A good shower head can mean a lot when it comes to water conservation and an enjoyable or relaxing shower. We find out what to look for in this important bathroom fixture.
For maximum durability, look for a metal shower head rather than plastic. Metal is easier to clean and won’t be as susceptible to the effects of chlorine and other chemicals in the water. Chrome is a good choice since it won’t tarnish or chip.
Shower heads come in variety of different styles to match your personal needs:
Fixed are permanently mounted on the wall of the shower.
Handheld are connected to the wall by a flexible hose. They’re useful for kids, dogs, and cleaning the shower area.
Slide Bar heads are adjusted on a bar fixture to accommodate people of different heights.
Many shower heads come with different settings, including massage and pulsating.
Rain shower heads are extremely popular, with oversized round heads that simulate the effects of a drenching downpour for a spa-like experience.
Many older shower heads use 5-10 gallons of water per minute. In North America all new shower heads are “low flow” (about 2.5 gallons/minute) for energy savings. To test your shower head, time how long it takes to fill a one-gallon bucket. If it’s under 20 seconds, you should consider purchasing a new, low-flow model.
Look for a shower head with little rubber tips on the water spouts for easier cleaning. Often a little push on the rubber tip can remove mineral build-up.
If your notice mineral deposits building up, clean it simply by soaking it overnight in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water.
We invited some testers to get dirty and work up a sweat to help us test these shower heads:
- Brass Craft: $8.49
- Water Pik Cascadia: $46.50
- Moen Evolution: $59
- Hansgrohe Club Master: $186
- Grohe Retro rain head: $408
Our testers were divided between high pressure and a gentle spray:
Some testers insisted massage is a must-have option on a shower head to soothe achy muscles. The Water Pik and the Moen both performed well with this feature.
Other testers favoured the gentle rainfall-like feel of the Grohe Retro shower head for its soft, luxurious wash.
A more affordable spa-like option was the Hansgrohe Club Master with its different spray features, including a version of the rainfall setting.
OUR TOP PICK
For those who like an intense massage setting, the Water Pik or Moen is a good choice. For those who prefer a more luxurious, spa-like dousing, the Hansgrohe Club Master offers a rainfall setting, though nothing beats the gentle summer rainfall of the most expensive product we tested!