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Experts Say These Are the Best Detachable Shower Heads for Getting Squeaky Clean

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A detachable shower head offers the flexibility that many fixed shower heads don’t. It allows you to aim water where you want it to flow, reach—and thoroughly rinse—hard-to-reach spots on your body, or assist a loved one while they bathe. But like most home design products, they’re not all created equal. The best detachable shower heads are user-friendly, made from durable materials that are lightweight enough to seamlessly maneuver in your hands, and attached by a long, flexible hose that enables freedom of movement in the shower. Simplify your search for your new bathroom accessory with our expert tips and plumber-approved finds, below.

The best detachable shower heads, at a glance

What to look for in a detachable shower head

Detachable (aka handheld) shower heads are available in a few designs. Many affix to the wall with a hose, but, “if you have kids or somebody who may be disabled needing to sit down in the shower,” says Doyle James, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, a Neighborly company, you might prefer a height-adjustable unit that mounts to a slide bar. Otherwise, those who like a full soak might want to purchase a dual shower system with fixed and detachable heads.

Regardless of your preference, you’ll want to select a model with a long enough hose. According to Oren Dagan, CEO of home design platform Crewzz: “Finding a handheld shower hose that has the right length can help owners with their everyday tasks”—namely, “bath time with the kids, grooming your pets, and even cleaning the shower itself.” A handheld shower hose is usually 60 to 72 inches long, though you’ll find a 82-inch-long option on the list, too.

You’ll also want to think about what a shower head is made of. According to Maria Martin, an interior designer and the founder of the interior design app Design Appy: “You want a balance of high-quality materials and durability when you are working in a wet space.” Dagan recommends brass and stainless steel because they’re durable and rust resistant but to avoid plastic as, “most shower heads made from plastic often retain more water buildup and see more cracks and scratches.”

According to James, however, plenty of shower heads are made of a variety of materials—plastic included—and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Solid metal shower heads are heavy,” says James. “In some cases, you might want it to be lighter because it’s something you’re handling.” That said, if you opt for a unit with plastic components, seek out options that use ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic, which is sturdy and can withstand high temperatures.

Finally, consider features that might be important to you, like self-cleaning nozzles, which, “ensures the stream is delivered at its intended pressure,” says Martin, as well as built-in water filters or antimicrobial jets. You’ll also find that most detachable shower heads will have multiple spray patterns, which can elevate shower time into a pleasurable experience. You’ll want to think about the finish of your shower head, too—so select one that matches with the fixtures in your bathroom or appeals to your aesthetic preferences.

To simplify your search, you will find nine of the best detachable shower heads below. They all adhere to the federally regulated water flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), and for those living in a state that demands it—or who just want to save water—a few are EPA WaterSense certified with a flow rate equivalent to or lower than 1.8 GPM.

Best overall

Hammerhead Showers, Three-Spray Hand-Held Shower Head With Hose — $90.00

Main materials: Brass and stainless steel

Flow rate: 2.5 GPM and 1.8 GPM

Spray settings: 3

Available finishes: 3

This detachable shower head ticks all the boxes: It’s made up primarily of brass and stainless steel and has a 72-inch-long hose, along with features that make showering a delight. It has three spray settings, and its rubber nozzles make preventing lime buildup easy. Installation is a cinch too, and you’ll receive all the parts for the process, including an adapter that allows you to adjust the direction of shower head when it’s mounted in its bracket. As a bonus, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.


Best budget

AquaDance, High-Pressure Handheld Shower With Hose — $17.00

Main materials: Stainless steel and ABS plastic

Flow rate: 2.5 GPM

Spray settings: 6

Available finishes: 3

For a budget option that doesn’t skimp on performance, this detachable shower head fits the bill. The detachable head is made from ABS plastic—replete with rub-clean jets that make quick work of removing lime buildup—and the 60-inch-long hose is wrapped in stainless steel. It also comes with brass fittings to eliminate connection leaks. A dial toggles among six spray settings, including a pause mode to limit water flow while you’re sudsing up or doing other things in the shower that don’t require water. Plus, it fits most standard-sized shower arms, making installation a breeze.

While this model operates at 2.5 GPM, the brand also offers a version with 1.8 GPM flow rate, but it’s made of different materials and offered in one finish.


Best water-saving

Niagara Conservation, Earth Spa Shower Head — $29.00

Main materials: ABS plastic and brass

Flow rate: 1.5 GPM or 1.75 GPM

Spray settings: 3

Available finishes: 2

If you’re a stickler about saving water, this WaterSense-certified shower head is a prime option. It operates at 1.5 GPM—the lowest flow rate featured on the list—while putting out a strong and steady stream of water. It has an ABS plastic handheld head for lightweight maneuverability and a stainless steel-wrapped hose that is 72 inches long. What’s more, you’ll also receive a bracket to hang the shower head. The head itself has three spray settings, plus a simple-to-use dial that allows you to switch among the various options. There is also a version with a 1.75 flow rate, which has likewise earned a WaterSense label from the EPA.


