Water conservation is a foundation of One Community’s open source strategy for building a global collaboration of self-sufficient and self-sustainable teacher/demonstration communities, villages, and cities for The Highest Good of All. One of the biggest ways to conserve water is through modifications to daily habits that use a lot of water. Showers are a common area of focus and also an important part of most people’s day so we are making assessment of the diversity of water-saving shower heads a part of our open source contribution to comprehensive sustainable living. This page is a collection of our initial research and will evolve with our experience. It contains the following sections:
Showers are an important part of a person’s day. In addition to the importance of healthy hygiene, for many people, a great shower is one of the highlights of daily living. For this reason we’ve done over 30 hours of research just on water-saving shower heads. Our goal is to open source share our group’s experience with each of the shower heads below as part of the development of the earthbag village and their inclusion in the communal shower designs. People have diverse preferences for the kind of shower they like so we will be naming the individual shower stalls based on the shower head within that stall and sharing our experience with the world including:
We’ll then share the user feedback and longterm user usage patterns/data as an open source sharing of how the different shower heads compare to each other. These usage patterns/preferences will then be used to guide our purchasing decisions for the other 6 villages.
We researched five shower head companies. Benchmarking the sustainability ranking of each company was done using publicly available data and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Sustainability Index’s following 5 areas: Strategic commitments, Value-chain management, Innovation, Environmental Performance, and Social Responsibility. These 5 areas from the AIChE SI Indices were selected because the information for each of them was publicly available. The figure at right shows the elements evaluated and the indices used for each element.
Each company was benchmarked looking at five specific indices within each of the different categories. These consisted of: (1) if there was a sustainability presence on their website (2) if there was a current sustainability report on their website or available to the public (3) what are their sustainability goals (4) what are their sustainability initiatives and (5) what partnerships/collaborations do they have with other sustainability related organizations. Taking all of this data into consideration, we were able to rank them from most sustainable to least.
We researched 5 different shower head companies to assess their sustainability ranking. Toto was the most sustainable company, followed closely by Niagra Corps. American Standard was the third most sustainable, Bricor was the fourth, and High Sierra Showerheads was the least sustainable company.*
Using the sustainability ranking process described above, Toto was the only company to satisfy all 5 indices. Niagra Corps secures second place by satisfying 4 of the indices (Sustainable Information Section, Sustainability Goals, Sustainability Initiatives, and Partnerships). Third place American Standard met 3 indices (Sustainable Information Section, Sustainability Goals, and Sustainability Initiatives). Bricor came in 4th place because it met 2 indices (Sustainability Goals and Sustainability Initiatives). Finally, High Sierra Showerheads was the least sustainable as it met only one index (Sustainability Information Section).
*Note that these rankings can change based on any changes in their sustainability indices.
The following shower heads were selected from over 30 hours of researching everything available on the market as of October, 2013. We chose these shower heads based on water-saving technology, a thorough assessment of the reviews, price, durability, and features we felt would make them enjoyable to use.
The Bravo Pressure Compensated shower head by Bricor Engineering, the world leader in low-flow shower head technology. Water enters the patented VACUUM “booster” valve where it is aerated and compacted under pressure. The intense force of the vacuum chamber causes the aerated water to “explode” as it exits the shower head, creating a shower stream at a very low flow rate.
“Not only does this shower head look great but it also works really well too. ”
“Works great and water/energy bill dropped by about $50 a month for my family of three.”
“I got the shower head custom made to my PSI water pressure after measuring my water pressure.”
The Earth Handheld shower head uses is water-saving and uses a non-removable flow compensator to guarantee great force despite the maximum water flow of only 1.5 gallons per minute. It’s non-aerating with a 9-jet turbo massage face which is adjustable to ranges of a needle like jet spray to a forceful jet. Installs easily without tools and provides consistent flow rate.
“It is a very attractive fixture.”
“I noticed immediately that all the water is focused on your body, not spraying all over the shower.”
