The 10 Best Shower Heads
Keep The Pressure Up
One of the first lessons my father taught me after I'd officially become an adult was the importance of investigating water pressure when looking to rent a new apartment. It's still the first thing I do. I often blow past the leasing agent without so much as a word, go straight to the bathroom, and turn on the shower. If the pressure isn't any good, I have a number of questions that will directly affect my decision to rent.
The first among these questions is whether they are willing to replace the shower heads with something more or less pressurized, or if they'd be amenable to my adjusting my own water pressure at the intake. Usually, if you confront them with the prospect of tampering with an incoming water line, they just go ahead and replace the head for you, albeit with something cheap.
If you aren't in the middle of an apartment hunt, or if you've already found yourself in a space with a less-than-ideal shower head situation, the replacement heads on our list should offer you a number of positive solutions that will drastically increase your pleasure come shower time.
Some shower heads employ air intakes and smaller ejection sites to increase water pressure from a trickle to a firm spray. These operate similarly to the choke on an engine, as an increased air presence in the water flow will increase the sense of observed pressure. There's no combustion going on in your shower (unless you live downstream from a fracking operation), but the principal is the same.
Additionally, there are the heads with additional features, like detachable hoses or built-in radios. These operate in much the same as any other head, but with an additional piece of hardware that takes up extra space in your shower stall.
Get Caught In The Rain
Your time in the shower is precious. It's a place where brilliant ideas come to you suddenly, where you can literally and figuratively wash away the dirt of the day. There are few cures for a poor athletic performance more acute than hitting the showers, nor are there more effective ways of waking yourself up than jumping into a cold stream of water.
The shower in your home ought to have a bevy of personal touches to it. From the caddy that holds your soap and shampoo to the towels you use to dry off, every element, when coordinated, should provide you with a specific sensation. In my case, I like to start my day peacefully and alertly. That means a decent level of water pressure, a moderately warm temperature and easily accessible toiletries.
If I had to reach down to the floor of the shower for my shampoo or alter the flow of water, depending on what body part I was washing, I'd start my day on an uneven keel. You might like a little diversity in your shower experience, though. You might prefer the rain pouring down and the directional control of the shower hose.
It's important for you to evaluate preferences in the shower stall, so you can base your decision on the way you want the water to hit you. The more popular style of late is the shower head with a wider surface area, as this can most effectively recreate that rainfall feeling. The water from these heads wraps you up like a blanket and is ideal for the comfort shower.
The downside to the slow, cozy rainfall is most apparent if you suffer from any level of OCD, as the softer spray might not leave you feeling as clean. If you're more of a get-up-and-go type, those simpler (and less expensive) heads will pepper you with a violent stream of water as though you were a dog in front of a hydrant on a hot day.
From Perfectly Natural To Unnaturally Wasteful
Before there were shower heads (or showers for that matter( there were waterfalls. These were a great way for humans to get clean where access to clean water made bathing more of a challenge. While they didn't technically have showers, ancient Egyptians had no shortage of slaves, and these folks were often employed in pouring water over their masters in a kind of manual showering ritual.
In ancient Greece, complex systems of plumbing made large showering facilities possible, but the baths and bathhouses of the day proved far more popular. That trend fed into the bathhouse trends of the Roman Empire, and it wouldn't be until the late eighteenth century that a Londoner by the name of William Feetham would invent a mechanical shower that operated by hand pump.
These mechanically-pumped showers caught on quickly, as they used less water, and by the time indoor plumbing became a widespread luxury after 1850, more homes connected freestanding showers to their incoming water lines. The modern water heater made the shower an even more heavenly place than it had been up to this point, and today, the United States alone burns through nearly six trillion gallons of fresh water in our showers every year.