Best High Pressure Shower Heads for Low Pressure Water - 2020 Reviews
Years ago, I started looking into high pressure shower heads.
No matter how many times I moved around southern California, it seemed like every apartment complex that I ended up living in would be plagued by the same problem…
The water pressure was never high enough!
And if you’re like me, then I’m sure we can all agree that nothing is worse than spending minutes in the shower trying to rinse all of the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair using a shower head that can barely move the stuff around your scalp.
…Until you get out of the shower only to find that your hair still has clumps of shampoo still in your hair and your body still has soap all over it.
So, if you’re fed up with the low water pressure that your shower head is putting out like I was in the past (or just love the feeling of high pressure water), then you’re in luck.
I’ve compiled some of the best high pressure shower heads that’ll help all of us guys and gals in low pressure situations, and reviewed some of my favorites below.
(NOTE: If you are looking to save water or prefer a lower water pressure, you can check my review of low flow shower heads instead!)
The best overall high pressure shower head in my opinion is the Fire Hydrant Spa Shower Head.
Though every single shower head that makes this list will be able to output 2.5 gallons of water per minute, the Fire Hydrant is one of the best, with its main features being its two water spraying options: massage and spray.
When you turn the shower head to the Massage setting, the water is narrowed down to a short spread and the water pressure is heavily intensified. In fact, depending on the PSI of your overall water pressure flowing, this can be almost painful to the more sensitive people out there.
However, the Spray setting is a much more widespread water path. Surprisingly, and unlike other shower heads with this functionality, you don’t actually lose that much water pressure when you change to the Spray setting. The water reaches much further out, and it’s still capable of some fairly high pressure output regardless.
In this author’s opinion, the ability to switch freely between the two options is essential for all households with varying low water pressures to ensure that at least one option always works out.
The drawbacks? Unfortunately, you’ll have to turn the shower head’s front in order to switch between the two spray settings. While this isn’t the biggest deal to a lot of people, it can still lead to accidentally unscrewing the shower head if you’re not careful.
- High water pressure can be attained typically in both spray settings
- The wide spread of the Spray option doesn’t lose too much water pressure overall
- Massage setting can feel incredible if you love super high pressure settings
- Massage setting can be a little too much for those with sensitive skin
- Can accidentally unscrew shower head if not careful while changing settings
The second high pressure shower head on the list is the luxury option, the Speakman S-2252. This shower head comes in eight different metallic finishes for your own personal bathroom aesthetic.
When you first hold this shower head, the first thing you may notice is how much heavier it likely weighs than your old shower head. The Speakman S-2252 is still a quite small shower head, but it feels like it’s made of quality solid brass.
The second thing you’ll likely notice is its six prominent jets on the front of the head. Then, you’ll notice that the shower head has a small lever on its side jutting out. This is where the magic happens.
One of my favorite conveniences of all the high pressure shower heads is this lever. There is no accidental unscrewing for this shower head. No twisting that requires two hands to change the water spray settings. Nothing like that.
You simply move the lever inward or outward and your water pressure and spray pattern is changed. The jets’ output is changed. Simple and easy.
Of course, with such a solid build and features, you may be wondering why this wasn’t my best overall choice.
Well, that’s simply because while everything else about this high pressure shower head feels luxurious, so too does its price. Compared to the value provided by other shower heads on the list, I can’t help but place it in its own “buy this one if you have the money to spare” category. Thus, here it is!
- Eight different metallic finishes will match any aesthetic
- Convenient lever for easy (even one-handed!) water spray changes to work with any low water pressure
- Quality build and heavy-duty brass that feels long lasting
- Expensive compared to competitors’ shower heads
The next high pressure shower head on the list is the one that is arguably the most uniquely designed one for low pressure situations: the SparkPod High Pressure Rainfall shower head!
Though the concept of a rainfall shower head isn’t anything new and there are several hundreds of different variations of them out there at this point, the SparkPod stands out in the low water pressure subsection due to the fact that it’s one of the only rainfall shower heads that works with low water pressure perfectly.
Despite the fact that this shower head has over 90 jets, it still outputs a very respectable amount of water. And, as a bonus, the spread of the water is unparalleled due to the high amount of jets, too.
However, there are two things that I wish were included with this high pressure shower head that aren’t.
