The Best Water Saving Shower Heads of 2024

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The average American family uses 40 gallons of water each day just from showering. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average family could save 2,700 gallons of water a year by switching to a certified low-flow shower head. These fixtures are designed to efficiently use a smaller volume of water, either by aerating the water steam or using a high-speed oscillation stream.

A water-saving shower head is not just an environmentally sound choice; it’s also a budget-friendly one. Because you’re using less water, you’ll save money on your water bill; you’ll also save the cost of the energy required to heat the water. The best low-flow shower head is one that uses less water but still emits a powerful spray. Read on for our recommendations and select tested products for the best water-saving shower heads, and learn more about how to shop for these eco-friendly devices.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Kohler Forté 1.75 GPM Shower Head
  2. RUNNER-UP: Lokby 1.8 GPM Handheld Shower Head
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: High Sierra’s 1.5 GPM Fixed Shower Head
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Pulse ShowerSpas 1.8 GPM Kauai III Shower Head
  5. BEST HANDHELD: Moen Engage Magnetix 1.75 GPM Handheld Shower Head
  6. BEST COMBINATION: Delta Faucet In2ition 1.75 GPM 2-in-1 Shower Head
  7. BEST SPRAY SETTINGS: Moen Attract Magnetix 1.75 GPM Showerhead Combo
  8. BEST HIGH-PRESSURE: Waterpik BodyWand 1.8 GPM Shower Head

A combination water saving shower head being used
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Water-Saving Shower Heads

The best water-saving shower heads save on the bills while not skimping too much on water pressure. No one wants a disappointing shower that can’t provide a relaxing blast of water. As such, we have gathered our top picks in this category to provide shoppers with a range of options to choose from according to their preferences.

When curating our list of shower heads for water conservation, we looked at shower head types—such as fixed, handheld, and combination heads—and suggested our top picks in each category, which will ensure users get the best experience, no matter what type of head they’re looking for.

We made sure that our list includes only products that boast high-quality and durable materials, are easy to install and maintain, and have the ability to both save water and still provide a decent shower experience.

Our Top Picks

Our recommendations for the best shower heads for water conservation consider flow rate, spray settings, style, and additional features—and of course, manufacturer reputation and overall product quality.

Kohler Forté 1.75 GPM Shower Head

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Product Specs

  • Type: Fixed
  • Flow rate: 1.75 GPM
  • Spray settings: 3

Pros

  • Sleek, modern look; available in several finishes that match any current bathroom fixtures
  • Aerating technology incorporates air into the water flow, resulting in fuller water droplets
  • Great for low water pressure and states with tight water restrictions
  • Has 3 flow settings: full coverage, pulsating massage, and silk spray

Cons

  • Plastic parts can be fragile and may impact long-term durability

The Kohler Forté is an aerating shower head that incorporates 2 liters of air per minute into the water flow, which results in fuller water droplets that replicate the feeling of being caught in a powerful rainstorm. Because of its low 1.75-GPM (gallons per minute) flow rate, the Forté standard shower head can even be used in states with particularly tight water restrictions, such as California.

Three flow settings on the shower head—full coverage, pulsating massage, and silk spray—each provide a unique sensation, and it’s easy to switch between settings by maneuvering the head’s thumb tab. It is available in a standard polished chrome finish as well as a few other finish options. Installation is a breeze because its washers come pre-installed, meaning the shower head can be up and running in minutes.

Get the Kohler water-saving shower head at Amazon, The Home Depot,Wayfair, or Kohler.

Lokby 1.8 GPM Handheld Shower Head

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Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Flow rate: 1.8 GPM
  • Spray settings: 6

Pros

  • Compressing silicone nozzles allow for excellent water pressure and minimum material buildup
  • 5-inch head comes with 6 spray functions for satisfying multiple users’ preferences
  • 59-inch shower hose and button control are ideal for bathing children as well as pets
  • Comes in multiple color options to suit a bathroom’s current fixtures

Cons

  • Some users have reported poor water pressure compared to other models available

Anyone who wants to save on water consumption while enjoying a spa-like shower will want to take a good look at this model from Lokby. This option has compressing nozzles on its 5-inch head that increase the water pressure to provide up to 1.8 GPMs of water. It has over six spray modes including massage, rain, power rain, mist, and rain plus mist to accommodate virtually any user’s preference. This Lokby shower head also has a 59-inch hose, which is perfect for bathing children as well as pets.

