There are plenty of consumers searching for the perfect high powered head, but that’s not ideal if you’re trying to go green and conserve a little H20. The best low flow shower head will be more your speed, and there are more options to choose from when you’re trying to dial things down.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t make finding a good head any easier. Every manufacturer wants you to believe their product is the best when there are actually only a few things that separate the top models from the rest of the pack. We’ll cover all those areas in our guide while our low flow shower head reviews will help you find the right fit for your fixtures.
Water conservation has become increasingly popular over the past decade, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of choices available when it comes to shower heads. If you want to keep it simple and don’t have time for our guide, keep these tips in mind.
When your budget is tight, you can forget about a brass head although that’s what you’ll want when build quality and lifespan are important. Plastic heads are much more common, and spray patterns are sparse. Consider just how much you want or need to save on your water bill as well as a 1.5 GPM head may be too restrictive if you have long hair or require more pressure.
Low Flow Shower Head Buying Guide
If you are looking for a low flow shower head, you need to save water, and those reasons can vary wildly from one person to the next. Some folks like in areas with strict water requirements, so a low flow head can be a great way to ensure you stay below the limits.
Alternatively, you may just want to save Mother Earth or just save a few bucks on your water bill. Those 30-minute showers at 2.5 gallons per minute can have a bigger impact than you think, especially if you enjoy steaming hot showers.
What is a Low Flow Shower Head?
Before you begin your quest for the best low flow shower head, it’s a good idea to understand how they work. By design, they decrease water flow from the head, so you don’t have to adjust your water pressure.
They can accomplish this with restrictors or by simply increasing the overall number of jets along with the size of the head. On the downside, that may come at the expense of pressure which is one drawback for most styles of low flow shower heads. A showerhead rated for 1.5 GPM just isn’t going to have the same pop as a standard or high-powered head rated at 2.5 GPM.
In the U.S., the maximum flow rate for new showerheads is 2.5 GPM, and it’s been that way for quite some time. Anything with that rate is considered standard or “high pressure” as you can’t legally go beyond that. With that in mind, anything below 2.5 gallons per minute could be technically be considered a “low flow” head which means there is no magic GPM number for this class, so keep your needs in mind…
Types of Low Flow Shower Heads
Some consumers may cringe at the thought of losing pressure, but a low flow head does come with a few perks aside from water conservation. The biggest would be the design which opens the doors to different features and patterns than you will find on a high-powered shower head.
Heads designed to increase water pressure generally have the same style – they are small and round. Things are different when you reduce the flow so you can consider different sizes or even opt for a ceiling-mounted rainfall head with a low flow rate. Handhelds are ideal for this class as well along with 2-in-1 shower systems that provide you with the best of both worlds.
Low Flow Features
Whether you’re buying a company’s flagship model showerhead or one that’s considerably cheaper, it’s always nice to have a few great features to fall back on. Shower heads aren’t the most exciting type of fixture, but there are several things you can keep an eye out for if you care about more than the flow rate.
A few common features found on this style of head include pause buttons and no-kink hoses. Some also have faces that stay cool to the touch or use special techniques that keep their nozzles clear. That’s one of the bigger selling points with any shower head as it’s easier to wipe nozzles down than unscrew a head to soak it in your sink.
A pause button or a “hold” feature is a little harder to come by in the mid-range but prevalent on pricier models. If you shave in the shower or like to work a strong lather up before rinsing and don’t want a handheld, it’s a feature that you will want to have. Those features are nice, but spray patterns can make or break this style of head depending on your needs.
Spray patterns are the top selling point for shower heads, and it’s one of the first things you should look for as well. Low flow heads can have anything from gentle patterns that mimic the rain to massaging jets that pulsate. Manufacturers also like to throw out big numbers, which is where you need to proceed with caution if you’re buying a combo head.
In our research, we found when a head is billed as having over 20 spray patterns it’s usually marketing talk and not the total truth. Some companies combine those numbers, so if the handheld and wall mounted head each half a half-dozen patterns, they might list that number as 12 instead of six. At the end of the day, there are only so many patterns possible, so focus on the patterns you want, not ones you’ll never use.
This is another area where all is not what it appears to be in some cases. Build quality is tricky considering a cheap plastic showerhead covered in chrome can look as good as one that costs over a hundred bucks. The main thing to remember if you’re new to the scene is that finishes have nothing to do with how your head function or performs, they are mainly cosmetic.
