Is there really a difference among different shower heads? Aren’t they all the same? Most people tend to find your bathroom faucet as a relatively insignificant piece of hardware since they all have the same function—to spray water. But you would be surprised at the change in your shower experience if you chose something other than just your typical off-the-shelf product at Wal-Mart.

So how do you know which one would provide you with that 10 minutes of glory each and every morning? Here a few tips on selecting the right faucet for you:

Handheld vs. Wall-Fixed

Traditionally in the US, most people here in the states have shower heads that directly screw onto your standard ½ inch diameter pipe. This has been traditionally considered as the standard, and there is nothing absolutely wrong with this type of faucet. Simple in form and function, these shower heads generally take up less space and involve less parts—resulting in higher chances of durability. You can choose from rainfall types with large spray plates to cover large areas if you are a larger person, or modern looking square shaped ones if you’re more of a cubic type of person.

On the other hand, handheld models frequently require more parts, but also can provide additional benefits as well. If you live with multiple family members who vary in height, adding a mounted hose and bracket or sliding bar allows you to increase or decrease the height of the shower head. This will let your 6’5” basketball star son not have to slouch in order be able to get underneath, and simultaneously for your visiting grandma to easily wash her feet because of its removable versatility.

Spray Patterns

If you’re the type who enjoys strong massages, there are many varieties and options that frequently are built into shower heads themselves. These can range from pulsating message streams that are strong and can really provide therapeutic effects to fine mists that provide a relaxed light feel. Be sure to check what kind of functions each type can provide prior to a purchase.

Water Output

With the largest drought recently impacting the sunbelt region of the US, water output and stringent water usage regulations have risen abruptly in the past few years. This includes being hit with huge usage penalties for going over certain monthly quotas set by water supply companies, so it is important that you check with your local county laws to see what your limits are according to your budget. For most average families, water conservation is a must. This means that if budget is a top priority, installing a shower head that can meet EPA water sense labeled certification means that its output is less than 2.0 gallons per minute. This can save larger families hundreds of dollars a month, especially if you have daughters that dream about become the next American Idol and love to sing and play during their showers.

If budget is not a concern or you are in an area with less stringent water laws, you might opt for a more luxurious option: shower panels. These shower panels frequently come with additional spray jets that can provide an exhilarating at home spa experience. They have nozzles that can almost cleanse and massage in any direction and are guaranteed to leave no body part unwashed. Just be ready explain why you need such extravagant units to your green guests as they can use up to 10-15 gallons per minute.

Filtration Systems

As the modern era seeks improvements on every aspect of products that we purchase, the shower head market is no exception. Shower heads that feature filtration systems have risen, with some claiming to remove unwanted substances from your water. Some contain carbon-based filters that react with rust and residue, but prove to be ineffective at higher temperatures. Others use more natural alternatives, such as vitamin C shower filters to neutralize chlorine from water. Studies by environmental agencies have found that although chlorine isn’t too harmful during cold water exposures in swimming pools, it can result in chlorine derivatives in a gaseous form when used in combination with a hot shower. By using a vitamin C shower, it can instantaneously neutralize chlorine upon contact without the use of any additional artificial compounds or substances. Clean water is not just important for you to drink but also beneficial for your skin if you invest in a shower filter such as a vitamin C shower head. These advance methods of removing harmful substances before you come into contact with them may prevent costly side effects to your health in the long run.

Extra Features

With newer & innovative products being developed, more and more manufacturers are designing newer shower heads with added benefits such as LED shower heads and bluetooth speaker shower heads. With all the variety of options out there, you have to find the right one suited for yourself. If you are a spa junkie, the Aroma Sense product which adds aromatherapy shower function may be the best fit for you.