It’s a well-known fact – the average person spends around one year of their lifetime in the shower. However, not many of them think about the quality of their daily bathing or showering routine – that’s what Shower Compare is here for! On our website, you can check out the most common types of shower heads out there, and take a look and a comprehensive guide about how to choose the best one for your needs. Whether you’re just planning to replace your old shower head with a new one, or are designing a whole new bathroom from scratch, Shower Compare will assist you in choosing the best shower heads, accessories, and bathroom furniture for it.
Depending on your needs, preferences, and bathroom design, you’ll have to opt for one of the following types of shower heads: handheld, rainfall, high pressure, low flow, LED, steam shower, shower panel or shower filter. Handheld units are the most common type, as they are the most comfortable to use, and can quickly reach those needy areas on your body. Rainfall or rain shower heads have an extremely refined aspect and can provide a soothing, rain-like effect (hence the name) from above your head. High-pressure shower heads are great for houses that have a low water pressure issue, as they use fewer nozzles or a special technology to use less water, while still giving off the impression of a high-pressure flow. Low flow showerheads are very similar in construction and technology, but they are designed specifically to help one save water, while the high-pressure ones are meant to improve the flow.
LED showerheads can come in any shape or size, and they have LED lamps that create a lovely illumination in your bathroom. Steam showers are shower cabins, which have a built-in steam generator for a spa-like experience you can recreate at home. Shower panels are also very nifty to own, as they can help you customize your shower to the fullest – starting from the water temperature to the flow pattern. In addition, some even include wall-mounted jets, which will spray water on the sides of your body for a complete immersion. Last but not least, shower filters are compulsory accessories to have if your area struggles with hard water issues; not only will they prevent mineral buildups, but also remove harmful chemicals such as chlorine, which can have a negative impact on the health of your skin and hair.
Whichever you think you need, you can check out our separate guides for the best shower heads.
Best Types of Shower Head
Handheld shower heads are, indeed, the most common type you’ll find on the market. You probably have one in your bathroom right now – it consists of a showerhead, a hose, and a shower arm or wall mount for fixing it to the wall of your bathroom. Some even come as a combo of a wall-mounted unit and a handheld shower head, in case you want to get the best of both worlds. There are tons of models available, both online and offline. Both reputable brands and less-known manufacturers sell this kind of shower heads, so you can find them at a wide range of prices.
Handheld showerheads can have a variety of flow patterns, from a gentle mist to a powerful massage jet, so you can always choose one with the modes you feel like you’d enjoy the most.
The installation process of these is extremely simple, and the only thing you might need for it is a wrench and an instructions manual, which is usually included in the package.
If you value an elegant design in your bathroom, you can find handheld showerhead in any kind of color and finish, from the most common Chrome and Nickel to the refines Oil-Rubbed or Bronze.
High-pressure showerheads are also very popular, as many areas struggle with low water pressure, especially big cities with a very high population density or small, remote areas. As everyone wants their shower to apply at least a bit of pressure to those strained muscles, poor flow has become a huge issue for them. High pressure shower heads can solve that problem with their “smart” technologies. Companies design them with fewer and narrower nozzles, or to have a special pressure chamber, which agitates the water before forcefully pushing it out. Other than these special features, high-pressure shower heads are very similar to normal handheld ones – they can come in different shapes, colors and finishes to go well with any bathroom design, and can have several flow patterns. These can come in handy if you want to save water, enjoy a more intense massage, or just relax under a smooth rinse.
An important accessory of high-pressure shower heads is the restrictor. It ensures that the showerhead will never exceed the legally-allowed 2.5 gallons-per-minute water consumption.
Low flow shower heads are almost identical in construction and technology to the high-pressure ones, but they serve a different purpose – helping one save water. Whether you want to reduce your water bills, or you just want your household to be friendlier towards the environment, a low-flow shower head will help you do so without sacrificing the feeling of a nice rinse. We’ve reviewed the top low flow shower heads to decide which choice is best for you.
Some normal showerheads do have a low flow option on them, but the problem with it is that it lowers the water pressure as well. Before you know it, you’ll be struggling to rinse the shampoo off your hair, or will realize you’ve spent a good 30 minutes in the shower. Low flow showerheads are specifically designed to solve that problem. They come with a pressure chamber, or a similar technology, which uses less water, but creates the same pressure as a normal showerhead.
An important thing to look for with these units is the GPM rate or water consumption. Anything below 2.0 GPM is considered low flow. Much like any other showerhead, these come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, finishes, and can have a couple of spray patterns as well.
