Last updated: August 6, 2021

Even though showering is mainly about cleansing the body, many enjoy the relaxing minutes under the hot water. You relax, enjoy the tranquillity and relieve stress. What if you could improve on this experience? With a rain shower, where the water gently and softly puddles on your body. In our rain shower test 2021 we have tested various types of rain showers for you.

You can distinguish between ceiling-mounted, shower panels and overhead rain showers. Here you will find detailed information on each type, as well as advantages and disadvantages and product recommendations. We have also compiled important information on rain showers in general. We answer questions about water consumption, size of the shower head and general costs for a rain shower.

Contents




Summary

  • A rain shower provides you with a great and incomparable showering experience due to its unique design. The special shower head provides a pleasant massage by producing thick drops.
  • Depending on the type of shower and your individual preferences, you can choose between ceiling-mounted rain showers, shower panels and overhead rain showers.
  • The size, shape and adjustable spray types of the shower head determine the comfort of each shower.

The Best Rain Shower: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a rain shower

Rain showers are becoming more and more popular at home. However, there are a few things to consider when buying one. In the following guide, we show you what you should consider if you want to buy a rain shower.

What is a rain shower and who is it suitable for?

A rain shower is a special type of shower or shower head. Unlike a conventional shower head, the rain shower has larger openings through which the water can flow. As a result, the water drops are larger than in an ordinary shower. The water is not bundled - unlike with conventional shower heads. This means that there are no individual jets and the water falls more gently on the skin.

With a rain shower, the water drops fall more gently on your skin than with an ordinary shower head. (Photo source: 123rf.com / Oleg Doroshin)

A rain shower is suitable for those who want to enjoy showering to the fullest and prefer a softer water jet.

How does a rain shower work?

With a rain shower, the water falls in thick, soft drops - not in a hard focused stream. These drops are created by adding air to the water. This causes a surge of water to break up into individual drops. Due to the lightness, these droplets fall more slowly from the "sky" and thus create the pleasant rain shower.

How much water does a rain shower use?

Water consumption varies greatly between different models of rain showers and shower heads. By buying a cheap model, you may run the risk of incurring extra costs for water consumption. If you invest more in the shower system or the shower itself and pay attention to functions with lower water consumption - the so-called Eco function - you can save a lot of water and money.

An average rain shower uses about 20 litres of water per minute, while a standard shower head uses about 6 to 10 litres per minute. A rain shower with a water-saving function, meanwhile, uses only about 10 to 12 litres of water per minute. So it is worth keeping an eye on such showers.

Shower head water consumption in litres per minute
Average rain shower head 20 litres
Commercially available shower head 6 to 10 litres
Rain shower with water-saving function 10 to 12 litres

What is the minimum size of a rain shower head?

A shower head is often already called a rain shower if it has a diameter of about 20 cm. However, this is very minimal and simple. Shower heads come in all kinds of shapes, colours and materials.

A rain shower should have a diameter of at least 40 cm.

When it comes to size, the more nozzles the better. In order to be able to envelop the entire body with water at the recommended height of 20 cm above the head, a rain shower should have a diameter of no less than 40 cm. In the case of showers built into the ceiling, the panel can also be over a metre long and wide. There are also XXL models that are even larger.

Can I retrofit a rain shower?

Yes, you can also retrofit a rain shower. If the shower head is not permanently installed in your bathroom, retrofitting is the easiest option. Then you can easily replace the old shower head and install a rain shower. You can also retrofit a shower panel. If you are a skilled craftsman, you should also be able to install a rain shower in the ceiling. However, you can also consult a specialist.

Are there rain showers for the garden?

Yes, there are rain showers for the garden. They differ from indoor rain showers only in that they have a "foot". Rain showers for the bathroom usually do not have this. Flexible models can usually be connected to a garden hose. Fixed models may require their own water connection.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a rain shower?

The so-called rain shower gives you - as the name suggests - the feeling of standing in a rain shower. The rain falls softly and gently on your body and envelops it completely. Showering thus becomes a special wellness experience. Because your body is completely covered in water, no part of your body feels cold. Showering as a couple is also a pleasure, without arguments about the small shower head.

Advantages
  • Water drops fall gently
  • Pleasant shower feeling
  • Wellness experiences possible
Disadvantages
  • Washing out shampoo difficult
  • Higher water consumption

Especially for women with longer hair, the lower water pressure can make it difficult to wash out the shampoo. It usually takes a little longer for the foam to be completely rinsed out of long hair.

