You may be here because you want a better showering experience. Well, I can’t blame you. Showering is a vital part of our everyday lives and upgrading the experience totally makes sense!
If you do not know yet, different shower heads provide different experiences and they are worth looking into. From spray patterns, water pressure, and aesthetics, the possibilities are endless!
The components of shower systems are:
- Shower head: shower head + valve that controls water flow and temperature
- Shower faucets and tub: three-piece systems that include a shower head, valve, and bath faucet
- Luxurious add-ons: handheld shower head, steam shower, or wall jets
Types of shower heads
Single spray shower head
As the name implies, this is the most basic you can go. With that, this type also is the cheapest. Obviously, it has only one spray pattern with no adjustability. That’s as generic as it can get. This is the usual type you see in public shower facilities.
- One spray pattern only
- Usually contractor-grade
- No adjustability
Adjustable shower head
This type remains to be on the basic side, but with adjustability as to its multiple spray patterns. While some models have three options, there are models in the market that can go up to twelve. This is especially great if different people use the same shower so each household member can adjust based on his/her preference. Since this typically just includes the shower head, it’s pretty straightforward to install. Price largely depends on the number of spray patterns offered by the unit.
- Multiple spray patterns
- Affordable options
- Easily clogged by hard water
Rain shower head
As the name implies, this shower head mimics rain. It sits directly above the user’s head so it can pour and flow straight down like a rainstorm. Personally, this just elevates the experience on so many levels. It relieves stress and is just overall relaxing. Plus, it will make your shower room look elegant. However, rain shower heads only have a single spray pattern and a relative low-pressure flow. It’s also quite tricky to install since they are to be attached into the ceiling. Lastly, this is also on the more pricey side.
- Soothing and relaxing shower experience
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Usually provides a single spray pattern
- Low pressure
- Difficult to install
High-pressure shower heads
If you want to waste no time and just need all those shampoo and soap off you immediately, you need to opt for a high-pressure shower head. It will rinse you off quickly and will feel like some massage on your skin. A downside is that more water will be used with every shower and may increase your water bills.
- Rinses off quickly
- Massage sensation
- High pressure
- Increased water use
- Higher water bill
Eco-performance shower head
An eco shower head is every eco-friendly’s dream. It’s designed to utilize less water by providing low pressure. It uses 1.5 GPM only compared to other shower heads usually using 2.5 GPM. For every eight minutes of use, eight gallons of water is saved. In a year, that’s a whooping 3,000 gallons!
- Low water bills
- Not that satisfying due to low pressure
- Longer time to rinse off
A more complex option is a shower panel. This takes significant wall space but extends overhead. It houses several spray nozzles placed in different positions: an overhead spray, nozzles at different body heights, and handheld ones. The whole unit comes at a price, but still cheaper than installing all these nozzles and heads separately. A downside is that installing a shower panel requires several drilled holes in your shower so it’s difficult to switch to simpler shower heads should you prefer to.
- Multiple spray nozzles
- Difficult to install
- Requires permanent drilled holes
Filtered shower heads
To prevent water deposit on your shower tiles and doors, you may opt for a filtered shower head. Specifically, a water softener system would be helpful but it does come with some drawbacks. The filters need regular replacement and this may be quite a hassle, but for its benefits, definitely worth it!
- Decreases hard water spots
- Great for hair and skin
- Regular filter replacement
Dual shower heads
If you cannot decide on a shower head, why not opt for a dual option? Typically, this comes with a rain shower head on top and an attached handheld one. This offers a great versatility as it also offers multiple spray patterns to select from. However, this type of shower head takes up a lot of space so it’s not ideal for small shower stalls.
- Two different shower head types
- Includes a handheld head
- Multiple spray patterns
- Consumes a lot of space
RV shower heads
As you know, RVs conserve water. One way to do this is to install an RV shower head with high-pressure spray but with a cone that’s narrower. This type also resists clogging from hard water. A great news is that this does not solely work in RVs, but you may also opt to use this in your own home.
- Conserves water
- High pressure
- Narrower spray cone
LED shower heads
To pump up your shower experience, a LED shower head can give that to you. It houses color-changing LED lights for that ambience and feel. LED lights can be installed in different shower head types making it versatile. While this is an extra cost, it’s worth it if you enjoy the ambience this gives!
- Extra ambience
- Multiple spray types
- Changes color with temperature
- Expensive or extra cost
Handheld shower head
Handheld shower heads allow targeted rinsing. The pressure can be also adjusted as the massage feel elevates as the head gets closer to the skin. Since it’s handheld, it’s ideal for bathing children and pets.
- Easy to rinse off
- Ideal for bathing pets and children
- Adjustable pressure via manipulating distance to skin
- Prone to leaks and problems
Now that you know what the different types of shower heads are, let’s now move to some buyer’s guidelines to narrow down your options even further:
Determine your budget and work from there. Of course, the more options and the more advanced a unit is, the more it will cost you.
If your bathroom is small or medium in size, a handheld, rain system, or a single spray shower head is ideal. But if you have more room, a ceiling mount, body spray, or shower panel are great options.
Ease of installation
The simpler a shower head is, the easier it is to install. Some more complex shower heads require some permanent drills and professionals to help you.
If you have more than 3 to 4 people using the same bathroom, a handheld shower head is a great option as it’s adjustable based on the size of the individual.
What is the best shower head type?
There is no one best shower head as different people have varying preferences. But generally, a handheld or a dual shower head is great for a lot of people. You may want to check a shower head table to identify which matches your needs.
Are shower heads one size fits all?
At least in the US and Canada, shower heads are manufactured with a universal thread size of ½ inch NPT. This is mostly typical, except for RV or camper shower heads.
Elevating your shower experience is truly a worthy investment. After all, after a long day, a great shower session can wipe away the day’s stress. You can use this article to guide you in looking for the shower head that’s perfect for you!