Best Handheld Shower Head of 2018 [Review]

Woman washes feet in shower using a handheld showerhead

​Showering has never been this easy or comfortable. Technology has improved dramatically, allowing us to enjoy spa-like shower heads every single day in the comfort of our own home. On top of that, handheld shower heads make the shower a convenient breeze. Install a hand held option, and you expand the number of things you can take care of in the shower. On top of that, cleaning becomes a piece of cake. We review the best handheld shower heads on the market for you to pick from. 

Our Handheld Shower Head Reviews

We've put together a comprehensive review of the best handheld showerheads on the market. In our findings, there are really two classes of these portable heads: cheaper, entry level models, and modestly-priced, feature-full models.

You can find amazing options in each range, and we've reviewed a lot of products in each category. In the end, the first 5 reviews fit the modestly-priced build, while the final 4 are in the cheaper category.

​Showerhead

​Size

​Hose

Spray Settings

​On/Off

​Overall

Price

​​​ShowerMaxx

4.5"

6.5 ft

6

​Yes

 tag="homeviabl-20"

3.3"

6.5 ft

3

No

 tag="homeviabl-20"

5"

5 ft

6

Partial

4"

5 ft

4

Yes

 tag="homeviabl-20"

​3.25"

6 ft

7

Yes

 tag="homeviabl-20"

5"

7 ft

5

Partial

4.5"

6.5 ft

6

Partial

​3.5"

5 ft

​6

​Yes

5"

5 ft

5

No

​Best Handheld Shower Head: ShowerMaxx ​Premium 6 Spray​


ShowerMaxx brings forward an amazing high pressure showerhead that we vote the very best handheld shower head available. Lets go through all of the different features that make this an amazing unit to add to your shower.

ShowerMaxx delivers a 4.5” showerhead, which is about the going average for a portable head in this price range. They offer this in Chrome, Nickel, or Brass. As is the case with all of the showerheads we reviewed, the head is made from hard ABS plastic and is coated with the finish of the color you chose.

The showerhead has 6 spray settings, ranging from Rainfall, Circular Massage, Power Massage, Rainfall and Circular Massage, Rainfall and Power Massage, Water Saver Trickle mode. This is our preferred range of sprays, as it truly covers the gamut of power spray to a soaking spray.

This unit is easy to install, taking only a few minutes and a set of pliers.

​ShowerMaxx provides a long 6.5ft stainless steel hose, which we think comes in handy when you need to bathe your pets. More features we love: a peace of mind lifetime warranty on their product. And, finally, an on/off switch so that you can completely turn off the water spray when you want.

There are a lot of great handheld showerhead options on our list. However, the ​ShowerMaxx Shower Head gets our final vote. They have a history of producing high quality showerheads, and you can’t go wrong with this luxury spa handheld version.

Best High Pressure Handheld Shower Head: YOO.MEE Powerful Shower Spray against Low Pressure Water Supply Pipeline


Simplicity reigns supreme in this highly rated budget option from YOO.MEE. Out of all of the showerheads we feature on our list, this option has the highest ratings on Amazon out of all of them. Buyers love the YOO.MEE for its simple installation (30 seconds) and its simple setup.

Lets start with some of the features that we love. A long 6.5ft stainless steel hose accompanies the YOO.MEE, which is the longest of all hoses in this price range. If you have a large shower and are looking for a budget option, you’ll want to look at this one.

The 3.3” showerhead is hard plastic with a Chrome looking finish, and features 3 different spray settings. If you’re looking to add water pressure to your shower for cheap, we recommend this as the best shower head for low water pressure. They provide a 100% guarantee that you’ll be experience a water pressure upgrade when you install their unit.

​Speaking of water pressure, YOO.MEE doesn’t list a GPM rating, which is a little odd. We found a pressure test that one person did, and claimed that this until had a GPM of 1.8 when tested at 48 PSI. Either way, there is some ambiguity around how many gallons per minute this unit uses.

A few things we don’t love about this head – it does not have a turn off switch, and it only comes with a paltry 1 year warranty. Still, this product gets rave reviews, and if you’re looking for a cheap option to up the water pressure in your shower, the YOO.MEE High Pressure Handheld Shower Head is a great option.

Best Handheld Shower Head for Low Water Pressure: Aqua Elegante 6 Function High Pressure Kit


When it comes to the 6 function showerhead that Aqua Elegante produces, it is a very close second to the ShowerMaxx. Honestly, you wouldn’t go wrong with either one. There are a few subtle differences that we’ll navigate through for you.

For starters, this Aqua Caliente model features an oversized, large 5” showerhead. This large head provides 6 different spray settings: Saturating Power Blast, Pulsating Massage, Gentle Rain, Water Saving, and 2 Mixed Modes. We find their options to be the perfect combination of the ever-popular rain settings along with massage spray and a powerful spray.

You can opt to have this showerhead in 3 different colors: Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze. As is common for handheld units, the head is made of hard plastic coated in the coloring you desire. The hose is stainless steel and 5ft long – we’d prefer it to be closer to the 6ft-7ft length that is more standard with hoses in this price range.  

If you’re comparing the ShowerMaxx up against the Aqua Elegante, you wouldn’t be the first. Both units are amazing, and very similar. Here are the key differences:

ShowerMaxx
  • ​4.5" Shower head
  • ​6.5 ft Hose
  • ​On/Off setting
  • check
    ​6 Spray settings
  • check
    ​Lifetime Warranty
​Agua Elegante
  • ​5" Shower head
  • ​5 ft Hose
  • ​No On/Off setting
  • check
    ​6 Spray settings
  • check
    ​5 Year Money-back Warranty

Aqua Elegante backs this product up with a 5 year money back guarantee. We love warranties that are multiple years, but we love money back guarantees even more.

This is something that we’ll point out with several of the handheld showerheads on our list – there isn’t a true shut-off switch for water conservation. As we’ve mentioned in our outline, this is a wonderful feature that sets handheld units apart from other, fixed showerheads.

Aqua Elegante doesn’t offer a true on/off switch. Instead, they offer a water trickle mode. This mode does seriously reduce the amount of water coming out, but it isn’t a true shut-off like some other units. It is something to pay attention to if it is off concern for you.

In the end, the Agua Elegante 6 Function Handheld Shower Head would be a fantastic addition to your house.

Best Dual Shower Head: Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-way 2 in 1 Combo


Hydroluxe produces a fantastic 2 in 1 showerhead that has with a tremendous amount of functionality.

For starters, the Hydroluxe is two showerheads in one. You can use each showerhead separately or together at the same time. For those who are looking for the best dual shower head in this price range, the Hydroluxe is the portable shower head you should look at.

And, speaking of functionality, this model features 24 total spray functions that you can perform. That includes Power Rain, Massage, Stay-Warm Mist, and Water-saving Economy Rain on each of the shower heads. Each shower head can be paused during your shower so you can save money and water.

Hydroluxe provides a large 4” Chrome showerhead with a click lever that has 3 different settings. As is common for higher quality options in this price range, the jets and head are rub clean to prevent scum from building up and clogging. Also common for this range is a hard plastic head that has the appearance of Chrome.

The hose is a little short at 5 ft, but made from flexible stainless steel metal, so its built to last. Hydroluxe includes a limited 10 year warranty on this product. A bonus? Simple, tool-free installation.

Out of all of the shower heads we’ve reviewed, this one has the most reviews on Amazon. Hydroluxe has been making an amazing handheld shower device for a long time, and their amazing reviews put this Hydroluxe 24 Function 2 in 1 Shower Handheld Head up at the top of our list. As a matter of fact, we rank this as the best dual shower head. 

Best Budget Handheld Shower Head: Delta 75700 7-Spray Touch Clean with Hose


You can pick up this cheap Delta hand held showerhead in two color options: Chrome and White. Soft, rubber Touch-Clean spray holes make this head particularly easy to keep clean and free from clogging.

This Delta features a 3.25” wide showerhead, which we found is a little small compared to others in this price range. That isn’t necessarily bad – what is more important to us is they spray settings and options.

And that is where this model stands out. The Delta 75700 Hand held shower head features 7 spray settings: Full Body spray, Fast Massage spray, Full Spray with Massage, Drenching spray, Soft Drench with Full spray, and Soft Rain spray.

You can see that these settings run the gamut of options. You have the whole range of spray features, from full body to massage to drenching to soft rain. This is one of our favorite features of this showerhead – no other model in this price range has this much versatility in spray settings.

​You’ll find that most of the showerheads have a 2.5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM) setting. This because a law in the United States several decades ago in order to conserve water, and so most manufacturers go right up to the highest allowable number.

