Best shower heads 2017 – The Ultimate Guide

After a long hard day, nothing quite beats a nice warm shower to relax and relieve stress. And yet, there are are many cases where the bathroom accessories get neglected and end up losing some of their effectiveness. Finding a good shower head will ensure that people get enough power and warmth, as well as a decent amount of choice in how water is sprayed out.

Our website is designed to help you conduct your shopping research to find a suitable match for your requirements. We look at several features and specifications to help us do this. Among them is looking at the design, style, materials, amount of settings, and flow rate. This will help us get a bit of knowledge about the overall quality of individual products.

Listed below, you will find comparison tables, reviews, and buying guides to help give you a head start towards finding a great fit.

Product rankings

Image Name Rating
Moen 26017 9/10
Speakman S-2005-HB 8/10
Moen S6320 9/10
KOHLER K-9245-CP 7/10
Culligan WSH-C125 7/10
AKDY AZ-6021 8/10
KOHLER K-10282-AK-CP Forte 9/10
Thunderhead TH2.5 8/10
Kingston Brass K136A5 7/10
Niagara Conservation 2.0 7/10

Reviews

We summarize the functionality and capabilities of some of our highest rated options below, as well as look at what consumers have been saying about them to help us get a detailed analysis of what to expect from each.

Moen 26017

Coming from a popular brand name, it may be unsurprising that the 26017 has received good ratings thus far. A rain style head, from the Halo range that comes in a modern chrome color.

It’s a wall mounted variation that provides a 2.5 Gallons per minute flow rate and is made from a combination of both plastic and metal for durability purposes.

Users will need to pay a little bit beyond what we consider to be average, but the upside of doing so is you end up with a product from a good brand, with some solid features and reviews from customers to back it up.

Speakman S-2005-HB

Proving very popular on several online stores and among the best sellers, the S-20050HB includes a polished chrome exterior and brass finish that has a minimalist, yet modern feel to it.

Made to be wall mounted, and the manufacturer notes that the overall performance matches that you may find in hotels.

It’s also equipped with a range of differing jet settings, five in total that ensure it has the capability to produce up to fifty varying streams, and eight that are designed to be massage based.

It also includes a 2.5 GPM flow control, as well as self cleaning properties that makes maintenance simpler.

For those not looking to spend much for an upgrade, this could be a suitable match. It’s inexpensive, and has some great settings that will help you relax in your down time.

Moen S6320

A rain shower that has a reasonably large eight inch diameter spray coverage. Suitable for those of you who dislike the standard fixed options due to the limitations on the size of surface area that water hits.

You get the choice between two main functions. One of those being concentrated rinse, and the other the normal rain shower. The manufacturer also notes that there is an inclusion of technology that will self pressurize to give great spray power.

Reviews found from various sources paint a quality product that most people are happy with. And it’s because of its more advanced settings that this falls in a higher price tier.

KOHLER K-9245-CP

For those of you with an appreciation for modern technology and how it can enhance your everyday life, the K-9245-CP may be a great match for your bathroom.

For this is one that falls into our shower head rankings. It comes equipped with wireless speakers that can play your music whilst freshening up. It does this by syncing via bluetooth to your music device that can be left up to an impressive thirty two feet away. Most of you won’t require that sort of distance anyway. A great, fun feature. After all, who doesn’t enjoy singing in the shower.

It’s important to note that this runs on lithium-ion battary power, and will need recharging after seven hours or so.

Additionally, it includes a 2.5 GPM flow rate, with sixty angled nozzles for a consistent spray.

Culligan WSH-C125

This is a filtered shower head designed to ensure the water spray coming through is cleaner. One of its main purposes involves reducing 99% of sulfur odors and scale, which can often be a problem, and lead to cleaning nightmares.

It has a chrome finish and has five differing spray options for your convenience.

Installation is simple, with the manufacturing stating that no tool is required to do so.

In terms of affordability, this is a cheaper option in the industry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s lacking in quality. In fact, judging by the many consumer reviews we have come across, many comments are of a positive nature.

AKDY AZ-6021

A popular rain shower head that is noted to be easy to install.

In our research, we came across numerous feedback from customers that rate it highly. This can be attributed to its massaging head, and ability to adjust to users preferences with a swivel.

