In this Guide
Low water pressure can be a real pain. It can make even the best shower head a trickling disappointment. And as everyone knows, a bad shower gets the day started in the worst possible way.
Proper water pressure is the key to making any shower work. If you’ve got low pressure, you could invest in very nice products and still be disappointed in their performance, simply due to your water pressure.
We’ve found great options that will give you a strong, satisfying shower even with your low pressure. We looked for special features which enhance pressure, enlarge water droplets, and concentrate coverage for a more effective, efficient experience.
Our choices range in price from $15-$200, and have a wide range of functions. You can read full reviews of each of our selections below. After the reviews, we’ve made a list of Things to Think About while you shop for yours. And you’ll also find some tips for solving your water pressure problem.
Read on for our top three recommendations:
Best on a Budget
Best High Pressure Shower Head for Low Water Pressure Reviews
1. Delta Universal
Our top budget pick comes from Delta. For under $20, you can get this chrome-plated model with a simple, effective design. Reviewers said it’s an easy, no-frills fix for low water pressure.
It’s highly economical. It costs less than half the price of most other metal options.
It’s a real water-saver. This model is limited to 1.5 GPM. It’s certified by the EPA for the WaterSense and LEED standards, and even meets California’s new conservation standards (CalGreen). It’ll save you 40% of the water you’d use with a conventional option.
It compensates for low water use by using Delta’s H2O Kinetic technology. This special channel design creates the effect of a stronger spray by controlling the movement and droplet formation of water.
Instead of many individual spray holes, there are 4 large channels. The H2O Kinetic function creates a spray of droplets without multiple, smaller spray heads. The result means larger water droplets, and denser overall coverage. The wave pattern creates the feeling of intensity, while using much less water.
Previous buyers loved the effect. They said it feels both focused and full, so you don’t really notice the water conservation features.
Reviewers said it’s highly durable. There are no moving parts to break, and the outer finish is designed to resist stains, spots, and corrosion. Reviewers also said that this one stayed clog-free, so if your home tends to have hard water and heavy mineral buildup, this one is a great choice for you.
There’s only one spray setting, and it isn’t adjustable. Everyone in your household would need to like the same settings.
It’s made of plastic. Reviewers didn’t report any problems with durability, but it’s obviously not going to last as long as a metal model.
This Delta model is an elegant big brother to the Universal model above. With a nickel finish, it’ll blend in with nicer bathroom fixtures while compensating for your low water pressure. Previous buyers said it made a big difference in their anemic pressure systems. With flexible flow rate and metal construction, it’s a bargain.
It’s solidly built. The head and fittings are made of brass. The nickel finish resists spots and stains, and reviewers said that it doesn’t suffer from mineral buildup in homes with hard water.
There are two spray functions. You’ll have a choice between a 1.5 GPM flow rate and a more substantial 2.0 GPM setting.
It uses Delta’s H2O Kinetic flow technology to create the effect of a stronger spray without needing lots of water. This system uses special flow channels to oscillate water streams in a wave pattern before leaving the shower head.
Reviewers loved the result, writing that the shower felt softer than other aerated models. That’s because it works to create larger drops, and a wider overall spray You’ll like that this one doesn’t create the misting or needling sensations of other low-flow options. Plus, the bigger droplets stay hot longer! Many previous buyers said that this was the best flow-boosting option they’d ever used.
Reviewers also appreciated its quietness. Because it doesn’t use aeration, there’s no rushing or hissing noise. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
It’s a bit bulky/clunky in appearance. It looks small online, but it’s actually fairly large, due to the special spray channels inside the head.
This top selling model comes from ShowerMaxx, a relatively new brand in shower fittings. It’s an inexpensive multi-function model with durable plastic construction and an easy-clean spray face. The ShowerMaxx is a great choice for suiting every member of the household, since it has so many different spray modes.