Instead of keying in on the exterior, pay attention to what’s under the chrome. ABS plastic is what you will find in most low to mid-range shower heads, and it’s popular for a reason. It holds up well, and while it’s no substitute for metal, it won’t corrode, and it’s cheap. On the flipside, brass won’t corrode either and is ideal for showerheads and other plumbing fixtures, so shoot for brass if you want the best.
Ball joints are essential and should be made from brass, but metal or plastic will suffice. If you’re going with a 2-in-1, pay close attention to the hose. A hose that kinks or isn’t long enough can be more trouble than it’s worth or you will end up with a soaked floor if the bracket is poorly made or weak. Regardless of whether you buy a handheld or wall-mounted head, silicone nozzles are widely regarded as the easiest to deal with whereas metal ones may need to soak.
Another major difference between high pressure heads and low flow shower heads are the prices. Sure, you can find either for under $20 bucks, but the high-end goes a whole lot higher with low pressure heads due to their style.
If you want something budget-friendly, a simple screw-on head from 1.5 to 3 inches is probably your best bet. You won’t find the best low flow handheld shower head in the budget class although smaller head can still have several settings.
The mid-range actually covers most heads in this class including combo heads, handhelds, and sliding bar systems. You can find all of those options on the high-end heads as well along with fancier finishes and better overall build quality.
One more thing…
In some of our guides, we do a full warranty section as they can be complicated and vary wildly from one brand to the next. Well, that’s not the case with showerheads in this class as 90% of them come with a limited lifetime warranty. While that’s outstanding, keep the “limited” aspect of the warranty in mind and read the fine print if you’re paying a couple of hundred bucks for a head.
Our Low Flow Shower Head Reviews
- Material: Brass
- Flow Rate: 2GPM
- self-cleaning nozzles
- 40 full-coverage sprays
High Sierra FCS-100-CH-1.8
- Material: Solid Metal Construction
- Flow Rate: 1.8 GPM
- Patented nozzle will not clog
Hansgrohe 4728000 Raindance S
- Flow Rate: 2 GPM
- Three Spray modes: rain air, balance air, whirl air
High Sierra G-HHHFCS-200-CH-1.5
- Material: Solid Metal Construction
- Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
Waterpik PowerPulse Massage
- Flow Rate: 2.0 GPM
- Finish: Chrome
- 7 spray settings
Niagara Conservation Sava Spa
- Material: Plastic
- Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
American Standard 1660.717.002
- Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
- Three spray functions: turbine, full, or combination
GROHE Relexa Plus 65
- Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
- Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
Niagara Earth Massage
- Flow Rate: 1.25 GPM
- Adjustable 9-jet turbo massage
1. Speakman S-2256-E2 Icon Anystream Shower Head
The Best High Pressure Low Flow Shower Head
More often than not, the best shower head is usually one that’s well-built. It’s an area where the Speakman Icon Shower Head excels, but only one reason why it made it to the top of our list. This high-end head has some power which makes it ideal for consumers that need a boost but still want to conserve water.
The Speakman S-2256-E2 is a screw-on head, but one that’s built to stand the test of time. Solid brass construction ensures this head will outlive others and things like corrosion will never be an issue. We can say the same for the jets thanks to the company’s self-cleaning nozzles and unique plunger system. It doesn’t look like a typical shower head and doesn’t perform like one either.
As for those plungers, there are six of them which produce 40 full-coverage sprays. Their Anystream technology allows you to adjust the spray pattern on this low flow head with ease as well. It’s rated at 2 gallons per minute and is WaterSense certified. You will save money on the water bill with this head and more when you consider the fact it will last decades, not years.
Speakman’s name may not ring out like Moen or Delta to the average consumer, but believe us when we say they make fine shower heads. While pricy, it’s easy to install and a worthwhile investment that comes with a lifetime warranty.
2. High Sierra WaterSense Certified Low Flow Showerhead
The Best Low Flow for Small Showers
A great design can make or break any shower head regardless of the manufacturer. The High Sierra Low Flow Showerhead proves that with an odd, but extremely effective design. It may not offer up much in the way of patterns, is one of the best heads to own when you need to save H2O.
High Sierra’s head is made from a blend of stainless steel and brass but doesn’t look like any other head on our list. The head is around 1-inch in diameter and about 3 inches long including the ball joint. Needless to say, it’s ideal for small spots or shower stalls where space is tight and certified by WaterSense with a flow rate of 1.8 GPM.
The unique design of this head produces big drops of water although there are no settings or adjustments to speak of aside from an add-on. You can pick up the High Sierra Low Flow head with a trickle valve which allows you to kill the flow without losing the temperature. It’s also something we highly recommend given the small price difference.
