When it comes to starting your day on the right foot, a good showerhead can make all the difference. If I'm feeling groggy in the morning, need to rest after a workout, or want to get some energy midday, utilizing t he hot shower tends to be the solution to surprisingly oh so many of my concerns. On the other hand, a bad shower can leave me feeling grouchier than when I started -- especially if the water pressure is poor or the spray pattern provides poor coverage.
It can be a daunting task to select the best showerhead, but if you choose one that works, you can transform your bathing experience. Online retailers and hardware stores have a slew of options for you. Most look similar and many have the same general combination of features -- such as a full-coverage rain shower setting or fewer, more intense massage streams with incredibly high flow rates.
If you'd like to save water, you can also look for the best showerheads with a lower gallons-per-minute rating. You can get a fixed showerhead, which is mounted to the wall, or if you want, he has sprayed on his hand. There are also showerheads that offer a wide variety of spray patterns (you don't have to be restricted to rainfall if you want to change your spray setting). For effortless bathing, whether it's a handheld, dual, fixed, low flow, high pressure, combination, or rainfall, your showerhead must have the basics -- faucet, flow restrictor, filter, flexible hose, and swivel ball.
After analyzing a variety of showerheads, the following models climbed to the top as the best. Each of them has quick and easy installation -- which was important for my rented apartment. All of the products are reasonably priced between $50 and $200. All of them operate reliably with water -- with ratings between 1.5 and 2.5 gpm. All of the showerheads I tested are highly regarded in both customer and industry reviews.
If you're looking for an affordable showerhead that you can install yourself, here are my top picks for the best options. Updated this periodically and just added Kohler's unique Moxie Showerhead to the list.
Best showerhead overall for a shower head
The affordable High Sierra Classic Plus showerhead has all of the essentials right. It sprays in a wide pattern with great coverage and elasticity. I like a relaxing stream on my body and sprayed with cologne on the face and hair. The Classic Plus doesn't have any alternate spray pattern settings, but the main one matches both of those requirements nicely. If you want to stick with a good default and stick to it, look no further.
The Classic Plus is a clean, sleek design. It's one of the most affordable showerheads on this list and saves water with a 1.5 gpm rating. The default coverage setting provides as much coverage and velocity as showerheads that use a full gallon more. That speed isn't excessive. I was able to relax while taking a shower, but it wasn't firm enough to handle soap and dirt on days when I needed to get clean quickly.
If you're looking for something fancy with a variety of settings, I've included dozens of alternatives, but this is the Amazon Echo Dot of showerheads. It's straightforward, affordable, and elegant, plus it'll perform well even with low water pressure or hard water. If you don't mind extras and want something that will get the job done well, consider the water-saving High Sierra Classic Plus. Available in brushed nickel, bronze, polished brass, or a chrome finish.
Best features of the best features.
The Aquadance 7-inch Premium showerhead is a great choice if you're looking for solitary shower head with dozens of features. It includes a handheld showerhead with hose and spray head that sit behind the main shower head. Both have a full coverage spray setting, an intense massage setting and sprayed spray.
Both the main showerhead and the handheld shower head have full coverage. It balances firmness with a wide coverage and yet still feels relaxing. The intense massage was a great way to mix it up when I wanted to feel the pressure and flow of water. If I wanted extra intensity, I kept the main rain setting on full coverage and the hand shower on the massage setting.
You may pause the stream of either if you want to save water while you suds. You can use both showerheads at the same time on the exact same or different settings. You'll notice a decrease in water pressure with the dual shower setting, so you could as easily switch between the main showerhead and the handheld shower. You may switch settings by turning a dial, or you can split the showerhead between the main shower head and the handheld showernozzle with the splitter.
Whatever your showering style may be -- traditional showerhead, handheld shower, or dual shower -- Aquadance has an option for you. If you're the type who likes options and like to change settings based on your mood, this is the showerhead for you.
Best premium model in the market.
With its 8-inch diameter and polished chrome finish, the Moen S6320 looks like a high-end shower. The main full coverage setting strikes a comfortable balance between softness and relaxation. Plus, the S6320 switches to an intense massage setting that feels great. Lots of the massage settings that I tried were too narrow for use outside of spot cleaning. Moen's is still wide enough to provide actual coverage while also providing a nice boost of intensity.
With a handle on the side of the showerhead, you may also switch between them easily. It's easy to use and I was able to find it and change the setting while my eyes were closed after sudsing my face.
If you want a higher end showerhead while still maintaining semblance of luxury, the Moen S6320 is for you. It doesn't have a lot of features, but the two settings are both wonderful and switching between them is so easy that you can do it with your eyes closed -- literally.
Best rain showers in the world.
The American Standard Spectra eTouch rain showerhead actually feels like standing under a gentle stream or being outside during chilly summer rain. This bathroom accessory is incredibly relaxing. The Spectra eTouch is rather expensive for the brushed nickel or chrome finish, but it's also water-efficient at a rate of 1.8 gpm.
