In this (2018 Updated) guide, you’ll find everything there is to know about shower heads.
After more than 90 hours of research and testing 29 shower heads, we found these to be the best shower heads in 2018.
Take a look:
List of Best Shower Heads in 2018
|Delta 75152 3-7/8" Single-Function Shower Head|
|1.85 - 2.5 GPM||Chrome|
|Delta 58480-PK In2ition H2Okinetic||2.0 GPM||Various|
|Speakman S-2252 Adjustable Shower Head||2.5 GPM||Various|
|Delta Faucet 75700 Universal Hand Shower||2.5 GPM||Various|
|Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream Shower Head||2.5 GPM||Various|
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1. Delta H2Okinetic Shower Head
The Delta 75152 is our recommend choice because it offers the best balance of features, functions and value for money.
The Delta H2Okintec Showers offer customers a wide variety of innovations and styles that install in under twenty minutes with no special tools needed. Delta H2Okinetic Showers use advanced technology that shapes water into a special wave pattern that gives three times the coverage of your regular shower head. This ends up giving you more coverage, warmth, and intensity for a truly enjoyable shower experience.
If you are ready to indulge while using less water, the Delta H2Okinetic shower head has adjustable spray settings, and it is designed to connect with a standard ½” threaded shower arm. The shower head can be installed in minutes, and it includes all the necessary mounting hardware.
The Delta H2Okinetic shower head has all the water efficiency you want without sacrificing your comfort. You will have lower water bills, but you will still enjoy a full-spray performance from your shower head while meeting the WaterSense criteria with two spray patterns and two flow rates. And, since it only has four large spray holes, it has been created to be an easy to clean and anti-clog shower head.
This dual setting shower head gives you a high-volume spray and operates at 1.85 or 2.5 gallons per minute giving you a water-saving comfort spray with a convenient adjustable, volume control lever. The proprietary H2OKinetics technology gives you up to 36% less water than your regular shower heads while still delivering a water flow that feels like you previous traditional shower head, plus the large water drops stay warmer longer.
The H2OKinetics shower head is user-friendly with a modern design featuring four large spray holes that internally engineered to make sure the holes will not clog up with mineral deposits and that cleaning is a breeze. It also includes a metal ball connector that guarantees durability, and the volume control lever makes it simple to switch the settings.
- Reduce noises in the pipe
- Increases water pressure so you spend less time in the shower rinsing off
- Cuts your water bill and you no longer have any cold water shock issues
- Some users don’t find a difference between the two water settings
- There are only four streams that come out of the shower head
How to install your shower head?
Installing a shower head is simple. Check out this video:
2. Delta 58480-PK In2ition Two-in-One H2Okinetic Shower Head
Get out of your morning routine rut, Delta In2ition Two-in-One H2Okinetic Shower Head not only reflects your own personal style, but will give you a shower experience like no other.
With a detachable hand shower that runs at the same time or separately from the shower head, the In2ition shower provides two streams of water giving you a warm and flexible shower event. The shower head position will give you hours of comfortable water streaming while the hand shower provides you the convenience of doing other chores like washing your children, bathing your dog, or using it to clean your shower, plus the hand shower is easy to store on the actual shower head.
The Delta In2ition Two-in-One H2OkineticShower Head features also offer you pause functionality with your hand shower that lessens water to just a trickle while you shave your legs or lather up your shampoo, so it helps you to conserve water that would otherwise go to waste. If you are looking for a fast and simple way to upgrade your shower, the In2ition Two-in-One Shower is an easy to install and will quickly replace your current shower head without even needing to get into the wall behind your shower.
H2Okinetic showers utilize innovative technology that shapes water into a specialized wave pattern that gives you the feeling of having more water on you, but actually uses less water than you previous shower head. The H2Okinetic technology uses science to create an experience in the shower that you will not find anywhere else and includes an internal system that controls the movement, water droplet size, and speed of each hand shower and shower head. All of this gives you the feeling of having more water coming down on your than a regular shower that flows at the same rate.
