Rain cans are wider than a standard shower head, typically 6 to 8 inches. They drop water from above (at a lower pressure) to simulate rainfall. The clear standout in this category is the Moen Velocity S6320 (Est. $170) . This 8-inch shower head has a flow rate of 2.5 gpm and includes a lever to switch it from a gentle rain shower to a more traditional high-pressure spray. The Moen Velocity is a very strong performer in professional tests, receives a recommendation from Fine Homebuilding magazine, and earns extremely high ratings from owners. Users posting reviews at Amazon.com and Buzzillions.com praise its sturdy build, adjustable flow and lifetime warranty. One Amazon.com user says it "provides the perfect balance of water power and aesthetics," and another compares it to "taking a shower in the Amazon rain forest." The standard finish is chrome; brushed nickel, brushed bronze and antique bronze finishes are also available but add about $100 to the already high price tag.
If you don't really care about an adjustable stream, you can experience a rain shower on a budget with the Kohler Forté K-10282-CP (Est. $40) . This single-function shower head is a bit small for a rain can, at 5.5 inches, but its 72 individual nozzles deliver a 2.5-gpm stream that most users describe as "a nice combination of pressure and coverage." They also say it's easy to install and very easy to use, since there are no settings to adjust. Professional testers give the shower head high marks for its feel, and they say it does a good job of keeping hot water hot. Like other Kohler products, this shower head is backed by a lifetime warranty. The standard finish is chrome; additional finishes, including brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and French gold, will add between $20 and $30 to the cost.
Although the 150-plus reviews we found for the Kohler at Amazon.com are mostly positive, some users find this shower head's gentle flow too feeble. If you prefer a vigorous shower, you may want to splurge on the Moen Velocity.