If you dream of showering in the rain, but aren't sure what the neighbors might think of that, you're in luck, because a rain shower will bring the rain right into the privacy of your own home. Rain cans are wider than a standard shower head, typically 6 to 8 inches, with up to 100 jets. They drop water, albeit at a lower pressure than small shower heads because it's more diffused, to simulate rainfall. Many people love that feeling, but others, especially those who have to rinse very long or thick hair -- or prefer an invigorating massage-like shower -- find that rain-style shower heads don't offer enough power. If that describes you, see our section on the best shower heads for those that have more adjustments and pressure, as well as our section on the best handheld shower heads.
The clear standout in rain shower head category is the Moen Velocity S6320 (Est. $185 and up). This 8-inch shower head has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (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, earning a rating of Excellent for ease of use, and Very Good for shower feel and maintaining the hot water temperature. Owners agree, and we saw many comments that this shower head does not have the cooling effect of many rain-style shower heads.
The Moen Velocity's appearance draws almost universal raves, with owners saying it has added a touch of class to the bathroom and is the perfect balance of water power and aesthetics. It comes in five finishes, and the price varies depending upon the finish. The standard, chrome shower head is around $190; brushed nickel about $290; brushed bronze or antique bronze around $320.
But not everyone loves the way the shower works, even if they adore the way it looks. We saw complaints that even on the most powerful setting, it was too weak of a spray. It also does not have any massaging or pulsating settings, and those with very long or very thick hair say it can take forever to rinse. Still, if you want a rain-style shower head, the Moen Velocity is the gold standard.
If you don't really care about an adjustable stream, you can experience a rain shower on a budget with the Kohler Forte K-10282-CP (Est. $50). 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 say is a nice combination of pressure and coverage. They also say the Kohler is 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, something that owners also praise.
Unlike most very cheap rain shower heads (and there are plenty) the Kohler is made of metal, not plastic and reviewers say it feels very substantial for such a reasonably priced unit. Like other Kohler products, this shower head is backed by a lifetime warranty. The standard finish is polished chrome; additional finishes, including brushed chrome, brass, brushed nickel, bronze and French gold, will add between $20 and $30 to the cost. Still, owners agree that this Kohler rain shower head is an excellent value and many have come back to update reviews after a year or more to praise the product's durability.
Elsewhere in this report: