What is a Rainfall Showerhead?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A rainfall showerhead is a type of showerhead designed to mimic falling rain. Depending on water pressure and settings, it can ape the torrential rain of a storm or create a more mild experience. These types of showerheads are popular in some bathroom schemes because they bring a little bit of the outdoors into the house in a controlled fashion, and also provide even water coverage to individuals of all heights without the need for adjustment.

Rainfall shower heads create spray that feels like raindrops.
Rainfall shower heads create spray that feels like raindrops.

A very basic rainfall showerhead resembles a perforated disk with small rubber nodules emerging from each perforation to focus the water. When the water is turned on, it flows through all of the holes in the disk, creating multiple streams of water which feel like rain, especially with more sophisticated versions that integrate a pulsing system so that the water forms drops. The disk is usually positioned directly overhead in the shower so that people can stand underneath it, and is attached to a long arm so that it will project out from the wall. Many double showers integrate two rainfall showerheads for a unique shower experience.

Rainfall shower heads are generally easy to install.
Rainfall shower heads are generally easy to install.

This type of showerhead usually comes equipped with swivel joints so that it can be moved around on its arm. For a more traditional shower experience, the rainfall showerhead can be slightly angled so that the water does not flow straight down. In showers using multiple showerheads, sometimes they are aligned to spray water across different parts of the body, enhancing the illusion of being inside a rain storm.

More sophisticated rainfall showerheads include detachable showerheads, a variety of settings, and sometimes multiple showerheads. In some cases, a deluxe showerhead may resemble a sprinkler, with multiple turning arms that randomize the drops of water. They also come in a wide variety of materials and treatments to coordinate with most bathrooms, including brass, steel, chrome, and distressed versions.

In most cases, a rainfall showerhead is easy to install. The old showerhead can be removed from the shower by unscrewing, and the housing of the new showerhead can be screwed on to replace it. If the threading of one side does not match that of the other, an adapter may be needed so that the two can meet. In some cases, the original showerhead may have been located in a low position, which means that the rainfall showerhead will be too low. In this instance, an extending arm may need to be purchased to elevate it above the head of bathers.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


One of the first things I did when we moved into our house, was buy a rainfall showerhead for the master bathroom.

They aren't that expensive, and I like the way the water comes out of these better than anything else I have used.

I made sure to buy an adjustable showerhead which works great for me because I never really like the water spraying in my face, and my husband always moves the showerhead around.

It's funny how you get used to something like this and then when you use a shower that doesn't have one, you realize how much you enjoy it.


I have a detachable brass rainfall showerhead. It matches the décor of the bathroom, and it is super convenient for rinsing.

I don't have a bathtub, so I have to shave in the shower. With the detachable showerhead, I can turn the water off while I'm not using it, because it doesn't matter if I have to readjust the temperature every time I turn it on. I won't get hit with the water from above, because I lay the showerhead on the stall floor.

I can reach each section of my legs as I shave them. I can wet unshaven areas one at a time to make lathering easier. I set the showerhead to mimic gentle rain so that I don't irritate my freshly shaven legs.


I love the fact that I can move my rainfall showerhead around. My husband is quite tall, and he likes to prop it up high. I need it to be lower and at a different angle.

Our showerhead can even be pulled straight down. This is convenient when all you want to do is wash your feet. It's also great when you are trying to set the water to the right temperature. You don't have to get hit with a cold or hot blast while adjusting it.

We had a regular showerhead that was fixed in a permanent position before we bought this one. The new one is better in so many ways, and it was a good investment.


@seag47 – I don't own one personally, but I have showered in a hotel with multiple rain showerheads, and it was pleasant to me. Like you, I'm not one for standing out in the rain, but I loved the gentle shower that this device provided.

The shower had one up high and one in the middle of the wall, so I got rained on all over. It made rinsing my legs and feet a lot easier.

I experimented with the settings on the showerhead. The raindrop setting was kind of annoying, but the gentle shower and even the downpour were nice. The powerful downpour got the shampoo out of my hair fast.


I'm not sure if I would like a rainfall showerhead. Every rainstorm I've ever been in has been unpleasant. I am always trying to run out of the rain.

I guess I'm thinking of the fact that raindrops are so cold and they hit my body so hard because of the great distance from which they fell. I'm sure that warm raindrops falling from a short distance would be more pleasant.

Still, I don't know if I could get past the fact that the water resembles rain. I do not like rain one bit, and I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to separate the two in my mind.

Does anyone here have a rainfall showerhead? Do you find it unsettling at all?

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