineering considerations seem primary: does the shower head do what it is advertised to do and do it well and consistently.
- Ergonomics is another consideration; this refers to the user’s interaction with the shower head including stream adjustments, maneuvering hand-held devices such as how well they conform to the hand shape, how easy they are to adjust and how well they attach and detach from the holster.
- Installation issues such as how easy they are to install and remove for any necessary maintenance. We don’t think you should need to hire a plumber to install a shower head.
- Manufacturer warranty is also important; why should you purchase a product the manufacturer does not support?
- We took User Reviews from many sources into account.
- Water Consumption which is not only regulated by law but is a personal concern for many people.
Cleaning Shower Heads
To clean the shower head, remove it and soak it overnight in a half and half mixture of vinegar and water. Better yet, mix the vinegar and water in a plastic bag and attach the bag to the neck of the shower head. Ensure that the face of the shower head is in the vinegar mixture. Leave for as close to 12 hours as you can. Most of the built-up residue will be removed with this process. Repeat as needed. Otherwise, there are some excellent products on the market that remove calcium build up that may work more quickly.
Do try to keep up on this basic maintenance to prolong the life of your investment.
Before You Purchase
You have learned a great deal about the models of shower heads, spray patterns, manufacturers and maintenance in this article. Before you take out your credit card, consider the factors in this article. Consider the best spray patterns, handheld or stationery, mounted directly overhead or at an angle on the facing wall for your family’s needs.
For example, if you have someone with limited mobility or athletes in the household, you may want to consider a handheld model which are great for targeting stressed muscles and are also ideal for people with limited mobility. If you have very soft water and family members have been complaining of having trouble rinsing out their hair after a shampoo a rain style or wall-mounted model with a very strong setting may make the rinsing easier.
Removing a Shower Head Water Restrictor Which Increases Water Pressure
As the legal flow restrictions have become more established, manufacturers have created more sophisticated ways of restricting water flow. However, many shower heads do still have physical flow restrictors that are not difficult to remove. The basic removal process is the same for handheld and mounted shower heads.
- Remove the shower head from the hose or wall.
- Inside the unit, look for a rubber circle or plastic or metal insert similar to a sieve.
- You may need a screwdriver and other small, pointed tools. Remove the impediment.
- Often, handheld models have another restrictor in the hose. This is more tricky to remove and you may pierce the hose when you attempt it; any hardware store can supply you with a replacement for $10.00 to $20.00
Describing Spray Patterns
The spray pattern refers to the way the water exits the shower head. Rain shower heads, which are generally the largest shower heads, feature a drenching, even pattern that soaks the entire body at one time from directly overhead. Before making a shower head selection, understand the spray pattern you prefer to ensure a good fit between your desires and your selection. Massage patterns provide for stronger, invigorating sprays of alternating strengths almost mimicking a pounding style massage. An aeration pattern is lighter and misty, though not as misty as the mist spray pattern. The regular pattern is the standard middle-of-the-road pattern while jet sprays tend to use the central nozzles for a focused, strong spray.
Shower heads in all designs often include many spray options, so you are likely to be able to satisfy the entire family if you select carefully. However, it is wise to take a moment to understand your and your family’s spray pattern needs to ensure your selection doesn’t leave half of them out in the cold.
Why Care about Shower Heads?
At the end of a long day, there is nothing as refreshing as a shower. It is invigorating and relaxes exercised muscles. The very sound of gently running, warm water is calming and soothing. It’s the perfect transition from extreme activity to more sedentary pursuits such as watching the kids play ball, chatting with the family and reviewing the events of the day.
To greet each morning, there isn’t much as refreshing as a shower. It awakens you in a comforting manner, provides energy for the day and gently pushes away any remnants of grogginess while making you feel clean and fresh.
Are you a physical laborer? Does your daily routine involve pouring cement, erecting telephone poles, or building homes and businesses? As the day closes, the thought of washing off the grit, refreshing the skin and loosening tight muscles is the thought foremost in your mind.
Since showers are so important to our comfort and cleanliness, a great shower head is essential. No, even the very best shower head will not create world peace, but it can restore peace to your little corner of the world.
Becoming Familiar with Shower Head Brands
To make an informed decision about replacing a shower head, you must learn a little about the major brands. ou may be able to purchase styles and designs to meet your needs from any manufacturer, but the companies do boast different strengths and claim different niches.
