16 Types Of Shower Heads Based on Installation, Performance & Designs

Quick showers are extremely relaxing. But, do you know what makes showers so warm and aerated? Well, it’s the shower head, a small, perforated part that connects to the shower arm and controls the water pressure and supply. So, who isn’t ready to pick the right showerhead and have a foaming body spray right away?

But since showerheads come with different installations and designs, it might be tedious to find the best shower head for your bathroom size, decor, and aesthetic on a budget. But, sit back and relax as we decode 16 cost-efficient and high-performance shower heads, along with their pros and cons for leisure bathing. So, let’s explore them at a glance!

What Is a Shower Head?

Shower Head

A showerhead is a pipe-like bathroom fixture with a long body and a bulbous head that directs water out of the nozzle and maintains constant water pressure in the plumbing system.

It uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute but can be modified with water-saving filters to reduce water pressure and use.

Types of Shower Heads Based on Their Installation

Showerheads are not always installed on the walls but can be mounted on ceilings in luxurious bathrooms and handheld in compact or elderly baths. So, let’s look at the different types of shower heads based on mounting techniques and pick the one for utmost comfort and accessibility.

1. Fixed Shower Head

Fixed Showerhead in Bathroom

As the name suggests, a fixed showerhead is permanently attached to the wall and has a short, protruding rotatable or fixed neck that directs the water flow. These are affordable and easy to install and have a short shower arm that can be mounted on the shower wall or flushed in the ceiling conduit.

These showerheads are great for medium-sized, traditional, or classical bathrooms and come with multiple spray pattern options within a single model. However, the only concern is that they have a shorter, 5-inch spout that might not adjust to the heights of all family members.

Best Preferred For: Medium-sized or luxurious guest bathrooms, powder rooms, or larger ensuites.

Average Cost$25 – 200 depending on the size and material
Average Lifespan10 – 12 years on average, but only 5-7 years in hard water areas.
Spray PatternMultiple


  • Durable and doesn’t require frequent repairing or replacement
  • Large spray area
  • Stream-lined and luxurious look
  • Easy to Install and Replace
  • Multiple spray settings in a single model


  • Doesn’t adjust to different heights, and settings
  • Cannot be moved or relocated
  • Shorter shower arm
  • Difficult to clean and unclog

You can clean and unclog a fixed showerhead by soaking it in vinegar and baking soda and then dabbing it with a soft, microfiber cloth.

2. Adjustable Shower Head

Adjustable Shower Head

Adjustable showerheads have a flexible, rotating shower faucet with different buttons that lets you adjust the spray patterns, position, and target areas according to your comfort. These are usually wall-mounted and have a longer shower hose and a sturdier bracket that projects out and holds the showerhead when not in use.

Additionally, these showerheads have a flexible shower neck, and you can raise, lower or rotate it to accommodate different human heights. However, they might loosen up and fall with continuous adjustments, so don’t forget to tighten their screws occasionally.

Best Preferred For: Compact compartment bathrooms, shower, and utility cabins.

Average Cost$30 – 150
Average Lifespan5 – 7 years
Spray PatternWhirl Air or Massage


  • Controls the spray speed, pressure, and direction
  • Multiple spray settings in a single model
  • Easy to clean and anti-clog nozzles
  • Easy to Install, Repair and Replace


  • Loosens on frequent adjustments
  • Have a comparatively lower lifespan
  • Lower-priced models do not have a massage spray

Use swivel ball adapters between the shower arm and showerhead to have tighter joints while positioning and adjusting these showerheads.

3. Bar Mount Shower Heads

A Bar Mount Shower Head

Bar mount showerheads are long, slender showerheads with a vertical grab bar and an ergonomic design that supports elderly and specially-abled people in a shower. They are quite affordable and come in various spray combinations and water massages, providing utmost relaxation.

You can mount these showerheads on the wall with sturdier wall brackets or use them as handheld showerheads with flexible metal or plastic hoses.

However, these shower heads have a lot of tiny, flexible parts that might leak with daily use. So, check for loose connections and tighten them immediately.

Best Preferred For: Walk-in tub showers and Elderly or Specially-abled baths.

Average Cost$40 – 100
Average Lifespan6 – 10 years
Spray PatternSingle spray, Multi spray, or Rain shower


  • Supports the elderly and specially-abled
  • Simple and Ergonomic
  • Different spray settings in a single model
  • Can be wall mount or handheld


  • Difficult to Install and Repair
  • Might leak or stain easily
  • Not suitable for heavy, daily use
  • Might clog and rust with hard water

Never use abrasive cleaners, soaps, bleach or vinegar with bar mount showerheads as they might clog them and degrade their shine.