“The Niagara is very sturdy. Yes the body of the sprayer is plastic, but the important bits are all metal.”
“Screeching noise starts happening randomly at some point is because the little plastic flow regulator can slip out of place when you have strong water pressure.”
Eco-563 shower head is engineered for maximum performance using less water while the opti-flow technology improves water force by thirty-percent. The exclusive water-tip control reduces water flow when needed (such as during shampooing and conditioning). The spray modes include a full-body coverage spray, concentrated fan spray, misting spray, and combination.
“I love the spray options and it seems well made.”
“It auto shuts off water once it reaches certain temp.”
“It provided me with the most non-satisfying shower I have ever had.”
“The cradle that holds the shower head only holds the very bottom of the handle doesn’t sturdy.”
“If you READ THE DIRECTIONS, this shower head is EASY to install and is very well designed for the Do-It-Yourself type.”
The Eco Luxury low-flow shower head is non-aerating which creates less mist and solid brass with anti-calcium technology function which minimizes mineral buildup. The design increases the water pressure at the face of the shower head resulting in greater water velocity. Each shower head will deliver its stated GPM rate at 80 PSI and maintain the same flow rate all the way down to 40 PSI.
“The shower head was easy to install, and the water pressure is pretty good.”
“I like that the shower head is not dependent on your water pressure and it’s easy to clean.”
“I have long hair, and there’s enough water pressure to rinse out shampoo and conditioner.”
The Ecofit is the best low-flow shower head for apartments and budget friendly projects. By replacing a water guzzling shower head with a Bricor shower head you could save over one hundred eighty dollars a year on water and energy per person in your household. Bricor’s missions is to preserve fresh water for future generations while creating comprehensive water conservation resources.
“I’ve been using this for about two months. It’s going to be our go to shower head!”
“I honestly would not have guessed that this was a low-flow shower head at first!”
“Bricor products are high-grade shower heads with great technology that produces a wonderful shower experience.”
“If you are on a budget for a shower head and want one that is awesome I recommend this one as I love it so much!”
The Flowise shower head utilizes turbine technology, which pressurized the water as it flows into a small chamber. Then, the turbine water wheel spins the pressurized water adding to the force. Finally the water is dispersed evenly creating an energized yet refreshing flow. Another benefit is the exclusive auto-return feature that reverts back to low flow every time the shower is turned on again.
“This is a decent water-efficient shower head.”
“Easy to install and the three settings are excellent.”
“The instructions have to be downloaded from the website.”
“This shower head was highly recommended by a leading consumer magazine.”
“This head was a bit larger than I expected but it fits well in our over-sized shower stall.”
“It’s a little hard to switch between spray settings. But it resets to the water-saving turbo mode automatically.”
The High Efficiency Low-flow Shower Head is a green design because of its size and water/energy saving features. It is constructed of solid metal, finished in polished chrome, has ABS opti-spray that creates a perfect spray diameter plus chrome-plated brass handle trimmed with a ceramic grip. This simple design prevents clogging. High Sierra owns the patent on the FCS nozzle.
“If you have Extremely low water pressure might not work as well”
“It is a bit loud when it comes on, and sounds almost like a train whistle.”
“Not only do these shower heads save me tons of water (only 1.5 gallons per minute!) but the pressure is amazing.”
“This newer design is an improvement over an earlier design without the sleeve because there is much less splashing.”
Niagara’s Earth Shower Head is one of the lowest “low-flow” shower heads on the market. It gets great reviews and touts consistent flow rate regardless of available water pressure as its 9-jet adjustable turbo massage rotates from a gentle needle spray to a forceful jet. As the stream is non-aerated, the shower head experiences less temperature loss translating to maximum energy savings.
“Good water pressure but you will notice the reduced flow when you’re rinsing.”
“Of the four low-flow (1.25-2 GPM) shower heads I tested… this one was the best”
“The shower is only forceful in its two extreme settings: “Shower” or “Massage.”