As is common in this price range, the showerhead is made from a stiff plastic that has the appearance of Chrome metal. We’d love to see a metal shower head but, for this price, its hard to expect it. The plastic is really durable and is backed by Delta’s warranty (more on that in a bit).

The hose is a great length, giving you 6 ft of distance to travel. This comes in handy when you’re cleaning your pets, or want to extend the hose to reach your shower bench. One downside to this Delta is that the hose is not made from metal – we would prefer metal as it lasts longer. However – some prefer plastic because it is less likely to scratch your shower. Your call!

One of our favorite features of handheld showers is that many models give you the ability to quickly and easily turn off the water. Delta gives you this capability, allowing you to save water as you take care of your shower tasks. Not all models in this price range allow for this, and we see it as a necessity (that’s just our personal preference).

Two more things we love about this model: easy installation and Delta includes a 15 year limited lifetime warranty. While you do need basic tools to install, it is really quick and easy for all (under 10 minutes). In the end, we vote this Delta 7-Spray Hand Held Shower Head the best cheap handheld shower head on the market. 

Honorable Mention: Vida Alegría H5+ 2.5GPM 5 Spray Handheld Shower Head with Steel Hose


This Vida Alegria is yet another amazing handheld shower head that we review very highly.

Vida provides a large 5” showerhead in three colors: Chrome, Brushed Nickel, and Oil Rubbed Bronze. It offers 5 spray settings: Drenching Rain, Gentle Rinse, Full Rotataing Massage, Two Mix Modes, Drizzle Mode.

If you’re focused more on the soft type of shower spray, this Vida Alegria leads the way. Their drenching rain setting and gentle rinse setting are both wonderful, soft sprays. Conversely, we didn’t find this model to have quite as strong of water pressure as others on our list.

This portable head features an extremely long 7ft stainless steel hose (the longest of all of our reviews) and a 3 year unconditional warranty. Like the Aqua Elegante, the ​Vida Alegría 5 Spray Handheld Shower Head lacks a true shut off switch, but does come with a low flow drizzle mode.

Honorable Mention: G-Promise High Pressure 6 Spray Setting Hand Held Shower Head


​G-Promise does many things right with their high pressure hand held shower head.

For starters, they provide a nice 4.5" showerhead that comes in both Chrome and Brushed Nickel coloring. Their shower sprays in 6 different settings, ranging from Rainfall, Power Massage, Rainfall+Power Massage, Circular Massage, Rainfall+Circular Massage and Water Saves trickle mode.

​People who want a wide range of spray settings combined with a good sized showerhead will be happy with the G-Promise. Add in a long 6.5 ft stainless steel hose, and this head has a great set of options. 

​One of our favorite things about this specific model is that it comes with a 10 year warranty. A drawback is that this unit, like others before it, doesn't have a true on/off switch. 

​This specific showerhead gets very high reviews online, and its no secret why - the G-Promise High Pressure 6 Spray Shower Head pretty much covers all the bases for what you need out of a high quality handheld shower head. 

​Honorable Mention: AquaDance High Pressure 6-Setting 3.5" with Hose


AquaDance provides a solid, high quality showerhead with all of the features you would expect.

Their nice 3.5” showerhead features a plastic Chrome colored head with 6 spray settings. Rated at 2.5 GPM, this is another cheaper option that users rave about for low pressure pipes. If you have lower water pressure, removing the water flow restrictor will allow this unit to give you a high powered spray.

The 5ft stainless steel hose is a little shorter than other options in the same price range. AquaDance provides an easy on/off switch so that you can flip the portable showerhead off when needed. They offer a limited lifetime warranty on their product.

Don’t discount how easy this showerhead is to install. Within 3-5 minutes you’ll have the ​AquaDance High Pressure Handheld Shower in your shower and ready to go. 

Honorable Mention: Ana Bath 5" 5 Function Shower Head Combo System


​Highly reviewed, Ana Bath produces a handheld shower head that has multiple heads that can work together to give you wonderful shower experience. 

One of the showerheads stays affixed while the other is handheld, giving you the best of both worlds. A large 5" head produces a large volume of water, featuring 5 different sprays, including Rain Spray, Massage Spray, Massage and Rain Mix, Bubbling Spray, and Bubbling and Rain Mix.

A 5 ft stainless steel hose, multiple color options, and a 3 year limited warranty round out the list of features for this showerhead. One feature we think is missing is the ability to turn the handheld unit off. Because it is a combo system that includes multiple heads, we understand why it doesn't exist, but it still would be nice to have.

