10 Best Rain Shower Heads | March 2017
- pressurizes water to increase spray
- lifetime non-tarnish finish
- included rubber nipples are cheap
- standard 1/2" plumbing connection
- temperature display for precision
- includes glass shelf and mirror
- built-in diverter to select the head
- rain spray or rotating water pattern
- anti-scalding protection
- brushed nickel finish
- very affordable unit
- usually requires no additional hardware
- easy single lever control
- very easy installation
- seals well against tile wall
- includes rain shower, jets & hand shower
- jets are made from solid brass
- hot and cold valve control
- 225 water channels
- has quick clean system
- air injection to increase water pressure
Shower In The Rain
There is only one occasion I can recall in which I actually took a shower in the rain. I was on a camping trip with my scout troop when I was about 11, and when the skies opened up the lot of us stripped down to our birthday suits, grabbed our respective bars of soap and found little clearings in the woods where the most rain was getting through.
I can say with confidence that the experience wasn't quite as relaxing as those provided by these rain shower heads. In the wilderness, it's more about the thrill of running around the woods naked in a torrential downpour. There's also a lot of mud to content with, so even if the top three quarters of your body gets squeaky clean, you stay pretty messy from the knees down.
What the shower heads on our list here do, rather than get your blood pumping and your feet muddy, is distribute the water flow in your shower across a greater area with a slow, steady, pressurized stream. Instead of sending the whole flow through a more limited amount of openings with the express intention of maximizing water pressure, these heads place a premium on comfort in the shower over most other considerations.
Still, many of the heads on our list have adjustable elements like air intakes for increased pressure or limiters for the number of openings used in each head. They all install with tremendous ease, as well, as they utilize the water lines already in place. Some require a modicum of manipulation from the line on outward, but all of them can be installed with household tools and next to no knowledge of plumbing.
Hanging On Under Pressure
Considering how important the shower is, how much time we spend in there, and how much we rely on the experience to start our days off on the right foot, I feel like the majority of my peers are content to use whatever shower head they found hanging there when they moved into their respective houses and apartments.
It's a shame really, that we don't take more pride in our facilities. Perhaps it's rooted in how few people actually see the inside of our shower, that we prioritize a million other little status symbols around the house over things like nice shower heads.
I'd like to suggest that we start a little revolution here. Let's all agree to put status on the back burner and concentrate, instead, on a increase in self care. To that end, you must pick among these shower heads, and I say we do that with a focus on self care.
While each of the heads on this list is easy enough to install, there are some that are certainly easier than others. If ease of installation is at the top of your list of criteria, look for a rain shower head that looks the most like any old hose-and-head system you see everywhere. With one of these systems, you can literally just unscrew the hose from the incoming water line, and replace it with the new hose. These hoses are all designed with the clips for the head attached, so once the hose is in place the head hangs right on it.
The problem with these kinds of rain heads, though, it that they spray you from an angle, which, unless it's particularly windy, isn't exactly how rain works. For that experience, you want to invest in a head that hangs directly above you as you get clean. These heads usually have more solid fixtures designed to attach at the same junction the hoses do, but if the joint you have in the wall isn't particularly strong, you might need an additional support set up to hang the head.
Once you've taken the installation into account, you can select among the remaining heads on our list based on features. Some of these head systems are have a great deal of complexity, allowing you to customize your showering experience like never before. Others are utterly simple and completely nonadjustable, so it's worth it to ask yourself how much control you want to have over your water pressure, flow direction, and other variables.
Nature Brought Within
For the longest time, humans only got clean in one of two ways. They either popped into a body of water like a lake or a river, or they stood out under rains and waterfalls. At some point, the rain bathers started getting struck by lightning, so the popularity of that method waned.
Eventually, once we began to regularly tap into wells, bathing in heated tubs of water became a viable option. It wasn't until 1767, though, that the first mechanical shower cleaned a person's body. It was hand-operated, which meant that either the person showering or another person operating the hand pump probably worked up a sweat, necessitating another shower.
By 1850, improvements in indoor plumbing allowed for the first free-standing showers to operate with a continuous, autonomous flow of clean water. The French military quickly seized on what was a fast and economical method of cleaning its soldiers, and, as is the case with so much military technology, it soon gained popularity in the private sector.