The Best Shower Faucets of 2022

Keep your shower a private place of relaxation by choosing the best shower faucet set to suit your bathroom and lifestyle.

By Timothy Dale | Updated May 10, 2022 12:43 PM

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Best Shower Faucet

Photo: amazon.com

A shower faucet is an integral part of any bathroom. The one you choose should suit your tastes and complement the way you like to shower. Some people enjoy showering once or twice a day, but only wash their hair twice a week, so they can choose a simpler configuration. Other people use the shower to treat their aching muscles and would benefit from a tower panel shower faucet system with multiple body sprayers.

To find shower faucet sets with these features and more, take a look at the products below, which represent top shower faucet choices available in each category.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Blue Ocean 52” Aluminum SPA392M Shower Panel Tower
  2. RUNNER-UP: SR SUN RISE SRSH-F5043 Luxury Rain Mixer Shower Combo
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Sumerain Shower Faucet Brushed Nickel
  4. BEST SHOWER HEAD ONLY: Delta Faucet Single-Spray Rain Shower Head
  5. BEST BODY SPRAYER: ELLO&ALLO Stainless Steel Shower Panel Tower System
  6. BEST HANDHELD SHOWER: GABRYLLY Shower System, Wall Mounted Faucet Set
  7. BEST SHOWER SYSTEM: HIMK Shower System, Wall Mounted Faucet Set
Best Shower Faucet

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Shower Faucets

Shower faucet types are separated primarily by their available controls, including a single-tap mixer, traditional two-tap mixer, and panel.

Single-Tap Mixer 

Single-tap mixer shower faucets have become the most commonly installed style in homes and hotels. This style features a single lever that can balance the input of hot and cold water as well as the flow rate. However, an alternate style of single-tap mixer uses separate levers for flow rate control and for temperature mixing. With this second style, the faucet set draws both hot and cold water into the mixer and brings levels up or down to a predetermined temperature before the water flows out of the head.

Traditional Two-Tap Mixer 

Traditional two-tap mixers were the only option for shower faucet mixers for many years. This style of shower faucet uses two separate levers for hot and cold water. With this style, the water does not mix until hot and cold water enter the pipe to the shower head.

Panel

Panel shower faucets are a relatively new option available for home renovations and they typically cost more than either the two-tap mixer or single-tap mixer types. This style features a vertical panel with plumbing connections that often run to multiple body sprayers, an overhead shower faucet, a handheld shower faucet, and even a bathtub faucet. However, if a home has low water pressure, a demanding water fixture like the panel shower faucet might not work well.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Shower Faucet Set

Before settling on a specific style or selection, take a look at these important product considerations to ensure that you end up with a shower faucet that will best suit your bathroom’s current faucets and fixtures as well as your lifestyle.

Flow Rate 

Flow rate is the volume of water that comes out of the faucet and it is commonly measured in gallons per minute, or gpm. Having a low flow rate in the shower can be frustrating when the spray doesn’t adequately reach you or you have to deal with an inconsistent stream while trying to get clean.

To avoid reducing household water pressure significantly, most shower faucets have a minimum flow rate of about 1 gpm, but it’s usually worth it to invest in a shower faucet set with a higher flow rate, between 1.5 and 2.5 gpm. Some shower faucets can have flow rates that exceed 2.5 gpm, but this heavier flow is not necessary for most people and can quickly increase a water bill.

Shower Space

Before buying any shower faucet set, a buyer should measure the size of the bathroom and shower, including tub dimensions for bathrooms with a combined shower and bath.

Taking these measurements helps to properly plan the required faceplate space on the shower walls, the length of pipe required for the desired layout, and the style of shower faucet set that will fit in the given space. Some smaller showers cannot accommodate large panel shower faucets, and might cause difficulties when installing multiple sprayers or shower heads, such as with a rain and handheld showerhead combination.

Number of Handles

Decide how complex you want your shower faucet system to be, or just stick with what you know if you aren’t comfortable learning a new configuration.

  • Single-tap mixer shower faucets make the flow rate and temperature adjustable with just one handle. However, this style also might include a dedicated flow rate handle while having a second handle just for temperature control.
  • Traditional two-tap mixer shower faucets come with two handles, one for hot and one for cold. This style is the most basic of the three and is common in older homes. If a shower already uses this style, it might be more difficult to switch to a single-handle system if users have to patch the hole left by removing the second handle.
  • Panel shower faucets use multiple handles and switches to adequately direct the flow of water to the desired sprayer, tub faucet, or shower heads. While they offer a highly customizable shower system, the complexity of the controls might be too much for someone used to a simpler shower faucet style.

