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Using a water saving showerhead is an easy way to save thousands of gallons of water, while still having an amazing shower experience.
As manufacturer’s continue to innovate to meet customer expectations and standards, water saving showerheads have gone from being unpleasant and low flow to being the equivalent of regular showerheads.
But with so many showerheads on the market, finding the right one can be difficult. In this article, we’ve searched through hundreds of models to pick the top 7 low flow water saving showerheads that offer a combination of savings, efficiency value and a satisfactory shower experience.
But first, some information.
How Much Water Do We Use for Showering?
The average person uses between 80 to 100 gallons of water per day and of this, about 15.8 is used for showering. That’s about 19% of a person’s total daily water usage.
Prior to 1994, there were no limitations on shower water flow rate, but since then, federal mandates have restricted water flow (or gallons per minute – GPM) to 2.5 or below. The shift has been towards water-saving showerheads that conserve water while still offering a satisfactory shower experience.
As the graphic shows, even small changes in habits and devices can equate to huge savings in shower water.
What Makes a Showerhead Water Saving?
When looking for a water saving showerhead, there are three main factors to look for. These are:
- Low GPM (flow)
As we’ve mentioned, the federal requirements have limited shower heads to 2.5 gpm. Most showerheads fall into this category. But water saving showerheads will have a flow rate of 2.0 gpm or less. Some can go down as far as 1.0 gpm but the average will range around 1.75 to 2.0. Different states may have different regulations, but all welcome the use of water saving showerheads.
But how much water does switching to a water saving showerhead actually save?
Here’s how it adds up:
- If you shower for 10 minutes per day, at a gpm of 2.5, that equals to 25 gallons of water per shower. In a year you would be using up 9,125 gallons of water.
- If you switch to the minimum requirements for a water saving showerhead at 2.0 gpm per minute, that’s 20 gallons of water per shower or 7,300 gallons of water per year.
You will have saved 1,825 gallons of water per year with this simple switch. If you go for even lower gpm rates, your water savings will be even more dramatic.
- Certification – WaterSense
Look for certification. The EPA has created WaterSense, which certifies water supplies, including showerheads, to meet certain standards. A WaterSense certified showerhead must have a flow rate at or below 2.0 gpm but they must also provide a shower experience equivalent to a regular showerhead. If the showerhead can’t meet these criteria, it will not be awarded the WaterSense certification.
Some water companies offer incentives and rebates for using WaterSense certified products, which offers additional savings.
There have been some counter arguments to reducing shower flow rates, which state that it will lead to longer showers, thereby undermining the purpose of the low flow rate in the first place. However, studies have shown that this isn’t the case. For most people, the flow rate doesn’t affect how long they stay in the shower.
- Water saving settings
Some showerheads offer a variety of settings that allow you more control over how much water you’re using. For example, some shower heads offer a water saving mode, which reduces your water flow rate when doing activities like lathering or shaving. These are not essential but can be helpful to have.
Best Water Saving Shower Heads
High Sierra WaterSense Certified – Best Low Flow Head for Small Showers
- Special iron removing filter
- High flow rate
- DIY installation
- NSF/ANSI certified
- 100,000 gallon capacity
This low flow showerhead from High Sierra is an eco-friendly option, making it one of the most popular choices. Certified by WaterSense, the High Sierra shower head (available in 1.5 GPM, 1.8 GPM and 2 GPM) will save you 40% of water compared to regular showerheads. This means you will be saving money on your energy bills as well.
The High Sierra delivers a full spray of large drops of water in one single setting. The stylish showerhead comes in several finishes, to suit a variety of aesthetics. Choose from chrome, brushed nickel, polished brass or oil rubbed bronze.
The fittings and the head of the High Sierra are made from metal, and the flow restrictor from high-quality, durable plastic, ensuring durability.
What Fans Love: Water pressure
I knew the shower head was going to be good based on everything I had read, but in fact it is truly amazing. I replaced a 2.5 GPM regular shower head with the High Sierra 1.5 GPM shower head and it felt like I had doubled the water flow.
Main Complaint: Durability
This is an amazing shower head at first. Great pressure. Very minimalist. Nothing but good things. The bad part is we’ve had ours for a year and half now and it shows signs of the spray head starting to come apart or flake off on the edge where water shoots out.
MOEN 3868EPBN Eco-Performance Handheld Shower
- Meets Water Sense standards for water conservation
- Easy installation
- Long reach – double-interlock spiral metal hose with 69-inch reach
- 2 stylish finishes
- Plastic construction
- Corresponding drop-ell required to complete installation. This is sold separately.