The In2ition Two-in-One Shower has five modes including Full Spray, Pause, Massage Spray, H2Okinetic Spray, and Full Spray with Massage. This is a fully plated showerhead that comes with Self-cleaning H2Okinetic spray holes, and a 60 – 82″ stretchable metal hose. It is easy to adjust with a quick flip of the diverter lever, and you can choose between the hand shower and the shower head or use them together.
The In2ition Two-in-One Shower is easy to install in just a few minutes. It also includes the MagnaTite® Docking system that includes a powerfully integrated magnet that will hold your hand shower exactly in place each time you store in on your shower head. The WaterSense® labeled shower uses a minimum of twenty percent less water than the industry standard which saves you money with your having to compromise on performance.
- Amazing faucet, looks great
- Very convenient, great water flow
- Easy to install and to adjust
- Lots of plastic parts, would be better with more metal
- It’s a little difficult to reach the change lever to switch between the hand shower head and the main shower head
3. Speakman S-2252 Adjustable Shower Head
If you are looking for an experience like you have never felt before, you need to try the Speakman S-2252 Adjustable Shower Head that includes six jets and 48 amazingly powerful sprays that are totally customizable.
The Speakman Icon will give you the best shower that you can imagine with a seamless transition between different spray patterns by simply rotating the handle in either direction. You can go from intense to relaxing sprays or full coverage to drenching streams in seconds.
The signature frame of the Speakman S-2252 Adjustable Shower Head Icon echoes their almost 150 years of ingenuity, craftsmanship, and heritage. It has a clean silhouette that is timeless that will surely become the focal point of your bathroom. Although it has a gorgeous exterior, the Icon’s innovativeness is its true beauty. This is a high-quality piece made of brass that will last you many years.
You will enjoy several setting with the Speakman S-2252 Adjustable Shower Head including the Flood Mode, Rain Mode, and Intense mode. The Icon includes Speakman’s patented Anystream 360 degree Technology that includes the seamless handle rotation to transition between all the diverse spray options. The Speakman Icon is the same quality grade that is used in hotels, and it comes outfitted with the patented Speakman plunger system that includes self-cleaning nozzles.
The polished chrome finish will fit with almost any bathroom décor or style, from modern to traditional. It comes equipped with 2.5 gallons per minute flow control that fit standard U.S. plumbing connections and provides constant powerful spray even with low water pressure in your home. The Speakman S-2252 Adjustable Shower Head also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Pretty heavy-duty, stream is adjustable
- Easy to remove reducer
- Easy to install and operate
- Some users have found the water pressure a little too high
- Not all users like the spray patterns
4. Delta Faucet 75700 Universal Hand Shower
For greater flexibility and control, the Delta 75700 Universal Hand shower will give you a better show experience for yourself and your loved ones.
It comes with Delta soft rubber Touch-Clean spray holes that let you simply wipe away mineral residue that other shower heads allow to build up over time and doesn’t require to be soaked or need chemical cleaners for an instantly refreshed looked. The hand shower is also great for bathing your little ones, washing your dog, or helping to clean your shower.
Several settings help make the Delta 75700 Universal Hand shower versatile including the pause setting, so you can take a few moments to shave or lather up and then restart your water easily right at the temperature you had it on when you left off. This mode not only helps you conserve water, but you don’t have to worry as much about depleting your hot water supply while you help the environment.
The Delta seven-spray massage hand shower gives you the features of both a fixed shower head and a hand shower. The modern style of the hand shower gives you a comfortable ergonomic handle, while several massage sprays give you a feeling of luxury. The pause feature gives you a convenient trickle so you can shave or lather up while maintaining your current temperature level. An anti-clog nozzle is featured on the hand shower that only requires a little rubbing to remove the mineral build up and you will be rid of the lime and calcium with just the touch of a finger.
The Delta 75700 Universal Hand shower includes several spray settings including Drenching spray, Full Body spray, Full Spray with Massage, Fast Massage spray, Soft Rain spray, and Soft Drench with Full spray.
