Want to save money but still have a hot and powerful shower? We investigate water-saving shower heads and eco shower gadgets

Eco shower heads

You might assume that taking a shower is more water-efficient than taking a bath, but that’s not necessarily the case.  The electric showers we test typically have a water flow rate of around four litres per minute. At this rate, it would take around 10 minutes to fill a bathtub, whereas a more powerful mixer or power shower could easily fill a tub in five minutes.

An eco shower head can be a great addition to a mixer and power shower, giving the feeling of higher pressure without actually using more water – meaning you can turn the dial down and save water.

Should you buy an eco shower head?

Eco shower heads

The shower head controls the flow and spray pattern of the water. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, and the design can directly affect water consumption. Here are some things to consider before buying: To check whether you could cut your water usage, put a 2-litre container on the shower floor. If it takes less than 12 seconds to fill when the shower is running on full, that’s the equivalent of it putting out 10 litres every minute. If that’s the case, you could benefit from a low-flow or water-saving shower head. A large and fixed shower head can’t be easily replaced with a new, more eco-friendly, head. It can also make a shower feel less powerful as the water is distributed over a larger area. Aerating shower heads mix water with air, reducing the overall amount of water that’s needed. Other water-saving shower heads reduce the flow rate, ‘pulsate’ the water or include a flow regulator to the shower hose to save water.

Can you use an eco shower head with an electric shower?

Eco shower heads are usually not recommended for use with electric showers.  Eco shower heads fitted with an integrated flow regulator help you save water by restricting the water flow. However, restricting water flow can lead to water building up in the heater tank, causing the shower to overheat. For this reason, manufacturers often advise that you shouldn’t use eco shower heads on an electric shower, as this could damage the shower unit. Contact the manufacturer if you’re unsure. Electric showers are already water efficient, so you shouldn’t need to use an eco shower head with an electric shower anyway.

  Main shower types

This is the type of shower where the hose and spray are attached to your bath. The temperature and amount of water are adjusted through the taps, giving you more control of the amount of water you use. This can be useful, as it gives you the freedom to reduce pressure and temperature, saving both energy and water.

Eco shower heads

An electric shower is essentially a water heater, which rapidly heats cold water as it flows towards the shower head. Many have eco modes that reduce the pressure, saving both energy and water for when you don’t need such a powerful shower. As part of our testing we try out every eco mode for the water flow and energy use. Our electric shower reviews reveal those with good eco modes.

Manual mixer showers
Eco shower heads

This is a popular and cost-effective shower, where the hose and spray come out of a wall unit and there’s a temperature control that mixes the hot and cold water supply.  Depending on the pressure and temperature controls, it can be difficult to precisely and quickly adjust to save water and energy, so think about this before buying.

Power shower

Eco shower heads

Power showers use an electric pump that allows you to adjust the pressure and water temperature. This type of shower is the worst for water use and can quickly use more water than a bath.

Power showers use an electric pump that allows you to adjust the pressure and water temperature. This type of shower is the worst for water use and can quickly use more water than a bath.

Where to buy an eco shower head

When shopping online, you’ll see lots of eco shower heads on online marketplaces. When shopping online, not from a reputable seller, make sure to check their returns policy. Popular retailers that stock eco shower heads include:

Screwfix sells eco shower heads from Mira and Hansgrohe, ranging from £30 to £35.

Amazon has a vast selection of eco shower heads, most of which are from small ‘unknown’ brands that use mineral beads, claimed to soften the water.

Victorian Plumbing has a large range of eco shower heads from Mira and Hansgrohe, with some costing more than £200. Discover which retailers are rated highly by Which? members with our expert guide on the best and worst DIY shops.

Water-saving shower gadgets

Eco shower heads

There are plenty of water-saving gadgets that time how long you’re taking and the water you’re using and alert you when you’ve been in too long.  Your water company may also supply free water-saving gadgets for your shower. These include: a shower-flow regulator that screws into the bottom of your shower hose simple shower timers in the shape of an egg timer that attach to your shower wall with a suction cup.  Check with your water company to see what freebies it offers.

