The Best Low-Flow Showerheads

Low Flow Showerhead

Th Best Low Flow Showerheads

Low-flow showerheads are efficient. They can significantly reduce your household water consumption without a noticeable difference to your shower experience. The term “low flow” is generally defined as a showerhead with a water consumption rate of 0.5 to 2 gallons per minute (gpm). Here’s my review of what’s available:

Ultra Oxygenics Low-Flow Showerhead

Low Flow Shower Head: Oxygenics

Pros: Attractive design. Adapts well to different kinds of water pressure. Has a lever that adjusts water velocity. Oxygenates water.

Cons: Has a jet-like sound that some may find distracting. May reduce the temperature of your shower water a bit.

Price: $20-35

The Oxygenics SkinCare Showerhead is my favorite low-flow showerhead. It has a vigorous spray and it oxygenates the water quite well. It is a “self-pressurizing” showerhead, meaning it adapts to low or variable water pressure. It can deliver a great shower whether the water pressure is 20 psi (pounds per square inch) or 100 psi. It has a maximum flow rate of just 1.5 gallons of water per minute. It has a comfort control lever on the side to allow for the regulation of water velocity at the showerhead, allowing the user to select a spray ranging from brisk and stimulating to soft and gentle.

Available from Amazon for around $17.

Niagara Earth Massage Low-Flow Shower Head

Niagara Earth Massage Low-Flow Shower Head

Pros: Produces a pleasant, massaging spray. Non-aerated spray means no water temperature loss. Self-cleaning. Good price.

Cons: Some may prefer an aerated spray.

Price: $17

Nice shower head  – the 1.75 gpm adjustable spray of this showerhead delivers a broad, rain-like spray or a focused, pulsating massaging spray. It is self-cleaning, and the non-aerated spray mean less temperature loss between the showerhead and you.

Available from Amazon for around $17

Ultra Saver Showerhead

Ultra Saver Showerhead

Pros: Uses only 1.5 gallons per minute. The price is hard to beat.

Cons: “No-Frills” design. May need to be replaced in a couple years.

Price: $3-$8

These low-cost showerheads get good reviews from buyers, and they certainly have a low-flow rate at 1.5 gallons per minute. Apparently, this showerhead lasts for about two years before it needs replacing. The pressure of the water erodes the water holes and the spray becomes uneven. This similar showerhead can be cleaned, thus avoiding this problem.

Available from Amazon for $3-$8.

Bricor Low Flow Showerheads

bricor_lowflow_showerheads.jpg

Bricor Low Flow Showerheads

Pros: Good design. Can be used with very low water pressure. Use only 0.5-1 gallons per minute!

Cons: Pricey.

Price: $60-$80

How low can you go with showerheads? Well, Bricor has some showerheads that use as little as a 1/2 a gallon of water per minute. These showerheads make use of “vacuum flow restriction” technology created by Bricor. The showerheads seen here are the “B100 SUPERMAX” series, and they are rated at 1.125 gallons per minute @ 50 psi. Bricor also has a “B100 ULTRA MAX” showerhead that is rated at 0.5025 gpm. You’ll have to pay for such a low flow — the showerheads cost about $60-$80 each. But don’t forget you’ll be saving water and the cost of heating the hot water for your showers.

Link: Bricor

Comments

  1. says

    Hey, question for you…

    Not sure if this is a review? I would much appreciate it if it were clearer whether this is just a product placement or a review. Product reviews are worth their weight in green gold!

    Cheers!

    Elizabeth
    Letters from a Small State

    Editor’ Answer: We don’t any affiliation with any of the manufactures, and we’ve tested many of the showerheads listed here ourselves.

  2. says

    I have the Oxygenics showerheads. One hand-held and one fixed pipe. They’re great. They save me a great deal on my water bill and aren’t affected by the toilet flushing!

    The jet sound sort of stinks at first, but you get used to it and eventually come to appreciate it as it drowns out outside noise.

    Ideal if you have a tankless water heater. Ours has a 5.5 gal/min. flow rate and we can run two showerheads anda sink simultaneously without noticing ANY difference in pressure or temp.

  3. says

    Careful mixing low-flow shower heads with tankless water heaters. Some tankless systems shut off the gas if the hot water draw is too small (less than .6 gpm of hot water — or a little less than half of the volume most of these shower heads are putting out — on the Rinnai tankless we spec on our houses). If you pair the two, Rinnai recommends putting the remote thermostat in the main bathroom and dropping the temp to increase the hot water draw.

