Does the Size of Shower Head Affect Pressure?

Buy a smaller shower head, and you get a higher water pressure. It is that simple, right? No, you’re wrong. 

If you buy a shower head assuming size corresponds to pressure, you might be wasting money. From a cursory look at the different shower heads, the correlation of shower head size to pressure seems to hold little water.

We all know that volume has a direct correlation with pressure. The high volume corresponds to a low-pressure and low volume to a high-pressure. It’s simple physics knowledge. However, does the size of the shower head affect the pressure of the water coming out of it?

Not really! I can imagine you scratching your head. Let’s get rid of any confusion you might have.

The size of the shower head doesn’t affect the pressure. Change in water pressure has to do more with the design of the shower head and less so with its overall size.

There are a few other factors to keep in mind. We will try to explain things in detail. Keep reading till the end.

Does the Size of Showerhead Affect Water Pressure?

The overall size of a shower head has little to no effect on the pressure of water coming out. Despite what many think, the increase or decrease of water pressure won’t happen unless the total volume of water is pressurized in some way.

A small shower head might result in less water pressure if the design relieves water pressure from the chamber.

On the contrary, a big shower head with a pressurized chamber can deliver a much greater amount of pressure due to design. That’s the technical side.

In practical implementation, you’ll notice that the common denominator of the high-pressure shower head is their low volume area while having a high-volume supply line. So, the bottom line is that the size of shower heads doesn’t affect water pressure on its own.

There’s a bit of misconception about water pressure and flow rate. Water pressure is only in the water supply line, which is measured by pounds per square inch or PSI. 

We usually call water pressure the flow rate, measured by GPM or gallons per minute.

If you ask me what’s the ideal water pressure, the answer would be 45-60 PSI. It can go up to 80 PSI, but that’s not an optimal amount. And the ideal flow rate would be 1.5-18 gallons* per minute (*1 Gallon= 3.7 Liter).

Recommended readingDoes Size of Shower Head Matter? 

Do Different Shower Heads Affect Water Pressure?


Yes and No. Different shower heads will affect water pressure if only these heads have different internal designs. Otherwise, you’re looking at the same performance even if they are mounted differently.

If you’re wondering whether a wall-mounted or a hand-held shower head will have the same performance, the answer is; these will perform the same unless the designs inside offer different water pressure and flow rate.

You’ll see how the concept is applied to rainfall shower heads as well. Despite the common conception, they are not low-pressure shower heads. It’s the direction of its outlet that makes it seem like a low-pressure shower head. They can be high-pressure, as it’s evident from the market listings.

How is water pressure created then? Water pressure is created by maintaining a ratio of volume between the inlet and outlet. The flow rate of water inside the water supply line should be high in order to get a good flow rate out of the shower head. 

That is if you don’t have a high-pressure shower head. These shower heads can do wonders for homes with a low-pressure supply line.

High-pressure shower head designs are the best solution for a high-volume and low-pressure water supply line. These high-pressure shower heads have a pressurized chamber design with many spray settings that delivers a good amount of flow rate. 

If you want to get a hold of a good shower head with a high-pressure feature, here’s a list of common features found in high-pressure shower heads.

  • Spray settings
  • Pressurized nozzle
  • Pressure chamber
  • Aeration

Some pressure washer showerheads we could recommend are;

  1. Speakman S-2005-HB-BC High-Pressure Shower Head
  2. Speakman S-2252-PN High Pressure Adjustable Shower Head

Recommended Reading: Shower Head Size Guide


  • Does the shower head determine water pressure?

Yes, a shower head determines the amount of water pressure you’ll experience. However, it’s not the size; rather, the determining factor is the volume and the way water exits from it.

A smaller water outlet with a larger water inlet is the primary condition for a high-pressure shower. To get the opposite result, you need the opposite combination; a larger water outlet with a smaller water inlet.

  • How can I get more pressure from my shower head?

If you’re experiencing a gradual decrease in water pressure, you should try taking the shower head out and cleaning it thoroughly. Sometimes, small particles from the water line can clog up the water outlet holes, which results in a decrease in pressure.

You can try these as well,

  • Check for leaks
  • Check the valve
  • Remove the flow regulator to see if the situation improves

If all else fails, you need to get a high-pressure shower head. It’s the only solution where the supply line has low water pressure.

[ NB. If you want to know how to clean a shower head properly, you can follow our step-by-step guide of how to clean a shower head, here. ]

  • What is good water pressure for a shower head?

There is no single answer to this. It’s more of a preference than a standard. In the USA, the maximum flow rate for a shower head is 2.5 gallons per minute with 80PSI water pressure. But such a high rate is criminal if you look at it from a conservative environmental perspective.

A flow rate of 1.5-1.8 gallons per minute is a good range, and it’s preferred by many environmental organizations. As for water pressure, having 50 PSI is good enough for home use.

Recommended reading: Benefits of Low Flow Shower Heads

  • Why is my shower head water pressure low?

There could be many reasons behind low water pressure. The main reason is a clogged shower head. Over time the shower head accumulates small particles, and it can result in a gradual decrease in pressure.

The second reason is the non-functional flow regulator. A flow regulator can malfunction after some time. Check it out to see if that’s the issue.

Check for leaks in the shower head. If you have a filter, check if the filter’s working properly.

  • How do I fix a low-pressure shower head?

When you’re experiencing low water pressure from the shower head, the best thing to do is replace it with a new high-pressure shower head. But it’s not in everyone’s ability. You can try to fix it by finding out the reason for the low pressure. Here are a few tips,

  • Check and fix your shower head for leaks. It should be obvious to the eye.
  • Increase water pressure in the supply line.
  • Check and fix the filter to supply line pressure.
  • Check the flow regulator/restrictor and remove it if need be.
  • Check if your shower head and supply line walls are scaled up with plaques. Removing those will help in your cause.

All in All

So, does the size of the shower head affect pressure? You now know that shower head size has little to no effect on the water pressure. It’s more about the shape and design of it in terms of volume and flow rate. Get a high-pressure showerhead with features like aeration, and you’re set.

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