​If you're looking to cover all of your bases and take care of a whole variety of needs in your household, we'd recommend giving the Ana Bath 5" 5 Function Shower Head Dual Combo a good look.

​Final Votes

​Category

Brand

Price

​Best Handheld Shower Head (Overall)

​Best Budget Handheld Shower Head

​Best Handheld Shower Head for Low Water Pressure

​Best High Pressure Handheld Shower Head

Best Dual Shower Head

​The Benefits of a Handheld Shower Head

Typically, your home’s shower will come with fixed showerhead. Whether you are renting or just bought your place of residence, this is the standard, go-to for most bathroom setups.

Just because it is the default, though, doesn’t mean that it is the optimal set up. Either adding or replacing your standard showerhead with a handheld option has a variety of benefits, which we’ll go through one by one.

Shiny clean chrome handheld shower head with water turned on

Elderly and Disabled

Shower setups that include a detachable, handheld option are a huge help when you are elderly or disabled. As opposed to a fixed head, where you have to work your way around the spray of water to clean, a detachable option means that you can work the shower into what you are most comfortable with.

Detaching the spray of water from the wall means that you can have a lot more flexibility as to where you are in the shower. For many, there is already a bench incorporated into the shower. But, it usually is off to the side, not in the standard flow of water.

With a handheld option, you can sit on the bench and still shower, moving the water around you as you stay stationary.

The same can apply if you don’t have a bench but instead bring a chair into the shower.

This also applies to caregivers who are bathing others. Having a handheld option provides several benefits to caregivers:

  • More flexibility on where in the shower the person sits
  • Ability to control the direction of water spray, keeping the caregiver drier during the process

If you struggle with comfortably showering because of age or a disability, a handheld option could really improve your showering experience.

Parents and Kids

Ask any parent of young children, and they’ll tell you that bath time can be a struggle. It is common for children to put up a fight during cleaning time. Not only that, but giving young ones a bath brings with it a whole host of challenges for parents.

Typically, a parent has to bend over in awkward positions to get at ground level to give the child a bath. This involves awkward twists of the back and weird contortion’s.

And then, there is the process of soaping and rinsing. With bath water already drawn, it gets soapy and dirty, leaving a parent without many good options for rinsing washed hair.

Enter a handheld shower option. For parents of young children, this is a serious upgrade.

You can draw bath water and start the washing process. When it comes time for rinsing, simply turn on the handheld unit and use it. You’ll have complete control on the direction of the water, and no longer have to rinse with soapy water, or utilizing a bucket.

A dog gets cleaned in shower with a handheld unit

Pet Owners

Similar to parents, pet owners are no strangers to the struggle of giving their furry friends a bath. A bath isn’t always a good option as you typically end up with very dirty water very quickly. And, if you want to use the shower, you end up as wet as your pet by the time you’re done cleaning them.

For many, a hand held unit is perfect, and the process for washing their dog, cat, or other pet is simple:

  • Bring the animal into the shower and turn on the handheld shower unit
  • Spray your pet with water, easily keeping water out of their head, nose, eyes, etc
  • Turn off the shower while scrubbing with soap
  • Turn back on the shower for rinsing, carefully using the handheld device to move around the pet, rinsing until all the soap is gone.

With a handheld unit, you have greater control over the areas on your pet that need washing and rinsing.

It is also a lot easier to wash in hard-to-reach places, such as their stomach and underside. No more having to splash the pet with sprayed water, or trying to flip them over on their sides.

Lastly, you can feasibly give your pet a clean without ending up soaking wet in the process. Granted, you will be probably still end up a bit damp (depending on your specific pet and how much they like the water). However, it is no longer a given that you’ll be soaking wet after the process.

Ease of Cleaning

Lets be honest… cleaning your shower is a royal pain. Scrubbing the walls and floor isn’t that difficult. However, rinsing everything down is not fun. How do you rinse your cleaning products off of the shower doors and shower walls?

There are all sorts of strategies that people use, ranging from buckets to cups to squirt bottles. Installing a handheld shower head option changes all of that.

It isn’t hard to picture how much easier cleaning becomes. Simply detach the new showerhead from the wall, and move it around to rinse and clean.

For some, this is their primary use for a handheld showerhead. They keep the head locked in place during their shower, choosing only to utilize the mobile portion for cleaning. And, they would tell you that having a mobile hose component to their shower makes all of the difference in keeping their shower clean.

