Buyer's Guide & Information

Best Low Flow Shower Heads For Saving Water

The best low flo shower heads give you water savings while maintaining water pressure.

by PlumberAndy

Buyer's Guide & Information

Best Low Flow Shower Heads For Saving Water

The best low flo shower heads give you water savings while maintaining water pressure.

by PlumberAndy

by PlumberAndy

Do you ever feel like you waste a ton of water while you’re in the shower?

Long showers can seem wasteful and be costing you extra money on your water bill every month. Low flow shower heads are a great alternative that allows you to conserve water, save money and still get a fantastic shower experience.

Low flow shower heads are designed to cut back on your water usage while still maximizing the water pressure you get for your shower. Normal shower heads have a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM).

Low flow shower heads have a maximum of 2.0 GPM, which significantly reduces the amount of water you’re using without sacrificing on quality or pressure.

Types of Low Flow Showerheads

There are a few different types of low flow showerheads. They all do the same thing, reduce your water usage, but the way you use them is slightly different.

Fixed

This is a showerhead that’s attached to the shower arm and can’t be moved. It’s stationary, so you can’t take the showerhead off the wall or move it around. This is the most basic and simple type of showerhead, as it gives you the least amount of flexibility and use.

Handheld

A handheld showerhead is attached to the water supply with a hose. It sits in a mount on your shower arm, but it can be removed and held in your hands.

This type of unit gives you a wider range of use because you can move the shower head around and point it wherever you want the water to go. It’s great for hard to reach places and increased comfort. These systems often come with more features such as spray patterns and adjustability. 

Combo (fixed & Handheld)

This type of combo shower head does both. It has a fixed component that doesn’t move but it also has a handheld shower head that fits into the center of the fixed head and can be unattached.

It gives you the best of both worlds, so you can have water coming out of the fixed shower head as well as the handheld one while you’re showering. It certainly gives your shower experience a more luxurious feel as it has 2 simultaneous water sources.


3 Benefits of Low Flow Showerheads

1. Conserve Water

One of the main benefits of switching to a low flow showerhead is that you’re able to conserve a lot more water. On average, you can save roughly 15,000 gallons of water per year per person in your household. According to the EPA, if every household had low flow showerheads we could save over 250 billion gallons of water per year.

If we could conserve that much water per year, it would have a huge environmental impact and would help us maintain our natural resources better.

Plus, saving water doesn’t just help you and your family. It helps our entire planet have more access to water and conserve a precious resource. Not only can you save water but you can also reduce your carbon footprint with low flow showerheads as well.

2. Save Money

By using less water, you’re able to cut back on your water bill every month. And you’re also able to save money on your energy bill because you won’t be using as much hot water as before either. You may be able to reduce your bill by as much as 50% and sometimes even more.

When you think about how many times a day your family uses the shower and all the water that’s being used in that time, if you can cut the amount in half then you’re saving quite a bit of money.

The water and energy bills can be some of the most expensive bills in your household every month. Saving money on those things can allow you to use them for other needs or to save up for something that you’ve been wanting to get. Either way, there’s never a bad time to save money.

3. More Control

Low flow showerheads offer a lot more options and control over your water. Many of them come with a pause feature, allowing you to stop and restart the water flow as you need to.

A lot of them also come with a timer that you can pre-set to prevent your shower from going over a certain amount of time. This can help you speed up your shower times and be more efficient.

Many models also let you adjust the volume control so depending on how you’re feeling you can get more or less water at a time. The added features of low flow showerheads don’t just help you cut back on water, they also give you more options and control over your shower.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Low Flow Shower head

Water Pressure

Water pressure, measured in PSI, is the force that water is pushed through your pipes. Typical water pressure for showerheads is 80 PSI. Lower pressure is usually around 60 PSI. This can vary depending on the water pressure in your home. A quality low flow showerhead should still feel good at low or high water pressure.

Water Flow Rate

This is the rate at which water flows through the showerhead. A low flow showerhead will have a water flow rate of 2.0 GPM (gallons per minute) or lower. The lower the flow rate, the more water and energy you can conserve. Some go as low as 1.25 GPM.