For added user-friendliness, this shower head has a button for turning the flow on and off. Need more? The Lokby shower head has silicone jets to resist any material buildup and should be easy to install with the included bracket that has a 60-degree pivot, making this unit function as a fixed or handheld shower head. Finally, it comes in three color options to suit any bathroom’s current fixtures.

What our tester says: Kristen Mosier, a Bob Vila product tester and staff writer, notes in The Best Handheld Shower Heads that “this shower head is an excellent option for bathing young children. A convenient off button lets the operator turn the shower off from the head, while silicone jets keep this shower head functioning properly by resisting buildup from hard water. It was easy to install and features a bracket that attaches to the spigot with a 60-degree pivot.”

Get the Lokby water-saving shower head at Amazon.

High Sierra's 1.5 GPM Fixed Shower Head

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Product Specs

  • Type: Fixed
  • Flow rate: 1.25, 1.5, 1.8, or 2 GPM
  • Spray settings: 1

Pros

  • Surprisingly powerful spray emitted from such a compact, low-flow shower head
  • Contemporary design and all-metal construction are durable enough for regular use
  • 4 flow rate options available: 1.25, 1.5, 1.8, or 2 GPM

Cons

  • Only 1 spray setting, which may be too powerful for some

High Sierra’s fixed shower head produces a surprisingly powerful spray despite its affordable price. This low-flow model is available in four flow rate options (1.25, 1.5, 1.8, or 2 GPM), which allows households to choose the best option depending on their home’s water pressure.

Because all of this fixture’s parts are made from metal, it should be fairly durable and long lasting. One of the High Sierra’s only disadvantages is that it only has one spray setting, and it may be too powerful for some users (or for bathing young children). It’s available in polished chrome, nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and polished brass finishes.

Get the High Sierra water-saving shower head at Amazon, The Home Depot, Walmart, or High Sierra.

Pulse ShowerSpas 1.8 GPM Kauai III Shower Head

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Product Specs

  • Type: Combination
  • Flow rate: 1.8 or 2.5 GPM
  • Spray settings: 5

Pros

  • 2 shower heads, both an 8-inch rain shower head and a multifunctional handheld head
  • High-quality and durable materials that all come pre-plumbed
  • Versatile construction; heads can be used simultaneously as well as separately
  • Available in multiple finishes, including brushed gold, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and brushed nickel finishes

Cons

  • This luxurious shower experience comes at a higher price than other options

There are many water-saving shower heads on the market, but most don’t come with the bells and whistles one may want for a luxurious shower experience. The Kauai III shower system from Pulse ShowerSpas, however, has both an 8-inch rain shower head and a multifunctional handheld head, which can be used together or separately. The hand shower has jet, wide, massage, and combination spray modes. What’s most impressive is that this fixture uses only 1.8 GPM. This shower is also available with a 2.5 GPM flow rate.

Though the design may look complex and difficult to install, it comes pre-plumbed so it’s possible to install without remodeling the entire shower. Along with chrome, the Kauai III is also available in brushed gold, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and brushed nickel finishes.

Get the Pulse ShowerSpas water-saving shower head at Wayfair, Walmart, or Pulse ShowerSpas.

Moen Engage Magnetix 1.75 GPM Handheld Shower Head

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Product Specs

  • Type: Combination
  • Flow rate: 1.75 GPM
  • Spray settings: 6

Pros

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant; great for those users with limited or poor mobility
  • Easy to use and store; features a magnetic docking system
  • Has 6 spray settings: wide coverage; downpour, relaxing massage, regular massage, soothing massage, and rinse

Cons

  • Pressure can be low when using certain settings, limiting the number of preferred options

Handheld shower heads are a great choice for those with limited mobility, and this model from Moen complies with ADA specifications. With the Engage magnetic docking system, gone are the days of trying to hook the shower head back on its dock while rinsing shampoo. Clicking the Moen’s head with hose attachment back into its magnetic base is super easy and requires minimal manual dexterity.

The shower head has impressive settings, including downpour, relaxing massage, regular massage, soothing massage, and rinse. With a 1.75 GPM flow rate, it complies with U.S. federal and state regulations. Because it only comes in brushed nickel and chrome finishes, it probably isn’t the best choice for those who want to coordinate with black, brass, or white fixtures in the bathroom.

Get the Moen Engage water-saving shower head at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Target.

