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How to choose the best shower

Power Shower Buying Guide

By Jess O'Leary

Article 2 of 4

Long to luxuriate under a powerful cascade of hot water each morning? Discover how to buy the best power shower for your bathroom.

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Power showers have a pump to boost the water flow, meaning they deliver more through the shower head compared with non-pumped versions. This makes the shower feel more powerful.

Power showers work in the same way as mixer showers in that they combine water from both the cold and hot water supplies. They’re particularly useful if your home has low water pressure.

There are two basic types of power shower: those with a pump integrated with the control unit that’s attached to the wall (as in the picture above) and those which have a separate pump.

Find out what shower owners really think of big brands Aqualisa, Mira and Triton in our best power shower brands guide. It includes reliability ratings, for which one brand achieved an impressive score of 90% and the other just 64%.

If you'd prefer an electric shower, check out our Best Buy electric shower reviews to see the top models Which? recommends.

Where are power showers suitable for?

Whether or not your bathroom can have a power shower depends on the water system you have in your home. Power showers are designed to work with gravity-fed systems: you’re likely to have one of these if you have a cold water tank in your loft that feeds a hot water cylinder in an airing cupboard.

Power showers aren't compatible with combi boilers or pressurised water systems

But if you have a combination (combi) boiler or a pressurised system (where water from a mains-fed hot water cylinder is mixed with cold mains water) you won’t be able to install a power shower. This is because pumps that increase the water flow and pressure can’t be used with these systems.

If you have a combi boiler or pressurised water system you can install a mixer, digital or electric shower. We’ve tested the latest electric models to find those that deliver plenty of hot water and won’t turn icy cold if someone uses a tap elsewhere in your home. To see which ones fit this bill, check out our electric shower reviews.

How much do power showers cost?

Power showers aren’t as expensive as you might think – you can pick up an entry-level all-in-one unit for around £100. Models range up to around £600, with the price you’ll pay depending on the brand and whether or not it's a thermostatic model (see below for more on thermostatic technology).

One average, when we surveyed* shower owners they paid £378 for their power shower.

Two of the biggest shower brands, Mira and Triton, produce a range of power showers. Triton typically offers the cheapest models and has the largest selection to choose from.

If you can't install a power shower or don’t want to fork out for higher running costs, see if an electric shower would work for you using our electric showers buying guide

Are power showers expensive to run?

Power showers use a lot more water than a standard mixer or electric shower, and if you have a water meter you’ll soon notice the impact on your water bill. Power showers deliver an average of 13 litres of water per minute, compared to around eight litres per minute for a mixer shower and five litres per minute for an electric model.

13 litres per minutethe amount of water produced by a power shower

Power showers also use more energy than other types of shower because they have to heat more water during the course of each shower. This means your energy bills will be higher, too.

Which power shower features should I look out for?

Choosing a thermostatic power shower should help ensure your shower stays at a steady temperature, even if someone runs a tap or flushes a loo elsewhere in your home. Showers without this feature are prone to temperature fluctuations: they can turn scalding hot and then freezing cold as the shower struggles to adjust to the change in water flow.  

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