Lever Placement 

The lever, or shower handle, can be installed in the center of a shower, off to one side, or more than one handle or lever can go in a variety of configurations. This all depends on the size of the shower, the placement of pipes behind the wall, and the amount of work required to relocate piping.

Most shower faucet kits allow for a shower lever to be installed wherever the purchaser wants. With panel-style shower faucets the user can adjust the position of the panel itself, but all levers, handles, sprayers, faucets, and shower heads come pre-installed on the front of the panel. So if you have a specific place in mind for your shower faucet lever or levers, go with a single-tap mixer or traditional two-tap mixer for optimal control over lever placement.

Material 

A shower faucet set’s material can be a big factor in determining or matching the overall design of a bathroom. Although the durability of various metals can vary somewhat, the functional differences between metals used for shower faucet sets are not great enough to factor heavily into what you ultimately buy.

Most shower faucet sets are available in a basic stainless steel or chrome finish, which are timeless additions to any bathroom decor. For a more stylish material that can make a bathroom stand out, go with a nickel, brass, or bronze shower faucet. Or, for minimal cleaning, choose a matte black finish that hides dirt and fingerprints.

After selecting the base material, buyers can choose between a polished or brushed finish. Polished is a beautiful look, but fingerprints, water spots, and other common bathroom grime build up quickly, so for a lower-maintenance bathroom, consider a brushed finish.

Ease of Installation

It is best to avoid starting the process of replacing or installing a shower faucet until answering one important question: Are you doing the work or are you hiring someone to do it? The answer to this can be a big factor in determining what shower faucet set to choose. For example, DIYers who know some basic plumbing and have decided to replace a traditional two-tap mixer might have a more limited product selection. When hiring a pro, the current shower configuration would be less of a limiting factor.

Beyond the skill of the installer and the current shower configuration, some shower faucet sets are much easier or more difficult to install. Those with little plumbing experience or who lack confidence in their abilities should look for a shower faucet set that comes with a user guide, possibly an instructional video, and a helpline to call if stuck. Products that require a plumber or plumbing technician to install normally indicate this requirement on the product details or packaging, so that is a consideration for anyone who does not want to spend the money hiring a plumber.

Our Top Picks

The best shower faucet sets in their respective categories are recommended based on overall efficacy, availability, and popularity.

Best Overall

Best Shower Faucet BlueOcean
Photo: amazon.com

The Blue Ocean 52-Inch SPA392M Shower Panel Tower installs easily on wall-mounted brackets with a full panel that measures 52 by 10 by 3.5 inches and is best for flat shower walls. This is because of the eight body massage nozzles users can adjust to hit the perfect spot at just the right pressure. The unit is made of a high-quality aluminum alloy and has two specific controllers, one to swap between functions and one for water temperature.

Owners can set a desired temperature that will display on a screen, which is powered by AA batteries. The shower faucet set includes a rainfall shower head, handheld shower head, body massage nozzles, and an integrated tub spout, making this an ideal choice for a combined shower and bath. The panel shower faucet set provides a flow of about 1.5 gpm with the handheld shower head and 2.5 gpm with the rainfall shower head, and comes with standard installation accessories.

Product Specs

  • Type: Panel
  • GPM: 1.5 to 2.5
  • Size: 52 to 10 to 3.5 inches
  • Handles: 2
  • Material: Aluminum alloy

Pros

  • Suitable for flat shower walls and combined showers and baths
  • 8 body massage nozzles
  • Rainfall and handheld showerheads
  • Digital screen
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Batteries not included

Get the Blue Ocean panel tower on Amazon.

Runner-Up

Best Shower Faucet SUNRISE
Photo: amazon.com

If a full-panel shower faucet takes up too much space, consider the SR SUN RISE SRSH-F5043 Luxury Rain Mixer Shower Combo Set that includes a 1.5 gpm handheld shower wand, 2.5 gpm rainfall shower head, and two dedicated controls for temperature and flow rate. The set also comes with a solid metal shower arm, stainless steel shower hose, and a shower wand holder to keep the shower set organized and efficient.

The SR SUN RISE single-tap mixer on this shower faucet set has a pressure-balancing system for flow control so that sudden changes in hot or cold water flow (such as from flushing of a nearby toilet) don’t leave you scalded or frozen in the shower. This shower faucet set comes in standard chrome, or for a higher price, in a brass, nickel, or matte black finish to give a bathroom a unique look.

