What Is A Handheld Shower Head?

What Is A Handheld Shower Head?

Personal hygiene is one of the most important means to ensure that you stay healthy, and of course, there are the social ramifications of poor hygiene. There are many ways to practice good hygiene, from brushing your teeth to washing your face. Today, we are going to be looking at one of the fundamental aspects of personal hygiene: washing off.

Washing your hair and body is the primary method which you can use to maintain your personal hygiene. The primary source of body odor is neglecting to wash off after a period of time longer than a day. Your hair must also be cared for as it may get greasy or oily after going without a wash.

If you want to clean off after a long day, you have a choice of two options: you can opt to take a bath, or you can shower. While baths are indeed relaxing, most people tend to reserve them for special occasions and stressful days since they tend to take a while and they require a little more preparation.

A Handheld Shower Head

Showers, on the other hand, have a few advantages over baths. For example, a shower is quick and convenient. If you want to wash off without taking a decent chunk of time out of your day, a shower is usually the only way to go. There are other advantages to showers besides speed, however.

A shower sprays water all over your body, so you will find that it provides the best method of ensuring that you are thoroughly clean. When you take a bath, there are parts of your body which may not end up getting sufficiently wet for proper cleaning due to the stagnant water.

In a shower, the water jets are emitted from a shower head. As you know, all you have to do is set the temperature of your water, and you will be good to go. Shower temperature has been a matter of debate for decades now, and both sides of this debate have something to say for their preferred temperature.

Shower temperature is not what we are going to be looking at, however. Today, we are going to be discussing shower heads. More specifically, we will be taking a look at handheld shower heads and everything about them, all the way from their specifications to their advantages over other shower heads.

Before we get started with the specifics, however, we are going to have to go through the basics so we can make sure that all of our readers are on the same page.

What Is A Handheld Shower Head?

Most of us are already familiar with the traditional shower head. The part of your shower which turns the flow of water from your pipes into a more comfortable jet or spray so you can shower more comfortably and effectively. A handheld shower head does the same thing, but a little differently.

While a handheld shower head will still function similarly to a regular shower head, there are a few key differences. For one, a handheld shower head will not be connected directly to your plumbing like a typical model; it will instead be connected to the pipes through a flexible hose to ensure that it can be moved.

 the best Handheld Shower Head

The term "handheld" comes into play because these shower heads are meant to be used manually, so you can manipulate them yourself and spray water where you want to clean.

This usually allows you to get a much more thorough clean than with a typical shower head since you can get a greater amount of reach.

Keep in mind that handheld shower heads can also be used as if they are traditional shower heads since they usually come with a mounting bracket that they can be placed in.

Many handheld shower heads also tend to come with a host of extra features that you may not find in fixed shower heads.

Types Of Shower Heads


This is the most common and straightforward type of shower head that you will come across. Fixed shower heads are so named because they are attached to the wall, which makes them easier to install and simpler to hook up to your plumbing. They have a few advantages when compared to handheld shower heads, but not many.

Fixed shower heads are typically more affordable since they require a less sophisticated design since they don't have to be detached from the wall. The water feed can remain uninterrupted by any motion since it is attached directly to the wall and your plumbing.

Fixed shower heads have another advantage in that they can emit a more powerful spray of water since it does not need to travel through a flexible hose to reach the shower head. Instead, the water comes directly from your plumbing, so it does not have to travel anywhere near as far.

Handheld Shower Head

A handheld shower head is meant to be used while you hold it, and it is usually detachable from its mounting for this very purpose. Keep in mind that handheld shower heads will usually be more expensive than regular fixed models. However, since they have become more popular over time, you will find that the price difference is not that extreme.

Handheld Shower Head

Handheld shower heads can usually be installed in most showers without the need for special provisions as they hook up to your plumbing rather similarly to regular models.

The main difference is that the shower head itself is not the part that connects to the piping. Instead, the feed hose connects to the pipes.

Handheld shower heads make it much easier to shower since you will be able to wash areas like your armpits more easily.

You no longer have to contort your body just so you can get certain parts of your body wet, which will make it much easier to shower as well as much more comfortable.


Shower Head Dimensions

You should consider the size of a handheld shower head before you buy it since it will be easier to hold if it is larger. A larger shower head will have more room for a handle, so you will have fewer difficulties getting a good grip, especially since your hands will likely be wet in the shower and you don’t want to drop it.

