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If you have low water pressure, taking a shower turns out to be not a daily routine but a daily disaster for you. The water can barely wet your hair, let alone rinse the soap off your body. But don’t despair! With the best shower heads for low water pressure, you still can enjoy your shower time.
We’ve looked at 17 models to select 5 best of the best. The Fire Hydrant Spa Shower Head Spa Plaza was chosen as our Editor’s Choice. We considered material and finish as the first two factors affecting the durability of the product. The hose length was also taken into account for your comfort. The water flow rate was the next criterion as it significantly impacts the efficiency of the shower head. Finally, we also looked at the design to find the most stylish and practical options.
The Fire Hydrant Spa Shower Head Spa Plaza is a good replacement shower head that is designed to boost water pressure in low flow settings. It has a 4-inch face to provide wide coverage, and this enables the water to reach all parts of your body. You just have to adjust the shower head to the wide spray setting to enjoy far-reaching coverage. There is a second spray setting, the narrow setting, which releases water in three streams only. Both stream settings deliver water at a pressure that is high enough to leave you feeling clean and rejuvenated.
The unit comes with water volume control, which you can adjust via a solid brass control knob on the side of the shower head. With this, you can control how much water flows out of the shower. If you would like to enjoy a powerful burst of water, turn the button to the highest volume, which allows full flow of water. If you’re shampooing or soaping your body and don’t want to waste water, push the button to trickle mode.
The ball joint, made from strong solid brass, allows you to position the shower head how you prefer and adjust the spray angle to your liking. The shower head itself is constructed from durable metal and feels sturdy in your hands. Expect it to last a long time.
More features: side handle, Anystream 360° system, self-cleaning, corrosion-resistant
Speakman S-2252-BN’s all-metal, solid brass construction lends it durability and reliability, ensuring that it stands the test of time. A black metal finish gives it corrosion-resistance properties, making it suitable for use in the bathroom environment. It’s made in a classic design and shape that will turn the shower head into a statement piece in both traditional and modern bathrooms.
Featuring Anystream Shower Technology, the shower head gives you full control over the water streams, and you can switch from one stream to the next using the handle, which is conveniently located on the side of the unit. There are 3 main spray streams: Intense, which delivers water in a steady and powerful flow; Rain, which delivers a gentle, rainfall-like spray; and Flood, which releases a thick, pounding spray for a massage effect. Water comes out in 6 jets (nozzles), and together, they provide 48 stream channels.
The manufacturer uses plungers to control how the water spreads as it flows out of the shower head, which allows pressure to build up. As a result, water comes out at high pressure, hitting you with a powerful burst that’s revitalizing.
These plungers are self-cleaning, meaning they prevent the build-up of calcium and other mineral deposits which can clog the nozzles and cause a reduction in water pressure. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to clean the unit’s exterior, and don’t use vinegar as it will erode the corrosion-protected finish.
Made from thick, BPA-free ABS plastic, the Aqua Elegante High Pressure Showerhead is designed to last for years. It’s a single spray showerhead with a 2.5 GPM and a 3-inch diameter. If you live in California or prefer a showerhead with a lower GPM, there’s a version with a 1.8 GPM rate.
The spray nozzles are made from silicone rubber, a material that prevents the accumulation of mineral deposits and sediments inside and on the nozzles. As a result, the shower head remains clean and unclogged at all times, and this reduces maintenance costs. To enhance its performance and durability, the manufacturer uses solid brass fittings. The ball joint provides some level of adjustability and a greater range of motion, allowing you to choose the direction of the shower spray.
It’s easy to install. Just twist it onto the shower arm and it will be ready to use. It takes only a couple of minutes to fix it into place.
A lot of us shy away from products that are made out of plastic, but Aqua Elegante have really gone the extra mile to ensure this unit is of unquestionable quality. To prove it, they issue a 5-year money-back guarantee. That’s right. You will get your money back if you’re unsatisfied with the shower head’s performance after using it for 5 years. And let’s be honest. You don’t use a product for 5 years straight unless it’s good.
More features: stainless steel hose, 5 inch diameter, self-cleaning
The Ana Bath High PressureDual Combo Shower SS5450CBN comes in a transitional design that fits perfectly in bathrooms of all styles. It’s made from hardy plastic and given a corrosion-resistant brushed nickel finish.