4. Wall Mount Shower Head

A Regular Wall-Mounted Showerhead

Wall mount shower heads are short, fixed showerheads that are directly screwed to the walls without any hoses or shower arms. They have customizable spray and pressure patterns and can adjust to different human heights. They are also very easy to install and replace and have fewer moving parts that reduce friction.

However, these showerheads have a weathered, oil-based finish and might seem outdated in modern bathrooms. And it’s even hard to customize them further, as they have limited styles and finishes.

Nevertheless, they are the most durable and affordable shower heads and offer powder rain, whirl air, or massage sprays within a single model.

Best Preferred For: Mediterranean, Mid-century, or Rustic Compartment bathrooms.

Average Cost$25 – 100
Average Lifespan15 – 17 years
Spray PatternRain shower, Whirl air or massage


  • Adjustable angles and heights
  • Multiple spray settings within a single model
  • Easy to Install and Repair
  • Sturdy and High durability


  • Cannot be installed on bathtub walls or shower panels
  • Limited colors, and finishes
  • Looks unfinished and traditional

You can powder coat these showerheads with polished chrome, silver or use a black matt finish to add class and sophistication on a tight budget.

5. Ceiling Mount Shower Heads

A Ceiling-mounted Showerhead in Bathroom

Ceiling mount showers are a subtype of fixed shower heads. These are usually directly hung or flushed within the ceiling. They have wider nozzles or aerators that provide a rain shower experience. And, they have extensive coverage but have low water pressure and water-setting options that save a lot of water but feel relaxing.

In contrast, these are quite difficult to install and require customized shower arms and plumbing fixtures that adapt to their height, versatility, and large size. Plus, they need some extra mounting brackets and supports in the bathroom ceiling, which are quite expensive.

Best Preferred For: Luxurious Contemporary, Eclectic, or Beach-house bathrooms.

Average Cost$100 – 130
Average Lifespan10 – 12 years
Spray PatternPowder rain, Rain flow or Rain air


  • Wider coverage and softer sprays
  • Stylish appearance and highly customizable
  • Convenient and full body coverage
  • Gentle and smooth water flow
  • Water-efficient and lowers water usage


  • Larger and non-universal
  • Needs a high ceiling and special plumbing
  • Difficult to Install and Repair
  • High upfront and maintenance costs

Pick shiny chrome or polished finishes for minimal and modern bathroom settings and rustic brass or oil bronze finishes for a traditional shower head.

6. Handheld Showerhead

A Vintage Handheld Shower Head

A handheld shower head is a long faucet that’s directly attached to the waterline using a flexible hose. So, you can remove it, hold it in your hands and move it freely.

Thus, a handheld shower is convenient for the elderly and the specially-abled and comes in many models and spray configurations at affordable prices. It is not only easy to install and maintain but has a high water pressure that massages target areas effectively.

However, a handheld shower has flexible hoses that might stretch, tear and leak on continuous movements. So, it’s advisable to check and repair its rubber washers and tighten all the connections periodically.

Best Preferred For: Kid and pet bathrooms, specially-abled cubicles, tub showers, and compact bathrooms.

Average Cost$30 – 150
Average Lifespan7 – 8 years
Spray PatternHigh pressure, Massage and Mono


  • Flexible and Movable
  • Different spray, pressure, and water temperature adjustments
  • High pressure, but water-efficient
  • Low maintenance and versatile
  • Compact and Silent


  • Loosens and leaks with time
  • Needs to be assembled and joined after purchase
  • Can break on falling

Use bleach, vinegar, lime or any toilet cleaning solutions to remove all the oil and aerosol that might clog their nozzles in the long run.

7. Dual Shower head

A dual shower has a fixed and handheld shower head in the same model. It caters to all the different heights and spaces, allowing standing and seating bath cubicles at the same time. Moreover, a dual showerhead has large, oval nozzles that ensure high water pressure and massaging sprays.

However, the two-head model has a high upfront cost and significant installation, maintenance, and repair charges. It also uses more space, water, and gas and cannot fit in compact bathrooms and cubicles.

Best Preferred For: Larger contemporary or eclectic bathrooms, 3-fixture, guest and family baths.

