Don’t settle for a dribble or a weedy, lukewarm spray. Get a shower with more power and start the day in style
We’ve all had to put up with useless showers: the ones that can’t hold a stable temperature; the ones that never quite get warm; the ones that can only dish out a pathetic drizzle that leaves you shivering with half the shampoo still in. A shower shouldn’t be like that. With a good, robust spray and some heat behind it, you can kick your day off with a refreshing scrub down and get properly clean.
To be honest, the electric shower isn’t everyone’s first choice. Mixer showers can have more oomph and be more consistent, while a pump-equipped power shower gives a stronger blast. However, electric showers need only the electric cable and a cold water supply, and work in situations where you haven’t got the gravity-fed pressure for a mixer model or a power shower. They heat up in a jiffy, caring not what the boiler’s up to, and they’re usually more energy-efficient, heating only the water you actually use.
Best electric shower: At a glance
|Best budget electric shower
|Triton Seville (~£80, 7.5kw)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best budget shower for easy fitting
|Triton T80Z Fast-Fit (~£120, 8.5kw)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best value shower with digital controls
|Bristan Bliss 3 (~£178, 10.5kw)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best shower with extra power
|Mira Sport Max with Airboost (~£230, 9kw)
|Check price at B&Q
|Best stylish shower for a higher budget
|Mira Azora (~£399, 9.8kw)
|Check price at Mira
How to choose the best electric shower for you
Electric showers work in much the same way from brand to brand and model to model, and you will even find models from the same brand sharing the same basic engine, not to mention the same hose and head, with the differences coming down to the style and controls.
How much power do I need?
Electric showers are rated in terms of kW, generally coming in between 7kW and 10.5kW. Power is important because the more a shower has at its disposal, the more water can be heated and passed through at a time, resulting in a stronger, more consistent flow.
However, a greater wattage also means a more expensive shower, and as higher wattages require larger cable sizes and different fuses you can’t simply swap out a 7.5kW shower for a 9.5kW shower without calling in an electrician to do the necessary work. If you’re fitting an electric shower into a property without one, you will need a qualified electrician in any case.
Check the specifications of any shower, which should list a minimum sustained pressure level (in bar) and flow rate (in litres per minute). You can actually measure the latter by running a tap fed by your mains water supply or cold water tank into a container, such as a 2l bottle or measuring jug. You can then count out how many litres it can fill within a minute – although you would better have a bath or bucket handy to tip the water into.
If you’re really struggling with mains pressure and it’s affecting your existing shower, look for showers that can cope with a lower minimum pressure level and flow rate. Going for a higher wattage shower can also boost your shower power, as you will have overhead to deliver heat and pressure.
What crucial features should I look out for?
Thermostatic controls: Most if not all electric showers have some form of thermostatic control to ensure a steady temperature. Of course, the more you pay, the more precise these temperature corrections will be.
Safety cut-out: Similarly, nearly all showers have some form of safety cut-out, stopping the flow immediately if the water gets too hot.
Controls: By this, we just mean the choice you face between buttons, dials and (occasionally) touch-sensitive controls for the shower itself. Some models will have visible temperature displays, while those designed for the visually impaired will use a chime to indicate that the correct temperature has been reached.
Limescale protection: This is usually handled by running through phases of increasingly cool water at the end of the shower. It’s a good idea as it protects the head’s inner workings from limescale build-up, which could eventually bring your shower to its knees.
Are there any non-essential features worth considering?
Spray patterns: Having different spray patterns gives you the option of a smaller but more potent spray, a fine wider mist and options in between – although weaker models will offer fewer options here.
Other: You will find some models using air intakes or boosted engines to give you the sensation of a higher flow, even when the actual amount of water coming through remains the same. Opinions differ on how effective these are.
Finally, some showers have more flexible power and water entry options, not to mention the riser rail brackets that attach to the head. That can make a big difference if you’re fitting the shower yourself, with some manufacturers now selling easy-fit models that even hapless DIY-ers might be able to manage on their own.
