When you’re shopping for a new shower head, there is a lot to consider between what type you want, what mount works for you, and even what shape you need.
There are many questions to ask yourself to find the shower head that fits your wants and needs best. Do you want a fixed shower head or one that you can move around? Would you prefer a shower head with a rainfall setting, a massage setting, or do you prefer a more traditional stream of water? What type of mount is compatible with you and your plumbing? What shape of shower head delivers the best water pressure?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at all the different types of shower heads available so that you can find the perfect one suited for you.
Types of Shower Heads
Here are the 12 most common types of shower heads:
|A shower head that is the most common with a single spray setting and easier installation.
|A shower head with one stationary and one handheld shower head in one device that can be used either separately or together depending on the model.
|A shower head that is attached to the waterline via a long hose and can be taken off its mount so the water can be directed where needed but can be prone to leakage due to the multiple connections in the hose.
|A shower head with a variety of high-pressure massage settings that can provide relief for muscle pain or tension but is not as water-efficient as other shower heads.
|A typically larger-than-average shower head with a flow that mimics rain or a waterfall but can have weaker water pressure as a result of its size.
|Low Flow Showerhead
|A shower head that is designed to use less water and to work with low water pressure plumbing.
|A shower head that concentrates the water in the pipes so the stream can come out at a higher velocity but may need to be replaced more often due to its consistently high-pressure delivery.
|A compact shower head that is designed to use the least amount of water and is optimal for smaller spaces but may not always fit into residential plumbing structures.
|A panel with several shower heads with a number of features such as massagers, temperature control, and spray nozzles, but if all shower heads are used in tandem it will decrease the water pressure.
|A shower head that can sometimes adjust the temperature by itself and lights up the water in different colors using LEDs powered by the water pressure but has a similar stream quality as a standard shower head.
|A modern shower head that can be controlled via app or voice with features to account for safety and a customizable shower experience but installation and repair are pricier.
|Filtered Shower Heads
|A shower head with a mechanism attached to it that filters out chemicals in the water that can damage skin and hair quality but the filter has to be regularly replaced.
1.Standard Fixed Shower Head
A standard fixed shower head is the most common type. It is a simple, typically round shower head that is attached to the wall and has a single spray setting.
If you are trying to save money and want the installation to be as easy as possible, this would be the best shower head for you. However, if you are looking for a shower head that allows for at least some mobility or simply a more luxurious experience, this type of shower head is fixed, so maybe it would be best to look elsewhere.
2. Dual Shower Head
A dual shower head has, as the name suggests, two heads, one stationary and one handheld; it essentially combines the standard and handheld shower head into one device. Depending on the model, the heads can be used separately or together.
This type of shower head is best for people who need more mobility from their shower to accommodate them, such as if you or someone in your home showers sitting down. However, since this shower is two heads in one, it does tend to be on the pricier side.
3. Handheld Shower Head
A handheld shower head is hooked into a mount that it can be removed from so it can be held in your hand and directed at any angle needed. The shower head is connected to the waterline by a plastic or metal hose which allows for the head to be removed from its mount. It is important to note that the metal hose is most cost-effective than its plastic counterpart due to its long-lasting durability.
If you bathe your pets in the bathtub or you or someone in your home has limited mobility, this shower head is a good pick since it allows you to direct the water. Unfortunately, this shower head is harder to install than the standard one and is prone to leakage since the hose has numerous connections.
4. Massage Shower Head
A massage shower head has multiple massage settings which allow for varying degrees of high-pressure water streams. Additionally, massage shower heads often come in fixed, handheld, or dual, giving you a few different choices.
For those who have chronic pain or tension in their muscles, the massage shower head may provide the most ideal and possibly relief-filled shower experience. It’s important to keep in mind that due to its array of high-pressured water settings, it is not as water efficient as other types of shower heads.
