Low-Flow Vs High Flow Shower Heads – Detailed Comparison 2023

The prime difference between the low flow and high flow shower heads is the incurred water cost. A high-flowing shower head will use more water resulting in a higher water bill. Conversely, low-flowing shower heads are an excellent choice to cut down the water cost.

But there are other differentiating factors as well when it comes to low flow vs high flow shower heads. Let’s have a look.


What is Low-flow Shower Head?

Low-flow shower heads are your typical shower heads designed to pump out less water compared to traditional shower heads. A low-flow shower head can easily reduce shower water consumption to half or even one-third of a traditional setup.

This is important considering showering accounts for almost one-fifth of the entire day’s water consumption in the USA alone.

PS. Want to know how does a low-flow shower head works, then click here.

What is High Flow Shower Head?

Contrary to the low-flow shower heads, high-flow ones push out more water at a faster rate. The GPM is also higher in this regard. While this might seem like a total disaster for the wallet, it really is for those who prefer the experience over the cost.

High-flow shower heads are designed to gush out the water at almost 10 GPM water. That’s several times higher compared to low-flow ones. Most of the standard and old shower heads are high-flow ones.

Low-flow vs High Flow Shower Head (Main Differences)

Detailed Differences Between Low-flow and High Flow Shower Heads:

There are mainly two ways to look at the difference – considering high flow to be good or considering water saving to be good. We consider the water and environment aspect here and look at the differences in detail.

  • Showering Experience

Winner: High flow

The running problem with a low-flow shower head is that it requires a lot of patience and movement to cover the whole body while showering. This ultimately reduces the showering experience.

However, high-pressure shower heads can induce a proper showering experience thanks to the high water output.

  • Health Issues

Winner: High flow

Low flow shower heads often fail to properly cover each and every area. This might lead to skin problems in the long run. Again, low-flow shower heads tend to have uneven water heating and it also runs the chance of pouring scalding water.

But the high flow shower heads don’t suffer from any such issues as there’s high force and zero delays.

  • More Features


Winner: High flow

High-flow shower heads can be a therapeutic experience thanks to the massage feature offered by many shower heads. There are also features that mimic rain, mist, and even a steady stream.

The low-flow shower head, however, is stuck with a single constant stream as it uses less water.

  • Water Flow

Winner: Low flow

This one is a no-brainer. Low-flow shower heads pump out less water while the high flow ones gush out more. 

The flow of the water has a strong impact on the overall time and experience of the shower. While the higher flow does save time, it eventually results in more water usage than necessary.

NB. Don’t have enough water pressure in your shower head, read our article on how to increase shower head water pressure here, which will give you a clear idea to solve this issue. 

  • Water Pressure

Winner: High flow

High flow shower heads have more pressure which allows for a more pleasant bathing experience. The low-flow often creates a pressure deficit and causes lags which might be irritating for many.

  • Temperature Control

Winner: High flow

High-flow shower heads can better control the temperature as it maintains a steady stream.

The main issue with low-flow shower heads is that water moves slower through the shower head compared to the heating process. As a result, older low-flow shower heads run the risk of uneven temperature control.

PS. When it comes to temperature control, the most common question people ask is “Can a shower head affect water temperature?”. To know the answer, read this.

  • Energy and Bill Saving

Winner: Low flow

The low-flow shower head uses less water which in turn consumes less energy. High-flow shower heads are notorious for raking up water bills.

Higher flow means that the stored water runs out much faster than low flow ones. This results in more refills which require extra energy. Plus the high water consumption simply compounds the cost.

On a side note: There are great benefits to using a low-flow shower head, to know them in detail click here.

  • Water Consuming

Winner: Low flow

Low-flow shower heads consume less water compared to high-pressure shower heads. The reserve of fresh water is going down across the globe. while recycling water seems like a great option, it still isn’t equivalent to high water consumption. 

As a result, it’s important to recognize the need for water saving. And low flow shower heads are a step in the right direction. 

  • Time-Saving

Winner: High flow

High flow shower heads save time as there’s no delay compared to low flow shower heads.

Anyone who has showered on low-flow heads knows the frustration of the slowly flowing water. It’s quite an irritating experience especially if you’re in a hurry. And if you’re a germophobe, chances are low-flow showers will never work out for you.

Recommended readingHO2ME High Pressure Handheld Shower Head Review

  • Environment Friendliness


Winner: Low flow

The environmental impact of low-flow shower heads is much less compared to high-flow ones as it better conserves water. That is mostly because of the amount of water saved by the low-flow shower heads. 

For example, a mere 2 GPM reduction in shower head pressure can save up to 100 dollars on yearly water bills. The less energy consumption reduces the overall carbon footprint and contributes to the global carbon reduction pledge.  

Low-flow Shower Head- Pros and Cons

Beyond the obvious environmental friendliness, low-flow shower heads also offer additional benefits. But it’s not without cons either. Here are the pros and cons of low-flow shower heads.



High Flow Shower Head- Pros and Cons

High flow shower heads are undoubtedly the best ones when it comes to shower experience. But there is more to it than a few minutes of heavy flow. And that brings us to the pros and cons of high-flow shower heads. 



Low vs. High-Pressure Shower Heads: Which One Should I Choose

In the end, the choice is only determined by what works for one and what not. Some people are environmental and wallet-conscious. For them, the low-flow shower head can be a perfect choice as it drastically reduces water consumption.

But others opt for the proper shower experience regardless of the cost and impact. While it’s technically not a viable proposition, for them, the high-flow shower heads would work perfectly.


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding low-flow and high-flow shower heads.

  • Is higher or lower GPM better for the shower head?

Lower GPM is better for shower heads. That is because high GPM causes higher pressure on the shower head and it might lead to potential mineral build-up over time compared to lower GPM. 

  • Is Low flow shower heads good?

Yes, low-flow shower heads are good. they consume less water, leave a minimal carbon footprint, and save a lot on bills.

  • What is a good flow rate for a shower head?

The ideal shower flow rate is 2.5 GPM. Anything more or less than that cannot be considered ideal.

  • Is a 2.5 GPM shower head good?

2.5 GPM is the standard mandated water flow rate in the USA. So, a 2.5 GPM shower head is definitely an optimum choice.

  • Does a higher GPM mean more pressure?

GPM means Gallons Per Minute and is calculated based on the gallon flow every minute. So yes, higher GPM means more water pressure.

  • Is a higher GPM better?

Higher GPM is better in the sense that it pushes out more water. Now based on preference, it can be both a good and bad thing.

  • What is the average household water flow rate?

The average household water flow rate is 3 to 4 GPM

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, both low-flow and high flow shower heads are excellent choices. It all comes down to which one suits the style of use and long-term sustainability. Low flow shower heads are universally acclaimed for their sustainability approach.

But that approach has always come at the cost of experience and the sheer joy of bathing. Let us know which one you prefer.


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