Average Cost$100 – 300
Average Lifespan15 – 16 years
Spray PatternHigh pressure, Massage, Whirl air or Soft rain


  • Adjustable and Multiple shower settings
  • Excellent for standing and seating showers
  • Softer sprays and multiple spray patterns
  • Spa-like shower experience


  • High installation and maintenance costs
  • High water use and tax
  • Take more space for installation

Dual shower head valves divide the waterflow between their wall-mount and handheld shower head. So, remember to use only one shower head at a time for high water pressure.

Comparing Popular Showerhead Installations

ParameterFixedAdjustableBar MountWall MountCeiling MountHandheld ShowerDual Shower
Spray PatternMultipleWhirl AirMultipleMassageRain showerHigh PressureHigh Pressure
Ease of InstallationEasyEasyDifficultEasyDifficultEasyDifficult
Size ( in inches )5 – 610 – 153 X 145 – 612 – 206 – 710 – 12
Water PressureModerateHighModerateModerateLowHighHigh

Types of Shower Heads Based on Performance & Designs

8. Rainfall Shower head

A Rainfall Showerhead

Rain showerheads are large showers with a single spray setting but several low-pressure water streams that create a calming rain shower combo. These showers have better body coverage, give a massaging and therapeutic effect to everyday showers. Plus, they are modern and luxurious and upgrade your space instantly.

A rain showerhead is easy to install, repair, and clean and can be modified with different multifunctional or directed spray nozzles. However, they are incredibly costly and need a lot of water. So, always check your water tank capacities and bathroom sizes before getting a rain showerhead.

Best Preferred For: Larger modern, industrial, and Scandinavian bathrooms or farmhouse powder rooms.

Average Cost$100 – 500
Average Lifespan15 – 16 years
Spray PatternIntense rain, Turbo rain, Air rain, Soft rain


  • Various mounting and installation options
  • Modern, luxurious design
  • Gentle rain spray and massaging effect
  • Better body coverage in low-pressure water flow


  • Limited spray settings and adjustments
  • Difficult to conceal and requires additional fixtures
  • High water use
  • Expensive to install or replace

Use 12-16 inch long shower arms to mount the rainfall shower head on the side wall, and use water-saving filters to lower the use of water.

9. High Pressure Shower head

High Pressure Shower Head

A high pressure showerhead is a large showerhead with a few nozzles that concentrate the water and deliver it at high pressure. These usually work as a massager but increase the water intake and may hike your energy bills. But, they provide good aeration and can be fixed or handheld as per choice.

However, high pressure shower heads are quite noisy, expensive, and difficult to replace. And, they might clog or rust due to continuous aeration and need cleaning frequently.

Nevertheless, these are great for a spa-like experience and have excellent temperature control, instantly switching from hot water to cold water.

Best Preferred For: Low water-pressure bathrooms, steam rooms, therapy cubicles, or compact baths.

Average Cost$40 – 100
Average Lifespan7 – 10 years
Spray PatternMassage or Mono


  • Handheld plus overhead shower combo
  • Excellent aeration and temperature control
  • Steady and strong water jets
  • Excellent supply in low water pressure baths


  • Single water spray setting
  • No warranty
  • Low water efficiency

Use a diverter shower valve or wall elbow to connect high pressure showerheads to hand shower models and enjoy the benefits of both simultaneously.

10. Low Flow Shower head

A Low Pressure Showerhead

A low flow shower head usually mixes a lot of air and redistributes water through narrow holes that lower its pressure without compromising performance. Thus, these shower heads are not only affordable and space efficient but allow you to enjoy different spray patterns with less water.

Low flow shower heads use about 1.5 – 1.75 gallons of water and comply with the energy policies of most American states. However, they might make it challenging to switch water temperature and remove stains and soil efficiently. But, they are sleek, polished, and modern and upgrade your decor instantly.

Best Preferred For: Farmhouse, Resort, and Hospitality baths, Swimming pool showers, and energy-efficient bathrooms.

Average Cost$40 – 200
Average Lifespan10 – 12 years
Spray PatternEcosense, Aerated, Whirl Air


  • Affordable and low maintenance costs
  • Energy-efficient and low water use
  • Multiple spray patterns
  • Polished and modern appearance


  • Doesn’t give relaxing, massage-like experience
  • Difficult to switch water temperatures
  • Low water pressure
  • Cannot be customized or adjusted

Use EPA Watersense guidelines to analyze your low flow showerheads and get them certified to ensure optimal functioning and water saving on a budget.

11. LED Shower Head

Led Shower Head

LED showerheads have hydroelectric lights around the jet that change hues in a preset pattern and add more liveliness to your shower experience. The color of these lights changes with the water temperature. So, they not only detect hot and cold water but also adjust the flow accordingly.