Top water-saving tips for showers

1. Keep your showers under five minutes 

Time them to see how long you typically take and use a water-saving timer that lets you know when you’ve exceeded 35 litres of water.

2. Don’t leave your shower running 

Try not to run your shower before you get in. If you can, keep your shower set at your preferred temperature so you don’t have to spend time adjusting it before use.

3. Adjust your shower power 

We all love a powerful shower, but think about if you can live with a less powerful one. Simply using a lower setting is one of the best ways to reduce your water and energy use.

4. Fix drips

Over time, the water that escapes from a dripping shower adds up. Get it fixed to avoid needless water waste.

Eco Shower Heads Reviews

Triton Martinique 9.5kw review

Test scoreShow Context

71%

Key features

  • Standard electric shower
Compare

verdict: Reasonable, but some controls lack finesse.

The Triton Martinique electric shower is efficient with good water flow and it heats water quickly. It includes some useful features in regards to spray options and technology to reduce limescale build-up, but the button controls are wobbly which detracts from a feeling of quality, and the ‘economy’ mode failed to heat water to our 40°C target temperature.

Pros
  • Efficient
  • Good water flow
  • Water reaches a good temperature in ’high’ mode
  • Good temperature stability in ‘Economy’ mode
  • Five spray patterns
  • Easy to adjust shower head
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Disappointing button controls
  • Temperature change due to pressure drop could be lower
  • ‘Economy’ mode failed to reach 40°C

Triton Zenica 9.5kw review

£85.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

74%

Key features

  • Standard electric shower
Compare

 verdict: Limited features, but works well.

This shower put in a respectable performance in our tests. It’s easy to install, intuitive to use, provides a good amount of water on all settings and is efficient to boot. However, it’s very limited in terms of features – there’s no on/off button or spray pattern options – and the controls aren’t quite as easy to use when they’re wet compared with some other models.

Pros
  • Heats water well on ‘high’ and ‘economy’ modes
  • Stable temperature in ‘economy’ mode
  • Efficient
  • Easy to install
  • Intuitive to use
Cons
  • Limited features
  • Temperature rises higher than many when an additional demand is made of the water supply
  • Triton Excite+ 9.5kw review

    £115.00Typical price

    Test scoreShow Context

    79%

    Key features

    • Standard electric shower
    Compare

    verdict: Good value

    The temperature control of the shower is excellent as long as there are no other demands on your water supply while showering. The ease of use, range of shower patterns and efficiency of this model make it a good compromise of feature, performance and value.

    Pros
    • Very easy to use
    • Heats to high temperatures on both settings
    • Spray pattern options
    • Easy shower height adjustment
    • Very good temperature stability
    • Fairly quick to recover temperature if  toilet flushed or tap turned on
    Cons
    • Installation could be easier
    • Temperature rises by 5°C if additional demand placed on water supply

    Dials could be easier to grip when wet

    Redring Pure 9.5kw review

    £52.00Typical price

    Test scoreShow Context

    80%

    Key features

    • Standard electric shower
    Compare

    verdict: Keenly priced, simple and efficient Best Buy.

    The Redring Pure 9.5kW Instantaneous is a simply designed, efficient and effective Best Buy. It’s comparatively cheap to buy and run, and for a shower at this low price point it works very well to maintain a relatively stable temperature. It’s a rare treat to have an easy-to-use, one-handed shower head adjustment on models at this price point, although the Pure’s shower head only has one spray pattern and it’s not the quietest of showers.

    Pros
    • Good temperature stability
    • Efficient
    • Simple
    • Intuitive to use
    Cons
    • Lacks extra features
    • Not the quietest shower

    Mira Jump Multi-Fit Electric 9.5kW review

    Test scoreShow Context

    83%

    Key features

    • Standard electric shower
    • Non-thermostatic
    Compare

    verdict: A great electric shower available at a reasonable price

    The Mira Jump Multi-Fit is an excellent shower and a Which? Best Buy. It’s very reasonably priced, delivers a good amount of hot water at a steady temperature and is simple to fit and to use.