5. Waterfall or Rain Shower Head
A waterfall or rain shower head is exactly as the name suggests. This shower head often only has one setting, which mimics soft rain or a calming waterfall. These are typically larger than the average shower head, with models that have a diameter between 6-12 inches and can mount from the wall or ceiling.
If you want your shower experience to be as relaxing as possible and are fond of the rain, this would be the shower head for you. However, due to its large nature, it is less water efficient, and its water pressure is weaker due to manufacturers commonly limiting output to a maximum of 2.5 gpm, or gallons per minute, in adherence with water flow regulations. Therefore, if you are looking to save on your water bill or you prefer a high-pressure water stream, this shower head may not be the best choice for you.
6. Low-Flow Shower Head
A low-flow shower head is designed to use less water than a standard shower head. On average, shower heads use around 2.1 GPM, but low-flow shower heads come in a variety of GPM usage, some of which go as low as 1.25 GPM, which can help you save money on your water bill.
This type of shower head is also great for the environment, as it helps to conserve water. Although this type of shower head is designed to work with low water pressure plumbing, it will still not have as strong of water pressure as different shower heads. However, if your main focus is to save money or to be more environmentally friendly, but you do not want to completely sacrifice a relaxing shower experience, this shower head may be the best choice for you.
7. High-Pressure Shower Head
High-pressure shower heads provide a strong water stream, even if you live in a low-pressure area. This shower head concentrates the water in the pipes before releasing it into a high-velocity stream.
This shower head is great for people who want a high-pressure shower but live in an area or have plumbing that doesn’t allow for it. It is important to consider the drawbacks that do come with this shower head since, due to its high-pressure output, it may need to be replaced more frequently, can have less water efficiency, and if you get a model that allows for changing the spray pattern, it can be quite costly.
8. RV/Trailer Shower Head
An RV or trailer shower head is a type of shower head that is designed for a recreational vehicle or trailer, but it can still benefit a traditional home or apartment. These shower heads tend to be smaller and more compact than standard shower heads and are designed to use the least amount of water while providing a quality shower.
If you live in a small space or struggle with low water pressure, this shower head may be the best option for you. However, since it is originally designed for RVs and trailers, it may not fit into regular plumbing, so be sure to check before purchasing.
9. Shower Panels
A shower panel has multiple shower heads, which can be used separately or together, depending on the model. This type of shower head has an array of features, some of the most common being a massager, back sprayer, spray nozzle, and temperature control.
If you’ve just remodeled your bathroom or want to achieve a modern look for your shower with a luxurious shower experience, this would be the shower head for you. Of course, all of these features do come with a higher price than your typical shower heads and less water efficiency. Another thing to consider is that the more features you use at once like if you use the sprayer at the same time as the massager, the lower the water pressure output will be.
10. LED Shower Heads
An LED shower head is a type of shower head that has LED lights, which can change color to create a unique showering experience. The LED lights are powered by water pressure, so there is no need for batteries. In addition, more advanced models can often detect and adjust the water temperature.
This type of shower head is great for people who want to spruce up and add a bit of fun or relaxation to their showering experience, need some extra lighting in their bathroom, or want to reinforce showering as a positive experience for children in the home. Beyond the fun lighting, these shower heads are still the same quality as regular shower heads but are still more expensive.
11. Smart Shower Heads
A smart shower head is a type of shower head that can be controlled with a smartphone or other smart device via bluetooth or wifi. Built with an array of features that can include a temperature monitor, bluetooth speakers, a usage meter, and a water pressure gauge that can all be typically accessed from the adjoining companion application it has you download, you can control your shower more than ever.
If you have children in your home, this shower head often comes with safety capabilities to prevent scalding, such as limiting the maximum temperature. This type of shower head is also great for people who want to be able to control their showering experience with the touch of a button. However, with all of these features, this shower head is more expensive than a traditional shower head. Additionally, the installation can be quite complex and if anything were to need repairs, it may be quite costly, making it not very budget-friendly.
