Water efficiency is one of the essential properties for a showerhead to have nowadays. It’s not just because conserving water means protecting the environment that’s being endangered, saving water also makes economic sense. After all, anyone can appreciate having a lower water bill.
These best low flow showerheads will be most suited for the task of helping you improve your house’s water efficiency. But better yet, they will still be able to give you the pleasurable showering experience you need after a long day at the office.
- What Does It Mean For A Showerhead to Be Low Flow?
- How to Choose the Best Low Flow Showerhead?
- Best Low Flow Showerheads Reviews 2020
- Top-rated Low Flow Showerheads Comparison Chart
- Further Steps to Improve Water Efficiency in Your Home
What Does It Mean For A Showerhead to Be Low Flow?
A low flow showerhead, otherwise known as a “flow showerhead,” can reduce the flow rate of the pipe’s water being fed to it. Thanks to this design, such a showerhead’s water consumption is shrunk considerably. Geared toward those who want to save a bit more on their utility bill, it is such a popular choice among consumers it was featured as a separate category on our list of showerheads.
Typically the showerhead uses a flow restrictor valve to limit its flow rate. Low flow showerheads have also been improved through the years; plenty of them are now built with advanced technologies that can give you intense pressure while keeping the flow rate down. Because of this, you shouldn’t worry too much about your shower experience being affected.
How to Choose the Best Low Flow Showerhead?
A showerhead’s flow rate is calculated as the volume of water consumed by the showerhead in a specific period (gallon per minute or “GPM” is a standard unit for measuring flow rate.)
Like previously mentioned, the flow rate is the critical number that makes a low flow showerhead. To be called a low flow showerhead, it must have an average flow rate of less than 2.0 GPM.
The maximum flow rate permitted federally in the U.S is 2.5 GPM (in some select states like California, which has a flow rate ceiling of 1.5 GPM, the number can be different.) Therefore, if you live in California or any other states with a mandated flow rate of below 2.0 GPM, such as Colorado and New York, any showerhead sold in your state is a “low flow showerhead” by definition.
While the law is usually not stringently enforced, since this is a legal matter, it’s good to be aware.
There are some essential qualities that showerheads specifically designed to be water efficient have that your ordinary store-picked showerheads cannot offer.
For example, the best low flow showerheads typically have a WaterSense certification. WaterSense is a program started by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency to promote water efficiency. To get the certification, a product must pass the EPA’s strict guidelines on water efficiency and quality. Not any showerhead can pass the Agency’s tests. If the low flow showerhead you’re planning on getting did, you can be entirely at ease about the performance and quality of the product.
Spray settings can also make a significant impact on the water-saving rate of a showerhead. A lot of modern showerheads now have “Water Saving Mode,” such as the AquaDance 3312. Each manufacturer has a different approach to water-saving spray modes. Some designed their settings to increase water pressure. This is so that even when the flow rate is reduced, you won’t notice the flow cut while showering.
Some others simply slow the water flow down to a near-trickle when you switch to the saving mode. The setting can be convenient while you’re lathering shampoo.
Aside from the lower flow rate, low flow showerheads look identical in design to your household shower systems. There are two main designs: Fixed or handheld.
Fixed showerheads are attached permanently onto the wall through a shower arm. Though you can’t move the showerhead from its place, fixed showerheads often have a ball joint at the stem for you to adjust the shower’s angle.
On the other hand, handheld showerheads are connected to your house’s water system through a long, metal hose. When not in use or while you’re showering hand-free, they will be mounted on a shower bracket. When needed, you can detach the showerhead from its bracket to wash your body from whichever angle you like best. This gives handheld showerheads flexibility that fixed ones can’t offer. Because of this, polls suggested that handhelds are the most popular type among consumers.
The design of the showerhead does not directly impact its water efficiency. So for this part, it all boils down to your personal preference.
Showerheads are made out of two types of material: Either thermoplastic or metal.
Thermoplastic (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS) is the most popular material for showerheads. ABS isn’t just affordable. It strikes a great balance between lightweight and strength. This balance makes it a premier candidate for handheld showerheads in terms of material. The lightweight makes it easier and less straining to pick up and use the sprayer. Though its durability and longevity are not exceptional, if you take good care of it, ABS showerhead can still last for years.
On the other hand, metal is the preferred material for fixed showerheads. The only significant drawback that metal has is that it is far more expensive and more cumbersome than ABS. Other than that, the properties of metal are superior to thermoplastic. It can withstand higher temperatures, can stand up to greater pressure, and metal showerheads are far more durable and can last longer, too.