    Pros
    • Easy to install and to use
    • Maintains very steady water temperature
    • Mostly unaffected by changes in water pressure
    • Eco mode cuts water and energy use in half
    •  
    Cons
    • Not the most stylish or advanced

      Redring Pure 9.5kw review

      £52.00Typical price

      Test scoreShow Context

      80%

      Key features

      • Standard electric shower
      Compare

       verdict: Keenly priced, simple and efficient Best Buy.

      The Redring Pure 9.5kW Instantaneous is a simply designed, efficient and effective Best Buy. It’s comparatively cheap to buy and run, and for a shower at this low price point it works very well to maintain a relatively stable temperature. It’s a rare treat to have an easy-to-use, one-handed shower head adjustment on models at this price point, although the Pure’s shower head only has one spray pattern and it’s not the quietest of showers.

      Pros
      • Good temperature stability
      • Efficient
      • Simple
      • Intuitive to use
      Cons
      • Lacks extra features
      • Not the quietest shower

        Mira Go 9.5kW review

        £90.00Typical price

        Test scoreShow Context

        73%

        Key features

        • Standard electric shower
        • Non-thermostatic
        Compare

        verdict: Pretty good

        This is a pretty good electric shower. It delivers a reasonable amount of hot water and keeps the temperature pretty stable. And at under £100, it’s a pretty good deal too.

        Pros
        • Decent flow rate
        • Pretty stable water temperature
        • Inexpensive
        Cons
        • Slow to return to normal temperature when water pressure drops
        • Only one spray pattern

          Redring Pure 9.5kw review

          £52.00Typical price

          Test scoreShow Context

          80%

          Key features

          • Standard electric shower
          Compare

          verdict: Keenly priced, simple and efficient Best Buy.

          The Redring Pure 9.5kW Instantaneous is a simply designed, efficient and effective Best Buy. It’s comparatively cheap to buy and run, and for a shower at this low price point it works very well to maintain a relatively stable temperature. It’s a rare treat to have an easy-to-use, one-handed shower head adjustment on models at this price point, although the Pure’s shower head only has one spray pattern and it’s not the quietest of showers.

          Pros
          • Good temperature stability
          • Efficient
          • Simple
          • Intuitive to use
          Cons
          • Lacks extra features
          • Not the quietest shower

            Bristan Glee 9.5kW review

            £105.00Typical price

            Test scoreShow Context

            69%

            Key features

            • Standard electric shower
            • Non-thermostatic

            Compare

             verdict: OK, although we’ve seen better

            While some elements of the Glee work well, the shower struggles if anyone else uses the water supply at the same time. And although the eco mode is great for cutting costs, you’ll have to accept cooler temperatures, as our tests show it can’t get as hot as it can on the high power mode.

            Pros
            • Modern design
            • LCD display
            • Delivers a decent volume of water
            Cons
            • Only manages warm temperature on eco mode
            • The temperature fluctuates if someone else uses the water supply

            Redring Pure 9.5kw review

            £52.00Typical price

            Test scoreShow Context

            80%

            Key features

            • Standard electric shower
            Compare

            verdict: Keenly priced, simple and efficient Best Buy.

            The Redring Pure 9.5kW Instantaneous is a simply designed, efficient and effective Best Buy. It’s comparatively cheap to buy and run, and for a shower at this low price point it works very well to maintain a relatively stable temperature. It’s a rare treat to have an easy-to-use, one-handed shower head adjustment on models at this price point, although the Pure’s shower head only has one spray pattern and it’s not the quietest of showers.

            Pros
            • Good temperature stability
            • Efficient
            • Simple
            • Intuitive to use
            Cons
            • Lacks extra features
            • Not the quietest shower