Product Specs

  • Type: Single-tap mixer
  • GPM: 1.5 to 2.5
  • Size: 5 by 13 by 19 inches
  • Handles: 2
  • Material: Chrome

Pros

  • Handheld and rainfall showerhead
  • Metal shower arm
  • Stainless steel shower hose
  • Shower wand holder
  • Pressure-balancing system

Cons

  • Some users report manufacturing defects
  • May be tough to install

Get the SR SUN RISE shower combo at Amazon, Sears, and Walmart.

Best Bang For The Buck

Best Shower Faucet Sumerain
Photo: amazon.com

The affordable Sumerain Shower Faucet Set is a single-tap mixer shower faucet set that includes everything required for a straightforward installation. The set includes a shower head, shower arm, handle, and rough-in valve. The brushed nickel and matte black finishes on the shower faucet are intended to resist corrosion and tarnishing, with Sumerain boasting that the shower faucet can last up to 600,000 uses.

The combined flow and temperature control lever is simple to understand, making it easier to focus on the shower instead of fighting with multiple control settings. For homes with hard water, Sumerain’s Touch Clean showers have soft spray holes that lend themselves to quick and easy wiping away of calcium and limescale build-up. With a flow rate of 1.4 gpm and a fingerprint-resistant finish, this shower faucet is an excellent choice for any budget.

Product Specs

  • Type: Single-tap mixer
  • GPM: 1.4
  • Size: 9 by 6 by 8 inches
  • Handles: 1
  • Material: Brushed nickel

Pros

  • Shower arm and head
  • Handle and rough-in valve
  • Comes in multiple fingerprint-resistant finishes
  • Lasts for over 600,000 uses
  • Corrosion- and tarnish-resistant

Cons

  • Emits less water than comparable options
  • May not be suitable for large showers

Get the Sumerian faucet on Amazon.

Best Shower Head Only

Best Shower Faucet Delta
Photo: amazon.com

Anyone who doesn’t want to replace their entire shower system can install a new rainfall shower head like the Delta Faucet Single-Spray Rain Shower head in less than 20 minutes with no special tools required. The square shower head can fit an existing shower set with standard 1/2-inch pipe fittings, but isn’t intended to be ceiling mounted. The manufacturer recommends a 16-inch shower arm so that the 8-inch shower head has space for unobstructed water flow.

The Touch Clean spray holes on this Delta Faucet rain shower head make it easy to wipe away calcium and limescale, so this shower head is a great option for locations with hard water. The single-spray setting on this Delta faucet is designed to release a 1.5 gpm relaxing, gentle fall of water that mimics a soft summer rain, adding to peace and relaxation in the shower.

Product Specs

  • Type: Shower head only
  • GPM: 1.5
  • Size: 2.5 by 8 by 2.5 inches
  • Handles: 0
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Rainfall showerhead
  • Suitable for hard water
  • Touch Clean spray holes
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Should be ceiling mounted
  • 16-inch shower arm recommended

Get the Delta faucet on Amazon and at Sears.

Best Body Sprayer

Best Shower Faucet ELLO&ALLO
Photo: amazon.com

Overhead shower heads and even handheld shower heads can help you relax after a long day, and the ELLO&ALLO Steel Shower Panel Tower System fits the bill with four adjustable body massage nozzles. It will be hard to believe how you went without this hydrotherapeutic wonder for so long after that first relaxing use. The panel shower faucet set comes in a stainless steel and brushed nickel finish, or a stainless steel with black plating finish for a sleek modern look.

The ELLO&ALLO tower system measures 59 by 18 by 8.5 inches and has a built-in temperature display and LED lighting that shines down from the rainfall shower head. The panel shower faucet set can be used in six modes, including rainfall, waterfall, handheld sprayer, bathtub faucet, and two horizontal massage spray settings. If the water pressure to the shower can accommodate at least 4.0 gpm, then the set can run more than one mode at the same time for an ideal shower experience.

Product Specs

  • Type: Panel
  • GPM: 4.0
  • Size: 59 by 18 by 8.5 inches
  • Handles: 3
  • Material: Stainless steel or brushed nickel

Pros

  • 4 adjustable body massage nozzles
  • Built-in LED temperature display
  • 6 modes
  • Handheld showerhead and bathtub faucet

Cons

  • Pricey
  • May be tough to install

Get the ELLO&ALLO tower system on Amazon.

Best Handheld Shower

Best Shower Faucet GABRYLLY
Photo: amazon.com

The single-tap mixer of the GABRYLLY Wall Mounted Shower Faucet System has a rainfall shower head and handheld shower head that users control with a single lever for temperature and flow, and a dial to switch between shower faucet settings. The handheld shower head adjusts for optimal pressure, including rainshower, full spray massage, and fast massage settings.

