The 6 Best Water-Saving Shower Heads

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by Lisa Fogarty
Originally Published: 
best water-saving shower heads / Shutterstock

If you're looking to conserve water, a great way to do that is to install one of the best water-saving shower heads. These low-flow heads deliver just enough water to rinse shampoo and conditioner without wasting unnecessary amounts, and there are plenty of options, from affordable ones to ones that are loaded with features.

Sure, you could purchase an attachment that fits behind your shower head and conserves water, but it's way easier to spring for a new, low-flow head to get the job done.

What Makes A Shower Head Low Flow?

To qualify as a true low-flow shower head, federal regulations require that a fixture must use 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) or less. Most water-saving shower heads have 2 GPM — which earns them a coveted WaterSense label by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — but you can even find options that are 1.5 GPM and capable of decreasing water consumption by 40%. The best part? They save you money, too.

Below, shop a list of the best-rated shower heads that will help you save water and reduce your bills. Reviewers love them, and they're sure to make a difference. Whether you prefer a basic minimalist option, a dual shower head, a high-pressure shower head, or even a shower head for hard water, there’s a low-flow option on this list for every home.


The Overall Best Water-Saving Shower Head

Why it's great: This water-saving shower head boasts a solid metal construction and a low 1.5 GPM flow rate that saves 40% more water and energy than most other shower heads (with WaterSense certification to back it up). It has a solid metal construction that's naturally antibacterial and is compact enough to work in all shower settings, from homes and apartments to dorm rooms. However, bear in mind that it's not especially wide. Get it in chrome, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze — whatever works best with your personal style and bathroom decor. If you want to save even more water, this shower head also comes with a 1.25 GPM flow rate. It’s also available in higher-flow versions, if you need them.

What fans report: "I really thought they must have sent me a regular 2.5 GPM version as the spray coverage was so superior to our fancy 2.5 version I couldn't believe it was just 1.5GPM. After a couple of showers everyone was so happy with the water pressure, sensation of being in a waterfall and not getting the water cold even when more than 3 people were taking a shower at the same time. I have installed them in all four showers and I'm already seeing the reduction in my water billing and zero complaints from my family!”


This More Affordable Pick With The Lowest GPM

Why it’s great: This shower head boasts the lowest GPM of all — just 1.25 GPM — and it’s WaterSense Certified. It features three spray functions: needle, massage, and combination, and its $25 price tag makes it one of most affordable on this list, as well. It’s available in chrome and brushed nickel, and while it is a highly rated option, it doesn’t have as many reviews as the overall top pick. But it’s the perfect option if purchasing a shower head with the lowest GPM at a budget price is your top consideration. Also, if a GPM of 1.25 isn’t ideal for you, it also comes with a GPM of 1.5 or 1.75.

What fans report: “Best low flow shower head I've used. It does a good job if keeping pressure and spray. You do notice it is less water if you come from a high flow, but if you come from like 1.75 or so to this 1.25 you'll not notice nearly as much and really have to pay attention. Love the Niagara brand.”


A Shower Head With Six Spray Settings

Why it's great: If you're after lots of features, this ShowerMaxx shower head is a great model to consider and has a removable flow restrictor to keep it at 2.5 GPM. It has a water-saving function that you can turn on for a much lower flow, but you can also switch it to six other spray settings including rainfall and various massage modes. What's more, thanks to an extra long 5-foot hose, this one can also be used as a handheld option, and its silicone jet nozzles are self-cleaning. It also comes in a handful of different finishes, including chrome, brushed nickel, brass, and bronze.

What fans report: "This showerhead is terrific!!! MORE POWER!!! At 2.5 gallons per minute, it really works. [...] This head arrived in a timely fashion, packaged very well, from manufacturer to seller, and easy to install. The color matches our fixtures. The performance is excellent, easy to choose a flow. The hose is really long. YES, I would, definitely purchase it again”


A Budget-Friendly Shower Head With Amazing Coverage

Why it's great: This WaterSense-certified shower head from Delta Faucet uses a special design to provide three times more coverage than its competitors, according to the brand. It also creates a wave pattern in the water so it feels more intense and high pressure. But even though it feels like a higher-flow model, it’s truly low-flow, with two flow settings so you can choose between 2.5 or 1.85 GPM. You can also choose between two spray patterns to find the one you enjoy most. The shower head has a chrome finish and is minimalist without looking too small or unstylish. Oh, and it’s less than $20, too.

What fans report: "This shower head has CHANGED MY LIFE. The water pressure in my prewar building is quite low and my previous shower head gave me a narrow stream of trickle [...] I did some research on the internet and found this shower head got high marks when it came to adding water pressure, and at a price of under twenty-five dollars, I thought, 'What have I got to lose?' Well, the change was immediate and phenomenal. Suddenly, I have a shower with TERRIFIC water pressure and a wide spray that is a JOY to experience every morning. And although it didn't advertise this feature, the shower head has also somehow managed to even out the former temperature swings. If you are on the fence about trying this, DO IT! You will love it!”


This High-Pressure Shower Head That Filters Hard Water

Why it’s great: When you have hard water coupled with the desire to conserve water, this multi-filtration shower head comes through with a stainless steel micro nozzle that increases the speed of water flow and pressure and can save water by up to 30%. It has a 1.6 GPM, though the brand doesn’t specify that it has WaterSense Certification. Its built-in filtration system can help remove impurities from water. It comes in four colors and boasts three spray modes: rainfall, massage, and jetting.

What fans report: “This is by far the best shower head I've ever had. The pressure is amazing and you feel extra clean after your shower [...] Deff recommend this.”


A Dual Handheld And Rain Shower System

Why it’s great: If variety is key for you when it comes to creating the overall best shower experience, look no further than this combination handheld and rain shower head that gives you the freedom to choose among 24 water patterns and five settings: massage, rain/massage, power rain, water-saving economy rain, and pause. Keep in mind that at 2.5 GPM, this one will still conserve water better than many leading brands, but it’s a bit too high to quality for WaterSense Certification. This highly rated pick with more than 25,000 reviews comes with a 5-foot hose and with a chrome, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze finish.

What fans report: “The water pressure was horrible with the previous shower head, and I thought that it was a problem with our plumbing. Well, that is not the case. Now, the water pressure is great! The product is well designed, stylish, and a bargain for the price. I am very happy with this purchase and recommend it without reservation.”

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