The Best Showerhead Options for a Bathroom Refresh
Make sense of pressure, efficiency, and more in order to purchase the best device to transform your bathroom into a home spa.
There’s nothing quite like the sense of clean and calm you get from a great shower at the end of a long day. One of the simpler pleasures in life, a shower washes away the day, both from your body and your mind. Whether you’re researching showerheads as part of a larger bathroom renovation project or simply because you’re fed up with the drippy drizzle that comes out of your current fixture, you may need some assistance navigating the vast plentitude of available options. Read on for our recommendations, and for tips on determining what you really want and need in terms of showerhead features and functions.
- BEST OVERALL: Delta Adjustable Water-Amplifying Shower Head with H2Okinetic Technology
- BEST COMBO SHOWERHEAD: Moen Engage Handheld Shower Head with Magnetix
- BEST RAIN SHOWERHEAD: SUN RISE 12-Inch Rain Shower Head
Shopping Considerations for Choosing the Right Showerhead
Pick your pressure.
There was a time when showerheads merely sprayed—and over their lifespan, the plastic or metal nozzles were prone to blockages. Today, most are manufactured with silicone or a similar polymer far more resistant to scaling. Not only will you enjoy an uninterrupted stream, but there are also a host of mist options available to help you customize your cleanliness.
- Aerating showerheads mix air and water to produce a misty, substantial spray, yet they may cool the water by as much as 15 degrees.
- Laminar-flow showerheads offer a mighty yet less misty experience, through individual streams of water. They tend to be a bit pricier.
- Rain showerheads have a large head and a wide, low-pressure spray pattern to give you the sensation of gentle precipitation.
- Multi-setting models let you customize flow, with up to 12 shower experiences—from a trickle to a pulsing massage.
Choose your placement.
Aside from spray options, the biggest difference between showerheads is wall- or ceiling-mounted and handheld. The mounted variety is more popular for its clean-lined look and ease of use. Handheld versions attached to a hose can be a real boon if you’ve got mobility issues, or if you’ll be bathing small children or pets. If you don’t wish to choose, you can have both—either a wall-mounted main head and an optional, often smaller handheld or a shower tower with a number of wall- and ceiling-mounted heads plus a handheld.
What about water waste?
No one wants to pour money down the drain, so for both economic and environmental reasons, water efficiency is a factor well worth weighing. Since 1994, federal law has required showerhead manufacturers to limit flow rate to 2.5 gallons of water (GPM) per minute. Fortunately, even those that meet the EPA’s WaterSense guidelines by keeping flow under 2 GPM can offer satisfying showers. (Note: In California, due to stricter water use regulation, WaterSense fixtures are required by state law.)
3 Picks Showered with Praise
We combed customer and critical reviews to help you narrow your choices. Here are three shower experiences that go to the head of the class.
From an American manufacturer with a decades-long track record of excellence, this WaterSense-certified showerhead creates a wave pattern that cuts down on water consumption even while providing a satisfying, luxurious experience. Plus, for households with varying water pressure preferences, the dual settings of the Delta make it versatile enough to keep everyone happy. On the one hand, there’s a conservative high-power spray and on the other, an even more efficient setting with a slight adjustment.
2. BEST COMBO SHOWERHEAD: Moen Engage Handheld Shower Head with Magnetix
Whether you need some reach or prefer to rinse off beneath a stationary showerhead, this Moen handheld model provides the ultimate flexibility for the entire household’s needs. Select one of six shower options (from massage to downpour), and remove and replace the showerhead from its magnetic dock with ease. The Moen comes in both a high-shine chrome (pictured) and a matte brushed nickel option to suit any bathroom design.
3. BEST RAIN SHOWERHEAD: SUN RISE 12-Inch Rain Shower Head
Usher in a truly spa-like experience by making the SUN RISE Rain Shower Head the star feature of your bath. The soothing streams of water from the unit’s 112 silicone nozzles mimic the downpour of a heavy rain, while, thanks to built-in air injection technology, the total output of the showerhead never exceeds 2.5 gallons per minute.