The GABRYLLY faucet set has a sleek matte black finish that doesn’t show dirt and grime buildup. However, it’s also available in brushed gold, brushed nickel, bronze, and basic chrome to match the shower faucet system to most types of bathroom decor. The 1.8 gpm flow rate of the handheld shower head and 2.5 gpm flow rate of the rainfall shower head ensures that showerers won’t suffer from low water pressure.

Product Specs

  • Type: Single-tap mixer
  • GPM: 1.8 to 2.5
  • Size: 18 by 13 by 5 inches
  • Handles: 1
  • Material: Brushed nickel, bronze, and chrome

Pros

  • Rainfall and handheld shower heads
  • Handheld shower head has multiple settings
  • Comes in multiple sizes and finishes

Cons

  • Some users report poor construction

Get the GABRYLLY faucet set on Amazon and at Sears.

Best Shower System

The Best Shower Faucet Option: HIMK Shower System, Wall Mounted Faucet Set
Photo: amazon.com

For people who want to change the existing shower faucet system in their combined tub and shower, the HIMK Wall Mounted Shower System offers replacements (or new installations) for a rainfall shower head, handheld shower wand, and even the bathtub faucet so that the shower can have a uniform look. The single-tap mixer shower faucet system comes in a matte black finish, but also can be found in polished or standard chrome, gold, and nickel finishes.

If muscle aches or fatigue are a regular part of your day, the three pressure settings on the handheld shower wand, including rainfall, circular massage, and full pressure massage, are ideal for relaxation. With flow rates like 1.8 gpm for the handheld shower wand, 2.5 gpm for the rainfall showerhead, and an impressive 5 gpm for the tub faucet, showerers can get the most out of this system without worrying about water pressure.

Product Specs

  • Type: Single-tap mixer
  • GPM: 1.8 to 5
  • Size: 10 inches
  • Handles: 1
  • Material: Chrome, nickel, bronze, and gold

Pros

  • Rainfall showerhead, handheld shower wand, and bathtub faucet
  • Designed for the tub and shower
  • 3 pressure settings on the wand
  • Comes in multiple sizes and finishes

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the HIMK faucet set on Amazon.

Our Verdict

For an effective, luxurious shower faucet, we recommend the Blue Ocean panel tower. This unique, high-tech faucet comes with a rainfall and handheld shower head, 8 body massage nozzles, and a digital screen. Alternatively, for a simple, budget-friendly pick, the single-tap mixer Sumerain shower faucet comes with a shower head and arm, a handle, and a rough-in valve, each of which is fingerprint-, corrosion-, and tarnish-resistant.

How We Chose the Best Shower Faucets 

We researched the most sought-after shower faucets in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their type, flow rate, size, number of handles, materials and finishes, and other special features included by top brands.

While searching for the best shower faucets available, the most popular types among users were the panel and single-tap mixers with water pressures of 1.4 to 5 GPM. Most come with rain shower heads, handheld shower heads, or standard shower heads. These picks are available in small and large sizes to suit your shower space, with 1 to 3 handles for adjusting nozzles, handheld showerheads, and standard showerheads.

These shower faucets also come in various materials and finishes including matte black, gold, nickel, chrome, stainless steel, and bronze. Some of these models also have pressure-balancing systems, a shower hose, digital LED screens, holders and handles, and rough-in valves.

FAQs 

For some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers, take a look below before shopping for your new shower faucet set.

Q: How long can I expect my shower faucet to last?

The durability of your shower faucet can depend on a lot of factors such as brand, frequency of use, frequency of cleaning and maintenance, and hardness of water. However, a shower faucet should be able to last between 15 and 20 years before needing replacement.

Q: What is hard water buildup? 

Hard water occurs with the presence of an excess of heavy minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. These minerals can cause long-term damage to a water system, but signs of hard water are easily recognizable, including a chalky film on dishes, mineral deposits, and scale buildup on water fixtures like faucets and shower heads. Solve hard water issues with a water softener.

Q: Can I install a shower faucet by myself, or do I need a plumber? 

This depends heavily on your plumbing experience, the current configuration and quality of your plumbing system, and your desired post-installation shower configuration. Assuming that you have a basic knowledge of plumbing, a relatively new plumbing system, and you want to replace your existing system with a similar style, then you should have everything you need to do the job yourself.

However, if you aren’t quite sure what you are doing or you want to make big changes to your shower configuration, it would be a good idea to hire a plumber. Additionally, most shower faucets will indicate whether they are simple to install or if they require a plumber for installation.