The Best Showerheads of 2018By Conner Flynn
Nothing beats a good shower. When that stream hits you just right and soothes your aching muscles, it’s the best feeling in the world. So, it makes sense that for a good shower, you need a good showerhead: One that will provide good water pressure, give you a variety of settings to control where the water goes, and of course, gets you clean. You may not realize it, but there are many showerheads out there that are just spitting water—you deserve more.
For more than a month, we’ve been researching and testing six of the best showerheads on the market, and after taking 36 showers (two of us each taking three showers using each showerhead), we found that the Hydroluxe 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-way 2 in 1 (available at Amazon) is our favorite. It ticks off all the right boxes, including strong water pressure, easy installation, and a variety of settings that made us feel cleaner after using it. As we learned, prices for an average showerhead can range between $20 to nearly $200, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get a great shower experience.
Here are the best showerheads we tested ranked, in order:
- Hydroluxe Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-way 2 in 1
- Culligan WSH-C125
- Moen S6320 Velocity
- Waterpik AST-233E
- Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream
- Delta Handshower 75700
Updated October 03, 2018
Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-Way 2-in-1
Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-Way 2-in-1Best Overall
The Hydroluxe 24 Function Ultra-Luxury easily earned our top spot for the best showerhead because it offers a high-end shower experience at a low-end price. It delivers very good water pressure, includes 24 different functions to choose from, such as a standard jet experience, a pause feature and a mist setting, and it’s easy to install.
Unlike many other models, changing the settings on the Hydroluxe is a breeze. Just move the dial around the showerhead and it gives a satisfying clicking noise to let you know that it’s set perfectly in place.
Each of the two showerheads (overhead and hand shower) have water-flow settings including, Power Rain, Massage, Stay-Warm Mist, Water-saving Economy Rain and Pause, that can be used separately or at the same time. Combined with additional controls, there are 24 different ways to take your shower. The Mist function is the absolute best sensation I have ever had in a shower: It felt like a bunch of angels were gently pelting me with wet cotton clouds. The pause feature—which stops the flow of water for as long as you need it—is also great for when you are shaving.
To install, all you need to do is unscrew the old showerhead, apply some plumber’s tape to the threads of your shower pipe (this often comes with your showerhead) and then screw the new head onto your shower pipe. Use a wrench to ensure a tight seal, do the same with the handheld attachment and you’re done.
Moen S6320 Velocity
Moen S6320 VelocityBest Rain Shower
A lot of people like to experience a shower that is like standing under a gentle rainfall. And for those people, the Moen S6320 Velocity delivers the goods. You might even think you have rain clouds positioned above you.
This showerhead is more expensive than many others, but it’s worth it for both its style and the quality of the jets that shoot out a nice stream of water. Unlike other rain showers, this showerhead is cone-shaped, instead of flat and circular. It’s very shiny, too.
Installation is easy: Just line it up with the threads on your pipe and twist. Although, it might take you a few tries because of its odd shape.
But once it’s installed, the Moen S6320 Velocity is easy to use. A simple handle on the side lets you adjust from a full spray which is like a gentle rain and uses all its nozzles, to a more focused stream that uses just the center nozzles. No matter how you adjust it, you are getting a nice relaxing stream that is never overpowered.
How We Tested
My name is Conner Flynn and I have been a freelance writer and reviewer for more than 11 years. I keep informed on the latest technology and gadget news so I can let you know how things work. Like you, I want to know if these products are worth the price and how they will add to your life.
After researching the most popular showerheads on the market, we narrowed our search to six. First, we noted how easy they were to install in the shower. Next, we evaluated how durable they were: Are they plastic or metal? That affects how long they are likely to last. Then, the most important factor: How does each perform during an actual shower? For this, my wife and I each showered for three days using each showerhead. We took the following features into consideration: pressure, ease of use, how pleasant it felt, and its looks.
