What You Need to Look for in a Shower Head

What You Need to Look for in a Shower HeadSource: canva.com

A shower is arguably the most relaxing part of your day – and the most important part of your bathroom. But when shopping for a new showerhead, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the huge selection available. Should you buy a rain shower or a massage shower? Are all shower heads low flow? How much gpm (gallons per minute) should you look for? Here we’ll explain what to look for in a shower head to help you make the perfect choice.

Our Pick
Ana Bath Anti-Clog High Pressure Dual Shower Head

The Ana Anti-Clog Handheld Dual Shower Head Combo has anti-Clog nozzles that allow you to remove mineral deposits by rubbing the nozzle back and forth with water on.

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How many gpm should you look for?

First, what does gpm even mean? Gpm stands for gallons per minute and refers to the number of gallons the showerhead releases every minute while it’s turned on. This is also referred to as the flow rate of a showerhead. The fewer gpm, the better the showerhead is for water conservation.

5 Best Low Flow Handheld Shower Head

Are you looking for the best low flow handheld shower head because of federal mandates? Or because you want to conserve water or lower your water bills? No matter what your reasons, we’re here to help. Here are the best handheld low-flow showerheads.

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In the United States, the gpm of new showerheads has been restricted to 2.5 gpm or less to help conserve water; it also helps you save money on your monthly water bill. (Some states, like California and Colorado, have lowered the requirement even more to 1.5 gpm. Check your state’s requirements to be on the safe side.) So, whenever you buy a new shower head, the most water output you can get is 2.5 gallons per minute. You’ll find this is also the average flow rate when you start looking around for a showerhead.

2.0 GPM VS 2.5 GPM SHOWER HEADSource: canva.com

Consider your water pressure

If you buy a shower head with a 2.0 gpm flow rate, you’re conserving more water than one with 2.5 gpm. Keep in mind, if the flow rate is less, the showerhead spits out less water. That said, there are some showerheads designed to improve water pressure despite the low flow rate. High-pressure shower heads with low flow rates are the best choice but these can be on the expensive side of things. The showerhead you choose should have 2.5 gpm or lower and be able to handle your home’s water pressure.

Other conservation considerations

Some showerheads are labeled with a WaterSense Certification from the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. This is an important part of what to look for in a shower head if you’re concerned about the environment. These showerheads conserve water, they’re eco-friendly, and they also work very well despite being 2.0 gpm or less.

The Best Massage Shower Head on the Market

There are a lot of options out there if you’re looking for a massage showerhead. It's important to know that not each one is the same. How do you figure out which is the best massaging shower head on the market?

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SR SUN RISE Matte Black Luxury Shower Mixer and Handheld

The SR SUN RISE uses its advanced Air Injection technology. That means delivers great water pressure while conserving water and creating a soft rain experience while you shower.

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Fixed Shower Heads vs. Handheld Shower Heads

There are two main types of showerheads, fixed showerheads and handheld showerheads. But those aren’t your only choices. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Fixed Shower Head: A fixed shower head attaches to the wall in your shower. This is the standard shower head for most homes. They’re easy to set up and easy to use and attach to the elbow of your shower fixture.

Handheld Shower Head

Source: canva.com

  • Handheld Shower Head: Handheld shower heads attach to your fixture with a hose. There’s a base that the showerhead sits on when not in use. The hose allows you to pull it from the base so you can move it around your body as needed. They can stretch quite a bit.
  • Rain Shower Heads: These are also referred to as top-mount showerheads or ceiling showerheads. This type sits above your head to give you the experience of rain pouring on you. It attaches to a fixture that sits high above or even to the ceiling. Rain shower heads provide a luxurious experience.
Our Pick
Ripple 17 3/4" Narrow Wall Mounted Cabinet Vanity Bathroom Sink

A space-saving wall mount bathroom cabinet vanity sinks with storage space. With small narrow compact bathroom sink with overflow made of heavy-duty porcelain.



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Spray Patterns

Spray patterns are another feature to consider while shopping for a showerhead. There are several different spray patterns out there and some showerheads offer multiple options.

  • Wide/Full Body Spray: Wide spray is the most common spray pattern for a showerhead. It’s meant to cover most of your body when you stand under it and comes out in a consistent pattern.

Target Spray

Source: canva.com

  • Target Spray: A shower head with target spray pushes out water at a hard consistency. It feels like a very deep massage all across your body.
  • Massage Spray: Massage spray is a favorite. There are a few massage spray sub-patterns, including pulsating. Water comes out in a different consistency. This is to create the feeling of a light massage on your body while you’re showering.
  • Rain Shower Spray: Rainshower sprays are becoming popular. This is the typical spray pattern for rain showerheads. Since it sits over you, it can push out water to make it feel as if you’re walking in the rain.
  • Misting Spray: Misting spray is the lightest spray pattern you can find. A shower head with misting spray produces a light mist. It’s like running through a sprinkler that’s turned on low.
Madison Park Spa Waffle Shower Curtain Pieced Solid Microfiber Fabric

Update your space with the Madison Park Spa Waffle Shower Curtain with 3M Treatment. Several alternative colors pieced with a white waffle weave manipulation makes you feel like you're in the spa, while the 3M water repellent treatment keeps your curtain looking newer, longer.

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Ready to buy a new showerhead?

Now that you’re up to speed on what to look for in a shower head, it’s time to go shopping! Check out our pick for the best rain shower head on the market right now, as well as our picks for the best low-flow handheld shower head and the best massage shower head.

While we only went over the most important features of a showerhead, we hope this guide helps you choose the right one for you. And if you’re preparing for a full bathroom renovation, read our breakdown of the pros and cons of different shower wall materials.

4 Shower Wall Material Ideas

It’s very important to find something durable that’s also waterproof. Otherwise, you’ll regret it when you have to replace the walls and start all over. These are the best shower wall material ideas you need to check out.

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