Water Saving Technology

The technology used in each low flow showerhead may be slightly different from one to another. Most of them have a flow restrictor that limits the amount of water that flows through the head at any time. These are sometimes removable if you have low water pressure and want to increase the flow.

Other showerheads have an automatic flow restrictor that automatically detects the amount of water pressure available and adjusts to make sure that you’re getting the same flow rate all the time.

Another type of technology used is aerating heads, which add oxygen to the water to create more density. This creates a misty spray that allows you to get more water coverage with less water.

Some also have a vacuum flow restriction technology, which has a vacuum chamber with high intensity where the water is aerated and then explodes out of the chamber creating a powerful stream at a low flow rate.

Showerhead Type

This describes the type of mounting that the showerhead has. The three different options are fixed, handheld, or a combination of fixed and handheld. Handheld and combination models are usually a little bit more expensive because they have a flexible hose that the water runs through.

Sometimes these models also have more spray options as well. There are great low flow showerheads available in each type.

Shower/Spray Settings

Most showerheads come with multiple spray settings to help you adjust the flow of the water. Different spray settings include a mist option, narrow or wide spray, massage spray, power massage spray low or high-pressure spray, and a pause or on/off setting to allow you to turn the water on and off easily.

Design & Quality

There’s a wide range of design and quality options available for low flow showerheads. Usually, you can get them in a finish to match your existing bathroom fixtures, such as chrome or brushed nickel. Other finishes available include rubbed bronze or polished brass.

You can also get them in different colors like white or black. You’ll want to make sure to look at the materials used in the showerhead, some are made of a cheaper plastic that won't be as durable and others are made of higher quality plastic or even metal.

You can find many that have stylish, modern designs or are specifically designed to be ergonomically easier to hold.

Certification

The Environmental Protection Agency has a WaterSense certification for low flow showerheads that meet their standards. Showerheads that have this certification have a guaranteed maximum flow rate of 2.0 GPM across different water pressure levels and provide a certain spray force and coverage.

To make sure you're getting a quality low flow showerhead, look for ones with the WaterSense certification.

Warranty

Depending on the brand and model, each low flow showerhead will have a different warranty. The better ones have lifetime warranties, whereas some other ones only offer a 1-2 year warranty. The length of the warranty may be an important factor for you as it may indicate the quality and durability of the showerhead.


10 Best Low Flow Showerheads Reviewed

1. High Sierra All Metal 

Best low flow showerhead

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

1.5 gpm

Spray Settings

1

Material Finish

Chrome, polished brass, brushed nickel, or oil rubbed bronze

Warranty

2-year

Price

$$$

This is one of the best low flow showerheads available on the market and it's our top pick. It's WaterSense certified and features an award-winning design that delivers a strong, full spray of water. It has patented technology that creates a spray similar to high flow showerheads but uses much less water.

The flow rate of this showerhead is 1.5 GPM, which is an entire gallon less than your standard showerhead. On average it can help you save 1,700 gallons of water per person per year.

Angie’s List says, “a WaterSense showerhead could save the average household 2,900 gallons of water each year” so this comes close. It’s also made out of solid metal, which is very sturdy and more durable than other models that are made of plastic.

It also comes in four different styles to choose from, brushed nickel, chrome, polished brass, and oil rubbed chrome. So, no matter what your current shower fixtures look like you’re sure to get a finish that will match.

This model is our top pick for low flow and although it’s a bit more expensive, considering all of the savings it’s well worth the price.

The High Sierra low flow shower head offers amazing water pressure. It’s so good that you’ll hardly even believe that the flow rate is substantially less than your old shower head. The spray pattern provides a lot of coverage as well, which just goes to show that saving water doesn’t have to take away from your shower experience.

Pros
  • GPM
  • High quality, metal construction
  • Compact design
  • WaterSense certified
  • 4 different finishes available
Cons
  • Only one spray setting
  • 2-year warranty

2. Delta Faucet 2-Spray 

Best water amplifying low flow showerhead

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

1.85- 2.5 gpm

Spray Settings

2

Material Finish

Chrome

Warranty

Lifetime

Price

$$

This model from Delta is a great runner up, it offers great water conservation without sacrificing water pressure or spray coverage. It boasts three times the spray coverage of a normal showerhead while still giving you an adjustable flow rate of 1.85 to 2.5 GPM.

