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Rain Shower Head vs. Regular Shower Head: How to Choose

single spray shower head

If you’ve ever had the urge to run outside during a rainstorm with some soap and shampoo, then you’re probably wondering if a rain shower head can give you the same type of feeling. Oh, you’ve never had that fantasy? Well, someone must have, because a rain shower head is meant to mimic showering in the rain. But is it actually better than a regular shower head?

If you’ve ever encountered a rain shower head, you may have been taken aback at first because it looks different than what you’re used to. Of course, it also feels very different than regular shower heads. Should you switch to a rain head? Why would you choose to use a regular shower head instead? We’re going to explore these questions to help simplify the decision for you.

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Rain Shower HeadsRain Shower Head

The first time you use a rain shower head, the first thing you’ll notice is its placement. While a regular shower head sprays down at an angle from the wall, a rain shower head is positioned directly above your head. One of our favorite rain shower heads, the NearMoon High Pressure, sprays straight down on top of you, just like rain falling from the sky. This can be a very relaxing experience, completely immersing you in the downpour. This type of shower head is very wide, even as large as 12 inches, which is important since the spray goes straight down and doesn’t create a cone shape the way a regular shower head does.

More than just providing a relaxing shower experience, the placement and style of rain shower heads adds a touch of luxury to your shower. However, there are still some drawbacks to this type of shower fixture. For instance, they have low water pressure. The water is raining on you instead of spraying you, so it’s a bit more difficult to wash off. Also, they don’t have many different water patterns available. While regular showerheads sometimes offer as many as six spray options, most rain-style units only offer one, though some offer two or three.

There are two ways to install your rain shower head. Since it must be directly overhead, many are installed directly in the ceiling. This requires some extensive plumbing since there won’t be water pipes in place already. This can be an expensive undertaking, but it creates the best look. An alternative is to mount it where a normal shower head would be mounted. In this case, a longer neck will be used that will extend the shower head and raise it up to a proper height. While this doesn’t look as luxurious as a ceiling mounted shower head, it’s much cheaper and less labor-intensive to install.

  • Very relaxing
  • Wide spray patterns
  • Elegant looks
  • Low water pressure
  • May require extra plumbing and expensive installation
  • Doesn’t have many spray options

Regular Shower HeadsAquaDance Chrome Finish 6-Setting Shower Head

Everyone has used a regular shower head, probably hundreds of times. These are not as luxurious as rain-style shower heads, and they don’t look particularly special either. That said, they do have some advantages over rain heads. For example, regular shower heads (like the AquaDance 6-Setting) provide much higher pressure, which can be very beneficial when rinsing off. Moreover, it can feel very good on your skin and muscles as the higher-pressure massages you.

Whereas rain shower heads require some special considerations to install, regular shower heads simply screw on. They’re easy to change and replace, and they’re also very cost-effective. Basic ones can be found for dirt cheap, but there are still higher-end ones available with more benefits. A popular type of regular shower head allows you to detach the main sprayer and use it as a handheld! Even better, they often have multiple spray patterns to choose from so you can dial in the exact feeling you want from your shower.

  • Multiple spray patterns to choose from
  • Some are very affordable
  • No extra plumbing required
  • Higher water pressure
  • Not as relaxing
  • Not as luxurious

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Which is Best for Your Bathroom?

We’ve talked about the pros and cons of both types of shower heads. They both have some worthwhile advantages, but which one is best for your bathroom? If you have a beautiful, custom shower with a glass door that shows it all off, then a rain shower head can be the final touch of luxury that really sets your shower apart from others. Likewise, if you like to take long, relaxing showers, the rain-style head may improve the experience even more.

On the other hand, if you prefer a shower with high water pressure that makes it easy to clean off and gently massages you at the same time, then a regular style shower head is a better choice. Similarly, if you want to install your new shower head yourself and don’t want to spend any additional time and expense, then a regular shower head is your best bet.

The Best of Both Worlds

Since they both provide such different shower experiences, many people opt to build both of them into their showers. This is only possible if you’re building new or completely remodeling your existing shower. Often, a switch is included so you can choose between shower heads while using them, even allowing you to shower with both simultaneously. This gives you the best of both worlds since you can have the high-pressure, easy rinsing of a regular shower head and the luxurious looks and relaxing feel of a rain-style one.Divider 3


Either type of shower head will provide you with water to wash off in the shower, but how the water from each feels is very different. A rain shower head will sprinkle low-pressure water down directly on top of your head, giving the feeling of showering in a gentle rain. A regular shower head will provide a much higher-pressure stream with multiple spray pattern options. They also look quite different as well. A rain shower head has a very luxurious look to it, especially when installed in the ceiling. Regular shower heads can still look nice, but they don’t have the same touch of elegance that a rain-style one does. For looks and relaxation, a rain shower head is hard to beat. For a cheaper solution that makes it easier to rinse off, a regular shower head is a great fit.

Featured Image Credit: PhaiApirom, Shutterstock


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