The higher water flow rate of a rain shower also increases water consumption compared to a normal shower.

However, if you follow a few tips and tricks when buying a rain shower, you can keep water consumption within reasonable limits.

What additional equipment is often installed together with a rain shower?

There are some elements that can be installed in addition to a rain shower to make the shower experience even more special.

Rain shower with light or LEDs

You can equip a rain shower with atmospheric light - usually LEDs. The colour is not always freely selectable or adjustable. As a rule, the rain shower is bathed in blue to red light, depending on the temperature. When the light is blue, the water is cold, when it is red, it is hot.

This allows you to estimate the approximate water temperature even before you get into the shower. Another interesting feature of LED installation is that it does not require any additional power supply. The light is created by the water pressure as a by-product.

Rain shower with loudspeaker

If you equip your rain shower with a sound system, you can turn a shower into an experience for all the senses. Birdsong, the sounds of the rainforest or your favourite song will immerse you in a completely different world for a few moments. The disadvantage of music in the shower is certainly the inconvenient installation, which requires careful attention to the watertightness of the device.

Retrofitting a music system into an already installed shower system - especially with a simple overhead shower - is difficult. Usually, the sound then comes from a separate system that is not directly connected to the shower itself. But there are already some rain shower heads that have an integrated loudspeaker. Some shower systems with panels are also already offered with the option of built-in LED light and sound.

Did you know that you can connect your mobile phone to some rain shower heads via Bluetooth? With the Bluetooth connection and the integrated speaker, you can listen to your favourite music even in the shower.

Rain shower with thermostat

Equipping a rain shower with a thermostat is definitely a good option. With the temperature display, you can always see exactly how warm your shower water is. With a thermostat, you can also regulate the heat of the water more precisely and thus make showering even more pleasant.

Rain shower with waterfall

Some rain shower heads have a built-in waterfall that can be switched on when needed. This is an additional slit opening on the shower head from which water can flow. The waterfall offers another very special shower experience.

How much does a rain shower cost?

There are different price classes for rain showers, into which the product is divided according to type, quality, range of functions and design. First and foremost, the choice between the different models determines the price range of a rain shower.

Inexpensive variants in the form of a shower system with an overhead shower but without a panel can be purchased for less than 100 euros, depending on the quality. The overhead shower is the most expensive but also the most luxurious variant. The shower or spray itself does not always have to be extremely expensive.

But if you include the costs for installation, you can easily end up with several hundred euros. Ultimately, the quality, features and size of the shower are also factors in the price. Showers made of solid metal are considerably more expensive than those made of plastic.

What alternatives are there to a rain shower?

A good alternative to a rain shower is a shower head that has several shower spray variants. This allows you to adjust the shower jet to be harder or softer, depending on your preferences. You can also use a shower column instead of a rain shower. Depending on the model, this may even have a rain shower head.

Decision: What types of rain showers are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, there are three different types of rain showers, which in turn can have different designs.

  • Recessed ceiling-mounted rain shower
  • Shower panel
  • Overhead rain shower

What they all have in common is that they offer an above-average surface from which the water falls. The shower head is always above the head and allows the rain to fall vertically on you. No matter which type of shower you choose, you can spice them all up even more. LED light, music, an additional hand shower or additional massage jets can turn the wellness experience into a dreamlike pleasure.

What distinguishes a ceiling-mounted rain shower and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

With a ceiling-mounted rain shower, a square or round plate is installed in the ceiling. When the water then pours down softly on the body in the form of drops over a large area, you truly have the feeling of standing in the rainforest in the middle of a warm downpour. The large area for the water flow and the high position provide a rain shower that envelops the whole body. Tall people can enjoy the shower just as much - so the lack of height adjustability is not a disadvantage.

Advantages
  • Looks very good to luxurious
  • Large area provides comfort
  • Also suitable for tall people
Disadvantages
  • Cumbersome installation
  • Mostly difficult to retrofit

When installed in the ceiling, the shower is often equipped in such a way that fairly dense water vapour forms even at lukewarm temperatures. This rounds off the shower experience completely. Installing a rain shower in the ceiling also requires that the water pipes run up to the ceiling. So if you have already installed a normal shower before, ceiling installation can lead to some additional expense. However, this is more than justified by the elegant appearance and the high level of comfort.

