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What's behind our showerhead Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 20 models in showerheads to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based mostly on shower feel; other scores shown are also figured in.
  • Shower feel
    Shower feel reflects testers' judgments of force, coverage, and droplet size.
  • Hot-water temperature
    Hot-water temp. indicates how much water cooled between leaving showerhead and hitting user's back.
  • Ease of settings
    Ease of settings indicates how easy it was to change spray patterns.
  • Number of settings
    Number is for flow patterns. Cont. indicates continuously variable.


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Recommended showerheads

Recommended showerheads are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Fixed-head showerheads are locked in place; you can leave a handheld showerhead in its holder or remove it to focus the spray. Rain showers provide a soft, soothing flow and a stylish look. If you're looking for information about showerheads, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ showerhead reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our showerhead buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and showehead reviews to help you choose the best showerhead for your needs.

Showerhead buying guide

Tired of a shower that produces a weak sprinkle instead of an invigorating stream? Get a new showerhead. The best models we tested provide a strong flow and steady temperature, and some have adjustable settings for spray patterns ranging from a gentle mist to a forceful massage.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that showers account for nearly 1.2 trillion gallons each year--about one-sixth of all the water used in U.S. residences for bathing. Before 1994, showerheads typically had a flow rate of 5 ½ gallons per minute. Since then, the Department of Energy has limited showerheads to 2 ½ gpm to conserve not only water, but fuel for the water heater. Models that display a WaterSense label use no more than 2 gpm.

The good news is that the best showerheads we tested provided a pleasing flow while meeting the federal flow-rate standard. But the challenge for manufacturers is to meet the standard and even the voluntary WaterSense requirements without affecting the feel of the shower, since an anemic flow can result in longer showers and even greater water use.

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