Conserve Water

Most handheld shower models come with an on/off switch or valve. Sometimes it is located on the handle; other times it is situated on the pipe. Either way, with the ability to shut off the water supply during parts of your shower comes with the ability to save a lot of water.

The average American shower lasts 8.2 minutes and uses 17.2 gallons of water. With the shower being the third highest water user in the household (behind the toilet and washing machine), cutting down on your water use in the shower will result in big savings.

Conserving water saves the planet, and saves you money. If you’re in an area of the country where water is hard to come by, you might be required to save water every month. Having the option to turn your shower on and off with ease has a quick and large impact on it.

Common times to flip the water flow off are while you are scrubbing shampoo into your hair, shaving your legs, and moving in and out.

Another good opportunity to utilize this feature is to reduce the amount of water coming out by turning in part way off. This is particularly effective when you are warming the water up. This can take 30-60 seconds, and cutting down on the water flow will save you a few gallons of water.

Woman washes feet in shower using a handheld showerhead

Affordable Option

A handheld shower head is usually cheaper than alternative fixed heads, rain setups, and panel/bar mechanisms. This is due to several reasons. For starters, handheld bathing units are just cheaper than their fixed counterparts. It isn't because they are made any cheaper, they are just less sophisticated.

Installing them is another consideration. When you factor in the costs associated with a plumber, or the extreme number of hours it might take you to install a regular shower head, the cost can skyrocket quickly. However, installing a handheld shower head is really simple because you typically don't have to change any of your existing plumbing.

Versatility in Washing

This benefit might not be as obvious as some of the previous ones, but there are a number of options that open up to you when you have a shower head that is handheld.

Different Heights in Your Family

One specific benefit comes into play when you have various people in a household that are different heights. Whether you have kids of a variety of ages, or even just differing heights between a couple, a handheld option can save the day.

For taller individuals, it isn’t uncommon for a fixed shower head to be too low to shower comfortably. While it isn’t the end of the world, having to deal with this on a regular basis is annoying and less than efficient.

A handheld version typically allows for simple and easy adjustment of height, allowing for a taller individual to raise the showerhead and a shorter person to lower the height.

Not to mention, even if the unit doesn’t go high enough, the taller person has the ability to disconnect the showerhead and use it one hand.

Do More Than Just Bathe

Another benefit comes for those who prefer to do more than just bathe in the shower. An easy example of this is for women who like to shave their legs. With a fixed shower head, it is a lot harder to fully rinse off, whereas a handheld device makes it super simple.

You can use the handheld device to shave your legs without getting fully wet, which also gives you the option of not showering every time you want to shave.

You can apply this logic to a similar but different situation. There are times when you want to jump in the shower for a quick rinse off, but not get your hair wet. With a fixed showerhead, this can be quite the challenge, requiring a bit of maneuvering.

Versatility

With a handheld unit, ​you can cater your shower experience to your individual interests and requirements. Want to clean parts of the shower as you go? Want to bathe your dog or kids at the same time? Want to share your legs? Prefer to sit instead of standing?

All of these things can be accomplished with a handheld unit. It provides for a very versatile shower.

Control Water Angle

Controlling where the water spray goes is a nice benefit that comes with the handheld option. Most fixed showerheads are mounted to the upper portion of the shower wall, expelling water out in a downward fashion. This allows for the water to cascade over your body from up high, usually hitting you in the head of upper chest and washing down over you.

Obviously, you can move closer or further from the unit to control where it hits you. However, no matter what, the water always starts above you.

With a handheld unit, though, you have control over the angle and direction of the water. This allows for you to control the height of where the water comes out, and the angle it hits you at.

A handheld shower head mounted with water streaming out of it in a bathroom

Lower Pressure Functionality

If you have low water pressure at your house, a handheld head might be the perfect option. You can install the unit a lot closer to your head and body, which will mean that the showerhead will require less water pressure to spray over you.

You can also grab the showerhead and move it around to get the unit closer to your body, when the pressure isn't strong enough. For example, if you need to rinse off dirty feet, and the pressure just isn't doing the trick, you can pull the unit off the wall to get what you need.

Dual Showerhead Setup

While some opt to replace their fixed shower head with a handheld option, others choose to add a handheld option to already existing fixed shower head. This means you end up with two different water spraying options.

