You might be surprised to learn that Americans have never heard of an electric shower unless they’re regular travellers. The technology isn’t used in the U.S. because they violate the country’s electrical codes, although poorly-wired ones are fairly common in Central and South America, here in the UK we have good quality control and safety.
That’s the Americans’ loss; even though electric showers may have a weaker flow than the ones connected to boilers, they’re energy-efficient because they only heat the amount of water you’re going to use, they can get you in and out of the shower in a jiffy, and they can even be used in areas like garages or poolside that don’t have heat or hot water.
Electric showers also prevent the terribly annoying experience of having your relaxing hot shower suddenly turn cold because someone has turned on the hot water elsewhere in your house. That’s because the water you’re washing with is heated inside the shower unit itself, and doesn’t go anywhere near the home’s boiler.
The best electric shower will deliver a wonderful experience, but the quality and performance of these units can vary widely. In reality, many issues sometimes reported have nothing to do with the shower itself; they’re due to poor cold water flow in the home or apartment or improper wiring. However, there are many variables to consider when deciding which electric shower to use in your bathroom and they will play a large role in whether your time under the showerhead is enjoyable or an ordeal. We’ve considered all of them, and here are our findings.
Top 10 Best Electric Showers
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What You Need To Consider
Before going any further, it’s important to note that electricity and water can be a dangerous combination. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t try to install a brand-new electric shower yourself; a qualified electrician who is registered with one of the Government-approved schemes will be sure to keep to the Building Regulations and install your shower safely. Replacing an existing unit with another is a much simpler task that most can handle on their own.
The most important factors in choosing an electric shower are safety and power. You can be sure about safety by purchasing a unit manufactured by a reputable company like Mira or Triton. Power ratings are a different matter, since most companies offer a selection of showers that operate at the common ratings between 7.5 and 10.5 kW. The higher the rating, the more water the shower will be able to heat – but the more it’s likely to cost. If a number of people will be using the shower in succession, or you’re a fan of long, luxurious sessions under the showerhead, a higher-rated unit will be worth the extra expenditure. Also think about the pressure of your home’s water supply – if it’s low, you should think about a pumped or powered electric shower which can increase the water volume dramatically.
Electric showers come complete with showerheads, so take a close look at the heads supplied with the models you’re considering. Most people consider multiple spray patterns, the ability to adjust water flow, and a showerhead that can swivel when in the cradle desirable. A head that’s easy to clean, needless to say, is also a major plus.
A brilliant feature on many higher-end models is the constant temperature control provided by so-called thermostatic technology. Even though you’re not dependent on the boiler for your supply of hot water, the use of mains water in another room can still trigger a sudden drop or rise in your shower’s temperature. Thermostatic showers ensure that the water temperature remains within a few degrees of its setting. The best power shower will also feature phased shutdown, which runs cold water through the entire system after you turn off the hot water to cut down on the inevitable buildup of limescale.
Installation is one aspect most people don’t consider until after they’ve made their purchase. These units attach to the wall by a riser rail, and a long, adjustable rail will give you maximum flexibility to use already-drilled holes. It will also allow you to easily change the height of the showerhead later on. Another positive is a shower with several entry points for power and water, which will make installation much simpler.
Many newer models have additional functions which certainly aren’t necessary, but are definitely nice to have. Digital controls provide full control over temperature and flow settings, LCD screens display information like the current water temperature, and some electric showers will even have memory settings so you can easily save your preferred flow speed and temperature for later use.
Finally, there are the considerations you’d have in mind for any type of shower: anti-kink hoses, noise, color and finish – and naturally, the final cost. We’ve taken all of these into account in choosing our top 10 best showers you can buy, so you can spend less time comparing and shopping and more time enjoying that relaxing hot shower you’ve been craving ever since you began reading.
Let’s get to it.
Top 10 Electric Shower Reviews
1. Mira Event XS Thermostatic Power Shower
Before we look at standard electric showers we’re going to look at a terrific “power shower” – which is a very different animal. The Event XS doesn’t heat cold water; it mixes your home’s hot and cold water and then pumps it through the showerhead with much greater force. However, this type of unit is often called an electric shower because it uses an electric pump. The Mira Event has easy-to-use knobs to control the temperature and pressure and a handset with four spray patterns; there’s a flexible metal hose, a slide bar and separate soap dish that mounts on the wall. This relatively-expensive shower from a respected manufacturer will still depend on hot water supplied by your boiler, but it will provide a blissful blast of water.
2. Triton Seville 8.5kW Electric Shower
We’re now on to “real” electric showers that work from your mains water, and our first product is a lower-powered, lower-priced model from a great British company. An 8.5kW shower isn’t going to be as robust as one that’s, say, 10.5kW. But in many homes it’s more than enough to get the job done. The Triton’s two dials control power (with three settings) and stabilised temperature, there are five showerhead spray patterns with an adjustable showerhead holder, plus a chrome and white riser rail with integral soap dish. There are also five water and wire entry points for easy installation, meaning the Seville can be easily used to replace an older electric shower. The company does make five higher-level models, but this one checks all the boxes for a basic, reliable electric shower.