The shower head uses anti-clog rubber nozzles that are resistant to lime and mineral deposits. They are also easy to clean. Just turn on the water and rub them slightly, and that will get rid of any calcium and minerals that may be deposited as water flows through.
A 3-way diverter allows you to use both the overhead and hand-held shower heads at the same time. Doing so lowers the water pressure, but only ever so slightly that you’ll hardly notice it. You have to know that the diverter is located right at the top where the shower head is, so you may not easily access it if you’re short. But you can also use one shower head at a time. The pressure on both heads is equally strong, so it won’t matter which shower head you choose. The hand-held shower is supported on a 5-foot hose, which is long enough for you to enjoy your shower from any part of the bathroom.
It will take you a few minutes to install, and you have to make sure that you tightly screw the handle holder onto the pipe and the hex nut to the diverter, or the entire unit will come apart. Still, the setup is carefully thought-out and works as designed if well installed.
More features: 4-inch diameter, power pulse massage
The Waterpik High Pressure Powerpulse Detachable Shower Head has a lot of plastic parts, including the shower hose, but it is solidly built and comes with a lifetime limited warranty, so you shouldn’t worry too much about its quality. One thing that might bother you is that the plastic hose, though long enough at 5-feet, is rather unwieldy and does not hang properly. If you find this gets in your way more than you’d like or fear it might break, you can replace it with a metal hose.
This shower head features numerous innovative technologies that give it an edge over other shower heads. Among the most notable of these is the patented OptiFLOW technology, which channels water for maximum flow and force so you can enjoy more powerful water delivery. You’ll find this particularly useful when rinsing off shampoo and other products. The other remarkable technology is PowerPulse Massage technology, which delivers 2 times the water force of other showers in the market. Now, the pressure is undeniably good, and you get to enjoy 7 spray streams. The problem is that the handle is located high up the shower head, and it is quite high for shorter people who may have a hard time reaching it. You can adjust the angle when installing the unit, but it is still way up. Replacing the pipe coming from your wall with a longer one might help.
It comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
Why are we impressed?
7 spray settings
Patented OptiFlow technology
Lifetime limited warranty
What negatives must you be aware of?
Cheap plastic parts
Things to Consider
After reading through the descriptions of various shower heads, you now have a fairly good idea of what you can expect from specific products, and how different units compare to each other. In this next segment, we’ll look more deeply at how shower heads can help resolve low water pressure and show you how to choose a shower head that does just that.
How can shower head resolve low water pressure issue
If your current shower head is old and you’re experiencing low water pressure when showering, replacing it with a shower head that’s built for low water pressure is the best solution.
It could also be that the shower head you’re currently using is clogged and no amount of de-clogging you do seems to restore it to its earlier usable state. In this case, replacing the shower head is advisable.
Shower heads for low water pressure are specially designed to channel water in a way that increases pressure inside the shower head, such that when you turn on the water, it pours out with greater force.
This does not increase water consumption and therefore your water and energy bills in any way. Rather, the shower head releases the same amount of water, but at a higher pressure.
In fact, you end up using less water than before because now you can rinse off product faster, so you spend less time in the shower, whereas previously, it took you longer to rinse off the shampoo and soap from your body and hair, thereby using up more water.
Shower heads for low water pressure are generally affordable. There are plenty of quality shower heads retailing in the $20-40 range, and these are as good as any shower head you can hope to get. Some higher-end models go for between $60 and $85, and there are a few that exceed the $100 mark.
Features to consider while buying the best shower head for low water pressure
Let’s now look at the specific features you should consider when buying a shower head for low water pressure. We’ll explain what each feature means and why it matters.
Some shower heads come in contemporary designs that are clearly meant for modern bathrooms. If you’re going for a contemporary look and want a shower head that complements the modern style of your bathroom, choose one of these. The Waterpik High Pressure Powerpulse Detachable Shower Head is a great example.
For bathrooms decorated in a traditional style, a classic shower head, like Speakman S-2252-BN, will blend right in with the style. If you’ve embraced a chic or eclectic style, go for a shower head made in a transitional design. Ana Bath High Pressure Dual Combo Shower SS5450CBN would be an excellent fit in this case.
If the overhead shower head comes with a hose, it means you have a lot of flexibility on where you can install it, and you can install it in such a way that people of all heights find it a joy to use.
