Anyone who has ever stayed in a shabby motel knows that not all showerheads are created equal. And in this day and age where taking care of yourself is a priority and we spend more time at home than ever before, upgrading your showerhead is a no-brainer. First of all, you need to decide which stream suits you best. Are you a fan of rain showers or do you prefer intense water pressure aimed directly at aching back muscles? The next step is to find a quality head that is easy to install, doesn’t leak, looks good and, of course, is pleasant to shower with.
To help you choose – trust us, there are thousands – we’ve spent hours researching the best options on the market and picked 11 showerheads that we’ve tested, retested and tried three times over the past few months. The good news (aside from being very, very clean) is that all these IRL souls have given four winners:
The Kohler Forte showerhead undoubtedly offers the best shower experience with its three different settings. Get back! Get back! Many shower heads have numerous settings that are difficult to decipher during testing. Three strong sprays, but each is incredibly different and has the same success. There’s a full-coverage downpour, a pulsating massage, and a jet silk that’s essentially a super-dense mist. The Forte does all this at just 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM), making it a great option for anyone looking to save water.
If water conservation is your top priority, consider the High Sierra Classic Plus showerhead. By limiting water consumption to just 1.5 GPM – a full gallon less than regulatory requirements (more information below) – this compact head is highly sustainable. If you move to the Upper Sierra, you’ll save 600 gallons of water per month and use much less energy because you won’t have to use natural gas to heat all that unused water. Due to its small size and relatively few parts, the product’s carbon footprint is also smaller than most. And despite its ecological character, it always manages to deliver a jet of water and a very pleasant shower.
We all like to treat ourselves from time to time. That’s why Moen Attract double shower head and handheld shower head are included in our list. The chrome version costs $79, while the brushed nickel and bronze versions cost $89 and $99 respectively. Along the way, you’ll feel like you’re taking a shower in a 5-star hotel. With the ultra-large hand and face shower (with no less than six positions!) you get three shower heads in one: Use the overhead shower, the handheld shower or both at the same time to spray yourself with water from head to toe.
On the other hand, there’s no shame in playing with a showerhead on a dime either. The Wassa high-pressure shower head, which costs just under $20, is ultra-compact (just 3 inches wide) and delivers an intense high-pressure spray with 45 silicone nozzles, making it the perfect combination of a rain shower and massager.
Kohler showerhead K-22169-G-CP Forte
The main reason the Kohler Forte tops the list is that it offers a plunge shower. A powerful rain mist consisting of large, full water droplets – the basic setting of the large-area shower head is very comprehensive and ideal for everyday use. The intense pressure makes washing hair with shampoo and conditioner fast, and it is very useful for rinsing washed hair much shorter and further away from the head.
The water is also soft thanks to the full drops produced by Katalyst’s exclusive technology that blows 2 litres of air per minute into the shower head. While the streams seemed to converge competitors, we could literally feel every drop given by this excellent Kohler.
Don’t worry about it. The other Forte settings are just as good. Pulsating massage can be targeted to specific areas, making it ideal for post-workout showers, where a pulsing jet of water can act on aching muscles and other pains. And then there’s the silk spray setting. In general, this type of assembly is inefficient at best and creates a vapor mist that doesn’t wash anything away. The Forte fogger, on the other hand, produces a dense, ultra-light beam, but more than enough to do all the laundry.
Forte manages to achieve all this at a low flow rate. At just 1.75 GPM (2.5 is the federal government’s prescribed upper limit for GPM; more on GPM below), the showerhead is not only WaterSense-certified, but also approved by the California Energy Commission, debunking the notion that low-water showerheads equate to low pressure.
Forte’s elegant design is available in six finishes – the French gold tone is currently very much in vogue in the world of bathroom design, but costs an extra $37. The 5.5-inch wide showerhead isn’t the biggest on our list, but it’s not the smallest either. While it may not be the focal point of your bathroom (check out the giant square Glacier Bay showerhead if you’re looking for the wow factor), the Forte, with its angular shape and wide head, fits perfectly into a glamorous bathroom without frills.
This shower head was also incredibly easy to install; within two minutes of opening the package it was installed and working. It came pre-assembled with a washer (with many others we had to apply it by hand), so all we had to do was screw the head onto the shower bracket, although the instructions suggested tightening it with a wrench.
And it’s easy to clean: Just wipe the head with the silicone tips and all mineral residue is removed. Of course, the only thing we could complain about with this product was the limited warranty, which is only valid for one year – the lowest warranty of any showerhead we’ve tested, which is generally guaranteed for 5 to 10 years (or in some cases, lifetime).
All in all, the Forte is the right choice if you are looking for a showerhead that meets all the criteria and delivers a constant and powerful water jet for a relatively high price.