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The best electric showers you can buy in 2024
1. Triton Seville 7.5kW to 10.5kW: Best budget electric shower
Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at AmazonLet’s face it: this is a very basic, budget shower. It’s compact but not particularly attractive and it lacks any advanced features whatsoever. There’s one dial to switch between Cold, High and Eco settings and another to adjust the temperature, while even the showerhead only has one spray pattern.
However, bar a few naysayers here and there, users say that it delivers a steady flow of water at a nice, warm temperature and that it’s flexible and easy to fit. Want to spend the minimum? Look no further.
Key specs – Wattages: 7.5kW, 8.5kW, 9.5kW, 10.5kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, rotary power; Spray patterns: 1; Advanced features: None; Minimum pressure/flow: 8l/min at 1 bar; Dimensions: 305 x 210 x 110mm
2. Triton T80z Fast-Fit: The most versatile budget option
Price when reviewed: £119 | Check price at Amazon It might not be much to look at, but the T80Z is a bathroom classic – it’s reliable, easy to fit and capable of dishing out a decent spray.
It’s available in a range of power options from 7.5kW to 10.5kW. The latter of these gives you a little more power at the high-end than most budget rivals, while the well-designed head has five spray settings, ranging from a light mist to a jet. Users are generally impressed with the Triton’s performance and flexible fittings.
It’s available in a Pro-Fit version that’s even easier to work with and includes Triton’s Dura-Flow technology to combat limescale. Dura-Flow is worth the extra cost if you live in a hard water area. As many a plumber will tell you, you won’t find a better shower for the money.
Key specs – Wattages: 7.5kW, 8.5kW, 9.5kW, 10.5kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, rotary power; Spray patterns: 5; Advanced features: None; Minimum pressure/flow: 8l/min at 1 bar (11l/min at 1 bar for 10.5kW); Dimensions: 300 x 220 x 100mm
3. Bristan Bliss 3: Best value shower for style and digital controls
Price when reviewed: From £178 | Check price at AmazonThe Bristan Bliss is an easy replacement for many popular budget showers and is fairly flexible in its fitting, with five potential water and electric cable entry points to choose from.
What it has over those entry-level models is digital controls and a modicum of style. The unit comes in black or white and takes a minimalist approach, with just three touch-sensitive buttons and a rotary control for flow and heat, along with a digital temperature display.
Users love the design, the consistent heat and the strong flow rate, plus the way the display flashes until the water has reached the correct temperature or shows “CL” to remind you to clean the showerhead. It’s a good-looking mid-range shower that gives you that little bit more.
Key specs – Wattages: 8.5kW, 9.5kW, 10.5kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, touch start and heat setting; Spray patterns: 3; Advanced features: Digital display, maintenance indicator, anti-limescale; Minimum pressure/flow: 0.7 bar/not specified; Dimensions: 305 x 195 x 65mm
4. Mira Elite SE: Best electric shower for gravity-fed systems
Price when reviewed: From £200 | Check price at Plumbworld Mains water isn’t an option in every bathroom, but what do you do if you’ve got a low pressure gravity system, but not the space or budget for a mixer shower and a pump? With the Elite SE, Mira might have cracked it. It comes in 9.8kW and 10.8kW versions, and includes a quiet-mark approved electric pump, giving you a nice, consistent water flow from even a weedy 0.008 bar supply with an 80mm drop. And while pumped showers are normally noisy showers, this one is so quiet that you can barely hear it over the noise of the shower itself. Moreover, if you’re used to a weedy shower that dithers between lukewarm and slightly chilly, the Elite SE dishes out a reliably warm spray.
Bear in mind that this one only runs from a gravity-fed system, and that while it might be tempting to run it from a mains supply you’re more likely to damage the shower than get a boost. Still, flexible fittings make it reasonably easy to fit, especially if you’re replacing an existing Mira Elite shower, and it’s the top model in this niche. Put it in and let that pump do its stuff.
Key specs – Wattages: 9.8kW, 10.8kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, rotary power, push button power, on/off button; Spray patterns: 1 per head; Advanced features: Clearscale anti-scale, dual showerheads with diverter; Minimum pressure/flow: 1.0 bar/not specified; Dimensions: 220 x 332 x 97.4mm
5. Aqualisa Quartz 8.5kW to 10.5kW: Best stylish shower for less
Price when reviewed: From £372 | Check price at Amazon This compact model is simple, stylish and good value, coming in a choice of chrome, white and graphite grey finishes with minimalist controls and a subtle glow around the on/off button.