Delta Faucet In2ition 1.75 GPM 2-in-1 Shower Head

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Product Specs

  • Type: Combination
  • Flow rate: 1.75 GPM
  • Spray settings: 5

Pros

  • Handy pause function is especially useful for saving water; great for kids and pets
  • Available in 3 finishes: chrome, spotshield brushed nickel, and Venetian bronze
  • Detachable handheld sprayer easily clicks into place with a magnetic connector

Cons

  • Some users have reported manufacturing defects; pause button can get stuck after heavy use

Finding a high-quality, water-saving combination shower head isn’t easy because lower-flow water pressure feels even lower when the water is diverted between two heads. This Delta In2ition chrome shower head, however, provides a satisfying sensory experience using just 1.75 gallons of water per minute.

The handheld and fixed shower heads can be used simultaneously as one docked unit or separately, and the handheld piece is easily clicked into place using a magnetic connector. Spray settings include full body spray and full spray with massage as well as fast or slow massage. The fixture also has a pause function, which comes in handy when bathing kids or pets.

In addition to a chrome finish, Delta’s combination shower head is also available in spotshield brushed nickel and Venetian bronze.

Get the Delta Faucet water-saving shower head at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Moen Attract Magnetix 1.75 GPM Showerhead Combo

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Product Specs

  • Type: Combination
  • Flow rate: 1.75 GPM
  • Spray settings: 1 rain shower option; 6 additional handheld settings

Pros

  • Has a 6.75-inch rain shower head and a 3.75-inch magnetic handheld shower head
  • Provides ample coverage; suitable for self-cleaning as well as cleaning the shower itself
  • Installation is easy, requiring 4 quick steps to set up
  • Available in 4 finishes: chrome, matte black, Mediterranean bronze, and spot-resist brushed nickel

Cons

  • Some users report that the handheld showerhead’s locking system poses problems at times

Just because a shower head saves on water doesn’t mean that it can’t provide high pressure. For those who love high water pressure in their shower, the Moen Attract rain shower combo delivers. This model has a rain shower function and a handheld option that provides six different spray patterns.

The magnetic docking system on the handheld unit keeps the head in place when not in use and is easy to take on and off the dock. Plus, the handheld shower head comes with a pause button to cease the 1.75 GPM spray. The 6.75-inch rain shower head as well as the 3.75-inch handheld head are wide enough for ample coverage in the shower.

Get the Moen Attract water-saving shower head at The Home Depot or Moen.

Waterpik BodyWand 1.8 GPM Shower Head

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Product Specs

  • Type: Combination
  • Flow rate: 1.8 GPM
  • Spray settings: 7

Pros

  • Compact and organized unit; dual shower head construction accommodates multiple washing purposes
  • Easy-to-clean construction remains durable and shiny through multiple uses
  • Soft comb, gentle rinse, and scalp massage functions are great for scalp and hair

Cons

  • Some parts can squeak when moved, which can be disruptive

The Waterpik BodyWand with PowerPulse massage option uses 1.8 GPM and offers seven different spray settings.

Rinse out shampoo and conditioner by using the body wand, which has soft comb and gentle rinse settings, then finish the hair regimen by engaging the scalp massage function. The rain shower head has four settings that will satisfy most sensory whims, from a gentle misting shower to powerful, pulsing massages—or a setting somewhere in the middle. Thanks to the fixture’s diverter, users can use the wand and rain shower head together or separately.

Get the Waterpik water-saving shower head at Amazon.

What to Consider When Choosing a Water-Saving Shower Head

A quality, water-saving shower head should use less than 2 gallons of water per minute but still produce a powerful stream of water. It should be easy to install, and complement your bathroom’s decor. Keep reading to learn about some of the most important qualities to consider when shopping for the best water-saving shower head.

Type

Though it’s easy to assume that all shower heads work the same, several characteristics can affect their functionality. Shower heads generally fit into one of three categories, each with its own advantages.

  • Fixed shower heads are mounted to the wall and vary in size and shape. They are usually the most affordable type of shower head, but they may or may not have adjustable spray settings. One type of fixed shower head is the rain shower head, which has a larger head than most and produces a gentle, sprinkling flow of water.
  • Handheld shower heads are attached to the wall via a mounting bracket. This type of shower head has a long, flexible hose that can be unhooked from the wall and grasped in the hand, so the bather can direct water where they want it. When the head is kept in the bracket it functions as a fixed, hands-free shower head. Handheld shower heads are particularly useful for those with limited mobility, or those who want flexibility while bathing kids or pets. The price of handheld shower heads is usually higher than that of their fixed-head counterparts.
  • Combination, or 3-way shower heads, have both a fixed and a handheld shower head. A 3-way diverter allows each of the two heads to be used simultaneously or independently. Because of water-flow rate regulations, however, water pressure is reduced when both heads are used at the same time.