High Sierra Classic plus shower head
The importance of water conservation in the U.S. and beyond is clear, and if that’s your primary concern, let me introduce you to the High Sierra Classic Plus. The Classic Plus is the most economical valve on our list. At 1.5 GPM, it is both WaterSense certified and approved by the California Energy Commission. As mentioned earlier, high-powered showerheads are certainly stigmatized and some people think that these jets only produce inefficient water droplets. The Classic Plus, however, disproves this idea by producing a high-pressure water jet that washes away soap and dirt effortlessly.
In several tests, what we perhaps liked best about this cup was the purity of the product. One function and all metal – trust me, this is not standard in the showerhead industry! – The Classic Plus is small but powerful. The solid 1-inch by 1-inch by 3-inch shower head weighs only about half a pound, but can produce a wide, powerful spray that effortlessly rinses products from even the longest hair. Other ecological details you should know: The compact dimensions of the Classic Plus, which is made in the USA, go hand in hand with a smaller environmental footprint, as less material and energy is used in the manufacturing process.
The patented design of the spray head is also worth mentioning, as it’s unlike any other shower head we’ve tested. The Classic Plus sprays water through a single orifice – rather than through a pressure regulator and dozens of tiny silicone nozzles, as is usually the case – making it virtually invisible. This design also makes installation easy; just screw it onto the shower rail and voila, it’s attached. The same goes for cleaning, as you only need to run your finger over the cavity.
We also appreciated the customizability of the product. Classic Plus is available in four finishes (chrome, nickel, bronze with oil and brass polished) and is offered in three flow options (1.5, 1.8 and 2 GPM). If the height of the shower support is more than 6.5 feet, the brand recommends choosing a support with 1.8 or 2 GPM, which distributes large drops of water to ensure optimal rinsing. And if you want to save even more water, you can opt for the cleaning dispenser, which features a shut-off valve that reduces the amount of water going to the dispenser while you’re soaping or shaving (or chasing your baby back to the shower).
Perfect for small showers and outdoor showers, the High Sierra Classic Plus delivers a surprisingly powerful and even beam for its small size. If you are looking for something with a lot of bells and whistles, then this is not the right showerhead for you. But if you are satisfied with a simple product that dries continuously and still retains water, the Classic Plus is the best option for you.
Moen puts on the double shower head and hand shower
Take a look at Moen Attraction and you will see that the showerhead will be at home in a fantastic hotel. Tasteful and luxurious at the same time, the oversized Attract rain shower (dimensions 6.75 x 3.75 inches) tops our list not only because of its stunning aesthetics, but also because it delivers on its promises. Not surprisingly, the Home Depot manager brought back nearly 1,900 of them.
One is a double shower, which offers a powerful jet through the rain shower and six effective jets through the hand shower. During testing, we felt spoiled by the three-in-one option, whether you just let it rain from the overhead shower, choose one of the intense hand showers or combine the two for full water coverage. Showerheads always provide a soothing spa-like experience.
In addition to the excellent print coverage and consistent water pressure, we were impressed with the Attract ride’s intuitive design. Specifically, it involves Magnetix technology, where the PDA sits in a magnetic dock that can be easily detached and clicked into place. Unlike other dual showerheads on the market, which require you to operate the showerhead with your back in the narrow, slippery bar next to the main head, Attract lands smoothly on a magnetic bar located just below the main head. This positioning is ingenious, because when the two heads are combined, they can deliver a huge jet of water in one dive. To find out more: For example, we loved the user-friendly pause button that allows the water flow to be stopped in the middle of the shower. For example, when shaving the legs or using foam, and the fact that the water temperature remained constant after releasing the pause button.
Talk about saving water: The main selling point of the attraction is that, while it is absolutely luxurious, it also has a powerful shower head that produces 1.75 GPM (which is the lower limit of the apples we tested). Certified by WaterSense and approved by the California Energy Commission, the system proves that low flow does not necessarily mean poor quality.
Like most double shower heads, the Attract ride has many details that extend our installation time. In total, the installation took about 10 minutes from opening the box to turning on the shower. As for cleaning, the silicone nozzles are easy to wipe down and the chrome version we tested is really stain resistant.
The Moen Attract meets all the criteria for luxury: it is beautiful to look at, has an intelligent design, offers an incredible shower experience and is environmentally friendly. The only reason it didn’t become our main shower head is that, well, not everyone has the space or the need for a double shower head.
Wassa high pressure shower head
This is the Wassa high-pressure showerhead: When we found out it cost $19 and had over 11,000 positive reviews and a 4.8 star rating on Amazon, we were pretty much sold out. Personal testing of the sprinkler has proven what many critics have said, which is that this sprinkler delivers an incredibly powerful rain spray given its compact size, 3 inch wide nozzle and affordable price. Just a reminder, folks: It costs less than $20.
If water pressure is your top priority, then you should seriously consider this showerhead. Described by many Amazon critics as heavenly and magical – some have even called it a power wash phenomenon for the soul – we were eager to find out for ourselves what it was all about. And, not surprisingly, Vassa survived the deception. We drew water from 45 silicon beams and noticed that the flow was intense and direct, and we could literally feel each of those 45 beams falling on us. While some critics of Amazon have complained that the pressure is too great to do the dishes, for example, we disagree; the pressure is high, yes, but not so high that it makes you uncomfortable. And if you’re worried about the flow cover, don’t worry, because the ball joint allows you to easily maneuver the head to direct the flow at the desired angle.
However, there are some drawbacks, such as the 2.5 GPM boost wire. Yes, it is WaterSense certified, but it has a higher GPM for the heads we tested and is not suitable for Californians (more on this below). There is also the fact that this shower head has only one function and there are no luxury settings to choose from. However, the simplicity of the product’s design is reflected in its installation and cleaning, both of which were quick and easy.
While the Wassa doesn’t have some of the luxurious features you’ll find in more expensive competitors – namely multiple spray modes – you won’t find a better showerhead at this price point. That’s enough for any bathroom.
After scouring the showerhead market for best sellers, best products, trends and critical options, we’ve assembled a test group of 11 showerheads that (on paper) meet the standards buyers are most interested in, including design, manufacturing, function, aesthetics and price.
We then tested each unit with at least three showers – including a quick rinse, a long luxurious soak and the final test: Four children washing after a long summer day. Our testing process was intensive and lasted several months. In addition to these general shower experiences, we also enjoyed :
How does it work?
- Pressure and water coverage : This category was clearly important. Here we were looking for an intense and constant flow rate that would be maintained at different settings and when switching from the overhead shower to the handheld shower.
- Flow rate range : We noted the flow range of each head and whether or not they could deliver torrential rain.
- Spray parameters : While some of the heads we tested only had one function, others had up to nine spray modes. We analyzed whether the parameters were decipherable and efficient, and noted how easily one could switch from one parameter to another.
- Leakage: We investigated whether the shower head was leaking at the wall connection, at the shower head itself when it was turned off, and at the shower head when it was switched from one setting to another.
- Quality of construction : We evaluated showerheads based on signs of damage over time, quality of construction, quality of materials and the tactile feel of the product in your hand. In particular, we also noted what each shower was made of (e.g. metal, chrome trim, plastic, etc.).
- Easy to clean: After each shower, we paid attention to how easy it was to clean the showerhead nozzles (and hand showers, if applicable) and the surrounding equipment.
- Easy Installation : We noted how long it took to unpack each shower head, how many pieces were in each box, and whether they were clearly labeled.
- Easy installation: We assessed whether the instructions were clear and accurate, whether any special tools were needed, and how long it took to install the showerhead and additional parts (if needed) from start to finish.
- First Impression: We saw first impressions of each showerhead based on its design, size, shape and appeal on a standard Subway clad shower wall. We also noted which type of bathroom headboard best suits them, from commercial use to luxury master suites.
- Market Comparison : We’ve compared the huge selection of showerheads on the market and noted the pros and cons of each model.
- Color Options : We investigated whether the head could have another colour than the standard chrome.
- We have checked the number of years of warranty for each product.
Water flow conductor
- Since 1992, the government has required all showerheads to have a lower flow rate of 2.5 BPM to save water across the country. A consumer benefit is that it also saves you money on your electric bill (yippee!). Some regions have gone even further in their rules. California, for example, has established a mandatory standard of 1.8 GPM. As a result, manufacturers are responding by developing high-performance showerheads that meet or exceed government standards. Any product with an MPM of 2.5 or less receives the EPA WaterSense label.
Based on the categories and testing procedures listed above, we assigned a score to the 11 showerheads in each subcategory, then combined these numbers to obtain the maximum score in each category, and then added these numbers together to obtain the final overall score. We have broken down the result as follows:
- A maximum of 50 points has been allocated for this position: Consistency of water pressure (10 points), intensity of water pressure (10 points), spray thickness and width (10 points), leakage (10 points), number of settings (5 points) and ease of changing settings (5 points).
- The building received a maximum of 45 points: ease of installation (15 points), quality (10 points), ease of cleaning (10 points), aesthetics (5 points), compliance or non-compliance with current water use guidelines (5 points).
- There was a maximum of 5 points for the guarantee: five years and more (5 points), two to three years (2 points), less than two years (0 points).
In addition to the overall score, we also took into account the price of each showerhead.
