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Best Shower Head 2023 - Helpful Habitat

Best Shower Head 2023

There’s literally nothing better than a steaming hot shower to start your day. It eases you into your morning, relaxing tense muscles and clears your head. The last thing you want is some old shower head dribbling tepid water onto your cranium. That’s no way to live. The ideal shower head is never going to leave you scrambling to wash off your suds.

That’s why whether you’re constructing your perfect bathroom, or need a big-time change to your morning routine the best shower head should be the first thing on your mind. So what are we looking for? Water flow? Water pressure? Multiple Spray settings? You bet. We’re here to dissect who makes the best shower head of 2019, and how you can get one. So don’t wait, it’s time to up your shower experience, let’s see which shower heads are changing the game.

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Moen S6320EP Velocity Two-Function Rain 8”

Best Overall

This is a simple and elegant dual shower head that also has an 8” spray head. It’s able to give you great pressure without a crazy-high flow rate (only 1.75 GPM). Green friendly

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Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered

Best on a Budget

This is a low priced option that doesn’t skimp on benefits. It’s got great spray flexibility and even includes a water filter, which can be awesome if your water isn’t stellar already.

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Moen 26009 Engage 2-in-1 Combo

Best Dual Head

This is a beast. It fully utilizes its 2.5 GPM to give you a variety of spray settings and pressure options. We also loved how easy it is to install.

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Delta Faucet 7-Spray Touch Clean Hand Held

Best Handheld Head

This is an extremely powerful handheld model that comes with a non-kink hose. It guarantees that you’ll have a great shower no matter what you’re using it for.

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Best Overall – Moen S6320EP Velocity Two-Function Rain 8-Inch Shower Head

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Overview

Whether it’s the best bathroom faucet or the best shower head, Moen has been producing bathroom essentials for over 60 years. Since 1956, their water pressure, spray settings, and water saving devices all give you the best bang for your buck. It’s their shower experience that really sings.

The Moen S6320EP has a great flow rate (1.75) GPM, and looks absolutely dazzling thanks to a highly reflective chrome finish. Don’t ever worry about shower coverage, this beast has an extremely generous 8” diameter shower head with 100 individual nozzles. Those nozzles can be utilized differently thanks to a pair of great spray modes. Calming rain rinse uses all 100, while self-pressured spray concentrates the flow through a select 30 nozzles.

If you’re worried about being green, this is a great buy. It is EPA certified low-flow shower head. It’s classified as an “eco performance” model with “WaterSense” that can really make economical use of your water. That doesn’t matter if it can’t give you the shower you want, so does it? Check out our pros and cons list.


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Pros

  • One of the best and largest diameter shower heads we looked at. No sacrificing your water pressure thanks to multiple spray pattern settings.
  • Low flow water usage not only is green tech but can also help with the water bill.
  • Multi-functional uses. It’s super easy to toggle between spray modes with the flip of a switch.
  • Limited lifetime warranty for leaks, and mechanical issues
  • It looks great. A well finished chrome exterior will match many existing bathroom plans and styles.

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Cons

  • The relatively high price tag
  • A removable flow-restricting washer which some users have reported restricts their performance. Removing the washer is an easy fix.

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Conclusion

This was the best shower head we looked at. We loved that it could get a lot done with a relatively low GPM. This is a quality showerhead that has enough flexibility to accommodate most users’ preferences. If your home already has low water pressure, you might consider removing the flow protector.

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Best on a Budget – Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower

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Overview

Not all of us have an unlimited budget to spend on our dream kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get a shower head that skimps. This Culligan shower head is a great option. It’s got a relatively good score on Amazon, with 4.1 stars from 3,449 reviews, but you don’t have to take their word for it. Why?

It’s got 5 different spray patterns and pressure settings, catering to a wide range of taste and needs. It’s also incorporated a water filter to provide basic filtration services against nasty water baddies like sulfur, chlorine, and scale. If you want to keep your shower looking as fresh as you do, this is a great economical option. It doesn’t have the lifetime warranty of some of these other products, but the five-year warranty is enough to give you some peace of mind.


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Pros

  • Great price point while still getting a great made shower head
  • Five spray settings mean that you’re bound to find one right for you
  • Water filter is a great asset for your showers, no more hard water
  • Metal threaded connector can help prevent double threading
  • Reasonable warranty

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Cons

  • The water filter must be changed every 10,000 gallons or six months for best effectiveness
  • Some users with especially hard water have reported poor filtering results.

