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How to choose the best shower

Mixer Shower Buying Guide

By Jess O'Leary

Article 3 of 4

From cheap bath tap mixers to premium wall-hung showers, find out how to buy the best mixer shower for your budget.

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A mixer shower blends hot and cold water to the desired temperature and delivers it through the shower head.

Most mixer showers have a wall-mounted temperature control and pipes that are channelled into the wall behind the tiles. You can also get bath mixer showers, where the temperature and water flow are controlled by adjusting the bath taps.

Before you consider buying a mixer shower, find out how shower owners rated big brands Mira, Triton, Grohe, Aqualisa and more in our guide to the best mixer shower brands.

The top-scoring brand achieved impressive customer rating of 90%. Our results also revealed the brands that won't let you down - one got a reliability score of 92%, 16 percentage points ahead of the bottom brand.

How powerful are mixer showers?

In general, mixer showers have a stronger water flow than electric showers but less than power showers.

The power you'll get depends on the water pressure you have at home, as the lower the pressure of the water coming into your property the less water will flow from your shower. If you think the water dribbles from your taps you’re likely to think the same about your shower.

Mixer showers deliver more hot water than electric showers but less than power showers.

Who are mixer showers suitable for?

Pretty much anyone with a bathroom can install a mixer shower, as they work with hot water that’s fed from an immersion heater, hot water cylinder or combi boiler.

While some mixer showers will work with any system, others are designed for either a high-pressure or low-pressure water system - make sure you check whether the shower you're buying caters for a specific water system. If your home does have low water pressure, you could also consider buying a separate pump to increase the flow.

How much do mixer showers cost?

Mixer showers are the most widely available and cheapest type of shower you can buy, so you shouldn't have trouble finding one to fit your budget.

Shower hoses that connect to your bath taps can cost less than £30, while wall-mounted options with a shower head and riser rail start from as little as £60. At the other end of the scale, you can pay more than £1,000 for a chrome dual-head thermostatic model from a premium brand. Most mixer showers cost between £200 and £600. 

Big shower brands Mira and Triton offer a range of entry and mid-level wall-mounted showers priced from around £100 to £300. Cheaper versions tend to have a cylindrical bar mixer that attaches to the wall and a smaller shower head, while models at the top of this bracket have dual heads, control panels that are flush to the wall and thermostatic controls. Premium brands such as Grohe and Aqualisa will cost around £400-600.

On average, when we surveyed* mixer shower owners, they paid £325 for their shower.

Looking for an electric shower? See which are the best models for your bathroom by reading our electric shower reviews.

Are there any mixer shower features to look out for?

A thermostatic shower is designed to keep the water temperature steady as you shower. The temperature of non thermostatic models can fluctuate wildly if someone runs a tap or flushes a loo while you're showering. Thermostatic shower are more expensive, but should protect you from temperature spikes followed by an icy deluge if the mains water is used elsewhere in your home. 

Some wall-mounted mixer kits come with an extra hose and shower head. These can be useful when the water falls vertically from a rose shower head and you want to shower without washing your hair. They’re also handy for rinsing the tiles and shower screen when you’re cleaning.

Choosing a thermostatic model will help ensure the temperature in your shower doesn't fluctuate.

Can I install a mixer shower without removing tiles in my bathroom?

Possibly, if you’re replacing an old mixer shower or you choose a bath mixer shower.

But it’s unlikely you’ll be able to replace an all-in-one power shower or electric shower unit as the pipes supplying water would have to be replaced. Plus, you’d have to remove the power cabling from the old unit.

(*In May 2016 we surveyed 1,732 Which? members about their experiences with the shower they bought in the last five years.)