Skip to Content

Rain Shower Head Pros and Cons

Here’s our guide to bathroom rain shower head pros and cons including their features, popular finishes and how high to hang.Walk in shower with dual rainfall shower heads and benchIf you’re replacing the shower head in your shower, you have the opportunity to change or upgrade the type of shower head.

While there are many types of bathroom shower heads and designs, a rain shower head makes an excellent choice.

This guide will discuss rain shower head features and options and their pros and cons to help you buy the best rain shower head for your bathroom shower.

What Is a Rain Shower Head

Modern bathroom with rain shower glass enclosure floating wood vanityThe typical shower head found in homes are fixed shower heads and mounted to the shower wall. They’re a no-frills mechanism averaging a diameter of 5-inches or less.

Rain shower heads are also fixed shower heads but are much larger than a standard fixed shower head. They range from 6-inches and larger and provide much more coverage in the shower having more holes in the surface.

As the name implies, rain shower heads are designed to mimic a soothing rain shower covering the entire body.

Originally designed to mount on the ceiling, rain shower heads now come as wall-mountable to avoid running plumbing to the ceiling above the shower stall. Rain shower heads provide a luxurious spa-like experience in your home shower.

Rain Shower Head Pros and Cons

Modern bathroom with rain shower head and wandAfter a long workday, there’s nothing as soothing as a long, hot shower. Rain shower heads make that shower even more relaxing and refreshing. Discover the many pros to installing a rain shower head.


  • Complete body coverage – Provides much more water coverage without a need to adjust the shower head
  • Easy to clean – The rubber nozzles are anti-clog and can be wiped to clean.
  • Easy to install –  As simple as replacing a standard shower head (wall-mounted version)
  • Spa-like feel – Provides the experience of standing in a warm rain shower
  • Relaxing water flow – The water flows gently and smoothly
  • Hands-free showering
  • Advanced features – Come with many options and features
  • Stylish and attractive
  • Water saving features – Many have adjustable settings to control the flow of water.Luxury bathroom with rainfall shower head freestanding tub


Rain shower heads are quickly taking the top spot for shower heads purchased by homeowners and are a popular choice. There are some downsides, though.

  • Cost  – Can be more expensive than a regular shower head
  • Needs high ceiling  – Must have enough ceiling clearance to fit a tall person
  • Can have low water pressure – Possible low water pressure based on design and type
  • Must be installed at a 90 degree angle – This can make them hard to install in a rental apartment or attic bathroom.

Rain Shower Head Features

12 inch high pressure rainfall shower headSee this 12″ rainfall shower head at Amazon.

A rain shower head includes features to meet everyone’s taste. The main features include the balance of water pressure that creates a soothing stream of water over a large area based on the rain shower head’s size.

Numerous spray nozzles allow the water to flow or fall instead of spray like a standard shower head. Below are the customizable features available when purchasing a rain shower head.

Rain Shower Head with Handheld Wand – If you still want a handheld wand for your shower, choose a rain shower head model with a handheld wand attached. Look for a design that allows using both the rain shower head and handheld at the same time.

Led Lights – Installing an LED light rain shower head in your shower adds a new dimension to the shower experience. The options include numerous colors, and color-changing options, and color fading. They come in a square shape, rectangular, or a circle. LED light rain shower heads are powered by water pressure only; no batteries or electricity are needed.

Ceiling Mounted – Rain shower heads are typically mounted on the shower stall ceiling. However, plumbing will have to be run to bring water to the rain shower head. The height of the shower stall ceiling is also important. Measurements are needed to allow the tallest person using the shower to have 12-inches of clearance from the rain shower head.

Extra Large – Extra large rain shower heads cover more area in the shower. They typically provide close to the same water pressure and cover the whole body at once, so no moving around to wash or rinse off. These are great for people with disabilities who need to sit during their showers.

High Pressure – Rain shower heads are not mean to spray water with high pressure. They allow the water to gently fall.

A larger rain shower head may reduce the water pressure a bit, but high-pressure rain shower heads are meant to provide more water pressure.

Water pressure is expressed as gallons per minute (GPM). Shower heads commonly run at 1.5 GPM, and some, such as a rain shower head, run at 2.5 GPM. Manufacturers do not make rain shower heads or standard shower heads that put out more than 2.5 GPM.