What distinguishes a shower system with a panel and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A shower panel is a wall-mounted shower system. Here you have an entire fitting at your disposal, which you can use to style your very own shower experience. Apart from the rainfall shower, many panels also have a waterfall effect or massage showers, for example. Depending on the design and range of functions, a panel can be quite large.

Advantages
  • Easy to retrofit
  • Wide range of functions
Disadvantages
  • Can look clunky

The advantage of shower panels is that they are easy to install and do not involve a lot of work. The large surface area that is attached to the wall makes it easy to adapt the shower to the water pipes. A very nice variant is the panel, where the rain shower is mounted high up on the wall separately from the control surface itself. However, here it is more important to consider how the water pipes run.

What are the characteristics of an overhead shower and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The overhead shower is the simplest model of all. It may well be an entire shower system. Nevertheless, the overhead shower is usually attached to a shower bar. This means that it is actually a very large, simple shower head.

Advantages
  • Very easy to retrofit
  • Cheapest variant
Disadvantages
  • Shower rail must be mounted high enough

The overhead shower can be very easily attached to an existing shower rail. Another option is to purchase a complete system, including hand shower, battery and bar. You can then simply replace your existing shower. Due to the simple installation, which does not require many structural measures, this model is very well suited for retrofitting in a rented flat.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate rain showers

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate rain showers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular rain shower is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Shower head dimensions
  • Shape of the shower head
  • Material
  • Hand shower
  • Spray types
  • Water consumption and water saving function

Dimensions of the shower head

Depending on its shape, a rain shower head should have a diameter or a length or width of at least 20 cm. Anything smaller can be called a rain shower head, but it is more like an ordinary shower head. To get a real rain experience, you should make sure that the size of the shower head is at least about 40 cm.

The rain should envelop your whole body while showering, so the dimensions are quite important. When choosing the size, you should first think about the model you want to buy. Shower heads larger than about 40 cm usually have to be installed directly on the wall or even in the ceiling.

Shower rods or panels are not ideal for shower heads over 40 cm in diameter.

So if you're more likely to opt for a panel or shower rod, make sure you choose the appropriate dimensions.

Shape of the shower head

Rain shower heads are available in all kinds of shapes. From square to rectangular to oval, everything is possible. Which shape you choose is really a matter of taste.

Many large rain showers are rectangular.

However, it can be observed that as the surface area increases, the showers tend to be planned in the shape of a rectangle. This is probably mainly due to the fact that the larger the area, the more likely it is that showers will have to be installed in the ceiling.

A rounded shape is not practical here, and a rectangle is the best way to plan the area of the bathroom that needs to be used. Smaller shower heads for rain showers, on the other hand, are often round or oval.

Material

There is also a wide choice of materials from which the shower heads can be made. In the case of shower systems such as a panel or a shower column with different components, it is also possible that the latter are made of different materials.

So it may well be that the shower bar and the battery are made of a high-quality ABC plastic, while the hand shower and overhead shower are made of a metal. High-quality materials such as metals are significantly more expensive than plastics, for example. However, you should first and foremost consider what material or materials the shower itself is made of.

Expensive rain showers are usually made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel. (Image source: 123rf.com / Andrey Volokhatiuk)

This is because the shower rod or the panel fitting are much less exposed to water than the showerhead. In addition to the material itself, it is also important to note that shower heads - whether they are rain showers or just hand showers - should always be equipped with silicone nubs. These ensure easy removal of limescale. The limescale can thus be easily rubbed off the nozzles.

Hand shower

There are showers that are not equipped with a hand shower. Especially if it is a rain shower that is installed in the ceiling, the package here does not include any other showers. The situation is different for shower systems. These are usually relatively versatile and after the large shower head, the hand shower is probably the second most important component of a shower.

A hand shower can be particularly useful for a rain shower, where the spray is very widely dispersed. It makes targeted washing easier. For example, if you don't want to wash your hair at all, but just want to take a short shower, the hand shower is very practical.

Even rain showers that are supplied without a hand shower can be retrofitted without any problems. However, many systems already include a hand shower.

Buying a hand shower separately does not have to be more expensive, but if you make sure that the hand shower is already included in the delivery, you can be sure that it will fit the corresponding water hose. It is also recommended visually, as the showers are of course stylistically coordinated. A shower system including a hand shower is therefore a well-rounded solution.

Spray types

In addition to the rain shower and the usual shower spray, there are of course other types of spray - just as you would find in a spa.

