The United States uses up to 79.6 billion gallons of underground fresh water reservoir every single day, and that is 26% of the total global usage rate per day (Source: NGWA). It's an astounding number to contemplate, and a huge portion of that is spent in the shower. If you’re eco-friendly, installing a low flow showerhead is a great means of contributing to a greener earth. Thankfully, recent technological advancements have made it easier for you to limit water spray of your shower head, and by that, you can partake in this exciting adventure. You can also enjoy a better spa experience with such a fixture that comes with all the advanced features that were unthinkable before.
On top of that, you are going to cut down on your energy and water bills. Durable materials with an exciting design language can add class to your bathroom too. It's about the experience that's been revolutionized by these fixtures, and guess what, they don't break the bank either!
Today, we've shortlisted the best low flow shower heads after carrying out extensive market research. You'll find full reviews on each of them along with a free buying guide. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to select the right model for your needs.
Why Trust Us
Toilets Guide stands as one of the most authentic online reviewing platforms of plumbing fixtures and home décor accessories. Our talented team comprises of professional plumbers, engineers, and interior designers who've been providing solutions around the states for the past decade.
On top of that, we follow the latest trends of the market and track the latest development of technology and design. Our diverse knowledge base helps us make better choices for our audience. In fact, the authenticity of our product reviews and how-to blogs is defined by our objectivity and well-defined research protocol.
Nevertheless, we don't promote any particular model or any brand, so to speak, instead, we stick to the factual details. Our aim is to provide our readers with the maximum number of useful information, so they can make better buying choices.
Our Selection Process
We followed a series of steps to finally make the much-anticipated list for our audience. The steps included online market research, feature analysis, comparison, field-test, and re-evaluation of the entire selection process.
Initially, we conducted over 30 hours of rigorous online research to find out the top-rated models with the highest number of positive user feedback. That way 25 models were sorted. Once we had the initial list, we spent the next couple of weeks testing them in simulated environments.
We checked the build materials, build quality, design, ergonomics, water flow rate, advanced features, consistency in performance, and pricing of the tested units. A group of community-based volunteers helped us carry out the tests and we want to take this opportunity to thank them. However, on the basis of the above categories, we were able to narrow down our list by championing 15 models.
It didn't end there. We also consulted other plumbing engineers and industry experts to have their insights into our final list. They helped us learn more about these models and we later proceeded to write down full reviews on each of the final 15 models.
Out Top 15 Product List
Differences Between Low Flow & Regular Showerheads
- Controlled Water Flow: The output of the low flow faucet is regulated, which is the reason for its ability to conserve water. This controlled head allows you to enjoy efficient water flow and utilization. On the other hand, water from a regular showerhead flows sparingly, resulting in water wastage and inefficiency.
- The smoothness of Flow: Low flow shower head flows gently, leading to better cleaning and smoothening of your body. Yet, there’s no steady flow in regular showerheads. This unsteady flow can cause the appearance of rashes on your skin.
- Multiple Settings: Most low flow heads come with built-in settings for you to choose, depending on your showering style. However, regular showerheads have only one setup, so you can’t enjoy other output options.
- Additional Features: Unlike the regular showerhead that has a single low volume flow mode, some models have a massaging style that helps relax your muscles without irritating your skin.
Low Flow Showerhead - Buying Guide
1. Flow rate
The flow rate is the amount of water that the head dispenses per minute. It’s essential to understand this term as it’s critical to saving your utility bills. Most low flow models offer a standard rating of 2 to 2.5 gallons per minute. If the rate is higher, it means more water and energy consumption; you’ll likely spend more on bills. Flow rate is usually controlled by the rate of air flow through the tiny water holes. Air flow rate, if set on high, may cause noise. You can also go for DIY custom designs that'll allow you to have complete control over the design and flow rate.
2. Aerating or Laminar Flow
Most low flow showerheads limit water wastages by adding air to the stream to create an illusion of higher pressure.
Others use laminar flow, which exits fragments of water resulting in a massaging feel. However, you’ll find it difficult to rinse your hair with the aerated stream, especially when the force is too low. Yet, you can beat this issue by using faucet with an automatic pressure regulator, which ensures that the flow is the same as the water pressure in your apartment.
3. Water Saving Technology
One of the most significant things about low flow heads is that you can save more water without compromising the pressure. They come with restrictions to control the amount of water that’s coming out of the nozzle, helping you to save more money on water and energy bills.
Most models use motion sensors to cut the flow once you exit the bathing area, and others come with auto-shutoff features to stop the water after flowing for a few minutes. However, make sure that you have the shut-off valve installed for complete control of water flow.
Since these showerheads come in either fixed or handheld types, you need to know what type will give you the ideal bathing experience.
- Fixed: This mounts to the wall, but you can concentrate the flow by rotating the head in any direction. You can simply remove a clogged or broken fixed showerhead by unscrewing the old, then replace it with the new one.
- Handheld: If you want to enjoy more flexibility and adaptability from your showerhead, this option is for you. The handheld version connects to a hose that lets you move it to any part of your body. The hose’s length varies between 60 to 84 inches. You can also use this hand version for tasks like tub cleaning, washing children, and bathing pets.
5. Adjustable Spray Patterns
You’ll find different spray settings like mist, rainfall, jet, and massage. If you have an enormous household, always go for those with multiple mist spray options as they’ll allow each family member to customize their spa sessions.