It’s the best water amplifying low flow showerhead because it has special Delta H2Okinetic technology to shape the water into a specific pattern to give you more warmth, coverage, and intensity.

According to Consumer Reports, “the good news is that the best showerheads we tested provided a pleasing flow while meeting the federal flow-rate standard” and this showerhead passes the test. It also has self-cleaning spray holes to prevent build up and lime rust, making it easier and more efficient to clean.

The Delta is easy to install, and set up takes just a few minutes for this fixed 'to-the-wall' device. Because it’s WaterSense certified and backed by a lifetime warranty guarantee, you can be assured of water savings and a long lasting product.

Personally, I was pleasantly surprised at how great the water pressure was with this low flow shower head. The two settings, low and high flow, are great for switching between times when you may want more water flow, like washing shampoo out of your hair, and times when you don’t need as much flow, like rinsing your body.  

Pros
  • WaterSense certified
  • Delta H20kinetic technology
  • Self-cleaning
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • 1 spray setting
  • Made out of plastic

3. YOO.MEE High-Pressure 

Best handheld low flow shower head

Showerhead Type

Handheld

Water Flow Rate

2.5 gpm

Spray Settings

3 settings

Material Finish

Chrome or Brushed Nickel

Warranty

1-year

Price

$$

This handheld showerhead is specifically designed to give you more water pressure for a powerful and relaxing shower. It features an upgraded 2XP turbocharging showerhead to give you boosted water pressure while also conserving water. It has silicone nozzles prevent build up and are self-cleaning.

And like Home Depot says, “installing a new water-saving showerhead is an easy way to make your bath more pleasant and eco-friendly.”

If you live on a well or just have low water pressure in general, this shower head will help improve that. With the high pressure and convenience of the handheld option you could easily massage your entire body with this shower head. Especially when you consider the price, this shower head definitely is a great value.

It also has a 6-foot long hose to allow for convenience. Plus, the three spray settings of powerful shooting, pulse massage, and mixed help you create your own customized shower experience.

With 2.5 gpm, this is a system that is suitable for low water pressure areas rather than low flow or water conservation. Either way, it is a top choice in handheld showerheads.

Pros
  • 3 spray settings
  • Handheld showerhead
  • Silicone nozzles prevent build up
  • 6ft flexible hose
Cons
  • 1-year warranty
  • Made of plastic

4. American Standard Flowise 

Best turbine technology low flow shower head

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

1.5 – 2.0 gpm

Spray Settings

3

Material Finish

Chrome

Warranty

Lifetime

Price

$$$

This showerhead is great because it features the unique American Standard turbine technology, which invigorates water while also conserving it. It also features three different spray functions: turbine, full, or combination.

The turbine setting offers a maximum of 1.5 gpm, while the full spray option has a max of 2.0 gpm. Either way, you’re still able to save water and get a great shower experience.

American Standard delivers a quality showerhead with up to 40% water savings, making it the best turbine technology low flow showerhead.

As Business Insider says, you want, “to ensure that your shower is as relaxing as it can be” and this showerhead certainly helps do that. Plus it has a limited lifetime warranty and is certified by WaterSense.

The ability to easily switch between water saving modes is a great feature and certainly makes cutting down on your water usage convenient and practical. Plus, the full pressure option is perfect for when you want that massage feeling. It's great for working out knots in your muscles after a long day.

Pros
  • 1.5-2.0 gpm
  • 3 spray settings
  • Unique turbine technology
  • Save up to 8,000 gallons per year
Cons
  • Only 1 finish option
  • Plastic materials

5. Niagara Earth

Best value massage low flow shower head

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

1.25 gpm

Spray Settings

2

Material Finish

Chrome or white

Warranty

10-year

Price

$

This showerhead by Niagara comes at an amazing price point and even more amazing water-saving benefits. It has a very low 1.25 gpm flow rate but also has a 9-jet turbo massage to give you a great shower and the best massage. It is one of the top-rated cheap low flow showerheads that can't be beaten in terms of value for money.