For starters, I feel like it’s a bit of a waste to purchase a rainfall shower head and not also have a shower arm that allows the water to fall on directly you like, well, rain. Secondly, the teflon tape included with the purchase of this shower head feels very thin and flimsy.
Obviously, with either a better teflon tape or shower arm included, this would increase the base cost of the item, but as you may likely be purchasing them separately, I’d prefer them all in one package.
Gripes aside, a high pressure rainfall shower head is awesome!
- 90 small jets create a wide spread of water for the perfect rinsing experience
- It’s a high pressure rainfall shower head! Pretty nifty
- Stands out in terms of design compared to competitors
- Shower arm needed to have a true “rainfall” experience needs to be purchased separately
- Teflon tape included in purchase is weak and may also lead to a separate tape purchase
If none of the above were powerful enough for you, this next high pressure shower head might just be the last shower head you’ll ever need. If you’ve removed your water flow restrictor, tried other high pressure shower heads, and were still left wanting, then the Delta 75152 may be the only thing available to help you enjoy showers again.
The Delta 75152 high pressure shower head boasts one of the highest pressures out of all of the budget shower heads. This is primarily due to its limited amount of water exits compared to other high pressure water heads in its price range. Whereas a lot of the other shower heads have upwards of 42+ jets where water can exit, the Delta only has a few.
Does this mean that the water path using the Delta isn’t spread as far? Not really.
Fortunately, the Delta has multiple spray settings that alter the pressure and overall flow of the water to accommodate different people. While all the water comes out of the limited jet openings on the front, they spread in a fairly reasonable path under the different spray settings.
Unfortunately, the Delta 75152 has a potential of springing leaks over time. While this isn’t typical for many units, some users have reported leaks occurring in the front portion of the shower head after about three months of consistent usage.
The good news is that the Delta 75152 is easily replaceable due to its cheapness, but it’s worth thinking about nonetheless.
- Limited jets generally means lots of high pressure even in low water pressure houses
- Varied spray settings should help cover both water pressure and overall rinsing spread
- Simple and cheap
- May potentially spring leaks and have to be replaced periodically
- Not the most flattering shower head to look at, but it is what works
The final entry to this list, the WASSA high pressure shower head is another shower head that won’t empty your wallet.
Whereas the Delta shower head above limited the amount of exits the water could take, the WASSA high pressure shower head instead takes the more standardized approach. By making the shower head smaller, the low water pressure is mitigated by the smaller range of water spread.
This results in another cheaper alternative that should solve the low water pressure issue of many households, but the major drawback is a significant lack of rinsing range overall.
Instead of simply standing and rinsing off soap, shampoo, and conditioner, you will find yourself constantly messing with the swivel ball joint of the shower head to turn the stream to where you need it to be.
So, although this shower head may solve the issue of there being a very weak stream, it’s possible that to some people, it creates another issue of convenience entirely.
However, it’s still a perfectly viable and respectable solution to the low water pressure issue that is cheap and efficient, so whether or not the size of the water stream is enough of an issue to warrant purchasing something else is up to you.
- Your wallet will thank you
- Way more streams that others in its budget range
- Constantly need to move or adjust the swivel ball of the shower head
- Fairly short spread of water overall
- If you don’t have low water pressure, this shower head can be way too much on the skin
What You Should Consider Before Choosing Your High Pressure Shower Head
Before You Purchase a High Pressure Shower Head
The first thing you should do before you even consider purchasing a high pressure shower head is to check and ensure that you can’t solve the problem without a purchase.
For starters, if you are experiencing a water flow of less than 2.5 gallons per minute, the US legal limit, in your area, then you may remove the water restrictor to see if this solves the issue. Leaks and debris buildup in both the pipes and shower head can also be an issue, so be sure to clean your shower head or contact a plumber if the issue can be handled at a fundamental level.
If nothing else works, please consider one of the above shower heads to assist in solving your low pressure issue.
Qualities and Features to Consider Before Purchase
Here are some qualities and features that you may want to think about before you choose what high pressure shower head is right for you.
- Gallons per Minute (GPM): As mentioned above, the legal limit of water flow for home showers in the US is 2.5 GPM. As you are dealing with a low water pressure issue, however, it’s important to choose a high pressure shower head that outputs 2.5 GPM. Thus, all of above shower heads output the highest legal water flow, per the Energy Act of 1992.
- Type of Shower Head: For most people with low water pressure, a fixed shower head is likely going to be your best option. Dual, handheld, and other types of shower heads will not likely have the results you’re looking for.