Dual showerheads allows you to have sprays of different heights, types, and pressures. You can install a rainhead that sits directly above your head while also utilizing a handheld option for greater control. You can have a lower pressure unit and a higher pressure unit. You can turn one or another on or off depending on what you are washing and rinsing.

While this is certainly a luxury, it is a nice feature that adds an air of enjoyment to your shower. You could also argue that this raises the value of your home as well.

Different Skin Types

If you have sensitive skin, then you know just how difficult a hard and harsh shower head can be. The hard spray feels like dozens of needles going into your skin, and then leaves you in worse shape after your shower than before.

With a handheld unit, you can typically control the intensity of the spray to some degree. You can also adjust where the shower head sprays because it is portable. Lastly, you can also control how close you are to the shower unit. With these three things that you can vary, a handheld shower unit makes great sense for those with sensitive skin.

What to Look For in a Portable Showerhead

If you’re convinced that its time to look into a handheld shower head, then you need to know what to look for in the device you’ll purchase. We’ve listed out the features to pay attention to:

​Shape and Style

It might seem obvious to start here, and we agree. When you’re purchasing a new shower head, pay special attention to ​the shape and style of the shower head you select.

From a more classic, circular design, to the newer, longer, cylindrical shapes, it is important to look at the style of the head and ensure it matches your preferences. The shape typically doesn’t affect performance, so it really just comes down to style preferences.

Many are more sleek and curvy, like the image we show here. Others are more boxy and modern. Since there is a lot of variety in styles, you really don't need to settle for one you don't like. Keep looking to find the look and feel you prefer.

Handheld showerheads tend to be smaller than fixed units, and much smaller than overhead rain units. Keep this in mind, as you might be replacing your old fixed showerhead, and you want to anticipate that the handheld model might be a bit smaller. 

Generally speaking, the larger head you get, the more "high end" and elegant it will appear.

Chrome showerhead with water turned on

​Showerhead Size

Size isn't everything, but it does directly relate to how much water can come out of the unit. The larger the showerhead, the more options you have and the wider the spray will typically be.

Handheld shower heads come in a wide range for sizes. For example, our reviewed list includes shower heads just larger than 3 inches, ranging all the way up to 6 inches.

While we've shared a good option for under 4", we think getting a unit that is at least 4" is a nice feature. Some of the 5" models in our reviews are really nice and worth the upgrade.

Build and Material

In general, you have two options here: plastic or metal. As you would expect, plastic is cheaper and less durable, while metal will longer and cost you more.

​Be careful you know what you're buying, because it is very common for the manufacturer to offer a showerhead that is made from hard ABS plastic and is coated with the finish of the color you chose, such as Chrome or Nickel.

This isn't a bad thing, so long as you're aware. This build method allows for the manufacturer to give you a metal-looking shower head at a cheaper, plastic price. 

Spray Settings

Given that you're probably getting this shower unit so that you have more flexibility, having a variety of spray settings is really nice. Whether or not you have a preference on what spray setting you like, having a variety of spray settings gives you flexibility for multiple family members and multiple showering situations.

Some of the best shower head options we reviewed have 9+ different spray settings.

​Wall and Ceiling Mount

Ensuring you purchase a handheld showerhead with a good mount is perhaps the single most important thing to consider. This is because a bad or poor mount pretty much defeats the purpose of the value of a handheld unit in the first place.

One of the biggest benefits of installing this type of showerhead is that you gain a ton of flexibility. Yes, you can use the showerhead by hand when you want to. However, you can also mount it on the wall, utilizing it like a regular fixed shower. This is perfect for when you need both hands.

Frankly speaking, most of the time you are using your shower, you’ll probably still keep the device mounted.

The mount is the portion of the portable shower head that affixes to the wall device. A good mount holds your showerhead exactly where you want it, with no movement at all.

A bad mount, or one that degrades over time, will start to “slip” or “fall down.” This is where the head will gradually lose its hold on where it is pointing, and gravity will start to pull the water direction down until its pointed directly at the floor. And, it renders the mount virtually useless.

Sure, you can still use the handheld portion without any loss, but that is a losing battle that you don’t want to fight. The only true way to avoid this from happening is ensuring you purchase a well-built unit that puts a strong emphasis on their wall mount.

Other ways to help is by reading the product reviews to see if this is a consistent problem. Additionally, a good solid warranty will provide assurances to you if it should break after you purchase.