It uses non-aerating technology so the water has less temperature loss which helps you save more on energy as well. Consumer Reports noted that “aeration cooled the water from 5 to 15 degrees F.”

Not only will you not have to worry about your water cooling down while taking a shower due to aeration, but you’ll also be able to enjoy your hot water much longer.

Because this low flow shower head drains your hot water heater half as fast as other shower heads, you can enjoy a nice hot shower for a lot longer. You may even find yourself taking longer showers than normal because you don’t have to jump out when the hot water runs out.

The Niagara is good for low water pressure areas such as cabins because the low flow rate will extend the hot water usage time.

It’s corrosion resistant, made out of high-quality ABS thermoplastic, and comes in white or chrome finish. This model also has many different flow options, so you can look at this Niagara 2615 showerhead model if you need a 0.5 gpm flow rate. This would be good if you want to cut your water consumption even more!

Pros
  • 1.25 gpm
  • Very affordable price
  • Self-cleaning, non-aerated spray
  • 9-jet turbo massage settings
  • 10-year warranty
Cons
  • Only available in white or chrome

6. Aqua Elegante 

Best for hard water

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

2.5 gpm

Spray Settings

6 settings

Material Finish

Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Polished Brass

Warranty

5-year

Price

$$

The Aqua Elegante may not offer the most in water savings but it an excellent choice for low water pressure homes. This showerhead features a flow rate of 2.5 gpm but still gives you a luxurious and enjoyable shower experience. 

It offers six different spray settings: Saturating Power Blast, Pulsating Massage, Gentle Rain, Water Saving, and 2 Mixed Modes. A removable flow restrictor is present, so if your water pressure is particularly low, you can easily remove it to enhance your shower.

It also has self-cleaning nozzles to prevent build up and is specifically designed to help with hard water issues. The different spray settings are great, ranging from the saturating power blast, which gives you a very intense amount of water pressure, all the way to the gentle rain setting, which is very light.

So no matter how you like to take your shower you’ll find the perfect setting for you. And another great feature is that it’s easy to switch between each setting with only one hand.  

This makes it the best low flow showerhead for hard water. Plumbing Supply says that “those with hard water will regularly have to clean their showerheads,” so this will help reduce that expected cleaning time.

Plus, the construction is designed with sturdy ABS plastic and durable brass fitting. With its many different spray options, this is the best massaging low water pressure showerhead you can buy.

Pros
  • 6 spray settings
  • Great for massage
  • Designed to help with hard water
  • Easy to install
  • 3 finish options
Cons
  • 5-year warranty
  • 2.5 gpm is on the high side

7. Speakman S-4002-E2 

Best fixed & water saving 

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

2.0-2.5 gpm

Spray Settings

1 setting

Material Finish

Smokey Gray, Dusk Blue, Jade

Warranty

Manufacturers

Price

$$

This is another great turbine-powered low flow showerhead that offers an option of 2.5 or 2.0 gpm. The turbine engine infused power and velocity into the spray giving you better coverage with less water usage in the 2.0 version.

This helps it give you an intense experience even with low water pressure. So if you have low water pressure, which Consumer Reports says "might weaken the stream from any showerhead," you won't have to worry about it with this model.

If you don’t need a lot of spray settings but want a quality, functional shower head this one is a fantastic choice. It significantly improves water pressure, and it comes in fun, unique colors that aren’t always easy to find in shower heads.

The spray pattern is wide and will cover your entire body, so no need to move all over the place to get clean. And it’s surprisingly good water pressure will help rinse shampoo out of even the thickest of hair.

The design is modern and unique, with a transparent frame that makes it stand out from other models. The spray spouts are meticulously placed to give you a powerful, pulsating sensation and allow you to feel every drop. All of its unique features, and the fact that it comes in 2.0 & 2.5 GPM make it one of the best water-saving showerheads available on the market.

