When choosing a shower head, you should pick one that best suits your needs. Do you want a shower head that conserves water or one that complements your bathroom decor? The different shower heads in the market have multiple functions and a range of spray patterns that set them apart.
The different types of shower heads are rainfall, handheld, traditional fixed, dual, and filtered shower heads. Other shower heads include the high-pressure, low-flow, slide bar, RV, LED, navy, and shower panels. Each has unique features, advantages, and disadvantages.
This article will cover the different shower heads, what you should look out for, and how to determine the one most suitable for your bathroom.
1. Traditional/Standard Fixed Shower Head
These shower heads are attached to the arm and mounted to the wall. They are not moveable, but some can rotate vertically and horizontally. Although some standard shower heads have one spray pattern, others have a range of streams and spray patterns.
- They are easy to install—most plumbing systems are optimized for a fixed shower head.
- They are inexpensive.
- These heads are readily available.
- They come in multiple shapes, including round and square.
- Some have massage and water-saving features.
- It is not moveable.
- It doesn’t meet the needs of people who must sit while showering.
This HOPOPRO High-Pressure Fixed Shower Head (available on Amazon) has five high-flow spray modes. You can control the spray mode using the control panel on the shower head. The high-pressure shower head has a 4.1-inch panel and at least 47 self-cleaning nozzles. It also has 19 ABS nozzles that are easy to clean. You don’t need a plumber because it is easy to install.
2. Hand-held Shower Head
This shower head is attached to a hose of at least 84 inches or longer. The hose is fixed to the shower arm. When you want to use the shower head, you can pick it up and then put it back when done. You can use a handheld shower head from any spot in the bathroom, at least as far as the hose will allow you to go.
- This head is great for washing children and pets. It is also great for elderly and differently-abled people.
- You can use it to clean your bathroom walls and floor.
- It offers greater flexibility than the fixed shower head.
- Works for areas with low water pressure.
- Some have multiple stream settings, including massage.
- The latest models enhance the aesthetic appeal of the bathroom.
- They have a wide price range.
- It uses less water than fixed shower heads.
- Some low-quality hoses develop holes as they wear out.
- Lower-priced models have fewer features. For example, they do not have massage settings.
This HOPOPRO Handheld Shower Head (available on Amazon) has six high-pressure spray modes, including a water-saving mode. You should use this mode when you want to pause the water during your shower. It has a 59-inch hose with anti-leakage tape and a rubber washer. The adjustable panel has 39 self-cleaning nozzles. It also has 15 ABS nozzles that are easy to maintain. It is lightweight, durable, and rust-proof.
3. Dual Shower Head
The dual shower head is a combo of two shower heads, usually fixed and handheld shower heads. Some of these heads come in different sizes. The larger shower head releases more water at a lower pressure. The handheld shower head is smaller but releases water with greater force.
You can control the spray settings of each shower head individually, based on your preference.
Dual shower heads are interconnected with a diverter valve that controls the water flow to each shower head.
Two types of diverters are used in dual shower heads:
- Two-way diverter. This mechanism controls water flow between the two shower heads. However, the two-way diverter allows water out of only one shower head at a time.
- Three-way diverter. You can run both shower heads simultaneously if fitted with a three-way diverter. You can also choose to run one shower head if you wish.
Whichever diverter you choose will come with a bracket for the handheld shower head.
- It is stylish.
- It is easy to clean.
- You can get hoses of different lengths.
- It has a range of finish options, including chrome and brushed nickel.
- Multiple spray settings are available.
- It releases water at different angles, making it an ideal choice for a larger area.
- It is easy to install.
- It is decorative.
- You can use the handheld shower head to clean the fixed shower head.
- The two-way diverter doesn’t give the best shower experience in the way that a three-way diverter does.
The AquaDance 3-Way Pressure Dual Shower Head (available on Amazon) is a high-performance showerhead with a 6-setting spray mode (these settings include power rain, power mist, rain massage, pulsating massage, water saving, and rain mist).
The 7-inch rainfall showerhead has a wide coverage that you can control with a high-power click lever dial. It is angle adjustable and has rub-clean jets that are easy to clean. It also has a 4-inch handheld shower head with an ergonomic grip handle.