- Budget: This is going to be a pretty big one for a lot of people. Not everyone can afford to drop a ton into comfort and convenience, and I understand. Thus, I tried to include options in all income brackets.
- Durability: When you purchase a shower head, regardless of its cost, you want it to both solve your issue and last a long time.
- Color of the Metallic Finish: For some people, this is pretty important, too. A lot of shower heads traditionally only come in chrome, but there are several high pressure shower heads that come in multiple different metal finishes. Pick the one that most suits you and your bathroom.
- Water Pressure Sensitivity: If you’re prone to being more sensitive against higher water pressures, then it’s also important to find a balance between water pressure and water flow. If the water pressure is too much for you, consider choosing a high pressure shower head that has multiple spray options, or one with more jets to help alleviate the feeling against your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions About High Pressure Shower Heads
What are High Pressure Shower Heads?
A high pressure shower head is typically classified as any shower head that outputs the maximum legal amount of water flow in the United States: 2.5 gallons per minute.
They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but for those of us seeking to solve our low water pressure issues, they’re most commonly small in shape and diameter to ensure that the limited water flow is best pressurized and dispersed.
How Can I Get More Water Pressure from My Shower Head?
Depending on what shower head you own, there are a variety of things you can do to improve water pressure.
If you have a shower head with multiple spray settings, simply adjusting your shower head to a setting that compresses your water flow can be one way to increase the water pressure.
If your shower head doesn’t have multiple spray settings, we recommend doing the following:
- Unscrew your shower head and thoroughly clean it to the best of your ability. Over time, debris and other hard minerals from water can collect and obstruct the flow of your water. Sometimes merely cleaning your shower head can fix your issue.
- If you’ve exhausted your options and know that your water flow is less than 2.5 gallons per minute, consider removing the water flow restrictor located in the shower head. This can vastly improve water pressure, but only consider it as an option if you know you’re receiving less than 2.5 gallons per minute. Regulations are there for a reason!
- Ensure there are no leaks in the pipe lines with a plumber. This is expensive, but can potentially save you much more in the long run if you own your house.
If all else fails, consider purchasing a brand new shower head designed to convert your low water flow into a high pressure output. All of the reviewed high pressure shower heads above should do the job to varying degrees based on your needs.
Does the Type of Shower Head Matter?
It absolutely does.
Different shower heads are designed for different purposes. As an example, let’s compare two common shower head types.
Large shower heads like many of the popular rainfall ones are made with a wide diameter and tons of jets in mind.
Small, compact fixed shower heads are often made with the idea of a lot of water pressure coming out of a narrow path.
With a 2.5 gallons per minute ratio of water flow pouring out of both shower heads, two very different water pressures are dispersed. The rainfall shower head may only have a water pressure of 40-50 PSI and a huge spread of water, while the compact shower head may have a water pressure of 80 PSI and not even be wide enough to fully rinse a person off without actively moving.
Do Larger Shower Heads Use More Water? Do Smaller Shower Heads Use Less Water?
So long as your shower head is dispersing a constant flow of 2.5 gallons per minute, shower head size does not affect the amount of water used.
In other words, if your shower head’s water flow restrictor is intact, then the size of your shower head will never increase or decrease the amount of water you use.
The only thing that shower heads do differently by design is raise or decrease water pressure.
However, ecofriendly shower head models do exist that reduce the amount of gallons per minute to lesser values for those who prefer lower water pressure showers.
How Can I Fix Low Water Pressure?
If you’ve done all of the steps that were mentioned above, then the best thing you can do to fix your low water pressure issues is to purchase a small, compact shower head that releases the 2.5 GPM water flow at an 80 PSI level.
Picking the Best High Pressure Shower Head for You
If you’ve made it this far and are still confused about which high pressure shower head you should get for your low water pressure issue, then perhaps this will help. This is my abridged guide based on the above reviews that may help you choose what’s best for you and your situation.
- If you want a high pressure shower head that’s well made, has an adequate amount of jets, and is great for super low water pressure:
- If you have the money to spare and want the most convenient high pressure shower head available:
- If you want a rain/rainfall type shower head that will work even in low water pressure situations:
- If you want the best value out of your wallet and have a limited budget:
- If you’re on a budget, but also want more water jets in your shower head than the Delta can provide:
Thanks for reading, shower lovers!