Design wise, it comes in a square shape with a chrome finish, but at the same time, the material used in construction is plastic.

Not particularly expensive, and a good way to get great water coverage across a wider area.

KOHLER K-10282-AK-CP Forte

The k-10282-AK-CP utilizes air induction technology to provide a consistently even stream of water. You get sixty six nozzles which are more centralized than some wider rain options, but also more focused, which also has its benefits. Namely it can produce larger water drops.

Uses the standard 2.5 GPM flow rate, but because of its inclusion of the air tech, it works to minimize the amount of what’s called over spray.

A polished chrome finish, that will look great among modern bathroom designs.

Like many of its sister products from this brand, it has been well received by the majority of consumers to date. Many leaving positive feedback across multiple online stores. This is certainly an early indicator of quality, but not necessarily a guarantee.

Thunderhead TH2.5

Looking for a high pressure rain shower head? This could be a model that suits your needs.

Perhaps one of its top selling features is the powerful spray that utilizes the pressure chamber to provide consistent, even, sprays, even though it has up to ninety jets.

Another model that’s designed to make the installation process easy, alongside features to help prevent it from getting clogged and blocked up.

And because the spray area is fairly large, you get a fairly large area with evenly distributed water coverage.

Kingston Brass K136A5

The K136A5 has a nice oil rubbed bronze finish and more of a plain construction that will help it fit quite easily into bathrooms containing a more modern theme. In fact, the brass material used in the foundation layer will help fight against corrosion and tarnishing, helping provide a longer lasting product.

The eight inch diameter  comes in a rounded shape, and allows for 169 different channels of water. Now, you may be thinking that the water levels coming through on such a product may be consuming copious amounts, but the fact is, it doesn’t. It features a lower flow, 2.0 GPM.

Buyers should note that the shower arm isn’t included with the purchase, however, it does make up for this through offering an affordable price tag.

Niagara Conservation 2.0 Gpm

Enjoy the added benefits of conserving up to 20% more water than standard handheld products. Operates on a 2.0 GPM flow rate, and is more environmentally friendly than many of its competitors.

The hose measures seventy two inches giving users enough slack to wash effectively, and it’s constructed to be tangle free.

The nine jet massage settings built in could make this an ideal bath and shower combo. Each setting offers a varying degree of power, ranging from light to heavy.

It’s also made to be self cleaning which is great news for people who dislike cleaning, and the price tag could make it a solid match for those wishing to upgrade with a lower than average budget.

Buying guide

Because there is such a vast amount of choice available at the click of a button, we want to delve into specific specifications, and design features and ways they could benefit you.

People sometimes forget to go back to basics, and in doing so, overlook some really important pieces of information. We aim to summarize and clear up as much as we can in our buyers guide below.

The different types

Not everyone’s requirements are the same, that much is clear. Not everyone’s current set up is the same either. But when given a choice, what style do you go for? We have provided a list of several of the more popular types below.

  • Rainfall – Water is typically distributed over a wider area and is designed to provide similar results to that of standing outside in the rain. Because you have a wider surface area covered, they are also larger than average sized products. Usually, you get two choices in how this can be implemented into your bathroom. The first being an extended attachment to the current plumbing, the second, attaching it onto your ceiling to give a unique, fuller water dispersal that comes from directly above you rather than angled inwards.
  • Wall hung – As you can probably derive from the name, wall mounted options are hooked up on the wall and are a popular and common product in the industry. Simplicity and reliability are two things we would associate with this kind. What’s more, as technology has progressed, there is also a fair amount to choose from in terms of nozzle spray patterns.
  • Handheld – A type that offers flexibility. They are versatile and can be detached from the mounding fixture holding it in place usually. These can quite often be found as part of a shower and bath combo, which can be favored by those who have limitations on the amount of space they have in the household.
  • High pressure – A good match for those among you who want something with more power. These can come in multiple forms and finishes, but generally speaking, you get the pick of a pressure chamber style, or a option that offer several varying power settings that can usually be changed by turning the nozzle.
  • Speakers – A slightly newer release to the market, and perhaps a way to enjoy your shower visits. Bluetooth enabled speakers will allow you to listen to your favorite tunes whilst washing down. The higher you go up the budget tier for this option, the more features you get. With low cost models, you can sometimes be stuck with the radio only. They tend to be battery operated and will need charging every so often.
  • LED – These are typically more about style, decor, and the general vibe of the bathroom than functionality. Nevertheless, they can add a bit of color to an otherwise boring room. You can have lights that operate on battery power, and you can have some that get power from the water pressure. Some smarter options will change color as the water heats up or cools down. More of a fun feature than a necessity, but a pretty cool one in our opinion.
  • Filtered – At many locations around the country, the water systems are treated with chlorine to ensure they are clean. However, there are people who can be effected by this chemical. Especially people with skin conditions like eczema. This type of head does a great job in filtering chlorine out. And the good news is they can be found reasonably cheap too.
  • Dual – A dual shower head certainly has an interesting and unique design. You idea behind these products are that you can have two differing settings and angles at the same time rather than just the one. Some people enjoy multiple spray patterns being available too them.
  • Sliding bar – Those with large families, of with people living in the same spaces of differing heights will appreciate the adjustability in height the slide bar style bracket brings. They are built to give a lot more freedom in which direction you place the sprays.