Likewise, the hose for the hand-held shower head should be long enough to allow you direct water to hard-to-reach places with ease. You should also be able to move it across the shower room if you need to bathe the kids or pets.
Again, the longer the hose is, the easier it will be to use it to rinse of surfaces around the bathroom.
The shower head face should have a diameter that is big enough to cover your entire body when showering. At the very least, aim for 4 inches. For a more luxurious shower, search for a shower head with an even wider face. There are quite a number of these, some with a diameter of 7-8 inches. A diameter that is too small will have you doing gymnastics and yoga poses to get the water to hit every part of your body.
Metal shower heads have an unmatched durability. For a shower head that’ll last a lifetime, choose one of these. Ensure that it’s coupled with excellent workmanship, and you’ll have nothing to complain about. Some of the top choices that are made from metal include Fire Hydrant Spa Shower Head Spa Plaza and Speakman S-2252-BN.
Others are made from plastic, and these tend to be slightly cheaper than those made from metal. The quality of plastic has to be top grade to ensure durability. The Aqua Elegante High Pressure Showerhead, for example, is made from strong ABS resin and is among the more reliable shower heads on the market. When they use plastic as the main material for making shower heads, as when metal is used, many manufacturers stick to metal fittings, e.g., the ball joint and hose, to minimize breakage and leakage.
Water flow rate
In compliance with federal regulations, all shower heads sold in the US currently have a maximum GPM rate of 2.5. So you don’t have to worry about breaking federal rules when you buy a shower head.
In some states and cities, the maximum GPM rate allowed is actually lower than the nation-wide 2.5 limit. To meet this regulation, some units have a much lower GPM rate, say, 2.0 or 1.8 (the two most common). If you live in one of these areas, these are the shower heads you want to buy.
Remarkably, a few manufacturers make different versions of the same shower head: one with a 2.5 GPM limit and one with a lower GPM rate. Aqua Elegante High Pressure Showerhead is one such product; it comes in 2.5 GPM and 1.8 GPM models.
You can install a shower head without the help of a plumber. Many models can be installed and removed without any tools, so you won’t be needing specialty tools to do the installation. In cases where you need tools, this will be a wrench and maybe a pair of slip-joint pliers. Installation takes only minutes usually, and that includes removing the old shower head if doing a replacement.
Helpful tips – how to determine low water pressure
The best way to determine the pressure of the water flowing into your home is by using a water pressure gauge. If you don’t have a pressure gauge, you can buy a high-accuracy one like this Rain Bird unit online or at your nearest home improvement supply store. Taking the reading is fairly simple. Follow these steps:
Attach the pressure gauge to the faucet connected to your water supply line. Put the gauge on top of the faucet opening and turn clockwise to tighten. Turn on the gauge and check the reading. If the pressure is within the recommended range, an inefficient shower head, shower cartridge, or pressure balance valve may be the cause of your low water pressure.
Check if there is a flow restrictor in the shower head and remove it. If there’s no improvement in pressure, check the valve and cartridge.
Slightly loosen the cold and hot water screws in the valve. Replace the lever and turn it on to check the water pressure. If the problem persists, replace the cartridge.
If your shower head does not have a delicate protective finish, soak it in a container filled with vinegar for up to 12 hours. Remove from container, replace the head, and turn on the water to flush out vinegar remnants. If you prefer not to remove the head from the pipe, wrap a bag with vinegar around the head and tie the bag to secure it.
Our top choice is the Fire Hydrant Spa Shower Head Spa Plaza, a hardy unit with an all-metal construction that will last for decades. We like its simple yet efficient mechanism that supports two wide and narrow spray settings. Adjustable spray angle and water volume control are other attractive features you get.
In second position is Speakman S-2252-BN, whose sturdy brass construction is as reassuring as its clever design. With just 6 jets, it delivers bursts of water at remarkably high pressure and allows you to choose your preferred water volume from 6 streams. Additional cool features include self-cleaning plungers and a lifetime warranty.
Our third best shower head for low water pressure is Aqua Elegante High Pressure Showerhead, whose anti-clog nozzles and metal fittings are clearly well thought-out. Its easy installation process, good pricing, and 5-year return policy make this one of the best shower heads at its price point.