It’s built from ABS material, which offers superior durability over other plastics. The ball joint is made from brass. Reviewers said that while it was obviously plastic, it felt thicker and sturdier than similar models.
There are 6 different spray settings, including rainfall, massage, and several combination modes. There’s also a water-saver setting. This one is a crowd-pleaser. Reviewers especially liked the combination modes. Many buyers also enjoyed having lots of options for other users. They reported that there’s plenty of variety to suit everyone in the house, and that it’s easy to switch between them.
It’s great for houses with low pressure. Previous buyers said that the extra boost from this head meant they were feeling cleaner than they had in a long time.
The silicone spray heads are designed to be self-cleaning. Reviewers said it was very easy to clean this one, without any scrubbing or special cleaners. Sounds good to us!
It’s easy to install, and comes with everything you need. In addition to the shower head, you’ll get a detailed instruction book, washer, and a roll of Teflon plumber’s tape. It comes with a lifetime warranty. Reviewers also complimented ShowerMaxx’s customer service.
It’s all plastic.
While reviewers were pleased with the effect, we didn’t find any real explanation from ShowerMaxx about how this works.
4. Speakman Anystream
This hotel-favored model is now an online shopping sensation. Buyers love the versatility and power of the Anystream, and said it made them want to live in the shower full-time. It’s also available at a bargain price with a lifetime guarantee.
There are three main spray settings: intense coverage, focused massage, and an in-between mode. With Speakman’s Anystream adjustment knob, the head is designed to be infinitely adjustable, giving you complete control over the spray.
The spray nozzles are self cleaning. They blast out any sediment or mineral deposits while they run, with no additional scrubbing necessary.
It’s easy to install, and comes with everything you need, including instructions and plumber’s tape. It also comes apart for cleaning, should you need to do so. It provides great water pressure. Reviewers said they weren’t even tempted to remove the flow restrictor.
Speakman has engineered their own proprietary plastic for these. It’s lightweight, durable, and backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Reviewers had mixed experiences with water pressure. While some raved about the Anystream, others were unimpressed and decided to try other Speakman models.
5. Hansgrohe RainDance AirClick for Best Price
This RainDance from Hansgrohe is a versatile, smart addition to your bathroom. It’s got a wide spray head and a sleek, modern look. And with aerated sprays and 3 flow settings, it’ll do much more than boost your water pressure.
There are three spray modes. The first is an aerated rain setting. It provides wide coverage with amplified water droplets. The second is a “WhirlAIR” massage setting. It uses special pulses from the central massage channels to create waves of water, which fall in a focused, spinning torrent. The third setting combines the two for a full, strong shower.
With 95 spray channels and a full 2.5 GPM flow rate, you’ll never be short of coverage. Plus, Hansgrohe’s AIR technology uses aeration more thoughtfully than competitors. It enlarges droplets without making them sting, creating a fuller, denser spray without requiring as much water.
The spray face uses Hansgrohe’s QuickClean technology. The main panel is a corrosion-resistant, spot-resistant plastic, and the spray nozzles are made from flexible silicone. They’ll bend as you wipe across, loosening any mineral deposits or buildup.
Reviewers were overwhelmingly impressed by the RainDance’s thoughtful design. They cited the distinct spray settings, the rubber drip on the adjustment knob, and the silicone spray nozzles as convenient, smart features that made the RainDance worth the price.
It’s built to last, and comes with a lifetime warranty. The housing and fittings are made from spot-resistant nickel, and the sprayface is made from high-grade, ABS plastic.
Because it’s a 2.5 GPM model, it’s going to use more water than our other recommendations. However, reviewers said that the aeration gave them plenty of water pressure–even with the high flow rate.
6. Moen Telford Posi-Temp
If you’re looking for a complete refit of your shower, look no further than the Moen Telford Posi-Temp. It replaces not only your shower head, but the valve as well. It comes with everything you need to deal with your water pressure in an elegant, refined package.