Type of jet Description
Pure Water falls in a constant flow as if from a tap
Jet Here the jet is bundled in a narrow flow and is used to massage parts of the body
Rain shower Soft drops of water fall from a wide surface
Champagne More air is added to the water, creating a sparkling water jet

In some cases, a single shower head can produce different spray types, which you can change yourself. Most shower heads can be changed with a simple hand movement. Shower panels often have additional showers or jets with several functions. The simpler the entire shower system, the fewer spray types are likely to be available.

If you have decided to buy a rain shower, it is mainly a question of comfort whether you want to add more functions. If you have the rain shower and a hand shower, that is often enough. If you want to treat yourself to the whole package, there should certainly be four to five spray types.

Water consumption and water-saving function

With all the requirements you have to consider when buying a rain shower, one thing can easily be overlooked: water consumption. However, this is very important, as you may be able to save a lot of money on water when buying a more expensive shower. The water consumption of a shower is calculated by the water flow. This indicates how many litres of water flow through the shower in one minute.

Saving heads can save around 50% water.

A standard shower uses about 15 to 20 litres per minute. Normal shower heads are now very well developed. Such saving heads can save more than 50% of the water consumption and thus come to about 7 to 10 litres per minute. In the case of rain shower heads, however, the manufacturers are not quite there yet.

Nevertheless, rain shower heads do not consume very much more than normal shower heads. The system of a rain shower, in which air is added to the water, reduces water consumption. The latter is about 18 to 25 litres. However, there are also rain showers with a water-saving function.

A rain shower with water-saving function consumes about 15 to 20 litres per minute.

Of course, water consumption depends greatly on the size of the shower head. The larger it is, the more difficult it is to minimise water consumption. So when buying a rain shower, you should definitely also pay attention to the water consumption, as it can vary greatly. Most of the time, more expensive models are equipped with a water-saving function on the one hand and with lower water consumption on the other.

Facts worth knowing about rain showers

How high above the head should the shower ideally be installed?

Of course, the right height also depends on the size of the shower. To get the best rain feeling, the shower head should ideally be about 20 cm above your head.

Do I always need a hand shower with a rain shower?

Not every rain shower has a hand shower. Usually, the latter is included in the scope of delivery for showers that are not built into the ceiling. A clear advantage of the hand shower is that it can be used to clean specific parts of the body - especially if you do not want to wash your hair. A shower without a hand shower is not recommended, as you are too restricted.

Why does my rain shower continue to drip for a long time after the shower?

If your rain shower is dripping, this is not always due to a defect in the shower. Because of the way it works, there is still residual water in the shower after the tap has been turned off. This residual water is then gradually emptied, even if the shower has been turned off for a long time.

If your shower drips because of the remaining water, this always happens intermittently, not continuously.

If the rain shower drips continuously, this may be due to a broken fitting or another leak. In this case, you should have the shower repaired.

How is a rain shower properly maintained and cleaned?

With many rain showers, but especially with the somewhat better quality models, the manufacturers ensure that cleaning is as easy as possible. For example, nozzles are equipped with silicone nubs, which are generally easier to maintain than steel. In any case, the rain shower must be cleaned regularly to maintain its optimal function.

Once limescale builds up, it can be difficult to get rid of it completely. Also, your showering experience will be minimised by calcified nozzles. The manufacturer will inform you about the correct cleaning when you purchase the rain shower. However, you can also use home remedies such as vinegar for cleaning.

If you follow the instructions and tips, you can prevent limescale from forming. To avoid scratches when descaling, you should not use too heavy a weapon when descaling - simply use the recommended products.

How did the rain shower originate?

The rain shower originated in ancient Rome. Warm baths and bubbling water were very popular and, of course, only reserved for the well-heeled. The rain shower was also part of this feel-good experience. Even in those days, the spa experience was more for the community.

These offerings were not found in private households. Despite the great popularity, it took a long time until one could get the wellness treatments at home.

Did you know that the rain shower originated from the principle of summer rain? This is because of the type of nozzles in the shower head. These are somewhat finer and more numerous than in conventional shower heads.

It was not until the 1990s that the first rain shower models came onto the market, which were particularly specialised for installation at home. Due to the technical difficulties in producing raindrops, a rain shower was initially a luxury product and only available in very expensive versions.

Only over time, as manufacturers were able to improve and simplify the technology in the product, did it become possible to produce simpler showers. Accordingly, the devices also became cheaper.

Picture source: 123rf.com / Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

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