Best Shower Systems of 2020

Updated
Take your bathroom to the next level by having one of these awesome shower systems.

Are you looking to upgrade your existing shower, or wondering what shower to incorporate in a complete refit? There are so many different styles and finishes to choose from; it can get confusing!

Do you go for an overhead and handheld combo or a full-body panel with a selection of jets to massage you? Before you make your decision, take a look at our top 5 picks of the best shower systems. In the long run, upgrading your standard shower head to a luxury shower system could add value to your home.


Types of Best Shower Systems

Thankfully there aren’t huge variations in systems. You’re limited to:

Fixed Shower and Handheld Combination

These shower systems are made up of a ceiling or wall-mounted shower head, and also a handheld shower head attached to a hose. The designs of these could be traditional or more contemporary.

With some models, you can use both shower heads at once or simply choose between which you want at the time. Look out for pressure monitoring valves, which aim to keep the water temperature at the desired level to within a few degrees.


Full Body Systems

Full body shower systems have jets that cover the whole body. They’re often mounted on a wall panel and have the following features:

  • Overhead fixed shower head.
  • Handheld shower head on a hose.
  • Individual body jets.

They mainly differ from the combination choice above by the addition of the body jets. Your choice of spray from the jets is controlled from the main shower panel. You can also decide which jets you want on, whether you want the overhead or handheld flowing at the same time, or everything in operation at once.


Features to Look For

Several factors can influence your choice of shower systems, apart from their aesthetics:

Water Pressure and Usage

If you have low water pressure, a jetted system might not provide the power you want. That being said, many new systems are designed to be low flow. This means they push the flow of water through smaller nozzles, thus increasing the pressure.

Also, think about water consumption. Running more than one shower head at once could increase your water bills. However, a lot of shower heads are now restricted to a maximum flow of 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute) to comply with regulations (1).

Materials

Shower systems come in a range of finishes and materials including brass, metal or plastic. These are often finished with polished chrome, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze or antique brass. Hoses are generally stainless steel and flexible.

Look for finishes that are anti-corrosion and rust-resistant. Brass fittings will also be stronger and more durable than plastic ones (2).

Adjustable Flow

Part of the enjoyment of having a shower system is the ability to choose and adjust the flow from your shower heads. While overhead options often offer a rain shower, your handheld could have several different flows. These include things like pulse, massage, mist, rain or a combination.

Multi-jetted systems give you even more choices. You can adjust the body nozzles to just where you want them as well as choose the spray from the shower head. The whole experience can be incredibly relaxing!

When looking at adjustable flows, check out how easy they are to use. Some have toggles on the shower head so you can rotate them easily; some will be controlled through taps on the wall.

Installation

If you’re upgrading your existing shower head, chances are you’ll want something that doesn’t involve installing new plumbing. Many combination and panel-jetted systems can be fitted to your existing shower plumbing.

If you’re doing a complete renovation, then the world is your oyster, and you can choose a shower system to fit in with your new decor.

Get Help

Ensure you consult with a plumber or contractor to ensure your chosen model will fit with your current plumbing.

The Best Shower Systems of 2020

Walking through the hundreds of shower systems on offer can be time-consuming and challenging. We’ve taken customer feedback and industry expert advice into account to bring you our top 5 picks of the best shower systems out there.

1. PULSE ShowerSpas Kauai III Shower System

Best Overall

PULSE ShowerSpas 1011-III-BN Kauai III Shower System with 8' Rain Showerhead, 5-Function Hand Shower, Adjustable Slide Bar and Soap Dish, Brushed Nickel Finish
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Pulse brings us a retro-style shower system in a choice of finishes: polished chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze. You can choose which will fit in best with your existing bathroom decor or newly renovated design. You can also choose from two water flows, 1.8 or 2.5 GPM.

The set comprises an 8-inch rainfall fixed shower head, a handheld showerhead with a hose and a wall-mounting bar for height adjustment. There’s also a wire tray attached to the shower rail to keep your soap close to hand. The entire system is designed to be mounted to your shower wall and comes pre-plumbed for ease of fitting.

Why We Love It

Uses Existing Shower Water Supply

There’s no need to reroute your plumbing or retile your shower stall with this shower system. It should fit onto your existing shower water supply, making it a great option to spruce up an outdated showerhead.

Soft Nozzles

Although we aren’t told what material the nozzles are made of, they’re meant to be easy to clean and soft. The advantage of this is you should be able to just wipe away any mineral buildup that might occur.

Multi-Function Handheld Shower Head

The handheld shower head has five settings, including massage, jet, wide spray or combinations of all three. It can also be used alone or at the same time as the fixed rain shower. We really like that you can have water cascading over you at the same time as having massaging water jets on from the side.

Keep In Mind

Pressure Issues

If the water pressure in your home isn’t stellar, you might get reduced pressure from the rainfall shower. This is even more apparent when using the handheld head and side jets. That being said, some have removed the flow restrictors, which has helped increase the pressure.