Moreover, they illuminate low-lit bathrooms and provide multiple spray and adjustment settings like any traditional shower head.

However, the LED lights stop working on heavy mineral buildup and water pressure and need regular maintenance and servicing to last longer. So, they have higher upfront and maintenance costs.

Best Preferred For: Resort, Club and Hospitality bathrooms, Kid baths.

Average Cost$100 – 400
Average Lifespan6 – 7 years
Spray PatternRegular, Air rain, Mono and Massage


  • Brightens poorly-lit bathrooms
  • Stylish and modern appearance
  • Better water temperature and pressure control
  • LED lights work without electricity and batteries


  • Limited styles and spray patterns
  • Prone to leaks and clogs
  • Needs frequent repairing and maintenance

Never use harsh and abrasive cleaners, vinegar or bleach on your LED shower heads as they might turn white, heat and explode. Instead, wash them with dish soap and water and dab them with a microfiber cloth.

12. Filtered Shower Head

Filtered shower heads are specialized showers with in-built filters that soften hard water and remove excess chlorine, heavy calcium, and mineral deposits. They are heavy and sturdy but are available in fixed, handheld, and dual head configurations that make them adaptable and convenient for different bathroom sizes.

However, they are very short-lasting and must be replaced after 6-7 months, depending on the use. Plus, these aren’t flexible and have very few styles, finishes, and spray patterns that may look simple.

Overall, filtered shower heads are used as shower water purifiers and are not meant for long, soaking baths.

Best Preferred For: Resort, Club and Hospitality bathrooms, Kid baths.

Average Cost$25 – 40
Average Lifespan6 – 7 months
Spray PatternRegular and Mono spray


  • Filters hard water and makes it soft
  • Multiple mounting methods as per convenience
  • Easy to Install and Maintain


  • Limited styles, finishes and spray patterns
  • Short lifespan
  • Cannot be customized
  • Prone to clogging and leaks 

Choose carbon-activated filter shower heads to remove 99.9% of chlorine from your hard water, disinfect it and make it suitable for the skin.

13. RV Shower Head

RV Showerhead

RV showerheads are portable camping showers that work on smaller water tanks. These are low-pressure, water-saving heads with a single, whirl air spray setting for quick baths. Plus, they are affordable, space-saving, and easy to install. And they are available in fixed and handheld models but aren’t quite durable and aesthetic.

Best Preferred For: Compact bathing cubicles, shared bathrooms, and campers.

Average Cost$40 – 100
Average Lifespan13 – 14 months
Spray PatternSingle Whirl air


  • Small, Sleek, and Portable
  • Water and Energy efficient
  • Excellent for low water pressure
  • Space and cost-efficient


  • Single shower and spray setting
  • Aren’t universal and might not fit regular plumbing
  • Low life span
  • Unaesthetic and unpolished

RV showerheads are easy to maintain, and all you need to do is wipe and squeeze the shower head from top to bottom using a dryer sheet to catch dust.

14. Shower Panel

A Shower Panel in Modern Bathroom

Shower panels are large shower boards with pre-installed rain showers, body sprayers, massagers, and therapy jets. They stick to the surface of the bathroom wall and make it easy to install pipes and conduits in pre-marked positions. And they even come with temperature and spray controllers, LED screens, and jets for more relaxation.

Moreover, shower panels are highly furnished and modern and upgrade your decor instantly. But they use lots of water and gas and simultaneously increase your energy bills. Nevertheless, they have different mono, rain, and turbo air spray settings within a single model and have a unique rain shower combo for all your needs.

Best Preferred For: Modern and luxurious 2-tier or 3-tier bathrooms, master and villa baths, and lounge powder rooms.

Average Cost$500 – 1200
Average Lifespan9 – 10 years
Spray PatternRain, Waterfall, Whirl, Air turbo, and Mono


  • High-end and ultramodern design
  • Different spray and massaging settings
  • Controls water temperature efficiently
  • Variety of materials and finishes


  • High upfront and maintenance cost
  • High water and energy use
  • Requires a clear wall and lot of space

Shower panels might look dull and whitish with continuous hard water supply. Hence, always use water softeners or conditioners to maintain their look.

15. Navy Shower Heads

Navy showerheads are short and stout showerheads with a simple on and off switch that allows you to wet and wash but stops the water flow when applying soap or shampoo. Thus, these are very water-efficient and cost-saving.

