Handheld shower heads give you added flexibility in the bath. They use long hoses and flexible joints to give you extra reach and mobility for washing and rinsing. They are especially convenient for washing pets and cleaning the tub. They also make showering easier for children and elderly people.
Many companies make their own models of handheld shower heads. There are handheld units ranging from $10-$300 available online. Some are sold by themselves, and some are sold as part of a system, and include a hose, holding bracket, and other accessories.
When you’re shopping for a new product online, the variety can be pretty overwhelming. There are any number of heads from major brands, and there are also dozens of off-brand options available. Which ones are really worth your money?
We looked at lots of handheld options and compared them by price, function, durability, and user satisfaction. We’ve weeded out all the so-so models and come up with a list of high-quality options we think you’ll love.
Below, you’ll find full reviews of the best handheld shower heads. They’re ordered by price. We’ve broken down the important features, and included important details about what online reviewers are saying about these models.
Take a look at our top three choices:
Best Handheld Shower Head Reviews
ANCHEER makes a few different models of handheld options, listed on the same page. They’re all within the $10-20 range, and feature a range of styles and functions. We recommend one of the options with multiple spray functions, such as the 002, 003, or 006.
They’re very simple to install. Most reviewers said it took them less than 10 minutes to get up and running.
The chrome finish options are made from ABS plastics. The handles are ergonomically designed, and include rubber grips. Reviewers were impressed by the overall build quality, especially for the price. They said that while they were suspicious of the light weight components at first, the leak-free installation and operation convinced them otherwise!
There are a few simple spray settings. One is a rainfall mode, which can work for gentle rinsing or an overhead use. There’s also an intense “super turbo” for rinsing hair or washing the tub. A combination mode provides a wide rain shower with added oomph.
All of the settings are designed to reduce water usage. There’s a built-in water restrictor, which limits flow to 2.5 GPM. They’re extremely affordable. The most expensive ANCHEER model is $20.
Plastic models generally don’t last long. Users of the ANCHEERs reported better than expected longevity, but the construction is totally plastic. We wouldn’t recommend using these as a primary shower head. They’re a better choice for a secondary or guest bathroom.
It doesn’t come with a hose or holder. Holders are available from ANCHEER for an additional $6.
This Yakult is a modern design with simple single-function flow. It’s mostly metal, and has no breakable moving parts. Previous buyers appreciated that it was easy to install and connect without any tools. They loved its strong flow and overall build quality. While it’s no frills, the Yakult is a good choice if you want a decent secondary handheld option for a very reasonable price.
It’s limited to 2.0 GPM. That means it’ll save you 1/5 of water usage compared to a typical product. However, that doesn’t mean it lacks pressure. Reviewers were very pleased to be able to save water without compromising their showers.
The body is made from metal, with a plastic spray face and rubber spray heads. It’s easy to clean, as the metal finish resists scuffs and stains. The spray heads are clog-resistant, and flexible so you can easily dislodge any buildup. Reviewers said it felt sturdier and more substantial than other handheld units they had used.
There’s a 5-year warranty. Reviewers also said that Yakult provided excellent customer service, answering questions and concerns promptly and helpfully.
There aren’t any spray options. This has one basic spray, which is full pressure and a wide spray area.
The hose and bracket are sold separately. A matching set would cost around $30. You can also use this with any existing 1/2” setup.
3. KES LP 150 Bathroom
This KES handheld unit has a modern, simple look. It’s built from metal and ABS plastic, and reviewers said it’s capable of putting out a strong flow, while being ergonomic. They liked the spray pattern, and said it was very well made, especially considering the build quality of other models at this price.
It’s made from stainless steel. At this price point, nearly all other models are made from plastic. The housing is scratch- and stain-resistant, and will never rust. The spray nozzles are an easy-clean design, made from rubber.
It also comes with a stainless steel hose and bracket holder. The hose is extra long, at 79”.
Installation is simple. Everything you need is in the box, and the fittings are designed to work universally with any 1/2” connections.
The flow is strong and direct. Reviewers said it sprays in a nice, even area. They said that the strong flow made showering quick and invigorating. Several buyers also reported that the flow made cleaning the tub and giving pets baths very easy.
There’s only one spray setting, and there’s no flow adjuster on the handheld unit. You’ll have to use your shower’s main control knob to change the flow.
The connection from the shower head (male end) is made of plastic. You’ll want to be careful when hooking it up, as the threads will be less durable than metal equipment. Reviewers also said that the bracket was mostly plastic, and disappointingly cheap.
The warranty period is only 1 year. There’s a 15-day satisfaction guarantee.
4. KOHLER Shift
This all-metal handheld unit from KOHLER is a simple, modern design. It has two distinct spray functions, solid build quality, and is backed by a lifetime warranty. While it’s more expensive than our previous recommendations, previous buyers agree that you get what you pay for in this model’s superior durability.
It’s very well-built. The body and components are made of brushed nickel, which is corrosion- and stain-resistant. The ergonomic handle also features a rubber grip, for ease of use. Reviewers loved the adjustable spray function, which is controlled by twisting the shaft of the handle.
KOHLER’s MasterClean spray face uses rubber spray nozzles and a smooth design. It wipes free of any mineral buildup with no need for scrubbing with cleaners. The spray is adjustable. You’ll have the option of a wide-coverage spray or a concentrated rinsing/massage setting.
It’s very aesthetically pleasing. The Shift Ellipse will fit in nicely if you have modern bathroom decor. Its simple design is unobtrusive and easy to maintain. There’s a lifetime warranty. KOHLER has designed the finish to last for twice the industry standard, and the spray head is engineered to resist buildup and corrosion from hard water.
