What to Look For When Buying a Shower Head

What to Look For When Buying a Shower Head

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Showering should be a relaxing activity, but the wrong shower head can make bathing a real pain. Knowing what to look for when buying a shower head is half the battle. Spray options, specifications, and the types of shower head are all important factors to consider before buying.

Let’s start with the six types of shower heads.

Types of Shower Heads

If you’re in the market for a new shower head, you should know all your options. Generally, there are six types of shower heads you should consider. The types of shower heads include single-spray, handheld, ceiling mount, sliding bar, rain system, body spray/shower panels.

Types of Shower Heads

Single-Spray Shower Head

The single-spray shower head is one of the most common (and affordable) options on the market. Its design features a single-spray pattern with optimal pressure. If you’re looking for a quality shower head on a budget, single-spray shower heads are a great choice.

Delta’s single-spray shower head is our top pick. It comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty and is easy to install. It offers a powerful, steady spray with full-body and pause spray options.

Handheld Shower Head

Handheld Shower Head

The handheld shower head is great for small showers and people who don’t like to move around. Showering is as simple as removing the shower head and moving it around your body. Since it’s detachable, the handheld shower head is great for washing pets and kids too.

Delta’s handheld shower head makes showering convenient and simple. This product features a limited lifetime warranty and is easy to clean. Its top features include massaging jets and seven spray options.

Ceiling Mount Shower Head

A ceiling mount shower head is one of the more expensive options and is a great choice for a luxury showering experience. As the name implies, this shower head is fixed to the ceiling. It provides steady water flow. Unfortunately, the tricky installation means you’re best off hiring a plumber.

StarBath’s ceiling mount shower system covers a foot of ceiling and creates a rainfall-like shower experience. Concealed installation and a premium black coating make it perfect for even the most expensive bathrooms.

Sliding Bar Shower Head

A sliding bar shower head is ideal for families with kids. The sliding bar makes the shower head easy to adjust. All you have to do is move it up and down to change the height. Thanks to its simple design, the sliding bar shower head is ideal for disabled people as well.

Moen’s sliding bar shower head features a 69-inch-long hose and 30-inch sliding bar. It’s available in brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and chrome finishes. It comes backed by a lifetime limited warranty and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Rain System Shower Head

The rain system shower head used to be an expensive luxury. More recently, it’s become much more affordable to the average homeowner. A rain system shower head offers a steady flow of water from directly above you. The wide shower head spreads water pressure over a large diameter, making it easy to rinse off without moving.

This stainless steel shower head is available in eight- and 10-inch squares and with or without an extension arm. Tool-free installation and a limited lifetime warranty make this shower head perfect for the modern homeowner.

Body Spray/Shower Panel Shower Head

The body spray/shower panel shower head is, by far, the most expensive type of shower head. Typically, it’s only installed during a complete bathroom renovation. This shower system is fitted along the walls for a truly luxurious experience.

Body Spray Shower Head

If you’re in the market for a luxury showering experience, shower spa massage jets are a great choice. They’re made of high-quality brass with a chrome finish. Not only that, but the jets adjustable and you can rotate each one to fit your needs.

Shower Head Specifications

Now that we’ve covered the six main types of shower heads, it’s time to take a closer look at shower head specifications to consider before finalizing your purchase. Here’s what to look for when buying a shower head.

Fixed or Detachable Shower Head

Do you want a shower head that’s fixed to the wall or one you can move around your body? If you don’t need to move the shower head often, choosing a fixed option can save you time and money if you ever need to replace or repair it.

Detachable shower heads come with an added length of hose that makes it easy to rinse off without moving too much. Unfortunately, they can be more frustrating to fix and install.

Water Usage

How to Save Energy and Water

Water usage is arguably the most important factor to take into account when buying a shower head. According to the Department of Energy, no shower head can use more than 2.5 GPM, or gallons per minute. If you want to save energy and water, shower heads with lower flow rates will do the trick!

Curious about how different shower heads could impact your energy costs? Check out this calculator from the Department of Energy.

Spray Pattern

The spray pattern is one important factors most people forget about when buying a shower head. Pulse, jet, rain, and mist are just a few spray patterns to take into consideration. Rain system shower heads have a lighter, vertical, and even water distribution. Body spray shower heads can be turned on all at once or work independently.

Some shower heads have seven or more spray patterns. Others only have a single setting. Make sure to pick a shower head that best fits your needs!

Ease of Use

It should come as no surprise that some shower heads are easier to use than others. As we previously mentioned, slide bar shower heads are convenient for families with kids and adults of differing heights. They’re especially helpful if you find yourself temporarily or permanently handicapped.

A detachable shower head with a long hose is great if you need to bathe the dog or squirmy children. If the hose is too long or tough to move, it can quickly become a hindrance to your showering experience.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Shower Head

In addition to the types of shower heads and specifications of each shower head, there are a few other factors to consider. Without taking these factors into account, you might find yourself buying and returning multiple shower heads.

Bathroom Size

If you have a small-to-medium-sized bathroom, handheld, single-spray, and rain system shower heads are great choices due to the limited space. For larger bathrooms and showers, body spray, ceiling mount, and sliding bar shower heads are great options to take into consideration.

Other Factors to Consider When Buying a Shower Head

Ease of Installation

The ease of installation ultimately determines whether installing a new shower head is something you can do yourself. In most cases, you can install a new shower head in next to no time at all.

More complicated options, like the body spray and ceiling mount shower heads, tend to require professional help. Check out some of our suggestions (above) to get an idea of which shower heads you can and can’t install on your own.


Shower Head Budget

If you’re buying a new shower head on a tight budget, a simpler option is right for you. A single-spray shower head, for example, is much more affordable than a ceiling mount shower head. Bathroom renovations and people with larger budgets should take more expensive and luxurious options, like body spray shower heads, into consideration.

Conclusion: Buying a Shower Head

If you’ve made it this far, you probably have a good idea of what to look for when buying a shower head. Simply knowing the types of shower heads puts you off to a great start on upgrading your showering experience. Make sure to take GPM, spray settings, and bathroom size into consideration, too!

Any other suggestions on what to look for when buying a shower head? Leave a comment down below or contact us on Facebook!