Metal showerheads are, unfortunately, quite rare on the market. You will have to search deep to find a good one. If it sounds interesting to you to get a metal showerhead, however, we have a model in this article for you to read through in the reviews below.
Finishing is aesthetic, so it ultimately depends on your style as well as the design of your bathroom.
Chrome-plating is the most popular finish. It will most likely be the default finish if your showerhead maker doesn’t offer additional finishing options. But when they do, you can have an extensive range of options to pick from including exotic brushed/polished nickel, chrome, copper, or brass to the more luxurious options like oil-rubbed bronze.
Though its protective property is not significant, the finishing layer does offer a degree of protection from falls, scratches, or corrosion. Damage to the finish is not uncommon, so some manufacturers had added a clause in their warranty policies also to cover finishing repairs. Make sure to read the warranty information when you receive your showerhead.
Best Low Flow Showerheads Reviews 2020
Here is a list of all of the products featured in this article:
- High Sierra FCS-100-CH-1.5 – Best to Buy
- Niagara Earth N2945CH – Best Low Flow Handheld Shower Head
- Speakman S-2005-HB-E2 – Best Low Flow High Pressure Shower Head
- Niagara Earth N2912CH – Best Ultra Low Flow Shower Head
- Delta 75152 – Best Delta Low Flow Shower Head
Top-rated Low Flow Showerheads Comparison Chart
|High Sierra FCS-100-CH-1.5||1.5, 1.8 or 2.0||Metal||Chrome, Nickel, Polished Brass, Oil-Rubbed Bronze||2-year|
|Speakman S-2005-HB-E2||2.0 GPM||ABS||Polished Chrome, Brushed Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Polished Brass||Lifetime|
|Niagara Earth N2945CH||1.5 GPM||ABS||Brushed nickel||10-year|
|Niagara Earth N2912CH||1.25 GPM||ABS||Chrome||10-year|
|Delta 75152||Adjustable from 1.85 GPM to 2.5 GPM||ABS||Chrome||Lifetime|
1. High Sierra FCS-100-CH-1.5 – Best to Buy
This showerhead not only has a modern, eye-catching design. The powerful, full-spray nozzle and WaterSense certification also helped bring the High Sierra FCS-100-CH-1.5 to customers’ attention.
- Modern design
- Wide flow rate options
- WaterSense certification
- Metal construction
- Easy installation
- Only one spray setting
Depending on your local flow rate regulation as well as the level of water efficiency you wish to have, you can pick from a 2.0 GPM, 1.8 GPM, or 1.5 GPM version. For those needing the highest degree of water efficiency out of states other than California, the 1.5 GPM version will work best. However, for Californians specifically, because of the state’s conservation law, legally, this is the only version that you can pick.
For its focus on water efficiency, the FCS-100-CH-1.5 is certified as a WaterSense appliance. Notably, the design of the showerhead, aside from saving water, can also help save energy by retaining more heat in the water. Your heater will not have to work as hard to keep the water warm.
Having a compact and minimalist design, the FCS-100-CH-1.5 is quite an eye-pleaser. It won’t have any trouble at all fitting into your bathroom space as a decorative piece when not in use. But the minimalist design approach is also a disadvantage. Due to its focus on simplicity, the showerhead was designed with only one default spray setting. However, the water and energy efficiency that it can offer may offset this drawback for you.
The entirety of the showerhead is constructed from out of metal. The choice in material gives it excellent durability and will be able to last for significantly longer than standard ABS showerheads. Additionally, the metal that is used in the showerhead’s design is naturally anti-microbial, so there are no chemical layers to stop bacterial growth.
The showerhead also boasts a series of reasonably diverse finishing options. The default finishing is chrome, and you have three other alternatives, which include nickel, polished brass, and oil-rubbed bronze.
Installation is relatively easy with no needs for special tools other than the common ones you can find in your local’s hardware store, such as a wrench. Most likely, you will already have the tools needed in your garage. Instructions to set up the showerhead are available in the user’s manual and, according to many customers, only take approximately ten to fifteen minutes to set up.
Maintenance is also simple. The patented nozzle prevents mineral build-ups and clogs, which is a perennial problem for showerheads. Therefore, you won’t have to worry too much about maintenance, like with other models.
When it comes to warranty, High Sierra offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. In case you don’t like its performance, you can trade it back to the company for either a refund or a replacement. Secondly, from the date of your purchase, the showerhead is covered for a two-year warranty period that protects against “workmanship,” quality problems, and defects.
