Over 9 days we got 8 people to assess our 7 low-flow shower heads for the best combination of comfort (felt good) and effectiveness (got them clean) without heating up the power bill. At the end of the 9 days we had 8 squeaky-clean people – and a pile of wet towels!

All the models were mains-pressure shower heads. (See Pressure and flow for more about mains pressure.)

The trial was conducted in the same shower cubicle using the same mixer-control and slide-rail each time. The shower head and hose were changed every day.

To make changing the heads easy, we selected hand-held shower heads with a flexible hose. The shower heads could also be clipped into either a wall bracket or on to a slide-rail. Many of the models can be bought as fixed heads.

Tip: The Aquatica Eco Smarte and Eco-Stream are identical. They’re marketed under two names and sold by different retailers. The Mitre 10 Eco-Stream version was significantly cheaper.

We measured the mains water pressure and then the water flow for each head. The Aquatica/Eco-Stream and Feltonmix heads could be configured as high- or low-flow by fitting the supplied flow restrictor into the handle. We tried them in both configurations.

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