Pros
  • 2.0 to 2.5 gpm
  • Unique transparent design
  • 3 color options
  • Turbine engine technology
  • WaterSense certified
  • Great if you have low water pressure
Cons
  • 1 spray setting

8. SUN RISE Luxury 

Best rainfall water saving shower head

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

2.5 gpm

Spray Settings

1 setting

Material Finish

Chrome or Brushed

Warranty

5-year

Price

$$$$

This is a great flat showerhead that uses air energy technology to give you a powerful and consistent rainfall experience even if you have low water pressure.

It's the best rainfall water-saving showerhead, with a 2.5 gpm and stainless steel to prevent corrosion and rust. Even though its not as low flow as other models - it is still a good option if you prefer the 'rainfall' or 'waterfall' style shower head.

The SUN RISE will stay shiny and bright for years to come. Plus it’s easy to install and has a 5-year warranty.

The heat-resistant silicone nozzles are self-cleaning and prevent build up, to give you a cleaner shower and are easy to maintain. It has a sleek, ultra-thin design that is adjustable to change the angle of the rainfall.

Like Business Insider says, rainfall showers “don't offer the water pressure or pulsing options of other showerhead designs,” and that’s true with this model. It definitely feels like gentle rain, so it’s not meant to give you a powerful massage.

However, that being said if you want a nice, relaxing shower this one is great. And because it uses less water, your hot water lasts a lot longer, letting you stand under the warm rain for almost as long as you’d like. 

Pros
  • Flat, modern design
  • Stainless steel prevent corrosion and rust
  • Adjustable angles
  • Self-cleaning nozzles
  • Rainfall design
Cons
  • 5-year warranty
  • 1 spray setting
  • Not as economical as other models

9. Fire Hydrant Spa Plaza

Best for low water pressure

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

2.5 gpm

Spray Settings

2 settings

Material Finish

Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze

Warranty

None

Price

$$$

This is a great low flow showerhead option with adjustable water-amplifying spray to give you more pressure and more volume. The Fire Hydrant Spa Plaza Massager gives you an invigorating and intense experience even if you have low water pressure.

Angie’s List says “For most showerheads, water pressure fluctuates between 40 and 60 psi” so if that’s true for you, you’ll love this showerhead.

It’s easy to install and very powerful making it the best low flow showerhead for low water pressure. Simply screw this showerhead on and you’ll be amazed by the increased pressure and volume of water that you get. All while still only using a flow rate of 2.5 gpm.

Once again, this 2.5 GPM is not going to save you as much water as some of the other brands on our list. It will however, provide excellent water flow in low pressure suburbs.

The massage settings are great and very powerful, so it's no wonder why they named it after a fire hydrant. The jets spray the water at a wide angle, are very strong and can even get the water to reach all the way to the back wall, but be causer as the massage setting has so much pressure it may even hurt a little bit.

The spray settings are easy to change and you don’t have to struggle to adjust it back and forth between different settings.

Pros
  • Great for low pressure
  • Water-amplifying spray
  • Great for massage
  • 3 finish options
Cons
  • 2.5 gpm
  • 2 spray setting

10. WASSA 

fixed & high-pressure

Showerhead Type

Fixed

Water Flow Rate

2.5 gpm

Spray Settings

1 setting

Material Finish

Chrome

Warranty

Lifetime

Price

$$

This is a great, compact 3-inch showerhead that provides high pressure even if you have low flow and low water pressure. The Wassa is another 2.5 GPM model so don't expect huge water savings.

It has 45 jets to amplify water pressure, making it one of the best fixed, high-pressure showerheads. The stainless steel and has silicon nozzles to prevent lime build-up and rust. It's also lightweight with an ABS plastic body and brass ball connection.

It’s easy to install, requires no tools and only take three minutes to set up. So no matter what you’re skill level, you’ll have no trouble installing this showerhead. It has a flow rate of 2.5 gpm, so you’ll get great water pressure while still conserving water some water.

If your home has low water pressure, this shower head can work wonders for you. It gives you much higher pressure, and it's so good you won't even guess it’s a low flow shower head.

If you’re currently taking long showers because you can’t get enough water pressure to really feel clean, this shower head will help you cut that time in half. And finally be able to feel like you’re getting a great, deep clean from your shower.

