Last updated: August 6, 2021

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A shower spray turns every shower into a wellness oasis. With its different shower jets, it appeals to all your senses. Whether you prefer the feeling of a light rain shower or a massage jet. A shower spray is the right thing for you if you don't want to wait for a holiday to make your everyday life more beautiful. It is cheap to buy, but has a great effect. Shower heads are easy to install, even for non-professionals.

In our shower head test 2021 we have put various shower heads under the microscope and answered all questions on the subject. In this article you will find everything you need to know before and after buying a shower head and much more.




Summary

  • Unlike a regular shower head, a shower head is not only suitable for getting clean, but also for relaxing. The water pressure can be controlled by a regulator on the shower head. This makes both a gentle rain shower and a massage with a hard jet possible.
  • A distinction is made between exposed and concealed shower heads. The difference lies mainly in the installation and not in the mode of operation. Concealed shower heads are mounted in the wall and exposed shower heads on the wall.
  • For those who want a luxurious bathroom and are not afraid to make major alterations, a concealed shower head is just the thing. Those who only want to make an everyday task like showering more beautiful are more likely to opt for the exposed version.

The Best Shower Head: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for shower heads

If you have clicked on this article, you probably have a few questions about shower heads. Maybe you even want to buy a shower head, but don't quite know what to look for. With so many products on offer, it's easy to get overwhelmed. If that's the case, the next section is just right for you.

In this section, we will look at the most important aspects before buying a shower head. These aspects are:

Set or single part

First of all, you should be clear whether you just want to replace an old shower head or whether you need more. Shower heads come in sets of different sizes and compositions, so there is something for all needs.

You can buy a shower head on its own, or in a set with a hose or a hose and a bracket.

There are even sets with several shower heads and soap holders. If you want the complete package, buy a set with a thermostat

Depending on how extensive you want your set to be, the installation effort will of course also change. We will go into more detail later on how exactly to install different shower heads safely.

Fastening

Fastening is the be-all and end-all of a shower head. If the shower head is too heavy, even washing your hair quickly can become a workout.

After all, you don't want to start every single morning with aching arms or sore muscles.

That's exhausting and in direct contrast to the purpose of a shower head. Because it's all about relaxation.

There are different types of mounting for shower heads. The easiest to install is a shower holder. It is simply attached to the wall, but may not be adjustable at all or only in its angle. This type of holder can be glued on or screwed on.

There are also shower slides that are attached to a bar. They are adjustable in height and the angle of the shower head is also adjustable. This type of bracket must be screwed on in most cases, as glue cannot support the concentrated weight of the set.

Then there is only the flush-mounted fixture. Here, hoses are laid inside the wall and the shower head is fixed directly to or in the wall. However, this type of shower head should only be installed by a professional.

Size / Weight

A larger shower head with many modes is great. Unfortunately, more functions also mean more weight. So that's definitely something you should pay attention to.

We all want more comfort, but if your showerhead makes everyday life harder, it's missing the point. You certainly don't want to have to work out to wash your hair.

Surface-mounted showerheads and their handles are usually the same length. What is different is the diameter of the shower spray. The more nozzles through which the water can flow, the larger the diameter of the showerhead.

An average exposed shower head has a diameter of between 10 and 15 cm and weighs between 250 and 350 grams. Concealed shower heads are much larger. They have a diameter of about 30 cm.

The weight of concealed shower heads is relatively unimportant. Since they are permanently mounted in the wall, it is only important that your ceiling can support their weight. However, size may be an important factor for you.

Water filter

Many people suffer from dry skin or sensitive, dull hair, especially in winter. In many cases, the cause is a combination of hard shower water and the cold.

If you belong to this group of people, you might be interested in a limescale filter for the bathroom. It is simply installed between the thermostat and the shower hose. It should also have a positive effect on the lifetime of your shower head.

Shower heads are robust and many nowadays have the Quick clean function, which makes them easier to clean.

However, the main cause of wear and tear on showerheads is still limescale.

So if you want to do something good for yourself and your shower head, a filter might be worthwhile.

You should be careful, though. Only a clean filter will help you descale your shower water. If it is not changed regularly, the water quality will deteriorate again, the water pressure will decrease and the dirty filter can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

So you should definitely change your filter every three months. This can be very costly, but then you get to enjoy shiny hair, a glowing complexion and the cleanest shower head, even in winter.

Other equipment

If you want to further enhance your luxury experience, you may want other features. For example, light or advanced pressure control.

There are shower heads with LED lights in the shower head.

When showering in a darkened bathroom, they colour the water with coloured light.

This makes for a magical shower experience alone or with a partner.