This is another clog-free shower head that lives up to the hype and is highly regarded by experts and consumers alike. The Sierra FCS-100-1.8 is available in Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Oil-Rubbed Bronze or Polished Brass and comes with a 2-year warranty.
3. Hansgrohe Raindance S 120 AIR EcoRight Showerhead
The Best Low Flow Rain Shower Head
Larger heads are a great way to ensure you get full-body coverage but aren’t always ideal when you need something that conserves water and still want pressure. Hansgrohe’s solution to that is the Raindance S 120 AIR showerhead, a classy eco-friendly head.
Hansgrohe’s showerheads are generally well-received, and the Raindance S 120 AIR is no exception. With a flow rate of 2.0 GPM, it’s designed to help you save water without sacrificing performance. It’s a little larger than most heads at 4.5 inches which gave the company room for more nozzles. There are 95 in all, and three spray patterns with whirl air, balance air, and rain air.
While the size of this head does cut down on the pressure when coupled with the GPM rating, the company’s AirPower tech more than makes up for that if you like gentle showers. It basically mixes water with air by drawing it into the disc before infusing it with H20. The result is fatter drops of water which makes you feel like you’re at the spa… in your shower.
The build quality isn’t quite what we’d like to see from a head at this price point from a materials standpoint although the quality is top-tier overall. You can get the Raindance S 120 AIR-EcoRight in Chrome or Brushed Nickel with a lifetime limited warranty from Hansgrohe.
4. High Sierra Solid Metal Handheld Shower Kit
The Best Low Flow Handheld Shower Head
Our first handheld showerhead comes from High Sierra and shares a few design features with their screw-on head. While the style may be an acquired taste, it’s a well-built head that can cut the price of your water bill by more than a couple of bucks.
If you liked High Sierra’s skinny low flow head, but need a handheld, look no further. The same build quality went into this handheld head, so it’s completely made from metal with no plastic parts. You can mount it in the metal holder when you want to go hands-free but will appreciate the rubberized grip which stays cool to the touch at high temps.
This low flow showerhead is rated at 1.5 GPM and has a ball joint so you can find the right angle with ease. The spray pattern is narrow but provides good pressure thanks to the small head and overall design. The latter also helps combat mineralization as well if you have hard water. The high-quality metal hose measures 72 inches with a silicone tube and will remain kink-free in your stall.
Consumers loved the build quality of this sturdy head and appreciate the amount of pressures it’s able to produce, even if it’s pricey for a 2-in-1 handheld. Like its smaller sibling, the High Sierra low flow handheld comes with a trickle valve if you want to spend a bit more and has a 2-year warranty. Finishes for this head include Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Chrome, and Nickel.
5. Waterpik PowerPulse Massage Hand Held Shower Head
The Best Handheld Low Flow Head
The PowerPulse XRO-763T is an impressive handheld showerhead from Waterpik. It has a standard design and a lower flow rate than a standard head but grabbed our attention due to its overall power and the sheer number of spray patterns.
Almost every low flow shower head we came across had two things in common – the get you wet and usually don’t have more than one setting. If you happen to get three it’s rare, but the Waterpik PowerPulse handheld gives you seven with a nice mix of water saving and massaging modes. Whether you need a simple full-body spray or want to feel a gentle massage, this one has you covered.
The build quality on this head is middle of the road as its plastic but easy to clean and maintain with anti-clog nozzles. The mounting bracket swivels and the measures 60 inches. This head is rated for 2 gallons per minute although the PowerPulse system gives it a bit of a boost by giving you twice the force.
Spray patterns are the big draw of the Waterpik PowerPulse, and we like the fact it’s easy to install and clean. The only downside is the plastic head and hose even if it’s common at this price point. This powerful low flow head comes with a limited lifetime warranty from Waterpik.
6. Niagara Conservation Sava Spa Showerhead
The Best Budget Low Flow Shower Head
With a jaw-dropping price tag and plenty of styles, the Sava Spa Showerhead should be high on any list where the budget is a concern. This head from Niagara Conservation certainly won’t break the bank, and we think you’ll be impressed by its performance as well.
Niagara Conservation has made a name or themselves by producing affordable showerheads for the masses. The Sava Spa is a fairly large low flow head at 4.4 inches, but well-designed as the company packed over 50 nozzles into the head. That along with the internal pressure compensator ensures you get a nice, even flow and wider coverage than you’ll find from a smaller shower head.