2. Speakman S-2005-HB-E2 – Best Low Flow High Pressure Showerhead
The Speakman S-2005-HB-E2 revolves primarily about bringing the most comfort to the shower as possible. As a result, the showerhead is designed to output excellent pressure to simulate the full sensation of a high flow showerhead. A good portion of the positive reviews cited its high pressure as one of the key reasons why it’s such a nice showerhead to have for them.
- Beautiful design
- Wide finishing options
- LEED certified
- Easy installation
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Pressure uncomfortably high for some customers
There are three flow rate options you can pick from, including low flow versions of 1.75 GPM (S-2005-HB-E175) and 2.0 GPM or a high flow 2.5 GPM (S-2005-HB) version. Our selection for this category is the middle-ground product, being the 2.0 GPM version in the line-up.
The low flow showerhead achieves the high efficiency from its flow controller, which is certified under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Standard. LEED Standard can be considered as being equal to the WaterSense certification. Our estimations put the S-2005-HB-E2’s water-saving rate at 4 to 5 gallons per minute of shower over a high flow.
There are three water settings, including the Intense, Massage, and Combination modes. Instead of having a click-lever dial like other designs, the showerhead features a handle-like knob that can be rotated for a quicker and more efficient transition between spray modes.
The Intense mode provides the highest water pressure. However, that’s not all. Speakman also built plungers inside of the showerhead to further amplify water pressure. The combination of the spray mode and the patented hardware is how the showerhead can achieve such high water efficiency yet still be able to maintain gentle pressure.
The S-2005-HB-E2 boasts a relatively contemporary and sleek design that you can glam up further with the full range of finishes Speakman offers. The default finish is polished chrome, but there’s also brushed chrome, brushed nickel, or polished brass. The construction is out of thermoplastic, but we haven’t found any customers mentioning in their reviews of the showerhead being unreliable or easy to damage so far. That’s a great sign.
The showerhead has a standard thread design and will fit without fuss on your old shower arm.
Self-clean plungers inside of the showerhead handle maintenance, so you can expect maintenance works to be reasonably limited. The internal parts of the showerhead are accessible, so when you do need to open it up for manual cleaning, it shouldn’t be too hard.
The showerhead is covered by the company’s limited lifetime warranty policy.
3. Niagara Earth N2945BN – Best Low Flow Handheld Showerhead
Convenient and highly flexible with the hand spray design makes the N2945CH a great product worth considering. Especially if you’re on the market for a showerhead that can offer high performance, water efficiency, as well as ergonomics and flexibility.
- Beautiful design
- Flexible hand spray
- Flow compensating tech
- WaterSense certified
- Easy installation
- Can leak a lot
The critical component that makes the N2945CH such a popular buy is flow-compensating technology. Regardless of your water system’s pressure, this tech helps to keep the flow rate consistent so that your showering experience won’t be interrupted. Customers have also reported that despite the low flow rate, the N2945BN has high pressure, which gives the showerhead the ability to provide a comfortable showering experience even with the low flow.
Aside from the low flow rate from the integrated flow restrictor, there are also some patented designs and techs packed inside of the showerhead to improve water efficiency further. When compared to traditional showerheads, the N2945BN uses 20% less water, which, by extension, also means that you get a 20% reduction on the water bill. The N2945BN has also been WaterSense-certified.
The nozzle is designed so that the water flow is non-aerated and can retain heat for far longer and at a greater distance, cutting down energy use for your water heater.
The design is compact but has a luxurious shine to it with the brushed nickel finishing. As expected, the showerhead has an ABS construction to be lightweight. Although ABS is notorious for durability problems, the quality of the showerhead has been reported to be good enough that if you take care of it well, it can easily last for years.
There are three spray settings on this showerhead from a gentle, low flow spray (Massage) to a full-flow, high-pressure jet (Needle). The third setting is a combination of the two. You can easily adjust the spray setting with the rotating dial on the sprayer face.
When shipped, next to the showerhead itself, you will find stainless steel, a 72-inch shower hose along with a mounting bracket. The shower hose is equipped with an Anti-Syphon valve per the country’s Plumbing code. Consequently, when you shut down the shower, there will be a little bit of water leaking out of the hose, this is entirely normal.
The installation process is quick and easy, requiring no special tools nor any specialized technical knowledge. Everything can be set up and ready to go in twenty minutes or so. All of the steps to install are in the user’s manual.
This low flow handheld is designed to be maintenance-free, so you don’t need to do frequent checkups.
Niagara Earth has a 10-year warranty policy on the showerhead, which will cover defects and quality problems.