Material

Most shower heads have both metal and plastic parts. Those made from stainless steel or solid brass are the most durable and resist rusting and corrosion; fixtures with a lot of plastic parts are typically lower-end models. When shopping for water-saving shower heads, keep an eye out for those that have solid brass or stainless steel connectors because these materials will hold up better over time. The one part of a shower head where plastic is preferred to metal is the nozzle. Silicone nozzles require little to no maintenance and do not clog as easily as metal nozzles.

Whether your shower fixture contains silicone or stainless steel parts, it’s important to note that the materials the fixture is made of aren’t always obvious. Because metal and plastic parts can be finished with decorative coatings to complement various bathroom decor styles, plastic parts might look like chrome or brass parts like antique black. Be sure to research each model carefully to know what kind of quality you are getting.

Type

There are two main types of low-flow shower heads: aerating and laminar-flow. Though each uses less water than a regular shower head, they compensate for the reduced water pressure in different ways.

  • Aerating shower heads mix water and air to mimic the sensation of higher water pressure. Most low-flow shower heads on the market use this method to conserve water. One disadvantage of an aerating shower head is the aeration process cools water slightly before it hits your skin, so bathers may end up taking hotter showers—and paying more to heat the water—than they would otherwise.
  • Laminar-flow shower heads use individual streams of water. They can be more expensive than aerating shower heads, but they’re ideal for use in humid climates because they create less steam and mist.

Flow Rate

While standard shower heads are mandated by the U.S. Department of Energy to produce no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), low-flow shower heads are allowed to produce a maximum of 2 GPM. Products labeled with the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense logo are certified to use less than 2 GPM.

The flow rates of most shower heads that limit water usage range from 1.5 to 2 GPM. Before you run out and buy the lowest-flow shower head you can find, however, think first about your home’s water pressure. The Environmental Protection Agency flow rates assume a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (PSI). If the water pressure in your home is lower than that, a low-flow shower head may not be the best option for you. Residences with very low water pressure might benefit from a high-pressure shower head instead.

Spray Settings

Most shower heads on the market feature a variety of spray settings that emit water in different patterns. These settings can be changed by an adjustment ring or lever on the edge of the shower head.

  • A massage or pulse setting eases muscle pain and tension.
  • A low-pressure spray function is gentle and safe to use when bathing infants.
  • A strong spray is useful for rinsing out shampoo and conditioner.
  • A pause setting on handheld shower heads is useful when cleaning the shower, or when bathing children or pets.
  • A combination setting mixes several spray patterns at once.

Aesthetic

Shower heads come in a wide variety of different finishes. While the most basic models are only available with a stainless steel finish, many manufacturers make fixtures in oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, chrome, brushed nickel, matte black, and other finishes. There are advantages and disadvantages to the various finishes too: fixtures with matte finishes are less likely to show water stains and fingerprints, while metals with high-shine finishes tend to be more durable over time. Most buyers want their bathroom fixtures to match and will choose a shower head that matches the tub and sink faucets, drawer pulls, and towel racks.

Installation

Though the idea of replacing or installing a shower head may sound intimidating, it’s actually an easy DIY project that requires fairly basic tools. A wrench, plumber’s tape and screwdriver is all you need to install most shower heads on the market; they don’t require drilling or installing mounting equipment.

Installing a low-flow shower head is really no different from installing a standard shower head. Because the size of shower spigots is standardized to 1/2 inch, compatibility between models should not be an issue.

FAQs 

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about water-saving shower heads.

Q. How much water can a water-saving shower head save?

According to the EPA, the average family saves 2,700 gallons of water per year by using a WaterSense-certified low-flow shower head.

Q. Does a bigger shower head use more water?

While shower heads with a larger surface area don’t necessarily use more water, they do result in the sensation of lower water pressure. That’s because the same quantity of water is spread out among a greater number of individual nozzles.

Q. How do you fix a leaking water-saving shower head?

A leaking shower head can be fixed using one of several techniques. A good place to start is by removing the head and soaking it in vinegar to remove hard water deposits, and replacing washers and seals that appear to be worn.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

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