Best for low water pressure

HO2ME, High-Pressure Handheld Shower Head — $25.00

Main materials: ABS plastic and stainless steel

Flow rate: 2.5 GPM

Spray settings: 3

Available finishes: 1

Those with low water pressure might appreciate this detachable shower head. It delivers a strong water spray and features three spray settings plus self-cleaning rubber nozzles. The shower head is made of ABS plastic, but the 79-inch-long hose is made of stainless steel and the fittings are made of solid brass. Keep in mind it only has a flow rate of 2.5 GPM—a tradeoff for those who want a unit with a flow rate equivalent to or lower than 1.8 GPM. While only available in a chrome finish, it’s a versatile option for most bathroom settings.


Best with a slide bar

Delta, Faucet Slide Bar Handheld Shower — $149.00

Main materials: ABS plastic and stainless steel

Flow rate: 1.75 GPM

Spray settings: 9

Available finishes: 3

If you want a detachable shower head with a slide bar, this one from Delta is a worthy pick. The head mounts to a 24-inch-long slide bar, which also doubles as a safety rail to help prevent slips or spills. The head can glide along the length of the bar for hands-free use, but when you’re wielding it in your hands, its non-slip handle offers a secure grip. It also features self-cleaning nozzles, nine spray settings, and has a flow rate of 1.75 GPM, earning it a WaterSense label from the EPA. The 82-inch-long hose allows for added flexibility.

While the pick above is made from ABS plastic, it’s also available in brass or stainless steel options. Keep in mind that the wall elbow isn’t included with this purchase—so you will have to purchase it separately.


Best with a filter

G-Promise, Luxury Filtered Handheld Shower Head — $67.00

Main materials: ABS plastic and stainless steel

Flow rate: 2.5 GPM

Spray settings: 6

Available finishes: 3

If you’re particular about what’s in the water, this shower head comes with a 10-stage filter that helps reduce chlorine, heavy metals, and sediments from reaching you. As a plus, you’ll receive two filters, but when it comes time to replace, you’ll have to buy them separately. The ABS plastic shower head has six spray settings and a 75-inch-long hose wrapped in stainless steel. It’s replete with a brass bracket to provide solid support for the head unit. Shop it in three finishes, including nickel and oil-rubbed bronze—all of which operate at 2.5 GPM.


Best antimicrobial

AquaDance, Antimicrobial Hand — $25.00

Main materials: ABS plastic and stainless steel

Flow rate: 2.5 GPM

Spray settings: 6

Available finishes: 1

Thanks to antimicrobial nozzles, this detachable shower head inhibits the growth of mold and bacteria—and as a bonus, its rubber design is easy to clean to prevent mineral and lime buildup from clogging the passageways. It is multifunctional too, and allows you to select from six spray settings. Complete with a stainless steel hose that stretches up to 60 inches long, the ABS plastic head unit offers lightweight and seamless maneuverability in the shower. It’s available in a chrome-plated finish and three nozzle variations.


Best dual shower head

Kohler, Awaken 2-In-1 Shower Combo Kit — $155.00

Main materials: Unspecified

Flow rate: 2.5

Spray settings: 3

Available finishes: 4

Kohler’s dual shower head combo offers users the ultimate flexibility—and comes with the recommendation of Oren Dagan. It has a fixed shower head and hand-held unit with a 60-inch-long metal hose. You can use the shower heads one at a time or together, and select among three different spray settings. There’s also a pause mode for conserving water. What’s more, the rubber nozzles also make preventing lime buildup easy. When not in use, the hand-held head secures into a magnetic holster underneath the fixed head to optimize your shower space. It operates with a flow rate of 2.5 GPM and is available in four finishes.

While the brand doesn’t mention the specifics of the materials used, it claims that the materials used are durable and the available finishes are corrosion resistant.


Best splurge

Hai, Smart Bluetooth Shower Head — $199.00

Main materials: Stainless steel

Flow rate: 1.8 GPM or 2.5 GPM

Spray settings: Unspecified

Available finishes: 1

If you’re willing to spend a little more to upgrade your shower, look no further than Hai’s detachable shower head. It produces a full stream of water that soaks your entire body, and it offers adjustable pressure, which you can adjust using the spray controller slider located underneath the face. To allow you even more customization over your shower, it syncs to an app through Bluetooth, so you can track your water usage as well as receive notifications when the water is warm and ready.

It’s made to last, too—the shower head and handle are made with a stainless steel frame, while the hose is made of a mold-resistant PVC material. It comes in six fun colors and two flow rate options: 1.8 GPM, which received the EPA’s WaterSense certification, and 2.5 GPM. Regardless, they’re both compatible with most standard-sized shower arms, making the model a cinch to install.

Frequently asked questions

What is a detachable shower head?

Also known as a hand-held shower head, a detachable shower head mounts to the wall with a bracket or slide bar. Unlike most fixed shower heads though, it also has a hose to offer users more flexibility.

How do you install a detachable shower head?

To install a detachable shower head, you have two options: Installing it yourself or with the help of a professional. If you want to DIY, “many standard detachable shower heads can be self-installed with little to no fuss,” says Dagan.

“An important tip would be to find a wrench that has non-marring features to prevent scratching or denting of the shower head.” Martin adds that for these models, “the only materials needed for installation are thread seal tape and an adjustable wrench.

However, when selecting a higher-end model, Dagan recommends leaving it to the professionals—“I’d recommend going with a licensed plumber who has experience working with denser material plumbing, such as brass, cast iron, or stainless steel,” he says.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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