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
- Delta Universal
- Delta 75158SN
- High Sierra All-Metal 1.8 GPM
- High Sierra All-Metal 1.5 GPM
- Speakman Anystream
- Hansgrohe Raindance Air
- Moen Telford PosiTemp
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.
3. High Sierra 1.8 GPM
This incredibly popular shower head is from High Sierra, one of our favorite brands on the market right now. They make simple, effective fixtures which feel strong and powerful while saving you on your water bill. This new model is a twist on their 1.5 GPM shower head, which has been one of the best water-saving options on the market for years. This one offers the same pressure boosting capabilities, with larger droplets and a bit more power to suit larger, more modern showers.
One way to boost your water pressure is to simply buy a fixture which uses fewer gallons of water per minute. This High Sierra fits that principle perfectly! It uses less water to begin with, which already goes a long way to boost your pressure. With a 1.8 GPM flow rate, it’s not as conservative as the 1.5 GPM High Sierra, but it still uses about 28% less water than the average shower head!
It meets the EPA’s WaterSense rating!
This doesn’t feel like your average low-flow shower head, though! It has more features built in which allow it to concentrate water in a satisfying, strong pattern. The unique, patented cone nozzle concentrates water, so it flows onto you instead of around you in a mist. You’ll notice that you end up with more water in the spray area, which is more tightly controlled.
So, the same flow rate feels stronger than it would from a traditional shower head because more of the flow is on you, rather than missing you! In short, the High Sierra design makes much more efficient use of your water than traditional shower heads.
Since it cuts out the wasteful side spray, there’s leftover water to fill out the whole spray area. One big difference between this and other low-flow’s is that it has a complete coverage within the cone. Other models just use the nodes around the edges of the spray head, so you’re left cold and dry in the middle. The High Sierra produces a full, consistent coverage.
The innovative cone design also produces more satisfying drops than typical water-savers. They use nozzles with aerators, which can create a fine, stinging mist that doesn’t feel comfortable. In that case, you’re sacrificing pleasure for pressure! This High Sierra gives you the best of both worlds. It sprays real drops of water, not stinging mist.
This 1.8 GPM model is designed to help out in homes with newer, higher shower setups where the 1.5 GPM might have trouble maintaining pressure straight to the floor of the tub. We couldn’t find any complaints about that with this model, so if you’re fitting a newer bath, we’d suggest going with this one!
Hard water has absolutely no effect on these things! The cone design and the concentrated flow channel both send water blasting through the shower head so intensely that no minerals have a chance to build up or block flow. There aren’t even any nodes to clean! As long as you wipe down the outside, there’s nowhere for mold to collect, and nowhere for the composition of your water to cause problems.
The classic High Sierra models had plastic cones. These are all-metal, which makes for a more aesthetically pleasing look. Metal is also more durable and doesn’t stain or crack over time. This model comes in brass, rubbed bronze, nickel and chrome finishes. Unlike most fixtures these days, every single finish is made entirely from metal!
High Sierra fixtures are all made in the USA, with an excellent reputation for durability and quality control. They’re covered by a 30-day satisfaction period and a 2-year warranty in case of defects. Overall, they have some of the highest user satisfaction ratings on the market, and we think they deserve more attention!
It’s louder than the 1.5 GPM model.
It’s not quite as effective as the 1.5 GPM model for severe pressure shortages. If you have lots of pressure to make up, you may want to look at the more conservative model.
This is a no-frills fixture, and the simple, compact design doesn’t look as elegant as some others. We think it’s just fine, but if you have an ornate taste in your bathroom fixtures and decor, it might not work for you.
4. High Sierra 1.5 GPM
This shower head is very similar to the High Sierra we’ve just looked at above. The difference is that this one has a flow rate of 1.5 GPM, as opposed to 1.8 GPM. That might not seem like a big difference on paper, but it works out to a big difference in practice. You’ll both conserve more water, and see an even better boost in your sluggish water pressure. We suggest this 1.5 GPM model as an option for people who are particularly conscious of water conservation, or those who live in a region like California where regulations are strictest. It’s also ideal for folks with the most severe pressure issues, since it’s the best in this guide at compensating!
It has a lower flow rate even than the High Sierra we’ve just looked at! This is one of the more conservative fixtures out there, and its low usage really boosts your pressure, even before getting into the cone design! It’s rated to perform even below 30 psi,
Not only does it boost your pressure more impressively than the 1.8 GPM model, but this one saves much more water! You’ll be looking at a 40% savings over a traditional shower head! That’s going to make a huge difference on your water bill and your hot water supply.
The low flow rate exceeds WaterSense standards from the EPA and is a better for CA and other states where water shortages are widespread and standards are stricter.
This model is the flagship shower head from High Sierra. It uses the same cone nozzle design as the 1.8 GPM model we’ve just looked at. The patented single flow channel concentrates and restricts flow into a neat cone, which cuts down on waste and spray to maintain a consistent, satisfying coverage. So, while you’re using less water overall, you’re getting more out of each gallon!
Even with just 1.5 GPM, buyers overwhelmingly loved this fixture. They said it was wildly more effective than other low-flow options they tried, and even better than standard-flow fixtures. And, of course, it provided more pressure! Nearly every reviewer we heard from said that they saw markedly increased pressure using the High Sierra.
Just like the 1.8 GPM model we’ve recommended, this new version of the High Sierra is all-metal. It’s available in 4 different finish options, and you won’t find plastic parts on any of them! The finishes are super easy to keep clean, and as with the 1.8 GPM option, the 1.5 keeps itself clean and clog-free on the inside thanks to the innovative, node-less design!
These are made entirely in the USA, and are covered by the same warranty and satisfaction guarantees as the 1.8’s. They have incredibly high ratings from buyers, who praised both the shower head design and the company itself, who they said provided excellent customer service and product support in the rare case that people ran into issues.
Since it has a lower flow rate than the 1.8 GPM model, it doesn’t feel as satisfying to all users. This one produces slightly smaller droplets overall. They’re still a long way from being a stinging mist, but they’re a bit less “full” feeling.
This model also might not do as good a job in newer, higher bathrooms. The 1.8 GPM model was designed to compensate for the occasional underperformance this 1.5 GPM has in bathrooms with higher ceilings/fixture piping. So, the 1.5 GPM model isn’t as great a choice for shorter, smaller people in those setups. If you have a standard height pipe setting, you shouldn’t have any problems!
While the vast majority of buyers found that this piece solved their pressure problems, it’s not a universal solution. If you have very severe problems (pressure lower than 20 psi, say), High Sierra do make custom fittings.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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.