You don’t get a hose or mounting bracket–just the shower head. It’ll fit any 1/2” metal hose. Instead of a bracket, it uses a stand, which rests on the side of the tub.
It’s fairly expensive, especially considering that it doesn’t come with a hose.
5. KOHLER Purist
This 3-setting handheld unit from KOHLER is a water-saver, but you wouldn’t know it from the spray power. Reviewers loved its power and sophistication. They said that they didn’t notice anything missing from their shower experience, even though they were saving lots of water. It’s built from brushed nickel and backed by a lifetime warranty.
The Purist has a simple, elegant design. The outer body is built of brushed nickel, which will fit into most bathroom styles. It’s a bit less industrial-looking than wand models such as the Ellipse.
It’s got a very low water usage rate. At 1.75 GPM, it’s highly economical and environmentally-friendly. The low rate of flow will save 1/3 of the water you’d use with a normal handheld option. Reviewers were pleased to find that the conservative water usage didn’t sacrifice spray power.
There’s an ergonomic, pivoting handle design. This is makes it easier to reach around your body, to rinse hair, and to clean the shower.
There are three spray settings: wide coverage, focused spray, and an intense “utility” spray for cleaning the tub or washing pet fur.
The MasterClean sprayface is design to resist mineral buildup and corrosion. The rubber spray nozzles are flexible, so you can simply wipe across the face to remove any debris. It has a lifetime guarantee.
Some reviewers thought the design was a bit bulky compared to stick/wand models such as the Shift Ellipse (above).
It doesn’t come with a hose. KOHLER’s matching model will cost around $75, but you’ll also be able to use this head with any 1/2” hose.
6. Delta Universal Slide, Stainless Steel
This is a handheld model that can be your primary shower head and much more. It’s a complete set, including the shower head, hose, and sliding metal holder bar. Everything’s made from metal parts and guaranteed for a lifetime of use. Previous buyers were especially impressed by the quality of the hose and handle, which are usually weak points. This one’s all rock solid!
The set includes everything you need to refit your shower. The handheld unit has seven different flow settings. It’s designed to work overhead as well as in your hand. There’s also an adjustable, sliding wall bar. You’ll be able to change the height of the shower head with the twist of a knob.
The bar is 29”, so you’ll be able to fit it to almost anybody. It’s long enough to accommodate both taller and shorter people, and is also a good choice for showers with benches or seats. It’d be a great solution for an older person or a household with children. Reviewers praised its versatility, saying that it’s easy to adjust, and stays where you leave it without slipping.
It meets 2.5 GPM flow rate requirements without sacrificing power. The flow is strong enough to work as an overhead shower, but controllable enough for use as a massaging head.
Aside from the rubber spray nozzles, it’s all metal. Stainless steel construction makes it lighter than nickel or bronze. It’s also very easy to maintain. Stainless steel is inherently resistant to corrosion or scratching.
Reviewers complimented the workmanship and build quality. They said it felt much more reassuring than cheap options they’d seen in hardware stores and from other brands online. They said that the sturdy quality made this one well worth the extra cost.
Reviewers said that the provided mounting screws are inadequate for holding the slide bar in the wall. They recommended buying stronger metal screws separately.
It’s expensive. However, you’re getting an all-metal, multi-function shower head, with everything you need to replace your current shower setup. If you install this model, it can serve as a hand unit as well as a primary overhead shower. High-end overhead shower heads can cost this much by themselves, without mounting equipment.
Now that you’ve seen our top recommendations for handheld shower heads, you should have a better idea of which one is right for you. If one of these models strikes your fancy, feel free to click through to the product page to read more about it!
You’ll want to consider how you’ll be using your new handheld shower head. If you’ll be using it primarily as an overhead shower, and taking it out of the bracket for the occasional rinse, you might go for a higher-end model.
You’ll want at least one wide spray option, and a rinse function. Handheld models for use as a primary shower head are shaped to fit in an overhead bracket as well as in your hand. These generally have multiple spray settings, and will have stronger flow.
Some handheld models are designed to be used only in conjunction with a main overhead shower head. They’ll be meant for a handheld bracket at the side of the tub. They generally have one or two spray settings. These are also good for rinsing hair when you’re taking a bath, or washing. However, their more focused spray patterns rules out using them as an overhead unit.
If you’ll be washing pets or cleaning the tub, you’ll want something a bit more heavy-duty. Look for metal construction, and durable plastic sprayfaces.
For washing kids, dogs, and cleaning the tub, you’ll need more range than if you were showering by yourself. If you need more flexibility, look for a longer hose. Learn more about buying the right shower hose. Hoses usually range from 4-8 feet, and come in a wide variety of materials. They’re often sold separately from handheld shower heads, so you’ll be able to choose the length when you buy your setup.
Budget Vs. Quality:
We found that handheld models under $30 tended to have problems with longevity. We’ve chosen 2 in that price range, for buyers on a stricter budget. They’re better than other budget models, and have solid reports of durability from online reviewers, but we wouldn’t recommend them for your main shower head. They’re certainly up to being a secondary shower head, or for outfitting a guest bathroom.
Above $50, you can expect to find more metal parts and better hoses. While spray heads are usually made of metal, you can expect metal housing and fittings. There’ll also be easy-clean spray heads, and stain/corrosion-resistant finishes. Look for improved ergonomics and multiple spray settings.
Hoses tend to be a weak spot of handheld shower systems. Sometimes, it’ll make sense to opt for a more expensive shower head set because of an improved hose. But it could also be cheaper to simply buy a hose separately.
The same goes for the holding bracket. Quite a few brackets aren’t built well, even in higher-end shower head sets. Shop with the shower head in mind first, and then compare the price of buying the set with the cost of buying pieces separately.
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, have a look at our other recommendations for the best shower heads of 2017 HERE.