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Conclusion

Usually, when you look at our “Best on a Budget” category you’re looking for a unit with bare-bones functionality. That’s not the case with this shower head at all. Apart from the multiple spray settings and good water pressure, you’re also getting that filter which can turn a good shower into a great one. Combine all that with a five-year warranty and this is the kind of shower filter that can make any budget feel luxurious. This is definitely a solid option if you’re not looking to break the bank for your dream bathroom.

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Best Dual Head – Moen 26009 Engage 2-in-1 Combo Shower Head

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Overview

Moen clocks another great shower head, this time with their dual purpose 26009 combo model. This is a beast of a shower head. You’re getting 2.5 GPM flow rate right off the bat — literally the highest you can legally go. Beyond that, it’s got a single-mount, dual-head system made in a very smart looking chrome coating. It’s got a handheld dock with a fixed head that works via a magnetic disk which makes docking way easier than other traditional designs.

You’re also getting the quality of the Moen name. It’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Not only that, the fixed head has a full coverage rain shower mode while the handle has six different spraying functions. In order, those are downpour, rinse, massage, relaxing massage, soothing massage, and wide coverage. If you can’t find a good shower setting for yourself after that list, then it’s not Moen’s fault — you should just stick to baths. The best part is you can use the fixed head and handle separately, OR you can combine them for a truly decadent shower.


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Pros

  • The “Magnetix” linking system is great for easy, instant docking of the handheld head.
  • No more slipping around.
  • Three-heads-in-one system. That means handheld, fixed, or both. This is controlled via a simple to use control lever.
  • 60” flexible, kink-free hose makes for extended reach compared to most hand-held heads.
  • Easy to install.

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Cons

  • Parts of the exterior are plastic finished but made to look like metal. Surprisingly flimsy design.
  • 2.5 GPM is the legal upper limit for flow rate, so this doesn’t do your water bill any favors.

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Conclusion

This dual head isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re looking for a heavy flowing, luxurious shower then this is the head for you. It captures the best of both worlds (fixed and handheld), and the use of the magnetic linking makes sure that you’re not scrambling around to fit the handheld part back in the dock. It’s got a variety of settings, and while the plastic finish may be a little disconcerting, it’s easily one of the best shower experiences you’ll have.

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Best Handheld Head – Delta Faucet 7-Spray Touch Clean Hand Held Shower Head

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Overview

For some users, a handheld model is the best option. Whether it’s because their movements are restricted or they’re using it to wash a pet, the handheld model offers a lot of flexibility. This delta shower head is great. It comes in chrome or white, and with a 2.5 GPM flow rate, you know you’re getting an intense experience.

A big draw for handheld shower heads are the variety of spray options, and this one definitely does not disappoint. It’s got seven distinct settings. Full body spray, fast massage spray, full spray with massage, drenching spray, soft drench with full spray, and soft rain spray. Boy, that’ s a mouthful. On top of that, it’s got a “Touch-Clean” spray holes system that allows for easy cleaning with a rag — especially useful if this is for pet use. It has a nice 15-year limited warranty, and rates at a nice 4.3 on Amazon based on a whopping 3,835 reviews.


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Pros

  • Those options though! Seven different settings that orient toward pressure-loving shower-takers.
  • Low price tag, easy do-it-yourself installation
  • The cleaning system is easy to use and bypases using harmful, expensive cleaning chemicals.

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Cons

  • 2.5 GPM means that this is no slouch when it comes to water use. Not especially green.
  • Plastic coupler can be prone to stipping or double-threading during installation
  • If you’re worried about that, you may need to professionally install it.

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Conclusion

This is a great option for anyone who needs a hand held shower head in their life. Sure, it has a couple of head-scratching features (the plastic coupler was a little bizarre to us). At the same time, it’s got an amazing flow, and we liked how high-pressure we could get the nozzle, which makes a huge difference — especially if you’re a dog or cat owner and need this for some intense washing situations. Don’t worry though, there are enough gentle settings to keep your pooch happy too.

It’s not the most expensive or the largest handheld shower head, but that’s not what you want anyway. We liked the smaller sleek design that didn’t sacrifice power at all. This is the little shower head that could. It’s sure to keep your showering activities flowing, no matter what you’re using it for.

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Buying Guide

How do we judge the best shower guide? There are a couple of different big ideas to keep in your head when figuring out the ideal shower experience. The main idea that ties these components together? How much water you’re getting at once and the delivery method for said water. Too long to read? Here are the different sections broken down for even the most impatient shower head shopper.

  • Head type
  • Water flow/pressure (GPM)
  • Spray pattern
  • Construction/aesthetics

 

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Head Type – Handheld or fixed? Why not both?