  4. Waldo Hitcher says

    No need, just navy shower.

    Get wet in shower for just 10 seconds max. Turn off and lather up properly for two minutes to get clean. Shower 20 seconds max, to rinse off.

    Was used on UK (probably US as well) navy diesel submarines to save water while still being military clean on arriving in port (not sure they bothered at sea from the tales of submarines I hear!)

    Avoids the scenario where most people expect the water to wash off dirt. Only contact provides sufficient skin oil soluability via mixing and kinetic energy to dislodge dirt. And 99.9% of water molecules never touch the skin anyway. They are fresh drinking water quality molecules straight down the tubes.

    The Thirty second shower.

    • kerry says

      The 30 secind shower doesn’t work for women with long and or thick hair. I’m looking for a low flow shower had that is also powerful enough to get the shampoo and conditioner out of my thick hair.

  5. says

    It’s nice to see the variety. When we were teenagers, my parents outfitted out shower with a low-flow head and only allowed us to have seven minutes in the shower. I always thought it was counter productive. How could I spend less time in the shower when there is less water pressure and it takes longer to get clean.

    That whole “get wet, then turn the water off while you soap up” doesn’t work for shaving legs! Instead you freeze while shaving off all those goosebumps.

    • Deb says

      What I do is that I shave first then shower. Try it, first wet your legs or whatev then lather and shave. Definitely saves me money on the water bill, AND I don’t have to freeze anymore!

  6. says

    The Roadrunner can save more water, energy and money than any other low flow head with a similar flow rate. The reason for this is the ShowerStart technology that saves the hot water that would usually be wasted during warm up. If you assume that the ShowerStart feature can save a minute of hot water per shower it will increase the showerhead’s effeciency by an additional 15%.

    The other nice thing is that it does not aearate the water. Studies by Texas A&M University suggest that aerating requires an increase in water temperature by 10 degrees F to get the same feel as a non-aerated head. Since water and energy are linked, it’s best to find a great feeling showerhead that can save both.

  7. Randy says

    Just as a point of reference, we’ve been using the ultra saver for about 10 years and it is still working just fine. At $4, it can’t be beat.

    • David says

      I’ve been using the Ultra-Saver with a shut off valve for about 9 years in IL and it works for me (I bought it for around $3.00 in a military BX). I have short hair (military flat-top) and i guess-timate I average about 5 gals/day for a shower without using the “Navy Shower” technique. My girlfriend doesn’t like the showerhead, she has incredibly thick shoulderblade length hair and it doesn’t provide enough pressure to rinse her hair, so she takes longer showers. We are thinking about a two stage or adjustable water flow showerhead when we move to AZ.

  8. Joe says

    I called Bricor to purchase 3 of these showerheads. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bricor where jerks. I was willing to pay $100 a showerhead and they refused my business. Because they didn’t like my attitude. I never knew it was this hard to buy a showerhead!! And they will not let you return anything if you don’t like it. Steer Clear of this Company Something Shady is going on here. Never BUY THIS PRODUCT!!! THEY WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN!!!

  9. Champ says

    Ever since I was in the Army I have been advocating and using the Ultra Saver Showerhead & have never had an issue with the quality of the model without the shutoff button. However the model with the shutoff button has drip issues. Troy is correct about needing more heat, because of the aeration, but for $5 versus $40 it is a no brainer. I helped a friend’s water pressure in an upstairs shower by installing one of Ultra Saver Showerheads and she became a believer after her shower curtains started blowing outward!

  10. Curt says

    I bought a low flow showerhead from Bricor and it works even better than my oxygenics. The shower head does not make that jet sound like the oxygenics does. The customer service was great too. They were able to answer all of my qestions and concerns.

  11. says

    In 1999, this was the first and still is the only true 1.5 gpm shower head. Look at our “testimonial” letters from commercial customers. Saves more, lasts longer and has 96% acceptance by individual users. Carries a 10 year replacement warranty, maintenance free, patented, no restrictor, great showers. I am the inventor, Contact Page has all of my information. The US Army, Navy & Air Force order “no substiture” and major universities are doing the same. Why is the 1.5 gpm “Jet-Stream” Showerhead not listed among you water and enegy efficient showers? It was the first!

  12. says

    I have been designing and manufacturing nozzles for over 25 years. My latest and greatest has evolved into a 1.5 gpm showerhead. It has a very nice uniform spray of soft yet large droplets, ideal for showering. No tiny holes to plug, so the water savings should last for years. Was awarded a patent less than 2 years ago.