3. Mira Sport 9.0kW
We’re partial to Mira and Triton products because of their proven track record, and this Mira 9.0kW unit is as good as you’d expect. It’s obviously more powerful than the Triton we’ve just examined (9.0 vs 8.5kW), but it also has a dual element heater tank so it operates at lower temperatures. Why does that matter? The cooler operating temperatures mean there will be less limescale buildup, a particular benefit for those who live in areas where limescale water conditions are a big problem (like many sections of London). There are the usual two control knobs with four operating modes including Eco, four spray settings and an adjustable showerhead holder on the riser rail with integrated soap dish. The Sport isn’t optimal when it comes to entry points with just two for power (but six for water), but it’s a very good performer.
4. Trueshopping Stainless Steel Thermostatic Modern Bathroom Shower Tower Panel Column
Wow, that’s quite a name – and this isn’t even an electric shower. However, it’s a stunning shower panel for a modern bathroom whether you favor a traditional shower or an electric one. Don’t worry about the “Trueshopping” label; this slim unit is actually manufactured by Hudson Reed and is of very high quality. The stylish chrome panel is slim and contemporary with a fixed rainshower head, two inset body jets and a hand shower, and the thermostatic function maintains temperature extremely well. It requires 2 bar of water pressure which shouldn’t be an issue for most – and it’s simply gorgeous. Just remember this is an addition to a shower, not a shower itself.
5. Mira 1.1643.001 9 kW Advance ATL Thermostatic
This white and chrome electric shower has the same performance rating as the Mira Sport reviewed earlier. What makes it different is the “ATL” in its name. ATL stands for “advanced temperature limit” and means that you can choose from eight maximum temperature settings, each of which can be maintained to a level of +/- 1° thanks to a terrific thermostatic control system. The showerhead has four spray patterns and is mounted with a friction bracket so it’s easily moved, and the sleek control panel has just one knob to control the temperature settings with a backlit button to move through power levels. The Advance includes phased shutdown as well. It’s rather pricey, but worth it; we consider this the best shower we’ve reviewed. (Mira also makes a 9.8kW version of this electric shower.)
6. Triton Martinique 10.5kW
Lots of oomph. The strength of your shower shouldn’t be an issue with this slimline Triton model that runs at a 10.5kW power level. It has a variable stabilised temperature knob and push button controls which operate on a “set and forget” mode, so you can just push the “start” button for your next shower and your settings will be remembered. There are five sprays on the showerhead with an adjustable holder on the riser rail, plus phased shutdown. The only negative is that there are only two entry points; the positive outweighing that is that the Martinique is sold at a surprisingly low price level. One important note: any electric shower with a 9.5kW or higher power level may require an independent circuit and 10mm cabling. Be sure to consult a qualified electrician if necessary.
7. Creda 53557581 10.5kW All Chrome
Another unit made in the UK, this attractive chrome electric shower provides lots of power, temperature stabilisation, an eco mode, memory settings and phased shutdown, although there are just three spray settings on the limescale-resistant showerhead and there are only single entry points for electricity and water. It’s a beautiful unit at a decent price, though, and we’d be likely to choose it if we were of a mind to favor form over function.
8. GROHE NTempesta 100, 9.5 kW
The German-made GROHE NTempesta is one of the few electric showers we’ve looked at that is white and grey rather than white and chrome (although the shower hose is chrome-plated), so you should factor that into your decision-making. However, it’s a good performer at the 9.5kW level, and getting up and running is easier than with many comparable units because of the six entry points and the company’s “QuickFix” adjustable brackets, which let you match this shower to holes from previous installations. There are two control dials and three spray settings, but no soap dish or advanced features.
9. Triton Kito 10.5kW Electric Shower
Near the top level of Triton’s electric shower models, the Kito is very similar to the Martinique we’ve already discussed, simply adding phased shutdown to the Martinique’s list of features. The bigger difference is one that you’ll notice as soon as you look at the Kito: its all-chrome design with contrasting black trim. The price difference between the two models isn’t great – but the look of your bathroom will definitely be taken to a new, modern level with the Kito.
10. Triton Collection II 8.5kW
We close by checking out Triton’s top level model (which incidentally is also available at a 9.5kW power level). The Collection II has all of the great Triton features we’ve mentioned several times. But there’s a very different (and elegant-looking) minimalist control panel with a slim smooth-action temperature control knob and backlit soft-touch buttons surrounding it to handle power, on/off and other functions. You also can choose from five shower finishes (black gloss, white gloss, gun metal, brushed steel and sand), and the water inlet swivels 180° to accommodate connections from any angle, in addition to multiple entry points. This isn’t quite the best performer on our list, but those concerned with beauty and ease of installation would consider a good choice.
Come On In – The Water’s Fine!
Electric showers aren’t for everyone. But they’re a wonderful solution to a bevy of possible problems, including “not enough hot water,” “cold hot water,” or simply no hot water at all. When installed properly they’re perfectly safe, and the features available on many of today’s best power showers keep the flow going strong and the temperature stabilised at ideal levels.
The key considerations are the existing strength of your mains water flow (which will let you decide what power level you need to shop at), whether limescale is a major issue in your area (which tells you whether you need phased shutdown and limescale-resistant fixtures), and the comfort and design features (like shower spray settings and colors/finishes) which will make you happy – rather than apprehensive and resigned – when you step into the shower every morning. Just bear in mind our caution about high power levels potentially requiring some additional electrical work in older homes.
We’ve done our best to provide all of the relevant facts and electric shower reviews to let you shop with confidence for the best shower to meet your needs. So it’s time to stop staring at the sales copy and pretty jargon on plumbing fixture websites – jump in and get wet!