The hand shower also features an internal waterway that gives you 100% performance from the product and extra durability so that you have a lifetime of luxurious showers. It also comes with a super long, 6-foot flexible hose that is tangle free and has a vacuum breaker that protects your water supply. Hands-free showering is available with the shower arm mount, and it is easy to install with a fifteen-year warranty.
- Easy to install, has a good weight
- Dependable with good water pressure and flow
- Great quality for the price
- No real massage setting for sore muscles
- Plastic hose does not flex a lot as you would expect
5. Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream Shower Head
When you want to take the hotel shower head experience home with you, the Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream Shower Head makes that possible.
Speakman uses their patented Anystream Technology that makes a seamless tradition easy between the many spray patterns that are available with a simple twist of the handle. The polished chrome finish works with any bathroom décor from modern to traditional, it compliments them all.
The Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream Showerhead has a simple frame that fits any modern bathroom. Since it is a popular fixture at many hotels with its durable engineering and its timeless styling, the Speakman Anystream® Hotel Massage Showerhead has also become a popular fixture in many homes. Getting its inspiration from the classic Speakman design elements, the Anystream® Hotel Massage Showerhead astonishes with a lip that is flared and a casing that is belled.
The eight center massage jets and the additional fifty awesome full-body sprays are adjustable with the easy to turn T-handle that will effortlessly switch through the entire range of combinations including gentle rain, combination spray, pulsating, and therapeutic massage streams.
As it is installed in many luxury resorts around the world, the Speakman signature Hotel Shower Head is known for changing your shower experience into a completely getaway. With a quick and simple handle rotation, you can change between modes including Massage, Intense, and Combination spray patterns that are all soothing and powerful. It is also outfitted with Speakman’s patented plungers to make the most of the available water pressure.
The three features modes include an invigorating and pounding Massage setting that will help to relieve tight muscles and muscle soreness. If you are interested in a powerfully, sensual shower experience, the Intense pattern does not allow one spray to intersect. The Combination setting will give you an excellent mix of the Massage and Intense spray patterns into one great Massage.
The Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream Showerhead is made of lightweight Speakman engineered plastic, and it has a 2.5 gallon per minute flow control fitting standard U.S. plumbing connections. This shower head comes outfitted with five jets that are adjustable jets that produce fifty individual streams, plus pulsating massage sprays. It also features self-cleaning nozzles that have constantly powerful sprays, even with low water pressure.
- Easy to install and easy to use
- Gives you a relaxing and luxurious water stream
- Easy to remove the restrictor
- Need to remove the restrictor for it to work well
- Made of plastic, some users prefer metal
6. Culligan WSH-C125 Shower Head with Massage
If you need a powerful filtration system, the Culligan Level 2 Wall-Mount Showerhead will reduce the number of chemicals in your water leaving you with softer skin and a cleaner shower.
It offers five spray settings as well as a sleek chrome finish and an anti-clog rubber spray nozzle. The Culligan Wall-Mount Showerhead filters out chlorine, sulfur, and scale for up to 10,000 gallons of water, plus it meets the water safety standards of the NSF.
The Culligan Shower Head gives you softer and cleaner hair and skin by lessening the amount of chlorine, sulfur odor, and scale. It is very easy to install and requires no tools, plus the filter cartridges last up to 6 months or 10,000 gallons. It works well with both well water and city water giving you an exhilarating shower experience by reducing chlorine up to 99 percent to lessen damaged hair follicles and dry, itchy scalp. Also, when you lessen the amount of scale in your water, your showerhead can give you more hydrating nourishment that your scalp and skin need.
On top of giving you an invigorating and nourishing shower experience, this shower head has five spray settings to choose from depending on your mood. You can choose from a maximum coverage full-body spray all the way to a relaxing muscle massage with an invigorating pulse spray. This lightweight shower head is easily installed on any standard ½” threaded shower arm in minutes with tools, just the provided Teflon tape. This is an NFC certified Wall-Mount Shower Head that will give you and your loved ones chemical-free showers and comes with a manufacturer’s limited five-year warranty.
