The Insider Pick:
Shower time should be relaxing, and your choice of shower head plays a huge role in making your shower more soothing. Some people love a rain-style shower, while others want a strong, pulsing jet to massage sore muscles. That's why the Moen S6320 Two-Function Rain Shower Head is the best one you can buy — It can switch between both types of shower styles, depending on your mood.
The rush of prepping for work or school can almost make you feel relieved to jump in a car and sit in rush hour traffic, listening to two DJs tell bad jokes and play weird sound effects. But before fighting through the commute, it's time for rushing around, looking for the right outfit, figuring out which overnight emails you were expected to answer before 4 a.m., and wrestling with which flavor packet to plug into the coffee maker. There is one time when you can actually relax - in the shower.
Sure, you might have to shorten your shower after you hit the snooze alarm three times, but the shower stall is still your sanctuary where no one can bother you, even if it's only for a few minutes.
To ensure that your shower is as relaxing as it can be, you will need to make some choices about the kind of shower head you want to use. You might be surprised at how many shower head options are available.
Why you may need a new shower head
Modern shower heads work differently than older shower heads, meaning there are quite a few advantages to purchasing a new shower head.
Modern design: Here, we're talking about the interior of the shower head, not the way it looks on the outside. An older shower head's interior often was a cavity that filled with water, forcing the water through the tiny nozzles, meaning the individual nozzles had very little water pressure. A newer shower head has individual channels that feel the nozzles, increasing the ability to deliver water pressure.
Removing clogs: An older shower head always seems to have several nozzles that are clogged. Modern shower heads use flexible polymers to create the nozzles, which resist clogging. Additionally, the added water pressure in a new shower head helps to clear the nozzles. However, if you want to preserve your current shower head, Plumbing Supply says you can prolong its life by cleaning it regularly.
Water conservation: If you'd like to save water, Heavy discusses how modern low flow shower heads are available that are far more efficient than older shower heads. Some shower heads offer water flow of two gallons per minute or less, which is below government standards, according to The Sweethome.
Features of shower heads
Picking the right shower head is a bit more complex than you might think, thanks to the variety of features now available, as Groom and Style discusses. With all of the different options and features in shower heads, you can pick exactly the type of shower you'd like to have, including rain-style, pulsing jets, or steady spray.
Full body: Full body shower installations include nozzles throughout vertical length of the shower stall, rather than just one nozzle at the top of the stall. Although these are really nice designs for a shower, they're a bit beyond the scope of this list because of the special installation and high expense required.
Handheld: Some shower heads fit inside a clamp near the upper pipe, but then disconnect so they can be held in your hand at the end of a flexible hose, allowing you to direct the water spray for more efficient cleaning, as Kitchen Bath Guides explains.
High pressure: Some shower heads include high-pressure jets. By turning a ring, these shower heads often provide different spray patterns as well as massage settings.
Rainfall: Some showers offer big shower heads that release a lot of water, almost like rainfall. They usually don't offer the water pressure or pulsing options of other shower head designs.
Specialty: Newer shower heads have some interesting specialty features. Some include a built-in wireless speaker inside the shower head, allowing you to sync your smartphone to the speaker to play music or audio. Some include LED lighting that makes it fun to shower.
Finally, Consumer Reports says you must pay attention to the type of installation required for the shower head you pick. Some shower heads will simply screw onto the water pipe that sticks out of the bathroom wall, which most people can handle themselves. Other shower heads require you to tear up drywall to install some components. Understand that you may need to hire a plumber to complete the job, so think about this added cost when purchasing a shower head.
Now on to our picks for the best shower heads you can buy for any type of shower. You can also check out our guides to the best bath mats and the best shower curtains to give your bathroom a full makeover.
Although the Moen Two-Function Rain Shower Head is our top pick, for various reasons laid out in the slides below, you should also consider the WaterPoint 8-inch Rain Shower Head, the Speakman Signature High Pressure Shower Head, the High Sierra Low Flow Shower Head, the ShowerMaxx Detachable Handheld Shower Head, the Delta Single Function double curved shower rod Head, the DreamSpa Color Changing LED Shower Head, and the Chromo H2OVibe Wireless Speaker Rain Shower Head.
View As: One Page Slides