4. Shower Panels
Shower panels are custom systems that require special plumbing and installation. The shower panels are set up along the wall and fitted with misters or jets strips. These panels also include overhead shower heads, which allow for full-body coverage.
The jets have adjustable settings that regulate the water pressure and the spray designs.
- The water pressure on your entire body at the same time is soothing.
- You can take a shower faster when in a hurry.
- The modern design enhances your bathroom’s appearance.
- Installation requires a plumber’s expertise.
- It has specific plumbing requirements that are different from other more standard shower heads.
- The jets and overhead shower use a lot of water.
- It requires a large up-front investment.
- It is not suitable for small bathrooms.
- Installation can easily damage the wall.
The Ello&Allo 6 – Function Shower Panel (available on Amazon) has multiple switches that control the nozzle effects. The panel has an LED temperature display and a rainfall shower head. It has high-powered massage jets with fantastic water effects, primarily if you use two simultaneously. The handheld showerheads have 3 spray settings with different water pressure levels.
5. Rainfall/Waterfall Shower Heads
The rain shower head (also referred to as the waterfall shower head) is installed directly above your head, so the water comes down like rain when you shower. This shower head comes in various sizes and shapes. The secret is in the number of water outlets.
Larger shower heads have more holes than smaller ones. The coverage will also be broader.
The pulse mechanism in the shower head allows the water to cascade from above in continuous drops.
- The water pours through a large surface area, making it an ideal choice for soaking and relaxing.
- It adds a luxurious aesthetic to your bathroom.
- It uses more water than most other shower heads.
- It is a luxury product, so it is pricey.
- It uses little water pressure, so it may take longer to wash long hair.
- It may not be an ideal shower head for tall people if installed too low.
- Most are not moveable. However, some brands have flexible shower heads that move sideways or up and down.
The Voolan Rainfall Shower Head (available on Amazon) uses an ultra-thin and air-in technology that saves water and, at the same time, leaves you with an excellent rainfall experience. It has 144 silicone jets that are clog-resistant, maintenance-free, and easy to clean. The swivel ball connector adjusts the angle of the shower head. It works very well under low water pressure. It has a luxury appeal and can be mounted on the wall or ceiling, depending on your preference.
This video is a guide on how to choose the best rainfall shower head.
6. Slide Bar Shower Head
The slide bar shower head has a moveable mount attached to a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal bar. You can move the mount along the bar as you shower, especially if you want to avoid getting your hair wet. This shower head is practical and is sometimes installed with different shower heads, mainly the handheld shower head.
- It allows you to use both hands, especially when washing pets and children.
- It works well for people who need to sit in the shower.
- The adjustable heights allow you to move the shower head where your muscles need maximum heat penetration.
- You can fit multiple shower heads on the slide bar for a relaxing massage.
- Many shower heads on the slide bar can be unattractive.
The Egretshower Rain and Handheld Shower Combo (available on Amazon) is easy to install. You don’t even need tools, nor do you need to damage your walls. The bar has an adjustable slider fitted with a 5 ft stainless steel shower hose, Teflon tape, washers, and an installation manual.
It works with most showers, but you need a smooth wall at least 28 inches from the fixed shower arm to the mixing valve. The shower head is angle adjustable and has five spray settings.
7. Low Flow Shower Head
Low flow shower heads limit the water flow to improve water efficiency. Many shower heads in the market today have multiple spray settings that move from high pressure to low flow. However, some shower heads are specially made for low flow.
Traditional shower heads use about 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). Most modern shower heads use less water. However, the low-flow shower heads have different flow capacities, between 2.0 – 1.25 GPM.
You’ll use about 28% less water with a low-flow shower head.
- It saves water.
- It lowers your water bills.
- It only has one spray setting.
- The water flow is so low it can feel like you’re taking a shower under a garden hose.
- Washing your hair under the low water flow will take a little longer.
8. Filtered Shower Head
Scale build-up on bathroom tiles makes the bathroom look old and dirty. High chlorine concentrations in water also leave white spots on bathroom tiles, which are difficult to clean.
High chlorine and mineral concentrations also dry out the skin and hair.