The Spectra comes with a remote you can mount to your shower wall to switch between several spray settings, or you may simply touch the showerhead's rim to do the same. It feels high-tech, yet it lacks any complexity.
The different settings include a fine mist and two varieties of an intense massage spray -- though I found both to be too broad to provide any coverage. The rainfall shower setting was also a little too gentle on my face, so the Spectra doesn't have 'one' setting that strikes the perfect balance between sturdiness and full coverage.
It has a pulsating massage setting for spot cleaning, so if you're more inclined to want your shower to feel like heaving water, this is largely ok, and it works perfectly at an angle. Most rain showers must be installed directly overhead and many take a specialist install. This one works with your existing equipment and still feels great.
Best for your smart home?
The Kohler Moxie is a Bluetooth speaker with Amazon's assistant Alexa built-in and an otherwise ordinary showerhead. You can't control the water or temperature with your voice or an app, so I hesitate to call it a smart shower, but it's the closest to one on this list and much more affordable than the fully smart Moen shower which requires repiping to install.
The battery-powered speaker nests in the center of the showerhead with magnets, so you can easily pull it free and use it as a smart speaker in other areas of your home. You can listen to music or perform a variety of voice commands using Alexa. The speaker itself surprised me with its sound quality and it really made my morning routines enjoyable.
The showerhead itself is less impressive. The water was strong, but it was a little narrow, and it doesn't have any alternate spray modes. The price is also high, but it comes in a variety of finishes, either 2.5 or 1.75 gpm. Several of the finishes are a little more expensive, but none of them qualify as if they are. Kohler Moxie is by no means the best shower on this list, but it is the most entertaining if you're willing to pay a premium.
Honorable mentions are given to Honorary mention for Honor Roll.
Kohler Forte 22169 Kohler's showerhead provides decent coverage. The main setting strikes the perfect balance between being firm but also relaxing. You may switch to a concentrated massage or opulent mist. Overall, it's a solid, well-balanced fixed showerhead that you should consider if you like the look or the brand. With a 1.75 gpm rating, it even saves water. It simply didn't stand out as much as the ones above and the concentrated massage stream is too narrow to be useful.
Delta In2ition Two-in-One: This Delta showerhead has a clever adjustable shower head design in which if arranged correctly, he or she can use tampons or combs to clean up. The main shower provides the most complete coverage, while the handheld shower offers a more intense stream. You can also use the main shower and the handheld shower at once, though the water pressure will rise a bit, and I'm not accustomed to low water flow. The handheld showerhead is easily pulled free or you may leave the shower arm in place for a stationary massage stream. All of the settings are functional, but the main coverage option is a little weak for my taste. The showerhead itself is a bit difficult to pivot. That's definitely a minor nitpick. This is a great shower that's worth considering, but the minor drawbacks restricted it from ranking higher for me.
Speakman S-2252-E175: None of the showers I tried were awful, but this model from Speakman doesn't have a strong enough stream for my tastes. If you find the main mode to be a little overwhelming, it's OK. The alternate nozzle setting basically lets water pour straight out without any added water pressure or water flow. Overall, it was a pleasant shower experience with minimal water pressure.
Culligan WSH-C125: Cullingigan, WASH-P125; Cuilligan Cunligan This attractive Culligan model comes with a shower filter and dozens of settings. The switch between the nozzle and spout settings is a pain. The main shower functions well, but none of the alternate modes are inspiring. Again, this is a good bathroom shower, but you've got dozens more to choose from.
Testing and cleaning is a must.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've taken a lot of showers. When I'm putting a showerhead system to the test, I consider dozens of variables: the face diameter, the gallons-per-minute output, number of settings, materials, design, and more. We also perform an anecdotal test on the water flow, water pressure, and power of the spray pattern with dried egg yolk. I also showered and noticed how each shower experience felt, more than anything.
I install each model for a couple of days so I may take dozens of showers. I'm paying close attention to each spray pattern and how they feel during the first shower with a new shower system, but I also want to shower when I don't have to think about it as much. I shower when I'm groggy in the morning and take a post-workout shower to cool down after each model.
I take notes on the shower experience after each shower. Was it firm, relaxed, or both? Was the shower experience intense enough to get the soap and shampoo off quickly or did I have to adjust settings? Is it easy to change settings?
I spread egg white onto a cutting board and let it dry for 24 hours for the egg test. Then, while the board ran for 10 seconds, I leaned it 20 inches from the showerhead and observed how much yolk had been removed. I ran this test for each showerhead setting. Most removed only a tiny amount of yolk, but fewer settings made measurable difference in the end.
Different showers tick different boxes, but what really mattered to me at the end of the day was the actual showering experience. None of the models I tried were particularly bad, but a few stood out and made up for their shortcomings.
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