19 Best Shower Heads of 2022 – Reviewed

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Video Best shower head for low water pressure

Nothing beats a good shower. It’s one of the best feelings in the world: the hot stream of water hits you just right, your muscles relax, and you eventually dry off with a nice fluffy bath towel. So, it makes sense that for a good shower, you need a good shower head. Whether it’s a handheld, ceiling, or wall-mounted style, it needs to provide good water pressure, give you a variety of settings to control where the water goes, and of course, get you clean. Sadly, there are many out there that are just spitting water—and you deserve more.

For more than a month, we’ve been researching and testing the best shower heads on the market, and after taking many, many showers, we found that the Hydroluxe 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-way 2 in 1 (available at Amazon) is our favorite. It ticks off all the right boxes, including strong water pressure, easy installation, and a variety of settings that made us feel cleaner after using it. As we learned, prices can range from $20 to nearly $200. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get a great shower experience.

Here are the best shower heads we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Hydroluxe 1433 Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-way 2 in 1
  2. Moen S6320 Velocity
  3. Briout Handheld
  4. Culligan WSH-C125
  5. AquaDance 3312
  6. Moen Attract Magnetix 26008
  7. Waterpik YAT-933E
  8. Wassa WS1202
  9. Speakman Icon S-2251-PB
  10. Speakman Hotel Anystream S-2005-HB
  11. Aquastorm by HotelSpa Showerhead Combo 1440
  12. Delta HydroRain 5-Setting
  13. Kohler Awaken G110
  14. Kohler Forté
  15. Delta H2Okinetic 5-Setting
  16. Wassa WS1201
  17. Moen Tital One-Function 6″ Diameter Spray Head Rainshower
  18. Delta Handshower 75700
  19. Oxygenics PowerMassage Combo

The Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-Way shower head is our favorite shower head.

If you want a lot of bang for your buck, the affordable Wassa High Pressure shower head gets the job done right.

For those who don’t need a hand sprayer, the Speakman S-2251 is everything you’ll need in a single shower head.

How We Tested Shower Heads

The Tester

Hi, my name is Brian MacDougall, and I recently retired after 40 years working as a technical engineer. I’m often working on various DIY projects around the house, from electrical and plumbing work to replacing shingles. My house outside of Boston has been in a constant state of renovation for decades. Testing these shower heads was really fun; every few days was a completely new shower experience.

For the previous iteration of this article, the products were tested by freelance tech writer Conner Flynn.

The Tests

After researching the most popular products on the market, we narrowed our pool of products to cover a range of types, brands, and price points. I used each shower head daily over the course of 2 to 3 days.

I evaluated each model on its features, performance, and value. How many of the extra settings are useful? How well-built is the shower head? Is the hand sprayer actually useful, or is it just a cheap add-on? When it came to the actual shower experience, I paid close attention to water pressure. While shower heads have a range of different water pressure ratings, the GPM number is a maximum value, rather than a stable value. Basically, I wanted to have enough experience with a given shower head so that I could provide my readers with a solid opinion as to whether this shower head is a good fit for their preferences or not.

What You Should Know About Buying Shower Heads

What Does GPM Mean?

GPM, or gallons per minute, is a shower head specification that refers to the water pressure that comes out of the shower head.

GPM is an acronym that refers to water pressure, which is measured in gallons per minute. As you might expect, a higher GPM value translates into more gallons of water per minute, which corresponds to a stronger water stream. Most sprayers are designed to operate at one of three possible GPM values: 1.5-1.75 GPM, 2.0 GPM, and 2.5 GPM.

Sprayers with water pressures of 2.5 GPM create the strongest water jets. Typically, a 2.5 GPM is strong enough to feel like you’re actually getting clean over the course of your shower. Those with more sensitive or delicate skin might want to look at lower-flow shower heads such as those with water pressures of 1.75 GPM and 2.0 GPM. While these water jets are gentler, it generally takes a bit longer for the water to push shampoo out of your hair or soap off of your skin.

Should I Install a Shower Head Myself?

In most cases, it is probably fine for you to buy and install it yourself. However, if you live in an older home, and you’re thinking of switching to a more efficient low-flow (i.e. a water pressure of 1.5-2.0 GPM) model, there may be a slight mismatch between the plumbing hardware installed in your shower and the product itself.

The automatic compensating valve, or the valve that mitigates extreme water temperature changes (that may result in you freezing or getting burned), is a valve that is built into the plumbing behind your shower’s wall. In most homes, the plumbing is designed to work with 2.5 GPM shower heads; for shower heads with lower water pressures, the difference between the plumbing’s water pressure expectations and the actual water pressure required to operate a low-flow shower head may result in issues with this valve that make it more likely for you to experience extreme temperature changes when someone draws on the same water line as the shower uses (e.g. when someone flushes the toilet).

If you are considering swapping to a low-flow sprayer, or if your plumbing is relatively old, it might be worth it to consult with a plumber to ensure that you have the right hardware in place to protect your skin from getting burned or frozen.

How Do You Install a Shower Head?

Installing a shower head is relatively easy, but be sure to do your due diligence if it has a water pressure rating that is very different from your current shower head.

If you do decide to go the DIY route, it’s pretty straightforward—The Home Depot has a really nice tutorial on this subject. The basic steps are:

  • Shut off the water in the shower.

  • Unscrew the existing shower head.

  • Gently scrape the threads of the shower arm (the piece between the wall and the shower head) clean, either with your fingers or with a small brush.

  • Wrap a couple layers of plumber’s tape (also known as teflon tape) around the threads of the shower head.

  • Screw the new shower head onto the shower arm.

  • Tighten the shower head with a pipe wrench, or a smaller wrench, if needed.

  • Slowly begin to operate the shower so that any leaks, if present, don’t spray water all over the place.

  • If you observe leaks, turn off the water, unscrew the shower head, add a bit more plumber’s tape, and tighten the shower head fitting as needed.

Is a Hand Sprayer Necessary?

Is a shower head with a hand sprayer right for you?

There are plenty of reasons why someone would want a hand sprayer. If you have small children, dogs, or otherwise work in a care-taking capacity, using a hand sprayer allows you total control over the water stream, and makes it much easier to wash someone (or something) other than yourself.

Even if you don’t need the added flexibility of a hand sprayer to wash kids or pets, hard-to-reach areas on your body are much more accessible with a hand sprayer than they are otherwise; having a hand sprayer cuts down on the amount of acrobatics needed to get those areas into the stream of a normal shower head.

However, if you just want a straightforward, high-pressure shower experience, it might be better for you to get a model that does not include a sprayer. Often, if a shower head includes a fixed head and a sprayer, and there can be a water pressure trade off when both are in use.

Also, sprayers can present problems after they’ve been in use for a while. If the sprayer bracket warps or weakens over time, this can result in sprayers that send water in unexpected directions or end up on the floor of your shower.

More Details To Consider

  • Do I want a filter? Some users prefer filters as they help filter out any contaminants in the water, such as sulfur, chlorine, and other chemicals. Homeowners and apartment dwellers who have hard water or rely on well water may especially want a filter to remove impurities or take away harsh smells.

  • How big is my shower? If you have a small shower, you should probably use a smaller model hat doesn’t stick out much from the wall. Otherwise, you run the risk of it taking up too much space in your shower, which can be problematic for the taller folks in your life. Furthermore, some shower heads are meant to spray out laterally into larger shower areas, rather than down at a relatively steep angle, as you would need for a smaller shower.

Other Shower Heads We Tested

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