Be Careful

If you remove the flow restrictors, the appliance will no longer be water-saving, and you may void the warranty.

Additional Specs

Fixed Shower Head Yes
Handheld Yes
Additional Sprays No
Warranty Limited lifetime
Flow Rate 1.8 or 2.5 GPM

2. DreamSpa Rainfall Shower Head and Handheld Shower Combo

Best Handheld Spray

DreamSpa 3-way 8-Setting Rainfall Shower Head and Handheld Shower Combo (Chrome). Use Luxury 7-inch Rain Showerhead or 7-Function Hand Shower for Ultimate Spa Experience!
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If you’re looking for a shower system with a handheld shower head and a range of spray settings, this could be it.

There are seven choices of spray settings for this part of the system:

  • Power rain.
  • Hydro-mist.
  • Pulsating massage.
  • Rain and mist.
  • Eco rain.
  • Rain and massage.
  • Water-saving pause mode.

Having such a wide variety of options means you can tailor your showering experience and change up the monotony of showering.

In terms of design, the 4-inch polished chrome shower head is attached to a 6-inch stainless steel hose with brass nuts and easy-clean nozzles.

Why We Love It

Adjustable Rain Shower

The rain shower component of this shower system has a head that measures 7 inches across. It can be tilted up and down or left and right to just the position you want. This means the whole family can enjoy the shower, tilting it as needed.

Easy-Click Lever

This system has a patented three-way water diverter with an anti-swivel lock nut. Robustness is key here, meaning your shower will stay on the selected setting. The dial on the side is easily accessible and clicks into place, making it easy to select between rainfall shower, handheld shower or both.

Quick Installation

Everything you need to connect this shower system to an existing standard shower fitting is included in the package. You get the two showerheads, the hose, the wall mount, the water diverter, washers, and some Teflon tape. No tools are required and it takes just minutes to connect.

Keep In Mind

Location of Handheld

One downside to this system is that the handheld shower head is located next to the fixed shower head. Some find this awkward when detaching it from its housing.

Additional Specs

Fixed Shower Head Yes
Handheld Yes
Additional Sprays No
Warranty Limited lifetime
Flow Rate 2.5 GPM

3. SUNRISE Bathroom Luxury Rain Mixer Shower Combo

Best Rain Shower

SR SUN RISE SRSH-F5043 Bathroom Luxury Rain Mixer Combo Set Wall Mounted Rainfall Shower Head System Polished Chrome, (Contain Faucet Rough-in Valve Body and Trim)
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If standing under a tropical rain downpour is what you dream of, then this shower system could fit the bill. You can choose from a 10 or 12-inch rain shower head made from stainless steel and finished with a 10-layer chrome plating. It promises to deliver a consistent flow with the company’s patented high-pressure air energy technology.

Depending on your bathroom’s style, you can choose from a polished chrome or matte black finish. Both look stylish; however, the matte black looks exceptional in a high-end bathroom.

Completing the package are a mixer valve, a pressure balance valve, a handheld shower head with a 70.8-inch hose, and a 15.7-inch shower arm. The length of the shower arm means the rain shower sprays from overhead without being fitted to the ceiling.

Why We Love It

Lifetime Warranty

SUNRISE offers a lifetime warranty on this shower system and replacement with the first five years. This indicates the company is confident in the quality of their product.

Having such a strong warranty is important when looking to buy higher-end models, so this is a box ticked for us.

Clean Lines

The bracket holder for the handheld shower is concealed, so all you see is the small, square wall fitting and the seat for the hose. The shower mixer and rain shower heads mount separately, adding to the sleek and modern look and feel.

Controlled Pressure

This shower system has a pressure balance valve concealed behind the mixer tap. It helps control the water pressure and could prevent scalding by keeping the flow of hot and cold water balanced. The result of this is no reduction in cold water flow and, and no increase in temperature when someone flushes the toilet.

Keep In Mind

Difficult Self-Installation

With pressure valves and hose settings hidden in the wall, this might not be the best choice if you want to fit the shower yourself. Many people employ a plumber to install this system, and it might be better suited to a renovation rather than an update.

Additional Specs

Fixed Shower Head Yes
Handheld Yes
Additional Sprays No
Warranty Limited lifetime, 5-year exchange
Flow Rate Not specified

4. PULSE ShowerSpas Aloha Shower System

Easy to Fit Jet Spray

PULSE ShowerSpas 1021-SSB Aloha System with 8' Rain Showerhead, 2 Pulsating Body Spray Jets and 5-Function Hand Shower, Brushed Stainless Steel with Chrome Fixtures
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Changing up your shower fittings can be costly if you need to hire a plumber, but thankfully that’s not necessary with this shower panel system. It comes pre-plumbed, and it’s easy to fit to existing shower plumbing. This means you could upgrade your existing system if you wanted, or include it as part of a remodel.