As is the case with most cheap low flow showerheads, this one is made from high-impact ABS plastic, so there are no metal parts. There is a 360-degree ball joint, but no other features to speak of as it’s a simple 1-function head. There are also no finishes considering the price, so we hope you like chrome.
Niagara’s head provides excellent coverage and performs admirably as it’s half the price of other heads in the budget class. While it won’t last nearly as long as other heads for obvious reasons, it has an excellent 10-year warranty.
7. American Standard Flowise Water-Saving Showerhead
A 3-Pattern Head with some Power
Cutting your flow rate dramatically can be a scary proposition if you enjoy full power showers. Well, we’re pleased to say that won’t be an issue with the Flowise Showerhead from American Standard as it has three patterns and puts an interesting spin on your water.
American Standard took a unique approach to this FloWise head as the flow rate varies depending on the spray pattern. There are three patterns with Full, Combination and Turbine sprays. The first two are clocked at 2.0 GPM while Turbine mode is 1.5 GPM. You can switch modes with an easy to use dial on the face of the head, and there’s an auto-return feature that defaults to 1.5 GPM after the shower is off.
The company’s FloWise system sends water to a chamber and actually spins the H20 before releasing it from the head. This adds force in Turbine mode, something you that’s handy when your flow rate is only 1.5 gallons per minute. The other modes are solid and offer wider coverage whereas the Turbine spray hits you with a smaller spray pattern.
This head may not be the fanciest or most powerful, but it will look good in your stall, and we like the spiraling streams produced by their FloWise system. We also love the price tag and the fact it comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. This plastic showerhead is available in two finishes with Chrome and Satin.
8. GROHE Relexa Plus 65 Water Saving Showerhead
A Small and Efficient Low Flow Head
GROHE makes some of the best shower heads on the market, and while plenty are quite expensive, they do have a range for everyone. The Relaxa Plus 65 is a simple solution for consumers that require a low flow head but still sports some of the company’s flagship features.
This head has an understated style that looks good but doesn’t break any new ground. Like most showerheads of this nature, it won’t take up much space although GROHE maximized the surface area on this one. There are around 30 nozzles on the face, and they’re backed by DreamSpray tech so you will always get an even flow.
We chose the Watercare version of this showerhead which comes with a flow rate of 1.5 GPM. As it’s a 1-spray head, there are no patterns or additional features. You can choose the finish however with Chrome, Brushed Nickel or StarLight Chrome. All of GROHE’s heads come with a limited lifetime guarantee.
9. Speakman The Reaction Low Flow Shower head S-4002-E15
A Colorful Showerhead from Speakman
Our second option from Speakman is entirely different from our first and not just from a design standpoint. This head has a lower flow rate than our top pick and is considerably cheaper as well if your budget is tight.
At 5.5-inches in diameter, this is one of the larger heads to make our list although some of that surface area is for strictly for show. Speakman used a disk-like design for The Reaction, and it’s one a handful of heads that actually brings some color into the mix. It’s fashionable, and the company used its patented Tempoflo tech to add more power to this single-spray head.
The design of this low flow showerhead isn’t just for looks as it’s engineered to produce a spiraling stream and make the best of your water flow. It’s rated at 1.5GPM and certified by WaterSense as well. The Speakman Reaction has a limited lifetime warranty, and while it’s plastic, it will hold up well for years to come. It comes in three colors with Jade Green, Dusk Blue, and Smokey Gray.
10. Niagra Earth Massage Low Flow Showerhead
An Affordable Low Flow Shower Head
Shower heads can range from under 20 bucks to hundreds of dollars, but we’re always keeping an eye out for budget-friendly options when we’re looking for the best. The Niagra Earth Massage Low Flow head is one of the cheaper heads we’ve come across, but also one of the most effective at saving water.
While not fancy, the Earth Massage is rated for 1.25 GPM and is designed to give you an even and consistent flow rate regardless of your incoming pressure. It’s made from ABS plastic, so the build quality is lacking in that area, but it’s a good looking head that simply gets the job done.
There aren’t many features on this one aside from the spray pattern with turbo massage featuring nine jets. It’s not WaterSense certified, but it does meet ANSI’s criteria and sports a solid 10-year warranty. The Niagra Earth Massage is available in White or Chrome.
As you can see from our top picks, there are some excellent options available, and you don’t have to sacrifice a whole lot of pressure to find the best low flow shower head. It’s also something that will pay for itself quickly as you’re saving H2O and energy with these efficient heads. If you’d rather increase your pressure than conserve water, be sure to check out our list of the best high pressure shower heads as well.