Rain showerheads are wall-mounted units that mimic the feeling of falling rain. These are very common for business use, such as for gyms or salons, but can also make a nice home showerhead. They usually come in a square or circle shape, and are around 10 to 20 inches in diameter, so as to cover a wider area with the water flow.
These units also come in different materials and finishes. Cheap ones can be made of plastic, and have a simple white finish, while better well-known brands will make theirs out of steel or brass, and have shiny or matte metallic finishes.
The best rain shower heads usually have a rather low-pressure flow, so they’re usually used in combination with a handheld one for better reach. However, if you’re planning to get only a rain showerhead, you should look for one which has a high-pressure flow, or a heavy flow pattern. Generally, these units do not have patterns on them, but with a bit of research, you can find one that has a couple of modes.
Installing them is equally easy, but be careful to check the product’s description for any missing parts and purchase them separately. Read our reviews of our top picks for the best rain shower heads and decide which one is best for you.
LED showerheads are a fun accessory for your bathroom. While all the previous types we mentioned were functionally different from one another, LED showerheads can be both handheld and rainfall but have LED lights to create an elegant of fun illumination in your bathroom. However, these units are not just low-quality, gag-gift showerheads – even reputable brands have them in stock, and they can also serve a practical purpose.
Colorful lights in the bathroom can be a hit with kids, but can also create a dim and subtle light that will imitate a chromotherapy session in a spa salon. The LED lights can come in one or more colors that switch randomly, or they can be used to indicate the temperature of the water. Blue light will stand for cold water, green for comfortably warm, red for hot, and flashing red for dangerously hot water.
The lights on these showerheads are also powered by the water flow, so you don’t even have to spend on batteries or any kind of extra details.
They range in price, finish, and type. The more expensive better ones tend to be rain LED showerheads, which look sophisticated and refined, and the cheapest ones tend to be simple plastic handheld units – those usually have a lot of colors and bright lights, making them popular with children.
Shower filters are very practical if you struggle with hard water issues in your area. Hard water can be a threat to your pipes as well, but it will surely have a much greater impact on your skin, hair, and overall health. That’s why showerheads with built-in filters have been invented, so you can prevent harmful chemicals from reaching your skin. It can also improve the lifespan of the showerhead itself, by minimizing the risk of clogging around the nozzles.
These units use cartridges to filter the water, and may or may not have a replacement included in the package. If it does not come with an extra filter cartridge, make sure you check the instructions and purchase them separately. Change them constantly to keep the water quality to the highest level.
Besides that, shower filters can serve a variety of extra purposes – improve the water flow, minimize the water consumption, prevent the chlorine smell. Several of these units come with restrictors, like the high-pressure showerheads, which will keep your system from consuming more than the allowed 2.5 GPM. They can also act as a low pressure one, and have a pressure chamber which uses less water to create the same sensation.
Steam showers are slightly different from all the other units, as they comprise a whole shower cabin, with several showerheads and a steam-producing engine. You’d usually see these in hotels or gyms, as steam is known to have beneficial effects on one’s skin, open the pores, relieve stress and muscle pain, and much more. If you wish to have one of these units in your bathroom, you can opt for a variety of styles, colors, and features.
The first thing you’ll have to decide on is whether you want a bathtub bottom or a seat-type cabin. Then, you’ll have to choose the number of steam and/or water jets available. More jets equal more steam but will reflect on the water bill as well. Last but not least, you’ll have to look for special features, such as mirrors (fogless, of course!), storage space, racks, led lights, speakers, the number of showerheads, and extra accessories.
Quality-wise, steam showers have to be browsed by brand. Unlike other units, you can’t really judge it by the material alone – going for a reputable, well-known company will guarantee your satisfaction.
Installing these units is better done by professionals, as they have to be connected to both the plumbing and the electricity system in your house.
Shower panel systems are also slightly different to the basic units. They usually include one or two showerheads, a rainfall one and a handheld one, and a panel that goes on the wall, which you can use to control and customize your shower. You can set the temperature of your water, the pressure of the flow, turn the showerheads on and off, etc… A really cool feature about them are the side jets, which can be used to add some extra massage to the showerhead action.
You might want to get a shower panel system if you like to have a perfectly customized experience with zero effort. They also create a great futuristic aspect in your bathroom, with all the buttons and little screen. You want to look for a shower panel which is made of stainless steel, a material that resists well to humidity and corrosion.
Installing these units might require a professional’s help, but can also be carried out by oneself, if one is confident enough to do it.
We hope you find our website useful in your search for the perfect showerhead. These guides and reviews should help you pick the best option for your particular needs, and you can even find the showerhead of your dreams in the product tops we’ve put together.