Keep in mind that a shower head which is larger will also be heavier, so it may get a little more cumbersome for you to use it while you are showering. A heavier shower head will also necessitate a more sturdy mounting bracket since it will weigh down on it.

The size of your shower head will also dictate the size and dispersion of the water jets since there will be more room on the underside of the shower head for nozzles. The more narrow a shower head is, the fewer water jets that it will be able to disperse, which usually results in a harder flow.

Function Options And Adjustable Settings

Many shower heads come with different options so you can adjust the spray to your liking. Handheld shower heads are no exception to this rule. There are several different types of spray options to cater to your needs and your preferences. There are also different types of default spray patterns.

The default spray patterns in handheld shower heads tend to be differentiated by the number of separate water jets that are emitted from your shower head. For example, the most affordable shower head models you come across will feature a single, powerful jet of water that can get rather uncomfortable.

Function Options And Adjustable Settings

The rule typically goes as such: the greater the number of water jets, the more soothing and comfortable that your shower will tend to be.

This is because each jet will feel lighter on your skin when compared to a single large jet that will feel like it is beating down on your back.

Some types of shower heads will let you adjust the number of jets so that you can opt for a different kind of shower depending on your preferences.

 There are other options, however, in addition to the number of water jets that come out of your shower head. For example, some models feature a pulse setting.

Pulse settings on shower heads accomplish what you would assume they do from the name: they pulse the stream of water either on and off or from low to high intensity. This usually feels more therapeutic, since you do not have a constant water flow speed that you can get accustomed to.

Other handheld shower heads will feature bubblers, which will add air to the water stream to make the water droplets bubbly and lighter on your skin. Some people prefer this setting for their shower head since it makes it feel like you aren't even taking a shower.

One of the more advanced settings you will find in handheld shower heads is a massage functionality, which is the opposite of options which make the water stream lighter. Massage options instead make the water stream hit you harder so they can massage your body during your shower.

There are several different types of massage settings, from regular constant flow massages to pulsating massages which vary in terms of intensity, so you don't get used to them. Keep in mind that shower heads which feature additional functions and adjustable stream intensity will be pricier than their alternatives.

Shower Hose Length

Another important aspect to consider is the length of your shower hose, which will be mainly influenced by the size of your shower. A longer shower hose will give you more freedom in the shower since you will be able to move around more, but it also has a few drawbacks, such as a need for increased water pressure.

A longer shower hose means that the water has to travel further through the hose to get to the shower head itself. The water gradually loses force as it goes through the hose, but this is largely not an issue for modern showers in which the water pressure will remain constant and still be pushed out.

Shower Hose Length Handheld Shower Head


Chrome Handheld Shower Head

Chrome is one of the more attractive materials that your shower head can be made out of because of its shiny luster. You will find that chrome has several other advantages besides its looks, however. Chrome is made out of chromium, which is a metal which has many properties that make it ideal for use in the shower.

The main reason why chrome is so popular in shower heads is that it has a large amount of corrosion resistance, which ensures that your shower head will not end up rusting. This is crucial for a shower head since shower heads are quite literally made to project water.

Since water tends to help corrode other metals faster, you will find that a shower head which is plated with chrome is a great way to prevent this from happening. Corrosion will not only ruin the integrity of your shower head, but it may also pose a danger to your health.

Stainless Steel Handheld Shower Head

Stainless steel is a type of steel which has been alloyed and treated to ensure that it will not rust. As with chrome, it is a kind of metal which is highly resistant to corrosion, which makes it ideal for use in shower heads. You will find that stainless steel is a common metal, so it will not be overly pricey.

Unfortunately, stainless steel is also a rather dense metal, so you will find that your shower head may be heavier than otherwise if it is made out of it. Stainless steel can have one of two finishes, it may either be polished, which results in a shiny sheen, or it can be brushed, which makes it look duller.

Brushed Nickel Handheld Shower Head

Brushed nickel is another material which is commonly used to construct shower heads; you will find that it has a few advantages when compared to the other materials. Nickel is a very durable metal, which makes for a shower head that is much more resistant to damage than usual.