Founded in 1873 by Austrian immigrants, Kohler is another of the parade of long-established American plumbing companies. Established in Wisconsin, Kohler began as an iron company. An unexpected experiment that covered a horse trough with enamel catapulted them into the bath market where they have been firmly established for many years. Known for sturdy, trendy design elements, Kohler can be thought of as slightly less fashionable than Moen but upscale from Speakman and Waterpik.
Named after its founder, Al Moen, the company has long been a leader in the American upscale fixtures market. Founded in 1937, Al Moen claims over 75 patents related to the plumbing business. The company has continued to be the first name in quality and design in the US.
The Niagara Conservation Company has a unique history for a plumbing business. Founded in 1977, riding the crest of the conservation movement, Niagara was founded to provide efficient plumbing fixtures to meet the needs of conservation-minded individuals, companies, and government requirements. Their influence extends beyond the bathroom to conservation-based electrical and other products as well.
Founded in 1869, Speakman is an American company substantially older than Moen. For many, many years, Speakman has provided plumbing fixtures, fittings and the like to large businesses such as motels, hotels, and hospitals. This aspect of the business includes such features as emergency eye wash stations in businesses and schools. Long valued for durability, recent Speakman success is in part attributable to their decision to make their flow restrictors removable for cleaning.
Founded in 1917, ToTo, a Japanese company, is the world’s largest toilet manufacturer. At the time of its birth, Japanese toilet facilities were rudimentary in comparison with western Europe and ToTo is credited with introducing porcelain to Japanese bathrooms. Now, ToTo is an elite bath designer, known for innovation and comfort.
With its roots in oral hygiene, Waterpik was founded in 1962. Still an old company by our standards, Waterpik applied its knowledge of water oral cleaning to making shower heads. Their shower heads are much admired by many users.
Other Top Shower Heads to Consider
Ana Bath SS5450CBN
At about $55.00, the dual Ana Bath Handheld and Shower Head Combo is both an economical use of water and an attractive purchase. The Combo offers five functions: saturating, massaging, bubble spray and two combination sprays: saturating and massage, and saturating and bubbling.
Though slightly more complicated to install, the Combo supplies the ease of a standard fixed shower head with the convenience of a handheld. The nozzles are anti-clog and the five-foot hose stainless steel is easy to move about in the shower stall. Our reviewers insisted that the difference in pressure between using both heads and just one or the other was inconsiderable. Though primarily made of plastic, the unit is sturdy and attractive. Some or our reviewers thought that the placement of the toggle for the settings was inconvenient but not difficult to adjust to.
Waterpik AST AquaScape Dual-Mode Oval Shower Head – Attractively Designed Shower Head
If you are looking for an attractively designed shower head, the Waterpik AST AquaScape Dual-Mode Oval Shower Head will give you just that. True to its name, this shower head is in the shape of an oval, making it unique. This shape is not only good looking, but also directs out water jets, giving it up to 50 percent wider coverage compared to conventional showers.
With up to 60 individual nozzles coupled with the curved shape, this is a shower head for a large bathroom. Better still, it is highly adjustable, allowing vertical and horizontal positioning.
- Created sleek with an attractive chrome finish
- Curved head face gives this shower head up to 50 percent more coverage
- Fits a wide range of budgets
- Different shower head sizes available to meet different needs
- Highly adjustable for customization
- Adjuster switch is relatively less durable
Delta RP562382 Touch-Clean Raincan Showerhead – Best Single-Setting Showerhead
There is nothing special with this shower head. Though it has all the features of a conventional shower head, its performance is excellent, allowing it to offer consistent great results.
This is a one-setting showerhead; you will not get to experience different showering sensations besides the rainfall style streams. However, you get to experience the best rainfall shower, giving you an experience of a rainforest.
- Made of brass to last long
- Great chrome finish enhances the life of the shower head
- Designed with fluid lines for a great sensation
- Touch clean spray head reduces maintenance needs
- Offered at a great price
- Single setting limits your experience
Delta Faucet 75700
At about $26*, this Delta handheld is a real bargain. The ergonomic handle is a nice fit for the hand and the dial moves smoothly from one setting to the next. The Universal handheld includes seven settings which Delta does not name for reasons best known to themselves. The six-foot hose is long enough for all normal uses and includes a vacuum breaker to protect your water supply. You can also use this as a fixed shower head by using it in its mounted position.
Though plastic, this Delta also has a limited lifetime warranty.
How to install your shower head (Video)
This section provides an overview of the process that is applicable to most types of shower heads.