The Moen Handheld Shower offers versatility with water efficiency. The device has a water flow of 2.0 gpm which meets WaterSense standards, balancing water conservation with an excellent pressure and flow.
The double-interlock spiral metal hose ensures that there’s plenty of reach (approximately 69 inches). The model comes with a 24-inch slide bar which allows you to fasten the head of the shower at any height to suit your requirements.
The Moen handheld shower comes in two finishes – brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze. Both are attractive and modern, suiting different types of décor. While installation is relatively easy, you need to purchase the corresponding drop-ell to complete installation. This is sold separately by Moen.
What Fans Love: Stylish look
It works great and it looks really stylish too.
Main Complaint: No drop-ell in set
You need to also buy a “dropell” that is the joint shown at the end of the shower hose, the part going into the wall, while its shown in the product picture for this product.
Niagara Earth Massage Low Flow Showerhead
- 25 GPM
- Regulates water pressure
- Up to 30% water conservation
- 9-jet massage setting
This super low-flow showerhead by Niagara Conservation cuts your water flow down to 1.25 gpm. While you will notice a drop in the flow of water, the showerhead still manages to give you a pleasant showering experience.
The showerhead features a 9-jet adjustable turbo massage, which can be adjusted from a spray to jet style flow. The force of the spray compensates for the drastic reduction of water, giving you a comfortable massage as well.
The device comes in two finishes, either chrome plated or white. It’s corrosion resistant and requires minimal maintenance. The manufacturer’s stand by their product with a 10-year guarantee.
What Fans Love: Water conservation
First bill (only used the heads for 20 days of the bill) we cut our water consumption down to 4,400 gallons! Saved $23 on our water bill. So they paid themselves off in less than a month. Plus we can feel good for saving water and the energy to involved with treating it.
Main Complaint: Leaks
Started leaking after less than a year. Now any savings I had by buying a more efficient shower head are out the window.
Speakman Anystream 2.0 GPM Adjustable Showerhead
3 used from $21.77
- 2.0 GPM
- Stylish modern design
- Easy transition between settings
- 3 settings
One of the most popular water saving showerheads on the market, the Speakman offers a low water flow while maintaining high pressure. Choose from three flow rates – 1.75 gpm, 2.0 gpm and 2.5 gpm as required. For the best water conservation, opt for the 1.75 gpm model. The device offers you three water spray settings and an easy twist handle to conveniently switch between spray modes.
The design of the Speakman is stylish and modern, with a corrosion resistant metal finish. While it’s crafted out of plastic, the construction is durable and easy to maintain. The model is self-cleaning, easily removing hardness mineral and sediment buildup.
What Fans Love: Good Pressure
I have long hair, so for me pressure and GPM really matter and this is perfect in both areas. I think this shower head may actually reduce my time in the shower.
Main Complaint: Limited Settings
I’ve come across these in hotels and liked the pressure so when I did a bathroom remodel I thought I’d give it a try. I like this shower head, but I like one setting, so I’m not picky in terms of the different spray patterns. If you like different spray patterns this is not the one for you.
AM Conservation Group Bi-Max Showerhead
- Variable flow rate – 1.0 to 1.5 gpm
- Stylish modern design
- Easy transition between settings
- WaterSense certified
- Consistent water flow
This WaterSense certified showerhead is unique in appearance, with no traditional water jets but it offers one of the most consistent and smart water flow systems. This is also one of the most water efficient showerheads with the lowest flow rates at 1.0 gpm.
The Bi-Max has a variable flow rate, easily switching between 1.0 gpm to 1.5 gpm depending on your shower water requirements. Simply twist the showerhead to change between these flow rates. This offers you one of the lowest flow rates on the market, with surprisingly good results.
The Bi-Max uses a patented flow compensator, which offers consistent and stable flow even if your water pressure is patchy. The chrome finish has a modern look that will suit most bathrooms. With a 10-year warranty, the Bi-Max is an excellent water saving showerhead, perfect if you’re serious about reducing your water usage.
What Fans Love: Saves water
You can notice that the flow of water is less than a regular shower, but to be fair you can’t really compare a 1.0 gpm showerhead with a 2.5 gpm. It does the job and helps me save a ton of water.
Main Complaint: Trouble with lower setting
I even removed the filter to see if something had gotten past it but there was nothing I could detect, and I confirmed the holes were clear. The lower water setting simply refuses to work.