Extension Arm – Rain shower head extension arms allow better placement of the shower head, and some types allow the angle to be adjusted. The main reason to use a rain shower head extension arm is to either hang the head longer or allow it to protrude out further from a wall mount.

Dual Rain Shower Head – A dual rain shower head system provides two separate rain shower heads. They can be the same style, shape, and size or different in size or function. Each is controlled separately.

This setup requires a larger bathroom layout to accommodate a spacious walk-in shower design.

Rain Shower Head Finishes

Brass rainfall shower headSee this brass rainfall shower head at Amazon.

Different finishes mean different prices, style, durability, and design. The finish you choose depends on the interior design of your bathroom and shower.

Chrome: Chrome is a timeless finish. It doesn’t necessarily mean the rain shower head is made from chrome but has the same tone, shine, and look. Chrome goes with many décor styles and is the least expensive finish for a rain shower head.

Polished Brass – This gold tone rain shower head finish is a replication of brass and is a durable finish. Polished Brass was popular in the 80s and 90s but is not used as often today. The gold tone is quite bold, so be sure it matches the bathroom’s décor.

Brushed Nickel – Sporting a gray-type finish and color, brushed nickel is gaining popularity. It works with almost any type of décor and resists water spots.

How to Clean a Rain Shower Head

Bathroom with tub shower combo with rainfall shower headRain shower heads running hard water can have mineral buildup or other buildups that will block the water flow. It’s essential to clean a rain shower head regularly. Waiting until all the water holes are blocked may lead to permanent damage.

If your rain shower head has a screw-on connection, twist it to unscrew and remove the rain shower head. Place the head in a basin of white distilled vinegar.

Make sure it covers the entire head. Pour in 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda and let it fizz. Leave the head in for an hour. Remove the rain shower head, rinse with water, and use an old toothbrush to scrub any remaining mineral buildup.

Attach the rain shower head and run the water to flush out any remaining vinegar solution.

Use this method if your rain shower heads that do not screw off. Add white vinegar, halfway up, in a large plastic bag or garbage bag, depending on your shower head’s size.

Pour in 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda and immediately slip it over the rain shower head. Tie it around the top arm with string or a large twist tie and be sure it’s tight. Have the tie ready before you make the mixture.

The rain shower head should be submerged. Let it hang for an hour and then take it off. Turn on the water to the rain shower head to wash out the vinegar solution. If there is residue left, use an old toothbrush to scrub off the remaining mineral buildup.

How High Should a Rain Shower Head Be?

Walk in shower with rainfall shower headAs mentioned previously, the rain shower head should be at least 12-inches from the top of the tallest user’s head.

Installing the rain shower head 84 inches from the shower floor allows for almost all heights. No one wants to have the top of their head rubbing against the rain shower head.

The industry standard for shower head height is 80 inches from the floor. A rain shower head is the best for tall people when placed at the appropriate height, and an extension arm is used for wall mounting to create the right fit.

Who Invented the Shower head?

The ancient Greeks and Romans were concerned with personal hygiene and evolved from standing under a natural waterfall to developing make-shift showering methods reserved only for the most elite classes.

By 1767, a London stove maker, William Feetham, patented his mechanical shower. His crude invention had a pump that fed water into a basin at the top of the apparatus. The user would stand under the basin and pull a chain that released cold water.

In 1810, an anonymous inventor and entrepreneur created the English Regency Shower, a design much closer to today’s modern shower. With the addition of a nozzle attached to the basin, water would flow through holes in the bottom of the basin and allowed for warm water showers.

The design went through many modifications, including adjustable nozzles and shower heads, similar to what we use today.

Armed with the information in this guide about rain shower head pros and cons, you can now purchase the type, style, and size shower head to create a relaxing, luxurious spa-like bathroom experience at home.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below. For more related content click our article about shower bench ideas.


Saturday 24th of April 2021

I'm still struggling with whether a rainfall shower head is worth it since I'm getting low water pressure on mine. I'm not the most home improvement savvy so if I could get the water pressure up I would be happier. I read that I need to install a shower pump or power shower lol. I'm looking in to how to do this since I've still got suds on me after bathing a lot of times.