The 9 Best Low-Flow Shower Heads of 2020

Easily reduce your water consumption by installing a new shower head

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
"An affordable, sturdy, and efficient option from a trusted, family-run company."
"A simple but effective showerhead at a low cost."
"Enjoy the convenience of a handheld plus six different spray settings."
"Deliver a consistent, smooth water flow with this brushed nickel showerhead."
"This stylish, relaxing rainfall shower maintains surprisingly low-flow standards."
"Indulge in a spa-like experience without leaving your home with this low-flow showerhead."
"A versatile shower head with numerous jet settings."
Best Ultra Low-Flow:
Bricor UltraMax at Bricor.com
"Bricor maximizes water conservation with one of the lowest flow rates in the industry."
"Cutting-edge technology that will change how you shower."

There’s nothing quite like a relaxing, hot shower after a long day’s work. However, as incredible as it feels, it’s also costly—both on the environment and on the wallet. The EPA estimates that for the average family, showers account for nearly 17 percent of indoor water use—that’s nearly 40 gallons per day. Installing a low-flow shower head can help reduce water consumption, and in turn, help save on energy and water bills.

While many shower head manufacturers advertise “low-flow” products, they are, in fact, producing the standard maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) set by the Energy Policy Act in 1992. Today, many states such as Colorado, California, and Vermont have already put into effect requirements that set the flow rate even lower—a trend that’s likely to continue.  

To meet demands, companies are producing a variety of truly “low-flow,” shower heads, giving more water-efficient choices to eco-conscious consumers. Here are nine of the best low-flow shower heads, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxurious, guilt-free shower systems.

Best Overall: High Sierra Showerheads Classic PLUS

Affordable yet built to last, the family-owned High Sierra Showerheads has set itself apart and was recognized by the EPA with the WaterSense Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration (2016). The sturdy, solid metal shower head provides a strong spray, a swivel to adjust direction, and a trickle option button that allows more water conservation when lathering. It’s also specially designed with larger flow passageways, so it will not clog or require added cleaning. In addition to being WaterSense-certified, High Sierra is compliant with the Buy American Act. The shower head is available in chrome, nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and polished brass and has flow-rate options of 1.5, 1.8, or 2.0 GPM.

Good to Know

To earn a WaterSense label, the EPA requires that showerheads must demonstrate they use no more than 2.0 GPM. The EPA estimates that “if every home in the United States installed WaterSense-labeled showerheads, we could save more than $2.9 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually.”

Best Budget: Delta 52672-15-BG Fundamentals Single-Setting Shower Head

If you want to try a water-saving showerhead but are looking for something affordable yet effective, Delta Fundamentals Single-Setting Showerhead (52672-15-BG) ticks all the right boxes. WaterSense-labeled, this fixed, round showerhead produces a flow rate of 1.5 GPM and quickly pays for itself in reduced water bills. There’s no bells and whistles with this Delta—it has a simple, one-setting design that allows for a full-body spray. It's available in chrome or white and is also certified by the California Energy Commission (CEC). 

Best Handheld: Waterpik VSA-653E EcoFlow Low-Flow Shower Head

Many low-flow shower heads are fixed in place, but if you’re looking for the convenience of a handheld shower head, check out the Waterpik Ecoflow. The handheld comes complete with six different spray settings such as pulsating massage, full-body, Champagne, and water-saving trickle. The Waterpik has a flow rate of just 1.8 GPM, translating to an estimated savings of $45 per year on the water and energy bill for a one-person household. The shower head features a chrome finish, anti-clog nozzles, and an ample, 5-foot hose for extended reach. The EcoFlow is reasonably priced, easy to install (less than 10 minutes), and is WaterSense-certified.

Installation Tip

If you’re using an existing shower valve, check with the manufacturer first to make sure it’s compatible with a low-flow showerhead. 

Best Pressure-Regulator: Niagara Conservation N2915BN Earth Showerhead

How much pressure a shower head produces is largely determined by the amount of pressure available in the water system in the home. However, the WaterSense-listed Earth Showerhead (N2915BN) does an excellent job regulating this pressure, and the result is a consistent, smooth amount of water (while still keeping the flow rate to just 1.5 GPM). The non-aerated stream also helps to maintain temperature, so there is less energy loss (and in turn, fewer costs). The Earth Showerhead features nine different jets and three adjustable water-stream settings: needle, massage, and combination. Plus, installation is quick and painless, the price is affordable, and the brushed nickel finish adds a sleek look.