Culligan is well-known for its water softening and filtration solutions and products for all household areas. Culligan is also known for its drinking water and working water filtration systems that can give you clear and clean water for your home or office. This Wall-Mounted shower head meets the maximum 2.0 gallons per minute or less EPA Water Sense certification standard and includes the Culligan patented filter media bacteriostatic* that controls the grown and passage of bacteria to make showering a cleaner experience.
- Filter works well with hard water
- Gives you a lot of health benefits with filtered water on your hair and skin
- Water pressure is great, filter is easy to replace
- Some users found the filter does not remove chlorine
- Installation can be difficult for some
7. Ana Bath SS5450CBN Handheld Shower and Shower Head Combo Shower System
You can easily upgrade your shower without using a single tool with the Ana Bath SS5450CBN Handheld Shower and Shower Head Combo Shower System.
By using just your hands, you can install this 5 inch 5 function shower head and hand shower to give you whole family a wonderful new shower experience. Ana Bath includes water saving shower technology that will help you save on your water bill while it features several spray modes including:
- Massage Mode
- Saturating Mode
- Bubbling Mode
- Saturating Mode and Massage Mode
- Saturating Mode and Bubbling Mode
The Ana Bath Handheld Shower and Shower Head Combo Shower System has a flow rate of 2.35 gallons per minute and comes with a 3-way diverter mount and a 60” stainless steel shower hose. The whole set comes with a brushed nickel finish and a three-year limited warranty.
- Makes your shower very versatile
- Easy to operate, good for shorter people
- Good flow and nice spray patterns
- Installation can be tricky
- Hardware seems a little flimsy
Shower Head Styles
As you start your research in shower heads, you will see that there is a wide range of usability options and styles for shower heads. Features to consider when buying a shower head should include finishes, spray types, features, and water pressure levels.
One of your first stop in considering a shower head should be your bathroom. After you have decided what type of shower head will fit into your shower, how it needs to be installed, whether you need a ceiling or wall mounted shower head, then you can narrow your research and focus on just the shower heads that fit your bathroom’s physical requirements.
You will quickly realize there is no longer a utilitarian shower head and that the features on today’s shower heads are anything but average. As you start to shop, you will see modern handheld showers, shower heads with adjustable spray patterns to even stand-up spas. As you wander the aisles, you will wonder how you got along so well with the boring, standard shower head you have been using all these years.
Shower Head Types
Standard Wall Mount Shower Head
Ranging from simple to elaborate designs, the standard wall mounted shower head have features ranging from multiple spray modes and adjustable angles. Many of the standard shower heads also include new technology that works to prevent corrosion, tarnishing, and hard water buildup. Depending on the model, it may have one setting or it may feature several shower effects like massage and mist. With various price points, you can purchase a standard wall mount shower head no matter what your budget.
Top Mount Shower Head
If you like your shower falling like raindrops from above, then a top mount shower head is for you. This style is installed either directly from the ceiling or it can hand down using an extension arm.
Sliding Bar Shower Head
If you have people in your family that are different heights, a sliding bar shower head may be a good choice for you. A sliding bar shower head works by moving up and down its wall-mounted base, so, if you are sharing a bathroom, a shower head like this helps to make sure everyone is having a positive shower experience.
Handheld Shower Head
Since you can remove it from its mounting, a handheld shower head not only works well for your shower experience, but it is also extremely useful for bathing children, pets, and for helping to wash the shower itself. If you aren’t sure that you would prefer a handheld shower head over the traditional shower head, you can always opt for a two-in-one combination, so you have the best of both worlds. Make sure to get a model that is easy to maneuver and has an easy to grip handle when your hands get soaps and wet.
Aerating Shower Head
Aerating showers mixes water and air to give you an impression of more water pressure. This has become a popular shower head option over regular shower heads as they may give you the feeling of more water, but they are actually helping you to conserve water. Although an aerating shower head is more expensive at first, they save you money on utility bills in the long run.
Lighted Shower Head
LED lights can now light up your shower head giving you mood-matching illumination that is adjustable, and make your shower more convenient and luxurious.
