Buyer's Guide: Key Factors To Buying A Long Lasting, High Performing Shower Head

Justin Ball The Shower Head Store


As a Plumbing Professional helping clients spec out projects, we found that there simply wasn't a website or resource which clearly explained all the pertinent product information. And this was especially true when it came to Shower Heads, which I like to think of as the "Jewel In The Crown" for an ultimate Bathroom.

That's when the idea for The Shower Head Store was born. We began to meticulously document each and every product that I installed, and rated the overall features and client experiences. These documents turned into the information that you'll find on The Shower Head Store's Product Pages.

Not only have we installed these Shower Heads, but they've all met my "Plumber Approval" for both performance and durability. Whether you're actively shopping, or just getting ideas, I'm going to share the key areas that I use to find the best, most durable Shower Heads.




When it comes down to Materials, there isn't a "durability compromise." You're either going to have inferior Plastic or superior Metal components. The bottom line is that Metal provides tighter seals, reduces the chances of cracking, mitigates areas that could leak and will simply outlast Plastic products.

Obviously, there are different types of Metal. With these top Brands, you'll typically find that when they do have Metal Components, they use Brass or Stainless Steel. Brass is used more for Threaded Fittings and Stainless Steel is used for Shower Hoses and the faces of Shower Heads.

OK, so we know Metal is superior, but how are we to know what's Metal and Plastic without touching the product? For those of us shopping online, this is the part which can get confusing. That's why I've personally documented the Material of each component for the products we sell at The Shower Head Store. You'll find this information clearly stated on each product page, so you can make the best buying decision.

If you'd like to have an eagle eye for pinpointing Metal and Plastic, without touching the product, check out my pro tips in this article.

Water Pressure 

Of course, no Shower Head would meet our expectations if the Water Pressure was sub-par. Ultimately, there are three factors to consider when trying to find the best Water Pressure for your needs.

1) Shower Head Flow Rate is measured in how many Gallons Per Minute (GPM) of water flow through the Shower Head. The more Pressure you desire, the higher you'll want the Flow Rate. You'll find that most Shower Heads come in 2.5 GPM or 2.0 GPM. Over the past 2 years, states like California, Colorado and New York have enforced new Flow Rate regulations, reducing the Maximum Flow Rate from 2.5 GPM to 2.0 GPM. That means you'll find more and more Shower Heads available in the Low Flow Rate. While there are Shower Head Flow Rates as low as 1.5 GPM, I've personally found 2.0 GPM to be the lowest Flow Rate that provides decent Water Pressure.

2) Type of Shower Head & Diameter refers to the size of the Shower Head. While Shower heads with bigger faces provide more coverage, they can reduce the water pressure. So, if you're looking to conserve water with a Low Flow Shower Head, without losing too much Water Pressure, you'll want to stick with a smaller Shower Head Diameter. I consider the threshold to be 6 Inches. For more coverage look for a Shower Head over, over 6 Inches. These are what we call Rain Shower Heads or Rainfall Showers. The water droplets feel more like a gentle rain and are aimed to envelope you in the shower and keep you extra warm.

3) Shower Head Innovations & Functions are abundant in the Shower Head industry, and there are some great ones that will increase your Water Pressure and Coverage. But the fact of the matter is that the simpler the better. While you can find a wide variety of multi-function shower heads, the best options, in our experience, use a single high-performing function or a combination of a wide spray and a concentrated spray. For Innovations, the two that I find to be the most effective are the Delta H2OKinetic Spray and the Moen Immersion Technology. The Delta H2OKinetic Spray will increase your Water Coverage by spinning the water out of the Shower Head, giving you a warmer feeling in the Shower. The Moen Immersion Technology is specific to Moen Rain shower Heads, and it helps to make up for pressure loss found in larger Shower Heads. It essentially squeezes the water down tiny channels to increase Water Pressure, giving you a more fulfilling Shower.



Having handled and installed a wide variety of Plumbing Fixtures and Shower Heads, I can tell you that not all Brands are made equal. There are truly a select few Brands that deliver a consistent, quality product. Over the years, I've ranked my top Shower Head Brands as follows:

1) HammerHead Showers specializes in 100% Metal Shower Heads and accessories. From the Hoses to the Brackets to the Heads, all the parts are made from high-grade metals. Developed by plumbing industry insiders who were fed up with the cheap plastic parts that broke so often, HammerHead Showers set out to make the most durable Shower Heads available. They now offer an exceptional line of products, including: Solid Brass Handshower Holders, All Metal Hand Held Shower Head Sets and All Metal Rain Shower Heads.

2) Moen Incorporated is about as consistent as you can get with Plumbing Fixtures. From the "unseen" components to the visible design build, Moen delivers a high quality product that is easy to install, use and enjoy for years to come. You may not be aware, but they still have a major manufacturing presence in North Carolina, where they Finish, Assemble and even Manufacturer components of their product line.

3) Delta Faucet has a wide range of quality products, and are truly built with the customer in mind. When it comes to Shower Head Innovations, they are the industry leader. From the Delta In2ition to H2OKinetic, they develop innovations that make a serious impact on Shower performance.

4) Kohler Faucet is well-known for fusing the most elegant designs, with the highest quality materials. With much of their Manufacturing still taking place in Kohler, Wisconsin, they have a wide breadth of products Made in the USA.

5) Speakman has made its claim as the "Hotel-Quality" Shower Head. You'll find them in Hotels and Commercial Buildings around the country. While customers love Speakman for their strong Water Pressure, Plumbers thoroughly appreciate how solidly built their products are.



When shopping for a Shower Head, Brand and Warranty go hand-in-hand. That's because different Brands offer different Warranties. And there aren't any other companies that I trust more than Moen, Delta, Kohler, Speakman and HammerHead Showers. They are all leaders in the Plumbing Industry with their Warranties and exceptional Customer Service.

All of these Brands have their Customer Service Centers located in the United States, so you'll be sure to talk to a knowledgeable representative without waiting on hold for half of the day - should you ever have an issue with your product.

What makes these Warranties so remarkable are the companies willingness to work with customers to ensure that their problems are resolved. Whether that means a simple troubleshooting walk-through, sending out repair parts, or getting you a brand new product, you'll be sure to get the "white glove" treatment with these Brands. Other Brands, not so much, in my experience.

Just in 2017, Moen Incorporated received the 2016 Stevie Award for Contact Center of the Year. According to one of the Stevie Award judges commenting on Moen, "Customer focus appears to be their forte, besides attending to consumer experience and satisfaction, they believe in gaining consumer feedback to keep their work on track."

Here's the Customer Service Information for these companies, should you need it:

  • Moen Incorporated: (800) 289-6636
  • Delta Faucet: (800) 345-3358
  • Kohler Faucet: (800) 456-4537
  • Speakman: (800) 537-2107
  • HammerHead Showers: (854) 888-9231


Although I continue to test, use and rate Shower Heads, I keep my Top Choices to a select few. Here you'll find my Top Rated Best Sellers that will not only give you a great Showering Experience, but will leave you feeling like you got great bang for your buck!

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