Pressure control, through a single switch or through different pressure modes on the shower head are also possible. The standard number of modes is usually 3 but especially in-wall shower heads have a lot of possibilities.

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

Our buying criteria will probably not have answered all your questions. In the following section, we'll address any other uncertainties you may have. From very basic questions, such as what makes a shower head special, to tips on disposal.

What is special about a shower head and what advantages does it offer?

A showerhead is a type of shower head that is specially designed to enhance the showering experience. Its most distinctive feature is the regulator that controls the jets. Most showerheads have at least three settings.

Mode Description
1 The water escapes with little pressure and spread over a larger area, resulting in a rain effect.
2 The medium setting is usually the same as that of a regular shower head, making it ideal for everyday body and hair washing.
3 The water flows with higher pressure from a few nozzles, which creates a massage jet.

Some shower heads offer even more functions and some concealed shower heads even have nozzles built in from further on for different showering experiences. However, they can at least be roughly classified in the classes listed above.

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You don't just want to relax once a year, but make every day special? Then a shower spray is right for you.
(Image source: Seth Doyle / Unsplash)

Unlike a regular shower head, a shower spray isn't just about getting clean. We spend a lot of our lives in the shower, and a showerhead makes that time the highlight of the day.

What types of shower heads are there?

All shower heads basically work the same way. There are differences in the amount of modes they have. What they really differ in, however, is how they are mounted. The main distinguishing criterion is whether it is mounted above the plaster or below.

You can find out more about the differences, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, in the following section.

Surface-mounted shower head

An exposed shower head is characterised by its simple installation. With this type of shower head, the water connections protrude slightly from the wall. The thermostat, bracket, shower head and shower hose must simply be attached to these.

Advantages
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to replace
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be combined in many ways
Disadvantages
  • Prone to rust and water damage if not fitted correctly
  • Hose can get in the way
  • Not very stylish

Concealed shower head

A concealed shower head is the luxurious brother of an exposed shower head. It is characterised by the fact that all services and hoses run under the wall.

Only the shower head and the thermostat protrude from the wall, which gives the shower a very minimalist and stylish look. Since the installation is very difficult, it should be done by a professional.

Advantages
  • A real eye-catcher
  • Provides an incomparable shower experience
  • Can be combined in many ways
  • No annoying hoses
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to install
  • Only replaceable to a limited extent
  • Harder to clean

Who are shower heads suitable for?

Showerheads are for those who don't want to go to a spa to be pampered. For those who don't just want to go on holiday once, but want to improve their quality of life permanently.

A shower spray brings the spa into your bathroom.

They are also something for the whole family. Babies and toddlers will love the gentle drizzle, but should I be washed with the massage jet. For the rest of the family, all modes are equally suitable.

If you want to work your muscles with the massage jet after a hard day's exercise or enjoy a bit of gentle warm rain on your skin after a long day at work. Then a shower spray is right for you.

However, it only makes sense to buy a shower spray if you have the time and interest to take extended showers. Due to increased water consumption, people from areas with high water costs should also consider whether a shower spray is right for them, despite the water-saving function.

How much does a shower head cost?

Single surface-mounted shower heads, without any extras, are quite affordable and therefore definitely recommended for those who want to upgrade their bathrooms on a budget.

Depending on how extensive the set is or which brand the shower comes from, prices can rise quickly. You should also invest a little more for quality reasons, so that you can enjoy your shower head for longer.

Concealed shower heads are more expensive. Not only are the sets themselves in a higher price range, you also have to reckon with many other costs. Since the installation should be done by professionals, they also have to be paid. Not to mention the materials needed to reseal the wall.

If you decide to buy a concealed shower head, you should be aware that installation is not a simple matter. But it can also be very worthwhile. Which of the two categories is right for you is entirely up to you.

Here you can find a breakdown of the average costs:

Type price range
Showerhead single 20 - 50 €
Surface-mounted showerhead set 150 - 250 €
Concealed showerhead set 200 - 300 €

What are the alternatives to a shower head?

There are not many alternatives to a shower spray that work just as well. Nevertheless, we have researched some options for you and summarised them here.

Type Description
Simple shower head A simple shower head works basically the same way as a shower head. However, it only has one mode and is only suitable for simple washing.
Tap You can also clean yourself under a tap, but this is not very comfortable and you need other tools such as flannels or sponges.
Camping shower A camping shower is the ideal companion for any long camping trip. It provides easy hygiene in the great outdoors and is easy to transport. However, it is not really suitable for use at home.

How do I install a shower head?

That depends on the shower head. Surface-mounted shower heads are comparatively easy to install. Even laypeople with good instructions should be able to mount them.