Most buyers prefer handheld showerheads with control knobs to prevent them from reaching the center to adjust the stream.
6. Showerhead size
You can opt for a large or compact showerhead, but it’s necessary to consider the dimensions of your shower fitting to avoid a mismatch.
7. EPA Water-Sense Approved
All EPA approved low flow faucets have the WaterSense label as a mark of their higher efficiency and reliability when compared to other models. We recommend that you buy only EPA approved products since they’re safe for use.
As these faucets come in a variety of finishing, design, and style. There are also eye-catching LED shower heads that can give your shower room a spectacular view. You should check for one that compliments your bathroom’s décor. Some designs allow for ultra-low flow rate mixing air with water. So, check that one too.
9. Ease of Installation
Replacing these showerheads can be pretty easy; simply remove the old head with a wrench and screw the new one in place. However, a couple of them with multiple spray patterns often need a few changes with the plumbing system, which could be time-consuming and expensive.
You can only enjoy all the features on the showerhead if it’s constructed from top-quality and durable material. We recommend that you read the comments from the previous users of the product to know of its durability.
We wouldn’t ask you to spend a lot of money to buy an expensive faucet. Instead, look at the features on the product and be sure it matches the price before paying. Ideally, the more the specs, the higher the cost would be; so, always go for those with features that you need.
The warranty on the item is a good indicator of the product’s quality and durability. Of course, showerheads with a lifetime warranty will likely last longer than models with a year’s warranty.
How to Measure the Current Flow Rate of Your Shower?
Since the volume of water flowing from your shower every minute will affect the amount you pay as energy bills, it’s ideal for you to develop an interest in measuring your flow rate. If your water output is above 3 to 4 gallons per minute, it means you’re pretty washing away your money.
So, to conserve water, reduce your spending, and also save your environment; let’s see how you can know your flow rate?
What are the items you’ll need?
- Jug with markings
- Direct your showerhead towards the empty bucket and set the watch at 10 seconds.
- Turn on the head, start the watch, and collect the water for exactly 10 seconds. Try to catch all the water by preventing it from spraying off the bucket.
- Pour the content into the jug to get an accurate measurement.
- Multiply the quantity of the water in the jug with six to obtain the flow rate in gallons per minute.
- You can repeat the process to get a more reliable result.
Note that if your flow rate is more than 2.5 GPM, it’s time to replace your showerhead.
More Ways to Save Water in the Shower
Saving water in the bathroom is a right decision because you’ll not only cut down on your monthly bills, you’ll be saving the planet. While using the best low flow showerhead can be a convenient way to conserving water, below are top-notch perspectives to consider:
- Stop the flow when you’re shaving or lathering up.
- Eat well and exercise regularly to curb offensive body odor, which would make you want to shower more times than necessary.
- Try to spend less time in the shower.
- Skip washing your hair for a few days to conserve water.
- Instead of washing towels after each use, you can hang them in a well-ventilated place to dry.
- Check for leaks and drips in the water sources.
Wrapping It Up
Now that you’ve gone through all of our reviews, we hope you’re ready to pick the best low flow shower head that suits your needs. The most unusual thing about each of our top picks is that you’ll not compromise your showering experience while trying to save water and money.
To get the right match, check your budget, bathroom décor, size, and design, then use our buying guide to select the one that suits your preference.
For the best fixed and handheld combo, you can opt for the AquaDance 7” Premium or the DreamSpa Ultra Luxury 9” heads. If you’re looking for a metallic model with unbeatable durability, performance, and beauty, you’ve got a choice in the Signature model.
1. What is the flow rate for a showerhead?
Ans. This is a measure of the volume of water flowing through your showerhead per minute. Its unit is gallons per minute (GPM). All modern showerheads should possess a maximum of 2.5GPM, anything higher is against the EPA regulations.
2. Why are energy-efficient showerheads famous?
Ans. Water-saving or energy-efficient showerheads can make a lot of difference in areas with facing water scarcity challenges. Conserving water helps to protect freshwater sources from pollutants that could harm humans and animals. For example, you put a lot of pressure on your septic tank when using much water, which in turn seeps into the underground reservoir, contaminating your primary water source.
Removing chemical contaminants or sediments from drinking water is often expensive, and the cost will be on the taxpayers. So, to keep everyone on the safe side while protecting our planet, you need to use a water-efficient showerhead.
3. How much water does a low flow showerhead save?
Ans. The function of a low flow showerhead is to regulate the volume of water exiting your head. Generally, the design is such that you’ll not notice any pressure drop in the flow. It can limit the flow of water to a maximum of 2.5 GPM which translates to millions of dollars annually when looking at the entire persons living in the US.
4. How to remove the flow restrictor from the showerhead?
Ans. Inspect the showerhead for the fitting design. If it’s attached to the duct by a thread, simply unscrew it. Alternatively, if it’s fixed to the pipe, you’ll need a wrench to pull the head out from the joint. Check for filters on the head and take them out. Separate the housing from the casket, then remove the flow restrictor. Finally, put the parts again, fix the head to the pipe, and turn on the flow. Here is our detailed guide for you!
5. How does taking shorter showers help save water?
Ans. On average, you’ll use about 5 gallons per minute for a shower. But if you decide to spend only 2 minutes in the bathroom, you’ll reduce the amount of water you’re using by 10 gallons. Besides, you’ll save more water if you turn off the water flow while soaping or brushing your teeth.