Metal vs Plastic Shower Head | Which Material is the Best?

Shower heads are the basic essential part of any modern bathroom. The innovation and development over the years have brought a myriad of shower head options ranging in design, functions, and materials. When it comes to materials, metal and plastic are still the most preferred ones.

The main difference between metal and plastic shower heads is their price and durability. Metal shower heads are more durable, heavy, and expensive. Compared to that, plastic shower heads are light and prone to damage but significantly cheaper than metal shower heads.

But that’s just the basic differentiation between the two. Here’s our detailed take on metal vs plastic shower heads so that you can decide which one best suits your needs.


Side-by-side Comparison: Metal vs Plastic Shower Head

In case you have less time, here is a nifty table showing the major differences between the two shower heads. Though it has everything is short, we suggest reading the latter explanation for better understanding.

Now Let’s Know The Differences in Details:

While the table above gives a slight idea about what works and what doesn’t, it doesn’t show the entire picture. Some aspects may seem like an issue but might actually work in your favor. So, let’s look at the differences in detail.


Winner: Metal

It’s no surprise that metal shower heads will trump the plastic-made ones in the durability section. A good metal shower head can last for a long time, whereas even the best plastic shower head doesn’t last more than a year or two, depending on several factors.

So metal shower heads easily take the win.

NB. Are you in search of the best shower head material? To find the best one, read our article on the best shower head materials here.


Winner: Metal

Metal shower heads also take the win in the looks department. The shiny or matte finish brings premium looks to the shower head unlike any other.

While most plastic shower heads come chrome plated to replicate the metallic looks, it doesn’t hold over time, and the plating eventually starts to chip away.

Available Shower Types

Winner: Plastic

When it comes to shower types, plastic shower heads offer a more diverse choice. Mainly because plastic shower heads are easier to modify as per the design needs of each bathroom.

On the other hand, metal shower heads are purpose designed as an upscale offering. And that is why the options are limited with metal shower heads.

More Feature Options

Winner: Plastic

Plastic shower heads tend to offer more features compared to metal shower heads. Most metal shower heads use a steady flow stream. That limits the features and functionality. On the other hand, the plastic shower heads offer different features like massage, mist, and stream.


Winner: Metal

Metal shower heads are easier to maintain compared to plastic shower heads. There is a common misconception that metal shower heads accrue more mineral deposition. But that’s not true. Metal shower heads can easily last a long time without having to repair or replace.

Corrosion, Rust, and Limescale

Winner: Metal

Another common misconception about metal shower heads is that they are prone to rust and corrosion with lime scaling. While it’s true that metals are prone to rust, corrosion and lime scaling occur more on plastic shower heads.

Environment Friendliness


Winner: Metal

Metal shower heads win when it comes to environmental friendliness. That is because of their durability. An average metal shower head will sustain three times more than a normal plastic shower head. So, the metal shower heads leave less footprint on the environment.


Winner: Metal

Metal shower heads are heavier compared to plastic shower heads. The high-density material ensures better heft to the shower head compared to a plastic option. Metal shower heads also hold up better against higher GPM water flow.


Winner: Metal

Metal shower heads are a better toxicity deterrent compared to plastic shower heads. Plastic shower heads are prone to build up bacteria and germs from water over time. They are also much more difficult to clean compared to metal shower heads.


Winner: Plastic

Plastic shower heads are much cheaper compared to metal shower heads. Most plastic shower heads cost one-third of the metal ones. So even if they are less durable, they can be replaced easily compared to standard metal shower heads.

Recommended reading: Shower Head Price Guide

Pros and Cons of Metal Shower Head

Metal shower heads are undoubtedly a more durable and pricier option compared to plastic shower heads. While it has its cons, the pros outweigh them.



Pros and Cons of Plastic Shower Head

The case is somewhat similar to plastic shower heads as well. In hindsight, it may not seem like plastic shower heads are as good as metal shower heads. But they offer incredible value for money. Now let’s look at the pros and cons of the plastic shower heads.



Metal Vs Plastic Shower Head: Which One Should I Choose?

Now, the all-important question, which one should you choose? There is no direct answer for this. Rather. the choice should be based on setup and budget.

Plastic shower heads are far cheaper than metal shower heads. Even though they are less durable, you can replace three or four plastic shower heads at the cost of one metal shower head.

And that makes the plastic shower head a perfect choice for those looking for a cheap and dynamic solution. On the other hand, the metal shower head is the perfect choice for a more affluent and typical upscale bath.

It offers less functionality and costs more. But metal shower heads hold the looks for a long time compared to plastic shower heads.


That’s all when it comes to the basic and important differences between a metal and plastic shower head. But there is more than meets the eyes. So here are some commonly asked questions.

What is the best material for a shower head?

The best material for a shower head is metal or brass. They are durable, corrosion resistant, and serve a long time compared to any other material.

What is the healthiest shower head?

The metal shower heads are healthier compared to other shower heads. Metal shower heads are not prone to depositions which is the main source of water-borne bacteria. That is why they are a safer option compared to plastic shower heads.

Do different shower heads make a difference?

Yes, they do. Plastic shower heads come with all types of functions which can regulate the water flow. Most metal shower heads simply offer a steady stream except for the super expensive high-end ones.

Which shower head has the strongest pressure?

The plastic shower head will provide the strongest pressure based on the GPM. It depends on the connection, flow as well as user settings.

Will a better shower head increase water pressure?

Not really. Water pressure itself is determined by the pipe that carries the water to the shower head connection point from the tank. If the pipe is large and the overhead pressure is high, there will automatically be high pressure on the shower head. You can control this high pressure to your liking using the shower head.

Final Thoughts

To wrap things up, both metal and plastic shower heads offer functionality to their respective user class. It’s really difficult to put one over the other as one brings durability while the other brings practical usability to the table.

While plastic shower heads are the most common sight in households, metal shower heads have their own user base. But we think that the low-price proposition of plastic shower heads makes them more popular compared to metal shower heads.

So which one are you planning on for your bathroom?

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