Things to Know When Shopping for a Showerhead
The first thing to know when buying a new showerhead is to look for one made of quality materials. Opting for metal instead of a light plastic will certainly last longer and be harder to break. Also, decide whether you need both a showerhead and a hand shower. Some people prefer a showerhead with a hand attachment because it is easier to do things like wash the dog, or even make shower cleaning easier. You should also pay attention to how many settings it has and choose the one that best meets your needs. Are there any spray patterns you prefer?
You should also decide on what kind of water pressure you want. All current showerheads have a maximum 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), also known as its "flow rate". As the name implies, it is a measure of how many gallons of water flow out of your showerhead every minute. But since each showerhead is unique, that’s not the only thing to consider.
Other questions to ask yourself are:
Do I want a filter? Some users prefer filters as they help filter out any contaminants in the water, such as sulfur, chlorine and other chemicals. Homeowners and apartment dwellers who have hard water or rely on well water may especially want a filter to remove impurities or take away harsh smells.
Is it easy to install and are you confident that you can do it? The only tools you should need are a wrench and some plumbers tape. Screw the old unit off and screw the new one on until you have a tight fit. You don’t need a plumber’s help at all—most people can handle this job easily. (Home Depot posted a really good tutorial worth checking out). But if you feel you can’t do it, it is a quick job for the pros.
Also, keep in mind the size of your shower. Some showerheads with hand showers stick out further than others and can affect how much room you have to move around if you already have a small area. But this shouldn't apply to most users—only those with tiny shower stalls.
Other Showerheads We Tested
The Culligan WSH-C125 gives you a lot for your money. It provides decent water pressure, a filter to help reduce things like chlorine, sulfur odor and more.
It has a five-function massage head with anti-clog rubber spray nozzles. It can be set to a gentle rain, all the way up to a powerful massage spray. Installation is easy on this model. For the price, this one is clearly a good value. You'll get great performance.
Our only complaint is that turning its dial is a bit tough and you often need two hands. Otherwise, this is a solid shower experience.
The Waterpik AST-233E looks like it would be a great rain showerhead. It has a unique oblong shape and it claims that it can save you up to $80 a year on your water bill.
But there are a few problems. The odd shape combined with its threaded off-center pipe connection makes it unwieldy and difficult to install. It took me several tries just to attach it. Also, the mirror-like finish on the unit I tested was a was a bit too shiny: I didn't like seeing my face staring back as I showered. Plus, whether installed in a vertical or horizontal position, it just didn’t look like it was ever quite right.
This does not affect performance though. It has a simple switch on the side that lets you choose between two spray patterns, but both are disappointing. I couldn’t detect any real differences in water pressure. Also, the switch—which is located behind the showerhead—is difficult and awkward to reach.
Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream
Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream
The Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream is beloved by many users who have posted online praising it for allowing them to get the same luxurious shower experiences they have had during hotel stays (namely strong water pressure). But in our testing, we found this to be very basic without any frills. The pressure is decent, but not anything to write home about. The showerhead operates very simply, with a single knob on the side that you turn to adjust the stream. If you are looking for an average showerhead for a low price (perhaps for a guest bathroom), this might be the one for you.
Delta Handshower 75700
Delta Handshower 75700
The Delta Handshower 75700 is a simple hand shower by itself with seven spray settings, but this fell to the bottom of our list because it felt cheap and plasticky. I felt like I had to be careful while installing it so that it wouldn’t break.
It also comes in very small packaging with its hose wrapped very tightly around the model, which became a problem after I installed it. The hose never straightened out, so it hung in the shower at almost a right angle.
The other problem with the Delta Handshower 75700 is that it doesn't sit well in the holder, which became very frustrating.
The water pressure it provided was ok to good—not great. And adjusting the spray setting made it feel cheap and loose, as it didn’t "click into" any settings. You aren't quite sure whether the setting is completely right, forcing you to constantly fiddle with it.