However, they might not adjust to different human heights and look flat and monotone. So, they are preferred for their functions and durability rather than aesthetics. Plus, they have a single water spray and aren’t great for high-pressure massages and spas.

Best Preferred For: Mountain or cabin baths, smaller cubicle bathrooms, and energy-efficient homes.

Average Cost$20 – 70
Average Lifespan7 – 8 years
Spray PatternMono and Low-pressure


  • High water efficiency and control
  • Affordable and long-lasting
  • Works with low water pressure tanks and motors


  • Unpolished and simple aesthetic
  • Single water spray setting
  • Lack of proper temperature control

Navy shower heads have flexible rubber nozzles. So don’t forget to brush them with toothbrushes and wash them with vinegar to remove all the calcium buildup.

16. Smart Shower Heads

A Smart Showerhead With LED Screen

Smart showerheads are nothing but regular shower heads with advanced panels, screens, and LED controls to manage the water temperature, pressure, and other settings. They also have an adjustable Bluetooth speaker and controller that plays music, adds lights, and makes your shower experience enjoyable.

These showerheads can be controlled with a single touch. They also add a high-end modern experience and upgrade your decor instantly. But, they are very costly and need huge installation space. Plus, they need high maintenance and repairs that increase your costs drastically.

Best Preferred For: Luxurious high-end baths, 3-tier baths, jacuzzis, and spas.

Average Cost$1000 – 1500
Average Lifespan10 – 15 years
Spray PatternRain, Whirl air, Waterfall, Massage, and Soft spray


  • Easy to use on a single touch
  • Adequate temperature and water control
  • Fewer chances of falling
  • Illuminates poorly-lit spaces


  • Expensive to install and maintain
  • Needs a lot of space and energy
  • Shorter lifespan in comparison to cost
  • Some of the features might be unnecessary for users

Change the batteries of your smart head showers every 6-7 months to avoid malfunctioning speakers and settings.

Comparing Popular Showerhead Designs & Performance

ParameterRainfallHigh PressureLow FlowLEDFilteredRVPanelNavySmart
SprayRain showerMonoEcosenseRegularMonoWhirl AirMultipleMonoMultiple
Ease of InstallationModerateEasyEasyModerateEasyEasyDifficultEasyDifficult
Size (in inches)12 – 166 – 76 – 75 – 65 – 63 – 440 – 455 – 620 – 22
Water PressureLowHighLowModerateModerateLowVariedLowHigh

Tips for Picking the Right Shower Head for Your Bathroom

  • Pick target massage or high-pressure spray heads for more relaxation and a spa-like experience, but go with a simple rain shower head to wash your whole body in one go.
  • Pick polished, chrome-finished showerheads for modern settings while going with simple oil-based finishes for traditional bathrooms.
  • Pick Water-sense certified showers to reduce water use and save on the energy bill.
  • Always buy showerheads with larger nozzles of 5-6 inches for uniform water spread and a softer spray.
  • Use LED or Smart showerheads in poorly-lit bathrooms.
  • Always use filtered showerheads for high-performance in hard water areas. And you can also add a water conditioner or softener for better water quality.

What Is the Best Type of Shower Head?

The best type of shower head usually depends on the user’s accessibility and preference, but multipurpose handheld or dual shower heads are convenient for all. Plus, these are affordable and offer various spray settings in a single model.

Do All Shower Heads Fit All Shower Hoses?

Yes, most shower heads, except ceiling, rain, and RV showerheads, are universal and have standard ½-inch NPT thread connections that fit all shower hoses in America.

Is a Large Shower Head Better?

Large showerheads do offer full body coverage and softer sprays, but they aren’t necessarily better as they have low water pressure and do not massage well. They are expensive and might need specialized plumbing fixtures and hoses for installation.

What Are the Materials for Shower Heads?

Shower heads are typically available in Metal, Aluminum, Brass, or Plastic. But, you have a variety of polished chrome and oiled finishes that suit modern and traditional bathroom settings.

Shower heads are the key to good spray massages, but different shower heads will soften hard water, add music and relax you completely. These will conserve water and offer you multiple jets for all your needs.

Generally, wall-mount RVs or navy showers are space-efficient, but luxurious rain or ceiling showers will upgrade your decor instantly.

So, we hope our guide has informed you of all the types, tips, and tricks to buy a perfect new shower head. However, before you buy it, hop on to our article on ‘Are shower heads universal?’ to know which showerhead will fit your existing plumbing.

United States Environmental Protection Agency – Showerheads