Like all of the other metals which are used in the construction of shower heads, brushed nickel also has a high level of corrosion resistance, which we have already labeled as crucial in shower heads. Nickel also demonstrates a good degree of resistance to sudden temperature shifts, which helps when you change the water temperature.

How To Install A Handheld Shower Head

Many people are intimidated by the idea of installing their handheld shower heads, and they instead choose to have them professionally installed. This can make your shower head installation much more pricey as contractors will usually charge a premium price to do so.

Learning how to install your shower head can save you money and effort when you are swapping out your old one. The only things you will need to replace your shower head is a bit of plumber's tape and an adjustable wrench. The wrench will allow you to loosen the current shower head and tighten the new one.

How To Install A Handheld Shower Head

To remove the current shower head, you have to tighten or loosen your wrench to the size of the nut which keeps your shower head attached and then turn the nut counter-clockwise. Once the shower head nut has been removed, you can simply take off the whole thing.

Once the shower head has been removed, you must wrap a layer of plumber's tape around the threads before putting on the new shower head. Proceed to screw on the handheld shower head according to the instructions; they will tell you whether or not you can just do it with your hands or if you need the wrench.



The Delta Faucet Company is a manufacturer of plumbing products such as faucets and shower heads. They are an American company that was founded in 1920. They are best known for inventing the single handle faucet which combines the controls for hot water and cold water into one for added simplicity.

Their shower heads are just as capable as their faucets, however. They typically manufacture products that may be a little more pricey than the competition, but they also feature several advantages. Delta handheld shower heads are usually superior in terms of build quality than others.


Moen is a company which is based in North Olmsted, Ohio, and was founded in 1956. Al Moen, the founder, was one of the first pioneers of faucets, revolutionizing their designs and their construction. Moen was another company that aided the introduction of faucets with a single handle.

Moen specializes in the manufacture of high-end shower heads which are sold for a high price but in return offer incredible reliability and sophisticated aesthetics. Their products often tend to come included with many extra features and different spray settings.


Hydroluxe is a brand of the company IP Showers, which stands for Interlink Products. They have been in business for over 20 years, and they are based in America, more specifically, Linden, New Jersey. They specialize in the making of products related to showers, including shower heads, making models that are both fixed and handheld.

Hydroluxe showers tend to be more affordable than a lot of the competition, but this does not mean that their products are lacking regarding quality. If you are not looking to spend a large sum of money on your handheld shower head, but you still want something effective, Hydrolux is likely the best option.


You may have previously heard of Waterpik, but not for their showerheads. They are based in Fort Collins, Colorado, and they were first founded in 1962. Waterpik is best known for their manufacture of water flossers, and not shower heads, with Waterpik having become a catch-all name for water flossers.

While their primary specialization is water flossers, you will find that they tend to operate on similar principles to shower heads, namely in projecting a stream of water. Waterpik manufactures handheld shower heads that feature more powerful streams and a variety of choices of settings.


Grohe is another manufacturer of faucets and shower heads, they are based in Dusseldorf, Germany, and they were founded in 1936. Up until recently, the company has only had success in the European market, but they have since expanded their business to include American consumers.

You will find that their handheld shower heads are designed in a very minimalistic fashion. This minimalism only extends to their aesthetic design, and not their functionality, however. You will find that their shower heads come included with just as many features as much of the competition.

Maintenance And Cleaning

Ensuring that your shower heads are properly maintained is not difficult, and it is quite simple to clean them. When it comes to making sure your shower head is clean, you can always wash it off with soapy water or more powerful cleaning products if there is a stain that will not come off.

Always ensure that you thoroughly rinse your shower head of any remaining cleaning products before using it, however. There is not much that you will have to do for your shower head in terms of maintenance aside from ensuring that it does not leak.

Maintenance And Cleaning Handheld Shower Head

There are a few things that you need to do when your shower head starts to leak. The first step will be to unscrew the shower head and ensure that the threads are clear of any built up residue and that the plumbing tape is still positioned securely over the threads.

The plumbing tape ensures a tight fit which will not leak. Once this is done, all you have to do is reattach the shower head and tighten it sufficiently.


We hope that we have provided all of the information on handheld shower heads that you have been searching for. You should now move on to our handheld shower head buying guide in which we go over five of the best models that you can choose to invest in.

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