  13. chris says

    I bought an ultra-saver or one that looked just like it from home depot. Worst showerhead I have ever tried. I returned it after one day. The flow was very weak. The one good point was that it had a trickle feature which would allow you to take a “navy” shower without having to completely shut off the water.

  14. Randa says

    I would not recommend the Roadrunner. Mine broke in half within 6 months of normal use and nearly hit my showering nephew (adult). They need to put a longer connection screw within or have it screw into a non-plastic part. Broke off at the end of the screw.

  15. Wa says

    I’ve used Ultra Saver type shower heads for 30 years. For quite a few years I’ve used a Bubble Stream which has been better than others. I understand that when you push the shut off button the dripping is to keep the water temperature more constant for comfort when starting the flow again. We have 80 lbs of water pressure(don’t hate me) and my wife uses all 80 lbs of it during a shower. This really “atomizes” the water and drops the temperature quite a bit which makes her sad. I can’t convince her to scale back on the faucet and enjoy more heat as she “wants it all”. This is what brought me on the search for a better choice in a shower head… in the effort to keep the marriage flowing .

    I have not noticed any significant erosion of the outlet holes our shower head but I must admit the spray pattern isn’t that uniform anymore so maybe it is wearing out. Once in a while I need to probe the holes and backwash the head to get rid of debris that lodges in there. I remove the head and after probing with a paper clip hold the head tight to the kitchen faucet and force water the opposite way and flush it out.
    I take more of a navy shower so the Ultra Saver type of head is fine for me. In my opinion, these compact type heads such as I have owned do waste water heating dollars if you use it at high water pressures. I am interested in the Jet-Stream but wonder if it’s flow characteristics would also cause the water’s heat to dissipate before touching your body.

  16. says

    Why is the patented “Jet-Stream” shower head the best low flow shower? Answers: 1. High pressures with 96% user acceptance; 2. 1.5 gpm auto flow and pressure controlled at all pressures; 3. Self-cleaning, no chemical deposit buildup ever; 4. Anti-scald builtin; 5. Saves $60 to $240 annually for a family of four taking daily showers; and 6. Carries a 20 year replacement warranty.

  17. lianne says

    Have you actually tested the claims about the flow/pm? I had two shower heads that I measured to fill a bucket with 5 quarts of cold water in half a minute, faucet fully open. That’s 2.5 gpm. So I went ahead and got a Waterpik EcoFlow rated at 1.5 gpm max. Guess what? It filled my bucket with 6 quarts of water in half a minute. I am looking for a shower head on a hose… I have one of these for 20 years http://www.kudzu.be/nl/winkel/artikels/i/2347 and it works very well with absolutely no maintenance. It has a powerful spray using ‘turbulent flow’ technology. But, as said, it still sprays 2.5 gpm according to my measurements, so I was looking for something better.

    Thanks for the review.

    • says

      If you are looking for 1.5 gpm that is 1.5 gpm, got to this web site. This is a patented, precision engineered, high pressure showers, auto flow rate and pressure controls, self-cleaning, non-corrosive with a 20-year replacement warranty in commercial usage. May colleges & universities specify this shower make and model, no substitute.

      The Inventor

  18. says

    I have installed low-flow showerheads and solar geysers in both my properties and have had good results, I now want to help others and start a business, anyone any ideas where to buy from.? In South Africa.

    Thanks

  19. TednatiousP says

    I have Invented a shower head that uses only .25 gpm
    with a fuller shower than all the other so called ultra low flow shower heads

  20. says

    A couple mo. ago we switched to low flow shower heads, sinks, and toilets and have seen a significant reduction in our water consumption and expense. We anticipate make up the set up expense with in a few months.

    • says

      Jackie: This web site explains all the common problems with low flow shower heads. The most common probems is removal of restrictors by dissatisfied users which can double the flow rate from 2.5 to over 5 gpm. The “hidden costs” are very expensive associated with labor expense for cleaning or removal of “corrosion” and replacement for breakage travel to and from dorm or apartments. Many cheap, mainly plastic shower corrode in less than two years. The more chemicals in the water source, the faster the corrosive effects. Often the labor, travel expense exceed the price of the shower head. This information is on our web site.

  21. says

    We offer a low flow shower head range here at Ecocamel. Our stunning new Jetstorm, and Halo models have just been launched and we’re so confident you will love them, we offer money back guarantee. They use up to 70% less water, whilst still giving you an invigorating shower experience. http://www.ecocamel.com ( code jet1 will give you £20 off a jetstorm ;))

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