Water Pressure Considerations

One potential drawback to a handheld water device in your shower is a reduction in water pressure. This isn’t always the case, though, but you need to know how to interpret and understand what sort of pressure you’ll be getting.

For starters, there are actually two conversations that happen around water pressure and your showerhead:

  • The water pressure at your house or apartment. Sometimes, you are in an area that has very low water pressure, meaning that you have a reduced amount of water coming out of any of your water spigots.
  • The water pressure that your showerhead allows for. Most showerheads nowadays are rated for how many Gallons Per Minute (GPM) they allow for. More on that later.

In other words, you might be looking to increase the water pressure from your showerhead, or you might be looking to decrease the water pressure from your showerhead. You can do either with your purchase, but you need to know which you’re trying to accomplish.

Chrome portable shower head unit

Low Water Pressure in Your Area

Lower water pressure in your particular area of town can cause a lot of problems, and you need to be aware of it, as it will help you determine what type of showerhead to purchase.

Your low water pressure could be because of other reasons, such as a clogged or backed up showerhead or filter. Sometimes simply cleaning out your filter and head will up the water pressure quite a bit.

If you want, you can also do a quick test to see how your water pressure is. Simply pull the showerhead off of your wall, so you have a bare pipe, and put a bucket below to collect the water. Turn on your water, and time how long it takes to reach 1 gallon of water.

Most modern homes and apartments should have a water flow of 5-7 gallons per minute. For this water pressure, your 1 gallon bucket should fill up in 9-12 seconds.

You can purchase specific showerheads to help with low water pressure, so it is good to know this in advance.

Lowering Your Water Usage

Now, you might be looking for the exact opposite result from your new showerhead: reducing water usage.

If you have high water pressure in your neighborhood, then chances are your water bill might higher than necessary because of the amount of water you use on ever shower.

Most showerheads today are sold at 2.5 GPM, which means that (regardless of your area’s water pressure) the head will put out exactly that amount of water each minute, no matter what.

If you have an older showerhead, then this will probably be a reduction in water usage. Older units were sold at 5 GPM or higher.

Certain showerheads also have advanced features to reduce or limit the amount of water usage as well. We outline when these features are available in our individual reviews.  

Increasing Your Water Pressure

Alternatively, you might be frustrated by purchasing a showerhead, only to find that the water pressure coming out of it isn’t up to snuff. Keep in mind – in some situations, this lower pressure has nothing to do with the water pressure in your home or apartment.

In many units, and almost all sold in the United States, government regulations have forced manufacturers to reduce the amount of water coming out of showerheads. They do this by putting a simple regulator inside the shower head.

These are relatively simple to remove yourself, and sometimes can dramatically increase the flow of water coming out of your device. Also, if high pressure is of interest to you, pay attention to several of the options in our review that have notably high pressure.

Hose Material, Length, and Flexibility

While a lot of time is spent looking at the showerhead itself (as it should), another area you need to pay attention to is the hose that comes with the handheld device.

Most handheld units come with a hose as a part of the package. The hose is what you connect to your wall, where the water comes out of the pipe. The hose allows for water to transfer to your portable shower head.

Most units have hoses that are 5-7 feet long. The larger your shower is, and the more you plan on taking advantage of the new mobility, the longer hose you’ll want.

Hoses are made to be flexible, which means they can extend and contract as needed.

The most important to consider is the material of your showerhead. There are basically two different types of material used for your showerhead hose: plastic and stainless steel.

Plastic Hose

Plastic is cheaper, and will do relatively well for you, but won’t last nearly as long. And, when they break, it is really frustrating. The constant torqueing and twisting that a handheld hose goes through means that breaking, in some form, is inevitable. And when they do, it isn’t a big deal, but it can be a pain.

Plastic hoses typically will develop leaks over time, or even snap out of the blue.

Plastic hoses are also more difficult to keep clean and looking nice as time goes on. They develop a bit of an unavoidable dull sheen from the minerals in hard water. At some point, you can’t really restore their look back to new.

Stainless Steel Hose

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is more expensive, but a lot nicer. For starters, these high construction hoses last a lot longer, usually outlasting your showerhead.

Stainless steel hoses don’t develop cracks or holes, and is a good investment given that the hose is prone to break if you opt for a cheaper material.

Stainless steel has the added benefit of looking nicer, and cleaning up easier. While the same dullness can still develop from hard water, it is easily removed from stainless steel hoses.