And like HGTV says, “we have a close relationship with our shower fixtures,” so you want to pick a good one and this model is certainly a great choice. Plus, at such an affordable price and the fact that it comes with a lifetime guarantee, you can feel confident purchasing it knowing that you’re getting a quality shower head.

Pros
  • Great for improving water pressure
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Easy to install
  • Stainless steel and lightweight design
Cons
  • 1 spray setting
  • 2.5 gpm

Environment Regulations on Showerheads

The government requires all showerheads to be no more than 2.5 gpm. In the past, this was unregulated and you could have showerheads with flow rates as high as 5.0 gpm. This created a lot of unnecessary water waste and the government set the limit at 2.5 gpm in order to reduce that.

In another water-saving attempt, the Environmental Protection Agency created a new standard called WaterSense for all showerheads with a flow rate of 2.0 gpm. Showerheads that meet this standard can help save 40% of the water used by a showerhead with a 2.5 gpm flow rate.


How to Measure Current Flow Rate

If you want to conserve water, you need to know the flow rate of your current shower head and then find one that offers a flow rate less than that. To measure your current flow rate you'll need a bucket, a timer/stopwatch, and a measuring cup. This youtube video helps explain what how to get an accurate reading.


Installation & Maintenance

Most low flow showerheads are easy to install and don’t require a lot of tools.

First, you’ll need to remove your current showerhead. This can be done by unscrewing it with a wrench or by hand. If you’re using a wrench, it’s a good idea to place tape over the ridges to prevent it from damaging the finish of the showerhead.

Next, you want to make sure the thread on your shower arm is clean. Just wipe it off or run the shower to clean it out. If needed, add Teflon tape around the thread. Depending on the showerhead you’re installing you may not need this so see the instruction manual first. 

Then, you can screw on the new, low flow shower head. Start by screwing it on by hand and then tighten it with a wrench. You don’t need a plumber to install a low flow shower head.

To keep your showerhead working properly and to make sure it lasts as long as possible, you want to clean it regularly. You can do this by spraying it with a vinegar-water solution and then wiping it off once a month. Some of the brands on our list come with extra features that make cleaning a breeze.

If you need to do a deeper clean on it every once in a while, you can soak the showerhead in a plastic bag with the vinegar-water solution for about 10-15 minutes to get off tougher build up. Then wipe it down with water and it should come clean.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much money will I save if I use a low flow showerhead?

This will depend on how much you pay for water and how much you shower, but on average you can save $5.34 per 1000 gallons saved. So if you save 8000 gallons a year as a family you can save around $42.72. Plus, on average you can save around 1.5 cents/gallon on heating costs. So in total, you could be saving $100-$200 per year.

How much water does a low flow showerhead save?

Most low flow showerheads save you at least 40% of water every time you use it. If you’re switching from a 2.5 gpm showerhead to a 1.5 gpm showerhead, you can save about 2,100 gallons of water per year per person.

How can I know the amount of water my low flow shower head uses?

You can easily test your water flow. You’ll need a bucket, measuring cup and timer. Collect water from your showerhead for exactly 10 seconds. Measure it and convert it to gallons and then multiply it by 6 to get your current flow rate.

Will a low flow shower head increase the water pressure?

That depends on what your current water pressure is and what showerhead you buy. Some low flow shower heads are specifically designed to increase water pressure. 

How long does a low-pressure shower head last?

Depending on the showerhead you buy, it could last you anywhere from 1 year up to a lifetime if maintained properly. Proper installation and regular maintenance help prolong the life of these systems.

What is a good gpm for low flow shower heads?

A good gpm is 2.5, but to maximize water conservation you want a low flow showerhead that is between 2.0 gpm or below.


Conclusion

Low flow showerheads are great for saving money, conserving water and giving you more control over your shower experience.

Whether you’re interested in saving the environment or just want to save some money, these showerheads may be small but can make a big impact. Plus, there are low flow showerheads available for every budget.

The High Sierra All Metal 1.5 gpm showerhead is our pick for the best low flow showerhead because it offers the best quality and the highest amount of water savings as possible.

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