You deserve to relax. Unfortunately, spa visits and regular massages probably aren’t a practical option on a daily basis.
What Is a Handheld Shower Head
When you use a traditional, wall-mounted shower head, your shower is just a chore.
However, with the installation of a top-notch handheld shower head, your shower becomes a spa, a massage chair, a sanctuary of self-care.
With an adjustable hose, separate handheld head and multiple spray settings, these shower heads are a much more flexible alternative to fixed spouts.
From water-saving modes to massage settings, their features promote an easier, more enjoyable showering experience.
Benefits of Using a Handheld Shower Head
From the ease of cleaning to the flexibility of use, handheld units will have you spending less time scrubbing your tub and more time taking advantage of massaging features.
The reach and flexibility provided by handheld units make for the best showering experience. Where traditional, fixed heads fall short, a handheld head is sure to hit all the right spots.
Unless you have the luxury of being able to hire someone to do the job for you, it’s safe to say you have to scrub your own shower regularly.
A handheld shower head isn’t just practical for cleaning, it also makes it easier to keep your shower clean.
Especially if you use a back shaver or do your bodily landscaping with the best trimmer for pubic hair, there’s a good chance your rinsing hair and other gunk into hard-to-reach corners of your shower.
Thankfully, the extending hose makes it possible to reach more corners, making it possible to tackle lime buildup and grime from all angles.
While traditional shower heads have streams that only hit about 60% of the area of your shower, a handheld unit can usually clean almost any corner.
There’s only so much washing you can do when the water from your shower head is only hitting you at one angle.
With the added flexibility of a handheld head, you can easily reach any body part or angle that a standard unit might miss.
This makes it especially ideal for the elderly, who might struggle to move and position themselves underneath the stream of a fixed unit.
For those who struggle with mobility, handheld products aren’t just a convenient option, but also an incredibly safer one.
Towering basketball players and those who proclaim themselves fun-sized know that showers aren’t created with all heights in mind.
If you’re exceptionally tall or a little bit fun-sized, you’ve probably noticed that showers aren’t exactly designed with all heights in mind.
Chances are you’ve struggled to position yourself under fixed shower heads at some point in your life.
Stop making limbo moves to wash your hair because handheld shower heads are designed with people of all sizes in mind. Their adjustable angles make it easy for anyone to take a shower comfortably.
It also makes it easy to wash pets or specific body parts (like dirty feet) with no mess or drama.
For example, if you’re aware of the many beard soap benefits and you regularly sud up your chin in the shower, then you have the power to aim the shower head directly at your beard.
If you’re back is turned beet-red from too much time on the beach, chances are you won’t want to use the same jet settings like a pro athlete wanting to press the kinks out of his neck and shoulders.
Different shower needs require different water settings – after all, you wouldn’t want to blast your natural face wash off with a high-powered wash setting. You’d probably opt for something gentler.
Thankfully, there’s something for everyone with handheld shower heads.
From a gentle mist to a straight, solid jet stream and everything in between, there’s bound to be a water pressure and pattern setting that works for you.
How to Choose the Best Handheld Shower Head
The perfect shower head isn’t just a utility device, it’s a decorative statement.
On top of wanting a unit that’s going to meet the needs of your showering routine, you probably want one that’s going to blend with your bathroom decor and save you money on your water bill.
From head sizes and style to hose length and price, here are several important elements to consider before buying your brand new handheld shower head.
Style and finish
Units come in a wide array of materials from brass, bronze, chrome, nickel, stainless steel and plastic (to name a few).
Which you’ll select depends greatly on your needs and the decorative theme of your bathroom. Usually, you want to select a metal that matches the faucets and knobs of your bathroom.
However, you should also consider ease of cleaning when picking a style and finish.
If you want a shower head that’s not going to rust or collect grime, you might select high-quality ABS plastic.
These are often lighter than their metal competitors, though arguably less attractive.
Bigger isn’t always better, but if you’re after a more luxurious showering experience, a larger head might deliver what you’re looking for.
Units that have a bigger diameter tend to be a bit fancier – they have more ample streams, more settings and cover more area.
The downside is that they’re heavy and may also rinse a hole in your water bill budget. For lightweight options that conserve water, you might consider a smaller head size.
Hose length should correspond directly to shower size. In a spacious shower, a lengthy hose will allow you to clean all corners and conveniently scrub anywhere on your own body.
In fact, some hoses can stretch to as long as over seven feet. However, if shower space is a hot commodity in your bathroom, you might opt for a shorter hose.
Not only do smaller showers don’t need the same magnitude of reach, but they also get cramped with the presence of a larger hose.
What if you were told that statistically speaking, your new shower will probably be in your life longer than your significant other?
When the average romantic relationship lasts a handful of years, many handheld shower heads have lifetime warranties.
Your new unit will be in your life for a long time, so it makes sense to invest in quality.
Higher-tier products don’t just look better, they usually fit better and work more efficiently, which cuts down on your water bill.