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With our instructions for installing a shower head, nothing stands between you and your dream shower.
(Image source: Michal Balog / Unsplash)

Of course, it is easiest if only the shower head or the hose needs to be changed / fitted. Since there is only one standard thread, you only have to make sure that the seals are in place before screwing on the respective parts.

If you have to attach the thermostat or the rod for the shower holder, it requires a few more steps. Despite everything, the assembly is still feasible. To assemble a shower set with bar and thermostat, follow these steps:

  1. Switch off: The very first thing you should do is turn off the water supply in the bathroom and let the remaining water drain away.
  2. Seal: Seal the angle adapters with hemp, thread sealing thread or Teflon tape and screw them in. Make sure that both parts are at the same height and that you do not screw them in too deep for your thermostat.
  3. Insert: Put the thermostat in place and screw it tight. Make sure that the seals are properly in place. Then you can pull the sleeves over the nuts.
  4. Screw on: Then you can simply screw the shower hose and the shower head to the appropriate outlet. Make sure that the seals are seated correctly.

Once the thermostat is properly installed, you can start to install the riser pipe. To do this, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Fasten: If the riser is to be attached to the thermostat, do this before you start drilling holes for the top attachment.
  2. Marking: If you have a rod that will be free standing or you are done with the first step, apply some masking tape to mark the holes for drilling. In this step, make sure you attach the pole vertically and not at an angle. Then you can drill the holes.
  3. Screw on: Now screw the rod on tightly and slide the sleeves over the fastening. To be on the safe side, it is always worth sealing with silicone.
  4. Fasten and adjust: Now you just have to fix the shower head in its holder and adjust it to your size. If the shower head is connected to the bar from the start, you only need to adjust the height.
  5. Restore: In a final step, you can restore the water supply and check the shower for leaks.

The installation should take you about two hours and you should have the following materials to hand:

  • Hemp, Teflon tape or thread sealing thread
  • Sanitary silicone
  • Tools

How do I regulate too much / too little water pressure?

If you lack the pressure regulation of a normal shower head, you should opt for a shower head. These are characterised by their modes for regulating water pressure.

If the shower head does not help either, the problem may lie elsewhere. Limescale deposits in the hose or in the shower head can be responsible for insufficient pressure.

In this case, a quick cleaning should solve the problem.

We explain how to clean a shower head with or without the Quick Clean function in the next section.

If a limescale deposit is not the cause of too little pressure, or if you suffer from too much water pressure, this may be due to the centrally accessible shut-off valve. These can be found in every flat and the pressure can be regulated by opening and closing them.

How do I clean a shower head?

Many shower heads today have the so-called quick clean function. This means that the nozzles in the shower head are lined with rubber. As a result, limescale collects at the tips of the rubber and can simply be wiped away.

If your shower head does not have a Quick clean function, however, this is not a problem. In the following paragraph, I would like to list two ways to clean your shower head.

First of all, it is important to know that a shower head should be cleaned at least once a year. Depending on how hard (calciferous) the water is, cleaning may be necessary more often. The following methods are also suitable for cleaning the shower hose.

  1. Fill a freezer bag with vinegar or vinegar essence and water in a mixture of 1 to 5
  2. Attach the bag to the handle
  3. Leave to soak for 30 min to 2 hours
  4. Rinse

Another method that uses citric acid is as follows:

  1. Put cold water and shower head in bowl
  2. Dissolve one teaspoon of citric acid in 50 ml of water
  3. Add acid mixture to water and shower head
  4. Leave to soak for 15 to 45 minutes
  5. Rinse

It is important that you do not come into contact with acid. Otherwise, you should quickly rinse the skin with water and care for it with greasy hand cream.

What can I do if my shower hums / whistles / squeaks?

Noises when showering are rarely a fault of the shower heads. In most cases, the problem goes back to the water pipes or instantaneous water heater. Limescale or dirt in the pipes or the therme, too old a heater or pipes can be causes.

However, noises can also indicate an unclean installation. If air is sucked in at one point, this can lead to unpleasant noises

If you experience these problems, you should contact your landlord or a plumber. It is not advisable to try to fix it yourself, and in the worst case scenario you could end up paying for it yourself.

How do I dispose of a shower head?

Shower heads are very sturdy, but with daily use, even the sturdiest shower head will eventually break. There's also a good chance that by the time you read this article, you'll be planning to replace your showerhead.

To help you do this properly, here's a tip. If you want to dispose of an old shower head, it definitely belongs in the recycling bin. If this is not available, it should be taken to the nearest recycling centre or, in exceptional cases, it can also be put in the grey bin.

Recycling is important to keep our earth clean and to make disposal easy. Also, in order to be able to reuse raw materials, they must be disposed of properly.

Image source: sutichak/ 123rf.com

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