Adjustable Shower Heads
One awesomely luxuriating feature in a shower head is having several water pressure levels and different spray options. All you have to do is turn the shower head a specific way to change the spray or water level and you can customize your own shower.
Rain Shower Heads
A rain shower head uses a low-flow spray that gives you the feeling of experiencing a rainfall. These are also water-saving and eco-friendly shower heads.
Low Flow Shower Heads
Specifically designed to save water, a low flow shower head usually has several different spray options that make you feel like you are experiencing the same amount of water as a typical shower head, but you are really saving water while you shower.
Features – Spray Patterns
• Rain – This is a low-flow spray pattern that uses a larger shower head with a light pressure that feels like rainfall.
• Massage – There are often several pressure options that have a higher pressure setting that gives you massage-like relaxation.
• Full Spray – This is a spray pattern that will use all of the shower head holes to give you an overall spray.
• Jet – This option uses a concentrated stream with a high-pressure water pattern.
• Pause – This has an on-and-off water pattern with medium pressure that allows you time to shave or lather up your hair.
Depending on your existing plumbing set up, your shower head will be either ceiling mounted or wall mounted. If you have a rainfall shower head, that will typically be ceiling mounted to simulate rain.
If you are interested in saving more energy, then you need to choose a low-flow shower head. The highest flow rate that is allowed according to government regulations is 2.5 gallons per minute with a typical water pressure level of 80 psi (pounds per square inch).
- Brushed chrome
- Polished chrome
- Brushed nickel
- Stainless steel
- Hammered nickel
- Brushed bronze
- Oil-rubbed bronze
- Polished brass
Even though they may look elegant, polished finishes take a lot of upkeep to keep them looking great and free from spots. For those homes with kids, a matte or brushed finish is good for hiding fingerprints and water spots.
Shower Panel Systems
Think of a shower panel system like a stand-up Jacuzzi. These are very customizable and they give you a lot more water pressure where you prefer it and also less where you don’t want it. You can either design your own or buy a pre-configured unit. Choosing the number of spigots and where they are placed, as well as their output volume and spray options can be a fun and luxurious way to redesign your whole shower experience.
Choosing the number of spigots and where they are placed, as well as their output volume and spray options can be a fun and luxurious way to redesign your whole shower experience. If you are considering a custom option, make sure your plumbing can handle what you are planning.
One-half inch is the standard diameter of traditional water pipes and some custom showers need pipes that are wider. Also, your water heater may not be able to meet the graduated level of demand of a custom shower. It is always helpful to ask a professional before making any decisions and make you’re your current bathroom plumbing is set up to handle what you would like to do.
Luxury Shower Features
Depending on the level of luxury you want to create in your shower experience, there are several other features you can add to your shower head.
• Steam showers – Retrofitted into your existing bathroom or built with new construction, a steam shower can be created as a custom shower stall or built from pre-fabricated shower units that include special doors that will seal in steam. There is a generator that is about the size of a breadbox that will turn the water into steam and then send the steam into the shower enclosure. If you retrofit the steam shower, you can sometimes have a difficult time finding the right place for the generator, usually a cabinet or closet. The typical type of shower head for a steam shower will include a shower head in the sealed enclosure, usually with body massage jets, mood lighting, and surround sound stereo speakers.
• Digital controls – If you are interested in getting a multi-sensory experience with just the touch of a button, digital controls will allow you to program your shower so that you can regulate the temperature, lighting, music, and flow intensity.
Other Things to Consider
Depending on which bathroom you are upgrading, you may also make very different decisions. If it is your own personal bathroom, just choose all the features that you yourself prefer. However, if it is the guest bathroom, you may want to choose features and fixtures that are easy to use.
Also, keep in mind how much work and energy you will be spending on this project. Obviously, if you are hiring someone else to do it or it is new construction, you don’t have to worry about the installation. But, if this is a weekend project, you will want to choose those fixtures that are easy for do-it-yourselfers to install.
Environmental Considerations of Shower Heads and Saving Water
Thirty gallons a day or 17% percent of all the water that is used in the typical American home is used for showering according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a part of the 1992 Federal Energy Management Act, new shower heads are required to have a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM).