Water Saving Features

Some of this section is already encompassed in the earlier part on water pressure, but it is still worth addressing in a focused section.

As we’ve outlined multiple times throughout this buying guide, there are two different conversations that surround the water saving capabilities of a shower unit that is handheld.

  • #1: You can purchase showerheads that have water saving components built in, meant to lower the GPM usage through a regulator and water flow.
  • #2: You will be able to turn a handheld option on and off while showering very conveniently, meaning that it will be much easier to save water with each shower.

As you can see, one component of saving water has to do with the handheld unit itself, and the other has to do with the added convenience that comes with having a handheld device installed.

With regards to #1, if you’re interested in saving water, pay special attention the GPM rating of the handheld unit you purchase. There are many high quality, recommended handheld shower heads that are able to reduce water flow and still give you a great shower.

With regards to #2, you will be able to save a lot of water by adding or switching to a handheld unit. Showers account for a lot of water usage every month, with the average US family using 22% of their water for showering.

If you live in an area where the cost of water is rising, then you’ll be even more interested in the water saving capabilities of a handheld shower unit.

A handheld showerhead mounted inside of a shower

Easy Installation

Depending on how handy you are, you want to pay attention to how easy the shower head is to install. We address this in each of our handheld shower head reviews, and the manufacturer will usually make mention of it as well.

By and large, the companies typically make installation pretty easy, especially when you compare it to many other things that you purchase and need to install in your bathroom.

There are a few units that might require you to hire a plumber, depending on your preferences and handiness. By and large though, if you’re relatively handy, you shouldn’t have a problem installing most of these devices.

If you’re nervous about the installation process, read through our reviews first. Some of units come with notably easy installation, taking less than 5 minutes. And, there are a few options that offer tool-free installation.

Warranty

This is something to pay attention to, as we’ve been surprised by how wide-ranging the warranties and guarantees are across the different manufacturers and showerheads.

Your portable hand showerhead isn’t likely to break. However, it does have several moving parts, including a hose and mount, that could wear out over time.

Some manufacturers don’t offer much of a warranty, while others offer limited lifetime warranties.

Moen and Delta have the best guarantees on their products, and we’ve included several of their options on our review of handheld showerheads.

Common Handheld Showerhead Questions

If you still have questions about whether or not a handheld shower head is the right option for you, here are a few common questions we hear, with our answers.

How long will it take to install the handheld shower unit?

The install process for the vast majority of handheld units is meant to take a matter of minutes. If everything with your plumbing is fine, we'd estimate that the start-to-finish process only takes 10 minutes. Yes, it is truly that easy.

Most units ship with everything needed to install it. You might need a wrench to remove your old model and install the new handheld one, but many don't even require that.

Obviously, if you remove your old unit and find some problems, like rusty pipes or a leak, then the install process can take longer.

What is the top handheld shower option for elderly?

​We vote for the​ ShowerMaxx 6-Spray ​as the top option for elderly or handicapped, because it is by far the most versatile and robust option that we reviewed. It will work in a variety of circumstances, allowing you to have a lot of flexibility given the unique situation you encounter.

What is the top handheld shower option for ​​bathtubs?

When it comes to picking a handheld shower unit for your bathtub, there are a couple of unique things to consider. The most important consideration is that you'll be a lot further away from the head than if you were in a regular shower.

As such, we prefer a handheld unit that has a really large face with lots of spray nozzles. The Aqua Elegante has a 5" head size and would be our recommended selection for bathtubs.

What is the top handheld shower option for ​​​pet owners?

You need a highly versatile and pretty powerful shower head for bathing pets in your shower. We look for a unit that has a lot of different spray settings. Depending on your pet, they might prefer a softer spray setting when you're cleaning their head and body, but you might also require something harder for cleaning their paws and underside.

We opt for the ShowerMaxx 6-Spray because it has powerful spray and 6 different spray settings. But, if you're looking for a good budget option, the ​Delta 7-Spray does an adequate job.

Is it possible to have both a handheld and regular shower head?

Yes, this is typically referred to as a dual shower head setup. We recommend using caution when picking up a dual showerhead, though, because they can be poorly made. There are several things that have to operate in unison for the unit to work, and poor construction can cause these units to go out early.

You can trust the Hydroluxe 24 Function 2 in 1 Shower Handheld Head - just read through the review to see what we mean. This brand has been around for a long time and its showerheads have great warranties, just in case.

About the Author Allen Michael

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.

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