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If you’re facing a Goldilocks situation with your showerhead—the spray is either a trickle or too hard—it’s time to invest in a new one. A good showerhead can make showering one of the most relaxing moments of your day, instead of just something to rush through.
These days, federal regulations limit all showerheads to a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). That doesn’t necessarily mean more efficient models that use less water will feel inadequate, either—as most manufacturers use different methods to make their spray modes feel more forceful than they really are. It’s better to focus on the kind of spray you want—whether you like a rain shower flow or something more concentrated—or whether you want multiple spray options in one showerhead.
Here, the best showerheads you can buy today.
Best Overall: Kohler Forté 2.5 Gpm Single-Function Wall-Mount Showerhead
This Kohler fixed showerhead offers a luxurious showering experience. You’ll find other showerheads that do many functions, but this one does one function, and does it well—it provides a rain-like shower experience. By mixing air into the water, it delivers “larger, fuller water drops,” notes the manufacturer. Reviewers appreciate the high quality of this showerhead, and like that installation is easy.
Some reviewers removed the water restrictor to increase the water pressure, but many said the pressure was just right as-is. Several reviewers with long hair also reported a shortened shower, since this showerhead helped speed up the process of rinsing out conditioner and shampoo.
"We were a little worried about only having one setting but we were so pleased with the water pressure and pattern that we didn’t even think about it after our first shower." Andrea Jordan, Product Tester
Best Rain: MOEN 2-Spray Single Wall Mount Fixed Adjustable Spray Shower Head in Chrome
Here’s what makes this showerhead so noteworthy: It offers that spa-like rainshower effect, but at a higher intensity than most rainshower-style showerheads provide. The water flow can be easily adjusted so you can toggle between a heavy spray or relaxing rainshower rinse-off.
Reviewers appreciated the sleek, elegant design. Some reviewers did express frustration about a persistent drip from the showerhead. While the price is high, most reviewers think that it’s worth it given the bliss that occurs during the shower. In fact, several reviewers said their biggest concern was being late to work because of lingering in the shower.
"The concentrated rinse provides three times more power than the standard spray, making it great for soothing aches and sore muscles. We also found it very helpful when rinsing away body scrubs and super-sudsy shampoos. A side level makes it easy for users to switch water pressure, so you can use the settings interchangeably throughout your shower." Andrea Jordan, Product Tester
Best Handheld: Waterpik 6-Spray Twin Turbo PowerPulse Massage Handheld Showerhead
Handheld showerheads are a great, flexible option, particularly when cleaning the shower or pets, or for people who need to take seated showers. This option from Waterpik has six spray options—a full body spray, full body and mix, full body and massage, mist, massage, and a powerspray option. That’s handy if you like variety or if everyone in your family has a different perspective on the best intensity level for the water.
The showerhead provides forceful streams of water even at low pressure, giving a 1.8 gallons per minute flow rate. Reviewers appreciate the water pressure and the massage options, as well as the ease of installation. A few reviewers did note that the handle’s length made it a bit of a challenge for more petite showerers to reach and take advantage of the hand-held function.
Best Low Flow: High Sierra Showerheads Classic PLUS
A shower is better than a bath if you’re looking to reduce your water usage. Still, unless you soap up with the water off, and only turn on the water to get wet and rinse off, a shower still uses up many gallons of water. This High Sierra showerhead is EPA WaterSense certified and offers a low flow—1.5 gallons per minute—without sacrificing good water pressure.
This showerhead has only a single nozzle, which emits large, forceful droplets. One reviewer said they were closer to a rainshower than a mist, describing them as “heavy” and “aerated.” Reviewers appreciate the simple, durable design of this showerhead—as well as not having a cold end to the shower due to hot water running out, which can happen with showerheads that use more gallons of water per minute.
Best Budget: RainSpa 3-in-1 Ultra-Luxury Rainfall Combination Showerhead in Chrome
This budget-friendly showerhead from RainSpa offers you both a handheld showerhead and a fixed rainshower showerhead. The handheld option offers six settings, as well as pause mode. Both showerheads can be angled and it comes with the shower hose. You can use both the handheld and fixed showerhead at the same time, or opt to use one at a time.
Reviewers were especially pleased with the easy installation process. Also called out for appreciation from reviewers were the extra-long hose (so it can reach all corners of your shower or tub), excellent water pressure, and adjustable heads.
Best Two-in-One: Delta Full Adjustable Handheld Shower Head with H2Okinetic Technology
This Delta showerhead has a handheld option that is magnetically secured to the center of a fixed showerhead. This is a great option if you’re looking for something flexible: You can use the handheld showerhead at the same time as the fixed one—or pull it out to use separately.
There’s a pause setting available, and per the manufacturer, the showerheads use a special technology that leads to feeling like a ton of water is being used (without tons of gallons of water leaving the faucet).
Reviewers appreciate that the handheld option makes it easy to clean the shower, and the holes on the showerhead itself are self-cleaning, which reviewers call out as a helpful feature.
Best Antimicrobial: AquaStar 6-Spray High Pressure Luxury Spa Hand Shower
Lingering water in a showerhead’s holes can lead to buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Sure, you can clean your showerhead—but that’s not an easy (or very appealing) task. The holes in this Aquastar showerhead have antimicrobial protection to inhibit the buildup of bacteria, mold, and mildew, as well as unsightly calcium deposits.
The showerhead offers six settings, and can be used overhead or as a handheld option with a six-foot hose. Reviewers appreciated the easy installation process, high quality construction, and excellent water pressure.
Best High Pressure: WASSA High Pressure Angle-Adjustable Shower Head
Is water pressure your top priority when it comes to your shower? Turn to this Wassa showerhead, which contains 45 jets to pump up the pressure and water flow. It’s simple and lightweight—while the angle of the showerhead is adjustable, that’s about the only thing you can customize. You can’t choose between water patterns with this showerhead.
Still reviewers describe their experience in the shower as magical—if you’re after high water pressure, this Wassa showerhead delivers. Note: Some reviewers found the pressure too intense—so extreme that they couldn’t wash their face comfortably under the spray. But for many other reviewers, this showerhead was the last in a long line of options tested out in the hopes of getting better water pressure. The installation process is easy, and only takes about five minutes.
What to Look for in a Shower Head
There are three main types of showerheads: fixed, handheld, and dual (a combination of fixed and handheld). Fixed showerheads are mounted to the wall, while handheld showerheads are connected to the wall via a flexible hose. Handheld or dual showerheads are particularly useful for pets, kids, and anyone with limited mobility.
Showerheads come in many different spray patterns, and some even come with adjustable spray patterns. Some common ones include rain, massage, and jet. Rain provides wide, gentle coverage, while jet and massage are more targeted and forceful.
Showerheads are either wall mounted or ceiling mounted. Unless you’re renovating your home (or building a new one), the type of mount you choose depends on your existing plumbing configuration. Wall mounts are much more common, especially in older homes and apartments.