Spray patterns

Some older products didn’t come with the same technology that you see today, and some only came with one or two different types of spray. Today, that’s no longer the case, with a great range of choice to meet every user requirement be it a heavy, full body rinse, or a gentle trickle of water. Each designed to improve your experience as well as make you comfortable. Listed below is some of the most common spray patterns available.

Massage – Massage are usually operate on a high pressure setting and are ideal for soothing muscles and can provide the ultimate relaxation. The best thing about this option is that it’s not limited to one function. You can often choose between pulsating, circular, or twin for differing purposes.

Full body – The idea behind a full body rinse is that the head utilizes all of the nozzles available to it on the face plate. This can result in less power than concentrated spray, but more water coverage.

Mist – If you imagine what mist looks like in nature, that is exactly what this spray tries to recreate. To do this, it uses very small nozzles that will help break apart droplets into lots of smaller ones. This is used by many to cool down.

Other considerations

WaterSense label – In the past, less thought was given to the effects of high GPM rates. In fact, going back as recently as the mid 1990’s, most households would actually have a rather large flow rate upwards of 5 gallons per minute. Of course, there has been some big changes in this respect, with the limit at 2.5 gallons nowadays. However, if you’re after something certified by Watersense, you will have to keep an eye on the 2.0 options and below.

Installation – You need to ask yourself before you buy, how much time you want to dedicate to fitting it. You will come across a good mixture of products. Some will come ready to attach within minutes, others will require some effort and DIY know how. In fact, there are options that could require alterations to your current plumbing system as it may not be sufficient.

User height – Take some time to measure the shower enclosure and give yourself a rough idea of how much space your going to need. Be wary of products that hang down to far that may make standing under the stream difficult and force you into an awkward and uncomfortable position.

Finishes – Again, you will find several differing finishes on the market. Among those are polished brass, oil rubbed bronze, polished chrome, copper and white.

Brand – Some brand names are known for reliability, some for being inexpensive, whilst others may stand out by providing feature rich spec lists. Some of the most well known options people tend to go with include: Speakman, Delta Faucet, KOHLER, Moen, and Waterpik.

Budget – Prices will vary from the simple designs at the bottom rung at about five bucks, all the way through mid tier options between twenty and fifty bucks, then at the higher end, you will come across over hundred dollars, which are usually products fitted with the latest technology, producing great water coverage. Understand what the requirements are for you and your family and set yourself a rough budget and try to stick with it.

Wrapping up

When shopping, keep in mind the following rules and we believe you will find a great shower head in no time.

Strong stream – It’s sensible to look for something that provides you with the option of utilizing not just a powerful, consistent stream, but also multiple softer settings too.

Adjustable – How easy is it going to be to adjust the position of the head by using a swivel or other means.

Easy installation – This goes back to what we mentioned previously about some models coming with the ability to attach within minutes. Which is far more practical than changing up the plumbing system of the house.

Durability – You’re going to want something durable and long lasting. It needs to be able to handle day to day usage of multiple users.

Water saving – Try to go for the 2.0 GPM options or less, but if that’s not achievable, there are plenty of 2.5 GPM  models available.