The first and most obvious criteria for a shower head is the function you’ll be using it for. Do you want a handheld shower head so that you can wash areas specifically? Do you want a fixed shower head that’s directly above you? Are there any that do both?

Shower heads come in three distinct models: handheld, fixed, or combo. While that might seem self-explanatory, Here’s what you need to know to make that crucial decision.


Fixed Shower Heads

A fixed shower head is what you think of in a “traditional” shower experience. A single head threads directly from the shower’s water pipe. While these shower heads may pivot or move slightly, they’re basically in a fixed position. There’s a reason that these have become the go-to for most shower head buyers.

They’re definitely the least expensive option. On top of that, they’re usually easy to install by forgoing hard-to-attach flexible hoses or other moveable parts. They are reliable and long-lasting. As long as you have relatively clean water (filtered) fixed shower heads can last an almost indefinite amount of time, especially the more quality varieties.

These types of shower heads also have the largest range of head material and shape. It’s easier to find metal, chrome-plated, or plastic heads in these styles since the demand for this type is so high. One thing to note: This obviously has the least amount of flexibility to redirect water flow (hence the name “fixed”).


Handheld Shower Heads

The jack-of-all-trades of the shower head world. These heads are great for people who need the flexibility to redirect water anywhere in the shower, thanks to their detachable nature and the fact that they’re attached to the water pipe via a long, flexible hose. Usually, these heads can be clipped into a position above your head with a fixed holder.

Who the handheld head is good for: People with mobility issues, the elderly, folks with small children, or pets might all benefit from a handheld shower head. This is because it’s easy to reach around and get water right where you need it, rather than having to position your (or your pet’s) body under a fixed head.

Because of the attachment to the hose, and because of the nature of the head, there may be limited shapes and material options. You won’t be able to find a large, heavy, metal handheld shower head, and honestly, that’s probably a good thing. Let’s minimize shower accidents, folks.


Combo Shower Heads

Are you one of those flowery folks who see the best in everything? The combo shower head is for you. While these come in a few different options, typically these include a main “fixed” shower head and a handheld mode that’s activated by a valve or button. You’re getting the best of both worlds — the flexibility of a handheld head and the consistency of a fixed head. These are great, but they’re definitely the most expensive of any of the three.

Something to think about: These definitely require some major chops for installation, as you’re installing essentially two separate heads in the same shower. If you’re averse to that kind of home project, it may be worth hiring a professional to do that work for you. Professionals can also answer any questions that you might have. They can offer experience about GPM, what might look best, and what to look for in a problem shower head.

The professional installation route is also nice because it takes the ball out of your hands. Often dealing with plumbing is more stress than anyone actually wants. Don’t get stuck with a bunch of leaky pipes or water damage because you did it yourself. These things sometimes need a knowing hand.


Pros and Cons of a Professional Installation 

Pro

  • No responsibility for clean up
  • Less chance of water damage
  • Able to spot problems with the shower head right away
  • Often will give reduced rates for further maintenance.
  • Help with hand held shower heads which can be trickier.

Con

  • More expensive
  • Can often be done by you (for fixed shower heads) for free
  • Finding the right person can be difficult (or a crapshoot)

 

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Waterflow and Pressure

Perhaps the thing that makes the biggest difference when taking a shower is the flow and pressure that you get. It’s what makes taking a shower go from a lame, drizzly experience to a luxurious treat to start or end your day.

Waterflow can be important for another big reason: the environment. If you care about leaving a green imprint, you might want to find a shower head that’s going to give you good coverage, but still keep your GPM at a good level. What’s GPM? Glad you asked.

GPM stands for Gallons Per Minute. 

GPM is the standard measurement for the flow rate of anything that uses water. That can mean looking at this number when finding the best shower head, the best toilet, or even the best bathroom faucet.

Usually, shower heads range from 1 to 2.5 GPM (the federal limit). This doesn’t necessarily have a direct bearing on the water pressure. That measurement is PSI, though often high pressure means that more water will be used. Low pressure means less water, though often a showerhead has a big impact on this.

We really like the fact that most shower heads have moved to become more ecologically friendly. They also don’t skimp on the pressure, thanks to the increase in design and technology. You might be worried that you won’t get the pressure that you need in a new head, but we’re betting that you’ll be pleasantly surprised with most of the options we present here. It’s not always about quantity, it’s about quality. Words to live – and shower – by.

 

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Spray Pattern

Whether you’re looking for the gentle pattern of rainfall or a high-pressure blast of hot water, there are a ton of options when it comes to spray pattern and pressure. A lot of this is based on preference, but if this is important to you, it’s important to look at the setup of your spray nozzle. These have a ton of options, from the aforementioned rain, to massage, to jet, to a more “pure” water feature.