The WaterSense program is part of the expanded EPA water conservation efforts that was developed in 2005. It sets the water flow volume standards for several bathroom fixtures that include shower heads. To each the WaterSense label, the shower head cannot have a flow rate over 2.0 gallons per minute. Standards of performance are included in the program so that bathroom fixtures will be able to give you strong water flow while conserving water.
Many new shower heads have adjustable settings that allow you to decide on what water-saving option you prefer. So you could possibly choose from three flow rates such as 1.0 gallons per minute, 1.5 gallons per minute, and 2.0 gallons per minute. Any many of these shower heads are very affordable and sell for around $20.
If you are choosing to go green, make sure to check your home’s water pressure because it may not be worth getting a low-flow shower head if your home doesn’t have high enough water pressure to begin with. If you do have low water pressure, you may want to consider shower head models that will help make the water stream seem stronger.
As water regulations become tighter for plumbing fixtures due to the scarcity of water in many areas because of years-long droughts, local and state governments have limited the flow levels of many shower heads, and many homeowners have been looking for innovative way to make sure they retain the flow level they prefer while they help conserve water.
If you take the time and read shower head reviews, you should be able to find a shower head that follows your local regulations while providing a satisfying and luxurious shower. The best shower head will offer you a range of sprays and pattern flows that should make everyone in your household happy while also making sure you are taking care of the environment.
Other Shower Heads Tested For this Guide
1. Kohler K-10282-PB Forte Single-Function Showerhead
The Kohler K-10282-PB Forte Single-Function Showerhead is created for large coverage. It is the shower head you need if you have a large bathroom. The unit comes with a great round design that is easy to install. It features 72 individual spray nozzles that spread across the five and a half inches diameter spray face.
2. Hansgrohe 27474001 Raindance Downpour Air Showerhead – Best Massage Shower Head
If you want to experience the kind of rain that happens in a rainforest, this is the ideal shower to give you that experience. It is a large 9.5 inches showerhead designed for use in all bathrooms and especially the large sized bathrooms.
3. Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS Shower Filter and Shower Head – Long Lasting Filter
Chlorinated water can be problematic when it is the only water that comes to your home. That is what Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS Shower Filter and Shower Head seeks to address. With chlorine in your water, your skin will always be dry and if you have dyed your hair, it will fade within a short time. Plus, water with chlorine does not lather readily with soap.
4. Hydroluxe Full Chrome Ultra-Luxury Showerhead – Experience Luxury With Different Settings
If you love exploring while in the shower, this unit gives you up to 24 water patterns for a great experience. It offers you a chance to use two separate shower heads or use a shower head and a handheld shower to enjoy up to 24 full and combined flow patterns.
5. AKDY AZ-6021 Chrome Shower Head – Great Purchase on a Budget
If you are on budget, you might consider the AKDY AZ-6021 Chrome Shower Head.
It is a great addition to a modern bathroom thanks to its stealer design. Unlike conventional shower heads, that are in most cases rounded, this is a flat shower head, giving you eight inches of spay face. The design is attractive.
6. Thunderhead TH2.5 Shower Head –Highly Flexible Shower Head
The Thunderhead TH2.5 Shower Head comes with a great design highly adjustable to meet your bathing needs and give you the experience you need. Thanks to this great adjustability, you can install this shower head on any bathroom. Its wall mount allows you to install it even on small bathrooms.
7. Knox Showerhead with Bluetooth Wireless Phone Speaker – Best Luxury Shower head
This is a luxury showerhead. It makes the whole showering experience merry.
You can listen to music, make calls, and answer calls when taking a shower, thanks to the great MusicJet technology. The showerhead speaker is waterproof. It is designed to easily connect with your phone, and just like any other Bluetooth speaker, allows you to play songs from your music library and even answer calls.
8. Culligan WSH-C125 Filtered Shower Head – Best Filtered Shower Head
This is another shower head offered with a filter. The filter and the shower head are offered as one unit, but you can still change the filter of the shower head as they work separately.