Earth Showerhead by Niagara Conservation
- Water flow rate of 1.5 gpm
- Variable flow
- WaterSense certified
- Sleek, stylish look
- Up to 40% water conservation
The Earth Showerhead by Niagara Conservation is a stylish device with high water efficiency. The showerhead has a flow rate of 1.5 gpm and offers consistent water pressure even in low water pressure areas. By switching to this showerhead, you can almost halve your water usage, reducing it by up to 40%.
The device requires no installation and can easily be attached to most showers. Changing between the three settings is easy, requiring just a twist to the side. Choose from needle, massage or combination sprays.
The overall consensus is that the Earth Showerhead saves water significantly without compromising on quality.
What Fans Love: Comfortable experience
Dropping from 2.5 gpm to this 1.5 gpm shower head, it took me two weeks to get used to the reduction of water. Now, I enjoy my showers more.
Main Complaint: Leaking
It’s really a shame – I wanted a lo-flo shower head, but this one apparently can’t keep up with the water pressure in my house, because the water just backed up and squirted out the top.
Economy Super Spray Clean Water Showerhead
- Water flow rate of 1.5 gpm
- Affordable price
- WaterSense certified
- Plastic construction
The Economy by New Resources Group is a WaterSense certified showerhead that offers a low flow rate of 1.5 gpm. It’s one of the most affordable showerheads on the market, balancing value with performance.
The Economy offers a high-quality water flow and consistent pressure, with no need for maintenance. It’s especially suited for hard water areas as it doesn’t clog up. While the device is sturdy and has good durability, the plastic finish does not look luxurious and may not suit all types of bathroom décor.
The water flow is comfortable, offering a good shower experience. Overall, a high-quality product offering a good shower experience.
What Fans Love: Affordability
I know there are $40 dollar low flow heads that claim to be amazing but this one is all that I need. It does the job for the price and is a low-investment high-quality showerhead.
Main Complaint: Low pressure
Water pressure is just alright. Glad it is saving water, but now my showers take longer because the output is not very strong.
How to Choose a Water Saving Showerhead
Now that we’ve gone over the specifics of water saving showerheads, let’s take a look at what to keep in mind when choosing one:
- Water Flow: The water flow will determine just how much water you can save by installing the showerhead. If you’re extremely committed to saving water, you could opt for a showerhead with a variable water flow between 1.0 gpm to 1.5 gpm. Most people opt for a flow between 1.75 to 2.0 gpm which conserves water while still offering results similar to a regular showerhead.
- Budget: The next factor to think about is the price. If this is your first water saving showerhead and you just want to dip your toes into the water, so to speak, you could choose a more affordable showerhead around the $10 range. Investing in a more expensive showerhead can give you more spray settings and features like adjustability.
- WaterSense: If the product has the WaterSense certification, you’ll know that it’s been independently tested and has met criteria. However, some products may not have the WaterSense certification but may still offer excellent water efficiency and quality. In general, though, we recommend going for a certified product.
- Appearance: Showerheads come in a range of styles, but most water saving models are compact, sleek and stylish. Consider the finish and how it would work in your bathroom. Do you like how it looks? Is the spray setting wide enough for you?
- Handheld or Fixed: There are two main categories of showerheads – handheld and fixed. Both have their pros and cons so which you choose depends on your specific requirements. For the best handheld showers, read our article.
Why Use a Water Saving Showerhead
Today’s water efficient showerheads use less water without compromising on quality and efficiency. There are many benefits to installing one in your shower.
- Save water – this is the whole point of installing a water saving showerhead. The amount of water we use up in a shower each day makes up over 19% of our daily water usage. By installing a water saving showerhead, you can significantly cut down on the gallons used up for showering.
- Save money – saving water naturally translates to lower utility bills. Your water bills will go down and likewise, with less water to heat, you’ll need less gas or electricity. You’ll notice the difference immediately as you start to consciously cut down on your water usage.
- Little to no difference – high-quality WaterSense certified showerheads have little to no difference with a regular showerhead. So by switching to such a product, you won’t be sacrificing on the quality and consistency of your showers.
- Feel good – it always feels good to do your part for the environment. By saving water, you’ll be doing your bit to conserve it for the future.
The Bottom Line
As we’ve already discussed, by switching to a water saving showerhead, you can save thousands of gallons of water per year, which translates to lower utility bills. You can have all these benefits while still having an amazing shower experience.
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