Some types of heads have adjustable settings, which allow multiple options. While these are most expensive, they offer a wider range of settings for users to experiment with and find their perfect shower. If multiple people will use your shower, this might be something to consider. The extra amount you pay now will pay off with individualized shower experiences.

There isn’t a general rule for how many different spray patterns you should have, but if this is an important concern for you, we have to say at least three. Many newer shower heads now come with at least five settings, and at least one of the models we looked at had seven. That sort of options can make showering fun and also help you if you’re going to be washing a pet a lot at home. The spray pattern is often a large part of any handheld shower head, so if you plan on going that route, this is definitely something to consider.

 

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Construction and Aesthetics

The type of showerhead you go with can really depend on context. Many homeowners want to make sure that their shower fits together aesthetically with the other appliances, flooring, and furniture that they’ve already picked out. If you’re someone building a bathroom from scratch, you’ll want to think carefully about your potential shower head’s material and finish.

If you’ve got a more classic bathroom (think Victorian style) you’ll probably want something made out of brass or stainless steel. There are many great muted tones of brass that can really give your bathroom that old-world feel it deserves. Conversely, a stainless steel model is great if you value utility as you’ll basically never have to worry about it breaking down from corrosion or rust. Our advice is to figure out the rest of your bathroom ahead of time so you know what to look for. It can be harder to figure out the rest of a bathroom after you’re stuck with a head that all-of-a-sudden feels out of place in a bathroom.

Common materials used in shower heads: High-quality materials include brass (high quality and durable), stainless steel (great for long-time use because of its resistance to corrosion and stain) and porcelain (always a classic.) Sure, plastic is cheaper, but it can break easily and doesn’t always age very well — especially if your head has any moving parts. Save yourself some headaches and go with quality from the start. That’s our advice, and its been borne out time and time again in our experience.

 

FAQs

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Question: Do rain shower heads have good pressure?

Answer: Typically rain shower heads don’t have the best pressure. These types of shower heads (a variant of the fixed model) are designed to give you the gentle sense of rain falling on your head and shoulders. This type of shower head might be best for the elderly or someone who doesn’t want to be rocked by a jet of hot water. If you’re looking for a more intense experience, we recommend you stay away.

Question: How can I increase water pressure in the shower?

Answer: There are a couple of steps you can take if you feel like your water pressure isn’t what it should be. First, it’s always a good idea to clean your shower head. Often a buildup from hard water or other minerals can cause shower heads to slow to a drip. Cleaning them with a mild chemical mix or other cleaning solutions can often clear this up and make it behave like new. If you’ve tried this and it still doesn’t seem to be working, you may have to buy a new shower head. If that’s the case, then you’re in the right spot. Read above for the best shower head for you.

Question: Will a smaller shower head increase the pressure of my shower?

Answer: Yes, often a smaller shower head does increase the pressure of your shower. It’s just basic design. Older shower heads were often designed for higher flow-rates, which means that large amounts of water were supposed to pass through them with ease. While those shower heads have a good amount of GPM, it didn’t always translate to PSI. Newer shower head models have the same amount (or less) of water but flowing through a smaller hole. That increases the pressure exponentially.

Question: Do all shower heads have flow restrictors?

Answer: As of 2018, the National Energy Act does require that shower head manufacturers install flow restrictors to their heads. The upper limit for a shower head GPM flow rate is 2.5 gallons per minute. This is designed to reduce water waste. It doesn’t mean that you’re getting a less intense shower though, many new designs compensate for these flow restrictors with inventive design and improved PSI.

Question: Will bigger pipes increase water pressure?

Answer: In a word, no. Smaller pipes actually increase water pressure. That’s because a smaller space will have the same amount of water flowing through it. As previously covered, this won’t actually help your shower experience anyway. Flow restrictors limit the amount of water that can pass through a shower head. That’s just science.

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Conclusion

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The industry, in general, is moving toward more efficient heads and the flexibility of multiple spray patterns. Sure, this is partly due to environmental concerns, but it’s also a function of better design and efficiency. If you’re stuck using an old, clogged-up shower head, then you’re not only doing yourself a disservice, you’re doing a disservice to the environment too.

It’s not often when a decadent shower can match up and be green, but these shower heads prove that you can have your cake and eat it too. Whether you’re looking for an awesome design to complete your perfect shower, or you’re just looking to get the best value on a budget, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these options. We heartily recommend any shower head on this list. Give any a try and change your shower, change your life.

The Breakdown

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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


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