The showerhead gives you five different spray patterns and with no power settings you’re left with a smooth, effective temperature control that won’t let you go too high. The anti-limescale protection runs cold water through after you shower to prevent it from building up.
The Quartz’s real strength isn’t its looks, though, but its consistently good flow and excellent temperature management, with even the less powerful 8.5kW model delivering a decent shower. Popular with users and plumbers, it’s a class act.
Key specs – Wattages: 8.5kW, 9.5kW, 10.5kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, on/off button; Spray patterns: 5; Advanced features: OTP temperature limit, anti-limescale; Minimum pressure/flow: 0.9 bar/not specified; Dimensions: 305 x 240 x 65mm
6. Mira Sport Max with Airboost 9kW to 10.8kW: The shower with extra power
Price when reviewed: From £230 | Check price at B&Q Fans of mixer showers and power showers may point and laugh at your electric’s puny flow, but not if you’re rocking the Mira Sport Max with Airboost. It combines Mira’s Opti-Flo technology with Airboost technology, designed to increase the flow by up to 30% using air pressure. You’re not actually getting any more water, but the water you get hits with extra speed and force. The result is a more powerful-feeling shower, even when the mains water pressure is low. The 10.8kW version is available for £250.
Meanwhile, Mira’s Clearscale and Sensi-Flo features prevent scalding and the build-up of limescale. It’s a loud shower with Airboost on and some users have experienced problems with reliability, but most agree that this is an outstanding shower.
Key specs – Wattages: 9kW, 10.8kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, push button on/off and power; Spray patterns: 4; Advanced features: Airboost, Clearscale anti-scale, Sensi-Flo scalding protection; Minimum pressure/flow: 0.7 bar (1.0 bar for 10.8kW)/not specified; Dimensions: 358 x 215 x 89mm
7. Mira Azora 9.8kW: Best stylish shower for a higher budget
Price when reviewed: £399 | Check price at Mira Fancy a shower with more designer looks? With its frosted glass fascia, the Mira Azora is about as compact and stylish as such things get. It’s a simple unit with a push-button on/off switch, three power settings and a smooth temperature control, while the showerhead has a choice of four spray settings ranging from a punchy spray to a wider mist.
The Azora isn’t just a good-looking shower, though, but a strong performer, with impressively consistent water flow and a steady temperature that sticks to within 1.5˚C of the current setting. It also has Sensi-Flo technology to prevent scalding and Clearscale technology to cut down on limescale – even if the fascia itself is prone to limescale marking. Solid and reliable, this is one of the very best electrics you can buy.
Key specs – Wattages: 9.8kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, rotary power, on/off button; Spray patterns: 4; Advanced features: Clearscale anti-scale, Sensi-Flo scalding protection; Minimum pressure/flow: 0.7 bar/not specified; Dimensions: 233 x 367 x 77mm
8. Mira Decor Dual: Best electric rainfall shower
Price when reviewed: £441 | Check price at Mira Larger “rainfall” showerheads are ideal for a relaxing shower at the end of a tough day, but they’re usually restricted to mixer and pump-fed power showers. The Mira Decor Dual is an exception, giving you a choice of a “deluge” overhead shower or a fiercer spray from a smaller separate hand showerhead. You can’t have both running at the same time, but a clever control valve allows you to switch between them in an instant without affecting the heat or the pressure, so you still get the best of both worlds.
Although it has a more powerful 10.8KW heater and pump, the Decor Dual has a higher pressure requirement than the Mira Azora, and you will need a decent flow to get the best out of the overhead shower. If that’s not a problem, this is the ultimate in electric shower luxury. Jump in and wash your cares away.
Key specs – Wattages: 10.8kW; Controls: Rotary temperature, push button power, on/off button; Spray patterns: 1 per head; Advanced features: Clearscale anti-scale, dual showerheads with diverter; Minimum pressure/flow: 1.0 bar/not specified; Dimensions: 220 x 332 x 97.4mm