Because you’ll be saving money on your utilities after your purchase, you can definitely justify going ahead and splurging on a high-quality shower head.
Does the water pressure in your home trickle out or does it burst at the seams and explode?
When purchasing a product that’s going to fit well with your shower and needs, you have to consider your home’s overall water pressure.
If your water pipes already struggle to deliver sufficient water pressure, then a huge, jet-powered unit is going to turn your weak stream into a sad little drip.
Thankfully, there’s a quality shower head even for homes with low-pressure water systems and finding the right fit can even help minimize the problems caused by low pressure.
So you’ve got your head lathered up in your brand new, fancy men’s hair shampoo but what good is it if your shower is mounted too low to rinse it out comfortably?
Handheld shower units almost always have a wall-mounted base which holds the shower head. When selecting a new product, be sure to consider how tall your shower is.
Will the new unit fit? Also, think about what material the wall is made of and if you’ll be able to successfully (and safely) attach the wall mount to the side of your shower.
Again, in the long run, a high-quality shower head can actually save you money. If that means having to spring for a more expensive unit, go for it.
Standard units start at around $30, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to a top price.
Some luxurious, state-of-the-art products boast price tags as high as $500 or more, but don’t worry!
If you’re looking for a quality shower head that fits your budget, there’s plenty of middle-ground options on the market.
How to Install a Handheld Shower Head
Once you’ve selected your new shower head, it’s time to install it.
Installation is the key, as it doesn’t matter how nice of a unit you buy if you can’t get it installed correctly then it’s going to prove useless.
Besides the head itself, most products come with a mount, a hose and any washers and hardware necessary for installation.
Because the installation process for each unit is slightly different depending on style and design, be sure to specifically consult the product’s user manual for installation instructions.
Don’t get discouraged, though – if you read the directions and follow them, then installing your new shower head should be easy enough to do in your sleep (of course, fashionably clothed in a classy sleeping outfit for men).
Step 1 – Remove the old shower head
Always do this gently, and using the appropriate tools. If you’re not careful, removing the previous unit can easily cause damage to the shower which will be pricey to fix and make it more difficult to install the new handheld head.
The removal of any shower head usually involves the appropriately sized wrench and a counter-clockwise twist.
Step 2 – Clean
Wipe down the wall area around the removed shower head.
Often times, use of the previous head will leave mineral buildup and gunk that can prevent your new shower head from sitting flush with the wall.
Step 3 – Attach the hose
Next, you must attach the hose to the base. This will go differently depending on which movable shower head unit you’ve purchased, so be sure to closely follow the directions outlined in your product’s instruction manual.
Some good rules of thumb to remember, however, are never to tighten any bolts too firmly and always wipe away any residue or previous mineral buildup before fastening new parts.
Step 4 – Attaching to the wall
After hooking up the hose, most instruction manuals will then have you mount the base onto the wall.
The base is what holds the shower head so that you can use it as a traditional, stationary unit or remove it to take advantage of its handheld capabilities.
Again, the process for mounting your unit to the wall will vary slightly depending on the unit you’ve purchased.
Step 5 – Check for leaks
If you’ve done your homework and purchased a unit with appropriate measurements, if you’ve followed directions in the packaging and installed it carefully, then there shouldn’t be any issues here.
However, if it does leak, check the rubber washer located in the shower head.
Sometimes, if the washers are sitting crooked or if they have somehow been damaged during installation leaking will occur.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Shower Head
The cleaning and maintenance of your new handheld shower head is the same process as cleaning and maintenance for a traditional, fixed head, but perhaps a bit easier.
Even the best natural bar soap can leave residue on the shower floor when rinsed off your body.
To prevent rust and mineral buildup, regularly clean your unit with a designated shower cleaning product.
The buildup will also inevitably happen on the spray holes but can usually just be wiped off.
While soft rubber spray holes are the easiest type to clean, metal ones may require some type of soaking or chemical use.
In short, the cleaning of your new unit only needs to happen when you normally clean your shower and bathroom.
For the ultimate cleaning experience with the most ease, invest in bathroom-specific cleaning products and make the best pick for shower squeegee.
If the possibility of having as many as 40 water pattern and pressure settings in your shower has you looking at your wall-mounted, traditional shower head with contempt, that’s good news!
It’s easy and straightforward to select and install a dynamic handheld shower head and there’s bound to be one that suits all of your needs.
With some products having as many as 40 different water pressure settings, there’s definitely a product that hits all the right spots and suits your every need.
With all the trappings of a spa day, you might just want to grab some face masks, fancy lotion and think about buying a long robe for men.
Photos from: grigvovan / depositphotos.com, Vaicheslav / depositphotos.com and Lester120 / depositphotos.com.
- What Is a Handheld Shower Head
- Benefits of Using a Handheld Shower Head
- How to Choose the Best Handheld Shower Head
- How to Install a Handheld Shower Head
- How to Clean and Maintain Your Shower Head