4. Niagara Earth N2912CH – Best Ultra Low Flow Shower Head
If you need the most significant level of water efficiency possible, the Niagara Earth N2912CH is rated for flow rate as low as 1.25 GPM. This is equal to a substantial saving in water and energy by 75% when compared to standard low flow showerheads.
- Ultra low flow
- Flow compensating tech
- Good-looking design
- Easy installation
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Low flow rate can be difficult to use
In terms of flow control, the flow restrictor inside the showerhead does an outstanding job of keeping the flow rate in check. However, the thing that distinguishes the N2912CH from its competitors is the flow compensating tech. A common problem in low flow showerheads is that the water tends to break up into sputters if the house’s water system is either unreliable or has low pressure. The tech ensures that you always have a consistent flow no matter the state of your water system.
The sprayer face has nine nozzles that, depending on the water setting you pick, can fire pleasant massage streams to high-pressure jets. It’s worth mentioning that the water beam is also non-aerated, so its heat won’t be lost while it travels through the air to your body. This will lessen the workload and energy consumption of your water heater.
The bulbous design is quite lovely to look at, especially with the chrome plating that gives it a shine that can easily trick guests into thinking that it’s much more expensive than it truly is. The construction is from ABS. The price point starts at, and the construction material can quickly raise doubts about its durability and longevity. However, all customers have, so far, been completely satisfied with their purchases with little mentions of a low-quality construction.
The threads are standard, so it’s simple to set up if you already have a shower arm attached to your bathroom’s wall. Simply screw it on, and you can begin your shower immediately.
This showerhead is maintenance-free with its self-cleaning components. You can use it for the entirety of its lifespan without needing to worry about maintenance work.
Niagara Earth has a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty on the showerhead.
5. Delta 75152 – Best Delta Low Flow Showerhead
A unique thing about the Delta 75152 is that the water volume can be freely adjusted whenever you want. By switching the lever on one side of the showerhead, you can reduce or increase the flow rate between 1.85 GPM and the 2.5 GPM ceiling. The flexibility is why the showerhead is favored among consumers: You can dictate how efficient or how powerful your shower can be.
- Adjustable flow rate
- H2Okinetic tech
- Beautiful design
- Easy installation
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Lack of additional finishings
The Delta 75152 is built with Delta’s patented H2Okinetic tech. Basically, each water droplet is enlarged by the showerhead to retain better warmth and provides a fuller shower while covertly using less water in the background. Most customers reported that the company’s words are exact, speaking of impressive performance and excellent shower experience despite the reduction on the utility bill.
An adjustable flow rate and H2Okinetic is how the Delta 75152 can cut water consumption by nearly 36% in comparison to other standard showerheads. For this, the 75152 has also been awarded a WaterSense certificate.
The showerhead’s design itself is beautiful, and with the chrome-plating, the showerhead shone nicely with an aura of luxury to it. However, for such a nice showerhead, the lack of additional finishing options is unfortunate. The showerhead has a plastic casing, but there weren’t any complaints regarding durability as far as we’ve seen.
Relatively easy to install; it doesn’t require you to have special tools or trade knowledge to set everything up. All of the instructions are in the manual. According to our estimations, the setup time can range from 15 to 20 minutes.
A lifetime limited warranty policy covers the showerhead.
Further Steps to Improve Water Efficiency in Your Home
Having a water-saving, low flow showerhead is one thing. If you want to take water efficiency in your house a step further, there are a few steps that you can do.
Limit Your Shower Time
This is relatively straightforward. The less time you spend in the shower, on average, the more money you will save in the long term. We recommend that you limit your shower time to around ten minutes.
Check Your Water System For Leaks
Unchecked leaks are among one of the most popular reasons why some people’s water bills are higher than others despite having similar real water usage. If you don’t get these leaks checked out and patched by plumbers, your water bill will continuously rise. If you find a suspicious hike in your bill, set an appointment for a checkup with your local plumber immediately.
You should also consider scheduling for periodic checkups with your plumber if you can afford it. This way, you’ll have the peace of mind that your water system is always properly maintained.
Consider Brushing Your Teeth In the Shower
A running bathroom faucet can waste up to 1.5 gallons of water per minute. Your shower already presents a convenient water source for teeth-brushing, so why not take advantage of it, too, while you’re at it? While the savings will be minuscule, remember that small savings like this will add up in the bill.
That concludes our best low flow showerhead buying guide and reviews! We hope that you have found the information in the article to be useful and some of the products we selected have caught your attention.