This set uses Moen’s new Posi-temp system. It’s a special pressurizing valve which balances both water pressure and temperature before the water even gets to the shower head.
In the shower head itself, Moen has integrated their InvigoRain channel system. The unique flow channels create more water pressure, causing water to spray at 3 times the pressure of most rain options. And you won’t experience any of the harsher, tingling sensations of high pressure aerated models. This makes it perfect if you’re a fan of more water pressure than other rain showers, but still like the rain spray concept.
With a 9” spray face, the rain shower head provides plenty of coverage. And with the pressurizing channels, you won’t have to sacrifice any power for wide coverage. This corrects problems which people usually experience when using rain shower heads with low water pressure.
Despite all of this power, it still qualifies for the EPA’s WaterSense recommendation, with a 2.0 GPM flow limit.
The valve, handle, and shower head assembly are all made of metal. And it comes with everything you need to completely refit your shower, including arm, flange, and valve fittings.
The whole setup is covered by a lifetime warranty.
It’s an investment. We recommend testing your water system in advance, so that you can be sure that your problems are only with your existing shower and valves. That’ll give you a better idea as to whether the Moen will be able to solve your water pressure issues, or if you need to look at the rest of your plumbing.
When you’re looking at shower heads for low water pressure, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the specific features that make a certain model better for dealing with pressure issues. Generally, you’ll have two options: a low-flow option, which will create pressure by allowing less water out, or a full-flow shower head with a pressurizing system. Many pressurizing heads use special channel designs inside the head, which cause water to come out with more force than it goes in. Others will use aeration to enlarge the water droplets, allowing them to feel larger and fuller–like it is using more water.
The cheapest options for low water pressure tend to be water-saving. They’re already designed to compensate for low flow, so they work just as well with low pressure systems.
Because they’re built to handle less water coming in, they won’t suffer in performance without high pressure. Many of these models are available for $25-$50. You can find a few low-flow/high pressure models from High Sierra on our Best Low-Flow Shower Heads page.
Pressurizing versions of traditional 2.5 GPM shower heads are more expensive, because they use more specialized technology to boost pressure and flow. Expect to pay $50+ for these models.
Your Water Pressure:
You’ll want to test your water pressure before you start shopping. Pressure gauges are available for around $10, and can really help you narrow down your search. If you have only slightly lower pressure, you might be able to use an aerated model of a typical shower head.
If your pressure problem is more severe, look at water saver shower heads or models with pressurized valves.
Measuring your pressure will also tell you whether a shower head can solve the problem on its own, or whether you need to look into pressure-boosting pumps for your home. And, of course, it never hurts to consult your plumber.
Tips for Dealing with Water Pressure Issues
Clean your faucets, taps, and shower heads. Most modern fixtures have aerator screens built into them. These often get clogged with mineral deposits and other gunk. An easy way to clean it quickly is to soak the fixture in a bucket of water mixed with vinegar. That’ll loosen up any stubborn clogs.
Look for leaks and drips. Even one leaky pipe can lead to a drain on your system, and an inflated water bill. If you live in a city, try turning off your water supply, and then keep an eye on your meter over the course of the day. You’ll be able to see if there’s a loss somewhere.
Test water pressure throughout the house. You’ll be able to narrow down the culprit, and figure out whether only one fixture has a problem, or whether your whole house has an issue. You can read more Tips on Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure. It’s also a good idea to test cold vs. hot water pressure. If you have problems with hot water but not cold water, you probably need to look at your water heater, not your shower head or faucet.
Try different shower heads. Our recommendations should be suitable for most homes. However, everyone has a different preference for shower pressure, and everyone’s plumbing system is different. Feel free to order a few shower heads, and test them before deciding which to keep. Most models come with a trial/satisfaction period. Just make sure that returns are free.
We hope this will help you in your search for a better shower. You’re one step closer in your quest for the ultimate shower head! You can find more of our recommendations for the Best Shower Heads.