Filter shower heads contain filters that help control the amount of chlorine, calcium, heavy metals, and minerals in the water.
- It filters chemicals.
- It is an excellent choice when using hard water.
- You have to keep changing the filter for optimum performance. Some manufacturers recommend changing the filters every six months, depending on the usage and water quality.
9. High-Pressure Shower Head
The high-pressure shower head has a restrictor that directs all the water through a narrow pipe, forcing the water to squeeze itself out with greater pressure. You don’t need high water pressure to use the high-pressure shower head. In fact, the high-pressure shower head is the perfect solution if you have low water pressure in your home.
- It is a great shower head for areas with low water pressure.
- It is not water-efficient.
10. Massage Shower Head
The massage shower head releases high-pressure streams, which massage the muscles as you shower.
Several shower heads in the market have multiple settings, one of which is the massage setting. The difference between this type of head and the others is that all the settings in the massage shower head have a massage effect. In contrast, the other shower heads have just one massage setting among the multiple options available.
The massage shower head is available as a fixed, dual, or handheld shower head.
Massage shower heads have unique settings that deliver high-pressure water streams to a massaging effect.
- There are multiple head options.
- The shower head has several massage settings to suit your preferences.
- It is not water efficient.
11. LED Shower Head
As the name suggests, LED shower heads have LED lights fitted around the water nozzles. When you start your shower, the LED lights come on and display either one color or a set of colors. The LED lights may come on in intervals, following a preset pattern.
Some LED shower heads change color according to the water temperature and pressure.
- It brightens a bathroom with low light.
- It is fun for children, especially those who don’t enjoy showering.
- LED shower heads are targeted more toward aesthetics than functionality.
This KAIREY LED 7 – Color Shower Head (available on Amazon) is a quiet, low-flow (1.8 GPM) handheld shower head with very bright LED lights. It has self-cleaning silicone nozzles with anti-clogging properties. This shower head fits the standard shower hose. It comes with an adjustable bracket that is easy to install.
12. RV Shower Head
RV shower heads have a narrow spray cone to aid with water conservation. The water has sufficient pressure but not enough to give you the soothing shower you would get with a high-pressure shower head. However, some brands have RV shower heads with multiple pressure settings.
These shower heads also have an inbuilt filter to combat clogging and mineral deposits. While they are intended for use in RVs, you can install this type of shower head in your home shower.
- It is water-efficient.
- It helps to lower water bills.
- The length of the hose connecting the shower head varies.
- Resists mineral clogging.
- The water pressure is low.
- The spray cone is relatively small.
The Awelife RV Shower Head (available on Amazon) is a water-saving, high-pressure shower head customized for enjoyable showers in campers, motorhomes, and travel trailers. It has an on/off switch that helps you control the water flow, which can be set as low as 0.35 GPM. The shower hose is 59 inches long. The trickle feature allows you to keep the water running at very low pressure while you are soaping up.
13. Multi-Shower Head Units
The multi-shower head units have multiple shower heads in the same bathroom. For example, one unit may have a fixed shower head, rain shower head, and handheld shower head. This gives you multiple options when taking your shower. For example, you may simultaneously use the rain shower and the massage shower head for a more relaxing experience.
- The unit gives you multiple shower head options to suit your mood.
- It is expensive to set up.
- It is ideal for large bathrooms.
- Only a professional plumber would know how to fit them into the system.
14. Outdoor Shower Head
Hence the name, the outdoor shower head is often used in outdoor shower spaces. The shower head is either mounted on a wall, fence, or freestanding shower fixture. The freestanding shower is portable and is usually connected to a hose.
The shower head is made of stainless steel or brass, which are rust-resistant materials.
- Some outdoor shower head options, such as the rainfall head, are built more for aesthetics.
- It is weather-resistant.
- It is durable.
- The shower heads have a wide price range.
- Most outdoor shower heads have one spray pattern.
15. Navy Shower Head
The navy shower head works the same way as the RV shower head. This head is particularly effective at conserving water. The navy invented this shower head to limit water wastage. This shower head has an on/off switch that controls water flow.
- The on/off switch is handy for controlling the water flow as you shower.
- It saves water.
- The water pressure is extremely low.
- It only has one spray setting.