Best Rain Shower: Signature Hardware Lambert Rainfall Shower Head

There are a variety of showerheads that simulate a soothing rainfall by offering a wider surface area and gentle water flow (instead of a high-pressured, direct stream). However, few manufacturers offer this design with truly low-flow output (less than 2.5 GPM). The Lambert Rainfall Shower Head by Signature Hardware stands out in that the 10-inch showerhead is wider than some competitors while still maintaining a flow rate of 1.8 GPM. Made from brass and finished in either brushed nickel, chrome, or bronze, this aesthetically pleasing showerhead is mounted to the ceiling to re-create the sense of being in the rain—without as much water falling.

Good to Know

In 2021, Hawaii and Washington will join the growing list of states to put new, low-flow standards (1.8 GPM) into effect, with New York implementing rates of 2.0 GPM by 2022.

Best Luxury: Moen Aromatherapy Handshower

For a refreshing, spa-like feeling without leaving the home, the Moen Aromatherapy Handshower is a worthy splurge that transforms the shower into a calming, Zen-like experience. This innovative, handheld design releases essential oils into the shower stream, and the level of aromatherapy can be adjusted on the infusion dial.

The scented oils range from lavender and tea tree to vanilla and lemon, plus, with a flow rate of 1.8 GPM, the luxurious shower can be enjoyed guilt-free. It’s worth noting that only three aromatherapy pods are included, but additional capsules can be purchased separately. The WaterSense-certified showerhead also has six unique pulse settings, a magnetic dock, and a spot-resistant finish.

Best Dual: Pulse Showerpas Oasis Shower System

If you can’t choose between a fixed showerhead or a handheld, you can always have both. The Oasis Shower System by Pulse is loaded with options: There’s five settings on the showerhead and six on the handheld including wide spray, jet, and a combination. The system has a flow rate of 1.8 GPM (during regular use) plus a water-saving trickle option for additional conservation. While many showerheads are positioned at an angle, the Pulse Showerspas flows down directly on the bather and can be used at the same time with the handheld or separately.

Best Ultra Low-Flow: Bricor UltraMax

For those who live in a mobile home, RV, tiny house, or boat with limited access to water, the Bricor Ultramax is an excellent choice. The innovative, WaterSense-certified showerhead sets the bar with an unheard-of standard flow rate of .625 GPM. This rate is one of the lowest in the industry, yet it still maintains the feel of a consistent stream of water. Constructed from solid brass, the durable showerhead is moderately priced but will save consumers more in the long run. Keep in mind that due to the drastic water-saving efficiency, this showerhead is ideal for those seeking an adequate—ut not luxurious—shower experience.

Best Recirculating: Orbital Systems Shower

Although recirculating showers are considered more elaborate (and costly) systems than basic showerheads, they may be the way of the future and the gold standard for water conservation in the bathroom. These cutting-edge technologies can save up to 80 percent of energy and 90 percent of water. Many companies developing these new showers are offering waiting lists to purchase them, including Orbital Systems, an award-winning shower that estimates a return on investment within 3.5 years. Instead of using water once and wasting it, the Orbital shower reuses the warm, soapy drain water, filters and purifies it, then pumps it back through the shower itself, so it’s already heated. This method drastically cuts heating and water bills, meaning you can indulge in longer showers.

Final Verdict

If you’re searching for a top-rated fixed shower head at a reasonable cost, it’s hard to beat the High Sierra Showerheads Classic PLUS. If a low price is a top priority, the Delta Fundamentals Single-Setting Shower Head will do the trick, or, if you’re craving a little luxury, the Moen Aromatherapy Handshower will transform your bathroom.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Amber Nolan is a nature enthusiast and outdoor adventurer who is passionate about sustainable living. Her work has appeared on TripSavvy, Sherman’s Travel, Frommers.com, and 10Best.com. She lives off-grid, and one of her many eco-friendly projects is an outdoor, solar-powered shower that uses low-flow technology.

Read Next: The 6 Best Composting Toilets of 2020