How to Choose the Right Showerhead for Your Bathroom

Fixed, adjustable, dual, waterfall—get to know the types of showerheads available when outfitting your bathroom.

A showerhead is an often overlooked but essential part of any bathroom. Choosing the right one can make all the difference in your daily routine. There are many types of showerheads available on the market, whether you prefer a dual head, rainfall style, or handheld wand. So how do you narrow down the options? Use these tips for choosing between key features, like price, mount type, and water pressure, to find the perfect showerhead for you. 

wet room bathroom with freestanding tub and walk-in shower


Types of Showerheads

When in the market for a new showerhead, there are so many options available that it might take longer than expected to find just one that suits your preferences. With fixed, handheld, dual, rainfall, sliding bar, and body spray showerheads available, knowing the differences between each showerhead type will help you identify the best option for your family.

bathroom with teal cabinets and scalloped shower tile
Chad Mellon

Fixed Showerheads

Fixed showerheads are the traditional kind found in most households. They are mounted to the shower wall, around 80 inches high. Fixed showerheads provide a consistent water flow and pressure, though the force and pattern of the spray is often adjustable on newer models. Wall-mounted fixed showerheads are also available in various styles and finishes, making it easy to find the best one to match your bathroom decor. However, these classic showerheads have one primary drawback—they are fixed at just one height.

white shower with black marble bench seat
Werner Straube

Handheld Showerheads

Handheld showerheads are connected to the wall with a flexible hose that allows for the showerhead to be disconnected from its mount. Holding the handle, you can direct the water spray where needed and avoid twisting and turning, as with a fixed showerhead. A bracket on the wall holds a handheld showerhead in place when not in use.

Handheld showerheads are a popular option for their versatility and convenience, as they can target specific areas of the body and assist with bathing pets or children. Another benefit is that they make it simple to clean the shower itself, easily rinsing down suds after you've scrubbed shower doors or walls.

blue white bathroom shower
Emily Followill

Dual Showerheads

If you prefer a fixed showerhead but also want a handheld option, look no further than the dual showerhead. You get the flexibility of both a traditional showerhead and a handheld wand, as the design features two showerheads attached to a single arm or diverter valve. These usually have a long vertical wall mount to house both showerheads. One showerhead is typically a fixed, wall-mounted unit, while the other is a hand-held unit that can be removed from its holder.

white tiled shower room

Tria Giovan

Rainfall Showerheads

Rainfall showerheads are either ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted, but they are meant to feel like you’re showering in the rain. This showerhead is typically large, wide, and flat, but some are square and others are circular, and features various nozzles that simulate standing under a downpour. The washer pressure for rain showerheads can vary from gentle to firm, but they're meant to emulate a soothing spa-like experience. Many rainfall showerheads also come with adjustable spray patterns and various finishes to suit contemporary bathrooms.

modern matte black shower faucet and subway tile
Julie Soefer

Sliding Bar Showerheads

A sliding bar showerhead is a type of showerhead that can be adjusted to different heights along a wall-mounted bar. These showerheads are perfect for households with individuals of varying heights. A sliding bar showerhead also typically features dual showerheads, with a handheld showerhead that can be detached and used separately from the fixed showerhead on the sliding bar. Combine the fixed showerhead and the handheld showerhead into an adjustable option, and you have a sliding bar showerhead for the greatest flexibility. 

marble shower with body spray panels and handheld showerhead

Greg Scheidemann

Body Spray or Panel Showerheads  

A shower panel or body spray showerhead is a panel with several nozzles that are vertically or horizontally attached to the shower wall. These showerheads provide a gentle spray that feels luxurious. They can be adjusted to target specific areas of the body and create a massage-like effect. These showerheads can also be used in combination with other showerheads for a more customizable showering experience. 

marble shower built-in glass shelving
Stacey Branford

Considerations for Buying a Showerhead

There are several different considerations to make when choosing a showerhead. Keep these in mind when shopping around for the best for your bathroom. 

Spray Pattern

Different showerhead nozzles spray in different patterns and intensities. Figuring out the shower pressure you prefer and on which parts of your body will narrow down the showerhead that suits your preferences. Plenty of showerheads come with adjustable nozzles as well. Some default spray patterns include wide, targeted, rinse, and pulsating. 

Mount Type

For households with individuals of varying heights, an adjustable sliding-bar showerhead is best for the whole family. If you have pets or small children, a handheld or dual showerhead is a practical option.


Ensuring your showerhead matches the rest of your bathroom fixtures and finishes is another consideration. Showerheads are a long-term purchase, so ensure the finish coordinates with your bathroom for a cohesive design that will survive updates. Showerheads come in various metal finishes, including chrome, nickel, brass, matte black, and more.

Water Pressure

Some showerheads come with a water pressure feature to give you complete control over the experience. It helps to change to a more gentle spray when bathing babies and people with skin sensitivities. However, more pressure will be needed for dirt in hair, on pets, and on the walls of the shower.

Environmental Considerations

Showerheads use a lot of water, so choosing the right one can make a positive environmental impact.  Look for showerheads that are WaterSense certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. There are also showerheads with a flow restrictor that limits the amount of water that comes out of the showerhead without sacrificing pressure. 


The price for showerheads varies considerably depending on the product. A basic wall-mounted fixed showerhead is inexpensive and effective. More luxurious models with many features and customizations are on the pricier end of the spectrum. Ultimately, weighing your household preferences and needs against your budget will ensure you choose the right showerhead for your bathroom. 

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