Glacier Bay – Contemporary 8-inch shower with single spray and fixed rain head (from $29.98; homedepot.com)
Glacier Bay 1 jet 8-inch single wall shower head contemporary
When it comes to aesthetics, this state-of-the-art showerhead from Glacier Bay sets the standard. Extra wide – it’s 25 cm wide! – The square head offers 81 jets that provide a wide rain shower. Available in five finishes, including trendy matte black and gold, the showerhead can be installed in less than two minutes and has a flow rate of 1.8 GPM, earning it WaterSense certification. In the end, the head was not on our top list because the water pressure was not overwhelming. Although rain shower heads are generally quite sensitive, this nozzle seemed extremely soft after several tests. Summary: This showerhead is much more elegant than its price suggests.
RainSpa 3-in-1 combination shower head ($24.99, originally $29.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
RainSpa 3-in-1 combination showerhead
Bed Bath and Beyond
Like the Moen Attract, this double showerhead has a 15cm wide fixed rain head alongside a powerful handheld shower head. But the difference is the price. With the RainSpa head, you get a huge jet of water from shoulder to shoulder, six spray modes (including a pause option) and easy-to-clean nozzles for less than $25. If you are a member of Bed Bath & Beyond+, you can get it for $19.99. While this is an excellent choice for those looking for a double shower at a good price, this product has some drawbacks. The myriad of parts combined with the seemingly cheaper material of chrome resulted in a less enjoyable experience than the top-of-the-line Moen model. So, although they work in the same way, we think it is better to spend more on Moen because the construction is of better quality and will probably last longer.
Delta In2ition 2 in 1 5 jets 6 inch double wall mounted shower head and handheld shower head (from $79.98; homedepot.com)
Delta In2ition 2 in 1 5 jet system 6 Fixed and handheld shower with double wall
The Delta In2ition has one of the smartest designs of any sprinkler we’ve tested: It has a built-in handset that magnetically attaches and slides over the overhead shower head. The two units can be used together or separately and together deliver a large stream of extra wide droplets. We found that the water pressure in the handheld was quite low/mild, making it a good option for children. We also had a few leaks when we moved the water from the shower head to the hand shower. Still, it scored points for its innovative design and compactness, not to mention its 1.75 GPM and WaterSense certification.
American Standard Spectra+ Touch 4-function showerhead (from $24.99; amazon.com)
American Standard Spectrum + showerhead with 4 functions
If you are looking for a good old fashioned fixed shower head, this is a good option. With a width of over 7 inches, the Spectra+ provides a penetrating beam over the entire body. The difference with most heads is that you can switch from one setting to another by simply tapping somewhere on the outer ring of the round head – no lever or pulley is needed. We also love four beautiful finishes. Ultimately, the downside for us was the Spectra+’s lower water pressure and plastic composition, which makes it look and feel a little cheaper than some of the other devices in our testing fleet.
AquaStar Elite high-pressure shower with 6 deluxe manual settings ($34.99; amazon.com)
AquaStar Elite high-pressure shower with 6-position deluxe hand shower for the wellness area
The AquaStar Elite works both as an overhead shower and a handheld shower, but the big advantage is the antibacterial jets that repel bacteria that are never washed away thanks to the built-in Microban. We found the head adjustments to be strong and effective, and the pulsating massage was the strongest we tested. The low flow rate is the reason it’s not at the top of the list, but overall we’d say it’s perfect for a guest or children’s bathroom.
Hydroluxe Hand Shower and Rain Shower Combination 1433 ($25.99, originally $54.99; amazon.com)
Hydroluxe 1433 hand shower and combined rain shower
Valued by over 10,000 Amazon reviews and rated 4.4 stars, this double shower combo is a safe purchase for anyone on a limited budget. Equipped with all the bells and whistles of a great brand – five heavy-duty nozzles (everyone really needs to experience a heavy rain), a huge 4-inch wide front, ruby jets and a sleek chrome finish – this showerhead is a bargain at this price. However, if water pressure is needed at the plant, you have to look elsewhere.
Waterpik PowerPulse showerhead ($39.98; homedepot.com)
Waterpik PowerPulse shower head
For those of you who don’t have enough sprays, let me introduce you to the PowerPulse from Waterpik, which offers a huge new one. And after testing them all several times, we can confirm that the intensity and consistency of the water pressure remains strong throughout the process. The directed main spout is specially designed for therapeutic massage showers and does just that. Disadvantage: Their sleek and utilitarian look might seem a little out of place in a glamorous bathroom. It couldn’t be crowned the winner based on its performance (it scored the same number of points as our best pickup), but it dropped significantly in terms of build quality. Still, it’s a good choice for those who don’t care about looks and are looking for a less expensive option than the Kohler Forte.
Read more about the CNN Underscored practice test:
top-rated shower heads 2020, best shower heads for pressure, best luxury shower head, best shower heads for couples, best rain shower heads 2020, best handheld shower heads 2020, best shower heads for low water pressure, best shower heads on amazon