12. Filtered Shower Heads
Filtered shower heads have a mechanism attached to them that acts as a filtration system to separate chemicals or certain minerals from the water before it makes contact with your skin and hair. These shower heads come in a variety of different filters for chlorine, active carbon, calcium, and other chemicals that can affect the quality and hardness of your water. Filtered shower heads come in standard, dual, and handheld models that allow for variety when picking the right one for you.
If hard water or harsh chemicals affecting your skin and hair quality is a large concern for you, but you don’t want to install a water softening system, then it may be worthwhile to consider a filtered shower head. However, make sure to consider the continuous cost of replacing the filter, usually around every six months, before making your decision.
Shower head Mounts
Once you make the decision of which shower head you want, there is still more to consider. Where you place your shower head can completely change the showering experience.
Here are the three most common types of shower head mounts:
|This is the most common type of mount that is compatible with most homes but lacks height
|This mount allows for increased height and optimal rain shower experience but does require specialty plumbing if the home is not built for it.
|Slide Bar Mount
|This allows the shower head to be slid up or down to your desired height and is compatible with wall-mounted equipped plumbing.
1. Wall Mount
A wall-mounted shower head is exactly how it sounds with the shower head is mounted into the wall. This is the most common type of shower head mount, and you will find plumbing equipped for it in most homes.
Due to how common it is, it allows for easy installation. However, it is often not very high up, so that is something to consider if you are taller or prefer a more spacious-feeling shower.
2. Ceiling Mount
A ceiling-mounted shower head is, once again, as the name suggests, mounted to the ceiling. This type of shower head is great if you are taller or just want a little extra height between you and the shower head than the regular wall mount allows.
However, it does require special plumbing if your system is not already equipped for it, so make to check your plumbing system or assess if you are willing to get specialty work done for a ceiling-mounted shower head.
3. Slide Bar Mount
A slide bar-mounted shower head allows you to slide the shower head up or down to your desired height on the slider bar. Slide bar-mounted shower heads are often compatible with the same plumbing as wall-mounted shower heads.
This is best if you want more height in your wall-mounted plumbing without going through the work of getting a ceiling-mounted shower head installed.
Shower head Shapes
Consider which shape you would like for your shower head.
Here are the three types of shower head shapes:
|The most common shape which is the most versatile and functions well with low water pressure plumbing.
|This shape is optimal for covering a wider area while providing a modern look but often requires higher water pressure to deliver a luxurious experience.
|Irregular Shower Head
|This can mean a teardrop, trumpet, or even a ring shape and is often employed for custom projects and aesthetic purposes.
1. Round Shower Heads
Round shower heads are the most common type of shower head, which comes as a circle or an oval. These are the most versatile shower heads, both in design and function. Round shower heads function the best when it comes to low water pressure, so if that is something you struggle with, this shape would be ideal for you.
2. Square and Rectangular Shower Heads
Square and Rectangular shower heads are often chosen to cover a wider area during a shower or simply to achieve a modern look. These shower heads allow for a more luxurious and natural shower experience. However, they are more expensive and require higher water pressure to deliver the best performance.
3. Irregular Shower Head
Irregularly shaped shower heads are commonly chosen for custom projects or aesthetic purposes. The most common shapes for irregular shower heads include ring, trumpet, and tear-drop. These shower heads would be best for you if you want a unique charm to your showering experience.
Types of Shower Wands
Lastly, there are two handheld types of shower heads: traditional and wand.
This will be your standard shower head that rests on a fixed docking system. The rounded shape is good for general use when washing both your hair and body.
The long and slender shower wand is specifically designed for hair washing. With a narrow, comb-like spray pattern, it cleanses hair thoroughly with a reduced chance of tangles or knots. It doesn’t work as well for body washing.
Needless to say, there is a lot to take into consideration when choosing what shower head is ideal for you. From cost effectiveness to water efficiency, there is no one right answer on which is best overall. Assess your plumbing and personal situation as you decide which type, mount, and shape of shower head can closely meet your needs and expectations.