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Bathroom Resources

Pros and Cons of Low-Flow Showerheads

A hot shower is one of life’s best small pleasures. But when you get your water bill each month, you might be wondering if you need to cut back. According to the EPA, showers account for about 17% of water usage in homes, and a family can use 40 gallons of water per day just from showering. Add in handwashing, washing the dishes, brushing teeth, and laundry, and it’s easy to see how water bills can rack up. Luckily, there are low-flow appliance options, including low-flow shower heads. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of using these shower heads to see if it’s a fitting switch for your household or as part of a shower remodel.

Low-flow shower head

Table of Contents

What is a Low-Flow Shower Head?

A low-flow shower head is what its name indicates: it’s a shower head that uses a low flow of water, meaning that less water is released each time it’s in use. 

With the Energy Policy Act of 1992, new shower heads must release no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. But low-flow shower heads work to beat that. Shower heads that have the WaterSense label must prove that they use no more than 2 gallons per minute, as well as meeting other strict standards. Some states, like California, Colorado and Vermont, have set their own rates for even lower water usage.

Shower heads aren’t the only appliances that have water-saving options. There are also low-flow toilets and faucets, using the same method.

Benefits of Low-Flow Shower Heads

There are multiple benefits to switching to a low-flow shower head:

Cost Savings

The biggest draw to switching to a low-flow shower head is that homeowners will see a decrease in their monthly water bills as well as their electric bill. That’s because less energy is used to heat the water, so you’re actually saving money in two areas.

Cut Down on Water

Since this shower head uses less water, your household is being less wasteful. Shower heads that have the WaterSense label can help a home use 2,700 gallons less of water per year, according to the EPA.

Good Water Pressure

A low-flow shower head might use less water, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have a low-pressure shower. Newer models use smaller holes, or apertures, as well as air to create that high-pressure experience. When purchasing a shower head, double check that you can adjust the pressure.


There are different models and designs for low-flow shower heads to meet different price ranges. You can purchase one for less than $20 on Amazon, or splurge on a rainfall shower head for almost $200.

Cons of Low-Flow Shower Heads

No appliance is perfect, and there are some drawbacks to using a low-flow shower head:

Fast to Cool

Since these shower heads mix the water with the surrounding air, it can cause the water to cool down quickly. There can also be a delay in warming the water, so a fast shower might not be as satisfying.

Poor Water Pressure

Yes, there are models that can be adjusted to increase the water pressure in your shower head, but some don’t. That’s why it’s important to check the details on any shower head you’re considering before you buy it.

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