The handheld shower has three functions and a lengthy 59-inch double-interlocking stainless steel hose. This paired length and sturdy stainless steel construction proves that PULSE has delivered another high-quality product.

Why We Love It

Durable Materials

Made from ABS plastic with a brushed stainless steel and chrome finish, the manufacturers claim this shower system is corrosion-resistant. We’re also told that, while it’s lightweight, it’s construction is of superior strength.

Easy to Clean

The 8-inch rain shower head, two body jets, and handheld shower head have rub-clean soft tips. This makes for an easy cleaning experience and pain-free showering with free-flowing and efficient water usage.

Adjustable Sprays

Two body jets are built into the shower tower. They can be adjusted to the angle you want and have a pulsating spray. Any two of the different functions can be operated together, so either the jets and rain shower, or the jets and handheld shower.

Keep In Mind

Reduced Pressure

When you’re using more than one function at a time, you might experience reduced shower pressure from one or both. This is usual for all shower systems that have a dual-use design and isn’t unique to this product.

Diverter Handle Not Included

This system doesn’t come supplied with a diverter handle to turn on your water or adjust the hot and cold settings. You can buy one separately from Pulse that should match the finish on the tower.

Additional Specs

Fixed Shower Head Yes
Handheld Yes
Additional Sprays 4
Warranty Limited lifetime
Flow Rate 2.5 GPM

5. Blue Ocean Stainless Steel Shower Panel

Best Spa Panel

Blue Ocean 52” Stainless Steel SPV878392H Shower Panel with Rainfall Shower Head, 8 Adjustable Nozzles, and Spout
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Some describe this shower panel as the “showstopper” in their bathroom remodels.

This Blue Ocean model comprises of a panel made from blue, tempered glass and stainless steel. It has an overhead rain shower, a handheld shower head with a hose, eight nozzles for body massage, and a spout to fill a tub.

While this shower system could be installed in an existing bathroom, it might be better suited to a remodel due to the complexities of the design.

Why We Love It

Temperature Display

In addition to the many shower options, this panel has a temperature display, and can be set to Celcius or Fahrenheit and is powered by two AA batteries. This helps take the guesswork out of how hot your shower is. Before getting under the spray, you can see exactly whether it’s too hot or too cold.

Spray Options

You might be spoilt for choice with this shower system. Choose from an overhead rainfall shower, four different spray strengths on the handheld shower, or massage and mist from the top four or bottom four body nozzles.

Not all function at the same time, although moving between them is a breeze. Although some might view this as a disadvantage, it should save on the amount of water that using all four together could consume. Also, independent use might ensure that the water pressure stays at an acceptable level.

Tub Spout

Mounting this unit as part of a shower/tub combo could negate the need for a separate faucet — there’s a spout built-in to fill your bathtub with. This could also be useful in a shower stall to fill buckets from or run water to clean the shower.

You could even use the spout function to run your shower until it gets to the temperature you want. You can then switch it over with confidence, knowing you won’t get a shock from unexpected water temperature.

Keep In Mind

Can Be Noisy

It appears that this shower panel can make a whirring or squeaking noise during operation. While some are able to ignore these, others find them annoying.

Handheld Unit Directional Spray

Once the handheld shower head is seated on the tower, it appears that you’re unable to angle the spray.

Additional Specs

Fixed Shower Head Yes
Handheld Yes
Additional Sprays 8
Warranty 1-year limited parts
Flow Rate Approximately 2.5 GPM

Shower System Comparison Chart

Product Best Fixed Handheld Additional Sprays Warranty Flow Rate
PULSE ShowerSpas Kauai III Overall Yes Yes None Limited lifetime 1.8 or 2.5 GPM
DreamSpa Rainfall & Handheld Shower Handheld Spray Yes Yes None Limited lifetime 2.5 GPM
SUNRISE Bathroom Rain Mixer Rain Shower Yes Yes None Limited lifetime, N/A
PULSE ShowerSpas Aloha Shower Jet Spray Yes Yes 4 Limited lifetime 2.5 GPM
Blue Ocean Shower Panel Spa Panel Yes Yes 8 1-year limited (parts) 2.5 GPM
Jump to the Full Shower System Reviews

Time to Lather Up

Whether you’re upgrading an existing unit or having a complete remodel, fitting the best shower system in your bathroom can enhance the look.

You have plenty of options, including shower panels with all the bells and whistles, or simpler rainfall and handheld shower heads. You’re also spoilt for choice with the different finishes, including chrome, nickel, stainless steel, glass, bronze, and brass. Choose the one that is aesthetically pleasing to you or that matches your decor.

No matter your choice, there’s something to be said for a more relaxing shower with a new system, especially when massaging side jets are involved.

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About the Author

Peter Gray

Peter has been a homeowner for 35+ years and has always done his own repair and improvement tasks. As a retired plumber, Peter now spends his time teaching others how they can fix leaks, replace faucets, and make home improvements on a budget.
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