Toto’s Nexus High-efficiency Low-flow Shower Head with shower arm provides a single spray with full coverage and rubber nozzles to prevent limescale build up with durable finish options. A shower head of effortless beauty by a company known for its many other bath products including faucets, toilets, and sinks. The style complements the other Nexus suite products by Toto.
No user comments were found for this shower head.
Roadrunner’s shower start technology saves water, money, and time in the shower by monitoring the water until it reaches the bathing temperature of ninety-degrees then changes to a trickle which is the conservation mode. Pull the cord to return to normal flow to continue your shower before you get in the shower or after conditioning, shaving, or shampooing.
“The ShowerStart feature only works intermittently.”
“The water volume and pressure is so good it is hard to believe I’m saving water.”
“I replaced an older version of this evolve shower head. The original was great but this one is really great!”
“Not as much pressure as previous model I have purchased with the same flow rate, so not quite what I wanted.”
“I also installed the Metlund D’MAND recirculation pump at the same time (goes next to water heater or under the sink) and it works brilliantly with this evolve product.”
The Skincare Shower Head 60120 from Oxygenics allows you to customize your shower with an easy to use lever to switch from gentle to massaging utilizing patented pressurizing technology. The pressure of the water infuses oxygen into each water droplet, expanding it for a better shower experience. The Fluidic technology guarantees full power spray even when water pressure is as low as 20 PSI.
“On the high-pressure setting I have the feeling of being hosed down by firefighters.”
“I consider it a good investment and I myself like taking a good brisk shower. I highly recommend it.”
“Sprays in a quick pulse action that is massaging. Feels great and makes you want to stay in the shower.”
“This shower head is incredible! It actually rinsed the shampoo out of my hair all the way to my scalp, and I have long thick hair!”
The Water Amplifying Adjustable Shower Head by Delta Faucet uses two flow options, either a drenching high-power 2.5 volume or a low-flow 1.85 GPM water-saving comfort shower. A convenient volume control lever adjusts the water settings. It has a user friendly contemporary design with four large holes using internal engineering which guarantees holes won’t clog up with mineral deposits for easy cleanup.
“I turn on the shower head, and was met with an extremely thin stream of water”
“I don’t understand why people rave about this so much, it’s more air than water.”
“Reduced the “pipe noise” level to where I thought initially my wife had given up showering!”
“MUST get this shower head. It turned a drizzle drippy shower into a full blast great shower.”
Here are any other resources we’ve found (or that have been shared with us) and we think may be helpful:
Here are purchasing and review links (paid links*) for all of the above shower heads that are on Amazon.
*As an Amazon Associate, One Community earns from qualifying purchases.
A shower is an important part of almost every person’s day, so we spent over 30 hours researching water-saving shower heads. Reviews, however, are always mixed and we see the One Community environment as arguably the best place possible for reviewing products like this because the environment is so collaborative and eco-focused. For this reason, we will be testing and open source sharing our experience with all the above shower heads that our research identified were the best of the best. We will evolve this page with those details and use what we learn in our purchasing decisions as we build the 7 sustainable village models.
Q: Where will you be posting your continued research?
We’ll create individual pages with testimonials and YouTube links with more details. We will then link to all of those pages from this page.
GPM is Gallons Per Minute
Flow Impact Intensity (FIT Value) is a measure of a shower head’s overall strength of flow delivery.
PSI stands for “Pounds per Square Inch,” and is the common unit of measurement for pressure. It can be understood as the amount of force that is exerted on an area of one square inch.
It means that the product meets a very specific set of water conserving standards has been achieved including:
For companies to use the label, they must sign a WaterSense partnership agreement. Among other things, the partnership agreement defines the roles and responsibilities of EPA and the partnering organization, as well as proper use of the label on products, on packaging, and in marketing and other promotional materials.
The American National Standards Institute, helps to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment by overseeing the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector.