The 10 Best Shower Heads
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Your shower is one of the few places in this world which you can find refuge from the stresses of life. These heads will help you relax in a steamy, luxurious cocoon or provide an invigorating blast of water to get you ready for the busy day ahead. They are available in many styles, from modern to classic, to suit most decors and tastes, and at prices to meet any budget. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
February 23, 2021:
At this time, we have determined that no changes need to be made to our current recommendations. We already have a good variety of styles and price points here, and all have proven themselves to reliable in both function and how well the finish holds up. Whether you want something basic, like the Culligan WSH-C125, or modern, such as the AKDY AZ-6021, you will find something here to fit your needs. However, if none of these are exactly what you are looking for, you can check out our lists for rain showerheads or dual showerheads to see if something there strikes your fancy.
May 31, 2019:
We've included several models on this list that can limit how much water you waste — but let's face it, you're here for some serious pressure. With that in mind, several sport removable restrictors, allowing you to be as environmentally-conscious as you feel like at the time.
The SparkPod Luxury is one of our favorites, as it's sleek and luxurious, but at a relatively low price. If you're one who truly enjoys time spent in the shower, it's hard to beat.
Speaking of which, the Kohler Moxie does everything in its power to keep you under its spray all day long, as it has a built-in Bluetooth speaker. While this is certainly a good idea, the speaker isn't quite powerful enough to be worthwhile, so you're probably better off getting a dedicated head and just buying a separate shower radio. If you prefer to consolidate and save space, though, the Moxie is a decent enough choice.
Axor Starck Heaven This luxurious unit can create three different zones, each with their own spray levels — all you need to do is hook up three separate water lines. This is reserved for those for whom showering is serious business. axor-design.com
Kallista Pinna Paletta Made of solid brass, the Pinna Paletta is one head that you won't have to replace very often. It limits output to 1.75 GPM, but you won't notice the missing water, as it puts out a powerful, steady flow. kallista.com
Toto Modern Aero If you want to conserve water without sacrificing luxury, this model adds a bit of air to each water droplet, so you won't even notice that it's not pushing out as much pressure as more wasteful options. totousa.com
Keep The Pressure Up
Additionally, there are the heads with additional features, like detachable hoses or built-in radios.
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.
You might like a little diversity in your shower experience, though.
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.
These were a great way for humans to get clean where access to clean water made bathing more of a challenge.
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.